Chapter 13 – Sneaking Into The Labyrinth
Even though I hadn’t thought that things like maps of the Boundary Labyrinth were that important until now, I ended up making maps on the occasions where our explorations led into unknown areas, rather than using them normally and semi-permanently in the labyrinth.
Its usability was dependent on the person, rather than the circumstance.
Even if they had a limited consumption, it didn’t mean that they weren’t useful and that there weren’t any means of using them. The way these maps were used was precisely due to their limited number of uses.
In other words, you could use them to travel to a compatible hunting ground and avoid unsuitable ones.
They were also used when you needed a quick escape route from an area that had materials that you had to gather at any cost. For reasons like these, a supply and demand relationship had been established. However, with the exception of high class goods, if the supply and demand wasn’t balanced, many of the maps that were sold would be outdated. For that reason, many Adventurers were given requests to create maps during the new moon, and people who took these requests had begun to appear within BFO. Those guys were the so-called BTOs.
(TN: BTO = Built-to-Order)
In the current situation–the supply was provided by those who continued to create and sell maps for levels that they were capable of steadily exploring by themselves.
At the Guild entrance, there were Adventurers who claimed to sell maps of the deeper levels. If newcomers forced maps onto somebody, well, they might manage to make a living.
“I’d like to buy a map, is that fine?”
“Anytime! Which map do you need?”
When I asked, he brightened and answered me.
“For now, a map of the underground’s first floor will do.”
Areas of the first floor in the underground labyrinth didn’t change structurally. I understood that the map this guy drew would be enough for reference when I looked at it.
“If it’s for that, then just this is fine.”
“Is that so?”
“Areas of the first floor don’t change. I’m a businessman. If you like it, then it would actually help if you buy it off of me. I’ll end up unable to use it in three days.”
Conversely, he was saying that he was confident that we would buy it from him if he let us look at the areas of the first floor.
When he let us look at it, I saw that it was quite a detailed map.
Rather than saying that he thought well of the people who used maps, I will say that I picked up the friendly vibe of a beginner player.
Well, I’ll buy four maps that lead up to the fifth floor, since I’m in favor of it. The total price for all of them was 16 Kilig.
We headed out while gazing at each of the maps we had bought.
“Ara, you’ve bought a map.”
“It’s because of what you said after accompanying us, Rossetta-san.”
When we reunited with Rossetta, who had been waiting outside the Guild, she mentioned that.
I thought that, if it were just Grace and I, it would have been fine even if we were caught in a perfect power-play in the lower levels.
I had just considered trying to go there carefully, since it would become troublesome if we were to get carried away.
“Let’s see, speaking of staying true to the basics, I do get a good impression from you.”
Although, I didn’t know if it was basic or not…I was just doing the standard things normally.
“Though there isn’t anything standard about such an appearance, you know.”
Like always, I wore servant clothing and Grace wore her maid outfit.
“Will you buy a robe, even if it’s leather armor?”
“It’s troublesome to come here again later. I want to choose it carefully since I hate having something temporarily.”
“Grace, what about you?”
When Rossetta asked about her equipment,
“Is this outfit no good? I thought it was efficient and easy to move in.”
“It might be efficient, but…”
After Rossetta pointed out our clothing, Grace inclined her head in curiousity.
…In reality, if a woman wore such armor, it would just inhibit her movement. It would be unfortunate if your armor was destroyed by your own movement and power because it was only an obstruction.
Whether or not she had remembered Grace’s race, it seemed like Rossetta had given up on persuading her.
“Besides that, Theodore-sama’s clothing suits him quite well.”
“Well, it’s not an issue of it suiting him or not?”
Rossetta looked at my appearance with a puzzled look.
No…well, it was a fact that Grace could work, and even though I had such an atmosphere, it was unexpectedly natural.
Mom, who had taught Grace how to write and count, had been quite the carefree person, and it was normal for her to be away from the house of Count Gartner. Yet, one reason for coming here was because Grace had been isolated from the world.
It seemed like Rossetta’s intuition as a school teacher was good at least, and wasn’t taking diligent actions in regards to the Labyrinth fundamental?
With that, I had decided to go and make preparations, even though I didn’t have any plans to go explore too far today. We headed towards the market adjacent to the plaza. The market in front of the shrine had goods that were delivered and produced by the Guild, and the goods handled here were meant for the Adventurers who were going to enter the Labyrinth. The minimum equipment needed was said to be canteens, a backpack, portable rations, and emergency rations. We took out my staff and her axe from inside the carriage that was left at the stable, and after we laid out a cloth that had a transfer magic formation on it inside of the carriage, we finally departed to the labyrinth. The Labyrinth’s entrance was in the shrine next to the guild.
“Which god do we pray to at this shrine?”
“It’s Shuas, the Moon Goddess.”
Shuas was a Moon God who governed over the effects of the waxing and waning of the moon in the labyrinth, as well as the safety of journeys and voyages.
With her qualities, Shuas was popular among the Adventurers. There wasn’t anybody she had a bad affinity with amongst the other Gods and, because of her nature as a peaceful goddess, it seemed appropriate that her shrine was located in this place that gathered many races.
After stepping into the shrine, which was lined with large pillars, what appeared was an altar, along with the figures of priests and shrine maidens, standing in front of the Goddess Statue.
There was a big hole in the center of the shrine, accompanied by a spiral passageway granting passage to the lower levels.
After the three of us, who had accompanied each other thus far, went down that long spiraling staircase, we arrived at an open area that had the shape of a circle.
This gaping mouth was the entrance to the Labyrinth…along with a stele that emitted a green shine.
Although the stele was something that let people transfer to areas they had visited before, there wasn’t any reaction when I tried to approach it.
It was useless, huh? Well, it couldn’t be helped, though I had considered that it might be possible to go into the lower levels that I visited during my time in BFO. It probably didn’t work that way, since I was unable to even open my inventory.
From the corner of my eyes, I could see a group of Adventurers approach it. Perhaps they had come down to the open area at the bottom of the stairs earlier. Their party was composed of eight people, whose ages ranged from the early to late 20s. This pattern…was not that great. They seemed like genuine adventurers.
They passed by me and vanished into the large labyrinth, using the stele to transfer.
What was with them? I didn’t really do anything to those guys just now.
I just took a normal glance at them. They had just transferred from the stele when we had arrived down here.
It’s just that, I had looked at them one by one. It wasn’t pleasant for us to overlap with each other.
…Should I urge Rossetta to be cautious? I didn’t know her true strength.
If I thought about her relation with Mom and her status, it would be troublesome if she got injured in a surprise attack, even though I didn’t think Rossetta was weak.
“Be a bit wary of those guys from earlier. Though, it’s fine if you don’t cross your bridges until you come to them.”
After informing them, the two tightened their expressions.
As we waited to descend the staircase, I recalled that it was normal to trick new players into using the stele to enter the labyrinth.
There were many stories about novice Adventurers being ambushed and mugged within the deeper levels. In the game, the lower levels became a PK area.
“Isn’t it better to discuss that another day?”
“It’s useless to discuss it another day if we’re aiming to explore today, right?”
Truth be told, in reality, it was rather difficult to target a specific opponent. Since you could transfer to any area you liked with the stele, as long as they didn’t know where you were heading, it would be unlikely for you to be pursued by someone.
On the other hand, new players always had to pass through this level. Conversely…when you had advanced deep enough into the labyrinth, it was said that the worry of being targeted by such people would decrease.
Just how would those guys discern our intent?
Would they guess correctly because of my clothing, the fact that I was a kid, or that we were new people who had just finished registering?
I didn’t feel the need to care if the others would fall into temptation. Being aware of crime prevention was a separate issue. If only there were enough of this conscience on hand, I could only say that it would no longer be our problem, as people who had just happened to be there by chance.
“Rossetta-san–Should I give up on this path just because Goblins may appear?”
“That’s quite extreme…I wonder who you get that from?”
“Mom was mom, and I am me. If they get in the way, I’ll just get rid of them.”
After Grace removed her limiter by kissing her ring, we continued into the entrance.
There probably wasn’t any need to be cautious of an attack from the guys from earlier in this area. The stairs were easily visible as soon as you entered, and you could easily escape by running outside.
Even though the entrance was very wide, the passageway soon became low and narrow, with paths branching off in every direction. The white stone walls were made of the same materials used for the buildings within the heart of Termuilles.
I had already memorized the passageways in this area and didn’t need a map. I planned to journey to the fifth floor using the shortest route, since I didn’t have anything important to do.
Instead of using a lantern, I illuminated the surroundings using the Level 2 Beginner Light Magic, Light Ball. It was self-explanatory. It was Magic that could create a ball that emitted light.
“Can you not use night Vision Magic?”
Rossetta tilted her head when I replied.
Although I understood what she wanted to say, what I used depended on the situation.
“If you can, then why aren’t you using it? Won’t you end up leaving a trail?”
“The Monsters around here are Goblins, Kobolds, and Killer Ants, right?”
We proceeded into the next passageway using Light Ball.
After we had walked, the shadows of two Goblins were cast onto the ground when the ball of light flew around a corner ahead of us.
Rossetta raised her voice in admiration.
The moment their shadows appeared, Grace stepped towards the Goblins and struck down at them with her axe, while the Goblins were letting out a growl. The sound of something splashing could be heard from beyond the corner.
As one of them, looking surprised, readied itself, I reduced it to ashes with a chantless Fireball. Even if I fought face-to-face with them, such an insignificant opponent was no threat. I wasn’t worried at all when it came to fighting them openly.
The only troublesome things would be their spawn points, sudden encounters, and the like. My movement speed would decrease, since I needed to use light and remain cautious.
The only problem might be that Adventurer group? I hoped that they had decent judgement and decent consciences.
“If something happens, I’ll be your shield. I have often carried a bow.”
As for Grace, who was released from her limiter…although she wasn’t particularly bad in any area, painful things were still painful.
Aah…I don’t like this! I was getting worried just by imagining it. It was a situation where I didn’t want anything to happen, even if those guys ran here using the shortest route.
I squinted my eyes, and stared into the darkness of the Labyrinth where the light had yet to reach.