Yesterday, we somehow managed to defeat the mid-boss, the Magmarock Golem which had a similar power level to the actual boss of the Crimson Volcano. However, the battle was still too close for comfort and ever since the battle I’ve had this sense of unease that our current strength might not be enough. We’ll have to get stronger as soon as possible.
Currently, we were wandering around the dungeon searching for a different path towards the hidden path as there was still several days until the boss respawned. No matter the methods, we have to raise our levels even by one somehow.
[Yuuya, I’m hungry.] (Luna)
Luna whined as I was met with the figure of Luna who was holding desperately onto her stomach as she pulled my clothes. Looking over to my watch, it was already past noon as we had been wandering for quite awhile.
[Perfect, it’s already noon. Let’s take a break for now.] (Yuuya)
[Yuuya-niisan, I approve of that notion!] (Til)
[The view is nice and it’s spacious as well, making it easier to observe our surroundings. This is a nice spot for a break.] (Selene)
[Then, let me begin the preparations.] (Phil)
Phil pulled out a sheet from her magic bag and laid it on the ground before pulling out a basket filled with sandwiches. Ever since she joined our party, everyone felt more enthusiastic about our daily adventurers as we were able to have fresh handmade food prepared for us in the dungeon rather than the usual preserved food.
[Thank you as always. Your handmade lunch never fails to lift our spirits up.] (Yuuya)
[You’re welcome. Everyone, please don’t be reserved and eat to your heart’s content.] (Phil)
[Uhn. Luna loves Phil lunches very much!] (Luna)
[Then without restraint, I’ll eat a whole bunch!] (TIl)
The two girls as always were quick to act as they already has a sandwich in their hands and begun their meal. I was surprised as I too picked up a sandwich and began to eat. The sandwiches tasted exquisite.
[Phil. The sandwiches are delicious!] (Luna)
[Oneechan, This is Beef (Excellent) isn’t it!] (Til)
[That is right. Right before I made the steak and roasted beef, I decided to leave some meat and preserved them for sandwiches. Their strong tastes and texture made it perfect for sandwiches.] (Phil)
The delicious combination of the sweet bread and beef was amazing. I wouldn’t mind drinking a delicious cup of sake right now.
[I really admire Phil-san who is capable at everything.] (Selene)
[That is a huge praise Selene-chan. I just had much more experience than everyone in this sort of thing.] (Phil)
Phil replied with a seemingly embarrassed look as I thought that Selene was right. Phil was amazing at so many things that it was difficult to find anything she wasn’t good at. Ever since I met her, I’ve always thought that the person she’ll marry was the luckiest man on earth. However, even more amazing was the Beef (Excellent). It taste was still this impactful despite being preserved, lingering in my mouth. This made me regret my decisions in the past when I sold them without hesitation whenever I came across one.
Although, I didn’t have much of a choice back then. As you climb higher up the adventuring ladder, the funds necessary to sustain your equipment rose exponentially. The stronger opponents you faced, the better the equipment required. Even luxurious items such as high-recovery potions and Return Stones had to be used generously as your life was often pushed to the brink. There were also high quality of life items dropped in dungeons which was also required, such as Magic Tents. Regardless of how prepared you are, the amount of money would never be enough.
To further exacerbate the problem, even if you were to travel to a dungeon with a higher difficulty, it didn’t mean that the amount of rewards you obtained would be larger than the previous dungoen.At the end of the day, the market value all depended on the individual item’s supply and demand. It didn’t matter to the buyer whether the item was dropped from a powerful monster or dropped luckily from a lower ranked monster. Hence, it was possible to earn more money from an intermediate dungeon by explicitly targeting the high value targets inside the dungeon. Just like the Magic Egg we obtained from Greenwood, hopefully we will be able to obtain another valuable item from the Flaregard’s boss for us to sell.
On the other hand, Excellent-tier meat stuff such as Beef (Excellent) was much more obtainable from advanced dungeons which were also valuable in their own right making them one of the main source of incomes for adventurers. Since they were items that couldn’t be produced artificially, they will always be in demand. Although the thought of eating them had never crossed my mind as I always sold them as soon as possible.
However, if Beef (Excellent) had already possessed this level of taste. Just how delicious could Beef (Special) taste like when dropped from a monster level 40 and above? It was even said by veteran adventurers that mean stuff of that level was equivalent to a drug. Once you start to understand their taste, you would never have the discipline to sell them on the marketplace causing you to lose a source of income. Hence it was much more beneficial to sell them if you were aiming to become a top adventurer. Although I have already decided to eat it. The next time I come across another Beef (Excellent) I will still be eating it while aiming for the top.
[Yuuya, I wanna eat more beef!] (Luna)
[Uhn uhn, The next time we meet our dear cow-sans, we’ll be disgraced if we let them get away!] (Til)
Luna seemed to have a blissful face as her face soften up and her drool dripping from her mouth while Til had a sadistic look while brandishing her bow. I felt the same way as the two of them but sadly I’ll have to put the nail in the coffin.
[If you want to eat it again, then we’ll have no choice but to search for a treasure chest. Even if we were to obtain another stack, I doubt we’ll have the funds to avoid selling that stack.] (Yuuya)
[Uhn. I’ll do my best! Until it is fine for us to eat meat, I will find us every chest!] (Luna)
Luna gesture was lovely as always as she pumped her fist into the air and her fox ears twitching as she activated her Treasure Sense.
[Now then, our break is over. Let’s continue forward.] (Yuuya)
[Uhn. Understood. For the sake of meat, let’s find more treasure!] (Luna)
[Ah! Wait a moment! I see the last piece!!] (Til)
As usual, these girls were always bustling about.
Today’s hunt was fruitful as we had several encounters with monsters including the Red Horn. However, the two girls were disappointed as they had dropped Beef (Average) contrary to their expectations.
[Yuuya-niisan. The boss battle should be easy right. We even managed to defeat that difficult Magma Golem] (Til)
Note: I’ll be changing the name of the golem to Magma Golem since it just sounds much better. I’ll be changing it at the end of this volume.
Til seemed to be reflecting on the battle as she rubbed her nose while misunderstanding something.
[It won’t be easy in the slightest. Even at our current levels we barely scratched out the victory. You are also misunderstanding something. The boss is much stronger than the Magma Golem. The golem is just at a level of a boss monster. In the end it is still just the Mid-boss of the dungeon. Their difficulties are worlds apart.] (Yuuya)
[Ugg.. But even so..] (Til)
[Plus, are you forgetting about the Crimson Hounds?](Yuuya)
[Aren’t they just weaklings who compensate their weakness with numbers? Weaklings like them can easily be defeated if they can’t even survive the hidden passage!] (Til)
[Think about it rationally. Their main party is strong enough to defeat the dungeon boss which is stronger than the Magma Golem. And if that isn’t enough. They were taking turns to decide which party gets to battle the boss. Which means that their parties were all first-class adventurers capable of defeating the boss. Each of their party is on a different level as compared to us.] (Yuuya)
Til drew her head in shock at my words. The Crimson Hounds were definitely cowardly, however weak isn’t a word we could use to describe them. This was why they were difficult for us to deal with.
[Then does that mean, they are stronger than us?] (Til)
[Well.. Our levels are lower than the recommended level for the dungeon so yes, the possibility is there. This is why I would like to push forward to raise our levels even just by one as soon as possible.] (Yuuya)
Once the race begins, there will definitely be a point where we’ll be convenening with the competing party of the Crimson Hounds. My worry right now would be even if we were to progress quicker than their main party, we would still be slowed down by the hordes of monsters, allowing them to catch up. That was something inevitable.
[I guess lowering our guards towards them is a mistake. Alright! I’ll work hard and train my secret technique even harder!] (Til)
I may had accidentally dampened Til’s confidence, however truth be told we do have a chance against them at our current levels despite our level difference. The part about each of their parties being capable of defeating the boss was just a speculation on my part though. I’ll have to think of a strategy before the decisive day arrives.’
Luna’s fox ears began to twitch as her Treasure sense seems to be acting up.
[Yuuya, treasure!] (Luna)
[Nice find.] (Yuuya)
The chest Luna discovered was hidden behind a wall as I checked our surroundings to discover a fake wall. After taking out my blade and slashing onto the wall, the wall began to crumble as the treasure chest became visible. After Luna deactivated the hidden traps with her Lockpick, we opened the chest to discover several pieces of clothing inside the chest. Although they appeared like ordinary clothing, they were still clothing we found inside a level thirty dungeon and had a decent bonus to our defense. Furthermore flame resistance was also something to consider as it was useful in our battle against the boss.
[We should have Til equip these to compensate for the Spirit Archer’s low defensive stats.] (Yuuya)
[I agree with that sentiment. We won’t be able to get clothes with defensive properties from anywhere besides the dungeon.] (Phil)
Although armour with high defensive capabilities were manufactured in cities and sold, clothing with defense enhancing properties were only found in dungeons such as this. Thus, we decided to have Til equip the clothing to supplement her low defense.
[Yuuya-niisan, Onee-chan. I think we should sell this clothing for money. They should be quite valuable no? Like this, we’ll be able to eat more delicious meat without selling them for money. Luna thinks so too right?] (Til)
[Uh-nuh! These clothes will keep Til safe so we should keep them! Meat is important but Til’s safety is even more important.] (Luna)
Surprisingly, although Luna was faithful to her desires, she was much more considerate of Til’s safety.
[I love you Luna!] (Til)
[Luna too!] (Luna)
The two girls began their usual weird shaman-like dance as their friendship appears to have deepened. I felt a little fuzzy inside looking at the heartwarming scene.
[Yuuya-niisan. Thank you very much, I’ll cherish these clothes.] (Til)
Following her words, Til began to strip down into her underwear. In contrast to her slender body, her attractive breasts were exposed as I tried to stop myself from staring by covering my eyes.
[The size is perfect! Take a look, the clothes looks so cute!] (Til)
[The size is perfect because of the special property of dungeon-produced clothing, adjusting to the user’s size. Also Til, you’re already fourteen, there are limits to what you should and shouldn’t do.] (Yuuya)
[But you’re just Yuuya-niisan. You’re harmless you know, harmless. Or could it be, were you aroused looking at me? Oh no, am I going to steal my own sister’s boyfriend’s heart!? It’s so difficult being this cute.] (Til)
Phil walked up in front of Til and began pulling on her cheek.
[Til, Don’t get too caught up in your jokes or I’ll punish you. I’ll have to reflect on myself for now on since I’ve been spoiling you too much.] (Phil)
[Yesh Yesh Oneechyan, I gibe yup I gibe yup.] (TIl)
Til began tapping on the Phil shoulders as tears flowed out of her eyes.
[Phil, at the very least we’ll have to reflect. Although Til is just a child she’s still pretty for her age. She’ll definitely be in danger if she was alone.] (Yuuya)
[Ugh. I understand that.] (Phil)
[Til is pretty? Nee Yuuya. What about Luna?] (Luna)
[Luna is also very cute.] (Yuuya)
Both Luna and Til were beautiful girls far better looking than an average person. Now that I think about it, they are both fourteen which means that it was about time for us to educate them about marriage. On the other hand, it was weird for me to still be treating them as children. However, their minds are still of a child so it should be fine to make them happy for now. They were like my daughters and I still can’t help but worry for them.
[Now let’s keep this attitude up and continue forward. There is still much time left for us to hunt more monsters![ (Yuuya)
[Uhn. Understood!] (Luna)
[I’ll show you the power of the powered-up Til!] (Til)
They were good children who were motivated. Let’s make it a perfect day today!
Since then, we’ve spent the passing days hunting in the dungeon until the long-awaited date for the boss’s respawn. Once the time reaches midnight, the boss will spawn, hence we are going to depart the night before it respawns. With some struggling, we continued to train while relying on my knowledge we barely managed to hit level 35 except for Phil who was at level upper twenties. However, with her bonuses from resetting her levels and excellent equipment, she was still a force to be reckoned with.
Currently, I was on a shopping trip to replenish our consumables, specifically our recovery potions as it wasn’t common for us to consume high performance potions which were expensive. It was important to replenish our stock of potions for a battle as important as the boss battle. Our party were split up into two squads. Me and Selene were to obtain our potions while the other girls focused on improving our equipment.
We had finished purchasing all our potions and arrived at a cafe in our rendezvous spot as Phil and the girls hadn’t arrived yet. It was a perfect time for me to talk to Selene about some private matters.
[Selene, the inheritance ceremony is slowly approaching. For the upcoming boss battle, we’ll gain at most two full levels from defeating the boss. And if we were to lose the chance to defeat it, then it’ll only be one instead. No matter what, I want for us to defeat the boss.] (Yuuya)
It was already about time for us to prepare our arrangements to travel towards the Laluzulu Kingdom as time was running short. Since it was difficult to level up in our current level range, it would be ideal for us to obtain the experience points from the boss.
[I too wish to defeat the boss, however I want to do it for the party’s sake and not for my own,] (Selene)
[Of course the battle will be for the party. However, you should also begin to think for yourself. So long as there is anything you want, I’ll do my best to be your strength,] (Yuuya)
[You’re showing this much consideration as usual. I’m so happy that I can’t think of the right words to say. I can’t thank you enough for everything you have done. THanks to you, I’ve grown so much in terms of level, workmanship and spirit that I wouldn’t have done in the castle.] (Selene)
Selene wasn’t going back to the castle to obtain the throne for herself, but to deny her incompetent elder brother from becoming drunk with power by giving the throne over to her elder sister whom she felt was more fitting to become the queen. And in order to do that, she had to train and become stronger. She was a person who loved her people from the bottom of her heart and couldn’t afford to leave her people to die by allowing someone ill-fitting to become king. This was why I supported her and agreed to train her as much as possible until the ceremony.
[What I want aren’t words from you, but your victory. That is why, it is fine to be a little more selfish.] (Yuuya)
[Yuuya-ojisan is too gentle. There isn’t any need for me to be selfish since there is nothing I could ask for. You have taught me that so long as the will is there, I will always be able to grow. You were always showing me the way. Once everything is over, I will definitely be able to grant whatever you desire. When the time comes, Yuuya-ojisan too can be selfish. I will definitely do it.] (Selene)
Selene brought a cup of black tea to her through. Somehow her gesture seemed more feverish than usual.
[Selene, I won’t need anything. After all, you have already given us plenty by being the strongest shield we could ever hope for. It is because we have you, that we managed to come this far. Thank you.] (Yuuya)
There aren’t many parties who could make it this far without a dedicated tank. In fact, I wouldn’t have even thought of attempting Flaregard’s boss this early if we hadn’t had Selene in our party. Selene let out a beautiful smile towards me.
[It is difficult to put my happiness into words right now. Yuuya-ojisama. Our party is the strongest right now isn’t it. I wish to continue travelling like this, forever and ever.] (Selene)
[I feel the same way. Losing you will be a huge blow to us too.] (Yuuya)
Although I knew that it would happen eventually, I let out my true feelings.
[With everyone.. I want to continue adventuring forever. I wonder how happy I would feel if that could happen.] (Selene)
Luna. Til. Selene. Phil.
No matter how far and wide I search this world, I’ll probably never find any better members than this. Looking outside the window, I saw a bunch of familiar faces.
[Yuuya, our shopping is completed!] (Luna)
[We managed to get a good deal. We got a nice set of heat resistant equipment for Yuuya-niisan!] (Til)
The other girls were waving their hands at us as they walked towards us. I turned towards Selene as our conversation ended there.
[Hey everyone. This shop has several specialties that are pretty delicious. Let’s be sure to eat plenty of them to prepare ourselves for the boss battle.] (Yuuya)
[Uhn. Be sure to order plenty! The meat in the store smells good!] (Luna)
[Yuuya-niisan. I want to order the pasta! Then I want that parfait too!] (Til)
[Luna-chan. Til. If you overeat your movements will become sluggish.] (Phil)
The long-awaited boss battle will begin at last. For tonight’s battle, for our party’s sake and Selene, I will win.
Once we win, we’ll aim for the Laluzulu Kingdom.