Unwanted Undead Adventurer - Episode 46
“Hu- humans…?!” “Why would a human ambush us? Do they have some sort of business with us?” Ryze and Laura ask me, upset.
I answer them, “It’s possible. But in all likelihood, they don’t. However, there’s no need to hide if they only want to talk.”
If they have something they really need to talk to us about, they don’t have to go through the trouble of ambushing us, they can just come up to us and talk to us. In the labyrinth, there is a rule that adventurers who come across each other shouldn’t fight over each other’s prey, but it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t talk to each other or approach each other. If they’re not doing that, it means that they have something to do that they can’t do without hiding.
So, I tell them that.
“…That’s– no way.”
“So it really is…?!”
They seem to have guessed it, and I nod to them and tell them that their guess is correct.
Their guess being that it’s an attack by an adventurer on another adventurer.
Well, of course, that doesn’t mean that there’s a 100% chance that it’s true. It’s possible that there may be some other special circumstances. It would be foolish to expect that, but it would also be wrong to react by jumping to conclusions.
“…Let’s go and check it out, shall we?” I say to both of them. Of course, it was in a whisper that could not be heard far away.
They nod their heads.
“How can we… make sure?”
“Ask them straight out…?”
But I say, “For now, get ready to fight at any time. I’ll go around the corner.” Then, I start walking.
The simplest way to make sure is to actually go to the place where we’re going to be ambushed and test whether or not we’ll be attacked. This is a task that cannot be left to the two of them. Both Ryze and Laura are reasonably skilled, but they are still inexperienced and may be hesitant about the idea of fighting against humans.
Besides, the biggest reason is that they would die if they got wounded. In my case, I probably won’t die just from being stabbed, and that’s not a joke. After all, I’m an undead. Thralls are known to have unbelievable vitality even for an undead, which means that even if its head flies off, it still won’t die. Well, I don’t think I’d be able to move even if I were alive with just my head, but the fact that I wouldn’t die from a poke in the chest is a huge advantage. That’s why I’m the right person for the job.
They try to stop me, but before their hands can reach me, I head to the corner of the passageway. Seeing this, they seem to give up and wait for the right moment with their weapons readied.
That’s a good decision. They could have shouted to stop me, but they didn’t. Instead, they focused on the reality of the situation and acted accordingly. This is an important quality for an adventurer. This world isn’t merciful. If you’re not careful and you’re tricked, you’ll soon die.
…Just like me.
It’s not even a joke.
While I was thinking about this, I reached the corner where I wanted to go.
Along with that shout, there’s a large shift in the air, and a man who seems to be an adventurer jumps at me from the side. He has a sword in his hand and is swinging it at me. He must be trying to cut me. Behind him is a man with a bow and a man who looks like a sorcerer.
I knew it. As things progress just as I imagined they would, a smile appears on my face. I draw my sword and flick it at the man who jumped at me.
“…Both of you, watch out,” I say to the two behind me.
But perhaps there was no need for concern. Even without me telling them, they have the look of adventurers. The bewilderment that appeared on their faces when I told them the truth is now gone. Their expressions are now filled with the determination to finish off the enemies in front of them.
I knew they had a lot of potential.
With that in mind, I decide to fight seriously. I look over to Ryze and decide that, for now, I’ll let him deal with the man who seems to be the vanguard and I’ll take care of the archer and the sorcerer in the back. I jump, and with my physical abilities far greater than before, the momentum carries me to the archer instantly.
The archer looks astonished at how I suddenly appeared in front of him. But he doesn’t stop there, he immediately aims an arrow from his bow at me, so I guess he’s a pretty skilled archer. However, before he can shoot the arrow at me, I quickly cut the bowstring and strike the archer in the chest with the flat of my sword, knocking him unconscious. Then, I approach the sorcerer in the back of the room who’s about to unleash his magic and strike him in the chest as well, knocking him out.
Now there’s only one left.
When I turn around, I see Ryze and Laura fighting with the swordsman. That man is perhaps the best fighter of all of them. He certainly acts like it. Both Ryze and Laura are pretty good to be able to stand up to a man like that. For a moment, I wonder if I should lend a hand, but this will give them valuable experience fighting against other humans. For the sake of their experience, I think it would be better to keep quiet and watch until they need me, so I decide not to help.
In the meantime, I tie up the two who have been knocked unconscious and roll them to the edge of the labyrinth. This way, if they wake up, I won’t have to worry about them suddenly attacking us. It’s not that there aren’t other problems, but… well, they should be fine.
A few moments later, Ryze hits the man’s sword, creating a momentary gap in his defense, then steps closer and rams into him. The swordsman can’t kill the momentum and loses his footing. Then, from behind, Laura fires a cannonball of dirt. Its trajectory would have hit Ryze if things had been left as is, but he must have practiced beforehand. At the last minute, Ryze moves away and avoids Laura’s magic. From the swordsman’s point of view, it must look like a lump of earth suddenly appeared in front of him. It hits the man in the abdomen, and he faints.
“Did you do it?” I say to them after they defeated the swordsman.
“Yeah… somehow.” “I’m very surprised… Why would an adventurer want to kill us?” they say, confused.
I explain to them, “…They said it before at the guild. It’s a race, so if you get there fast enough, you’ll pass.”
There were many things that bothered me about the way they said it. If you take it as it is, it means that if you arrive at the destination early, you pass. And if that is the case, then those who arrived late would inevitably be disqualified. And here’s the scary part… If that’s the case, wouldn’t it be possible to increase the chances of passing the exam by reducing the number of examinees? There are some people who think so.
“So you’re saying that these guys are test takers and they’re trying to get us disqualified?”
These people show up every time. And the Adventurer’s Guild deliberately tells you the outline of the exam so that such people will appear. That’s the reason why they said what they said. And the reason why they do that is because they are trying to educate the adventurers. Well, I’m going to tell these two about this after everything is over, so I’ll leave it at that for now.
“…Anyway, there will be more of these things to come. Let’s proceed with caution. Don’t hold back.”
After both of them give me a serious nod, we begin to move forward in the labyrinth again. As I watch them walk ahead, I stop for a moment and look back.
“…Hurry up and come get them.”
After saying this, I feel a presence stirring behind me and run after them.
After Rentt and the others disappear, a figure emerges from the darkness. Wearing an inconspicuous black outfit that blends in with the surroundings in the dark labyrinth, the figure looks in the direction of the trio who just left.
“…That guy noticed me, huh? Oh no, he’s supposed to be new…?” he murmurs. From the sound of his voice, he seems to be a man.
The three men who have been lying on the ground slowly begin to move toward him, and one of them, the swordsman, says, “Forget about that, just untie the rope.”
“Oh, sorry. But you’ve got a tough job, huh?” the man chuckles as he speaks to the swordsman in a friendly manner.
“The same goes for you. Well, it looks like you’ve been noticed,” he says, as if making fun of him. But on the contrary, the man in black has a look of mockery on his face.
“You say that as if you weren’t noticed, but he probably noticed that you were part of the Adventurer’s Guild. The man in the robe, not the other two.”
Hearing this, the swordsman’s eyes widen. “What?! Seriously…? What the h**l is that guy?”
The black-clad man tilts his head, but with a slightly thoughtful expression on his face. “…You know, there is someone that comes to mind… I wonder if she was right about him.”
“No, nevermind that. So, why don’t we clear out for now? Didn’t you get rid of some of the other adventurers?”
“Oh, yeah. A couple of them. The young ones these days aren’t getting any better. The ones you just saw will probably pass, though…”
As they talk about this, they leave the place…