Chapter 17 – Demon’s Sacred Mountain Dungeon : Part 1
Is there something about me that those demon goblins particularly like? Wait, actually, that’s kind of… I mean, whether that’s the case or not, it’s a pain if these monsters are always going after me ― no, that’s not what I meant.
Anyway, there’s apparently a leader commanding those demon goblins; they surrounded us in the blink of an eye. Right now we’re hiding behind a rock.
Returning to the previous floor seems almost impossible.
“What are we gonna do? There’s nowhere to escape!”
“For now… let’s stay close to that wall.”
Lusha stayed close behind me, and we both managed to get to the wall. Lusha fortunately wasn’t injured because I kept buffing her with Shield, but fighting these demon goblins was our only remaining choice. It was possible they’d just keep getting reinforcements from their nest, painting a picture of hell just for us.
Several demon goblins were attacking me. They missed, of course, as I’m still able to avoid them somehow. Lusha was able to shoot freely from behind me and defeated plenty of them. There are so many enemies in front of us that any arrow was guaranteed to hit one of them, as long as they flew in their general direction. In that sense, this is actually a good way to level up. Heh heh.
Wait, this is no time to be laughing.
Lusha was still shooting, but shouted “This is bad!” in a panic. I could see her long elf ears twitching, so I assumed she heard something that I couldn’t.
“I can hear more monsters coming up from that direction!”
I wonder if it’s better to just keep using Shield while running away, but looking at Lusha, I think, I would dismiss that idea. Lusha’s eyes were burning with fighting spirit as she continuously launched whole volleys of arrows. Her desire to kill every last one of these monsters was palpable.
Well, I guess if we run away now, there was no point in coming here to level up. I took a step towards the demon goblins, and about ten of them came to attack me at once. My Shield hadn’t been broken yet, and there was still room to avoid them. It would become a battle of endurance.
“This is awesome. Every time I shoot, I hit something…”
“Well, there’s a literal sea of goblins in front of us, after all!”
She was overflowing with confidence now. It was fantastic that she could just keep shooting. With the wall at her back, there was no need to worry about being attacked from behind. From her point of view, it was the perfect position, allowing her to completely focus on shooting what was in front of her.
As I listened to the level-up sounds ringing in the back of my mind, I was taken aback upon seeing some new demon goblins show up behind the horde.
“What… are those?”
Lusha turned and looked when I wondered out loud. The demon goblin that had just shown up was a different color. Was it a different monster, a variant, or a higher species? I had no idea, but it probably wasn’t exactly the same as the others.
Lusha chimed in, “I’ve heard that monsters can have variants, is that what it looks like? They’ll be stronger than the normal variety, but they’re also very rare.”
I nodded at her explanation. “I see, a variant, huh?”
That variant demon goblin was purple, and screeching. It seemed like some kind of leader, in charge of the demon goblins on this floor. I tried thinking of a way to prioritize killing it, but Lusha’s build isn’t convenient enough that she can just aim her arrows at something… should I just wait until she hits it by chance?
I was thinking that it might be fine, but I was soon proven wrong. The variant must have used some kind of skill, at which point all the demon goblins started glowing.
“Huh? What!?” Lusha exclaimed in surprise, but she didn’t stop shooting for even a moment. She’s amazing. I immediately understood what that variant did, because the demon goblins attacking me had suddenly improved remarkably in terms of their movement. “It’s like some kind of body-strengthening skill,” I speculated.
There was a clang as they suddenly landed a powerful hit.
“Jeez, they were strengthened enough to break through the Shield!”
If they suddenly had the force to just break it, this contest of endurance ― it wouldn’t even be a contest anymore, we’d just immediately get overwhelmed!
“Dammit, [Shield]! Lusha, stay behind me and don’t move from that spot ― eh?”
At that moment, in the blink of an eye, a wall of fire danced onto the scene, as the monsters screamed in agony. It happened so fast, they didn’t even know an attack was coming before it had already swallowed them whole. And yet, a strong wind blew in after the fire, dispelling the flames, and revealed that all the demon goblins, including the variant, were already dead.
Lusha was flabbergasted. “Wh-what the…? What just happened?”
“That was… a high powered magic skill, huh?”
The entire horde of demon goblins was wiped out, but Lusha and I didn’t have any burns at all. It was obviously not an attack from a monster, but an ally. And with that kind of firepower, it could only be ―
When I called Ruri’s name, Lusha looked around in surprise. Ren and Ruri came out, from the path to the previous floor. Just as I thought, Ruri had saved us with her magic.
“It’s so cruel of you two to go first. I was so worried you’d left us behind…”
“Sorry, sorry. We just wanted to hunt for a while and come back at our scheduled time. You two were still sleeping when we left,” I explained apologetically. Ren was a little gruff. “Even so… do you realize it’s already noon?”
They were apparently quite worried about us since we’d left without saying anything.
“Well, it’s because you two came after us that we’re still alive now. Thank you so much.”
In the face of our earnest expression of thanks, Ren had no choice but to soften up with a bitter smile. Ruri gave us a gentle smile as she told us she was glad we were safe. Now my gaze had shifted to the massive backpack Ren was carrying. It was easily twice his size, and the contents were bulging so much that it seemed fit to burst.
“Hey, Ren… what’s with that huge amount of luggage?”
“Hmm? Ah, I spoke to Ruri about this, and I thought it would be best to proceed to the dungeon with as much preparation as we could. There’s also the luggage from you two as well.”
They even brought our luggage with them. As expected of the hero, he’s actually pretty nice.
“Thanks. All that must be really heavy, so here, give it to me.”
“Huh? Wait a minute, I’m pretty sure this luggage will be a bit much for you, Hiroki…”
Ren smiled awkwardly at my offer. Naturally, no matter how you look at me, I don’t seem to have any strength at all. I may have the appearance of an adventurer because of my equipment, but definitely not the muscular vanguard type. I explained the method of my madness to Ren and Ruri.
“Lusha and I are using magic bags, so the weight won’t be a problem.”
They replied, in perfect sync, “Magic bags?” They looked curiously at mine, and all Ren could do was tilt his head and say, “It looks normal, but…”
I replied, “It had space expansion magic applied to it, so even though it looks just like a normal bag, it’s possible to store large quantities of things inside.”
“Whoa, seriously? That’s amazing…”
Ren quickly lowered his backpack and studied my bag intensely, no doubt wondering if all that could really fit inside such a small object. I started to put the luggage into it, one by one. The more went in, the more amazed he was. In the end, the entire contents of the backpack went into my bag.
“The fact that such a thing can exist is incredible. How do you get them?”
Ruri was just as impressed, and asked how to get one.
“I bought it at a store… uh, it was kind of a special store, run by a fairy. It doesn’t have a fixed location, she just opens it whenever she wants, either in a forest or dungeon.”
“A fairy? That sounds wonderful!”
“That said, there’s a condition required to meet her. You can’t even meet her if you don’t have an item known as the Leaf of the Great Tree. Fortunately, Lusha was able to obtain it ― that’s why we were able to meet her.”
Ruri was looking somewhat envious. “Is that right? …I wonder if I can meet her, too.” That was a somewhat refreshing sight.
“We’ve met her a few times already, so I think we’ll probably meet again.”
“Really? Well, I’ll look forward to it.”
With that flag-raising exchange, our preparations were ready, and we continued into the dungeon.