Knights and soldiers were waiting for the group on the ground floor where they received a warm welcome and congratulatory words. The attitude toward Jiza was especially full of respects.
Since the dungeon boss got defeated, the magic beasts inside must have vanished, prompting people to immediately know that someone had conquered the dungeon. They must have sent a message outside while Lecan's group was resting after the fight, discussing what to do once they leave and receiving the platinum coin reward from Jiza. The Institute's guides and researchers must have been driven out during the time.
Outside the dungeon, a huge crowd of people were waiting for them.
Staff members from their lodgings and receptionist desk were also present. And Explorers. And many individuals with extreme amount of mana. All of them gave an unending round of applause toward the group. But some of them were frowning while clapping their hands.
(That man's got some incredible mana. And a mixed expression.)
(Guy probably wanted to participate in this dungeon conquest.)
The group was escorted on a wagon to the town lord's mansion and received a cordial welcome there.
The host was Toru Ciela. The townlord's nephew as well as the one in charge of Dungeon Palcimo Management.
According to Toru, the townlord was quite troubled by the lack of conquest in the past 62 years and had put his expectations on Guide Jiza Morfes's zeal.
He now wished to host a 50 day long celebration for the dungeon conquest. A grand celebration that will have all the town lords in the southeastern part of the kingdom invited.
But Lecan refused to stay for such a long time and would leave the town in three days. Toru begged Lecan to stay a bit longer, but Lecan's decision was final.
As a result, there will be a banquet at the mansion evening on the second day and the day after is a parade to show off the heroes to the public.
Lecan asked Jiza on the night of the day they left the dungeon.
"Can I learn Ancient Word Magic."
"Well, let's find find out then."
Jiza took a thin wand and cast <Analysis> checking up on Lecan's right chest.
"Never thought <Analysis> could be used on humans."
"No. That was not for analyzing human body. You've no aptitude for it. You cannot learn Ancient Word Magic."
"I see. Does this aptitude got something to do with right chest?"
"Well now, I wonder."
Looks like she doesn't plan to divulge it.
Lecan checked Jiza's right chest with <3D Perceptions>.
<3D Perceptions> can't distinguish between soft and hard objects. However, by observing for a while, it can tell the difference between objects that shift their shape while moving and those that remain fixed. There's a fist-sized hard object in Jiza's right chest. It's where a magic stone would be if she were a magic beast, this object holds an extraordinary amount of mana.
The day after, Lecan went to Tolda's store in town to say his thanks and then the two went together to the wand store.
After some observation, he found out the wand storekeeper had a very small hard object embedded in his right chest as well.
Chubby was waving at him when Lecan had lunch with Tolda, but he feigned ignorance.
The grand celebration did not get called off, it would last for 60 whole days instead. Prime Minister, Marquis Mashajain, Marquis Tsubolt and even Marquis Gido will be invited. Whatever to Lecan.
Ui was honorably discharged. As no magic knights ever managed to be in party that conquered Dungeon Palcimo since its founding, Ui was regarded as a representative of the knights in this conquest, and she would retire after the grand celebration.
"And thus, our reunion with Ui-san will have to be postponed. Which is just right since I need to get back to the village as soon as possible."
Arios got his hands on a <God Cure> after all. He must be eager to deliver it to his father asap. Considering that, Lecan felt bad for having forced him to accompany them for six days in the dungeon expedition and a few more days in the postmortem.
"My bad Arios. Took days of your time cause I asked."
"Not at all. The decision was on me alone. And besides, there are many things I obtained in this expedition. I'm grateful to gods for this chance meeting."
"I see. Well I guess no way to get <Necklace of Intuador> and <Free Box> if it weren't for that situation."
This was when Lecan recalled one question he had in mind.
"Arios. Why'd you disclose to Ui about you being a Longliver. Where was the need to do that back then."
"Ui-san too has the blood of Longliver running in her veins. The blood of our kind."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"Can you not tell by looking?"
"Oh right, she looks younger for her age or something. I see. So she's one."
"I agreed to Lecan-dono's invitation to come along in the expedition back then not because I felt obliged to you."
"I thought it was wonderful."
"Conquering Dungeon Palcimo had always been Guide Morfes's life greatest dream. Yet the Magic Research Institute management would bar her and even try to confine her. Ui-san gave Guide Morfes her final wish even if it meant betraying Magic Knights where she belongs."
"Nah, isn't that because Ui wanted to conquer the dungeon. Obaba said so too. Something about changing if she managed to do it or something."
"That may have been part of the equation, but I believe even Ui-san herself wasn't truly aware of it. Ui-san took the action she took because she wanted to fulfill Guide Morfes's wish. It clicked on me when I heard that she was a pupil of Guide Morfes. Ui-san knew that this wish was something Guide Morfes would even exchange her life for."
"Then she could just have let her escape. No need to go in the dungeon with her."
"No matter how great a mage Guide Morfe is, she is still a mage after all. Being a magic knight, Ui-san must believe that it was her duty to be her shield. She also did it to keep Guide Jiza safe from a suspicious outlaw."
"A suspicious outlaw? Ah, me huh."
"Yes. From Ui-san's point of view, Lecan-dono was a good-for-nothing bum that coaxed Guide Morfes with sweet words for the sake of achieving your avaricious ambitions. You're also strong. She must think that she has to protect Guide Morfes from Lecan-dono no matter what. Well, anyway, I was very much in awe of Ui-san's chivalrous spirit and self-sacrificing acts. Then that extended to wanting to watch over Ui-san's fight. And then."
"I wonder what's going to happen."
"What the heck. So you came along cause you wanted to help Ui huh."
"That is not all. I have acquired a great many things from my dungeon expeditions with Lecan-dono thus far. And above all, it's fun. Can't let my guard down either."
"Not to forget how I wanted to see Julius's growth in person. Lecan-dono."
"I may have to bring Julius back to our village for the time being, but afterward, it would be great if he could resume training under you. I leave him in your hands."
"I've heard that already. Didn't teach him anything in particular, and bringing him into dungeons means risking death at every corners. Send Julius in if you're fine with that."
"Thank you very much. Lecan-dono."
"To me, every encounter is to be cherished. It's part of my clan's motto as well."
That's true. One will know that well if they keep exploring dungeons.
If you encounter a tough magic beast in somewhere you don't expect and then flee from it due to not having proper equipment while thinking you'd get a rematch later, that later will absolutely never come. Unforeseen magic beasts drop unexpected rare stuff. There was even a time when Lecan fought a bizarre magic beast which turned out to be an extremely rare dungeon boss that only spawns once in a hundred years.
"You're right. You gotta cherish encounters."
"Do you think so too, Lecan-dono."