Sitting on a chair in the living room, I’m enjoying my morning tea time.
“Shuuya-san, good morning. I’m much obliged for last night.” (Shana)
It looks like Shana woke up as her cheerful voice greets my ears.
Having changed her form from a mermaid to an elf, her bright golden-yellow hair is beautiful.
No matter how you look at her, you can’t think of her as a mermaid.
“…Mornin’. But I must say, that transformation magic of yours is really magnificent.” (Shuuya)
“Yes, this magic is my lifeline, after all. I wouldn’t be able to survive in human society if me being a mermaid was exposed. Thus, I ask you to please keep it a secret.” (Shana)
Of course, I won’t prattle about it to anyone.
She was seen by many people when I carried her, but her face was hidden. Well, it probably looked as though I’m going to eat a mermaid or something like that. Even if I don’t say anything, others will make their own assumptions.
“Thank you. As gratitude for having saved me, I will bring over the money I earned through singing. Is it fine for me to go to the rented storehouse for adventurers?” (Shana)
“Ah, no need for that. Just your feeling of gratitude is plenty. I can’t accept it all the more if it’s the money you’ve been saving, Shana. Besides, I don’t want to boast, but as you can see, I’m living in a mansion like this.” (Shuuya)
I speak with both arms spread, emitting a generous air.
“…Really? I thank you very much…” (Shana)
Shana casts her face downwards and only raises her gaze a bit.
Tears have already gathered in those eyes, threatening to fall off at any moment.
I don’t think it’s anything you have to cry about, though…
As I’m troubled how to deal with this situation, a sharp glint appears in her inflamed eyes, and she moves her small lips.
“…One song as thanks. I will have you allow me to sing for you.” (Shana)
“Oh, that’s very welcomed.” (Shuuya)
After the gem hanging at her neck shines and sparkles, the song begins.
It’s a capella, but she uses an amazing vocal volume right from the start.
From a soprano pitch, she gradually lowers the tone…
She’s singing at the top of her lungs with a technique of freely using rhythm and blues tunes combined with undulating melodic ornamentations.
It’s a piece I have never heard at the inn before.
Immediately after an exciting, she shifts to a solemn and then pleasant melody. It’s an ability with alternating voice qualities that exceeds that of opera singers.
Listening to it from nearby is really awesome…
It gave me the feeling of the living room having completely changed into a Budoukan1 live concert.
Even though it’s not Siddhartha Gautama-sama emitting a halo, she has a charismatic singing voice to compensate.
Seemingly being lured in by the mysterious singing voice, Viine, who was cleaning, also comes to the living room.
She looks at Shana with a spellbound expression, feeling lost in the music.
Even Rollo, who had moved on top of the table, listens carefully after sitting down in a catloaf posture.
『…It’s amazing. Is it the song’s mana? A kind of healing effect similar to a sanctuary is filling the area.』 (Helme)
Helme appears in the corner of my visual field and speaks with a deeply moved look.
Certainly, once I check it out with Magic Observation, I realize that ripple-like mana waves are originating from Shana’s mouth.
『Sanctuary, huh? Now that you mention it, I’m sure it’s just that.』 (Shuuya)
Apparently having heard the incredible singing, the slaves also gather at the main building’s window and peek inside.
These guys, even though they just have to come in… it appears that they are still holding back.
But, it means that it’s such an amazing voice that even they naturally gather here, despite their reservations.
“Zaaaaaaaaat sooooooonkh~, guoooooh!”
The scream that subdued the beautiful singing sprang forth from a slave at the window.
—What’s going on?
The one shouting so loudly is the elf Fuu, who is infested by a bug.
Fuu kicks and hits the slaves next to her and violently slams her hands against the wooden, crossed window, giving the impression of being crazed.
In a hurry, I rush out of the living room.
Outside, Fuu let her head hang loosely, apparently having lost consciousness.
In addition, there’s that tiny bug. Ugghh.
It has appeared from behind Fuu’s neck over her head while making wiggling sounds.
It’s the exact same small bug I had confirmed with the Kaleidoscope before.
Many sea anemone-like tentacles come out of a spot that seems to be its mouth but wither away…
Moreover, blood is streaming down from its disgusting compound eyes.
It seems to have suffered damage.
“…To, inflict… wounds, on this, me…”
The bug says with a hoarse voice.
Rollo bares her fangs at it, prepared to strike at any moment.
“Master, by the ten-layered hell, what is this?” (Viine)
Viine asks while readying the snake bow she had received from the goddess.
“I think it’s a parasitic bug.” (Shuuya)
Or is it possibly an alien life form?
『Your Excellency, that gives off the feeling of an unusual creature. Also, it seems to be sucking mana out of the elf Fuu.』 (Helme)
『Unusual creature, huh…?』 (Shuuya)
While communicating telepathically with Helme, I try to talk to Fuu, or rather, the small bug.
“Yo, bug. Do you understand my words?” (Shuuya)
“N,o… this me, is the servant, of Evil God Hyuriox-sama, Kagululugu.”
It seems a conversation is possible, although basic.
Evil God Hyuriox… so it wasn’t an alien life form.
“Why are you, his servant, infesting Fuu, the elven woman, as a parasite?” (Shuuya)
“This me… observe, you guys, guoooh gugulujiii.”
The small monster floating above Fuu’s head seems to still be in pain. Its feelers rapidly wither away and vanish into nothingness.
Seemingly having reached its limit, the groaning monster separated the feelers connected to the back of Fuu’s head.
“Y-Y-Yur, b-br-breyn…” (Kagululugu)
While screaming sickening, although incoherent, words, it extends its small feelers and thrusts itself forward.
At that moment, Viine pulled the emerald bowstring of the snake bow and released a green arrow, with a light beam trailing it.
The arrow pierces the small monster and permeates into the hole as if melting.
Did it penetrate and kill the monster?
Just when I think that, countless green snakes spring forth around the arrow hole.
The green snakes start to surround it in a circular shape, and immediately after covering the whole body of the small monster, they explode with a pointed “Boom!” and disappear.
I’m curious about the effect of that arrow, but first, I will immediately check the collapsed Fuu.
I touch the cross-shaped metal next to my right eye and activate the Kaleidoscope.
Carbon-type Napalm Life Form ng＃esg88＃
Brain Waves: Stable and asleep
Overall Physical Strength: 10
Elenium Integration: 465
The bug has completely vanished.
Faint traces of bleeding can be seen at the back of her head, but she’s still breathing…
Great. I check the other slaves as well, for caution’s sake. Everyone’s fine, however.
“For a mere elf, she packed quite the punch.” (Bia)
Bia haughtily says while touching the tough scale armor at her abdomen.
“Although I jumped aside to avoid it, I was startled by the suddenness.” (Souther)
As expected of the small Souther who’s specialized in evasion.
“I dodged it as well.” (Mamani)
Mamani seems to also be strong at escaping. She talks while conceitedly straightening her tiger whiskers.
“Is Fuu alive?” (Viine)
Viine asks with a worried look.
“Yeah, she’s fine.” (Shuuya)
“Umm, what was this small monster just now…?” (Shana)
Shana asks while looking like a frightened puppy.
As I restore my usual vision by touching the attachment on the right side,
“…I believe that your song afflicted damage to the bug infesting my slave, Shana. It introduced itself as Kagululugu, a lackey of the Evil God Hyuriox.” (Shuuya)
It’s objective apparently was to observe, but it’s good that we were able to get rid of the bug so early.
After all, I don’t know whether I would have been able to accurately kill only the bug in the back of her neck and head without injuring her with <Banquet of Blood Chains>.
Is it because it heard a song with a light attribute? Was it the power of the Sea God? In that case, it might have worked to have her drink my blood. Dealing with it using the blood chains might have been possible as well. Or it might have been an option to have the liquefied Helme enter her body, directly attack the bug, and capture or kill it.
I don’t know whether there will be another opportunity, but I guess I will try asking Helme in case someone I want to save has been possessed by another bug.
“…My song…” (Shana)
“Correct. It looks like saving you was really spot on. Fuu being alive is thanks to you, Shana. Not only did you bless us with a passionate song, but you also saved Fuu’s life. As we are more than even with this, let’s become friends?” (Shuuya)
I seriously tell her what I think, hoping to befriend her at the same time.
“Yes, gladly!” (Shana)
“Shana-sama, I look forward to working with you. I’m Viine, Master’s servant.”
Viine adopts a proper, courteous attitude and speaks while sending a look full of reverence in Shana’s direction.
“Okay, Viine-san. You possess a truly amazing bow. It automatically transformed into a longbow, didn’t it? Even the snake engraving it has right now is wonderful. Assuming from appearance, I guess it’s a rare item?” (Shana)
“It is as you say. It is a special weapon I was able to obtain because I stayed with Master.” (Viine)
“Shuuya-san is sure excellent.” (Shana)
It’s embarrassing, so let me change the topic, lest I become narcissistic.
“Shana, even with the exception of the previous track, you’ve something in your songs, don’t you? Previously, it was a shockwave that you used against the mercenaries you fought, right?” (Shuuya)
“Yes, there is. Believing in you calling me a friend, I’ll tell you!” (Shana)
Seemingly feeling uplifted, Shana presses her left hand against her waist, thrusts out her right hand, and raises the index finger.
Somehow, it looks as if she’s cutely putting on airs like a beautiful female teacher.
“It’s one of the spells of the mermaids’ characteristic magical voice. With the skill Magic Voice, we can unleash a sound shockwave in a certain direction.” (Shana)
“It seems to afflict direct damage to the brain or ears of the listeners, but I wonder, do all mermaids possess such magic?” (Shuuya)
“Yes. Though it’s only from a similar magic system.” (Shana)
Hee. As we are having such a conversation,
“Ah, this place is?” (Fuu)
Fuu woke up.
She appears to have no injuries in particular.
“Fuu, can you see me?” (Shuuya)
“Yes, it’s Master.” (Fuu)
Her eyes seem to be clear, so I guess she’s alright.
The slaves at my side also approach Fuu.
“Fuu, I was suddenly kicked by you.” (Souther)
Souther says as if complaining.
“I dodged it, but I was surprised by the sudden fist.” (Mamani)
“It was a good punch for an elf.” (Bia)
Hearing those remarks, Fuu shook her head left and right, apparently not remembering what had happened.
“I don’t know anything about that. When I heard a wonderful song, I suddenly… I’ve no memories after that…” (Fuu)
“Although it was just for a short moment, you were apparently being manipulated, Fuu. The monster that controlled you is already dead, but that thing introduced itself as Kagululugu, a lackey of the Evil God Hyuriox.” (Shuuya)
“Kagululugu or such manipulated me…? Everybody, I’m so sorry.” (Fuu)
Fuu was dumbfounded after seeing the unnatural blood remains on her own neck, evidence of our words.
Evil God Hyuriox. A god that pulled the strings of the bug, huh…?
There is a bug user among 【Remains of the Moon】, but I wonder whether he has a connection to an evil god… However, I guess that makes no sense since I didn’t pick up his presence when diving into the labyrinth.
At that point, I remember something from the past: an image of the time when Kuna and Eribol’s daughter died pops up in my mind.
Back then, there were also bugs behind their necks, bugs that withered away due to me draining their souls.
I suppose it’s fine to consider them as also related to the evil god, judging from their traits.
In that case, it means that the bugs infested their brains as parasites, unrelated from humans or demons.
Are they doing this to gather information about the surface—just as the defeated small bug had mentioned in regards to observation—for the sake of simply luring people into the labyrinth, or to evil-god-like start a fight against this world of Sera?
At that point, I stop brooding about it any further and turn my eyes towards the slaves.
For the time being, I should cast healing magic.
I turn towards all my slaves, including Fuu, and silently cast 《Water Cure》, an advanced water spell.
A transparent mass of water materializes in front of my eyes.
The mass of water immediately falls apart, turning into small drops that pour down on the slaves.
The slaves are surprised over suddenly having their bodies showered with magic.
Or rather, they are astonished about the chantless casting, aren’t they?
Well, they will be members of the same party in the future, so building mutual trust is indispensable.
Besides, even if I keep it a secret, they will find out sooner or later anyway. I guess I will bit-by-bit divulge the things I can reveal.
“Wow, chantless…?” (Shana)
As if it’s natural, Shana is surprised as well.
“Master is special, after all.” (Viine)
While saying that with a proud expression, she moves next to me and waits there for further orders.
“…Seems so.” (Shana)
Shana looks at Viine’s face and agrees with a smile.
To her, I once more emphasize my appreciation for her timely help.
“I’m repeating myself, but it’s thanks to your song, Shana. I thank you very much.” (Shuuya)
“You saying that makes me happy. It’s great that I sang.” (Shana)
Shana says bashfully.
The smile of a beauty is indeed wonderful.
I naturally smile as well and nod in return.
“…Well then, I’ll return to the inn since I have to carry out my job as a songstress.” (Shana)
“Ah, yeah, we’re currently in the martial arts district located in Pelneet’s sound, so I guess you will find your way back?” (Shuuya)
“Yes, no problem. Bye then.” (Shana)
Shana turns on her heels after bowing, goes down from the terrace next to the entrance-way, and walks across the courtyard.
The mermaid Shana, eh?
I hope she can find the treasure she’s looking for.
For an instant, it crossed my mind to invite her into our party as an anti-evil bug god repellent, but…
As she’s a songstress and also has an objective of her own, suddenly inviting her is, well…
Just as with Sara’s group from Red Tiger, I deem it to be a good idea to start with becoming friends first.
My mind wanders while watching her pretty blonde hair sway around her back.
Now then, I guess I will prepare thoroughly in order to head to the labyrinth with the slaves before Eva and Rebecca turn up.
I return my look to the slaves to start acting on my thoughts.
To my surprise, however, apparently overwhelmed by my chantless casting, everybody is lowering their head while genuflecting on the terrace’s floor. Even the Lamia Bia is bowing her head.
“…You guys, take it easy. Also, I saw the extent of your stamina by making you forcibly run the other day. The vanguard Bia, of course, was expected, but even the rear guard Fuu performed remarkably. I have nothing to criticize about you as high-class combat slaves. That’s why I believe I’m lucky to have bought you. Thank you for having become my slaves.” (Shuuya)
I tell them what I really thought, not shying away in the least.
Souther raises a weird voice out of shock, as if someone had struck her dumb.
“Euh?” Fuu coughs hackingly, with her throat being clogged.
“Master, I’m not worthy of your kind words!” (Mamani)
“I shall do my best for the sake of Master.” (Bia)
Mamani and Bia answered properly, even while being surprised.
“Hence, as we are going to genuinely head into the labyrinth soon, I want to discuss the strategy in advance.” (Shuuya)
I return to the living room with everyone, distribute potions from my item box, and confirm the strategy for the labyrinth.
One hour later.
Eva and Rebecca, who have put their preparations in order, arrive at the main building, ready for the adventure.
Everyone, including the slaves, assembles at the long table set up in the living room.
All eight members of the Innocent Arms Party are here.
And then I confess something important.
At the occasion of cementing our gameplan, I give a light explanation about Helme, who dwells in my left eye, and the ring-shaped magic tool, Dark Hell Bone Knight.
The members, who heard my words, react in the same way as usual: Rebecca kicks up a fuss, Eva agrees immediately, and the slaves are surprised…
The flow of the conversation was dragged out, but after putting an end to it at a suitable moment, I continued talking about our strategy.
“…Then, just as we discussed before, after accepting the appropriate requests from the guild, we will head to the fifth floor of the labyrinth to get the Magic Treasure Map’s treasure.” (Shuuya)
“—At your command!”
In total: 8 people + 1 animal.
Eva, Rebecca, Viine, Rollo, and I, as well as the four slaves.
All of us walk towards the guild on the First Ring Road in a group.
The requests we chose at the guild are Magic Stone Collection, requests for the monsters appearing on the fifth floor, and a subjugation request for the Guardian-ranked Death Emperor, who’s said to previously have often appeared on the fifth floor.
After swiftly handling the formalities, we left the guild.
Since magic stones are necessary as Elenium stones for the expansion of my item box, I limited the guild request to just the lowest number needed.
Returning to the ring road, we head towards the labyrinth’s entrance. I made the slaves, who have already once gone to the fifth floor, touch the crystal on the first floor, and we were warped to the crystal of our target floor.
Oh, it’s different from till now.
There are no walls. This place is expansive, like the surface, but still a part of the labyrinth.
The distorted crystal standing in front of us has been properly enshrined.
It appears to be formed out of a stone-like material connecting its base with the ground.
As if expressing the crookedness of the crystal, the sky is also tinged with an eerie light, darkening the whole atmosphere.
Only something similar to thin clouds is visible high in the sky.
The cloudy sky is extending over a vast range, stretching till where the eyes could see.
This place is a field-shaped floor, huh?
Adventurer clans or parties, which set up magic lights all over in the dim vicinity, had set up camp and were taking a break, relaxing their tense nerves.
I catch sight of an interesting spectacle among them.
A largely-built male magician placed a frame containing a huge picture on the ground and summoned a big wolf out of the picture.
The wolf spits fire out of its mouth, igniting some firewood.
I recall the cow-faced magician whom I previously encountered in the strange magic tool store when I was buying magic scrolls.
The looks of the adventurers, who were camping, focused on us, the newly arrived party.
I ignore those stares, however, minding my own business.
I take out the Magic Treasure Map and observe any changes.
Just like before, the words “Fifth Layer” and “IV” with a feel as if they have been written with India ink-colored brushes float upon the surface of the map like a 3D hologram. And pictures of two towers and a graveyard are also depicted on it.
X-marked specks that seem to indicate my location and the spot where the treasure is sleeping were steadily blinking on the map.
It’s not the detailed map drawn with the light pen by Hannibal in the very beginning, but well, since it’s a hologram, it’s easy to understand.
Rollo purrs on my shoulder when I open the map.
Seemingly showing interest in it, she presses a paw atop the map.
She repeats that action several times as if performing paw stamps on the blinking places.
And then she looks at me, appealing to play with her round, red eyes.
It’s irresistibly cute, but I will endure this time.
“…Rollo, you’re adorable, but stop it. We need to head out.” (Shuuya)
After answering with a throaty voice, she withdrew her paw.
The other blinking place lies in the west.
How simple; we just have to proceed westwards.
Just as mentioned by Hannibal, heading to the designated location doesn’t seem to be overly difficult.
I store the map in my item box after finding our direction.
“…We’re going this way.” (Shuuya)
“So, westwards, eh?” (Rebecca)
Just as we agreed on before, we adopt a basic battle formation.
The Lamia Bia as the vanguard, alone in front.
The tiger beastwoman Mamani behind her on the right as assault vanguard.
The small beastwoman Souther lining up behind Bia on the left.
Rollo and I as control towers, who fall slightly back behind the triangle of the three vanguards. It was a position equivalent to shortstop.
In the rear, the magicians Fuu, Rebecca, and Eva on her magic wheelchair are arrayed. And last but not least, Viine as the guard of the magicians.
Assuming such Christmas tree-shaped formation, eight people and an animal stroll westwards through a gloomy wasteland.
The visual field isn’t completely dark as there exists a certain degree of brightness, despite the dingy outlook.
It’s mysterious, but I grasp that it’s probably an illumination unique to the labyrinth, just like the sky.
Once we walk for a bit, we run into a thin fog with magic source responses being indicated all over.
“Enemies! Their numbers are 4, 5, 6, 7, seven in total. The first is coming from the front left!” (Shuuya)
Once I gave loud directions, everyone, including the slaves, readied their weapons, prepared for combat.
Since visibility is bad, I activate <Night Vision>.
『Are you going to use my sight?』 (Helme)
『Yeah, but only at the beginning.』 (Shuuya)
After borrowing Helme’s sight, I was able to see the silhouettes of wolf-type monsters with red limbs.
I will omit a certain spirit’s heavy panting from my senses.
Thereupon, a huge wolf with a black loop, which festered its skin, coiled around its neck appeared on the left front. One after the other, wolves with inflamed skin start to emerge from the left and right, quickly assembling for an assault.
Bia, who’s in front, marks the start of our offense with throwing her one-handed javelin.
Directly hitting the head of a wolf with it, she quickly brings it down.
Continuing with the throwing javelins, Bia gets rid of the four wolves that appeared first with just her one-handed javelins.
However, the wolves keep coming in succession, filling up the space of their fallen brethren.
Without minding it, she quickly advances while making her snake torso wriggle.
Once she draws close to them, she swings down the one-handed shortsword in her hand towards the head of one of the wolves.
The wolf’s head bisected into two halves, cleanly parting to the left and right side as darkish blood spews out of the opening.
Even while being showered in blood,
Bia shouts while extending her snake tongue.
Having aggroed them, the continuously appearing wolves focus their eyes on Bia.
Being a shield-bearer, she has successfully gathered the enemies’ attention. Using that chance, Mamani and Souther swiftly assault the wolves who were drawn to Bia due to her taunting. They slaughtered four wolves in an instant.
However, the beasts are still appearing.
It seems to be an organized pack of wolves.
“Nn, one of the requests, Ghost-type Poisonous Flame Wolves. Those black loops are the materials we have to collect. Be careful of the flame poison, even iron won’t last long against it!” (Eva)
Eva explains with a loud voice from behind.
Poisonous Flame Wolves who spawn on the fifth floor, huh?
Just as told by Eva, the wolves with the festering skin wear big, black loops at their necks and spit bright red flames from their opened mouths.
The bright red flames looked like huge bonfires and the beasts themselves as if spawned from hell.
I was flustered for an instant, but Bia magnificently blocked the flames by holding her shield in front, and then swiftly retreated by wriggling her body.
Mamani and Souther also do evasive maneuvers to dodge the flame breaths.
At that point, I shifted my eyes towards Rollo while summoning the Magic Halberd in my right hand.
“Rollo, watch our back just in case. Endure for now and stay next to Eva.” (Shuuya)
Rollo jumps off my shoulder after meowing once.
While transforming into a black panther, she moves over to Eva.
Eva caresses the panther’s head with a smile.
After making sure of it, I swiftly dash to the front with Magic Combat Steps.
At the same time, a fireball and earth pebbles pour down on the Poisonous Flame Wolves from behind.
Those are Rebecca and Fuu’s spells. They have joined the fray, too.
A wolf’s movement becomes sluggish once hit by the earth pebbles, and it’s directly hit by the medium-sized fireball next.
The wolf went up in flames with an explosion, its bits and pieces scattering everywhere.
The flames even spread in a circular shape to the wolves that are next to it.
I target the ones still left and pick one wolf.
Pushing out the Magic Halberd with a twist, I made the wolf’s head receive the rotating <Thrust> of the red spear and pulverized it in an instant.
Next, I shoot out <Chain>.
With a speed as if leaving behind a trail in midair, the chain easily stabs into the torso of a wolf that was spitting fire from a distance. While keeping its body skewered like that, I lift it up high in the sky.
<Chain> wriggles like a starving piranha, swoops down on the wolf many times over, and pierces its entire body with the intent of devouring its flesh.
The other remaining Poisonous Flame Wolves are hit one after the other by Fuu’s and Rebecca’s magic attacks and went up in flames or had their movements slowed down.
The wolves, whose movements had become slow, are quickly brought down by the vanguards.
At that point, I cancel Helme’s Spirit Sight.
We were attacked by several dozen wolves all of a sudden, but all of them were killed, or rather, slaughtered.
With this, we have finished one of the requests.
And, without even ordering it, the slaves assigned the tasks of standing guard and collecting the magic stones as well as the black loops, the Poisonous Flame Wolves’ material, among themselves.
As expected of high-class combat slaves.
Their swift movements make one appreciate their experience in traversing the labyrinth.
Since there are no magic source responses in the vicinity, there’s not much meaning in a lookout, though.
The collected black loops are put into the item box under my care.
After the looting ended, we walked a bit westwards through the desolate area, and then finally arrived at an eerie, graveyard-like place that’s filled with rectangle gravestones as far as the eyes can see.
A lukewarm breeze blows, making the scene as if from a horror movie.
At the same time, I perceive magic source responses from all over the graveyard.
Close to us, three skeleton monsters turn up abruptly.
Two of them are knight-types, who are wearing bone armor, which seems like melted iron, and holding broad bone swords in their hands.
The last one is a magician-type who held a long wand in its hand. This one is wearing an ocher robe.
A ghastly, green light dwelt in their eye sockets, flickering from time to time
Once I see those eye sockets, I’m reminded of the Burning Knights who I can summon from my Dark Hell Bone Knight ring.
If I summon them, they will likely become great combat assets, but it’s not necessary yet.
Besides, I want to observe the abilities of the slaves walking in front for a bit longer. After all, it’s our first time fighting together, and I need to know the extent of their prowess.
“Three enemies! Bia, please take care of the front.” (Mamani)
While giving instruction to Bia, who’s walking in front, Mamani shoots an arrow towards the magician-type skeleton. The bone magician makes the green light in its eye sockets shine brightly and dodges Mamani’s arrow by swaying, as if extending its shadow.
Bia throws javelins towards a bone knight while advancing, but all of them are repelled by its broad bone sword. The bone knights, who held two-handed bone swords, draw close to Bia, who is using <Throwing>. Their movements aren’t that fast; however, their reflexes sure are.
At that moment, as if following up on Bia, Souther cuts her way through the torso of a bone knight with a bluish-white longsword.
The bone knight can’t react to the swordswoman-like, magnificent torso slash, and around half of the bone armor’s abdomen part was severed.
The cleaved torso sways back and forth, and the two-handed bone sword falls to the ground.
One of the bone knights became unable to continue fighting, leaving the enemies to two.
At that instant, I caught sight of the magician skeleton holding up the long wand over its head, trying to launch a spell.
But, a light ray arrow released from Viine’s bow directly hits its forehead.
At once, small, green snakes spread out of the skeleton’s forehead, and its head vanished in an instant. There goes another one.
The robe worn by the skeleton flutters down on the ground, and its wand, as well as a large magic stone, roll across the field with thumping sounds.
I guess it was insta-killed without allowing it to use magic.
The remaining bone knight was pummeled by Fuu’s, Eva’s, Rebecca’s and my magic attacks, in addition to Rollo’s tentacle bone swords.
The bone knight vanishes in an instant, as if being squashed to death by a giant.
Eva swiftly approaches the last standing bone knight, which is swaying after having half its torso cut by Souther’s nimble, successive slashes, and unleashes a black whirl of tonfa attacks while making her wheelchair rotate sideways.
Eva’s figure as she handles her tonfa with her violet eyes shining is beautiful to behold.
However, it’s also a bit scary.
I had a feeling that the magic stone got crushed when she smashed the bone knight into oblivion, but she retrieved it properly against my expectations.
By the way, the bone knight’s name is Acid Bone Swordsman.
The magician skeleton is called Bone Caster.
Both of them are monsters listed in our requests.
It seems that those two monsters alongside Poisonous Flame Wolves mainly spawn in the graveyard area.
While defeating those monsters, we advance in the direction indicated by the map for a few hours.
Eventually, two tower-like objects become visible in the distance.
The two towers, which harmonize with the eerie sky, truly make one feel this place as the labyrinth of the dead.
I confirm my position with the Magic Treasure Map.
The treasure should be buried in the area right under those towers.
“It looks like those two towers are crowded by countless of the previous skeletons…”
Rebecca stated her impression while looking at the soaring structures.
“Certainly, there’s probably something at their top. Anyone know something?” (Shuuya)
“Yes, I do.” (Fuu)
Oh, Fuu has replied. It seems like she knows the details.
I turned my eyes towards Viine, but she shook her head with a disappointed expression.
“Fuu, tell us.” (Shuuya)
“Yes. There are several big rooms at the top of those towers, and each one is protected by a Guardian-ranked monster. Furthermore, I have been told that a silver or golden treasure chest will definitely spawn if you defeat those monsters. Therefore, it seems like even now, skilled clans and parties are watching the big rooms like their own turf.” (Fuu)
Isn’t that something like a raid hunt?
“Got it. Thanks.” (Shuuya)
“Gladly, Master!” (Fuu)
“Silver chest, golden chest…” (Rebecca)
Did her greed sensor boot up? Rebecca is muttering something under her breath as if possessed.
“Nn, today’s schedule is the Magic Treasure Map. We won’t go there.” (Eva)
Eva points out.
“…I-I know that! But I’m just saying that I want to see a silver chest once more, or even a legendary golden chest, okay?” (Rebecca)
Rebecca reveals an unnatural cute expression at the end of her remark. She matched her eye line not only with Eva but also with me by turning her face.
Kuh, it’s a smile that makes my heart race a bit.
The charm of her blue pupils seems to be like magic eyes.
Come to think of it, she’s a high elf, so those might actually be magic eyes.
As I understand her feelings, I guess I will throw her a carrot.
“…Sure, I want to see a silver or golden chest, too.” (Shuuya)
“Or perhaps, I should say, be satisfied with the treasure chest of the Magic Treasure Map for today.” (Shuuya)
“I’m looking forward to it! I couldn’t sleep much yesterday due to my anticipation, you know!” (Rebecca)
That’s a line not befitting an adventurer at all.
“Nn, I was looking forward to it as well. I even bought a monster book and studied it.” (Eva)
Et tu, Eva!? She took out a book from her bag.
So that’s why she explained the names of the monsters so smoothly from behind? She’s really putting a lot of effort into this expedition.
“…I understand your anticipation, you two. But, focus on the task at hand.” (Shuuya)
We advance through the graveyard area, defeating the appearing monsters while continuing such a casual conversation. With our party’s strength, they aren’t even enough to make us sweat.
After a short time, a group of adventurers, who are making a racket under a flat curtain, seemingly pitching a camp, come in sight in front.
Since plenty of Poisonous Flame Wolf corpses are piled up in the vicinity, a putrid smell gets up my nose.
It’s an amazing amount of corpses, though.
Several times the number of wolves we defeated some time ago is littered around.
But, how weird…
There are no traces of them having collected the magic stones.
Once we ran up to the adventurers gathered under the curtain while harboring small doubts, we were greeted by a scene like in an ER emergency operation room where they were sprinkling recovery potions over their injured comrade and magicians were casting healing magic at him.
I guess this is the reason why it looked like they were making a racket.
“Apply more healing potions!”
A tall woman with a huge bow in her hand yells at the rest of her companions.
“Shit, if only I could use magic…”
The one complaining like that was the largest man among them.
Going by the two-handed sword on his back and the armor cladding his body, he’s likely a knight or swordsman.
“Rick has applied it over and over again! He’s improving, but probably because he was completely covered by the Flame Poison’s smoke, he’s recovering slowly!”
A red-haired woman, who has finished casting her healing magic, shouts anxiously.
By the way, she’s a beauty.
“Such an excuse doesn’t work in the 【Savannah’s Eagle Party】!”
The tall woman seems to be the leader, going by her comments so far.
Due to her members not making any progress with the recovery, she’s irritated and impatient.
“That name belongs to one of the six top clans, doesn’t it?” (Viine)
Viine muttered while surprised.
I suppose even such a top clan has blunders like this. Letting my thoughts wander, I observe the person who’s injured.
The warrior, groaning while laying on the floor, has lost the armor on the right body half due to being melted by what’s apparently called Flame Poison’s smoke. The iron armor parts of the left body half have melded with the skin, looking as if he had suffered terrible burns.
Moreover, bright red smoke keeps rising up from an open wound where the skin and flesh were apparently dissolved. It also caused a sound similar to a sputtering sizzling.
The skin gets regenerated by healing magic, but the recovery isn’t catching up.
“As it’s clear from the surrounding corpses, they encountered a mad spawn. Besides, those injuries are due to poison? They look quite severe…” (Rebecca)
Rebecca says in a low voice with fear showing on her face.
“Nn, the flame poison of Poisonous Flame Wolves.” (Eva)
Eva gave an explanation while agreeing with a stern look.
The flames from before, huh? That’s what’s going to happen if you were to receive them directly?
“This is… In other words, Shuuya’s slave, the Lamia, using a shield was amazing. She handled those flames so well. But, there’s also the dreadfulness of a mad spawn here. Even the six top clans feel scared if they see such a big injury being inflicted in case of a mistake.” (Rebecca)
Rebecca folds both knees to shrink her body and takes a rest while showing her panties.
“That’s true.” (Shuuya)
I nod and shift my look towards the still suffering warrior.
I want to help that person, but I wonder whether healing with my water magic will work?
I guess all I can do is try doing what I can to the best of my ability and leave the rest up to fate. Let’s speak to them.
I approach the members of the party who are treating the warrior.
“…Umm, I can use healing magic, but is it fine for me to join in on the treatment?” (Shuuya)
“Y-Yes, for healing magic, it’s a big help the more people join. How much should I pay you as a reward…?”
She examines me while suppressing the mana in her eyes.
However, although the life of her comrade is on the line, money, eh?
Well, I guess it might be natural for this place.
Though I don’t really know as I’m not well-acquainted with exchanges between adventurers.
As I’m troubled how to answer, Viine, as if kissing me next to my ear,
“Master, the market price is around 10 gold coins per person. In case the target is saved by the magic, it sometimes goes up to more than 50 gold coins depending on the other party’s situation.” (Viine)
imparted her wisdom upon me.
“Thank you, Viine.” (Shuuya)
After seeing Viine’s gentle smile, I turn my face to the woman holding the bow.
“I don’t mind if it’s the lowest price usually paid. So, is it fine for me to join in with my magic?” (Shuuya)
I refrain from offering my service for free since I’m not running a charity here, neither am I a saint.
The woman even lowered her head towards me, as if frantically appealing to me.
Now then, apart from healing…
It might be best to peel off that iron armor from the skin first, even if it’s forcibly. It will cause a lot of pain, however.
It’s not like it will prevent a massive bleeding. If the iron armor stuck to the skin when it regenerated, it would likely be very unpleasant.
Though it won’t matter if he wants to become an iron man…
“…Let’s remove that armor then. Everybody, please help me.” (Shuuya)
“What? Is that fine with you, Dolly?”
A thief-like man, who’s applying a healing potion, asked the bow-holding woman called Dolly, seemingly having doubts about my actions.
In the same way, the red-haired woman, who was casting healing magic, turns her eyes towards Dolly, apparently seeking for her judgment.
“It’s fine, so listen to what this person says.” (Dolly)
Since Dolly had examined me with Magic Observation, she apparently realized my true strength.
Albeit I’m not revealing too much mana to the outside, I suppose she saw through that.
It looks like she possesses a considerable analytic ability.
I get to work while pondering over such things.
It would be convenient if something like anesthesia existed, but there’s none. I pray that he doesn’t die out of shock.
Closing in next to the injured person, who was being showered with healing magic and potions, I forcibly tear off the iron armor together with the members who have been treating him.
Because of the pain of having the iron armor, which was attached to the skin, ripped off, he groaned with a stifled voice, but I ignored that, patiently focusing my attention.
I had the upper body half of the injured adventurer wholly exposed.
At that point, I take out the Blue Eye of the Evil Dragon King from my chest pocket.
I held up the blue eye for two, easy-to-understand reasons.
At the same time, I silently cast the intermediate spell 《Water Purification》.
The blue eye reacts to the water spell and is clad in light.
The sheet of spray, which carried a blue light that doubled the spell’s effect, envelopes the injured adventurer in its warm embrace.
The skin’s color didn’t change in reaction, but the rising, red smoke becomes smaller. It seems the effect of the Evil Dragon King’s blue eye has shown itself.
Next, I cast the advanced spell, 《Water Cure》.
The blue eye shines, and a transparent clump of water dolled up in light prettily is created in front of my eyes.
That clump of water breaks apart in no time, turns into small droplets like a shower, and pours down on the wounded adventurer who has already fainted due to the overwhelming pain.
It looks like the skin’s regeneration speed has quickened.
The bright red skin gradually returns to its usual healthy flesh color.
At that point, the male thief, who was observing the blue eye in my hand, applies a healing potion on his wounded comrade, as if having pulled himself together.
The red fog disappears completely with the skin returning to its original color, too.
It looks like we somehow managed to pull through the ordeal.
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