Chapter 36 – Monsters and the Labyrinth
“Hey, Theo-kun, Grace-san.”
“Oh, if it isn’t everyone.”
Every member of Forest Bird showed up at the Adventurer’s Guild while I was speaking with Heather.
“I heard that you fought a Demon this time, right?”
“Even though I understand that they’re strong…I can’t believe you’re a Demon Killer at such an age. Are you going to be a Dragon Killer next?”
“Well…leaving Dragons aside, the Demon happened to be there, so I let fate take its course.”
Rather than letting fate take its course…If anyone noticed, she didn’t like me and collided with me when she started to go on a rampage. I didn’t give details about this since it would cause Grace to worry if I told her directly.
I didn’t really harbor any hatred for Dragons either. As a matter of course, even if we talked about it assuming I could defeat them, it would be troublesome.
“Ashley-sama is with you as well. Could it be that you went to the Labyrinth together?”
Guessing from their reactions, it appeared they knew that Ashley came to Termuilles and even that she had conflicts with the Cardiff House.
The Adventurer’s Guild was a place to gather information after all. They were acquainted with Forest Bird, and if rumors of the Snakebite incident had spread, it would be normal for them to have heard about it, too.
“While thinking about a future where I would be able to use Healing Magic, I was considering whether or not it was better to accumulate some practical experience.”
“Hah, all of you are capable.”
Lucian gave a flat response in admiration.
“All of you from Forest Bird, how far into the Labyrinth have you all gotten?”
They laughed and answered Grace’s question.
“We’re aiming for the Old Mine Path to gather gems and minerals. We arrived at the 9th floor…but it’s troublesome, since it’s a wide area. We’ll be entering the Labyrinth soon.”
“So we’re below you, and you’re above us, huh?”
The route to the Old Mine Path in the Labyrinth was quite ordinary. There weren’t any devious traps, and Forest Bird would probably get through it easily.
“How far below have you gone?”
Well, it wasn’t something that would make them stumble over in shock.
“Oh yeah, Theodore-san, I’d like to continue our previous conversation. There were Monsters amongst the group of people who were kidnapped by the Count, right?”
Heather inquired about that, so I nodded.
“Yeah, there were some. Right now, the Adventurer’s Guild is in charge of them, right?”
Depending on their species, Monsters might not necessarily oppose humans and could come to an understanding with us. The Cardiff House’s plan didn’t just involve the Adventurer’s Guild; they also wanted to kidnap certain types of Monsters to sell as slaves.
I didn’t know whether those Monsters came from inside the Labyrinth or from another place though. It seemed they had a way to summon them.
Obviously, the victims of kidnapping would be released. Even I was interested in seeing how those Monsters would be handled.
Since the monsters had enough intelligence to be able to come to an understanding with humans, depending on the circumstances, the Adventurer’s Guild would have to be careful with how they handled the Monsters, since the tribes who had been friendly with humans until now could end up opposing them.
“That’s right. The victims appeared to have been encouraged while they were being held captive. They pleaded to everyone, ‘I want to go save them’. Although they were in a somewhat weakened state, waiting to be healed, they were wary of the Guild, so we wanted to deal with them politely and as soon as possible.”
“There’s this as well. Now that they’ve calmed down, it seems they want to speak with Theodore-san.”
“Again…why is that?”
“Theodore-san is the benefactor who released those girls, right? They wanted to express their gratitude.”
…Hmm. Monsters wanted to speak with me, right…
“Understood. It doesn’t matter if it’s just talking with them.”
“I’ll go tell them then.”
I, too, had an interest in Monster ecology, especially the Monsters who ‘suddenly appear’ in the Labyrinth. Things like where and how they were born, and what they think about as they live.
It seemed the thoughts and behavior of Monsters outside the Labyrinth were different too.
In the natural world, there was no way that Cutter Mantises and Huge Spiders would be friendly with each other in the same area once someone invaded it. Perhaps the two of them were put together because they liked to prey on each other.
It was impossible for different races to cooperate, be friendly with each other, and oppose Adventurers.
As for the Monsters in the Labyrinth, almost all races co-exist with each other without conflict. Fighting with Adventurers who entered the Labyrinth wasn’t just to satisfy their appetite, it also appeared that their primary goal was to obstruct Adventurers who invaded the depths of the Labyrinth.
Including such things, I’ve thought about asking about the circumstances of Monsters who originate from the Labyrinth.
In regards to the similarities between Monsters, strong Monsters liked to build their nests in areas where Mana gathered naturally. It was written in books that the Mana was stored in parts of the Magic Stone inside their body, which was then converted into Life Energy. Well then, what should I ask about?
I received a subjugation reward from the Adventurer’s Guild. It seemed that the reward money they gave me detailed the completion of the kidnapping incident and the Demon subjugation.
In regards to the Gauntlets that came out of the treasure chest, I decided to keep them since they were equipped with a Strength Enhance enchantment. Ashley was equipped with a mace, so I thought this would provide her with some assistance.
We separated from Forest Bird and Heather, and when we returned home after doing some shopping at the Market, I found Rossetta and Sheila staring at each other while maintaining their distance in front of my residence, as if they were restraining each other.
Rossetta, along with her usual smile, seemed to be evaluating Sheila, and although Sheila’s expressionless eyes appeared tired, she was observing Rossetta coldly nevertheless.
“…What are you guys doing?”
“Ara, Theodore-kun. Welcome back.”
“Theodore, I came to give my thanks.”
“Umm, she said her name was Sheila. I think…she was a key figure in resolving the kidnapping incident.”
“Oh, are you the person I talked to and worked with yesterday?”
I was now talking about the incident and summarizing it to Grace and Ashley. Sheila said she was part of the Thieves Guild, but she didn’t really give any details.
“I don’t understand it very well, but there’s no need to worry, right? She was hanging around your house, so she wanted to ask you about it, right?”
“I’m with you, too.”
…It seemed that Rossetta and Sheila had tried to talk to me with the same purpose in mind.
I was sure Rossetta understood. Sheila was causing a stir, waiting to talk about her own situation, so maybe…she was worried?
“Well, what are you guys doing standing around and chatting? How about the two of you come inside? At least let me serve you some tea.”
I brought everyone to the drawing room and decided we should talk there while drinking tea. Even I had things I wanted to talk about with Sheila.
However…the number of women…around me…was rather high.
“Hmm, it looks like it went quite smoothly in the Labyrinth today.”
“Yes, the two of them helped out.”
It seemed Rossetta had come to teach Ashley Magic. She was giving some one-on-one guidance in a corner of the drawing room.
It was fine to have her teach Support Magic, but I felt that Rossetta and Ashley had already entered a master and pupil relationship.
Rossetta had yet to meet with Talcott again…and she was quite happy after asking Heather to talk about it. While we were at it, perhaps I could ask Rossetta for further news about the Prince, who had not gone to the Adventurer’s Guild, and Talcott.
“Oh, Sheila-san. I can give the reward money to Sheila-san too, regarding the resolution of the kidnapping incident. I can provide some consultation if there is a need to discuss the amount. Would 50% be fine if we are unable to reach an agreement?”
Sheila inclined her head after we said those things while drinking the tea Grace made.
“I believe the incident this time was resolved thanks to you guys. I can’t receive any additional money from you.”
Sheila…as I thought, she did seem to know about Caduceus. Perhaps she heard about it from her captured friend, but if she was gathering information about it, then it would lead her to me.
“Compared to my achievements regarding the kidnapping incident, Sheila-san has more, right? I expect to receive the reward money for the Demon subjugation, so it’s fine.”
(TN: they don’t know yet that he’s received the money)
As for me, the incident was resolved with the information that I obtained from her, and I received the reward money thanks to tidying up the problems that happened around me.
To not give Sheila any profit…probably meant that she wasn’t professional in her ethics.
Whether or not she understood the things I wanted to say, Sheila’s expression didn’t really change…Well, maybe she was always like this.