Translator: “Pink Tea” Editor: ”Ryunakama”
For now, let’s bring the luggage to Marius.
Coming back home I grab items that Marius left there.
I check the contents, just in case.
Yeah, there is no mistake, it belongs to Marius.
He bought quite a lot.
Apparently, he sold off magic stones and materials that he managed to obtain in the process and bought other magic stones and materials with that money.
Magic ores and herbs, and also parts of monsters that he hunted on the way.
And then some more magic stones and materials from stores. ……He was very enthusiastic about possible monsters that might be born from combinations of those parts. He even got a whole bunch of C rank magic stones.
Getting my equipment in order, I depart for the labyrinth.
Indeed, there are more adventurers than before. Noticing me, they approached.
「Ah, Big Bro Rude! Are you going to explore the labyrinth?!」
「Yeah, wanted to take a look at things.」
I ended up sounding a bit evasive since I couldn’t possibly say that I was going to meet the guardian.
「I see, please don’t get injured, venturing alone.」
The adventurers that I often see in the town called out to me one after another.
Some of them are so bad with words that they can easily cause a dispute, while others could make one worry about their future career as adventurers.
A great variety.
Eventually, my clan is also bound to get quirky individuals.
Will I have to organize them on my own? I can’t help but feel uneasy.
Well, since I decided that I’m gonna do it, I have to. I have no intention of backing out.
Entering the labyrinth, I arrive at the first floor.
Did the layout change? There are more trees now.
Under those trees were herbs and ores.
……He did quite a good job of concealing them.
After wandering through the floor for a while, a magic circle appeared in front of me.
Inside it was a small human slime.
It tries to beckon me closer with gestures. Though its body was made out of a transparent liquid, it still had the form of Manicia.
If it’s a trap then it’s way too nasty. The strongest possible trap against me. I’ll absolutely fall for it……
As I step inside the magic circle prepared by Marius the human slime sticks to me.
It startled me a bit. Then, I noticed that my clothes are drenching wet.
The trap activated, and I felt like I was floating.
I was thrown into the air.
Looking down, I saw the ground.
Plains, similar to those of the first floor.
I yell in anger, spotting the small silhouette of Marius in the distance.
Then, the body of the human slime that teleported with me suddenly swelled up.
And then, enveloped me.
In that state, I fell to the ground.
Since the human slime absorbed all of the impact, I felt nothing.
Being enveloped by the human slime didn’t feel that bad.
This water-like body might be nice during summer.
If only I could bring it back home with me.
When I said that, the human slime shook its body happily.
Pushing the slime aside, I get up.
Normally, slimes kill their prey by swallowing it up and then dissolving it. Once caught, escape is not an easy matter.
But this human slime was pushing me out on its own.
When I stepped onto the ground, the slime shifted back into human form.
Sitting down at the nearby seat, I shout to Marius.
「Hey, Marius…… That’s quite a greeting.」
「Did you enjoy it?」
「I almost had a heart attack.」
「Ha Ha Ha. I was thinking about the games that humans might enjoy. I’m trying to make a floor that can provide various entertainment in exchange for outer shell. This was one of the ideas.」
「……I see. Stealing outer shell in such a way, huh.」
「Yes. Right now, adventurers compete for every labyrinth, right? So I thought another approach is necessary, the one that doesn’t involve monster extermination. Maybe even ordinary people will come to visit the labyrinth.」
……Something similar to what is happening at the blacksmith.
With Milena beginning to sell trinkets, they are now getting many female customers.
Exploring new venues and ways to bring in customers is important for the survival of a business.
So Marius thought about the labyrinth as well.
To be honest, considering that he lived among humans, I thought that he might abandon his position as a guardian and live as a human.
That’s what I was hoping for.
「What’s wrong, Rude?」
「No, I just thought that you are a guardian after all.」
「Well, yeah. I want to fight the strong as a guardian. But at the same time, I’m also a member of your clan. I will keep gathering energy in this labyrinth, and use it to spawn, strengthen, and create monsters. And using those monsters I’m going to train your clan members, as well as have duels myself. What do you think? Isn’t it an amazing plan?」
「As a part of that, I want to invite ordinary people to gather energy more efficiently. Do you think it will work?」
「……Initially, surely not.」
Perhaps not expecting such an answer, Marius raised his voice.
「That’s because labyrinths have a certain established image to them. Most people consider labyrinths to be something scary and dangerous.」
It would be impossible to change that right away.
If it can be done, then perhaps through adventurers, that learned of such a place and brought someone close to them from among ordinary people, who in turn would bring someone as well.
It might work with Marius’ plan.
「I see…… Well, it can’t be helped. ……By the way, you aren’t injured, right?」
「Yes. The slime saved me.」
As I patted it on the head, bubbles appeared in the watery body of the slime.
Is it its way of expressing joy?
「Which reminds me, Rude. What brings you here today? I didn’t expect you to come here out of your own volition. Are you looking for a fight?」
「A delivery. You left the materials in my room.」
「Ooooh! Yeah, now I remember! I bought some tasty stuff for the monsters!」
The eyes of Marius and the slime sparked.
……Are monsters going to be eating that as well?
One of the floors of the labyrinth in the city of adventurers had a monster with a head that looked like a certain fruit.
And they make cookies there, from the fruits that that monster drops.
Marius liked them, so he bought a few as souvenirs.
「Heey, guys. The souvenirs arrived, come over here!」
Fieldzauruses and goblins gathered, obeying Marius’ shout.
As Marius threw cookies to them, they enjoyed them with great delight.
But as one would expect, it was nothing considering the size of fieldzauruses.
So I do the same.
……Isn’t this pretty entertaining as well?
「……I didn’t think they will like the cookies this much.」
I was certain that monsters prefer human flesh.
But they seem to be quite omnivorous.
After a while, Marius, probably recalling what they actually taste like, began eating the cookies himself.
The monsters raised a wail.
I don’t understand what they are saying if they are saying anything at all, but I’m pretty sure it’s meant to be something along the lines of 『Unfair, we want more!』,
Meanwhile, Marius looked at them with a smug grin.
「Relax, I’m going to mass-produce them. You will have your share.」
「……You can reproduce even cookies?」
「Sure, if I use energy.」
「Of course. Okay, reproduce those cookies…… And well, I guess I can place them somewhere in the labyrinth. Oh, a cookie-bearing tree, that surely will gather attention!」
「No, don’t do that in areas where adventurers go…… That’s clearly too strange.」
I’ve never seen such a labyrinth.
It will gather attention, but those cookies are very famous in the city of adventurers.
It is bound to puzzle some people.
Setting an already finished product is not desirable. If possible, it would be better to set just a fruit tree.
Marius dropped his shoulders.
「Is that so? Anyway, Rude, about the plan to attract ordinary people……」
「First, I want to increase the number of floors to 20. Then, I want to make the 20th floor into one that humans can enjoy. Free-fall with slimes, for example, places to eat, inns, and so on. The floor that one can use by paying with outer shell.」
Marius declared, pumping his fist in the air.