The Dungeon Exploration Practical Training
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Speaking of Hofmannsthal household in the Kingdom of Radius, it was a name known among the Radius household.
They were among the people who subjugated the Demon King, and they were currently one of the main households in the Kingdom of Radius. When they decided to rebel against the Kingdom of Veritas and declared it, they were the first among the nobles who support the rebellion. At that time, the Hofmannsthal household was a Count of Kingdom of Veritas.
Therefore, the reason why other nobles followed one after another was thanks to Hofmannsthal household. Furthermore, the role that the household played wasn’t only that. Just as many of the main members who fought at the front lines, the Hofmannsthal household also fought on the front lines. Their appearances gave strong impact on both domestic and foreign. Thus, people said that the progress founding nation was relatively smooth was because Hofmannsthal household.
That was right in a sense. At least, in term of court ranks, the process was smooth because of them.
It was because the number of nobles who joined the rebellion was finally went up to a certain number, and among them was a former Duke household. They were the people from the Neumont household. Not many of those people, who were now holding the rank of Duke, were nobles at that time excluding that former Duke. This was the result based on their respective contributions only.
But as a matter of course, that assessment caused a backlash from various sides at the beginning. Perhaps it should be said that they were nobles who acted separately and those who acted with the main force. To begin with, more than half of the nobles who joined the rebellion were those who joined after the war situation leaned toward the rebels. These group of nobles were thought of taking advantages to receive higher ranking. These nobles wouldn’t admit that they didn’t offer almost no benefit to the rebellion.
However, that situation was easily solved with the words said by the head of the Hofmannsthal household. It was obvious to everyone that the Hofmannsthal household had the most achievement among the nobles, but he said this.
He was fine if he could keep his former rank. No, he didn’t mind if his rank was lowered. In fact, he also didn’t mind if the rank was stripped.
Of course, that didn’t happened, but that was what he desired. It wasn’t impossible to fulfill this, but… somehow his rank stayed as a Count.
When that happened, other nobles couldn’t say anything. If the nobles said something in order to increase their own rank, there would be backlash from all directions, and it probably wouldn’t be weird if they lost their title.
Due to various factors, the name of Hofmannsthal household was widely know after the assessment of achievements was done. Yes, that was how it was.
Lars knew about it. It was nothing but just overestimation.
Everything was due to a simple reason. The reason why they decided to joined in the first place was because they thought that they could fight the longest. They joined the rebellion side because they thought they could participate in more intense battles. They fought on the front lines simply because they wanted to fight.
They also had similar feeling about the court rank. If they received higher rank, it would be impossible to fight casually especially at this present time. In fact, it was their true intention to be deprived of the title… In the end, they were mere battle junkies.
A rumor spread that it was impossible to have that kind of noble among the nobles, but thanks to these down-to-earth people, the lives of common people were getting better and that was due to their severe former live. Lars, the only son of the household, knew this well enough to disagree.
Nonetheless, Lars didn’t dislike them. Rather, he respected them, but every time he heard the story of that time, he felt frustrated, and he only remembered uncomfortable feeling. But, even if he said that, he was also rather be a battle junkie too.
Eventually, he entered the Royal Academy for this sake in order to become stronger, and to fight against stronger opponents.
To be honest, when Lars went to receive the first swordsmanship lesson, he felt really disappointed when he saw the lecturer. That was because the opponent who seemed to be a girl of his age no matter how good she was. Of course, he understood that there were strong ones in the same age, but that girl didn’t give a slightest sign that she was strong.
Lars, who had been fighting his parents almost every day, became able to estimate how strong his opponent was. Even though it was an intuitive feeling, he at least knew whether the opponent was stronger or weaker than him.
That feeling was telling him, and he completely didn’t feel that the girl was strong at all.
Lars also aware that individual strength and teaching quality were two different things. By knowing that fact, his dismay couldn’t be hidden. First, he thought that he should show his strength to the lecturer and those around him, but… in the next moment, he collapsed without knowing the reason.
Moreover, other students were knocked down without noticed… and finally, Lars remembered. His parents were saying this. A strong person was someone whose strength couldn’t be felt.
However, this might be because he hadn’t met such an opponent. No, perhaps… even if he met such an opponent, he wouldn’t be able to understand.
While thinking of that, everyone after him was knocked down by the girl one after another. Finally, it was the turn of the last person, and… Lars saw that scene.
While thinking the event that happened two months ago for some reason, Lars swung his right arm toward the aim before his eyes.
— Intermediate Rank Swordsmanship – Mind’s Eye (Fake): Cleave
Immediately afterwards, a certain feeling returned to his arm… However, he clicked his tongue again because it turned out to be shallow damage. If he was the usual, it wouldn’t be such a thing, but was he getting too nervous? It felt miserable even though he could say that he had the spirit. As he reprimanded himself inside…
“– Lars!” (Soma)
At that moment, he leaped backward. At that instant, something passed through the place where his head was, and cold sweat started to drip.
When he looked at the ground where he stood earlier, there was a sharp arrow tip.
If he stepped in, it wouldn’t end well for sure.
However, this was also a mistake that he usually wouldn’t make. He could see it even though the surroundings were dim. This was the current situation he was in.
While he felt frustrated about how narrow his field of vision, he took one step forward and swung his arm.
— Intermediate Rank Swordsmanship – Mind’s Eye (Fake): Straight Down Cut
While certainly confirming that ugly face was torn apart by the torso, he let out a deep breath. After that, he threw a voice to the rear even though he was slightly hesitated.
“…Tsk, I was saved.” (Lars)
“Don’t worry about it.” (Soma)
Lars bit his lips to the words returned.
He couldn’t see Soma’s face, but what kind of face Soma made in whatever situation, he could understand it from those words.
Though it was one such a thing, he understood how inexperienced he was.
“…Damn it.” (Lars)
In other words, Soma understood how inexperienced he was. But of course, he had no other choice.
His swordsmanship was good enough, so next was magic? He wanted to beat himself because he was thinking it as a joke.
…No, perhaps, that was the only thing he could say for now. If he enrolled in Swordsmanship Department, he probably wouldn’t meet Soma. When he considered that, he probably should praise his judgment at that time–…
Another sound of smacking lips coming out again when he thought about such a thing. Recently, he couldn’t help it when he did that.
Nevertheless, he wouldn’t give up.
As Lars tightened his lips while he was aware of the existence at the rear, the Goblin Archer. At the end of his sight, the monster pulled its bow again, so he loaded strength on his feet and aimed for it.
At that time, he saw it and that was admirable even if he could only catch up a little. He kicked the ground as it was with all his might.
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Kurt slightly narrowed his eyes at the sight spread before him. Immediately after that, he muttered ‘Hou’ as if he was impressed.
He nodded his head while trying to keep in mind that the spear he was holding on the left hand as a precaution. Apparently, it wasn’t his turn yet.
At the same time, he thought that it was brilliant. While standing to protect the two girls, that boy was wary of the surroundings and he was calmed.
Not to mention his behavior, the voice he let out earlier was also brilliant. If that scene was late, it was obvious, but if it was done too early, it was a bad scene. It was obvious that Kurt didn’t realize the attack of the Goblin Archer, but as soon as the boy noticed it over there, there was a high possibility that the timing was bad, and the situation would turn to be very dangerous. The timing when he leaped out was prompted. It was exactly a right timing.
The boy wasn’t only considering enemy attacks but he also thought about his allies. He had splendid observing eyes.
Moreover, it seemed that he was the only one who wanted to go into the dungeon with four people this time, but… Kurt probably could understand why. It was said that it was appropriate to form a party of four to six people, but… considering the situation this time, four people were the most appropriate decision. On the contrary, six people might be inappropriate.
It would be different in the case of people knew each other and already used to the dungeon. Perhaps, it would be different if they went it with three or four people. In such cases, six peoples were surely good enough.
However, according to what Kurt heard, even though these people were in the same department, they weren’t close to each other. And the only one who had gone into the dungeon was that boy, Soma.
He was new to the labyrinth and he also didn’t really understand each other. If such a person gathered six people, there was no way he would be able to manage his party. In that situation, being alone was far better.
But for some reason, he was going with a group of four people. The party was well balanced with 2 front guards and two rearguards. So, they should be able to do something without disrupting each other. That was the reason why it was suitable to go with four people this time.
If Soma was there, he probably would go with a group of six people, but he might not want to bother about the risks. Actually, the movement of the other three were stiff, but they could manage it somehow because this was the first layer.
Again, the situation was quite bad because there were two Goblins and three Goblin Archers, but they managed to do something because Soma’s precise instructions. Lars held down the two Goblins, and in meantime, Helen took out two of the Goblin Archers. After that, Lars made a counterattack. There was a small gap after Lars knocked one Goblin, but was it possible for them to survive because of Soma’s thorough observation?
Well, to be honest, if Soma joined in as the front guard, things would be easier, but he was probably doing that on purpose. Perhaps, he want to let the other three to obtain experience. Considering that this was the first layer of the first day, it was certainly the best to do that.
Based on their movements and attacks, the three of them shouldn’t be at the level of struggling in such a place. In that case, it was a correct action to let them to get used to this dungeon in various ways and as soon as possible.
When it came to this situation, Kurt’s interest leaned more toward Soma’s strength.
“Hmm, are we done? There is no sign of enemies in the surroundings. Instead of saying that we should proceed… is everyone alright? I have a feeling that you guys are bit tired.” (Soma)
“There is no such a thing. We still haven’t been here for one hour, right? So, it is still reasonable.” (Lars)
“Yeah, you’re right. I do feel a bit tired, but… I’m fine, I think?” (Sylvia)
“Ye-yeah… I have a feeling that I’m catching up with everyone… a bit by bit though. I can do this some more.” (Helen)
“Hmm… well then, shall we go on? It’s not good to overdo it, alright?” (Soma)
After Lars sliced the last Goblin Archer, and blew it away, four of them had a discussion and decided to resume their progress. Soma, who had been staying at the rear, came forward. They returned to the former formation with two rearguards and two front guards. Kurt thought they were really amazing. It was because they did it very well and he didn’t have to help them.
Basically, on top of not lending help, Kurt stayed at the end of the line. However, in the case enemies came from behind, it was likely that Kurt would be in the contact with the enemies. This was a practical training for Soma’s group, so they didn’t notice that situation.
For that reason, Soma didn’t give any necessary warnings of the rear. It might be sneaky, but it was one of the correct strategies, and… to begin with, a leader should stay at the end of the line.
As expected, it might be too harsh to let new students to do that. Of course, they were doing such a formation without noticing Kurt’s intention, but he didn’t plan to mention to them.
Anyhow, the four of them, who led by Soma, proceed with caution, and… when they progressed, they encountered an enemy. However…
That was a Goblin. There was no doubt that it was the only Goblin.
However, compared to the previous Goblins, this Goblin was a few times bigger–..
“Tsk… is it just one? Oh well. Let me do it, you guys just wait–…” (Lars)
It was exactly at that moment. A sword was swung before Lars prepared himself, and that split the Goblin’s body into two.
“Hmm…? Oops, sorry. Sometimes, I thought I should make a move, and that’s why I did that. It’s just only that one.” (Soma)
“…Keh. Well, you got that right since we’re the only ones who have been fighting. Sometimes, you also should fight, but… I’ll do it next time, got it? You don’t have to do anything, alright?” (Lars)
“Hmm, I’ll be careful next time.” (Soma)
Since it was just for a moment, this situation ended before anyone notice. The two rear guards were letting out a small breath of relief, but that wasn’t the reason why Kurt narrowed his eyes. The Goblin earlier wasn’t an ordinary Goblin.
Basically, Goblins were similar in body size. Yes, it might be only with small different, but not when the size was way bigger.
If he was right, it might be just his imagination… or perhaps, that wasn’t an ordinary Goblin.
It should be said that it was the upper rank of Goblin.
It was difficult to figure it out, but it didn’t usually matter much. In the case of encountering Goblins, people would be wary most whether it was mere Goblins or how to response.
However, if it was a Hobgoblin, it was almost impossible to delay countermeasure. In case of having delay, it was a matter of those who weren’t strong enough to go against Hobgoblin in the first place.
But, that was only a talk if this was an ordinary place. This place was a dungeon, so it was enough for them to go through it. Normally, Hobgoblins didn’t come out in the first layer.
Unfortunately, in the dungeon where the mechanism hadn’t been fully understood, it should be said that there would be exceptions. This was one of them. For some reason, something that shouldn’t come out on the first layer came out. There was almost no mistake this exception happened just a while ago.
In other words, Lars thought that the Hobgoblin was a Goblin. They should have heard of that exception. Even though the exception rarely existed, it was still an exception. It wasn’t common for new students who could act with that in mind.
Hence, it wasn’t weird if the tragedy fell on them. If it really seemed dangerous, Kurt would have stopped it, but it wouldn’t be strange if he suffered worst injuries.
Although he was aware of that, Soma solved it in a matter of a second.
In a sense, Soma was aware of the dangers of the dungeon. Perhaps, he probably had done it once. That way, he understood even though he didn’t like it.
However, they weren’t used to the labyrinth yet. Therefore, it was still too early to inform them. That was a correct judgment.
“…Hmm? I see…” (Kurt)
Perhaps, what Soma showed just now wasn’t even a glimpse of his overall strength. It was easy to understand from Soma’s behavior, and… Kurt thought that it was truly brilliant. At the same time, he found this interesting as well.
Kurt thought that this would be a boring endeavor of them, but it could be interesting. While thinking that this event seemed to be interesting, the edges of his mouth went up a little.
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