TLN: Double Chapter today, make sure you didn’t miss the previous one~.
There was a question I had in the days I was shut in at the dungeon.
I would see explorers every now and then while I was cooped in the dungeon. Well, that’s natural. In a dungeon, there’s a lot of monsters, but also a lot of explorers.
But the problem is time.
The times I would be in the dungeon would be when the sun is done, at night only. Before the sun rises up, I have already left the dungeon and gone back to the inn.
In that case, when do these people sleep?
Are they trying to avoid fighting for the monsters with others by exploring at night? …The possibility is there.
But the dungeon is big, and I can’t imagine there being that many explorers to the point they would have to fight over the monsters.
Even now, there was a group with decent gear passing close to me who was hiding in the darkness.
(Are they also exploring at this hour…?) (Hikaru)
It is currently 8:00pm. Are they a nocturnal group?
I take distance and decide to tail them.
I am lacking in information about how the other explorers act in a dungeon.
I have a decent layout of the Hungry Beasts Underground Prison that is the 2nd Floor inside my head. Even if there’s quite a bit of distance from them, I won’t be losing them.
Even on the off-chance that they notice me, I can just run away.
I have seen a number of explorer parties until now, but the one I am following right now is a party of 6 -they give me the impression of being quite solid.
(3 warriors, 1 scout, 1 spirit user, and the last one is…a porter?)
First, the scout. In this dungeon, almost all parties have a scout, and maybe because of a race advantage, it would always be a cat beastkin.
(Is that Grapefull?) (Hikaru)
Bluish striped fur, with a small sword at her waist that feels as if it would break instantly, and with her only piece of armor being a leather chest armor.
I am relieved to see that she has safely gone back to her explorer business…more precisely, her scout business.
It seems like this time around she was hired by a decently strong party.
Putting it in another way, even veteran-looking parties hire scouts.
Why are scouts so important?
Even someone like me who hasn’t fought once can tell.
It is because fighting in an advantageous situation against advantageous enemies is the basics of dungeon exploration.
If there’s a strong-looking monster or a group that they can’t deal with, the only choice is to run. The one that makes that judgement is the scout.
The job of a scout can be taken by a human too, but a cat beastkin most likely can do something similar to blending in the darkness like me.
The warrior is holding a torch in one hand, and is equipped with a longsword, shield, and chainmail. Quite the powerful sight.
I can tell how strong an explorer is just by looking. The newbies at the 1st Floor can’t even have leather armor, and would instead run with armor that looks like they tied up wood boards with iron wires, and would wield handmade clubs when doing battle against skeletons.
“There’s an ogre there. One. The type with an axe equipped.” (Grapefull)
Grapefull found a suitable monster and came back.
“An ogre, huh. If it is one, we can do it, right? It should serve to loosen up our shoulders.”
“What should we do about abilities?”
“If it gets bad, using one individually should be okay.”
After finishing a simple discussion, they began to move ahead.
Ogres are big men that walk around in groups of one or two, and they would be holding weapons, or are barehanded.
I honestly think the difficulty changes quite a lot depending on if it has a weapon or not, but those kinds of parts are detected beforehand by the scout.
This time’s ogre is the weapon holding one. They hold a fearsome axe in one hand.
If you get hit directly by something like that, it could easily split a human in two.
The 3 warriors lunge at it before it notices them.
The woman that seems to be the spirit user and the porter boy were on standby.
The boy is ready with a dagger, but it doesn’t look like he would be able to be a match against that ogre.
Grapefull seems to be in charge of keeping an eye out on the surroundings.
The 3 warriors were fighting with great teamwork.
They were skillfully avoiding the swung axe of the ogre with hit-and-run tactics, and were piling up damage slowly and steadily.
But one of the warriors was hit on the arm by the axe of the ogre and had to withdraw from the frontlines.
It seems to be a shallow cut, but they won’t be able to properly use a longsword with that.
“Damn it, I am using an ability!”
“Take this! [Gravel Mist]!”
The remaining warriors gather their spirit energy, create sand or gravel around the ogre, and make them float.
The small particles must have entered suddenly into the ogre’s eyes, he suddenly covered his face in pain.
It is super plain, but eyes are clear weak points. It is a valid option.
(Earth Spirit Abilities, huh. This is the first time I see others using abilities.) (Hikaru)
It is most likely an ability that’s equivalent to Dark Mist, but it is quite practical. You could say Dark Mist is pretty plain compared to this.
Anyways, a decisive opening was created with the ability.
After that, the two warriors raised battle cries from their respective directions, thrusted their longswords, and the battle finished.
(I see, so spirit abilities are strong…) (Hikaru)
It is weird for me to say when I can’t do anything without my Dark Spirit Abilities, but I didn’t think it would be possible to create such a decisive opening with the spirit ability that’s most likely the first one you learn.
The one that the warrior used must have been the Revelation of Earth.
Well, I have been using the Revelation of Darkness, that is Darkness Fog, the whole time, so even though it may be an initial ability, it might also be a special technique…
“Ooh, alright! It is an Earth Spirit Stone.”
“With this size, we can get 1 silver coin.”
The warriors pick up the loot that is the Spirit Stone.
When the monster died, the body disappeared, and turned into only the Spirit Stone.
You don’t need to dig out the stone from the body every single instance, so that’s convenient.
“How is it going there?”
“With this much, I should be able to deal with it. [Healing Water]!”
The spirit user girl casts a healing ability on the injured arm of the warrior.
So this one is Water Spirit Abilities, huh.
Water apparently has healing abilities. Her not participating in battle must be because she is the healer of the party.
It wasn’t instant, but…the opened cut slowly closed.
It might have a somewhat similar effect to the potion I gave to Grapefull before.
“Catch. Don’t go dropping it, okay?”
Warrior A gives the Spirit Stone to the porter boy.
I see. Only 3 of the 6 are actual combatants. The remaining ones are backup.
This is pretty educational.
After that, the explorer party advanced while avoiding the monsters, and at times they would fight against easy-looking enemies as they went deeper and deeper.
“Alright. Let’s camp here for today, and we will finally be exploring the 3rd Floor tomorrow morning. Okay?”
“Alright! The lookout will be in shifts. Is that fine?”
“Ah, uhm…! I can’t do anything, so…I will keep watch! All night…!”
Looks like they are going to be camping right by the side of the stairs going down to the 3rd Floor.
I see. It is not like they are exploring at night. They are reaching this point at night, and will begin their exploration of the 3rd Floor in a perfect state… That seems to be the plan.
“You idiot. As if we can leave the job of a lookout to a half-baked guy. Just obediently sleep so that you can keep up with us tomorrow.”
The porter boy really is a newbie explorer.
It might be that they are having a rookie gain experience by having them be a luggage carrier for a veteran party.
Well, if they die, the boy dies as well, so you could say it is a high risk high return job for the boy…
…No, exploration itself is a high risk high return job.
I have been watching them from the darkness even after they began camping.
The crackling sounds of the open fire.
At times monsters would appear far away, but I would secretly use Shadow Runner to lead them away.
Looks like monsters don’t get that close to the area around the stairs. Even after 5 hours, only around 3 monsters appeared. They were most likely camping close to the stairs because they were relying on this trait.
I think they are a good party.
I don’t know if Grapefull has been hired temporarily or has joined their party permanently, but thinking about the 3 others that died a karma death, I would consider this party as a jackpot.
If possible, I would want everyone to return alive.
Just a little before the sun went up, the explorer party got up and went down to the 3rd Floor.
(Wait, you are leaving the trash?!) (Hikaru)
The explorer party left behind lots of stuff like scraps of food, the embers of firewood, the things used to maintain their equipment, and a lot of other things.
(Haah, so that’s why there’s so much trash. Let’s clean up.) (Hikaru)
I collected the trash that was left by them, and hurriedly left the dungeon.
If it isn’t before morning, it gets harder to get out by hiding in the darkness.