The Dungeon Basement and Disturbing Sign
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— The 85th layer of the dungeon.
Hildegard was watching Soma, who leisurely progressed through the layer with the obvious as-always-face, with mixed feelings.
As expected, the strength of the monsters around here was at the level of not funny anymore, but the appearance of Soma hadn’t changed so far. It wouldn’t be impossible to say that Hildegard shouldn’t be shocked.
“By the way, do you feel like your body’s battle reflex getting near to that heyday?” (Hildegard)
“Hmm? Really? I don’t think so, but… it’s true that I feel a bit good these days.” (Soma)
“Why aren’t you aware of yourself…?’ (Hildegard)
No, perhaps, Soma thought so because he still hadn’t reached the level of his heyday.
Certainly, when comparing to the Soma’s of the previous life, or at his heyday, the current appearance of Soma was no better than a child. Even though he was approaching that level, let say he was at 1000 in the previous life, now, he was at 999. As Hildegard was someone who overlooked matters, she was sensitive to such things, but… as for Soma, that level might be within the error range.
Nonetheless, Soma had reached the level of godhood. Soma should be able to feel such things more sensitively, but… was it a bit harsh to say that Soma wasn’t aware of it?
Well, Soma would know if Hildegard told it to him, but… that was probably no fun in doing that. Even in the high order world, he had reached the level of godhood with a mere human body. It would be inelegant to a lesser extent if she admitted the fact on her own. It would be only meaningful if Soma noticed it by himself.
“Hmm. It is exactly one round here. There is no problem with monsters since you instantly killed them, but it’s time consuming simply because the walking distance is increasing…” (Hildegard)
“The paths are divided into several others, and it seems like it is getting wider every time we descend to lower layer. That remind me, are you able to map accurately in this kind of situation? I understand because I’ve done it before, but isn’t hard? Regardless of what I did the mapping in the second layer since I was on the side role, I don’t think it is possible for us to do it here.” (Soma)
“Well, it’s because the experience from the past. Since I know the exact direction from where we walk, it will be fine for me even if we maintain our pace.” (Hildegard)
“You are like a bird that always knows the direction, isn’t it?” (Soma)
“Who do you say is a bird!? I’m a dragon!” (Hildegard)
“No, I know that, but… I didn’t specifically say that you are a reptile, so you don’t have to mind me.” (Soma)
“If you say such a thing, no matter how many times you say it, I will bet every ounce of my existence to make you take back your words.” (Hildegard)
“It doesn’t seem you are joking… you would go that far, huh.” (Soma)
“Of course. We are dragons, we have pride and dignity.” (Hidegard)
Dragons were shaped by human thoughts, and they took formed based on illusion. There were some sorts of ideals in it, and it could also be said that it was an existence that embodied the ideals. Therefore, it was natural that they were proud of themselves, and opposed those who denied them by waging on the whole soul.
“Until that far…” (Soma)
“Yup. So, will you not carelessly say that for your own good? If possible, I also don’t want to die.” (Hildegard)
“Are you concern about your body?” (Soma)
“That’s for sure, you know? I’m devoting everything I have, regardless how I was a God, or even there are other dragons as opponents.” (Hildegard)
Although she had a thousandth of the original strength only, her former existence was certainly too strong. It wouldn’t be a talk if she wanted to oppose Soma unless she brought the strength level of a God. And of course, it would be another talk whether she could win or not.
“Anyhow, there is something I want to ask.” (Soma)
“Hmm? What is it?” (Hildegard)
“I believe that the affected monsters have also reduced by a considerable number, so if we come until this far, it will surely have an impact on the upper layer, right?” (Soma)
“Hmm… that’s true.” (Hildegard)
“In that case, since this capture is already time consuming, I feel like going to the lower layer as soon as I find the way to go there, but… do you have a reason to explicitly fill the map?” (Soma)
“Yes, it is quite absurd, but yes, I have a reason…” (Hildegard)
That was she didn’t have conclusive evidence yet. For now, we continued walking until the map was completed even if we found a way to go down. Frankly speaking, this was for caution’s sake.
From the way she drew the map, it seemed that there was no map for the labyrinth to begin with. Perhaps, she was doing it on purpose in order to seal the dungeon, but if she considered the worst case, she probably shouldn’t draw the map.
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“Hmm… well, I’m going to explain it in the meantime. For now, I can’t say nothing but for caution’s sake, but…” (Hildegard)
“Hmm… I appreciate that, and since I don’t need to rush things, I don’t really mind though. It’s just that I don’t find anything useful yet.” (Soma)
“Well it can’t be helped because of the nature here.” (Hildegard)
For starters, it was rewarding if they found magic tools or something along with that in dungeon. Occasionally, such magic tools were also existed because of the mechanism of the dungeons, but basically, those had been installed during the initial stage of creating the dungeon.
However, the essential of this place was the seal, and the dungeon was an extra in the end of the day. Rather than troubling the people who came here, magic tools shouldn’t be installed.
However, since magic tools had been found occasionally in overall, the ones that created this dungeon might have certain aesthetics value, but…
“By the way, we found magic book this time, but you don’t want it, no?” (Hildegard)
“I’m not saying that I have no interest. It’s just that I want to be able to use magic instead. It feels different when it comes to magic art, magic tools, or magic.” (Soma)
“Although you can use magic from magic tool, you don’t want that huh. What a troublesome guy.” (Hildegard)
“I can’t learn magic by using that method. That’s why I don’t want it. In a sense, I’m jealous of you as if I’m dying.” (Soma)
“I would feel troubled if you say in that way…” (Hildegard)
While saying that, Hildegard took out a magic book from an empty void. That was the thing they found in this layer. The reason why Hildegard and Soma were almost empty handed was because Hildegard interfered with the space in this way. In other words, she could take things in and out from there.
It was a kind of so-called storage magic, but actually, Hildegard had no skill in magic system. Nevertheless, she was able to do so because she was a dragon.
For starters, dragons could use magic as if they were using their limbs. By the way, this was common to the illusion species. On top of being embodied by illusions, it was logical to have compatibility with magic which was also wonders woven by illusions.
Well, there was no reason to show this magic book again for now. While giving a reproachful look, she put away the magic book again.
“You… I pray that you fall down by my hands.” (Soma)
“Can you stop joking!?” (Hildegard)
While having such talks, there was no reason for them for staying at this layer after the map was completed. Hence, they were heading to the next layer as soon as possible.
Although there was a staircase that went to the upper layer, there was a feeling of something very important in regard to the atmosphere. It felt like there was a path that went to the lower layer in the surroundings. While carefully not to fall down, they slowly went down while making small steps. Eventually, they got to the next layer.
At first sight, it was a cave-like area surrounded by exposed rocks, which wasn’t particularly different from the previous layer, but…
“Hmmm… for some reason, the discomfort feeling I have becoming stronger little by little.” (Soma)
“I am feeling something similar as well. That is probably because of the fragment of Evil God.” (Hildegard)
Hildegard held disposition of god to a certain extent. Therefore, the wavelength of the fallen power was transmitted as discomfort feeling.
However, this might… had been worse than she thought.
“It can’t be sealed, but obviously, the presence of power leaked out is…” (Hildegard)
“Is there something in the seal… or perhaps, it has been removed?” (Soma)
“There is no such a possibility in the first place, but… yeah, it may be better to raise the pace at the moment.” (Hildegard)
“As I expected, that depends on whether we find a way to go down, yes?” (Soma)
There was no problem at the moment, but it would be scary during the time of emergency. There wasn’t even surplus, but as long as it didn’t become a situation like that, they should continue ahead.
“Well, as I said earlier, as long as we keep going, there is no difference. But what do you mean by raising the pace? Are you talking about the walking speed?” (Soma)
“Yes, but… I also want you to go out with me tomorrow and proceed with the capture here.” (Hildegard)
“Aah, is that what you mean? Tomorrow is holiday, isn’t it?” (Soma)
“That is not a problem.” (Hildegard)
Anyhow, Hildegard was still the headmaster of the academy. When it was about using the authority, she could do it if it was this much.
“Does that mean… you are abusing your authority in this situation?” (Soma)
“The management of this place as in the monitoring part is also one of the roles of the headmaster. So, no problem.” (Hildegard)
“Hmm… tomorrow, is it?” (Soma)
“Hmm? Do you have something… aah, that remind me, tomorrow is…” (Hildegard)
“Yes, it is he day of dungeon exploration practical training.” (Soma)
“Hmm, that is…” (Hildegard)
As for Soma himself, there would be no problem if he absent once.
But the problem was the training didn’t involve him alone. Other than training as a party, it involved other people as well.
Moreover, if Soma didn’t join, the effect would be…
“…Well, I’m sorry for others, but they also have to manage it by themselves. Although I’ve said that it is alright to do this even the day after tomorrow, I would like to capture this dungeon as soon as possible. Perhaps, if we continue tomorrow too, I think whether I can come out with a conclusion on what do after that…” (Hildegard)
“Well, it can’t be helped. Thinking which I should give priority, it should be here. I have to apologize to everyone later.” (Soma)
“I’m sorry about that.” (Hildegard)
Hildegard thought that this might be a needless anxiety, but in order to judge it, she needed some information now.
Once she had concluded, there would be no time to relax. When she looked at Soma, they nodded altogether, and resumed the capture of the dungeon.
TLN: Refer chapter 81 for more explanation on magic, magic art, and magic book.
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