Rigal Den, a dungeon for beginners.
Although there were many dungeons located throughout the world, it seemed like this was the first dungeon anyone would start out with.
There were two reasons for this. First, the levels of the demons that appear are low. Second, Rigals, demons unique to this dungeon, give a disproportionately large amount of experience.
Our leading group was already fighting.
“Wind spirits, blow everything away! Wind!”
Wind blew due to the female student’s magic, stopping three Rigals in their tracks.
Rigals are demons that closely resemble oversized scorpions, around five times the size of a normal one. They are protected by a hard carapace, so physical attacks don’t work too well on them. They are, however, weak to fire-type magic.
Even the weakest offensive fire-type magic, Fireball, is able to take them out.
Not like I could even use that, though.
“Fire spirits, burn everything! Fireball!”
Samejima launched three fireballs toward the Rigals.
The monsters let out their death wails and transformed into particles of light as they died.
“I did it! I’m already level seventeen!”
The girl who prevented the Rigals’ attack with Wind did a victory pose.
Amazing. That’s probably the result of having stood in the front lines the entire time.
By the way, I was able to kill two demons that looked like enlarged ants earlier, so I’m level two.
They were tough enemies for me to beat since I can’t use magic. It took me several attacks to take them out, so Heige ordered me to stay in the rear because I was getting in the way.
I was low on stamina.
It would have been nice for them to at least have healed me.
“Really? Grats, Sajima. And nice assist on that a bit ago.”
Samejima praised Sajima. His personality was what it was, but even the girls fell for him.
“Eheheh, I guess it was! Thanks!”
The girl, Sajima, blushed from getting praised.
“This isn’t the kind of place you should screw around in, you two. Don’t let your guard down, any carelessness can get you killed.”
Annoyed by—or perhaps fed up with—their mushy mood, Heige gave them a warning.
“I know, I know. So there’s the stairs that lead down… how about we go down them?”
Giving his usual toothy grin, he pointed over to the stairs.
Heige’s face soured as soon as he heard the proposal.
“No can do. Nothing’s been mapped from there on, it’s all unknown.”
As a consequence of being for beginners, Rigal Den had been mapped considerably less than other dungeons.
After getting to the fiftieth floor, you’d have grown to a level high enough that there’d be no issues with simply heading to the next dungeon.
The country felt the same way in that there was no reason to needlessly endanger people to map it, so the mapping had only been completed down to the fiftieth floor.
And we were already at the fiftieth floor.
“It’ll be fine, just look at how many people we have with us. Besides, we should be safe enough with how strong we are now.”
“There are always exceptions. What do you plan on doing if there’s a demon that not even all of you together could defeat?”
“There won’t be. I mean, really, isn’t this just a beginner dungeon? There haven’t been any stronger monsters appearing in any of the floors ’till now, now has there?”
“There hasn’t, but…”
“It also gets harder to level up… right? Doing this will go a long way to reducing how long it takes for us to reach the day we defeat the Demon King. Wouldn’t that be a good thing?”
Samejima kept on pressing his point.
Everything he said was the truth. It was logical.
It could even be said that the chances of someone dying upon reaching the fifty-fifth floor was virtually zero.
However, Heige seemed to have sensed some sort of danger laying ahead.
When Samejima pressed him for a reason to not go, he was unable to say. It was most likely the intuition one cultivated through years of experience.
Which is why he was stumped on how to respond.
The time he spent being stumped turned out to be his loss.
“He said it’s fine! Let’s go, Shinji!”
Growing impatient, Kijima started running to the stairs as though to get a head start on everyone else.
“Takeshi, wait up!”
“H-hey, guys! Dammit!”
As if that were the green light, all of my classmates who were on the fiftieth floor followed each other down the stairs.
Which left me alone, confused on what to do.
I had no reason to actually follow them down. It’s not like heading back early would change how they treat me, so there was no need for me to worry about that.
Job: Hero Lv. 2
Looking my stats over, I once again realized that I couldn’t do anything alone.
“… Yeah, going on my own would be a bad idea…”
I hurriedly rushed down the stairs behind them.
Dammit, those bastards took off way too fast!
◆Samejima Shinji’s Point of View◆
I, Samejima Shinji, have arrived on the fifty-first floor. On a floor no-one’s set foot on before.
What sort of demons are lurking here? I’m pumped just thinking about it!
Killing monsters is fun as hell.
The more I kill, the stronger I get. I’ll get stronger than anyone.
My personality is that I absolutely have to make things go how I want.
Right now, I want that Claria woman. I’ve never wanted a woman so much.
Claria may be a goddess, but once I kill the Demon King now that I’m a hero, I’ll have her be mine for my wish.
There might be another person with the same wish as me. I won’t hold back on them once the time comes.
I will have Claria.
For that, I need power.
“Samejima! There’s an Ariant ahead of you!”
I hacked down the bug throwing itself at me with my sword.
Slicing in half, it collided against the wall and vanished.
“There’s been a lot of monsters attacking alone for a bit now, wonder why?”
Standing on the front lines with me this whole time, Sajima looked confused.
This floor has definitely been different from the ones up till now, there’s been way more demons attacking solo.
“They’re just making it easier on us, isn’t that a good thing?”
“… True. There’s no downside to it.”
Looks like Sajima agrees.
I can make use of her. I know she has a thing for me, I’ll leverage that to bring her into my group.
Sajima’s ability called Saint’s Smile lets her heal someone’s mana and stamina completely.
It being able to recover both is valuable.
“Hey, Shinji! Does this door look strange to you!?”
Having gone ahead of us, Takeshi found a door with weird patterns on it while I was thinking about how I’d best capture Sajima.
“I’ve… never seen this magic formation before.”
Following behind us, Heige approached the door and looked over the magic formation carefully.
For not even a veteran like him to have seen it… is it some new kind of magic formation?
“Let’s open it!
“… Yeah, let’s. Everyone, prepare for a fight.”
My classmates each readied themselves when I gave the instruction.
Seeing as how Heige unsheathed his sword with a resigned look, it looked like he didn’t intend to interfere anymore.
When I nodded to give the signal, Kijima easily opened the grand-looking door with his ability, Overdrive.
The door groaned in a low rumble as it opened.
What I saw inside was… nothing but a needlessly large room.
“What is this place…?”
“It doesn’t look like there’s anything in here…”
We all moved into the room to get a better look.
Then, once we arrived at the center, something weird happened.
A resounding shrill filled the room.
The moment it finished ringing, a dazzling light came down from the ceiling.
“What’s with this light!?”
Everyone all looked up to see.
The light went out a few seconds later. It was replaced by a creeping darkness that dominated the ceiling.
It steadily dropped down.
My eyesight gradually recovering, I began to realize what it was.
“D-demons!! It’s a swarm of demons!”
Someone shouted out what the dark blob was.
A huge number of Rigals were falling down, a number incomparable to anything we’ve seen so far. If we let things keep going how they are, we’ll all end up eaten.
“It’s no use! We’re surrounded!!”
Too distracted by what was going on above us, Ariants and Wulves had surrounded us.
I thought back to a similar trap in a game I once played.
If I recall correctly, it was called—
—a Monster House.
“Water spirits, turn into bullets and shoot into my prey! Splash Gatling!”
Water bullets appeared midair, shooting through the falling Rigals.
Others copied her and started firing off the same magic in rapid succession.
They were using up a lot of mana.
Even so, demons continued swarming us.
“Dammit! There’s too many!”
“Everyone, just calm down!”
“Hurry and shoot more magic! We’ll blow an path open to the exit!”
Shouts were tossed back and forth.
The demons had made their way into our group.
Caught off guard by the Monster House, our group collapsed into a panic.
“Anyone near the entrance, you have to open a path! Do anything you have to!”
“Fire spirits! Scorch my enemies! Burning Wave!”
“Wind spirits! Open a path for me to walk! Sonic Wave!”
The students closer to the entrance heard my orders and used the highest strength magic they could back to back.
Volleys of fire and wind burned and sliced through the Rigals, mincing them into light.
However, a Wulf leaped and dodged their attacks.
“What!? Heige! What is that thing!?”
“It’s a High Wulf! It’s smart and strong! Watch out for its speed! That thing shouldn’t be in a dungeon as weak as this one!”
Getting more information on it from Heige, I concentrated my attention on the High Wulf.
It lashed out with its sharp teeth. Ducking into a side roll, I quickly got back up.
We glared at each other, unmoving.
I thought about a way to get us out of this mess somehow.
“Everyone! I’m going to shine light here in a sec to blind them! Use that chance to make a break for the stairs! Got it!?”
I don’t know if they could hear me through the free-for-all going on, but I can’t worry about them right now.
A man’s gotta save himself!
“Holy light, shine on those who would stay in the dark! Shining!”
Holding up my right hand, I let the mass of mana I’d built up into the air.
Following an explosive sound, an intense light filled the room. Hearing all of the demons howl and groan, I ran straight out of the door and headed for the stairs.
Everyone else did the same. However, a single girl had been captured by the High Wulf.
“Help! Someone, help me!”
The girl’s pleas fell on deaf ears as everyone ran for their lives.
“Hey, Sajima…! Tch!”
Sajima stopped running beside me and did a one-eighty. She tried to run back, but I struck the back of her neck with my hand to cause her to faint. Gathering her in my arms, I started running.
This is for the best. Useless people will die. Useful people won’t.
“Hurry up! They’re chasing us!”
The dazzling light had vanished and the demons were chasing after us in one large swarm.
Crap, crap, crap, crap!
I spent too much mana in that fight.
Mana is directly connected to your force of will. If it gets too low, it starts being impossible to think right. I have to avoid that!
“Am I… going to die here…?”
“No, I don’t wanna die!!”
I could hear people falling into despair.
Their willpower was all but gone from using so much magic.
At this point, all we could do was rely on physical attacks.
How can we get away from them?
“… Hmm? Wha—!? The hell’s going on!?”
I heard a lively voice. One not tainted by despair.
When I looked up to its owner, I saw Katsuragi.
“Hey, Katsuragi! Run for the stairs! Give it your all! Demons are chasing us!”
I gave Katsuragi an order. This trash’s personality won’t let him defy me.
“Huh!? You bastard, I know you’re lying!!”
As I expected, he ran for the stairs. Knowing him, the pudgy f*cker probably left some way to escape.
He knew the quickest route back to the stairs.
He started going up as soon as we reached them.
Now’s my chance.
He couldn’t believe I actually thanked him and looked back.
He stopped running.
That’s what I was waiting for.
“Fire spirits, burn him down! Fireball!”
I launched a fireball from my hand and attacked the little piece of shit.
His clothes catching on fire, he was enveloped by flames.
Writhing on the ground, he screamed in pain.
“Everyone! Go up before it’s too late!”
Following my shout, my classmates scrambled to make their way up the stairs.
Their willpower had diminished, so the only thing they could think about at this point was self-preservation.
None of them blamed me, nor did the soldiers. Heige was the only one to give me a scowl, but he kept silent as well.
“Is that everyone!?”
“Wait… please! I’m… I’m still here!”
The one who shouted was Katsuragi. His clothes were singed all over and multiple patches of his skin looked black. Probably from the burns.
He was trying to climb the stairs on all fours.
The monsters were right behind him.
“Just shut the f*ck up already. You still have an important role to play. Everyone! Help me push this thing back down! The demons won’t come if we do that! We’ll survive!”
“We’ll live… we can go back…?”
“I’ll do it… I’ll get killed if I don’t!!”
It was comical after that.
One of them shackled Katsuragi’s feet with ground-type magic, another picked him up.
Then, not hesitating in the least, threw him back toward the demons.
A stupid sound to fit his stupid face.
Katsuragi fell into the demons, his body disappearing from view.
He’ll probably be devoured by them to the bone.
This was the best method for survival I thought up.
I needed some bait to get the demons to stop moving, but there’s no way I could use any of us heroes as food.
But there was one person who fit the bill. Katsuragi Daichi, our class’ extra baggage. No one in the nation should mind it either, he’s the Useless Hero, after all.
He played his role splendidly. The demons went crazy in eating him.
“Isn’t it great, Katsuragi? You finally made yourself useful.”
I sealed the stairs using magic, closing it so that none of the demons would follow us up.