ZAP – Chapter 41: Eugene acquires the Challenge Rights

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—There’s a system called ‘contract’ in the world of magic.

It is a system that was made with the objective of making up for the lack of talent or ability of someone.

It is something that I as a swordsman was not that acquainted with, but I have gotten knowledgeable about it lately.

There’s 5 types of contracts in total.

-Word Contract: It is technically a verbal promise, but the effect is low unless both parties trust each other.

-Body Contract: It is the one where the effect activates with the skinship of the body. It is also called the Love Contract.

-Blood Contract: A contract that activates between siblings or in-laws. An apprentice is apparently fine as well.

-Life Contract: The heaviest contract. If one side dies, the other dies too. However, the effects you get from it are outstanding. It is a contract that’s outlawed and forbidden by the Empire and the Holy Nation.

-Soul Contract: A contract that can’t be formed between people. It mostly activates when you offer your body to the Gods of the Divine Realm. In exchange, the believer gets an Ability from the Destiny Goddess.

By the way, it goes without saying that the contract I have with the Demon Lord Eri is…the Body Contract.

Sumire and I both pledged to conquer the Zenith Tower which is considered a Word Contract.

But there was a change to the details of that contract.

“Eugene-kun…♡.”

Sumire kissed me.

*Bwoooooooom!!!*

A fearsome fire tornado appeared.

“Gyaaaaaah!!”

“Giiiiiiiiiiiih!!”

We are in the Floor 80 Boss, the Arachne Queen’s den.

And the Arachnes that were protecting the queen were being burned by the fire magic of Sumire.

It is a spell that happens when her emotions peak, but the power is increasing day by day.

In the floors aside from the Floor Boss, it would trouble other explorers, so we can’t use it.

We got through Floor 70 just a few days ago, but with the Body Contract, my Mana Link with Sumire has been strengthened greatly.

As of present, I can use the Fire Blade with almost no time restriction.

But I can’t get close to the Arachnes in the first place due to the flames that Sumire is creating.

Moreover…

(……Kusukusukusukusu.)

(……Fufufufufufufu.)

(……Kya! Kya!)

When I am Mana Linked with Sumire, I have begun to hear strange voices.

I confirmed with Sumire and it seems like she can’t hear them.

A while after that, the Arachne Queen was enraged because Floor 80 was turned into a sea of fire and attacked us.

The Arachnes also attacked us from all sides to protect the Queen.

But the sad part for them is that their biggest weapon is their spider strings.

If caught, it is a strong string that can even bind up large size monsters, but it is extremely weak against fire.

They were all burned down before they could reach us.

“You bastaaaaaaaaaaardssssss!!!”

“……”

I get the back of the Arachne Queen that aimed directly at Sumire.

And then, I raised my sword high up and swung it down in one go.

“?!”

The Arachne Queen hurriedly turned around, but its head was severed before it could even scream.

“—!!!”

“—–!!!”

“—!!”

The Arachnes that have lost her queen began to scatter.

I looked at Sumire, and she was looking at me in a daze as she emitted fire on her surroundings.

“………”

“Sumire, I defeated the boss! Please stop your fire magic!” (Eugene)

“…Hmm? Eugene-kun…♡ More♡.” (Sumire)

“S-Sumire, calm down!” (Eugene)

Sumire was demanding another kiss with a dazed face.

Looks like she still hasn’t woken up from her mana dizziness.

—“Victory of the challengers~☆ Congratulations~!”

The Angel Voice echoes, but…it is a lot more loose than normal.

It was a colder voice in the lower floors though.

“…Hah!” (Sumire)

But Sumire snapped back thanks to that voice.

“Arya? It is over already?” (Sumire)

“Rather than over, it is more like you ended it…” (Eugene)

The Killer Bees of Floor 70 and the Arachnes of Floor 80 are all monsters that move in packs.

The type of Floor Bosses that would overwhelm the explorers under the command of their Queens.

You normally would need plenty of preparation and a good amount of explorers, but…

I looked around, and the fire of Sumire’s magic was finally waning.

The several hundred Arachne nests were all burned down.

(Dungeon Destroyer…) (Eugene)

I was the one who defeated the queen, but the actual spotlight should be Sumire.

“Let’s aim for Floor 90 next and do our best!!” (Sumire)

Sumire woke up from her mana dizziness and was raising her hands while going ‘hip hip hooray’ energetically.

It seems to be a culture of the parallel world.

“Hey☆ Eugene-kun!” (Sumire)

“Yeah.” (Eugene)

Anyways, the exploration is going well.

Sumire deals with the mob of monsters, and I defeat the Floor Boss.

Our party was conquering the Zenith Tower at breakneck speed.

◇The Tavern where Explorers gather: Perch Pavillion◇

Sara marched in while we were celebrating our success in Floor 80.

“Wait!! Calm down, Sara-chan! That’s not it! It was a necessary measure for the exploration!” (Sumire)

“Fufufufu…Sumire-chan, I am an idiot for believing in you… I shall turn all betrayers into rust of my Holy Sword…” (Sara)

“Stop! Stoooop! That Holy Sword is an important thing, right?! You shouldn’t use that in such a way!” (Sumire)

“It is okay…the Oracle-sama gave me the permission to use it as I wish. Now, Sumire-chan, I will deliver retribution after your words of repentance…” (Sara)

“Kya~! I will be killed~!” (Sumire)

“This is punishment. Delivering retribution upon a depraved skank…” (Sara)

Sara’s eyes are blank.

I think it is a joke, but…

“Sara, has your work in the Student Council settled down?” (Eugene)

When I spoke to Sara, she threw me a strong glare.

“You are horrible, Eugene! Doing something like that with Sumire-chan when you have me!” (Sara)

“Sara…I explained to you already. That’s the way to calm down the mana dizziness of Sumire.” (Eugene)

“I confirmed in the Satellite System’s records! It couldn’t be helped in the Floor Boss of Floor 70, but was the kiss after that really necessary?!” (Sara)

“Even if you say that, we are managing for the monsters on the way, so it is only against the Floor Bosses though?” (Eugene)

“Hey, Eugene, I am a party member too, right? In that case, shouldn’t our standings be equal?” (Sara)

“S-Sara…?” (Eugene)

“Sara-chan?!” (Sumire)

Sara blushed and placed a hand on my cheek with a bewitching gaze.

And then, she slowly moved her face closer.

Eh…? What in the world is she…

“What are you doing, Sara-chan?!” (Sumire)

“You just watch there, Sumire-chan -the depths of mine and Eugene’s love.” (Sara)

“O-Oi, Sara.” (Eugene)

Is she drunk? -is what I was thinking of asking, but the wine glass on top of the table was empty.

It looks like she drank the alcohol that I ordered.

In other words, she is drunk.

“Fufu.” (Sara)

She scooped her hair onto her ear, and her face approached mine while I was sitting.

“Awawa…” (Sumire)

Sumire had her eyes wide open and was all flustered.

The people in the tavern were also going ‘what’s going on?’ and turning their attention here.

(I can’t refuse this one…) (Eugene)

It is not like I don’t want to, but we are in public here.

I was wondering what to do, but at that moment…

“President Sara!”

“What are you doing?!”

“Please get away from him!!”

We were suddenly surrounded by people with good physique.

I remember their faces.

They are the 2nd year group of the Student Council Enforcement Division.

“Eugene, what do you plan on doing to President Sara!”

One of them grabbed my collar and raised me.

“Even if you ask me what I am doing…” (Eugene)

I am the one being approached here though.

“Wait, violence is—” (Sumire)

Sumire hurriedly tried to stop them, but…

“Let Eugene go this instant.” (Sara)

Sara reprimanded them with a clear voice that’s completely different from just before.

“President Sara, but…”

“Did you not hear me?” (Sara)

“Y-Yes ma’am!”

The man refused once, but he hurriedly let go at the call of Sara.

I fixed the slightly disheveled collar of my clothes.

“Sit on your knees there. What’s the meaning of this?” (Sara)

The men sat there obediently.

“A-About that…”

“Be clear!” (Sara)

Sara asked again with a strict tone.

As expected of the Student Council President.

“Hey, Eugene-kun.” (Sumire)

Sumire asked me in a low voice.

“What’s the matter, Sumire?” (Eugene)

“Who is that?” (Sumire)

“…Sara. Or more like, she was like that the first time we met her.” (Eugene)

“She is completely different when we are talking, so I forgot.” (Sumire)

Sumire made a surprised face.

“Sara is a Holy Maiden Candidate in Caldia. She is showing her real self when with us, but she is always like that when speaking with people of her own nation, you know.” (Eugene)

“I see… She must have it rough. If I remember correctly, a Holy Maiden is something similar to a king in Sara-chan’s country, right?” (Sumire)

“Yeah, the Holy Maiden Anna that saved the world in the past… Borrowing that title of hers, the highest rulers of the Holy Nation are called the 8 Holy Maidens. That said, it is not inherited, but chosen in an election, so it is a bit different from royalty.” (Eugene)

“An election?! That’s so modern!!” (Sumire)

“There’s apparently a lot of unlawful votes and bribery, and it is pretty hectic though.” (Eugene)

“I-I see…” (Sumire)

According to what I heard before, elections were held in the world of Sumire too.

The Empire has been united by the Grandflare royal family for centuries, so the custom of the people choosing a ruler is not a familiar one.

“President Sara, why are you forming a party with Eugene who is on the lowly Normal Department?!”

“You are one of the top candidates to become a Holy Maiden-sama!”

“You should be aiming to conquer the Last Dungeon together with us Templars!”

“We will soon be reaching the Trial of Gods in Floor 100! Please return to us instead of going with that pantry party!”

Sara was making a troubled look at the pleads of the Enforcement Division that were sitting on their knees.

I do want to go help her out, but I feel like it would just stir even more trouble.

“You people… We have been told to forget the standing we have on our respective nations in the Lykeion Academy, right? Also, Eugene’s party is in Floor 80, so the Trial of Gods isn’t that far off.” (Sara)

“B-But…!”

“We can’t accept it!”

“There’s no need for you people to accept it. This talk is over!” (Sara)

Sara stated bluntly.

The Enforcement Division men were leaving while directing sharp glares at me.

Sara sighed while returning to our table.

“Welcome back~, Sara-chan.” (Sumire)

“Haah, what a troublesome bunch.” (Sara)

“Sorry, because of me…” (Eugene)

“It is not your fault, Eugene… By the way…” (Sara)

She looked at me and Sumire with serious eyes.

“It is about what we were talking about just before. I will be coming back to the party from now on.” (Sara)

“Eeeh.” (Sumire)

“Don’t ‘eeeh’ me! I won’t allow you to steal the march any further, Sumire-chan!” (Sara)

“Okay~.” (Sumire)

“You got it too, Eugene?!” (Sara)

“Of course. But is your work for the preparations of the academy festival done?” (Eugene)

“I have done all the central things. The small stuff has been taken over by Teresia-san!” (Sara)

So it seems.

—And so, we are now back to exploring with all the members of the party.

◇Next Day◇

—Floor 81.

What spread before us once we got down the dungeon elevator was a pitch black cave.

Sumire, Sara, and I advance carefully in the dungeon while sticking real close together.

The reason why we are sticking close together is because the effective range of my barrier magic is small.

…*Zuzuzu*

A Big Worm that could swallow a Goblin whole passed closeby.

From Floor 81 and on, it is the nest of the Big Worms.

{Hiiih…} (Sumire)

Sumire is trembling.

{Eh…Eugene, your barrier magic allows us to not be noticed by monsters to this extent?} (Sara)

Sara said in surprise.

This is a floor she has been to already, so she is calm.

By the way, it seems like her reaction was similar to Sumire’s in her first time.

{This is the Hide Location that managed to deceive even the nose of Cerberus after all. Also, the Big Worm is a monster with weak sight, so I thought there would be no need of being discovered if we were to use soundproof magic like just now.} (Eugene)

{Even so, this is cheating. No wonder your speed of exploration is being called ‘the fastest in the recent century’….} (Sara)

{Hm?} (Eugene)

I looked at her after hearing those unfamiliar words.

{What do you mean by that?} (Eugene)

{Exactly as told. There’s no other exploration party that has been updating their floor record at such an outrageous speed. It is even being rumored in the Student Council that this is the return of the 9th Place Exploration Record Holder, the Rosalie Party.} (Sara)

{Rosalie J Walker…the Crimson Witch of the West Continent, huh.} (Eugene)

That’s surprising.

I didn’t know such rumors were being spread at all.

{Eugene-kun, is that a famous person?} (Sumire)

{Yeah, she apparently was enrolled in the Lykeion Magic Academy a long time ago, but it is a legendary exploration party that managed to reach Floor 300 in just a few years.} (Eugene)

{Wow, that’s impressive! But I wonder why she stopped after reaching Floor 300?} (Sumire)

{It is a mystery. I don’t know in detail either.} (Eugene)

{I know. It has been left in the records of the Student Council.} (Sara)

{Really?! Tell us, Sara-chan.} (Sumire)

{………}

I waited for the words of Sara since I was interested in this as well, but she stayed silent for a while as if finding it hard to say.

And then, she muttered.

{The leader of the party, Rosalie-san, was a genius mage, but was apparently outrageously lascivious too…

She put a hand on all the men in her party and, once that was discovered, the party dissolved. It was written as such in the records.} (Sara)

{{……Eh?}}

Sumire and I raised our voices at the same time.

I have learned the other face of the legendary explorer…

{And so, lascivious actions within the party are forbidden from here on. Okay, Sumire-chan?} (Sara)

{—!! That’s not fair! Mine is a rightful method to stop the mana dizziness! It is not lecherous!} (Sumire)

{You should be trying to get better in your mana control so that you don’t get mana dizzy in the first place! I won’t let you kiss Eugene ever again.} (Sara)

{That’s personal enmity! It is not a kiss! It is CPR for mana dizziness!} (Sumire)

{You two, be a bit more silent. We will get noticed by the monsters.} (Eugene)

{{Yes…}}

I hurriedly stopped the two who were heating up.

—And in this way, Sumire, Sara, and I managed to update our Floor Record even if it was a bit dicey.

◇10 days later◇

—Floor 91.

“Uwa! So beautiful!” (Sumire)

“I have seen it from the Satellite System, but seeing it in person really is breathtaking…” (Sara)

Sumire and Sara raised their voices in admiration.

“This certainly is a sight to behold…” (Eugene)

I was also not calm here.

Floor 91 is also a cave zone, but it is a complete change from the dim atmosphere until now.

The walls of the cave are being colored by the magic crystals of varying colors.

By the way, you can freely mine the magic crystals.

Monsters will be drawn by the sound of that though…

{Well then, let’s go.} (Eugene)

{Yeah!} (Sumire)

{Counting on you, Eugene.} (Sara)

When I said this, Sumire and Sara leaned their bodies on me.

It is a bit hard to relax like this.

I set the barrier spell, and we slowly advance through the sparkling dungeon.

“Gya gya!”

“Kekkeke!”

There was a pack of Goblins hunting animals faraway.

We took a detour as we advanced.

There was a dragon snoring at a different place.

We of course avoided that as we advanced.

There’s no uniformity in the monsters between Floor 91 to 99.

The monsters that have shown up until now appeared without any rhyme or rhythm.

That’s why it is hard to make countermeasures, but if you are lucky, there’s moments when only weak monsters show up.

We advanced silently in the dungeon.

{That said, the boss of Floor 90 was tough~.} (Sumire)

The first one to break the silence was Sumire.

{Yeah, it really was. We defeated it thanks to Eugene.} (Sara)

{It was because everyone cooperated. It really flustered me when the fire of Sumire didn’t work.} (Eugene)

Sara and I answer.

—Ravenous Dragon.

That was the Boss of Floor 90.

It is called a dragon, but its appearance is that of an outrageously grown Big Worm.

However, regular means don’t work when facing Floor 90’s Boss.

First, the fire of Sumire wasn’t effective.

The Ravenous Dragon is the type that burrows underground.

Even if she turned the surface into a sea of fire, it only had to burrow underground.

Moreover, the scales of its skin were thick, so there was no damage even when slashing with a sword.

That was the same for the Flame Blade and Sara’s Holy Sword.

Just when we were worrying about what to do, I intentionally got eaten by the Ravenous Dragon, and managed to defeat it by attacking it from the inside.

{Sara-chan was super flustered when you were eaten, Eugene-kun~.} (Sumire)

{Wa?! You were bawling your eyes out.} (Sara)

{I wasn’t c-crying! You even dropped your Holy Sword, Sara-chan.} (Sumire)

{Forget that! You fell on your butt there and your panties were visible, I think.} (Sara)

{Eh?! You kidding me?!} (Sumire)

{Yes, I am kidding.} (Sara)

{You deceived me!} (Sumire)

{You are the fool for being deceived.} (Sara)

{You two, keep it at that. I am the one at fault for scaring you.} (Eugene)

I stopped Sumire and Sara who began to scuffle.

Even though we have gotten past Floor 90, there’s a severe lack of tension.

Well, it is better than being too tense I guess.

We went through a floor each day at our own pace and we finally arrived at Floor 99.

—And just like this, we managed to officially obtain the right to challenge the Trial of Gods in Floor 100.

■Comment Response:

>Did you not know? A non aggression treaty is made to be broken!

→This is the comment I was hoping would show up.

A non aggression treaty that exists to be broken.

■Author’s Comment:

I have realized.

The update time for Zero Believers on the 25th is the same day as the update day of Zero Attack Power which is Sunday.

What should I do…?

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