Lecan considered that was everything he needed to tell her. However, Eda had another idea and spoke out.
"Zepus-san knew how Norma-san's mother's life was like at the marquis house, and why she was there."
"Did he now. I had a hunch that was the case."
"He was saying something like, 'Noble's confidential matter', and 'our house's secret'."
"Hmph. He called my mother a <servant> though. Ah, I see. I suppose a servant is a member of a house."
"Prado-san asked Zepus-san if what he did to me was true. Zepus-san denied it, saying he was trying to protect me."
"Yes. He said, 'I'm protecting a talented young girl beloved by gods from the tyranny of an outlaw'"
"Tyranny of... an outlaw?"
"I told him. Lecan is a kind man. He accepts me even though I intruded on him, protects me and teaches me things. Even <Recovery> magic was a thing Lecan taught. I told him I like Lecan so much."
"Is that so."
"Yet you tricked me, knocked me unconscious and brought me to this mansion against my will without even trying to understand my situation, I said. Then Zepus-san said. You're being tricked by this outlaw. You will be given fair clothes, high wages, food, everything you want at this mansion, he said."
"I thought of, one thing."
"Zepus-san probably thought this when he found out about Norma's mother's power manifesting at the marquis house. That, to him, it was something that should have been ours."
"...I see. Now that you mention it, that person probably thought of it that way."
"While we were having that conversation, Zepus-san had an assassin sneak in the ceiling to kill Lecan. Lecan just went woosh and got rid of that assassin, Zepus-san fell down and demanded him to sell me for a one large gold coin while trembling."
Norma let out a sigh.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"Then, Kanner-san the butler spoke. The values of <Dagger of Harut> and Solid Sacred Silver sword Lecan had exceeded this house's entire fortune. And adventurers who have delved in dungeon depths like Lecan are those who don't think twice to use such items up, he said."
Lecan recalled one thing as he listened to Eda.
"Right. Kanner said something about hiring the same kind of adventurer or at least training a dungeon knight if they wanted to oppose me. Norma. What's a dungeon knight."
"You're asking that part? Just where did you come from, really? You're really oblivious to so many things. Err, there are royal knights, lord knights, and noble knights. Are we clear so far?"
"No, we aren't. Aren't knights appointed by the king."
"Those are formal knights. Way back in the days, only those conferred by the king are allowed to call themselves knights. The so-called royal knights. Eventually, nobles with court ranks and nobles with territorial lands are able to confer knighthood to their subordinates as well. These would be lord knights. Nowadays, nobles would appoint their own knights as they please. These are noble knights."
"I see. Got it."
"On the kingdom's side, one has to be a knight to be a court ranked noble or a territorial lord. These kinds of knights are royally appointed knights. However, this custom has turned into a mere formality these days and any court ranked noble and territorial lords are automatically regarded as royal knights even without a royal appointment."
"Fumu? Well, let's just say I got it."
"Just a friendly reminder, don't say that lord knight is a 'lord knight' to their face, same with noble knights. It's gonna turn into a duel."
"Then what should they're called?"
"Just call them 'knight'. What are we talking about again? Err. Right. Dungeon knights, isn't it? Now then, knights under direct control of the king are very strong. The selection process is pretty strict to begin with, and their equipment are first class. They never fall behind in training either. Certain floors of Dungeon Finkel are used as exclusive training grounds for these King's Knights, which also double as an assistance in dungeon exploring."
Dungeon Finkel is a dungeon located right next to the royal capital, recalled Lecan.
"However, the strength of lord knights and noble knights are all over the place. They're not exactly useless as they've gone through some training and have some good equipment. However, there are times when their limited strength don't hold up."
Lecan could see where this is going.
"They're no match to adventurers who have delved in the dephts of dungeons. You can sometimes find ex-adventurers among bigger bandit gangs, and adventurers are a bunch who's not really particular about regulations, so troubles do arise. So then, how do you deal with them?"
"Fumu. Dungeons huh."
"Yep. Raise their strength by training in dungeons. Those are dungeon knights. That said, the average dungeon knight isn't actually that strong."
"Oh my my. Are you really asking that? Listen now. You don't get to be a knight by being strong. You've got to be strong once you're a knight."
"Ah, I get it. I see. Make sense."
Assume 1000 individuals started going in a dungeon. Within a month, 100 of them either lost their lives or suffered injuries that halted their exploration, the same number of people also gave up. The number of participants would continue to drop each month, there would be less than 100 in a year. And most of those 100 would stop at floors that have a good balance between risk and reward. Either that or their pace would slow down to a crawl. There would be less than ten who stepped foot in the depths. After a year, it would be down to three.
Dungeons are simply that callous of a world. And adventurers who have delved into the depths of dungeons are those who have spent at least a decade wandering in such a callous world.
Though once you've progressed up to a certain point, you will have the equipment, abilities and the knacks to surviving, making you harder to die. You get to know peculiarities of each dungeon. Those who come later can purchase information from their predecessors. Lowering mortality rate even further.
However, to keep exploring means to always stay close to death. Not sure how it's like in this world, but in Lecan's original world, most adventurers are stuck exploring one dungeon while oddballs like Lecan who keep challenging one dungeon after another are a rarity. However, that world is entering an era of strife, many individuals bearing mighty powers are rising up to the world even outside dungeons, hence there is a gold rush of people coming into dungeons.
Conversely speaking, lord and noble knights must have gone through formal training already, and they're given nice equipment, which can't be used up for training inside a dungeon. Even if 1 out of 100 knights manages to rival the strength of a Deep Adventurer, they can't exactly sacrifice the 99 rest to achieve that, and there's no territorial lords who would allow 100 of their knights go off duty while they train in a dungeon.
Therefore, lord and noble knights must only spend a moderate amount of times exploring relatively shallow dungeon floors. Naturally, their strength remains moderate as well.
"Fumu. However, there is an exception to every rule."
"Indeed. There just might be a real strong dungeon knight out there."
Lecan looked at Jinga.
Jinga quietly sipped his tea with his gaze downward.