10-5. To the Labyrinth
Sato's here. In a game, due to item limits, it was often the case that I had to tearfully throw away the items I acquired during a quest. I miss having to worry about which to keep and throw.
"Ooh! Why didn't you peek at me changing."
Not peeking at someone's changing is quite the natural thing to do, yet she's calling it bad.
Arisa and the others who have finished changing go down to the lobby in the first floor. There is no bar-room in the first floor of this inn. It's a high-class inn as even this lobby need separate payment to be used. They serve tea that's as good as the one Lulu makes.
This inn is located behind the Explorer Guild.
I actually wanted to go to the mansion that Giril had referred, but since I didn't know if we could immediately stay there, we got ourselves an inn to keep the horses first.
By the way, about the magic tooled carriage, I switched its appearance to look exactly like a normal carriage when the stable boy had left the place. The dirtiness are slightly different, but since I've made use of Evidence Destruction skill, it's probably going to be alright.
"Now then, shall we go."
"Master, it is presumptuous of me, but you should wear some armor."
"Reporting that equipments are important."
"I'll be standing by today. I have Nana and Liza to protect me."
This robe is made of Yuriha fiber, and I've used the whale leather to make the mantle and the boots, so most attacks shouldn't be able to get through it.
Just in case, I pick up the fairy sword that's leaned on the sofa while I'm wearing the thin gloves.
Since it seems that there is a carriage that goes from the front gate to the west gate every two hours, we take that to go there. Originally we should've waited for another hour before it departs, but since the passengers have reached the quota that is eight, it's going to depart just like that. It's quite flexible huh.
"Ehehehe~ this is my first real labyrinth. It must be different than the Spriggan's trials."
"It's completely different~?"
"It's not a playground like that nodesu! It's a true battlefield that makes your blood boils nanodesu!"
"You two, you would get hurt in the labyrinth if you're like that. Focus your minds."
Liza reproves Pochi and Tama who are acting like seniors to Arisa. Mia seems to be tense, she has little to say. Nana is operating normally, so she's probably fine.
"Chevalier-sama, I'm sorry, but would you be willing to allow one more person ride in?"
"Yes, feel free to."
Although it's called a carriage, this one only has seats without a roof, there are four two-seater seats lined up. If someone is as small as Mia, three of them can occupy one seat easily. When we were about to embark, the female staff asked so. Since having another one wouldn't be a problem if Tama sat on my lap, I agreed to it.
"I'm sorry for forcing in. My name is Gina, I'm a daughter of Chevalier Daryl.
"Nice to meet you, I'm Chevalier Pendragon."
It's a girl around 16 years old who's equipped with a dark brown hard leather armor, a round shield and a flail. She's about as tall as me. I don't know the precise size since it's pressed by the armor, but it looks like it can rival Nana's. She has shoulder-length red hair, reddish brown eyes, and she's slightly tanned. I wonder if she's from a knight family, she's level 6 despite her age, and she also has Shield and One-handed Staff skills.
The flail has two iron balls connected with chains to its one meter long iron pole. Those iron balls probably improves the centrifugal force. I've seen it a lot in games, but this is the first time I do in this world.
Gina seems to hate, or rather, be afraid of demi-humans, she doesn't seem like she wants to sit beside Liza and the others, so she's sitting between Lulu and Arisa. Isn't it cramped?
"Gina-sama, are you an explorer perchance?"
"Umu, I've become one just now. There are people from my town that are also explorers, so I'm going to look for them near the west gate and then go tackle the labyrinth together."
Arisa talks to her in polite tone. Lady Gina speaks like a knight, I don't know if it's by nature or if she's acting it.
I feel slightly odd with Arisa's tone, but since she's also acting like that with the hero, I leave it alone.
After leaving the quarter where the riches live, we've come to the wonderful street that seems to be the pleasure quarter. The calm atmosphere of the city up until now changes completely, engendering vulgar atmosphere. Although the beautiful women from the multi-story buildings aren't particularly waving their hands, I wonder what's with this excited feeling. I feel like I've understood Arisa a bit for looking forward to the labyrinth. Of course I don't say it out loud.
After leaving the pleasure quarter, we come a narrow aisle filled with small shops that are full of clamor. Armed men and women who seem to be explorers are having negotiations on those shops.
"Uwah, everyone is wearing gaudy armor aren't they~"
"They're like Tori-san nanodesu."
Hero Daisaku, what did you teach to the elves hometown. Moreover, Arisa, your true self is showing.
Nevertheless, those armors are probably made from monster parts, but I wonder just what kind of meaning do those pointless looking ornaments have? I guess it's for menacing things?
Still, equipments of explorers sure are peculiar. The equipment of the explorers who have participated in the duchy capital match are normal in comparison to these. Looks like even explorers know TPO.
<TLN: Time Place Occasion.>
There are as many young people as there are people with mysterious equipments. There is someone who's wearing sewn wood block as armor, or people who have stone axes, or black stone spears. The equipments of the magic hunters in Puta town were more normal.
We get off the carriage in front of the Explorer Guild of the west gate.
The Explorer Guild here is full of people. I guess the Explorer Guild that's right before the labyrinth is more convenient for them.
"Yo', the newbie explorer noble-sama over there. How 'bout it, do you need the labyrinth map? It's three silver coins."
The market price is one big copper coin. Even ripping-off has a limit too. Lady Gina beside me is astonished, "Is it that expensive."
The map shop man seemed to think that I, who didn't falter even after hearing silver coins, to be an easy target, he tried to promote it further. Let's ignore it, and haggle it down first.
"I'll buy it for one big copper coin."
"Oy oy, ain't that too much of a beating?"
"I don't particularly need it if it's more than that."
"Wait, I'll give you for one big copper coin especially this time. We're selling the most accurate labyrinth map 'round here. If this map is useful, please buy from us again by all means."
I exchange one big copper coin for the map. 'First area' is written messily on the edge of the map that's drawn with it. The map is full of strange lines and symbols, I don't know how to read it.
"How do you read this?"
"That's another big copper co--"
"This much, include it in the fee earlier."
The small man was going to snatch more money, but I covered his words, and coerced the service. Looks like they're various trial-and-errors for depicting the three-dimensional map in a plane paper.
"What is this symbol?"
"That's a sign monument."
Summarizing the small man long-winded explanation, sign monuments are something that the olden days explorers have set up in the areas that have been completely explored, they're built on a fixed interval in the labyrinth. Three information, [Area Number], [Distance from Entrance], and [Serial Number] are carved on these monuments.
It has one more important function. It glows red when monsters are approaching, and blue when it's people. It's to prevent friendly fires between explorers in the dark labyrinth.
"However, young master. Even if it's glowing blue, don't let yer' guard down eh?"
"There are these thieves called Lost Thieves who aim for the explorers who have hunted monsters."
I see, there are those kind of guys in MMOs with PK too.
"What should we do if we're attacked by those guys?"
"That's, difficult to say."
If the other party attack first, you're free to either kill them, or sell them off as crime slaves, but it seems that it's hard to tell them apart if they pretend to be some friendly common explorers. Thus, if you meet other explorers, you have to be cautious and keep some distance away from each other, unless you're acquainted with them.
However, putting aside Arisa and me, I think it's hard to know if the other party has a criminal record or not. It seems that it can be judged with the Yamato stone at the entrance of the labyrinth. In case you catch them before they kill someone, there are staffs who have Mind Reading and Authenticate skills standing by who will judge for it it seems.
Since Arisa and the others have become impatient, let's put off the information gathering for now.
I got more information that I had thought, so I secretly gripped him with one big copper coin.
Since lady Gina said that she was going to look for her acquaintances, she went to the Explorer Guild building, and we parted way.
The west gate seems to be normally shut, unlike the eastern gate.
When you show your wood ID to the gatekeeper, they open the gate for a bit. Being the gatekeeper here seems to be quite difficult.
When we get close to the west gate, children who are wearing short clothes approach.
Are they beggars, or orphans?
When I check on it, their occupations are [Baggage Carriers]. There are a lot of girls for some reason.
"Noble-sama, please employ me."
"Employ me, I'm alright with two pennies a day."
"I'm fine with one penny a day!"
"Hey, don't interrupt me."
"I don't need money if you give me food. I'll do anything!"
Uwah, if hero Hayato heard this, he would shout "No touch, Satou!" Liza gently push away the little girl who was trying to grab my clothes with the blunt tip of her spear.
The children inched back slightly from Liza's glare, but they keep promoting on.
Every child is level 1-2. I can't take them into the labyrinth since it's dangerous.
Pochi and Tama look like they want to say something as they seem to sympathize with the children who have growling stomaches. It can't be helped.
I take the children to the shop that's selling grilled skewers nearby, and buy one for each one of them. The skewer seems to be made of monster meat from what the eastern guild people have told me, but since other explorers are normally buying and eating them, it should be alright. Even though the skewer is quite big, they're only one copper coin each, cheap.
"Uwah, it's a labyrinth frog skewer."
"It's a feast."
"Delicious. I'll work hard noble-sama."
"Un, I haven't had feast like this for a long time."
Just what do you guys usually eat.
I've also bought some for Pochi and the others since they look like the want it.
We leave the little girls there, and go to the labyrinth. For some reason the little girls were going to come with us, but I left them since I couldn't let them.
"Little girls are looking here like they want to join the party."
Arisa says something like a system message from some game, but I ignore her.
The little girls were looking so reluctant toward us who had gone through the west gate that was closing, but I steeled my heart and did not go back.