Edit 04/02/2020: Last paragraph added.
(322) Conquering Minerva-sama’s dungeon
And it was Haru’s turn to shine now.
“Haru, I leave it to you.”
Entry and exit of this dungeon were restricted but this was still an intermediate dungeon that soldiers, adventurers, and mercenaries visit to conquer.
For that reason, the smell of humans still lingered.
Among the countless smells, Haru was heading toward the location where the most number of human smells remained.
If people repeatedly visit this dungeon, they would probably choose the shortest route.
And we were not wrong.
After a couple battles, we reached the seventh floor in just 30 minutes.
“Master ― it’s faint but the scent continues beyond that wall.”
“Illusionary wall huh.”
In the past, I came across an illusionary wall when I was saving Norn-san.
I slipped through it.
“Let’s take a look around.”
There was no reaction from beyond the wall even after I used Presence Detection.
I tossed a pebble I had inside my bag for some reason.
The pebble slipped right through the wall.
And then, I heard it fall onto the ground.
It seemed safe – – but I still looked out for traps.
“Master, I’ll take the lead.”
“No, I’ll go. Wait here.”
I replied and carefully entered.
There was no danger inside the room. Only directly inside the room though.
“ … It’s okay, Haru, Carol, come in.”
I called Haru and Carol over.
Then, I showed them what I saw.
A hole that extended downward.
It would probably be a shortcut if we used that hole.
But I could not see the bottom of the whole.
“I guess I’ll test it out – – Ice!”
I made a bed of ice to seal the hole. After standing above the hole, I activated Hawk Eye and took a look directly below.
The hole extended downward for a long distance but I was at a loss for words at what I saw at the base.
There were corpses impaled on metal spikes.
I guess this hole is not the way … or not, there’s a path that extended to the side.
“All right, it connects!”
I said and asked Haru and Carol.
“There’s a shortcut after falling straight down into the hole but what’re your opinions? Do you two trust me?”
The two girls didn’t answer my question.
But I could tell from their expressions.
“I guess I didn’t have to ask. Haru, follow me!”
I carried Carol on my back and cracked the ice below my feet with White Wolf Fang.
I entrusted my body to gravity and fell.
Haru and I will be fine even if we continued falling like this but Carol would probably not be.
I released a large volume of water directly below us.
The water I released reached the bottom in an instant – – and we plunged into it almost at the same time.
We didn’t fight against the water and let it channel us to the side path.
After we entered the side path, the magical power used to create the water was absorbed by the dungeon and it disappeared.
I asked after lowering Carol.
“Haru, Carol, are you all right?”
When I turned back, I saw the two of them with drenched clothes that had turned semi-transparent.
“Ah, my bad! Dry – – oops, it might be dangerous to use on humans as it will be bad if it gives you dry skin. Here, use a towel.”
I passed Haru and Carol the towels I retrieved from my item bag.
“Thank you very much. I’ll use Dry on our clothes.”
Haru replied and gradually took off her clothes.
“Haru, what are you – – “
“It’s to use Dry on our clothes after we take them off. Thankfully, Master’s spell has swept away the monsters around this area.”
Ye-yeah. That seemed to be the case.
I heard level up messages when I was swimming.
“Ah, Haru-san. Help with Carol’s clothes next.”
Carol took off her clothes too.
… Why am I being nervous for?
Right, thinking about it, Haru, Carol and I are in that relationship and I have seen their naked bodies countless times. There was nothing to be ashamed of.
I thought to myself as I glanced at Haru and Carol’s naked bodies but that was when our eyes met.
“We can’t dry our clothes before drying master’s clothes.”
“It would be bad if master catches a cold.”
I knew it was bad news when the two of them drew closer while naked.
“Wa-wait. I just entered cold water so it shrunk ― Hey, Haru-san ― Carol-san ―.”
And so a small accident happened ― it was really a small accident. I’d rather they don’t take off a man’s clothes after he entered cold water ― and we had apparently reached the lowest floor of the dungeon.
We were in front of the boss room. The door to the boss room was open and we could see the interior.
I could sense the presence of a monster but there was only a thin tree inside, without any visible enemy.
“Are you ready?”
Haru and Carol replied in sync and we stepped forward together.
The door to the boss room closed.
We could no longer escape. Well, we don’t intend to anyway.
” ― I thought it was a plant monster but I guess I was wrong.”
According to Plant Appraisal, that tree was called a Gourd Tree.
It was a plant that was present on Earth as well that bears gourd fruits.
However, there were no gourd fruits now.
But as I had that thought.
A large gourd suddenly swelled from the Gourd Tree.
The way it swelled was abnormal.
“Enemy presence, it’s that!”
It seemed that this monster parasitizes trees.
” ― !”
The mimic gourd fruit exploded. At the same time, the seeds within it scattered.
I created an ice wall in front of us and protected our bodies from the seeds.
Just what kind of boss was this, suddenly blowing itself up.
That said, that was dangerous. It was strong enough to cause cracks on my ice wall. It would have probably hurt if I got hit by it squarely.
“Wait ― eh!?”
The enemy presence suddenly increased!?
I could immediately tell the reason.
The seeds had instantly turned into the shape of gourds.
All the seeds that were scattered by the explosion.
That’s strange! Gourds are formed by budding, the seeds don’t directly turn into fruits.
By any chance would all the gourds explode again?
“Guh, this is the most troublesome to date.”
If the numbers just keep growing, how could we deal with it?
Was my first action wrong?
Who would be able to clear such a boss?
“It’s strange, Ichino-sama!”
“From what Carol heard, the boss of this dungeon is a large snake. There isn’t such a monster.”
“Ha!? … Maybe.”
“Yes, maybe this dungeon has two kinds of bosses.”
Because we used the shortcut, we arrived at the other boss room. So that’s the reason.
“All right, slash!”
I’ll attack before it explodes!
I used Slash on the gourd.
It hit ― a small explosion unlike before happened and its seeds scattered.
I guess I can’t break them either!
I couldn’t imagine Carol’s Charm working on a plant opponent either.
The other gourds would explode at this rate.
Should I burn them? I felt that burning them might cause an even larger explosion but I guess I’ll try.
“Ichino-sama! Look at this.”
Carol pointed at the ice wall.
The cracked ice wall.
What about it?
“The seeds in the ice wall didn’t become fruits.”
“Now that you mention it ―”
I looked around.
It wasn’t just the seeds embedded in ice. The seeds that fell near the ice wall did not become gourds.
The seeds need a certain temperature to turn into fruits.
Their weakness was ice.
“I don’t really get it but I guess it’s time for Ice Magic! Ice Rain.”
I excluded our surroundings and caused ice rain to fall all around us ― the surrounding temperature dropped.
But the effect was apparent.
The gourds that had swelled and were about to burst had all stopped moving.
It looked like the explosions have stopped.
But the door to the Goddess room didn’t open.
(What does this mean? But the frozen gourds no longer give off enemy presence ―)
I used Presence Detection.
Other enemies ― Hn?
There was one presence.
What? From the Gourd Tree?
Haru released a Slash.
A tree branch was sliced off ― and a monkey with a gourd on its back fell to the ground.
So even monkeys can fall from trees …
The monkey was carrying a golden gourd on its back.
No, the monkey and golden gourd was a single monster.
“It seems that you are the boss ― you made me do quite some work! Slash!”
The Slash I released cut the monkey and the gourd in half.
The large tree and gourds in the boss room disappeared while the golden gourd on the monkey’s back turned into a drop item along with a magic stone.
I leveled up as well.
Leaving that aside, a monkey and a golden gourd huh?
That sounds like a combination I heard about somewhere.
I’ll check my log later regarding my level and focus on checking the requested item first.
The golden gourd didn’t mean that it was made of gold.
It seemed to be a plant that shined golden.
“I hope this golden gourd doesn’t explode as well?”
There was a lid on the gourd with the words ‘Golden Wine’ written on it.
Taking off the lid, I smelled the stink of alcohol.
“Ichinojo-sama. This is the drop item of this dungeon’s boss but will it be all right? It is a different boss from expected.”
“It’s a request to display our ability anyway. I guess it should be fine? This magic stone is a lot larger compared to other small fry monsters so it will do and can serve as proof that we defeated a boss. More importantly, let’s proceed.”
I said and stepped toward the Goddess Statue.
Minerva-sama’s Goddess Statue was enshrined there.
And there was a door separate from the door we entered by.
(I’m bad with Minerva-sama.)
The other time I met her with Miri, she tried to kill herself every time she spoke.
Well, according to Miri, she won’t actually kill herself so it won’t be a problem. In fact, just because I pray here doesn’t mean that I would be transported to the Goddess-sama space as always.
“All right, let’s pray.”
I said and the three of us prayed together.
Before I knew it, I was alone in the usual pure white Goddess-sama space.
I was called over after all.
Eh, Minerva-sama wasn’t there.
There were just three roulettes.
“Minerva-sama, are you here?”
There was no reply.
What was going on?
Moreover … what is this sense of Deja vu?
I carefully surveyed the surroundings and noticed a piece of paper that had fallen beside one of the roulettes.
This was written on the paper.
【I’m off to die. Please do not look for me.】
― Yes, I will not look for you even if the thought comes to mind.