The Strange Adventure of a Broke Mercenary


Chapter 178

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Chapter 178, From Discussion to Reunion

“It was just a joke. I wasn’t asking for death.”

Dig rubbed his reddened neck and said. Lapis glared at him, still looking unhappy, and he ducked his head and turned away to avoid her eyes. They had moved to a small work shed nearby to talk. The simple shed, despite being dirty with all the dust and mud, was st.u.r.dy like dwarves’ handiwork always were. The chairs and table didn’t even creak.

“It’s not a good thing to joke about. At least for me…”

Lapis grumbled. Knowing it wouldn’t go anywhere to keep talking about that topic, she asked Dig, who was sitting opposite her:

“We have to cross the mountain range, no matter what. Is there any map of the Great Tunnel?”

Fueled by the displeasure from the dwarf’s joke earlier, Lapis had become a bit more threatening. As if feeling pressured, Dig nodded continuously while leaning back slightly:

“Of course, there is… Do you want to see it?”

Loren could sense a rather bad characteristic of dwarves from Dig’s response. Seemed like a lot of dwarves had the artisan temperament and did things based on intuition and mood.

Meanwhile, Lapis took one look at the map and immediately gave up on trying to understand it.

“What a mess.”

Gula declared. The map was packed so full with writings and drawings that they couldn’t understand what was what or which route to take at all. Dig looked at it closely just to put it down on the table and out of his sight after a while. One by one, the other dwarves picked up the map and discussed something amongst themselves in a whisper, but all gave up and put the map back on the table in the end.

“Could it be that you guys also can’t read it?”

Loren pointed at the map and asked. Dig relaxed into his chair and answered c.o.c.kily:

“Our memory is more accurate.”

Loren face-palmed, this was just hopeless. He realized that this was the reason why the dwarves’ guiding business could hold up. If the routes were properly managed, people could pa.s.s them with a map even without the dwarves’ guidance. But these tunnels were dug with no planning and no control, and only the dwarves could navigate them.

“Well, please guide us then.”

Lapis leaned towards Dig and said. He replied in a fl.u.s.ter while avoiding her eyes:

“I-I don’t want to die. I know your strength very well, little miss, but I don’t think you alone can make it.”

From Lapis’ point of view, Loren and Gula were just as strong as her, and there should be no worry with the three of them going together. But to Dig, someone who knew of her true ident.i.ty, it was unbelievable that the other two could be her equals.

“It’ll be a different story if there were more people at least.”

“More people, you say, but…”

Even Lapis couldn’t just find more people to go with them out of nowhere. Not to mention that it couldn’t just be anyone – it must be capable characters whom Dig approved. The difficulty was on another level.

“I’m at a loss here.”

“Is there no other route?”

Loren asked, feeling this was the right time to turn around and take another route if possible.

Lapis tilted her head in consideration:

“I think there is, but I’ve never tried it.”

There were other dwarves’ settlements aside from the one they were currently at, so naturally there should be other tunnels that ran across the mountain range. However, as Lapis wasn’t acquainted with other dwarves, the negotiation would be a gamble.

“We’ll have to manage, some way or another.”

“If we can’t cross this mountain range, we can’t do anything, right? Even if we can gather enough people, won’t the way back be a problem?”

Even if the dwarves agreed to guide them to the demons’ territory, they wouldn’t be able to come back without their escort. But they couldn’t make the dwarves wait for them, or rather until whatever blocking the Great Tunnel was eliminated, their return trip couldn’t be guaranteed.

“If it’s too troublesome, let’s just dig our own way through? I can work real hard.”

“But how many days will it take?”

*** You are reading on ***

If they could dig their way straight across the mountains, there would be no need for a guide. But the distance to dig wasn’t a short one, and even Gula couldn’t dig through it in a short time.

Loren answered with a slightly bitter face. Thinking that he was joking, the man clapped Loren on the back and shoulder. He was a silver rank adventurer called Jack. The swordsman behind him was Ritz, another silver rank adventurer and the leader of their party. The old man who was clinging onto his staff was Quartz, a magician.

“Well, well, it’s not like I don’t understand how you feel, but have some moderation, ladykiller.”

“Jack, you’re a bit noisy.”

Nim, who had been pushed aside, thrust a tight fist into the side of a defenseless Jack. The impact of it seemed to reach his internal organs, and he fell to the ground in a somersault. Nim kicked him aside, then turned toward Loren with an expressionless face and said in a flat tone:

“Loren is a good boy. He won’t gather his companions for such a dishonest purpose.”

“Such trust… Where does it even come from?!”

Jack shot the question at Nim in between painful gasps, and she answered nonchalantly:

“From experience.”

“Ah, is that so.”

Jack weakly collapsed on the ground as if he had used up all his strength and glanced at Nim. She was stroking Loren’s head, who was sitting still in his chair with a troubled expression. Lapis looked at them with envy, and Gula turned to the dwarves, who were taken aback by the rapid development of the situation, and clapped her hands once:

“The problem is solved, isn’t it?”


“We have one copper rank adventurer, me, and two iron rank, Loren and Lapis. How about adding those four silver rank adventurers? With this, we can deal with pretty much anything that happens, right?’

In theory, copper rank adventurers who didn’t die during jobs or subjugation could become iron rank after a certain time, but only a handful of iron rank could become silver rank. So, the addition of these silver rank adventurers would be enough to rea.s.sure Dig – that was what Gula thought. It wasn’t incorrect, but to Ritz’s party, who had witnessed Loren’s fighting before, being considered as better was a touch uneasy.


“Could you tell us about the situation first? Then we’ll think about it later?”

No matter what, they had just arrived. Lapis gave them a summary about the current situation, what they had to do from now on, and introduced Gula to them, of course, not without withholding “some” information.

*** You are reading on ***

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