Upon hearing the name of the adventurer, the leader of the “Black Fang Hyena”, Sub, recalled someone.
Sub remembered a red-haired female adventurer who often picked fights with him when he was based in the town of Agur.
She was of the same rank, C-Rank, as Sub’s group.
She was well-known for taking care of her juniors.
As far as he recalled, she had participated in the “Eld Desert Large-Scale Subjugation Battle” about a year ago.
The disastrous subjugation operation that everyone among the adventurers knew about.
More than ninety percent of the army who participated at that time died, and most of the adventurers were killed too. It was the worst subjugation operation ever.
The two S-Rank adventurers who were in charge at that time were declared outlaws, and the Prime Minister, who led the battle, was killed. The country itself was greatly shaken and still bears many scars.
It was because of this that they moved their base to Endymion.
However, Sub’s group didn’t know what happened after that.
They hadn’t participated in the cleanup battle.
That day, an elderly client of theirs had fallen ill, and they had to take care of him around the clock, so they didn’t go to the Eld Desert.
However, as far as he remembered, Farley’s name was not on the list of the dead.
She was likely alive.
「Hey, did you not hear me? Do you know a woman named Farley?」
Again, a voice that felt like a chill ran down his spine.
Thinking that they didn’t hear her, the girl in front of them asked the question again.
Sub decided to confirm if the woman he remembered was the same person the girl was asking about.
「…Are you talking about the red-haired female adventurer from the town of Agur?」
Then, the voice of the girl behind the mask brightened up.
「Yes! That’s her! Do you know where she is?」
Sub answered honestly.
He had no reason to lie.
「…She’s been missing since the large-scale subjugation battle a year ago. If she were dead, it should be in the guild’s records, so she’s probably alive. But I don’t know where she is.」
The response was in a disappointed tone, but it was light-hearted.
Perhaps because of that, Sub let his guard down.
「Besides, little girl, why are you in a place like this―――」
Sub swallowed his words.
That was because an explosive magic power was emitted from Tres’ body.
「――――――Then, you can die now.」
An overwhelming magical power, visible to the eye.
Contrary to the oppressive weight, the tone was flippant.
Sub, the members of the “Black Fang Hyena”, and even Balan were all in disbelief.
―――――An overwhelming amount of magical power, to an impossible degree.
An adventurer of A-Rank, or possibly even comparable to S-Rank?
Such thoughts crossed their minds in the face of the overwhelming pressure.
Around the masked girl, several spheres of fire formed.
Each one radiating a dense magical power.
Sub couldn’t believe his eyes.
He couldn’t stop shaking, and he couldn’t find his voice.
In a casual tone, as if greeting someone, she released a whirl of intense light.
However, the brutal light did not pierce through the “Black Fang Hyena”.
Right before the “Extreme Sunbeam” was fired, the sphere of light wilted and vanished like a deflated balloon.
「What… What just happened…?」
Both Tres and the “Black Fang Hyena” had no idea what had just happened.
「Eh? Why can’t I produce fire?」
The masked girl waved her hand in confusion, but the sphere of light didn’t appear.
「Haa… Haa… What… The… Hell…?」
Sub, on the other hand, was finally able to squeeze out words.
However, he couldn’t finish his sentence.
Suddenly his consciousness became hazy, and his vision slowly faded to black.
Similarly, the members riding in the back of the wagon started to fall one by one.
「……I made it in time.」
Then, a man wearing an áo dài like her, emerged from the darkness.
This was someone Tres knew very well.
「Tres, you can’t kill those people.」
While wearing a white mask like Tres, Dos spoke.
He emitted a small amount of magical power.
Dos possessed dual attributes of “Wind” and “Earth”.
He had probably used some kind of magic to interfere with Tres’ “Extreme Sunbeam”, causing the others to faint.
「Why are you here?」
「……I saw you leave the surveillance room, and I was worried, so I followed you.」
So she had been seen.
Tres was inwardly cursing.
Come to think of it, Dos had also returned from another area.
She hadn’t noticed at all.
Dos is highly skilled in sensing magic.
And at the same time, he had complete control over his presence.
That’s why Tres hadn’t noticed.
Dos created an impromptu golem to take over the reins of the horse in place of the fainted ones.
He directed it to head towards the town and the wagon slowly started to move away.
The golem was designed to self-destruct after about an hour.
It should last until just before the town.
As he watched the shaking wagon recede into the distance, Dos looked at Tres.
Unable to suppress her irritation, Tres asked Dos.
「Why did you interfere?」
「…………Those people play a role in expanding the dungeon, you can’t kill them.」
Dos answered in a calm, emotionless tone.
「There are plenty of adventurers! It doesn’t matter how many of these guys we kill!」
Raising her voice and stomping her feet, Tres expressed her words.
To Dos, she seemed like a child throwing a tantrum.
「……No, if we kill here, our dungeon will be seen as dangerous.」
To be clear, whether Tres kills adventurers or not, it doesn’t really matter to Dos.
But, killing these adventurers here and now is something he can’t allow.
Without a doubt, they came to Earth’s dungeon with the purpose of analyzing the teleportation gate.
Therefore, there is a high possibility that the Adventurer’s Guild, or the Magic City Endymion itself, is backing them.
If they go to scout the dungeon and get killed on the way back, it would certainly make the human side more wary.
If it gets to the worst, it could lead to a second Eld Desert incident.
That’s something we must avoid.
Unnecessary slaughter should be avoided.
Dos clearly understood when to kill and when not to.
If they let them go now, the story should end with just an unidentified girl attacking them.
This should minimize the caution against the dungeon itself.
On the other hand, Tres seemed unconvinced.
Adventurers are the enemy. They are a blight on the dungeon.
What’s wrong with killing them?
That’s clearly written on her face.
And, he understood why she took such an action.
So, Dos asked a question with certainty.
「……Is this about Senju?」
I thought so.
That’s what Dos thought inwardly.
I guess Tres is still haunted by that incident a year ago, where Senju committed suicide in front of Tres, during the invasion in the Eld Desert.
The death of someone close.
The guilt of having let Senju die.
The power and presence of the human soul that caused it, the confusion.
Various emotions were swirling inside her, smoldering and persisting.
Those feelings exploded when she saw familiar adventurers.
She had moved on her own, thinking that it might lead to clues about the female adventurer she hated more than anything else.
「………It’s not your fault, Tres.」
「But! Senju will never come back! What’s wrong with killing them! All the humans that come to the dungeon, they should all just die!」
For the past few months, Tres had been desperate to control her anger.
Adventurers and merchants who come in the name of research.
All of them were the detestable humans just like the ones who took Senju away.
She felt a strong disgust for letting them into the dungeon, even if it was only the surface dungeon.
Now, what should he do?
He didn’t think he could convince Tres with his awkward speaking.
Nor did he think he could leave it to Una, who was surprisingly unreliable.
Elibel was out of the question. She would definitely harass Tres under the guise of a broken heart.
Papa would probably be clueless about this kind of thing.
He was at a loss.
He couldn’t think of anyone who could handle such subtle emotions.
……Did he have to take care of it himself?
Dos tried to think and attempted to persuade Tres.
「………If you kill too many humans, another ‘Dragon Slayer’ might come.」
Wald Nored, the Dragon Slayer.
Once upon a time, he had destroyed the dungeon and driven Earth, Tres’ father, to the brink of death. The worst enemy.
Tres shrank back a bit, perhaps remembering his overwhelming strength.
「…………If hundreds of people like that came, could you win, Tres?」
「But, we have Ann and Una, and even the forest monsters! We can win! Absolutely!」
Her assertion seemed to be partly a pep talk to herself.
「…………But, if that happens, someone will die again.」
「…………Would you be okay with that, Tres?」
「No, I wouldn’t be okay with that! I hate that!」
「………Then you need to be patient. Patience is necessary to protect your family.」
「Uh… Uuh… Uuh…」
Tres was still unsatisfied and was grunting.
Dos approached Tres and gently stroked her head.
「…………Tres, don’t hold it in.」
「……………Even if it’s just a little, share it with me.」
For a while, only the sound of Tres’ sobbing echoed around them.
They were Earth’s subordinate, the guardians of the dungeon.
They kill when they must, and gather the power to do so.
But when they don’t need to, they shouldn’t use their power.
In essence, it’s a question of how to use their power.
If they fail to discern this, they will be met with ruin and regret.
Tres was on the verge of misusing her power.
So, Dos reached out to her.
「………Let’s go home, Tres. Everyone is waiting for you.」
Slowly, Tres took Dos’ hand.
Holding Tres’ hand, Dos started walking towards the dungeon.
「…………About that adventurer earlier. I’ll look into it, too.」
At his words, Tres was taken by surprise.
She had thought he would tell her to stop doing things like this.
「……………That’s why you can’t act on your own like that. You must properly consult.」
Dos lightly poked Tres’ forehead.
She had been firmly scolded.
Tres gripped Dos’ hand tightly in return.
Her small hand fit perfectly into Dos’.
Dos also gently squeezed her hand.
Tres’ anxiety hadn’t completely disappeared.
In fact, as the number of adventurers increased, it would probably continue to grow.
Even so, they had to do something.
Because they were a family.
Above all―――it’s a brother’s duty to listen to his sister’s worries.
「…………Everything’s gonna be alright.」
He murmured quietly.
Whether those words were meant for Tres, or for himself, was unclear.
In the moonlight, the two siblings returned to the dungeon.