Chapter 23: Companions│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com
Four men entered the safe zone. A balanced group of two warriors, a mage, and a healer gives an adventuring party a familiar feeling.
The warrior, the leader of the group, chuckled.
“You better not invite that shitty thief to join you.”
“I don’t think you should talk like that.”
—I wonder if he meant that as a warning. The words chosen and the way they are spoken are not pleasant to hear.
“A shitty thief is a shitty thief! He’s useless in combat, he doesn’t notice the presence of the enemy, he constantly fails to disarm traps, he’s useless in everything!”
“Because you don’t pay attention to me…”
“Good thing the other members learned the unlocking spell, otherwise we would have been wiped out long ago!”
Unlocking Magic. Lysette was amazed that such a thing existed.
Still, it’s not a pleasant way to listen to the words.
“He was a senseless waste of time and money. I invited him to the party because he is an old friend of mine. But I see this parasite is still looking for a host to attach to!”
Dee frowns and remains silent.
“Even if there is a problem with his abilities, it is against humanity to fire him in the dungeon.”
Leonhardt was angry. Silent, deep and angry.
“What the hell is humanity? Can you eat it?!”
He smiles, but the muscles in his face are tense. He is clearly angry.
“Have you ever thought about how inhumane it is to abandon someone in the dungeon?”
“… I’ll give you some friendly advice. Join him and be destroyed!”
In a fit of rage, he stormed out of the room, followed by his companions.
“… Don’t they need to rest first?”
“You’re an amazingly good-natured fellow, aren’t you?”
Dee sighed heavily and muttered. His expression was solemn.
“They’re right. I’m useless as a thief. I apologize for interrupting you.”
“Wait a second!”
Dee turns and walks away.
“I still welcome you, Dee-san. For us mimic-eaters, there are no bad people!”
“I don’t think that’s a valid assumption.”
Leonhardt murmurs quietly, but his voice is lost on Lysette.
Dee shakes her head and looks at Lysette, slightly surprised.
“…No, didn’t you hear what they said about me?”
“Why don’t you come with us for a while, if you have no other options? It will be difficult to explore the dungeon alone. So we thought it would be nice to have a thief join us.”
Leonhardt tried to talk Dee out of it, but he hesitated.
“And if you find another group along the way that wants to hire you, you can join them.”
“What’s wrong with you guys…? I refuse to eat monsters! I refuse to give up my dignity!”
That seems to be the main reason why he refuses to join them.
Lysette nodded her head.
—The monster cuisine is delicious and nutritious, and while it can go wrong, so can normal food. I don’t think it’s something to be avoided.
“You don’t lose your dignity by what you eat—but if you don’t eat it, you will die.”
Leonhardt’s words were powerful and convincing.
Dee seemed to grow more optimistic. His gaze was no longer on the door, but in their direction.
“Then we’ll skip Dee-san’s monster meal, why don’t you come with us?”
“W-Why are you going this far?”
“Because we need your help.”
Dee’s resolve seems to have been shaken by Lysette’s suggestion. His face becomes hesitant and his body turns alternately toward the exit and toward them.
“…Are the other members of the group out exploring?”
“There are no other members—there are only two of us.”
“You two have made it this far?! You guys are pretty strong.”
Dee was taken aback.
Lysette doesn’t like the term “powerful”. The church knight she met recently had ascended to the third level all by himself, so she still had a long way to go.
“That reminds me, I haven’t even introduced myself yet—my name is Lysette.”
“My name is Leonhardt. But you can call me Leon.”
“Lysette and Leonhardt?”
He gets a strange look on his face as soon as he hears their names, as if he is recalling something unsettling.
“You should get out of here—the party leader has a grudge against you. If you sleep quietly, he might attack you in your sleep.
“Did we do something to him that he has a grudge against?”
“I can’t remember.”
Leonhardt sighs and shakes his head.
“Didn’t you have a fight in the guild?!”
“Well, if there was one, it was a long time ago. We haven’t been on the surface for a long time.”
There was some trouble in the guild, but they don’t remember who was involved.
“…so Is it one-sided? It’s rather pathetic…”
Dee makes a sympathetic expression.
“Thank you for informing us, but are you sure? We may have to fight them.”
Lysette is against human-to-human conflict.
—But if they attack us, of course we’ll fight back.
“… If we have to. I’m not on their side anymore…”
Leonhardt quietly approaches the door and looks outside while keeping it closed.
He looked for a sign and looked back out of breath.
“Let’s go, Lysette, Dee.”
“Wait a minute—I’m going to stow my luggage.”
They packed their belongings and put out the fire.
They prepared to go outside, with Leonhardt leading the way.
They kept an eye out for the group of adventurers they had seen earlier, not the monsters.
And were surprised to see them so soon, but with their swords drawn.
Leonhardt lunges with his shield to block the sword, which is then quickly and decisively deflected.
Leonhardt then steps on the warrior’s stomach and hurls him in front of the other warrior. The two collide in a tangled heap on the ground.
“I hope you’re ready for this, now that you’re pointing your sword at me!”
Leonhardt utters his final warning in a cold, stern voice.
But the answer was fire magic from the sky.
The mage’s fireball flies toward Leonhardt.
【Manipulation Magic】【Water Magic(Intermediate)】
Lysette casts a spell slightly stronger than her opponent’s fire magic and hits the fireball with the opposite attribute’s magic.
The fire and water magic cancel each other out, and the last of the water magic rained down on the area.
The water magic froze the area around the ground, immobilizing the opponents.
And Leonhardt quickly knocked out all his opponents who were immobilized. There was no bloodshed. It was a brilliant decision.
When Dee looked at his unconscious former comrades, his eyes were cold.
“I had no idea they were so depraved.”
Lysette checks her surroundings after hearing Dee’s anger and disappointment in his voice, and from the depths of the dark corridor comes the roar of monsters.
“Leon, Dee-san… Let’s take them to the safe zone!”
“What?! Are you serious?!”
Lysette’s suggestion seemed to catch them both off guard, especially Dee.
“If they die in the process, they’ll ‘wake up’ in a bad way.”
—This is a dungeon… Monsters can attack at any time… And you could turn into a zombie…
“They have a return item, so I should be fine. Tsk… Okay, you’re a real softie, aren’t you?!”
“That’s not the case—I just don’t want them to “wake up”. Sleep is important!”
“…You’re such a softie.”
They melted the ice that bound them and moved them to safety.
“I’ll take care of it.”
Leonhardt drags the men, who are unconscious, into the room.
And Dee quietly assists him.
Lysette also helps, and once everyone is safely inside, the room fills.
They will no longer be attacked by the monster and be killed.
Dee awkwardly opened his mouth as they entered.
“… Hey. I’d like to ask you again if I can join you…”
“Sure thing! You’re more than welcome.”
Lysette was happy to hear the offer. She accepts it with a big smile on her face.
“I will prepare Dee-san’s meals without using monster ingredients.”
“Thank you very much. But I don’t need any special treatment.”
Dee turns away and smiles with reddened cheeks.
“I’m going to have dinner with you. I aspire to be one of you.”
“Dee is fine.”
“I’m glad you appreciate the monster cuisine!”
“I honestly have no idea what it is!”