Here’s your fourth Slave Harem chapter.
Enjoy the read.
“If that’s the case, then the admission test can be taken with all the party members, right?”
I continue to talk with Ester Baron who was introduced as the examiner by the Duke of Harz.
“Ordinarily, that is so. However, if you want to remove specific party members and take the test with the rest of the party members, you can. I won’t object.”
“Okay, I will take the test with all my party members.”
I deny, flurried.
It’s not like I asked this because I don’t want my party members to be noticed.
It would be difficult if I challenged the labyrinth with fewer party members.
“In some cases, the party members are part of the order of knights which is allowed. Normally, however, the admission test is taken by the party as a whole. If you can’t arrange for independent party members, you’ll not be qualified to join.”
“Can I bring helpers?”
“That’s not allowed.”
“Un, I see.”
Bringing as many with you as you like is cheating, indeed.
“There’s no use in cheating your way through the admission test. The Empire Liberation Society is not meant for those who don’t have the will to fight in the labyrinths. Even if you forcibly join, there’s nothing in it for you.”
Noticing my expression, Ester adds to his explanation.
After all, I can’t brag outside that I’m a member of the Empire Liberation Society.
No one joins to show off.
If that’s the case, there’s no need for the test. If someone thinks that they don’t have the required ability to fight in the labyrinths, they won’t think about joining in the first place.
“How do I take the admission test?”
“You’ll first have to demonstrate that you have the ability to fight. The test venue will be Quratar’s 23rd floor. Thereafter, we will go to the boss room. Before going to the boss room, if I judge that the level of your ability is inadequate, you’ll fail the test then and there. Even if I forcibly pitted you against the boss, it wouldn’t serve any purpose. If you are able to clear the boss room, you’ll move to 24th floor. If I judge that you can safely fight on 24th floor, you’ll pass.”
Because only one party can enter the boss room, the boss battle won’t be invigilated.
Ester Baron won’t be joining the party either.
Although a referee in recommended for the test, observing from the back will work, too.
After all, it’s not safe for a one man party to enter the labyrinth.
If I didn’t want to join, I could perform terribly but that’s not possible now.
Also, if I forcibly put myself in a pinch, I would risk my life.
Neither I can make the Duke, who recommended me, lose face nor does the Empire Liberation Society seem shady.
Should I fight seriously then?
“When is the test?”
“If you’re fine with it, right away.”
“Fine by me.”
Because he will be observing the battles to assess our ability, I won’t be able to use magic but I can always use Durandal.
There’s no need to warm up.
Because the boss battle won’t be invigilated, I’ll be able to fight freely.
“Can you go to Quratar’s labyrinth? The entrance of 23rd floor, to be specific.”
“I can go to 23rd floor. I enter Quratar’s labyrinth on and off.”
“Well then, I’ll meet you in the small room at the entrance of 23rd floor shortly.”
Because I’m supposed to enter Harz duchy labyrinths, it may be taken wrongly that I have already reached Quratar’s 23rd floor.
Should I have told a lie that I haven’t been there?
I haven’t met anyone from the Harz duchy in Quratar’s labyrinth.
However, if the Duke and Gozer were already informed, it would create distrust.
I diligently explore Bode’s labyrinth, too.
So there’s no need for me to hide it.
Because of the admission test, many things, that should otherwise have remained hidden, have come to light.
Had I not been to Quratar’s labyrinth, he would probably have led me in after meeting outside the entrance.
It would have been troublesome, too.
Because I would have to pay the entry fee.
If we meet at 23rd floor, I will be able to enter for free.
Actually, if you enter the labyrinth through the entrance, you will enter the small room through the black wall at the entrance of the floor.
In case of Warp and Dungeon Walk, however, a separate black wall is created in the small room.
If Ester Baron were waiting there, he would find it out.
Should I pay the entry fee and enter safely then?
“Then I’ll go ahead and wait for you. Brocken, I’ll be off.”
“Aah, see you later.”
Ester Baron bids farewell to the Duke of Harz and leaves.
He has gone ahead.
“Although I know it’ll be easy for Michio-dono, still, all the best.”
“Keep calm during the test, please.”
I bow to the Duke and Gozer, and take my leave, too.
When I go out of the office, Ester Baron’s figure couldn’t be seen anywhere.
I wonder if I’ll be able to reach Quratar’s 23rd floor earlier if I hurry.
Because I’m not certain that I’ll reach before him, it’ll be risky.
Should I avoid the risk and pay the fee? It’s not that high a floor, after all.
If I defeat the boss of 22nd floor, I’ll be able to enter the small room through the black wall at the entrance of 23rd floor. However, there’s no need to go to that extent.
What if we were to greet the order of Quratar knights after the test?
Ester might hear it from the order of Quratar knights.
Nope, it’s not an option either.
Ester holds the position of Baron, after all.
After deciding to pay the entry fee, I leave the Bode castle and return home.
Because we have an urgent business, I have Roxanne and the girls put off the cleaning and what they were respectively doing.
“The Duke of Harz has recommended me to some group called the Empire Liberation Society. Their objective is to mutually support those who fight in the labyrinths.”
I bring it up to the four of them.
If I am to take my time, it’s better to explain it to them here at home.
“The Empire Liberation Society?”
“Only influential people are allowed to join this group. It’s amazing.”
“Is that so?”
Roxanne and Sherry are conversing.
I wonder if Sherry’s impression of me has improved a bit.
Impression improved? What do you mean ‘improved’?
I’m pretty sure Sherry thought that I was amazing from the beginning.
“So it seems.”
“As expected of Master.”
The Duke has only watched Roxanne fight, however.
Did he recommend me due to Roxanne?
Did he perhaps want to recommend Roxanne, not me?
It would be understandable if it was due to Roxanne.
“The Empire Liberation Society requires us to observe the duty of confidentiality. That I’m a member must not be leaked outside nor the information relating to other members. There seem to be implications of leaking information unnecessarily.”
“I’ll be careful. It’s wonderful.”
“We are keeping so many secrets already. One or two more won’t make a difference.”
Roxanne seems to have agreed on keeping it a secret.
So has Sherry.
Hadn’t her impression of me improved?
“I think it’ll be alright.”
Miria will be able to remember some words from here and some words from there, so she needs to keep it a secret, too.
“We will go to Quratar’s 23rd floor where it’ll be assessed whether we have the ability to fight or not. I won’t be using magic; I’ll fight without using magic. Vesta will be using the sword.”
Because I use Sacred Spear from the back, I let Vesta use Durandal.
Even though it’s the admission test, I don’t care.
At most, I’ll be denied admission, so what?
“For we have already cleared 23rd floor, we don’t have to be tensed. If we do it like we always do, there won’t be any problem.”
Now that Roxanne has said ‘of course’, it should be alright, shouldn’t it?
I don’t want to engage in a battle which Roxanne isn’t sure about.
“This time, we will enter after paying the fee, so let’s go to the Adventurer’s guild first.”
Leaving the house, I Warp us to the Adventurer’s guild.
From the Adventurer’s guild, we walk to the entrance of the labyrinth.
Because we are used to shopping, walking this much distance isn’t an issue.
I could Warp to Quratar’s labyrinth, exit and re-enter but that might create suspicion.
“How about the map of the labyrinth?”
The office of the order of knights is still selling the maps.
They mean business.
I forgot the map.
“Do you remember the route of 23rd floor?”
“Yes, it’ll be alright.”
I whisper the question to Roxanne. It seems to be alright.
As expected, she doesn’t overlook anything when it comes to the labyrinth.
“Well then, here’s the entry fee for five.”
I pay 5 silver coins and receive 5 thin pieces of paper in the name of tickets.
30% Discount should have worked, at least.
When we move to 23rd floor through the entrance, Ester Baron was already there, waiting.
Including Baron, there are six people.
I wonder if it’s Ester’s party.
The rest, excluding the Baron who’s a Holy Knight, are Adventurer, Explorer, Grand Wizard, Beast King and Senior Priest. Wow, what a lineup.
Their levels are quite high, too.
Beast King must be the higher tiered than Beast Warrior.
It’s my first time seeing one.
Senior Priest must be higher than priest.
It’s my first time seeing this one, too.
Three females and three males, there’s a balance between vanguards and rearguards in the party.
And it’s full of veterans, too.
As you would expected from the examiners.
“Oh, Michio? Nice to see you again.”
When I arrive at the entrance of the floor, Ester Baron calls out to me.
“Pleasure is mine.”
“So this is Michio’s party, huh?”
“Because we have been fighting on higher floors for a long time, we can give Michio’s party some pointers. If you wish so, we can advance to the boss room at slow pace while fighting monsters. If you don’t, we can go ahead and wait for you in the small room close to the boss room. So, how do you want it to be?”
I can choose?
I would like to not be seen as much as possible.
Because I don’t know as to how other parties in this world fight, it will be helpful to receive pointers from them but my main fighting style is magic.
“Our fighting style is based on our equipment anyway, so you can go ahead and wait for us.”
“Equipment, huh? Got it.”
When I decline the offer, the Baron simply nods.
Although I came up with an excuse spontaneously, it seems to have gone well.
Indeed, if the fighting style is based on equipment, it’ll change when the equipment changes.
That I can’t use magic, I’ll have to rely on Durandal, Miria’s Estoc of Petrifaction and Sherry’s spear with Incantation Interruption skill.
“No one shows their cards, so it’s not unusual to think that way. Don’t be modest.”
So other parties are same as us, huh?
No one wants to disclose how they fight.
The Baron simply nods and issues instructions to the Explorer of his party.
The Explorer invokes Dungeon Walk.
The black wall appears and the six of them go in.
Is that why he brought an Explorer as a party member?
I wonder if he’s a temporary party member.
But he’s high leveled, so it shouldn’t be the case.
“Let’s get moving, too? We will still be fighting without magic. Roxanne, guide us, please.”
“Vesta, take this.”
We decide to catch up with them.
Although we are not being observed, I decide against using magic because I have a bad feeling about it.
I hand Durandal to Vesta. I’ll take it as a warm up.
I can use Dungeon Walk and move to the small room, where we are supposed to meet, but I decide against it.
He must have heard from the Duke that I’m an Adventurer.
As far as Explorer is concerned, I can make Sherry one but there’s no need to go to that extent.
Piling lies up may backfire.
I have already set Adventurer as First Job.
Although setting Adventurer as First Job is adverse for bonus points, I have added Seventh Job in order to select Gambler.
Because I’ll be using magic in the boss battle, I can’t remove any of three magic based jobs — Jobless, Grand Wizard and Wizard.
I have set Intermediate Wind Magic as the skill of Jobless.
Under Roxanne’s guidance, we reach the rendezvous point.
En route, Vesta took out the monsters without any trouble.
“You’ve come, huh? Although we checked some time ago, you may encounter a monster on your way to the boss room. I’ll be observing you from behind. If it’s not a Gummi Slime, you may have to fight once more. Now go.”
When we arrive at the small room, Ester Baron issues instructions.
We leave first and head to the boss room.
“There’s a Gummi Slime and a Clamshell ahead. One each, most likely.”
When we leave the small room, Roxanne whispers to me.
Although Ester Baron could find out that there was a monster, Roxanne could figure out the type and number of monsters, too.
I knew it was Roxanne who is terrifying.
“Thanks. As you would expect. Roxanne, Miria, I’ll have to ask of you to take on the Gummi Slime.”
Roxanne whispers something to Miria.
She’s most likely telling that her opponent will be the Gummi Slime.
The monsters appear.
Like Roxanne said, there’s a Gummi Slime and a Clamshell.
The four of them charge immediately.
After I cast Abnormal Status Resistance Down on the Gummi Slime, I follow after them.
I painstakingly added Gambler, after all, so I just can’t not use it.
It’s a skill the effect of which is not visible.
“Did it, desu.”
Miria petrified the Gummi Slime before Vesta could take out the clamshell.
Isn’t it a little too quick?
Oh well, it can’t be helped.
Vesta tidies up the Clamshell and the petrified Gummi Slime.
The Baron can immediately figure out Durandal’s power from the damage inflicted to the petrified monster but it can’t be helped.
When the Gummi Slime turns into smoke, Ester Baron approaches me from the back.
“The speed of exterminating monsters wasn’t bad. I have nothing to critique in respect of the battle.”
We’re one step closer to passing.