Chapter 9: The old man continues travelling in the desert.
We continued to progress through the dungeon at a pace superior to yesterday as the girls have managed to become comfortable walking on sand. This showed once again their talent as they had a good sense when it came to their own bodies. A person’s status was important, however having a strong understanding of your own body also important. This was something I am painfully familiar with as I was able to become a middle-class adventurer despite having a bottom tier status.
[Youya, Youya, yesterday the egg started to move!] (Luna)
[I see. If the egg is starting to move then it means it is about to hatch. Next is to place it inside the hot spring and our pet will be born.] (Youya)
[Looking forward to it!] (Luna)
Luna’s tail began to swing as she started humming. The egg in question was the Magic Egg that we had obtained back when we were in Greenwood. By maintaining skin contact aka warming the egg, the egg sucks the surrounding mana and the mana of the person in contact with it, feasting on the mana to grow. However, that wasn’t enough to hatch the egg. In order to hatch the egg, we’ll need to soak the egg in waters with high spiritual powers. In other words, we needed to submerge it in the hot springs at Flaregard which were one of their specialties. It was one of the reason why we had came to Flaregard.
(Note: I know that I translated the hatcing process differently in the past but I won’t be editing the previous chapters as I don’t have the exact chapters which I had mistranslated. I may get to it in the future but as of right now, I won’t. Speaking of mistranslations, I may have also mistranslated Youya’s name but I’m sure no one noticed that… I hope)
[It’s exciting isn’t it Luna.] (Til)
[Uhn. It’s our child, it will definitely be cute.] (Luna)
Luna and Til looked excited while Selene was smiling at the back, completing embracing her elder-sister role. Initially, Selene was merely following along with Til and Luna’s lively spirits however recently she began to become much more comfortable and begun acting out as their elder-sister.
Also, I’m relieved that Luna hadn’t mentioned anything about last night when she entered my tent as she managed to sneak in while me and Phil were performing our deed. We had deceived our way out of the situation but we were worried about leaving the situation as it was.
[I was worried about the encounter yesterday. Youya. Why didn’t you tell the girls in advance about the monsters and traps waiting for them in the desert? Are there any circumstances to do so?] (Phil)
It looks like nothing gets by Phil as she noticed even this small detail in less than a day.
[I was also worried about that. Youya-ojisama has an amazing wealth of experience of knowledge. Thinking about the situation yesterday, normally you would had been able to teach us all the dangerous aspects of a dungeon before we entered. This way you could minimize the risks involved in our adventure.] (Selene)
I vaguely smiled as Selene’s analysis was spot-on. Dungeons with special aspects to it such as unique monsters and traps were extremely dangerous. However, if you possessed information about them beforehand then the risk involved would decrease dramatically.
[It was to prepare you girls for the future and your ability to sense the impending crisis. Just as you said, having information about the dungeon before actually attempting it would be much safer as you would be prepared to act accordingly. However, this would hinder your growth rather than assist your growth. Even I wouldn’t have information about every single dungeon and monster in the world. If you do not possess the conscious of mind to keep calm even after getting caught in a trap, then somewhere down the line you would lose your life in unknown territory.] (Youya)
This was the reason why I had minimized the information given to the girls before entering the dungeon. A person is unable to become number one with just knowledge alone. By experiencing the viciousness and danger of monsters with your body and paying with your own blood, it becomes a better learning experience as compared to learning through words. By being overprotective, I would merely be impeding the girls’ growth. However there are still exceptions to certain situations. I will still be relaying information about important monsters and traps in advance so long as it is beneficial. For example: the Minotaur’s sure-kill attack. Without advising precaution against its high speed charge, then they could had very well be dead on the spot.
[I’m surprised. Youya may actually be an excellent teacher.] (Phil)
[I’m just used to it. Just how many adventurers do you think I’ve taught till this point.] (Youya)
At this point i’ve taught and helped honed countless adventurers. Even after meeting Phil and Leonard, I’ve been tutoring young adventurers when I was still an exclusive adventurer.
[I’m feeling extremely blessed right now to have Youya-ojisama as my teacher. I’ll definitely get stronger no matter what.] (Selene)
Selene clenched her fist.
The battle for her kingdom’s succession isn’t too far away from now. Even I wished to impart as much of my experience and knowledge to Selene as possible.
[It’s good to be motivated however let me tell you what’s your main flaw at the moment. Selene, you become too absorbed in a single thing and as a result, you neglect everything else that is happening around you.] (Youya)
I grabbed Selene’s shoulder, preventing her from moving as a large pitfall opened in the sand several steps ahead of us. It was a trap set to target adventurers whose attention is completely preoccupied with the heat, their consciousness becoming hazy due to the intense weather. A simple yet effective trap in such a large and painful desert.
[Remain alert about your surroundings even during a conversation.] (Youya)
[Yes. I’ll be careful from now on.] (Selene)
Selene nodded back to me in response.
Our destination is still a distance away, let’s continue on with our new-found motivation.
We placed our backs together, trusting each other and removing any blind spots.
[Youya, our attacks won’t land if they continue diving into the sand!] (Luna)
[It’s too difficult to land an arrow or a spell like this. Ughh they are irritating.] (Til)
We were currently being surrounded by a group of 4 Desert Serpents.
They were also commonly known as Sandfish Dragons due to their smooth skin with a similar colour to sand, with a body similar to fishes and claws which let them move about as if they were swimming in the sand. Unfortunately for us, their skin allows them to camouflage into the surrounding, making it difficult to even spot them.
[Do not lose your focus. Even if we can’t land any damage on them while they are underground, they are in the same boat. They can’t land a critical blow so long as they are underground! They’re waiting for us to give an opening!] (Youya)
Desert Serpents were intelligent and cautious for a normal monster. By swimming around in groups and circling us, they are trying to open a gap in our defenses through intimidation and attacking only when an gap is opened. I began listening carefully as a large sound would be made whenever they jumped out of the sand.
The next moment, one of the monsters jumped into the air in my direction. It looks like it’s target was me. By stepping forward with a slight crouch, I dodged the monster’s charge as I drove my sword into its body. Together with its charge and my movement, the blade was slicing through its body with twice the speed. The sharpness of the black Magic Sword was also shown as the monster passed my body, with its body being sliced into two equal parts. However to my surprise, the monster continued to move even though its body was sliced into two, displaying tremendous vitality.
[This is the method to defeat Desert Serpents. You counter their rush with your own attack, if timed right, they can be easily beaten.] (Youya)
Attempting to chase the serpents when submerged in the sand only served to waste your own energy. The optimal strategy would be to counterattack the moment they attack.
[Uhn. Luna will try it out.] (Luna)
[Fufu. it’s stressful having to wait for the enemies to attack you know~.] (Til)
I’ll be sure to reprimand Til for her complaint later. As a result of the first attempt, the monsters’ attack pattern started to change. The Desert Serpents who were circling us dived deeply into the sand.
[One coming towards us! From below!] (Luna)
Luna with Presence Detection cried out detecting movement below us. If they are below us, then Selene should be the one to act.
[Selene, you do it. Luna, tell Selene the exact location of the monster. Remember to signal her a moment before they surface from the ground.] (Youya)
[I understand now.] (Selene)
[I’ll be sure to signal properly.] (Luna)
Luna and Selene nodded in response. The Desert Serpents’ aim was visible. By surfacing directly below us, they are minimising the amount of time spent in the air after surfacing. It was an excellent idea however it was unfortunate for them as we had Luna who possessed Presence Detection. Selene adjusted her stance and readied her shield.
A thin blue barrier emanated from her shield. It was her skill which temporarily increased her defensive stats several times. Activating that skill seemed out of place, however she had a clear objective in activating her skill. Luna’s fox ears continued to twitch seemingly quicker as her body continued to tremble.
[3… 2… 1.. Now!] (Luna)
Luna cried out, signalling Selene.
[Shield Bash!] (Selene)
Selene activated her class, the Crusader’s unique skill, Shield bash. A skill which converts the user’s defense power into attack power, allowing her to release a powerful attack. It was for this reason that she activated Fortress. Selene swung her shield, the shield of Renoir downward into the ground, just as she threw her arm down, a thick iron pile jumps out of her shield with a screech. Immediately afterwards, the ground was gouged out as if an explosion occurred, bits and pieces of a Desert Serpent flew through the air among the sand that was thrown about.
[As usual, that is some ridiculous power.] (Youya)
Selene was an amazing tank, but secretly she possessed an extremely high-firepower skill in her back pocket. Number of remaining Desert Serpents: Two.
Surprisingly, I had expected the remaining serpents to escape after witnessing this sight, however the two still had the intention to fight. The remaining two serpents jumped out towards us in two direct opposite directions, sandwiching us inbetween. The two of them had jumped from a distance away with their mouths wide open.
The two serpents jumped into the air from a distance away, managing to jump to an amazing altitude, buying themselves enough time to safely release a breath attack. Their breath attack would be fatal to us if they managed to attack us without preparing our defenses.
[It’s finally time for my turn to shine.] (Til)
[Such a huge target, I could hit it with my eyes closed.] (Phil)
Arrows coated in ice began flying towards the two serpents who were widely exposed in the air. Phil had activated her Magical Enchantment: Ice onto herself and Til, firing towards the back and front respectively. Unable to release their breath attacks, the two Desert Serpents were pierced by a barrage of arrows and merely died in the air.
[Eh? Onee-chan. How were you able to fire an arrow into each of its eyes at the same time at this distance!? And just how many arrows did you plan to fire before its body hit the ground? Somehow, you managed to fire three arrows while it was in the air. How were you even able to do that!!?] (Til)
[It’s the difference in experience.] (Phil)
Disregarding Til, it was amazing for Phil who had a lower level to be able to take down the Desert Serpent in such a short span of time. Phil was someone who had the bonus stats from her level reset and maximum status gain, a bow which had its performance increased tremendously over the years, powerful arrows produced from Arrow Generation with her attribute enchantment which increased the damage of her attacks significantly having the most effective attribute. However, these wasn’t enough for her to defeat the Desert Serpent. Rather, she had mercilessly fired multiple arrows into the weak points of the Desert Serpent, landing critical hits which raised her damage even further. She managed to fire two arrows into each eye, another arrow into its throat, causing the Serpent to suffer the brunt of its own breath attack, and continued to fire arrows into the monster’s body as it fell down in an irregular fashion due to the explosion of its breath attack. It is a seemingly inhuman skill.
[It’s frustrating!!! I won’t lose to anyone with a bow!] (Til)
Til who was usually a happy-go-lucky person seemed seriously irritated and disappointed as she had taken tremendous pride in her archery skills.
[Don’t worry about it Til. You have more talent than me and you’ve been practicing a lot as well. You will definitely surpass me someday.] (Phil)
[Uhn! I will definitely surpass you! So tell me about that triple shot!] (Til)
[It’s a skill that I’m using right now to compensate for my low status. Since about 80% of my attack power is coming from my bow and arrow, I don’t have that much bonuses to my physical strength. However if it’s your current physical strength, there isn’t any difference from firing a single arrow at a time. Even if you were to use it, it’ll merely be for show.] (Phil)
[Even so it is fine! It looks cool after all! I want to learn how to fire three arrows at once! No matter what I want to do it!] (Til)
[Alright. I’ll teach you.] (Phil)
[Yay! I love you oneechan!] (Til)
Til began hugging Phil displaying an affectionate sisterly love. With this, the battle against the Desert Serpents were over. We proceeded to collect the dropped items. Then, I became speechless. Among the dropped items, there was an Eel meat (Average). In this world the items which were dropped are rather appropriate for the species. For example, boars and orcs both dropped Pork (average). However I didn’t expect the serpents to drop Eel meat as well.
[Youya, tonight dinner is going to be a feast!] (Luna)
[We did it! Eel meat is delicious!] (Til)
The two girls were getting excited as they weren’t aware of my conflicted emotions.
[Phil, can I rely on you for tonight’s dinner?] (Youya)
[Sure, I’ll make Youya’s favourite dish.] (Phil)
After pondering on it, it seemed likely for this to happen. For now, let’s just enjoy the fact that we can enjoy delicious cooking for tonight.
After the battle, we continued to travel deeper into the desert and it was almost time for the sun to set. After checking the amount of water we had in stock, we were still in the green as we were lucky enough to come across the oasis, allowing us to drink beyond the amount I had planned initially.
Our goal today was to reach of foot of *That* as I continued to check the magic compass to confirm our direction. Although it should be about time to see that…
[Over there, I see something weird over there. It looks shiny like a triangle.] (Til)
It looks like Til who had the best eyesight among the party was the first to spot *that*.
Thinking that we had finally arrived, I placed more strength into my legs as I sped up my pace and we continued towards it, until everyone was able to see it. It was a gigantic pyramidal structure shining with an intimidating golden colour. To put it in one word, it’s a pyramid.
[Yosh, we’ll stop here for today. That is the final destination of our adventure in this dungeon, the Golden Pyramid. We came for the treasure hiding within that structure, plus that building is an amazing place. In the deepest part of that structure, aside from our goal, there are also several amazing treasure boxes which will appear.] (Youya)
Within the golden pyramid, are hidden treasures. And among those hidden treasures, there is something we need to increase our party’s limit. When Luna and Til heard that we were done for today, the two of them began their strange food ritual seemingly far more energetic than before. I’ll leave them to it for now. Tomorrow, I’ll begin to explain the characteristics of the desert tomorrow. Despite how valuable the items available in the pyramid are, there is a reason why there wouldn’t be any competition for the treasures.
There are going to be many troublesome traps and troublesome monsters awaiting for us in the Golden Pyramid.