Chapter 074: The feeling of wanting to escape and the feeling of wanting to save
We were just about to finish exploring the 48th floor without any result. However, Kefin suddenly cried out.
“There’s somebody getting surrounded by monsters!”
I looked over to confirm and saw a figure within a swarm of monsters ahead.
” … Wait.”
I called out for everyone to wait as I had an uncomfortable feeling.
“Why … ?”
Please stop with those gazes like you’ve misjudged me.
“Look properly. It’s clearly suspicious. Although those are monsters that appear on this floor, I don’t know if it’s due to a mutation or it’s a different type but the body color is different. Moreover, they are just being playful.”
Everyone kept silent and began confirming that that was a fact.
“I don’t know if it is an enemy or ally so let’s approach closer after we’ve joined up with the others.”
The monsters continued playing around for 20 minutes after I announced that.
“That is clearly something that we’re mistaken about nya.”
“Let’s advance with maximum vigilance.”
After applying 「Area Barrier」, it was time to approach the monster herd ahead.
Surprisingly, Shiela-chan appeared from within the monsters!
“Eeh!? Shiela-chan? You came alone?”
“Yup. I came here together with Papa and the others but he said that there are a lot of people chasing them so it’s dangerous and asked me to hide …”
Ah, this looks like a pattern where I make her cry.
“Is that so. Well, would you like to chase after your father together with us?”
“Eh? Is it okay?”
“I can’t leave you alone here after all. Nevertheless, are those surrounding monsters your friends?”
“Yup. I could not speak when I was small so Papa brought these children over for me.”
She looked delighted when she said that but she didn’t bring them along when she came to the Holy City and they weren’t with her when she came to welcome us?
“But they weren’t with you before?”
“Yup. I was told that there are people within the church that would hurt my friends so I could not bring them.”
” … Ah, I see. Could Shiela-chan make your friends not hurt us?”
“Sure. Gimme a moment.”
Shiela-chan gestured repeatedly to frantically appeal to the monsters.
And seems to have somehow secured our safety.
“It’s alright now.”
“Is that so. Thank you. By the way, how long have you been in here?”
“It’s only been awhile. A lot of people attacked Kapu-chans but we turned the table on them.”
… Well nobody imagined that she had tamed them. But that misconception is out of the window now. I had a headache from trying to comprehend that, but I asked her about the state of the adventurers.
“Where are the people that attacked you?”
“They are asleep in that room. The others are chasing after Papa’s party.”
“Wait a minute. That group didn’t have any ill intent so please forgive them. I’ll also apologize for them.”
Her face stiffened for an instant when I said that, but she immediately gave me an OK with conditions.
” … If Healer-oniichan says so then it’s okay, but I definitely want them to apologize to Kapu-chan and group.”
I acknowledged her conditions and headed for the room that Shiela-chan pointed out.
Within the room was 6 adventurers with faint breaths after having been beaten up.
I was relieved that they had slight movements, immediately applying 「Heal」 on them and waited for them to regain consciousness.
” … It’s great that they are actually alive.”
If the adventurers here were dead, I believe Shiela-chan’s position would turn for the worst.
“Is it not a crime if no evidence is left behind in a labyrinth? Or will the adventurers who attacked the monsters of a tamer be treated as criminals?”
There wasn’t any reply to my mutterings.
Shortly after, the adventurers woke up and agreed to apologize after I explained to them about Shiela-chan and the monsters she tamed.
“And why did you all not wait for us to join up with you all?”
“When we arrived on the 40th floor …”
According to his explanation, when they arrived at the 40th floor boss room, they could not enter and judged that it was because Shaza’s party was currently fighting within it.
They caught up to them once on the 42nd floor but they shook off the arrest. They did not see any signs of them on the 43rd floor so they took a rest there.
Apparently, the monsters became stronger when they ascended the floors and exploration was harder to advance than expected.
“We were already at our limit so the Guildmaster went on ahead but we thought that girl was being attacked so…”
… If Kefin rushed in for an attack just now as well, it would have become a second offense against them.
“I understand. Your wounds have been healed so do you want to join up with us?”
The 6 adventurers bowed down. So together with Shiela-chan, there was an addition of 7 members in total.
It was a surreal sight to see adventurers bow down to Shiela-chan and her monsters.
Without immediately continuing their pursuit, I completely filled out the maps for the 48th and 49th floor before we arrived at the 50th floor.
“Papa’s party is not around.”
“Well, I believe they should be on this floor.”
They should know better than to challenge a boss room while being fatigued.
“Let’s take a short break. We can’t have our concentration drop due to having an empty stomach, so let’s have a light meal.”
The adventurers and Shiela-chan were delighted at my announcement.
Especially Shiela-chan, maybe she had not eaten for a whole day, but she steadily gulped down food with her small body.
It would be a waste of time to cook now, so I offered the leftover food from before.
But there weren’t any complaints.
“Listen up. The enemy waiting for us in the 50th floor boss room will be incomparable to the monsters that have appeared until now. I even feel like quietly leaving if possible.”
“Does your blood not boil in face of a strong enemy?”
Lionel was fired up, but I disregarded him.
“This party’s motto is safety first. It may be too late to say this now but it would be best if we can pass without fighting. Please bear that in mind.”
There were sparse replies and we began our exploration.
Even when exploring the 50th floor, I did not chase after Jasuan-dono’s party.
Without doing anything special, I drew the map for the floor little-by-little as usual.
After making rounds around the 50th floor, we once again found a treasure chest and my tension rose but I refrained from rejoicing.
In addition, I’ve been hearing sounds of battle from the boss room since earlier.
“There’s nobody around. I can only think of 1 possibility. If possible, I don’t want to battle that.”
The entrance door to the boss room was prevented from closing by 2 thick logs. Peeping into the room, I saw a 3 sided battle between a Red Dragon, Shaza’s party and Jasuan’s party unfolding.
As expected, Lionel himself wanted to join the fray, but he did not rush in.
Inside the room, the Red Dragon was spitting fire breath, attacking with its tail, swinging its arms and biting with its maw. I was impressed by the surprisingly wide variation of attacks from the Red Dragon.
Just by observing them, I found that all members were still alive so I understood that not much time had passed since they entered the boss room.
It might be wise to quickly enter to save them, but looking at that does indeed make my feet tremble.
I can confidently claim that if we had the enormous Golem fight with that, it would even shock special effects heroes.
Even if we use arrows they would be repelled by the hard scales and even in close combat, we would not be able to close the distance because the opponent’s reach is too far.
“Lionel, do you have confidence in stopping its attacks?”
Lionel replied with a stern look.
” … If I receive the attack squarely, even if I don’t die, I would be blown away.”
“Cathy, can you evade the attacks and perform your own attacks?”
Cathy answered concisely with her usual nonchalant manner.
“It’s possible nya. However, I cannot deal significant damage to it nya.”
“Dolan and Paula, can you construct a Golem that can stop that?”
“I believe the largest one can grapple it … ”
“The magical power would wear out within 30 seconds. Even if we use every available piece of magic stone, the Golem will crumble if it receives too much damage.”
Dolan crossed his arms and Paula touched her Golem control bracelet.
My mind was telling me to go back. Those words repeated themselves countless times.
However, Shiela-chan had been grasping my robe tightly while shivering since a while ago and I did not have the heart to remove her hand.
If I cherished my life I would have turned back then.
My words and actions were contradictory.
I understood in my mind but I could not move my body.
It’s not because there’s a small child asking me for help. It’s because I did not have the resolution to kill others nor let others die without helping.
I was swallowed within a vortex of thoughts.
A muddy stream of thoughts of wanting to save them and wanting to flee swept through me.
The little girl beside me cut through my chaotic thoughts.
The next instant, the figures of Shaza’s aides, including Shiela-chan’s father, getting blown away by a sweep of the Red Dragon’s tail was projected into my vision, as Shaza took that opportunity to try to gouge out the eye of the Red Dragon, but instead a grotesque scene of the dragon excitingly biting down on his body occurred.
I came to my senses and gave out instructions.
“We will not battle that directly, we are to retrieve the injured and withdraw. Absolutely avoid instant death. Let us all get out alive.”
There wasn’t any opposition to my orders, there was only the usual reply.
Casting 「Area Barrier」 on all my party members, we stepped into the boss room with a Red Dragon in it.
Thank you for reading.