Sa~ We entered the dungeon.
Even if you end up describing it in a single word dungeon, people have various images in relation to that word within their minds. You can’t say there is something like a rule set what to imagine, Renya thought.
However, I somehow think they should have an image of it mostly having naked rock surfaces, mud walls, things that resemble a human’s hand and formed pathways made out of stone blocks.
That was until I heard a single expression by chance.
Grown living type dungeon.
Renya wasn’t able to imagine it.
In the first place a dungeon shouldn’t be something living, but saying it grows in depth and width with the passing of months and years? I wonder what the heck is this phenomenon about?
At the very least it isn’t a phenomenon happening to an inorganic stone wall.
Therefore, until Renya dived into this dungeon, he pondered whether the interior would be similar to the intestines of a living creature.
If that was the case, his disgust gauge would sky-rocket, but at least he would also somehow understand why it was called living type. However, as he currently tried diving into it, his anticipations were easily betrayed.
Also there was this again, the descending stairway. He didn’t grasp why it was there to begin with. As Renya went down and stood inside the dungeon and surveyed the situation of his vicinity, he muttered disappointedly,
“Somehow it is a normal hole.” (Renya)
The wall seemed to be a bare mud wall, but it felt strangely solid upon touching.
The surface appeared to be covered with something. Even as he tried out striking it with his fist, it didn’t crumble or change its shape.
Measuring it by eye, the normal hole’s size was around 3 meters in length and width.
That was the range the torch light could cover. But the room spread out much further ahead.
“What did you expect?” (Shion)
Shion asked besides Renya.
Having formed an united front with Az’s group in these circumstances, Renya assigned the increased group of 8 people into 2 as vanguards, 3 as middle guards and 3 as rear guard.
Of course Renya said right away that he would stand as vanguard and announced Shion becoming the second person. This was immediately accepted.
The middle guard had Rona, being in charge of healing, and Az, being in charge of firepower, along one guard.
The remaining guards acted as rear guard.
While starting to walk, Renya gathered the words to explain what he expected.
“No, since you said it is a living-type dungeon, I thought it would be a sort of living creature or something like that… ” (Renya)
“Who would consider to dive into that kind of a dungeon… ?” (Shion)
Seeing Shion’s face twitching in displeasure, Renya thought That is certainly right.
No matter how profitable it might me, there wouldn’t be many willing to pass through passages resembling the intestines of a living creature. Those going to dive into such a thing could only be called having a strange taste.
“The passages are created by portions of them crumbling little by little.” (Az)
Az cut into the discussion of the two from the back.
“It isn’t like there is someone digging the tunnels, but little by little the passages are extending. By being able to make branches of those passages the dungeon is capable to grow into a huge structure. If the passage gets too big, it turns into a room. The treasures are placed in there then.” (Az)
“Who puts such things there?” (Renya)
“There are various theories. There are some saying that the monsters put them there while there are others advocating that the core has some kind of method in its deposition. Or it can be said that both options are possible?” (Az)
If you look at it from the dungeon’s side, it will also be troubled by being limitlessly, indiscriminately plundered. But in reverse it will also be a problem if no one comes visiting. Controlling this situation, you can definitely say that the core has an intention, no?
“Az-sensei is quite well-informed.” (Renya)
Looking back over his shoulder, Renya says, in order to tease him. Az glared at Renya with a grim face.
“Though I also think it is nice to chat, don’t forget to keep attention to the surroundings. This isn’t a party of thieves.” (Az)
“Yeah, yeah…” (Renya)
Renya returns his line of sight to the front.
Az exhaled with a face that said “Yare yare.”
Actually Az and Renya are expecting that it won’t become a situation where they need a thief.
One thing is that the dungeon, they are passing through, is young.
And the other thing is that the two parties, which went ahead, have passed through it as well.
Whether the thieves, who passed through here before, have planted traps on the main pathway or not is something they are investigating while they advance. But if there are traps, whether the leading groups neutralized them or didn’t notice them as they weren’t caught in them, either option has a high probability.
“Isn’t it weird for grown dungeon passages to have traps?” (Renya)
“I don’t know that, you have to ask the core about it.” (Az)
Az seems to want to say that it can’t be helped since the traps are there.
It is indispensable to understand that this is something like theory turning into reality.
“Both of you, something resembling a room can be seen ahead.” (Rona)
Due to Rona’s voice, the mood becomes tense.
Quickly switching over, as you would expect from people working as adventurers, I suppose, Renya is the only person care-freely concerned about such things, but his left hand warily reached out to his katana.
“If the passage becomes wide, it turns into a room? There is no door though.” (Shion)
The one who answered is Shion.
“… although there isn’t a presence of living things?” (Renya)
“You know?” (Shion)
“Vaguely, yeah.” (Renya)
The passage abruptly became wide and an open space appeared.
The two vanguards cautiously enter and survey the vicinity attentively.
Although Shion has her weapon already taken out, Renya hasn’t drawn his katana.
The reason for that can be explained that the action of drawing itself is connected to an attack. A katana is something to be drawn for the sake of killing. His intuition tells him that it isn’t something you swing around while walking. He has such feeling stored somewhere within his mind.
“There is no one here?” (Shion)
Shion’s voice sounds as if she is confirming that.
While replying with a nod, Renya, looking at a point on the floor, discovered something like a stain.
As the light of the torch is swaying, he can’t accurately see the surface of the floor.
If he brings the fire closer, its composition might change due to the heat as well.
I see, I have practised the spell <Light> for such occasions, while comprehending that, Renya cast the spell close to that stain.
“What is it?” (Az)
Az noticed that that light was suddenly emitted from the air close to the floor. The stain below that became visible.
Even though the ground of the floor was bare, that part of the floor obviously had an unusual color.
“Though it has become considerable pale, it is blood, no?” (Renya)
“Probably. Someone was injured here … or a monster was defeated here, right?” (Az)
Even if you say the stain became pale, it reached a span of around the length of stretching both arms.
In that case to produce such a size of a stain, the degree of bleeding…
“I think, if it’s an injury, it is a dangerous amount of blood.” (Renya)
“Since the dungeon has ended up absorbing the majority, we don’t know whether it is a person or a monster.” (Az)
Realizing that he heard somehow disturbing words, Renya ends up staring at Az’s face. But Az was making an unconcerned face as he said this.
“Is it the first time that you see this?” (Az)
“Ah, will absorbing it in this way turn into growth strength… ?” (Renya)
“That’s right. With the passage of time blood and corpses will vanish.” (Az)
Although he heard such story, the received impact is really different when you actually witness it.
Once again I realize that I came to a completely different place than my original world, Renya thought. But the other members seem to have perceived this shock in a different meaning.
“Renya, should we return temporarily?” (Shion)
Shion calls out to him in a voice filled with worry.
Without even having a slight trembling as she stared at the stain on the floor, she placed her hand on Renya’s shoulder.
“Now that I think about it, it is Renya’s first time experiencing this. It is inevitable that you are receiving a shock. We can return once and come back tomorrow to try again as well…” (Shion)
“Nn? Ah, I am alright. I was only surprised. I haven’t particularly received a shock.” (Renya)
Hitting Shion’s shoulder with a *pon pon*, he is appealing to the other members, who are watching his state carefully, by lightly laughing showing his lack of concern over this matter.
While appealing, because he is the leader, he changes the atmosphere in the party by timing and his facial expression. Though he is thinking that this is also quite difficult.
“Is that so? It’s fine if you are alright, but please tell me if there is anything.” (Shion)
“I am happy about you worrying about me, Shion. But I am fine.” (Renya)
Renya says while keeping his tone of voice as kind as possible. Did Shion understand it at last? Separating her hand somewhat reluctantly from Renya’s shoulder, she once again begins to watch the surroundings having her weapon prepared.
They don’t understand whether it was a monster or a human on the floor, but because of the matter of there being a blood-like stain there, Renya’s group knew that something had happened at this place.
And they also perceived that this conjecture was connected with a battle most likely.
“There is something here after all.” (Renya)
“That’s only natural, this is a dungeon.” (Az)
As if saying “What are you talking about at this late point in time?” Az returns a wry smile.
“For now let’s go ahead, ok? Only this much is a weak reason for making an escape, right?” (Az)
“It should be okay, if the corpse has already disappeared into the ground.” (Renya)
Az and Renya didn’t plan to capture the entire dungeon any more.
However, they didn’t think that for the completion of the request it would be reasonable to just report this fact or that only this level of evidence would be enough.
“It is the first time for me to travelling a dungeon this half-heartedly…” (Shion)
Although Shion raises her voice as if feeling worn-out for some reason, there was no reply from the other party members except bitter smiles.
Everyone should be aware of the strength of the parties that went ahead. They fully knew that it was a situation about which they couldn’t do anything if those parties don’t return in the end.
Holding a torch, Az, standing in the vicinity of the only exit of this room, addressed Renya.
“Beyond this point… there is a door.” (Az)
“If you leave this room, there is a door right away.” (Az)
Being beckoned to come to Az’s side, looking in the direction Az’s finger pointed, past the the exit of the room, where Renya’s group is in, there was a short passage. As it was a distance the light of the torch, standing at the exit, barely reached, a dull grey door was visible.
With a size of the entire passage being around 3 meters in length and width, although there was a door, being the type of double door which opens from the middle, it was somewhat strange.
“Hey, is it normal for a young dungeon to have such splendid door installed?” (Renya)
“If it’s a grown dungeon, there will be such installations made by monsters, but… With the youth of this dungeon, it is impossible. In the first place, the path we took was direct and unforked, right? The room, we are currently in, is the first one. For such dungeon to have such door for its second room, that’s plainly odd.” (Az)
“Do the leading parties have this information as well?” (Renya)
“I have no doubt that Hartz’ party knows about it… I don’t care about dyed-brown-hairs party.” (Az)
Az’s reaction was such that Renya wanted to ask whether he had any very bad memories with harem parties, but now wasn’t the time for that.
Gathering everyone at the side of the room’s entrance, Renya stated clearly,
“Let’s go back.” (Renya)
“””””””Eh?””””””” (The others)
Excluding Renya, all present reacted like that.
Without caring about it, Renya continues.
“This is dangerous. There is definitely something here. Leaving this room, there is a door right away, but no matter how you think about it, it is risky to open that door. My intuition is telling me this.” (Renya)
Having the skill to sense danger, Renya isn’t able to do anything about it any more, even if he regrets to have obtained it. It didn’t seem that there was someone amongst this party who had such ability though.
“It’s a point I want to agree with, but…” (Az)
Az says while collecting his thoughts.
“I also consider this to be strange. But we won’t be able to explain adequately to the guild why we returned after having reached the door.” (Az)
“Hasn’t it also the possibility of being a death trap as soon as you open it?” (Renya)
“It is strange that there is such door, but it would be even weirder if there was such a trap.” (Az)
“Renya, there won’t even be any meaning in accepting the request, if we return because it was suspicious without investigating anything. Even the guild won’t be able to do anything but inflict a heavy penalty upon us.” (Shion)
Due to Az’s and Shion’s words, Renya ends up pondering about it.
I wonder if this is the difference of not having self-awareness of being an adventurer from this area?
Of course Renya is considering that he has no self-consciousness about being an adventurer himself.
For this reason, he has only considered the matter with the guild as “It’s fine either way.” Feeling a danger beyond expectation currently, he chose to withdraw without hesitation.
But it appears as if that is a difficult suggestion for Az and Shion, who seem to have self-awareness as adventurers, to accept.
“I have a hunch that it will be our end, if we open that door, you know… ?” (Renya)
“If that’s the case, let’s do it like this, Renya.” (Az)
Az, probably unable to watch the indecisive Renya, made a single suggestion.
“What do you say about all of us being the vanguards and Renya’s group being responsible of backing us up?” (Az)
“No, that is…” (Renya)
“No matter what Renya says, we will try to open that door. Going back without doing this, we won’t be able to return to our occupation as adventurers. If Renya refuses to act as backup, we will continue to investigate by only ourselves.” (Az)
“Renya. You are our leader, so we will follow your decision. But if that means to abandon Az’s group here and turn back… I don’t think that would be a very admirable deed.” (Shion)
Renya had no words in return.
Certainly, getting results from the job, we took up, will become our first assessment in itself. Currently I am doing nothing but insisting on abandoning that.
But my feeling also definitely tells me that there is danger lurking beyond that door.
Even though he is understanding that, because Az’s party will be going first, Renya didn’t seem to be able to accept having an acquaintance storming into a place he feels to be dangerous.
“Understood. Let’s advance ahead.” (Renya)
In the end there is no other option but to go forward seeing that he has no arguments to persuade the members otherwise.
Having judged like this, Renya sighed dropping his shoulders.
“However, I will be the only one to open that door. Shion and Rona will guard Az. The remaining four will take care of guarding our rear.” (Renya)
As Shion raised a scream holding him back with her hands, Renya laughed feebly.
“I still think that we shouldn’t proceed past this point. Although I am thinking that, seeing that I won’t be able to persuade you guys, there is no other way. If that’s the case, I will examine whether it is dangerous to open it. There is no other method to chose except this one.” (Renya)
“Renya, I already told you that we would be the vanguard…” (Az)
“That’s not allowed.” (Renya)
Renya rejects Az’s suggestion.
“I am thinking that beyond that door a danger is lurking making it a matter of life and death. Though I am judging so, I can’t tell you guys to not go there. Therefore it will be me who will enter that place. If you can’t accept this, I want you to approve of going back.” (Renya)
Telling them straight out that he won’t yield on this point, Renya is waiting for the reply of the party members.