𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟑𝟒: 𝐕𝐒 𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐚 (𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝟏)
We’ve extracted over a hundred cores from the monster corpses.
“Nelband-san, do dungeons always have this many monsters?”
Meg asks, playing with a knife.
She’s just switched jobs from thief to adventurer, so of course, this is her first time challenging a dungeon.
“No, this number is a bit abnormal.”
My words make the three girls nod in agreement.
Not only are there more of them, but they also seem to be getting stronger.
We can’t make a precise comparison because we’re winning by surprise attacks.
“If we can get this many magic stones, it’s much more efficient than stealing in town. What a shame.”
Meg chuckles, her red eyes sparkling mischievously.
Well, a hundred cores would probably be worth about two hundred gold coins. That’s enough money to live on for about a year if you’re frugal. If you’re alone.
Considering that we’ve gathered that in less than half a day, it could be seen as efficient.
But, it’s life-threatening, isn’t it? To get them.
Because you can’t get them without killing monsters.
Whether the amount of money you can get by risking your life is reasonable or not, I don’t know.
Besides, there are days when we dive all day and get nothing.
I don’t think adventuring for cores is a very good deal.
“War is efficient too! Meg! If you make a name for yourself, you can get something like this!”
Asuka proudly shows off her magic sword.
This one, she always tries to brag whenever she gets a chance. That.
“Is this a magical item? It’s my first time seeing one in real life.”
“I got it as a reward from General Kytes when we defeated the rebel army!”
“Wow! I want one too!”
Asuka, you make it sound like it was so easy to get.
More than thirty adventurers and mercenaries died in that battle, you know?
Out of five hundred people, thirty?
And the only ones who got a special reward were the four of us?
Okaa-san has no idea how you think that’s efficient.
“Mother Nel. Is it about time?”
“Yeah. According to my memory, we should be seeing the door to the great hall soon.”
“Do you think the increase in monsters is due to the Chimera?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know, but it makes sense if you think about it.”
Ignoring Meg and Asuka, who are talking about their dreams and taking life lightly, Miliaria asks.
We, who have reached the tenth floor without any particular problems, or rather, very smoothly.
I have the structure in my head because I’ve explored up to about the twentieth floor during the [Gold-lined Butterflies] era.
I think the most likely explanation is that the monsters above that level have gained momentum because a powerful monster like the Chimera has settled on the tenth floor.
“But, I can’t quite convince myself.”
“I feel the same way. The cause and effect might be reversed.”
“Like a mother pushing a baby in a stroller.”
When I tilt my head, Meisha interjects from the side.
What is she talking about?
I thought, but when I think about it, that’s exactly right.
Without a mother, a baby can’t be born, so the result (child) comes before the cause (parent).
I don’t need such a dirty joke.
I poke Meisha’s head with my fist, and Miliaria pokes Meisha’s butt with the tip of her staff, each of us punishing her.
We’re having a serious conversation here.
“So it’s not that the monsters got stronger because the Chimera appeared, but that the Chimera was just included among the stronger monsters.”
Miliaria nods with a solemn face.
It’s a very uninteresting theory.
But for some reason, it makes sense.
If that’s the case, what does that phenomenon mean?
The battle had begun before we opened the door.
“It’s looking this way.”
“It’s noticed us.”
Meg and Miliaria speak at the same time.
The words of a scout who excels in detecting presences and a mage who excels in sensing magic power.
There’s no room for doubt.
The Chimera has already noticed our approach and is waiting for us.
An attack will probably come the moment we open the door.
Maybe that’s how the others who challenged it were caught off guard.
A dragon’s breath in an unprepared state is certainly unbearable.
However, if we know it’s coming, there are plenty of ways to deal with it.
I conveyed the short-term strategy to the four girls.
A slightly nervous reply comes back.
It’s okay. That level of tension will keep the body moving properly.
I pat each of them on the shoulder to reassure them.
Then, I kick open the door to the great hall and split off to the left and right at the same time.
The place where we were just a moment ago is licked by tongues of flame.
“Asuka! Circle around from the right!”
The red-haired girl responds to the instructions given while running to the left.
The Chimera is slightly confused.
It’s unsure whether to pursue me or Asuka.
However, that hesitation is fatal.
Miliaria, who had returned to the spot where the breath had first passed, casts a spell.
It’s the most powerful one she can use.
It probably didn’t expect an attack from a point it thought was empty.
The lion’s head is pierced by the ice sphere and blown away.
The Chimera, howling like a mad beast, starts to rampage.
Flames gather in the dragon’s mouth.
Then, a chicken egg, seemingly aimed from somewhere, hits it and bursts open with force.
The sand packed inside scatters.
“It’s just a distraction. But.”
Not only the dragon’s head but also the goat’s head let out a scream.
The burnt sand had gotten into its eyes.
“There’s no scratch on the eye, you know.”
Meg, who had dispelled her invisibility and appeared for a moment diagonally in front of Miliaria, grinned.