"I'm telling the truth."
"Don't joke around 'bout that. Didn't ya two just start out exploring <Dungeon of Swords> yesterday?"
"And yer' tellin' me ya got to floor 26 by evening the same day? Like hell that can be done."
"Is that so. Well I merely answered you back, I don't mind either way if you don't believe me."
Nark closely inspected Arios who said that while lightly laughing.
(Why'd he make up such a barefaced lie?)
(I thought this young man was among the more decent ones.)
Then, Arios's figure came up in Nark's mind.
His quiet standing stance in front of Hortis tree.
(This guy's strength is the real deal.)
(Even reached a domain far beyond my ability to measure.)
(Have they really got to floor 26 on their second day?)
"What's the rat's name?"
"What's the name of the rat you guys hired?"
"Ah, you mean guide. We're not hiring one. As we've no need for it."
"What? How in the heck ya could explore a dungeon without maps or rats."
"Please keep this a secret, Lecan-dono possesses an ability to locate where the stairways are."
"What'd you say?"
He's never heard anything like that before.
Nark was bewildered.
And then he reached a bold conclusion at the end of his bewilderment.
(Suppose this guy is lying.)
(What's in it for them getting me to swallow such a lie whole?)
(Then I can just take his words for now?)
(I don't hafta believe him.)
(Just gotta postpone deciding the authenticity, and keep the conversation going.)
"Sorry for deciding yer' lying outright. It's just that unbelievable a story. No, to be frank with ya, I still cannae' believe it. But looking at it again, I got no reason to doubt yer' story. So I'm shelving whether to believe or not fer' now. To start with, nothing in it for me anywa, no matter which floor ya two got. My bad for getting angry."
"Oh no worries. It's nothing to get worked up about."
"But dang, Middle Walkers on your second day eh."
"Which floor does this middle layer start?"
"In Dungeon Tsubolt, Floor 1-10 are Upper Layers."
"Ah, makes sense."
If one has set foot on floor 11, they'll know how it's a whole different ordeal than floor 1-10. Hence Arios must have at least gotten to floor 11 from his reaction to that, thought Nark as he spoke.
"Floor 11 to 80 are Middle Layer, while Floor 81 to 100 are the Depths. You'd get called Upper Walkers, Middle Walkers, and Depth Walkers depending on which layer you've gotten to. Depth Walkers are pretty much first class stuff."
"Huh? Doesn't this dungeon have 120 floors?"
"Rarely anyone's ever crossed over the floor 100 wall."
"What do they call people who explore floor 101-120?"
"No particular alias, but those who manage to cross over floor 100 are heroes."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"Any sword drop?"
"Oh yes. Besides potions, we have gotten nothing but swords."
"How many ya got?"
They must have conquered up to floor 25 if they got to floor 26. Are five swords too few or too many for 25 floors.
If they're telling the truth about getting to floor 26, they must have fought almost nothing but Giant Variants along the way.
From floor 1 to floor 9, one variant on each floor, 9.
From floor 10 to floor 19, two on each floors, 20.
From floor 20 to floor 25, three on each floors, 18.
In total 47 beasts.
The drop rate isn't too bad if they can get five swords from 47 beasts. Good, even.
"Any Grace Gear?"
"I believe so. Two of them at least. One has a Grace that raises speed, another raises strength."
"Hm? Haven't you got 'em <Appraisal>ed?"
"Lecan-dono is in charge of keeping the loot. We went straight to this inn from the dungeon, so we didn't get <Appraisal> at the trade shop. Ah, Lecan-dono. Good morning."
Nark turned around in surprise.
Lecan was climbing downstairs.
Nark, an ex adventurer couldn't sense this man going down the stairs at all. With that huge body of his.
He could feel cold sweat running down his back.
Lecan and Arios had breakfast and paid their 40-day stay at the inn.
"Lecan-dono. Shall we take a break on the dungeon and take a look around the city today?"
"No. We're delving in a bit further."
"Where are we going in such a hurry?"
"For the time being, the lowest floor."
"No uh, you're asking for the impossible."
They left through the door while having that conversation.
(Lowest floor, for the time being?)
(Damn tall tale.)
(Sure got ourselves some weird folk for guests.)
"Nark-san. Is something the matter? What's with the sighing and all."
"Uwoh. Ah, Bruska. Ya startled me."
"You must have been lost in thought. You were full of openings."
"I'm an innkeeper. 'Course I'm full of openings."
"Hahaha. If Nark-san is that, all other inns are free to enter for thieves then."
Seemingly due to his childhoold's impression, Bruska still believes that Nark is an adept adventurer even today. Even when he's retired working as an old man in an inn, Bruska keeps acting like Nark is still going strong.
In reality, Nark at his prime was not especially strong, which has degraded even further to worthless now. Bruska can't possibly not know that. In other word, he's just being nice to Nark.
"The guests in the fourth and fifth rooms are adventurers, aren't they?"
"Looks like they went out already. What kind of adventurers are they?"
Nark wasn't sure how to answer that.
Nark himself couldn't really get his impression on the two straight even now, they seemed both skilled and big liars to him.
"A big dude called Lecan, and a young man by name Arios. Arios would be a swordsman. Quite skilled at that."
"Hee! And now I can't wait to meet him. What about this Lecan?"
"Lecan's... Seems like guy can use <Recovery>."
"Eh. A <Recovery> user is it. How about in combat?"
"But one advance guard, and one recovery user aren't balanced at all. That Lecan can probably fight too. Wonder if he's strong."
"He's good enough I couldn't sense the guy coming down the stairs."
"Eh. He's pretty good then. Hmm."
Nark thought about telling Bruska how they proclaimed they reached Floor 26 on their second day, but he decided against it.
Bruska would come to harbor a bad impression on Lecan and Arios had Nark talked about that.
How Bruska is going to evaluate Lecan and Arios should be left up to him.