Chapter 55 – Albus acquisition?
We set out again for the innermost part of the ruins, with Ark and Liora as members.
Burgess and Chris in the lead.
Loloi and Ark at the back.
I and Liora walk side by side while being protected by being sandwiched between them.
The party, relying on my remembered directions, entered the fourth floor level the next day.
“Amazing, even though you conquered this labyrinth two years ago, you can remember the whole way to this labyrinth?”
“Well, of course, I remember the paths we took. I was completely useless in battle, so I decided to be able to do at least that much. Before I knew it, I could almost memorize it.”
That’s right. At first I was frantically taking notes and stuff.
I found myself able to memorize the whole thing.
And once I memorized it completely, I almost never forgot it again.
“Albus’s mapping skills are at a level where I would call them mastery skills. The both of us, for ones, it turns out that the path we were about to take is dangerous”
Ark, agreeing with Liora, is also to flatter me.
I’m sorry to say this but, I didn’t have that “skill”.
But well, the acquired skill “mapping” maybe that doesn’t sound so bad.
It sounds pretty plausible when it comes to undertaking a guide job.
“Wait… There’s a sign of battle up ahead.”
At Burgess’ words, everyone stopped.
Ark said he would go ahead and check on them.
It seems that Noppoi’s unit is in the middle room in front of us, fighting with the labyrinthine monsters.
“As far as I remember, the shortest way to the fifth level is through the hall ahead. We could try to find another route now, afterall…”
If we hurry ahead, it is inevitable that we will encounter the troops over there.
“No… I’d like to avoid it if possible.”
If we get this far, it is more likely that we will have to fight after the encounter.
The total strength of the opposing force is unknown, but it is a force that has made it this far while continuing to activate the labyrinthine demons and numerous traps.
That must be quite a force.
We wanted to avoid direct combat if at all possible.
“Someone’s in there!”
Noppoi and the others, who had apparently finished defeating the demons in the labyrinth, immediately spotted us.
“They don’t look like a monster, do it? They must be treasure hunters. Come on out!”
Considering how far we’ve gotten.
There must be a member who has some kind of skill that is effective in exploring the labyrinth.
We had no choice but to enter the room.
“Oooh! Liora.. and Ark. And the rest is…. Hmmm. I don’t know you…”
Noppoi, the big merchant.
He looked to be a young man, just under 20 years old.
He was dressed in a rumpled, heavy-looking costume that did look out of place in the labyrinth, and he was slumped over on what looked like a simple cart carried by two muscular attendants.
Though quite young.
If what Liora and Ark told me is correct, he is as old as he looks.
The “big merchant” is a self-proclaimed title.
The real big merchant is said to be his father, Chippoy.
His son, Noppoi, is just a mana leeching with the glory of his parents.
“Oo Liora! I never thought you’d make it back alive from that hopeless goblin den. It seems you wanted to be embraced by this Noppoi so badly.”
And Noppoi’s train of thought seemed to have gone somewhere far away.
“No matter how many times I tell you, you’ve never come to Noppoi’s bed. That the reason I hired you for in first place, you know! That’s why I decided to leave to you there. So, if you repented and came back to be embraced by this Noppoi. I’d be happy to hold you right here and now. Mmm-hmm. Now, take off your clothes right now!”
Ark glared at Noppoi with eyes filled with anger.
Well, of course.
This is an insult to the princess.
As a knight, this is not something he would ever tolerate.
Ryan used to say something similar to Noppoy…
However, he was so brave and good looking that women usually came to him.
Only the useful ones were selected from among them, and Ryan officially made them his wives and added them to his party.
Moreover, after the fourth wife, there were rather frequent replacements.
He was a real son of a bitch, though….
The skill of fighting and exploration was certain.
“What’s that look in your eyes? Is that the way you’re behaving towards your employer?”
Noppoy exclaimed in frustration.
In contrast, Liora spoke quietly.
“I am sorry, but the two of us are leaving your party. We are not obliged to follow you after being left for dead. We will charge you exactly 300,000 mana for our services.”
Liora said firmly.
‘Hohoho. Then, you guys must be the diggers. If you interfere with Noppoi and the others’ exploration of the ruins, you will die here, won’t you?”
I don’t know what he’s talking about anymore, this guy.
He is the picture of a scumbag merchant who lets his mana do the talking.
But even if they are only hired for their mana, the people around him are skilled adventurers.
Ark stepped back a bit and approached me and Burgess.
“The four magicians surrounding Noppoi and the two warriors with baskets. They are the Poi family’s exclusive escorts that Noppoi brought from the royal capital. Therefore, their fighting power is also different.”
He whispered to Burgess and me.
The other side has about eight more expeditionaries hired in Kilket.
In total, it is a large contingent of 15 people.
In contrast, our party was originally a small party of four.
With the addition of Liora and two others, there were six people in the party.
And one of them is me, who is just useless in battle.
I don’t feel like we can compete.
“But well. Liora is a married woman, older than me, but she’s quite beautiful. It seems a little regrettable. And for you guys there, I’ll hire you for 100,000 mana, so join Poi’s party right now.”
I don’t understand what he’s saying.
It seems that the intention was to isolate Liora and Ark and create a situation where the two would be forced to join Noppoi’s party again.
“The reward we plan to receive from Burgess is 800 mana x number of days.”
A week has already passed, but if we factor in the time spent searching and returning, we will be underwater for at least 20 days.
“Then, we would only have 16,000 mana to get…”
If you dive for 30 days, that’s 24,000 mana.
It was probably surprisingly cheap for a deadly search.
It may have been a mistake to bargain a little because it would be a long journey.
Besides, even if we had dived to the newest part of the Earth Ruins…
I don’t know how much mana treasures are left there.
There is a good chance that there are only a few things that can be used as mana.
On the contrary, the 100,000 mana that Noppoi offered was an unbeatable deal.
Yes. One shot and I can reach the wagons.
100,000 mana just to be in the party is certainly a deal breaker.
Actually, that’s a pretty good deal, isn’t it?
That’s what I’m thinking.
Liora and Burgess glanced in my direction.