17-9. Purple Towers (1)
Satou here. Talking about a game where you climb up a huge tower, it reminds me of an arcade game designed after Babylonian myth. Conquering that game sure was fun with its combination of RPG and Puzzle elements.
"Please wait a moment!"
The one who called and stopped me was a bespectacled man called Runner-up.
"You'll need a guide if you want to explore inside, won't you? As an associate researcher of Royal Research Institute, I volunteer to take that role."
I've got Map anyway and I just can see this guy wandering off by himself if I take him inside.
"Right right, no need for that with us around."
"Sorry, but Arisa and Duchess, you stay here."
Arisa fell down on all four like orz.
『It's a good idea to have Arisa whom I can contact with Familiar Link and Mito who can get in touch with the king outside just in case something wrong happens inside.』
I talked to the three with Tactical Talk.
"Then, please at least allow me to accompany Lord Pendragon inside."
I gave an affirmation to Zena-san who volunteered.
I asked Arisa to gather the girls here and went inside the tower along with Zena-san.
"What a huge place."
"Yes, and that pillar over there seems to be the stairway."
This place does fit the descriptions I heard beforehand.
My Map displays [Purple Tower, 1F].
I tried using All Map Exploration, but it was only effective for this floor.
Second floor and above are apparently treated as different maps. Curious.
There's no enemy nor anyone left behind on this floor so we climb up the spiral staircase inside the pillar.
The map changed when we got out of the spiral staircase. Looks like we're on floor 2 now.
The second floor is displayed as [Purple Tower, 2F-I].
Don't tell me you can get to different maps with each staircases.
"Satou-san, I found a trace of blood!"
There's a trail of blood in the two-meter wide passage.
I stop Zena-san who was going to follow after the blood trail and use All Map Exploration.
This floor is far bigger than the first. Total area is about as big as the royal capital.
Moreover, most spots are structured like mazes, reminding me of older 3D dungeon RPGs.
"There they are."
There are four survivors. Three soldiers and one researcher.
This floor is inhabited by a lot of level 1-4 [Demigoblin Vanguard]. Every one of them is wandering around the mazes alone.
They don't have any skill, but they've got this ominous sounding [Demon God Protection] on them.
So this tower is related to demon god after all.
Together with Zena-san, I headed to the spot where the survivors were according to All Map Exploration.
We found two dead bodies along the way so I secured them into Storage.
We encountered a [Demigoblin Vanguard] at the corner of this passage.
Zena-san rushed ahead and slashed at it with her short sword without the need for my help.
The Demigoblin Vanguard whose head was cut off by Zena-san vanished into purple mist.
Clank, a small purple magic core dropped on the floor.
According to AR reading it's called a [Fragment of Magic Core].
"Is there something wrong?"
Zena-san looked like she had something in mind after cutting the Demigoblin Vanguard, hence I asked her.
"It kind of felt like I was facing off against an ogre instead of a goblin."
Unbelievable sturdiness for a level 2 demi-goblin.
I tried killing a level 4 demigoblin vanguard we met along the way.
I couldn't really gauge its strength, but a moment before my sword hit the demigoblin vanguard's body, a purple barrier showed up and broke apart, average soldiers would have a hard time against them.
It's probably the [Demon God Protection].
Another Demigoblin Vanguard we beat also disappeared into purple mist, leaving behind a small fragment of magic core.
I was almost swayed by an impulse to investigate further but since the condition of people we needed to rescue were looking bad, I got a lock on all the Demigoblin Vanguards in the way there on the Map and killed them all at once with [Remote Arrows].
The rescuees were staying in a small room at a dead end.
There were lots of nail marks of demigoblins on the wooden door leading to the small room.
"Our rescue is here!"
"It's the demon lord slayer! The demon lord slayer has come to save us!"
"Oy, you idiot, mind your manners!"
"Our apologies your excellency. We're truly thankful for your aid."
The soldiers raised a cheer when we went inside.
The soldier who scolded his subordinates looked glad as well.
"Your excellency, do you have a recovery potion with you?"
A soldier with bandage wrapped on his arm brought me to a researcher sleeping in the back.
"Don't worry, his life is not in danger. Zena-san, if you would healing magic."
I asked the bandaged soldier their circumstances while Zena-san was chanting the spell.
According to him, when they came back to fetch new recruits who were left behind, two soldiers fell victims to the [Purple Gobu]--Demigoblin Vanguards, thus they gave up trying to get back to the staircase and hid here.
"How strong are those goblins in your opinion?"
"They are at least stronger than full plated knights-sama."
These soldiers are level 7-9 with common soldier equipment.
Even including new recruits, five of them losing to level 1-4 Demigoblin Vanguards are unusual.
The effect of [Demon God Protection] those Demigoblin Vanguards have must be that high.
"I'm surprised you guys managed to get away."
"When all seemed lost we prayed to gods and that made those goblins flinch and stop moving."
"And we managed to flee thanks to that."
Are they weak against prayers to gods?
Well, I can check it out later.
We brought the treated soldiers who could walk again with us and got out of the tower.
"Good work out there. Quite a weird tower this turned out to be huh."
"I've informed Sete already. He requested 『Demon Lord Slayer』's cooperation in the investigation."
"And I've left a message to Echigoya Firm."
I thanked Arisa and Hikaru and contacted each branch heads of Echigoya Firm through [Telephone] to tell them not to enter the Purple Towers.
Meanwhile, the girls arrived and came together one after another.
"Satou-san! I can't believe you went ahead here and left me behind!"
"I'm sorry about that Sera-san."
I whispered to Sera-san that I got my business done at the Realm of Gods while apologizing.
"H-how was it like? Were gods as divine as they would be? How was Tenion-sama like?"
Sera vigorously drew closer to me.
She almost pushed me down with her momentum.
"Ah hey! I get how you feel, but no getting a head start!"
Mia and Arisa, the impregnable fortress pair tore Sera off me.
Oh right, Mia and Nana have also got before I realized.
"Satou-san, please tell me!"
"It was an incredible place filled with lights."
Since Sera had broken through the impregnable fortress pair and looked like she was gonna push me down again, I told her how it was like briefly.
"Did you ask about the extent of taboo?"
"Yep, down to the last details. The scope was just as we expected. Apparently printing techs are safe too."
"For real?! Yay! Gotta go make Arisa Publishing! Think we'd need a resale system~?"
"We can think about that leisurely later."
I told the two excited girls that I'd inform them more in detail later, and went to the Ancient Dragon Continent to fetch the beastkin girls and Lady Karina who were training there.
"Tiger tiger tiger~?"
"Pochi will be tiger that will be tiger of tiger nodesu!"
Tama and Pochi are calling out tiger tiger in front of tiger statues at a rocky area.
"Hey you two, I've come to get you."
"It's master nanodesu!"
Tama and Pochi jumped at me.
A dot signifying Lady Karina is coming here from the other side of the valley.
A real life tiger came out from the other side of the valley.
I thought Lady Karina had turned into a tiger, but I was wrong.
It's apparently a tamed tiger leading the way for Lady Karina wearing wild-looking attires running here. Her usual breastplate and side plate are gone, looking a bit sexy. Truly a sight to behold.
She jumped and made a pose like she was going to hug me, but she seemed embarrassed midway through, thus she leaped sideway as she landed and hugged Tama and Pochi.
"Drooping down is Panda-san's special privilege nanodesuyo?"
I smile at Lady Karina who was getting dissed by Tama and Pochi.
Liza is standing on one foot on a nearby rock cut to look like a spear, meditating.
She kinda looks like a master martial artist or a sage that comes out in movies and manga.
"Liza! I'm here to fetch you!"
Liza jumped off the rock here.
"How's your training?"
"With Ancient Dragon-dono's guidance, we're currently training following each individual course."
"I see, looks like I'm in the way then. Would you like to train here a bit more?"
"No! It's my duty to be of help to master!"
I apologized to Liza for getting ahead of myself and brought everyone back to my mansion at the capital.
"Satou-sama, I wanted to go with you."
"My apologies. I'd like Sistina-sama to hold the line at the Royal Capital together with Mito."
Hikaru and princess Sistina will stay here this time.
The reason is because her power as a Golem Master is fitting to defend the capital.
After connecting everyone with Arisa's [Tactical Talk], we go into the tower.
Since we have no idea what will happen, everyone is fully equipped with their golden and silver armor.
A Demigoblin Vanguard immediately showed up when we got to the second floor.
The Demigoblin Vanguard is baring its fangs here in an attempt to intimidate us. Kind of like a monkey.
Pochi showed her fangs as well, intimidating back.
Liza shut Pochi's mouth, "Stop that."
"Sera-san, if you'd please."
As arranged beforehand, Sera prays to gods.
The Demigoblin Vanguard flinched and began to act weirdly.
Looks like it won't run away though.
"■■■■■ Pray Bit."
Invisible bullets shot by Sera killed the Demigoblin Vanguard.
"Different color than demons nanodesu."
Tama and Pochi ran off to fetch a fragment of magic core dropped by the Demigoblin Vanguard.
"How was it?"
"They don't feel that different from the demi-goblins at Selbira Labyrinth."
『Should we ask Temple Knights to give it a try?』
『I'll let the king decide on that.』
Hearing Sera's impression, Hikaru proposed that, but since it'd be relatively dangerous, I left all the decision making to the king.
"Well then, let's check out the floor above."
I lead the way forward for everyone.
"Satou-san, this place feels different than the maze before somewhat."
"Yes, it does indeed."
As Zena-san mentioned, the inside of the maze has indeed changed.
Wish they left these repayable for 10,000 times thing to games only.
<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>
"Dagger gobu nanodesu."
A Demigoblin Vanguard that showed up at the corner got cut in two by Arisa's space magic.
The bone knife the demigoblin carried also disappeared along with it.
"I'm not too sure since they're too weak, but they give out about as much exp as an ordinary gobu, I think?"
We prioritized getting to higher floors and defeated only Demigoblin Vanguards we encountered along the way.
Most of those demigoblins dropped fragments of magic cores, but sometimes they dropped full magic cores.
We also encountered several demigoblin vanguards who carried bone knives with them, but even if we took the knives before defeating the goblins, those knives would still disappear into purple mist right as the goblins disappeared.
One bone knife remained once as a drop item, but its appraisal result was [Cursed Bone Dagger]. And since it's only about as strong as random cheap daggers, it's not something to celebrate about.
"About as strong as a Soldier Mantis nanodesu."
Tama and Pochi keep defeating demigoblin vanguards even while looking bored.
After checking out all the staircases on second floor, we found out that the two staircases leading above led to different areas and the three staircases leading below led to the same area.
"I guess the floors branch out more the more you climb up?"
"Looks like it."
The third floor housed the same demigoblin vanguards as the second floor. The area is also about as big.
The demigoblins here were slightly higher leveled at 3-6, and some formed a group of two, three demigoblins in addition to those who wandered around alone.
The group leader would always carry a bone knife, some even had bone short swords and bone axes in rare occasions.
The ascending and descending staircases have similar traits as the ones on second floor.
"I wonder, can Goblin-san take the stairs?"
Lulu tilted her head when she saw a pursuing demigoblin stopped in its track before the staircase.
"Let's give it a try."
Liza caught the demigoblin and tested it out.
The monster wouldn't enter the staircase no matter how hard she tried.
Seizing and pushing the demigoblin into the staircase halted it, like it hit a wall.
"Looks like the monsters here are incapable of moving between floors."
The test ended with that conclusion by Arisa.
The fourth floor is largely the same as the third floor.
The demigoblins here were a bit stronger at level 4-8, and more of them formed a group of 2-3.
Rarely there were even groups of six, with magician-type Demigoblin Vanguard Mages, and priest type Demigoblin Vanguard Priest mixed in. The priest type is a wee bit stronger.
"This is kinda like a tutorial dungeon, don't you think?"
I'm agreeing more and more with Arisa's mumble above the more we climbed up.
By the fifth floor, there were almost no solo Demigoblin Vanguards, most were in a group of 2-3. They grouped more on floor 6. Level range got to be around 5-10.
From what we know so far, we can conclude that monster levels are floor number x 2 at most. And in reality, their actual strength would be around their level + 10~15.
"Let's get to the floor above quick."
"Yeah, hold on a bit."
There's no staircases on floor 5 besides the one we took to get here, instead there's a spot with a blank zone on the Map.
"It's finished with floor 5?"
"I wonder about that?"
We arrived at the blank zone while routing solo moving armor-type <<Demigoblin Vanguard Knights>> along the way.
"Looks like it."
The blank zone was a huge room, the door automatically shut itself and disappeared when we got inside, and a monster that seemed to be the boss appeared at the center of the room.
A single level 18 <<Demigoblin Vanguard Boss>> with five level 12 <<Demigoblin Vanguard Knights>> as its guards.
The beastkin girls demolished the boss and its guards in a jiffy without a hitch.
"Master, here comes treasure so I report."
"Satou-san, I found a staircase over here!"
Mia informed me about a treasure chest while Zena-san about a staircase.
Looks like the staircase will appear if you beat the boss.
"What a weird copper coin."
"Apparently it's called Demigoblin Copper Coin."
Lulu replied to Arisa's murmur.
The treasure chest had a lot of copper coins engraved with demigoblin's side face inside.
There were also ornamental bonework item those demigoblins love so much, along with [Tower Escape Orb] which was an escape item, and health potions and poison.
"Geez, they just toss poison together with these stuff, scary."
"And it only got mark as a label too."
After giving our impressions about the treasure chest we climbed up the staircase that showed up at the back of the boss room.
"It's like, a stage change?"
"Kind of feels like we're inside ruins."
Lulu is right, the walls on this floor have cracks running on them, weed growing on the ground, and pieces of crumbled walls lying on the ground.
From floor 6 on, fast moving demi kobolds and tough powerful demi orcs were added into the monster composition. Not much different besides the names being demi kobolds and demi orcs instead of demi goblins.
On every five floors, the monster variety changed, and there were more traps and monsters with peculiar skills.
We continued our exploration as such and arrived at a wrong floor on the 15th floor.
Some floors that are multiple of five don't have a boss room.
We found the boss room when we went back and climbed up different staircases, so it must be just how this tower has been built.
What an obnoxiously made structure.
"The enemies are getting a bit tougher now."
"T-they are. We could suffer a critical wound if we let our guard down here."
It's getting tougher for the silver members when we smoothly got to floor 20.
"Is that so?"
Since Sera was the only one having it easy, I asked her to put holy magic enchant, afterward Lady Karina and Zena-san had a much easier time beating monsters.
Monsters in this tower are generally weak against holy magic.
"It's getting longer for us to get past a floor."
"Well, the monsters are getting stronger after all."
I look up at the ceiling.
"I'll see if I can break it."
I broke the ceiling apart to see if we could use it as a shortcut, but there was a zone filled with purple mist that absorbs life force beyond the broken ceiling.
The absorption rate is incomparably faster than the purple mound's, a drone golem I sent out crumbled down in an instant.
Just as I was hesitating to jump past the hole, purple mucus dripped down the hole and began to close it up while wriggling.
Its name is [Tower Keeper] but everything besides the name is [UNKNOWN].
"Meddling medley nanodesu!"
Tama and Pochi tried to interfere with the restoration, but it was no use.
"Magic just passed through it."
"Same with arrows as well."
Our attacks got annulled like it was with the Purple Mound.
It instantly evaporated when I swung the Divine Sword.
But, more purple mucus immediately came out and repaired the hole.
It's not like I can get past it, but we can't use anti-god magic in this cramped place, and it's not like we get anything out of it anyway.
We give up trying to create a short cut and go the normal way.
By normal I mean using teleport magic to move the point where the staircase is.
We eventually arrived at floor 30 by repeating that method.
"Gee, this floor sure has a lot of variety."
Arisa murmured while staring at the dead body of a Manticore Vanguard.
Level 50-60 <<Mutant Dragon Vanguards>> and Level 30 Manticore Vanguards reign this floor 30.
At this floor, it takes some time for even the golden members plus Sera's holy magic support to beat a monster.
"Mia-chan gets to act as both a healer and support unit after all."
Lulu offered a throat quenching honey water to the completely exhausted Mia.
Mia, Zena-san and Sera have to chant their spells, unlike me, Arisa and Nana, they've got it rough.
Lulu can also use magic, but since she's mainly using her magic guns, she only uses force magic and life magic after battle, hence she doesn't have it as bad as the two.
"It's Myu-tan this time."
Pochi cutely confused the <<Mutant Dragon Vanguard>> name.
"It's been a while since we have to cooperate together like this."
"Yep, it's worth the struggle to beat them."
Arisa nodded as Liza faced off against the Dragon Mutant Vanguard with the dragon spear in her hand.
It may have dragon on its name, but this thing is not a dragonkind. It's merely a monster created in the image of dragons by humans who bore ill will against dragons.
"<<Dragonic Acceleration>> nanodesu!"
The Mutant Dragon's layered barrier got pulverized by Pochi's finisher in one hit.
Thanks to the series of battle we had here, she apparently managed to finally learn her finisher which was only one step away from completion back then.
Pochi who was taking a pose while smiling brilliantly got blown away by the tail attack of the mutant dragon that was feigning death.
"Uwaa, that thing could still move after getting hit by that? It must have like three times the HP of an equivalent monster at Selbira Labyrinth."
Liza made use of acceleration magic circle and gouged off the Mutant Dragon Vanguard's skull.
Pochi stood up like she didn't feel any damage.
Looks like she jumped toward the direction of the tail swing right before it hit her.
"It's giving about the same exp too, this would have been a nice farming spot if they were a wee bit weaker~"
"I will go train here tomorrow as well!"
"Pochi is gonna train too nodesuyo!"
Arisa's complaint was met with opinions from the muscle for brain members.
"You can't. There are enemies with instant death attack here, remember?"
"It's okay so long you don't get hit desuwa! It was a quote by a hero from Arisa's hometown, wasn't it? 『Nothing to it if it hits you』, correct?"
<TLN: A corruption of Char's quote.>
You'll die to the [Instant Death Attack] then.
Gotta dodge before you get hit.
"Satou-san, it's a real boss room ahead. It has the usual crest on it."
"Thank you, Zena-san."
What spawned at the boss room was the first monster that didn't have [Vanguard] on its name.
It's called [Chaos Lord]. It looks like the reaper outwardly.
"Alright, everyone let's put our back into it!"
Arisa's yell encouraged everyone.
"Everyone, sorry but this one's got Instant Death attacks."
As I couldn't let the girls be exposed to danger, I locked the Chaos Lord in a barrier and defeated it using a chain of [Implosions].
"What an awfully blunt way to kill..."
Tama and Pochi put their hands together toward the vanished Chaos Lord.
"Tama, take care care of trap on the treasure chest."
Tama leaped out like, kyupin, and opened the treasure chest.
"How is it, Lulu?"
"Just a second, I'll be done appraising shortly--this one's a magic sword, this one's a wand that can be charged with elementary spells, this one is an elixir? Wait no, it's a lesser elixir. This one is a hydra poison, I think? There's also rings and necklaces that boost status values in here."
Besides the stuff that Lulu appraised, there were all kinds of jewels and a huge amount of of gold coins with an image of skull engraved on them.
Money found in the treasure chests here are engraved with species of bosses found in the same room.
"Satou-san, I couldn't find the stairway."
Zena asked me to come with her, so I did and found a piece of paper.
『Under construction. We await your attendance next time.』
--What is this, a game?!
I almost retorted out of reflex.
"This is terrible."
"Maybe it's gonna get an update patch."
"It's probably going to be sold as a DLC."
I calmed myself down after grumbling together with Arisa, and took us all out with Unit Arrangement.
"That sounds pretty rough."
"We got to the highest floor but didn't found anything resembling the Dungeon Core."
Even though she probably knew about it already through Tactical Talk, I reported still to Hikaru who was staying behind.
"Welcome back, Satou-sama."
Princess Sistina came back from a building nearby.
"Was there any change outside the tower?"
"The gems found on its entrance have changed. It'll be quicker if you see for yourself."
I went to look together with the princess and indeed, there was a change.
The green gem has gotten a bit bigger and emits stronger light, while the purple gem has gotten smaller with weaker light.
Wonder if the purple light gets weaker by defeating the monsters inside?
Green--the color representing God Tenion might have gotten stronger because we took Sera, God Tenion's miko, inside.
Or perhaps it was because we had used holy magic that originated from God Tenion many times over?
"--Satou. Sete has made a request to destroy the tower if you could."
Hikaru conveyed the king's request.
He probably judged it a danger if the monsters inside this tower overflowed outside.
"Sure I don't mind, but are you sure I should do that here?"
"No, please take care of the one at Selbira first. Since many people there can fend for themselves and it has the best facilities for evacuation."
Well, it's got the oldest labyrinth on the continent right next to it after all.
"Got it. I'll transform into Nanashi and go there."
Now then, been a long time since the last Hero Time, isn't it?
※ Next update is planned for 4/7