Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 56 (Part 1)
There were considerably less participants in the 11th dungeon. S-1 ranked monsters would often come out and from time to time an S rank monster was encountered. On top of that, the boss was an SS-level Kijin2. This was why the people who came to clear the dungeon were usually 40-year-old magic knight veterans or small parties of 40-year-old S rank adventurers.
I could see such a party standing in the main hall of the dungeon. There was a guy among them whose hair wasn’t that dark, but he had about the same level of mana as Camilla. Furthermore, he seemed to be the musclehead vanguard type. It was clear that he’d trained long and hard and his dedication impressed me.
Each and every one of the members of that party looked dignified and they were well-equipped. Clearly, they were all strong adventurers.
I watched as they chose a path and disappeared down it, and afterwards, we too moved to the center of the hall.
“In another 20 years… I wonder if I’ll also have such a dignified aura.”
“Hmm, Zagan is beautiful and has a slender body, so I wonder about that… though if you meant you wanted to be as intimidating as them, then you already are.”
“Yes. When nii— … Zagan-dono is with Luca and relaxing, you hide it, but in situations like this when you’re preparing for battle, you exude and intimidating pressure. Sensing such an enormous amount of mana, there’s no one who would think they can beat you.”
That was too much of a compliment. The reason others were shocked when they saw me was probably because of my black hair. Speaking of which, it felt like there were also some people admiring me.
Well, we were dungeon diving right now. When I remembered that, I turned to look at Luca and he hugged me tightly. He kissed me on the head and on the cheek, then stared into my eyes while stroking my hair lovingly.
“Like always, I’ll make sure to call every morning and every evening. Zagan too, if anything happens make sure to call me. I love you.”
“Mn. I love you too. Be safe.”
I gave him a hug and then let go. It’d be a little lonely, but we should see each other once these two weeks were over. Since we’d definitely be ok and meet again, it was find to just have a simple goodbye.
“Zagan-dono, let’s both do our best!” (Noel)
“Don’t do something reckless just because you’re strong.” (MIranda)
Don’t worry — I’ll keep Noel safe!” (Nina)
“U-um, please be careful.” (Bennet)
“You’re a levelheaded guy; I’m not that worried.” (Camilla)
“Then, Zagan-kun, we’ll see you when this is over.” (Cindy)
“Yeah. You guys too, be careful not to die.” I said looking back at Luca and the girls and waving at them. I then chose a suitable path and went on my way.
I made my way through the dungeon, defeating the monsters I encountered on the way. As it was only the first level, the monsters were still just A+ level. However, it’s been a month since I’ve last subjugated a monster, and no matter how fast I plow through them I wouldn’t be able to reach the deepest levels of the dungeon; I wouldn’t be able to go past the Akashic records of the game. Which was why I paid more attention to my surroundings than usual and walked about at my own pace.
I solved the gimmicks that blocked my path and went down flights of stairs whenever I saw them. This way I was bound to encounter an S- monster before long.
Behemoth. It was a monster similar to the minotaur with a body three times the size of a human’s. As it was an S- monster, its armor was of course harder than that of a minotaur and it was more powerful. And though it appeared to be a slow and heavy beast, it could move quite swiftly.
Perhaps because I wasn’t doing that good of a job hiding my presence, the behemoth soon noticed me and immediately came over to intimidate me. That kind of behavior wasn’t going to stop me though. I also let out my power to intimidate it, and the behemoth let out a little growl before roaring.
“Guooooooo!!!” it attacked.
I jumped high to avoid the attack as numerous, thorn-like spikes burst up from the ground.
As if it knew that that was what I was going to do, the behemoth swiped at me with its talons, but it was too late. When I had jumped I’d stretched out my tentacles towards its neck and shortened them in an instant, sending me flying forward and allowing me to dodge its claws.
The momentum threw me over the behemoth’s head. I loaded the dagger in my right hand with mana as I landed on the ground behind the beast.
“Secret Skill — Twilight.” I murmured, shrouding the dagger with mana until it became a long, black sword. Then I leaped into the air once again.
As the behemoth turned around to face me, I slashed my blade. Its head, its arm, its legs and finally its body were bisected.
The moment I landed back on the ground, mana poured out of the behemoth and it disappeared without even being able to let out a sound. Several mana stones fell to the ground.
“Was it overkill…?”
This sword skill was something that I’d picked up while dueling with Luca. It was the first time I had acquired a secret skill and I wanted to test it out, but it truly was powerful, being able to defeat an S- monster in a single strike. It did of course consume an equivalent amount of mana though.
Still, I was able to actually feel that I’ve gotten stronger.
At night, at around eleven, I finally found the second safe-space of the day and set up my usual tent right away.
I’d found the first safe-space at around three pm, so I just passed it by and it took me this long to find another one.
I could have taken a break anywhere really, but unfortunately there wouldn’t have been a barrier that could prevent an attack from an S rank monster. Though it would have been possible for me to get some sleep, I would have had to keep using my mana and stay alert to my surroundings. As I probably wouldn’t have been able to get much rest, I was glad that I discovered the second safe-space.
After unloading my stuff inside the tent, I leaned against the cushion to rest for a second before taking out my communication device and calling Luca. He picked up right away.
“Hello, Zagan? Are you ok?”
“Yeah. I’ve only just gotten to a safe-space.”
“Oh great. That’s a relief.”
Luca had actually called me first two hours ago, but I told him that I was on the move since I couldn’t find a safe-space. He’d also called me about an hour ago and I had made him worried that I still hadn’t found a place to rest.
“If you called as soon as you settled down, does that mean you haven’t had dinner yet?”
“Yeah, I’ll eat after this. For the rest of today my plan is to fill my stomach, rest for a bit and then go to sleep. And then tomorrow I thought I’d stay here and work on improving the magic barrier device.”
“I see… would it be ok to keep the call going while you eat?”
“I don’t mind. I won’t be able to answer you that much though.”
“Thanks. I’m already lying down inside the tent, but I got lonely all of a sudden. (sigh) I want to hold you.” Luca said, sounding lonely and strangely enough I got lonely as well.
I was the one who decided to move separately from him though.
I swallowed down my words and didn’t tell him that I felt the same. Luca heard me let out a vague sigh and laughed.
As I ate my bento, Luca told me about his day – about the monsters he fought and about the conversations he and the girls had. This continued while I drank some tea after dinner, while I was getting ready for bed and as I slipped inside the futon.
In the end, we kept the call going until just before we went to sleep and only then said our goodbyes.
“Good night Zagan. I love you.”
His words made me feel happy, but I was still lonely without Luca’s warmth.