Several hours later, the construction on the tenth floor ends and the group begins moving to the twentieth floor.
It was a relief that they weren’t able to find the existence of connection in the end. Maybe it’s harder to be exposed than I thought.
As we were moving to the eleventh floor, we had several changes in our formation. Of course, the leader Sidrik-san decided everything. He certainly has an eye for people, and he’s also well informed in tactics. No one uttered a complaint. …… Except Snow that is.
「El, can you position Kanami at the front?」
「『Epic Seeker’s』 guild master at the front? From my information, he is supposed to be a mage who specializes in perception and freezing magic. In that case, he’d be best fit for the center, or even the rear」
A perfect judgement.
To show my true worth I’d be best positioned at the center or rear in order to follow up after the others. It’s only been a few days since my activities in the guild began, but he had already gathered information on me.
With those few words, I understood how great Sidrik-san’s information gathering and analysis ability are.
「No, Kanami isn’t only that. He can also use a sword」
「Of course, I know that as well. However, I heard that he specializes in magic」
「That information is wrong. There’s no doubt, Kanami’s sword is first class. And, if he’s paired with me his strengths would show」
「…… Okay. If you say that much, for the time being he will be placed at the front. However, depending on the results and situation that can change immediately」
「Thank you very much」
At the end of Snow’s persuasion, Sidrik-san acknowledged my addition.
However, rather than consenting to it, it looked more like he was trying to show his benevolence to Snow. Because of that, when I pass by, Sidrik-san throws some harsh words my way.
「If you cause even the smallest amount of trouble, I’ll have you step down immediately」
「I understand. I’ll do my very best」
With some harmless words I lower my head.
「Fuun. If you are a guild master, don’t use Snow, use your own words to state your desires……」
However, Sidrik-san’s impression of me only worsened. Apparently, he thinks that I used Snow to get here.
Believing an excuse would be useless here, I remain silent.
As I watch Sidrik-san return to the front, Snow who is next to me shows a dissatisfied face.
「…… Kanami’s a good for nothing」
「Eh, Eeh……? What in that made me look like that?」
「There’s no merit in quarrelling with people like Sidrik-san. Even if you try instigating it Snow, nothing will come of it……」
「…… Is that what you really think? Fuun」
I pull Snow’s hand and move to the front.
And so, the second half beings. The battles with monsters started immediately.
Different from the back, the amount of battles at the front were many. It’s easier for enemies to find us because we’re in a line, thus because of that there are many more attacks than there would be in a usual search. Our marching speed is also slow, and this situation makes me realize how difficult it is searching with many people. However, Sidrik-san manages to perfectly handle this high difficulty job.
He certainly has the capability to stand at the summit. He has the personality and ability, but above all it’s his status that helps. Everyone says, 「It is that Sidrik house」 and obeys.
But, it also looked like the status of the Sidrik house was driving him into a corner, and I saw something dangerous in that.
Including me, the chosen elite all swing their swords according to Sidrik-san’s orders.
During that, as I defeated an attacking monster with a single swing, I didn’t overlook the fact that Sidrik-san’s expression changed.
It’d help if he revises my evaluation with this…….
And sure enough, Snow was behind my back skipping out.
In order to hide from Sidrik-san’s eyes, she continued fighting behind my back. The same as always. And now, my plan to rehabilitate Snow by having her associate with Sidrik-san, has been completely crushed.
As we progress through the floors and get closer to the end of the 『Correct Path』, the number of attacking monsters increases.
On those occasions, worried that something might happen, I stepped in front of all the others. I wasn’t trying to be arrogant, but it’s simply that my combat ability is the best. As long as I’m fighting, the risk to the others lessens.
Around the time I finish ten monsters, Sidrik-san calls out.
「Aikawa Kanami was it……. You haven’t been using magic, are you a swordsman?」
「No, I’m good with a sword, but I am a mage」
「You certainly have what it takes for that Palinchlon to entrust guild master to you. I haven’t taken you seriously since you are from the countryside, but you do have the ability」
「No, there’s still a lot I can improve on」
「…… I dislike that kind of modesty. I can’t hear it as anything but sarcasm. If you are also a person who stands at the top, wouldn’t it be better to have more dignity?」
「U……, forgive me. That type of personality is……」
「Why apologize. It seems, like we will not get along……」
I got a good evaluation on my ability, but apparently he isn’t pleased with my character. It’s unfortunate since I don’t dislike people like Sidrik-san.
However, saying that would have the opposite effect.
Without saying a thing, I follow Sidrik-san. And so, I observe every one of his actions.
It’s all in order to memorize his behavior as a guild master. It’s not like I’ll imitate him, but memorizing the methods of a different guild master isn’t something bad.
While observing the way in which Sidrik-san gives orders, I continue intercepting the attacking monsters.
I also make sure to pay attention to Snow and Teiri-san with 《Dimension》. For the current me, using these operations in parallel isn’t difficult.
We continued progressing through the labyrinth in such a way. But when we arrived at the sixteenth floor, the exhaustion of the members became apparent. Our marching speed had visibly slowed, and the expressions of many had darkened.
It’s there that Sidrik-san spares no time giving words of encouragement.
「Everyone, only a little more! I believe that with your abilities, we will be able to carry it out」
Although there were people who received a burst of energy, there were also those that words did nothing for. With such a situation, it didn’t seem like the morale had risen.
An impatient expression rises on Sidrik-san, and while paying attention to the others he resumes the march.
And in order to assist him, I always stood close by. Sidrik-san notices that and asks in a puzzled tone.
「Are you not tired…… ?」
「I’m fine. I have stamina. If something happens feel free to use me as you please」
「…… Don’t look down on me. No matter what, I will not rely on you. It’s the opposite. I will protect everyone」
「Is that so……」
My concern seems to have had the opposite effect.
It was only a litte, but I understood Sidrik-san. He is under the domination of an abnormal sense of responsibility. It is probably a responsibility that has dominated him since birth. And that domination remained fastened during his adolescence, and it built his warped sense of values.
And I now saw the true identity of the danger.
Dominated by that sense of responsibility, he continues moving forward.
As I’m watching over him from behind, I discover a herd of monsters with 《Dimension》. In a hurry I report it to Sidrik-san.
「Sidrik-san. If we continue like this we’ll bump into a monster herd. For now, we should leave the 『Correct Path』 and move in a different direction」
「What was that? Speaking of which, you are able to use perception magic. Is that true?」
「Eeh, it’s true. A large quantity of insect type monsters are approaching」
「―― No, we won’t change our course. That would take more time than planned. I won’t permit any more loss than this」
「However, if we continue and encounter them the damage we’d receive would be great. Instead of time prioritizing safety is――」
「You said the monsters are insects. In that case, I can take care of it with a single strike of my magic…… !!」
I shouldn’t have told him the monster type.
Since the monsters are insects, he probably thinks he could deal with them using magic. And, it seems like Sidrik-san is a capable mage. He’ll try to end it on his own.
They were some very foolish 『People』, I feel like I know it…….
「I’m against it. It’s dangerous, and even if it succeeds the burden on you would be immense」
「Like I said, don’t look down on me. A herd of the sixteenth floor, that’s nothing」
He was in no condition to listen.
Since Sidrik-san is the one in control, it seems like there’s no choice but to face the herd.
Sidrik-san refines the magic power inside of him awaiting for the moment to come.
I grasp the movements of the herd with 《Dimension》 and convey the details of when they’ll arrive. That was the only thing that I could do.
And so, that time arrives ――
「―― A, a herd! A monster herd appeared!!」
A swordsman at the front sees the large crowd of monsters and raises a terrified voice.
With those words as the trigger, the other members begin shaking.
For the people who have experience in searching the labyrinth, they know just how dreadful a herd is. And when running low on energy, they are something that absolutely must be avoided.
However, to me and Sidrik-san it was something within expectations.
Disregarding the panicked members, he calmly constructs his magic.
「Sidrik-san! Please attract as much attention as possible before firing!」
「No need to tell me, I know! 『Repay All Creation』『Burn All Creation』『Dominate All Creation』!」
With a powerful 『Chant』, he precisely constructs his magic power.
That magic is completed right before the herd can make contact.
A torrent of flames is fired from Sidrik-san.
Those fierce flames swallow all the monsters in the herd of the sixteenth floor.
Above all, the magic attribute is compatible against the enemy monsters. The flames wrap around the insect monsters that are weak to fire, and they die one after another.
Some monsters escaped, but that’s where I came in and used 《Dimension》 to find and dispose of them with my sword.
As a result, the monster herd was successfully annihilated in a matter of seconds.
「O, Ooh! As expected of Lord Sidrik!」
「As expected, the leader can be relayed on……」
「In an instant the herd was……, I’m saved……!」
With the threat being dealt with in an instant, all the members raised their voices in delight.
However, Sidrik-san’s wore a pained expression.
He most likely wringed out his remaining MP with that last magic. With heavy breaths he wipes his sweat off in a kingly manner. But even then, he doesn’t rest.
He quickly calms his heavy breaths and fixes his expression before shouting.
「Aah! Everyone is safe. No matter what enemy arrives, I will blow them away! Be at ease, and little by little, we will move to the twentieth floor!!」
Sidrik-san didn’t miss his chance to encourage the group.
Once Sidrik-san sees that their expressions have lightened, he faces forward, and his pained expression returns. Since I was to his side, I could easily see his pain.
「Are you fine?」
「Something of this degree, is no problem. A needless worry. …… More importantly, that perception magic from before was splendid. If you hadn’t grasped the enemies movements and timing, it would not have gone as well as it did. My thanks」
「No, that’s not important right now, Sidrik-san your complexion is――」
「…… I said it’s no problem」
Even the words that interrupted me were frail. There’s no doubt that the magic just now used up all his strength. However, his pride won’t permit my assistance.
Unable to do anything but watch over Sidrik-san, I follow behind him.
While walking, my heart won’t calm down.
In order to protect the name of his house, Sidrik-san doesn’t allow himself to obtain help from anyone else. Otherwise the Sidrik house would not be pleased. At any rate I couldn’t help but be concerned. It’s the same as the Walker house that clouds Snow’s expression.
The existence known as a noble’s authority angers me.
Naturally, my impression towards the four great nobels worsens.
―― Currently we are on the sixteenth floor. The goal is the twentieth floor, still four floors to go.
While uneasy about the future, we continue advancing through the labyrinth.
That unease of mine was splendidly answered.
There were few attacks between the sixteen and seventeenth floors, so that wasn’t a problem.
Although it’s true that exhaustion has accumulated, exterminating the herd allowed the others to preserve a high morale.
However, on the way to the eighteenth floor, I once again senese a herd moving in our direction.
This group has bad luck, I grind my teeth.
「Th, this is bad. There’s another herd」
「Kuu, what was that……」
I give my report, and Sidrik-san asks for confirmation in a vexed manner.
「Sidrik-san, let’s avoid it this time」
「No, there won’t be any detours. If we pass the planned time, my reputation will―― the Sirdrik house’s reputation will be affected……!!」
「But we don’t have any method to oppose it」
「I will exterminate them this time as well. Our course doesn’t chance……!」
「That’s unreasonable. Sidrik-san, you already crossed your limits. The members are also exhausted, but not as much as you are」
「Don’t look down on me! I said it is not a problem! I am in command! I will show that I can complete this job perfectly!」
No matter what I say, Sidrik-san will surely battle the herd. His pride won’t allow him to step back.
I consider forcefully making him rest by causing him to faint.
However, as a leader…… and as a different guild master from one of the four great nobles, if I attack Sidrik-san, there’s no doubt that it’ll cause a huge problem. As 『Epic Seeker’s』 guild master, it’s not something I can afford to do. There’s no other choice, I will cooperate in order to raise the possibility of exterminating them if only a little.
「…… It’s a herd of wolves with red fur. We will encounter them in a few minutes」
「Red fur on the eighteenth floor……. That is……. In that case, if we use a water attribute magic then……」
At the same time, Sidrik-san began constructing his magic.
However, 《Dimension》 tells me that the magic he is constructing is unreliable. Although he’s squeezing out as much magic power as his MP permits, seams were born since his health isn’t in top condition.
It probably won’t be as strong and precise as the magic from before.
To begin with, a large magic that can exterminate a herd isn’t something he can make in that state.
It’d be bad if it continues like this. Judging as much, I move a bit back to Snow.
「Snow, say something to Sidrik-san. Sidrik-san, he intends on battling another herd. This time it’s dangerous」
「…… Another herd? …… At any rate, no」
However, Snow shakes her head.
「Why. If it continues like this there’s a possibility that the job will end in failure. Above all, Sidrik-san is in danger」
「…… That, doesn’t matter. Whatever happens to Elmillad Sidrik, is unrelated to me. Anyway, it’s a pain so I don’t want to get involved. I’m sick of it」
And so, she gives a concise reason.
To Snow, work or Sidrik-san, neither of them matter.
I give up on asking after seeing how quick Snow answered, and I return to Sidrik-san. He already started his chant.
「――『Swallow Nourishment』『Lay Waste To Nourishment』『Convert To Nourishment』――」
As the chant approached its completion, the herd came into sight.
The members at the lead see the wriggling herd of beasts, and they convey it to everyone.
「It, it appeared! Damn it, another herd! This time it’s a herd of red muts!!」
As soon as all the members learn of it, they look at their leader Sidrik-san. In response, Sidrik-san shouts.
「Everyone, be at ease! I will wash them all away! ――《Tidal Wave》」
He shouts out the name of his magic and the magic power in the surroundings begins pulsating
The compressed magic power turns into water, and in addition, the water in the atmosphere is gathered making for a large quantity of water. That becomes a raging rapid swirling in mid-air with its volume continuously expanding, and in the end a tsunami is made.
A flood engulfs the corridor, and the monster herd that was attacking is dragged into it.
―― Water magic 《Tidal Wave》. A terrifying magic.
However, no matter how heartless that magic was, with 《Dimension》 I understood that it wasn’t enough to exterminate the monsters.
Together with the click of my tongue, I 『Observe』 Sidrik-san.
His status is in an awful condition.
He went beyond his limits with that magic, and he’s been forcing himself to lead for close to twenty hours. In order to save time, the march was unreasonably continued, and all of that drained Sidrik-san’s strength.
Sidrik-san, probably can’t move anymore.
He bet everything on that last 『Tidal Wave』 .
In other words, if I were to put it simply, it’d be 『Unable to exterminate the herd, the leader became unable to move』.
「Excuse me! Sidrik-san!」
As the group watches the magic tsunami, I alone move.
I hold the unsteady Sidrik-san in both arms and bring him to the back. Although he had no strength Sidrik-san still opposed, but I continued without minding it.
My target is Snow.
Snow was surprised when she saw me holding Sidrik-san. However, without caring of Snow’s situation, I throw Sidrik-san at Snow.
In a panic Snow drops the weapons in her hands and catches him.
I immediately return to the front and confirm the herd of monsters that were left over after the 《Tidal Wave》. The magic washed everything away and threw the red beasts to the walls. It looks like they’re done for, but that wasn’t enough. It still wasn’t enough.
Simply put, the water’s quantity, it’s force―― its attack power was not enough.
The faces of the group that let out delighted cries, gradually turns blue.
The monsters who received a direct hit from 《Tidal Wave》 and were knocked down, begin standing one by one, and they display their anger.
A hundred monsters that it couldn’t reach, are still fine at this very moment.
And so, the monsters show their hostility against the herd that attacked them.
I 『Observe』 the situation.
【Monster】 Flame Wolf : Rank 17
First, the details of the monsters.
And then, I confirm the status of every person here. What levels they are, what occupation they have, why they specialize in, I waste no time in grasping it all.
Of course, that includes information on the location. Where each person is, who’s at the sides, what to do in order to have the greatest synergy.
It was a calculation that surpassed human intellect and instead resembled a magic like speed.
I assemble a tactic so that not a single person gets injured. I continue thinking without wasting a moment of time, and at the end I swear.
I won’t let them die.
No one else ――！
At the same time as I swear, the blue faced group begins raising their voices.
「―― It, it’s useless! They weren’t defeated!!」
「The magic wasn’t enough! All of them are still energetic!」
「Why didn’t we avoid the herd! Damn it, if it’s like this then!」
「We’ve got no choice! Get ready, get in formation!」
With screams and complaints, they all ready their weapons. Fortunately they aren’t in a state of panic.
And then, the Flame Wolves leap.
At the same time I finish forming my tactic. While constructing my magic, I draw my sword at the front.
「―― Magic 《Di Winter》！」
I extend the scope of 《Di Winter》. The target isn’t the enemy or myself.
Where I extend it to is my companions. Targeting everyone in the group, a cold scatters about.
And then, I shout.
「I’ll be the vanguard! Everyone calm down, please intercept any enemies that come!!」
Imitating Sidrik-san, I speak in a voice that was easily transmitted to the rest. At the same time I cool their heads with 《Di Winter》.
Naturally, the Flame Wolves aimed for me after I raised a loud voice.
I swing my sword at the approaching Flame Wolves. But, I didn’t aim for an instant death. Defeating a hundred monsters in an instant all by myself is impossible. Therefore, what I aim for is to injure the monsters. Not a complete swing, not a stab, but a light cut.
It won’t kill them, but I can injure far more enemies than I’d be able to kill.
And if it’s the skilled and experienced elite, they will be able to finish off the injured Flame Wolves. Defeating enemies through their own hands would also raise their morale. Right now I shouldn’t be prioritizing my efficiency, but the efficiency of everyone here.
I constantly cut the Flame Wolves. However, there were many that ignored me.
At last the herd had completely mixed with the group, and the battle turned into melee combat.
The guild’s elites ready their swords and intercept the Flame Wolves. My shout at the beginning was a success, and many people were able to stay calm.
While taking on the Flame Wolves that surround me, I devote most of my attention to 《Di Winter》. My next target is the water made from Sidrik-san’s 《Tidal Wave》.
Many puddles of water were left in the corridor. This is an upgrade of when I caught the Line Skitter on a trap on the fourteenth floor. At that time I used 《Di Snow》, but this time I’ll use 《Di Winter》.
But it’s potency is no longer that of 《Di Winter》. It’s a completely different magic.
In that case, the name of this new magic is――
「―― Magic《Di Winter Frost》」
As soon as I mutter the name of the magic in a quiet voice, the cold air in the battlefield suddenly increases.
In parallel, I grasp the battles of dozens of the elites with the hundred monsters, and deduce that the searchers are in an inferior position.
A Flame Wolf’s fang is approaching a man’s back. The man is too focused on the enemy in front of him so he doesn’t notice it. If it stays like this, the man will die from a single attack to his back. However, I won’t permit that.
I freeze the water underfoot the Flame Wolf with 《Di Winter Frost》, and its movements stop. The Flame Wolf’s feet freeze and it raises a small cry. The man notices the cry behind him, and he thrusts his swords at that immobile Flame Wolf.
―― That’s one, next.
Next is a mage in the middle of a chant. The woman’s magic won’t make it before that Flame Wolf attacks.
Concentrating my magic power, I activate 《Di Winter Frost》 on the charging Flame Wolf. There was more than enough water from 《Tidal Wave》 on the Flame Wolf for it to work. It’d be hard to freeze something with nothing on it, but it’s easy if there’s already water to start with.
The Flame Wolf’s wet body makes a crisp sound as it freezes. I can’t completely freeze it, but the movements of the Flame Wolf grew dull because of the ice.
As a result, the Flame Wolf’s attack didn’t make it in time, and the mage’s magic was a success.
―― Two, next.
I search for the next situation with dimension magic. And so, I aim my magic on places that need help Three, four, five ―― I continue helping out my companions.
Of course, I’m doing it at the same time as I’m dealing with the Flame Wolves at the front. That work continued for dozens of seconds, and finally, I defeated all the Flame Wolves around me.
Within these dozens of seconds, there were no casualties.
WIthout dropping my guard, I immediately move from the very front to the center.
While moving, I grasp hold of the situation and give orders in a loud voice.
Fortunately, I was able to learn everyone’s names by the time we made it here.
「―― Anaes-san please follow up the person to your right! Also, there aren’t enough vanguards at the rear, if you are free go to the back! Thor-san, once you defeat that Flame Wolf, please help Aldin-san behind you! Snow, leave Sidrik-san to me and go help at the front」
As Sidrik-san can’t move, someone else needs to give orders.
Although Snow isn’t happy with it, after some hesitation, she returns Sidrik-san to me with a few words.
「…… Because there’s no other choice」
I nod and support Sidrik-san in her place.
Snow puts some effort into it, and after I make sure that she moved to the front, I hear a shriek not too far away.
「N, no good! Our side can’t hold on! We’re――」
Naturally, I had already grasped that.
「――《Di Winter Frost》！」
I help my companions who were in a bad position further away. They see that, and in a surprised state they accept the situation.
「I see, you’re the one who’s been freezing the enemies!」
「You froze them at a good moment! Isn’t it, 『Epic Seeker’s』 Kanami!?」
「The one who was at Sidrik’s side! Nice magic!」
Realizing that it was my freezing magic that was being used, they all began following my orders.
「It’s just as you see, if it gets dangerous I’ll help with my freezing magic! I can see everything with my perception magic, so for now please follow my orders!!」
A sudden request. But, the answer was more favorable than I expected.
「You’re also a Lauravia guild master aren’t you!? In that case, I won’t mind obeying your orders!」
「Because the situation is what it is, there’s no helping it! Hurry, give out your orders!」
「Since my leader out of it, I’ll be counting on you!」
They are all skilled searchers. It must be because of that that they were able to instinctively make the correct judgement in this situation.
I give out my orders.
「Then, we’ll immediately change to the optimal formation! Thor-san keep moving to the back as you are, please protect the ones at the center! Anaes-san, continue intercepting them, you can do it at your level! The three over there, solidify your defences, please prepare for an incoming attack from your left! And ――」
Having learned their statuses with 『Observe』, I move everyone to their optimal positions.
As we fought together, the barrier of guild no longer mattered. This isn’t the place to be concerned about such a thing. While helping everyone with 《Di Winter Frost》, I never stop giving orders. During that, there were people who looked unhappy, but they end up consenting after seeing my freezing magic in action.
I won’t let anyone die against this herd. For that reason I take the optimal actions and make sure I’m always ready to act.
In the middle of that, Sidrik-san who I’m supporting moans.
「ah, wa, wait, this job is mine……. I have to give orders……」
It looks like he’ll lose his conscience at any moment, but even then Sidrik-san doesn’t give up on his responsibility.
「Please rest for now. You’ve already fulfilled more than enough of your responsibilities Sidrik-san. …… You’re no longer in a state to give orders」
Honestly, even the time it took to answer was precious. If possible, I’d like him to sleep, but if I carelessly instigate him it could end up troublesome, so I kindly answer back.
「Kuu, shit…… Damn it……」
After hearing my composed answer, Sidrik-san curses in regret.
However, this isn’t the place to sympathize. In order to give orders to everyone, I continue raising my voice. And after that, Sidrik-san no longer cut into my words.
After around ten minutes, more than a hundred Flame Wolves had been exterminated. Standing as frozen pillars all over the corridor, they all become light and turn into magic stones.
And then, the corridor is filled with cheers.
「Alright, we beat them! Nice job, 『Epic Seeker’s』 freezing mage!」
「You saved us! For a second I wasn’t sure what was gonna happen!!」
「…… It’s thanks to 『Epic Seeker’s』 guild master. They were very precise orders」
Relieved that they survived, various people began praising me.
I once again use 《Dimension》 to grasp everyone’s condition.
What’s important to me isn’t praise. No, that is important as a guild master, but that isn’t my goal.
I confirm their HP one by one, and count in order to make sure we have the same amount of people that entered.
And so, once I realized that no one had died, I let out a big sigh.
「Thank goodness, no one died……」
However, in exchange more than half of my MP was consumed.
With some exhaustion, I relax the strength in my body.
It looked like Sidrik-san who I was supporting on my shoulder was about to fall, and in a panic I once again put strength into it.
After several more minutes, the others also understood the situation, and realizing that no one had died, the joy in the group became even greater.
At that moment, I also shared the same sense of accomplishment as the others.