Here’s chapter 75.
But before you read the chapter, please note that Tal village, mentioned earlier in chapter 62, has now been changed to Tare village.
Expect next chapter tomorrow.
Now without further ado, enjoy the read.
The Duchy’s Labyrinths
“We will visit the armor shop first. After that, Sherry will do some research in the explorer guild while Roxanne and I will go to have a look at Bode’s and Tare’s labyrinths.”
I let them know today’s plan at the end of breakfast.
Although we will not be visiting Quratar’s labyrinth for the time being, we should still upgrade our equipment.
I have no complaint with the duke for sending me to the labyrinth as a bait, since the duke will be entering the labyrinth himself which makes him as much of a bait.
That’s the law of this world.
If I’m strong and careful, I will not become a bait.
If I were to become a bait, I was just not strong enough.
No, strength isn’t the only requisite.
I have to analyze myself, my party members and my opponent, and then find out the areas that need to be worked on.
Without superhuman strength, it’s not impossible to survive in a labyrinth.
“To upgrade equipment?”
“I intend to replace Roxanne’s and Sherry’s leather jackets with something better.”
And my focus for today is Sherry’s leather jacket.
Sherry’s equipment need to be upgraded but that does not mean that only her equipment need to be upgraded.
Roxanne’s need to be upgraded just as well.
For 30% discount will be effective if I buy more than one.
“Master should upgrade his equipment first.”
“My equipment is not the best, I agree, there’s room for improvement. But for now, I’m doing only that which is necessary to clear 11th floor of Quratar’s labyrinth.”
I try to convince Roxanne.
I am a rearguard, so I’m not as exposed to attacks. And if needs be, I have HP Absorption skill of Durandal.
“Umm… I’m sorry that you have to do this for me.”
“Don’t sweat it. Every party member has a role. It’s only logical to increase a vanguard’s defense.”
I tell Sherry to not worry about it.
“Yes, thank you.”
After breakfast, Roxanne starts doing dishes while Sherry makes more equipment.
Sherry is not just helpful in labyrinth, she’s a Master Smith as well.
Later on, we head to the armor shop.
“So, what’s next after leather jacket? Hard leather jacket?
I ask the man at counter who has become an acquaintance as of late.
It’s a big armor shop which is situated in the heart of Quratar.
The equipment which Sherry makes, I sell here in bulk.
“For a vanguard, there’s chainmail. Chainmail is equal in defense to hard leather but it slows the movement down. It is, however, cheaper than hard leather.”
The man at counter answers.
Opposite to the shelf that has hard leather jackets, is the shelf that has chainmails.
‘Chainmail,’ in other words chainmail. (TN: It’s to tell Japanese people the meaning of english word ‘chainmail.’)
It’s pretty heavy.
Can you run around in a labyrinth wearing this?
Heavy armor is not suited in particular to Roxanne who relies on dodging.
“Roxanne, is hard leather jacket good for you?”
“It is certainly good. But are you fine with it?”
Because our current equipment is the most basic, we should not sweat over such a small upgrade as this.
“Sherry, are you fine with hard leather jacket?”
“I don’t think it will make any difference to me whether the armor is light or heavy.”
Sherry picks a chainmail up.
She wants chainmail?
She handles it with ease.
“Isn’t it heavy?”
“It’s heavy but not that much.”
Well, if Sherry says so.
Dwarves seem to be inherently strong.
Is it perhaps some characteristic effect?
Hard Leather Jacket | Body Equipment
Skills: Empty | Empty
Chainmail | Body Equipment
I take a look look at other chainmails. One skill slot seems to be the limit. Hard leather jackets, on the other hand, have two skill slots.
Hard leather jacket appears to be better equipment.
But the chainmails here are too few. Who knows if there’s one with two skill slots somewhere?
“Alright then, choose one of these.”
I pick more equipment with empty skill slots and pass to Roxanne and Sherry.
Well, it’s not like they can tell the difference.
Still, Roxanne likes to choose things carefully, so I’ll not take that away from her.
While those two were deciding on which one to go with, I take a look around at other equipment.
Hard leather cap and hard leather gloves have two skill slots as well.
I wonder if all hard leather equipment have two empty skill slots.
There’s a hard leather headband with one skill slot.
Should I work on improving this area?
Nah, I’m good for now.
After much deliberation, Roxanne and Sherry choose their equipment.
I buy the equipment at 30% discount and leave the shop.
I bid farewell to two gold coins.
The better the equipment, the more expensive it is.
Roxanne and Sherry don their new armors upon arriving at home.
In chainmail, Sherry looks all ready for battlefield.
It’s an armor designed to cover the body entirely, so it does not highlight her chest.
Even her clothes underneath are barely visible through it.
It may be colorful but it’s surely not sexy.
It may look sexy if she puts it on naked body but that’s not possible.
It’s metal after all.
Is it not possible to somehow do it for a short while?
I won’t ask for it in labyrinth, of course. We can’t afford to have her do such a thing there.
“Can’t leather jacket be worn over chainmail?”
“Magic is a constituent of an equipment. This is the reason why an equipment can fit perfectly on different body sizes. If you equip two items on the same body part, the magic of both will come in conflict. Consequently, both the equipment will break.”
So, one equipment for a body part is the principle.
Equipping more than one is impossible.
“Is it also not good to have both sword and wand equipped?”
“As long as you don’t hold one in each hand, there’s no problem. If you equip only one at a time, it’s fine.”
So, it’s alright if I keep switching.
What will I do if Durandal breaks?
I have to be more careful now with switching.
We part with Sherry at Quratar’s adventurer guild and head to Bode.
I ask people at the adventurer guild for the location of Bode’s labyrinth and leave on foot.
It’s bustling here in Bode.
The town appears similar to Vale.
I pass through the crowd and exit the town walls.
Bode town is smaller than Vale.
I move through the woods.
There’s still some distance.
After walking for about an hour, I was standing at the entrance to the labyrinth.
“How far has the exploration progressed?”
I ask the explorer at the entrance.
“Because it only just appeared, no one has been able to clear 1st floor. The monster native to 1st floor is Green Caterpillar.”
It really seems to have appeared only recently.
Just because I didn’t hear about it, that doesn’t mean it existed before I started coming here to sell mirrors to the duke.
It was found just the other day.
I enter the labyrinth and move to Tare from the small room past the entrance.
It’s the same shack where I brought supplies earlier.
Is it a sort of meeting place?
I exit the shack.
I find some villagers outside.
“Can you please tell us where the labyrinth is?”
…It doesn’t seem to be brahim language.
“I’m sorry. I don’t understand their language.”
Roxanne doesn’t seem to be familiar with their language either.
One of the villagers calls someone and a man comes over.
He seems to be the head of this village.
The head of the village and the villager, who called him, both are elves.
Both of them are good looking but they fall short in comparison to the duke.
Or perhaps I have just gotten used to seeing good looking men.
“Are you here for the labyrinth?”
The head of the village seems fluent in brahim.
Which reminds me, it was same for the village where I appeared in this world.
“The labyrinth can be found in the southwest of the village. Even though you’re from human tribe, you can find it.”
“…I get it.”
“Do the best you can.”
What was that?
Any more than that and it would be considered hostility.
Is this what they meant when they said elves look down upon humans?
Although I didn’t receive such treatment from the duke, Cassia, Gozer or the members of the order of knights, it doesn’t mean it would be same for the rest of the duchy.
Earlier, I came here as part of disaster relief team.
Back then, we left immediately after delivering the supplies, so there was not much chance to talk.
“They were rude.”
“Let’s not talk about it.”
“But they were looking down on master.”
“It can’t be helped now.”
I calm Roxanne down.
But I’m somewhat happy that she’s angry for my sake.
Still, there’s no use getting angry at people who we may not even meet again.
“As expected, master is tolerant. If it were me, I would teach those people a good lesson.”
Just because I didn’t get back to them, I’m tolerant?
We keep walking while I calm Roxanne down.
After a while, we arrive at the entrance to the labyrinth.
“How far has the exploration progressed?”
I ask the explorer at the entrance.
I was a little apprehensive, for the explorer was an elf.
“Which monster appears on 13th floor?”
“The monster native to 13th floor is Rub Shrub.”
This explorer is behaving normally.
As for Rub Shrub, I heard about it earlier.
It drops the item which Sherry needs to make the equipment next in order.
“Can you take me to 13th floor?”
I take the emblem out and show it to him.
“Are you a member of the order of knights?”
“I’m a related party.”
Gozer told me to say that.
The explorer at the entrance is silent.
Huh? ‘Related party’ is not enough?
“Umm… since you are only two people, why don’t you add me to your party? If not, I can only take one person with me.”
Now I get it.
The explorer was waiting to join my party.
Because we are only two people, there will be no problem with adding him to my party.
Actually, there’s one more person in my party: Sherry.
If I add him to my party, we can directly jump to 13th floor.
For some reason, If the explorer forms party himself, he can take only person with him.
I add the explorer to my party and enter the labyrinth.
The explorer goes first. Roxanne and I follow behind him.
“This is 13th floor. Unless you intend to go back outside, please remove me from your party.”
“Ah, no, we’ll be going back.”
Although I wanted to say we’ll not be going back, I said we’ll be going back.
Now that I think about it, we moved directly to 13th floor.
Do I have to visit all the floors separately?
Or all the floors below 13th are included?
I’ll have to test it.
We go outside, I remove the explorer from my party and we enter the labyrinth again.
I call for 11th floor in my mind but nothing happens.
I try once more. This time, I call for 1st floor and we are allowed to proceed.
Only 1st and 13th floors seem to be available.
1st floor is probably available by default. Aside from 1st, only floors which have been visited seem to be available.
Without doing anything else, we move from Tare’s labyrinth to Quratar’s.
After I recover my MP, we leave the labyrinth.
At Quratar’s labyrinth, you are required to pay when you enter. But there’s no such thing when you leave.
Because they collect money from a lot of people on a daily basis, it’s not unusual that they don’t remember the face of every person who enters the labyrinth.
We join up with Sherry at the explorer guild.
“Did you find anything at the explorer guild?”
“Haruba’s labyrinth has been cleared up to 40th floor. End-of-exploration notification has been issued for lower floors. The exploration of Tare’s labyrinth has progressed to 9th floor. End-of-exploration notification for lower floors hasn’t been issued yet. There’s no information regarding Bode’s labyrinth.”
“Is it because it has only just been found?”
It will take some time for them to gather information.
It is, of course, impossible for information of a labyrinth found in Bode just yesterday to be available in Quratar’s explorer guild today.
And the exploration of Haruba’s labyrinth has already progressed to 41st floor? Woah!
“The monster native to 11th floor of Haruba’s labyrinth is Mino. Green Caterpillar appears on 4th floor there. I would suggest this labyrinth.”
Mino drops hide, which is used in smithery, and it appears on 11th floor.
There’s no problem with Green Caterpillar, however, for we have upgraded our equipment.
Should I pay and move directly to 11th floor?
I don’t want to sound stingy but shouldn’t we start from 1st floor?
It would be efficient to wait for the exploration of Bode’s labyrinth to progress past 11th floor.
But if I were to keep exploring 11th floor of Vale’s labyrinth, I would go back on my words to the duke.
It’s not like he’ll find out.
But there’s reward if I clear floors of Bode’s labyrinth.
“How much is the reward for clearing floors of Bode’s labyrinth?”
“Umm… because it’s a newly found labyrinth, a silver coin per step.”
“That’s too low!”
One silver coin for 1st floor. Eleven silver coins for 11th floor.
It’s more of a change than reward.
I’ll not be going after that.
We should gain experience on 11th floor.
And it’s too bothersome to start from 1st floor.
I have no choice but to spend some money.
Or should I allow excursion to 10th floor?
The strength of monsters should not be vastly different from other labyrinths.
Only difference will be the number of people in the labyrinth which may prolong exploration.
Be it 10th floor or 11th, I’ll have to pay which is wasteful.
It shouldn’t be any different from Quratar’s and Vale’s labyrinth.
Even if there are more people on 11th floor, it won’t be a problem because we have Roxanne.
Well then, our target will be 11th floor of Haruba’s labyrinth.