Say No to Thin Book-like Development
Regarding this 'Dungeon' Alma mentioned, apparently nobody knows how they come to be or who make them.
They exist everywhere in the world, and people keep finding new ones each year.
Some dungeons even showed up out of nowhere without any prior signs.
Despite occurring naturally, they host treasure chests and the insides look like they're artificially made by people, they're quite an enigma.
Wonder if it's another of that law of nature thing. Just like with Demon King, it's weird how their origin or nature seem to be hazy.
Each floor in a dungeon is filled with magic beasts, traps, treasure chests and the likes. The deeper you go the more dangerous those traps and magic beasts become, but it also brings out even rarer items to loot.
Also the structure inside will periodically change, so it's generally impossible to plan out your expedition by memorizing the floors. Kinda like roguelike games.
There exist 'Portals' located a certain point past the entrance on every floors which you can use to instantly warp outside the dungeon. Wonder if the creator is a video game developer or something?
Nevertheless, there's a not insignificant number of people who challenged dungeons and never came back so you can never be too careful.
Let's just try out shallow floors today. I don't wanna go straight to risky floors right off the bat.
It's just as Alma said, there really is a small cave with a signboard written with, 'Dungeon up ahead. Entry off limit without permission.' to the south of Dajiel.
No problem for us since adventurers registered with the guild have permission to enter dungeons. Getting injured or dying is your problem however.
After checking our belongings, we set foot inside.
The interior is bright like we're outdoor in daylight even though there's no torches around.
Apparently there are light stones installed on ceilings and walls illuminating the surroundings. Just how convenient can this all be. It's nice how comfortable things are though.
We traversed through the first floor for a bit and found surprisingly few magic beasts.
In the first tens of minutes, we only came across two goblins.
And all the treasure chests we found were empty. Huh?
"Is this just how it's like on shallow floors? Honestly, I'm a bit let down by how sparse things are..."
"Perhaps, there were already adventurers coming here. You can't hunt magic beasts in the forest, so the only ways to earn right now are either exploring a dungeon or moving to another region."
"Oh that must be it. I wonder who."
Hoping it's not that Dasomething guy. I don't wanna see whatshisface again.
Hm? Something's on the ground? An item?
"Hm, isn't this a woman's hairpin? Is this also a type of loot in a dungeon?"
"! That looks like the hairpin Miokusmel had on her...!"
"Fifraila's party, the silver haired girl."
Ah, right, that was her name or something.
Wait, they were the party ahead of us? Hm, guess I'll take it over Dasomething.
"She must've dropped it along the way. Let's give it back if we see her."
"Is it normal to drop your hairpin without realizing?"
"Maybe they got into an accident and weren't in the state to pick it up?"
"Maybe. I'm a bit, worried..."
"...Let's keep going further."
I've got a bad feeling about this. It smells of trouble.
Just hoping they didn't fall victim to magic beasts. And not in a thin book kind of way.
~~~~~POV of Miokusmel from the three girl party~~~~~
"Ah, geez, Fifra! Where are you! Give us a shout if you hear me!"
"Sh-Shiul-chan, magic beasts will come, if you're too loud..."
"Is that any worse than missing each other like this? She's alone by herself and all, she could be in an even bigger danger than us."
"U-un, you're right..."
Auu, how did it come to this.
I'm glad we got through Stampede safely, but then we couldn't hunt magic beasts in the forest.
We went in this dungeon to vent for our failure to recruit Alma-chan, and then Fifra-chan charged ahead, got caught in a teleportation trap, and went missing.
I also dropped my favorite hairpin somewhere... Uuu, I wanna cry...
"Oh quit sniffling! It's gonna be fine, we both know how cheeky and brazen Fifra is! She's absolutely okay!"
"Feh... U-un. You're right... I'm not sure if being cheeky has anything to do with it though..."
"No way to know how far she got thrown to with that warp trap, heck, maybe she already found the portal and went back ahead of us. Let's go a bit deeper."
"W-wait for me, Shiul-chan."
...Both Shiul-chan and Fifra-chan are so strong...
My legs are losing strength just imagining if it were me who got lost.
Wonder what would become of me if not for those two, always so positive and taking me along with them.
I'm sure I'd keep fretting on my own and end up shutting myself up from the world...
It must have been hard for Alma-chan being alone all the time.
Although she doesn't look as lonely recently after she started spending time with that black haired old man, wonder what's their relationship.
Fifra said we couldn't invite Alma-chan because of that old man, but then she had a look of relief. I'm sure he's not a bad person...
Oh, no no. This isn't the time, we've got to look for Fifra.
"Fifra! Jeez, where are you anyway! We're gonna head back without you if you don't respond!"
"S-Shiul-chan! Over there!"
"Ahn? What's... Ah hey! Fifra!"
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
As I looked around next to the shouting Shiul-chan, I saw Fifra's red hair in a room next to us.
She's laying down on the ground, is she passed out...!?
"D-do you think she's okay!?"
"Can't say! Let's just go there!"
We ran toward Fifra-chan without thinking.
We should have paid more attention to the surroundings.
The moment we got inside the room, CLANK, it got barred shut with iron bars.
More than ten magic beasts have surrounded us.
We could have managed if they were only goblins, but there were some Hobgoblins, High Kobold and even over Lv20 Orcs among them.
It looks like they were using Fifra-chan to lure us here.
I couldn't stop my voice from leaking out of despair.
Something else might leak if I don't focus...
"...Tch, mere beasts coming up with cunning ambush...!"
"W-w-what do we do!"
"Calm down! It's gonna be really the end if we panic now!"
Despite what Shiul-chan said, Fifra-chan is our only vanguard, so even these beasts getting near is a pinch already.
Shiul-chan's weapon is a bow, she can't rapid fire with it. My magic might blow up in close range, I could only cast it from a distance.
The magic beasts have superiority in both number and strength. And there's no gaps or other spots to run to.
Apparently there are cases where magic beasts make a plaything of defeated women, and I can't help but imagine the worst in this situation.
"N-no... I don't wanna... ueee...!"
"Don't cry! You gotta keep fighting till the very end!!"
Shiul-chan harshly and strongly encouraged the weeping me, but her encouragement alone won't change anything.
And then just as the magic beasts came close and I thought everything is over.
BOOM! The room's wall came crumbling down along with that loud noise, then somebody came in.
"Heard voices from over here, uwaah, it almost turned into a thin book development for real. Glad we made it in the nick of time."
"No sorry please forget I said that, I'm sorry sorry."
<TLN: Thin books here refer to doujin.>
A pair of black haired man and woman showed up while chatting nonchalantly.
"And, the old man with that hopeless stats...!?"
"Please quit it with old man. You wanna make me cry?"
"Hikaru, forget about that. We have to do something about these magic beasts."
T-thank goodness! Old man aside, with Alma-chan and her Magic Sword skill, we can leave the front to her!
We might come out of this!
As I sighed in relief inwardly, I saw a Hobgoblin swinging down its huge club at the old man. L-look out!
"O-old man! Look out!"
I managed to squeeze my voice, but it was too late!
"I'm telling you."
In that moment, the old man stopped the swinging club with his bare left hand.
"Don't call me."
He put his right hand on the Hobgoblin's belly.
He yelled out in anger, then suddenly the Hobgoblin got flung away at tremendous speed before crashing on the wall.
...Huh? Is this person, maybe actually super strong? With those stats?
What's going on?