For the time being, I collect the magic stone and the corpse for proof of the subjugation.
Although we haven’t taken the request for it, I put the body of the Black Sweet Water Snake into my item box, including part of the head that has the undamaged eyes, then pick up the large magic stone.
“Hey, can I have this magic stone?” (Shuuya)
“Nn, okay.” (Eva)
Eva nods with the gentle smile of an angel.
“Sure, you can take it. You let me pick the wand, after all, thanks.” (Rebecca)
Even Rebecca doesn’t object for a change and expresses her gratitude.
It seems she’s quite happy that she was able to get that silver wand.
“Well then, I will accept it. Also, is it fine for me to take the gathered black sweetwater as well?” (Shuuya)
“It’s okay if you let me drink a bit of it.” (Eva)
“Okaaay. Ah, next time we rest, let me have a sip.” (Rebecca)
I receive the consent of both of them.
“Yeah, of course I’ll let you drink some.” (Shuuya)
I wonder, is it alright for me to make the biggest profit?
I ended up getting various items and the big magic stone.
The magic stone is definitely important.
I have to gather magic stones, so there are battles I must fight.
That’s not the catchphrase of a Japanese delegation team, but that’s because killing monsters is the best way to acquire magic stones for the item box.
Even though I had artificially boosted my tension…
I start up the item box and put the big magic stone in the normal inventory.
I will actually offer it to the item box at the inn.
“Well then, let’s get out of here and go start the remaining requests: the slime gathering and the collection of the Jigua.” (Shuuya)
Rebecca speaks up happily while holding up her new wand.
“Nn, keep at it.” (Eva)
Eva and Viine answer with calm expressions.
We all open the big door and exit.
Once we return to the plaza, another party is waiting for their turn.
“… Eva, please lead us to the Jigua collection point and the place where the Blue Nectar Stomachless spawn.” (Shuuya)
“Leave it to me.” (Eva)
Eva heads in front and advances on her wheelchair while letting her medium-long black hair flutter.
Our passing through the plaza was uneventful as we walk by adventurers who were attentively waiting for their turn, then, we were once again in the T-shaped passage.
Eva turns her wheelchair to the left, silently choosing the path our group hadn’t come from.
We start advancing through the passage that’s filled with trees.
The path gradually opens up.
Moreover, the area transforms into a spacious field, similar to a real forest; the ground becomes slightly muddy too.
The air flow stagnates and the humidity goes up.
The illumination becomes dim as the area widens.
Because of the muck, the wheels of Eva’s wheelchair become caught and it looks difficult for her to keep moving.
I wonder whether she’s alright.
“Eva, this section looks tough for you, are you alright?” (Shuuya)
“Yeah. If an enemy appears I’ll stand up and use this.” (Eva)
Eva shows the tonfa in her right hand while smiling.
“Also, since everyone is capable of using magic, I doubt I will have use these today.” (Eva)
She replies while showing the end of her steel legs by rolling up the skirt of her ankle-lengthened dress a bit.
I can sense mana in her steel legs.
I recall the sharp kick she delivered to the head of the Silver Volck.
It gave the impression of being as strong as a magic hammer.
“… I see, that, huh?” (Shuuya)
“Nn. Starting here, we must be cautious of Blue Nectar Stomachless, Shelled Worms, and Treants.” (Eva)
Eva raises her voice so that it can be heard by the whole group.
“Roger. I’ll crush them before I receive an acid attack.” (Rebecca)
Rebecca holds out the tip of her silver wand towards the growing quagmires and forests with a confident attitude.
“Leave the searching for enemies to me. Rollo, we’ll go in front.” (Shuuya)
I declare in a powerful voice, going along with Rebecca’s confident attitude.
I stand at the vanguard with Rollo.
Once we proceeded, I caught some magic sources with my Grasping Perception.
“— There are enemies up ahead; eight off to the right. Two on the left as well.” (Shuuya)
I point out the monsters’ locations.
Treants and Shelled Worms appear from the trees on the right.
Monsters that seemed to be Blue Nectar Stomachless have appeared from the quagmire on the left.
Their appearance is that of blue gelatin blobs.
The massive gelatin blobs slide across the ground as their entire body jiggles.
Fortunately, it looks like neither of the monster groups has noticed us.
“They haven’t seen us, so I guess we will do a surprise attack. First Rollo, Viine, and I will fight the trees and the worms.” (Shuuya)
I raise three fingers and point at the monsters on the right.
“Roger. I think Eva can deal with them, but my compatibility with those shelled worms is bad, so I’ll leave them to you.” (Rebecca)
“Nn, I agree with Rebecca. We will deal with the Blue Nectar Stomachless.” (Eva)
“Sure, leave it to us. Viine, you’re fine with this too, right?” (Shuuya)
“Of course!” (Viine)
Viine acknowledges and bows her head while making her silver hair sway.
It looks like Rebecca isn’t overly fond of the Shelled Worms.
Certainly, I suppose the speed at which they are charging is harsh.
“Well then, we will finish off the trees and worms first. Rollo, Viine, let’s go.” (Shuuya)
“Yes, Master!” (Viine)
Did Rollo hate having her paws trapped by the mud? Rather than changing into her black panther size, she grows her body into the size of the large, thoroughbred Horse Lion.
And then she wraps a tentacle around my waist and places me on her back against my will.
“Wai-, Rollo, what the heck are you planning to do in your divine beast form?” (Shuuya)
She only answers with a throaty growl.
Oh well, the ceiling is high and the area is spacious, so I think it’s easy for her to act violently here since it’s similar to outside…
But it’s unusual for Rollo to be eager to take the initiative.
As I struggle with Rollo, Viine addresses me while showing an uneasy expression.
With her “Umm, I am…” she seems to say that she wants to pass on this.
“Ah, sorry. Viine, go with Eva and Rebecca to handle the slimes.” (Shuuya)
In the instant I stop talking, Rollodeen sticks a necktacle onto the base of my skull.
I grasp the reins tentacle with my left hand and summon the Magic Halberd into my right.
While riding on Rollodeen, we dash towards the swarming monsters without stopping.
Something like the muddy ground is no big deal—
We enter attack range in an instant.
The treants are seized by Rollodeen‘s tentacle bone swords and stop moving.
She passes through the group of unmoving Treants while I mow them down.
The shelled worms and their shells are both trampled by Rollodeen’s forelegs as they squirm in the dirt.
Rollodeen swings her long tail like a whip and blows away trees and worms alike.
Moreover, she pursues those airborne monsters with her tentacle bone swords and finishes them off with a stab.
There are some Shelled Worms which escaped her attack, but we won’t let a single of them get away.
I swing my Magic Halberd down from atop Rollodeen‘s back and grind the tough shells against the ground till they’re smashed.
The chain of motions was impeccable.
It has reached a level close to peerlessness.
It’s thanks to the skill <Divine Beast Serene Mind ・ Soaring> that exceeds divine beast unity.
The monsters that appeared on the right side have been completely eradicated.
Even the magic stones scattered in the mud are swiftly retrieved with the use of Rollodeen‘s six tentacles.
I feel like I have become Lǚ Bù, one of the heroes of the Annals of the Three Kingdoms. Steering RollodeenI gallop towards the spot where my companions are waiting in an exhilarated mood.
A long sigh, “…”
『Your Excellency, you might have gained their loyalty through the display of power befitting your gallant figure.』 (Helme)
Helme says proudly while adopting a new, unique guts pose.
The three women, Eva, Rebecca, and Viine, stay silent.
Even after I returned, they only alternate between looking at Rollodeen and me and say nothing while sighing.
“… What’s wrong?” (Shuuya)
“Nn, Shuuya and Rollo, amazing.” (Eva)
“That child, is really Rollo-chan, right?” (Rebecca)
Without me realizing, it was the first unveiling of Rollo’s Horse Lion mode, huh?
Viine stares at me with dull eyes, her mouth wide open.
It appears that she’s surprised by our fighting style.
“Nnn, purr, nyaon.”
Rollodeen widens her lion-like muzzle a bit and purrs with a throaty voice.
Her low-pitched purr is loud, sounding like that of a lion or a tiger, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s just a cat’s.
Once I off of her, Rollo releases a roar, shrinks, then jumps onto my shoulder.
“If she’s like that, it’s the usual cute Rollo-chan, but you know, the one before was slightly scary.” (Rebecca)
Rebecca looks up to Rollo, who’s resting on my shoulder, and extends a slender finger towards Rollo’s nostrils.
Seemingly being curious about that finger, Rollo sniffs it and then licks Rebecca’s finger with her small tongue.
Rollo making a flehmen reaction made Rebecca laugh.
“Fufuu, how adorable.” (Rebecca)
“There are still the slimes remaining.” (Shuuya)
I shift my gaze towards the left while speaking in order to have everyone focus their attention, including Rebecca who’s still playing with Rollo.
“Nn, surprise attack with everyone. Extermination through magic.” (Eva)
Eva gives instructions using few words.
A surprise attack with magic, huh?
“Eva, what kind of magic works well?” (Shuuya)
“Nn, anything nonphysical. The flabby part is weak to magic. The weakest point. The core is inside.” (Eva)
Certainly, they are transparent.
Something like a nucleus is visible within the flabby jelly.
“Understood. Then I leave the magic to you, Viine, Rebecca, and Eva. Since I will properly follow up even if they evade the attacks, go at it with a bang.” (Shuuya)
『Your Excellency…』 (Helme)
『There’s no doubt that you’d be a great assist, Helme, but hold back for now, okay?』 (Shuuya)
I’m also capable of mixing in ranged ice attacks, but occasionally it’s nice to spectate from the side.
“Yes! Leave it to us.” (Viine)
“Oki, I’ll do it~.” (Rebecca)
“Nn, I will do my best.” (Eva)
Thereupon they start to discuss amongst each other.
“I will aim for the slime on the left with a fireball then.” (Rebecca)
“Nn, earth spear to the right one.” (Eva)
“… I will aim for both at the same time with a lightning chain.” (Viine)
The three of them look at each other and nod.
It seems Rebecca will shoot first.
She holds up her silver wand and starts chanting.
When she finishes chanting, the fireball has become bigger than usual.
『The fireball is larger than usual, isn’t it?』 (Shuuya)
『Yes, I think that silver wand is raising the effectiveness of her magic. It’s a splendid, well-trained mana manipulation.』 (Helme)
The voice of commentator Helme reverberates in my head.
“— Fireball.” (Rebecca)
The huge fireball vigorously flies towards the lump of gelatin-like Blue Nectar Stomachless and directly hits it.
The impact was absorbed, but the flames spread across the slime’s entire body and melts the gelatin.
I think I will try eating it on occasion as it looks delicious?
Next, I can hear Eva’s chanting.
“Oh, Earth Spirit Bastoral. Devour my mana and demonstrate your basic power befitting an earthen spirit. Please make an Earth Spear appear—” (Eva)
Ooh, this is a first. A spell of the earth attribute, huh?
Her voice is beautiful, too. Its usual awkwardness is gone as well.
『Your Excellency, her mana manipulation is more proficient than that of Rebecca, but the grade of the attack spell seems to be lower. The spirits are gathering slowly.』 (Helme)
『Hee, if Rebecca is good at spirit magic, it’s certain that she possesses “something” special, right?』 (Shuuya)
“— Earth Spear.” (Eva)
As we are having our telepathic conversation, the earth spear flies towards the slime on the right.
The earth spear pierces the flabby gelatin of the Blue Nectar Stomachless right in the middle and opens a huge hole.
While swaying and distributing the shock across its body with a wobble, some of it dissolves.
Next, I hear Viine’s chant.
“Oh Lightning Spirit Lorelei, devour my mana and exceed the basics of a lightning spirit. Please reveal a lightning chain, roaring through the heavens, worthy of the lightning’s principles continuing since ancient times—” (Viine)
Viine’s voice resounds sonorously. She holds out her bluish-white hands in front of her and prepares to use the lightning.
A Kameh○eha wave?
『Is it advanced class lightning magic? Her mana manipulation is magnificent as well. Her gathering of spirits is inferior to Rebecca and Eva, but it’s really fast.』 (Helme)
It looks like Viine is at a high level in regards to magic, too.
“— Lightning Chain.” (Viine)
Yellow lightning is generated from Viine’s fingers.
The lightning rays flash, then clash into a slime.
Yellow lightning covers its entire already-burning body.
The chained lightning also afflicts the slime next to it and with the lightning seemingly passing directly through the hole opened up by the earth spear, the entire creature trembles and then explodes, scattering chunks of gelatin everywhere.
The slime, which has melted down halfway due to the flames, explodes as well after a delay.
Only a sound similar to a sputtering and a sizzling is left.
As expected of lightning. It’s intense.
“Viine, that’s an amazing spell.” (Shuuya)
“… Ah… yes! Thank you very much.” (Viine)
Viine lowers her head towards me without even looking at the remains of the slime.
Is her breathing slightly rough? As expected, the advanced level seems to be taxing on her.
“That’s advanced level lightning magic?” (Rebecca)
Rebecca asks Viine.
“… Amazing. You’re not half-bad!” (Rebecca)
“Certainly! I give you my thanks.” (Viine)
Viine answers Rebecca courteously.
“Nn, excellent.” (Eva)
After casually praising Viine, who is still in the middle of silently bowing her head, Eva zooms with her wheelchair.
She collects the Blue Nectar Stomachless’ scattered and melted gelatin and puts it into her bag.
They’re medium magic stones.
With its shape resembling a slime, it’s somewhat cute.
“Oh, Jigua are growing over there.” (Eva)
Having finished the retrieval, Eva raises a happy voice while pointing ahead with a tonfa.
A peculiar tree is growing there.
A large goldfish.
Just as its name suggests, it’s a tree in the shape of a fish.
It’s obviously different from the other trees growing in the muddy ground.
It’s special from the roots to the trunk.
It’s an assembly of countless thin branches that are entwined in spirals shapes. The big trunk extends towards the ceiling.
Its roots are similar to those of an olive tree, yet different as well.
Because of the thick trunk, it’s forming a goldfish-like shape.
It’s a tree albeit something similar to scales is growing on its surface.
Long, narrow sticks, similar to great burdocks, are growing diagonally from the fish-like trunk, and a great number of grape-like white balls are hanging at the tips of those sticks.
It’s the ingredient I ate at Eva’s restaurant.
Eva hurried to the goldfish tree and collects the Jigua by cutting at the base of the great burdocks in order to not damage the white balls.
I approach the place where she’s working.
… This is the Jigua ingredient, huh? For it to really be a fish-shaped tree…
How mysterious. Around ten Jigua are growing on one goldfish-shaped tree.
“I got my hands on whole Jigua.” (Eva)
Eva says full of joy.
“That means they are not always whole?” (Shuuya)
“Nn, yes. They get eaten by goblins, orcs, and slimes.” (Eva)
As we are having such chat, I sense magic sources.
Seven magic sources are closing in from the left.
“The enemy is coming in from the left.” (Shuuya)
All of the seven responses are gelatinous slimes.
“They are far away, but I’m certain that they are slimes.” (Shuuya)
“Squishy ingredients again.” (Eva)
Eva nods happily and moves her wheelchair.
“But you know, your search range is amazing, Shuuya. Today we haven’t received a single surprise attack from monsters, have we?” (Rebecca)
“You could say that.” (Shuuya)
“Nn, certainly— it’s better than mine. We can annihilate them swiftly with magic.” (Eva)
Eva turns her wheelchair on the spot, as she answers with a smile.
“The praising can wait for later. This time I will join in, too. Viine, how many times can you fire that spell?” (Shuuya)
“Two more times.” (Viine)
So it consumes quite a bit of mana after all, eh?
“Understood. Next time, it’s fine to lower the grade of the magic and shoot another spell in order to control the mana consumption.” (Shuuya)
“By your words.” (Viine)
“Have you finished talking? Then allow me to go ahead without reservations.” (Rebecca)
Rebecca gets the ball rolling and starts chanting as she raises her silver wand overhead.
Rebecca’s fire, Eva’s earth, Viine’s wind, and my ice.
Everyone launches a magic attack at the same time.
A preemptive strike is great.
The magic attacks score direct hits on the slimes, not allowing any counterattacks. It has changed into a shooting game without being a fixed battery.
The Blue Nectar Stomachless are defeated easily.
Rollo can also release a breath attack, but she stays on my shoulder, obviously skipping out.
I guess it’s because the trails of the spells look pretty.
Her round, red eyes view the magic sources scattering in the atmosphere.
After that, we continue collecting the Jigua while stopping for the occasional break.
As soon as we are discovered by slimes, we defeat all of them and collect their raw materials and magic stones.
On the way, we encounter a site where orcs and goblins are killing each other. Profiting from them fighting, we annihilate both parties; after meeting slimes, treants, and worms, we continue killing all of them while gathering their raw materials and magic stones.
Partway through the second day, we managed to collect all the raw materials for the requests and finished the magic stone request as well. We were able to gather a lot more ingredients than initially planned.
“We completed all the requests. I’m slightly worn-out. Are we going back after taking a break?” (Rebecca)
Both of them look exhausted.
I mean, we paced around the interior of the third floor, albeit taking breaks, for a period of around two days.
“I guess that’s what we will do. How about the spot over there?” (Shuuya)
I pick a place that has relatively little mud.
“Nn. Roger, I will place barrier stones.” (Eva)
Eva nods, retrieves small bluish-white gems from her bag with practiced hand movements and places them down in the vicinity.
“Eva, I’m sorry for having you use barrier gems each time we take a break.” (Shuuya)
“Nn, don’t mind.” (Eva)
Those gems, huh? I feel like I saw them in the store where I bought the magic scrolls.
“Viine, take a break as well.” (Shuuya)
“Yes, Master!” (Viine)
Viine looks tired as well.
Though it’s difficult to judge: partially because she has a bluish-white face and partially because it’s half-hidden by her mask.
Everyone takes a break after huddling up into a little circle.
Rebecca holds a water bottle to her mouth while sitting down.
Eva covers her knees with a blanket and tries to take a nap.
Seeing that, Rollo leaves my shoulder, climbs on the blanket, and moves to Eva’s legs.
That cat, she’s quite shrewd, isn’t she?
Rollo starts purring and rubbing against Eva’s legs.
Then she climbs on her knees and tries to appeal to her.
“Nn, coming here?” (Eva)
Eva reveals a gentle smile and taps her blanket-covered thighs.
Rollo jumps on Eva’s lap while answering with a throaty voice.
After licking Eva’s slender, welcoming hand, she turns around on top of the blanket and curls up.
“How nice. Rollo-chan is adorable. She’s become so attached to you, Eva.” (Rebecca)
Rebecca says with an envious look while filling her mouth with bread.
“Haha, it looks as if it would feel nice to rest on such a lap, doesn’t it?” (Shuuya)
I imagine Eva’s soft thighs while smirking with an evil expression.
“That sounds faintly indecent.” (Rebecca)
Ugh, that Rebecca is perceptive, isn’t she? She narrows her eyes.
“No, look, it’s just a metaphor, yeah, a metaphor…” (Shuuya)
At that point, I face Viine, who is resting while on one knee next to me, with an aimless-feeling look, as if dodging the issue.
“… Master?” (Viine)
Just now Viine had a slightly cold expression, didn’t she?
“Ah~, just because she’s your slave, you won’t make a move on her in front of our eyes, right Shuuya?” (Rebecca)
What are you saying?
Uuh, Viine just took a step back.
Even though I won’t do anything like that now.
“Rebecca-kun, do you think that I’m into voyeurism?” (Shuuya)
“I mean, the majority of those possessing female slaves usually have such a goal in mind, no?” (Rebecca)
“Shuuya is ecchi?” (Eva)
Even Eva, please don’t ask me something like that in such an upfront manner.
“Wait, wait, I won’t do something like that while working. Just what are you thinking of me… Rebecca, we have already formed a party once and you have seen me from close-up, right?” (Shuuya)
“Yeah. But, you did say that the reason for forming a party with me was that I’m “cute” as a “woman,” didn’t you?” (Rebecca)
Guuh, I guess it’s my doom that I spoke honestly with her back then…
However, it’s also useless to deny it.
“That’s correct. But it’s a fact, right?” (Shuuya)
“Uuh… you idiot, even though we are talking about slaves right now…” (Rebecca)
Rebecca’s face suddenly turns red and she hangs her head in shame.
“Nn, Rebecca is certainly an adorable woman.” (Eva)
Eva agrees while smiling like an angel.
“Even you, Eva, geez.” (Rebecca)
Rebecca retorts while obviously feeling embarrassed as she reveals an expression of not being all against it.
“By the way, ecchi Shuuya, speaking about laps right now, would you want to take a nap on my lap as well?” (Eva)
Eeeh? While smiling like an angel, Eva…
On top of bringing up that topic again, she makes such a bold statement.
“Wai-!? Eva, you serious?” (Rebecca)
“Nn, I’m serious. Why?” (Eva)
Eva nods with a feeling as if it’s a very natural action to take.
She replies to Eva while showing a puzzled expression.
“Eva, I’m thankful for the offer, but it has to wait until next time…” (Shuuya)
Since it looks like the story is getting complicated, I try to safely escape my predicament.
“Nn, understood.” (Eva)
“That’s not allowed. Eva, you will end up getting assaulted.” (Rebecca)
That damn Rebecca prattles on while half asleep.
I won’t attack….her. Though I want to.
“Shuuya, you will attack?” (Eva)
Maan, you don’t have to take it seriously either, Eva-san.
I suppose I will go deliberately along with it and try acting as boke without retorting.
I grin broadly and open my mouth,
“Yeah, not only Eva, I’m gonna assault all of you.” (Shuuya)
“Eeeh!?” Rebecca is surprised.
“Really?” Eva speaks up delightfully.
Viine looks both scared and angry.
Let’s stop the joke at this point.
“I’m just kidding. I won’t do that.” (Shuuya)
I say with a smile while pushing out my chin, but the responses around me are questionable.
Did I fail?
“T-That’s right, isn’t it? Haha.” (Rebecca)
Rebecca laughs awkwardly.
Bah, even though it was Rebecca who brought up this weird topic.
“Nn, joke…regrettable.” (Eva)
Eva acts as if she’s slightly disappointed. Viine continues to glare at me silently.
It’s a cold look stabbing me from below her silver mask.
“… Haha, we have to take a break now, right? Then let’s rest.” (Shuuya)
I wave my arms while smiling faintly in order to gloss over.
“You’re right, I guess.” (Rebecca)
The three of them have a comfortable break.
Having said that, I have no need to take a break, do I?
I produce water with life magic since I’m thirsty.
I gulp down my newly created water.
As the water passes down my throat, I recall the taste of the Black Sweetwater I drank before.
It’s refreshing, delicious, and simply the best.
The Black Sweetwater will likely sell for a lot, but I want to keep it.
I spend these several hours doing nothing while thinking about such things.
If I had used the magically-built house, I would have been able to prepare a comfortable room, but I won’t use it this time.
Going by the timing, I could have used it at the earlier breaks, but since it hasn’t been long since I got to know them, I won’t use an item like the magically-built house that has been owned by royalty.
Though I would use it without worry if everyone possessed one.
After a short time, Eva wakes up and points at her pocket watch.
The break is over.
We head back through the labyrinth.
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