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Okami wa Nemuranai 43.4

4





The room's exist led them into a small room covered in rocks, the other four were already waiting.

Once you get to this point, any one member of the group can warp out of the dungeon. You can also warp to the next floor if all five shafts have been conquered.

"You're late."

Ui looks at Lecan with her usual chilly and sharp gaze.

"Yea, sorry for the wait."

"Julius hasn't been hurt or anything, has he."

"Yes. I'm fine Ui-oneesan."

"Oneesan?"

"Ah, I'm sorry. That's impolite of me."

"No. You're not being impolite. How could you be. There is nothing wrong at all with that calling."

"I'd like to get to the next floor."

"Oho. I see you're full of motivation. Well, shallow floors are well suited for swords after all, so swordsmen would have an easier time taking on chain battles compared to mages here."

The seven joined hands and warped to floor 2.

Afterward, they got through three floors, up to floor 4.

The magic beasts were all ashen-colored <Magic Wolf>, spawning one in each room, but they've been gradually getting bigger and faster.

Julius's movements are still as awkward as ever. Aiming at a wolf's neck proves to be quite a tall order to him.

(Now this is curios.)

(And he moved so well in Dungeon Tsubolt.)

Though when you think about it, the boy had been fighting nothing but <Black Body> even up to Dungeon Tsubolt's depths. Humanoid magic beasts carrying weapons. Julius could afford to unleash his full power against such foes.

But not so against wolf-type. Their biting fangs look frightening up close. Fighting against that fearsome attacks while trying to slash at their necks with your sword is a whole different level of difficult than fighting humans.

Lecan himself majorly dealt with animal-type magic beasts when he first started out dungeon diving. He had a hard time against insect and plant types as well. It's not until he began diving in large scale dungeons that he faced his first humans and humanoid magic beasts. Hence he doesn't think much of wolf-type beasts as tough opponents.

"<Recovery>."

"Thank you very much, master."

"Splendidly done."

"Thank you."

"How you parried the <Magic Wolf>'s right leg attack with your sword to then proceed to slashing at its neck was especially well done."

"Yes."

"However, the way you swing your sword when you went for the neck lacked sharpness."

"Ah."

"Your father never lets up with the sharpness of his slashes no matter what enemy he's facing. It's one thing if your fighting style is like me, brute forcing sword swings akin to striking, but if you aim to cut your foes with skills, you must not forget to focus on your slashes."

Due to the shallowness of Julius's slash, he failed to kill off the beast with that hit and suffered a counterattack.

"Y-yes."

"Hm. How you did not falter even after the claw cut your right cheek and proceeded to finish it off was splendid."

"Yes."

Lecan ended up showing his <Recovery> to the elderly mage, Jiza, but he had already anticipated this would happen beforehand. Showing off that much of his ability is no big deal.

"In a fight, don't forget to fear against the weak, don't falter against the strong."

"Don't forget to fear against the weak, don't falter against the strong."

"Indeed."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"I understand master."

Jiza watched over the two while being all smiles.

Afterward they met up with other members and had lunch together.

Ui and the other mages were astonished when Lecan started taking out firewood from <Storage> and ignited them with <Ignition> magic, though in the end they all sit around the camp fire.

Surprisingly enough, Ui and the mages had <Free Box> on them.

Though the same could be said to them.

"Who could have thought Lecan-dono and Julius-dono also have <Free Box> on you. Even at Palcimo, only senior members of the Magic Knights and Magic Research Institute have them. I believe only a handful of them have been sold outside. No forget it, that's not my place to say."

Lecan handed the <Free Box> he got from the courtship duel to Eda, but Eda lent it to Julius, thinking it would come in handy for him in the dungeon exploration.

Lecan doesn't actually have a <Free Box>. Ui came to believe that on her own after watching Lecan taking out things after things by putting his hands inside his chest pocket.

"Julius. Want a bite of this boiled food?"

"Yes. Ui-oneesan."

"Julius-kun. This fruit is pretty tasty too."

"Thank you, Miru-oneesan."

"You must give this snack a try."

"Please have it for yourself Fuan-oneesan."

"Dango, sweet."

"I can't accept it when Kimu-oneesan likes it so much."

"Here, the soup is warm already, I'll get it for you."

"Thank you, Miru-oneesan. Ah, please leave some for master too."

The one who brought out the pot and warmed the soup was Lecan and they were all free to scoop for themselves, but the women were all eager to spoil Julius.

"But still, I can't believe we're having warm soup over a campfire inside a dungeon. Lecan-dono, you're quite odd."

"Yeah? Where I come, campfire is a given when camping no matter if you're in a dungeon or a forest."

"That's only applicable to dungeons where you can fetch materials to make a campfire. Hm? Julius, there's blood."

"Eh."

"What."

"My goodness."

Blood from the cheek wound Julius suffered earlier had spilled onto his shoulder and chest. Ui noticed that.

"Ah. It's okay. It was just a scratch."

"Where. Where are you hurt?"

"It's on my right cheek."

"Let me have a look. No wound mark... huh. I see you have Red Potions on you nicely. Ah, there's blood here and there too."

"Oh those are magic beasts' blood. It spilled on me."

"Lecan-dono. You're making Julius fight."

"Of course. Rather, I haven't fought once thus far."

"What!"

Ui frowned as she glared at Lecan. The other mages also sent a harsh glance.

"Lecan-dono. If you don't mind, would you let Julius go with me from here on? I'm sure you alone can explore these shallow floors. And you have Obaba-sama with you too."

"No."

"Why do you refuse."

"Looking after Julius's training is one of my goals. I don't believe you can handle that."

"However."

"Ui."

Jiza who had been staying silent while working on her meal called out the magic knight's name. Ui turned a meaningful look at Jiza's face but then she sighed out loud and apologized to Lecan.

"Pardon me, Lecan-dono. I said too much."

"Yea."

 

 

 

 

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Okami wa Nemuranai 43.3

 3





The entrance to Dungeon Palcimo is on the mountain side of Mt. Slinga. It's a small mountain that's more a hill than a mountain. But how everything is covered in trees makes calling it a mountain acceptable still.

Buildings housing the Information Desk, Kind Office and Trade Facility have been erected on the foot of Mt. Slinga, along with several small inns surrounded by trees. It's a compact looking dungeon environment, a far cry from the same Grand Dungeon of Tsubolt where people and buildings crowd together as far as eyes can see.

Though back at the city, every aisles is full of workshops and stores, people from all over the place looking for magic-related gear would flock there.

They bought light meals at the stalls, then the seven of them trod on a tree-covered uphill path toward the dungeon entrance. Even though it's still not yet peak time, the place is unusually sparse of people.

The entrance is about five step wide, explorers wanting to go in are neatly lining up in front of it. There's no sentries to organize or check them for permits.

Ui spoke once they advanced a bit.

"Good, this spot should do. Let us all join hands together."

All seven of them joined hands.

"<Floor>."

The floor graph came up on Lecan's mind in that instance. In other dungeons, reciting the Floor spell won't show you floors you haven't been to, and floors you haven't got the marks from are grayed out. Yet, floor 1 is shown brightly on Lecan's head right now.

"<Warp>."

Once Ui recited the spell, all seven of them got warped to floor 1.

There's no one else here.

This dungeon, Palcimo has extremely unusual characteristics even outside the multishaft aspect of it. First of all, different parties can never see each other even when they're on the same floor. Not only that, you won't ever come across traces of battles or belongings left by other parties no matter which floor you're exploring.

The most plausible explanation to this, hypothesized by the Magic Research Institute, is that Dungeon Palcimo generates a new room whenever a party enters.

They got transported into a small room with five shaft openings. Each openings is covered by a mist-like matter, you can't peer inside. A familiar mechanism in Tsubolt too.

"Lecan-dono. I am sure you are aware of the traits the magic beasts spawning here possess already."

"Yea."

Lecan has read the document given to him.

Dungeon Palcimo is known as <Dungeon of Magic> but it's got another alias, <Dungeon of Wolves>. The only type of magic beasts that spawns here. They look similar to <Ashen Wolves> but their heads are larger with sharp fangs. As they can attack with magic, they get to be called <Magic Wolves>.

<Magic Wolves> have different traits depending on their color. The whiter they are, the more resistant they are to magic, and when they're pure white, they're pretty much invulnerable to magic. While the blacker they are the more resistant they're to physical attacks, pitch black wolves are invulnerable to physical attacks.

On shallow floors, one Magic Wolf will spawn in each shaft, ash colored more to the black side, they're also small and move slowly.

"Obaba-sama will be the one accompanying you into the shaft."

"Got it."

"Alright then. We're entering."

Ui and the other three mages got in the shafts.

"Let's get moving too. Julius, you go in first."
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"Yes!"

"I'm gonna stay still in the back. Go fight how you want."

"I understand, master."

Julius breathed in and out before drawing his sword and went in the shaft.

Lecan next, followed by Jiza.

The inside was surprisingly spacious. Around 20 step wide, and 100 step deep. It doesn't match the size of the shaft opening at all.

A small ashen <Magic Wolf> deep inside the room noticed the intruders and ran up to them.

It's about the size of a two-three year human child, but its face looks ferocious.

Julius charged at his opponent as well. However, Lecan sensed something off with him.

The way he carries himself doesn't have the sharpness he showed in Dungeon Tsubolt.

He still didn't have his sword ready even when they were about to clash, and just when the magic beast was about to bite his leg, Julius struck down the <Magic Wolf>'s head with an overhead slash.

Lecan walked up to him from behind and called out.

"Alright. Well done."

"Master~."

Julius turned around and looked up at Lecan with a miserable expression. It seems he himself is aware how terribly he fought.

"You defeated your opponent without sustaining injury. Take pride in that. You're the victor."

"Yes, master."

(Well, someone's down.)

(Can't go on like this.)

"Julius, what's the goal of exploring a dungeon."

"Eh? I-it's so you can get stronger. And also to obtain Grace Gear, Potions and magic stones."

"Exactly. But get too greedy and you die. So you begin to see those things as stuff that naturally falls on your lap as you keep delving in dungeons. In the end, the goal of exploring dungeons is the very act of delving in deeper and farther into a dungeon itself."

"Y-yes."

"Now then, what's the most important thing in a dungeon exploration."

"Is it attentiveness?"

"It's survival."

"Ah."

"And after that is to not get wounded badly."

"Yes."

"You've accomplished those two most important things. You've earned the right to take pride in yourself."

"Y-yes."

"For now, go fetch the magic stone."

"Yes."

Julius used a small dagger on his waist to take out the magic stone, then Lecan wiped it clean and handed the small magic stone to Jiza.

"Oh. Can I take that?"

"Yea."

"Then, I suppose I shall. Much appreciated."

Jiza held out her right hand, then the magic stone disappeared from Lecan's palm like it had been sucked in.

"Now then, Julius. Do an introspection of your fight just now."

"Yes. First of all, I was bewildered as to how I should fight a small foe. I was also confused about fighting a non-human adversary. Thus, I could not decide which move to use."

"Yeah. That's exactly it. Then how should you have swung your sword?"

"I should have crouched down and slashed horizontally."

"Yeah, that's no good. That stops you in your track, and the enemy is too small. Your swordschool must have moves where you swing your sword diagonally from lower left to upper right."

"Yes there are."

"Give that a try."

"Yes."

"Oh and, earlier on you struck down that magic beast's head with an overhead slash. That one did the trick because the enemy was weak and your sword is exceptionally good, but keep doing that on small foes and that sword's gonna wear down fast. Also, skulls are tough no matter the magic beasts, slashing them with a sword is not a wise move. Pretty much all magic beast's weak points are on their necks and hearts. Try to go for the neck for the time being. Wound their limbs first if you can't go straight for the neck."

"Yes, master!"

 

 

 

 

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Okami wa Nemuranai 43.2

 2





The following day, a little while after breakfast, the five people who would go into the dungeon with them arrived.

An elderly woman of an awfully short stature.

A knight-looking woman clad in a high-class metal armor.

A woman with a wicked look on her eyes wearing a huge hat.

A small woman in a thief-styled outfit.

A big woman with two wands hanging on her waists.

The elderly woman piqued Lecan's interest. She's small, all smiles and looks like your harmless friendly neighborhood old woman at a glance. However, her true nature could not be farther from truth.

(Well damn.)

(She may not measure up to Shira.)

(But she's got more mana than me.)

(No less to expect from the <Dungeon of Magic> I guess.)

(Wonder if there are more monsters like this around here.)

Lecan has been using <Life Detection> in the town since yesterday, but since the town is choke-full of people with strong mana and they tend to crowd together in close proximity, Lecan failed to notice a mage of her caliber until now.

The other four have quite the mana pools themselves. These women may look like a knight or a thief, but their real nature must be that of mages.

"So you are Lecan-dono."

It's the knight-looking woman. She's an owner of startling beauty but she's got quite a strict expression. Her gaze is awfully sharp. Like it would stab you at anytime.

She's got an aura of the strong. Frankly speaking, this woman would have proved to be a far tougher opponent than the two people Lecan faced in the courtship duel. And even though her mana pool is not quite the elderly woman's level, it's still of a respectable amount.

"Yea."

"I am Ui, a magic knight affiliated with Palcimo Magic Knights. And from the right to the left, these here are Jiza, Fuan, Miru and Kim. We will accompany your quest to explore Dungeon Palcimo in the next three days."

"I see. Good to meet you. I'm Lecan. This boy here is Julius."

"Julius-dono. Pardon me for asking, how old are you?"

"I am thirteen year old. Please don't worry about adding dono to my name."

"So you are. But still, 13 years old huh."

Magic knight Ui's gaze loosened up. But that gentle gaze evaporated right away and she turned an icy gaze back at Lecan.

"So it seems that you have conquered Dungeon Tsubolt."

"Yea."

"You cannot be telling me that you brought Julius with you when you did."

"I didn't. Was with his father."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"His... Father."

"Yes! My father and master Lecan conquered Dungeon Tsubolt together."

"I... see. You are following your father's footsteps."

"Yes! It's my goal to become an outstanding swordsman like father."

Ui turned an emotion-filled gaze at Julius but Lecan could not understand what that emotion held. Her gaze was back to a chilly temperature when she turned it at Lecan.

"Lecan-dono. How many people did you have in your party when you were exploring Dungeon Tsubolt?"

"We were together with three local adventurers until a point, after which I only had Arios with me."

"Have you explored other dungeons before Tsubolt?"

"Got to conquer Dungeon Ninae before Tsubolt."

"Ninae?"

The one answering her question was the diminutive elderly mage, Jiza.

"That's a dungeon further north from Tsubolt. I believe it has got 45 floors in total."

Her voice was hoarse and shrill yet carried a weirdly calming effect to it.

"So it is. A medium sized dungeon then. Lecan-dono. Did you conquer Ninae only with two people as well?"

"We were with another sword wielder and a <Recovery> user back then."

"So it was originally a four person party. And now it's only you and Julius. And yet you intend to continue exploring dungeons?"

"Yea."

"I see. What a sinful thing. No, excuse me. I said too much. Now then, Lecan-dono, should we head for the dungeon right away. Or should we wait after lunch?"

"Let's go now."

"Understood. Any one of us is able to fight a several times a day, therefore we can match your pace. Are we going to have lunch inside the dungeon?"

"Yea. Heard you can buy foodstuff near the mountain foot."

"Umu. You could get them here in this mansion as well, but I suppose you want to familiarize yourself with this dungeon's ways. We will buy them at the stalls."

"How much should I pay for your service?"

"It's my duty as a magic knight to accompany you, your reward is unnecessary. As for the other four, they are tagging along as part of a larger plan at the Magic Research Institute, hence it would be good of you if you allow them take property of items they acquired."

"You own the stuff you get, obviously. Same with other members. But that can't be called rewards for you."

"Nevertheless, it is our duty."

Jiza interrupted Ui here.

"Then how about one big silver coin per person a day, Lecan-chan?"

"I got it."

"Obaba-sama. That's way extravagant."

"It's fine, it's fine. That much won't even make a dent on Lecan-chan's pocket. Just accept the money as yours. Regard it as bonus gain. Would be a good motivation driver for you girls too, wouldn't it."

The elderly mage looked at everyone before turning all smiles at Lecan.

As a matter of fact, one big silver coin a day to have this elderly mage's companion is still way too cheap a deal. And this old woman is aware that Lecan thinks that.

Ui didn't pursue the matter any further.

They had two wagons split among themselves that transported them to Mt. Slinga where the dungeon is located.

 

 

 

 

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Okami wa Nemuranai 43.1

 1





They arrived at Palcimo in ten days time after departing Mashajain.

It was surprisingly fast considering they were riding a wagon, but it was quite a leisurely trip to Lecan.

This was done because they made frequent stops at choice inns along the way.

The southern half of Zaka Kingdom is far more prosperous than the northern half overall. Every towns have their own specialties with many establishments offering good food. Especially the route from Mashajain to Palcimo, it's a full line up of towns with good inns.

Manfrey Wazrof had ordered his subordinates to make a list of inns that offer good food and local specialties en route.

As such eight of those ten days were spent in inns.

Sometimes they would even arrive at an inn late at night. There were also establishments where they could not have stayed without reservations. However, the letter of introduction Manfrey prepared worked like a charm, allowing Lecan and Julius to enjoy delicious local specialties everywhere they stopped by. And the fact that every single inn had a bath facility also helped improve Lecan's mood.

Yet that good mood got blown away right as they arrived at Palcimo.

"What? The dungeon here can't be entered with just two people?"

"Yes. Did you really come this far without being aware of that? Dungeon Palcimo is a Multishaft Dungeon, it cannot be explored unless you have five persons in your party at the very least."

"Multishaft Dungeon? What the heck's that."

"Each floor has five shaft openings, and once you enter a shaft, you cannot turn back. The shaft will reveal its exit once you have defeated the magic beasts inside. And you cannot go to the next floor until all magic beasts in all five shafts have been defeated. There is no restriction on the number of people that may enter a shaft, but as a crowd will only hinder mobility, each shaft is usually dealt with by a few people."

Even if three people enter each shaft, that will require 15 people. Quite a large group for exploring dungeons. There were dungeons similar to this in Lecan's original world as well.

"Ah, I see. That kinda dungeon huh. Are all the floors like that here?"

"It applies up to floor 80. From floor 81 down, all members of the party will have to fight a strong foe after they took care of their own shaft."

"Hou."

"The Kind Office is right next to this building. By specifying the floor you're aiming for, number of members, and ability you want, we will introduce you to a suitable party once a day. If you decline, you may not use the service again that day. I don't believe anybody is still waiting at the Kind Office this late in the day however, and besides."

"Besides?"

"To be honest with you, this town's explorers tend to avoid partying up with adventurers from outside. As such, most adventurers from outside town usually have a party of five or more already by the time they got here."

"Explorers, not adventurers huh."

"Most people diving in this town's dungeon have a day job, exploring would be a side job they partake every once in a while."

As it turns out, the majority of explorers in this town's dungeons are the townspeople themselves. A lot of them work in magic related fields, they dive in the dungeon to obtain materials, raise their strength or funds. A lot even fight only once in every dive. After all, fighting when their mana is still full is more efficient, and they could always do their day job while waiting for their mana to recover.

Thus there's only a few inns around this dungeon.

Adventurers from out of town do come also, but since you need a full group of mana bearers to even get in the dungeon, their numbers are few.

Just as Lecan was about to look for an inn and think about how to approach this again tomorrow morning, he recalled one thing.

"Oh yeah. I was told to hand this over to the dungeon's management once I got here."

Lecan handed over a sealed letter Manfrey entrusted him to the clerk. It's made of a fine wood paper, adorned with a luxurious piece of ribbon.

"Dungeon management?"

The clerk took the letter even while looking doubtful, then her eyes fell on the seal under the ribbon. Afterward, she noticed the watermark on the paper.

The motif of a Lightning Clad Lion.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"T-this, can it be."

The clerk alternately looked between Lecan's face and the letter with an awfully shocked expression.

"W-we shall contact the management at once. If you could please wait a moment!"

That clerk ran into the back room before hurrying out of the building.

After a while, the clerk earlier came back with a wagon. Lecan and Julius got on that wagon, to the townlord's mansion.

"You will be Lecan-dono then?"

"Yea."

"I am Toru Ciel, a nephew of Palcimo Lord, Elmo Ciel-sama, as well as the person entrusted to manage our dungeon. It is our honor to receive a visitation by a relative of Marquis of Wazrof-sama."

"Glad to hear that. Well met."

"Nice to meet you too. Now then, I hear that you're not one to fancy roundabout colloquy. Am I right to assume that you are here to explore our dungeon?"

"Yeah."

"This will be your first time in this dungeon. According to the clerk, it appears you were not aware that you could not explore the dungeon with less than five people. How many days and how far do you plan on exploring?"

"That's to be decided once we're in. We may bail out early if we find it too difficult or not rewarding."

"Fumu. Which means, it might turn into a long term expedition if it isn't too difficult, or it's rewarding."

"That's right."

"Do you plan to take that boy with you?"

"Yea."

"Fumu. I take it both of you are mana bearers then?"

"Yea."

"Understood. You may use our service at the Kind Office, but you likely will have a hard time finding members. I have a suggestion."

"I'm all ears."

"I will prepare the members you are lacking. For a duration of three days as a starter. If you still have the will to continue after three days of exploration, you may go to the Kind Office to look for more members. My subordinates will ascertain your prowess in battle. They shall issue a letter of recommendation if they deem you capable of exploring this dungeon. That should make finding people easier at the Kind Office."

"Hou. That'd be great. I'll take up you up on your offer. Ah, this Julius will go in the same shaft as me."

"Ah, I see. He's under your tutelage. Then I shall arrange for four additional members besides the observer. Do stay in this mansion tonight. We will prepare your meals, drink and bath."

"We'll be in your care."

Good food, good drink and a spacious bath. There was a manual outlining Dungeon Palcimo left on the table in their room. Julius stayed and had a meal in the same room as Lecan. None of the servants showed their faces besides the times they brought in meals and led Lecan to bath. Lecan usually found staying in a mansion stickler for rules like this annoying, but either he had gotten used to it, or this mansion was an outlier, he had a good night sleep that day.

 

 

 

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Okami wa Nemuranai 42.16_17_18_19

16





The following day, Wazrof and Rainzats entourages both left Tsubolt at the same time.

Lecan wanted to head for Dungeon Palcimo right away, but Norma wouldn't allow him to.

"I beg of you, at least come with us until Mashajain. We must report back to Manfrey-sama and discuss future policy together. As you are one of the concerned parties, it would not do to have you absent."

He couldn't argue back to that and got on board the entourage to Mashajain.

Eda was called by Heles and transferred over to Rainzat's wagon along the way.

Heles, Norma, Lecan, Eda and Julius would have dinner together.

It was very fun.

That night, someone drew near the assigned space Lecan slept in.

"Chief, Chief."

"Whaddya want, Chubby."

"Indole and Fotos have sent out assassins aiming for Chief's life."

"Hou."

"You don't seem surprised at all."

"No, I am. They believe they could kill me huh."

"That confidence will be your undoing one of these days, Chief."

"I'll keep it in mind."

"Are you curious when and how they will raid you?"

"Not really."

"That's the part where you say, please tell me Gwislan."

"Please tell me, Chubby."

"Haa. Okay, let's see here. At the pace this convoy is going, you will part with Rainzats' entourage in five to six days. The raid will come after that."

"Ah. I see. Hm? They want me killed for sure, but what about Norma?"

"Apparently, they intend to kidnap her and get her married to Pentaros."

"Wasn't him disallowed to propose anymore?"

"Thus they won't formally ask for it. They want to make them married by force."

"I don't get the logic behind that. So they're picking a fight with Wazrof Household?"

"No no. Even if it's by abduction, not even Wazrof can object if they properly treat her as a wife. Gonna be lots of ill will though."

"Hmph."

"So what about it, Chief."

"Hm?"

"Won't you hire me?"

"Hire you then what."

"Isn't it obvious. I'll go find out when and where you will get attacked."

"Okay, you're hired."

"Hehehehe. What a joy. I'm now working under Chief."

"Get lost if you're done."

"You're so cold, Chief. Well then."

They parted ways with Heles on the morning of day six. Heles handed over a letter to Norma during the parting.

Their wagons kept going for a while before Gwislan showed up.

"Chief. Our foes are hiding near a hillside about a thousand steps from here. 12 in total, none has assassination skill sets."

"Hou. Don't these folks get spies with them?"

"Oh they do. They've been keeping track of your group's movement, Chief. Haven't you noticed?"

"I did feel that kinda presence."

"I knew it, Chief, you're helpless without me around."

"No, you're not needed."

"Oh, you jest."

As they got near the hillside, Lecan could sense the enemy's location as well.

Lecan stopped the wagon.

"Alright. We're heading out, Eda."

"Un."

"Jinga, you stay with Norma."

"Yes."

Eda and Lecan approached the enemy, Lecan informed Eda where the enemy is at. Eda located the precise spots with <Detection> and put them to sleep with <Sleep> magic. She could cover a much bigger range now.

"Lecan. I put them to sleep as you asked. There were some really really tough ones resisting though."

"Hou. Guessing it's Grace Gear related. What did you do to them?"

"I forced my way in."

Boosting Eda at Dungeon Tsubolt was a success.

"Chubby."

"Right here."

"We've put those lurking thugs to sleep, is this all?"

"Yes. None stands in your way anymore. But really, <Sleep> from this far away is it. She's incredible."

"Here's your reward."

Lecan threw a coin, Chubby fetched it.

"Isn't this one large gold coin!"

"That's how much your info worth."

"Oh dear, I don't have the change for this."

"Keep the change."

"Now that it's come to this, I gotta work for the change's worth."

"I said keep it."

"I shall accompany Chief in the background for a while."

"No. Get lost. Aa."

"He really did vanish. What was that person anyway?"

"A spy."

"Hee. What's his name?"

"Chubby."

"That's not a name, isn't it. What's his real name?"

"...Beats me?"



<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >

17





"Lecan."

"What's wrong, Norma."

"I received a letter from Heles-dono."

"So you did."

"She wrote how happy she is for Lecan-dono to be her elder sister's fiance."

"Hou?"

"It's my joy for you who bears the same face, the same heart and the same blood as me to be next to Lecan-dono, she said."

"Hou."

"She also told me to take good care of Eda-dono."

"I see."

"Lecan. I'm ashamed of myself."

"Hmph? Ah, right, Norma. Do you know what <Gaspario Raaf> means?"

"No, that term is foreign to me. It sounds a bit like an ancient language. I'll get it looked later."





18





"Lecan. Umm, you see."

"What's wrong."

"I wanna go to the capital and stay there for a while after we get to Mashajain."

"I'm not going."

"It's just me. Heles-san invited me."

"Hou? What are you gonna do there?"

"I'm gonna wear pretty clothes, eat tasty cake, and also."

"And also."

"It's a secret."

"What the heck."

"Either way, I wanna go to the capital. I can, right?"

"How long do you plan on staying?"

"Unn. Think about three months."

"Then let's make Wazrof our base of contact. I'm heading to Palcimo with Julius. Dunno how long it'll take, but I gotta get back at Vouka once by month ten for something I can't miss. I'll drop by Wazrof before returning to Vouka."

One of Mana Restorative ingredients, Tago Grass must be harvested between month nine and ten. There might be some around Palcimo if he just looked, but finding a spot where an abundance of them grow like Shira showed likely won't be easy. Then he might as well go back to Vouka.

"Ah. Then we should go back to Vouka together. Let's do that. Won't you contact me once you're back at Wazrof, Lecan? Then I can travel to Wazrof too."

"Got it."

"Lecan."

"Hm?"

"Why didn't you use that <God Cure> on yourself?"

"Cause I didn't acquire that one on my own."

"Lecan."

"Hm?"

"I'm gonna give it my all."

"Yea. Looking forward to it.

"Ehehe."

"Ah. And here's for you."

"What's this?"

"Something I took from Solusgia. It's a type of <Box> called <Free Box>. It's got a bigger capacity than ordinary <Box> and while it swell when you put things in, it won't bulge that much unless you put a really big item. From appraising the thing, seems it can hold hundreds of its size, and is very sturdily made."

"You're giving me this?"

"Yeah."

"Thank you (Narou), Lecan!"

"Watch out for thieves. And stuff breaks no matter how sturdy they are. The insides would spill out then. So keep your important stuff in separate storage."

"Un. Got it."





19





"First of all, I must congratulate you for your victory. I have heard reports on how merciless you were."

"Yeah?"

"Manfrey-sama. I have a suggestion."

"What would it be, Norma."

"What if we withdraw the application to revise our Family Tree Records?"

"What?"

"The prime minister seems to be quite against it."

"That is because they would be admitting lies carried out by the royal family. Of course, he is not happy."

"Thus we can make him owe us a favor by withdrawing."

"Hmu."

"Besides, Rainzats side should be relieved as well by that."

"What? Rainzats have made a definite promise that they will be fully compliant with us in the matter."

"Because that's the only choice they have. But the prime minister is the biological little brother of Rainzats's family head. I'm sure he's aware of the distress his brother is experiencing serving the royal family. He will surely breathe a sigh of relief if we extend a helping hand to the prime minister."

"I see. That might be the case. Even without Family Tree Records revision, the fact that their heir and Heles-dono are of a noble lineage shall remain undisputed. In fact, it'd be problematic if it was known that the royal family blood runs through them. But then what about you. Are you truly fine with that."

"That path is preferable to me as well."

Manfrey looked at Norma. Then at Lecan.

If the fact that Norma is the noblest lady of Wazrof becomes public, she can no longer marry Lecan. The only way to make it happens is if Lecan becomes a court ranked noble. But by doing so, Norma can't assume her position as the heiress of Goncourt. And it's doubtful if Lecan is even willing to become a court ranked noble.

"I see. I understand. So that is your wish."

"Yes."

"To be engaged to Lecan as the heiress to Goncourt Household."

"Yes."

"Very well. Our house shall send congratulatory gifts. Lecan, Norma is in your hands."

"Yea."

Manfrey gave a wealth of money to Norma as a congratulatory gift. Norma is also given annuity from Wazrof. Meaning, Norma's engagement with Lecan has been formally recognized by Wazrof.

"Lecan. There is this pond hidden behind branches of trees deep within Goncourt compound. I plan to build an annex in that spot of land as our dwelling. A small house for you, me, Eda, Jinga and also Jericho to live in. You're always welcome to come back to it and rest your wings there. We will have good liquor ready at all time. And also, right. I'll build a bath too. A small yet comforting bath. I'll build it where you can gaze at the pond and trees. Cause I know you really love bath."

Won't mind staying at that kind of annex whenever I drop by Vouka, thought Lecan.

"Can you build a hut to dry and mix medicinal plants too."

"That's easily done. Mind telling how you want it arranged?"

So long as it's got a big furnace, Lecan can bring everything else from Shira's house. Lecan had a big smile on his face as he imagined a future where he could make medicine to his heart's content.
 

 

 

[Episode 42 Courtship Duel] End/Next [Episode 43 Multi-Shaft Dungeon]

 

 


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Okami wa Nemuranai 42.14_15

14





"Guess I'm done here."

As Lecan was about to leave, Haydent called him.

"Lecan-dono. You may take one item Solusgia-dono has on him."

"Ah, yeah, we're doing that."

Lecan approached Solusgia lying on the ground. Medics and priests are already running toward him.

Curious about the necklace, Lecan appraised it and found out it had <Self Recovery (Small)> Grace. However it has a usage limit, and the Grace has already lost its power.

The <Box> Solusgia had turned out to really be <Free Box>. With a surprisingly large capacity.

"Haydent. I'll take the <Free Box> on his left waist. Deliver it to me once the content's been taken out."

Haydent looked at the medics and priests tending Solusgia before turning back at Lecan and gave his affirmation.

Then just as Lecan turned around, a voice resounded.

"Lecan-dono!"

It's Heles.

"Lecan-dono. Will you be so kind as to have a match with me?"

"What? You and me?"

"Yes. That's right."

Haydent interrupted them here.

"Lady Heles. What is your reason to challenge Lecan-dono in a duel?"

"No, it's not a duel. It's a practice match. Lecan-dono is my master. I would like to show him my growth thus far."

A troubled Haydent looked at Lecan.

"I see. In that case, I'm down. Haydent, I'm gonna borrow the arena for a bit."

Solusgia was moved elsewhere, Haydent returned to audience seats, and Lecan was left only with Heles in the arena.

"<Deploy>!"

"<Deploy>!"

The two deployed <Shield of Wolkan> in the same breath.

A faint smile came up on Heles's face.

Heles clad her sword in mana, walked up to Lecan like a breeze of wind before unleashing a diagonal downward slash.

(Nicely done slash.)

Lecan blocked the slash with his shield and let out a diagonal downward slash as well.

Heles blocked it with her shield. However, she immediately twisted the shield the instance Lecan's blade touched it, parrying the slash away. At the same time, she made her sword slid up Lecan's shield toward Lecan's left chest.

Lecan swiftly spun to the right, beat back Heles's sword with his shield, then he spun his body in the opposite direction and slashed his sword down from overhead at Heles.

Heles daringly stepped forward toward that slash, and mowed her sword from left to right as she blocked the slash with her shield.

Lecan nimbly leaped backward to dodge the attack.

(She's making use of her body elasticity well.)

(Quite an adaptive fighting style.)

The two continued exchanging blows for a while.

There was zero hesitation in Heles's sword. It's a truly straight and free swordsmanship. Her strikes hold terrifying power behind them. Likely far outclass Solusgia. Solusgia failed to assess Heles's strength as a mid dungeon conqueror due to him looking down on her as being woman. Though he had no way of knowing she also got an extra boost from 10,000 spiders either.

(Come to think of it, this is the first time I got to see Heles's skill after the conquest.)

Even Lecan found himself surprised when he blocked a direct attack from Heles with his shield. Heles's swordsmanship has gone even further than the last time they fought together in that dungeon. A flexible, elegant and powerful swordsmanship.

Lecan kept getting more and more impressed by her growth as he took every strike she unleashed.

(Would be nice to dive in a dungeon together with her someday.)

The seemingly everlasting exchange of swords saw an abrupt end.

Heles stopped attacking and bowed at Lecan as she was catching up with her breath.

"I'm still no match for you after all. Lecan-dono. You have my gratitude."

"Yea. You've really improved. Pretty impressive."

Heles showed him her best smile yet then, but Lecan noticed a glimmer of tear on the edge of her eye.

(Is she hurt somewhere?)

Lecan walked up to Heles, held up his hand and recited a spell.

"<Recovery>."

Heles closed her eyes as she soaked in Lecan's <Recovery>.

Without prompts, the audience stood up and gave them a round of applause.


<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >


15





"Cheers <<Jo Jood>>."

With Giluent Notz leading, everyone toasted.

Originally the banquet was to be attended by four marquis houses and the PM Office's representative, but Indole and Fotos canceled their participation, thus lots of seats ended up unmanned.

After the match earlier, Solusgia called off his duel with Heles. Giluent reminded them that he would be no longer allowed to propose to Heles if he did that, but Solusgia simply had no willpower left to fight Heles.

It turned into a peaceful banquet.

The PM Office Undersecretary, Yeteria Wazbon chatted Lecan up. Their chat made clear that Lecan was a fellow pupil studying under the same master as Guide Skalabel, and that he's an exceedingly capable apothecary, surprising everyone in the venue. And the fact that Eda is the <Healing Hand of Herb Saint> was another shock.

"Lecan. I still don't get one thing."

"Hm? Norma, what don't you get."

"What was it that you had lord Kouen tried to get his hands on anyway."

Viska suggested the term that let the winner takes one item from the loser. As both of them are powerful warriors, it's only natural for both to have superior equipment on them thus Lecan didn't find odd, not so with Norma it seems.

The one who had the answer to Norma's doubt was surprisingly, Yeteria.

"Before departing to Tsubolt, Pentaros-dono made a request to view the <Comet Cutter> housed at the royal palace, there he discovered that Lecan-dono was the one who procured the sword."

"What?"

"As such, Pentaros-dono was aware that Lecan-dono is a conqueror of Dungeon Tsubolt."

"Hou."

"As Lecan-dono readily surrendered <Comet Cutter> to the marquis, Lecan-dono must possess another sword rivaling <Comet Cutter>, and that you would naturally deploy it in the duel. This humble official could imagine Pentaros-dono coming to that conclusion."

"Makes sense."

And yet Lecan picked <Sword of Rusk>. It would have been a huge shock to the guy during a later appraisal had they succeeded.

After the banquet, Haydent paid Lecan a visit.

"Lecan-dono. I have been left with the cost for the <God Cure> from Fotos Household. Please accept it."

"I don't need money. Give me the same thing if they want to pay me back."

"I believe not even Fotos would have a <God Cure> ready. Very well. Our house shall sell a <God Cure> to Fotos instead. That will then be yours."

"Sorry for the trouble."

"Well, it is a good chance as any to make Fotos owe our house a debt. It is not a bad exchange. And this is the <Free Box>, your prize. I have heard rumors about them, to think Indole House had one already."

"Palcimo apparently made these things."

"Yes, that is what the rumor said. By the way, we have presented the <Comet Cutter> you sold us to the royal family."

"So I heard."

"None bears any more doubt on the fact that the founder king acquired his trusty sword in our dungeon now. As it is told that the founder king went in a dungeon himself to procure the <Comet Cutter>, there is no more shadow of doubt about that dungeon being ours."

"Hmph."

"The royal family granted us overabundant of wealth, and had the <Comet Cutter> available to viewing for other lords. Though only a few in the circle knows, our family standing has been unofficially elevated."

"None of that matters to me."

"Haha. Now that the fact about previously unknown floors and the <Comet Cutter> drop are public knowledge, there has been a huge influx of adventurers coming to challenge this dungeon. We are heading toward an age of unprecedented prosperity."

"Glad for you."

"It's all thanks to you. My gratitude. By the way."

"Hm?"

"So it seems you have gotten ahold of another <Comet Cutter>."

"Yea."

"On what floor?"

"Think it was floor 148."

Haydent sighed, but Lecan could not decipher the meaning of that sigh.

"Still, who could have guessed you had a <God Cure>. But then, why wouldn't... No, I would be overstepping my bound asking. Anyway, they were some truly tremendous victories. I will do everything in my power to prevent our house ever antagonizing you."

 

 

 

 

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Okami wa Nemuranai 42.13

 13





"Hou! This is good. I'm taking this one. Oy, Viska."

"What?"

"I won, you lost. Get it?"

Viska looked at Haydent. Then at Pentaros. Then he finally realized his defeat.

"Yea."

"Good, hand over the loot. <Talisman of Dark Demon>."

"Wha"

Viska's face turned aghast.

"N-no way. This can't be appraised. How'd you find out about this talisman?"

"Shut it. Just hand it over."

Lecan thrust his right hand.

Viska hesitated for a while but he eventually relented and took out the talisman hidden in his chest pocket.

"Viska!"

The aggravated voice was Pentaros Fotos's.

Viska looked back at Pentaros with a warped expression.

"Make it quick."

Pressed by Lecan, Viska put the talisman on Lecan's hand.

Lecan held out the talisman to Haydent and proclaimed.

"For beating the proxy of Pentaros Fotos, Viska Kouen, I take this <Talisman of Dark Demon> as my prize. Have I made myself clear?"

"You certainly have. That item is yours, Lecan-dono."

Pentaros let out an intense bloodlust. The sound of his teeth clenching resounded.

Lecan put the talisman in his <Storage>.

Still, that was really a close call.

Since he got the warning from Shira to look out for Grace Gear, Lecan had planned to end the match right away without waiting for the opponent to make his moves. But his opponent recited the spell faster than he could strike with <Sword of Rusk>. He might be able to stave off the <Stasis> effect until it expired had he used <Ring of Undying King>, but he had no way of knowing it beforehand.

What should he have done in such a situation anyway. But he can mull it over later. Another opponent is waiting for him.

This Solusgia guy appears to be quite a tough one as well, but he still doesn't measure up to depth-walking adventurers.

No. He must dispel such a line of thought. There's no way of knowing what kind of equipment the guy's got. Nor abilities. Feeling sure of your victory will only leave you open. Preparing himself to face the unknown is important. Lecan should have learned that from his duel with Viska. This guy challenged Lecan even after watching his match against Viska earlier. He must be confident of his chance. Lecan can't let his guard down now.

"Thanks for waiting. Now come, let us fight."

"Lecan-dono. I am sure you covet for spoils of war in this duel as well."

"Nah. Not really."

"Let's make it the same terms as the duel earlier. The winner shall take over one item the loser has on him."

"Yea. Fine by me."

Solusgia's gaze was directed at Lecan's chest area.

(Haha.)

(He wants to take back <Talisman of Dark Demon> huh.)

(Is he trying to sell favor to Fotos House?)

Solusgia got down the audience seat into the arena's field, he stood opposite to Lecan and fetched a shield from a stylish-looking bag hanging on his left waist before putting it on his left hand.

(Oh?)

(A shield that big from a bag that small?)

(I see. So that's that <Free Box> thing.)
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
Haydent announced the duel's terms.

Solusgia and Lecan pledged.

Solusgia drew his sword.

Lecan too drew <Sword of Rusk>

"Begin!"

Lecan recited a spell quietly yet firmly as Haydent's voice resounded in the arena.

"<Tiri Warda Roa>."

Solusgia closed in on Lecan at terrifying speed. Must be some sort of Graces.

Then he pushed his shield on Lecan instead of striking with his sword.

Lecan tried to lightly stop the shield with <Sword of Rusk>, but he got pushed back instead due to Solusgia's momentum.

He tried to push back against it, but he couldn't. Far from it even, he kept getting pushed back instead, Solusgia's shield was already nearing contact with Lecan's chest.

(Guess this is some sort of Grace Gear too.)

Solusgia's handsome face came near Lecan's and unsightly contorted before Lecan's eye.

"That woman is mine. <Storm Fang>."

Countless spears of light jumped out of Solusgia's shield at once. <Necklace of Intuador>'s barrier won't manifest at this range. The spears tore through Lecan's body.

Solusgia's triumphant face vanished as quickly as it showed up. No attacks work on Lecan during <Invincible> state.

Lecan lightly kicked Solusgia's right leg with his right leg.

Solusgia's face met Lecan's left fist as he tumbled down.

Just as Solusgia was about to get blown backward, Lecan grabbed his right wrist with his own left hand. Then he gripped it hard, creating a bone breaking sound, Solusgia's sword dropped down.

Something weird took place. Solusgia's bent nose returned to normal. As Lecan could feel some kind of magic at work, he must have a Grace Gear to that effect.

However, it seemed the guy was still dizzy from the attack he received, he neither attempted to attack nor defend himself.

Lecan put away <Sword of Rusk> into his <Storage>, took off Solusgia's shield and threw it away before grabbing and bending the man's left wrist with his right hand. Solusgia' bone got crushed with an unpleasant sound.

Still gripping the left wrist, Lecan punched Solusgia's face with his left fist.

The guy almost got blown backward, but Lecan was gripping Solusgia's left wrist fast, not letting him to fall down.

His face recovered again.

Lecan struck Solusgia's nose with his left fist. Solusgia's face is red all over from the spilled blood.

Lecan kept hitting the face like a machine while the sound of smashing flesh resounded. The wounds eventually stopped getting healed, Lecan threw two additional punches for good measure before loosening his grip.

Solusgia tumbled down the ground, unmoving.

"Match over! It's Lecan-dono's victory!"

Haydent made the declaration.

 

 

 

 

 

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