Unwanted Undead Adventurer - Episode 45
“…Oh? What can I do for you?” the small man in the pitch-black robe asks me as he notices me approaching. I don’t think it’s my imagination that there’s a hint of amusement in his voice.
There are iron-class adventurers around us who seem to be taking the same test as us, and some of them seem to have noticed the map’s trick and are trying to buy one. Despite this, we’re the only ones who want to talk to this man, so you can imagine how suspicious he seems to be. There are a lot of people selling maps near the entrance of the labyrinth, claiming how their maps are correct and that they have other valuable information written on them, but the man in front of me didn’t show any such signs. He was just standing there in a daze. You wouldn’t normally think that he was even selling maps.
“Give me a map,” I say.
The man says, “Oh, really? How did you know I was a mapmaker? No one else is approaching me.”
“Forget about that. Give me the map.”
I know this guy’s personality very well. If a stranger tries to talk to him, he’ll say a lot of things and then disappear in a puff of smoke. I don’t think that’s a good idea when you’re selling a map, but I guess one option is to not sell it to anyone you don’t trust. There are some arrogant adventurers who try to take them for free.
“…Heh, heh, a map. Here. That’ll be two silver pieces,” the man says, trying to hand me a wide, rough piece of paper.
“…We only need a map of the first level. And it’s expensive. Five copper should be enough to pay for it,” I say without pause, and he looks surprised, quickly taking out another map and handing it to me.
“I’m sure you’ll pass… You two little guys over there, you might want to follow this guy. Heh, five copper.”
I hand over the copper coins and receive a map. Then the man immediately disappears somewhere.
Ryze and Laura were watching the whole thing.
“…Are you sure you have the right map?”
“I’ve never seen anyone so suspicious in my life…”
I show them the map and say, “Compare it to the map you got from the guild…”
Then,, they take out the maps they were provided from their bags and start comparing them with the maps I just purchased.
“…This place collapsed? And here… the structure changed? Seriously…?”
“Let’s see… The suspicious person’s map shows a number of trap locations… Oh, going the shortest distance would be bad…”
Well, the map shows a number of traps.
“You’re doing great, Rentt. If it weren’t for you, I would have gone in there with this old map and gotten lost.”
“That’s right! You’re right! With this map, the exam will be a piece of cake!”
And they’re convinced. However, it won’t be so easy to pass the exam just by getting the map. It’s better to think of it as just breaking through the first barrier.
“The guild has a surprisingly bad character. There’s no telling what’s out there in the labyrinth. Let’s brace ourselves and go,” I say, and the two of them nod at me.
They seem to be as straightforward as they look. Personally, that makes me feel at ease, but I’m a little worried about the future, wondering if they’ll be deceived someday.
“Hiyaaa!!” Ryze shouts as he brandishes his sword, striking the Skeleton.
It isn’t a very powerful blow, but it’s well-aimed and succeeds in hitting the Skeleton’s head and crushing it. However, it seems that the blow was not enough to kill the Skeleton, and it is still wobbling and moving. I come out from behind Ryze and swing my sword at the Skeleton, shattering its body, which is made up entirely of bones.
After defeating the Skeleton, Ryze is out of breath. Though, it’s not just because of this one enemy, but because we encountered so many enemies to get here. We discussed our formation and decided that Ryze would be in the vanguard, I would protect Laura and assist her, and Laura would be in the rearguard, and we’ve been going like that for a long time, but we may be approaching our limits. If I were on my own, I’d have plenty of time, but that’s not the case. We have to work together to get through this test.
“Are you okay…?”
“I want to say, ’Don’t worry,’ but it really has been tough. Did this area of the Labyrinth of New Moon Labyrinth have this many monsters?” Ryze says, and I understand why.
After all, a strange number of monsters have been appearing for a while now. It’s not that there aren’t many monsters in the Labyrinth of the New Moon, but even so, there are too many. Perhaps there is some reason… or maybe the Adventurer’s Guild is guiding the monsters. If you want to become a copper class, you have to show that you have enough fighting ability to overcome this.
“The guild can’t adjust the number of monsters in the labyrinth, but they can use incense or people to guide the monsters… That’s probably what they’re doing,” I say to them.
Laura says, “Oh, incense? So there’s incense that can guide monsters, huh.”
“It’s fine if you’re using it for monsters, but there are those who will use it to trap you…” I say to the innocent Laura, and her expression darkens slightly.
“There are people who do that…?” she says, tinged with surprise and sadness.
I guess she doesn’t want to believe that people like that exist. But they certainly do. Of course, killing in the labyrinth is forbidden, but even if they did, as long as they weren’t discovered, the story would end there. Besides, there are also ways to let the monsters kill them without getting their hands dirty. There are those who use incense to guide the monsters for that purpose.
On a larger scale, countries have historically done horrible things like attacking towns and villages in this manner. They say it was originally created to make it easier to defeat monsters, but there are always people who come up with bad ideas.
Yes, there are bad people everywhere.
“…Stop,” I say to them as they try to move on ahead, just as we come to a corner of the labyrinth.
They tilt their heads and look at me.
I whisper to them, “There’s an ambush up ahead.”
They look surprised, but they whisper back.
“…But there’s no sign of the monsters, is there?”
“You’re right, there isn’t… And I don’t think the monsters around here on this level have that level of intelligence.”
That’s certainly true. In the first level of the Labyrinth of the New Moon, where only Skeletons, Slimes, and Goblins appear, it is safe to say that there are no monsters that would go to the trouble of ambushing you. It’s just a matter of timing when you happen to run into one, and sometimes it’s as if you were ambushed. But that’s not what I was talking about.
“It’s humans who are ambushing us, not monsters.”