“Now then, let’s sleep early today and tomorrow we are going to be raising our level in the dungeon again. I think you already know, but my level is harder to raise than your average person, so I have to work harder or I won’t ever be able to catch up to you, Kuro.” (Jeanne)
“Hard to level…? First time I heard about that.” (Hikaru)
“Eh? Aah…right. You didn’t know about Hated Ones either… Even so, it is not like it is that complicated of a thing. I am hated by the Spirits, so my growth is subtly slow.” (Jeanne)
“Isn’t that quite the serious demerit…?” (Hikaru)
“No, it is not a big deal. If it were a speedrun, it would be a different story, but I can just conquer it slowly, and even if not, we have also taken aging resistance.” (Jeanne)
Jeanne isn’t bothered much about it, but with that logic, it could also mean that I grow faster as a Loved One.
I don’t know if my growth is faster. I have no target for comparison after all.
But it is certainly true that I can feel I am getting stronger day by day.
“Anyways, we increase our levels until we get our weapons. I am interested in the 3rd Floor, but I still haven’t perfectly cleared the 2nd Floor.” (Jeanne)
“Perfect clear? Until you defeat a Mantis?” (Hikaru)
“That’s right. I met one the other time, but I decided not to fight it.” (Jeanne)
“Can’t see yourself winning yet?” (Hikaru)
“No…I did feel like I could win, but I was with Full-chan. Can’t leave things to chance here.” (Jeanne)
“Right. Then, let’s go around together until a Mantis shows up. If we go around for 2 days, it should show up at least once. Whichever the case, we gotta test whether you can defeat a Mantis alone. Accidents would be scary after all.” (Hikaru)
If it is harder for Jeanne to level up, I can just support her for a while. Whichever the case, it is difficult to move around solo in the 3rd Floor. It is not like I can’t, but accidents can still happen, and there’s also the Garden Panther.
“Then, from tomorrow on, let’s move around the 2nd Floor while competing on who can defeat as many monsters as possible.” (Jeanne)
“Isn’t a competition dangerous?” (Hikaru)
“It is okay to get a little injured. I have natural regeneration, and also have potions. Most of all, if you get used to fights that have too much of a safety margin, it would get dangerous instead when there are risky battles. You should understand that too, right, Kuro? Your battle style is far more dangerous than mine after all. You didn’t even have any decent armor on you.” (Jeanne)
“Well, you do have a point there. Hahaha.” (Hikaru)
Monsters get far stronger just from going one floor lower.
Even if we were to clear only floors that fit our strength, if we want to aim for lower floors, we will eventually end up fighting enemies above our mettle, and can end up in risky battles through accidents.
If we panic at those moments, we would be done for.
In order for that to not happen, our usual way of fighting will become important. That must be what Jeanne is trying to tell me here.
It is not like we are just diving into the dungeon to earn money for our livelihood.
If it is just for earning money, it would be more stable to just continue in the 2nd Floor.
Jeanne must have felt something again, she looks around the place restlessly.
“Was that my imagination…? I once again felt an arrow-like gaze…” (Jeanne)
“Aren’t you just tired?” (Hikaru)
Today all that’s left is to go eat, bath, and sleep.
Since Jeanne came, I feel like I have been able to have a stable lifestyle.
I still don’t have a grasp of the culinary preferences of Jeanne, so we may be eating out a lot (also in part because I am dead tired after working in the dungeon) but I am thinking about starting to cook for ourselves.
(That or it might really be better to just hire a maid.) (Hikaru)
Right now we are in the dungeon from morning to evening, and we are most likely going to keep this pace the whole time. There’s no time for house chores.
Outsourcing for the house chores is a decision that is worth considering.
“What should we do for our meal? If you are tired, we can just finish it up quickly in a food cart.” (Hikaru)
“Right, let’s do that.” (Jeanne)
Jeanne agreed to my proposal, and so we will be eating at a food cart.
By the way, the equipment is inside my Shadow Storage, so Jeanne and I have nothing in our hands. Having Shadow Storage at times like this is handy.
In this city there’s something like a food cart street. It is close to the dungeon, and it is prospering with explorers.
There’s meat, fish, and vegetables too. Noodles, bread, and deep-fried food. There’s no rice, but it is most likely not made around here, or more likely, not in this continent. There’s even the chance it doesn’t exist.
By the way, it is possible to buy onigiris with Crystals, so it is not like it is impossible to eat. Well, I am the type that can eat pretty much anything, so there’s no need to go out of my way to buy it with Crystals.
I separate from Jeanne for now and buy something I want.
I bought a grilled meat skewer and bread.
We both eat a lot, so we buy a lot too. I could eat 5-6 meat skewers of pretty decent size by myself, and after finishing it all, I would normally go for noodles too.
Food carts sell a variety of things, so it is fun to just walk around and eat.
The viewers most likely enjoy places like this that overflow with the isekai spirit. I buy this and that while thinking faintly about this.
“You bought that much?” (Hikaru)
“Yeah, I was hungry. We always explore while skipping lunch after all.” (Jeanne)
Jeanne came back with both hands full of many things.
I barely feel any hunger in the dungeon, but that’s most likely because I am a Loved One and I am supplied with Spirit Energy at all times.
On the other hand, Jeanne doesn’t have that supply, so even if it is better than the outside, she would still be getting hungry. It might be better to make a lunchbox from now on.
“Hungry. Really hungry. Kuro, my hands are full, so feed me.” (Jeanne)
Jeanne closed her eyes and opened her mouth.
Hmm… In Japan, this stuff is done by couples…
It must work differently in France. It is probably simply because her hands are occupied.
I can feel the difference in culture here among earthlings even though we are in an isekai. What a mysterious thing.
I fed Jeanne stuff like meat skewers and bread while I myself ate too, and the surroundings began to grow noisy.
How to say it, this is a weird atmosphere.
I feel a pressure as if a Demon Lord had suddenly appeared in this prosperous street.
“Finally showing yourself. I have felt your gaze the whole day, but the culprit is that person.” (Jeanne)
Jeanne says while directing her gaze to the crowd.
I looked back and the one who was standing there was…
Shining platinum blonde hair that doesn’t lose its lustre even in the evening.
Big unyielding almond colored eyes.
Long slender legs that are around half of her body.
A giant sword at her back like an iron pillar.
It was Rifreya who should have returned to her home, Siltia, to take the templar exam.
“Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-You…! Hikaru, you CHEATEEEEEEEEER!!” (Rifreya)
The moment our gazes met, Rifreya, who was standing imposingly, shouted this.
The food cart street that was crowded with people all had their gazes concentrated at me and Rifreya.
“Hoh! In other words, that’s the rumored girlfriend…huh. Wow, ain’t that a beauty.” (Jeanne)
Jeanne says nonchalantly, but I don’t have the time for that.
Isn’t she most likely having an unbelievable misunderstanding here?
No, it is not most likely.
I am being treated as a cheater!
Or more like, why is she here? What about the templar exam?!
“In the brief time…! I wasn’t here! To think! It would turn out like this! Isn’t this weird? Isn’t this weird?! That woman…you seem to be getting along awfully well with her!” (Rifreya)
Rifreya comes this way with long strides and shoulders trembling.
How to say it, that’s quite the impressive aura. There’s something overflowing from her that’s even more impressive than the time we fought the Demon Lord.
“Rifreya, didn’t you go back to your home?” (Hikaru)
“Home?! Is there something bad about me coming back?! It has only been a few days since I left, and yet, you are flirting and flirting and flirting with an unknown woman…” (Rifreya)
“Ah, no no no no, we are not like that at all, you know…?” (Hikaru)
“Hmm? It seems like you bought quite the expensive gorget plate for her at the store that I showed you, though? And you put it on for her. Also, you even fed her while she was going ‘a~hn’. Things are so unexpected that I can’t really digest what’s going on here. Hey, Hikaru…you are Hikaru, right?” (Rifreya)
“No, as I said, it is not like that. Anyways, you are misunderstanding right now.” (Hikaru)
Even though it really isn’t like that, it for some reason ended up sounding like an excuse.
It is the fault of the pressure of Rifreya being this outstanding.
Or maybe there’s something I feel guilty about regarding Jeanne.
No, none. There’s nothing like that.
But I am sure Rifreya isn’t the type that would go ‘I see, I see’ and understand.
What should I do?