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Translator: Smaturin Editor: Nefarian
「…finally, after this will be the third floor.」
Faro could hardly contain her excitement with the giant double doors in front of us.
「No one has gone past this point. At least, as far I as I am aware, we are the first.」
Wikia gave Faro a startled look. She then looked up at Aur. A sense of Deja Vu enveloped her body. Her hands shook, her knees felt weak.
「Are you ready?」
「Yes, there shouldn’t be a problem. Let’s go.」
So saying to Faro, Aur gave a fleeting glance at Wikia and moved his mouth without making a sound.
That is how the movements of Aur’s mouth looked to Wikia, and her shaking stopped.
Ultimately, what lay behind the doors was…
Just a large, empty room.
Fearing traps, Faro tested the room’s interior and floors with his short sword as he nervously stepped inside.
「There doesn’t seem to be anything. …perhaps we were lucky enough to arrive at a time when the guards are gone.」
Aur said brazenly as he surveyed the room from behind.
「…it’s suspicious…but, there doesn’t seem to be any traps…perhaps that’s it.」
「Still, this room could hardly be said to be safe. Let’s hurry on.」
Faro had an unsatisfied expression but was rushed forward by Aur, who then opened the inner door. The door would have typically been sealed with elaborate magic, but it recognized the pa.s.s he carried and opened without difficulty.
「Uh……Thank you. The one that is supposed to protect that room is Allan….. Right?」
Quietly, Wikia stood to his side and thanked him. It was not that she still had feelings for Allan. But seeing an only friend completely changed like that, and then having to fight, could only make one's heart heavy.
Nadja and Sharl may not have realized that the Dullahan was Allan, and Wikia had antic.i.p.ated that seeing them like that would hurt as well. Being able to avoid that gave her a great sense of relief.
「It’s not as if I did it for your sake. I have no right to receive your grat.i.tude.」
Aur replied coldly. It was mostly from the heart.
Dullahan’s are immortal beings. Take one down and it will rise again in a day. That being said, once down, there won’t be anyone to guard for that day, and that leaves some concern.
Furthermore, there was no guarantee that they could win. Created by a curse, the Dullahan’s that drove carriages that were pulled by headless horses were a formidable enemy. They drove through a vast room and shot out magic spells, if you carelessly got too close, the carriage would send you flying off. With Aur and his team’s fighting power, there was a high probability that victory would still be accompanied by casualties.
「…hmmm. But, thanks.」
Not smiling either, but in a clear voice, Wikia thanked Aur.
「This is, the third floor…」
After descending the long, long flight of steps, and gazing at the unprecedented view that spread out before them, Faro swallowed hard.
The scenery gave off a completely different atmosphere than the second floor, which had corpses strewn everywhere, was filthy and claustrophobic, and felt dreary.
The ceiling was high, and the corridors were very wide. The walls were covered in neat bricks and reinforced in different places with pillars. The floors were paved in stone much like an avenue of the Imperial Capital.
There was hardly any odor, the streets exuded cleanliness, the walls gave off a dim glow that seemed to provide enough visibility without a torch, at least for a while.
「Be careful. I don't know what will happen past this point.」
While her expression stayed serious, there was a hint of excitement in Faro's voice.
Aur and the group remained cautious and continued through the dungeon.
「Be careful. There, a trap will activate if you step on it. …There as well. If you trip over that line, a boulder or something is likely to fall from above…wait! Don't step over the line. There is a pitfall there. The inside is…lined with spears. Dangerous, dangerous. Mmm…here, there is something odd about this wall. …It's a hidden door.」
Not a single monster appeared on the third floor. Instead, the dungeon grew more complex, with numerous traps set about. Hidden doors, one-way corridors, turning floors, spears flying out of ceilings and floors, arrows shot from walls, a giant boulder rolling down a corridor.
The deadliness, even cleverness, and tangible malice of these traps were on a different level than those from the second floor. However, Faro saw through them, avoided and deactivated them. While Aur was casually avoiding the very deadly traps, he was very impressed with her skills and intuition.
「I had heard that you were a bandit with great skills, it's really quite something.」
「Heheh. It's that, I'm just very excited right now. It's at these times that I feel amazing. To me, each trap looks like it's calling me over and smiling.」
Faro said, as she turned and removed the key from the door with one hand. Click, came a sound, and at that moment, she pulled her hand back and moved her face from the keyhole to the side. At nearly the exact same instant, a thin, arrow-like object shot out from the keyhole and pierced the wall behind her.
「At any rate, whoever set these traps is quite insidious, huh. It must be someone who understands human nature completely, an ill-natured, devilish person. He finds your weakness, like a snake attacking from your blind spot.」
Faro opened the door, but instead of entering, she thrust her short sword into the room. At that same moment, a guillotine fell from the frame of the entrance, sending sparks flying from the sword. The mechanism was to bisect relieved adventurers who had opened the door and avoided the first trap.
「Like that. When people think they are safe, when you think this can’t be it, that’s when it hits. It would probably be dangerous even for me if I wasn’t on a roll like I am now.」
「Indeed, I'm sure he's very ill-natured…」
Lilu heartily expressed her agreement.
「Ahaha, it's over once a real demon says that to you. In any case, this…what is this?」
On the other side of the door was an even stranger sight. The ceiling was several times higher, and in different places, magical light shone and illuminated the area. Instead of stone paving, the ground was covered in soil, there was soft, short gra.s.s growing over it.
Because it was still dim, you could not see very far, but from what you could see, it was a very large room. There were no corridors, there were several thick pillars that ran up to the ceiling for support.
This place had a tranquil atmosphere that made you forget you were in a dungeon, but Faro was tense, and her sensitive senses were able to detect the presence of those that hid deep within.
「Be careful. …There's something here. And it's extremely ferocious.」
Her voice lowered naturally, Faro's expression tightened as she slowly moved further in.
「It's close… It's coming towards us. There!!」
The thing appeared from the shadow of a pillar. A ferocious h.e.l.lhound, a hideous giant, or maybe a dragon. Faro pictured their strongest moves in different patterns in her head, her eyes were opened wide to make out the enemy, which turned out to be.
A drab and plain girl you might have found anywhere.
Without thinking, both of them stared at each other, dumbfounded. …no, the girl’s gaze was slightly off from Faro, going past her. The man further on was holding a hand to his forehead, and sighing inwardly. Why are you in such a place? He thought.
「You…you are a human right? Why are you here?」
Faro questioned, having returned to herself. The plain girl who was Mio, was dripping with cold sweat. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I just thought that they might be hungry and, she looked at Aur but the look he returned seemed to answer, I thought I sent a notice for you to stay quietly in your room, while we go explore the dungeon today…
「Uh, eh, um.」
As Mio tried to find an answer, Aur sighed once again, he pointed his thumb downwards and slit his throat from the side. Eh, what's that, does that mean you're going to kill me as soon as we get back, Mio's face turned white. Aur scowled, wrong, and he points his finger towards himself. Without making a sound, he mouths "Do it".
「I, I'm sorry!」
Who knows who that apology was intended for. She lowered her head in a deep bow, and in a high-pitched voice, called.
「John, Jeffrey, Justin, Joseph!」
And without missing a beat, she swung her arms downwards and pointed a finger at Faro; let out a command.
Staggered by Mio, Faro was dumbfounded as Aur grabbed her by the collar and pulled. Snaggleteeth clanged as they converged in front of her eyes while she was being pulled away.
「We're running away.」
「Eh? Eh? Eh?」
And just like that, Aur had picked up her small body and began to run with all his strength. The beasts that appeared from the shadows howled, they charged through the dungeon to tear them limb from limb.
「What is that, what's going on!?」
A black h.e.l.lhound, the head of a lion and the body of a mountain goat, a chimera with a snake for a tail, a griffin with the speed of an eagle and the ferocity of a lion, the two-headed hound Ultros. Normally they would never gather in a group, they are more likely to kill each other, being completely different species of beasts, but they were all cooperating together to drive out Aur and the group. The sight was that of a nightmare.
「『Wall of ice』!」
Sharl and Wikia cast spells in rapid succession. Aur and the group's speed increased greatly, ice came up from the ground and stopped the beasts.
「It won't hold for long. Hurry.」
They were hardly waiting for her encouragement, and with all the strength they had, the company fled.
「I think we lost them…」
Of course, there is no way that human legs would allow us to lose them if we were being chased at full speed, Mio should understand that as well. The pursuit of the beasts had somehow been halted.
「Um, I'm, okay now…」
Faro said, looking embarra.s.sed in Aur's arms.
「Ahh…so you’re not hurt.」
Aur remembered that he was carrying her, and put her on the ground. With a body without tiredness or pain, you had a tendency to become oblivious to this kind of things.
「Ye, yeah. Theo protected me.」
Looking away, Faro's cheeks flushed as she said it.
「Is that your preferred body type…?」
「I too want to be picked up and squeezed as you walk through the dungeon…」
「Wait, that's not even possible.」
Each of the lovers griped as they pleased, and Aur apologetically said.
「More importantly…look over there.」
Aur coughed, and as if to mask it, pointed his finger. There was a giant double door. Unlike the bare and simply constructed ones they had come across up until now, there were detailed carvings as if boasting of one's majesty, decorating it.
「Is that…could it be, the Demon Lord's…?」
「That is very likely.」
Faro murmured, Aur nodded. Faro took in a deep breath to calm her nerves and exhaled. She shut her eyes tight, stayed her loudly beating heart, and prepared herself.
「…we came this far, let's go. That's what you intend right?」
As Nadja and Lilu pushed open the doors, the interior of the room slowly covered in dew. The room was unnaturally dark, even with a lantern you would not be able to see the other side. Cautiously, they stepped in, when suddenly the door slammed behind their backs.
In spite of having lanterns and torches, their surroundings were completely enveloped by darkness, they could not even see each other's faces.
Was this a trap, as soon as Faro went into a fighting stance, a light appeared in the empty air. There were two in the back on both sides of the room. A red flame illuminated the room, and further down, there were two more on each side, they lit up one by one. Like a road of fire.
「I'm impressed you made this far…」
A low voice echoed through the room. Behind the road of fire, barely visible, was the figure of something gigantic. A miasma so over-powering, you could smell the odor. Faro was convinced that this was the Demon Lord.
「Brave, yet foolish people. What is it that you desire. Wealth, or fame? Will you gamble with your one life for things that will not last.」
The Demon Lord sneered, but the question he threw was quite serious.
「I have no interest in either. I wish for just one thing…the things I've never seen, places I've never been to, to see them with my own eyes.」
The Demon Lord stands up from his throne. He raises his arms wide and howled.
「Then gaze on, at my splendor! And let it burn into your eyes as you breathe your last breath in my arms GHHhhh-!!」
His last line was never finished. Because the 『Ice Spear』that Wikia had thrown with all her might had pierced into his face.
The silver flames that Sharl shot out burned the Demon Lord,
「『Stones of Ice』」
「Hey, I said wait!」
Wikia's magic froze the Demon Lord's feet, preventing him from moving.
「Ahh!! You b.a.s.t.a.r.ds!」
And then Aur's magic burst out.
Then, Nadja held her sword above her head to cut into him, matching her timing, Faro let an arrow loose. If he tried to avoid one, he would be hit by the other. The special poison on the arrowhead would slacken his muscles, Demon Lord or not, he would not be able to move.
「I SAID TO WAIT A MOMENT!!」
The Demon Lord howled, the flames sprang upwards. In the second she hesitated, a strong reddish copper arm grabbed her, the other arm stopped the arrow. Illuminated by the rising flames, was the figure of the giant demon with four arms.
In spite of hitting him with so many attacks, there was not a single scratch on his body, even the ice at his feet had instantly evaporated by the flames.
「He resisted everything, huh.」
Aur grimaced and clicked his tongue. High-ranking demons had bodies that were filled with concentrated magic power. That magic power interferes with spells, making them difficult to have an effect. However, blocking every single one was more than he had expected.
「Hey, you. I didn’t hear anything about having this much done to me?」
「Well, yeah, I didn't tell you. It wouldn't be much of a fight if we had made an appointment.」
「I would have strictly ordered you to not attack me, and there wouldn't even be a fight!?」
The Demon Lord subst.i.tute known as Logan threw out Nadja's body and shouted.
「And you even cut me off when I was speaking! You witch girl over there! Do you understand nothing about the beauty of style!」
「It just sounds like a pervert talking rubbish when you say it.」
「Shut up! Ahh, your looks are doing it for me but your insides are… barely safe…no, it's an out…mmm, maybe a sa-ut then.」
Having Logan look at her up and down, Faro was at a loss as to what was happening but finally returned to herself.
「Wh, what is happening!? Why are you guys acting so familiar with the Demon Lord…」
「I was late in introducing myself.」
Before anyone knew it, Aur was sitting on the throne in the back of the room, crossing his legs. In his hand was a wine gla.s.s containing liquid as red as blood.
「My name is Aur. I'm called the Demon King, I am the master of this dungeon. Faro, thank you for leading me all the way here.」
Aur is surprisingly the type that cares about form.
I mean, why did he have to sit on the throne anyway?
I wonder if he had prepared that wine gla.s.s long beforehand.
Now that the exploration is finished, will he finally sleep with me.
As Aur ceremoniously spoke, all of his lovers silently made quips.