10-25. Explorers (2)
"Then, we will be going."
I inform Master so, and then leave the mansion behind.
Master is going to attend Viscount-sama's banquet, and Lulu has promised to teach the children how to cook and read, so they're going to stay.
This time, there are two female explorers, Iruna and Jenna in places of Master and Lulu. Although they're only as strong as normal soldiers, they've been given complete set of ant shell armors, one-handed swords, and shields by Master. They should be fine fighting against slightly higher leveled enemies.
"Then, during the time Chevalier-sama isn't here, the leader is Nana-san right?"
"In charge of battle command is Liza, making judgment during complex situations is Arisa, so I inform."
"Hee, is that so. Please take care of me, Liza-san."
I nod back to Iruna who talks to me sociably. Her way of talking sounds a bit like a man's.
"Then Arisa, what kind of place is area 11 we're going to today?"
"Eh! We're going to area 11?!"
"That is the plan, is there any problem?"
The black haired woman called Jenna cut herself between my conversation with Arisa. According to Arisa, she seems to be beautiful.
"Area 11 is a place full of troublesome monsters like Horn Hoppers or Rockhead Bees isn't it."
"That's right. You know your stuff."
"That's because that place is infamous in a bad way. There are a lot of monsters in the area so desperate explorers who have their prey taken sometimes go there, but most are either dead or receive injuries beyond recovery and retire."
I see, it's formidable. I've heard some good things. I look forward to it.
"Horn Hoppers and Rockhead Bee are certainly hard, but they're easy to handle since they go straight at you."
"Is it really? I guess it's easy for the people who defeat that giant 『Hunter Mantis』?"
"That's right! If you're going to ride the big ship, hop aboard now."
Arisa is the right person to wipe off anxiety from this party after all.
Still, I wonder where did Arisa get information about Horn Hoppers and Rockhead Bee. She must have heard it from Master doesn't she?
"Ara? Liza-san, are we not buying oil for hand lanterns?"
"There is no need."
The inside of the labyrinth is bright enough to not be a problem during battles anyway, and Mia can use her magic to put out light in places without a Sign Monument. Moreover, we also have Light Drops.
"Can we stop by the guild for a bit? I'd like to replenish hemostasis ointments since we've run out of our stock."
"It's unnecessary. Mia can also use healing magic, and we'll give you some magic medicines once we enter the labyrinth."
"Ma-magic medicine? R-really? That's like one silver coin for one bottle right?"
I notice that my own sense of money has been numbed while nodding to her.
I've been using them readily since Master has given them readily, but I feel that I have to be economical on it.
"Your life is more important you know. Our Master really dislike it if someone he knows gets hurt. That's why, don't think that you have to save on it okay?"
Arisa advices while sending her line of sight toward me with upturned eyes as if she's read my mind. That is right, our Master is such kind of person.
"How about luminescent stones, or smoke balls and flash balls?"
"Nn~ we have the latter two from Master, but what does luminescent stone do?"
"You drop them on the junctions of the labyrinth. Although it stops glowing in three days, we should not lose the way back to the starting location if we drop these stones."
I see, since we are usually bestowed by Master's perfect guidance, we never leave traces behind. However, it seems to be quite a useful item.
We buy the item in the guild and put it into the magic bag <<Holding Bag>> that master has entrusted. Master has warned us not to use our Magic Pouch in public.
"Eh! Does Liza-san has Item Box skill?"
"No, this bag is a magic tool."
"T,there's that kind of tool huh. As expected of people employed by noble-sama."
These two are a bit noisy aren't they. Please follow Pochi's and Tama's examples. The two are being carried on Nana's arms, hanging quietly.
"They're coming, four Rockhead Bees."
"You worker bees! You are not good just because you're solid, so I declare!"
<TLN: The 'solid' here can also mean steady.>
The four Rockhead Bees are rushing to Nana who's set up her great shield. These Rockhead Bees are monsters that have heads as sturdy as rocks. Master is not here today, so I cannot recklessly use magic edge. Let's go at it steadily, this is not because of Nana's provocation.
"Pochi, Tama, avoid attacking the hard heads and aim for the gap on their necks."
I move to the side of the flying bee with Flickering Movement, and thrust my spear on the gap between its rock-like shell. It seems to be a fragile monster, the head separates from its body with just one blow. Pochi and Tama had defeated them without any problem too.
"Nana! Don't kill that one, drop it to the ground."
Nana blocks the last one with her great shield, and then knocks it down to the ground as instructed by Arisa.
"Iruna, and Jenna, attack that Rockhead Bee."
"Is it alright? The sword will be chipped if I attack like this y'know?"
"It's fine, just hit it! You can break one or two swords!"
The two were hesitating at first, but they finally moved after the second instruction. As for the bee, Nana has stitched its wings to the ground with her magic sword.
The two swing their sword with weak postures, but it doesn't reach. Let's have Nana teach them the way to swing sword a bit later.
"Level 10 enemies are really weak aren't they."
"No no, that conclusion is strange."
"That's right, even a knight in full body armor would suffer great injury if he was rammed by this monster."
That knight must have not enough guts surely.
"You two hear me. When multiple enemies come, exterminate the last enemy that we have left like just now. You two attack the enemy Nana has pinned down."
"Eh? Is it alright like that?"
"I feel guilty like I'm a stone-throwing baggage carrier."
After I told Iruna who was showing disapproval toward my instruction that it was for the sake of raising their levels, she reluctantly agreed to it.
This kind of high pride of a warrior is likable isn't it.
"By the way, can I ask something? What's stone-throwing baggage carrier?"
"Ah, do you know that every year during the harvest festival, great number of children from the villages and towns around the vicinity come to this labyrinth city to become explorers and baggage carriers?"
"Yep, I know."
"Some of them are imprudent. There are some baggage carriers who secretly throw a stone to the monster that explorers have desperately defeated and have their level raised. That kind of act is called 『stone-throwing baggage carrier』. If a baggage carrier does such thing even once, he/she won't be hired by explorers ever again."
I see, it must be like snatching prey that has been weakened. Pochi, Tama, and me raised our levels with such method at the beginning, but I shouldn't worry about it since we had received Master's permission for that.
"Eh~ parasitic people exist in any world huh. But, our goal this time is leveling you two up, so keep on keep attacking okay."
"Yeah, I understand. Much obliged."
"We'll work hard so we can quickly become useful."
Now then, the time for conversing should be over soon.
Tama has returned from the other side of the corridor while bringing some Horn Hopper.
"Pretending to be the leader just because you have a horn, how ridiculous!"
There's only monster this time. It doesn't seem like I'll have a turn, but I'm keeping alert on the surrounding to prevent Arisa and Mia getting attacked.
Tama slips through between Nana's legs. The Horn Hopper vigorously rammed its whole body onto Nana's great shield, but seemed that it was too vigorous, its prideful horn broke and fell on the ground. It's the same great shield that didn't even let a single injury in from the attack of the Hunter Mantis' big sickles. This kind of result isn't surprising in the least.
"No way, it should be able to penetrate an iron plate you know?"
"Oh dear, that's a great shield."
"You two, move your hands before your mouths."
The Horn Hopper is even softer than the Rockhead Bee from before. The two's swords are doing better than before. After confirming that the two have wounded it, I thrust my spear for the finishing blow.
"Liza-san, we will be late for dinner if we don't go back soon."
That's a serious problem.
"How regrettable, we're almost at 100 monsters defeated with just three left."
"Yes nanodesu. Hamburg steak-sensei is waiting nodesu!"
It's hamburg steak tonight huh. It's a bit unsatisfactory since there's no chewiness on the texture, but Lulu should also be making steak. Leaving aside the taste, the chewiness of the monster meat we ate yesterday was quite outstanding. I wonder if the meat of these monsters are like that too?
"Iruna and Jenna, are these monsters edible?"
"Un, horn and rockhead should be edible."
"The body of the rockhead is said to be sweet and tasty, although we can't bring it back with us if we can't shave off the heavy outer rock shell. I've never eaten it before, but I've heard it from someone."
I see, it is tasty huh.
I leave my spear to Nana, and then peels off the rock shells of the Rockhead Bees by using the disassembly knife I've put on my waist's back. I line the Rockhead Bee's meat on the taking-home meat sheet, Pochi and Tama also bring and line up one body-worth of meat each. These girls must have been fascinated by the talk just now. When Pochi saw that Tama was also bringing the Horn Hopper's meat, she was also going to bring the meat in panic, but I caught her nape, stopping her. Let's have just these much today.
"Hey, do Arisa and the others always fight this many series of battles?"
"As expected, we don't usually defeat this many monsters."
"That's so, isn't it. It's usually only around 30 monsters."
"That's right huh. Your body won't be able to endure it if you always fight with this pace."
I feel that the fights with the higher-leveled enemies we usually do are difficult too, but there is no need to tell them the truth and make them feel down.
We got four gold coins from the meat of Rockhead Bees which were sold for quite a price, and also from the magic cores that had higher grades that I thought. The Horn Hopper meat sold for 20 copper coins for one monster worth. There was no purchase notice for the horns of the Horn Hoppers, but it seems they can be sold for several big copper coins each if you negotiate well at the weapon shops.
I was going to sell all the meat from the Rockhead Bees, but I decided to bring one monster worth of meat as a souvenir for Master.
We had to pay the carrying tax for the Rockhead Bee's meat and the Horn Hopper's horns, but judging from Arisa who didn't complain about it, the sum was probably right.
As ordered by Master, we split the income according to the number of people, including the two girls. Arisa calculated the amount of money. I'm still bad at calculation even now.
It should be alright to split the shares for the Horn Hopper's horns after we've sold them.
At first the two refused the split income since they thought that they were just being a burden, but Arisa told them that it was Master's order, and they were forced to receive it.
"It's amazing. Earning this much by going into the labyrinth for just half a day!"
"Yeah, earning half a gold coin much for each of us is like a dream."
I tell the two who look as if they will grow wings and soar about the plan for tomorrow.
"We're going to hunt with the same pace tomorrow, so eat some good food and have a good rest today."
"T-tomorrow too, like that?"
"Uu, Iruna. I wonder if we can go back to the labyrinth city tomorrow."
I leave the two anxious girls for Arisa to console, let's quickly go home.
Lulu's meals are waiting.