Chapter 34 Strongest Sage, Catches Monster Bare-handed
Dungeons are cave-like places where mana essence gathers, places of which monsters are easier to occur.
A cave that has turned into a dungeon changes its terrain by itself, there are even cases where it behaves like a living creature depending on the quantity and quality of the mana essence....
Looks like the outer layer of this dungeon doesn't have such a characteristic. It's hard for mana to pass through dungeon walls, so I cannot detect the deeper layer of this dungeon with my current search ability.
"Oh, found a monster."
I found a reaction from monster right after we stepped into the dungeon.
There's a hermit crab-like monster beyond an intersection straight ahead.
"Eh? I don't see anything resembling monster, has my search skill gotten bad? I should have good eyes for once though...."
"I can't see any monster either."
"Ah. You can't see it yet. It's beyond an intersection over there."
Guess I should teach them 【Passive Detection】 and stuff before we start the exploration for real.
There's a huge difference between someone who can and cannot use it.
Though well, it can be easily obstructed with concealment, so relying on it too much isn't a good idea either.
"By the way, what kind of monster is it?"
"It looks like a hermit crab. I'll go catch it real quick."
I said that and dashed off, after that I caught the hermit crab monster beyond the intersection and went back.
Of course, I've bound its claws and arms with magic to prevent accidents.
It's a very weak monster, I can probably beat it by hitting it with a physical reinforced fist.
Even this hermit crab can easily cut off human fingers if it can use its claws though.
"No matter how weak a monster is, they're still far stronger than common animals. It's not unusual for casualties to appear even with this monster, so you need to be careful.... Or so I'd like to say, but watching Mathias-kun catching one bare-handed like that makes you think there's no need for that.... You two, don't imitate him okay."
"Not like we could even if we wanted...."
The two girls replied the teacher.
Well it's important to be careful.
There's a possibility of not being able to concentrate at the crucial parts if you're too focused on a weak opponent, thus moderately loosing your strain at the right parts is also important.... Well, they'll probably get used to it as they battle on.
Staying focused to their limit at all times should be a good lesson for beginners.
"Well, that's that, for now let's use this thing as a practice board."
I picked up the hermit crab while saying that.
"Alma, try to shoot an arrow at this monster."
"That monster is covered in shell isn't it? No matter how strong this bow is, I don't think it could break through the shell...."
"Yeah. It's just for confirming something. You don't need to mind me, I can manage even if your aim veers off a bit. Hurry, other monsters would come if we don't do this quick."
I know that no monster will come here for a while with 【Passive Detection】 though.
"I really don't want to shoot a target someone's holding.... Well, I guess Mathi-kun will be fine. Ei!"
Fwoosh, the arrow let loose with that sound and hit the hermit crab right in the shell even without my interference.
However, it couldn't break through the shell. Monster shell isn't soft enough to be broken by a bow of this level.
"Then try to shoot it after putting your mana on the arrow. Do it just like how you usually shoot a magic."
"Err... Like this?"
Alma successfully put her mana into the arrow along with her words. She has quite the sense.
"Try to shoot that arrow."
"Okay. Here it goes! Ei!"
The arrow this time smashed the shell and went deep into the hermit crab's body.
Once its shell is broken, the hermit crab that doesn't have much life force to begin with dies just like that.
"Eh, no way...."
"That was a kind of augment magic, 【Simple Magic Enchant】. It's the most basic magic of arrow enchant, you'll have to use it often to get used to it."
Saying that, I took out additional arrows from storage magic and handed them to Alma.
"....Huh? Where did the arrows come from just now?"
"Don't tell me that's a space-type storage magic....? Isn't that a stuff of legend...."
"It exists in reality. Since your maximum mana will decrease when you store heavy things, it's an unexpectedly inconvenient magic though."
"Yeah. Half of my mana was taken away when I used it to store a War Tiger I beat in my trip to the royal capital."
I nearly burned the materials thanks to it.
Or rather I would have definitely done it if the merchant didn't tell me. No doubt about it.
"Isn't War Tiger a calamity class monster...."
"Un, sorry. My mistake for wanting common sense from Mathi-kun."
"Do I really even need to accompany this party..... I have to since it's the rule though...."
"You'll be able to beat something like War Tiger soon enough.... Now then, let's keep at it. It seems there's a lot monsters over there. Judging from the mana flow, it's in the same direction as the path to the next floor."
Most dungeons have a multilayered structure called 『Floors』.
Each floor is connected by stairs-like terrain like cliff and waterfall, the strength of monsters located in the same floor usually aren't that different.
In that sense, exploring a dungeon might be more stable than outside a dungeon. Because unlike in seas or forests, enemies with hugely different combat capabilities don't often suddenly appear out of nowhere.
Though well, even if that's often the case, that doesn't mean that it never happens.
"Then, you two, try to advance ahead while searching for the enemy from here on. I'll be sure to step forward if it looks dangerous though."
"Really, I don't know who's accompanying who here...."
We continued ahead in the dungeon while having that conversation.