The group of Maou, who separated from the Oni Surge, went down to the lower floors at surprising speed.
This is a dungeon rookies challenge, so for Mikan and Yukikaze who are B rank, this is a difficulty that they could pass with their eyes closed.
Similar monsters appeared till the 3rd floor, but the moment they reached the 5th floor, monsters called Rampaging Chickens were showing up, and it surprised Maou internally.
They were 1 meter in size, and they would attack you with raw brutality.
Mikan easily cut off their heads with one stroke, but the sight of a big chicken rushing straight at them was shocking for Maou.
“Pluck the feathers~ Cut the meat~ ♪” (Mikan)
Mikan sung a terrible song while dismantling it.
She plucked the white feathers with quick hands, and cut the meat by divisions with a dagger.
The movements of her hands are those of a veteran, and most of all, she is fast.
“How much would that go for?” (Maou)
“…Meat is what merchants look for. The feathers also have many uses. Everything would go for 2 silver coins.” (Yukikaze)
“Meaning it gives out a decent pay, huh.” (Maou)
For a team of 2, this would mean an earning of 1 silver coin each, and for a team of 4, it would be 5 big copper coins. It is low for something that risks your life, but if you are able to hunt several of them, the story changes.
The dismantling of Mikan continues on while the two talk.
“I see you in a new light now, Mikan. That’s impressive.” (Maou)
“Ha! If a certain porter-sama were to dismantle it, we wouldn’t be wasting time though~. I am just talking to myself here~.” (Mikan)
Mikan was spitting out sarcasm with a straight gaze, but Maou who was listening to this was unfazed. In the first place, this man is not even carrying the loot.
Everything was being thrown into the cart Yukikaze made.
“Okay! Done!” (Mikan)
“…Good work. [Whitening].” (Yukikaze)
Being casted magic that cleans the filth, Mikan shows a refreshed expression.
They may say a lot about each other, but they are a good pair.
Seeing this, a smile naturally surfaced in the face of Maou. In the game it was the same. Watching a team with good teamwork feels good.
“—Yo, ain’t that Mikan?”
But a thick voice resonated as if staining that space.
When Maou turns back, there was a plump man with a greasy face.
Maou reflexively sends a [Whisper] to Yukikaze.
<<Yukikaze, who’s that man?>> (Maou)
<<…Hah! Oji-samas voice is in my head. Could this be marriage?>> (Yukikaze)
<<What are you talking about? Who’s that man?>> (Maou)
<<…He is a D rank called Enjoy. He is aiming for the virginity of Mikan.>> (Yukikaze)
<<How commendable.>> (Maou)
Aiming for a wild horse like that is an X for Maou.
But the attitude of Enjoy was truly over-familiar.
“Isn’t that cold? If you were coming here, you should have given me a call.” (Enjoy)
“Huh? Why should I give you a call?” (Mikan)
“We get along, don’t we? Don’t be shy.” (Enjoy)
Enjoy’s attitude was terrible, but Mikan’s attitude was comparably bad. And then, in a very obvious manner, he acted as if ‘he just noticed’ as he directed his gaze at Maou.
It was a gaze that was partly laughing, as if he were looking down on him.
Maou saw that and felt like punching him, but he somehow endures.
That’s right, he is an adult.
“Mikan, to think old men like this were your tast—ogeeeh!” (Enjoy)
Enjoy’s words stop mid-sentence.
Maou flicked a pebble at him lightly and it hit him in the stomach.
“Oya oya, does your stomach hurt? Must be because you were sleeping with your stomach out last night.” (Maou)
He probably didn’t have the leeway to hear the sarcastic tone of Maou. Enjoy was holding his stomach while writhing in pain.
The moment he went down on his knees from the pain, the strong pressure in his stomach reached peak and…
A fart came out from Enjoy’s buttocks.
The place fell silent for a moment, and then Maou laughs out loud.
But after one big cough, Maou tightens his face, and speaks heavily.
“Breaking wind inside a dungeon so unreservedly, you are a bad example for adventurers. Have to say, you lack tension.” (Maou)
“Y-You bastard! Don’t joke ar—” (Enjoy)
“Or what? Are you saying that stink is supposed to be some kind of skill to gather monsters?” (Maou)
“You…I will kill…you…!” (Enjoy)
When Enjoy tried to stand up from anger, the strength he had tightened up must have loosened, a second strong fart echoed in the dungeon.
“Good grief, what a hopeless man. You disappoint me.” (Maou)
Maou was speaking as if he was expecting something from him at the beginning.
Mikan finally laughed out loud after the insults that were being hurled one after the other.
Of course, Maou not only doesn’t expect anything from him, he doesn’t even remember his name properly anymore. Even if he were to hear it again, his brain would only save it as ‘Fart Man’.
“I will kill you, you bastard!”
Maou shoots a pebble wordlessly and it hits the butt of Enjoy.
Maybe some sort of friction occurred there, the gas caught fire, and the butt of Enjoy lighted up the dim cave with a small fire.
“Hoot! Hot! Water! Wateeer!”
“Next is a comedy act? If you are an adventurer as well, put your body at stake in battle.” (Maou)
“…Flaming Enjoy.” (Yukikaze)
The words of Yukikaze made Maou laugh out loud.
With Enjoy rolling around to put off the fire at the corner of their eyes, they head to the 6th floor while laughing.
“Kill…I will kill him! Hot!”
When the group advanced through the seventh floor, Maou’s legs stop.
A [Whisper] came from Tahara.
“Sorry, but I will be meditating for a bit. Play for a bit, you two.” (Maou)
“…Understood. I will protect Oji-sama from the monsters.” (Yukikaze)
“What’s that about meditating? Acting the cool guy.” (Mikan)
Mikan was showing her displeasure while heading towards a Rampaging Chicken with her large sword.
For her, this is a nostalgic place, and also a place of memories. She may say all that, but she is having fun.
<<What’s the matter, Tahara? An emergency?>> (Maou)
<<No, just reporting. Idiots came yesterday, and we simply took care of them, but…according to Yuu, they are subordinates of a noble called Dona Dona. It is as Chief-dono planned.>> (Tahara)
<<Hoh, finally, huh.>> (Maou)
Maou simply matched what Tahara was saying. There’s no ‘finally’ here, he doesn’t even know who this Dona Dona noble is. It was the first time he has heard of him.
Or rather, that name only reminded him of a certain melody.
<<Just as you planned, the music box was their aim. You are as good as always at hanging nice bait. We are talking about you here, by showing that you are crossing the national borders and leaving the place, it would ‘appeal’ them to come out, right?>> (Tahara)
<<Haha! I had no such plan.>> (Maou)
<<Kah! How obvious. Well, with this, we will be able to find the faults of the enemy. Is the aim the mine that he has in possession?>> (Tahara)
<<Well, let’s discuss these kind of matters at the next meeting.>> (Maou)
<<U~nderstood. It is in times like this that reminds me I really don’t want you as my enemy.>> (Tahara)
Tahara’s transmission finished, and Maou fumbles his way to the wall and places a hand on it.
He looked like his strength had been taken away.
(What is that guy saying?! What’s that about the music box?) (Maou)
Of course, Maou simply sold the music box because he was troubled with money. But it looks like something happened that involved Tahara and Yuu.
On top of that, it is apparently a trap that was very well planned.
(It instead feels as if I am the one who got caught in a trap!) (Maou)
Maou wanted to shout that, but there’s no way he would be able to say it. He was desperately enduring it while trembling.
In the middle of all this, a [Whisper] from Yuu comes.
<<Chief, have you heard the report?>> (Yuu)
<<Yeah, good work. I will be giving the next instructions.>> (Maou)
<<Yes. And when you return, there’s something I want to give Chief. I am raising a plant that blooms beautiful flowers.>> (Yuu)
Maou shows a strong reaction to that.
The close-aide, that he gave the setting of being a mad scientist, beginning such a cute hobby like that was unexpected for him. And in reality, Oono Akira has not written a single word about that.
Because of this, he ended up smiling at the lady-like hobby that Yuu had begun doing.
<<To think you would begin such a hobby. That’s great.>> (Maou)
<<Y-Yes! I will raise it splendidly so that it can make you happy.>> (Yuu)
<<Umu, I look forward to it.>> (Maou)
<<Yes, I will be waiting for your return.>> (Yuu)
Finishing the transmission with Yuu, Maou lights up a tobacco happily.
The fact that Yuu, who loves dissecting and dismantling to an excessive extent, was showing some sort of good change was making him feel good.
Of course, if Maou knew that they were born from people, he would regret it, but there’s no way for him to know that with the transmission just now.
“Okay, today let’s leave it till here and go get dinner.” (Maou)
“…Dinner with Oji-sama. Splendid.” (Yukikaze)
“Why are you the one in command? Even though you are a porter who doesn’t work.” (Mikan)
Mikan places the loot that she hunted in the cart, and mutters a complaint.
And in reality, Mikan and Yukikaze were the ones who did all the work, and Maou didn’t do much. The most he did would be lighting fire on the ass of Enjoy.
“Now, don’t be like that. I will be treating today.” (Maou)
“Seriously?! I will order only expensive stuff and make you regret it…” (Mikan)
“If you eat too much without showing restraint, your ass will catch fire, you know?” (Maou)
“…Mikan would be happy instead. Candle fire play.” (Yukikaze)
“Burn, you two! Turn to ashes for all I care!” (Mikan)
And in this way, the dungeon party day safely finished.
- Chapter 62: White Light
The group left the dungeon and headed straight to the guild, and after receiving their earnings, they paid their taxes.
It truly was immediate tax pay.
It must be so that there’s no tax evaders. And in reality, there’s guards on the watch right after coming out from the dungeon and they guide you to the guild.
(We earned the full amount, huh…) (Maou)
Maou paid close attention at the reward for the loot and compared it to the one that Yukikaze told him, but the result was that they were all bought at full price. There was little damage to the loot, mostly because the dismantling of it was done well.
Of course, if this were rookies, it wouldn’t have gone the same.
Before defeating the monster, the feathers would be all beaten up, and the meat would be damaged all over. It is not strange to see a 30% reduction or more in the reward if the dismantling skills are bad.
Leaving the guild, Maou asks Yukikaze.
“It is not only the state of the monster that matters in the reward, but also the dismantler’s skill, huh.” (Maou)
“…That’s right. Mikan is really good.” (Yukikaze)
“More importantly, the distribution. We didn’t arrange anything for this time, so let’s divide it in three equal shares.” (Mikan)
Mikan divides it equally in three and gives it to each one.
Maou received the small leather bag and shakes it, enjoying the nice metallic sound that the copper and silver coins made.
“I don’t really need my part, you know?” (Maou)
“Won’t do!” (Mikan)
Mikan refuses Maou cleanly. The strength of her tone made the people around turn, but they soon lost interest and continue walking.
“It is true that you are a disgrace of a porter, but payment depending on work is something that must not happen. If you are going to dive into dungeons, remember this properly.” (Mikan)
“I see…” (Maou)
Many hypothesis popped in the mind of Maou at those words.
This man half-asses things most of the time, but his imagination is on another level. If not, he wouldn’t have been able to create a ‘world’.
There must have been a situation like that before.
There’s no doubt that it fell on the lack of skill from newbie porters.
When diving into a dungeon, there’s obviously danger for the porter as well. Placing their lives on the line, and then being told that their payment is according to performance.
More so when they are told straight in their face ‘your work was terrible, so you get less’. If that happens, there will be less people who will want to do such jobs.
The ones who will be troubled by the lack of porters in the end will be the adventurers, and this would also bring damage to the tax system of the country.
“The administration side probably has an eye on those parts as well.” (Maou)
“Eh? Well, yeah…” (Mikan)
The words of Maou that ‘jumped several steps ahead’ made Mikan show a dubious look.
This man is always like that.
At times he would associate several things to one word, and then establish it inside of himself. Unless something happens that overturns it, it will be set as the truth.
That is the thought pattern of a dictator.
If it rolls in the correct direction, it will bring forth many positive results. Because they are not affected by other people, they can push their own will as far as they want, and won’t break in the middle.
If it rolls in the wrong direction, it will create many negative results. Because they are not affected by other people, they will push their own will as far as they want, and won’t give up in the middle.
This man has slight awareness of his own faults. That’s why, in order to compensate for this even if for a bit, he gathers people around him, and began to hear the voice of a variety of people.
Him making Kunai Hakuto, a person who scouted talented people and made them their close-aides, may have been because that was his own ideal.
“Ooi! Brave-sama has come this year too!”
The surroundings get noisy at that shout.
The children were the very first ones to run and then the adults also began to run.
“Brave, you say?! Braves really do exist?” (Maou)
“Huh? Of course they do. You really don’t know anything.” (Mikan)
“…In the Light Country, there’s two Holy Braves.” (Yukikaze)
The word Holy Braves made Maou think ‘that sounds a bit cool’. He decided that he should also check out that Brave and runs to where the ruckus is being made.
“Look over here!”
“White…an overwhelming shine!”
There were many people crowded at the entrance of the city, and it had become a big commotion that felt as if a first-rate artist had appeared.
Everyone was waving their hands with a smile, and were desperate trying to have that person look at them.
“Looks good riding a horse as always.” (Mikan)
“Hmph, a Brave riding a horse, huh. Like right out of a painti…hm?” (Maou)
The moment Maou saw the person, his eyes opened wide.
The one riding a beautiful horse is a man. Moreover, he is pretty fat with his stomach coming out, and on his face, he has glasses that give out a white light.
He has a big white box on his back, and there’s two handles coming out from it. In the eyes of Maou, he only looked like a warrior that’s returning from a manga convention.
“Oi oi, don’t tell me…by Brave, you mean that kind of Brave.” (Maou)
“What are you talking about? Otaglasses-sama is without doubt a Brave.” (Mikan)
“That’s a terrible name, oi!” (Maou)
Maou unconsciously shouts in his original character.
His looks and name were exactly the same.
“Otaglasses-sama has the nickname ‘White Comet’.” (Yukikaze)
“He is indeed white, but isn’t it just because he is shut-in so much that his skin is white?” (Maou)
“…The other Holy Brave has the nickname ‘Red Devil’.” (Yukikaze)
“That’s the contrary! I don’t even know where I should retort.” (Maou)
Two new types surfaced in the head of Maou, but he hurriedly erases it from his head.
Their names and nicknames are a joke, but Otaglasses lightly waves his hand and gets down from his horse, and then stops a carriage at the back.
The children saw this and raised a cheer, then line up. Many soldiers gathered, sorting the line and guiding the spectators.
What was being done there was a distribution of free things.
Otaglasses distributes bread and cheese to the children, and after setting a big iron pot, gives out rice porridge to the adults.
Everyone gathered with smiles on their faces, and it was obvious he was being welcomed.
“Is that man always doing things like this?” (Maou)
“He apparently goes around the northern countries for half a year every year. He truly is an impressive person.” (Mikan)
Mikan nods at the question of Maou with a serious expression.
But hearing this, Maou felt like something smelled fishy.
This man isn’t too emotionally attached to things like volunteer work and fund-raising. More so when he looks at people who are making fundraisers but are living in unbelievably extravagant mansions. He is the type of person that would retort ‘go sell that house and raise the fund yourself!’.
“Is this for the sake of gaining popularity? Or do the Braves have a duty to do this? Are they doing this under the orders of this so called Empire?” (Maou)
“Come on, just how negative can you be? It is the other way around. The Empire has told Otaglasses-sama to stop doing that, and yet, he always takes from his own pocket to distribute bread to the children.” (Mikan)
“That sounds quite interesting.” (Maou)
“I heard he is being criticized by his own country for poking his head in the matters of foreign countries and acting subservient to them.” (Mikan)
Hearing this, the expression of Maou changes.
The doubtful face he had changed into that of a bird of prey, turning into a scary expression that won’t let a single change in the target escape.
“The dinner is canceled. Sorry but go without me.” (Maou)
“Did you forget you said you were gonna be treating us?” (Mikan)
“Use this to eat.” (Maou)
“Eh? Wait, isn’t this a big gold coin?! What are you thinking?!” (Mikan)
Maou was about to leave just like that, but Yukikaze grabs his sleeve. That face was incredibly sad.
Even Maou felt guilty at that expression that was undoubtedly that of a frail beautiful girl. He speaks gently.
“Uhm, well, eat whatever you want. If there’s any change remaining, you can just divide it between yourselves.” (Maou)
“…Having dinner with Oji-sama is more important. I don’t need money.” (Yukikaze)
“Then let’s go tomorrow. There’s no need to hurry.” (Maou)
“…Promise. If you break it, I will have you sleep with me.” (Yukikaze)
Yukikaze extends her pinky finger and Maou knits his brows at this.
He probably had a headache at the thought of doing a pinky promise in the middle of the city. But Yukikaze spared no quarter and intertwined fingers with Maou, and one-sidedly established the promise.
Maou looked like he had given up, and then disappears in between the crowd.
“…Dinner or sleeping together. No matter where it rolls, I win.” (Yukikaze)
“You are quite the strategist, aren’t you.” (Mikan)
Mikan mutters this while shaking her head, but she was dazzled by the shine of the big gold goin in her hand, and finally, she pushed one arm up and jumped.
“Today we are eating a lot! It is his money, so I will be eating it all!” (Mikan)
“…Sleeping together. Close till morning. Sticking. Clinging.” (Yukikaze)
The two were thinking completely different things, but both of them had a smile on their face as they left.
At night, Otaglasses walked in an unpopulated back alley.
Because he had a ragged cloak covering his face and whole body, at a glance, he would look like a vagrant.
The place he is in right now is the impoverished zone that’s present in all cities.
When there’s light, there’s also darkness.
The stronger the light, the thicker the darkness is also applicable. Even in this Rookie City that’s in good condition, they can’t escape from this rule.
The poor and the adventurers who have no money were gathering at the dim stands that were lined up here and there, buying cheap food. Otaglasses approached one of those, and speaks to the owner.
“Oyaji-san <old man>, what do you have for today?” (Otaglasses)
“Thin rice porridge, 3 copper. If you don’t have a bowl, it will be 4 copper. Do you want?”
“Is that so. With a bowl, please.” (Otaglasses)
“I also have slices of radish. It will be 2 extra coppers for that though.”
Otaglasses waves his hand in refusal, and receives the rice porridge.
Sitting on a moderate rock at the back alley, he silently sips it.
“The price has raised compared to last year. The fried potatoes have also increased in price by 2 coppers but the amount given has decreased.” (Otaglasses)
Otaglasses heard a voice while he was monologuing and reacts.
It was Maou in Stealth Stance.
But Otaglasses didn’t show any surprise and continued monologuing.
“In the first place, the oil was terrible. They probably don’t change it at all… That would be poison for the body. The lard that was used for the stir-fried scrap vegetables is gone, and this rice porridge has practically no saltiness.” (Otaglasses)
“You are looking at even the smallest details, huh.” (Maou)
“Not as much as you though.” (Otaglasses)
Otaglasses laughs bitterly as he sips his rice porridge.
It was practically tasteless, so it must be bad. Because the rice porridge he brought properly had taste, there’s no doubt he ended up comparing them even more.
“You are an interesting guy. Rather than not doing good, you practice a facade.” (Maou)
“Facade, huh. I indeed can’t refute that.” (Otaglasses)
“Don’t misunderstand. I am praising you. Going around the countries every year, distributing food with your own pocket; that’s not something a normal person can do. More so when this action affects your position in your own country.” (Maou)
“I don’t care about social status… I simply do what I want.” (Otaglasses)
“—Is your own will really that important?” (Maou)
That penetrating cold voice made Otaglasses raise his head for the first time.
He unconsciously stretched his hand towards the box at his bag.
That’s just how ominous that voice was. It was as if many hands had crawled out from the depths of the earth, and were coiling around his whole body.
“It may be a bit late to ask, but I would like to hear your objective.” (Otaglasses)
Maou leaves a long silence at the request of Otaglasses.
He may not be showing himself, but his presence was constantly nodding and it seemed like he was having fun.
“Interesting. Yeah, you are interesting. Ain’t you interesting?” (Maou)
What finally came in response was practically the impression of a kid.
There was no maliciousness in it, on the contrary, it could even be considered innocent.
“I want you.” (Maou)
Words that were straight to the very core. No flowery words in between.
But that’s just how serious Maou was.
“I am grateful for the words, but I fear you. To be honest, the moment I felt your gaze, I haven’t been able to stop trembling.” (Otaglasses)
“Sorry about that. I am the type that decides everything with my own eyes, you see.” (Maou)
“Even though you have that much power, you don’t leave things to others. That’s praiseworthy.” (Otaglasses)
“When I can leave it to others, I will do so without restraint. The more competent subordinates I have, the easier I can take it; the efficiency will increase, and it will connect to the benefit of many people.” (Maou)
“It sounds simple, but it is also an ideal.” (Otaglasses)
Otaglasses finished eating, and was about to leave just like that.
Maou speaks to that back of his.
“I am currently developing a village called Rabi Village in the Holy Light Country. I want you to become my strength in the future. No, that’s not it… I will have you become my strength.” (Maou)
“…A scary person to the very extreme.” (Otaglasses)
Otaglasses left the place without turning back, and Maou walks the opposite way.
Maou and Brave; their first meeting.