『Hee. So this is how it feels to be in a dungeon.』
『Yep. I told you before, but not a word to anyone about what you’re going to see in here.』
After a few minutes, the straight, long, and narrow pathway we have been on, starts to curve a bit.
Oh, found one.
At once, Miyoshi spreads out a thick, cushioned sheet – carefully so as to not be targeted – in front of a jiggling monster.
『Now then, you will get down over there, draw up the liquid with this plastic straw, and powerfully blow it at the slime.』
『Eh? That’s all?』
『Well yeah. Although it’ll be fine if it’s just a bit, make sure to not drink the contents or get it into your eyes.』
I had also considered having her use a spray bottle, but it’s possible that the fact that we prepared it might be regarded as equivalent to loading the bullets into a gun.
That’s why we decided to go with the most primitive and reliable method. It probably won’t be a problem even if she gulps it down, as long as it’s just a bit.
“Miyoshi, please watch the route from the corner over there.”
Ayesha lies down on the sheet with her face up, while wearing goggles, and then slides towards the slime by kicking off with one foot.
I stay close to her, to back her up in case something happens.
Ayesha gasps heavily, 『Now, please give me the straw.』
Silently I make her hold the longish straw in her mouth.
Everything from now on must be done by her alone.
She sucks up the liquid with the straw, breathes in deeply through her nose, and powerfully blows into the straw.
The Alien’s Drool gets pushed out and splendidly hits the slime. Immediately following, the slime bursts and vanishes, and its core rolls on the ground. Ayesha observes that dumbfoundedly.
『Amazing, right? We’re calling it Alien’s Drool.』
『What a terrible name.』 Ayesha bursts into laughter.
『All that’s left is the core laying over there ─ the thing that looks like a round glass orb. You gotta strike it heartily with the sole of the boot you’re wearing.』
『Okay.』 Ayesha says, turns her body over with a rustling, and switches to a sitting posture.
Then she aims with her left foot, and swings it down at full power. The iron plate affixed to the sole of her boot crashes against the core, but it looks like it hasn’t been destroyed completely.
“Senpai, someone came around the corner on the other side.”
Powerfully swinging down her leg once more, she precisely hits the core, causing it to be smashed.
Once it resolves into something similar to the usual black light, a dull, silver card is left behind.
I pick up the card, and show it to her.
『T-Thanks. Can I use the orb with this?』
『Yes, you can.』
Once I reply to her, Ayesha puts her arm around my neck and mutters, “Thanks,” many times over.
『Hey, you okay over there?』
I hear native English from behind me.
『Is there anything we can help you with?』 Miyoshi answers like that.
『No, we just came here to check after noticing that someone was here. If you like, we can escort you?』
A frivolous man, who peeks this way while speaking, says, 『Oh, it looks like you’re in the middle of something, huh?』.
『No thank you, it’s appreciated, but we’re already pulling out. Feel free to concentrate on your own adventure.』
I put my arms around Ayesha’s waist, make her sit down on the rescue harness, and lift it up with a “Heave-ho.”
Miyoshi quickly cleans the sheet and straw away.
『What, so you were injured after all?』
『No. It’s none of your business. Bye.』
With those words, Miyoshi and I quickly leave the two foreigners behind.
“It looks like they followed us, doesn’t it?”
“Well, I guess so. Right, Miyoshi, give me that.”
In response, Miyoshi takes out an orb from her pouch.
It’s the <High Recovery> orb her father entrusted us with.
『There’s the common saying that using an orb in a dungeon works better. Wanna have a try?』
She considers it for a bit, but nods decisively, and touches the orb held out by Miyoshi with her left arm, that lacks anything beyond the wrist.
Then she breathes in deeply, and closes her eyes.
At that moment, the orb turns into light and vanishes. The light begins to coil around her body.
The voice reflexively escaping Ayesha’s lips sounds so much like moaning, that anyone not watching in person would misunderstand.
I panic and quickly run into a side path. There I lower her down, and observe the progress with Miyoshi.
My face naturally becomes red as I watch her writhing on the ground.
It happened when I became instinctively teary-eyed, after Miyoshi drove her elbow into my right flank.
The places with the missing parts on her body swell up, forming the shapes of hands and legs. The parts of the right side of her body that aren’t covered by clothes radiate faintly.
Releasing an especially loud moan, she limply leans against my chest with large droplets of sweat visible on her forehead.
“S-Senpai, this is…”
Ayesha’s mask slides off and falls to the ground with a clattering sound.
Her abundant, black hair spills down, and all that’s left there, breathing roughly, is a beauty that closely resembles Katrina Kaif in her younger days, just as I had thought before.
“Orbs…are amazing, aren’t they?”
As we watch her in a daze, our ears register the footsteps of someone approaching. It must be those two from before.
I signal Miyoshi with my eyes, and we start moving while I hold up Ayesha in my arms.
“Ah, we forgot the harness.”
“It’s okay since nothing’s remaining on it. Rather, won’t it buy us some time if they investigate it?”
In spite of carrying her, my arms feel almost no fatigue.
I think it goes without saying that it’s owed to the power of my STR stat, which I raised by ten points during the examination the other day.
If I allot all the remaining points, am I really going to stop being a human? Worries like that run through my mind as we leave the dungeon.
Ahmed, upon seeing Ayesha in Yoyogi Dungeon’s VIP room, is struck dumb, and is unable to even stand. It’s because the one who opened the door and came in, was a beautiful woman with no blemishes to be found anywhere, who had looks very close to that of his wife when he met her for the first time.
We don’t understand what she tells him, but it sounds like “pita.” I’m pretty sure it means “papa.”
Ayesha rushes over to him, while he is still unable to get up from the sofa, and both start to cry, while hugging each other. We exchange looks, and quietly leave the room.
“Good work.” Ms. Naruse says. “Five minutes later, two British men entered the dungeon. Were you alright?”
“Ah, they totally came after us. We met them. Somehow they were kind of frivolous.”
“There was no real harm done, as they only went as far as tailing us like stalkers.”
“But senpai, it’s spacious Yoyogi we’re talking about, you know? Didn’t they do well to discover our location, after entering with a delay of five minutes?”
“That’s because there’s no people in that area. Or do you think that the Englishmen possess some kind of secret weapon to search for people in a dungeon?”
“Ooh, maybe Q1 exists?”
“Who knows. By the way, there’s no Q in the original novel. The Q department makes an appearance, though.”
“Gosh, I told you before, that’s why you’re not popular with women, senpai.” The sulky Miyoshi then says something outrageous, apparently as insinuation, “Well, it looks like you were totally popular inside the dungeon, though.”
“Eh? Did something happen?”
“Senpai, that lecher, held Ayesha in a princess carry!”
Come on, you two…
“Putting that aside, Mr. Yoshimura.”
Ms. Naruse switches into her business mode all of a sudden.
“About Ms. Ayesha’s body. Is that the effect of <High Recovery>?”
“I don’t know about that, but it’s certainly true that she became like that immediately after she used the orb.”
“Her state when she used it──”
“Oh, is it for the explanation of the orb’s effect in the WDA database?”
“…Isn’t it smarter not to reveal that to the public? I think you’d greatly provoke humanity’s desires if you publicized that phenomenon.” I say, while looking at the door of the room where Ayesha and Ahmed are.
Back when potions were revealed to the public, the world plunged into a state of madness that could very well be called panic.
If this matter here were to be publicized, I have no doubt that the appearance of <High Recovery> would have an even bigger impact.
When Ms. Naruse unintentionally mutters something turbulent, Miyoshi tries to gloss it over in a hurry, “It’s nothing that exaggerated! It’s just at the level of making it difficult to get tired, okay? You’ll be fine to pull around one all-nighter.”
“Also, small injuries will be healed right away. It’s better to leave the report of its effects at th──”
“Please wait a moment.”
“Don’t tell me, did you possibly use it as well, Ms. Miyoshi!?”
Yo, Miyoshi, you lowered your guard. I hit my forehead with my hand, and look up to the sky.
“…Well, yes. It’s necessary to experiment with them before putting them up for sale, right?”
Oh, you idiot…
“That means, other unknown skills as well?”
“It’s not like I tested…all of them, you know?”
Miyoshi’s eyes wander around after receiving that retort. Is this girl an idiot?
“Now now, let’s leave that aside for the moment, okay? I think it’s better to not get flustered since we don’t understand the effects fully yet.”
Ms. Naruse nods while casting a scornful look at me, who forcibly cuts in.
“In the first place, we don’t know how long the effect of <High Recovery> lasts. Besides, it’s possible that it’ll stop working after it pulls off a big heal once.”
The word recovery means it’s being carried out while taking the energy from somewhere.
If you consider it normally, it’s impossible for that to continue indefinitely. I don’t know whether that common sense works on dungeons, though.
“Even a lizard’s tail will become unusable for quite some time if it’s cut once. I can’t believe that it’s so simple as a living being to obtain eternal youth and immortality…oh, wait a sec.”
“What’s written on Ayesha’s D-Card right now?” I ask while looking at Miyoshi.
“Ah! Come to think of it, I still have it with me after picking it up. But, is it okay to look at this without the owner’s permission?”
“I don’t think it’s a problem since we know the contents anyway. We can pretend to not know in an emergency.”
Area 12 / Ayesha Ahmed Jain
“The skills are displayed in Japanese?”
Once Miyoshi looks at the card and asks this curiously, Ms. Naruse provides an explanation.
“The D-Card’s skill text will be seen in the native language of the person looking at it.”
“It’s not like we’re perceiving it through just light, correct…? Anyway.”
“There are brackets added to the skill’s name. The color has become faint, hasn’t it?”
“Somehow, it totally seems like it’s telling us that it can’t be used right now.”
“It might actually be just that. It might become usable and able to heal again after a certain amount of time passes, or it might never be usable again. We don’t know which it’ll be.”
“It might be better to let Mr. Ahmed and Ms. Ayesha know about that later on, don’t you think?”
“You’re right. Otherwise some stupid country might try to check the skill’s effect.”
“Senpai, you mean…”
“Well, it’s just a possibility.”
I don’t wanna think about stuff like her getting kidnapped, or being cut up as experimental material. If things about Miyoshi spread, that danger might loom over her as well…I have to do something about it as fast as possible.
Haah, I feel like my peaceful life is rapidly becoming more distant…