In the dungeon passages of Fáfnir’s 70th floor―――
「Nooooooo! Stay away, you pervert!」
As she dashes, Tres directs her maximally-enhanced Extreme Sunbeam, amplified by her Leviathan and Vajra, toward the pursuing pervert. But it’s effortlessly dodged, as if by some invertebrate creature.
Tres is crying.
She tried hard not to, but her heart finally broke under the relentless pursuit of this shadow-like pervert.
A clean, definitive break.
Yet, she doesn’t give up running.
She keeps on running, desperately launching Extreme Sunbeam and other spells as she tries to escape.
She really wishes this pervert would just die.
That’s all she can think about.
Thankfully, no other monsters attack.
Perhaps they don’t dare to steal prey from the floor master, the pervert.
But she wishes they would. Anything would be better than this.
Even a gigantic beast like a Chimera, or a golem with six arms, or a disgusting centipede or cockroach-like devil. Anything would be thousands of times better than the pervert constantly trailing behind her.
「Hic…sniff… I don’t want to… I want to go home… Daddy… Pururu… hic…」
Her voice breaks with sobs as she calls her family’s names.
Her face is covered in tears and snot.
Her magical power is nearly depleted.
She’s going to be caught.
Ah, surely, she will become a toy for this pervert. That’s what she believes as she hears…
She thinks she’s hearing things.
That’s how much her spirit has worn down from the pervert’s pursuit.
No doubt about it.
She hears Pururu’s voice.
She wipes away her tears and looks ahead.
There’s an open plaza at the end of the corridor.
And in the middle of that plaza…
――――There is one.
She expends all of her remaining magical energy in a desperate dash.
She achieves a speed she’s never reached before.
She found Pururu.
Just seeing Pururu gives her a surge of energy.
She feels light. She’s not afraid anymore.
「Hoh!? Such speed!」
The pervert is taken aback.
But she doesn’t care.
She rushes through the corridor, bursts into the plaza, and wraps her arms around Pururu.
Pururu’s tentacles gently enfold Tres.
From the outside, it looks like a slime consuming a girl, but it would be rude to point that out.
「Purururururu! I missed you! I missed you so much!」
Tears and sobs mingling, Tres clings to Pururu.
She sinks deeper and deeper into Pururu’s body.
Being careful not to dissolve Tres, Pururu tenderly hugs her back.
「Un, un… I was chased by a pervert… and it was really hard…」
「Huh? You made a new friend and want to introduce me?」
Prompted by Pururu, Tres turns her attention to the slime next to her, which she hadn’t noticed until now.
The enormous metal slime, the boss of the 70th floor, Ljung.
Upon seeing Tres, Ljung creates bubbles in his body.
「Ljung, huh? I’m Tres, Pururu’s family.」
「Nice to meet you… But I’m really glad… I’m really glad I found you, Pururu…」
Tres feels the urge to cry again.
Suddenly, a voice calls out from behind her.
「Fohohoho, such a touching reunion…」
Perverted gentleman Othel wipes away a tear with a handkerchief he pulls out of his pocket.
But Tres glares at him – after all, he’s the cause of all this.
Before she can act, however, someone else moves.
Ljung whips his metallic tentacle at Othel, spinning the pervert’s head and body around 360 degrees and slamming him into the wall.
「Nwohohohohohohohoho! Ljung, why would you!?」
Othel doesn’t quite understand what Ljung is saying, but it’s clear that the metallic slime is angry.
Tres, still clutching onto Pururu, translates for him.
「Uh, he’s saying, ‘Quiet, pervert! It’s disgraceful for a Fáfnir follower to not only pursue a little girl aimlessly but also to derive pleasure from her tears,’」
Ljung’s body quivers as if to confirm. It’s oddly cute.
「That’s a misunderstanding, Lord Ljung! I just wanted to see Tres’s crying face, I– Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!」
Before Othel can finish his excuse, Ljung’s steel whip strikes again, spinning Othel like a top and impaling him into the ceiling.
「And now, he’s saying, ‘Shut up, perverted old geezer! You’re a disgrace to our kind! Fafnir is suffering, and yet you prioritize your own lust. Drop dead, you pervert.’」
Although it’s questionable how much meaning can be packed into a single “pu,” given Ljung’s reaction, it must be true.
Ignoring the pervert now serving as an amusing ceiling ornament, Ljung turns to Tres.
「Hmm, ‘Sorry for the trouble caused by our member’? Don’t worry, it’s all okay now that I’ve found Pururu.」
As she wipes her tears, she gives a heartfelt smile, evidently overjoyed to have found Pururu.
「’There’s something I want you to hear,’ you say?」
Ljung nods, its body trembling slightly in affirmation.
「You mean about Fáfnir and why we were called here」
Saying this, Ljung trembles once more.
In the 90th floor of Fáfnir, 『The Death Lord’s Chamber』―――
Where am I?
Slowly, my vision clears.
I had almost forgotten the feeling of losing consciousness.
Reflected in my now-clear vision is the Arc Skeleton I fought just a moment ago.
「Have you awoken?」
「You… why are you still here?」
Why is she still here?
And why am I not dead?
Robun’s pupil-less eyes seem to question.
Well, it’s strange to think that someone already dead could die again.
「Well, ideally, I’d have liked to head to the upper layers where that idiot is, right away.」
Saying this, Elibel looks at Robun.
「But first, there’s something I had to confirm.」
「That girl you mentioned earlier… is she the ‘Pathless’?」
「I see. In that case, let’s confirm one more thing. ……Is Fáfnir at its ‘limit’?」
Robun visibly flinches at this question.
Why would she ask that?
「Thank you. Your reaction alone is enough confirmation for me. So, it means…… just as I feared.」
Elibel silently readies her staff.
She holds it like a baseball bat.
Robun tilts his head, wondering what she intends to do.
Then, Elibel winds up her staff and swings it with full force toward Robun.
Caught off guard by the unexpected blow, Robun does not brace himself and ends up tumbling cleanly across the ground.
Once more, Elibel heaves a deep sigh.
「Seriously, we really got roped into a ridiculous charade… We did, and that idiot too,」
She grumbles, scratching her bald head irritably.
「I can’t always be on the defensive, it’s simply not becoming. Perhaps it’s about time I turned the tables.」
She says, drawing out a magic tool from her pocket.
In the 『？？？』 floor of Fáfnir―――
Where am I?
I look around.
I find myself in a dimly lit corridor.
Ann is… not here.
Just a while ago, I was supposed to be on the floor where that knight Ragin, the floor master, was.
Watching Ann’s fight, suddenly, the scenery warped…
Where… the hell am I?
From the magical power I feel, I know I’m inside Fáfnir’s dungeon.
But… this sensation.
The concentration of magical power is different.
It’s denser than where I was earlier.
Ah, my body hurts. I’m in tatters.
「Awake, are you?」
When I turn around, that white-haired girl is there.
Behind her, there’s a door made of gold.
The white-haired girl turns her back on me and heads towards the golden door.
「Oh, that’s right, Mr. Lizard. Here, have this.」
With a casual flick, the white-haired girl throws something into my mouth.
Instinctively, I swallow what she tossed.
『What is… this?』
I recognize the taste.
It’s unforgettable, similar to peppermint.
『It can’t be… ‘Earth Dragon’s Spine’?』
As I say this, my mind starts to clear.
The effect brought about by the Earth Dragon’s Spine, the “mental reversal”, proves its effectiveness.
Then, my wounds start to heal.
Along with the spine, another item had been thrown in. A magic stone?
The very ultra-high purity magic stone that I always eat.
I’m far from fully recovered, but my body feels much better.
「Yeah. I took it from that skeletal guy.」
There’s no point in asking when she did it.
She’s a “Pathless.”
Regardless of where in the dungeon, she can invade.
And then, the golden door opens.
A light turns on in the dim room, revealing the scene inside.
In its depths…
There, at a place resembling an altar, he was waiting.
「――――You’ve done well to come, Dragon King.」
That being… was a golden dragon.
A gigantic dragon, clad in golden scales, ten times my size at least.
Its presence, its magical power could only be described as overwhelming even from afar.
I knew it just by looking. This was it…
『…So you’re the master of this dungeon?』
Step by step, the white-haired girl stood before me.
「Fal, are you alright for now?」
「Yes, it was precarious just a moment ago, but for now, there’s no problem.」
the white-haired girl looks at me.
「You didn’t mention, Mr Lizard. My purpose, the reason why I called you here.」
Then, the the white-haired girl―the Pathless―brushed aside her long hair-covered bangs..
For the first time, I saw the eyes of that girl.
I inadvertently opened my eyes wide.
So that’s how it was…
Even though her hair, skin, and clothes were all white, her eyes alone were… brown.
Just like the caramel color of my scales.
So that’s it… This child is…
With my mental reversed and my thoughts clear, I could comprehend now.
Really, it’s annoying how perceptive I become in this state.
The reason my body changed color.
It wasn’t because of Wald.
My body changed because this child “returned.”
Why couldn’t I be wary of her?
Why could she so easily intrude on my dungeon?
Why could she easily interfere with the teleportation gates that Ann and the others used to arrive?
Thinking about it, it was such a simple reason.
There are none who would harbor hostility towards their kin.
Elibel once mentioned it before.
Pururu was a monster that naturally emerged from the abnormal concentration of magical energy in my dungeon.
So, it wouldn’t be odd if there were others.
If one of them was born unnoticed, unnoticed even as it left the dungeon.
「Please, Mr Lizard… no, Father. Kill Fal―Fáfnir.」
The white-haired girl, the Pathless―――my “kin,” lowered her head as she spoke.
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