In the 80th floor of Fáfnir, 『The Blue Knight’s Hall』―――
I couldn’t believe the scene before my eyes.
A battered body. An absurdly powerful enemy.
In the middle of such a desperate crisis, I spoke to the one who appeared like a hero from TV or comics.
『…Ann, is that you?』
With a twirl, Ann looks at me with her usual expressionless face.
There was no expression. But,
『Yes, Lord Earth. It’s me, Ann.』
With a bouncing tone, Ann answered.
Apparently, it’s not an illusion.
But if that’s the case, questions arise.
『Cough… How did you get here? Surely not alone?』
It’s hard to imagine that she came here alone, and if she did come, it wouldn’t be strange for Elibel, Pururu, and everyone else to be here, but from what I can see, Ann is alone.
『Elibel used a magic tool to locate you, Lord Earth. And, she opened a teleportation gate to get here.』
As expected of Elibel, her abilities are superfluous.
『However, the moment we entered the Fáfnir dungeon, we were scattered. I was lucky enough to appear near here, but I don’t know about the others. They are probably still in the dungeon.』
When she went through the gate, she ended up in a different place than she expected?
『When I passed through the gate, I appeared on a large floor nearby. From there, I felt your magical power, so I hurried over here. However, I was attacked by an indescribably large monster along the way, so I was a bit late in arriving.』
Ann explained how she had come this far.
『But, Elibel, Tres, Pururu… I can sense everyone’s magical power. Lord Earth, if you don’t mind, where in Fáfnir are we? We originally intended to teleport to a corner of the 52nd floor where Elibel had marked…』
I was surprised at her words.
『This is the 80th floor…』
『The 80th floor…!? That deep…!?』
Apparently, Ann didn’t expect this place to be that deep.
Suddenly, I turned my eyes to the girl at the entrance.
I thought maybe…
Sure enough, the girl nodded.
「Un, it was me.」
She readily admitted.
「The ant lady is here, and the others should be on the floor 60, 70, and 90.」
The white girl spoke casually.
Her bland tone made me feel wary of her for the first time.
No, not wary.
It might be more accurate to say a fear of the unknown arising from a question.
After all, even at this moment, I don’t think of this girl as an “enemy.”
But if that’s the case, what is this girl’s purpose?
Bringing me to this dungeon, making me fight with the floor master, interfering with the rescue of Ann and others, sending only Ann here, I couldn’t understand her inconsistent actions.
「I’ll tell you later.」
『Tell me now… What on earth are you…?』
I’m at a loss.
Who is she… really?
『Lord Earth, it’s fine to “talk to yourself,” but for now―――』
Saying that, Ann looks forward.
At him, the floor master of this place, Ragin.
「Is the conversation over?」
Ragin, who had been quietly observing us with his arms crossed, opened his mouth.
Apparently, he had been waiting without making a move.
『You’ve been waiting, haven’t you?』
「Humu. You seem to be an acquaintance of the earth dragon over there, isn’t it? If a comrade comes to help in a pinch, it’s a matter of style to watch. Fuhahaha! I am magnanimous! I can wait for a little conversation!」
Ragin, stating his incomprehensible argument.
『I see, then we’ve kept you waiting.』
With that, Ann draws her sword.
「Are you ready? I can still wait.」
『It’s fine. Besides…』
『We can talk at length after we’ve disposed of you.』
「Is that so….」
At that provocative remark, Ragin unfolds his arms and picks up the sword that was thrust into the ground.
『There’s just one thing I want to confirm.』
「What is it?」
『….Was it you who hurt Lord Earth?』
「Isn’t it natural for a floor master to try to eliminate intruders?」
『I see, understood. At least, I now have a reason to kill you.』
At the same time as her words, Ann releases a large amount of magical power.
「Ho… impressive magical power. Quite different from the dragon over there. Despite his looks, he turned out to be quite a weakling, didn’t he?」
With a snap, something seemed to break.
Simultaneously, an immense killing intent begins to emanate from Ann.
This, this is scary. Ms Ann, you’re terrifying.
Unintentionally, I end up adding an honorific to her name. The current Ann is that terrifying.
The walls made of Ritual Stone, which are supposed to neutralize magic, are trembling.
『You have injured Lord Earth and even insulted him! You will pay for your sins!』
「FUHAHAHA, such a fine killing intent! Very good indeed! Come on, give it a try!! I will neither run nor hide! I will defeat you fair and square!」
With a clench, power is gathered into the swords she each hold.
In an instant.
The two clash.
At the same time as Ann made a gallant appearance in front of Earth…
In the 90th floor of Fáfnir, 『The Death Lord’s Chamber』―――
「Hmm… I’ve been done in…」
Elibel mutters to herself, scratching her head.
She looks around, but it’s subtly dark and hard to see.
「I’ve been interfered with by the ‘teleportation gate itself’… Is this to split our forces? Really, how much of an anomaly that thing is… If the aim was to disperse our forces, we’ve been completely fooled. Having reduced our numbers for the sake of being elite has backfired…」
The assault on Fáfnir was carried out by Ann, Elibel, Tres, and Pururu, a group of four.
A large-scale assault could potentially alert Fáfnir.
Therefore, they decided to face it with their highest power in a smaller group, a strategy thought up by Elibel and Ann, but it was thwarted quite early on.
Fufufu, Elibel laughs.
Even in such an abnormal situation, she was having fun.
No, because it was an abnormal situation, her heart was racing.
It seems she’s the only one here.
She activates magic detection, but the presence, the magical power she can sense, is very faint.
The other three, Ann, Pururu, and Tres, who also broke in, must be somewhere in the dungeon, but it will take a lot of work to find them.
「Well, I’m not worried about Ann and the others. They’re well-equipped and have their ‘insurance’ in place. Even if they’re alone, they’ll manage against a floor master class opponent, but the problem is―――」
She says, and what comes to mind is that idiot, the shameful dragon, Earth.
She activates magic detection.
She can faintly sense Earth’s presence.
It seems he’s somewhere in this dungeon.
「Well… what should I do? Firstly, where am I?」
「You’ve done well to come here, intruder…」
A deep voice, as if echoing from the depths of the earth.
As the voice echoes, light fills the dimly lit floor.
Elibel appreciates the expected dramatic gesture.
She doesn’t mind these stylistic traditions.
Or rather, she knew there was someone else on this floor from the magic detection she used earlier.
She knew, and deliberately ignored it.
「Oh, is it time for the enemy to make his appearance?」
She raises her voice in a deliberately exaggerated manner.
In the back of the lit hall, there’s something sitting on an unnecessarily luxurious chair, wearing a black robe.
Underneath the robe, the visible face is a skull.
On its back, it carries a large scythe, and if you were to describe it based on its appearance, the term “grim reaper” seems to fit the best.
Elibel stares at it intently.
「A Death Lord, maybe? From what I can see, it seems stronger than the master of the 50th floor.」
When Elibel once challenged it, the master of the 50th floor was a monster called Metal Lizard.
As its name suggests, it was a giant lizard made entirely of metal.
She has some memory of it being quite strong.
Well, she did beat it up single-handedly, skinned it for material, and then patted its belly, but the reaper in front of her looks more powerful than that.
「Ho… You know that creature… I see, ‘that girl’ has done well choosing this time…」
Elibel reacts slightly.
You could hear something like a licking sound, so she might just be reacting to the word ‘girl’.
Even in this situation, Elibel is still Elibel.
In any other world, she would be an immediate cause for concern.
But the reaper, ignoring Elibel’s perverted reaction, rises from his chair.
「However, the disappointment is just as great as the expectation. I never thought that the opponent for me, the one who rules over death, would be an inferior Ark Skeleton… Couldn’t you have chosen a more suitable opponent…」
With a weary tone, the reaper shakes his white head.
This makes her blood boil.
She doesn’t have any blood vessels, but her anger is rising.
「What do you mean? I’d be happy if you could tell me.」
「If you want to know… show me your power. Well, as a fellow undead, you’ll soon realize the difference in our ranks.」
At his arrogant words, she gets even angrier.
Elibel has no resistance to provocation.
She’s always ready for a fight, a real bully.
And without fail, her opponents end up battered. There are no exceptions.
With a snap, something breaks.
「It seems this damn skeleton doesn’t know who it’s dealing with. To think that they’d dare to catch me, who was once called a sage, a special and great genius, and treat me as an inferior? Ha! Just a Death Lord acting all high and mighty! I’ll teach you the difference in our ranks!」
Having delivered a completely low-class speech, Elibel takes up her staff.
In contrast, the Reaper maintains his calm and slowly readies his large scythe.
「I am Robun, the proud master of the 90th floor of Fáfnir.」
「I am Elibel, the unparalleled beautiful skeleton!」
Though she claims to be a beautiful skeleton, if you only look at appearances, the two are identical.
Their appearances are as similar as color differences in a game. The only real difference might be their clothing.
But what does she mean by “beautiful skeleton”?
As she watches the approaching Reaper, Elibel ponders.
―――From the feel of this, it seems the others have also likely been sent to the floor masters…
But if they just wanted to annihilate us, wouldn’t there be more efficient ways than doing this?
No, if they could intervene in the teleportation gates, they could have prevented us from entering Fáfnir altogether rather than scattering our forces…
What is their goal?
Intervention in our dungeon?
A fight to the death with Fáfnir?
Inciting a conflict between dungeons?
No, none of those fit…
「―――What are you looking at?」
Oh, the skeletal floor master is coming this way.
Don’t distract me, can’t you let me think in peace? This is why I hate those who act hastily…
Well, it’s not like it matters that much.
For now, let’s focus on this fight.
Earth, could you wait a bit?
I’m going to finish this quickly and head your way.
And I’m sorry Earth, but I’m just a little bit excited.
The Fáfnir Dungeon that I once stopped trying to conquer (or more accurately, got bored with).
And the Pathless with a Dungeon Altering Ability like I’ve never seen before.
――――This kind of extraordinary situation, wouldn’t it be a waste not to enjoy it?
With my chest, which is nothing but a smooth bone, thrilling, I ready my staff.
Well then, for now, let’s beat the hell out of this guy.
In the 70th floor of Fáfnir, 『The Steel Liquid Room』―――
While Elibel was facing off against Death Emperor Robun, someone else was having a staredown here too.
It was Pururu.
Like the others, Pururu was facing off against the master of the 70th floor.
The creature she faced was――――identical to herself.
In other words, a slime.
Its name is Ljung.
Its species name is Huge Metal Slime.
A higher existence of a different slime species from Pururu, the Gluttony Hell Slime.
Clear hostility dwells in its round eyes.
Against the slime she’s seeing for the first time, different from herself, Pururu is on full guard.
The two face off, sparks flying.
Well, to an observer, it would just look like two slimes shaking in place.
Pururu begins to charge at Ljung while shouting.
The intense battle has begun.
Nobody is there to question why they can’t at least translate their words.
Because nobody else is here.
Well, to an observer, it would just look like two slimes are shaking their bodies and bumping into each other.
But anyway, the intense battle has begun.
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