「Somehow it worked out……it seems.」
Elena’s voice sounded in the battlefield.
Before her eyes was the figure of the dead Water Monkey rare species, which had its head pierced through by the sword whip. Just several seconds ago, it had been leading a large troop of monsters.
Continuing to look at the surroundings, all the monsters led by the rare species that had attacked them were dead.
In addition, in the forest behind them, the Water Monkeys that were restrained by Set all scattered and disappeared into the forest after seeing there boss killed.
「Elena-sama, are you hurt anywhere!?」
As she watched Ara come closer as she held the Power Axe, Elena gave a small nod.
「Umu~, there’s no problem. That aside, are you okay? I’ve left the vanguard to you with an axe, a new weapon……」
Elena asked Ara, who was smiling happily like a small child after finding out that Elena had no injuries. As far as she could see, Ara wasn’t injured either, which gave her peace of mind.
「Yes. Although I was slightly injured, it’s just a small scratch. It can be healed with Kuust’s magic.」
「……I see, I’ve put you through a lot of trouble as well Kuust.」
Elena followed Ara and spoke to Kuust as she walked over.
「No, healing is also my job.」
Although he had many disagreements with Rei regarding the Seed of Contract, as Elena has accepted it, Kuust didn’t think it was his place to say anything. ……Yes. For Elena, that is.
Seeing Kuust glare at him with irritated looks as he approached, Rei involuntarily gave a sigh.
Seeing Kuust glare at him again, Rei guessed his intentions and spoke to Elena without minding it.
「Do you want to go down to the next floor right now? Or do you want to take a break here for a while?」
「……That’s right, considering we were immediately attacked by Lizardmen and a spider as soon as we went down the third floor, it would be better to take a short break here. Rei, can you ask Set to keep watch?」
Rei nodded at Elena’s words and walked towards Set, who was still wary of the forest.
While watching him go, Elena head hurt over Rei and Kuust’s disagreements.
「Set, you’ve saved us this time. Here, eat this for now.」
Without noticing Elena racking her brains behind him, Rei talked to Set, who was guarding against the forest.
He held dried meat in his hand, which Set grabbed with his beak before eating it and gave a cry before lying on the ground.
Rei also sat on the ground and leaned against Set as he took a bottle of water from the Misty Ring to moisten his throat.
(Well then, Elena herself has accepted the 『Seed of Contract』. Ara is the same. Vel had the look that he would obey his boss, so there’s no problem ……then in the end, it’s still Kuust. Since he strongly opposed it, he might try to get rid of me in the midst of confusion. He’s probably hoping that I forget about the 『Seed of Contract』. In that case, it would probably be better to watch my back in the near future.)
What’s wrong? While Rei stroked Set’s head as Set seemed to ask, he heard someones footsteps approaching.
Because of what he had been thinking of earlier, he almost reached out his hand to grab the Death Scythe on reflex……but stopped his hand after realising who it was.
「Rei. I’m planning to leave soon. Could you collect the monsters we killed first?」
Yes, it was Elena who had come over.
To Elena, who had a wry smile, Rei returned a wry smile as well.
「I understand. According to the information I heard from the adventurers yesterday, it seems that there are a lot of undead on the fifth floor. But with our current party it might be a little tough……」
「That is so, it would be tough by ourselves. However, fortunately for us, as I said during breakfast, Rei is good with fire magic and as I saw earlier, Set can use Fire Breath. That alone is enough for us.」
Because most people regard fire as a weak point for the undead, Elena and the others would have had a hard time fighting them. In that sense, Elena felt that it was fortunate that Rei had been dispatched to the party.
While listening to Elena’s words, Rei stood up with the Death Scythe in hand. As he went to go collect the monster corpses as instructed……he stopped and turned to Elena.
「Elena-sama. The matter about the 『Seed of Contract』, don’t forget about it.」
At those unexpected words, she gave an interesting smile as she nodded.
「Of course. I always keep the promises made under my name. Or what? Do you think will break my promise under the name of the General Princess?」
「No, I don’t think Elena-sama will break it. But what about those that didn’t promise?」
She understood who Rei was talking about. The smile that was on her face a few seconds ago disappeared as she spoke.
「I understand. Honestly, even I didn’t think Kuust would be that stubborn. ……His affinity is bad, should I say. Normally, he would tend to take an arrogant attitude when facing people who are not nobles, but in this case, it seems to be much worse.」
「I don’t know the details but please understand that I don’t plan to quietly ignore it if the other party forgets about the 『Seed of Contract』.」
「That’s fine. I agreed in my name to accept the 『Seed of Contract』, as a result we were able to escape the war of attrition. Even so, after a life threatening situation, I have no intention of doing such a vulgar thing of insisting that I didn’t make such a promise. If Kuust really demands to find trouble with you over this, I don’t mind if you kill him. No, in that case, I promise to take care of it with my own hands.」
Elena’s eyes were serious as she said so.
Prouder than anyone, her eyes vividly showed that she demanded the same from her subordinates.
TLN: In this case, it’s a ‘any promise I make, I will keep’ kind of pride
Because he saw that look, Rei relaxed his body, which had been tense as he straightforwardly confronted Elena.
「I understand. I will believe in Elena-sama’s words.」
Leaving with those words, he stored that Lizardman that Elena had killed into the Misty Ring.
After that, he stored the four Water Monkeys that seemed to be the aides of the rare species as well as the lower ranking monsters such as the Goblins and Fang Wolves. Even if they were of a low rank, they may still have some use. All the corpses of the monsters were stored into the Misty Ring.
Finally, the only things left on the battlefield were ruins, traces of monster blood and some monster parts that had been cut off. When they left the place, there was a possibility of attracting other monsters, so they buried everything into the ground.
After finishing that, they finally went down to the fifth floor.
「Listen up, according to the information we obtained from the adventurers we met on the third floor, the fifth floor seems to have undead. For that reason, we will change the formation. Rei, who can use fire magic, and Set, who can use Fire Breath, will take the vanguard. Vel and I will take the middle guard. Ara and Kuust will take the rear guard.」
「That, is, Elena-sama. Me taking the rear guard with an axe……」
As Ara muttered somewhat troubled, Elena shook her head without hesitation.
「In the fifth floor down, I’m asking you to prevent surprise attacks from behind. It is very likely that we will hear their footsteps when they move if it is an undead like a Skeleton or Zombie. However, Ghosts can approach without a sound. For that reason, I made Ara, who has sharp perception, and Kuust, who has high observation skills, the rear guard.」
「I-I understand! I will meet Elena-sama’s expectations!」
「Ahh, I’ll be relying on you. Are you okay with that Kuust?」
「No problem. I will prevent any surprise attacks from behind.」
Kuust nodded while smiling.
To say the truth about this formation, until yesterday, Elena had planned to take the middle guard with Kuust and give Vel and Ara the rear guard. But at the time of the fight with the Water Monkeys, seeing Rei and Kuust’s argument over the 『Seed of Contract』, and after considering Rei’s remarks about taking countermeasures if Kuust attacked, she had no choice but to use this formation. Elena judged that while searching the dungeon, it wasn’t impossible that Kuust might target Rei from behind with a spell.
「Alright, let’s go.」
Nodding at Elena’s words, Rei and Set went down the stairs first.
Everyone was prepared to launch a counterattack so as not to be ambushed like they were on the third floor. In addition, Rei ordered Set to be ready to use Fire Breath at any time.
And as for what Rei saw when he arrived on the fifth floor after going down the long spiral staircase……
「Dungeon, mushroom, forest, then dungeon again, is it.」
At the sight before his eyes, Rei muttered involuntarily.
Yes, what was spread before Rei’s eyes was a dungeon the same as the first and second floors. The walls also glowed in the same way and the paths were also wide enough for Set to fight comfortably. There was just one difference.
Set gave a sad cry. Rei immediately knew why. That was because……
「The smell, isn’t it.」
Yes, a smell of rotten meat drifted from everywhere.
(No. Something rotten……it isn’t. This is the undead floor, I should assume that the smell of rotten flesh is because of the undead that infest the floor.)
「It certainly stinks, it’s only that much though?」
At the end, Ara muttered as she tilted her head. Vel heard her from beside him and spoke up while involuntarily covering his nose with his palm.
「No, this is really hard. It seems like there’s no problem if you have an ordinary sense of smell like Ara, but it’s quite tough if your senses are sharp like me and Set. Rei seems to be the same as well.」
So far, although he had understood that Rei had a high combat ability, he didn’t think that Rei’s sense were as sharp as his. Vel looked at Rei somewhat surprised.
(No. From his frown, his sense of smell might be even sharper than mine.)
「Well, because we have to pass through this floor anyway, I have no choice but to endure it. Even if you hate it, you’ll be forced to get used to the smell.」
「I might be numb for a while……well, that’s fine. Any how, as Vel said, it’s true that it’s better to walk quickly through this floor. Let’s go, Set.」
Giving a cry which was somewhat stronger than before, they began to move forward.
Fortunately for the party, they couldn’t lose they way as there was a single path for now.
While walking down the dungeon passage, his hands ready to use the Death Scythe at any time, Rei unintentionally frowned his eyebrows as he looked at Set.
(It isn’t possible to rely on Set’s sense of smell due to the foul odour from this floor. ……No, it should still be considered a great help that we can rely on sight and hearing. Or on our sixth sense, intuition.)
They walked for about 10 minutes down the straight passage. Set, who was walking alongside Rei, suddenly stopped.
Set gave a low cry to alert them as he watched the darkness ahead.
Rei knew what had happened just by looking. He firmly grasped the handle of the Death Scythe, ready to react to whatever would happen.
As for Elena, who was walking behind Rei, it seemed that she also understood the situation by looking. They all stared into the darkness with their weapons ready.
Kacha~, kacha~, kacha~, kacha~.
Such soft sounds gradually approached Rei’s group.
「If these are footsteps……is it Skeletons?」
Rei muttered as he recalled the information he had read about the undead from the monster encyclopedia.
That was the correct answer, it became clear in less than a minute. Two white skeletons appeared in the light from the walls.
(No. Because there are two Skeletons, should I count them?)
They consisted of white bones without a piece of flesh on their bodies. They looked just like a model of the human body. The eyes in the skull were also hollow, giving a terrible feel. The most different part from a human body was that there was a magic stone in it, protected by the ribs. When defeating an undead with physical attacks and not magic, the quickest way was to destroy the magic stone directly.
The Skeleton on the right had a rusty long sword. The Skeleton on the held a spear and pointed the tip at Rei and Set.
Then, the two Skeletons silently attacked Rei.
The bones of the Skeletons’ feet hit the dungeon floor with a kacha~, kacha~ sound as the two of them approached. While looking calmly at the Skeletons, Rei spoke up.
Set took one step forward at Reis instruction. As the Skeletons approached in the meantime, Set took a deep breath without heeding them……
Flames spewed out from his beak along with his battle cry. Set’s Fire Breath was his only level 2 skill. It’s power was obvious as it swiftly swallowed up the two Skeletons approaching with weapons. In the dungeon passage, the temperature instantly rose by several degrees due to the Fire Breath. In addition, the dungeon walls emitted more light than it’s usual faint ambience.
After a few seconds, the only things that were left after Set’s Fire Breath were blackened bones falling to the ground and a half melted long sword and spear.