After they finished registering at the guild, they split up to purchase necessary supplies.
Since it was a dangerous town, the women and children weren’t alone. Saying that, Ria went alone though.
If trouble turned up, it couldn’t be helped. Since it wasn’t even a crime if you killed your opponent in a duel, she truly thought it was a good town.
As expected, the first thing she set her eyes towards was the weapons shop.
Due to people challenging the impregnable demonic area known as the Dark Labyrinth, it was filled with many high quality weapons and armor.
Still, there were unfortunately little sharp katanas. Though there were a lot of goods, someone who could create things with magic like Ria could likely surpass them.
Though other than that, there were magic weapons sold as well.
Swords, spears, axes, and other things like hammers. There were even some rare and eccentric weapons too. When she asked the shopkeeper about them, it appeared that they were brought from a dwarven village.
She asked if there were any dwarf smiths that made katanas, but he unfortunately didn’t know.
She bought a dagger for Maal to use in the shop. Other than that, she also bought a magic shield.
While doing that, she also sold swords and spears she’d made as practice. The iron-tipped spears sold for a lot. The swords’ evaluations weren’t so high and were offered appropriate prices.
Ria headed back to the guild after exiting the shop.
As she tossed meat skewers to Rudolph, who was laying down in the stable, there was a presence standing behind her.
“Are you good for a moment?”
Though it was a giant figure that one couldn’t just hide, he moved surprisingly quietly.
Ria took Vargas’ invitation.
Saying that he planned to return to the inn in the evening, Vargas invited Ria to the tavern.
“I don’t drink alcohol. My favorite beverage is milk.”
“Come to think of it, how old are you?”
“I turned fourteen the other day.”
As expected, Vargas knit his eyebrows. Her strength didn’t make sense with her age.
“By some chance, are you a reincarnated person?”
He saw through her well. In contrast, Ria didn’t respond, asking for milk at the counter. Fortunately, the shop served goat’s milk.
Vargas asked for beer. Lukewarm beer was poured into a large wooden tankard for him.
“Both you and that small mage comrade of yours. No matter how I see it… you’re a bit too strong.”
Not just Ria, he’d seen through Serge as well. She wondered if he used Identify, but even just by sensing magical power it wouldn’t be too hard.
Since Serge’s magical power leaked out, she had been concerned of that since before. If Lulu didn’t teach him a way to control it, they might encounter unnecessary trouble sooner or later.
“Well, if you don’t want to talk, that’s fine. I had a few other things to ask anyway.”
Vargas scratched his head. He was the one who invited her, but he hadn’t put together all his questions.
“Right. First, why did you come to this town?”
“I would say to be an explorer, but I don’t think that’s all you were asking.”
“That’s probably right. Power, money, honor. There are many different reasons for that.”
Since her reason to be an explorer was to traverse the labyrinth, she hadn’t thought much about it. Rather, it was more like she hadn’t thought about it at all.
“What about you? From the looks of it, you seem strong enough yourself.”
With power, wealth and fame would follow. That’s was Ria believed.
“Me? Well, to live. My wife and I have two younger children than Shizuna.”
Without holding anything back, Vargas spoke his mind. It was an extremely ordinary reason.
“In truth, I wanted Shizuna to marry someone like normal. Not become something like an explorer. She’s almost eighteen now.”
In this world, marriage was done early. The marriageable age for most people was around up till twenty years old.
“She swings her sword all year round, no man’s figure to be seen.”
Since it turned into something like grumbling, Ria decided to change the subject.
“I have one reason to enter the labyrinth. Knowledge. I want to ask the Dark Dragon Valis something.”
Vargas wasn’t surprised. He also didn’t laugh.
However, he nodded with a serious face.
“With a noble Ojou-san coming this far, I was sure it was something important.”
“No, it’s more of a privately important thing…”
She didn’t correct him on the thing about being nobility. Even if she said she was actually royalty, the man’s attitude wouldn’t have changed.
In her previous life, she would have chose a man like this to be friends with.
From then on, the two just drank and only spoke a little.
She also decided to secretly return Shizuna’s sword to Vargas.
She said it was because they might need it if they were attacked by demons while travelling.
However, she didn’t speak about clearing Labyrinth City’s. Since rumors had quick feet, Ria’s identity would probably become apparently sooner or later. She didn’t want to give out the information and encourage it.
The number one thing was that the country’s princess being homosexual would be quite the scandal.
Then, when it came time for Ria to soon return, Vargas spoke softly.
“Would you all join up with my party?”
While Ria ate dinner after returning to the inn, she talked about Vargas’ offer.
“An advantage for us is that we would be guided through the labyrinth we aren’t used to. Frankly, we could die from seeing enemy attacks that have abnormal conditions for the first time.”
Unlike the labyrinth in Labyrinth City, you could truly die in the Dark Labyrinth. And it was said there were many unique enemies like the Dogazer and Spectral Knight.
“I am opposed to it. They could double cross us.”
Carlos objected. certainly, it wouldn’t be good if they were suddenly attacked from behind in the labyrinth.
“I also think it would be dangerous.”
Gig also objected it.
“First of all, what would be the merits to them?”
Lulu presented a question. For that, Ria responded.
“For one, strengthening their fighting potential. They don’t seem to want to go to a deeper floor.”
On the more shallow floors, there wasn’t a small amount number of equipment from fallen adventurers. But when going deep, you could obtain items from powerful people that had died from going too far.
“Another thing, I want to provoke that child called Shizuna.”
Shizuna, seventeen years old, was a member of Jaeburg’s preeminent explorer parties, [Thunder’s Fangs]. Her fighting strength was also high. Ria, who was a non-standard, hadn’t had anyone suitable in her age group up till now.
Not only easily defeating her in the duel, had to suffer through not heading back to her table for a while. Her high-held nose had folded a bit.
Both younger than her and stronger than her. Around a person like that, she might want parental affection or something.
“But come on, that kid, wouldn’t she really stab Nee-chan from behind?”
Serge spoke while grinning. If someone were to have a kiss snatched from them by the same sex in front of so many people, they’d probably hold a grudge.
“I also want to object… but… I’ll defer for now.”
Lulu taking a neutral position was unexpected. It was because she knew about her.
When Ria was in the royal palace, just how popular was she amongst the same sex?
Particularly conquering strong willed court ladies and knights, she’d taken pride in her amazing success rate.
By the way, though Lulu was also a target at first, she had stopped making moves on her when Lulu said her contents didn’t match her appearance.
“For me… though I want to go against it, frankly I want to search together with strong people.”
Maal spoke with confidence. Though she went to buy a map of the labyrinth that day, it appeared the results weren’t good and she wasn’t able to get one.
“I agree by the way. An enemy I’ve never fought is much more scary than being stabbed in the back.”
Only Serge was in favor of it. With the results of his Identify, even if the two fought together, Vargas and Shizuna wouldn’t be able to defeat the Ogre King.
“For the time being, how about we meet the group’s members tomorrow and decide from there?”
Ria was aggressively in favor of it. Though it was true she liked the parent and child pair, she wanted to spend as little time needed to clear the labyrinth as possible. The Dark Dragon Valis wouldn’t necessarily grant Ria’s wish after all.
Moreover, they had fought against Cordova on the way. It was better for her to be able to tell her father as soon as possible.
Rather than just being concerned over their own safety, she needed to keep an eye on continent-wide movements. On the journey, Ria’s point of view extended significantly.
The next day, the party of eight visited the inn.
There were four warriors for the vanguard, one scout, and three people in the rear guard, two of them being mages.
A group of fourteen people gathering was sultry in itself. Vargas quickly opened his mouth to speak.
“So, how about it?”
“I think it would be good to first decide on our terms for joining forces.”
Towards Ria’s answer, Vargas nodded.
“And at the same time, as for the girl there who’s looking over here with eyes that looks like a murderer, I wonder if you consent?”
Towards Shizuna, who hadn’t said anything so far, Ria called out.
Before she could say anything, Vargas reigned her in by raising his hand.
“If she doesn’t agree, she can just leave the party.”
Shizuna trembled at the calm voice that said such a cold thing. She understand that her father said that with seriousness.
Though Ria liked to tease people herself, since she disliked seeing other people be teased by others, she didn’t say anything else.
“For magic stones and raw materials from demons, how about two for you all for each one for us?”
They got into talks of specifics.
“Oh, is it fine to not share equally?”
“For the time being, it’s very likely we’ll be holding you back. The same thing for when we find treasures in the dungeon, it’s fine if we use that as the basis. Though if there is a thing where that won’t work, I’d like you to hand it over as consideration.”
“Though I think there’ll be a lot of kinds of magic bags and magic swords…”
“That’s unnecessary. If we need something, it’d be a good warhammer or staff I guess.”
They didn’t need normal weapons at all, they already had magic swords. Though magic bags are expensive, they are commonly sold. Apart from that they also had Serge’s space-time magic.
“Nee-chan, I want resistance-type Skill Orbs though…”
Though Serge whispered humbly, it was up to the negotiations.
Skill Orbs were things that permanently granted people Skills. Though it was super difficult bestowal magic, it wouldn’t work if the user didn’t have the related attribute for it.
Though Ria was mostly resistant to abnormal conditions thanks to Dragon’s Bloodline herself, Poison Resistance was usually extremely valuable.
Besides, though it wouldn’t grant it if you didn’t have enough magical power, it was probably fine for Serge.
“Since we’ll manage it somehow or another, be patient for now.”
After returning to Casalia, they could most likely prepare general Orbs. Exercising the royal family’s privileges, she would strengthen her comrades.
Though tuning the terms from then on was trivial, Ria generously conceded most as Vargas didn’t ask for anything unreasonable.
“Well then, for now it’ll be a month.”
One month. That’s how long the party of many people would stay united.
Vargas presented his hand and Ria grasped it.
His palm was hard and thick, but even so flexible, a palm like steel.