"I'm back. Oh? What have we here, are you our guests?"
"Hello. I'm Arios. And this man here is Lecan. We will be staying here tonight."
"Oh my. You're so well-mannered. Easy on the eyes too."
"Nell. Get that foodstuff in the kitchen."
"Oh what are you huff-puffing about. Dear guests, hang on tight now. I'll cook up a storm for you."
Afterward, Nark and his wife stayed in the kitchen preparing dinner.
They eventually came back with the meal in tow.
"My word, this is simply superb. This vegetable must have been stir fried before being put in the soup. It's so aromatic. And with nice texture in the mouth. By the way, Nark-san and Nell-san are you two having meal after this?"
"Would you like to eat together with us?"
Nell replied back while Nark was hesitating what to say.
"My my, that'd be delightful. Can't believe such a nice young man like you would invite us."
The two brought their meals to the guest table.
"Do you have white wine?"
"Yea. We do."
"Then, mind if I treat landlord and landlady to some white wine?"
"Oh my, you're just too nice. Then I'll treat you two glassful of wine myself. Or maybe that's not good enough?"
"Oh not at all. It'll be my pleasure."
Four glasses of white wine got brought right away before they all toasted together.
The young man was knowledgeable in many topics, they all had fun chatting while eating.
The big man too, while taciturn, wasn't completely unsociable, it didn't feel awkward eating with him.
Far from it even, the meal was quite pleasant. Nark and Nell got treated to two glasses of white wine.
In the meantime, more and more guests kept coming in for dinner. Nark and Nell prepared meals for 15 guests besides for themselves and the staying guests, and they ran out early.
The young man went back to his room after meal. 'I'd like to get some rest for today', thus he said as he retired.
Even when all guests who were there for meals went home, the big man stayed to drink fermented Kizolt liquor. The bottle has been almost emptied.
Called by the big man, Nark turned to him across the counter.
"How long does it take to get to the lowest floor without fighting?"
"I'm asking how long does it take to get to the lowest floor if you go down the stairs without fighting once."
What the heck is this guy spouting up, thought Nark.
Then he recalled something.
There are some dungeons outside that allow its challengers to get downstairs without fighting one magic beast.
"Ya see here now, stairways in this dungeon are located in rooms where the giant variants lurk."
"Yeah. The dungeon here is a cavern-type ya see, it's got passageways and rooms. Magic beasts dwell inside rooms. There are rooms without magic beasts too. You won't fight magic beasts if you don't enter a room. But the stairs down are in rooms where giant variants lurk, so yer' not gonna go down without fighting 'em. Well, ya can also slip past them without defeating them, but yer' gonna quickly hit a roadblock doing that. Besides, once you get to the middle layer, it's pretty much impossible to go down the stairs without fightin'."
"Hou? How come."
"You'll see when ya get there."
"Was planning to slip past shallow floors without fighting, I suppose that's not happening."
"Unlike other dungeons, there ain't no floors fit for rookies here. Ya got no other choice but to work at it piece by piece."
"I see. By the way, locations of rooms where those giant variants spawn are fixed then."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"How many rooms with giant variants per floor, or, how many stairways there are on a floor."
"Think, around two? I dunno much either. But most floors prolly got two."
"Fumu. Then you'd also have to fight a giant variant if you're going upstairs if that's how it's structured."
"Go upstairs? Ya mean going up in the dungeon? Why'd you do that?"
"No, I'm not doing that. Just asking. I see. It's got passageways, rooms with magic beasts and boss rooms huh."
"Ah, boss rooms eh. You mean that. Yeah I guess they are boss rooms. Anyway, apparently this dungeon's structure is unusual. Might throw first timers for a loop."
"No. I'm very much familiar with this sort of structure."
The big man grinned and laughed ferociously.
"Well, just ask the rat if yer' hiring one. Get 'em bring you to the giant variant rooms. But if yer' exploring fer' real, you'd better fight the common magic beasts a few times on a floor to grasp their traits before challenging the giant variant."
"Hou. These traits can differ depending on floors huh?"
"Yea. Stuff like magic resistance, eh guess that got nothing to do with ya. Things like movement speed, or overall endurance change with each floors. Yer' not gonna manage going for the giant variant right away."
"Well, do yer' best. And look out for Grace Gear Bearers."
"What's Grace Gear Bearers."
"The heck, yer' clueless 'bout that too? In this dungeon, defeating magic beasts bearing Grace Gear often drop treasure chests with that particular Grace Gear inside. Or rather, they say the drop is guaranteed if that item really got a Grace."
"Oy oy, that got ya' goin' eh. Grace Gear-bearing magic beasts are on a whole 'nuther level. Most folks who died at this dungeon were due to those magic beasts. Since Grace Gear Bearers show up even on shallow floors. Partly why this dungeon's impossible for beginner adventurers."
"Haha. I see, I see. So beating Grace Gear-bearing magic beasts net you that Grace Gear. I see, I see."
"Ask the rat which floors tend to drop what Grace Gear. Keep in mind that there's a wide breadth of those gear tho'. Just when you thought an exploding sword would drop, you got a sword that slows down when chipped instead, stuff like that."
"Fumu. Interesting. Is there a member limit in the boss room of the lowest floor, no, I mean rooms with giant variants inside?"
"Member limit? Naw, never heard of that. Don't think there's a room that limits how many peeps can go in, doesn't matter what floor. But these rooms got fixed sizes. Too many inside, and yer' not gonna move around well."
The big man gulped down his last cup and put it on the table.
"Got to hear some good stuff. This is thanks."
"Oy oy, ain't this a gold coin. I just babbled about stuff everyone here knew already, can't accept this."
"That's how much your information is worth to me. Take it."
After hesitating a bit, Nark took the gold coin.
He shouldn't have gotten a gold coin just by chatting. 'Guess I'll treat him to snacks once in a while', thought Nark.