New chapter for today.
Chapter 16 – That’s right, let’s raise our level!
Because it was such a large rental space, I decided I’d stay in Ren’s room and Lusha would stay with Ruri in her room.
“Wow, this place is huge. It’s almost like a hotel suite or something.”
“As you’d expect, the bedrooms are so much more luxurious.”
Ren guided me to his bedroom, which had two twin beds, a closet, and a shelf on the wall by the door. Ren’s luggage was kept there, and it was an easy to use layout. I left my luggage on the sofa near the window.
You don’t usually need a sofa in your bedroom… honestly, it’s too fancy.
“But, I’m glad you have a map to that dungeon. Honestly, I didn’t think we’d be that lucky.”
“It’s just in case,” Ren replied. “Geographical knowledge is another kind of strength. I bought everything we could.”
“That’s a hero for you, eh?”
Since Ren’s group got to go to high difficulty dungeons, he also had much more money than I did. I envied them somewhat, but I still preferred this scenario over living in the castle and being near that king.
Guess Ren is actually a super patient guy.
I took off my coat and lay on the bed, and asked Ren what they’ve been doing until now.
“I think there’s a ton of downsides to this place, but what about you? This world, I mean.”
“You’re not wrong…”
After taking off his coat, Ren lay on his own bed, closed his eyes and folded his arms as if trying to think of something. His troubles were concentrated around the contract bracelet, the curse, and himself in person. I figured he must be stressed enough right now, and if he had any complaints, it would be best to just let them all out right now… yet in spite of all that, he looked relatively peaceful.
“At first I was scared of fighting monsters, but… well, I’m used to it now. All I have to do is smash them to pieces, right? It’s that kind of mindset. I don’t know much about games or manga, after all.”
Sure, Ren doesn’t look much like a gamer.
“You know, my mom was really into games. So maybe I just need more time to get used to it. I wonder if this is what it was like for her, when she was playing all the time!”
I just smiled bitterly as he reminisced. He was talking excitedly at first, but gradually started dozing off. He seemed pretty tired. Looking at him now, he seems thin and sweaty. However, the room was a perfectly comfortable temperature, neither hot nor cold. I thought for an instant if he was sick, but immediately realized it was coming from his curse. Maybe he was just trying his best to behave carefreely to help tune out the pain.
I had no choice but to pretend not to notice.
“You getting sleepy?”
“I may have relaxed a bit because I could meet up with you. I might just fall asleep for a moment, but I haven’t heard anything about your adventures yet, Hiroki. Or Lusha-san, for that matter.”
“You don’t need to worry about me. Just get some sleep, man.”
As soon as I told him to rest, his breathing changed and he relaxed. How tired was he if he could just instantly go to sleep like that? I decided to get a little rest myself after taking a bath.
◆ ◆ ◆
I opened my eyes, fully awake, and got out of bed. Looking out the window, it was still dark, but the other side of the mountain was starting to glow, so dawn was almost upon us. Ren was still sleeping comfortably in his bed.
“Uhh… what to do…”
We agreed to leave for the dungeon at noon today. I changed into my gear and quietly left the bedroom. There were actually some things I wanted to do first, but Lusha’s cooperation would be essential.
I came to the main room, but obviously, I can’t knock on the bedroom of two girls early in the morning. While I was wondering what to do, the door opened. Lusha came out of her room and noticed me.
“Huh! Hey, Lusha. You’re up earlier than usual.”
“Good morning, Hiroki… we’re thinking the same thing, aren’t we?”
“Seems like it.”
I returned Lusha’s greeting and left the inn with her; like me, she’d also changed into her usual equipment. There was only one thing I wanted to do before going with Ren and Ruri: I wanted to level up a little more. Obviously, it’s a shame for me to be left behind by more than 10 levels like that. Lusha apparently had the same idea. Her manly soul refused to be left behind like that, and she clenched her fists with enthusiasm.
“I can’t afford to be a nuisance in the hero’s party!”
“All right, let’s go!”
So, Lusha and I went to the Demon’s Sacred Mountain Dungeon ahead of time. The dungeon entrance was actually quite close to the city, so we got there pretty quickly.
It’s true that this is the exact dungeon in which we were planning to go see the alchemist. At the very least, I wanted to grasp its atmosphere so I wouldn’t be a hindrance later. When we stepped into the dungeon, it was cool inside. It was like an intricate limestone cave with high ceilings.
“Wow, it’s nice and chilly in here, but if we fight with monsters here, we’ll warm up in no time.”
“It’s comfortable. It would be difficult if it was too cold, but this is just right.”
Now that I understand the temperature of the environment, I started walking in front. The monsters that came out were the same demon-types as in Apricot forest. By the way, since it’s demon orcs coming out instead of demon slimes, the difficulty level was fairly high from the start.
The demon orc swung its fist at me.
Lusha made arrow with Create Arrow and shot three of them at once. They flew towards the orc ― but none of them hit. Lusha didn’t care and shot three more. This time, one of them punctured right into its brain, killing it immediately.
《 Level Up! 》
“Oh, my level went up.”
“Really? That was good!”
I’m level 20 now. As usual, I raised my evasion stat and kept hunting.
“The demon-type monsters are pretty strong, right? I wonder if we can go up about two levels?”
“We’d be doing really well if we can go up that far.”
“Yeah, let’s do our best to make sure those two don’t leave us behind.”
We moved on with gusto, and before long we encountered two more demon orcs.
They missed, of course. There’s no way they could hit me. I’d avoid their attacks even if I stood still, so I just opted to observe the state of the dungeon now. The stones on the ceiling were a bit scary because they were sharp like icicles.
While I was looking up at the ceiling, I heard the dull thunk of an arrow embedding itself into flesh.
“Oh, my level went up too!”
“Hey, that’s a good start! Let’s hunt a little more like this before we go back.”
There were so many demon orcs coming out, even though we were still on the first floor, as you’d expect from a high difficulty dungeon. Lusha was shooting arrows as fast as she could make them, and we managed to defeat them quickly.
We walked for about an hour while taking out demon orcs along the way, until we found the path to the lower floors.
“It looks like we can go to a lower floor, but… the end of this dungeon is in the mountainside, right?”
Lusha was confused as to why this road led further down underground. She wasn’t wrong.
“Well, after seeing this, I can only imagine we’ll dive under the mountain, then climb up from the inside, maybe?”
Was there a staircase inside the mountain, or a stairway leading outside, or… something like that? At any rate, we couldn’t know if we didn’t try.
I really should have borrowed a map from Ren, but he was sleeping so comfortably, I didn’t have the heart to wake him up to ask for it.
We could handle the demon orcs on this floor just fine, so it wouldn’t be a problem to go one step further. We decided to head down to the next floor ― and apparently, there were demon slimes and demon goblin nests on this floor.
I can’t help wondering how I keep getting myself into these situations.