Once we proceeded for a bit after the break, we arrived at a vast space.
Thanks to the many depressions it was harder to walk here than in the corridor. Yet, the air was clean and silence dominated the place. Even a refreshing wind blew here. It was an experience as if walking through a natural, abundant copse of trees.
I looked at the ceiling while enjoying the gentle breeze on my skin ― a group of trees and shrubs enveloped by vines that were clad in light.
The trunks and branches of those trees extended while curving, and flower sacks, which were connected through square, bulging tendrils, had turned into special light sources, brightly illuminating the labyrinth.
Walking ahead through that space, the leader of Blue-armed Treasure Party, Kasem Leerald, yelled in a ferocious, deep voice, “You lot! Are you ready?”
He grasped the magic treasure map in his thick, muscular hand. He was apparently going to make the treasure chest spawn by placing the map on the ground.
“Captain, our preparations are perfect,” shouted the tall Magic Painter of the Blue-armed Treasure Party.
He made a huge monster appear from the frame in his hands.
It’s growing lanterns on its whole body?
The huge monster exceeding a height of five meters possessed four arms and four legs.
It ploddingly walked while firmly stepping on the wooden floor.
Is it the monster’s effect? The Blue-armed Treasure Party’s strong adventurers’ bodies were shining in the same white light as the lanterns. They were blinking.
Apparently something like a force field had been automatically deployed by the lantern monster.
“Dorollufas of 【Oath of Fujique】. Our preparations are in order!!”
A brawny tiger beastman adventurer, who wore a bear armor, yelled with his entire body trembling.
At that moment he grew huge, his body looking like a huge lion. His armor was apparently a magic armor as it fitted itself to his grown body.
And then he lifted the dark red broadsword in his two lion paws and roared, releasing shock waves into the vicinity.
Following their leader, his members all grew into big lions one after the other.
“【Sky Wolves of the Desert】, Win. Please go ahead whenever.”
She seemed to be a conjurer. She extended her slender hand, which was clad in mana, towards the shock wave of the huge, nearby lion adventurer, and offset it.
Braided, delicate-looking, white hair was growing down to her back, obviously marking her as a slender woman. And yet, despite her white hair, she was a young, pretty woman.
She was wearing a sorceress robe which had magic characters in a white basic tone engraved into it, probably in order to match her hair color.
She summoned a big, white wolf familiar, and once she extended the twisted wand in her hand that had long, white fur growing on it into the air, a spherical, magic field was created around her while glittering in golden light.
The surrounding, female members also summoned wolf familiars. Just as their clan’s name, Sky Wolves, gave away, wolves seemed to be their main weapons.
With their conspicuous white fur on their hands, they appeared to not be humans.
“Loneyheart of 【Light of the Yellow Birds】. We have also finished our preparations.”
The representative of the female group Light of the Yellow Birds, who had summoned various bird familiars such as a swan, a falcon, and an eagle, gave her acknowledgment.
“――We’re also ready to go,” shouted the black-haired, flat-faced, tribal man, the leader of 【Firefly and Mallet】, while hoisting up his violet hammer.
The slave beauties around him seemed to be quite strong, too.
A rabbit beastwoman, who had feathers growing on her arms, held a bow; a scaled woman, who possessed light-complexioned dragon scales, held a white wand, seemingly overflowing with mana; a dual-wielding dog-eared beastwoman; two humans, a swordswoman and a shield bearer; a spear-wielding elf with pierced ears; a tall woman with four eyes who was carrying a large, round shield.
They all stated that they had finished their preparations.
“Dolly of 【Savannah’s Eagle Party】. We’re ready――,” the beauty Dolly shouted while holding up the eagle bow in her hand.
The members of 【Savannah’s Eagle Party】 moved as well.
A largely-built warrior who hoisted up a gigantic, broadsword; the warrior, whom I rescued before, readied sword and shield; a magician, who held up his wand, expanded a fire-based support magic in a circular shape; a thief-type man scattered powder medicine appearing to be a magic item into the surroundings.
Only among them did I sense normal adventurers.
It was a pair of adventurers that generated light thread-based weapons, which I had never seen before, from both hands. Tips of light blades were to be found at the many light threads’ ends which extended towards the ground from their underarms.
There were small, triangle metal fixtures with engraved magic symbols at the root of the chains.
Both had long hair and abnormally broad eyes. They wore light, Asia-styled dresses.
White-lined tattoos that had mana running through them had been carved onto parts of their burly bodies. Those white lines were circulating mana while pulsating.
I can see that they must be quite strong. Their special magic weapons and the means of making use of those…remind me of Master’s guidance sorcery that seemed to use countless branches or threads.
But, since the light threads are coming out of their arms and the combined tekkou parts, it’s no guidance sorcery that I know of.
At that point I turned my eyes at a person who refined her mana without speaking up. An adventurer hiding the lower part of her face with a black mask, huh?
A big-boobed woman with her breasts splendidly bulging within her bikini leather armor. A female adventurer, I guess.
There was a flame-shaped mark with mana that wafted around it below her collar.
She held chakram weapons clad in flames in both hands. Once she readied them ― a great number of fire spirit-like clones that had long and thin humanoid figures were sent forth into her surroundings.
They are different from Helme, maybe something similar…?
It looks like you will be enveloped by flames if you get close to them.
“Ready to go――,” it was a dancing woman that signaled this.
Different from the woman handling fire spirits, this female adventurer had six metallic orbs float around her.
An adventurer possessing a mindforce-based skill like Eva, huh…?
All her party members were orthodox adventurers, a group with only her being conspicuous.
While I was overwhelmed by the strong-looking adventurers around me, I shouted, “Anytime you want,” towards Kasem while lifting up the Magic Halberd in my right hand, and my <Head Servant Leaders> also raised their voices in acknowledgment.
Kasem looked around him. That gesture of checking the state of the other adventurers gave one the impression of a veteran.
At the end the cool Blue Arms leader nodded, and the instant he put down the magic treasure map on the ground ― a silver treasure chest spawned while emitting an aureole.
“Silver! Be careful!” Kasem backed off from the chest while urging everyone to be cautious.
And then, once he performed something like a seal by moving his hands, a special armor clad in mana was automatically deployed, and he grasped his katana which was also enveloped by mana.
“Silver on the fourth floor, that’s a good sign! Let’s get it done!”
Each time an adventurer raised his voice in alertness, a great variety of monsters spawned one after the other.
One huge reddish brown monster with four arms and legs that seemed to be the guardian――
Several dozen steel mantises――
Several dozen big crocodiles with black swords growing at the tip of their mouths――
Countless black hands creeping across the ground――
Dozens of giant snakes――
Dozens of poison arrow hoods, although there were also some that got crushed below the spawning snakes.
It immediately developed into a fierce battle.
The ones facing the guardian ― was the Magic Painter’s monster which had its body clad in lanterns.
Monster vs. Monster.
Both of them grappled by firmly grabbing each other’s hands as if it was a scrum in a rugby match.
They rolled over to the right while crushing one giant snake beneath. While shouting, Kasem finished off that snake by slashing his katana downwards.
One, two, three, then four slashing attacks of his katana that glistened in green light – I suppose it’s a skill – went down on the approaching mantises――
He unleashed unbelievable heavy weapon slashes with his glittering katana while rotating his body around like a spintop ― decreasing the number of mantises in an instant.
That’s it for the fun sight-seeing tour.
A group of crocodiles and poison arrow hoods was headed our way. The crocodiles charged while spinning.
“Nn, Black Sword Crocodiles! They often attack frontally!” The voice of Eva, who had memorized the monster book, cautioned.
Yui and Viine safely dodged to the side.
While shouting, “I will take this one――,” I lunged right in the middle like a spear as Yui and Viine were in the middle of avoiding to the left and right.
Closing the distance to the rotating crocodile, I activated <Darkness Drill – Evil Destruction Lance> as if to meet the black swords protruding out of its mouth from the front.
The <Darkness Drill> of my spiraling red spear pierced through the crocodile’s swords while tearing them apart like paper.
Next it penetrated into the crocodile’s mouth, destroying it from the root alongside the black swords that had been torn apart by Destruction Lance Gladopalus which had manifested with a delay of several milliseconds. It continued into the crocodile’s torso, turning upper jaw, tongue, and the epiglottis into a pulpy mess while causing sounds similar to a mixer in operation.
The crocodile transformed into a chunk of meat that was pitiful to even look at due to the overwhelming force.
――Destruction Lance Gladopalus plunged onwards.
Several poison arrow hoods and crocodiles were pierced and gouged out in an instant, disappearing into empty space right after.
But, there’s still many more left.
Facing the poison arrow hoods on the left, I shot <Chain> from my left hand, bringing them down one by one as if shooting them with a gun.
Yui and Viine confronted a nearby crocodile.
Yui defended against a crocodile’s sharp sword by tilting her katana, causing sparks to scatter. While maintaining the katana’s angle, she moved to the left side.
Viine used that timing. Having moved to the right of the crocodile, which was preoccupied with Yui, she stabbed her snake sword into the crocodile’s mouth.
Probably because of the pain, the crocodile roared lightly while attempting to shift its black swords from Yui to Viine.
Yui, who had reversed the angle of her katana, assaulted from the distracted crocodile’s flank, and elegantly swung down her katana, bisecting the crocodile’s head.
At that moment an arrow came flying.
“Incoming arrow, Viine!” I yelled.
“――Yes!” Viine curtly answered
Viine, who had evaded the poison hood’s arrow by jumping magnificently, invoked Rasheena’s Bracelet in midair as if touching a watch.
Small, black spirits similar to shadow midgets poured down on the poison hoods that were about to shoot arrows like a black rain. While squirming, they entwined themselves around the poison hoods’ bodies, throwing the small archers in chaos.
At that point Rollodeen with Eva on top turned towards the poison hoods, who had abandoned their bows and were now shaking the spirits off their heads with their small hands, and finished them off with hits from her tentacle bone swords.
Eva made violet mana gush out of her whole body. She made green, metallic loops appear from her magic wheelchair’s wheels and had those fly towards a crocodile. The loops, which were clad in violet mana, stabbed and penetrated the back of that crocodile, went straight ahead while revolving and protruding out of the crocodile’s skin like shark fins, and cruelly cut the crocodile’s torso to pieces.
It was Eva’s remote attack that lacked even the slightest mercy.
“Eva, what amazing metal!” Rebecca praised Eva.
“Nn, I managed to improve it a bit thanks to Mysty.” Eva answered.
Rebecca hurled several blue fireballs that had appeared atop her hands at crocodiles with such a force that they were knocked over. Those fireballs produced big holes from the crocodiles’ back to their torsos with blue flames smoldering at the holes’ edges. Several crocodiles were killed in such way.
Moreover, lifting up the long wand with its embedded dark red gem in her white, translucent hand, she timely manifested a fire wall, separating and isolating the monsters, and thus making it easy to crush them individually.
Viine had separated from Yui and was continuously shooting beam arrows with her Jade Snake Bow, killing the isolated crocodiles with beam arrows from a distance.
Giant snakes that had overcome the fire wall came in sight.
Okay, I guess I’m going to put some effort into it.
――<Blood Path – Open Third Gate>
Activating <Blood Acceleration>, I felt how blood gushed out of the skin at my feet. The Evil Dragon King’s greaves at the instep changed into a blackish red color.
I started to run towards the giant snakes. Having increased my body’s speed to the extent of causing sprays of blood to rise from the ground, I adjusted the position of the red ax blade while running. While jumping a bit, I swung the Magic Halberd through to diagonally above.
I cut through the throat of a snake that had been standing out from below, landed, and turned around.
With my eyes I could identify a crocodile which was about to assault Rebecca who had been unleashing blue fireballs from her middle guard position. At once I shot a <Chain> at that crocodile.
The chain extended straight ahead like a piano wire and pierced the crocodile. I manipulated that chain, and after entwining it around the crocodile’s scaly skin, I reeled in the chain, pulling the crocodile like a magnet towards me while having it roll in the air. And, at the same time as I made <Chain> vanish, I vertically swung the hidden blade of the Magic Dragon Gem down, cutting the thick crocodile body in two. Black blood spew out of the round cut ends that had been divided to the left and right.
Once again snakes roared while extending their long tongues out of their mouths.
They appeared as if to crush Rebecca’s fire walls.
“――I will defeat the new giant snakes. I leave the others to you guys,” I declared to everyone just in case.
“Okay, I will target the small archers with my blue fireballs.” Rebecca yelled back
“Yes! I will go around to support everyone.” Viine stated.
“Your Excellency, leave it to me.” Helme added.
“Nn, entrust it to us. It’ll work with Yui’s backup.” Eva confirmed.
“Understood. I will finish off crocodiles as is.” Yui chipped in as well.
While listening to the voices of my chosen bloodkin, I readied my halberd by holding its metallic staff part as if I had become a javelin thrower.
――The target is a snake head.
I clad myself in Magic Combat Style, imagining how I was activating all my nerves. I circulated mana even to the fingertips grasping the violet metal, and had it also permeate the toes of both my feet that were firmly stepping down on the wooden ground. And then I drew back my right hand, and used the <Throwing> skill with a powerful motion and a short grunt.
Magic Halberd Baldok plunged forwards at a terrifying speed. The rotating ax blade tore through the wind, leaving a crimson streamline in its wake.
Once the red spear seized the snake’s head, it easily pierced through it as if going through tofu, pierced through the torso of a snake behind the first one, and stabbed deeply into the rear of a third snake, finally coming to a halt while staggering up and down.
The last snake was still alive. It was contracting its torso and shaking its body, trying to get rid of the halberd.
I have to recover that Magic Halberd, don’t I?
Powerfully kicking the ground, I started running. When I passed the snake, which had collapsed sideways to the ground after having its head punctured, I shot <Chain> from both hands, aiming at the head of the snake with the halberd stuck in its back.
After the chains stabbed into its head, invaded further inside, and stirred its interior, obviously killing the snake, I reeled in the chains.
Landing on both feet as if delivering a dropkick at the snake that stopped moving, I move to its back where the halberd was stuck, and pulled it out. I rotated it so as to get rid of the blood clinging to it, and then checked my vicinity.
My bloodkin seemed to carry out their individual roles. All the nearby monsters had been defeated.
Now then, what’s the situation…?
Once I looked to the left side where the monster showdown had taken place, the huge guardian already laid in its own blood.
In the vicinity corpses of steel mantises piled up, literally having turned into a mountain.
Once I shifted my eyes towards the silver treasure chest, I saw a swarm of tall ogres and small shadow-like hands still being in combat around it. The adventurer using a violet hammer was included among the adventurers fighting those, but what drew my attention were the two remarkable adventurers fighting while skillfully handling their light threads.
The light threads, which were dancing through the air with a frightening speed, precisely stabbed and cut into the places that seemed to be the ogres’ vitals. Even the shadow hands, which tried to approach while creeping along the ground, were mowed down by the snake-like threads, easily making the hands evaporate.
The two adventurers snapped their wrists and performed step work as if dancing. Each time they danced, an ogre collapsed to the ground, and a shadow hand evaporated.
The number of monsters had definitely diminished.
“Nn, adventurers using light beheading threads.” Eva commented.
“Eva, you know about those?” I asked.
“Teacher taught me. She said there are strong fighters manipulating threads among a part of the excellent adventurers and martial artists. There seem to exist many types such as steel threads, green threads, silver threads, gold threads, light threads, and darkness threads.” Eva explained.
I’m really curious about Eva’s teacher who knows of such things. Looks like she’s quite the adventurer.
“Holy shit! The adventurers over there are Zeon’s Light Thread users, eh? I suppose I’ll get a bit serious, too!! Nuooooh, <Wicked Purple Blade Flash>――” The one shouting that skill name solemnly was the black-haired flat face.
A vertical flash of his specialized hammer swung down with vigor. A violet shock wave headed at lightning speed towards an ogre with a huge build while cleaving open the ground.
The instant the ogre was hit by that wave, unable to dodge it in time, violet blades burst out across its entire body and flew off in all directions, scattering the ogre.
A shower of fresh blood rained down upon the surroundings.
“――Master, you’ve become good at handling the violet blades! Amazing.”
“Everyone is paying attention to Master exactly because he’s the strongest adventurer!”
“Nothing less of my Master.”
“Fufufu, it’s finally your turn!”
The flattering words of his beautiful slaves, who were fighting at his side, could be repeatedly heard.
Certainly, it’s an awesome technique. That black-haired guy might be from the same world as I. But he probably never had anything to do with me. If he’s from the same world, I just wish that he won’t get brainwashed by Hyuriox.
I didn’t check with my Kaleidoscope.
“Master, anything wrong?” Viine came asking after having finished to collect the magic stones.
“Mmh? No, it’s just, I must say, as expected from first-class adventurers,” I said while glancing at the female adventurer leading an ogre around by the nose with her metallic orbs, and the female adventurer evaporating shadow hands by throwing her fire-based chakram with <Throwing> and having her fire spirit clones charge.
“…Yes, I wonder whether that adventurer with the metallic orbs has the same kind of ability as Eva.” Viine pondered.
“――Nn, maybe. She might be a guidance sorceress. Even teacher said that such people exist rarely,” Eva said from above Rollodeen.
That Rollodeen moved several of her tentacles, which had been affixing the wheelchair with Eva on top to her back, and carefully lowered Eva on the relatively even ground.
“Nn, thanks, Rollo-chan.” Eva said with a gentle smile.
After licking Eva’s face with her big tongue once, Rollodeen dashed to the front, and then spit her fire breath at the shadow hands that had appeared from the ground.
Her fire breath had been fired straight ahead in a round, helical shape, like a energy particle cannon, with the width of a thin sword.
Rollodeen moved her streamline-shaped face to the left and right, burning the appearing, slowly wobbling shadow hands as if in the middle of a whack-a-mole game.
Wow…so she can manipulate it even like this, huh? The range is extremely small, but since it looks as if she has been concentrating the firepower in the center, the output is probably quite high.
The shadow hands and the floor’s wood were burning as if melting…
“Rollo-sama…what delicate fire handling!” Viine praised.
“Rollo-chan! You’re more skillful at handling flames than me? Shock!” Rebecca stared in wonder.
“Nothing less of Rollo-sama. But I’m off since it’s scary,” while turning into liquid, Helme escaped into my left eye.
“Rollo-chan, you burned all the shadow hands to nothing,” Yui said in admiration.
“Nn, Hollow Shadow Swamp Hands is their name.” Eva added.
“So that’s what they were called. As expected of monster professor Eva.” I said jokingly.
“――Nn, I’m no professor. It was written in a book,” Eva said as she looked at my face while transforming her wheelchair.
The look of violet eyes was powerful, but her cheeks had started to blush a bit.
“Ah, it looks like the last ogre was defeated,” Rebecca pointed with her finger.
All adventurers who had fought around the treasure chest gathered, and Kasem raised his voice, “――Ladies and Gentlemen! With this the majority of the escort request has finished. Please collect the magic stones and materials of the monsters you defeated. As soon as we finish retrieving the treasure, we will head back.”
“Leader, let me～”
Following the members of the Blue-armed Treasure Party, voices of relief could be heard from all adventurers.
“That’s all for now. There are many easy requests when working for the Collector.”
“Yeah. Everyone’s top-notch, after all. It came to an end with a few <Roar Strikes>. There are no requests as relaxed as these.”
“Yeah, for sure. Collector is a good patron. I want to stay on good terms with her in the future, too.”
“Ladies of Light of the Yellow Bird, you’ve got a private contract with her as well, don’t you?”
“Yes, of course. It’s also the same for 【Oath of Fujique】, right?”
The chat between the beastmen corps and the beautiful women corps continued.
“Maaan, I think I’m going to party after we get back?”
Suddenly, a silly voice could be heard. It was the black-haired flat face.
“Manabu-sama, that’s not allowed! You have promised to save money and buy a home, haven’t you?”
“Eeh~! I really wanna have to a fun party with all of you in the inn’s room.”
“Jeez, again one of those parties?”
“…In that case, I wonder whether I should go buy a new slave.”
The flat face lifted the corners of his mouth, revealing a weird smile.
“Kayo, that’s not the time to look at Master’s face. If we don’t stop him…our rivals will increase again.”
That black-haired guy seems to be the master of a harem exceeding my own and quite the playboy.
As I was wondering whether he had received some kinds of blessings, his demonic eyes met with mine.
“…Even my blood thirst was repelled…who’s that guy?”
The golden, triangle magic crests within his demonic eyes were repeatedly and intensely rotating.
“Sachi, Fumi, Kayo, wait here. You others, stand by here, too.”
The slaves replied in unison, and bowed their heads towards him.
The black-haired man shouldered his violet hammer after glancing at me, and stepped up.
“Yo, what’s your name?” He asked in a casual tone.
“Hello, my name is Shuuya.”
“…Hee, my name is Manabu. Shuuya, eh? The sound of that, maybe…”
A former Japanese after all, huh?
Since he’s talking casually, I will speak with him normally, I guess.
“That means…apparently a different transfer from the one I know…,” Manabu mentioned, but transfer? Looks like he hadn’t been reincarnated.
“…Well, various things happen, right? So, the ones behind you are your slaves?”
Hearing my words, he looked to the side as if brooding about something. Then he started to touch his small goatee with his fingers.
“…Various, eh? I was hated like a snake and scorpion by the guys whom I considered to be my friends at first…until I came to this Labyrinth City Pelneet…yeah, various things truly happened… I really had my share of troubles to gather the lovely slaves behind me, you know?”
What happened? I was about to ask that, I judged that it wouldn’t be smart to spoil his good mood.
I will adjust as needed.
“I see. They are real beauties.”
“Oh, you got it, man. The ones with you are nothing but real hotties that suit my tastes…”
Once again the golden triangles of his demonic eyes squirmed.
『Your Excellency, I can say that it’s no offensive ability, but those are definitely some kind of demonic eyes. They are moving and rich with mana.』 Helme pointed out.
“…Manabu, can’t you avoid looking at my servants with those eyes?”
My implicitly intended meaning: Stop it with those perverted looks and demonic eyes.
“…Humph.” Manabu narrowed his eyes and looked back at me.
“What is it?”
“Besides that Collector beauty, you and the hotties behind you repelled my demonic eyes, so it’s only natural for me to be curious, isn’t it? Is there some kind of divine will in you, Shuuya?”
Oh, that’s what he thinks.
At that point, “The looting is done. We’re going back,” said the leader of the Blue-armed Treasure Party.
“You heard him.” I urged him with my eyes to look at the Blue-armed Treasure Party.
Manabu turned his head to the side in annoyance, but immediately looked back at me.
“…Can’t you tell me the reason why it’s being repelled?”
“There’s no way I’d know something like that. Then tell me, why do you have demonic eyes?”
“…Okay, I got it. It’s our first meeting. We might meet again or not, cya,” Manabu smiled at the end of his words, and turned around without waiting for my answer.
He went to the beautiful slaves that had been waiting for him.
“Master, is the leader of Firefly and Mallet an acquaintance of yours?” With Viine at the front asking, everyone came over with curious expressions.
“Just now was the first time we talked. It was just greetings.”
He mentioned a transfer…there might be others who transfered, too.
On a first glance he gives the impression of a young, wild, open-hearted chap, but because I sensed a lucid intelligence, although I don’t know the effect of his demonic eyes, his inner self might be fairly experienced.
“They way he looked at us was fishy.” Rebecca said in displeasure.
“Nn, he had been staring at Rebecca.” Eva answered.
“Huh? I thought he looked at you, Eva.” Rebecca looked confused.
“Both of you are probably right. He turned his eyes at me as well.” Yui joined in.
Rebecca, Eva and Yui were chatting about such trivial stuff amongst each other. Viine looked at me silently.
“Come on, they have already started moving, so let’s go back home, too.” I told them.
“Oki.” Rebecca replied.
We headed from the vast space to the corridor together with the first-class adventurers. At times monsters spawned in the corridor, but while easily defeating those, we managed to return to the room with the crystal.
Ok, time to go to the surface.
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