Read at Watashi Wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 107 – Middle School Trio
This was probably something that I should go check out. If it was too dangerous, I’d come back.
Excitedly, I put my hands on the ivy. The ivy was attached very firmly, and I knew I could climb down from there.
Checking my feet with each step, I descended down the ivy.
I arrived at the bottom, a short distance from where I had just collected materials. The water was flowing beside me like a normal calm river.
For now, I was going to stretch my legs and then head upstream. I didn’t want to go too far and discover that the water was running too fast.
As I was thinking about that, I noticed something. Right in front of me, there was something like a hidden dungeon.
Should I go in? I was hesitant to enter a dungeon when I was alone.
Most of the time, the level of these hidden dungeons was too high. Even if the enemies were strong, I’d just die and go back to my workshop to revive, but I didn’t want to die as much as possible. I never liked that feeling. It was scary.
At times like this, I could rely on Yuuta!
I opened my chat with Yuuta.
[ I found some kind of hidden dungeon in the canyon between Due and Tre! ]
[ Seriously? ]
Ah, I got an instant reply.
And then another message was sent after that.
[ Go. Go now. I want details! ]
Yeah, I had a feeling Yuuta would say that.
But today, all I had in my bag were the things I collected and the potions. I didn’t have my usual items, like blinding potions. My only method of combat was the sword on my hip.
I hoped there would be monsters that could be beaten with my lame-ass sword. If it was one of the monsters that appeared in the fields around here, I was usually able to beat it.
What should I do?
As I was peering into the dungeon, I heard a voice in the distance saying, “Hey~!”
When I looked up, I saw a group that looked like a party looking down at me from where they were collecting materials and waving their hands.
Oh, they sounded so young. I guessed they’d just started. I couldn’t speak for the others, though.
“Hey! What happened?! Are you okay?!”
“I’m all right! But there’s a dungeon here!”
They seemed to be worried about me, so I waved back and said I was okay, and then the group descended down the ivy.
They dashed toward me.
The party of three standing in front of me was a trio of fighting types with still young faces.
When they saw me from the top of the bridge, they panicked and went to the collection site thinking I was someone who had fallen, but they said they saw me looking in here and called out to me.
They were students by all accounts, but today was a weekday… I checked the clock in the corner of my vision and realized that it was already past four o’clock.
“It’s the last day of school, so we finished early and logged on. We’re all in the same middle school.”
Middle school students, huh? They must have just started. How cute.
The trio, who called themselves HARU the swordsman, Takuto DX the wind mage, and Hayabusa the martial artist, had apparently just formed a party and were working on leveling up nearby.
“I want to move on quickly. And I want to be strong. And I want to go into the secret dungeon for sure!”
“You have to be really strong to meet the dungeon searcher, right?”
As I looked warmly at the kids who were saying such things to me with excited faces, Hayabusa looked up and turned his sparkling eyes towards me.
“What’s your level now? About 20? A little lower? You must be a swordsman or something if you’re carrying a sword. But you’re not very well equipped for a swordsman.”
So innocent. And I’m sure these guys probably thought I was in their grade. But it was hard not to feel bad about it.
“I’m Mac. I’m a production worker, so I’m not a swordsman. But my personal level is definitely higher than yours. I’m in my second year of high school, by the way.”
“Eh… Oh, I’m sorry. You’re a senpai?”
The trio, who instantly looked embarrassed and apologized, made me chuckle.
“By the way, was there always a dungeon here?”
HARU looked at the dungeon dubiously.
“No, it looks like the dungeon here showed up today because of the receding water. Normally this place is underwater. I was debating whether or not to go in.”
“Well, why don’t you go in with us? Discovering new things is fun, isn’t it?”
“Good idea! Let’s go, Mac-senpai!”
I mean, I don’t need to be called senpai.
But I don’t know how strong the monsters are here.
While I was wondering about that, Takuto DX hesitantly asked me, “I don’t know, maybe the person who found the dungeon first has priority or something like that…? I don’t know the rules for this kind of thing. If that’s the case, I’ll pass.”
“No, no, no. There isn’t anything like that. It’s okay if you want to go in the dungeon, I don’t have priority. Rather, hidden dungeons like this one have some pretty powerful monsters in them.”
I expressed my concern, and the three of them looked at each other and nodded yes.
“Okay, a little bit then. How about we leave as soon as we encounter monsters that are beyond our abilities?”
I decided to go into the dungeon with them and told them we’d turn back when it was time.
When we walked in, it was very damp and humid, due to the fact that it was usually underwater.
We proceeded through the dim light while searching for enemies.
Suddenly a red marker lit up on my map and I reached for the sword at my waist.
“Enemy shadow approaching. Just one.”
At the sound of my voice, the three of them quickly took their positions.
We proceeded with caution, and just as I thought I saw a monster’s eyes light up in the darkness, a monster suddenly jumped at us.
It was an Aqua Wolf, a monster that appeared along the river.
The two standing in front of me easily killed it.
When I praised HARU’s swordsmanship as he sliced through the monster without the slightest hesitation, he looked a little embarrassed and his face broke into a smile.
“The monsters here are still as strong as they are outside. Let’s go a little further.”
The three of them nodded at my words.
A little further on, there was a side road that led to an immediate dead end.
A dead end with no monsters and nothing to see. That was what the three seemed to think.
No way. This was a collection point.
My eyes lit up and I reached out a hand to touch the wall.
“I never thought I’d find Draining Moss growing in a place like this. It’s not that easy to find.”
The green moss that grew on the slimy rock wall was an ingredient for making medicines.
It was a fairly valuable moss, used when one wanted to make something solid, not liquid. It was rarely available, and when it was, it was quite expensive, so I almost never bought it. I had no idea that it could be collected in a place like this.
The three middle school students looked at me with puzzled faces as I happily clung to the wall.
“Mac-san, what are you doing? There’s nothing there, right? Or is there some kind of hidden gimmick…”
“Uh, right here. It’s a place to collect materials. This is the material. Maybe it’s something that can only be harvested at a higher level. I found something good.”
I stood up once I was satisfied with how much I’d packed away. Then I urge them to move on.
All three of them turned their heads and headed further into the dungeon.
The enemies were all monsters of the recommended level for the Due area, so we made our way through without too much trouble.
There were several collection points along the way, but all of them yielded items that could only be collected at a higher level.
Then, the four of us stopped in front of a narrow passageway that led upwards.
I was sure that if we went through this passage, the enemies would become stronger.
After all, they were all rare materials that don’t come around very often, and Hayabusa, who was supposed to have a search skill, didn’t seem to detect any enemy shadows at all. I’d been thinking his range was just smaller than mine, but I had a feeling it wasn’t just that. Since I had leveled up my detection so much, I thought that depending on the level, the enemy’s shadow may not show up at all. It was just like the time when I couldn’t see any monsters in the forest before because of the huge difference in our levels.
I thought that the junior high school students probably weren’t at a high enough level to proceed further.
“Come on, let’s go back.”
I called out to the three of them, and they all turned around with frustrated looks on their faces, as if they were ready to move on.
“Eh? The enemies weren’t that strong. Why aren’t we moving forward?”
“Isn’t it boring to turn back after coming all this way?”
“Let’s keep going!”
I let out a sigh at the words of the spoiled-sounding middle schoolers.
“The materials I’ve been collecting so far cost about 5,000G each. The required level to collect it is over 40. The enemies are weak, but they don’t show up on your search. My search is pretty much leveled up so they appear for me, but more importantly, I feel like this is where things are going to get really intense. If you want to keep going, I won’t stop you, but I don’t want to have to respawn, so it’s time for me to go back to Tre. What do you say?”
After explaining the reason, I looked around at their faces, and the three of them looked embarrassed, as if they remembered the words they had said in the first place.
“Well… if you ask me, I don’t want to respawn again, either. It’s a scary feeling… Hey, Takuto, what do you want to do?”
“I’m not sure. I think Mac-san has a good point though. What about you, Hayabusa?”
“To be honest, I’d like to keep going, but my search didn’t show any enemies at all… I thought it was a little strange that my search didn’t work on those low-level monsters.”
Apparently, they were conflicted.
If we were going to go ahead anyway, as far as I was concerned, I wanted to be prepared with the right items for a proper strong enemy. I didn’t know how long the water would be low, but if there was still a dungeon when I came back tomorrow, I wanted to be able to go further without hesitation next time. It looked like my mom was coming home early today.
As I was about to leave, the group of three middle school students began to follow behind me. They said they were going home without any further hesitation.
When I returned to the place where I had entered after defeating the monsters that came out together like before, it was already getting dark.
The water in the river was still trickling. I guessed we’d have to further upriver to find the cause. I hoped they would forgive me for not having any information.
Thinking about the gatekeepers, I looked back.
“Are you guys going back to Due? I’m going back to Tre.”
When I said that to them, they all looked at each other for a moment and then opened their mouths, as if they were reluctant to say anything.
“Well, if you don’t mind, could we follow you to Tre? We really want to go to Tre. We were talking about going there soon.”
HARU frankly confessed that to me.
I agreed that it was probably time for them to go to Tre, and replied, “Sure.”
When I’d told them that it might take a while to get back while gathering materials, they suggested, “We’ll be on lookout while you’re gathering the materials, Mac-san!” and I couldn’t deny them.
However, I was fine with it as long as it wasn’t too bad because of the search.
Thus, my return trip to the city of Tre was a very pleasant one.