Now, as Earth was brooding and fretting as usual, there was movement on the surface as well.
The scene shifts to the Holy Kingdom of Harshalud.
At the heart of the Holy Kingdom lies the Holy City of Pavona.
Adjacent to the “Holy Land” where the Holy Dragon and his follower reside, this city is also the headquarters of a religion called the Holy God Religion.
The headquarters is constructed right on the boundary that separates the Holy Land where the Holy Dragons dwell and the places where people live, with the city of Pavona fanning out around it.
In one corner of the city, at the Adventurers’ Guild―――
「Mmm… Excuse me, I’d like another helping, please.」
「…Una, you’re still eating?」
Una and Dos are having a meal.
But to say Dos is eating is a bit of a stretch—he finished his meal a while ago and is now just watching Una eat.
In front of Una, there are already more than ten plates lined up.
Not a scrap or morsel is left; even the sauce has been neatly wiped clean.
Even after polishing off more than ten servings, Una looks at ease.
「Of course. I must take in as much nutrition as possible in case something happens.」
Una devours the newly brought stew with relish.
Some of the adventurers cast passionate glances at her.
At a glance, Una is a beautiful woman with a generous bosom.
Even if her personality is disappointing, she’s still a sight for sore eyes from a distance.
The reason no one approaches her is an unspoken agreement among the adventurers—those who do are asking for a beating.
「…you know, you’ll get fat?」
「It’s impossible for me to get fat.」
Dos’s sarcasm doesn’t faze Una.
Una’s ability involves manipulating magic and her physique with water as a catalyst.
With water, she can eject and alter the fixed and variable values of a target, a fearsome ability that, when applied, allows her to maintain her body in optimal condition at all times.
Diet? What’s that?
If you want to lose weight, just manipulate your body.
Una is the woman who could make enemies of all women in the world.
「More importantly… mmm, our plans for the afternoon, we’re meeting with Orion and Pororo, right?」
Dos nods in response to Una’s inquiry.
They have an appointment to meet them at the headquarters of the Holy God Religion in the afternoon.
「Is it… that thing with Orion again?」
Una and Dos’s expressions darken.
Orion Karla, the “saint” of the “Holy Ark.”
Until about a month ago, she was the one they were assigned to protect and the only woman who realized that Una and Dos were not human.
After many twists and turns, she chose to join forces with them.
It all started with Robun, a follower of Fafnir.
Previously, Robun had helped Orion during a mission.
Then, during the Death Dragon debacle, he ended up saving her again, leaving a deep impression on her, which led to her cooperating with the dungeon.
But this caused a certain problem… or rather, a nuisance.
Orion started insisting on expressing her gratitude to Robun, which was fine at first, but then she began to relentlessly request meetings with him, almost daily.
To put it bluntly, it was annoying.
They knew her character and understood that she had no intention of harming the dungeon. In fact, her involvement had even opened new channels with the Holy God Religion, which was a definite benefit for the dungeon’s side.
But to be nagged about it every single day was draining.
And it interfered with Robun’s work.
He was busy (mostly with Elibel’s errands).
「What exactly did she fall for in Robun?」
「…wha—cough, cou—fall for?」
Dos chokes on Una’s remark.
「How could you see it any other way? Are you okay, Dos?」
She stands and rubs his back, ever the considerate big sister.
「…I’m fine, so, she’s fallen for him…」
「What’s the matter? You seem… disappointed?」
「Why a question?」
What was he disappointed about?
He couldn’t tell.
Anyway, Una changes the subject.
「There’s been an increase in monster sightings lately.」
Una says this while scarfing down her stew.
Looking over at the guild counter, several adventurers are reporting to the staff.
It seems to be about monster sightings.
The area around the Holy City is relatively safe, and monster hordes are rare, but there’s been a rise in sightings of low-level creatures recently.
But it’s not a threat worth worrying about.
If anything serious were to happen, it would surely reach their ears as high-ranking adventurers.
「Still, I’m more curious about Pororoo’s business than Orion’s.」
Holy Dragon Pororo.
Formerly betrothed to Elja and currently the messenger for Una and Dos within the Holy Kingdom.
What could his business be?
「…Una, it’s about time.」
「Oh, is it that late already?」
Regardless of Orion, Pororo is strict with time.
Being late is not an option.
Una quickly finishes her stew and leaves the guild.
The pair arrives at the headquarters of the Holy God Religion and, after checking in, they head to the room where Orion and Pororo are waiting.
「We’ve been waiting for you both」
Orion says with a warm smile as Una and Dos enter the room.
Tea is ready, which likely means she sensed their approach with her magic perception. Orion, being blind, has heightened abilities to sense magic and presence.
「You’re two minutes late, both of you…」
Pororo chides them, as expected.
He is in human form now, looking like a late teenager with jade-colored hair tied back, dressed in a military-like outfit. Like Elja, who was quite a beauty in human form, Pororo could also be called quite the handsome youth. It seems all Holy Dragons are blessed with fine features.
「….it’s because of Una’s meal that we’re late.」
The younger brother casually throws his sister under the bus.
Sister, on the verge of tears.
「Oh dear, in that case, would you like some tea after your meal? There are also sweets.」
And Orion remains ever unperturbed.
「Ah, then please add some honey. I’d like to put it in my tea.」
And the sister is as predictable as ever.
Brother, suffering a headache.
Pororo’s expression becomes stern.
After enjoying the tea Orion has brewed, the conversation begins.
「So, you two haven’t been returning to the dungeon lately?」
「Just for regular reports. Our main mission has always been to gather information on the surface.」
「I see… If you were to return to the dungeon, there’s something I’d like to ask of you」
Here it comes.
The expected turn of events.
It’s probably another request to meet with Robun.
「…before that, what’s up with you today, Pororo?」
Dos interjects before they get caught in an endless loop of Orion’s calls for Robun.
「Hm? Is it okay for my issue to go first?」
Pororo asks, glancing at Orion.
「I don’t mind at all. As a saintess, I couldn’t possibly interrupt the words of a Holy Dragon.」
Orion is aware of Pororo’s true identity, as evident from her presence here.
To add, only a handful of people in the Holy Kingdom, including the Pope, know of the connection between Earth’s dungeon and the Holy Dragons.
「Is that so?」
「…is it about getting revenge on Rasetsu?」
When Dos broaches the subject, Pororo makes a sour face.
「No, that’s for another time. Well… I’ll beat that armor eventually.」
After the commotion with Elja’s engagement, Pororo regularly visits Earth’s dungeon to test his strength in the middle floors.
Earth and Elibel let him do as he pleases since it provided valuable practical data, but then he encountered Rasetsu, who was also training on the middle floor, and mistaking him for a golem placed there, they clashed.
The result… was a crushing defeat for Pororo.
Even for the mighty Holy Dragon (in human form), taking on the close-combat specialist Rasetsu in the dungeon was a bad match.
This blow to his pride, having never known defeat in anything but love, has since made Pororo unilaterally view Rasetsu as his rival.
Rasetsu is pleased to have found a good sparring partner.
A win-win? relationship.
「…so what is it then?」
If it’s not about Rasetsu, could it be about Elja?
I hear he’s still pursuing her.
「Today, our lord Harsha has a message for your dungeon.」
「Normally, I should be the one to deliver it directly to the dungeon, but currently, circumstances prevent me and the other follower from leaving. So, we’d like to entrust the message to you.」
That’s a strange turn of events.
A direct teleportation gate connecting the Holy Land and the dungeon, courtesy of Elibel, has been established.
Communication magic stone should also be possible.
So why the need for a direct message?
「Thought transmission and magic tools carry the risk of being intercepted by ‘the other side.’ It’s less efficient, but having you return to the dungeon to relay the message is the most secure and confidential.」
Anticipating Dos’s question, Pororo explains first.
It’s an exceedingly cautious move.
Meaning, the content must be significant.
Dos and Una realize this instantly.
「…what’s the content?」
He glances briefly at Orion.
「It’s fine. She’s an ally.」
What could it be that she’s also involved?
Pororo, with a serious expression, begins to speak.
「―――’The Emperor Beast’ Agil’s seal seems to have been broken. We’d like to enlist your help in subduing it.」
Ah, this is a big deal.
Una and Dos understand immediately.
Meanwhile, in the Eld Desert―――
「Is this Lord Earth’s dungeon? Magnificent… What tremendous magical power…」
A woman gazes dreamily at the massive vertical hole that has appeared in the Eld Desert.
She has horns like a cow, pale blue skin, and eyes where white and black are reversed. Despite her non-human appearance, she is strikingly beautiful.
Her name is “Intimidating Ox” Kshathra.
She’s a follower of Earth’s mother, the Divine Catastrophe Dragon King Jibru, and the guardian of the seventh floor of the Stellar Vein Dungeon.
「Well, then, shall I go and deliver the message from Lord Jibru?」
Without any hesitation, she leaps down―――.
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