After we went through the door, what greeted us was a plight of stairs leading below.
「Stairs? So Dungeons aren’t consisted of one story only…」
Both 【Forest of Endless Love and Sorrow】 and the Labyrinth of the Black Dragon God stopped at only one story, so I was under impression that all dungeons was the same.
「Certainly. Most of the ground level dungeons end at one floor only, but they’re windy like a maze to make up for it. On the contrary, if the dungeon continues downward, their passages itself are simple, but the lower you get the stronger the monsters tend to be.」
「Now I see…」
Being convinced by Louis’ explanation, I chose to go down the stairs for the time being.
As we reached the end of the stairs, we were met with a sight no short of a surprise.
To our shock, despite being inside a dungeon, there was sky over us and the sun that hung on it.
Moreover, a grassland was sprawling to the horizon and columns of trees were standing here and there. Hard to think we were inside a dungeon.
「Uwaah! We were in a cave just before, but now it’s like we’re outside!」
「 ……Nn. Perfect weather for picnic? 」
「And what, sandwiches!?」
It was just, separate for me who genuinely overcame with surprise, Saria and Olga-chan looked like their heart was fluttering. Eh? I’m the weird one here?
After which, I learned that Lutia felt the same I did, with her eyes opened wide trying to intake the surrounding, and then floated a question.
「I’m sorry. This is my first time getting into a dungeon. Is this normal?」
「Hmm… For me, at least, I haven’t seen one like this. What about you, Louis-san?」
「…For a cave-type dungeon, it usually comes with rock walls and such that fits the ambience, and it wasn’t rare to run into an underground lake with an open space either, but the whole scenery being completely outside like this is the first time for me.」
Apparently, even for Louis and Al, this dungeon had different nature than the others.
……Lutia said something about a sad aura leaking off it too, what is with this Dungeon?
With a bit more elevated vigilant towards this mysterious dungeon, we continued on.
Then, we met with the first monster of this floor.
What appeared was a gigantic cow.
Its black fur and sharp, pointy horns gave it away that it wasn’t a dairy cow, but rather a fighting bull.
The bull noticed of our presence, it hooved the ground whilst maintaining its eyes on us.
「Let me check…『Impact Bull』, its level is 630… Not as much as the Five Headed Serpent, but it’s quite strong. 」
As I used 『Advanced Appraisal』 skill on it to check on its names and such, much like when I did it on Mr. Bear, 『All Language Comprehension』 was activated.
『I am wind… Right, I am the black lightning that splits the great ground…! Any obstacles that stand on my path shall be crushed into dust!』
Make up your mind, lightning or wind.
Rather, the monsters here sure are quirky as hell! Either this dungeon is a one of a kind or all monsters are actually like this…
My head was plunged into such thought when Rurune stood up to the bull to fight it.
「Milord. Please, leave this one to me. I am your knight and maidservant. I have to be of service to you, Milord…!」
「…is what she said when she actually thinks the cow looks delicious, right?」
「Indeed! Wait, Olga!?」
「So you’re not denying it.」
And here I thought she went for it because it had been Louis and the other two who fought the battle.
Just as Rurune stood up to the bull, the bull too recognized her as an enemy.
「Hmph …You sure have the nerve to stand in front of me! Now, can you keep up with my spee——」
An instantaneous kill.
After Rurune closed the distance between the two in an instant, she spun her body to deliver in a kick to the bull’s bosom.
The bull bounced on the ground several times until it stopped, and it didn’t move after.
『I, I am… not… particles of……light………』
Leaving only those words, the bull vanished into particles of light. Also, now it changed to be particles of light. It couldn’t make its mind until its very end, huh.
After then, a lump of meat fell on its place, neatly wrapped in leaves.
「Hmph. You lowly cow, you dare to… MEAAAAAATTTTTT!!!!」
「No, keep it up until the end!」
Rurune’s smug melted as soon as she saw the Drop Item meat, she rushed at it to pick it up. Rather, she said “lowly cow,” but isn’t she herself a donkey?
「That being said… This is our very first drop item since entering the dungeon, but is this the usual?」
I had the skill 『Complete Dismantling』 so drop items’ drop rate was 100%, but honestly, I had no idea how was it for other people.
「I guess…. It differs from people to people, but it certainly is a low number when we consider all the fights along the way, omitting the monsters from the 【Monster House】 that is. 」
「Hm? Are monsters from 【Monster House】 different than the others?」
「Yes. It’s a trap first and foremost, so all we can ever get from defeating monsters in a 【Monster House】 is EXP, and nothing else.」
「By the way, it seems our LUK on the status heavily affects our drop items’ rate, y’see.」
From Louis and Al’s explanation, I learned a thing and two about drop items.
Well, in my case, even if it’s a monster from a 【Monster House】, I’d get all the items and skills regardless.
As we were having that conversation, Rurune picked up the meat and swept the dirt off it, all the while brushing it with her cheeks.
「Gulp… Haah… good… very good… Just how tasty it’ll be if I roast it, sauce it, and eat it sizzling hot…」
Oi, idiot, stop it. You’re making me hungry.
As I was dazed by Rurune’s behavior, suddenly the skill 『World Eye』 gave a signal.
It was pointing to something right next to Rurune, but I couldn’t see anything.
As craned my neck involuntarily, Olga-chan who noticed the same thing I did exclaimed.
「……! Glutton, watch out!」
After which, a snake bursted out from the ground.
It had the shape of a cobra, but its size alone suggested it could swallow us whole.
When I was trying to figure why I could miss such an enormous presence up till now in the middle of my panicking, I found it out after I looked at its name.
『Undead Hide Snake Lv: 622』
In another words, already dead.
That was the reason why the Life Force sensing technique couldn’t detect it. And the Hide part of its name implied just as is, which kept 『World Eye』 from sensing it to this late.
Either way, such a big snake appeared right next to Rurune and was already on its way to swallow her whole.
「Wha!? I, I like to eat but I don’t like being eaten!」
「You sure have the time to say that in this situation!?」
Anyway, I was about to make a move to save her, but, surprisingly, Lutia spread out her hand, producing a black flame that attacked the snake.
「Looking at everyone makes me want to fight too. Moreover, it’s more reassuring if I get stronger as well, instead of just being protected all the time.」
「I see your point…」
It was just as she said, I and everyone intended to guard Lutia, but nothing was ever absolute.
If so, in order to reduce the danger even a little, it was a good choice for her to get stronger.
The big snake that received a blow from another direction changed its target to its aggressor, Lutia. But, right before it could get near her, Lutia chanted her second spell.
「『Demon Lord’s Hand』」
It was a gigantic hand made entirely out of jet black flame.
The black flame hand appeared from Lutia’s back, reaching out so far over the snake, swinging down on it. (TN: Is that a JoJo reference!?)
And the snake that was stomped by it was burnt into embers.
「…Un. It has been a while since I last used it, but it went ok.」
「Waah! That was cool! Is that a magic too?」
As Saria asked Lutia with her eyes gleamed brilliantly, Lutia answered without a hint of hiding it.
「That’s right. It’s a special magic that is inherited only by us 【Demon Lords】.」
I felt a bad premonition going off when I heard Lutia’s words.
『You have acquired【Demon Lord Magic】』
It went and did it…!
Demon Lord? I’m not even a Demon! You understand me!? Hey, Mr-my-body!
It’s weird enough that I can use the Heroes’【Holy Attribute Magic】as is, and now I learned 【Demon Lord Magic】 on top of it!? Just what direction am I heading to!?
A Hero as well as a Demon Lord, that is so wrong on so many level!
As I was gripping my head hard to this unexpected course of event, Lutia asked to me marvel.
「N? Seiichi, what’s the matter?」
「…Err…. should I say… I accidentally made it that I can use 【Demon Lord Magic】 too… or something… 」
To the better of my judgement, I answered honestly, and met with their speechless exclamation.
And then Lutia, the first to snap out, inquired me with the most serious look on her face.
「Seiichi, a demon?」
「I’M A HUMAAAANNN!! UP AND DOWN, IN AND OUT, “H” TO “U” TO “MAN”!!!」
Even I myself have been questioning it, but I want to believe I’m a human…!
Next was Al, with her face stiffened to no end, raising a question.
「I don’t want to think this, but… Seiichi, you said you’re not a Hero despite being a human from another world, so…… You won’t say you can use 【Holy Attribute Magic】 too, right…?」
「Are you really a human!?」
I’m the one who’s the most troubled by that!
Rather, does everyone know!? That the explanation written for 『Human』 is that it’s a race that can even be a God or a Demon Lord!? What’s with that dangerous race!? Well, 『Human』 unfortunately!
Even though I fell so deep into grieves, Rurune and Louis had their eyes gleaming on me.
「As expected of Milord! I knew it, Milord fits to be the one to destroy this world!」
「We’re assuming I’m destroying the world!? I am NOT doing that!」
「I am lucky to study under the tutelage of someone like you, sensei…. Sensei, I shall entrust my life to you.」
「Louis, heavy! Also, shouldn’t you entrust it to the Wimburg Kingdom!?」
Obviously, I need the power to protect the people I treasure.
But a power said to be able destroy the whole world is too much, right!? That kind of power will only make those very people disappear instead, right!?
As I was stuck in that back and forth with the others, Saria looked at me with a gentle smile.
「Seiichi is awesome! Right, Olga-chan?」
「…Nn. I always know Seiichi-oniichan is awesome, but so is Saria-oneechan for staying the same even after all that.」
「Is that so? Ehehehe, thanks!」
「…Perhaps even more awesome than Seiichi-oniichan in that regard…」
For a good while, I was mentally knocked down from that, but after some time passed, I managed to recover to restart our exploration.
Rurune was ambushed by an 『Undead Hide Snake』 before, but now she kicked a different one into oblivion during our trip.
Other monsters than that, other than a different 『Impact Bull』, there were also 『Night Snake』 and 『General Snake』. The later one was a huge snake wearing an armor that was made for humanoid creature. Why…
「Hey, aren’t there too many snake type monsters in this dungeon?」
「You’re right… There’s also a chance that it’s something unique to this floor only, but seeing that there’s 『Impact Bulls』 on this floor, I feel like that’s not necessarily the case.」
In the end, it could be just me guessing it wrong, or it could be that this dungeon itself was associated with 『Snake』 in one way or another.
That being said, I wouldn’t know the truth unless we reached the most bottom floor.
As we were traversing along the grassland that looked nothing like a cave, we eventually reached a lake.
「Oh, a lake…」
「If only the scenery was that of a rocky cave, I’d think that as an underground lake like any other…」
Just as Al said, since this place was a grassland, we couldn’t see it as an underground like no matter what. If anything, it resembled a lot like lakes I’d see next to Highways.
Then, as we approached the lake and looked into it, Saria seemed like she noticed something.
「Ah, Seiichi! Come here quick!」
「Hm? What is it?」
「That, isn’t that the entrance to the lower floor?」
The lake was crystal clear, it was entirely possible to peek into its bottom with your naked eyes.
Because of that, I could confirm by sight the area where Saria said to resemble a staircase.
The stairs themselves were assimilated with the floor, and the entrance to those stairs was closed behind a thick door.
「You’re right… Rather, a staircase under a lake… just, what do we do then? We can’t move on if we don’t open that door, but there are limits to how long we can stay underwater…」
「Oi, Seiichi. Look.」
As I was pondering out loud about the door, this time was Al who pointed to another direction.
Once I turned there, what entered my eyes was the sight of a white snake that gave off a sacred feeling, leering onto us.
「Wh, what is that?」
「Beats me. So far, it hasn’t shown any hostility, but isn’t that this floor’s boss?」
Just as Al said, the snake, with its beautiful snow white scales and blue eyes, was just staring at us without unleashing any hostility or malice.
In addition, I couldn’t perceive this snake with 『World Eye』, despite it being remarkably huge and eye-catching.
As my head was overloaded with both the underwater door and this mysterious white snake, suddenly, the white snake called out to us.
『People, are you here to save the pitiful child that was laid deep below?』
Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who could hear his voice, as Saria and the other girls also showed their shock.
It was just, I was concerned by the fact that it suddenly talked to us, but what’s more was the content of its statement.
「Save the pitiful child…. what do you mean?」
『Exactly as it is said. Without even blessed by her birth, the pitiful child who had been sealed in this ground for over than a thousand year. Are you here to save her?』
「A, a thousa!?」
I had no idea about the details, but it seemed like the individual the snake inquired us to save or not had been sealed in this dungeon for more than a thousand year.
…At first, I was only doing the sudden request to check on the newly forming dungeon’s entrance that appeared within the campus ground so it wouldn’t be used as an entry route for other countries, but it seemed like this dungeon was more absurd than what it appeared.
But really, it was a correct choice for Barna-san to appoint us to assess if it posed any danger to the students.
Compared to Barna-san and Louis who had transcended the peak level of 500 for mankind, each and every monsters here was way above that mark.
If this was that much of an important dungeon, all more the reason to investigate it deeper.
But, whether we will go to save the individual this white snake said or not…
「……Honestly speaking, I don’t know if we can save the child you mentioned or not. We know nothing about her. However, we have our own reason to go deeper into this dungeon.」
The white snake listened to my answer to the end, and smiled gracefully.
『Fumu… Had you said you will save her without any basis, I would’ve erase every last one of you. However, I hold a favorable heart towards those who speak truth.』
Wait, you’ll erase us if we answered randomly!? Dangerous, oi!
Involuntarily, I used 『Advanced Appraisal』 on the snake in front of us.
『Serpent God Lv: 5500』
Your level’s high, oi!? Also, so you’re a God!?
Even the Black Dragon God’s level was 5000, and yet the snake——Serpent God in front of us had an even higher level.
The Serpent God must’ve noticed me using appraisal on it, but it didn’t mention anything regarding it.
『Putting aside if you people could save【that child】 or not, you at least have the value to put my belief into. However, the monsters ahead will be tougher than the ones in this floor. Even so, will you still proceed?』
「 …Well, we have to continue on, after all.」
As I replied it with a bitter undertone, the Serpent God’s smile deepened.
『Very well. However, there is a requirement to open the door at the bottom of the lake.』
『Make every last drop of the lake disappear.』
「Heh!? This lake’s!?」
Even after I showed my shock to this unforeseen requirement, the Serpent God continued.
『Indeed, every last drop of it. Of course, I won’t question of your method. …Now, what will you do?』
Even if you ask me what do we do….
I changed my looks with Saria and the others.
The most realistic approach here has to be magic, after all.
That being said, there’s no existing spell that can erase all the water from the lake.
Hmm… If I use a Dark Attribute Magic 『Magic Hole』, it could suck everything into it, so I’ll just need to create a similar magic…
As I was pondering as to how to deal with the water like that, Rurune brought up her hand.
「Nn? What’s the matter?」
「Milord, we just need to make all those water disappear, right?」
「Eh? Ah, Aah. Yeah, that’s right, but…」
「May I be the one to do it?」
The rest of us was honestly surprised by her unexpected request.
「Ru, Rurune. I don’t remember you can use magic?」
「No, I can’t.」
「Then how will…」
「I’m drinking it.」
Even more so of an inane answer left us all wide eyed.
「…Glutton, that’s too idiotic, no matter how you think about it…」
「Wh, what did you say!?」
「No, I’m with Olga in this one.」
「Even you, Milord!?」
I mean, what else is that if not stupid? Think about it normally, you have to be quite the monstrosity to be able to drink a single lake dry. Even I can’t do it.
Rurune who received my words started to grow timid.
「Y, you don’t have to say it that much…. It’s just, all the fight and walk make my throat a bit parched, and here’s a conveniently placed lake…」
「So a bit parched allows you to drain a whole lake, huh!」
Isn’t Rurune even more of an monstrosity than I am!?
「B, but I really can do it! Please watch over me!」
「Eh? Ah, oi!」
Even when I was trying to stop her, Rurune had already walked up to the lake.
『Fumu? Will you be the one up to task?』
「That’s right. I am, as milord’s knight.」
『Quite the big confidence… How?』
「I’ll drink it.」
「I’ll drink it dry.」
The Serpent God was tongue tied. Well, that’s given!
After it snapped out, the Serpent God then laughed fervently.
『Fufufu… AHAHAHAHA!!!! And here I was expecting an answer, yet you said you’d drink it dry!? Just how big a fool——』
Even before I noticed it, the lake was dried out of water right in front of me. No, I can’t understand what logic works there.
Even so, Rurune wiped her lips as though what she did was nothing worthy of note.
「It tasted normal. If it’s a water with a God residing in it, then you should’ve prepared a better one.」
With Rurune remarked of it indifferently, she went back to where we was.
「I am done, Milord.」
「Heh!? Ah, y, yeah… err.. I’m really sorry for doubting you…」
I apologized from the bottom of my heart.
After which, some speck of red was found on Rurune’s cheek, as she showed me her upward look.
「Th, then… Erm…. Next time, will you walk out and eat with me again…?」
「N, nothing! It’s okay if you don’t want to! It’s okay…」
After she said so, Rurune’s face was twisted into a sorrow one, which then rendered me panic.
「Let’s go! No, we will go! Okay!?」
Receiving my promise, Rurune’s face was bright itself.
Olga-chan who was watching my back and forth with her soon snapped back to her mind and spoke apologetically.
「Mu? Hmph, as long as you understand it, it’s fine. As long as you understand——」
「…Glutton, you are much more of a glutton than I ever could expect…」
「Do you even have the intention to apologize, you little!?」
In the presence of us who suddenly perked up to some noise, the Serpent God finally snapped out of it.
『Nonono! Isn’t that weird!? What’s with that girl! You, are you really a human!?』
「No, I’m a donkey.」
『THAT’S EVEN MORE CONFUSIIINNNGGGG!!!!』
Just where did the sacredness from before went to, the Serpent God looked to be very distraught.
『You’re a being that violates common sense! Just as insane as someone who can use two magic of extremely opposite nature like 【Demon Lord Magic】 and 【Holy Magic Attribute】 all at the same time appearing——』
「Ah, I can do both.」
『JUST WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU PEOPLEEEEE!!!!』
The Serpent God bellowed.
A retort after another, it finally started to sort out its heightened breath.
『Haah… haah… after being a god, living eternal days… I have never encountered something that devastated me as much as this…』
「Well, we can’t predict what life gives to us, after all!」
『You’re the one at fault, you hear!?』
We’re being scolded. Sorry.
『Haah… I am done. No matter how much of an oddity you are, there is no fault in the fact that the water is gone. I shall open the door leading below.』
Saying so, the Serpent God’s blue eyes shined.
In that very moment, the door at the bottom of the lake opened with a loud sound.
『Now, you may continue forth. The place further in is crawling with strong monsters… but, seeing you people makes my worry feels like it’s placed in the wrong place…』
「Dear me, that’s embarrassing.」
『…..Sigh. Well, I must say that you people being a gross violation to the common sense is a saving grace in this situation. After all, it only increased my expectation for 【that child】 to be saved. 』
「Erm… Can you tell me about 【that child】 you’ve been mentioning? As well as the thing about this dungeon itself…」
As it was strangely putting things on air, I involuntarily asked the Serpent God, but only met with a shake of its head.
『I am but yet another monster bound to this ground. Hence, not much secret can be spoken by me. Forgive me.』
Even being a god has its downside, huh. The Black Dragon God too, he seemed like he was bound by many restrictions as well.
Though, I’m pretty sure it isn’t the case for the god that sent me and the Heroes to this world.
Anyway, as we no longer had any business in this floor we were on our way to go downstairs as soon as possible. But, at the very end, the Serpent God gave us a remark.
『Be careful, be vigilant. The menace hasn’t died yet.』
「Eh? What do you mean…」
Just as I was about to ask what he meant, the Serpent God vanished just like a mist in front of my eyes.
「? What’s the matter, Seiichi?」
「…No, it’s nothing.」
As I was stunned by that sight, Saria called out to me. We then continued our way down below.