“Now then, I would like to go exploring today…but…are the people outside acquaintances of yours, Kuro?” (Jeanne)
The next day after going to the 1st Floor with Worigami-san.
We had breakfast, and just when we were about to head to the dungeon, Jeanne reached the front door and immediately turned around.
When I peeked outside, there was a group of 3 in front of our house.
It is not like they are doing anything. They are just concentrating on the front door. How creepy.
“What’s that…? I don’t know them either. What about you, Rifreya?” (Hikaru)
“I also don’t know these people. Wonder what this is about?” (Rifreya)
1 man 2 women. The hair color of the man is brown, and the 2 women are brunette. Or more like, one of the girls looks Indonesian. Facial features you don’t see around here.
The remaining two look European? They have really defined features and don’t look asian.
“Aren’t they Chosen? What do you think, Jeanne?” (Hikaru)
“No doubt about it. The equipment of Chosen is different from that of natives to begin with, and they give that vibe that they are not used to this. Of course, there’s also exceptions like you, Kuro.” (Jeanne)
“Why am I an exception?” (Hikaru)
“You were accustomed to this place to a strange degree, you know?” (Jeanne)
Was I…? Well, I did use the black market from the very beginning, so it might look that way. Speaking of which, is the old man there doing well?
“They must have business with me. What will you do, Kuro?” (Jeanne)
“What to do, you say… What do you want to do, Jeanne?” (Hikaru)
“Of course, I don’t want to get involved with them. Despite appearances, I am not good at dealing with people.” (Jeanne)
“I did know.” (Hikaru)
I don’t want to get involved with them either.
I can now speak to natives I am not acquainted with to some degree, but Chosen…moreover the 2nd group, that’s a no. That side knows all about us while we don’t know anything about them, moreover, they even came all the way to our house like this. That’s plain scary and creepy -nauseating, even.
“Let’s have Reya drive them off.” (Jeanne)
“W-Wait, Jeanne-san? I won’t do something like that, okay? If I were to harm people who haven’t done anything, I would get arrested. Especially when I am an explorer; the sin is heavier.” (Rifreya)
“They are Chosen, so they can’t stand up strongly against natives…I think. They might scatter if you just warn them a bit, Reya.” (Jeanne)
“You are not even sure! You always say that they might have strong weapons on them.” (Rifreya)
Looks like our helpline Rifreya doesn’t want to do it.
Their objective is unknown and it is creepy after all…
We talk about countermeasures for Chosen every now and then.
Within all of it, we talked about weapons…to be more specific, guns. We would talk often about how we should watch out the most against guns.
If those 3 were to begin spraying their guns all of a sudden, we really wouldn’t know what to do. This isn’t a place where the laws of Earth reach. In this world with no guns, guns are invincible. There’s no doubt they wouldn’t be caught because there isn’t enough evidence.
“Let’s go out through the backdoor. It is great that the messages are frozen.” (Hikaru)
There’s a backdoor in this house.
It is connected to a narrow alley, so it would be difficult to catch us there as new Chosen. Also, I don’t think the new Chosen know about us having a backdoor. It is hidden by the shadow of a tree, and even us as the owners found it just recently.
We got out of the house smoothly, went to the guild, hired Grapefull, and entered the dungeon.
Worigami-san was fighting Skeletons on the 1st Floor.
He is still not fighting armed ones yet and stacking up exp from the barehanded Skeletons. It is safe and steady. Seeing that state of his, he should be okay even if left alone.
We passed the 2nd Floor just like that, and headed to the 3rd Floor.
We have gotten quite used to the 3rd Floor.
Rifreya originally operated mainly in the 3rd Floor for more than half a year, and with my experience exploring alone, I myself don’t feel like I would lose to the monsters here.
We breeze this floor while humming…is exaggerating a bit, but everyone here is probably thinking we should go to the next floor.
We won’t be going down to the 4th Floor until we defeat the 3rd Floor.
We continued hunting in the 3rd Floor following that policy of Jeanne, but it should be about time we move on to the next step…
It is not because I was thinking that, but by the time noon passed, that monster finally showed up.
“Nyanyanyanya. I can hear it, I can hear it-nya. Garden Panther! It is coming from the right-nyan!” (Full)
“Finally showed up! I was tired of waiting.” (Jeanne)
Jeanne’s eyes were burning and she spun her arm around.
The Garden Panther is a monster that emits white mist from its white big body, and its appearance is just as its name, a feline wild beast, and it is far bigger than a panther from Earth.
There’s a lot of humanoid creatures in the dungeon, and they use weapons and their movements are based on humans, so they have the weak point of being decently easy to adapt to.
But the Garden Panther is a literal wild beast. Just that fact alone makes it stronger in foundation to humans.
Moreover, this guy can sense the location of its target within Darkness Fog.
I somehow managed to win the last time we fought one, but it is by no means an opponent we can lower our guards against. A monster that is a realm above the other monsters in the 3rd Floor; that’s a Garden Panther.
“[Dark Sense]! It is coming from there! Jeanne, please endure the first attack!” (Hikaru)
“Leave it to me.” (Jeanne)
The first attack of the Garden Panther that jumps out from inside the mist is potent. If it gets you by surprise, you can die instantly just like that explorer of before.
From inside the mist at the place I pointed at, it didn’t take long for the Garden Panther to jump out from there just as I said.
The Garden Panther, that showed up as if it had assimilated with the mist, is so well camouflaged that it is hard to deal with even when you know it is coming.
If I didn’t have Dark Sense, it might have been difficult to properly deal with it.
The Garden Panther jumped onto Jeanne who was completely armored and had her big shield ready.
I stay on standby at the back readying Shadow Bind.
The trigger to Spirit Abilities is to clearly voice out the name of the ability, but using an ability with a strengthened will of ‘using it’ makes the activation speed and strength different from just voicing it out without any thought.
A sound as if a car had crashed resonated, but Jeanne wasn’t sent flying, and she took the attack of the Garden Panther with her shield.
“[Shadow Bind]!” (Hikaru)
Bind is more of a trap you set rather than a targeted ability, so it can’t be used against enemies who are moving fast or are flying in the sky.
A Garden Panther is an opponent that would be hard to hit with a bind.
But if it is at the time when the frontline stops its movement…
Being bound by the dark tentacles, the Garden Panther tries to break free from them.
It is a giant feline that has a body as if it is wholly made of muscles. The effective time of the bind will literally be just a few seconds. But those few seconds are plenty enough.
Rifreya’s vertical slash, and the stab of Jeanne who was at the front.
Both attacks damage the body of the opponent heavily and deeply, and with just a single exchange, the Garden Panther changed into a big Spirit Stone.
“That was easy. It is true that that was stronger than the other 3rd Floor monsters though.” (Jeanne)
“No, that was easy because Full found it immediately. If it breaks your formation in the beginning, I think we would have had a harder fight here.” (Hikaru)
“Hm, that’s true.” (Jeanne)
In fights with monsters…no, probably in any fight, a fight in an advantageous position is extremely important. A surprise attack is a really effective battle tactic. My Spirit Abilities are specialized in surprise attacks, so I have begun rethinking that maybe Dark Spirit Abilities enter the pretty strong category when it comes to supporting physical combat.
It is obvious that there’s merit and demerits for the respective elements, but it is by no means that darkness is bad.
“Thanks, Full. If not for you, we might have been hit with a preemptive strike. You saved us.” (Hikaru)
“I just did my job-nyan!” (Full)
Grapefull acted modest here, but she pushed her chest out and made a smug face.
The smug face of a cat is cute.
“Great job, Full-chan. Great job, great job. Mofumofu.” (Jeanne)
“Nya nya nya nya! Don’t squish my face all over-nya~~~.” (Full)
It didn’t take long for her to be mofumofued by Jeanne.
She apparently keeps it in moderation normally, but when she gets the chance to, she goes all out in petting her, so Full has been a bit on guard lately.
“Anyways, with this, the 3rd Floor has been cleared. We still have time, so let’s go to the 4th Floor.” (Jeanne)
“Eeh~? Now? You get wet in the 4th Floor, it is cold, and the monsters are strong. It is rough unless you prepare properly, you know?” (Rifreya)
“I know. I have investigated. I also got a map. But I want to at least see how it is.” (Jeanne)
And so, we headed to the 4th Floor.
The 4th Floor is the Rain Dragon Grand Waterfall. It is a floor that’s as if giant waterfalls make the surroundings.
Almost everywhere is wet from the spraying of the waterfall, the temperature is also subtly low, and the whole dungeon is somewhat dark; all those points make it an unpopular floor.
Even the giant crabs and the Lizardmen that you can see decently often have strength that doesn’t lose to a Mantis. The 4th Floor is a pretty hefty shot up in difficulty. It is common knowledge about the Great Dungeon of Meltia.
We go down the long stairs.
There are a lot of explorers operating in the 3rd Floor, and there’s always a few groups in the Frog Plaza, but the amount of explorers operating in the 4th Floor drops sharply.
That means, if something happens, the chances of being saved by someone decreases.
“You have secretly come here before without me, right, Hikaru?” (Rifreya)
Rifreya emphasizes the part ‘without me’.
“Right. I was desperate at that time. That said, I simply checked out the surroundings of the entrance though.” (Hikaru)
“You fought? Alone?” (Jeanne)
“I did. The Slimes could be defeated in one hit with Spirit Abilities, so there was no problem there, but the Crabs and Lizardmen are pretty dangerous.” (Hikaru)
“Fumu…as someone who doesn’t have Spirit Abilities, I might actually have to be careful of Slimes.” (Jeanne)
Jeanne does seem like she would be a bad match against Slimes. No matter how much defense she stacks up, if it latches onto you, there’s no point.
Well, a situation like that won’t happen with our party.
“Uwaah, I have come here before, but it really is impressive.” (Hikaru)
The moment we finished going down the stairs, a giant waterfall welcomed us.
It is a waterfall that’s more than 200 meters tall. It is to the point that I feel as if it is a joke that such a thing exists underground, but I have no choice but to think that’s just how dungeons are.
Each and every floor is an isolated world of its own.
“Wow. This is the first time I see a waterfall. Let’s take photos of it with camera mode. Can this take videos?” (Jeanne)
“I doubt it. Or more like, this is your first time seeing a waterfall?” (Hikaru)
Jeanne takes photos with the camera.
This camera mode is a handy camera that shows up in your hand once you choose it from the Status Board (moreover, the design is old. From the Showa era <1926-1989>). It switches the God Camera mode that’s always on us into manual camera mode.
It is convenient for people who want to get something on camera.
The content creator Worigami-san used it pretty often.
“It is pretty, has a strong presence, and…how to say it…it is healing.” (Jeanne)
“Right. I was overwhelmed the first time I came here, but it is impressive no matter how many times I see it. If this were Earth, it would have become a tourist spot.” (Hikaru)
“There’s nothing like this in France after all. There might have been something like that in the Pyrenees mountain range, but I have not gone there.” (Jeanne)
There’s no waterfalls in France?
My image of France certainly is that of having soldiers everywhere. Or more like, I know nothing of France.
Japan has a lot of waterfalls, and I saw them on an excursion in kindergarten.
“I was…a shut-in, and I didn’t have a family. I have never gone to the mountains on vacations. I wanted to go check out Montblanc though.” (Jeanne)
She said that as if nothing, but it is new information from Jeanne who barely talks about herself.
I myself don’t want to talk much about my family.
Leaving aside my little sisters, my relationship with my parents wasn’t good, and they were far from the definition of ‘good parents’.
No, it would be better to just call it out as it is. They were hopeless parents.
“I myself haven’t gone on family trips either. I have gone here and there with the lead of my little sisters, but not done any that would have me stay over for the night.” (Hikaru)
“As for Reya, her mother looked strict, but seemed kind.” (Jeanne)
“Eh~, my parents? She was like that because my little sister recovered, but she was originally cold to me, you know? I haven’t gone on family trips either.” (Rifreya)
Rifreya says that, but I did feel affection towards Rifreya from that mother.
I felt like her ‘cold’ is pretty different in kind from the ‘cold’ of my mother.
“Well, anyway, it is exploration time. Just as Reya said, this doesn’t look like a floor suitable for combat. I would like to defeat a Scylla already and go to the 5th Floor.” (Jeanne)
“Already, you say… You plan on defeating a Scylla?” (Hikaru)
Scyllas are the strongest monsters of the 4th Floor, and they apparently show up with several Lamias in tow; kinda like the boss of the snake women.
I didn’t get it well with the explanation of the guild, but she has several wriggling snake tails as her lower half, and she would coil them around, swing them like whips, and do many varied attacks.
She is apparently also big, around 4 meters, so there’s the need to make firm preparations before challenging it.
We begin the exploration after using Dark Sense.
Grapefull can be a scout in the 4th Floor, but floors below this one are apparently outside the sphere of hired Lynxes.
“I am sorry. I…probably won’t be of use in the 4th Floor. I have accompanied a few parties that wanted to see only the waterfall-nya.” (Full)
“There’s always a first for everyone. You just have to learn about it slowly. The noise of the waterfall is so loud that we wouldn’t be able to notice the approach of monsters either.” (Hikaru)
“Understood. I will concentrate-nyan!” (Full)
Grapefull’s ears perk up.
In the warning of the guild, it is written that you should be careful of the Sahagins that suddenly jump out and the Lamias that approach you without making a sound.
Especially the snake women who don’t make any footsteps.
I have Dark Sense, but it is not like it is passively running. If they were to approach us without making a sound while we are fighting, we would get hit, and there’s plenty of chance that it would end up being fatal.
A scout that’s concentrating on being on the watch is vital.
For now, we really just walked a little bit around the entrance, defeated Slimes with Summon Night Bug, and defeated Giant Crabs.
We managed to defeat Crabs normally with Jeanne stopping it and Rifreya attacking. It is easy when there is only one. The problem is when several of them show up at the same time though.
We finished our exploration there for the day and went out.
It took a decent amount of time to get back to the surface from the 4th Floor, and it was evening by the time we got out.
“Ah, they are out! Finally out!”
“It really is Jeanne. The same as on TV. So cute~.”
“Hikaru-kun is smaller than I thought.”
When we got out of the dungeon, the group of 3 said this.
The group of 3 who were waiting in front of our house in the morning.