We walked our way to the lord’s mansion while we were having harmless talk.
At that time, I asked her about the reason why the color had left the giant crystal at the entrance of the dungeon…the Spirit Stone.
The spawning of a Demon Lord happens when the stagnation of the dungeon (called the Demonic Swirl) accumulates to a certain threshold. And when the Demon Lord is subjugated, that stagnated part gets cleared instantly, and it goes to the state it is now.
However, the inside of the dungeon is ‘way too clean’ in this state, so the spawning of monsters decreases quite a lot. That’s why, for a certain period of time after the Demon Lord subjugation, it is prohibited to enter the dungeon.
In other words, the spawning of a Demon Lord and its subjugation, everything has been factored in in the management of the dungeon. I feel like this is a pretty tightrope walk here, but it is probably difficult to not rely on the resources of the dungeon at this point in time.
Rifreya drew a lot of eyes on the way to the venue.
She had light that couldn’t help but draw the eyes of others.
She will most likely become the best Light Templar.
She is on the complete opposite spectrum from me who can only live by being smeared in darkness.
My chance meeting with Rifreya in this city, at that dungeon, was a miracle in itself, and the whim of God.
The party venue that is the lord’s mansion is located in the Great Water Spirit’s ruling territory. It is pretty far away from the dungeon. It is also far away from the Great Spirit’s church, so it doesn’t seem like there will be any problems with a Loved One like me participating.
Since learning that Great Spirits come to eat Loved Ones, I have been careful about the distance to the Great Church to the point of being paranoiac.
“What an incredible mansion… Is the lord here a noble?” (Hikaru)
“Of course he is. The one who owns this land is Count Pelme. The predecessor of the count invited the Great Spirits to this land, and that’s how the history of the dungeon city apparently began.” (Rifreya)
“Eh, you didn’t know, Hikaru? In order to make a dungeon, you need to gather at least 3 Great Spirit-samas, you know?” (Rifreya)
“I did hear that before, but…I see, a human gathered Great Spirits, and purposely made a dungeon that spawned monsters.” (Hikaru)
Whichever the case, this is a big mansion.
It is not a castle, but the plot is vast and it is like a 2 story palace with a garden.
Judging from the watchtowers and the old stone walls, it must be a pretty old building.
It might have been there since before it became a dungeon city.
We managed to get inside freely, and it was possible to get to the venue just like that.
As a Japanese person, this kind of place gives me the image that it has strict security, but it might actually be pretty unexpectedly lax.
“Ah! You guys…!”
“Yeah, it really is them! Do you have a bit of time?”
Being called, I turned around, and there were men I think I have seen before.
Their impression changes quite a lot with their attires being different, but it seems to be the party that was kicked about in front of the stairs to the 2nd Floor.
By the time we arrived then, everyone was in tatters and completely exhausted, but at least it seems like they have recovered enough to show up to the party.
I have not witnessed the end results of it after all. So they have all survived, huh. Or maybe some of their group died to the Demon Lord? I can’t tell.
A boy in their group -that is quite a bit young compared to the others- was looking over here with glittery eyes.
The young man that seems to be their leader continued the conversation.
“You saved us there. If not for your help, we would have been wiped out. Please let us give you our thanks.”
“No no, the ones who saved you directly are Alex and the others. We came slightly afterwards.” (Hikaru)
At that time, the ones already fighting were Alex and the others.
We simply came in to back them up.
“Of course, we are grateful to them too. They are the 3 of the Thunder Fangs who are the rising energetic party. It was impressive how they managed to last that long against a Demon Lord.”
Thunder Fangs…? That’s their party name?
They are pretty nice guys, but with them giving themselves such a strong-sounding name, I feel like it is more because of taste here…
Well…they must be at the age where they like that sort of stuff. Or maybe it comes from the Canadian taste of Alex? A Japanese person would be too embarrassed to give themselves a name like that, but he is probably the type that would just push it through…
The explorer young man added a ‘but’ after giving his gratitude towards Alex and the others.
“…If it had only been them, the frontline would have crumbled really quickly. We were watching from the back, so we can tell. They were really strong, but it was natural that they were losing the initiative against a Demon Lord. If you guys hadn’t come, it would have ended in just a few minutes. If that happened, we would have been killed too.”
It is true that Alex doesn’t seem like he can fight in a team that well just yet.
I do think he did well for an earthling with less than 1 year of experience as an explorer, but it must have looked like they were lacking when fighting with just 3 against a Demon Lord.
Also, if we had lost, these guys would have been killed by the Demon Lord too.
The Demon Lord was aggressive, and didn’t look like the type that would let you go even if you can’t move.
So I say, but we are just talking of the results here.
If it had only been us without Alex and his group, we would have lost as well.
“Anyways, just accept our gratitude. You two…no, it is because you took command that we managed to stand our ground at that place.”
“Command, you say… It is simply that my battle style was compatible against that Demon Lord.” (Hikaru)
“That’s not true! I was watching the whole time while blowing the hunting horn. You gave orders and the Demon Lord moved exactly as you told…! It was as if you were seeing the future!”
The boy with sparkly eyes entered the conversation passionately.
The boy that was blowing the hunting horn desperately the whole time.
At that time he was in constant tears, so this gives me quite the different impression.
Anyways, it seems like I have been evaluated strangely here, but saying I can see the future is exaggerating it too much there.
The Demon Lord didn’t have that many move patterns.
Or more like, monsters themselves don’t have that many move patterns.
“…Well, at that time I was simply in a trance there, but I am glad to hear that I managed to save someone.” (Hikaru)
It is actually a victory we all managed to win with our joint efforts.
I simply fulfilled my own role, so I do feel like they are misunderstanding something here.
“Aah, Hikaru is getting embarrassed. Even though he can fight that well, his self-evaluation is low after all.” (Rifreya)
“No, it is not like I fought. I am simply good at buying time.” (Hikaru)
“See? He immediately goes and says stuff like that.” (Rifreya)
The evaluation Rifreya has of me is also strangely high, but that must be the biased opinion of being in a party together. Rifreya is a warrior, so there’s also the part of her having a good affinity with me.
“Hey hey, I have not seen you in this city before, Hikaru-san, but did you dive in a different dungeon somewhere? With that strength, you could be a Gnome Gold Rank, or…no, it wouldn’t even be strange if you were an Undine Mithril Rank.”
It seems like the Tiers of explorers work even in other dungeons.
The hunting horn boy probably misunderstood me as a veteran explorer that came from another dungeon.
If I were to tell him the truth, he would probably be disappointed, but there’s no real need to hide it.
“I am Bronze.” (Hikaru)
“Eh…? You are bronze? Meaning that you are Spiritus Rank…right?”
“Yeah, I became an explorer just recently.” (Hikaru)
“No way… To think you were a Spiritus…”
- Chapter 113: The Truth of the Darkness and Guild Staff
For the boy, the ranking of explorers is most likely an absolute thing. Naturally, he fell silent when he heard I am bronze.
My rank is most likely lower than his, so it can’t be helped.
“Awesome! That’s awesome! People say experience is king in the dungeon, so when I heard that you can fight better the higher your Tier is…I thought it would still be impossible for me, but there’s people like Hikaru-san who can already be fight ready!!”
“Uhm…that’s a different reaction from what I expected.” (Hikaru)
I thought he would react with ‘what, so you were a bronze?’, but the boy reacted in the opposite way.
But that’s troubling in itself.
I can fight only because of the special abilities that I got as a Chosen.
There’s the Affection of Spirits as well, but I also have Points that I can use to buy powerful potions and Barrier STones, so I am counting on those when I am exploring.
In other words, I am completely cheating the system here.
“No…I could fight to begin with. It is not like I could suddenly be battle ready.” (Hikaru)
“I-I see… That’s a given, right?”
Looks like he has swallowed my lie at least.
It is not like the only means to get stronger are in the dungeon.
They have seen me use Spirit Abilities a whole lot, so I was a bit worried that it would be exposed that I am a Loved One, but it looks like that was needless worry.
Well, it seems like there’s no Loved One that can use Spirit Abilities in this world, so they probably only see me as a skilled guy…or a guy that has a whole ton of spirit energy potions.
And in reality, Jojordan alone had used his abilities more than 20 times with just the healing abilities and the Water Screen alone. I think going all the way to 30 times is within the realm of possibility.
The boy is most likely 2 years younger than me. I have increased my age by 2 years when I came to this world, so maybe it would be more accurate to say 4 years?
Whichever the case, the dungeon is a place where you place your life on the line.
You should think of pushing yourself as surely dying.
“I am thinking about making a contract for Dark Spirit Abilities just like you, Hikaru-san! You were really cool after all!”
Just when I was relieved here, the boy threw a bomb at me.
His comrades around also shrugged their shoulders.
No, please stop him.
“…No, I don’t recommend darkness. If you are going for something, Light is far stronger.” (Hikaru)
“If you are going to be working as an explorer from here on, you really shouldn’t go for darkness… You should go for water or light. It takes quite a lot of time before darkness becomes strong… It doesn’t have any attack abilities either.” (Hikaru)
That was close. I was about to unintentionally drop the boy into the literal thorny path of darkness.
I have gotten pretty knowledgeable about Spirit Abilities now, but if I had to put it bluntly out there, darkness isn’t strong.
For light, there’s Light and Cure Glow which are handy and easy to use, and I don’t know about the 3rd Ability, but the 4th Ability is the Photon Ray that’s like a beam cannon.
It has the trifecta of support, healing, and attack.
The Water Spirit Abilities also have strong healing abilities, and the Water Screen managed to block the fire breath of the Demon Lord.
Compared to that, darkness has no direct defensive means or attack means or healing means.
They are all support abilities. It is because I am a Loved One that it looks a bit strong.
If the boy gets darkness, even if it were to be raised to a certain degree, he would simply evolve into a bit of a better porter that can use Shadow Bag.
In that sense, if I had made a contract for Light Spirit Abilities, I could have even had the chance of being unmatched by spamming Photon Ray.
…Well, I now have an attachment towards Dark Spirit Abilities, and it has saved me countless times already, so I won’t be changing my contract though.
Even after we parted ways, several other explorers spoke to us.
That’s just how much Rifreya and I stood out in that fight.
And the reality is that, even when I forfeited from the Viewer Count Race, my viewership didn’t decrease.
If I remember correctly, there were close to 1.5 billion people at the end.
That’s how rough of a fight it was.
Of course, if there had been strong explorers, I think it would have been a fight we could have won easily.
The sky was going dark and the party had begun.
It is a buffet style party. The attire of all the explorers was prettier than I thought, but there were a decent amount who were wearing things that were no different from casual clothes, so there was a lot of variety.
There were a lot more female explorers who were dressed up compared to the men.
As expected of the lord’s mansion, even when it is indoors, it is pretty bright.
A chandelier is shining brilliantly at the ceiling. Looks like it is furnished with a light magic tool.
Rifreya went to where the other female explorers were to greet them, and I also went there to give my thanks to the healer girl from the Crimson Vials that helped me.
And then, I immediately gave an excuse about going to the toilet to slip away, leaned on the wall by myself, and am now watching the whole place absentminded.
I am still not used to places with a lot of people.
I was originally not good with them, but it has gotten worse since comoing to this world.
A staff member of the guild that I have seen before had a binder in hand and was going around speaking to the explorers.
It is a mystery what they are asking around, but it seems to be work. Even though they are in a party… Seems to be quite the rough job.
The greeting of the lord had begun, and he spoke words of appreciation for the Demon Lord subjugation.
The dungeon city apparently can’t maintain its form without explorers, so that means even the lord is treasuring the explorers.
It may be called a party, but it seems to simply be an event to gather and have pleasant talks and a meal.
The condition is that you have to have participated in the Demon Lord subjugation that time, but I don’t think you can tell whether someone here has participated or not.
Well, they probably have already accounted for that.
It is most likely something like a welfare from the lord to the explorers.
“Ah, sorry, do you have a bit of time?”
While I was eating something similar to gyoza by myself, the female staff member of the guild spoke to me.
I don’t know what she was asking around with a binder in hand, but it seems like it is my turn now.
“We have investigated the contribution of this time’s Demon Lord subjugation. Please let me ask a number of questions. Uhm, first of all, is there no doubt that you are Hikaru-san?”
The staff member asks me this while looking at my face intently as if half in doubt.
I rarely show myself at the guild, so it looks like she doesn’t remember my face in the first place.
“That’s right. Spiritus Bronze Rank. Is something the matter?” (Hikaru)
“In this time’s subjugation, it seems like you will be the number one achiever.”
An unexpected thing was told to me.