I’m sure you guys didn’t expect another chapter.
But that’s exactly why there’s another chapter.
Enjoy the read.
“Here it comes.”
Roxanne’s voice resounds.
Orange magic formation appears under a Grass Bee in the second row.
Sherry’s spear won’t be able to reach that far.
The Grass Bee shoots a needle.
Roxanne receives it with her steel shield.
At the same time, a Hat Bat and a Bitch Butterfly launch their attacks on Roxanne.
Roxanne gets on her left foot and maneuvers upper half of her body to dodge body slam of the Bitch Butterfly, simultaneously swaying her head to dodge the surging Hat Bat.
From the back, I invoke fifth Breeze Storm.
The bodies of the monsters stumble under the gusts of wind.
The Bitch Butterfly regains its balance and launches another attack on Roxanne.
Roxanne parries it with her shield and twists her body to dodge the onrushing Hat Bat.
While dodging, she hits it with her rapier.
I cast sixth spell.
Orange magic formation appears under the Bitch Butterfly which Sherry was confronting.
Sherry pokes it with her spear.
Miria receives the bee’s attack with her shield and slashes with her scimitar.
Roxanne side steps another attack of the Bitch Butterfly.
After evading the Hat Bat’s attack with ease, I invoke Breeze Storm for a seventh time.
Two Bitch Butterflies, two Grass Bees and a Hat Bat drop down.
“Uh-huh, I knew 16th floor would be difficult.”
Although I have obtained the Duke’s permission to stay in Quratar’s labyrinth for the time being, it’s difficult to hunt on 16th floor.
Roxanne is, as always, able to dodge their attacks without much trouble.
Still, it seems difficult.
Because we have already cleared 13th, 14th and 15th floors, however, it can’t be helped.
If it weren’t for Roxanne holding the frontline and dodging their attacks, we would have long been wiped out.
“Not at all. It’s not that difficult.”
It’s not that difficult?
She’s terrifying as ever.
Only thing going in our favor is that most of the monsters on 16th floor of Quratar’s labyrinth are weak against wind magic.
It’s again thanks to Roxanne that we can search for monsters that are weak against wind magic.
“I’m not exposed to successive attacks, so I can hold my own. Compared to the standards of labyrinth, these battles are not heated yet. They’re warm at best.”
If even Sherry says so, I wonder if it really is so.
Like I thought, people of this world don’t act cautiously.
Because Roxanne aggros most of the monsters in the center of the front, Sherry and Miria find it relatively easier on the sides.
“Fine. Have sister.”
Even Miria is aware of it.
“It’s indeed all thanks to Roxanne.”
“Not at all. It’s because master takes all the monsters out with his magic.”
“Alright then, because I’ll be using my sword next, find fewer monsters.”
After hunting on 16th floor, my Explorer job has leveled up to Lv39.
Because I have one more bonus point to spend, I use it to upgrade Short Incantation to Incantation Omission.
It’s great to have both four jobs and Incantation Omission at the same time.
I recover my MP and carry on hunting.
We encounter a group of four Bitch Butterflies and a Grass Bee.
This combination is the most difficult on 16th floor of Quratar’s labyrinth.
Nope. The most difficult combination would be that of monsters which are weak against wind magic and carnivorous plants which are weak against fire magic.
We keep at it, however, because Roxanne can dodge their attacks with ease.
I have yet to receive their attacks.
The reason why I said that four Bitch Butterflies are difficult is that Sherry’s spear may not be enough.
Bitch Butterfly’s skill is capable of inflicting paralysis.
If Roxanne were to become paralyzed, it would lead to total collapse.
If there are two Bitch Butterflies, there won’t be any problem.
Even three are manageable.
But four or more are beyond our capability.
The Grass Bee launches its ranged attack.
When there are four monsters, they often form two rows.
If there are five, one of them does go to the second row.
The Grass Bee shoots a needle from the second row.
This is why a group of four Bitch Butterflies and a Grass Bee is the most difficult on this floor.
I wonder if I should have bought more anti-paralysis pills.
But there hasn’t been a single opportunity to use even that one pill which I have.
We finish hunting without having to use the anti-paralysis pills.
Next day. Early morning. We resume hunting on 16th floor of Quratar’s labyrinth.
“Here it comes.”
Roxanne cautions us and receives the needle of a Grass Bee with her shield.
Exceptional body balance.
She stabs the Grass Bee with her rapier while dodging body slam of a Bitch Butterfly.
Dodging the butterfly like a butterfly. Stabbing the bee like a bee.
She’s terrifyingly strong.
Sherry evades a butterfly’s attack.
Miria receives a bee’s attack with her shield.
The bee in the second row activates its skill again.
Roxanne parries it with her shield with ease.
The Bitch Butterfly launches another attack. Roxanne sways her body lightly and dodges it.
The Grass Bee launches an attack on Miria.
Miria dodges it.
However, the attack of the bee, which Miria dodged, was received by me who was standing behind her.
Although I received the attack, I don’t seem to have been poisoned.
I continue to cast spells.
When I don’t use Durandal, I lend my Poison Resistant Hard Leather Cap to Miria.
Sherry is responsible to keep Bitch Butterflies from using their skills.
Therefore, she confronts Bitch Butterflies.
I cast Heal on Miria while launching wind magic attack.
We have reached the level where we can afford to take two to three attacks from monsters.
I switch my focus between attacking and healing.
I take the monsters out with wind spell.
Miria gestures with her hand that she’s fine, so I stop.
I ask of Roxanne to search for more monsters.
There are two Bitch Butterflies and two Grass Bees in the next group we encounter.
Sherry comes under a butterfly’s attack but takes it out in the end.
After healing her, I pull Durandal out.
Killing two more groups of monsters, I fully recover my MP.
It’s wasteful to use strengthening pill in this situation.
Next group comprises two Bitch Butterflies, two Grass Bees and a Hat Bat.
The Hat Bat flies past Roxanne.
I somehow manage to ward it off using my wand.
After several Breeze Storms, all the monsters drop down.
For a rearguard, Hat Bat is a nuisance for it can bypass vanguard.
The next group is made up of a Grass Bee and four Bitch Butterflies.
Although it’s the most difficult combination, I feel rather relieved that there’s no Hat Bat.
The Grass Bee launches its ranged attack. Roxanne receives it with her shield.
Her defense is impregnable.
One long range attack of a mere Grass Bee can’t break it.
Bitch Butterflies close in.
All four of them are lined up in one row.
Roxanne lightly dodges body slam of one of the butterflies.
She receives the attack of the second with her shield.
Third one was trying to activate skill but Sherry interrupts it.
Can we keep this up?
While I was sighing in relief, orange magic formation appears under the fourth Bitch Butterfly.
Sherry won’t be able to make it in time.
I can’t cast another wind spell until previous attack cools down.
Sherry was able to successfully interrupt third butterfly’s skill but the fourth one’s activates.
The Bitch Butterfly emits smoke of powder from its wings.
The butterfly that activated the skill is closer to Miria than Sherry.
The smoke of powder envelops Miria.
Miria stops moving.
Her body stiffens.
I observe her body while casting another wind spell. It’s not moving the slightest.
Is this paralysis?
“Should I give her the pill?”
“We should exterminate the monsters first.”
On Sherry’s advice, I cast another Breeze Storm.
A Bitch Butterfly approaches to attack Miria.
Because Miria was paralyzed, she couldn’t dodge it.
I cast Heal and take the monsters out with another wind spell.
The monsters drop down.
“How much time will paralysis take to wear off?”
I look at Miria.
She’s still unable to move.
Should I take the anti-paralysis pill out of my Item Box?
“It should not take much time. It will be better to use the pill during battle. If it takes too much time, we can use the pill then. For now, we can simply move her to a safe room.”
“There doesn’t seem to be any monster nearby.”
Sherry and Roxanne give their input.
Should I give her the pill mouth-to-mouth?
Or should I wait some more?
I-It’s not like I want to do mouth-to-mouth.
Because she’s paralyzed, she won’t be able to return it passionately.
Besides, it’s not a good habit to force yourself upon people who can’t move.
I imagine pulling Miria into my embrace, putting my lips on hers and shoving my tongue into her mouth. It feels like I’m abusing her.
Because she can’t offer any resistance.
I should try this sometime.
While I was lost in my fantasy, Miria moves.
She blinks her eyes.
“Ah, are you fine?”
I was indulged in my fantasy for too long, it seems. Miria has recovered from paralysis.
Next time, I’ll be sure to give her the pill mouth-to-mouth.
I’m regretting to have let this opportunity slip.
There doesn’t seem to be any apparent aftereffect.
When paralysis wore off, Miria stood up normally.
We carry on hunting in usual manner.
We finish today’s hunting without getting paralyzed again.
“Fish, desu. Quick, desu.”
After we were done with hunting, we head to the fishmonger.
We will be making fish in the new pan today.
“Which fish should we make today?”
Miria says after closely examining every fish at the fishmonger.
There doesn’t seem to be any better fish available.
“Is there anything else you need?”
“She says that she needs slime starch.”
I ask after buying two white fish. Roxanne translates.
You might think that I bought two white fish because of 30% discount.
But I did it due to Miria’s appetite.
Slime starch is the item dropped by Gummy Slime.
I buy it from the guild and return home.
Miria first pours some water and wine in the pan, then adds fish sauce and olive oil.
I leave the white fish to boil along with other ingredients which I had prepared beforehand.
A rather ordinary recipe.
“What do you need this slime starch for?”
Miria shaves the slime starch.
She dissolves it in water and adds a small quantity of the solution into the pan.
Is it some kind of seasoning?
It seems to be her secret ingredient.
Nope, it’s something else.
I realize it when it was served.
Is slime starch same as potato starch?
I give one whole white fish to Miria and slice the other one into three pieces.
One-third is more than enough.
Even if I leave some over, I’m sure Miria will clean it up.
I eat the boiled fish with the sauce which Miria prepared.
“It’s really delicious.”
Although the recipe was simple, it’s not bad.
It’s quite tasty.
It has rustic taste perhaps due to starch sauce.
It’ll taste even better if I dilute it with some sugar and wine.
Sweet and sour sauce, to be precise.
“Have eaten, desu.”
Miria seems satisfied.
It seems she has had her fill for she didn’t snatch Roxanne’s, Sherry’s or mine.
We can do without fish for some time, i guess.
Next morning. I try to add wine and sugar to Miria’s starch sauce.
I boil some water, and then add sugar, wine, fish sauce and slime starch.
I make stir-fried vegetables and serve it with sweet and sour starch sauce.
Just like sweet and sour pork except there’s no pork.
Had I added pork, it would have been just like sweet and sour pork.
I didn’t go with pork and added vegetables instead because I was afraid that it might end up in failure.
“It’s really tasty, Master.”
“It’s sweet and sour at the same time. I haven’t eaten anything like it. It’s delicious.”
I receive compliments from the three, even though it’s not sweet and sour pork.
In my honest opinion, it’s lacking.
But I won’t be discouraged by this failure.
I’ll use slime starch in even more dishes.
Because I now understand how to make starch sauce and I have tried it already, I have lost interest in it.
I soak some goat meat in fish sauce and leave it to marinate.
“Miria, can you please shave some slime starch?”
Evening. I receive starch from Miria upon returning home.
“A message from luke, the broker. There seemed to be a successful bid for Caterpillar Monster Card.”
When we return home, there was a note at the entrance.
With Caterpillar Monster Card, we can make another Sacrificial Misanga.
It’ll be third.
If we count the Ring of Determination, we will have four accessories. One for everyone.
Let’s leave it for tomorrow.
I dredge goat meat in starch and deep-fry it.
Hokkaido cuisine, zangi. Otherwise known as tatsuta-age. (TN: Tatsuta-age is a Japanese cuisine which is called Zangi in Hokkaido.)
But it’s not as red.
It’s more crimson than red.
It’s probably darker in color due to fish sauce.
It doesn’t look so good.
When I try it, however, it tastes good.
Well, there were not many steps involved in the recipe, so it couldn’t go wrong.
Well, even in modern Japan, I had never seen tatsuta-age much.
Impassionate gods have never seen the red that is the Tatsuta River. (TN: From a poem by Ariwara no Narihira. You must have already noticed the wordplay by the author.)
This would do for now.