At Vel’s voice from behind, Rei gave awry smile.
In front of him was the remains of the first two skeletons to attack them after coming down to the fifth floor..
The originally pure white bones were burnt black, some had already carbonised and crumbled. In that state, the bones of the two skeletons fell to the ground. If fought normally, this wouldn’t have been the outcome. Because this result was achieved with one Fire Breath from Set, it was no wonder that Vel raised a voice of surprise.
To begin with, skeletons were rank E monsters. They were lower ranking monsters than the rank D Water Monkeys they had encountered on the fourth floor and the Lizardmen they had encountered on the third floor.
However, Skeletons were hated by other adventurers for the single reason that it was an undead. Basically, it was a monster that didn’t have an ego. For that reason, it would not be frightened no matter how much it was damaged and would just attack the adventurers. Adding to that, the proof of subjugation of Skeletons was their magic stone, which was problematic. In order to defeat a skeleton with physical attacks, there was no other choice than to destroy the magic stone. As a result, it was subsequently difficult to obtain proofs of subjugation. For the similar reasons, you couldn’t expect to get a lot of materials from such an ordinary monster.
If it was a higher ranking undead monster like a Skeleton Lord, its bones, strengthened by magical power, could be used as materials for weapons and armour. Or using alchemy, its material could be used to produce a magic item or special potion. However, this was impossible with the lowest ranking Skeletons.
「This is certainly reassuring to deal with the undead.」
Elena nodded at Vel’s words and lightly stroked Set’s back.
「Good boy. This floor will heavily rely on your Fire Breath, I’m counting on you.」
After Set gave a small cry, they continued to explore after pushing the burnt bones, melted sword and melted spear, basically the remains of the Skeletons, aside.
It should be noted that in regards to the magic stones, which were also the proof of subjugation, they had been burnt together with the bones and had been destroyed.
Resuming their search after finishing their work, a few minutes after walking down the passage, the path branched off to the left and right.
「……Well, what to do.」
Elena was troubled.
As they had no map, the correct path to advance could only be left to luck. And considering their situation from when they came down the dungeon, it was clear that they weren’t lucky.
「Rei, which one do you think is better?」
At her question to Rei, there was someone who involuntarily scoffed his eyebrows. It was Kuust, who had been entrusted the rear with Ara.
(Just now, Elena-sama asked him what to do without hesitation. Of course, he is and adventurer, so that is not wrong. However, if there is anything she is unsure of, she should consult us first, then ask him later. ……As I thought, this person is a bad influence on Elena-sama)
As Kuust clenched his molars together, maybe noticing Kuust’s look, Vel, who was watching Elena and Rei interestedly, unlike Kuust, took out a water bottle that was attached to his waist and held it out to him with a wry smile.
「Hey, let’s take a drink and calm down for now. I understand that you don’t like Rei, but it’s natural that we rely on Rei as long as we are in a dungeon because he is an adventurer.」
「……Hmph, it’s fine if it’s just that.」
After moistening his throat with the water from the bottle he took from Vel, he turned to look at Rei and spat out.
「As it is, I don’t want any strange influences during the ritual at the Altar of Inheritance.」
「Kuust’s worry is reasonable, but she has her own thought about this. If she wants to do it this way, what can you do about it?」
「I wonder why Margrave Rowlocks sent such an adventurer. In the first place it’s a strange thing……」
Kuust was going to complain further to Vel, but Elena’s voice could be heard before he could say any more.
「Let’s go to the right for now. If it is a dead end, we’ll come back, but don’t relax your guard as we advance.」
「Well, anyhow, as we don’t have a map, it will have to be our intuition. It’s difficult to sense the existence of enemies with this odour.」
「You’re right. Still, we should be able to hear sounds of movement, there’s too many things that can’t be seen visually in a dungeon.」
Elena nodded and went towards Rei……or to be more accurate, towards the dungeon ahead.
Kuust looked at them while faintly frowning his eyebrows before returning the water bottle to Vel and following them.
It should be noted that with regards to Ara, she was aware that she still couldn’t use the Power Axe she borrowed from Rei to it’s full ability, she continued to adjust here body to it by swinging it gently while taking a break.
At Ara’s appearance, Vel watched with a wry smile.
Although they had just fought a battle on the floor above, for various reasons, Ara’s stamina had already recovered.
「Ara, don’t you think it’s a bit early to start again after exhausting your stamina earlier?」
With the Power Axe in hand, Vel turned to Ara, who was at the back, as directed by Elena, to watch out for surprise attacks.
At Vel’s question, she spoke back with a wry smile as she held the Power Axe.
「That’s true, I think so as well……rather, it seems this Power Axe weapon has the effect of reducing the consumption of stamina. It’s easy to use even compared to the long swords I’ve used……its the right weapon for me. Rather than this, Vel should be taking precautions of the surroundings properly. I will not accept Elena-sama triggering a trap.」
Turning his eyes to look at Ara’s Power Axe for a moment, he immediately turned to look ahead.
In order react quickly as soon as he saw any signs of traps, he looked at he passage ahead with sharp eyes instead of his usual casual manner.
Satisfied with Vel’s attitude, Ara was cautious of the surroundings as she stroked the handle of the Power Axe. Anyhow, they would know if monsters like Zombies or the Skeletons from before approached. But because Ghosts could suddenly slip through walls and appear, they couldn’t be careless.
(Even so, I received a lot more stamina after borrowing this Power Axe from Rei-dono. As expected, is this the effect of the magic item?)
Although Ara couldn’t fully understand, the Power Axe had the ability to provide a constant healing effect for the user. Of course, the effect was overwhelmingly lower that that provided by the Love of Shizukuishi that hung on Set’s neck, it’s healing was truly insignificant. However, as she had less stamina than Kuust, Vel and Elena, it was more than adequate.
It was about 20 minutes after they had gone down the right fork. Unexpectedly, a door installed into the wall came into Rei’s eyes.
「As expected of a dungeon, there are also rooms.」
Enter? Set seemed to ask as he tilted his head to one side. Rei called out behind him as he stroked Set’s head.
「Elena-sama, there’s a door in front, what do you want to do?」
「……A door, is it. I don’t think the stairs to the sixth floor would be so soon after we came down to the fifth floor……still, there is a possibility it could happen. Vel, check if there are any traps.」
「Roger that. Sorry, just a moment.」
Vel began to examine the handle in the space between Rei and Set. In order not to disturb him, Rei and Set took a step back and watched out for any approaching undead.
「Hmm, I see. Ah, in this way……uwa~, is this also a dummy? In that case, this?」
Although Vel seemed to examine the handle while muttering something happily, after a few minutes……a click echoed into the surroundings.
「Whew, I’ve managed to successfully disarm the trap. There was quite a nasty trap placed. When someone pulled the handle, a needle would pop out. Moreover, it’s clearly poisoned.」
Vel proudly showed the needle. It was short at 5cm in length and was wet with a liquid that certainly seemed to be poison as he had said.
(A poisoned needle……is it. I wonder, can I use it for something?)
Rei thought that in his mind and called out to Vel, who was about to throw it away.
「Vel, if you’re going to throw it away, could you give me the poisoned needle?」
「……No, I don’t mind. What use do you have for something this dangerous?」
「I don’t know yet, fortunately I have an item box. You don’t need to worry about accidentally stabbing yourself or other people with it.」
Vel turned to look at Elena after thinking for a few seconds. Elena nodded, indicating that there were no problems.
「I understand, here. ……However, I don’t know what poison it is so handle it carefully.」
「I’ve said that there are no problems.」
Saying that, he passed the poisoned needle to Rei to store into the Misty Ring.
「Right, then, I’ll open the door.」
Settling the matter of the needle, Vel finally put his hand to the door. The door opened with a gii~ sound and the inside became visible.
The inside of the room wasn’t too big, about 6 tatami. It gave the impression of being spacious as there was only a single treasure chest in the center of the room. Everyone entered the small room and moved towards the treasure chest.
TLN: 6 tatami is about 10 square meters
Vel muttered involuntarily. In his eyes, the treasure chest placed in the room was clearly a trap.
TLN: IT’S A TRAP!
「Eh? Really? It’s a dungeon, so why would a treasure chest be strange?」
「No, in the first place, undead wander around on this fifth floor. Who would use a treasure chest.」
「……Is it an undead with an ego?」
「Well, although those may exist……but, do you think it could be bothered to place a chest in the middle of the room and then leave? What do you think Ara? You don’t hide your precious things or leave treasure chests standing out in the middle of a room do you?」
After considering Vel’s point for a few seconds……she nodded.
「That’s true. I wouldn’t do such a careless thing.」
「Right? In other words, this treasure chest is unnatural.」
「So you mean it’s a trap?」
「Perhaps. ……Elena-sama, what will you do? I would like to leave it as it is.」
「I wonder. Needless to say, it can’t be stairs of any sort. As for the need to take necessary risk……fall back!!」
The moment they heard her voice, as expected of knights under Elena, they all reflexively jumped back. In addition, Rei and Set also jumped back.
Noticing something approach him, Rei reflexively swung the Death Scythe. However, because it approached from his left side, it was the handle that was swung, rather than the blade.
Something flew away with a dull sound. After taking some distance just in case, they turned to look at it. What they saw was a hound made of bones.
It had the silence peculiar to skeletons, although it was blown away without raising a sound, it was only an attack on point of contact, it wasn’t strong enough to kill it in a single blow. The hound made of bones used its momentum from being blown away to take some distance, dulling the impact using its feet to push against the wall before landing on the floor.
「I knew it, it was a trap after all!」
「No need to say it! Vel, ready your weapons! This fellow, it did quite well for it’s size!」
At Rei readied his Death Scythe and Vel took out a knife from his waist as Rei said that.
As expected, given the quick movements and distance in this situation, he judged that a knife was more advantageous than a bow and arrow.
However, there was something that moved faster than them.
With a sharp cry, Set kicked against the floor and and closed the gap to the Skeleton Hound before it had time to react.
Swinging his big forefeet, he smashed the Skeleton Hound to the ground from above.
With the Griffon’s unique strength and combining that with the effect from the Bracelet of Herculean Strength, almost all the Skeleton Hound’s bones were crushed and scattered without any resistance.