「Whew……well then, I’ve eaten my meal and even taken a break. Now then, I should examine the other door.」
Vel stood up and brushed of the pie crumbs that had stuck to his clothes with his hands.
Rei, who had already finished his lunch nearby, stood up like Vel.
Set, who had been keeping watch by himself, got up from lying on the floor.
Though Rei and Elena basically left it to Set, they still recognised that is was possible for the enemy to make a surprise attack. After all, in this floor of undead, his sense of smell had been sealed by the odour. Because of that, while Elena and Rei were talking during their break after the meal, they were still somewhat wary……fortunately, they were able to finish their lunch without any enemies attacking.
「That said……as a door facing a door which had nothing inside, I shouldn’t have my hopes up for finding anything inside.」
Vel muttered while examining the door for traps. But……
「Hou~? No, correction. Maybe there is something here.」
Vel’s surprised voice echoed into the surroundings.
「What is it, did something happen?」
「Yes. I can confirm that it’s something different to the room on the right that I checked first. Unless it was so, it would be strange for a trap to be placed here.」
Vel answered Elena’s question while examining part of the handle.
His tone was light as usual, but as expected of a guard of Elena, the General Princesses, he he followed procedures while investigating the handle with some instruments.
「Okay……because this is a dummy……good. Trap disarmed! Well, maybe we can expect quite a bit from this room. Any how, if you opened the door carelessly, it would fire a specially made bow that was linked to the door. I think there is something that is being protected inside.」
「……As was the first room, I hope it’s not a dummy hiding a bigger trap.」
Vel returned a wry smile at Kuust’s mutters.
「I won’t make the same mistake twice. I also quickly checked the area around these rooms just in case. No traps in particular have been placed around here.」
「I hope so.」
As usual, Kuust kept his hand on his magic spear to guard against enemy surprise attacks.
Elena nodded while glancing to the side at Kuust. As Vel opened the door, he shifted his body away from the front of the room just in case.
And nothing in particular happened when he opened the door……
「See. Didn’t I tell you the trap was successfully disarmed?」
Certainly, as Vel had said, arrows didn’t fly when he opened the door, nor did any other trap activate.
「Then you should have opened it majestically instead of hidden along the wall like that.」
「Hey hey, no matter what, I can’t perfectly disarm all traps. It would be seriously bad if there was some kind of trap I didn’t notice.」
「Sure, sure. So, what’s inside the room?」
Vel looked inside as Ara asked.
「It looks like a hit. It seems to be some kind of laboratory.」
「……Laboratory? In a dungeon floor like this?」
「Ah, perhaps it’s the work of the fellow who’s been targeting us after we entered this floor. I don’t know if it’s a Lich as we were talking about before.」
Elena, who heard the conversation between the two, nodded in understanding and turned to look at Rei.
「Rei, search the inside with Vel. There’s a possibility a map of the floor is inside. If there’s something related to magic, you will probably be the most knowledgeable on it.」
「I don’t mind……」
Rei turned his eyes to Vel. Seeing that look, Vel guessed what Rei wanted to say and nodded.
「Ah, thinking normally, it’s strange that there’s a laboratory in the dungeon. In the first place, anyone can find the door here. We are not the only ones that enter the dungeon. At the very least, the adventurers we met on the third floor said that there were undead on the fifth floor, so they would have made it here. It wouldn’t be strange, after all, there were even adventurers who found what they think to be an Altar of Inheritance on the seventh floor. Other than finding this, there’s no reason for it to be located in such an overly suspicious place.」
『That’s because it’s in a place in the reverse side of the dungeon space.』
The moment Vel spoke that question, everyone there heard a voice.
(……No, did we hear that in our heads rather than hearing a voice? Is it like some sort of telepathy?)
The moment the voice rang in his head, Rei quickly readied the Death Scythe. Next to him, Elena pulled out her sword whip and held it, ready for an attack from any direction. Vel, Kuust and Ara were the same.
『Indeed, I’ve only left this place unattended for a little while and thieves have already come. It’s impossible to experiment in peace.』
TLN: The voice refers to itself like an old man.
While the voice echoed in his head, the existence that the voice came from couldn’t be seen anywhere.
Rei quickly looked around but couldn’t find the owner of the voice.
Although Elena’s voice echoed around, no one, or anything in particular came out.
『Hahaha. I would obviously be attacked if I came out, do you think I would do that?』
「If you don’t come out, don’t you know what would happen to your laboratory? Isn’t it something important?」
Although Elena pointed the tip of her sword whip at the laboratory, the voice continued speaking as if with a smile.
『There certainly are important thing inside, but think about it carefully. Do you think that something really important would be placed inside a dangerous location like the dungeon? I admit that there are certainly things inside the laboratory that are worth something to me. However, most of the things inside are mainly for convenience, it’s not difficult to replace them.』
Listening to the voice, Elena thought of something. Kuust, who was watching the situation,
「Whether or not that is true can be verified. Any how, anyone who lurks in a dungeon can’t be decent.」
Elena stopped Kuust who was readying his magic spear.
「I told you to wait.」
Although reluctant, Kuust withdrew his spear. After seeing that, Elena spoke the the figureless voice again.
「1……no, two questions. Can you give me an answer to them?」
『Hmm, is that so. Well, although you are thieves, I haven’t had guests in a long time. It would be nice to amuse myself. I shall answer them if I can.』
Rei looked at the surroundings while listening to those words and noticed that Set didn’t show any signs of movement after the voice had been heard. Normally, Set’s curiosity would be very strong.
While confirming Set’s figure, Rei saw that Set had pushed himself against the wall, trembling like a small fawn in front of a carnivore.
Certainly, Set had only been born for a few months……it had only been three months since he had been born, let alone a year. Still, he was born as a Griffon, a rank A monster. Currently, Set was equipped with a large number of skills and and strong magic items. He had the power to fight evenly with the rank A party Axe of the Thunder God. Despite all that, Rei was shocked to find that Set was scared.
(In that case, the owner of this voice is at least stronger than Set. ……We should definitely avoid making an enemy out of it……)
He turned to look at Elena, who was the leader of the party. Elena also happened to turn to look at Rei and their gazes overlapped. In that moment alone, Rei understood that Elena was also thinking about how to avoid fighting the owner of the voice. That was because Elena had also seen Set trembling for a moment.
Elena understood that Rei was also aware of Set’s situation and gave a small nod as she spoke up.
「Firstly, we were targeted by undead monsters persistently after being caught in the infinite loop. You ordered them to do that, no doubt?」
『Hmm, I can be said so, it can also be said to be different. Those fellows were ordered to remove any people who trespassed. That’s why.』
「That is to say, you don’t intend to fight us?」
『Alright, what should I do. As far as I can see, I don’t think that warrior kid from earlier would believe me even if I said I wasn’t hostile. If that’s the case, I think the correct option would be to be hostile.』
「……That was rude of us. However, even if you say you want to be hostile, I don’t want to fight against you. Our aim is to head for the Altar of Inheritance on the lowest floor. We don’t intend to capture the dungeon.」
『Hou~. The Altar of Inheritance, a nostalgic name has come up. Do you know what it means?』
「That’s a matter of course. That’s why we’ve bothered to enter the dungeon.」
Rei looked around again while listening to the conversation between Elena and the voice.
Kuust looked around for the owner of the voice with sharp eyes. Ara just patiently waited for Elena’s conversation to finish. And after turning to look at the frightened Set, Vel understood how powerful the owner of the voice was. While waiting for the conversation to finish, Ara just looked towards Elena.
『Hmm, if that’s the case, then I don’t feel the need to be hostile. However, do you know why I’m talking directly in your head rather than showing myself to talk with you?』
「I understood that you have an actual self from the conversation. In regards to your intent, I haven’t felt any hostility against us.」
『Young girl……what if I had just hidden my hositilty?』
「At that point, I could only say that my eye for people was not good enough.」
At Elena’s reply, the voice in their heads suddenly laughed.
『Kukukukuku~. Hahahahaha. A person. I see, a person. No, it’s been a long time since I’ve felt this happy. Fine, as a reward, I’ll promise not to oppose you. So what’s the second thing you wanted to ask?』
「No. The monsters in the dungeon are basically transferred here by the dungeon nucleus. At that time, I heard they undergo some sort of brainwashing. With those words, you won’t oppose us. ……You’re not a summoned monster are you?」
『Well, that is true. This dungeon has the right conditions for my research. I have made this space that could be called the reverse side of the dungeon space arbitrarily without permission.』
「……Is that so. Although I can’t tell what kind of existence you are, I am grateful if you don’t fight this kingdom.」
『No no, you’re really a girl with guts. I haven’t spoken to a person for a long time but I really enjoyed it. That’s right, it’s not much but as a gift, I’ll send you done to the next floor.』
Elena pricked her ears up at the sound of those words. Indeed, they had no map of the dungeon. Moreover, they were unwilling to explore the area where undead that never tired wandered around.
(If what the owner of this voice is saying is true, then we got lost in this back space after breaking out of the infinite loop.)
Since the small room where they had entered the infinite loop was not very far after they had gone down to the fifth floor, if they were thrown out of here, they would have had to explore this floor from basically the beginning again.
「We would be very grateful……it’s a bit late, but may we know your name?」
『I believe that was two questions, well, that’s enough. There’s no particular problems if I do this. It will be nearly impossible for other people to come in after I return you to your original space and twist the spatial entrance. And even if someone came here, as I said earlier, the tools here are not a necessity. Because the stairs going down were made in front of the laboratory, if you take them, you will get to the sixth floor soon.』
The voice echoed in their heads as usual. Then, Rei and Elena suddenly realised that a stairway that didn’t exist in the vicinity a few minutes before could now be seen at the entrance to the laboratory.
『Didn’t I say? It’s a staircase down to the sixth floor. Oh, There’s no need to worry about where you’ll go. It’s spatially connected to the normal exit of the sixth floor. You would be at the place you would normally arrive at after going down the stairs on this floor.』
「……I will say thank you. Then, we’ll be taking our leave.」
『What, don’t worry about it. Thank you for entertaining me for the first time in a while. Then, farewell.』
「Please wait! I would like you to tell you me your name if you don’t mind. I am Elena Kerebel of Duke Kerebel’s family of the Mireana Kingdom.」
『I’m sorry but I’ve already answered the questions you asked. I shall give my name if we have an opportunity to meet again.』
「……Is that so, I’m afraid that can’t be helped. Okay, everyone. Let’s go.」
Following Elena’s instructions, as Ara, Vel, Kuust and Rei followed her out of the laboratory……the voice echoed again. At the same time, the movements of the people other than Rei and Set stopped.
『Sorry. I almost forgot. There’s something I want to ask the person who brought the Griffon.』
TLN: Voice: Silly me, how could I forget the cliffhanger.