ZAP – Chapter 24: First Arc’s Epilogue

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◇Eugene’s POV◇

The moment I made that promise with Sumire to head to the 500th Floor…

“Ooi, Eugene!” 

Someone came out from the Dungeon Elevator. 

It is the dungeon staff old man I am familiar with. 

I am glad. 

They came faster than I thought. 

I can also see other dungeon staff members. 

They must have come rushing after the emergency. 

“Old man, you came!” (Eugene)

“Man, it really has turned hectic.” 

“It really has…” (Eugene)

“Here, have this Heal Drink. You looking terrible there!” 

“Yeah, thanks.” (Eugene)

I gulped down the drink that the old man gave me in one go. 

It is somewhat sugary, and it was seeping into my body. 

…My dizzy consciousness was slowly growing clearer. 

“Need one too, young lady?” 

“No…I was hiding the whole time, so I’m okay…” (Sumire)

The old man offered Sumire a Heal Drink too, but she refused it. 

She might have been taken aback by the gaudy green look it has. 

The taste isn’t bad though. 

The other dungeon staff members were checking on the remains of Cerberus’s rampage…and the corpses of the Martial Arts Club. 

“Aah, aah, he really went wild here.” 

“Searching for the missing body parts will be a pain and a half…” 

“We will be searching for bodies here the whole day.” 

“I’m gonna have to demand overtime pay.” 

The other dungeon staff members said that. 

“Wa?! Isn’t there a better way to put it?!” (Sumire)

Sumire raised her voice, but for them, this is a common sight. 

I don’t think there’s as many disasters as this one though.

“Calm down, Sumire. Old man, can I ask you to take care of her? She is a friend of ours, her name is Leona.” (Eugene)

“Got it. I will begin with this girl, I guess.” 

The old man took out a bottle as he approached the corpse of Leona and spilled a single drop out of it. 

That drop was shining rainbow, and the corpse of Leona was covered in light. 

And then, the next instant, the body of Leona returned to how it was, and she woke up.

“…Eh?” (Sumire)

Sumire let out a dumbfounded voice. 

Leona probably couldn’t see clearly yet, she continued blinking. 

And then, she lifted her upper body.

“…Hnn? …Sumire-chan and Eugene-kun…and the dungeon staff?” (Leona)

Leona looked at us with half-asleep eyes. 

“Leona, how are you feeling?” (Eugene)

“…I remember a really scary monster chasing after us…” (Leona)

“Don’t try to remember too hard. Memories of your own death would be better gone.” (Eugene)

“Right… Woah! My adventurer clothes are a mess. They were pretty expensive too~.” (Leona)

Leona looked at her own attire and frowned. 

“Wawawawawawa…” (Sumire)

Sumire seemed like she wanted to say something, but she is not making any sense here. 

“Sumire?” (Eugene)

“What’s the matter, Sumire-chan?” (Leona)

Leona and I peek at her and, the next moment, she screamed. 

“What in the seven hells is happening here?!!!!!” (Sumire)

Ah, right. 

My head isn’t working well because of the aftereffects of making a contract with a Demon Lord. 

I didn’t explain to her the most important thing here. 

◇◇

“Uhm, what the dungeon staff-san used just now was a magic item called Resurrection Drop, and it revives the adventurers that died in floors 100 and below within 24 hours of their death…?” (Sumire)

“Sorry, Sumire. I didn’t explain it to you.” (Eugene)

It is basic knowledge you learn in the academy, but I didn’t expect we would need it this soon. 

I thought she would eventually learn about it in her lessons, so I didn’t explain it to her before our exploration in the lower floors. 

In the first place, I didn’t even plan on fighting a Floor Boss in this exploration. 

Not even in my wildest dreams did I think we would fight a Divine Beast.

“Then, does that mean it would be alright even if we were to die?” (Sumire)

Sumire made a questioning look. 

She probably thinks it was a waste to be scared. 

“Hmm, but there’s a penalty from dying in the Zenith Tower.” (Eugene)

“Penalty…?” (Sumire)

You can revive the dead with the Resurrection Drop, but there’s cases when the ones on the receiving end will have ‘residual effects’.

“Sumire-chan, when the Resurrection Drop is used, you can have parts of your memory missing, and if unlucky, you will have parts of your body missing.” (Leona)

“Eeh?!” (Sumire)

Sumire let out a loud voice of surprise. 

That’s right… The Resurrection Drop is by no means an all-powerful magic tool. 

It is an item that prioritizes ‘saving your life’.

“Well, it seems like nothing like that happened to me in this case though…” (Leona)

Leona spun in place and confirmed her body. 

“Also, negative conditions will remain in your body, right?” (Eugene)

“Yeah… Actually, my body feels sluggish right now…” (Leona)

Leona looked like she was finding this to be a pain.

“S-So that’s how it is…” (Sumire)

Sumire returns to a serious face. 

“Also, this is really important, so I want you to remember it at all costs, but…you won’t be able to revive if you are eaten by a monster.” (Eugene)

“——-!!” 

Sumire’s face turned pale in an instant. 

Looks like she understood once again that the situation just now was by no means something to be positive about. 

“That’s the same when dealing with a Divine Beast. That said, Cerberus only ate the goblins this time around and didn’t eat the humans though…” (Leona)

Looks like the sound we heard in the middle was from Cerberus eating the goblins.

From what I can tell, there’s no person who has been eaten. 

Why?

(Cerberus-chan is a Divine Beast with high pride. He wouldn’t go eating brave challengers.) (Eri)

The voice of Eri rang in my head. 

(Really, Eri?) (Eugene)

(That’s right. But it has been a while since he was summoned to a Trial of Gods, so he must have gotten pumped there. It seems like he didn’t expect to be called to the 20th Floor though.) (Eri)

(…Hey, Eri, why did the Divine Beast get summoned to the 20th Floor?) (Eugene)

(Who knows. Weird, right?) (Eri)

(Do you know something?) (Eugene)

(As if I would know. I am sealed deep underground the Magic Academy, you know?) (Eri)

(Right.) (Eugene)

I can’t tell if Eri is telling the truth here from her tone of voice. 

…I should ask her about it again later. 

Anyways, there’s a lot of things I have to talk to Eri about. 

Especially about…the price of the contract.

It is a contract with a Demon Lord.

There’s no way it will be light. 

I don’t have regrets in making the contract, but I am feeling a bit heavy. 

Just what in the world am I going to have to pay with? 

(My cute Eugene, good work in your fight against Cerberus-chan☆. I am waiting for you to come see me♡.) (Eri)

I don’t know if she understood what I am feeling right now, but Eri said only that and cut off the thought transmission.

“Eugene-kun, what’s the matter? Why are you spacing out like that?” (Sumire)

“Y-Yeah, there’s no issues, Sumire. I am just a bit tired.” (Eugene)

I direct a smile at Sumire who looks worried here. 

Leona and the dungeon staff old man are talking to each other at a slightly further location. 

“You are the captain of this unit, right? We will be reviving the other explorers, so can you please come together with us to see whether there’s anything missing with your members?” 

“…Understood.” (Leona)

“Also, we will be paying for the cost of the Resurrection Drop, but the bill will be sent to the Academy on a later day. The bill of the Resurrection Drop is by principle footed by the person. I think you know about it though.” 

“Y-Yes… By the way, what’s the market price of the Resurrection Drop…?” (Leona)

“……”

“…Hello?” (Leona)

The dungeon staff old man made a grim face. 

“…3,000,000G.” 

“Eeeeh?! That’s more than 3 times the normal cost! Why?!” (Leona)

Leona screamed. 

“Large amounts of Resurrection Drops in the inventory have been used recently. The price has shot up.” 

“A-About that…what’s the total price for reviving our whole unit…?” (Leona)

The voice of Leona was trembling. 

…If I remember correctly, the 3rd wing has more than 20 people.

“It is being bought in bulk, so I think negotiations to reduce the price is possible, but…it will most likely be more than 50,000,000G.” 

“……Ha…haha. My academy life…is done for… From here on, it is a life of debt… T-This is the end…” (Leona)

“L-Leona-san…! It is not like you are going to be footing the debt of all the members, right?” (Sumire)

Sumire, who was listening to their conversation, must have gotten worried about her, so she ran over to Leona. 

“I can’t… The captain has to take the responsibility at times like this. Also, the exploration this time was something I planned… Aah, I can’t anymore. It is over. My youth is over…” (Leona)

“L-Leona-san!!” (Sumire)

Her eyes were distant and she was making a dry ‘ahahaha…’ laugh while Sumire was all flustered here. 

No matter how you think about it, this is unreasonable, and I want to help out in some way, but…I also don’t have several millions on me. 

It was at that moment…

“This is crazy!! Oi, look at this!” 

A different dungeon staff member shouted. 

People gathered wondering what was happening. 

(What happened…?) (Eugene)

The reason was made clear soon after. 

The dungeon staff member hurriedly ran this way. 

Looks like they are a high ranking staff member. 

“Hey, are you the one who dropped the head of Cerberus?!!” 

“Yes, that’s right.” (Eugene)

The place the high rank staff member was pointing at was the head of Cerberus on the ground. 

That one didn’t return from the summoning, huh. 

I didn’t really pay it much mind. 

Or more like, I didn’t have the leeway to. 

“That’s incredible! Being able to bring back the head of a Divine Beast!” 

“Yeah! Just how much would it go for if it were turn into materials?!” 

“No doubt it will be no less than 1 billion!!” 

“No no, there would even be a mountain of high nobles who would want to stuff and use the head of Cerberus as decoration. If it were to be placed on auction, who knows how much the price would shoot up to!” 

I heard that conversation.

(Is it really okay to use the head of a Divine Beast in that way…?) (Eugene)

I am a bit worried, but if there’s a problem, I am sure the Angel Announcement would warn me. 

But…

The Angel Announcement started the Trial of Gods on the 20th Floor…

While I was pondering about this, the high rank staff member spoke to me. 

“Eugene-san, the head of that Divine Beast is your loot. Of course, you can bring it back with you if you please. But if you leave it to us, the Dungeon Administration Association, we will try to get the best purchase price for you. Of course, we will be taking a fee for our service, but I am sure we would be able to do a better job at negotiations than a student.” 

The staff member suggested to me with a serious face. 

Looks like leaving them the negotiations for the Divine Beast’s head is quite important. 

It might be an order from a superior of the association. 

“I am an amateur, so I will leave it to you.” (Eugene)

“I see! Thanks, Eugene-san!” 

The high ranked staff member made a big smile and gave orders to the staff members that were around the head of Cerberus. 

“We have gotten the permission of the explorer! Store it in the Storage Magic Tool at once! Move it to the storehouse of the association! You heard me?!” 

“““YES!!!!”””

The head of Cerberus was carried off in an instant. 

That’s when I noticed.

“I want to ask for a favor.” (Eugene)

I spoke to the high ranked staff member. 

“What is it, Eugene-san? We will fulfill your requests to the best of our ability.” 

“Can you deduct the fee for the Resurrection Drop used in the 20th Floor here from the reward of Cerberus’s head?” (Eugene)

“…Oh, but I thought you and them were not an official party.” 

“It is okay. I was asked to be their bodyguard, but I couldn’t protect them.” (Eugene)

“Is that so? Understood. Even if you deduct the fee from the Resurrection Drop, you will most likely still have a lot of profit remaining. I will communicate the details to you later.” 

“Alright. Please do.” (Eugene)

Our conversation must have been heard by them too.

“E-Eugene-san?! Wait a moment!!” (Leona)

“Eugene-kun!” (Sumire)

Leona looked flustered. 

Sumire ran over here with a smile.

“I can’t have you go that far for us!” (Leona)

“But I was supposed to become the shield of the Martial Arts Club as an accompanying barriermancer. Let’s just say we are even with this.” (Eugene)

“That won’t even it out at all!” (Leona)

“If you are so bothered by this, you can pay me back little by little. No interest, no deposit, no deadline. You can pay me back when you get the chance. No pressure.” (Eugene)

“E-Eugene-san…” (Leona)

Leona had a face as if she couldn’t say anything.

“Oi oi, Eugene, isn’t that a bit too whimsical?” 

The dungeon staff old man let out a baffled tone at what I said.

“It is okay. Having too much coin and nowhere to use it would only trouble me.” (Eugene)

“You are so wonderful, Eugene-kun!!” (Sumire)

When I responded to the old man, Sumire hugged me.

Sumire is really straight in showing her emotions. 

“Good grief. I will return to my work.” 

It seems the old man is going to the other dungeon staff on the 20th Floor. 

By the way, Sumire is still sticking to me. 

I spoke to Leona who was standing there spacing out. 

“You don’t have to worry about the money. There’s a lot of other things you have to do as the captain, right? Also, rest for a while.” (Eugene)

I told her that.

“Haaah… If you didn’t have Sumire-chan, I would be on the verge of falling in love with you. I will be thanking you at a later time. Also, I will properly pay you back, okay?!!” (Leona)

Saying this, Leona headed to the dungeon staff members. 

It must be in order to confirm the resurrection of the remaining club members.

“Now then, let’s go back.” (Eugene)

I pat the head of Sumire, who is still hugging me, and tell her this.

“Oka~y.” (Sumire)

Sumire separated from me as if she still didn’t have enough. 

We arrived in front of the Dungeon Elevator. 

Haah…we can finally go back. 

This should have been the first exploration for Sumire. 

This was an unbelievable exploration. 

(…But we gained a lot.) (Eugene)

I glanced at my side. 

Sumire was looking straight at me with her big eyes.

…It made my heart skip a beat. 

“Ehehe…” (Sumire)

There’s a hard to describe endearing nature to her smiling face. 

I shake off my desire to hug her. 

“Counting on you from here on, my partner, Sumire.” (Eugene)

“Yes, same here, Eugene-kun.” (Sumire)

We smiled at each other and entered the dungeon elevator. 

—And this is how our challenge of the Last Dungeon, the Zenith Tower Babel, began.

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