TL: I’m sorry for the delay. I have found another light novel to read (Knight and Magic vol 6) and I have been looking for the job for after I graduate next year. Light novel, Part-Time Job, and Looking for the job those things are binding me right now. Hehe…
ED: Okay so, Ridwan gave the chapter to me before April Fool’s, but because there’s already been so many fake chapters up during the time I wanted to work on this, I decided to put it off. Then, college happened. So, sorry!
A creature with the size of a bear and the speed of a wolf was approaching.
I can’t explain how it looks very well considering it’s a monster. It’s red and covered with the shell like a lobster complete with scissor-like arms, which it swings right at me. I dodged and countered by attacking the monster’s joints, but failed because even those were hard.
Just how many times did I miss? To add to my troubles, my footing is bad because the terrain is covered in mud. Thanks to that, I’ve only been able to barely match myself with the enemy’s movements.
While I was fighting for my footing, I heard Maria’s voice from behind.
A small fire hit the enemy’s head.
The flame bound the monster, spreading its limbs.
Presented with an opportunity, it would be foolish to let it slip away. This is also payback for earlier. I run to the monster and used all my strength to cut off both its arms.
The monster fell screaming.
I follow through, but considering I had no idea where its weak points are, I just slashed and crushed anything I could reach, whether it was a joint or a limb.
Soon, the monster fell.
A bitter smile form on my lips as I looked over the body of the monster.
「Title 『Those lurking in the swamp』is acquired」
Magic power increased by +0.05
「……What a pain」
「I told you to stop calling me “Master”」
Maria congratulates me on a job done.
After we learned new magic, we’ve been spending the time exploring the dungeon.
We’ve been able to advance and grind levels without a problem. I want to go up to the tenth floor and make a《Connection》there so we could get back up easily, so that’s our goal for today.
With Maria’s help, we were able to beat the eighth floor’s boss just now, so we’re allowed a few moments of relief. So, I took this chance to try and get Maria to stop calling me “Master”, but Maria, ignoring me, asks:
「Did you have trouble?」
「Not much, it’s just hard to move in this kind of terrain. But your assist was on point. Thanks.」
「No no, it’s because I can’t do much that I try to help out even just a little…」
Maria shows quite a depressed look on her face.
Perhaps she’s not satisfied with her role as a rear-laner the whole time.
Well, with experience, Maria’s confidence should build up.
Well, it isn’t just her. This kind of lack of confidence should be apparent to anyone who levels up so fast.
However, as Maria is quite thoughtful about her situation, her confidence shouldn’t be able to rise that high. Especially now after hours of training, she’s realized that her stamina is worse than lacking.
She might think that those are her only problems. But even though I could use 《Dimension》to watch our immediate surroundings, there are still blind spots, disabling me from being able to guarantee Maria’s protection.
「Nah, you could probably even handle the boss all on your own, Maria. But, I can’t really be sure about being able to protect you if the boss went after you. So I suggest we raise our levels up a bit more.」
「Don’t you think you should just abandon a slave like me if that happened?」
「You’re not a slave anymore, and I won’t do such a thing.」
I think of Maria as my partner, but she herself still thinks of our relationship as that of a master and slave. Well, let’s say I did what Maria suggested. That would make sense in her point of view, but the feeling of guilt will probably cripple me…
Or maybe she knows my situation but is persisting on hers…
「Sigh, you’re too soft, Master
「That doesn’t make me soft. That’s just how I am. I just want you to earn your keep.」
「Yet another lie. You’re just being overprotective.」
As she was saying that, Maria was playing with her knife, throwing it up to the air and catching it, up, down, up down…
Since she’s already level 7, her skills should have increased as well. Ah, she’s walking quite fast, such enthusiasm.
Her attitude is shouting “I can’t stand it any longer”.
「It doesn’t mean I’m being overprotective towards you. It’s because, for me, you’re still lacking in some aspects. I can’t let you die considering I bought you for a few gold coins. Gotta get my money’s worth. 」
「Another lie. You’re saying things without even thinking about it, aren’t you? Didn’t you already say that you don’t care if I run away? 」
(ED: LOL REKT)
Ahaha, she got me. Like she said, I did say that. I can’t go against her now.
We’ve been arguing throughout our dungeon exploration, but I’ve never won against her even once. Perhaps it’s because of her “Insight”? It’s like… she knows what I really think or feel.
Right as I get depressed due to my loss in our little debate, 《Dimension》picks up the presence of a monster.
「There’s a monster to the right of that corner. I believe you can handle that one on your own.」
「Finally, I get my chance. Leave it to me.」
It’s a typical beast-type monster. Because I knew beforehand that it had no unique abilities that could be a threat, I decided to leave it to Maria.
The monster is a level 8 Bound-Dog.
It’s a monster that usually takes several level 7 players to defeat. Even so, Maria with her one dagger should be enough.
The Bound-Dog was surprised when it first saw us, but it immediately regained its composure, and it managed to dodge Maria’s first attack.
Right after dodging, taking advantage of its two sets of legs, it tried to launch an immediate counterattack. It’s very fast, but I noticed what it was trying to do beforehand, and it seemed Maria was alerted early as well.
In a split second after the monster’s counterattack, Maria jumps over to its back and slices its skin with the dagger.
It was a decent cut, as the Bound-Dog was forced to create a distance from Maria. Afterward, it started to conduct a series of charging attacks at her. Ordinary people wouldn’t be able to catch up with its speed, but Maria was now faster than that. In fact, it was the enemy who couldn’t match up with her speed.
Despite Maria’s physical ability being lower or the same as an average person, she was gifted with two unique skills.
“Insight” was able to predict the monster’s movements.
“Hunting” increased her battle proficiency.
Because of the prolonged game of cat and mouse, the monster was eventually showing signs of exhaustion. As time passed, the beast started to lose speed as Maria continuously targeted its tendons as it rushed past her.
Finally, Maria managed to burn the monster after severing most of its limb tendons and smashing its eye. She ended the fight by stabbing its heart.
“Hunting” compliments Maria’s overall high status well.
I can’t help but feel sorry for Maria if I were to compare her to Dia or me, but she’s definitely way better than average explorers in terms of skill and proficiency.
At this point, Maria’s already able to take care of most of the monsters in this eighth floor without my help.
「Hahhaaa… Haa ha aaa… I’m sorry, I was only able to help you by this much」
「Nope, it was perfect for your first time」
「No, just being able to be a match against this beast isn’t something to be proud of. It felt familiar because I’m used to hunting smaller ones like these from my village…」
「Hee, is that so? No wonder」
No wonder she possesses the skill “Hunting.”
「If look myself now, my past self can’t even compare. I’m different now. My body is so light it feels like it’s floating. It’s amazing. For one such as myself to be able to fight against that monster…」
Maria happily played with her dagger by throwing it up and down, and thanks to that the blood on it scattered all over the place. Being able to best this monster alone must have felt like such an achievement for her.
(TL: Have you ever play Seal-Online? if you know how the “Clown” job hold the dagger, maybe Maria wield the dagger in that way too)
This “Hunting” skill allows her to do this much. Moreover, she’s now level 7, so the possibilities are immense.
Well, the important thing is that I don’t have to worry that much anymore about when a monster rushes at her.
An opponent that lacks any unique skills has no chance against “Insight”. Rather, I wonder if fighting stronger enemies would make Maria grow faster? Her unique ability should be on the same level as mine.
Anyway, the ninth floor is next. On this floor, the monsters are too strong for her to handle by herself. So, in this floor, I resume my role as the vanguard while Maria would just use 《Fire Fly》 to support.
The tenth floor’s owner is Alty. It’s basically just a floor covered in flames.
Of course, nobody dared to enter this floor.
「Alty? Do you hear me? Alty!」
It felt like calling someone, but not with a phone, but with fire.
「Oi, Alty. Do you hear……ー」
「Ah, I can hear you. That place is my home after all, so it’s connected to me. 」
The fire changed shape to that of a mouth and responded to me. I can feel Maria’s shock from behind.
「At first I doubted it, but it really does work. 」
「Ah, But, I’m kinda busy now. My bad, I can’t stay and talk for too long. 」
「Okay, I’ll get to the point then. Do you mind me using magic on your floor? 」
「Oh, the magic we discussed before huh? I don’t mind. Should I get a space ready for you? 」
Right after she said that part of the flames covering the floor disappeared.
「You can use it on that space I opened up for you. 」
「Okay will do. Magic 《Connection》」
I imagined constructing a door on the space before me. However……
「Kuuuhhー The flow of magic in this room is too strong, I’m not able to construct the door……!」
This is one of the weaknesses of 《Connection》. This is also the reason why I can’t create a door on the “Correct Path”. And if I place the door on an area where monsters reside, they’ll just destroy it. That’s why I wanted to make the door in this floor where there are no monsters.
「Hmm, it looks like it’s more complicated that I thought. Even though I made a space where the flames themselves can’t damage your door.」
「Can you do something about it?」
I want to increase my efficiency in exploring this labyrinth. If I’m able to construct a door in this floor, that would cut mine and Maria’s travel time drastically.
「Hmm……That’s impossible. If I do anything more than this it’s basically me stopping my breathing」
Alty was clearly sorry about it, so she gave some suggestions.
(ED: Best girl)
「How about placing one in Tidus’ room? There are no monsters there anymore, and since the owner’s gone, you shouldn’t have any problems with it.」
「Tidus huh… That means, 20th floor. Too far」
「You should be able to reach that floor without any problems. Go on and try it there.」
「Easier said that done. I also have Maria with me, and I’m out of time as well.」
「But, I will try it tomorrow. So, thanks for today」
「Don’t mention it. Since we’re under a “Cooperation” agreement, we must help each other out. If you have another problem let me know again, okay?」
Right after that, the fire shaped like a mouth turned back to normal.
With that, I learned that making use of 《Connection》on this floor is futile. So, I set my goal on reaching the 20th floor tomorrow.
「Master, are you done?」
「Ah, I’m done. Let’s call it a day.」
「From the voice, was that the girl who we met at lunch?」
Maria found it strange that fire without a body can talk, but she understood who the voice came from.
「Ah, that was Alty. That fellow specializes in fire, so she is able to do those kinds of things」
「That wasn’t something a specialist can do… What is she really?」
「I don’t know the details. She’s just both mysterious and knowledgeable. And she knows a lot regarding this labyrinth.」
I decided not to tell her about Alty being a monster. Since we’re under a “Cooperation” agreement I should let any of her information leaks out. Also, I feel like if she does find out about Alty, there would be trouble ahead.
Maria has definitely realized that I’m hiding something from her, but thankfully she decides not to ask more.
I hope this being secretive is fine with her.
After that, I make a quick check of our status, especially with regards to our remaining MP.
「Well then, shall we go back to home?」
「Eh? We are going back already? 」
「Yea, Since I have been fighting since this morning, my remaining MP is low」
「I see. So, shall we go back home? While on the way, please leave the rest of the monsters to me」
So Maria still seems to feel fit to continue fighting. Perhaps it’s because her skills “Hunting” and “Insight” doesn’t require any MP. Compare to me, I need to calculate my use of 《Dimension》since it consumes MP.
On our way back, Maria cleared all of the monsters we encountered without any problems. Though there were at times some dangerous ones, the Labyrinth Exploration together with Maria ends today. I think today’s a success despite the disappointment at the 10th floor.
We arrived in the city to sell the loot. Maria was shocked to see how much we’ve earned in just a day. With just one day of hunting, we could raise funds enough to support us for a month. This totally went against her common sense.
「ーW, wow. I know that magic stones are high-value items, but to get this much, what should I say? It’s just like the rumors say… 」
Maria’s hands were trembling as they held a pretty big amount of cash.
「Uhh… you’re right. It’s definitely strange to get this much money ……」
After that, since we were a party, I should give her share of the loot.
「Well then, what do you think about getting half of it? 」
「Since you were my companion for today, I should give half to you. 」
「Eh? No no no no! That’s just strange! It’s strange! I wasn’t able to do much. The one who fought the most was you, master. 」
She shook her head to the right, left, right, left…… that was dizzying. Then she gave back all of the money I handed to her.
I don’t really care much about money right now though…
Perhaps that was just my mindset after getting the converted loot from Tidus. I have enough money on hand right now, so I had thought of just giving all of the today’s spoils to Maria, but that would have been even stranger so I settled with half.
「Is it strange to divide the loot by half? Then, how much do you want? 」
「No, I’m your possession, so I should not get anything. It’s enough for me to be able to serve my master. 」
So she says.
I don’t think of her as my slave. Though I did joke about it this morning, this time it’s quite troublesome.
「I don’t and won’t think of you in such a way. I’m not such a special person who would simply use his slave for his own benefit, you should have already understood that much, right? That’s why I want to build a good relationship with you. 」
「…… No way, master. You’re special 」
I’m already begging Maria here, but she’s being persistent.
I do not understand why she thought of me as such a special person. If I was such, then I wouldn’t have bought Maria. However, arguing with her is useless. It’s plain to see that she produces results in the Labyrinth.
「Alright, I understand, since you insist so much. But even then, I’d still like to be fair.」
「I put your life at risk right? So, I have to compensate you for that. 」
「Ah, you’re right… like what happened this morning……」
「Right? I won’t ask you to take half of it anymore, but at least take a little. 」
「……I understand. If you’re that troubled about it, I guess I can take a bit. 」
Finally, she gave up.
Right after she took a big breath, she declares her prize.
「Then, please hand over five copper coins」
Five copper coins? That just for one meal!
She doesn’t understand me after all.
As if opposing my thoughts, a smile floats to her face. She definitely understands what I’m thinking about. But still, this calls for a negotiation.
「Nope, please take 5 silver coins. 」
「I’m not a noble to be getting such a salary. Ten copper coins should be enough for someone such as me. 」
「Then, one silver. Final offer. 」
「If we want to increase my compensation then eleven copper should be good. 」
「That won’t do, please consider my feelings ……」
「Hm… then fifteen copper. 」
「If you just want copper coins, to begin with, just take eighty of them. You did put your life at risk, so it should be that much. 」
「Yes, you are right. I did place my life on the line, so fifteen copper should do. 」
「No, that won’t do. Negotiations should consider the mean value, right?」
「Hmm, can’t be helped then. Twenty copper. 」
「You finally decided to raise it a bit.」
I followed half-jokingly. It seems she’s also amused with this.
Finally, I managed to convince her to take fifty copper. She should be able to go out and shop for her needs.
After that, I left Maria at home and went out. She asked me where I was going, so I didn’t lie and told her that I was going to work. I told her that I had a job at the bar where we had lunch earlier.
「We made so much money. Why do you still need to work? 」
I didn’t answer her. Though I could, it wasn’t that important. The bar was simply a great source of information.
She saw me off with a weird expression on her face.
ED: I had noticed that the author likes to be redundant with some of the lines, so I have taken limited liberty in editing them to a more natural flow. Don’t worry, I haven’t done anything really big, it’s just that repeating some lines like “she doesn’t need money” tends to get tiring when you read it like 3 times in three lines.
For some side news, Arcadia translation starts soon. I think we’re just going to finish Chapter 2 then we’ll start picking on it bit by bit.