At the end of the day, they managed to reach floor 12. Lecan paid Tolda two big gold coins and four gold coins.
During their expedition, Lecan asked Tolda this.
"You're all mages, huh."
"Yep, that's right."
"What are you gonna do when you run into near white Magic Wolves? Or are shallower floors doable with just magic?"
"You can manage with just magic up to floor 30 here, sure. But you're just gonna waste mana trying to defeat near white Magic Wolves with magic. So you attack them with physical attacks."
"You got bows or something stashed away?"
"Bows were the norm back in the days. But mages who lacked strength couldn't shoot arrows with enough power even equipped with a bow. There were explorers who specialized in bow, but hiring them fetched a huge sum. Thus, many mages opted to learn <Water Blade> and <Steel Ball>."
"What's this <Steel Ball> magic."
"It's just a magic that shoots out a steel ball. It can't cover that much range, but it's got some nice firepower if you do it right."
"But then, one day, the Magic Research Institute invented <Magic Arrow Pipes>."
"<Magic Arrow Pipes>?"
"This one's here."
Tolda took out a three-step long thin pipe out of his <Free Box>.
"You put in a specific arrow in this then a small magic stone in the base part. Then by reciting a spell, the magic stone will explode and shoot the arrow out. Today, most mages going into this dungeon carry <Magic Arrow Pipes> with them."
"Hou, I see."
(I couldn't come up with a way to fight Dungeon Tsubolt's boss with magic.)
(But <Water Blade> and <Steel Ball> might just work.)
"These <Magic Arrow Pipes> were invented by Guide Jiza, y'see. She's also responsible for many more accomplishments. All explorers in Palcimo look up to her."
"Hou. Am I allowed to purchase this <Magic Arrow Pipe>?"
"I'm running a <Magic Arrow Pipe> shop. Feel free to buy them when we're open."
"Does any small magic stone work."
"No. That won't do. The types of arrows differ by the types of pipes, so the magic stones and mana used have to be adjusted right otherwise it poses a risk. Hence, you must only use magic stones you buy from the store."
Meaning one must stay at Palcimo if they wish to keep using <Magic Arrow Pipes>. Lecan lost interest in the weapon.
"There are <Magic Arrow Pipes> using bigger magic stones that shoot out bigger arrows. They're pretty powerful weapon once you master them."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
On the second day, <Kwantor> and <Willard> bought packed lunch at the food stall before going in the dungeon.
On the entrance to floor 13's shafts, Lecan produced five Mana Restorative pills.
"I'm giving one of these to each of you."
"Don't tell me, those are Mana Restorative?"
"Well I'll be."
"You're familiar with them huh."
"Well yeah, a direct pupil of Herb Saint lives in Town of Palcimo where they open a store that sells Mana Restorative. I've bought and used one before myself."
"We can't accept such valuable items."
"I made them myself."
"Giving you guys five pills of Mana Restorative today and tomorrow cost me little. Yet, having our expedition progress better would be a huge boon to me. So do take these."
The five received the pills in the end. And Tolda alone drank it.
At the exit of floor 13, Tolda reported excitedly.
"This Mana Restorative is real amazing stuff alright. It's even better than Panta's in terms of immediate effect and restored amount."
Panta is the apothecary that runs the medicine store in Palcimo who claims to be a direct pupil of Herb Saint.
"It feels like my mana just keep surging up. No really, this is incredible. Guys, you should take them after lunch too."
They decided to have lunch on the exit of floor 18.
Lecan lit up firewood, grilled meat and Eda made a soup.
"Lecan. We brought packed lunch with us, you didn't have to grill our share too. But that sure is a nice smell. What meat is that?"
"Well, just give it a bite."
After eating the meat, <Kwantor> members were all taken aback with the taste.
"Lecan. You can't be telling me, this meat's."
"Petitfire Dragon! Dungeon-borne?"
"Yeah. Dungeon Rotor."
"Petitfire Dragon in Dungeon Rotor? Ain't that the boss!"
"And it's been bugging me since yesterday, those armor of yours and Julius, could it be."
"Made from the dragon's mats."
"I knew it! You're just full of surprises. To think we could have a taste of floor 80's Fire Dragon's meat. This alone would be more than enough reward."
"Worth it if that gets you guys motivated."
"Taking this quest was a huge win, really."
After lunch, the other four took the Mana Restorative pills as well.
After which their expedition progressed extremely well, they reached floor 28 on the second day.
Tolda offered to treat them dinner in the town that day.
He spoke of many interesting things.
Tolda runs a store that deals in <Magic Arrow Pipes>, his store also sells physical bows, and Tolda himself is capable of using one.
All other members of <Kwantor> are either shopkeepers or employees of stores in the town as well, they usually go into the dungeon to gather materials required for their job.
One thing became clear to Lecan that night. He was wondering how would <Kwantor>'s team composition even conquer a new floor, turned out they don't. They would get additional members whenever they want to break through a new floor.
Tolda himself could get to floor 61. Meaning he could get to any floor up to 61. As their main goal is usually not breaking a new floor, they don't have to go into all five shafts. The five members will go in one or two shafts together until they reach the exit, then they go back to the surface before challenging the same floor again. They gather materials by repeating this pattern.
Thinking again, most parties Lecan caught sight above ground had five or six members with all of them being mages. Yet he would occasionally see a party with 20 or more members. That explains those.