Early morning the next day, they finally went to the dungeons grounds. Elena immediately led all the members of her party to the dungeon.
Ara and Rei were the party’s vanguard. Elena and Kuust were the middle guard. Vel was the rear guard. Along with the 5 people was Set, who was a reserve force.
The air had cooled down significantly compared to the height of summer. The sky had cleared up enough to be called a fine autumn day.
Advancing through the village on foot and feeling the weather on their skin were adventurers probably heading for the dungeon. They ranged from parties of 5 to people going solo. Rei could also see a few parties of up to 10 people.
Though everyone who saw Set for the first time tensed up for a moment, they were relieved after they saw the Necklace of Subservient Monster. They were then stunned after seeing Elena’s pretty face before Kuust and Ara gave them a sharp glare. This pattern continued as they went.
There were also people, who were probably mages, who weren’t in the guild last night. Several people froze before edging away after seeing Rei.
「As I thought, there are mobs of commoners looking at Elena like that. This is why……」
Hearing Kuust muttering like that in dissatisfaction, Elena calmed Kuust down while smiling wryly.
「Kuust, its normal for us to attract attention. I don’t mind it and there’s no need for you to be worried about it. Also refrain from making remarks about commoners. The reason is that most of the people here are commoners. They will only be an inconvenience if you displease them. ……And from the battlefield, you understand those lustful eyes have no relation to whether they are commoners or nobles, do you not?」
「……Yes, I’m sorry.」
Elena knew she was a beautiful girl. She had been made aware of it due to the label of beautiful being constantly stuck on her for most of her life. She had already become accustomed to the looks from men. Because of that, she wasn’t really fazed when those kinds of eyes looked at her. However, if someone went crazy and attacked her, she would naturally pull out her sword whip. Because of that, there were a considerable number of people that had been injured like that, both nobles and commoners.
Ara spoke to Elena in an apologetic voice.
「Maybe it would have been better if we had went to the dungeon in the carriage.」
「You know, Ara. Though that would be fine, can we head for the lowest layer of the dungeon, the 7th floor, in the carriage? We will be staying for several days at the very least. What would happen to the carriage in the meantime. Surely we couldn’t leave it outside the dungeon the whole time?」
「Haa. Vel is thoughtless. I even had a person at the inn take care of it. Rather, I should have been the driver from the beginning.」
「……I wonder who is the thoughtless one.」
Fun~, Vel gave a snort at Ara’s response.
「Wai-, what are you saying. What part of me is thoughtless.」
「Are you listening? The carriage is pulled by a war horse and it has exceptionally high abilities.」
「That’s right. It’s suitable for that kid to pull Elena’s carriage.」
「Haven’t you understood yet? The pride of a war horse with such abilities is high as well. He wouldn’t listen to instructions from people who they don’t recognise.」
「You, are you really a knight? That’s at the level of common sense.」
「W-well if that’s the case, even if it’s not that kid, you could still borrow other horses.」
「And make the war horse sulky?」
After being completely refuted by Vel, Ara was either embarrassed or angry at being disgraced in front of Elena, who she adored. Either way, she fell silent as her face went red.
Fortunately, the village was built around the dungeon and lucky for both Ara and Vel, it didn’t take long to arrive at the entrance.
「Well, they’re line up quite well.」
A number of adventurers were lined up at the entrance of the dungeon. Roughly 30 people or so. about ten parties.
「Elena-sama, what do you want to do? You can enter first with the card you got yesterday.」
「……That’s right. It’s a long way to the Altar of Inheritance. I don’t want to spend unnecessary time here. Before that, I would like to confirm each of our equipment. Weapons and armour. Are there any problems with the number of instant use potions you have each?」
At Elena’s words, everyone checked their equipment on the spot. However, unlike the others, Rei only took the Death Scythe out of the Misty Ring. Because things like potions could be taken out of the Misty Ring at any time, he didn’t take anything other than the Death Scythe out.
Even Set came over and rubbed his head while giving a cry. His equipment and accessories were the two bracelets on his forefeet, the Bracelet of Herculean Strength and the Bracelet of Wind Manipulation. Separate from the Necklace of Subservient Monster, the necklace Love of Shizukuishi completed his set of equipment.
……In fact, it was very rare for summoned or tamed monsters to be equipped with magic items. Either way, Set was equipped with a set of three first class magic items produced by Esta Nord, the alchemist of the organisation Zepairu created.
「Elena-sama, I have no problems. I can start at any time.」
「Same with me.」
「I can go at any time.」
Kuust, Ara and Vel each told Elena. Rei gave a silent nod and Set a cry.
Elena heard them and checked her own equipment, her sword whip, amour, cloak and other magic items like her shoes. She also checked her types of potions.
「It seems everyone is ready. Now then, let’s go.」
Elena declared and went towards the guild staff member who was at the front of the entrance next to the queue.
「Do you have a moment?」
「Do you need something? If you want to enter the dungeon, line up at the end of the queue.」
The guild staff member brusquely told them. Based on his looks, he was in his late forties and was probably a former adventurer. Still, as monsters could leave the dungeon and come out the entrance, he probably had a good amount of strength.
The way he handled his body left no openings and a worn sword and sheath could be seen hanging from his waist.
And above all, after seeing her, he didn’t become fascinated and only had a slight change in expression, raising Elena’s view of him. In addition, he had a considerable amount of courage and only raised his eyebrows slightly when he saw Set.
「Please look at this.」
She passed the card that she had received from Walker last night to the man. This showed that she had authority given to her by the representative of the guild.
「……Tch, I understand. I can’t complain after you showed that card. You can enter first.」
「Wai-, old man. What do you mean. Isn’t it my turn!?」
Though the solo adventurers proceeded to complain to the guild staff about the procedure, the went quiet immediately after he glared at them strongly.
「This card is proof that they are authorised by the guild representative. If that is taken out, we follow it. ……Buuut.」
Calling out to the adventurers at the front of the line, the guild staff member turned to look at Elena.
「It’s troublesome to use this kind of thing so easily. Such an act would disturb the order too much. You should think a little more before doing something like this next time.」
「You, acting like that towards Elena-sama!」
Kuust almost held up his magic spear after hearing those rude and impudent words. However, Elena stopped him while holding the sheath of her sword whip.
「Stop it Kuust. Even if we have the authority, we certainly did cut in. It is natural for those who were delayed to be bitter.」
At Elena’s words, Kuust reluctantly stood down. Next to them, Ara also released her hand from the sheathed sword at her waist.
As for Rei, he just watched the exchange while stroking Set’s back without doing anything in particular.
「I’m sorry but there are a variety of circumstances. If it is necessary to use power, there is no room for hesitation. May we go?」
「Ah. Though guild cards are normally required, there are no problems entering with that card. However, the records of one has to be kept here if you enter the dungeon. Do any of you have a guild card?」
At those words, Elena turned to look at Rei.
Impressively, Kuust, who disliked Rei, also turned to look at him.
(Well, because I would like to enter the dungeon quickly, I should speed up the process somehow.)
Muttering in his mind, he took his guild card out of the Misty Ring and passed it to the man.
Seeing that gesture, several adventurers who understood what he had looked at him with sharp eyes……Rei ignored them as he had already gotten used to such looks. On the other hand, that said, Set stepped forward and gave a cry to threaten those who were looking at Rei’s hand.
「Hou~, rank D at that age. You’re quite a promising person. As one would expect of someone employed by the nobles.」
He looked at the diminutive, 15 year old Rei with admiration before quickly writing down the contents of the guild card into a document. After less than a minutes, he returned the card to Rei.
「That’s fine, you may enter the dungeon.」
「Umu~, thank you.」
Elena gave a generous bow before causally swinging her hair drills, leaving a strong impression on the surrounding adventurers.
As Elena entered the dungeon, the adventurers around her involuntarily looked at her admiringly.
The entrance to the dungeon itself was an ordinary set of stairs. They went down into the ground.
「Are the stairs also part of the dungeon?」
Though Ara asked Vel as they went down the stairs, the reply was in the negative.
「No, the stairs were prepared by the guild after the dungeon was formed. Here, this is the evidence.」
At the end of the stairs was a rustic door. As for what it was, it was something the guild installed to stop monsters from coming out the dungeon.
「In other words, past this door is the real dungeon.」
It wasn’t far from the stairs to the door, but the path wasn’t very wide.
But the voices of discontent soon disappeared after the door was opened. The width of the path past the door was considerably wide, even if Set spread out his wings, the was still space for several people to work freely.
「This, it’s pretty wide. ……Do the walls emit light themselves?」
Kuust muttered, impressed, and touched the walls that emitted a faint light.
「According to the information I’ve gathered, walls that emit light seem to be a feature that is common to all dungeons. Well, depending on the layer, there are places completely wrapped in darkness with no light so you shouldn’t become careless.」
「By any chance, can you take the walls here back home and sell them for a considerable amount?」
Without thinking, Ara muttered. However, Vel shook his head with a wry smile.
「Did you think no adventurer has thought of that before? Even if you shaved off parts of the wall and brought them up, they don’t seem to shine outside. It seems to be a dungeon only feature. According to one theory, the dungeon nucleus does this so as to not inconvenience the monsters that live inside the dungeon……」
「The dungeon nucleus does that for the monsters? Is such a thing possible?」
「Kuust’s question is reasonable, but anyhow, the dungeon can transfer monsters above ground into it to protect itself. Maybe the monster would hardly be active it was completely dark?」
「……I see. It certainly might be if you think about it.」
Kuust nodded at Vel’s words.
Giving Kuust a glance, Elena took out a sheet of paper from a cloth bag hang on the opposite side of her sheathed sword whip.
「Well then, touring the dungeon is fine but our purpose is the Altar of Inheritance in the lowest layer of the dungeon. However, the map only has up to the first 3 floors down, the lowest layer seems to be the 7th floor. At the very least, we will advance through places quickly with the map. Rei and Ara will take the vanguard. Kuust and I will be the middle guard. Vel will be the rear guard. I want to leave Set behind Vel just in case. Then let’s go.」
Following Elena’s instructions, their party advanced through the dungeon. As expected, most of the monsters that appeared on the first floor were monsters that were easy to deal with, such as Horned Rabbits and Giant Bats.
「Seriously……I want you to understand the difference in strength……ha!」
Swinging down her long sword with her astounding physical strength, Ara split the Horned Rabbit that came around a corner and rushed at her.
Next to her, Rei swung the Death Scythe down, cutting a Giant Bat, that was trying to make a sneak attack, in two.
And at the back, Set was cheerfully eating the meat of the Horned Rabbit monster.
Even if the material was stripped and the magic stones taken, it was clear that they wouldn’t make much money. Because of that, Elena left them all to Set. Vel, who had been in charge of stripping materials, had no complaints in particular.
Cutting off the horn, which looked difficult to eat, Rei removed its internal organs before throwing the Horned Rabbit to Set to eat.
After catching it, Set almost swallowed it in one go. Though not even the fur was skinned, he didn’t seem to mind it.
And although it was called a Giant Bat, most of its size was due to its wings. After cutting off its wings, it was only big enough to serve as a snack that could be eaten in bite by Set.
On a side note, it was disappointing to Rei that Set didn’t acquire any new skills even after he ate the magic stones of the Horned Rabbits and Giant Bats.
It should be noted that the internal organs of the Horned Rabbits and the wings of the Giant Bats were just thrown out into the passageway. The Slimes, which were the cleaners of the dungeon would clean it all up. Because of that, it was an unspoken rule to not attack the Slimes.
The after about 30 minutes of walking, they reached the bottom of the first floor of the dungeon. Finally, they arrived at the stairs that went towards the second floor.