Chapter 16: Floor Boss Anticipation
How much time had passed after that?
As the sounds of fighting died down, the blood soaked spearhead drew an arc. Swoosh. It cut through the air, flinging the rain off like water from an umbrella.
Now that he had cleaned the area of monsters, Ornest leaned the Artifact on his shoulder and turned around.
“…Hey, Alex. Why do you only use Thunderbolt?”
He asked with a calm expression, as if he didn’t notice the horrible stench around us.
“Well, you’re capable of using all of the combat spells, and yet you were only using Thunderbolt. Now that I think about it, it was the same when you fought the old man.”
…Indeed, he was probably right.
Without even being conscious of it, I had been using Thunderbolt whenever something happened.
Even though I had made a point to use all kinds of magic back at the academy, so that I’d be able to react to any situation.
Just then, a certain face appeared in my mind.
The face of a crown prince.
Confident. Too confident, in spite of his lack of ability.
‘…I’ll defeat this one! The rest of you, stand back!!’
He was always eager to take down any prey that was in front of him. And like that, he would charge towards monsters that were clearly out of his league. Nothing could be more troublesome for me.
And so I had been forced to learn support magic. And I used Thunderbolt when things got dangerous, as it was the fastest…
As I thought about it, there was suddenly a hard clicking noise. It reminded me of the sound of a puzzle piece clicking into place.
Yes, I had been training with Thunderbolt alone, just so that I could help the prince during emergencies.
However, I hesitated to tell Ornest that this was the result of having to protect the prince.
…He would just laugh.
And so I turned my face away.
“…Nevermind that. Let’s keep going.”
I pretended that the subject had never been brought up and took a step forward.
“What are you hiding? Say it.”
He said with an accusing look as he blocked my path.
“…You’re imagining things.”
“Oh? You have some nerve, trying to hide things from me! Eh!?”
“As if you haven’t been keeping secrets yourself!”
I would not let him forget.
He was the last person who should be angry.
However, no amount of blame had any effect. As Ornest had the thickest skin in the world.
‘That’s in the past. I’ve already forgotten about it!’ He said casually, and I could hardly be blamed for wanting to kill him then.
“…You two can fight all you like, but just don’t drop dead before we see what’s in there.”
Even though Ornest was clearly in the wrong, Yorha was looking at both of us with exasperation.
It was like being hit by a stray arrow, if you ask me.
“…What do you mean, it?”
I asked, and then turned my eyes to where Yorha was looking.
After staring for a few seconds, I saw an extravagant and ancient-looking iron door in the distance.
“…Ah. The second floor boss.”
Also called ‘mid-boss.’
Or even ‘Safety Point.’
Behind the door was a boss that would be weaker than the one we had to kill to get to the next floor.
That’s why it was just a mid-boss.
However, once you were behind that iron door, you did not have to worry about being attacked by the other dungeon monsters. So if you defeated the boss there, and as long as you didn’t leave the room, then it would become a ‘Safety Point.’
“What should we do?”
“Obviously, there is nothing to do but go in.”
Ornest pressed, as if the opinions of the rest did not matter.
There were multiple Safety Points within the dungeon, and they might be resting in one of them.
So if that was a possibility, then it was best to take a look, so that we didn’t go past them.
However, if you do open the door, then you would be forced to fight against the second floor boss.
“…Well, even if they aren’t resting inside of there, it would not be bad to be able to rest for a while.”
I wondered how long it had been since we first entered the dungeon.
In general, it was recommended that you do not take a watch with you into dungeons. Time was like a poison that ate away at your mind. Those words had been hammered into us while we were at the magic academy.
“Besides, this is our first time on the 64th floor. If we are searching for people, then it would be best to exchange information on the dungeon as soon as possible.”
As Clashia said, you could not stand around and share information in a place where you never knew when you could be attacked.
Since I had no reason to object, I agreed as well.
“Then it’s decided.”
…Like that, our plans were decided.
But just as I thought this, the ground suddenly shook in a small, but unnatural way.
It was so weak that we wouldn’t have even noticed it if we were still fighting.
And when I perked up my ears, I heard a dreadful rumbling.
Ornest must have noticed it as well.
Everyone reacted to it, causing eyebrows to be raised.
“Hey, hey. Could it be that we hit the jackpot?”
It could be the work of Reviel and the others. They may be making as much noise as possible, in order to alert others of their presence. I thought that for a moment, but realized that it wasn’t the sounds of combat, but destruction.
The kind of sound that is born during mindless wrecking.
Not only that, but the sounds continued without end.
“…Something is really mad.”
Yorha seemed to think that the sounds of destruction were the product of intense rage.
While monsters could not speak, they were easy to provoke and anger. Even more so than humans.
And so whatever it was that was making this noise, it was likely a monster that was in the same class as a floor boss.
Making your opponent lose their cool was usually an effective way of defeating them, but there were not many people who could cause a monster without speech to become so explosively angry.
This would have to be someone who knew how to provoke it. And so poked and prodded over and over again.
“…Now that I think about it, there was such a bastard in Clista’s party, wasn’t there?”
Clashia said with a bitter expression.
And that expression seemed to pass to Yorha, and then to Ornest.
“…Ah, yes. There was. A real bastard among bastards.”
They clearly did not like this person.
And I knew that if I asked, they would have nothing but insults.
“But since it’s been brought up… Listen, Alec.”
Ornest realized that I didn’t know what they were talking about, and so he turned to me.
“…Loki Sylveria. The person who is angering the monster is without a doubt, the biggest bastard in that S-Rank Party. Someone who can anger people just by breathing. Commonly called… ‘The Bastard.’”
…Commonly? Surely it was just Ornest who used that nickname.
That was what I thought. But after seeing Clashia and Yorha’s serious expressions, I did not feel like pointing it out.
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