The entrance to Dungeon Palcimo is on the mountain side of Mt. Slinga. It's a small mountain that's more a hill than a mountain. But how everything is covered in trees makes calling it a mountain acceptable still.
Buildings housing the Information Desk, Kind Office and Trade Facility have been erected on the foot of Mt. Slinga, along with several small inns surrounded by trees. It's a compact looking dungeon environment, a far cry from the same Grand Dungeon of Tsubolt where people and buildings crowd together as far as eyes can see.
Though back at the city, every aisles is full of workshops and stores, people from all over the place looking for magic-related gear would flock there.
They bought light meals at the stalls, then the seven of them trod on a tree-covered uphill path toward the dungeon entrance. Even though it's still not yet peak time, the place is unusually sparse of people.
The entrance is about five step wide, explorers wanting to go in are neatly lining up in front of it. There's no sentries to organize or check them for permits.
Ui spoke once they advanced a bit.
"Good, this spot should do. Let us all join hands together."
All seven of them joined hands.
The floor graph came up on Lecan's mind in that instance. In other dungeons, reciting the Floor spell won't show you floors you haven't been to, and floors you haven't got the marks from are grayed out. Yet, floor 1 is shown brightly on Lecan's head right now.
Once Ui recited the spell, all seven of them got warped to floor 1.
There's no one else here.
This dungeon, Palcimo has extremely unusual characteristics even outside the multishaft aspect of it. First of all, different parties can never see each other even when they're on the same floor. Not only that, you won't ever come across traces of battles or belongings left by other parties no matter which floor you're exploring.
The most plausible explanation to this, hypothesized by the Magic Research Institute, is that Dungeon Palcimo generates a new room whenever a party enters.
They got transported into a small room with five shaft openings. Each openings is covered by a mist-like matter, you can't peer inside. A familiar mechanism in Tsubolt too.
"Lecan-dono. I am sure you are aware of the traits the magic beasts spawning here possess already."
Lecan has read the document given to him.
Dungeon Palcimo is known as <Dungeon of Magic> but it's got another alias, <Dungeon of Wolves>. The only type of magic beasts that spawns here. They look similar to <Ashen Wolves> but their heads are larger with sharp fangs. As they can attack with magic, they get to be called <Magic Wolves>.
<Magic Wolves> have different traits depending on their color. The whiter they are, the more resistant they are to magic, and when they're pure white, they're pretty much invulnerable to magic. While the blacker they are the more resistant they're to physical attacks, pitch black wolves are invulnerable to physical attacks.
On shallow floors, one Magic Wolf will spawn in each shaft, ash colored more to the black side, they're also small and move slowly.
"Obaba-sama will be the one accompanying you into the shaft."
"Alright then. We're entering."
Ui and the other three mages got in the shafts.
"Let's get moving too. Julius, you go in first."
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"I'm gonna stay still in the back. Go fight how you want."
"I understand, master."
Julius breathed in and out before drawing his sword and went in the shaft.
Lecan next, followed by Jiza.
The inside was surprisingly spacious. Around 20 step wide, and 100 step deep. It doesn't match the size of the shaft opening at all.
A small ashen <Magic Wolf> deep inside the room noticed the intruders and ran up to them.
It's about the size of a two-three year human child, but its face looks ferocious.
Julius charged at his opponent as well. However, Lecan sensed something off with him.
The way he carries himself doesn't have the sharpness he showed in Dungeon Tsubolt.
He still didn't have his sword ready even when they were about to clash, and just when the magic beast was about to bite his leg, Julius struck down the <Magic Wolf>'s head with an overhead slash.
Lecan walked up to him from behind and called out.
"Alright. Well done."
Julius turned around and looked up at Lecan with a miserable expression. It seems he himself is aware how terribly he fought.
"You defeated your opponent without sustaining injury. Take pride in that. You're the victor."
(Well, someone's down.)
(Can't go on like this.)
"Julius, what's the goal of exploring a dungeon."
"Eh? I-it's so you can get stronger. And also to obtain Grace Gear, Potions and magic stones."
"Exactly. But get too greedy and you die. So you begin to see those things as stuff that naturally falls on your lap as you keep delving in dungeons. In the end, the goal of exploring dungeons is the very act of delving in deeper and farther into a dungeon itself."
"Now then, what's the most important thing in a dungeon exploration."
"Is it attentiveness?"
"And after that is to not get wounded badly."
"You've accomplished those two most important things. You've earned the right to take pride in yourself."
"For now, go fetch the magic stone."
Julius used a small dagger on his waist to take out the magic stone, then Lecan wiped it clean and handed the small magic stone to Jiza.
"Oh. Can I take that?"
"Then, I suppose I shall. Much appreciated."
Jiza held out her right hand, then the magic stone disappeared from Lecan's palm like it had been sucked in.
"Now then, Julius. Do an introspection of your fight just now."
"Yes. First of all, I was bewildered as to how I should fight a small foe. I was also confused about fighting a non-human adversary. Thus, I could not decide which move to use."
"Yeah. That's exactly it. Then how should you have swung your sword?"
"I should have crouched down and slashed horizontally."
"Yeah, that's no good. That stops you in your track, and the enemy is too small. Your swordschool must have moves where you swing your sword diagonally from lower left to upper right."
"Yes there are."
"Give that a try."
"Oh and, earlier on you struck down that magic beast's head with an overhead slash. That one did the trick because the enemy was weak and your sword is exceptionally good, but keep doing that on small foes and that sword's gonna wear down fast. Also, skulls are tough no matter the magic beasts, slashing them with a sword is not a wise move. Pretty much all magic beast's weak points are on their necks and hearts. Try to go for the neck for the time being. Wound their limbs first if you can't go straight for the neck."