Ch . 56: Introduction to Departure
It didn’t take long for them to introduce themselves .
Mostly because it wasn’t the first time they’ve met each other .
Loren knew they were quite young when he met them at the bar, but when he looked at them in daylight, he couldn’t help but feel conflicted when he saw the hint of youth in their faces .
“Loren, you do look a bit old for your age, after all . ”
“Yes I know, so you don’t have to remind me . ”
Loren didn’t know his exact age .
If he counted from his earliest memories, he should be slightly over twenty, but he didn’t know the exact number .
No one around him really cared, and he didn’t care about it either, since it wasn’t necessary information for a mercenary .
The fact that it was a profession which didn’t guarantee that you would live to an age which you would worry about getting old was a factor, but looking at the young students, he couldn’t help but feel old .
“It’s okay Loren . You’re still young . ”
“That doesn’t make me feel any better . Anyways, how old are you, Lapis?”
“Oh, Loren . I didn’t know you had such a roundabout death wish . ”
“Oh come on…”
“I’m kidding . I’m just as old how I look . ”
Apparently, looking young but having lived for a very long time, which was the case for many demon kin, didn’t apply to Lapis .
But this was coming from her own mouth, so he didn’t know if it was true or not .
“Hey, the two of you . Thanks for being our proctors . ”
The one that came up to them and greeted them was Ain, the leader of the party that Loren and Lapis’ oversaw .
Although he was still a boy, he was well built, wearing a hauberk and was carrying a long sword and a round s.h.i.+eld, which was standard equipment for a warrior in the front line .
His blonde crew cut gave him a rough impression as well .
“We don’t need a proctor though . ”
The one who muttered that was the smaller boy named Cloud .
He was wearing leather armor like the one Loren was wearing, but had fewer parts and only covered his chest, and he had an estoc hanging at his side .
Loren guessed that he was a swordsman who relied on speed during fights .
“Stop it Cloud . He’s an adventurer . He’s going to become scary if you make him mad . ”
The one who whined was the boy with the bowl cut named Al .
He was wearing priest’s clothes with similar design to Lapis’ and had a mace with him .
When Loren asked, Al had said he was a priest in training to the Supreme G . o . d, but his weak and timid nature did not make it seem like he was .
“Thanks a lot for last night! You really saved me there!”
The one who called out to him in a lively voice was Feim, wearing a robe and holding a wooden staff, like an orthodox magician .
She was a magician, as her appearance was, and told them that she could use one spell per day .
“Do you think they could make it to the ninth floor?”
Loren asked Lapis quietly after they were introduced, and Ain and his companions were getting ready to enter the dungeon .
Loren and Lapis’ had already brought their what they needed into the school along with their equipment . Lapis’ belongings were in a backpack on her back, but Loren didn’t have one since he had his great sword strapped on his back .
I stead, he had a pouch hanging from his left arm, and he also had a knife hanging on his left waist, that he had purchased for this job .
“Loren, you can use knives too?”
Lapis moved the conversation into a completely different direction .
“Yeah, somewhat . I used them to slit enemies’ throats on the battlefield . ”
He drew the knife as he said that, but although it was shaped like a knife, it was way longer than what a knife should be, and the thickness of the blade was like that of an axe or a hoe .
“That looks more like a short blade than a knife . I’m surprised the shop had something like that . ”
“This was the only knife at the shop in Kauffa . Its durability is top notch, but no one was buying it since it was so bulky, so the owner sold it to me for ten silver coins . ”
“I could’ve readied one if you’d told me . ”
“It’s a spare weapon anyway . It’s fine as long as it’s sharp and durable .
Lapis snorted in discontent at Loren’s response .
On the books, the equipment and the great sword on Loren’s back was all bought at the weapon shop in Kauffa, but behind the scenes, Lapis seemed to have brought it all and sold them to Loren through the shop . She didn’t say so herself, but it was quite obvious at this point .
His debt to Lapis had grown to thirty gold coins, which was a small fortune, but he knew that the equipment wasn’t something that could be bought with that amount .
If he asked Lapis to get him a spare weapon, she was sure to bring him something expensive, and although it would be a good deal when compared its actual worth, but Loren didn’t have the capacity to be increasing his debt again by several gold coins .
“So, how are they?”
“Their skill levels? It might be a bit tough . ”
As she looked at Ain and his party packing their things, the evaluation that she gave them was a quite a rough one .
“They could probably manage to get to the fifth floor, but any further might be hard . ”
On the map that the princ . i . p . al gave them were detailed descriptions of locations of traps and monsters that sp . a . w . ned on each floor .
Lapis used that information to calculate the difficulty of each floor .
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“That’s only if a . s . suming the monsters in this dungeon are the same as normal monsters . ”
Loren was slightly surprised when Lapis grabbed his hand, but Lapis paid no attention and asked him, still holding onto his hand .
“Loren, do you know that your right hand is here?”
“Yeah, of course . It’s my right hand . It would be weird if I didn’t know . ”
“It’s the same thing . It’s a part of my body, so I have a vague feeling of where it is . ”
Although she explained that knowing your right hand is there and knowing that a part of your body that has been ripped off is in a certain area is the same feeling, Loren couldn’t really understand it .
But Loren thought that it was something that he couldn’t understand no matter how long he thought about it, so he decided not to ask Lapis about it any further .
“Lets say that we rely on that feeling, the problem would be how do we get all the way down there . ”
“The final measure would be immobilizing the four of them with > or something, and then go down and…”
“You guys ready?”
As soon as Lapis started scheming again, Loren confirmed with Ain since they seemed to be finished packing .
While Lapis stopped talking, Ain started cheering his party up as they picked up their bags .
“The pa . s . sing mark is the fifth floor, but our goal is the tenth floor . ”
“We can do it . No problem . ”
“Can we really do it…”
“Of course, we can! We trained and studied hard for this . ”
What Ain had said caught Loren’s attention .
From Lapis’ eyes, they weren’t skilled enough to reach the bottom floor, but apparently their goal was to reach it .
If that was the case, if they could manage to achieve their goal, Lapis’ goal would be achieved as well, without having to resort to more violent methods, and that would be better .
“If only advice would be enough for them . ”
“I don’t think you should get faint hopes up . ”
Loren thought that it would be a lot easier if they could help them directly, but the students were the main actors for this job, and Loren and Lapis were the side characters .
“Let’s help them without them knowing and keep them going forward . ”
“Yeah . ”
“Hey, the two of you, let’s go . ”
At Ain’s call, Loren and Lapis and the students walked towards the entrance of the dungeon .
The entrance was inside the school building .
It was to keep anyone other than the students from entering, but they would have had to consider the worst case scenario, someone sneaking inside the school, so Loren walked while looking around, searching for traps .
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