A Steady Advance
On the second floor, grass grew on the floor and ivy twined up the labyrinth walls.
The ceiling was brighter than the first floor’s. It’s probably for photosynthesis.
“There are many monstrous beasts on the second floor. The same monsters as the ones on the first floor also appear, but few of the insects.”
We continued our steady advance.
Using the shortest path, we advanced by breaking walls.
Wolfs and tigers attacked, as well as wildlife like bears turned into monsters. It grew horns that held poison.
Splitting up the same as before, the groups of two and four defeated them.
Ria plucked off the beasts’ limbs as usual while Maal finished them off with a crossbow.
It was to raise the lowest leveled person in the party, Maal. Serge also recognized it as so-called power leveling.
The other four also gradually smoothed out their cooperation.
The basis, Carlos would defend the first attacks with his shield while the rear guard keeps them at bay with magic.
While Gig stops their movement with sheer power, Carlos pierces their vitals with his sword and Serge cuts them apart with magic blades.
Since there were a lot of monsters with fur, it was a lot of work to skin them. Again, Maal was skilled at this.
Though Serge stored the skins, he still had a lot of room left.
“How much space do you have left to put things in?”
“I could put no less than one hundred things larger than Gig in. I’ve tried it before.”
Furthermore, it seems that the storage capacity increased steadily.
“… If Serge dies, what happens to everything inside?”
“It would probably just stay as it is. Though I don’t know how much would be in this labyrinth, it would disappear between space.”
He seemed to understand something of what would happen.
“In other words, Serge should be protected with the highest priority?”
Advancing through the labyrinth passageways, they appeared in a huge room.
Huge trees rose up with birds flying between them.
“There are some big rooms like these among the layers. Since there are strong monsters, please be careful.”
Maal’s previous party seems to have avoided large rooms like this. But these six people judged it wouldn’t be a problem.
“Our sight is limited huh. Let’s advance in close formation.”
On the floors that don’t have many traps, Ria took the lead. The formation was like an arrowhead.
“Be careful of surprise attacks. Particularly overhead!”
With a shout, she drew her katana.
Attacking from a tree, a leopard was cut by Quick Draw. Its face was splendidly cut in two.
While its fur was being stripped, Ria treated her katana. The sword that the Ogre King gave her had cut down many monsters up till now, but still wasn’t nicked. It hadn’t become dull either.
(This is a good katana~)
Ria wiped down the blade while grinning, looking like a dangerous character in all respects.
Before long they arrived at the mirror in the central part of the room. Serge threw in the towel.
“Sorry, but I’m already tired and worn out. My magic is also at its limit.”
Just like outside, the light in the labyrinth also lowered somewhat. Feels like dusk.
“It’s already night outside huh. Since this floor won’t darken any further, we don’t need to make camp yet.”
Here, Ria opened her mouth and said something unexpected.
“Let’s take a bath.”
The tall human that had known her for a long time had a cramped smile on his face, while the short human had on a puzzled expression.
“… But this area has neither water nor a hot spring here…”
Maal’s reaction was the most honest, but she didn’t comprehend Ria.
She scooped out the ground of the labyrinth with earth magic. Similarly, she hardened the walls in the same manner. After she filled it with water using water magic, she heated it with a fireball.
“This is a pseudo open air bath!”
Maal clapped her hands towards the happy Ria.
For the time being, the sleeping Serge was thrown into the bath with the other men. We got a meal ready in the mean time.
Maal managed it and cooked. Thanks to the magic bag, we weren’t lacking in seasonings, ingredients, and cookware.
“Maal is good at cooking.”
“Really? I’m pretty average.”
With Lulu who could only do minimal cooking, to Ria anything is good when put into her stomach. According to the two, Maal’s skill was like a mother’s.
When the meal was finished, she raised the temperature of the bath again and the women soaked in the hot water. Ria was hugging Maal.
“But being able to take a bath in a labyrinth, it’s absurd~”
Maal said while being drained of her strength.
“Aside from me, everyone was considerably sweaty and dirty. If you can keep your body clean, you should not neglect it.”
After this, Ria intended to make baths whenever possible. Though for herself, she practically didn’t sweat nor have blood on her at all.
Her previous life was as a Japanese, and was brought up in a somewhat luxurious life in the royal capital. She simply liked taking baths.
“Oi, no peeking! You guys!”
Though there was no possibility that they would do that, Ria said it like a beauty would.
“Ah~ nevertheless, Lulu’s breasts are pretty big huh~”
“Wait, they’ll hear!”
“Isn’t that fine? These breasts are in a good dome shape. Though it’s often said that elves have small breasts, halfs are different after all~”
“Please don’t rub them while saying that… wai-!”
Only able to hear the voices, the men slouched forward.
As for the person on guard duty, Ria served willingly. The Sleep Reduction Gift was convenient.
Standing guard alone with a big grin, she secretly polished her katana.
The next day, everyone’s physical conditions were entirely restored.
The guardian here is a hellhound. It has deep red eyes and jet black fur, the magic beast known as the watchdog of hell.
“… A dog…? It’ll be a bit of a pity to kill it.”
Only Ria would say such a carefree thing.
Larger than a bear, the dog was dripping drooling slovenly. Her sense of what she called cute was odd.
“It’s level 45. It has no special abilities in particular.”
From the Identify, Carlos took the front with his high defensive strength.
After receiving Lulu’s defensive magic and stopping the opponent’s attacks with his shield, he attacked with his sword.
It was quite a stalemate.
“There’s no helping it~”
Without even drawing her katana, Ria approached at a steady pace.
Though the hellhound naturally turned around to attack Ria, it was struck by her fist when it tried to bite at her.
Gyan! Though it yelped, it didn’t lose its will to fight. It even tried to snap at Ria again, it does have the brain of a beast after all.
Putting its face between her hands, she flung it away by force. Showing its stomach, the hellhound was pinned down by Ria.
“He~y, who’s a good doggy? Who is? You are~”
Being given a merciless rubbing attack, the hellhound was panting happily. Though it didn’t lose it’s desire to fight, its instincts as a dog didn’t let it defy someone stronger than itself.
After playing with the hellish monster for a while, Ria seemed to finally be satisfied.
The hellhound neatly waited next to her.
“Alright, then let’s go shall we?”
Then the party headed into the third floor without defeating the guardian.
The look of this floor was about the same as the first floor. In the stone pathway, all kinds of trees were entangled here and there.
“The main enemies here are golems. Most are wood golems, with the floor guardian being a stone golem.”
“A good enemy.”
In contrast to Gig being full of ambition, Lulu gave an unusual request.
“Please get as many golem cores as possible without breaking them. Since they are popular materials for experiments, they are worth a lot.”
When we arrived at the guardian before noon, we assaulted it as we were.
“It’s level 55~”
The two vanguards advanced and exchanged blows with it. During that, Carlos’ sword was unable to endure the rough treatment and broke.
“Aah~! That was expensive!”
“It’s because he didn’t care for it properly,” though Ria thought that, she took out and handed him a spare sword.
Even though he wasn’t accustomed to the sword, it was still a one-handed sword. He was somehow able to to continue fighting against the golem.
But soon, Serge lost interest.
“Gig, I’m going to use acceleration magic on you, so finish it up quickly ‘kay?”
After a short amount of concentrating, the magic was finally put on Gig. His movements were obviously sped up.
He drove his warhammer into the stone golem. Carlos aimed at its joints.
Just as that happened, the golem was defeated. Of course, the golem’s core was acquired safely.
“You could make a personal golem with this~”
By the way, if asked what kind of golem I’d make, it seems one for remodeling rooms would be useful.
The party entered the fourth floor.
The labyrinth was completely made of stone. The sources of light were nothing but unidentifiable torches placed on the wall.
The guardian there was a minotaur, Ria heard about it from the Ogre King.
Mainly, difficulty depended on the complexity of the labyrinth. It was on this floor that Maal’s former party was annihilated.
“Alright, then shall we go ahead with the wall breaking strategy?”
No one could stop her anymore.
Ria destroyed the wall bare-handed. Though strong enemies did gather there, their level also rose considerably.
Twin-headed snakes, gigantic wolf spiders, the same group of beasts as usual. So long as they didn’t have special abilities, they could be defeated easily.
And Ria killed the enemies that had special abilities with a single stroke of her blade.
As a matter of fact, her Swordplay level increased to 8 when she fought the Ogre King.
Lulu restrained the massive amount of enemies with a wall of fire, while Carlos and Gig did the heavy labor of defeating the monsters, raising shouts and fighting.
Serge and Maal did the same as before, taking out monsters who escape from the vanguard with magic and arrows.
Taking a short break, we planned for the future.
“Maal, what kind of place is the 5th floor?”
“From what I’ve heard, it seems to be a place like a rocky desert. Rather than calling it a labyrinth, it’s more like a series of rooms.”
“Alright, then I’ll go make a bath over there after this.”
Ria didn’t miss a beat.
The minotaur was pitiful.
In a normal fight, many strong explorers would have been turned into mince meat, but this was Ria.
Due to it being far weaker than the Ogre King, and was easily defeated.
Speedily moving behind it, she cut the back of its knees.
She then cut off the tendons of the elbow on the arm it held its huge battleaxe in.
Then the two warriors finished it off.
“I wonder if you can eat minotaurs…”
“Ria, minotaurs more or less fall under being demi-humans. You shouldn’t eat them.”
Thus, the party dove into the fifth floor.
Though this was the one wall for explorers, they weren’t aware of that.