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「I would like to be introduced to a skilled thief.」
Keith was drinking at the bar and Aur began to talk to him.
「Alright, it’s finally time! If you’re looking for one then you can bring me, I’ll be perfect!」
Answering gladly, Keith tried to stand up.
「No, sorry but, if it’s possible I would like a female instead.」
When Aur answered in this manner, Keith sat down on his chair again and gave Aur a suspicious look.
「You prefer a woman? May I ask you why?」
Keith questioned him back with a low and dangerous tone of voice, implicitly wondering if Aur had any bad intentions towards the female.
「To be honest…」
Aur also lowered his voice to a whisper and pointed at Lilu who was behind him.
「That woman is not a human being. She is actually a succubus that I summoned. If I am looking after her and controlling her then it will be fine, but in the off chance that I faint in the midst of battle and I lose control of her, she may be inclined to attack any nearby males in the area. If you don’t mind becoming a dry mummy in exchange for pleasure, then in that case I wouldn’t mind if you wanted to tag along?」
Lilu lifts up her hat slightly to show Keith a part of her horn.
「N-No, I-I will pa.s.s on that.」
Keith’s face cramped up as he spoke.
「If that is the case….. then..」
The ratio of women going out as adventurers isn’t very high. It’s not like there aren’t any women but the ratio is more like 1:9.
「Ah, there’s still that person I suppose? Oi, Faro!」
Keith’s eye which were looking around the bar finally landed in one location. In front of him was a young and small built girl stuffing her face with some rye bread.
「Fuahi?] (translation: Ywesh?)
While still chewing on to her piece of bread, the girl replied with little manners. "Come over here for a sec" Keith urged her to come closer as he beckoned her with his hand, the girl picked up two to three pieces of cheese on the table before coming a little closer.
「This is Faro. She’s really small but I can guarantee her skills in the matter.」
When one looked closely, this girl really did look quite small. Even being compared to the already pet.i.te Yunis and Sharl, this girl was even smaller. She is probably about the same height as Marie, or perhaps a little bit taller.
She had fluffy light brown hair close to gold colored hair that was cut short, opening her mouth widely, she was biting down on the cheese and looked much like a child, however, when Aur looked at her closely, he could sense that her green eyes were filled with prudence and intelligence unlike a child’s eyes.
「Are you a Kudoku? How unusual.」
When Aur says this, Faro opened her eyes as if she was surprised and gulped down the cheese in her mouth.
「You know about it? Everyone that hangs around this bar are mainly known as half-lings, excuse me for saying it in this rude manner.」
Kudoku, they are more commonly known as half-lings and they are midget people living in the western area. They have been sometimes called sprites of the meadows, but unlike the dwarves and the elves, their place of origin is not clear. Although their raw strength is weak due to their diminutive body, they compensate their weakness with very agile hands, also their eyes and ears are very sharp.
They prefer a conservative lifestyle of peace and rarely go out of their home villages, and it is rare for them to interact with other species. They are hardly known and are often mistaken for young human children. Because she was recommended in such a situation, Aur felt that her skill in the arts of thievery was guaranteed.
「This person is called Teo and is looking for a woman skilled as a thief.」
Faro was staring at Aur in a cheeky manner.
「I see, if you treat me to a meal than I wouldn’t mind joining. Let me just ask as a precaution but, we aren’t going to travel into the dungeon with just us three right?」
「Ahh. There are about three other companions coming along. Our war potential should be more than enough.」
Faro jumps onto the chair in front of the counter and shouted towards the interior of the bar.
「Bar manager, bring me ten servings of beef steak!」
「Fuhh, I’m so satisfied.」
Tapping her swelling stomach, Faro spoke in a good mood.
「Umm Teo-san was it? You must be really rich~. I never would of thought that you would allow me to eat until my stomach was full without being told to stop.」
Bringing along the woman who was walking with small and quick steps, Aur was now facing the entrance of the dungeon. The entrance was located in the deepest portion of Gnome’s store at the edge of town.
At the entrance of the dungeon, there were three other people standing by. Three shadows, big, medium and small were lined up at the entrance and since every one of them was wearing a hoodie to cover up their faces, their suspiciousness were first-rate.
Faro stops walking any closer as a precaution, but Aur raised his voice saying “Don’t worry they are my companions”.
「I’ve kept you guys waiting.」
「No, that’s not true.」
When Aur talks to the three people, the tallest one amongst them answers. From the sound of the voice, Faro realizes that the one who answered is a woman. On the contrary, she even had an inkling as to who it may be.
「Hey, this person is…」
「We can leave the talking after we’ve entered the dungeon. There are plenty of eyes on us out here.」
Being urged by Aur to enter, she nods her head slightly and the six adventurers descended down the stairs of the labyrinth.
「….. It smells terrible doesn’t it?」
This was the smell of rotten flesh and the putrid stench of corpses mixed with blood. Not only that but the miasma also blended in with this smell to create an even more terrible odor, Aur was frowning.
「If you worry about a smell like this, you won’t be able to become an adventurer you know? Hey, more importantly, I want to ask about you guys.」
When Aur gives them the signal, the three people uncovers their hoodies. The face that appears beneath the hood was what Faro had originally expected.
「As I thought! You guys, are the three people part of “Allan’s Commando unit” aren’t cha?! I heard that you guys were totally annihilated, but you were actually alive! Then Teo, could you be the rumored Alan? …. No, you can’t be, after all, Alan is a pretty boy, said to be handsome enough to be mistaken for a beautiful girl. Besides, the last remaining one is who exactly?」
Faro looks towards Lilu as she asks the question.
「This one is my familiar spirit that I’ve contracted with as a magician. These three are supposed to be dead. Therefore, because I didn’t want to create a big commotion out of it, I had them wear these hoodies.」
「Haa….. Then, are we planning on saving their leader Alan? So is Teo a magician hired for this purpose?」
「Well, that sounds about right.」
Listening to Aur’s appropriate explanation, Faro nods to herself in understanding.
「But hasn’t it been quite a long time since the “Alan Commando Unit” entered this place? This dungeon has been expanding in size day by day, now it is much more dangerous than it was a few months ago. I can still probably guide you to the second level, so please be careful of your surroundings and follow me.」
Faro spoke with a serious expression on her face and everyone nods.
Using a torch and lighting it with fire, the party began their search. Nadja, Lilu and Faro was acting as the vanguard for the group and Aur, Wikia and Sharl was acting as the rear guard and support for the group.
Faro uses the torch to burn down any spider webs blocking their path and Wikia hangs a lantern on her waist. Aur was holding his staff and used his magic to light the tip to illuminate the room. Securing multiple avenues of light to prepare for a sudden situation is one of the basic of basics of being an adventurer.
「This torch won't be immediately put out even if it is thrown away, moreover, it may also be used as a weapon against enemies that are sensitive to fire attacks. Therefore, considering that I can still work with one hand, I am the most suitable one in the vanguard position to hold the torch.」
while listening to Faro’s lecture, they encountered a group of goblins raising an annoying voice that was grating on the ears.
Instantly Nadja draws her sword and begins to cut down the goblins and following her up Faro also uses her short sword to stab a goblin in the back.
「Ah, wait a minute.」
Before the last goblin was killed, Lilu touched her lips with her finger and blew a kiss towards it. When she did this, the eyes of the goblin become clouded and the goblin staggers towards Lilu’s side.
「Let’s get this to hold our torch for us.」
「Ohh, that’s very useful isn’t it?」
Faro was impressed and handed the torch to the goblin.
The monsters and demons who lived in the first level weren’t particularly strong. While slaying things like huge spiders, huge bats and stray wolves, the one with the role of holding the torch continued to change and improve, first it was orcs, then it became kobolds and lastly an ogre.
「I’m totally free~」
Sharl mutters this out as she smiles whilst standing besides Aur’s left hand. Besides Nadja’s skill with the sword, Faro was also much stronger than expected. Just comparing them in terms of how quick their movements are, you could even say that Nadja was even more agile than Alan in terms of raw speed. Although her power was not particularly strong, she attacked at the gaps and weaknesses of her foes and she also had the right sword techniques to deal with a group of attacking enemies.
「Well, this is still only the first level of the dungeon. We should preserve our magical energy.」
Wikia was standing by Aur’s right hand whilst she calmly spoke.
「Well, how about we stop by here for a moment everyone? This seems to be the 『Teacher’s』room.」
Along the way, Faro stopped by this crude looking wooden door. On the door was something that an adventurer probably attached to it. It specifically said 『Teacher’s room』written on an iron plate that was hung on the door.
When Aur instinctively sends his glance towards Lilu, she shakes her head as if denying his suspicions. This seems to be something that she didn’t know about.
「So, If you are an adventurer that likes to dive into dungeons, most of us are indebted to each other. Teo, from the looks of things, your magical capabilities are very high but you don’t seem to have much experience in actual combat, so we should go to “sensei” to train you a little bit.」
Saying this, Faro opened the door. When she did, there was this translucent middle-aged man floating in the air. In short, this was a dead person that became a ghost within the labyrinth due to the miasma. The stronger the lingering affections and regrets of the dead person, the stronger ghost they become, moreover, as long as there is miasma within the dungeon, they can be revived over and over again.
Ghosts were known to possess moderate battle strength and for some reason or another it was being used in this place as a simulation battle for training purposes. Being named as 『Teacher』this ghost was being used as a sort of training for adventurers.
When Lilu sees the ghost, she raises a strange voice.
In that moment, the ghost raises a battle cry and rushes to attack Lilu. Both of its eyes shone bright red as if it was shedding tears of blood and it was like it had gone insane.
「Uwah, what’s this!? What’s wrong, teacher!?」
While being surprised, Faro wielded her short sword. Ghosts exist according to different laws from living things. Most physical attacks hardly work against it, but if the attack is filled with a person’s intention it is possible to “disperse” it’s form.
「Teo, a ghost is also unaffected by fire and ice attacks. Most magical attacks are basically useless. However, there is just one thing that is effective against it.」
While watching Lilu avoiding the ghost's attacks, Wikia calmly spoke up to explain.
「I see. …….Do you mean like this?」
Aur creates a sign and chants a magical incantation. Chains made from magical energy extend from every direction and captures the ghost. This was not a regular chain. This particular chain will not be able to touch living beings, but revenant beings like them will be binded, it’s a form of ethereal chains meant for otherworldly beings.
The moment the ghost was trapped in the chains, Nadja steps forwards and cuts the ghost in half.
The ghost raises a death cry before vanis.h.i.+ng into thin air.
「Fuuh, I was surprised there. “Teacher” is usually a gentlemanly ghost and fights in a way as if to train new adventurers…….. But perhaps ghosts also have their bad days?」
Faro spoke out as she wiped the sweat off her forehead.
Seeing that Lilu wanted to say something, Aur asked her a question.
「That ghost just now, I think it was Georg.」
「Georg? Is that one of your acquaintances? 」
Lilu was speaking in a whisper and since the name did not ring a bell for Aur, he tilted his head in a puzzled manner.
「Rather than saying acquaintance…. Don’t you remember, he was the village mayor from the first village.」
Now that he thought about it, Aur did remember him having a face like that. Although he was once turned into one of the living dead zombies which Yunis had cut down and destroyed, for it to turn into a revenant ghost, this village mayor must have quite the strong willpower.
Incidentally, Aur was looking around as he noticed that this must have been the place that Lilu used to create the skeleton warriors. At that point in time, there was only one level to the dungeon and only him and Lilu was in the dungeon. When he thought about it, the labyrinth had grown quite big.
Looking around his dungeon whilst being deeply moved, he saw Lilu’s face which had a similar type of expression. Seeing Lilu smile unintentionally, Aur also unintentionally loosens his cheeks. In that moment, Wikia pulled on his right arm with a jerk.
「Come on, if we linger around here, the ghost will revive. Let’s quickly go ahead.」
Sharl takes his other arm as if embracing it.
「That’s right, there is still quite a long way ahead.」
「Now then, Faro please lead us deeper into the dungeon. Lil….. Raz, don’t just stand there, please face towards the front.」
Pulling on Lilu’s arm, Nadja urges her onwards.
While thinking that this was quite the strange party of people, Faro nodded to their suggestions and resumed the exploration.