Dinnertime on the first day.
The group is enjoying meat skewers and warm soup Eda made as they surround the campfire.
"I can't believe it, floor 35. I've never heard of anything like this before. Arios-dono. You have never set foot on this dungeon in your life before, yet we managed to reach floor 35 in a mere day with you, just who are you really."
Arios took the meat skewer out his mouth and just smiled back at Ui.
Ui blushed at that, unable to inquire further.
"You see, Ui-san. This may be Arios-kun's first time in this dungeon, but he's someone who's conquered Ninae and got to Tsubolt's last floor. Also, he may be a swordsman mainly, but there's no doubt his skill as an adventurer is first rate."
"Dungeon Tsubolt's last floor. That's terrific. Hm? Hold on. If I recall right, Leca-dono mentioned how he was together with Julius's father when he conquered Tsubolt."
"Well, I mean, Arios-kun is Julius-kun's father. He's been calling him that all day, didn't you hear?"
"Yes I did. But Arios-dono doesn't look that much older than Julius. So I have been wondering why he would call Arios-dono father. I thought there must be some extenuating circumstances."
"Arios-kun is older than Lecan despite his looks, you know."
"Yes way, I'm telling you it's true."
"Ui-san. I may look young, but my actual age is quite a bit up there in reality."
"Arios-dono, not you too."
"At any rate, I am indeed Julius's biological father."
"Your faces do look alike. However, no. Hold it. Right. Lecan-dono told me Julius's father has passed away already."
"I did not."
"You did. You said how you were with three local adventurers during Tsubolt's conquest, but Julius's father was the only one accompanying you by the end. You also said how you were with a <Recovery> user and a swordsman in Ninae. Every single adventurer who went with you in your dungeon diving escapade met their demise."
"Don't treat me like a reaper, you. Who's the person in front of you."
"Yeah. A <Recovery> user. The very same one from my Ninae conquest."
"The three local adventurers were fine the last time I saw them too. They gave up delving deeper because it was too tough for them. The one with us in Ninae was a knight, she brought Ninae's boss head and legs back to the capital. Eda here just got back from visiting that knight's house recently."
Ui froze over and stopped moving.
A moment of silence ruled the place.
"Hyo, hyo, hyo. Hyo, hyo, hyo. Now, now, Ui."
"I had actually taken notice when you misinterpreted Lecan-chan words back then. But I kept it to myself. Forgive me. Due to that, you had that misunderstanding about Lecan-chan going on. Believing he's a greedy egoistical adventurer who used his friends like disposables for the sake of gaining fame in dungeons."
"You have a kind and straightforward honest heart, as well as the disposition to hold a biased prejudice from your perceptions alone. That's something inherent to you. But, you know, you must not condemn people because of misunderstandings. That will serve to only narrow your world view."
"I do not condemn."
"You did. In your heart. I know you must have thought he was a good-for-nothing adventurer who deceived the talented Julius-boya using words his father left behind. Misusing the authority House of Mashajain has granted him, stomping around acting like he owned Dungeon Palcimo, a real piece of work an adventurer."
"All that showed in your entire body language. Recall the looks you had in your eyes whenever you saw Lecan-chan."
"Try to not let your prejudices control your words and actions. Don't let it narrow your world view. The world exists in your mind. The you now cannot last outside this town."
"I do not care about outside world. I shall live and die in this magic city Palcimo."
"Will you listen to that. That's what I'm talking about. That's how you narrow your world. The reason why you helped me this time was because you wanted to change yourself, wasn't it."
"You wanted to break through your shell and find someplace new. Hence why you wanted to get to Palcimo's last floor no matter what kind of harsh punishment awaits. Am I wrong?"
"...No. That is correct."
"Let us conquer this Grand Dungeon Palcimo, together."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"Once we cross over to the last floor, the new you should be waiting beyond. I'm sure she is."
"Yup that's good. Just think about going deeper into the dungeon for now. Let that occupy your mind. That's for best."
Ui nodded as she kept her head down. A tear streamed down, but everybody including Lecan pretended to not see it.
Eventually, Ui lifted her face.
"All right. Lecan. Let's keep going once we're done with the meal!"
She dropped the 'dono' suffix all of a sudden. Perhaps a sign of their distance closing.
"We're going to bed after meal."
"What? It's still too early."
"Yea. But we got through too many floors today. Now's the time to take it easy."
"I can still keep going."
"That's what it feels to me too."
"And my experience from having dived many dungeons tells me that feeling is dangerous."
"Anyway, once we're done eating, rest your body well and get some good sleep. Eda."
"<Purification> for all please."
"I got it!"
They chatted together after enjoying a session of <Purification>.
And once it's bedtime, Jiza and Ui produced fluffy blankets.
"This will be my first staying overnight in a dungeon."
"Ui-san. Does no one stay over in this dungeon?"
"Arios-dono. I do not know how it's done in other dungeons, but this town's explorers will go back home once they're done exploring for that day. It's even customary for explorers to temporarily leave the dungeon for lunch."