Chapter 095: Abnormal changes to the Labyrinth of Astray
Yesterday after dinner, I signed employment contracts with all the members from the Hacchi tribes.
This time, instead of relying on verbal exchanges, we exchanged written pledges.
Number 1, regarding salary.
Lodgings and 3 meals are guaranteed, wages will follow the decision of the tribe leader.
Number 2, regarding going out.
Do not go out without permission. To always inform during emergency cases.
Number 3, regarding off-days.
You will be given a day of holiday once a week. However, until the internal affairs are settled, it is forbidden to go out.
Number 4, others.
To not incite problems even though the workplace would involve various other races.
I’ll first employ them for half a year, if the honey production business makes progress, I would change them to full employment.
There weren’t any complaints about the contract.
They would immediately begin work from today onward.
Currently, I was heading toward the labyrinth to secure magic stones.
The members were Lionel, Cathy, Kefin squad, and Yarubo squad.
“Kefin, even though I granted permission last night, why is it that your squad came today instead of Baderu squad?”
They always rotated turns to escort me but he asked if it was alright to follow today and I allowed it.
However, since I was considerably free during the journey to the Labyrinth of Astray, I asked Kefin for the reason why they substituted.
“To be honest, a couple of people from Baderu squad are attracted to the slaves being taught by Naria-san so they asked me to let them protect the Healer’s Guild if possible.”
“Love affair huh~ … It’s good to be young~. However, such feelings are important after all~…”
“Luciel-sama you sound like an old man nya. Luciel-sama should still only be 20 years old nya.”
“Although it’s somewhat too early for him to seem so mature, I heard that a lot of the church staffs are like that as well.”
When I spoke like an old man, Cathy tsukkomied me while Lionel lumped all the church staffs together.
I certainly read that if I stopped drinking Object X coupled with my job, I would begin aging faster … Should I start drinking Object X again?
But before that, I should reply to the tsukkomi, right?
But, before I could deny it, the labyrinth came into view.
” … What bad timing.”
Arriving at the labyrinth, I used the Key of the Hermit and had the horses and Fornoir as well enter the stables.
It might be better to explain the dangers of the labyrinth.
I decided to have a talk before entering the labyrinth.
” … We’ll ascend at one go to the original point on the map as the previous time. I think the monsters would have decreased but please advance while remaining cautious.” (TL: He didn’t remove the central magic stone of the labyrinth so I don’t know why he thinks that the labyrinth should have fewer monsters :/)
We entered the Labyrinth of Astray.
” … Is it only me that thinks that the monster numbers haven’t decreased at all?”
Lionel and the others answered my question.
“No, there are more compared to the last time.”
“The numbers increased but the monsters that appear have only changed a slight bit nya.”
“Isn’t that slight bit a problem?”
The instant we entered the labyrinth, compared to before when I was following along the search party, this time, many monsters appeared from the first floor.
“Usually once a labyrinth is conquered, it’s activity would weaken right?”
However, there wasn’t anyone with the knowledge to answer such a question.
This time, there were undead parts mixed within the monsters that appeared so I purified them as I remembered unpleasant memories.
I had no idea what the heck was happening but I began anticipating that we would be able to obtain our goal for the magic stones within a day with these numbers.
We proceeded on the first floor according to the map. It felt like it took roughly about 5 minutes.
All the member could easily fight monsters of this caliber while progressing.
The monsters have changed but thankfully the labyrinth paths did not change and there wasn’t any problem ascending up the floors.
We repeatedly battled and collected magic stones and after about 1 hour we arrived at the 10th floor.
“Although I think we won’t have any trouble, proceed with safety in mind.”
Everyone smiled at my insistence to prioritize safety and nodded.
2 Red Lizardmen and 1 undead Red Lizardman appeared in the boss room.
I immediately used purification magic to purify the undead Red Lizard while Kefin squad and Yarubo squad attacked with full force and defeated the other 2 with the same speed.
“As expected, your 2 squads have been training yourselves.”
As I praised Kefin squad and Yarubo squad, Lionel and Cathy both looked slightly dissatisfied.
I did not feel the need to make the effort to ask them since I judged that they most likely wanted to fight after all, so I ascended the stairs after I praised Kefin and the others.
” … For some reason, isn’t the number of undead increasing as we go up?”
“It seems that way. However, their speed decreases after they turn into undead so it seems like a good place for Luciel-sama to gain combat experience.”
“I’ve been doing my best but I haven’t even raised a single level since entering the labyrinth?”
“Since you defeated the Red Dragon, obviously the monsters around here would not level you up nya.”
It seems like it would not be easy to level up from now on, should I drink Object X?
No, if I pile up the specks I should be able to hear the level up slogan.
Both thoughts were antagonistic.
The 20th-floor boss was 2 Red Orcs and a larger Fire Wolf but I didn’t have a chance to step forward.
Lionel slashed the Red Orc, Cathy decapitated the Fire Wolf, and Kefin squad and Yarubo squad’s 14 member consecutive attacks gradually piled damage and defeated the remaining monster.
“There should have been an easier way to defeat it right?”
I believe that each of them definitely have the ability to defeat a Red Orc alone.
They are stronger than me so I do wish that that’s true …
“We were confirming our cooperation. Since the monsters would gradually become stronger from now on, we would hate to be a burden like before.”
Kefin said and all the other members nodded.
“There’s no problem if that’s the case. Since its safety first.”
I smiled and further aimed for a higher floor.
“Despite all that, it’s commendable that you have the motivation to continue climbing further up.”
Lionel asked as he was climbing up the stairs to the 25th floor.
“Even though I would hate to enter the labyrinth alone, I can rely on a certain battle maniac here. Moreover, if there are more magic stones from stronger monsters, the number of magic stones we require would decrease right?”
I joked as we climbed up the stairs.
A Fire Bear and Wraith appeared in the 30th-floor boss room.
I reflexively triggered purification magic the instant I saw the Wraith.
The Wraith looked like it was melting and it turned into a magic stone.
I checked if there were any members with abnormal conditions but it was alright this time.
Several people from Kefin squad suffered minor damage from the Fire Bear but it was to the extent that it can be said to be a complete victory.
Then, we took a lunch break there.
“That monster just now was definitely a Wraith. I remember Jasuan-dono said that the 40th floor boss for this labyrinth was a Chimera right?”
“He did say that nya. Leaving that aside, Luciel-sama is too amazing to be able to easily annihilate a Wraith like that nya.”
“That certainly was amazing. As expected of one who climbed up the ranks to an S-rank healer at that young age.”
” … Wraiths are small fries to me. Since the abnormal condition magic that the Wraiths release is totally ineffective towards me … However I was close to dying once.”
“I would have been fine alone, but my companions around me suffered from the confused condition so I suffered attacks from them. Even if the Wraith was defeated, the confused state would continue so I could not stop my companions until I applied 「Recover」 on them.”
“I see. So that’s why you triggered your magic so quickly.”
Lionel touched his beard as he thought.
“Naria went through great pains to make the food this time so let’s eat.”
After I took out the food from the magic bag, I remembered that I forgot to apply purification magic to the room so I ordered them to begin eating first as I begin purifying the room.
Not a single person died among the people I dived into the Labyrinth of Tribulations with, none of the Holy Paladins or Priest Knights quit as well but ……
I shook off my feelings that were becoming gloomier and went to eat my delicious lunch.
For some reason, no undead appeared from the 31st floor.
I felt a touch of uncertainty about this labyrinth but we reached the 40th floor without encountering any bitter battles.
Then, Kefin spoke.
“That’s weird, they’re not around.”
“S-rank … Luciel-sama, previously, there were adventurers who made this point their base. They were sweepers that hunted adventurers but it’s weird that they are not here!”
Kefin was slightly agitated and Lionel admonished him. He gradually calmed down.
Seeing Kefin act like that, I had a very bad premonition.
An active labyrinth that was supposed to have calmed down and undead monsters that should not appear.
Adventurers called sweepers that hunt adventurers that should originally be here but are not.
“Do you all remember that I said that I did not take the large magic stone on the 51st-floor?”
“It’s possible that the sweepers touched that magic stone.”
“But I don’t think they possess any blessings.”
“The Flame Dragon said that I could only enter the 51st floor once. If that’s the case, then it would not be weird if the magic stone was transferred to the 50th-floor boss room.”
” … Then you mean …”
“There’s a high chance that the sweepers took that magic stone, but my instincts or my luck told me that I must never take that so I did not take it.”
… Going with the flow of the story, it would either be a new enemy or in the worst case, the Evil God would reveal its hand.
Here, I was forced to choose between the 2, to proceed or to turn back.
Thank you for reading.
Even though it’s supposed to be an internal affairs arc, I’m sorry for the derailment.
TL: So it seems like defeating the final boss of the dungeon or purifying the 51st floor dragon causes it’s activity to decrease? While taking the final magic stone core would cause the dungeon to shrink and collapse?