Itai no wa Iya nanode Bōgyo-Ryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu Chapter 38
Defense Specialization and Under the Quicksand
「Um… it doesn’t look like it will come off.」
*Clang-clang* Sally tried to tug on the chain, but it didn’t look like it could be torn off.
「There’s a button on my hand, huh?」
「I’ve got one over on me as well.」
「I’ve got one too… and I was so nervous I didn’t notice.」
The three discussed it and decided to press the button over on Sally.
When the button was pressed, a blue plate much like a status screen floated in the air.
Cursed chains linking three targets together.
The three linked together share a common fate, and the death of one person leads to the death of all.
「Ugh… that’s rough.」
In this situation, Sally was at risk most. Not only was it not possible to evade properly, but her HP was also low.
The same thing was displayed when the other buttons were pressed as well.
「I’ll protect you without fail.」
Maple said, readying her great shield.
「Yup. I’m counting on you.」
The two nodded at each other.
Their trust seemed palpable.
「I feel like a third wheel here. Yep.」
「…let’s call a truce, then.」
「Ahh, let’s do that. I don’t even want to fight anymore…」
The woman in Japanese clothing took a breath and introduced herself.
The woman’s name was Kasumi.
As was obvious, she was good at fighting with a katana.
It’d be useless to pay attention to honorifics in a tough battle, so she said there was no need to use them anymore.
「Then… do you want to explore for now?」
「Let’s do that!」
「Ahh, that sounds good. And nothing is going to happen if we just stay here anyway. Besides, if we can clear the dungeon, maybe we’ll be able to get the chains off.」
The three decided to go down the sandstone stairs in front of them.
「Depending on the boss, we might be doomed.」
「Let’s hope it doesn’t have any area-of-effect attacks.」
Kasumi and Sally walked down the stairs, wary. Maple was glancing around restlessly.
「Isn’t it getting damp?」
「Eh? U-uh… maybe.」
「The walls are also becoming more cave-like. They were clean and tidied up earlier, but… now they’re bumpy.」
At the end of the stairs was a large space.
The ceiling was covered with rocks that looked like what one might see in a limestone cave, and the drops of water dripping from them resounded as they fell into puddles.
The ground and walls, made of bluish rocks, were slimy and not comforting to look at.
Because even the ground was slimy, it was difficult to walk, and the exploration promised to be a challenge.
「From the looks of it, there are no monsters, right?」
「Yeah, I guess. Seems like none whatsoever, huh?」
There were no sounds in this large space other than the sound of water dripping.
「Let’s move on. I don’t know where the goal is, but… it looks complicated.」
There were several forked paths leading out from the space they were in.
All of them had high ceilings. They were as high as in the space they were in now, maybe about ten meters.
「Be on the lookout for surprise attacks from above.」
「I concur. There’s a good chance of that happening.」
「Okay, I’ll be ready to cover for you then.」
They chose one of the forked paths and made their way deeper. After a while, the three came out into a large space again.
「There’s… nothing here either.」
「Is it just to keep us on our toes? The encounter rate is way too low. Zero, that is…」
「Maybe it’s an exploration-type dungeon, and instead of having a boss, it just takes longer?」
Maple said what she thought and the two nodded that it was indeed a possibility.
「There are a lot of forks, and… it’s certainly going to take some time.」
The three started walking again.
They walked left and right, up and down, but they just couldn’t find the boss room.
And they didn’t encounter a single monster either.
「A-ah… it’s a dead end…」
「Phew… let’s go back.」
「…hmm? Wait, you two!」
Maple stopped the two.
She pointed to a small puddle just before the dead-end wall.
Bubbles were emerging from it with characteristic sounds. It was something that could be missed if one wasn’t paying attention, but Maple could sense the slight difference in this unchanging cave.
It was a big win, albeit a coincidence.
When the three approached and looked closer, a single medal was sunken there, shining silver.
Maple picked it up, and the bubbles stopped. It must have been set up for them to discover it.
「Ugh… I didn’t notice this at all.」
「Same for me.」
Kasumi said that since Maple found it, it belonged to Maple, and that was the stance she would take from here on out.
In other words, this meant that the one who would find an item would keep it.
「With this, there’s now a chance that there won’t be a boss in this dungeon.」
「You’re right, it’s more likely now.」
「What do you mean?」
「Because if there’s a boss, that’s where the medals should be put all together, right? It’s been like that so far.」
「I see, it seems to be the case.」
For that reason, finding the medals here meant that this dungeon was mainly for exploration.
「From now on, we’ll have to look carefully at the ground and walls as well… whew… this is tiresome, though.」
「I’ll do my best to search too. Because I want to bring back at least one.」
This time the three turned away from the dead end.
There were many dead ends in this cave, and since the scenery didn’t change, it was easy to get lost and the search didn’t progress as expected.
「I’m better with dungeons that just end with a quick battle.」
「I am especially so!」
「Ahh, I’m better at fighting too.」
As they talked and walked around, the three of them went out into a hall again.
It was structured like an ant nest.
However, there was not a single ant in sight.
「Ah! Something is shining!」
「Is it a treasure?」
「It might be.」
The three made their way to the middle of the hall.
There, there was an area of ground that was glittering like the Milky Way. It was different from the rocks they had seen before. The three crouched down to observe this thing that stretched long enough to divide the room right in half.
「It’s beautiful… but it’s not a gemstone. Maybe it’s more like gold dust or something.」
「Ahh, sure. But I don’t think we can get it.」
Kasumi tried to play around with it with her katana, but it was repelled with the same clinking sound as when attacking an indestructible object.
If they could mine this glittering area of ground, which was also very wide, they would certainly be able to get enough material for the three of them.
Because it was a huge amount of material.
「Hmmm… maybe it is possible to get it depending on time? Just like in the bamboo forest.」
「There’s a good chance of that.」
Kasumi didn’t know about the bamboo forest, so Maple explained.
「Only in the middle of the night, huh… I never went out at night, so I didn’t notice that.」
「What’s the time right now?」
「Wait a moment… 5:30. Even if we could get out of the cave, it would be evening.」
「Well, I guess we’ll have to spend the night here.」
「That’d be pretty hard.」
They didn’t find any means of escape at this point, so there was nothing they could do about it.
The three went out of the hall to go exploring again.
Although they walked carefully for a while, paying attention to the walls and floor, they still couldn’t find anything after that medal.
「What is it? Sally.」
「Have you found something?」
「No, I felt like there was a small earthquake just now…」
「Really? I didn’t notice that, though.」
「Me neither. Are you sure?」
「Yep… maybe I’m just tired. I mean, I even fought Fake Maple today.」
「Fake Maple? What’s that?」
Maple told her about the doppelganger boss.
Kasumi listened to it with interest and enjoyment.
「That’s another… hard boss fight. I’ve only been exploring all the time, you know.」
「Well, I’d love to hear about the explorations, then!」
「Ha-ha-ha, alright. Well let’s see… where do I start…」
Unexpectedly, being chained up strengthened the bond between the three of them.
They had already gotten so close to each other that Sally stopped thinking about defeating Kasumi.
It was already past six o’clock.
The fifth day was just around the corner.