Today, I was scheduled to go into the labyrinth with Mear-san.
So, a Labyrinth. I was worried about whether it was okay for me to challenge it without a battle-oriented Divine Treasure. However, the difficulty of the one we were going to challenge was E-rank. The lowest was F-rank, so I was a little wary, but after she saw me fight, Mear-san said there wouldn’t be any problems.
According to the information she checked out beforehand, the monsters that we’ll likely have to fight include a hairy goblin that “grows up to a certain size” (her words, not mine).
She convinced me we’d be alright. If we couldn’t get through it, we could just turn back while we were still on the lower level.
I now found myself on Adventurer’s Street with Mear-san.
「Mear-san, you’ve been ready to go the labyrinth since yesterday, haven’t you?」
Both of us were prepared for everything yesterday, but we didn’t share time off until today, so our preparations had been made separately. Before going to bed, I checked and rechecked everything, so I hadn’t gotten enough sleep because of that.
「Yeah, but… apparently a ton of potions just showed up at the guild.」
「We’ve hardly been able to find any herbs lately, so their price had gone way up. Gah… if I’d known this would happen, I wouldn’t have bothered spending so much to get my hands on some.」
Mear-san was regretfully scowling.
So, a big shipment of potions has been stocked… it probably has something to do with the herbs and potions I created. I guess I should have told Mear-san about it, huh? Or rather, I should have told her I could make potions to begin with.
「Mear-san. When it comes to potions, please rest assured. I’ve prepared a lot of them myself.」
「What? You did?」
I was hesitant to tell anyone, but it would be fine if Mear-san knew.
「As a Blacksmith, the things I can create include potions. Sorry I forgot to tell you.」
「Wha— are you serious? Huh… Blacksmiths are even more competent than I thought.」
「Eh, I don’t know. Maybe.」
My occupation still had no inherent fighting ability, and there was still a limit to what I could create with the Hammer. Of course, thanks to my level having gone up, I could fight monsters without too much difficulty… but it’s still kind of boring.
There were no flashy moves from my Divine Treasure. I wanted the power to burn down everything around me, like Mear-san could.
「Well then, if we happen to need them, I’ll have to rely on you.」
「Of course, leave it to me.」
「So, we’ll head to the labyrinth from the south gate. Are you ready?」
「Yeah, I think I can learn a lot in the labyrinth. Let’s watch each other’s backs in there.」
「Right, you can depend on me as well.」
We walked on together to the labyrinth.
「Come to think of it, Mear-san — you’ve been having fewer shifts lately, haven’t you?」
「Yep. Ever since Relius remade my equipment, I’ve been in great shape!」
Mear-san was happily wagging her tail.
「Really? That’s great! You were talking about your dream to become a famous adventurer, after all.」
「Yeah! It’s all thanks to you.」
「Uh, is it really just because I remade your equipment?」
「That’s right! I mean, ever since you did that, my senses and reflexes couldn’t be compared to what they were before.」
「Nah, that was just a trigger. You wouldn’t have benefited so much if you didn’t already have the ability.」
Even a good piece of equipment was still just equipment. If the wearer wasn’t capable of properly utilizing it, it was as worthless as rotten treasure.
Mear-san wagged her tail, happy to be praised.
「Mhm. Does… that mean you’ll be D-rank again soon?」
「So that’s why you were reducing your shift…」
「That’s right. I’ve actually started earning income again from being an adventurer, you know — uh, of course I’ll still work as a part-timer at the inn, until things stabilize! But eventually, I may stop completely.」
「Oh… I see…」
It was a bit disappointing. It’s really sad when someone close to you leaves; I felt the same way when Lynn had to go.
I wonder if she’s training hard at school. She’s a Hero, so I’m sure she’s getting stronger. Maybe I’m actually nothing compared to her now…
「I’ve spoken about it with Oji-san and Oba-san.」
「So that’s why we were looking for new part-timer.」
Recently, I’d heard they were recruiting again. Guess it wasn’t only because we’d gotten busier.
Mear-san looked apologetic.
Hey, why are you making a face like that?
「Mear-san, please do your best. I wish you good luck with being an adventurer!」
「I’m rooting for your dream, Mear-san! Become a famous adventurer, then stay at the inn again sometime. When you do, bring a bunch of apprentices and friends with you to stay at the inn.」
Mear-san pressed her lips together and smiled.
「I know. I won’t have any more doubts, thanks to you.」
「What, were you hesitating?」
「I… I just loved the atmosphere in that workplace. It’s… I don’t know what to say. I’d started thinking that the life of a low-ranked part-time adventurer wasn’t so bad after all.」
Well, I can kind of understand that. We all want a place that gives you peace of mind. I was anxious too after my parents were killed by monsters. But thanks to Oji-san, Oba-san and Lynn, I was able to get back on my feet more quickly.
I’m going to become strong enough to subdue the monsters that killed my parents! That desire might have also been giving me the strength to go on.
「It’s your dream, isn’t it?」
「Yeah, it is.」
「Then, please do your best. I’ll tell all the customers and the new part-timers that an S-rank adventurer used to work here!」
「I-I’m still E-rank! So please don’t do that!」
Mear-san frantically tried to dissuade me from that notion.
「It’s true, though. Anyway, about today’s labyrinth expedition.」
「That’s where you’re going to help, right Relius?」
「Right, I’ll do my best to not get in the way.」
「Uh… no, I’m pretty sure you’ll be fine.」
That said, I don’t have the power to kick every monster away in an instant. All I can do is fight them one by one.
At the labyrinth’s entrance, we took one more look at each other.
「Are you ready?」
「Yep. There’s what, ten floors in this labyrinth?」
「You got it. It shouldn’t be hard to clear, because the floors have already been mapped out, and all the monsters have been documented. In case of emergency, we also have this magic tool.」
Mear-san took out a green ball, a magic tool that could instantly teleport you out of the labyrinth. I’d already recreated one. It had a pretty good sale price, so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to sell those to the guild if I had any money problems later.
After confirming that we could escape at any time, we took our first steps down into the entrance.
This labyrinth expedition could be my last adventure with Mear-san.
It was a lonely thought, but at the same time, I knew I had to enjoy this adventure as much as I could.