Volume 4 Chapter 1: The old man rushes into the Temple of the Primal Flame

Once my business in the guild was over, I headed towards the restaurant. The moment I entered the room, Luna shook her head as they had been waiting for me before starting dinner.

 

  [Even though I asked you guys to start dinner without me.] (Yuuya)

  [It tastes better when Yuuya’s here with us!] (Luna)

  [Uhn uhn. What she said.] (Til)

 

I felt happy after listening to Luna and TIl’s words.

 

  [Hou. Even though they were shaking back and forth constantly crying “I’m hungry!’ for a long while, they behave well in front of you.] (Phil)

  [Ugh.. This is this and that is that! They are unrelated!] (Luna)

  [Onee-chan, it’s mean of you to expose us like that!] (TIl)

 

It was unusual for Phil to be poking fun at them as Til would often tease right back. Meanwhile, Selene was looking at the three of them with a warm smile. I went to my seat and ordered quickly before clearing my throat as I planned to talk about the matters in the guild before our food arrived.

 

  [Girls, there are two important matters that I’ll have to report. Firstly, I mentioned earlier that we would be taking the caravan tomorrow to leave the town, however, that plan has been canceled.] (Yuuya)
  [If we aren’t riding the caravan setting off tomorrow, does that mean that we’ll be waiting for the next caravan to arrive?] (Selene)
 

I shook my head

 

  [No, I bought a carriage earlier at the guild. Thanks to the raptor carriage, we’ll be able to leave anytime without relying on the timings of the caravans.] (Yuuya)

  [Ahh so you bought a raptor carriage. With this we’ll have plenty of freedom when it comes to traveling.] (Phil)

 

Phil who had ridden on a raptor carriage in the past had a pleasant expression as it was essential equipment to have when we become expert adventurers. Most higher leveled adventurers didn’t settle for the monsters in dungeons belonging to a single town, but rather memorised the respawning date for specific dungeons and rotating between each dungeon throughout the week. Since every dungeon respawned at different timing, it was much more efficient to travel between towns and hunt in multiple dungeons.

 

  [The second matter is related to the carriage. I decided to accept a special quest as it was an important quest which could potentially damage Flaregard’s economy if left uncompleted. The quest is to retrieve the gem of the Primal Flame. If the gem wasn’t retrieved once every decade, the Primal Flame in Flaregard will die out, making it more difficult for adventurers to acquire powerful equipment while damaging Flaregard’s business.

 

Phil and Selene who understood the situation gasped at the severity of the quest.

 

  [If that’s the case, then I understand why Yuuya-ojisama decided to accept the quest.] (Selene)

The Primal Flame was a flame which hadn’t stopped burning since it came into existence. If it were to be extinguished, then magical metals which can only be processed here couldn’t be processed. Furthermore, the flame was the reason why the hot springs here had its special properties. Once the flame dies out, Flaregard wouldn’t survive for long. Another important reason was only known to me from the game, which was why I couldn’t afford to let the flame die out. This was the true reason why this quest was an event quest during the game.

 

  [However, the difficulty of this quest is quite steep as the Primal Flame can only be found in a dungeon with a difficulty level of 40. The Temple of the Primal Flame was a dungeon recommended for adventurers level 40 and above and once the door is open, only one party can enter at any point in time. Once entered, we’ll have to retrieve the gem at the very back of the dungeon.] (Yuuya)

This was an important condition as we wouldn’t be able to enter and complete the quest if there were adventurers unable to complete the quest, getting themselves stuck in the dungeon in the progress. It was also troublesome that there would only be one Primal Flame burning inside the dungeon. If the gem were to fall in the wrong hands, the person might demand a higher reward as compared to the quest since the Primal Flame was Flaregard’s lifeline. Once the flame dies out, Flaregard would lose a large amount of its income hence only nominated adventurers recognized by the guild are allowed to attempt the dungeon.

In this situation, we hadn’t accumulated enough achievements to get the guild’s recognition, until we defeated the Coronoa Dragon. The receptionist must have vouched for my character while the guild recognized our feat of defeating the boss without any flame resistant equipment. The guild was most likely searching for another party to clear the dungeon since we would most likely fail considering the dungeon’s difficulty, and if we were to succeed then it would relieve their burden of searching for another party.

 

  [Uhn. It’s a difficult quest. We’ll burn them all!] (Luna)

  [We’re close to the level of a first-class adventurer party. We can clear any quest in our way.] (Til)

 

The two young girls displayed their confidence as I let out a slight smile.

 

  [Now then, enough of work. We have already depleted all our mana, mental and physical strengths, and items during the boss battles. Let’s forget about tomorrow and rest for tonight. It’s a celebration! And tomorrow, we’ll challenge the difficult dungeon!] (Yuuya)

 

  [Uhn.] (Luna)

  [Okay.] (Til)

  [Understood.] (Phil)

  [I’ll do my best.] (Selene)

We held up our drinks for a toast as the celebration began. Although I told them to rest easy tonight, that isn’t the case for me as I’ll have to come up with our measures and tactics for the Temple of the Primal Flame otherwise I wouldn’t be able to properly advise the girls tomorrow. It’s a difficult quest but the rewards are just as rewarding. Monsters that can’t be found anywhere else and items which would be perfect for Luna. This is a perfect chance to get everything I need and I have to seize this opportunity.

 

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In the middle of the night, we were inside the guest room within the guild premises to avoid exposing ourselves. 

Til and Luna were hugging each other in their sleep with a blissful face in contrast to Selene who was sleeping quietly in a composed posture. I couldn’t help but smile at the sight of these beautiful girls sleeping peacefully.

I began my preparation for our trip to the Temple of the Primal Flame tomorrow as it was a dungeon recommended for adventurers in their upper level 40s. As compared to the level 30 dungeons we were used to, the monsters and cunningness of the monsters will be turned up a notch. This is why I had to come up with safety measures to ensure their safety.

 

  [Yuuya, you’re putting too much weight on yourself.] (Phil)

 

Phil walked over with a cup of hot tea.

 

  [That’s how it is. I’m a little afraid to bring those girls to the dungeon tomorrow. I’m starting to regret my decision.] (Yuuya)

  [This is unexpected. I didn’t think you were this conscious about tomorrow. Don’t worry, I’ll be protecting the girls with my full power as well and with the two of us, nothing bad will happen.] (Phil)

  [You’re right. I’m not alone anymore. It was conceited of me to try and do everything alone.] (Yuuya)

 

Phil was currently level 29. Although it was still seven levels below our levels, she is just about to reach level 30. Furthermore, with her level reset bonus, she’ll be on an equal footing with Luna and the girls. It may be fine for me to be more ambitious from now on.

 

  [That’s how it is. The current me is on the same footing with Yuuya, so you can rely on me more.] (Phil)

 

I felt much more at ease as we decided to prepare for tomorrow together. With Phil’s words and support, I felt like my mind became open as tomorrow will be easier once I took Phil into account.

 

  [It’s about time for us to head to bed.] (Yuuya)

  [Yeah, we’ll have to wake up early tomorrow.] (Phil)

 

I felt my anxiety fade away as we kissed lightly while heading to our futon.

 

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In the morning, I gave a lecture to Luna, Til and Selene about the monsters, traps and various gimmicks present in the Temple of the Primal Flame. In the meantime I had Phil go and purchase the consumables that we may need during our adventure with an escort from the guild as per their instructions. Then, after we had our lunch we began heading towards the guild as the temple was a special dungeon that is closely guarded by the guild. The receptionist who took good care of us accompanied us and called out to me before we entered the magical door.

 

  [Yuuya-san, since this is a special case, here’s a gift.] (Receptionist)

She handed each of us a Return Stone.

 

  [Thank you very much. We appreciate the gift.] (Yuuya)
  [Yuuya, this is an expensive item!] (Luna)
  [That’s great. We’ll be able to eat a nice dinner now!] (Til)

Luna and Til were excited as they were innocent and unaware of the receptionist’s intent whereas Phil had a difficult expressions. 

She wanted us to return if the prospects of clearing the dungeon were grim. This quest was important enough to warrant the guild to provide something this expensive.

 

  [Let’s do our best to avoid using her goodwill in this dungeon. Now then, let’s head on.] (Yuuya)

 

After thanking the guild officials, we jumped into the magical door. If our adventure goes well, we should clear the dungeon within two days. To describe this dungeon in a single word, it’s hell. I couldn’t clear my anxiety towards this dungeon.

Could the girls survive a battle against a foe even stronger than the Coronoa Dragon?

 

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Our teleportation was over as we arrived at our destination

 

  [Yuuya, it’s just like the Crimson Volcano!] (Luna)

  [Ah it’s really the same before entering the volcano.] (Til)

 

Similar to the Crimson Volcano ,there was a volcano in front of a road and a tunnel passing through the volcano.
We began walking towards the tunnel.

 

  [However, this time feels unusual. Since the beginning, Yuuya-niisan had never told us anything about the dungeon ahead of time. However this time he told us everything from the monsters to the traps and even the gimmicks.] (Til)

  [Til, what are you implying?] (Yuuya)
  [We’ve defeated several bosses in a row so we can take this dungeon much more easily?] (Til)

  [You’re wrong. If I hadn’t said anything, then our journey would end in this dungeon. Listen, this dungeon is usually sealed off and everyone is prohibited from entering it. This means that the dungeon is highly populated with monsters. Furthermore this was a dungeon much more difficult than a usual dungeon and with the rule restricted the number of parties to one, we are the only people here. It is important for us to reach the end of the dungeon as efficiently as possible to prevent unnecessary exhaustion.] (Yuuya)

Til gulped towards my harsh tone. Honestly, we’ll have no choice but to use the Return Stones if we faced this situation directly. The strategy the guild had in mind was to send us as the advance party into the dungeon, rushing ahead with all our strength and clearing as many monsters as possible before returning with the Return Stones. Then, they would send the second party and the cycle repeats until the dungeon is cleared. This was a strategy to clear the dungeon. However, if we were to avoid that we would have to clear the dungeon with minimal exhaustion and rest in the dungeon overnight before completing the dungeon. 

And I didn’t intend to return recklessly with the Return Stones. If I were to display weakness to the guild, they may replace me with another party instead. It’ll be nice if we were the party to clear the dungeon although I highly doubt they would be able to find another party either way.

 

As we entered the dungeon, Luna exclaimed with an excited voice.

 

  [Yuuya, it’s pretty!] (Luna)
  [Uwah, it’s a beautiful temple.] (Phil)

  [It’s my first time seeing something like this.] (Selene)
  [This is the Temple of the Primal Flame.] (Yuuya)

The beautiful white temple lit by the magma of the volcano appeared. It was this temple that we had to defeat.

 

  [Listen. Every point of mana, every potion and arrow is important. And even more important of all, every monster is powerful in this dungeon. We’ll push forward at 100% from the get-go. Now then, let’s go!] (Yuuya)

The girls grinned at my declaration as we began running towards the entrance to hell. Let’s aim to clear this with everyone.

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