Chapter 025: The second negotiation with the Pope (Business Negotiation)
As usual after exiting from the labyrinth I asked Katria-san to purchase my magic stones.
“I will leave the calculations to you.”
“Yes~. Lately thanks to Luciel-kun’s hard work our debt has decreased.”
“Fufufu? Did you perhaps enter the 20th floor main room?”
“Yes. I went to the 20th floor boss room. I fought with a Wight and armoured Skeleton Knights.”
“Then firstly the points total is 215,342P. That’s quite some earnings.”
“Thank you. It looks like I would once again buy various items.”
“I’m happy to hear that.”
“Well then it was tiring today so please excuse me.” (TL: Lol he tried … he really tried … haha now I feel sad for him)
“Fufufu, that’s a funny joke but I don’t particularly like such jokes.”
” … Ha, hahaha. Is that so.”
“Yes. Shall we go?”
And just like that I was dragged by Katria-san to the Pope’s room.
“Katria, and if I remember correctly, Luciel. Thank you for coming. So what is the urgent matter this time?”
“Yes! Exorcist-dono once again advanced his capture of the labyrinth and returned today after emerging victorious from the battle with a Wight and Skeleton Knights in the 20th floor main room.”
“Ho. Luciel, so the 20th floor was cleared smoothly?”
“Luciel is unexpectedly strong.”
It sounded like she was saying (I am interested in you)?
“That is not the case. It was a tough battle and I appeared victorious just because my luck was good this time. If I didn’t have this magic bag you gave me the other time I would have definitely suffered heavy wounds or if I did poorly, I might even have died.”
“I see. I’m glad that I could be slightly of use to you.”
“Yes. There is no doubt that only with the assistance of your item did I turn the battle around.”
“Kukuku. Even though you achieved such a distinguished feat within such a short duration, you are an interesting guy to earnestly think and say that it was thanks to me.”
“Thank you very much.”
“Fumu. Well then please show me the items you retrieved this time.”
“Yes! This time the Wight used double elements, fire and holy. (TL: Wait Holy element? What? Typo?) Paired together with the Wight to defend it were 2 Skeleton Knights … that looked like they were possessed so I named them Specter Knights. And these are the dropped items.”
The Wight left behind it’s robe and 2 bracelets, the Specter Knights left behind their sword, shield and equipped armour. The attendants took the items but did I imagine the slightly upset look on Katria-san?
The Pope retrieved the items one by one, slowly examining them before finally speaking.
“As expected, these too … Luciel, thank you for the trouble you’ve taken. The items you retrieved previously and this time as well from the defeated Wights used to be in the possession of former bishops and cardinals. These 2 people have been missing for more than 10 years.”
“Does this mean they passed away in the labyrinth and after becoming undead they bore their fangs towards the Healer’s Guild headquarters?”
“Fumu. To be accurate, the Saint Schull Allied Nations and Holy city’s Saint Schull Church does not encompass the whole Healer’s Guild.” (TL: In other words the Healer’s Guild is not only made up of people from the Allied Nations and Holy City’s Saint Schull church.)
“You mean …”
“Ah, slightly more than 50 years has passed since the labyrinth-fication of the underground began. Nobody has any idea why the labyrinth appeared. In the past, this place was unimaginably lively. Numerous priest knights and paladins had friendly competitions here.”
Certainly, my room is meant for 2 but I am living there alone. I see. By interweaving both true and false information together and providing weapons, they raised the people’s motivation to capture the labyrinth. (TL: I think that the MC believes that the fact that more people used to live here is true but other points raised by the Pope is propaganda or he thinks that the Pope is lying to conceal the fact that the Wights originated from the Healer’s Guild.)
“However, as a response to the sudden labyrinth-fication, the church dispatched many individuals to seal the labyrinth and avoided the situation where the surface gets flooded with monsters.”
“The labyrinth can be sealed?”
“It can be done. If impurity-expelling magic is used. Large amounts of pure Holy attribute magical power is required. Well at that time a perfect seal was not achieved.”
“I see. Are there any other methods to seal the labyrinth?”
“Yes. If the miasma-releasing labyrinth core is destroyed, the labyrinth’s activity would cease and no longer expand in size. Sealing the labyrinth then would cause the impurities to dissipate and the labyrinth to disappear.”
“You wish to make the labyrinth disappear?”
“It is troublesome to have a labyrinth in the church. A labyrinth is said to be born at a place which accumulates magical power and merges miasma with people’s greed. Do you not understand the negative implications of having such a place within the church?”
“Yes. That is certainly true.”
“Returning to the topic, at that time the people who dove into the labyrinth were priest knights and paladins. They proceeded at a surprising pace. Somewhere along the lines of reaching the 7th floor from the 5th floor in 1 day. However, due to the foul odour and miasma, the advancing pace gradually dropped.”
But I could advance just fine? Doesn’t this mean she is indirectly stating that I am a weirdo?
“Even so as the elites of the church, the priest knights and paladins forged onwards for the church. However, they collapsed due to disease from the thickening miasma, from the stronger enemies … enemies that could use mental magic appeared and magic aimed at those enemies ended up hitting fellow teammates …”
An undead that can use such type of magic, isn’t that a Wraith? More pressingly, Wraiths can appear as well? That’s rough.
“The unreasonable labyrinth capture was cursed and many were sacrificed. As a result, the labyrinth was sealed to prevent monsters from escaping but one day zombies began crawling out so construction works to expand the building began.”
“So the reason why now healers with low physical capabilities are chosen as exorcists is …” (Luciel)
“These several decades it is hard to find people born with the JOB of priest knights and paladins, and even if they are born many do not affiliate themselves with the church. The numbers now are 20% compared to the past. To be frank we have no personnel that can repeatedly enter the labyrinth.”
“Is that why healers capable of using purification magic were pulled in to cull the monsters?”
“That’s right. Now we aim to make it such that zombies don’t escape from the labyrinth. That has become the top priority.”
Eh? That means instead of capturing the labyrinth, she is hinting to me to just patrol the upper floors? Good weapons and items would drop more easily?
“I see. How far did the previous labyrinth capture reach? And it would be good if they found out, how deep does the labyrinth continue until? Receiving some information would help?”
“What I heard from that time was that they defeated the 40th floor boss. In that fight 2 commanders died so the labyrinth capture was abandoned.”
“By the way how do those people compare to the current paladins.”
“They were stronger. Then, it was a time of intense war and battles compared to now. They were the elites that supported that time but …”
“Is that so.”
Isn’t this a totally impossible game …
“I apologize knowing that this is rude, but can’t you form a magical pledge with the adventurers to crush the labyrinth and capture the labyrinth that way?”
“Umu. There was such a suggestion at that time as well. However, adventurers could not enter the labyrinth. This was only understood later but, only individuals with aptitude to light and holy attribute magic such as priests, priestess, heroes, sages, paladins, priest knights and dragon knights could enter.”
“Erm~, even a hero party could not clear the labyrinth?”
“Umu. Just before they entered the labyrinth, the demon race begin advancing at that bad timing so the labyrinth capture didn’t happen.
Sadly, after defeating the demon lord the hero lost his power and was no longer capable of fighting.”
… That is way too coincidental.
“Looking back now 50 years is a long time ago.”
“I see … Why did the people who became the Wights enter the labyrinth several decades ago?”
“They had the ability to. They were wasteful with money as can be seen from the equipments and above that their greed was strong. The majority entered the labyrinth aiming to get rich quick. Well they might even aimed to just recover a small sum of money.”
“Umu. That is all I know regarding the labyrinth. Right, just now you mentioned that you struggled in battle, if I increased the number of people is it possible to capture the labyrinth from now on?”
“It is possible. But … only if they can tolerate the stench like me and have mental, charm and illusion resistances.”
” … Just don’t overdo it. (TL: The Pope just gave up cause there’s no one who can fit that criteria) Could I entrust you to capture the labyrinth gradually by yourself?”
“Yes. Only if it is little-by-little.”
“Fumu. Is there anything you desire?”
“Your highness, I might need anti-undead weapons, armours or items that can increase my survivability.”
“Understood. I will prepare them and let you choose at your discretion.” Yes, successful!
“Thank you. Also, previously have there been reports of monsters apart from the undead appearing in the labyrinth?”
Only this would pose a problem. If purification magic is rendered ineffective at the lower floors then it would be game over.
“No, there wasn’t any. Were there any reasons to suspect that?”
The Pope looked anxious. I was just being cautious for the time being.
“No, this time I could not have defeated the Specter Knights and Wight without purification magic, so if in the future monsters apart from the undead appear, fundamentally I would not be able to continue my labyrinth capture … ”
“Fumu. In the past the priests all had high levels but were still defeated.”
That’s right. I was still only at level 1.
“There’s no knowing what will appear. I do not expect too much from the labyrinth capture so I’ll be glad if you just attempt to.”
“Well then please continue your unfinished labyrinth capture. That’s right. If your healer rank rises above VI, let me know because I can promote you. If it’s for Luciel I’ll make time for it.”
“Umu. Originally JOB levels are slowly refined over long years. And when JOB levels rise above VI promotion becomes possible. If one reaches the highest level X the JOB selection choices changes but I do not know of anybody who only got promoted at such a high level.”
“Can I promote infinitely as long as I increase my JOB level?”
“That is impossible. There are no records of similar cases written in ancient literature. In addition, only people holding the JOB of king, emperor and priestess can promote others.”
“Thank you for the information. In relation to this, I’ve heard that there are multi-jobs as well? Are those different?”
“Multi-job refers to those who had the bad luck of holding 2 jobs. I heard that it is hard to raise their JOB levels and they have delayed growth.”
“Are there no studies done on that?”
“Yes. It is rare after all. It is believed that those holding on to multi-job are given a trial by the gods.”
“Well that’s all. Thank you for your hardship today. I will entrust the items that might come in handy in the labyrinth capture with Katria. Katria stay behind. Oi, help me send Luciel.”
“Yes. I will do so.” (Random attendant)
“Thank you for your precious time during your busy schedule today.”
“Umu. I look forward to Luciel’s activities from now on.”
Thus my second audience (business negotiation) with the Pope ended.