"Ruby, that's unrealistic."
Ashidgrein interrupted here, seemingly unintentionally.
"But at this rate, it will be three months before Dungeon Knights come back from their expedition. With Lecan coming to them, it could be shortened to two or maybe even one month."
Ashidgrein turned to look at Nodlein Ruka. This man was the one who first went to meet Lecan in the tower. He's the heir to Viscount Ruka who's responsible for dungeon management. There are five other aides besides him, but all of them except Ruka who's in his 40s are all in their late 20s. Even the House Aide of Northern Tower, Peine is quite young. The people here are those who will carry the future of Yufu on their shoulders.
Urged by Ashidgrein, Nodlein spoke up.
"My ladyship. Dungeon Knights have surely broken through the deepest part of the dungeon by now. Lecan-dono may be strong, but a lone individual cannot possibly arrive at that area on their own."
"Nodlein-sama. But, Lecan is swift like the wind. Can't he catch up to Dungeon Knights in a month if he just run there while avoiding combat?"
"My ladyship. Dungeon Yufu is home to a great multitude of magic beasts, some of which are capable of detecting humans from thousands of steps ahead, sniffing their smell, or detecting their presences. Magic beasts are equipped with far better capability to detect humans much more than humans on magic beasts. It's almost an impossibility to push forward without ever getting caught."
"But Lecan should be able to run so fast those magic beasts cannot get him."
"My ladyship. Those magic beasts will incessantly go after humans once they have sensed them. On the other hands, us humans need to have meals, sleep and take a break. They will most assuredly catch up. Moreover, the act of magic beasts chasing after humans attracts more magic beasts to join them. As weak magic beasts group in hundreds, the chase will potentially inflate this number to tens of thousands. However, it takes some time for them to attract more magic beasts once they found you. Hence why Dungeon Knights will halt their advance and exterminate any magic beasts that come their way before that comes to pass. One cannot progress ahead in Dungeon Yufu otherwise."
"A word if I may."
"Lecan-dono. What will it be."
"I have an ability that can detect magic beasts 2500 steps ahead. It can also detect magic beasts behind walls or hiding in bushes."
Intense lights shot out of Nodlein's eyes.
"Hou. Are you saying this ability can tell their positions and numbers too."
"Sure can. Also, it's capable of distinguishing between magic beasts, humans, animals and insects as well."
One of the aides turned to look at Nodlein and spoke.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"Umm. May I speak?"
"Of course. Speak up if you have something to say. This applies to all of you."
"As a conqueror of two Grand Dungeons, Lecan-dono's strength is most definitely extraordinary. What if we ask him to rescue townlord-sama and Saljirein-sama instead?"
Saljirein should be the present family head of House of Viscount Ruka. Nodlein's father. Apparently he's been captured together with the townlord.
Several aides nodded in agreement. But someone objected here.
"But that will result in a clash. The Peacekeeping Knights would suffer casualties."
Another aide objected to this objection.
"What are you saying now. Their hands have been bloodied with Townlord Knights' already. We could perhaps ask Lecan-dono to arrest Viscount Dantesta Waido and the head of Southern House, or even exact punishment on them here."
"That would likely bring harm on townlord-sama instead."
Ashidgrein asked Lecan.
"Lecan-dono. Do you have any information on the state of my father right now?"
"No. I just arrived at Yufu yesterday. Only got a lone covert operative tagging along, and the result of his investigation brought me to this Northern Tower. No clue what's the present status of townlord-dono and Knight Estfarin. But I can have him investigate further if you give us time."
"Your highness. That proposition is most welcome. What we lack most now is information. We have no idea at all just what's going on at the Palace, and who's conspiring with who. It will be a great help if only we can get ahold of such information."
"I see. That sounds reasonable indeed. Nodlein, what do you think?"
"Sir. Before that, Lecan-dono."
"How did you manage to get inside Northern Tower?"
"Ah. I've got a Grace Gear that can teleport me over walls and people."
"It was able to go past <Guardian Wall> as well?"
"You mean the magic barrier covering the lower half of this tower? Yeah. Well, it did when I gave it a whirl."
"How do you know about <Guardian Wall> covering only the tower's lower half. That's a secret not even the people here were aware of until this incident went down."
"I can see mana."
"What. Lecan-dono, so you were a magic eye bearer."
(Magic eye bearer?)
(Shira mentioned that before.)
(Magic eye that can see mana huh.)
Nodlein inquired once again.
"The people outside stirred up once lights came up in this tower and we started grilling meat, yet there was not a pep when Lecan-dono arrived inside here. Did those watchmen not raise a ruckus?"
"I can use <Concealment> magic."
"What? Uumu. You are a master of many crafts indeed."
Nodlein got lost in thought afterward.
Ashidgrein and the aides patiently waited for their elder's conclusion.
After quite some time, Nodlein raised his face.
"Your highness. I believe that the best course of action here is to ask Lecan-dono to go into Dungeon Yufu after all."