There is a labyrinth managed by the city of Arumsaas.
They make sure a large quantity of monsters don’t emerge, and manage it so that adventurers are barred from entering the deepest chamber.
The labyrinth’s defining characteristic was the restrictions placed on the adventurers challenging it.
It’s not like everyone desired for it, but there were some times when they had to challenge it even if they didn’t want to.
For Arumsaas’ guild that conducted management of the labyrinth, with the monster materials and magic stones, and other treasures brought forth by it, it was a valuable source of income.
And in the labyrinth they managed, a set number of adventurer had to perpetually go down, and lessen the number of monster.
“The right to challenge a labyrinth?”
Having stopped by the guild, the three of us, me, Novem and Aria, looked through the various bulletins stationed around before finding on with that title.
The contents… no, rather than that, there was a request for parties that wanted to obtain that right, and a search ongoing for parties that wanted to challenge the labyrinth.
It was a request directly put out by the guild.
Aria tilted her head as she looked at it.
“You need a special right to challenge it? There was nothing like that in Dalien.”
In Dalien, they generally didn’t have the power or knowledge to manage a labyrinth, so they handled them by sending out masses of knights or adventurers wo clear them.
Labyrinths had a nature where they would gradually grow deeper, and after a certain point, they would spit up a large quantity of monsters before vanishing.
But if the amount of monsters inside it was kept low, it would continue to grow deeper, and larger as a labyrinth.
Novem looked at the specifics of the request.
“It looks like this is how Arumsaas conducts management. The Party requirements are… at least three on the front line, two in the rear, and one support, it seems. It’s impossible for us.”
In our current state, we’re operating with just the three of us.
We’re mainly going out to defeat monsters, and selling their parts for profit.
I heard a voice from the Jewel.
It was the Fourth’s.
『The rights also come with an obligation. There’s no need to push yourself to challenge it, but that doesn’t change the fact that you’ll need to gather personnel… Lyle, move with the intentions of assembling at least a party of six.』
I gripped the Jewel in response.
It was my signal of, ‘understood’. When there were a lot of eyes around, I couldn’t really let out my voice to talk to them.
While I could hear the ancestors’ voices, my own thoughts don’t reach them.
“… Let’s try gathering six people. Of course, we’ll need young not-so-patriotic ones, though.”
I get the feeling the conditions are slightly harsh.
There are many adventurers fine with leaving their homelands, but there are many others besides us searching for young adventurers with good future prospects.
Aria looked at me, and muttered.
“And in the end, you plan on finding yourself some cute girls, don’t you.”
She’s been picking fights with me a lot lately, so I responded.
“Whether they be male or female, if they’re skilled, then I’ll invite them as our comrades!”
But Novem was…
“No, if possible, let’s fortify our party with women. It would be troublesome if various problems came up, and I’ve heard that many quarrels can come out in mixed gender parties.”
She denied it all too naturally.
Since the start, no matter how many times I told her I didn’t want a harem, she would gently change the subject.
I really can’t tell what’s going on in her mind.
(Even if I do build up a harem, will Novem not get angry… this makes me feel really lonely, you know.)
It would be a problem if she was too jealous, but not being jealous at all for the sake of the person she likes leaves quite a lonesome feeling.
Aria spoke up, as if she had just remembered something.
“Ah, I’ve heard about it! In places with few men, the women often fight, and in places with many men, the men fight amongst themselves!”
Finding satisfaction in her own words, she nodded a few times.
There, having heard her, a single adventurer stifled their laughter before offering a correction.
The hooded magician-like adventurer gave her a more detailed explanation.
“Girly, that’s a little wrong, you know.”
From his voice, I could tell he was a middle-aged man. He was likely Aria’s elder, so she revised her tone of speech.
“What do you mean by that?”
According to him…
“Generally, love and such relationships don’t break out between adventurers. They often go off with ordinary civilians. I mean, it’s quite a dangerous job. They don’t want to have to see their comrades faces even after they finally return. Also, their opinions often clash on various things during jobs.”
“I-is that how it is?”
“That’s right. There’re even times they’ll have to stay together for a job. Regardless of male and female relations, they’ll see the parts of each other they don’t want to see. For a man who still wants to keep up his pretty illusion of women they run off to civilians or harlots. For women, rather than the men who don’t treat them as females, a civilian is more appealing. Oh, this is just the standard pattern, so I’m not giving any absolutes. But there are a lot of adventurers like that.”
Hearing that, I recalled Zelphy-san.
(I do believe the one she was marrying to was a common man. Even when it seemed she had many adventurer acquaintance, as I thought, did she not want to marry into the same business?)
Rondo-san was dating Rachel-san of his party, so it’s true that it isn’t an absolute, I gess.
However, I was able to understand what was the general case.
“Isn’t it bad not to treat them as women…”
Aria tried to offer a rebuttal, but he continued on.
“Man and women are all risking their lives all the same. In a place like that, would you like to be protected, or perhaps underestimated for your gender? It’s simple manners to treat them all as adventurers.”
Hearing that, Aria closed her mouth.
She had cone through such an experience, so she couldn’t say anything in return.
Novem offered her thanks to the adventurer who provided the information. Aria hopped on as well…
“Thank you for your kind explanation.”
I also give thanks, and the hooded man went off with a request form to the receptionists.
I thought that most of the residents were apathetic, but I guess kind ones exist as well.
“… Well then, with the fact that love affairs within the party aren’t recommended in mind, I believe it’s time for us to seriously focus on gathering members. Should we put up a flier first?”
The standard method was writing down all the necessary information, and putting it out with a recruitment call.
But the other two reacted badly to that.
“We’ll be doing an interview or something, right? Like going out hunting as a temporary party member or something? In that case, wouldn’t it be better to approach them from our side?”
Novem was the same.
But her opinion on the matter wasn’t of any use.
“There’s also the method of having the guild introduce them to us, but it has to be a woman who fulfills the Walt Family Precepts. Interviews are good and all, but as I thought, I’d like to confirm them with my own eyes first.”
Yep. Let’s not use her view as reference.
“Okay, then we won’t put out a flier, and call out to them from our side.(We still have time, so it’s fine to leisurely search for them too. I guess it’s better than rushing and failing.)”
After we stay in Arumsaas a while, the amount of adventurers we talk to should increase.
Or we could also call out to a newbie and advise them, plucking them before they grow.
We received precise instruction from Zelphy-san in Dalien, so we should be able to teach the basics.
Using that, we could teach the foundations of adventuring, and earn some favors.
“Then let’s get motivated, and start earning for today.”
As I said that, and headed to the receptions desk, Aria spoke.
“The one with the least motivation is Lyle, though…”
After we left the city, I used my Skills to confirm the position of monsters.
The Fifth’s and Sixth’s really are convenient.
Where are the monsters?
Where should we fight them?
How many will we have to fight?
It made it simple to set up plans.
To get to the places where monsters gathered, I was able to use the Fourth’s Skill for swift movement.
So as not to leave the other two behind, I used the Second’s Skill to raise their speed as well.
In battle, even if we were at a disadvantage, we generally didn’t have a problem.
When we were surrounded by goblins…
“Lyle-sama! There are two coming at you from behind!”
When I heard Novem’s voice, I activated the Second’s Skill to sense the enemies approaching my back.
While turning around, I locked my sabre with their weapons, and used my left hand to draw my reserve sabre to take one out.
Using the first goblin corpse as a Shield, I locked down the second one’s movements, before impaling its head on my sabres.
Finally, I used Magic…
Electricity rains down on the goblins all around, charring them black.
Seeing that, Aria shouted out.
“D-don’t scare me like that! If you’re going to use it, at least throw out a warning!”
My Skills already give me the positioning of enemies and allies, but Aria said she found the burst of magic suddenly coming at her from behind to be scary.
(I’m pretty sure I already explained it, though…)
Does that mean our coordination in battle is still immature?
Looking at the battle, the ancestors gave their evaluations.
The Second level-headedly…
『Lock them down before they can surround you. Even if you know you can win, don’t get yourself into that sort of battle if you can avoid it.』
The Third leisurely…
『Hey, hey, this is also a sort of experience. It’s hard to fight when surrounded. He’s got to learn that one in real battle. It’s just that I’m doubtful of whether Lyle was actually able to grasp that or not.』
The Fourth spoke.
『For now, you’ll just have to fight enemies you know you can beat, and polish your coordination.』
The Fifth was of the same opinion.
『If Lyle’s Skill, 【Experience】, were to be used on the entire force, and everyone was able to amass experience all at once, won’t the coordination reach a higher level sooner? I mean, rather than for Growths, it was a Skill for gaining a large amount of life experience, right?』
The Sixth found my actions to be rash.
『Don’t make light of an enemy you can defeat. You may pay for that with your life one day, Lyle.』
The Seventh was the softest.
『But with Lyle’s aptitude, he can easily cut through this much. While it may sound natural, his lack of numbers is detrimental, though.』
Due to our current lack of numbers, we can’t just move as we want.
We had no one to protect our baggage, so after collecting magic stones and monster parts up to a point, we would have no choice but to return.
Even if we knew we would have to become more accustomed to battle, we couldn’t go as far as to discard out sources of income.
Avoid unprofitable actions, is one of the important principles of adventuring. We weren’t doing this in order to fight. It was in order to live that we worked as adventurers.
(I do want experience, but I feel bad for dragging the two of them around for nothing but battle.)
There’s also Novem and Aria.
I couldn’t conduct battle thinking of only myself.
The Second started into his assessment of today’s job.
『Generally, with only three, this is about your limit. If you got a support, or perhaps a front or back line that could fight, it would likely be much different, but… well, that’s the current issue anyways. It’s not like your earnings will suddenly explode the moment you get a new recruit or anything.』
(… So it won’t.)
Yes, if we suddenly got a new member, our earnings won’t rise so easily.
There would be a need to spend time polishing all of those.
(Is there no promising candidate out there?)
I know I’m being selfish, but I couldn’t help but wish for that.
Having returned from our work, we washed off the sweat and blood at the bath house near the guild, before returning to the mansion.
We ended up taking residence in the property the Circry House possessed in Arumsaas, and obtained a lifestyle where rent was unnecessary.
When we entered, Miranda-san greeted us.
It wasn’t bad to have someone greet us, I thought as I stepped forward, but…
My feet suddenly slipped, and I collapsed in the entranceway.
Novem ran over to me, and I borrowed her hand to stand.
Aria burst into laughter upon seeing me fall.
“W-what? Was there something to make me…”
As I sat down on the floor, I found a fluid spread over it.
“Hey, are you alright? Ah, this is…”
Miranda came over, and touched the floor with her hand.
“Come to think of it, I did drop some eggs on the floor. But that’s strange. I’m sure I did a decent job wiping it away… ah, sorry, Lyle. Are you hurt?”
To be honest, it hurt, but if I were to say that to an apologizing girl, I get the feeling the Fourth would be outraged, so I held it in.
“No, it was my negligence. I’m fine. And wait, Aria! Aren’t you just a little too happy!?”
Looking at the girl holding her stomach and laughing behind me, I saw that her eyes had become teary.
I heard a fed up voice from the Jewel.
It was the Second and Third.
『Lyle, you really need to be more aware of your surroundings. Perhaps we really have to work on that one.』
Novem seemed fed up as well, but that was towards Aria.
As I thought, Novem is my ally.
“Aria-san, isn’t that a little cruel?”
“Sorry, sorry. I mean, that was an amazing slip… just remembering it is…”
It seems there was no stopping it, an she frantically attempted to endure her laughter.
I stood up, and walked into the mansion.
Novem supported my body, and Aria followed behind.
Miranda-san began the cleanup of the floor.
“I’m really sure I wiped it, though…”
She seemed a little perplexed, but we had our baggage with is, so we wanted to leave our equipment in our equipment in our rooms.
I entered my room.
We had separate ones, so our paths split. Next to mine was Novems, and Aria’s was next to hers.
Aria screamed out, so we rushed to her room.
“What’s wrong, Aria… bufuh…!!”
There was the form of a girl with a pot stuck over her head.
I was worried for a moment, but she seemed to be alive and kicking, so I laughed.
“That’s incredible, Aria! Could it be that the moment you opened the door, the pot on the shelf fell and came down on you? That’s close to a miracle, isn’t it! What’s more, that previous scream wasn’t girly at all, you know.”
I put my left hand on my forehead, pointed at her, and let out a loud laugh.
Aria lifted the pot, and glared at me.
Novem cautioned me this time.
“Lyle-sama, I think you’re laughing too much.”
“I know. But it was just interesting.”
She tossed the pot at me, so I caught it, and shouted at her that that was dangerous.
Miranda-san came to the room, wondering what the uproar was, and looked at the shelf in Aria’s room. This time, she was perplexed as well.
“That’s strange. This pot should have been on the lower part of it, or am I remembering this wrong?”
She asked Aria if she had moved it, but Aria denied that.
(Since people suddenly started living here, have these sorts of happenings increased? Even so, this house sure has a lot of this type of trouble.)
Happenings like these have happened a number of times since we started living at Miranda-san’s mansion. I found it mysterious.
I thought that it was perhaps Miranda-san’s ill will, but her reaction from the Skills remained a hostility-less blue.
(The blind Shannon? I don’t think she’s actually capable of that…)
As I seriously wondered whether the manor was haunted by a ghost or something, the Fifth spoke.
『Well, well, well, it seems that some punishment is in order.』
(Not me, right?)
With a slight ominous premonition in mind, I touched the Jewel.
But there was no response.
The Fifth didn’t voice his concerns there.