「Phew, it seems we cleaned them up somehow.」
Elena swung her sword whip while sighing in relief, flicking the blood off the blade before sheathing it.
Looking around, all the Emerald Wolves which had attacked them were all dead.
One was the one she had pierced through the head, there was one Ara had split in half, one who’s head was cut off by Rei and one which Set had burned up with Fire Breath. The one thing they all had in common with each other was that they were all no longer breathing.
「A battle cry, was it. If it wasn’t for Set’s skill, it wouldn’t have been that easy to do all this.」
Originally, wolf type monsters focused more on speed and teamwork than on brute force. Set’s cry, King’s Awe, cut their speed by about 10%. 10%. Should be called 10% or only 10%. Which was the correct answer. It was obvious if you saw the scene before Elena.
Looking at her party members, she gave a small nod after seeing that everyone still had enough stamina.
She judged that it would be fine if they only took a break after going further down from the sixth floor.
They had only managed to beat the Emerald Wolves that attacked them without much of a struggle thanks to Set. At the same time, it let Elena feel the strength that Rei and Set provided.
(No, now’s not the time to think about other things. I have to find the stairs to the lowest layer as soon as possible. For whatever reason, Rei is my……no, our ally. That’s fine then.)
Shaking her head slightly, she shook off her strange thoughts and brushed her shiny golden hair that had been messed up in battle.
「Rei, collect the monsters. Once that’s done, we will continue searching immediately.」
「Yes, I understand.」
Following Elena’s instructions, he stored the corpses of the slain Emerald Wolves into the Misty Ring.
Though the fur of the one burned to death by Set’s Fire Breath couldn’t be used, other parts such as the magic stone, meat and fangs could still be recovered.
「Right, Set. You did well. Aside from the fur, everything else is usable.」
Having his head stroked, Set gave a happy cry.
Because he understood that Rei would be pleased with him if there were more usable monster materials, so instead of usual, he slightly changed the locations he burned to not burn the meat and bones. Set was very happy because he was praised by his favourite, Rei, knowing that he had done well.
After a few minutes, all the Emerald Wolves had most of their blood drained and stored into the Misty Ring and their exploration of the sixth floor resumed.
「Ara, don’t say anything unnecessary. It feels like we get into a pinch every time you mutter something.」
「Wait a moment, that’s an exaggeration right!? The timing just happens to overlap as I speak.」
Kuust and Ara’s argument……or rather joking conversation, carried on as they continued through the dungeon. And……
「Oh, stop. It’s a pit trap.」
Vel stopped everyone and turned to look at the passage in front of them.
「Well, there’s no need to disarm it. There’s no indication that it’s a linked trapped either so there’s no problems if we trigger the pitfall with something appropriate. Rei, do you have anything in your item box? It fine as long as it’s size and weight are suitable.」
「Please wait a moment.」
Following Vel’s request, Rei displayed the list of items in the Misty Ring in his mind.
(Because the spears are used for throwing, they’re no good. As for other weapons…… that said, there’s the broken sword that Ara used.)
Remember the long sword he had taken from Claws of the Hawk, he selected it from the list in his mind and passed the long sword that didn’t seem to be usable anymore to Vel.
「Here, this is fine.」
「Oh, it feels a bit light. I wonder if the pit trap will trigger. No, should I just throw it harder?」
「Rei-dono, that’s a bit……」
Vel was troubled at first but immediately nodded and took the long sword.
Wondering what was the origin of the long sword that was passed over, Ara soon noticed that it had been the one she had used. It was no wonder as the long sword had become useless due to her immaturity. As Ara muttered somewhat reluctantly, Vel looked towards her interestingly and smiled.
「I see, by the way, is this the long sword that Ara borrowed? Well, it wasn’t able to withstand Ara’s abuse.」
「……Vel, what if you were substituted as the sacrifice to trigger the pit trap instead of the long sword, what would you do?」
「Ah, ahahahahaha. It’s a joke, a joke. But, anyhow, isn’t this long sword only good for being thrown at the enemy? So I don’t think it’s wrong to use this opportunity.」
After Ara was reluctantly convinced, Vel skillfully threw the sword to the target location.
Although not as fast as throwing a dagger, nevertheless, the sword still had considerable power as it hit the ground……opening a hole about 2m in diameter in the floor.
「It was wider that I expected.」
While muttering, Vel looked into the pit trap while unconsciously frowning.
「Uwa~, that’s nasty.」
Before Vel’s eyes, at the bottom of the pit trap were countless sharp metal spikes, about a meter tall each.
If they had fallen into this pit trap, if they weren’t equipped with any magic items to boost the defensive power of their armour, they would have been pierced by the spikes from the soles of their feet.
Maybe imagining the situation, Elena frowned her eyes unpleasantly.
「For now, it’s a good thing that this was an obvious trap.」
Vel said. However, the pit traps themselves were fairly cleverly hidden so there was probably a possibility that someone would have been caught in it if Vel wasn’t here.
(Well, I can usually find these types of traps if I used 『Thin Flame』.)
In Rei’s mind, he thought of the magic he had used to get out of the infinite looping space. 『Thin Flame』 was a magic for exploration, if he was alone in the dungeon……no, with Set, it was an indispensable magic.
However, even with 『Thin Flame』, he could only explore the walls, walls and ceiling. If a trap trigger was placed somewhere else, such as floating in the air, it would be impossible to detect.
「If the pit trap is left open like this, it will be easy to find even if someone comes later. ……Unless a monster repairs it.」
He nodded at Elena’s mutters before the party resumed their search.
After that, other monsters appeared such as Goblins and Fang Wolves, which they had beaten before. Some small fry monsters also appeared with a reasonable frequency. But……
「Stop. I found a hidden switch in the floor ahead.」
「Again!? The person who made this dungeon is completely twisted!」
「Come on, the thing making the dungeon isn’t a person, it’s the dungeon nucleus. No, well, because of that, I have to agree with you that it’s personality is twisted.」
「……Vel, show me where the switch is located.」
Kuust urged Vel while amazed at the exchange between Ara and Vel.
Several hours passed since they found the first pit trap. Although the monsters that came out were mostly small fry, with the exception of the Emerald Wolves which came out at the beginning, traps were placed everywhere instead.
Initially, Elena wanted to move forward after disarming each trap, but as they had to take a lot of time to disarm traps that were likely to trigger a chain of traps, rather than disarming each one, they bypassed the ones they could.
The switch Vel found this time was the same colour as the floor and was only raised slightly. It was skillfully hidden enough that there was a high risk of someone triggering the trap if they didn’t know there was a switch there.
「Since there doesn’t seem to be any other traps around that switch, I think we can proceed by just avoiding stepping on that switch.」
Following Vel’s opinion, they went forward and avoided stepping on the switch. Moving ahead, what appeared next was a crossroad. As seen from the passage Elena was in, there were three paths, left, right and center.
「Well then, what to do? Well, we have no map so we have to rely on intuition anyway……no.」
Kunu~, sniffing, Vel turned his eyes to the right.
Rei also sniffed the smell Vel had noticed. It goes without saying that both their senses of smell where much sharper than the others.
「The road to the right smells of beasts. I’m pretty sure there’s some sort of monster there.」
「In that case, left or center……Rei, you say.」
「Because there are no guidelines anyway, in that case, it would be better to rely on the intuition of an adventurer who has entered a dungeon.」
「……No, this is the first time I’ve entered a dungeon.」
That said, it was also true that there were no guidelines that they could follow. In the end, it was necessary to decided the way forward one way or another.
He turned his eyes to the front, then to the left.
Both walls glowed gently and nothing could be seen beyond a few meters. In that situation, Rei chose……
Almost instinctively, he chose left.
「Well then, let’s move on. But before that, we’ll change the formation. Apparently this floor seems to have more traps than monsters. So Ara and Vel will swap. Vel will take the vanguard. Ara will move back to defend against surprise attacks. Vel please focus on finding traps.」
The single file formation changed according to Elena’s instructions before going down the left passage indicated by Rei.
……And in less than 10 minutes, they found another trap.
Apparently, Vel felt that this one was linked to other traps. While disarming the trap, everyone rested while watching out for attacks.
「But with this, won’t the monsters in the dungeon get caught in the traps? 」
「I guess that knowledge is given to the monsters when the dungeon nucleus summons them. ……No, even if you taught monsters the existence of traps, I doubt whether Goblins can remember that or not. In that case, it’s natural to think that the traps probably don’t respond to monsters.」
「……Isn’t that a bit unfair?」
「No, don’t tell me. If you want to complain, please tell the monsters instead of me.」
Vel disarmed the trap while talking with Ara and they moved on with the usual interaction. And again……
「Okay, stop. I found a trap.」
「Where is it?」
To Kuust’s question, which he had become tired of, Vel looked at the floor about 5m ahead.
「……I can’t see anything that looks like a switch?」
He turned to look in the direction Vel was indicating, but in Kuust’s eyes, it looked like an ordinary passage.
But Vel nodded naturally in response.
「That’s right. There’s no switch, the passage itself is the trigger to activate the trap. When you step into the passage ahead, that is the trigger. ……Probably.」
Different from up to now, Vel muttered somewhat unsure.
「What’s going on? You’re not the same as usual.」
No, it seems quite sophisticated. I don’t know if I can completely disarm it or not.」
「……Then what do we do? Should we go back to the crossroad and go down a different passage?」
At Kuust’s words, he shook his head slightly while looking around at everyone else.
「It’s better to disarm it. It’s highly likely that the same trap is set up in the remaining two passages due to the structure of the dungeon. I think it would be better disarm this trap somehow and then proceed instead of going back and wasting time.」
「But isn’t it only Vel’s intuition that there are traps set in the other passages? Then it’s worth a shot……」
「Kuust, I’m not just basing it off my intuition. I guessed based on the location and timing of traps that I’ve noticed up to this point on this level so far. ……That’s right. This way of saying it is a bit blunt, but if we can’t disarm this trap, it means we have no qualifications to go further……」
Vel thought as he replied to Kuust.
Looking at the two people, Elena made her decision.
「That’s right. It’s Vel’s opinion after releasing all the traps he’s seen so far. It’s worth listening to. ……Vel, is it possible to disarm this trap?」
「If I do it carefully, I’ll manage somehow. It will be impossible to disarm it quickly like before.」
「……I understand. The make sure you disarm it even if you have to take your time. Also, since I don’t know what’s ahead, one person stay on guard while everyone else takes a break to restore your stamina. That said, because Set is here, you don’t have to focus too hard. First watch is Rei, I’ll leave it to you.」
Nodding at Elena’s words, Rei stayed on guard, ready to respond with Set if anything happened.