Ch . 57: Departure after Encounter
The image that Loren got when he thought of a dungeon entrance was quite a showy one .
But the entrance of the dungeon he was about to enter was a simple one that was way different from what Loren was imagining, being stairs that extended below from one of the rooms of the school .
Loren felt anticlimactic, but he braced himself again, as he told himself that the entrance had nothing to do with the difficulty of the dungeon itself .
Loren and his group ran into Klaus and his group at the room leading to the dungeon .
Loren saw Ange behind the group of students lead by Klaus, which was made up of four girls for some reason, but seeing her sour face, he laughed a bit as it was clear that she wasn’t happy about the situation Klaus was put in .
“You guys going down too?”
Loren nodded, but he c . o . c . ked his head as the group of girls Klaus was leading directed gazes of hostility at him .
He wondered if it was that unpleasant for them to see him be friendly with Klaus, who seemed to be popular and liked by everyone in the school . He then recalled the doc . u . ments that the princ . i . p . al had handed him concerning the examinees .
“Aren’t your members a bit different?”
Loren didn’t remember the details of the other group, but he did remember that it wasn’t a party full of girls .
On top of that, all the girls were dressed as swordsman, and he was sure that the structure wasn’t so deviated .
“We heard that Master Klaus was going to be proctoring, so we had the group switch with us . ”
The one who answered was one of the girls standing behind Klaus .
The strong willed looking girl with blond pigtails in vertical spirals, speaking for all the girls, spoke to Loren without any fear and with her chest puffed out .
“It would be foolish to lose the chance to have Master Klaus, who was called a prodigy during his time as a student, to proctor us . ”
Loren asked Klaus, not even trying to hide air of ‘I wasn’t asking you’, and Klaus answered him with a slightly stretched smile .
“Parme Pentatonic . I’m sure you’re not interested, but she’s a comtesse from a certain nation . ”
“Be thankful, adventurer . I’m not someone you would normally be able to speak to . ”
Even though she said that as she looked down on him, Loren didn’t even look at her and asked Klaus again .
“Are cla . s . ses and ranks in effect in the school?”
“Officially students are treated as students, regardless of cla . s . s…but it’s true that talented students and students born of high cla . s . s a . s . sert authority sometimes…sorry . ”
“Why are you the one that’s apologizing?”
Loren sighed as Klaus’ voice became smaller and smaller .
He guessed that Klaus was embarra . s . sed at the things that he’s done until now, but as one that was watching him correcting his ways and att . i . tude, he felt that Klaus didn’t have to act so ashamed .
“That’s right! There’s no reason for Master Klaus to apologize to someone like this…”
“Hey you, how about you be quiet for a bit . Especially if you like me . ”
Klaus stopped Parme calmly, with a shadow cast over his face .
Loren didn’t really care how much the girl went at him, but not having to deal with it didn’t hurt either .
Losing interest in the girls, Loren turned his attention to Ange, who was standing behind them with a sour face .
“That’s a scary face you’re making there . ”
“You understand how I feel, don’t you?”
“I’ve got a good guess . But if you’re like that, wouldn’t it worry Klaus and not look good to the students?”
Ange might not have cared about the students, but when Loren pointed out the possibility that she could be worrying Klaus, her expression went slightly back to normal .
Glancing at some of the wrinkles still left on her forehead, Loren looked around her .
“What happened to the other two?”
“Boycott . This time it’s just me and Klaus . ”
Loren remembered that there wasn’t a limit on how many could take the job at once .
It seemed that Layla and Roll decided that they didn’t want to deal with this atmosphere and refused to come .
“Then why didn’t you refuse to come as well?”
“Are you saying that I should let throw Klaus into a crowd of girls all by himself?”
Loren tried to step away from Ange, slightly overcome by her sudden threatening look, but Ange kept closing the gap .
“Listen . It’s true that Klaus is good looking and is quite skilled . And thanks to you, he’s lost his arrogance and his personality became rounder . But still . His quickness when it comes to making moves on girls hasn’t changed at all!”
“I don’t remember fixing that part of him, either . ”
It’s not that he didn’t remember, but it was that he didn’t know about it .
Seeing that the rest of Klaus’ party were women and all of them had feelings for him, Loren guessed that he was somewhat fast at making moves, but regardless, it didn’t really harm Loren in any way .
“If I let Klaus go into a dungeon with no one to keep an eye on him . By the time they come back, all of them will have hearts floating over their heads!”
“Uhh, okay . ”
“If he’s careless, in a few months he’ll have girls flocking all over him, telling him ‘this is your child, acknowledge it’!”
Loren thought that was saying too much, but when he glanced at Klaus, he was looking away with a pale face .
Hearing Ange say that, some of the girls around him had their eyes wide open with surprise, but some of them were blus.h.i.+ng with happy looks on their faces .
“I have to stay with him to prevent that . ”
“That’s quite a disaster you have to deal with . Good luck . ”
After giving Ange a half-hearted voice of encouragement, Loren walked up to Klaus again, put his hand on his shoulder, and pulled him closer .
“Don’t overdo it, alright?”
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“Ahahahaha…Thanks for the warning, I guess . ”
“Then couldn’t they have added a thief into their party? There isn’t a limit for how many can be in a party . ”
It was common for a party to have four or five members .
This piece of knowledge was based on the experiences of many adventurers, where any lower than that would make it harder to detect and deal with dangers, and any more would slow the group down .
Of course, if you were to ignore efficiency, you could pair up with someone else or invite however many people you wanted to .
“I’m guessing that they weren’t acquainted with anyone who’s a thief . The four of them look like they’re a closed community, in any case . ”
Lapis said that because they were a party that consisted of close friends, they couldn’t invite anyone from outside their group even though they knew they needed a thief .
Although on a different scale, similar situations happened among mercenaries as well .
When the number of members decreased for whatever reason and they try to increase members by letting some in from other places, many of them don’t want to do so .
Because of this, they try to fill the holes left open by themselves instead of recruiting more people .
“It’s the same thing as villagers not liking outsiders . ”
“That’s a pretty blunt way to put it…”
“So that’s why both of them want the opposing party to go first and test the waters . ”
Loren let out a nervous laugh as Lapis rounded the conversation up, and the argument between Ain and Parme seemed to have reached a conclusion .
When Loren looked at them, he saw Parme red with frustration and Ain with a proud look on his face .
“Alright, you guys first . ”
“You’d better remember this, commoner . You’ll pay a high price for this . ”
Parme grinded her teeth but didn’t seem to argue with what was decided . She gathered the other girls and with Klaus, who was continuing to bow his head, and Ange, who was still in a bad mood, and went down the stairs into the dungeon .
“But wouldn’t letting the other go first only matter if you were going the same way?”
If they took different paths, going first or last wouldn’t matter .
Lapis answered Loren’s question without even trying to hide her exasperation .
“If they use the method taught by the school, they would take the same road . ”
“What’s that supposed to mean . ”
“I took a peek at the school’s curriculum before we came…and it seems that when it comes to exploring dungeons, they teach the students to put their left hands on the outer wall and stay next to that wall . ”
“I heard that method doesn’t work if the exit to the dungeon is in the middle of the maze . ”
If you were trying to exit the dungeon by following the outer wall, the exit had to be somewhere on the outer wall .
“In that case they make used of the map they drew on the first round and start over . ”
“Sounds like you would need a lot of patience . ”
Loren stifled a yawn as he watched Ain and his party getting ready to draw a map and discussing when to enter, thinking that exploring dungeons wasn’t something mercenaries, who were mostly short tempered, would do .
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