Being an explorer is an occupation.
They dive into the labyrinth, get treasures, defeat monsters, and get magic stones.
They don’t have to think about anything else as they travel through the labyrinth. It’s the dream that all hero candidates have. Or for those who don’t have the ability to cling to others, it’s their last hope.
This is the labyrinth of immortality. Even if you are caught by the jaws of death, you will revive. And lose your stuff.
That’s why there’s an excuse. Dying is foolish.
Drawing the line before reaching your limit just speaks of how wise you are.
No pride nor obstinacy. There’s no resolution either.
Because that’s the way it is for Labyrinth City’s explorers.
However, sometimes they appear.
At a level people can’t reach, the world can’t reach, strong people that walk calmly.
It’s not a question of whether or not they can complete the labyrinth. People are satisfied with their small world, and when they realize it, it’s painful..
So they bark. Like a weak dog.
Even though the other person is much younger than themselves, smaller, and looks weak.
Opening the door and entering, was a little cat beastkin.
She was already an acquaintance of the guild. Though she used to be a party’s slave scout, it was already known that her party messed up and were annihilated.
Having come here, she was probably bought again. Since she even had new equipment, her treatment had definitely been improved.
“Maal, I was worried. I thought you’d come back in a day since it was the first return.”
“Yeah, though I also thought that, Ria-chan…”
Watching the next person enter, every explorer was captivated.
Though she still had some traces of childhood, her beauty was radiant. Waving black hair, reflecting dim light.
In black garments, it was simple leather armor. Two katanas were hung at her waist.
“So? Was there any results?”
The talk between the receptionist and the cat beastkin acquaintance continued.
“Yeah, it was incredible. Ria-chan broke the labyrinth’s wall and–”
That was a beginner’s mistake. But surviving was lucky.
“She punched the hellhound bare-handed and treated her like a pet and–”
It was unbelievable.
“After defeating the devil, we temporarily returned~”
No way something like that happened.
“Oi oi, even if you’re just exaggerating, cut it out!”
Towards Maal, who was speaking happily, a voice from a male explorer came.
If it was before, they probably would have been silent here.
“It’s true! We seriously got a magic crystal!”
At that moment, Carlos put the Devil’s magic crystal on to the assessment counter.
“Let’s see, this is a minotaur’s, a golem’s, a skeletal warrior’s, a hellhound’s…”
The magic stones were placed down with a coarse sound. Though the magic stones were so-so, the amount was amazing.
“U-umm, what did you do to get so many magic stones?”
The Identify clerk’s face had a cramp.
Even if an ordinary medium-sized party went into the labyrinth for a few days, they might have one tenth this amount.
“Our Ojou broke the labyrinth walls. When we hunted the demons that gathered, it became like this.”
Carlos explained it in a tired voice. When thinking that the same thing might happen when he goes back into the labyrinth, it’s no wonder he felt worn out.
“… I understand. Did you get anything else in the labyrinth?”
“Mainly furs and fangs… should I take it all out for now?”
Besides the insect carapaces and the bladed pieces, both weapons and gear used by the demons was left behind since it wasn’t good quality. Several of the unnecessary golem cores as well. As for the things that seemed like magic potions, they all looked useful so they held on to it.
“This is… since immediate assessment isn’t possible… could you wait until tomorrow?”
That was natural. Carlos nodded.
At that time, all eyes in the guild gathered towards the counter. The explorers whispered in low voices.
The rumor was passed around. That sometimes they appear, people that could easily pass through walls. No, those people don’t even think they are obstacles. Those people should be legends.
But people won’t meekly recognize that, of course.
“Oi oi. What kind of trick did you use? Tell us.”
Wearing armor, it was a warrior with a crude atmosphere. With a vulgar smile on his face, he looked down at Maal.
Before Maal could say anything further, Ria gently held her shoulder.
“It isn’t a trick. I simply crushed from the front.”
Perhaps even the man before Maal right now wouldn’t be an opponent for her. Maal’s current level is 40.
In only three days, her level doubled.
“Ojou-chan should back off.”
As he said that, he reached out his arm. Ria grabbed it.
“What are you-, uwaaah!”
Ria’s grip could crush a goblin’s head by itself. Letting go in moderation, he looked towards her as though seeing a true monster.
“Let it go. Even the smallest kid in that party has a level above 40.”
A man who seemed to be a magician started talking from behind. He probably used Identify.
That ogre is even 55. But I can’t understand that girl’s…”
“Can’t understand it? Read Resistance?”
“It could be magic. But either way, they aren’t opponents you can stand against.”
A feeling of awe spread. Ria stuck out her chest and folded her arms in content.
“Hey Ria, let’s go.”
Looking to avoid more trouble, Lulu urged her. The party left the guild.
When they returned to the mayor’s mansion, though Klaus had gone out, a butler took care of the party.
They discussed things needed for the exploration, surprising Klaus during dinner, and had a peaceful sleep for the first time in a while after taking a bath.
While making Maal a hug pillow, Ria thought.
What she felt in the labyrinth, the presences.
It’s said that the master of the labyrinth is a demon.
However, it didn’t kill humans. Is there a demon that isn’t hostile to humans?
To begin with, demon is the general term for demi-humans that live in the absolutely frozen demon territory. Ogres also used to be called demons. Even now they are affiliated with demons.
If that’s the case, in spite of being demons, don’t they also have a amicable relationship towards humans? Rather, can they even be called demons anymore?
Though it’s said that the labyrinth was completed several times, the labyrinth’s master wasn’t overthrown. Therefore, the labyrinth is still here. Why wasn’t it destroyed? Is it because it isn’t necessary to do so?
While unable to come to a conclusion from thinking, Ria fell asleep.
The entire next day was spent on preparations.
The first go around was to find a weapon and armor shop for Carlos’ sword and shield, with Serge and Lulu gathering magic potions in the meanwhile.
Serge finally bought a cane. It was able to quicken the activation of water and earth magic. Apart from offensive ability, there was a thought to reduce anxiety about defensive capability.
“If the tenth floor’s boss is a dragon, defensive magic is absolutely necessary.”
Carlos even bought a mithril shield that was resistant to magic. Though the materials were so-so, it can be imbued with magic, which would be useful against non-simple attacks.
As expected, the armor was impossible. So while Serge looked at grimoires, he used magic to imbue hardness reinforcement, toughness reinforcement, and lightweight reinforcement.
“That’s so good, using magic while reading a book like that.”
Though Lulu was impressed, it was the effect of a Gift.
“Though Lulu is a half-elf, you can’t use spirit magic?”
“U-… since a special ability is different even if it’s called magic…”
Lulu grew timid and drew circles on the ground. She definitely had a complex about it.
Gathering in a room after dinner, they looked through the information they gained that day.
Things concerning the heads of each floor was already heard from the Ogre King.
The problem is how to get to them. There weren’t any active explorers that made it passed the eighth floor, and they weren’t able to ask for a detailed account from a retired explorer. However, as you go lower enemies get stronger and the labyrinth seems to narrow.
“Iron golem on the sixth floor, ghost knight on the seventh floor, dogazer on the eighth floor, and a hydra on the ninth floor. Judging from the trend on the floors up till now, demons related to the boss appear.”
At this, Maal raised her hand.
“Umm, though I know the other monsters, I haven’t heard of a dogazer.”
Since she was sure Maal had heard about the details from her companions, she hadn’t explained. The dogazer is a pseudo-living thing made from magic, a minor monster.
When hearing a brief explanation, Serge had a rough idea of it, but didn’t understand the details in particular.
“In order to obliterate pedophiles from the world, I heard an ancient empire made it…”
“That’s news to me.”
Since Lulu was Rufus’ assistant and happened to know the details by chance, she explained it.
Then, for the next day’s capture, the party went to sleep early.
Of course, Ria slept while closely embracing Maal.