Labyrinth Clearing Beim Style
In Beim, it went that adventurers would be dispatched to Labyrinths once a gathering thought possible to clear it was assembled.
If a Labyrinth was left be, it would spit up a large number of monsters and cause heavy damages to the surrounding area, so clearing them was a must.
At times, a town or city would manage one to reap tremendous profits off of them. But that management required a considerable number of people.
Not just a presiding lord, starting with controlling the area around the Labyrinth, and getting the Adventurers’ Guild’s assistance, it was quite a bit of a pain.
But if that was successful, the Labyrinth became a well of fortune.
It would continue throwing out monsters, so one could get their hands on a large number of Magic Stones. At times, it was even possible to find treasures.
And as long as you didn’t take away the treasure in the deepest chamber, it would continue producing that wealth without running dry. However, if you failed, a large mass of monsters would emerge, and there was quite a risk of such management cities falling to ruin.
Beim’s guild received requests to clear them from other lands, but they also surveyed areas of their own accord, and found Labyrinths themselves, it seems.
But the ones they dispatched were there for surveying, and they didn’t have the proper equipment to go challenge a Labyrinth.
And for that sake, the guild dispatched adventurers.
“So that’s how it is… I want to join the Labyrinth Subjugation in a week’s time.”
Having returned from the guild to our inn, I gathered our worn-out members, and gave an explanation.
Shannon was holding onto her pillow with a sleepy expression, and it didn’t seem she was listening at all.
Rather than Monica not being interested, she just said she’d go if I was going, and wouldn’t if I was not.
She prepared tea for everyone, and once that was done, she stood on standby near me.
Aria stroked her hair as she…
“More importantly, what are you going to do about this time’s reward? You couldn’t possibly be thinking to use it all to prepare for Labyrinth clearing, right?”
While she didn’t seem too worried about the Labyrinth, Aria didn’t have any intentions of unhanding her portion of the reward.
It was evenly divided nine ways, and properly distributed every time.
“I’m thinking of using what we earned in Centralle this time around. And wait, I’ll also cover a bit of the costs on my side, so get your equipment in order. I’ll be going to the guild to voice our decision tomorrow, so could you check how long you think it’ll take by then?”
Even if I gathered all our comrades, our party was a small one.
I had a large sum of my own, and our earnings were cleanly divided between members, but there wasn’t such a thing as a joint party fund.
Normally, there was a tacit rule that your own maintenance was to be done with your own wallet.
Eva looked a little relieved.
“Participating in it’ll be a huge help on my inexperience. And wait, it’ll be my first time in a Labyrinth and all, so I don’t have the slightest idea what to assemble… ah, let’s go shopping together, Novem!”
As Eva’s tone begged to be pampered, Novem gave a wry smile.
“Of course. What will you do, May-san?”
May’s appearance was young, and she was sitting on a sofa drinking some cocoa Monica prepared. She liked sweet beverages over tea.
“You wish to go shopping? But I really don’t need equipment or anything like that. And it’s not like it’s my first Labyrinth or anything. Even like this, I’ve crushed a few in my day.”
Everyone directed surprised eyes, but while she held the form of a young woman, her original form was that of a quilin.
Golden short hair, and blue eyes.
A small build, but large chest. Showing her navel, showing her shoulders, showing her thighs, the girl in quite cold-looking attire was no human.
“Then perhaps a robe or coat? Those clothes do look cold, and they stand out quite a bit.”
To Novem’s opinion, May nodded.
“Yeah~ then that’s what I’ll do. I don’t see how I’m going to use my money in the first place.”
As May didn’t really seem to mind, the problem was Aria.
Monica looked at her, held a tray up to cover her mouth, and grinned.
“Well isn’t that nice. You won’t have to worry about equipment anymore.”
Aria usually had a high monetary expenditure.
It’s not that she was wasting it. She used a number of pieces of equipment, and those cost money. With that being the case, I decided to cover the expense.
(What’s more, she was talking about replacing them not too long ago.)
Of course, Miranda similarly ran through her gear quite quickly, yet she was managing it just fine. Therefore, Aria’s standing was a low one.
She averted her eyes from me and Monica, and sealed her mouth. Miranda looked at her.
“Aria, you really should think more about where your money goes. Even if your income has increased, Beim has various expenses here and there. You understand that, right?”
Aria gave an excuse.
“… It just came at a bad time. And there was the armor renewal and all. If we’re planning to conquer a Labyrinth, then even I can…”
(Well, that’s why I’m putting up the maintenance cost, though.)
Around that time, Shannon’s head was shaking up and down like a boat as she clutched the pillow.
Miranda pinched her face with quite a bit of force. With teary eyes, Shannon unhanded her pillow, and struggled to get Miranda’s hands away from her.
And once she was free, Shannon…
“… Hey, isn’t it fine if I just keep house? I’m not even part of the fighting force, and I think it would be best for all parties if I just took it easy in Beim.”
To her sister that insisted not to count herself into our forces, Miranda lowered her fist with a smile.
“Rejected. With just nine people to our name, you think it’s safe if we leave one behind in this city? And we’ll be leaving you at our base regardless.”
Base did not refer to the Guild branch we made use of.
When challenging a Labyrinth, adventurers of Beim would prepare simple tents and other such places to sleep. And when those tents gather together, you could get hundreds or thousands of them clustered based on the scale.
After dragging themselves out of the depths of the mazes, the adventurers would need such a place aboveground to rest. That was the base.
I looked at Clara.
She was patiently sitting on the sofa, sipping her tea.
When our eyes met, she gave a simple nod to show she had no problems with it.
Hailing from a Labyrinth city, and with ample experience as Support, it did not seem Clara had anything to say.
I brought the conversation together.
“I’ll be asking what’s necessary tomorrow. I’ll hand out the necessary expenses when you give those explanations.”
So everyone began to move to prepare for a Labyrinth in a week’s time.
The morning of the next day.
When I left the inn, I ended up running into a rare acquaintance.
Exiting, I found the narrow-eyed man who had referred us on the first day loitering around.
“Ah, fancy seeing you here.”
“Oh my. Morning, rising rookie of expectations.”
The smiling man called me a rookie of expectations. When I tilted my head, he seemed to understand my confusion, as he went into an explanation on the subject.
“You’re quite famous out at the East Branch. I mean, you were offered Labyrinth Subjugation after only a month. I’m sure that lot’s a gathering of notable adventurers from somewhere, is the rumor going around. Since I showed you around the first day, there are some going to me for information as well, is how it is. You’re earning me a pretty penny you know.”
Watching the narrow-eyed man who boldly declared he was selling information on me, my face cramped up. But my opponent saw through my sentiment.
“Don’t mind it. I didn’t give out anything too important. Though I did say you all looked like proficient ones. That’s all it took for a splendid income this month. Yep! As I thought, it sure is a nice thing when the adventurers I lead make it big!”
I stared at him in mild amazement.
“By the way, Lyle-kun.”
“Something the matter?”
When I stared at him a little longer, he raised both hands, in a pose of surrender.
“Don’t get angry. I really don’t have any major information on you guys, and all I did was answer what I was asked. More importantly, you’re going out to challenge the Labyrinth, right?”
“Then won’t you buy some info off of me?”
I hesitated a little to decide, but for the time being, I thought it best to listen to what he had to say.
“Well that depends on what you’ve got. So how much will it be?”
“Oh, you’ve already made me plenty, so a meal is enough. The truth is, I know a nice shop. The breakfast there has a bit of popularity.”
Meaning if I treated him to breakfast, he would give me information.
Even if I was going to go to the guild, I had some time on my hands, so I decided to buy the information off of him.
By the Sixth’s 【Search】, his response was stagnating at blue. I knew it best to remain vigilant, but at least listening to his story should be fine.
“Understood. My treat. That’ll settle the matter, right?”
“Nice of you to be so understanding.”
It was a restaurant that was crowded even from morning.
There were numerous customers who looked to be adventurers, many of them ordering steak and ale so early in the morning.
(It really is an adventurer-esque scene.)
Beim had its own Labyrinth it managed, and there were plenty of adventurers who challenged it. And spending their days in those dark twists and turns, some ended up returning at the break of dawn.
Because of that, there was an increase in the number or places open early to cater to them.
(It was like that in Arumsaas as well, and it’s nothing too rare.)
The store itself was wide, and the tables in the chairs around were built sturdy.
The narrow-eyed man ordered something from the breakfast menu, and was currently eating it. I had already ate at the inn, so I only got a drink.
After I watched over his meal a while, he finished it up, wiped off his mouth, and started into the information in question.
“Now then, I’ve got to work off my keep. The fact you’re challenging a Labyrinth means you’re an adventurer approved by the guild. Well, even if your behavior’s atrocious, as long as you’ve got some notable competence, they may offer the chance anyways, it seems, but most adventurers with that much ability choose to part from the East Branch.”
In the Jewel, the Fourth put together the information coming from the man’s mouth.
『So even if they emphasize ability, they do consider humanity to an extent. You were recognized in quite a short time, so that’s what makes you stand out?』
The narrow-eyed man continued his explanation.
“You caused a problem soon as you got to Beim, didn’t you? That duel ruckus.”
“The arbitrator in that one, 【Creit Benini】 was also selected for the Labyrinth Subjugation, it seems. It’s taken about half a year for him, but he’s a reputation for being diligent. In contrast, the party of that carouser 【Albano】is also coming along. The truth is, those two came to Beim at around the same time.”
“What of it?”
He sipped his drink as he gave me a warning.
“They’re opposite types. Albano’s light-natured and shrewd. He used to head a bandit brigade, so he’s got some maneuverability, they say. In comparison, Creit’s party is truly sturdy, and battle oriented. But Albano’s the one with the knack, and he was decided for the next Labyrinth mission several months prior. Well, what I’m trying to say here, is that Creit holds some animosity towards the man, and Albano knows it all too well. He likes to tease him with it.”
From within the Jewel, the Seventh let his voice.
『… Then why were they sent on the same request? As I thought, the guild’s incompetent as ever.』
I felt the same.
If a problem broke out, it would bring trouble to me.
Narrow-eyes carried on.
“The main party are the knights led by 【Alette Baillet】. They’re on a knight’s errantry at the moment, perhaps? They seem to have come for quite a tedious goal. They’ve got high battle ability, and possess considerable support. They’re quite skilled. Ah, the solo 【Marina】’s participating too. There aren’t any other famous names among them.”
Hearing a solo adventurer was joining in, I found it a little strange.
“Challenging a Labyrinth when they’re alone? Do they possess some sort of special Skill?”
In general, it was rare for one to go solo. It’s not like there wasn’t support like Clara, who went around helping out a number of parties.
But it made me quite curious to find an adventurer offered to clear a Labyrinth was a solo.
“She’s quite strong. Exceptionally so. Perhaps you could call her a bit of a battle-crazed maniac?”
He laughed it off with the words, ‘hey, as long as you don’t do anything rude, she won’t do a thing,’ but I couldn’t laugh.
(Exceptionally? Celes level?)
I was curious of the adventurer Marina who was supposedly strong to such an extent. If it was possible, I’d definitely want her assistance.
“Alette’s set to be vice-captain of the knight brigade of some country, so she’s more on the commanding side of things. She’s the one responsible for this time’s forces. Well, it doesn’t seem she’s after the money, and she’s earnest, so she’s some considerable popularity among her coworkers.”
The information the man gave me was info pertaining to the members participating alongside my party.
Finishing his drink, he asked with a smile.
“So was that helpful?”
“It was worth much more than a breakfast. Ah, this is a different matter, but there was something I wanted to ask.”
“What could it be?”
To him, I…
“You said you were an information dealer, but what sort of info can I buy? Like information on neighboring countries, or stuff like that? I want to get some details on them.”
And he shook his head.
“It’s not my main occupation after all. If it’s in the realm of rumors, I’ll probably know it, but I don’t have a guarantee. If you want to go information shopping, I can recommend a place. A to Z. If there are guys like me out there, I assure you there are some who do full-blown information enterprises. Naturally, it’s best you assume buying info from a real one’ll hike the price up a fine margin.”
So it’ll cost money after all. Thinking that, I took my cup in hands to take a sip. But it was already empty.
(So it won’t work out, for now. But if you look at it the other way, if I can do something about money, then I can have him introduce one.)
I spoke to the narrow-eyed man.
“Then once I’ve gotten to earning some money, please introduce a good one.”
Perhaps he thought I was joking. He shrugged his shoulders.
“Well fine. When you’re earning, that is.”
I took the check off of the table, and stood from my seat.