Another long chapter and extra chapter thanks to support from TM and SA. Enjoy!
Chapter 0069 The help that arrived …
Turning back time to forty minutes ago.
Running out of the tent of the Court Magic Group at the entrance to the dungeon, Natalie headed for the Adventurer’s Guild.
To be exact, she was rushing toward the dormitory attached to the Adventurer’s Guild.
Her speed may not necessarily be quick for ordinary people, but for Natalie, it was a once-in-a-lifetime, the first and probably the last time, she ran at full throttle.
In Natalie’s mind, the words Abel once said were repeated many times.
“Natalie. If you ever encounter a situation that you need someone to help you and we aren’t there at the time, you can rely on Ryo.”
Now was the time.
When Natalie jumped into Room 10 of the Guild Dormitory, Ryo was the only one inside.
Ryo was conducting alchemy using the magic copper ore that the other three had collected.
And he had succeeded in compounding an intermediate potion for the first time.
A potion created using magic copper ore with Wound Grass as the base.
When Ryo first saw this recipe, he wondered ‘The ore is mixed in with what you drink?’. But the magic copper ore was only a catalyst and must be taken out of the potion at the end … that step was tricky and the reason why no adventurer made their own potion.
Natalie jumped in while Ryo was basking in the afterglow of success.
“Ryo-san, please help us!”
Out of breath, Natalie squeezed out those words before repeatedly taking shallow breathes with her hands on her knees.
Wondering what happened and looking back at the door, Ryo recognized that she was the only Water-Attribute Magician girl he got to know recently.
“For the time being, drink a glass of water and then talk.”
Then, in his right hand, he made a glass of ice filled with water and passed it to Natalie.
It was a very unusual sight, but Natalie couldn’t afford to try to understand it at that moment.
She drank it all in one go and seemed to have calmed down a little as she took deeper breaths.
“Ryo-san, Abel-san and the others have gone missing in the dungeon. Please help to find them.”
Upon hearing Natalie’s words, Ryo immediately stood up, put on his usual robe, and equipped Michael’s dagger and Murasame.
“I’ll listen while we move. Let’s go.”
Then, he left the dormitory briskly.
Natalie, who had been sprinting from the entrance of the dungeon to this point, was exhausted, but she couldn’t drag her legs here so she literally clenched her teeth and followed Ryo.
But … when she reached the main street, her legs got tangled and fell.
“Ah, I’m sorry, you ran all the way here. I didn’t give enough consideration. Ride this. <Wagon>”
Ryo then produced an ice wagon about two meters long.
It was the <Wagon> that he once used to carry Abel, who was washed up from the sea, to his house.
It could be used without problems on the flat roads in the City of Rune.
Natalie was hesitant in many ways.
Above all, it stood out tremendously.
Children were looking at the wagon with sparkling eyes.
Women were fascinated by the glittering wagon.
A wagon that reflected light and shined.
It took a lot of courage to ride on it.
But her companion didn’t wait for her.
“I guess you don’t even have the physical strength to hop in.”
Then, he grabbed Natalie’s waist from behind with both hands and put her on the wagon.
It happened in a blink of an eye.
And Ryo started running.
Naturally, the wagon also started following him. That was how the magic worked.
Natalie screamed at the sudden change.
During their journey, Natalie’s explanation was muddy.
That was natural.
She was suddenly placed on such a <Wagon> and moved at high speed.
But she was able to convey the bare minimum details.
A total of 54 members comprising of the Crimson Sword and the Court Magic Group’s investigation team were transported away in the dungeon by a transfer.
Due to the function of a magic tool, there was a high possibility that the transfer destination was the 40th floor.
At the same time, it was highly possible that the Kingdom Central University investigation team, which had been investigating the 11th floor, was also teleported.
However, there was no information on their transfer destination.
“Yeah, I pretty much understand.”
Upon arriving at the dungeon entrance, Ryo dispelled the Wagon.
At the same time, Natalie slumped onto the ground.
“By the way, Natalie, why did you look for me?”
Natalie was the only other Water-Attribute Magician that Ryo knew, but that was it.
He just helped to mediate a letter to Abel.
He had never met her since then.
Yet, Natalie said she looked for Ryo first.
“Abel-san said before. If you ever encounter a situation that you need someone to help you and we aren’t there at the time, you can rely on Ryo.”
“I see, Abel …”
Those were the only words Ryo said, but Natalie could tell that he made a resolution.
“Okay, then I’ll dive in.”
Ryo headed for the dungeon entrance.
The dungeon entrance was sealed.
Naturally. They didn’t know what was happening inside.
At the entrance, two adventurers were standing like sentries at the request of the guild.
“I’m passing through.”
Ryo tried to pass through without caring.
“No, you can’t. We’re told that no one can enter the dungeon.”
“I’m a D-rank adventurer. <Ice Wall>”
With that, Ryo put up Ice Walls between himself and the adventurers to prevent him from getting caught and secured the path to the dungeon.
“Wha-what? A transparent wall? Hey, don’t enter the dungeon.”
Leaving such voices behind, Ryo trotted down the 100 steps to the first floor.
The first floor hall.
The『Ping』 spread along the surrounding water molecules. And it would reflect whenever it hits an object.
“There’s really nothing.”
The information came in the previous day that there was nothing up to the ninth floor.
Active Sonar was just a confirmation.
Even if there were no monsters, each floor of the dungeon was very wide.
Searching for the stairs down was also a time-consuming arrangement.
In the first place, there was no map in the guild for the floors below the 30th floor, and the positions of the stairs were not completely known.
How long would it take to reach it he had to go down to the 40th floor…?
So Ryo thought about a way to cut out the bottom of the floor.
It was shown often in anime and manga … Ryo remembered seeing it in a couple of them!
The issue was when the walls and floor of the dungeon were unusually hard or had amazing ability to regenerate … but he remembered the Soldier Ants.
When talking about encountering the Soldier Ants on the first floor, Abel replied, ‘Because the Soldier Ants dug a vertical hole and came out to the next floor’.
If ants could dig holes, then humans should be able to dig too!
It may be difficult for ordinary people, but Ryo could do it.
Yes, because he was a Water-Attribute Magician.
“<Abrasive Jet 6>”
He made a hole with abrasive jets at the points of a regular hexagon so that there was a diameter of about 2 meters. And by rotating them clockwise by 60 degrees …
The floor fell out.
A hole with a diameter of 2 meters opened, and Ryo jumped in without hesitation.
The height was about 10 meters … Even if he fell just like that, if he rolled properly, he would likely not be injured, but it would probably hurt his legs.
The moment he was about to land on the ground, he sprayed water jets from the sole of his feet and gained a slight amount of buoyancy.
It was not easy, of course, but it was easier than spraying water jets from the entire of his back and charging forward.
In the first place, water jets from the sole of the feet was a technique that had saved Ryo’s life many times.
Mainly from the battle with monsters in the sea.
In that way, Ryo went down smoothly to the 39th floor.
It was really strange that he didn’t meet any monsters on the way.
“But it’s not my job to think about that.”
What Ryo had to do now was to join up with Abel and bring him back to the surface safely.
“If the 40th floor is below then … <Active Sonar>”
The 『Ping』 spread throughout the 39th floor … arriving at the stairs to the 40th floor.
When it was about to go down the stairs, the spread stopped.
“Hmm? Is there some sort of a barrier …”
Here, Ryo recalled the information Natalie gave him.
There was a response from the 40th floor for an instant, but it soon ceased.
“I’m worried that I don’t know what’s going on, but it can’t be helped …”
As he muttered, he cast the same magic as before.
“<Abrasive Jet 6>”
The floor of the 39th floor fell out.
And Ryo jumped into the open hole.
He felt a slight resistance as he went through the hole.
Also, it felt as though the world had been reversed.
(This sensation reminds me of the battle with the Akuma Leonor … she called it a corridor? But it feels less concentrated than that time? Is it a defective corridor?)
When he passed through what seemed to be a barrier and looked down, he saw a strange being approaching Abel on his knees.
Moreover, Abel was holding his sword while still on his knees.
(Abel, can’t stand up? For now, let’s give him some room.)
“<Ice Wall 10-layers>”
Ice Walls were created between Abel and the odd-shaped being, separating the two.
Ryo himself then landed between the odd-shaped being and hundreds of burnt corpses.
(Those are … the investigation team from the Kingdom Central University … that’s terrible.)
With only that thought passing through his mind, he started walking toward Abel.
During that time, no one spoke anything, including the odd-shaped beings.
“Abel, are you injured?”
Even Ryo could occasionally spit out common-sense lines.
“Yeah … why Ryo is here …”
“Of course I’ve come to help. Leaving that aside, you can’t stand up even though you appear uninjured … Oh, so it’s a concussion or something like that. Even Abel is about to be killed by a concussion … you still have a long way to go.”
Ryo’s words made Abel want to laugh and cry, and he managed to endure his expression that was about to crumble.
“Shut up. I just slipped a little.”
“A Swordsman slipping … no, I guess that is common?”
Ryo recalled his sword fights with his master, Dullahan, in his head, and remembered that the wetlands had pretty bad footing.
“For the time being, it seems that a lot of people are worried, so let’s go home.”
“I want to go home, but …”
Then Abel looked towards the odd-shaped beings.
“I’ll defeat them. You have no issue with that, right?”
“No, Ryo, wait. That’s a Devil Prince!”
Abel stopped Ryo in a hurry.
“Devil Prince? The children of a Devil King? Well, tell me such jokes at a later time. Beings related to the Devil King wouldn’t seem so weak.”
“The Devil Prince seems to be a monster that will become a Devil King in the future …. It’s strong!”
“I see, so it really is like a child of the Devil King? No wonder it seems weak.”
Then Ryo turned to the Devil Prince.
On their end, it seemed that the Devils had finally snapped out of their daze.
Punishment against those who interfere with single combat. The punishments were mercilessly enforced, as the adventurers of the Kingdom Central University investigation team, who had disrupted the fight with magic earlier, were burned down.
Six flame arrows flew toward Ryo from the three followers of the Devil Prince.
(<Icicle Lance 6>)
All of them were individually intercepted with Icicle Lances.
Having never learned magic from anyone else, Ryo did not know the existence of a magic barrier.
Therefore, he had no choice but to intercept them by blocking them with an Ice Wall or Ice Shield, or by striking them with Water-Attribute attack magic to annihilate them.
That said, he hadn’t had any problems doing so.
(<Water Jet 3>)
As a counterattack, water jets instantly fired out from the back of the necks of each of the three followers and scythe down their heads horizontally … three necks rolled to the ground.
At the same time, the bodies of the three followers also collapsed while spewing blood from their necks.
It was only a few moments after the three followers fired their flame arrows.
No one was able to understand what had happened.
Even Abel, a top-notch Swordsman, couldn’t perceive it.
(I barely perceived that Ryo intercepted with his usual Ice Spear, but … what did he do after that? Why did the Devils’ heads fall off? I have no idea what happened!)
Of course, Abel wasn’t the only one at a loss.
Perhaps the one who was the least convinced was the Devil Prince.
However, it could only understand that its subordinates were defeated in an instant in some way.
The hatred dyed its eyes.
No matter how many regular Devils were defeated, it didn’t change its facial expressions at all, but it seemed that the death of its three followers angered it.
It turned its eyes with such intense hatred toward Ryo.
“I’m used to that gaze. Is that a sword in your right hand? Hmm …”
For the time being, Ryo also pulled out Murasame from his waists and generated its ice blade.
Seeing that, it seemed that the Devil Prince became stiff for a moment.
“Look here, you Devil Prince or what not, you can come try me.”
His words were provocative, but there was no gap in his stance.
The Devil Prince understood that as well.
It couldn’t move easily while it was still in its upper stance.
Seeing that the Devil Prince did not move while maintaining its upper stance, Ryo also switched to an upper stance.
It was a stance that was rarely done.
Ryo’s strongest stance was when his sword was held pointing toward the opponent’s eyes … The most fundamental stance of the basics, with the sword held in the middle, making it easy to shift between both attack and defense.
When held in an upper stance, it changes completely into a fully offensive stance.
One would be able to tell when actually holding the stance. You won’t be able to block the opponent’s attack with the sword. You won’t even be able to parry it.
In other words, there was no choice but to dodge without using the sword.
Zero defense. That was why it was a fully offensive stance.
Ryo gradually closed the gap with his feet inching forward holding the fully offensive stance.
At first, the Devil Prince retreated a little, but it decided to stop backing down and to engage him.
And then …
The Devil Prince closed the gap in an instant and struck down.
Ryo evaded the downward slash of the Devil Prince by putting his right foot diagonally forward for half a step, then turned to the side of the Devil Prince whose posture was broken and cut off its neck from behind.
The Devil Prince’s charge and downward slash were quick … but Ryo envisioned …
“Leonor was faster …”
Yes, the Akuma Leonor’s charge could be called a true Breakdown Rush, probably exceeding the speed of sound using Wind Magic.
A charge that exceeded the speed of sound that the one-eyed Assassin Hawk once showed him.
For Ryo, who was expecting that, the Devil Prince’s charge was too slow.
Abel who was watching was dumbfounded.
(What was that …)
Everything is fundamentally different from the swordsmanship that Abel practiced.
The movement of the foot, the movement of the center of gravity, and of course the sword itself!
However, he could tell that Ryo’s swordsmanship was unusual.
It wasn’t natural talent … It was swordsmanship born from a huge amount of practice, an unimaginable amount of training, and a terrifying amount of practical training.
It was just a swing of the sword, but it was not difficult for a Swordsman like Abel to understand the vast amount of information contained within it.
It took him a while to regain himself.
After regaining himself and understanding what had happened again, Abel turned to Ryo.
Then he noticed when he tried to say thank you to Ryo.
The Devil Prince, whose neck was cut off, had not collapsed.
And that was also noticed by Ryo.
“You won’t die even if I cut off your head … That’s a little annoying.”
Ryo jumped backward and took a distance.
“That vitality is amazing … but the Devil King is even stronger. At least not as weak as you. But you can’t understand what I’m saying, right?”
While Ryo spoke, the Devil Prince picked up its fallen head and placed it on its neck.
The connected neck gave out hissing noises.
“That regeneration ability is so so, but … well, let’s see how far you can regenerate. <Abrasive Jet 256>”
256 lines of water jets containing ice-abrasive material generated around the Devil Prince moved in a random number of orbits and sliced up the entire space.
It was Ryo’s trump card, which once (probably) chopped the Akuma Leonor.
At that time, he couldn’t deal a decisive hit due to Leonor’s unusual regeneration speed …
In the middle of the random number of orbits, Ryo’s ears heard the sound of something hard cracking with a「pakin」.
At that instant, the body of the Devil Prince, which was still trying to regenerate even though it was fragmented, completely collapsed and never moved again.
“I broke the magic stone …”
The sound of a hard object breaking was the sound of the Devil Prince’s magic stone breaking.
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