After that, I make sure Diablo entered the labyrinth with 《Dimension》. But, he immediately came out as a mess, I could tell with a single glance that he hadn’t even made it anywhere.
Once I’m done closing up, I touch up on my cooking with the manager, and I make a light dish. I then spread that out onto a table.
And so, just as planned, I search for the disheartened Diablo.
Using the last of my MP, I find Diablo crouching down in a back alley.
He’s in a state of depression over his empty stomach.
「Huh, we meet again」
I act as if I’m surprised.
「You are, the bar employee……?」
「Un, you don’t have money today either?」
「It’s just as you can see, I’m having a hard time even finding a meal」
Diablo shrugs his shoulder in self-deprecation.
「…… Perfect timing. There’s some food left. How about it, want some?」
「There’s food left?」
It looks like he’s a bit suspicious. I return a line I prepared beforehand.
「After closing up, I practice cooking in the bar. And today, some of my failures are left over so I was troubled about what I should do with them」
「Aah, so it’s like that. But is it fine? I don’t think it’s good to be handing that out so freely……」
「…… Actually, I was also present during the uproar you caused. As an employee, I knew I had to put an end to it immediately, but I was a coward and couldn’t do anything. So as some kind of apology, I felt like giving you something」
「Aah, so you saw. It’s not like I mind. …… But, I’ll take the food. I’ll take anything that’s given to me」
Saying that Diablo stands up.
He still might have some doubts, but the allure of a meal was too much.
With a casual conversation we return to the bar and begin our meal.
The flavor received a good reaction, Diablo was surprised by what I made. The level of cooking in this world might not be so advanced
「It’s delicious. …… Speaking of which, you, it seems like your a labyrinth searcher. I heard from the female employee」
「Something like that」
Sometimes while working I wear short sleeves. My burns can be seen because of that, and people who get interested in it ask Ryn-san about it.
「How far did you go?」
His interest is in the labyrinth. Naturally that’s where the flow of the conversation went.
I carefully choose my words without hurrying.
「I challenged it by myself, and came back from the first floor with a large injury. I haven’t gone in since then」
「So you were also solo」
A smile spreads on Diablo’s face. One as if he had found a similar person to himself.
「Since I wasn’t blessed with any companions」
「Is that so……」
I carefully examine Diablo’s expression. I have to figure out what he’s thinking and guide him.
It has to do with our knowledge of the labyrinth, I’ll first bring up levels and statuses.
By piling up conversations like that, I’ll be able to draw out those long awaited words from Diablo.
「―― Hey, if you’d like, do you want to go to the labyrinth together with me?」
Timid and uneasy, Diablo asks me.
If it took any longer than this, then I would’ve been the one to ask. Without any hesitation, I accept Diablo’s invitation.
「That’s true, that wouldn’t be so bad. Our strength is also similar, helping each other out is something good」
「I, I see! Thank you!」
「But, I work in the bar at night. I’ll only help in the morning」
「No, that’s fine. There’s no problem at all, it really helps!」
A grateful smile covers Diablo’s face.
It seems like he’s been looking for a companion for a long time which caused him to be deeply moved. I don’t show it on my face, but inside of my heart I’m making a guts pose. It’s a great help to have obtained a cooperator. And if it’s someone who knowledgeable of this world, then it’ll be easier to respond to unexpected problems.
「Then, can we start tomorrow!?」
「Aah, that’s fine. My name is Siegfried Visitor. Feel free to call me Sieg」
「Okay. My name is Dia, no surname. Just Dia, no need for anything else」
We finish our introductions.
He had no reaction to my name. His skills and status are ridiculous and that’s why I had some hope that he’d be someone from my world, but I turned out to be wrong.
There’s also the name that differs from the 『Display』. His name is Diablo Sith, he certainly has a surname. It doesn’t look like Dia’s lying. Maybe, what’s being 『Displayed』 is the name he’ll have in the future.
There may be some holes in this 『Game like』 『Display』, .
Dia looks happy having been able to get me as a companion.
That expression, is several times cuter than a girl. I also don’t have that manly a face, but it’s not his exetent. I tried using 『Display』 to confirm gender, but gender doesn’t appear in 『Display』.
But, whether Dia is a boy or girl is of no importance to the labyrinth search. It won’t be long before I stop thinking about gender.
「Umm, then I’ll be in your care. Dia」
Diablo Sith has joined
After thanking me for the dish, Dia parts with a smile. I heard that he was sleeping outside, but there was nothing I could do. It wouldn’t be good to let him enter the bar once it’s close, so this much was my limit.
I begin thinking of tomorrow in a corner of the bar.
And while thinking up plans for the labyrinth capture with Dia, I fall asleep.
I wake up early in the morning and go shopping for necessities. I shortened my sleeping hours, but I’m used to lacking sleep.
With time left to spare, I head to the church we arranged to meet at.
At the church is a priest chanting something like a scripture, and there are many people who are offering prayers. Dia is mixed in among them.
In this world, there are lots of people that pray to god. There are lots of people who simply are religious, but even searchers whose job it is to fight pray without faith. That is, because this prayer itself is part of the level up process. Inside of the priest’s prayer is not only normal teachings, but also a chant to level up, it’s for that reason that people with all kinds of circumstances come to the church.
This god seems different from the god of my world who does nothing. If it’s a religion that does level ups, then of course the Allied Nations would allow it.
When the prayer finishes Dia talks with the priest for a bit, and then he meets up with me.
「Ah. Sieg, you’re already here」
「Good morning. You’re early, Dia」
「I thought maybe my level would go up, but that wasn’t the case」
「I see. That’s unfortunate」
I nonchalantly check Dia’s status.
Name : Diablo Sith HP39/52 MP431/431 Class : Swordsman
Strength0.59 Vitality1.12 Dexterity0.92 Agility0.88 Intelligence1.34 Magic23.25 Potential5.00
Conditions : Divine Protection1.00
Experience : 89/100
From what I can see, there’s only a bit left before he can level up.
And as always, his status is as ridiculous as ever. Especially his magic.
While moving to the labyrinth we discuss our coordination.
「―― Then, it’ll be fine if I attract the monsters attention」
「Sorry, I’ll be relying on you. For someone as powerless as me, I probably won’t be able to damage monsters with my sword. I’m finally in a group, so I think I’ll try using magic」
It seems like Dia can’t defeat monsters himself. That’s probably why he was so fixated on finding companions. It’s only natural considering the fact that you can’t practically use regular magic on monsters by yourself.
But isn’t that not a swordsman anymore? Shouldn’t you just leave the sword? So I thought, but that doesn’t leave my mouth. It’d surely hurt Dia who aims to be a swordsman.
「Okay. But, I’ll focus on doing what I can. So try to avoid getting injured」
「That’s fine. Just having a vanguard makes a huge difference」
「This is definitely the best formation we can have. Since I’m cut out for obstructing enemies」
「Once my level goes up I’ll use my sword. But you have to wait until then」
No, I think it’d be better for Dia to focus on magic.
Although I think that, it I don’t say it. If it did, and I’m asked why I think so, then I wouldn’t be able to answer unless I explain my 『Display』.
「Then I’ll take the lead and search for enemies」
We reach the labrynth’s entrance while talking. It’s quite ruined when compared to the pretty labyrinth entrance of Whoseyards. There’s also no guard at Valt’s entrance.
「All right, let’s go」
I challenge the labyrinth for the second time.
My heart is noisy. Unease and fear whirl inside. I desperately try to hide it.
I gathered information. I’ve looked for books on monsters. I even heard a lot of information of the labyrinth form the searchers at the bar. I have appropriate equipment, and I’ve gathered other tools. I’m a bit anxious, but I have a trustworthy partner overflowing with talent. I can take different actions through the use of 『Display』. I’m also accustomed to magic, and I can put it to practical use. There’s no more excuses to not challenge it.
I calm my mind with repeated breaths, and cross the labrynth’s entrance.
Once again, I returned to this dark hell.
As a foul stench perrantes my nose, we walk down the dimly lit corridor.
And so, the first monster we encounter is a single Ripper Beetle.
Close to the entrance and a little off the correct path, it was discovered by progressing only a little. I heard that bug type monsters are greater in Valt’s direction, so it’s a monster I expected.
With 《Dimension’s》 detection ability I’m able to make the first move, so I activate the practical magic 《Dimension Gladiate》. This magic was made with the image of a battle specialized 《Dimension》, it’s range is smaller, but it’s attentiveness and sense of distance has drastically increased.
This is something I head form a mage in the bar, but apparently you can change a magic’s shape according to its image. This magic is an example of that.
With 《Dimension Gladiate》, I can track every single action a monster takes.
「It’s only one. We’ll go as planned」
We move according to the coordination we prepared beforehand. While Dia prepares his chant to fire magic, I’ll stand between the Ripped beetle and Dia, so I hold my sword at its eyes.
The ripper beetle charges at me. I swing my sword down with all my strength and stop its charge.
It diverts it with its sharp horns and doges. While focusing on defence, I stand in its way so that the monster doesn’t go to Dia.
Because of the effect of the magic I can also see its movements. There’s no way for its two horns to hurt me.
It’s my first battle in a while, and because I faced this monster once before, I can now easily deal with it.
Above all, the monster feels much weaker than before.
My agility went up with my level up, and it looks like the Ripper Beetle is slower. My strength also increased, and compared to last time when I couldn’t even scratch it, I managed to crack its shell. There’s no longer the fear from last time.
For an instant, I feel the abnormality of this world’s level up system.
「Sieg! I’m firing!」
While I continued to keep the Ripper Beetle occupied, a signal comes from behind. I step to the side so that Dia can see the monster.
With the completion of Dia’s magic, a flash of light is fired.
Flame magic 《Flame Arrow》. I heard about it before, it’s a magic arrow that is fired along with heat. One of flame magic’s basics, and Dia’s only attack magic.
When I heard of it, I imagined it just as its name described. A flame in the shape of an arrow, an image like an arrow fired from a bow.
But, reality was completely different.
Not an arrow, a line. For an instant a white line is drawn through the air. A so called, beam.
It was impossible to follow with my eyes. Just when I thought it was shot, the line had already been drawn.
I see off the laser that passed by my side with my mouth wide open.
―― Eh, wai, eh? This is a 《Flame Arrow》?
Using all his strength Dia celebrates his success with a fist.
The Ripper Beetle that had a hole opened in its body had been extinguished.
One hit. It was definitely an instant death.
「I beat it! And it was so quick!」
Dia is joyously frolicking at the back.
My shock doesn’t seem to register with her.
I give my blessing in monotone.
「Ouu, thanks! It’s my first time beating a monster this big!」
My cold sweat doesn’t stop.
Dia doesn’t understand how abnormal he is.
This kind of magic, it’s not written in books or even talked about by others.
It’s true that Dia’s magic is 23.25, and his skill elemental magic is 2.09. There are probably some other influences involved, but I couldn’t conceal my unease that this value can cause such a phenomenon.
In the battles from now on, I’ll be entrusting my back to a human laser gun. Although I can trust in his character, it hasn’t been long since I met with Dia. I don’t know if something will happen. It doesn’t have to be an attack out of malice, but I could have a hole opened in my stomach with a simple misfire.
My cowardly heart begins trembling.
「It’s thanks to Sieg that I was able to focus on my magic. Let keep this up!」
「Okay. But, be careful when you shoot your magic. Really, seriously, be careful」
「Aah, I know! Leave it to me!」
Dia’s excited at the fact that he crushed a monster. But my anxiety going up is all that happens for me.
「Th, then, let’s go. I’ll be searching for enemies, so stay quiet. Also, if an unexpected situation comes up, follow my instructions. Don’t freely shoot around your magic」
I remind him to be careful when firing, and I spread my 《Dimension》.
「Okay. I’ll follow your instructions. Nothing will go wrong if I do what Sieg says」
Dia obediently agreed. It seems like he placed his trust in me.
While confirming my experience and MP, I begin searching for enemies.
The one who landed the finishing blow was Dia but the experience was split. The MP it cost me to find and fight enemies is about 5, and only 3 disappeared for Dia.
Dia-san, you’re really absurd.
The ideal of low-cost high power. It’s scary thinking of that laser that exceeds the human body heat. It easily ignores the law of conservation of mass.
「Ah, we’ll encounter something once we go past that next corner」
I sense a large monster with 《Dimension》 and inform Dia.
I check the monster’s name and rank with 『Display』 and compare it with the information I have. After a battle simulation, we face the monster.
A monster with the shape of a spider.
However, using the same procedure as the previous battle ―― that was all to it, it was crushed without danger.
A hole opened up in the monster spider’s abdomen, and it turned to light and disappeared.
「Oou, another crushing victory!」
It was so easy that the me who was scared of the labyrinth from the past would this consider preposterous.
It doesn’t feel like I can get injured when I use the battle tuned 《Dimension》.
It’s probably because of that game like bonuses to my abilities that my evasion and hits were greatly strengthened.
And on top of Dia’s 《Flame Arrow》being overpowered, it also hits the enemies at a speed faster than bullets.
I search for enemies in advance and take on the best position. If they don’t notice, then we snipe it with a 《Flame Arrow》. If it misses, then I’ll prevent the enemy from reaching the artillery, that’s my purpose. The only time we’d fall apart is if I lag behind in close combat. However, because of the difference in level with me being level 4, the enemies can’t take us by surprise.
One, and another, we continue defeating monsters.
「Again, we beat it uninjured」
「…… Sieg, is the labyrinth supposed to be this easy with a party?」
At first Dia was in great joy, but now he was in doubt at how one sidedly the monsters died.
「No, that’s not the case. There are still lots of deaths that happen on the first floor, from what I heard from the searchers at the bar, we’re the strange ones」
「Is that because we’re strong?」
Correct. Dia’s absurd offensive ability of the level 1 magic is one factor.
However, if I let loose here and praise Dia, then I wouldn’t be able to appeal my own use. If possible I”d like to associate with Dia for a long time.
「Aah, Dia has a talent in magic」
「Is that so, that’s――」
「―― But, more importantly it’s that our compatibility is really good」
Compatibility, there’s no hole in our tactics.
「Since I’m a mage with skills that specialize in detecting enemies, it turned out like this」
「Speaking of which, even within this darkness, Sieg keeps on finding enemies. And also, they’re so far away……」
「Un, I use magic to find enemies. That’s why the monsters can’t make the first move, and why they can’t aim for the artillery mage Dia. Once Dia takes a good position I can start the battle. Depending on the case we can even snipe them beforehand. For Dia who needs time to fire, I’ll provide the perfect cover. That’s our certain victory pattern」
「Certainly, when I’m alone, the monsters always find me first, there’s no openings for me to use my magic. But, how does Sieg find enemies. I haven’t heard of such a magic」
He’ll probably understand if I explain it.
Dimension magic 《Dimension》, and the 『Display』 reflected in my eye, with these two I can find all monsters.
But, in these past few days of information gathering, I haven’t heard of a dimension magic like mine. Not to mention the 『Display』, it’s an ability only I have. I don’t want to be wrapped up in trouble because of this, and above all, it’s too difficult for the cowardly me to give away information on myself.
「It’s an old magic passed down in my birth place. It’s a hidden secret so I can’t explain much, but it has the power to find monsters」
「I see, so it’s a rare skill」
It looks like Dia accepted this explanation. To begin with, it’s only natural for people whose occupation is battle to not easily reveal their hands. It’s probably because he understood that, that Dia’s not asking.
「But, the MP consumption is rough, in fact I’m a hundred times more tired than Dia」
「I’d imagine. Sieg uses magic even when not fighting, and you’re also getting the monsters attention when fighting」
Dia speaks apologetically.
All right. It looks like I’ve successfully appealed my own strength, seems like I’ve earned a favor.
「I’ll say something if it looks like my MP will run out. I don’t think it’ll be soon, but to begin with I can’t be in the labyrinth for long. I have my job at the bar so it works out」
「Okay. Then, let’s go a bit further in, will we fight any strong ones?」
「That’s fine. I heard about the allocation of enemies in the bar, so I know the location of the strong ones」
「Yeah, let’s goー」
I can see their ranks through 『Display』. Seeing that the possibility of encountering any monsters we can’t handle is low, I approve Dia’s wish.
Like this, we repeat our certain victory pattern a number of times, and continue our labyrinth search.
As long as the sun keeps rising, we continue our monster hunt without getting tired.
It was when we defeated around thirty monsters, that my remaining MP became little.
「Ah, it won’t be long before I’m unable to maintain my magic」
It’s almost noon.
After several hours of successive battles, I become unable to continue our search.
「I’m going to leave the labyrinth, what about you Dia?」
「Eh, wh, what to do. You won’t be my vanguard if you can’t detect enemies will you?」
I got angry, but I explain it gently.
「Uuun. Since the chance of injury would increase, I don’t think it’d be efficient. And since I also fight using my MP, my close quarter combat will also weaken」
「Eh, you were using magic while using your sword?」
「That’s right. It’s one of the uses of this old magic, it lets me sharpen my senses」
「So you were always using your magic. You had a sword and were fast so though you were a swordsman, but it turns out you’re really a mage 」
「That’s right, that’s why as a mage, I’ll be a good for nothing once I run out of MP」
Honestly speaking, I don’t want to get into a situation where I fight without magic.
I don’t want the chance of me not being able to protect Dia to increase. If I can’t use magic then the time and stamina it’d take to defeat a monster would increase. The more time it takes, the higher the chance an unexpected situation would occur. The more opportunities we grant enemies to attack, the higher the chance we’ll fall into a situation were we’ll be unable to guard against any special abilities. It’ll turn into a completely disadvantageous battle.
「Okay. I’ll follow Sieg until we’re outside, afterwards I’ll do it alone」
「Eh, wai, by yourself……? Wa, wait, Dia」
Dia quickly went against my expectations.
Sure is cheeky for an artillery mage.
Actually, I’d be the one troubled if he dies.
「Dia, you can’t be thinking of doing it on your own?」
「…… By the way, how many monsters have you defeated on your own?」
Dia immediately faltered.
「If you can defeat monsters on your own, then I won’t complain」
「Uu, …… I did defeat some」
While avoiding my gaze, Dia begins squirming.
「So you have deleted some. But, how many? Until now, you’ve always been challenging it. How many did you defeat up until yesterday?」
「Don’t do it alone. I’ll worry……」
I immediately reply.
It may be a harsh way of speaking. But, I finally managed to get a cooperator and I don’t want to lose it.
「But, we defeated a lot today. I think I got the feeling for it!」
「Today you only used magic. It’s because Dia couldn’t use magic alone, that you didn’t defeat any until now right? You should know this the most?」
「But I also have a sword!」
「That’s why, it’s because you can’t use that sword that you can’t defeat them」
I can see Dia’s status. That’s why I know more about Dia than Dia himself.
He’s a human who specializes in magic. That’s why there’s no meaning in using a sword.
「But, I don’t have time. I need 『Power』, and 『Money』……」
Dia mutters with a serious expression.
In there is a strong will, and my head begins hurting.
「No matter how much Dia swings a sword, you won’t defeat any monsters. I’d understand if you could use magic. If you were in a condition that allowed you to use magic, then I’d agree. But, that isn’t the case is it」
「No, not with magic. I used it today because I couldn’t help it, but I want to become stronger with the sword. Fighting with a sword is my dream. That’s why I want to train with my sword」
It’s because he doesn’t have any talent with a sword that he should focus on magic.
I hold myself back from twisting Dia’s heart, and gently let out my voice.
「Why the sword? If you want power and money, then it’d be better to polish your magic and defeat monsters. Like that, Dia would become an accomplished mage, and you’ll be able to earn money」
「That might be so. But, It has to be with a sword!」
It’d be hard to convince Dia with flattery or logic. Something inside of him is obsessed with the sword. Our relationship is still too thin to be able to persuade him.
「No matter what?」
「No matter what, I want to train with my sword……」
While scratching my head, I check Dia’s status.
He collected enough experience to level up. His HP had also decreased a good amount.
「Okay. If you want to use the sword no matter what, I won’t stop you. Being able to use a sword and magic is a good thing. But, you need to be properly prepared, lets first leave the labyrinth and take a break」
「Ah, aah, okay」
Dia acknowledged it in a state of surprise.
「No, I didn’t think you’d agree……. Until now, no one approved of me using a sword……」
It seems like Dia’s swordsmanship is worse than I thought.
I couldn’t confirm it’s pitiful condition as I was the vanguard, but it looks like it’s at the level were anyone who saw it would stop him from using a sword.
「…… How do I put it. It’s not like I don’t understand those feelings」
「Sieg too…… ?」
There were lots of times I chose a sword when I played games. It has an appeal towards boys, and in worlds like this the protagonist of a story usually wield a sword. Although I have to force myself, I understand the childlike yearning of wanting to become a hero.
Honestly I want him to fight only using magic. But, to force him here, would only lower Dia’s favorability towards me. It’s also because of such dirty calculations that I was able to easily agree.
「Th, thanks, Sieg」
As if embarrassed Dia’s cheeks blushed.
At the same time my own cheeks felt hot.
The loveliness of Dia’s reddened cheeks and his shining golden hair. No matter how I see it, he’s a sweet beautiful girl. Including this gesture I get suspicious as to whether Dia is a girl, but I stop my thoughts. I don’t think it’d benefit me to look into that. And it’d be even worse to lower the favorability that had just risen.
That’s why, I’ll make sure I don’t ask of Dia’s gender.
To me, Dia is a cooperator in capturing the labyrinth. Nothing more, and nothing less.
Using my remaining MP, I avoid enemies, and move to the labyrinth’s exit.
En route, I ask about the items the monsters dropped.
「Now that I think about it, do you know the rules for splitting magic stones?」
「From the party recruitment notices I’ve seen, they generally say that they’re equally distributed……」
「Then, we’ll go fifty fifty」
「But in terms of burden, shouldn’t Sieg get more……?」
「Doing that would just be annoying. We helped each other, so we’ll split fifty fifty. No matter what it’s fifty fifty. That’s easy to understand, and we’d avoid the roots of evil」
In fact, no matter what my share I wanted to give more to Dia. That way he’d be able to get hold of meals and a place to rest, and I also want him to prepare equipment and other tools. But for now, fifty fifty sounds about right.
「Also, you should try going to the church once we get out」
「Eh, but I went this morning?」
「You might be able to level up thanks to all the battles we had. It’s better to go more often when your level is low」
I recommend Dia to go to the church since I know he can level up.
Other than that I tell him to prepare armor and other tools that are needed in the labyrinth, and I also want him to care for his health.
And if possible, to not enter alone, and instead enter while partied with someone other than me. Once he reaches level two and shows off the magic stones he collected in the labyrinth, he may be able to find companions.
「Okay, okay. I get that Sieg is thinking about a lot of things for me. But, to say it all at once is troubling」
「If you’ll enter the labyrinth, then what I said just now are the minimum preparations needed」
Dia shows a bitter face at my nagging.
But, everything that I said was in order for Dia to not die. Although he might hate it, he earnestly listened.
After that, I continued looking after Dia until time for work began. I can’t enter the labyrinth since I’m out of MP, but I thought of everything I could think of so that Dia wouldn’t die.
But if considering only what benefits me, then this is certainly overboard.
Dia is an extraordinary individual. But, taking away too much of Aikawa Kanami’s time would be putting the cart before the horse.
I understood that myself.
However, it’s something simple. I probably became attached.
If thinking intelligently, then Dia is an existence I can use. If it comes to it, I can use him as a decoy in order to survive.
But, Dia is my first friend of the same age in this different world.
Above all, having formed a party to search the labyrinth, and having overcome dangers together, a sense of affinity welled up. I can now say that Dia has become my first friend.
For better or worse, in this world overflowing with a sense of alienation, I found something to support me.
For better or worse――
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