Chapter 0008 Growth
Five days later. After recovering from the fatigue caused by the new labyrinth, I decided to visit the Adventurer’s Guild.
When I entered the guild, the eyes of the surrounding adventurers gathered on me.
Even though I was the victim, I caused that much ruckus. I guess I couldn’t avoid standing out.
The Adventurer’s Guild, which I hadn’t seen for a while, appeared the same as usual.
“Lude, the guild master would like to talk to you a little bit about the incident the other day if it’s alright with you?”
When I tried to check the requests posted on the bulletin board, I was stopped by one of the receptionists, so I headed to the back room, which I rarely entered.
The reception room of the guild had a red carpet, and in the center was a sofa and a low table where one could sit comfortably. There were houseplants in the corners of the room and paintings on the walls.
It was my first time entering the guild’s reception room, but it was surprisingly beautifully decorated.
“Sorry for calling you in so early in the morning.”
As I was lost in staring at the interior, the guild master Lancarse spoke to me while seated on the sofa.
“It’s okay, I’m also curious about how it ended.”
“Take a seat.”
Prompted to sit across from him, Lancarse told me about the ensuing punishment for Bayer and party.
It seemed that Bayer and others had brought other porters to the labyrinth to use as decoys for monsters besides me. Not only that, they also had crimes such as drawing monsters toward new adventurers and blackmailing them.
After such crimes were exposed by the Authenticity Officer, the members of the ‘Scarlet Sword’ had all their property confiscated, were stripped of their adventurer qualifications, and became criminal slaves.
Among them, Bayer, the leader, was sentenced to work as a mining slave, which was a heavier sentence than a criminal slave.
“After all, he tried to attack an Authenticity Officer whose position is guaranteed by the country.”
Apparently, the decisive factor for the heavy punishment was attacking the Authenticity Officer in his rage.
If it wasn’t for that, he might have stayed as a criminal slave.
“According to the rules established by the guild, part of the property confiscated from the ‘Scarlet Sword’ will be handed over to the victim, Lude.”
When Lancarse sent a glance, the receptionist who was waiting quietly placed a leather bag on the table.
When I checked the inside, it contained about 200,000 Regins.
It felt like that wasn’t much for an E-rank party of three, but many adventurers live paycheck to paycheck.
Considering the guild’s share and compensation for other victims, it would turn out to be something like that.
“Do you have any concerns or dissatisfaction?”
“Nothing in particular.”
I was able to hear the details of the ‘Scarlet Sword’ that I was interested in and I got money. I wasn’t going to ask for anything more.
“Then, we’ll close the case regarding the ‘Scarlet Sword’.”
I stood up from the sofa since we had reached a conclusion.
“Just for personal interest, how did you survive against the minotaur?”
The guild knew my level before entering the new labyrinth.
It was natural to wonder how I survived after encountering a Minotaur.
I obviously don’t plan to tell him about the status I gained by eating monsters, the skills I acquired, and other secrets, but I should inform him of the danger in that new labyrinth.
“The minotaur’s attack created a hole in the wall of the labyrinth. The minotaur fell and died, and I survived because its corpse acted as a cushion for me. But I found myself on a floor with swarms of insanely-strong monsters.”
“… I have trouble deciding whether to call you lucky or not.”
Hearing my brief explanation, Lancarse smiled wryly.
I was unlucky because I met the minotaur in the labyrinth, but I could also be called lucky because I survived against such a strong enemy.
In hindsight, I could be called lucky for surviving that harsh environment.
“More importantly, you mentioned you didn’t see that floor before. Do you mean it’s a hidden floor? Are you able to return to that place again?”
Labyrinths sometimes have floors and areas in unexpected places. It’s sometimes related to a special magic mechanism, or related to the characteristics of the labyrinth, but I didn’t know the detailed mechanism.
“By the time I returned, the hole had completely disappeared, so I doubt I’ll be able to go there again.”
“Hmm. I’ll investigate it just in case. Thank you for providing valuable information.”
“No problem, thank you for helping me with this incident as well.”
If Lancarse hadn’t brought along the Authenticity Officer, Bayer and the others would have continued carrying out adventurer activities without repercussions because of the lack of evidence.
For me and other young adventurers, I felt it was good that Bayer’s sins were exposed.
“Then, allow me to excuse myself.”
After thanking Lancarse, I left the guild reception room.
After leaving the reception room, I return to the guild bulletin board and check the posted requests.
It seemed that the morning’s eye-catching requests were taken while I was having the discussion. All that was left were unpopular requests that have been neglected for a long time and requests that don’t pay well.
Well, I wasn’t planning to accept any requests today, so that wasn’t an issue.
Now that my level had risen to that point, I didn’t need to gather materials by timidly sticking to the upper floors of the miasma labyrinth as before.
Defeating monsters on deeper floors and selling off their magic stones and materials would be far more profitable.
To hunt efficiently, it’s better to form a party, but no one wanted to invite me to a party because I was notorious as the Miasma Scavenger and because of the recent incident.
I might have gotten some attention for sending Bayer flying with a punch, but many of the gazes still seem to want to avoid me as usual.
I might be recruited if I declared my level, but I needed to eat monsters to become stronger.
Given that eating monsters is taboo, what would happen if I did it in front of the general public? I could imagine how troublesome it would be just by thinking about it.
I had enough of parties after the incident the other day. I’ll prefer to work alone for the time being.
That was how I decided to continue earning money as usual.
I decided to earn money by myself like before and came to the Miasma Labyrinth.
If I was looking for a place where it’s easy to earn money by myself, it would naturally be the Miasma Labyrinth where I could make use of my unique skill.
Most adventurers didn’t like the miasma there, so it was perfect for a leisurely exploration by myself.
After falling into the abyss, my level increased rapidly, so it would be perfect to test my current abilities.
As I proceeded while searching for enemies with [Sound Wave Perception], I sensed five small signals from the end of the dim passage.
They were probably miasma rats.
I chose to fight, and as I continued forward, five miasma rats appeared in front of me.
Magic power: 5
After activating [Appraisal], the status of the miasma rats was displayed in front of me.
They were mostly level 8 or 9. There was no big difference in status and skills.
In the past, I would have chosen to take a detour or run away with just five of them, but my level was different compared to then.
I took out a large sword from my magic bag.
–Magic bag. I bought it at the magic tool shop before coming to the Miasma Labyrinth.
The price was 200,000 Regins. I used all the money I received as compensation from Bayer and the others.
I was anxious about paying all that money, but there was a limit to the amount of luggage I could carry as long as I plan on doing adventurer activities alone.
However, with a magic bag, I could adventure with just one magic bag.
I had to buy it.
Thanks to that, my pocket was a little empty, but I could always start earning money from then on.
The miasma rats shook their bodies and tried to shower me with miasma.
I ran forward and swung my greatsword. With just that, three miasma rats were cut in half.
I was so surprised at the results that I couldn’t believe I did it.
Before, if I hit them somewhere other than a vital point, I couldn’t defeat them with a single blow.
Now, I was able to slice through their torso with a single strike without feeling much resistance.
It was the same movement as before, but it resulted in a huge difference.
The remaining two miasma rats were completely confused as they couldn’t follow my movements.
Hunting the flustered rats was very easy, and the remaining two were quickly dealt with.
Five miasma rats were defeated in no time. A perfect victory without using any skills.
“I guess I really got stronger…”
It felt like a lie that just the other day, I was engaged in a deadly battle with three of the same monsters.
With a wry smile, I harvested the magic stones from the corpses of the miasma rats and stored the bodies in my magic bag for consumption.
When I was in the abyss, I needed to get stronger as soon as possible, so I ate right away, but I was now on the 6th floor of the Miasma Labyrinth, which was much safer than the abyss. There was no need to eat in such a hurry inside the labyrinth.
As I proceeded through the passage while defeating the occasional miasma rats, I found a staircase leading to the floor below.
The old me would never go down.
That was because the floors I knew well were up to the 6th floor, and if I went down to a floor below that, my life would be in danger.
However, now that my level had risen, there was no need to hesitate.
“Alright! Let’s see how far we can go!”
Today was the day to test how far I could go. I’ll try diving as deep as I can go.