Eda fell pensively silent.
The thing about <Pezan Toorzam> and <Jaira> must be weighing on her mind.
Exploring the dungeon at her state of mind is dangerous.
Lecan thought about stopping their expedition short and going back to the surface, but that would turn her prone to running away. She'd want to retreat into her shell whenever she faces a stumbling block, or gets involved in something that corners her mind. Only road to ruin awaits when you can't run away anymore then. He's got to press ahead, even for a step, here.
"Forget about it."
"Guess that's asking too much."
"I feel so bad for them. Both <Pezan Toorzam> and <Jaira>."
Her ability to empathize with others is Eda's virtue, a virtue that has saved Lecan's life.
Hence, he won't deny it.
"Had we taken <Pezan Toorzam> along with us on this floor, what do you think would happen?"
"Eh? Won't you get it done in no time at all, Lecan?"
"What would <Jaira> do in that case?"
"Eh? They're gonna, umm. I dunno."
"They'd come along too."
"Us, <Willard> haven't done anything that warrants any merit in this dungeon."
"However, <Jaira> has glowing achievements and reputation to uphold."
"That <Jaira> left a job they had taken upon themselves to some newbies with a dubious background, completely washing their hands off the matter. Can they really do that?"
"I-I guess they can't."
"<Jaira> wouldn't be able to keep their face until they proved themselves superior to us <Willard>. This group of people follow us around from behind. What are they gonna do?"
"They might do something, they might not. In other word, we would be facing magic beasts in front of us while a group of skilled adventurers with unpredictable behaviors are behind us. Don't you think that's dangerous?"
"It is, I think."
"And even though <Pezan Toorzam> might look calm on the surface, they had just lost two of their friends. They must be shaken to the core. We can't predict how people in that state would act. <Jaira>'s mage seemed awfully shaken as well."
"Now that you mention it."
"Exploring a dungeon while babysitting those two parties is simply unfeasible. Also, a mistake on our side could mean the total annihilation of <Pezan Toorzam>, even <Jaira> wouldn't get out of it unscathed."
"In other word, accepting that request could potentially lead to the death or injuries of many people from three parties. But now, no one would die since we didn't take it."
"I see. So that's how it is."
"If you become an adventurer, you'll come across pitiable people. You can't fight magic beasts if that makes your mind waver. You'd die."
"A heart that sympathizes with others is worthy of praise. But you must leave it behind when you're exploring. Otherwise, it'd lead to your death."
"Un. Got it."
(That might have been too forceful.)
(Wonder if that was enough to slightly alter Eda's view on things.)
Lecan is bad at expressing his beliefs.
What important is how harsh this world called dungeon. Eda has to experience it firsthand in all its coldness and mercilessness.
That's exactly why Lecan didn't accept Kagaru's request. He could not afford to.
'We're strong, this dungeon is a piece of cake, even with extra baggage like these people are, traveling through this floor is easy peasy', anyone who harbors such train of thoughts will not survive dungeons.
Death is constantly lying in ambush even when you've made your baggage at its lightest and yourself at the apex, that's just how it is with dungeons.
Additionally, you should never agree to a proposal or a plea for help by someone with unknown motives inside a dungeon. Something Lecan had to learn the rough ways many times over.
If Eda finds herself in a similar situation in the future, and rejects the other party's idea because she recalls Lecan's attitude today, that's a success.
In reality, just taking <Pezan Toorzan> along without <Jaira>'s accompaniment by firmly declining them wouldn't be that dangerous.
However, doing that would likely cause Eda to wrongly consider that it's okay to help people in this kind of situation.
How Lecan didn't want to show his ability was a factor, but he absolutely could not accept Kagaru's request, so it wouldn't put the wrong idea in Eda's head.
"All right. Arios. Heles. Kept you waiting. It's time to fight."
"A moment please."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"We should decide on our formation."
"Indeed. Stand by positions, turns to go on offensive. And other things like which techniques to use, we should decide on those properly."
"It is not useless. Formations and coordinations are the basic of the basics in the knights."
"Forget the knights' practice here. That's not how you coordinate in a dungeon."
"No uh. The Royal Knights are applying that in Dungeon Finkel even now."
"Arios-dono. Please tell him."
"You can't do that."
"Since when did you have the authority to order Lecan-san around?"
"It's not an order. I'm just putting forward a suggestion."
"Planning formations and tactics is indeed the basic of group battle."
"Isn't it. No doubt about it."
"But that is a standardized way of mobilization applied to any opponent, a general purpose coordination borne out of necessity to make it workable on any unit, any situation and any knight. I admit that it is indeed highly practical, however. One thing for sure, the formation employed by knights works under the assumption it will be deployed in a group vs group fight."
"And what's wrong with that."
"Who knows? Don't ask me. However, Eda-san and I are here to learn what lies beyond that from Lecan-san. If you have a problem with it, kindly leave this party right away."
Heles had a sullen look on her face for a moment when she heard the usually amicable Arios's unexpected harsh talk down. However, she breathed in deeply before speaking again.
"Lecan-dono. Please pardon me. I shall abide by your commands."
The party had been walking ahead even while they were having that entire discussion, but then Lecan stopped.
"There's a magic beast beyond this rock. I'll rush on ahead frontally. Arios, you're to the right, Heles to the left. Eda, start by shooting some arrows at the magic beast from outside the sand pit. You're also in charge of healing. Let's go."
Lecan charged in right after he said that. Arios followed right behind him. Heles had a late start. Since Eda wasn't even in position when Lecan rushed out, she hurriedly took up her bow but she had missed her timing by then.
Lecan blocked the dissolving liquid with his shield and struck a hit on the spider's head. The instance the spider stopped moving, Arios cut off a joint on its left leg.
Followed by a blow to its head by Lecan, killing the magic beast.
Lecan cut off the remaining seven legs of the spider at the joints, and put them inside <Storage>.
He scooped out the two eyes and put them in <Storage> as well.
He cut up the abdomen, grabbed the venom sac inside, put it in a bag exclusive for sacs, and stowed it away in <Storage>.
"No, err, Lecan-dono. Just what's up with that <Box> anyway. How is that even a <Box> anyway?"
"Told you, quit asking."
There's some good news.
The magic stone taken from this magic beast was quite a bit larger.
Enough to be called a large magic stone.
From here on is a treasure trove of large magic stones.
They continued to fight many battles. Since Eda was ready during the second battle onward, she'd shoot an arrow at spiders' abdomen before Lecan got to it, drawing their attention.
Since Lecan kept suddenly rushing out, it always turned into a confused melee. Heles got hit several times, injuring her. Lecan got splashed by the dissolving liquid many times over as well, scalding his face and throat.
Both of which were fully healed by Eda's <Recovery>.
"Lecan-dono. I won't complain about your commands, but could you please stop swinging that huge sword horizontally. It's awfully dangerous."
"You're asking the impossible."
They kept battling without having lunch until afternoon, defeating the giant variants in the end.
Ten ordinary variants worth of two giant variants. No treasure chest popped up.
"Alright. This concludes our expedition this time. We'll be taking a three day break starting tomorrow. Rest your body well. Heles. Tomorrow we're selling the mats. You're coming too. Great job, everyone. Wash your body, take a breather and then gather at <Jade's Restaurant>. I'll treat you all to dinner like usual. Order everything you want and stuff yourself full."