"How many of these Guides and directors stuff are there?"
"I believe there are five Guides. As for directors, I think there's about a bit more than ten. Guides can become directors, but none would come forward to. Guide-class mages are all the types of people who detest using their times on anything but their research projects after all. As such, I don't think any of them hold both posts concurrently."
"They must be strong."
"You mean in combat? Not necessarily. Same can be said with the senior researchers. Some of them don't even go into the dungeon while immersing themselves in their projects. That said, I don't think there's many senior researchers or directors who haven't been to floor 80 at least."
"That's plenty strong already by common standard. By the way, what the heck are Magic Knights."
"They may be called Knights, but you don't actually see them acting together. They're formed for the sake of assisting dungeon explorations, they're only under the Knights on administrative papers."
"Assisting dungeon explorations?"
"During Era Morfes's days, only mages dived into dungeon Palcimo's depths. But as the number of powerful mages dwindled, people would start having a hard time when they encountered the highly magic resistant Magic Wolves there. So then, those who have mana but not the magic aptitude to become mages yet possessing exceptional physical strength and agility are given Knights' training regime and the position of Magic Knights. Magic Knights were formed for the sole sake of exploring Dungeon Palcimo. Outside that, they can simply dispatch ordinary knights and mages together."
Just when Lecan thought 'isn't that the same inside dungeons', he recalled how only those who possess mana can enter Dungeon Palcimo.
"Many residents in this town are blessed with mana. You could enter an apprenticeship under a mage if you want to learn magic, but if you want the best education, you need to aim for the Magic Research Institute. If during the entrance exam, you're deemed to be more fit as a magic knight, you will be assigned the role regardless of your will."
"No going back?"
"Well, they take that entrance exam out of their own free will after all. Can't really complain which post they assign you to. Although well, some do resign afterward, but not a lot. Magic Knights are well respected and looked up to, to begin with."
As mages who wish to explore dungeon depths need those magic knights' assistance, they understandably won't try to antagonize them.
"It's just, y'know. There have been cases of people who entered the institute dreaming of doing magic research ended up never getting used to their life as a magic knights."
(Ui is one of these cases.)
"That wand store's shopkeeper managed to quit the institute then. Did he succeed imparting the magic to someone else?"
"He must have. Otherwise, they wouldn't have let him quit. By the way, he's prohibited from mentioning the existence of Ancient Word Magic. Officially, the magic doesn't exist."
"They might have an issue with outsiders taking interest in it when not even Palcimo mages manage to learn it right."
"I see. I suppose I get their angle."
"Once you're out of the institute, you're forbidden to deploy Ancient Word Magic outside the institute's wall. Or at least that's the official stance, the board of directors are aware how some former researchers keep using Ancient Word Magic in their homes or businesses. They know yet they look the other way. They might be anticipating new users of Ancient Word Magic being discovered by doing thus."
After asking all that he needed to ask, Lecan thanked Tolda and left.
He walked around aimlessly before stumbling to a tavern to have lunch and went back to his inn.
Eda and Julius were already back. There was no message from the dungeon receptionist.
The following day, he went around all kinds of stores in the town.
As he got back in the evening, there was a message for him.
The morning after, they went to the dungeon receptionist and found out about an application from a party.
The applicant is a swordsman by the name Zoir, the party's leader, they're adventurers who hail from outside town.
This would be the third time Zoir's party challenge Dungeon Palcimo, they plan to break through floor 70 with ten physical types and ten mages members.
They came up with this formation after the experience in their two previous expeditions. With 20 people on their side, each shaft will be dealt by four. From floor 61 to 70, each shaft can spawn five Magic Wolves at most. Zoir judged that they would need at least four people to deal with five Magic Wolves.
Fourteen of their members including Zoir have dived in Dungeon Palcimo up to floor 51 before, but the remaining six have yet to. Thus they'd need to start from floor 1.
The receptionist called out to Zoir and informed him of <Willard>'s joint expedition quest. Zoir had experience diving in Dungeon Tsubolt, hence he was very interested in the conqueror of all 150 floors of Tsubolt, Lecan. Having a <Purification> user around would be most reassuring as well.
If <Willard> agreed to joining hands with Zoir's party, they would need to start over from floor 1. As such, Zoir didn't take Lecan's quest, instead he offered a joint expedition with his party on equal standing.
"Fumu. I've got no issue with that. But first, gotta see them. We'll go from there."
"Yes. We shall call them right away."