“There’s a few more monsters than usual…I think?”
I said this by myself while being surrounded by Black Ogres.
This is Floor 29 of the Zenith Tower, Babel.
There aren’t many student explorers around because of the school festival.
That said, it is rare to be attacked by a pack of monsters right after coming out from the dungeon elevator.
I have been solo since yesterday, and I have been exploring the floors of the Zenith Tower randomly.
The reason is because of the request of the Principal.
I reminisced about the conversation yesterday.
“A Stampede in the Zenith Tower…?” (Eugene)
I learned about it in the classes of the academy.
It is basically the same as the commonly known Stampede. It is a natural phenomenon that happens at the times when there has been too much of an increase in monsters within a territory.
It is called a dungeon calamity.
“Umu, the Zenith Tower is a dungeon with a lot of adventurers after all. It is harder to happen compared to other dungeons though.” (Uther)
“If I remember correctly, the last one was more than 10 years ago, right?” (Eugene)
“That’s right. Also, the scale wasn’t much to write home about. There were at most just around 2,000 monsters escaping the Last Dungeon.” (Uther)
“Isn’t that a lot of monsters?” (Eugene)
“There’s thousands of explorers in this dungeon city. A number like that would pose no threat.” (Uther)
“That’s true.” (Eugene)
I thought it should be fine then, but Principal Uther is not looking good.
“Is something worrying you?” (Eugene)
“…The world transformation in a 1,000 year cycle.” (Uther)
I asked the Principal to repeat that.
“The Gods living in the Divine Realm give trials to the residents of the Mortal Realm every now and then. It is said that this happens in a 1,000 year cycle.” (Uther)
“I know about the teachings of the Destiny Goddess-sama from the Goddess Church, but…is it related to this?” (Eugene)
“In the West Continent, there’s the Great Demon Lord who ruled the world 1,000 years ago and is trying to resurrect; the Antarctic Continent has the Great Demonic Beast, the Dark Dragon Glasya Labolas who hasn’t moved for 1,000 years, getting more active now; the Arctic Continent has small scale Stampedes happening often in the Abyss. Then, it wouldn’t be strange for the Zenith Tower -which is also a Last Dungeon- to have something strange happen.” (Uther)
“……That’s true.” (Eugene)
If so many things are happening everywhere in the world, it would be strange for the Zenith Tower alone to behave as usual.
“I would like to head there to investigate as the academy principal, but I am hated by the Dungeon Master, so it is hard.” (Uther)
“It is Anemoi-san who rules over the dungeon presently, right?” (Eugene)
I remember the red robed little girl I met the other day.
“…Why do you know her name?” (Uther)
“I met her the other day.” (Eugene)
It is rare to see the surprised face of Principal Uther.
“You came out alright?” (Uther)
“We just had a normal talk.” (Eugene)
“I see… She would try to kill me no-questions-asked when I enter the Zenith Tower though.” (Uther)
That’s an awfully dangerous matter.
“Did you do something to provoke the Dungeon Master?” (Eugene)
“It seems she didn’t like that I got along with the previous Dungeon Master.” (Uther)
“That’s all?” (Eugene)
“The previous Dungeon Master was a sucker for alcohol, so I would send them some as bribe to adjust the difficulty of the dungeon.” (Uther)
“I-Is that okay?” (Eugene)
“Also, I tried to clear the Zenith Tower from outside.” (Uther)
“That’s prohibited by the rules of the Dungeon Alliance, right?” (Eugene)
“I was dropped by a ‘thunder’ from the Divine Realm. I thought I was a goner back then.” (Uther)
“I am impressed you came out alive…” (Eugene)
“I also tried opening a hole in the ceilings of the Zenith Tower to clear the floors…” (Uther)
“That’s plain and simple dungeon destruction!” (Eugene)
This guy broke all the rules he himself made?!
No, it is the other way around. He did them himself and the Divine Realm got angry at him, so he made them into rules, huh…
“And so, there was a ‘warning’ from the angels regarding my past attempts. By the way, the message was ‘there’s no next time’.” (Uther)
“And there you have it, the reason why the Dungeon Master and the Divine Realm has an eye on me. I can’t move easily.” (Uther)
I understand the reason now.
“I will go investigate then.” (Eugene)
“Sorry about that.” (Uther)
“I had nothing to do anyways.” (Eugene)
Let’s pay back my debts when I can.
“So, what should I investigate?” (Eugene)
“Right… Anything that’s off would do, but…I would like you to check and report any changes with the amount of monsters, their ferocity, and -if possible- the Floor Bosses. I am normally in the principal’s office, but if I am not there, you can report to either a teacher in the academy or a dungeon staff, so they can in turn report it to me.” (Uther)
“Understood, Principal.” (Eugene)
“It is in your hands now. I will continue investigating from outside.” (Uther)
In the end, it seems I will be investigating.
I parted ways with the Principal and began to prepare for the exploration.
“No irregularities here either.” (Eugene)
I am jumping to random floors from 1-99 alone.
The one that flustered me the most was when a cockatrice and a basilisk had pincered me.
They are monsters that are said even dragons fear due to their deadly poison but…
(I was saved thanks to my poison resistance having increased due to my contract with Eri.) (Eugene)
I got hit by a poison breath and came out of it with just a slightly itchy feeling on my skin.
(Be grateful to me.) (Eri)
(You were watching?) (Eugene)
(More like, why are you exploring the lower floors at this point?) (Eri)
(The Principal asked me. He said a Stampede might happen in the Zenith Tower.) (Eugene)
(Aah, it is about that time, huh.) (Eri)
The words of Eri bothered me.
(You know something, Eri?) (Eugene)
(Hm? Fufufu~, secret☆. I will tell you if you come see me.) (Eri)
(See ya~.) (Eri)
She ended the thought transmission.
Can’t be helped.
Let’s go to the Sealed Prison later.
“There was no big irregularity in the end…” (Eugene)
I went in and did my best in the investigation, but didn’t get any big results.
It might actually be faster to just go ask the Demon Lord.
Just when I was returning to the dungeon elevator…
I felt a gaze.
It is not hostile.
Eyes as if observing me.
I searched for the owner of that gaze and found them soon after.
White hair and a red robe.
A little girl was watching me.
Dungeon Master: Anemoi Babel.
Why is she here?
She disappeared without saying anything.
The face she showed for a moment was that of a mischievous child.
“Ooi, Eugene-kun~! I finally found you~.”
My name was called when I exited the Zenith Tower and went back to the academy.
The one running my way was a cute girl with brown hair and white explorer clothes fluttering.
I obviously know who she is.
It is my partner.
“Sumire, is your work with the martial arts club done?” (Eugene)
“Today I have a break in the afternoon! More importantly, why are you exploring alone?! That’s dangerous!” (Sumire)
“I was asked by the Principal. He told me to investigate the Zenith Tower.” (Eugene)
“Really? Did something happen?” (Sumire)
“Aah, about that…” (Eugene)
I sum up what the Principal told me.
“Did you find anything off after exploring?” (Sumire)
“Hmm, not really.” (Eugene)
I answered honestly.
“Hmm, then, are you busy today? I was thinking about going around the school festival today if you had time though…” (Sumire)
“Alright. Let’s go around together once I finish reporting the results.” (Eugene)
“Okay! Yay☆” (Sumire)
Sumire clung to my arm with a smile.
I asked a teacher patrolling the school festival to report to the Principal.
I went around the school festival with Sumire afterwards.
It really is more fun to go around with someone rather than going around by myself.
We wandered around for a while and saw a crowd.
I see a fighting ring in the center.
There’s a sign written: ‘Venue of the 5th preliminary matches of the Martial Arts Tournament’.
“Eugene-kun want to watch?” (Sumire)
“Were you interested, Sumire?” (Eugene)
“A number of acquaintances from the martial arts club are participating.” (Sumire)
“I see. Then, let’s go check it out.” (Eugene)
Sumire and I approached the venue of the preliminary matches.
But the matches are unfortunately already over, and they are announcing the placements.
We decided to at least see the results and stayed there.
At that moment…
“Participant Claude!! Congratulations on advancing through the preliminary match!”
The clear voice of the announcer using loudspeaker magic echoed.
Sumire and I look at each other’s faces.
The name of an acquaintance we are both familiar with.
We directed our gazes at the ring of the preliminary matches and…
“Yo, you two!”
A tall spear wielder landed in front of us.
It seems like he jumped all the way here from the ring.
A dragon knight wearing sky blue armor and wielding a shining silver spear.
A Hero Apprentice from the Legendary Hero Department, Claude.
“Congratulations on passing the preliminary matches, Claude-kun.” (Sumire)
“Thanks, Sumire-chan.” (Claude)
This pompous man showed his white teeth as he smiled.
“So you decided to participate in the martial arts tournament in the end, Claude.” (Eugene)
“It was an order from my homeland: ‘Leave results no matter what’.” (Claude)
“Your homeland… So an order from the country of dragon knights.” (Eugene)
The country Claude comes from.
It is a small island surrounded by cliffs, it is a small country where humans and flying dragons coexist.
It is small, but it is a strong nation that is at the top of military power in the Blue Waters Federation.
“You’ve got it rough, Hero Apprentice of the military nation.” (Eugene)
The Empire is in a similar situation. I can sympathize with Claude who is shouldering the expectations of his country.
“Exactly. It is truly a pain. Thanks to that, my date plans with the cute girl that I met in the school festival—woah, what’s that fire spell on your hand for, Sumire-chan?” (Claude)
My sympathy is gone.
“Leona-chan and Teresia-san said it is okay to throw a Fireball at you if you were to cheat, Claude-kun~☆.” (Sumire)
“Wait, wait! That size is not a Fireball no matter how you see it! Eugene, please say something!” (Claude)
“Sumire, please hold back a bit more.” (Eugene)
“Can’t be helped~.” (Sumire)
“Oi, Eugene, please stop her!” (Claude)
“Don’t worry. I will heal you if you get burned.” (Eugene)
“Calm down, Sumire-chan!” (Claude)
Well, Sumire will hold back all things said and Claude will try to avoid anyways…
“Oh my, Claude-sama, you were here?”
But there was someone speaking to us who were making a ruckus.
When I looked over there, there was a girl in an extravagant dress.
There were knights lined up behind her as bodyguards.
The armor of the knights is blue.
There’s a yellow shield as a crest on their chest.
They are knights of the Blue Waters Federation.
She must be a girl with quite the social status if she is accompanied by them.
Claude’s face cramped a bit after seeing her.
She called him by his name, so she must be an acquaintance.
Should I greet her? -while I was hesitating about it…
“Nice to meet you, everyone. My name is Tifania Crystal. I am engaged to the man there, Claude Percival-sama. Please treat me well.”
This elegant lady introduced herself like that with a smile.
>Now then, will Eugene be able to go around the school festival with the girls?
-I would like to depict him going around together with the heroines as much as possible…but this time around, it was on the light side.
I am going to concentrate on the light novel for a while.
I wanted to go to the comiket…