Chapter 14 – Map Utilization
“I deeply apologize, Theodore-sama. Did I make you feel unpleasant?”
Grace looked back at me, seeming slightly troubled.
I put my hand on my head as I spoke, wearing an expression that seemed to say, ‘It was useless, huh?’
Perhaps I had made a hideous face. Let’s compose ourselves a bit. I didn’t mean to make Grace feel anxious.
“Well…it’s not that Grace made me angry. I’m more worried about things like who should be the Tank. I’m thinking it should be me this time.”
Grace closed her eyes and bowed slightly…A Tank, huh?
Perhaps it was because I couldn’t do anything when mom was around. Grace probably felt the same as me and couldn’t forgive herself for that.
That was probably why she was trying to protect me – because she was trying to do what she was capable of doing.
Even if Grace injured me, I don’t think temporary pain is outside my limits, since I can immediately heal myself.
That’s why, even if it was Grace, I will always volunteer to be the Tank. If I were to leave out my emotions, then her suggestion would have been correct. Looking at it from her perspective, I think it was natural to be confused, since we suddenly ended up arguing at the place where we had just battled.
I didn’t feel this way when Grace fought in front of me when we had fought the Killer Ants, though.
Oslo, the guys this time around, and the ants…If I were to say what was different about them, it was just that the Killer Ants would follow their instincts and habits. Conversely, considering the malice that was directed towards us…I can’t forgive it either way.
Yeah. My head understands it, so I should be composed. I wasn’t overtaken by these feelings.
Although I did not hesitate to get rid of them, I couldn’t help but feel depressed, since humans have many bonds with their partners. Why won’t these bonds leave me alone?
“Hey, Theodore? Although you’ve voiced your opinion, you’ve been cautious about those guys since the beginning, right?”
“Even though I wasn’t so sure about buying a map, the reason you seemed so certain about getting one…it can’t be this, can it?”
“It was also that.”
It would be fine if nothing happened. Using the map, I showed Rossetta the routes we could take to progress through the labyrinth steadily.
If those Adventurers were planning anything suspicious, I could narrow down the places we were more likely to be ambushed by looking at the map.
“The places where those guys would be likely to carry out an ambush are here and here. This place as well.”
As I returned the Light Ball to my hand, I gradually understood why Rossetta’s expressions became cloudy after I pointed on the map.
“One of their favorite locations is the third floor. If you continue towards the stairs and the stele, this passageway intersects that one. This passageway is quite long and is the most suspicious one. You would be in a bow’s line of fire, and if a person was on standby in this small room behind the passageway ahead of it, you could get attacked from both sides, even if you try to escape.”
While I was explaining and pointing with my fingers at the T-shape the passages formed, Rossetta somehow became sulky.
“Isn’t this far from being fundamental? Exactly who taught you such things?”
“The one who said they were devoted to the fundamentals wasn’t me, and it’s troubling if you sulk.”
From seeing the places that were suitable for PKing, and considering the layout of the labyrinth, it was enough to remain cautious. I will just do things normally, just as I did during the Game, when I was Kagehisa. It wouldn’t be difficult at all, since I had the know-how and theories related to it.
“Haah…geez. Given the chance, I thought that you would act like a protector who would save people in a cool manner. The two of you seem more like Thieves and are quite capable, contrary to my expectations.”
“You have been thinking about such a thing?”
“I have been thinking about it…so?”
Rossetta pouted her lips in dissatisfaction. A child, huh?
“What do you mean by ‘so’?”
“Nevermind. As for Theodore-kun, concerning this ambush. What are you planning to do about it?”
“Well, we’ll end up taking a detour, so if we take a detour and keep going…look. We will be able to come out behind their Archer. They’ve seen me holding a map in my hands, out in the open. If they think that I’m a Beginner, they will probably be under the impression that we will be taking the shortest route.”
Rather than them seeing us, I had shown it to them.
If they were going to target us since we were new, they would be confident that we would move through Theory Street. Didn’t they try to teach new people about the harsh places they could come across and where it was easy to start out at?
“For that reason, if they have an Archer here, in all likelihood, they will pre-emptively ambush you without giving away their presence.”
“…Somehow, those guys have become quite pitiful.”
Rossetta shook her head and sighed.
“Hah, it’s fine already. I still haven’t seen your true strength, so I’ll also be going with you. Also, if I were to overlook Adventurers that robbed people as a side job, I would get scolded.”
While we were talking, Rossetta said that. I inclined my head, as she didn’t appear to have any weapons.
“My weapons are hand-to-hand combat and healing magic. Then there is – – – Support Magic. There isn’t a need for you to worry about it.”
Support and Healing Magic, huh…? I still had plenty of dirty cards up my sleeves. Grappling was also a choice, since I understood the constitution of living organisms.
It didn’t seem like there was a need to worry about her…Let’s keep exploring the labyrinth. For now, we’ll dispose of the Goblins we defeated.
I cast my Rank 6 Darkness Magic as I raised my hand towards the Goblin corpses that were rolling around on the ground.
A red fog rose up from the bodies of the Goblins and gathered in my palm. The fog thickened and became a red crystal as large as a grain of rice.
As for the goblin corpses that had had their magic stone essence extracted, they vanished, as if they had melted into the ground. Well…it was a scene that I had gotten used to seeing.
“You can even cast the Magic Stone Extraction spell.”
“Yeah, but I’m worried that having Goblins as an opponent won’t be profitable at all.”
Yet, it was highly possible that I would have to use this Magic. I wanted to confirm the behavior of our surroundings ahead of time by doing experiments and seeing what happened. It was different from the outside, so the disposal of dead bodies in the labyrinth had to be done here.
Although the dead bodies of Demons would naturally turn into magic stone essence, the labyrinth in Termuilles ends up absorbing those dead bodies.
In other words, if the essence was extracted, you would become unable to strip the bodies of their raw materials…and regular Goblins didn’t have any. Having said that, you had to cast this magic to collect a large amount of it, although there wasn’t much value in extracting the essence from them…They were rather unprofitable opponents.
In particular, they weren’t even targets of Guild subjugations, since Goblins didn’t leave the labyrinth, so they never affected livestock, crops, and the like. Other places had a slightly different status.
Due to this, even if we took our time to progress, we wouldn’t gain any profits from this area. Let’s keep moving while collecting Dimension Stones that drop on the roadside.
Rossetta lunged at the Kobalts that came to strike us with their clubs. After warding off one of their attacks, we dealt with them by knocking them down, which made them roll around on the floor, before stomping on their spines.
There wasn’t any hesitation in her follow-up attack. Her elegant martial arts resembled flowing water. Thanks to this, she was barely injured. Grace finished up without drinking too much blood, and my Staff was in good health as well. I was capable of winning with just my Toujutsu.
“Speaking of the detour, is it that way?”
Rossetta asked me as she indicated the path with her left hand.
“Yea, that’s right. When this point is nearby, we will turn off the lights.”
We continued to walk towards the stairs of the third floor, while we crushed the Demons that sporadically appeared along the way without too much hardship. The Demons that appeared on the higher levels appeared to be weak, and there weren’t very many of them.
“Theodore-sama, we’ve found a Dimension Stone.”
Grace had found a piece of grain-sized Dimension Stone that was dropped in the corner of the passageway. You could collect Dimension Stones by just walking through the passageways, without needing to enter the small rooms on the sides.
There were a lot of small items like the Dimension Stone that Grace had picked up and was holding.
Anyhow, since there wasn’t enough Dimension Stones for us to return and transfer items, there was a need for us to continue collecting them as we moved around the labyrinth. However, even though the three of us needed them to escape, we could probably get the necessary amount. If we found another Dimension Stone, it would be fine to transfer materials like the ant jaws and the Kobalt tails. Making sure we had the necessary number of Dimension Stones at the last minute before returning was rather difficult.
For transferring from the stele, if your party had more than seven people, the number of Dimension Stones needed would increase.
That was why it was normal to form a party of six people at most to dive down into the labyrinth.
We gradually approached our target area. I cast night-vision magic after making the Light Ball vanish and proceeded through the passageway after erasing our traces.
Then we arrived at this location. When I looked into the area from one of the corners, I saw two men who were looking towards the back of the passageway. A piece of cloth was wrapped around their heads to hide their faces, and their bodies were wrapped in a cloak. One was carrying a bow, while the other one had a Staff.
…A Magician, huh? He was probably the one that cast night-vision magic on the Archer.
There could only be one reason for them to hide their faces and wear that attire. It was to ensure their safety when they ran away. That way, they would have room for excuses. It seems like they were used to doing this.
Well then…no matter how I look at it, the black one would be the one to launch the attack…and, even if it was by chance, it would be troublesome if I made a mistake while launching a pre-emptive attack. For now, we should test their reactions with a sure-kill spell.
The Spell I used to attack them was a Rank 4 Wind Spell, Airburst. The spell fired off a mass of compressed air, making a large sound and creating a raging shockwave. It would fish out the guys who were waiting to ambush the passageway ahead of the two, while at the same time depriving them of their combat power.
Perhaps because they were equipped with night vision, those guys reacted to the light of the small magic circle and looked backwards…although they were too slow to do anything.
“Blow them away.”
A large sound rang out and a shockwave burst forward, right in front of those guy’s faces.