TLN: This one counts as one sponsored chapter! Thanks a lot to the sponsors and patreons!
Taking a leisurely 2 hours, the demon lord subjugation team had broken through the 2nd Floor.
We are now in the 3rd Floor.
It is apparently customary that the demon lord subjugation starts from 2 floors above the floor that it was found in, and if it is a Demon Lord found in the 5th Floor, they begin searching from the 3rd Floor.
“There’s the chance the Demon Lord is already on this floor! Be on alert, everyone!”
The big man at the front shouted.
So he says, but there’s apparently rarely any cases where one has gone up 2 Floors in such a short period of time. It hasn’t been long since it appeared, and they say that the highest possibility is that it is staying in the 5th Floor.
Alex and I are participating as porters, but one can tell by our equipment, we are totally planning on participating in the battle. It is a subjugation team that’s around 40 people in total. Probably no one would be bothered if porters were to participate in the battle as well.
“Demon Lords apparently get stronger as they go up the floors. Did you know that?” (Alex)
“No, I didn’t.” (Hikaru)
“It seems like it was pretty strong already in the 5th Floor, so if it were to come up all the way to the 3rd Floor, I think it would have become strong enough that people of our level wouldn’t even be able to face them. What do we do if that happens?” (Alex)
Slight fear was shown in the face of Alex.
He was laughing just a few moments ago about looking forward to fighting a Demon Lord, but maybe the pressure got to him as the moment approached.
…But this is the normal reaction.
Gleefully wanting to fight is not a normal mindset after all.
You could even say that Alex, who has come to this demon lord subjugation just because it seemed amusing, falls into the category of people who are quite willful.
“I will fight the Demon Lord no matter the floor it shows up in. I came here for the sake of that.” (Hikaru)
“Hikaru… Right, they do say that luck smiles upon heroes, so now that we have come this far, we gotta do it…!” (Alex)
Alex psyches himself up with an ‘alright!’.
Yeah, now that we have come this far, we have no choice but to do this.
I opened the Status Board and checked my viewer count.
I thought it would decrease because I took a break yesterday, but it actually has gone up.
(It is 900 million…! Still 4 days remaining and 1st place in the Real Time Rankings. If I am in the 3rd place in the Total Ranking, I have plenty enough chance. It is going up to a strange degree even though I still haven’t met the Demon Lord. A synergizing effect might have happened because I spoke to Alex.) (Hikaru)
Actually, the viewer count increased quite a bit in the date with Rifreya yesterday.
Rifreya was beautiful yesterday. Her sparkling figure under the sunlight must have been a sight that even the people on Earth couldn’t take their eyes off.
Or maybe it came from their hatred of me hanging around with her.
…Killing his childhood friend and yet dating an isekai beauty. That would definitely be a great headline for them.
Today’s plan is apparently to check the 3rd Floor to see if the Demon Lord is here.
We will be sweeping the floor for a whole day with 2 rotations of 12 hours each. If the Demon Lord is not found, the next day we will apparently begin the search in the 4th Floor. In other words, even with these numbers, we are technically split in two.
If we end up missing the Demon Lord by some strange prank of fate, it will go up the floors. At worst, it could even come out to the surface. That’s apparently the scenario that must be prevented at all costs.
According to Alex: ‘the Great Spirits would come out in order to defeat the Demon Lord, and it will turn into an irreversible situation’. If that happens, it will be impossible to return the Great Spirits to their churches, and the spirit energy balance of the dungeon will crumble and it will perish.
That’s why the Demon Lord alone must definitely be exterminated.
That’s the duty of the city that has created a dungeon artificially.
“Now then, we will be dividing you all into 3 groups! Spread in whatever manner you wish!”
With the order of the man in the front, the explorers spread out in 3 groups in a haphazard manner.
“Well then, I will be regrouping with the boys! Let’s do our best so we don’t die!” (Alex)
“Yeah, let’s do our best.” (Hikaru)
Alex pushes his fits out, and I bump fist with him before we go our separate ways.
Looks like Rifreya is at the opposite side of Alex’s party.
It seems to be a group with a lot of women…
“Ah, Hikaru! Over here, over here!” (Rifreya)
Rifreya is beckoning me over with a smile. The gazes of the fully armored women gathered on me, and it felt incredibly uncomfortable…
“Heeh~! So this is your boyfriend, Rifreya-chan. Ah, I am Gloria. Nice to meet you.”
“I am Moapple! I have heard about you from Full-nan. You saved her in the 2nd Floor. I would like to thank you too-nan!”
“Woaah, you really are completely in black!”
3 women unrestrainedly close the distance, and it flusters me. One of them is a lynx.
Or more like, this group is full of women!
“Hey hey hey, Hikaru is troubled here.” (Rifreya)
Rifreya helped me out here, but she is hugging my arm, so it is pulling their attention even more.
Even the 3 other women whistled at this.
“There was talk that Rifreya-chan, who was said to not have interest in men, had suddenly gotten a nice man, so I was wondering what was going on here, but…that’s so nice.”
“There’s a lot of encounters, but the explorer men are all kinda the same.”
“Hikaru-kun looks like an upstart, but that’s also fresh and cute.”
“Now that you mention it, there haven’t been those types until now!”
The female explorers were saying what they pleased.
Honestly speaking, I am super bad at dealing with these unreserved gazes.
I wanted to hide in the darkness, but using Darkness Fog here would stand out way too negatively here.
“Now now, everyone, leave the talk already and let’s get going! The Demon Lord might be here, so you might die if you are not careful!”
“Ye~s!” “Yes!” “Yes-nan!”
“Also, Rifreya-chan and the boyfriend, follow us for now.”
The red haired woman in red armor seems to be the leader of this group.
Her bright red full body armor stands out, but her giant axe on her back stands out even more. Just how much physical strength does one need to have to swing around an axe like that?
It looks heavier than the greatsword of Rifreya.
With one order of the red haired explorer, she grabbed hold of everyone, and the exploration started.
The 3 parties advance in different directions.
We are a party of 14 including me. You could say it is Rifreya and me plus 2 other parties. Rifreya and I are in charge of keeping guard of the back.
“Sorry about just now. Everyone knows that I am diving with you, so it turned out like that.” (Rifreya)
“It can’t be helped. By the way, that lynx person…could it possibly be that she is not hired?” (Hikaru)
“That’s right. Moa-san is a big veteran that has been treading this line of work for 10 years. Her Tier is apparently pretty high too.” (Rifreya)
“She does look strong.” (Hikaru)
Apple-san was taking the job of a scout and hopping ahead.
Grapefull and the other hired lynxes most likely aim to be like her.
Her armor is all mithril and it looks cool.
This might be what you would call the senior you aspire to become.
- Chapter 092: Magic Silver Rank’s battle and a Thread of Hope
TLN: Hey guys, Reigokai here!
Just a bit of clarification. Magic Silver Rank is another way of saying Mithril Rank in this story, and it is also Undine Rank. That’s just confusing, so I will just call it Mithril or Undine Mithril when mentioned.
Magic silver will still be used if used in other contexts, but having 3 names would get confusing. Maybe that’s just me?
We begin the exploration in the 3rd Floor, the Straying Big Mist Garden, that has mist shrouding it.
Because each group went their separate ways, it didn’t take long for the other teams to come out of sight.
“If we find the Demon Lord, how do we regroup with the other teams?” (Hikaru)
“For the 3rd Floor, it would be the hunting horn.” (Rifreya)
“Hunting horn?” (Hikaru)
According to Rifreya, the hunting horn is a Wind Spirit Tool, and depending on the location of the 3rd Floor you are in, you blow on it in a certain way, and we tell each other the location of the Demon Lord in that way.
“Then there’s the need for practice.” (Hikaru)
“That’s right. I haven’t participated, but the guild does group training every now and then. Cause if you don’t know the phrases, you won’t even know where the relayed location is after all… So I say, but apparently it has been several years since a Demon Lord has come all the way to the 3rd Floor.” (Rifreya)
“What about the 4th Floor?” (Hikaru)
“The team in the 4th Floor that finds it would shoot fireworks towards the waterfall. You can see that waterfall from almost anywhere on that floor.” (Rifreya)
“I see. They have thought it through.” (Hikaru)
The 3rd Floor is a mist floor. Even if you find the Demon Lord, what’s the point if they can’t even rush to support each other. That’s why they use the hunting horn phrases to relay each other’s location.
Moapple-san, who went ahead inside the mist, returned.
“2 Gre, 2 Tro.” (Moapple)
The names were shortened just like a veteran party. Must be a mixed party of 2 Gremlins and 2 Trolls.
It is a pain of a combination within the monsters that show up in this floor.
Now then, what to do.
“Hikaru, you haven’t properly watched how other explorers fight, right?” (Rifreya)
“I have but, now that you mention it, not high ranked explorers.” (Hikaru)
I would say silver rank at most. It would be my first time seeing gold, and more so mithril rank which is higher than that.
The leader of the party is the red haired one.
All 6 are combatants. When it comes to parties of that level, it seems there’s no ‘member that doesn’t fight’ regardless if they are porters or any other role.
“So they aren’t hiring a porter.” (Hikaru)
“They have a magic storage bag after all.” (Rifreya)
“What’s that?” (Hikaru)
“You have a dark storage in your Spirit Abilities, right? It is a magic tool that replicates that.” (Rifreya)
“There’s even something like that…? No, there’s a Magic Tool that can replicate water healing abilities, so this is natural, huh.” (Hikaru)
The Deposition of Darkness, Shadow Bag, is the 3rd or 4th ability I learned, if I remember correctly. It is not like it is some advanced ability. So it is not impossible to turn it into a magic tool, huh.
“It costs around 25 gold coins though.” (Rifreya)
“That much?” (Hikaru)
Magic tools are expensive to begin with, but 25 gold coins is really something. That’s a price that could build a house.
Well, that must be testament to how important it is though.
By the way, that it has the same storage capacity as Shadow Bag means that it has enough space to store Spirit Stones for a single exploration.
Spirit Stones that Mithril Rank parties can get from monsters are mostly pretty big, so it must be pretty rough to move with a rucksack full of those.
“Ah, they have begun.” (Rifreya)
A mixed party of Gremlins and Trolls are apparently pretty problematic if you fight them upfront.
We have only fought with the method of separating the Gremlins and Trolls, so I only know about how annoying they are from information though. The Gremlins apparently get in the way of defeating the Trolls by using Spirit Abilities, and that’s apparently a pain.
Gremlins are mostly at the back of the Trolls, so if you fight them normally, you would have to defeat the Trolls first, or you won’t be able to get to the Gremlins.
While you are taking your time with the Trolls, you will be annoyed by the Spirit Abilities of the Gremlins, and the frontline is prone to crumbling from that.
Now then, as for how the Mithril Ranks fight…
“Aah, I see…” (Hikaru)
It ended in an instant.
First, one of the Gremlins was defeated by the shot of an arrow, and at the next instant, the thin sword of Moapple-san pierced the other one and died.
I honestly couldn’t tell when Moapple-san had slipped past the Trolls and got at the back.
One of the Trolls was split in two by the sweeping strike of the red haired leader’s giant axe, and the last one was slain by a spear.
“It was so impressive I couldn’t learn anything.” (Hikaru)
“That was overwhelming. As expected.” (Rifreya)
It was literally ‘on a whole other level’.
It is close to that feeling of low level monsters in games not being an opponent at all. So this is how it looks in real life…
“What floor do they dive in?” (Hikaru)
“The 6th Floor. They are the few explorer parties that can get through the 5th Floor, Hell to Glory.” (Rifreya)
“6th Floor! Isn’t that the current lowest floor?” (Hikaru)
It still isn’t known how many floors this dungeon has in total.
However, by having someone exploring till the 5th Floor and bringing information back, other explorers can hunt monsters more safely.
Diving to the 6th Floor, the Dawn of the Great Plain, that has no information circulating would be like wearing a blindfold. You would be fighting unknown monsters.
That is an ‘exploration’ in the real meaning of the word. You could even say these girls are one of the few ‘real explorers’ in this dungeon.
“Uhm…Hikaru, there’s no way this is possible, but could it be that you don’t know about them…the Crimson Vials?” (Rifreya)
“Nope, didn’t know.” (Hikaru)
“Eh?! They are the most famous explorer party in this city…! And here I felt something was off when we were talking…” (Rifreya)
“It has only been about a few weeks since I came to this city… Then, those people are the Crimson Vial party?” (Hikaru)
“That’s right. They are all Undine Mithril Rank. It is said the leader Garnet-san is close to reaching Salamander Rank.” (Rifreya)
That’s impressive. Salamander Rank is the number one rank -in other words, the highest.
This city currently doesn’t have anyone in Salamander Rank, so that means this is the party with the highest contribution, huh.
In my previous world, physical work was normally handled by men.
But this world has Tiers and Spirit Abilities.
That’s one of the reasons why a relatively short man like me can fight.
Of course, there’s no issue with women fighting as well. What’s most important in a party is teamwork.
“You know a party like that? That’s impressive, Rifreya.” (Hikaru)
“At the time when I was forming a party with the girls of my household, we were also a party mainly of girls, so they treated us well. They said it is also the duty of the ones above to look after their juniors.” (Rifreya)
“I see. Well, it is true that it is mostly men after all.” (Hikaru)
It is not that I know a lot about explorers, but it is true that a cursory glance at it made me feel that it is an industry with mostly men.
It would feel constraining for the women, so they must have taken a stance of helping each other out.
“The party of Gloria-san is also famous, you know? The Sneeze of the Goddess is a cute party name, but it is powerful.” (Rifreya)
Only the 6 of the Crimson Vials participated in that battle just now.
Us and the remaining 6 were on standby. Those other ones must be the Sneeze of the Goddess.
Beginning with the brunette Gloria that has wavy tied up hair, everyone has heavy equipment, and they are a party that seems like they have strong rushing force.
“Wait, Rifreya-chan, you are calling this delicate and cute maiden ‘powerful’? Call me elegant, beautiful, and strong.” (Gloria)
“Oh, you were listening, Gloria-san?” (Rifreya)
“Of course I would. When speaking of powerful, you fit the bill more, Rifreya-chan -using a ridiculously big sword like that.” (Gloria)
“I am aiming to become an explorer that doesn’t lose in power against monsters after all. I am far from reaching my master though.” (Rifreya)
It seems Gloria-san and her group are the same generation as Rifreya (a bit older though), and it seems like she is in a more casual relationship with the Crimson Vials.
“Even so, the crimson lady and her party really are impressive. The 3rd Floor monsters are nothing to them.” (Gloria)
“Crimson lady?” (Hikaru)
“Ahaha, the nickname of Garnet-neesan.” (Gloria)
Bright red armor, red hair, and swinging a giant red axe. You could even say Garnet-san is the incarnation of fire.
That red color of hers might have the effect of attracting the monsters -like a matador.
“Whichever the case, it seems like today will be a cozy exploration. It would be a different story if a panther shows up, but that doesn’t show often.” (Gloria)
“Eh? The Demon Lord won’t show up?” (Hikaru)
“Ahaha~. A Demon Lord takes several days to go up even one floor and accumulate power after all~. If it has been found 2 days ago in the 5th Floor, the chances are that maybe it is in the 4th Floor or maybe not. Even so, there have been past exceptions, so we are simply confirming the 3rd Floor properly too.” (Gloria)
I see. It is fine to face it in the 3rd Floor, but it would be dangerous if they search the 4th Floor and then it ends up with the Demon Lord having already arrived at the 3rd Floor and going up to the 2nd Floor, huh.
This probably is telling of how big the increase in power is as it goes up in floors.
“Then, tomorrow will be the 4th Floor?” (Hikaru)
“That’s right~. Hikaru-kun, do you have experience in the 4th Floor?” (Gloria)
“Then, stick to the backs of these onee-sans, okay? We will protect you.” (Gloria)
Gloria-san winks at me.
But at this rate, there’s the chance I can see the monsters in the 4th Floor I haven’t seen yet. If we go down all the way to the 5th Floor, I can see from up-close the clearing method of veterans.
The next ones fighting will apparently be them, the Sneeze of the Goddess.
I watch that from a faraway location and think.
(I am glad I managed to get 1st place on viewers.) (Hikaru)
If my current Real Time Ranking wasn’t 1st, I might have gone as far as going down to the 4th Floor alone to meet the Demon Lord.
I was completely tormenting myself yesterday until Rifreya brought me out, and I actually did intend to do that.
However, if I am in a situation that can help me maintain 1st place, then the story is different. It would be scarier to push myself and end up dying.
It might be a negative way of thinking, but failing after coming this far…is what scares me the most.
I can get the Resurrection Gem. I can feel that I am this close already.
I operate the Status Board and read the description that I have seen several times already.
[Resurrection Gem: Sacred Treasure. The God Gem that brings back your important someone to life. The ones who died on Earth, the ones who died in the parallel world; it can be used for any of those two. Be careful as this will revive them at the place they died. If it isn’t someone important to you, it won’t be possible to revive them.]
If I get 1st place, I can revive Nanami.
I don’t know in what way that will change my life, and maybe it might not change it at all.
Even if I manage to revive Nanami, the place she will be revived in is ‘the place she died’. In other words, in her room on Earth.
I don’t have the means to even know if she actually revived.
But that’s fine too.
Right now, even if I can’t think of anything, even if I can’t find any meaning in living in this world, if I can accomplish that one thing of reviving my childhood friend, I will -at the very least- feel that coming to this world…being hated by the whole planet had meaning.
I don’t know if that’s hope or pointless sentimentality.
Even so, that’s the only thing I can cling to.
I can’t return to my original world, and have no choice but to live in this world while being exposed to the gazes of curiosity.
I have no choice but to do this…until my last days.