“I will be registering now, so I will be at the very bottom. I am a beginner after all.” (Hikaru)
“So you really are in the club club! What, are you the little brother of Rifreya-chan or something?”
“Well, something like that. And so, what’s this club club thing you are talking about?” (Hikaru)
“Clubs are what the newbies who swing around their clubs in the 1st Floor are called. Not to be rude here brat, but you should first learn how to dance with skeletons in the 1st Floor. In the dungeon, the ones who don’t know their limits are the ones who die first after all.”
I thought he was a problematic ruffian, but he was actually a normal old man that gave good advice.
I have seen several dead bodies of explorers in the 2nd Floor who didn’t ‘understand their own limits’.
People who didn’t have the combat capabilities to go to the 2nd Floor yet. Ones that came down alone. Ones that get lost.
That’s why this senior must be keeping an eye out for those newbies so that it doesn’t end up that way.
Polish your skills in the 1st Floor, gather party members, do the pertaining preparations, and then go to the 2nd Floor. At first, only explore the vicinity of the stairs, and after exploring moderately, return…
If you can’t do that, you are not fit to be an explorer.
“Thank you very much. I plan on getting a club after. Big sis here is simply guiding me here. She is a worrywart after all.” (Hikaru)
“Hooh, it is good that you are obedient. Well, do your best to not trouble your sister. Rifreya-chan as well, if you change your mind, party with us.”
The man left with a hearty laugh.
If he really was a problematic ruffian, I would have been fine with playing a fist fight, but he was just a good guy.
Well, thinking about it logically, there aren’t that many people who would cause problems in the very facility.
“Hikaru…what was that just now?” (Rifreya)
But it seems Rifreya wasn’t too pleased about this.
Well, it wasn’t manly after all.
“Hm? It is true that I am a beginner, right? I normally would have to begin by swinging around a club. If not for you, Rifreya, I did plan on doing that.” (Hikaru)
“You being my little brother…” (Rifreya)
“Lies are instruments. Those types of people just want to get involved, so it is pointless to take them seriously. Also, it doesn’t look like he was a bad guy or anything.” (Hikaru)
“I do understand that, but…” (Rifreya)
Rifreya locked arms with me conspicuously and led me to the counter.
Well, a brother and sister can lock arms…
The explanation at the guild counter was really business-like.
I ignored Rifreya who was sticking to me the whole time with arms locked, and properly listened.
I won’t lose to the questioning look of the guild staff member either!
Explorers begin from the Spiritus Rank. In numbers, it would be the 6th one.
The ID is bronze.
I have picked bronze IDs countless times in the 2nd Floor from the dead explorers. To think I would be having one myself.
1st Rank, Salamander Rank. Scorching Steel, Salamandor, ID.
2nd Rank, Undine Rank. Magic Metal, Mithril, ID.
3rd Rank, Gnome Rank. Gold ID.
4th Rank, Sylvestre Rank. Silver ID.
5th Rank, Dryad Rank. Ebony ID.
6th Rank, Spiritus Rank. Bronze ID.
So damn cool.
By the way, the highest ranked explorer in this city is an Undine Rank.
I wasn’t that interested in the guild, but it does give me the desire to work a bit hard, so I can’t help but say this is a good job from management.
I can feel the wiles of making the explorers stake their lives here.
It seems there’s a drill course for beginners as well.
It is something that teaches the bearing of an explorer in the 1st Floor to the ones that have the free time, but Rifreya said ‘we will be doing that on our own, so it is okay’ and refused.
Well, it is true that there’s no need to waste time on that if Rifreya is going to be teaching me.
Also, at the end of the explanation, they told me pretty strictly ‘don’t put a hand on the gems that others have found no matter what’. Looks like the talk about a Divine Beast showing up when stealing treasures is pretty serious business. Let’s be careful.
After that, I applied to dive into the dungeon, and bought the necessary things in the guild.
Torches, food, drinks, potions, clean cloths, gauzes, etc etc.
It is honestly not necessary for me, but since there’s the chance, I bought them as well. The potions apparently can only heal small wounds. Are they the same as the 1 Crystal potions?
“Ah, it is okay for the battle members to be you and me, but what do we do about the scout?” (Rifreya)
“Scout, huh.” (Hikaru)
Being asked this by Rifreya, I was about to answer ‘we don’t need one’, but now that I think about it, if we are going to be forming a party, I can’t be complacent.
I don’t know how a pro scout works.
“Can you hire them? Here?” (Hikaru)
“No. It is at the neighboring facility.” (Rifreya)
I enter the old building right by the side of the guild on the guidance of Rifreya.
The entrance said ‘Lynx Mutual Aid Association’.
All the ones inside were catfolk.
The cat beastkins are apparently called Lynx. That must be the name of their race.
“There’s a number of rules when hiring a Lynx scout. First, the deposit. This must be paid in advance. Scouts, because of the nature of their job, uhm…they tend to get killed by monsters…and so, the deposit for hiring them is the price of their life.” (Rifreya)
In the case when the scout dies in the dungeon, the payment will of course not return.
It really must be taken as the price for their life in that sense as well.
“I see. There’s no knowing what happens in the dungeon.” (Hikaru)
“Yeah. There’s even parties that use scouts as bait to escape after all.” (Rifreya)
“I feel like a lynx would be better at running away though.” (Hikaru)
“There’s a lot of them who get their legs injured.” (Rifreya)
The injuries really were a problem.
I don’t think they will get their legs injured that much in the current 2nd Floor though. There’s shameless people like the ones that abandoned Grapefull.
By the way, the deposit was surprisingly low. Only 5 silver coins.
It is a number that speaks eloquently about the standing of lynx in this city.
“Can you request a specific lynx scout?” (Hikaru)
“Eh? It should be possible, but…I can’t tell them apart. You can, Hikaru?” (Rifreya)
“Of course. Their faces and fur are completely different.” (Hikaru)
I spoke to the one that was rolling around on the sofa filled with holes.
“Grapefull, I want to hire you.” (Hikaru)
“Nya nya nya?! Who are you, Onii-san?! Despite my looks, I can dive all the way to the 3rd Floor, so I am a bit expensive, ya knyaw?” (Grapefull)
“Then, how about a freebie? For the potion of before.” (Hikaru)
When I said this with a grin, Grapefull’s tail stood on end and she jumped up.
“The Onii-san from that time!! To think you would show up-nya! I am really really grateful for you helping me at that time!” (Grapefull)
“I actually didn’t plan on showing up though, but the situation has changed. Will you be our scout?” (Hikaru)
“If you are fine with someone like me-nya, gladly! I will prepare at once-nyan!” (Grapefull)
Grapefull runs up the stairs as if bouncing.
If I am going to be hiring someone, it is better for it to be someone I know.
- Chapter 051: Grapefull and Dazzling
“…Hikaru, you know that lynx?” (Rifreya)
“Yeah. When she had injured her leg before and was left to death. I simply escorted her to the entrance.” (Hikaru)
“…So you were saving other girls aside from me.” (Rifreya)
“I obviously can’t ignore her when she is crying nya nya in the middle of the 2nd Floor.” (Hikaru)
“Hikaru is kind after all~.” (Rifreya)
“Not really. That’s normal.” (Hikaru)
I sweep away the mysterious jealousy of Rifreya, and try asking something that bothered me.
“By the way, why are lynx doing exploration on a hiring system? Is there a reason why they don’t do it like other people?” (Hikaru)
“I should be the one to answer that question-nya!!” (Grapefull)
Grapefull, who came down from the stairs, jumped into our conversation.
Her perked up ears were quite the outstanding ears. I see, it really does suit a scout.
“We are required to explain the history of lynx to first time parties-nya. Raising the social status of the lynx in this way, even if only for a little bit, is the motto of the mutual aid association-nyan.” (Grapefull)
Grapefull explains while going nyan nyan. It seems lynx are a race that can be found all over the world, but their eyes work in the dark, have good ears, are fast, and can walk without making a sound, so most of them were thieves or pickpockets.
And so, there were even cases when the lynx would have the blame pinned on them, and were slowly being cornered into a position of discrimination.
“Lynx have a fatal racial weaknyess. They are far more powerless than other races-nyan.” (Grapefull)
“That’s why you can only carry a thin blade like that?” (Hikaru)
“I can barely swing this one too though…” (Grapefull)
It is true that lacking physical strength is fatal.
Not being able to fight against violence is a decisive factor to label a race as ‘weak’.
It might be different if there were guns, but this is exacerbated by the fact that this world revolves around the strong.
“That’s why you have no choice but to raise your Tier by diving in the dungeon, huh.” (Hikaru)
“Nyo nyo, that’s not it. We can’t fight, so we can’t even raise our Tier. Not only goblins, we can’t even win against skeletons-nya.” (Grapefull)
“Then, what do you do?” (Hikaru)
“We are scouts. Our job is to go check things out for a bit and be careful-nya.” (Grapefull)
“You can’t get stronger like that.” (Hikaru)
“That’s fine like that for nyow. We save coin, make a contract with a Great Spirit-sama, and that’s when a lynx can finyally become an explorer.” (Grapefull)
I see. So the ‘gun’ of a lynx is Spirit Abilities.
Looking at her equipment, I can tell that she doesn’t have any monetary leeway.
The deposit is 5 silver coins, but that’s the payment that the mutual aid association gets, and obviously, a dead lynx can’t get it. The share she gets for 1 day of employment is 1 small silver coin.
If it is diving to the 3rd Floor, it takes 5 small silver coins, and the 4th Floor goes up to 2 silver coins, but the danger spikes. In the first place, if the party they follow wipes out, the lynx accompanying them won’t be able to survive.
“And so, making a contract with a Great Spirit takes a lot of money?” (Hikaru)
“1 gold coin-nyan…” (Grapefull)
“It costs that much?” (Hikaru)
1 gold coin? That’s massive. It is a price that requires 40 or 50 silver coins.
That’s not an amount that a lynx can save when they only earn 1 small silver coin for a day of work.
“W-Wait a moment. Grapefull-chan…right? Making a contract with a Great Spirit-sama costing 1 gold coin is just… There’s no way it costs that much. Even making a contract with the Light Great Spirit-sama goes for 10 silver coins, you know? The Great Spirit-samas in this city shouldn’t go for more than 5 silver coins…” (Rifreya)
“…Lynx get a special price-nyan.” (Grapefull)
The church is the one that places the price for making contracts with Great Spirits. In other words, it is an asking price. For humans it is cheap but for demi-humans it is expensive. It seems like stuff like that is done as if it’s normal.
“I understand the situation of the lynx now. I will make it so you can earn a decent amount when you are in our party, so don’t worry.” (Hikaru)
“Right. To think it would be 1 gold coin… That’s definitely weird…” (Rifreya)
“I look forward to working with you-nya… Wait, we are diving with just us 3?” (Grapefull)
Once we went out, Grapefull stood in place and asked this.
Well, a party of 3 people is indeed low.
“That’s right. Well, it should be alright.” (Hikaru)
“Yeah, we are just going to the 2nd Floor after all.” (Rifreya)
The positive Rifreya.
I am not optimistic here, but even so, I judge that there won’t be problems if it is the 2nd Floor.
What’s worrying me here is the teamwork. If we can’t even explore the 2nd Floor, we can’t dive into the dungeon to begin with.
At worst, I can cover everything with Darkness Fog to escape from any enemy, and I still have 1 Barrier Stone. Ogres and mantis are a threat, but as long as they don’t get us by surprise, there should be no problems.
Also, I do feel like we have to be slightly reckless or the viewers won’t increase.
“It is rare for there to only be 3 while including a scout, so I just wanted to confirm-nyan. Your abilities were impressive, Onii-san, and Rifreya-san is famous, so there shouldn’t be any problems-nyan.” (Grapefull)
“So you really are famous, Rifreya.” (Hikaru)
“The Dazzling Rifreya is a nyame that shows up in the chats of other parties pretty often. We lynx don’t understand the sense of beauty of humans though. Everyone is saying they want to go out with her or marry her-nya.” (Grapefull)
“That’s impressive, Rifreya.” (Hikaru)
Is it like the local idol?
If they were to learn that she is forming a party with me, won’t they straight harass me?
I thought the sense of beauty from this world would be different from Earth, but it seems like beauty is still beauty.
“So they are talking about me like that… That’s scary. I need Hikaru to protect me.” (Rifreya)
The strength Rifreya was using in our locked arms increased.
Or more like, we have been like this since coming out from the guild. Is this okay?
Won’t this settle we are going to be harassed?
They have been glancing at us quite a lot even at this point in time.
“Protect, you say. You are stronger than me, Rifreya…” (Hikaru)
“If it is a fight without abilities, then I would be stronger but…you are not going to protect me?” (Rifreya)
An upward glance from point blank range.
It really might be true that Rifreya wasn’t drunk at that time.
The close distance of yesterday is still the same today.
“I will protect you. At the very least, in the time when you are together with me, I will definitely protect you.” (Hikaru)
“Ehehe~, I was sure you would say that, Hikaru.” (Rifreya)
“Nya nya nya! I smell the scent of love-nya! Are you two going out-nyan?” (Grapefull)
“That’s not it.” (Hikaru)
Rifreya was so clingy here that it can’t be helped that Grapefull would think this way.
If I hadn’t gotten used to my little sisters wrapping their arms on both of my arms, this would have been dangerous.
Rather than calling it love, it is more like a spoiled child.
“Ah, also, it seems I am being called with a nickname like ‘dazzling’, but I am not strong enough to fit that title, so Grapefull-chan, try to correct the people if you can manage to, okay?” (Rifreya)
So she has a nickname.
If I party with Rifreya, maybe they will call me the Parasite Hikaru.
“What does Dazzling mean?” (Hikaru)
Is it the gorgeous meaning?
You could even call it bad mouthing, but that’s just me being japanese.
“Dazzling is the nickname of my sword master. My battle style is the same, so I am being called that. But master is a Salamander Rank, so I can’t even compare.” (Rifreya)
“I see. That was a beautiful battle style after all. I kinda understand.” (Hikaru)
That figure of hers fighting while using her whole body to swing that big sword was beautiful, as if she were dancing.
That fighting style was truly ‘dazzling’.
There’s also the beauty of Rifreya herself, but she shone even more inside the dark and humid dungeon.
“Beautiful, you say… Ah, right, you were watching me fight, Hikaru.” (Rifreya)
“I was so fascinated with it that I ended up getting delayed in saving you.” (Hikaru)
“I see, so you were watching in fascination… Then, maybe I have gotten closer to master?” (Rifreya)
“Yeah, it certainly was ‘dazzling’.” (Hikaru)
“Hehe… I am happy.” (Rifreya)
“Nya nya! The scent of love-nya!” (Grapefull)
Anyways, we have gathered the numbers.
The viewers have increased far more than I imagined.
I knew it. I really did have a lot of hidden viewers. I have easily gone to the hundred millions once I stopped hiding in the darkness.
I will take 1st place with this party…for sure.