10-20. New Hunting Ground
Satou's here. In net games like MMO, searching for a delicious hunting ground is one of its real thrill. Although with the growth of information exchanges on the internet nowadays, that joy only last several days after the update.
When everyone was sleeping in the labyrinth villa, I went back to the mansion alone to check the situation, but there wasn't anything of note in particular. The children also seem to be healing nicely. I give nutrient supplements for to Ms. Miteruna.
Since Ms. Miteruna asked about greeting cards, I've decided to send it to not only for people in this city, but also for Nina-san in Muno barondom. I wanted to send the greeting cards to my acquaintances in the duchy capital and Bollhart too, but since there were too many people, I'll write to them when I have some free time.
I tell her that I'm going again until tomorrow morning, and head back to the labyrinth.
She asked me about my destination, but I ambiguously said that it was some minor business. During the tea parties in duchy capital, I heard that young nobles usually used such excuse when they were visiting women, so I imitated it.
"New hunting ground?"
"Yeah, if we keep this up, the enemies in this area would likely die out tomorrow. Judging from the map, area 74 or area 109 look good. Area 74 is filled with amphibians and reptiles, area 109 is with insects."
"What kind of monsters are they nanodesu?"
"Amphibians are like frogs. Reptiles are like snakes or lizards I guess."
There are cockatrices in area 69 that adjoins area 109. These monsters have high levels, there's even one at level 50. There are also high level basilisks in area 77 which neighbors area 74, it seems. Looking at the courses, the reason why there are a lot of monsters in area 74 and 109 is probably because the cockatrices and the basilisk are repulsing the explorers, so they can't go further in.
"There are many insects type monsters which have hard shells, so defeating them will take some time. I think area 74 with the amphibians and reptiles monsters is better here."
Liza suggests so with stiff face, but I didn't miss the glint in her eyes when she heard about the frogs. Pochi and Tama look happy about it, and the other members don't seem to object. If I'm not mistaken, a party called [Fang of Conflagration] was going to subjugate the cockatrices, so we can also avoid them if we go to area 74.
Let's pick a course where we won't encounter the explorers along the way as much as possible. If we're about to bump with one, I can just carry Nana and fly to the ceiling with Sky Drive, and we probably won't get find out.
"The corner over there~"
"Monsters are hiding nodesu."
"Wait a minute, I'll check the surrounding with space grasp magic--there are three Maze Centipedes. One of them is on the ceiling so be careful."
"I'll illuminate the ceiling with my light drop, so Mia-chan, fell it with your bow okay."
"Nana, provoke it."
"You centipedes! Don't think you're great just because you have a lot of legs, so I declare!"
I don't think centipedes have that in their minds.
One of the two centipedes that appear from the shadow due to Nana's provocation gets dropped to the ground by Liza's spear. Right after that, Pochi cuts off the centipede's head with her short magic sword.
Lulu illuminates the centipede that's on the ceiling with her light drop. An arrow that's shot by Mia with her small bow pierces the gap between the centipede's crust. Lulu is holding a magic gun on the other hand that's not holding the light drop, she skilfully shoots the roots of the centipede's legs. Lulu's marksmanships has become quite good.
Nana blocks the charging centipede with her great shield. The centipede vigorously climbed the great shield that it had rammed into and tried to attack, but Nana penetrates its head with her large sword from below. Furthermore Nana recites the Command Word [Tear] to activate the magic sword's special function, rupturing the centipede's head.
This [Tear] is a new feature that I've just experimented. I've put on thin membrane of force on the surface of the sword which will snap out with the command word. Since the eruption itself doesn't contain much power, I created the membrane to be in fine threads to increase its killing power, making it tear through the enemy's body from inside. Compared to [Shell], there seems to be a few situations where this can be used since if the enemy is soft, you'd be better off slashing with the sword normally.
The only one who didn't fight the centipedes, Tama, was dealing with the Goblin Assassin that was sneaking from behind. This monster is an assassin-type demi goblin that sneaks up from the shadow in narrow passages, they will launch surprise attacks from behind if you're careless. Even though their levels are only around 3-5, it seems 30% of explorers' deaths annually are caused by these Goblin Assassins.
"I guess it's around White 7 Vermilion 3? There's rarely any Red-grade magic cores like in area 17 huh."
Arisa is complaining while lighting the centipede cores with a light drop. From all the experience so far, it seems that the older the monster, the deeper the color of the magic core tends to become. And it seems that the higher the level, the bigger its magic core becomes.
Along the way, in a certain hall of area 1-2-21, we happened to pass by the party of miss Gina and miss Heliona that were fighting a Soldier Mantis. Soldier Mantises are weak monsters that are around level 13-18.
Although I've said hall, there are variations in elevation, and curtain-shaped screens are also hanging from the ceiling, so the field of view is bad. These curtain-shaped screens which I've seen here and there in the halls and corridors seem to be wreckages of spiderwebs that have accumulated dust.
The person who seems to be the party leader over there seems to have noticed us too, but it seems the leader doesn't intend to have a contact with us unless we get closer.
Those girls are in a party of 10 people, four in full-body metal armors, two in partial metal armors, and the other four are in leather armors.
Miss Gina is using a long spear instead of the flail from before, and she's attacking a monster from behind a heavy soldier who seems to be Miss Heliona. It seems she's injured as there's a bandage wrapped on one of her arm.
There's a single magician who sometimes shoots out firebolts from the furthermost behind. I feel that the firebolts often hit the magician's friends instead of the monsters, but it must be my imagination. The jeers must also be my imagination.
"Ugeh, that fire magician is terrible. The firebolt was aimed at the back of the vanguard shield-user."
"Affirmative. That magician is a dangerous pyromaniac, so I assert."
They should be able to win since there's only one opponent, but it'll be dangerous if there are many.
We continue without calling out to them, and join the beastkin girls who have gone ahead to the exit.
"Easy victory~?" "Nanodesu!"
"Master, we've collected the magic cores."
"Thank you. Then, let's go."
I receive the three Soldier Mantises' magic cores from Liza. I had asked the three to go ahead and exterminate a small group of Soldier Mantises that were coming from the passage. Since Pochi has a shallow cut on her cheek, I heal her with [Aqua Heal].
I put the remains of the Soldier Mantises besides the magic cores in the same folder in my Storage since they may be useful for something. I can also put it in Arisa's space magic [Garage], but since it consumes large amount of magic power, we don't use it for now.
There are a lot of Mantis-type and Grasshopper-type monsters in this area 21. It seems they can be sold handsomely, largish parties are encamping in each halls of this area.
Looking at them when we passed by, every party didn't seem like they were fighting all-out, they always had reserves who weren't fighting.
I thought that they were taking safety margin, but I realized that they were taking precautions against something other than monsters after they warned me. It's probably not only against the lost thieves, but also explorers who should have been their companions. There might explorer parties with a bad manner who snatch the monster that the other have defeated after much hardship from the side.
We discovered a body that's getting eaten by monsters in the main corridor that connects to the area where miss Gina and the others were just now.
I shoot [Short Stun] to tear the monsters off the bodies, and Arisa's firebolts burn down the Maze Cockroaches. Apparently, it's an easily burnable monster.
The body that were getting eaten by the cockroach monsters is of one of the person who's picking a quarrel with us in the West Guild, one of the friends of the man called Besso. I put the hair of the deceased and the bronze plates that Liza has collected into the Storage.
"Ugeh, maybe he got attacked from behind when he was running."
"Affirmative. I recommend children not to see this."
There's a crossroad ahead of this corridor, the left has Besso and one of his friend, and the right is a hall with a large-scale party of 20 people. The party are fighting monsters twice their number. Among them, there are two people from [Beautiful Wings], and the party of three beastkins from the ant-train incident.
Besso and his friend seem to be escaping without any monster pursuing them. Those two only have around 20% healths left, but since their life natures seem to be dirty, they will probably survive.
Rather than that, I'm more interested with the composition of the 20-people party. The five core members are around levels 15-18, but the other 15 are levels 5-10, they're somewhat unreliable to fight monsters in this area. Bluntly speaking, it's absurd. Even the cockroach that Arisa had effortlessly defeated just now was at level 12.
I don't want to leave acquaintances to their deaths, and our members can probably win unhurt, so I guess I'll intrude upon it.
I also thought about cleaning it up from a distant, but I decided to let everyone fight this time.
I'm not thinking that we should stop being inconspicuous, but we've already been conspicuous enough after getting the Red Iron promotion from the guildmaster. Showing everyone's abilities in front of other explorers, so that the surrounding recognize it sooner will probably decrease troubles.
Fortunately, since my true strength won't spread, people will think that I'm an incompetent noble who's surrounded by strong retainers, and I will become the target of threats or kidnapping instead. It might be nice to purposely let myself get kidnapped, and have Pochi and Tama save me afterward.
"Satou, a fork."
"Yeah, there are 20 explorers who are fighting cockroach monsters like before to the right of the crossroad."
"Then, we should go straight?"
I usually let Liza or Arisa make a judgment from Mia's report, but I decide on the plan this time since people's life are hanging here.
"No, my acquaintances are there, and they will be annihilated if they're left alone so let's save them."
"Is it alright?"
Arisa asked since it wasn't like the usual me, so I told my thinking just now to everyone. Mysteriously, not just Arisa, every member is also enthusiastic to be in the situation where they save me from kidnapping.
Leaving that aside, since everyone has agreed, we proceed to the right on the crossroad.
"And, who are those acquaintances?"
"It's the female party and the beastkins from the ant-train incident back then."
"Wait you, I'm fine with helping them, but don't raise some strange flag okay."
"I remember. Those vulgar people who were hugging master right."
I wonder what, Lulu looks somewhat dark.
In the hall that we had arrived at, maybe the leader-shi was competent, there was no casualty despite the party being clearly in disadvantage.
They have already been cornered in one part of the hall though.
They're in perilous situation enough that if even one party member dies, they will be annihilated.
Now then, I'm sorry that it looks like we're waiting for our turn to show up, but let's let the cavalry out.