"And, what's the story behind your left eye?"
"Was on floor 42 of Dungeon Tantran."
"Tritailed Serpent's venom eh? That thing's pretty nasty."
"Yeah it is. By the way, how come you're bodyguarding Eliza?"
"General Dungeon Administrative knows that you teamed up with <Grindam>. Some staff who are familiar with <Grindam> lay in wait in the dungeon entrance this morning for them and asked your whereabouts."
Lecan was wondering how they knew he was here, but thinking again, it all makes sense. It's really an obvious way to find him.
"They asked <Grindam> to bring them here but those three had a prior engagement and refused. Thus young miss called me figuring I should know my way around these parts. So I told her, sure yeah I know <Rafin's Rock Terrace Inn> well and so I was stuck as her bodyguard."
"You seem pretty close with the young lady of a big shot noble for a mere adventurer."
"Yea. I was the sword instructor of young miss's father after all."
"What? A noble learning swordsmanship from an adventurer?"
"How it all happened was truly asinine. Young miss's father is the little brother of the current marquis, but back then his sword instructor was meant to be the Knight Commander of Tsubolt. But then this Knight Commander chap boasted that he would prove his mettle by triumphing over me. So somehow one or another, I ended up having to stake the position of young miss's father's sword instructor against the knight commander in a duel."
"Must have been a very strong knight."
"Not at all. Fella's just an idiot. A mere townlord-serving knight commander seriously believed he could win against a depth-walking adventurer. Might be because of the troves of Grace Gear he brought with him. All while the how and who obtained all those Grace Gear completely escaped his little head."
"So you won?"
"I didn't want to. I used up every tricks I could think up to lose. But the guy was better at it. He utterly ignored each and every openings I showed him. And then when I deliberately spread both my arms wide as a last resort, he went for my chest instead of my head."
"I was going to feign getting knocked out had he gone for head. But, chest, yeah. They'd doubt my loss if my leather chest only got a scratch on it."
"I pretended to bend over. Yet the guy seemed to have exhausted himself after fighting that much. He toppled over backward and hit his head to a knockout."
"Rather than you losing, sounds more like your opponent lost on his own."
"That's the gist of it. Gukuku. Got stuck teaching swordsmanship to some random noble I didn't even know. So yeah, that's how I stayed in touch with them even after young miss was born."
"This place is <Dungeon of Swords> no? There should be some pretty skilled knights around."
"There are. Vice-Commander and below aren't that bad. The commander is chosen purely by lineage, y'see."
"That said, at the end of the day, they're just dungeon city knights. Strong here doesn't amount to much."
"You mean dungeon city knights are weak?"
"They're weak. Ah, excluding Knights of Yufu. They don't have a lot of knights there, but the few they got are a bunch of elites. And they always carry around potions on them. The only order of knights that can match them with the same crew numbers would only be the Royal Knights, Smark Knights, Gido Knights and the Five Barondom Knights."
"How come dungeon city knights are so weak?"
"This kingdom forbids direct conflicts between territorial lords, and it's been a long time since the last war against another country. There's only ever been light skirmishes, or bandit and magic beast exterminations, and also public order maintenance. In all but public order, it's faster to just hire adventurers. Even conflicting lords would have a hard time if one side hired depth-walking adventurers. They're a much better deterrent than knights."
"I got it now. So you played your part as the sword instructor of the marquis kid brother and gained the marquis family's trust huh."
"Never taught 'em swordsmanship or the likes though."
"What did you teach then."
"Some dumb games. For some reason, his father the previous marquis and his elder brother the current marquis took a liking on me instead."
"By the way Lecan, that thing earlier was Narum-style etiquette no? Did you serve as a knight of that country?"
"Nah. Just learned it for a job."
The two got absorbed in talk about their homeland while enjoying Nark's cooking.
Their conversation got really heated up when it comes to dungeons.
Lecan had never imagined he could find someone to talk about this in this world.
Would have been livelier had Boudo were also here now.
Wonder where Boudo is now.
Did he even fall to this world to begin with.
Zoltan got dead drunk.
This topic was 50 year coming to Zoltan.
He must want to get drunk.
Swept over by the liquor, Zoltan sang a song in the language of his home world.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
<Of Harukana Hometown>
<Of Trakista Green Hill>
<Oh little flower Crimson Kushana>
<Sleep now in serenity>
"There was a woman who could sing this song with such a good voice."
"I see. Her name's?"
"I cannot recall."
"I see. Come, let's drink more."
Zoltan poured the nicely aromatic liquor down his throat.
"So good. This is good."
He was entranced by the taste of liquor for a while before he suddenly spoke like he recalled something.
"You ever been to Sparkant?"
"You haven't eh. That place's nice, y'know."
Sparkant was a peaceful country. Its Trakista Green Hill near its capital was famed for its ephemeral beauty. That country had fallen into ruin, the hill was burned down along with it. It happened long before Lecan's birth. Though Lecan didn't have it in him to tell Zoltan.
"Go take a trip there if you get back."
"Yeah. A <Black Hole> will some day reappear before Descenders. I believe you can go back to your world if you jump in one."
"Anyone ever got back?"
"Those people from our world I mentioned earlier vanished into those <Black Holes>. So the witnesses said."
"A <Black Hole> emerged before me once."
"But I did not jump into it."
"Well now. I wonder why."
Zoltan drank down the liquor.
"I've long forgotten about it."