Translator: “Pink Tea” Editor: ”Ryunakama”
The week of training has passed.
Each team made sufficient progress.
Today, we are going to challenge the labyrinth.
Stocking up on water, salty candy, and other necessities required for lengthy exploration, we head to the labyrinth.
Arriving at the entrance we see the same adventurer that was making fun of us a week ago.
Noticing us, he said something to another adventurer that was with him.
The other adventurer is the one that we see quite often here. He simply glanced at the other adventurer and breathed a sigh.
「What brings you here today, big mouths?」
「Hahaha, no way you can do that!」
We walk past them.
After all, we already knew that this was going to happen.
As we entered the first floor, Sinanis shook his fists in the air.
「That dumbass, making fun of us! He really pisses me off!」
「Don’t mind it. Depending on the results we produce today, their view of us might immediately change. At the very least, I’d like to reach the 49th floor this time. Luna, please.」
「Acknowledged. I will teleport us to the 48th floor.」
Luna activated the spell and the next moment we were on the 48th floor.
Upon opening my eyes, my whole field of vision is filled with purple fog.
Concentrating, I confirm that it doesn’t damage my outer shell.
「No one is taking damage, right?」
Everyone closed their eyes, confirming their outer shells, then nodded.
We already checked for this when we came here with Rafan or Marius and others, but just in case.
「After what I studied about the 48th floor, and it’s pretty amazing that we are taking no damage from this.」
「I guess. Without any countermeasures, one would lose about 100 points of outer shell every 5 seconds, right?」
Sinanis said while glancing over himself.
「Yeah. So one of the party members has to keep up a barrier at all times. So challenging this labyrinth the party will have only 5 people available for fighting.」
The difficulty is greatly different for us since we don’t have that limitation.
We can raid this floor in the same fashion as any other.
With this, the first obstacle is cleared. The next one is combat with skeletons.
Walk for a bit and as expected, a skeleton crawled out of the ground.
「First, Sinanis and Rafan will fight on their own. I want to see how well they will fare. Marius, you finish the skeleton off before the next one will appear.」
「Roger. Let’s give it a shot, Rascal.」
「Yeah, finally a real fight. Well, let’s consider this a warm-up.」
Sinanis made a broad grin and pulled out his sword.
I also take a stance with the greatshield, ready to join the combat at any moment.
The skeleton noticed us.
As Rafan used Taunt, the skeleton approached her
She is biting on her lips. ……But, she isn’t trembling.
As expected, after dealing with skeletons every day, Rafan got used to them.
The skeleton leaped at Rafan, but she blocked the attack with the buckler.
And she is not pushed back. Her balance greatly improved during this week.
As the one that guided her, I feel nothing but delight about her growth.
I can’t suppress my smile.
As a parent, who is happy about the child’s growth, I glance at the others, to see their reaction.
……Well, they don’t know how Rafan was at the beginning, so there is no particular amazement.
For a moment, Rafan’s and Sinanis’ eyes met.
After which Rafan took a step back. As expected of an actual party, they have good coordination.
Sinanis swung his sword, which the skeleton immediately evaded.
But Sinanis nimbly changed the trajectory and made another swing in the opposite direction.
Though its stance was ruined, the skeleton tried to swing the sword.
Sinanis’ attack was a feint. Its only purpose was to bait an attack from the skeleton.
Sinanis pulled back his sword and dodged the attack.
With that overreaching attack with a poor posture, the skeleton’s stance was completely ruined.
「Slower than I expected. 」
Sinanis muttered somewhat surprised.
What did he just say? Indeed, Sinanis is keeping up with the skeleton.
Easily fending off everything thrown at him, he then takes distance.
As I glance at Marius, I see a self-satisfied smile on his face.
「During our training I was attacking faster than actual skeletons. And looks like it proved to be effective.」
…I see. So the speed of skeletons are now nothing special for Sinanis.
Sinanis counterattacked, matching the moment when the skeleton took a big swing.
Staggered, the skeleton raised both of its hands overhead.
Marius kicked off the ground.
His katana flew towards the defenseless eye sockets of the skeleton as if it was sucked in there.
After easily dispatching a single enemy, Marius put his katana on his shoulder.
「Rascal should have no problems with skeletons of this floor.」
Sinanis is more than perfectly able to fight on this floor. He read all of the enemy attacks.
Rafan, breathing in a calm manner, also seems to be okay.
Meeting eyes with me she slightly swung her tail.
「Rafan, good job. A fine display.」
She scratched her cheek, smiling a bit bashfully. I’m glad that she is also pleased with the results.
Since we confirmed that they can fight here, it’s time to start the subjugation.
「Let’s proceed with subjugation. Luna, Search magic, please. I will assist.」
「No, please leave it to me, Rude-sama! I will show the perfect synchronization with Luna-oneesama!」
Arika declared, raising her hand.
Luna made a short nod and immediately began deploying her magic.
There, Arika poured magic power. Her magic power immediately changed, becoming closer to that of Luna.
「……Magic power transformation?」
A skill that allows manipulating the nature of one’s own magic power to a certain degree.
This greatly changes the effectiveness of assisted spells.
Last time we checked she had nothing of this sort.
With the activation of their spell, Luna looked at us.
「We sense no monsters nearby. We also were unable to locate the magic circle leading to the next floor.」
「Luna, could it be that Arika acquired a skill that allows to change her own magic power?」
「Yes, and also Heal.」
She is the one that grew the most……
Rafan also acquired a skill, 『Protection Shield』, but that’s it.
And Sinanis got nothing. But his own strength definitely grew.
I was worried that Luna might have trouble with teaching others, but she is way better than me.
While being slightly depressed about that thought, I proceed ahead.
Two skeletons spawned and along came a ghost.
「I will take one skeleton and the ghost. Luna and Arika, get rid of the ghost with your magic, Rafan, and Sinanis, follow Marius’ command and get rid of another skeleton.」
The most annoying composition.
As I taunt two enemies, the ghost immediately throws a specter at me.
While I blocked the ghost’s attack with the shield, the skeleton jumped at me from the side.
Showing off its smile, unique only to fleshless skeletons, it swung its sword at me, which I block as well.
I also can’t fall behind others.
Restraining the sword of the skeleton with my own I used the greatshield to carefully push the skeleton to the ground, as not to create any splinters with unnecessary damage.
Caught in the muddy ground, the skeleton fell to the ground just like that.
The other skeleton was already taken down, with Rafan keeping its attention on herself. As expected, they are fast.
Sinanis hurried to my aid.
I keep blocking specters thrown by the ghost with my shield. Furious explosions occur, but this much is not enough to break my greatshield.
Now, when we understand the capabilities of our enemies, there is no need to be nervous.
Mental disposition greatly changes the flow of the battle. When fighting unknown enemies one can’t help but be anxious.
But now, I confront them with composure.
A spell was cast at the ghost.
As it was too slow to realize that, the ghost was swallowed up by the magic.
Engulfed with flames the ghost dissipated. Impressive firepower. Luna excelled at magic, to begin with, but with the help of Arika the power increased even higher.
「Luna, you probably will be able to defeat ghosts even with less amount of power.」
「Acknowledged. Next time I will hold back.」
The knocked down skeleton got back to its feet and took another swing. A large sweep from a low stance. But I simply stomp down this attack aimed at my legs.
With me stepping on the flat of its sword, the skeleton froze.
It tried to pull back the sword, but I put even more weight on it.
Finally giving up, the skeleton tried to hit me unarmed, but I caught the attack with one hand.
And then glared at the skeleton. For a moment, the skeleton appeared to be seized by something that looked like a shudder.
Then, from the side, came Marius’ katana.
With the magic stone shattered, the skeleton crumbled to the ground.
「Luna, don’t pause, we must keep going.」
「Yes. No magic circle in the vicinity.」
As one would expect, finding one on this extremely vast floor is no easy feat.
Even if 5 skeletons appear at the same time, it will only change the number of the enemies I will have to tank, without much actual difference.
With healing magic and potions there is no danger of my outer shell even being shattered by them.
「Rude, you seem to emit a lot more pressure than before.」
Marius said, walking beside me.
「Yeah. Previously, you appeared somewhat like a retired adventurer, as if you looked at things from the position of an observer, but now, you have that passion, like our Rascal over there.」
「It didn’t occur to me that I changed this much.」
「Well, then it might mean that this is how you were originally. Which is all for the better, if you stay the same our next battle would be no fun.」
Marius laughed with glee.
「Master, we discovered the magic circle.」
Hearing Luna, Marius laughed.
「Hey hey, are you serious? Isn’t this way too easy?」
「Well, considering how much we worked for this.」
Pulling out a single salty candy from the pocket I throw it in my mouth.
Refreshment for the exercise I just had. Other teammates are also using supplements to restore their stamina.
Meanwhile, Marius kept smiling, looking at the magic circle.
「The 49th floor, huh. I can’t wait to find out what kind of monsters are awaiting us there.」
「No, it would be a problem if something other than skeletons and ghosts were to pop up.」
「Ha Ha Ha, don’t be like that.」
Stepping into the magic circle, we are teleported to the 49th floor.
This floor looked similar to the previous one.
And after walking for a bit, we encountered a monster.
Our first battle on the 49th floor.
The question is how strong is it.
「Marius, Rafan, Sinanis, please. I will keep attention on our surroundings.」
The three head towards the skeleton. Meanwhile, more skeletons appear.
Sinanis and the others took care of the first in the same fashion as on the previous floor.
「……Rude. It’s way stronger than its friends from the previous floor. My hands went numb.」
To me it looked like Sinanis was parrying attacks, turning them aside, but perhaps it was closer than it appeared.
I taunt three of the newly appeared skeletons. ……I feel like they are appearing even faster than before.
「Sinanis, can you press on?」
「Then we are going to cut our way through the 49th floor!」
I raised my voice.
Since this floor has the same monsters as the previous one, there is no need to hesitate.
「Marius, make sure you finish them properly. For now, I will keep the attention of those two.」
We press on, killing every enemy blocking our way.
At times I had to deal with 6 enemies at the same time, but this is no different from usual.
I keep aggro of 5 enemies, meanwhile, Rafan takes care of another one.
The burden on me grows heavier, but it’s not enough to bring me down.
Though I took a few hits, Luna and Arika were able to keep up with healing magic.
Before long Marius reduced the number of enemies enough for the girls to find the opportunity to use Search Magic.
Drops of sweat showed on Luna’s forehead. Then, her eyes opened wide and she shouted.
「Master, we got a reaction for the magic circle over there!」
Luna’s voice resounded as our time spent on the 49th floor was approaching 3 hours.
「Dash towards the magic circle! No need to fight them!」
I shouted when the magic circle came into sight.
Chased by the skeletons, we jumped into the magic circle.
They stretched their arms towards us, but the moment we slapped them away, the magic circle activated.