132. Chapter 132
The Labyrinth dive, which also served as a meeting point for Walm and the Trimagitack, was filled with repeated battles like someone was grinding a brand-new metal part. This behavior was as if it was trying to check if there were any problems by stressing the new part called Walm in various ways.
Although Walm was vaguely aware of these intentions, he behaved as he always did. After all, if he changed his movements more than necessary, it wouldn’t even be a test. Instead of diving deeper, the party actively searched for and destroyed monsters to test Walm.
In response, Walm turned countless of them into a pool of blood with his halberd.
Such long battles continued until the dwarves appeared on the hunting grounds.
There was no need to think much about the reason for the discontinuation of today’s dive. Their nature and fighting style attracted monsters. Moreover, they attacked all the monsters as if they were competing with each other. Was it a dwarven greeting? Or a show-off to celebrate Walm’s joining in the Trimagitack?
Considering the loud laughter that remained in Walm’s ears for a while, the answer might be that they were purely competing for the number of prey.
Leaving the Labyrinth, Walm returned to the shop where he exchanged greetings with the Trimagitack’s party members. And after a meal, a meeting for deepening the relationship began.
“We are lucky to have Walm in our party. He fulfilled the role of the vanguard we relied on Hari, even more than we expected. On top of that, the suppression by magic lightened the burden on Yuna and me.”
Merrill looked at the seated members and confirmed that there were no objections.
“With these members, it’s okay to seriously aim for the bottom of the labyrinth and to be the conquerors. But before that, I would like Walm to make some corrections and share his thoughts.”
Walm wasn’t haughty enough to insist that he himself could tear off every obstacle in front of him. He had plenty of experience fighting with a small group, but he had learned that fighting in a dark, enclosed space, especially in a labyrinth where monsters were constantly approaching, required any party to follow its own course of action, taking into account the particular fighting techniques of each member.
“Sure, no objections.”
“As I said earlier, Walm plays the role of the vanguard more than we hoped for. As expected of someone who could reach that depth alone. But that’s also where the problem lies. Even when he teamed up with Yuna, he attracted too many enemies to himself. Depends on the time and situation that’s good, but I want you to rely on Yuna more.”
“I’m, also strong in close combat.”
Even though Yuna was expressionless when she said that, Walm could tell she was proud of herself.
Certainly, Walm clung to the vanguard role assigned to him and had no clear idea of what would happen if the vanguard collapsed or broke through. Now that he had time to think, this thought that it should be okay as long as the vanguard wasn’t breached was rather arrogant and short-sighted.
“We could clearly see how enthusiastic you are in wanting to reach the bottom. But, it wouldn’t be a good decision to get injured in a situation where there was no need to take risks.”
Until now, Walm had concentrated on throwing himself into the labyrinth, with a mindset that he had to finish the fight in a short time. After all, he was alone. With several people, it might have been possible to proceed differently, but Walm alone had no insurance and his options were limited. And that diving alone must have a bad effect on him.
Merrill, who had given Walm time to chew and swallow the words, continued.
“Use your comrades, of course in a good way. Walm was a soldier, right? You must have comrades in the line of battle who acted together with you, right?”
Sometimes Walm acted alone. But most of the time, he didn’t fight alone. Walm could say that from the bottom of his heart. After all, when he jumped to the deadly land with swear and curses out of his mouth, he had his comrades in arms whom he trusted to protect his back.
“……Right, I had.”
“Well, I know it hasn’t even been a few days since you joined. What do you think? Are we that incompetent? Or, is it that we can’t be trusted yet?”
“No, neither of them. I’m sure it’s because of my nature, to put unnecessary strain on my shoulders. I’ll rely on you guys more next time.”
After receiving Walm’s response, Merrill nodded with satisfaction.
“Of course, you can rely on me. I’ve confidence in my sturdiness.”
Hari, who had been silently listening, spoke with an affectionate expression. Even his buttocks could withstand a direct blow from a mace. To him, a half-hearted attack must have felt like a child’s prank.
“Ah, yeah, of, of course.”
Walm gave a half-hearted reply. It would be nice if he could take the words literally, but considering Hari’s words and actions so far, he couldn’t seriously affirm that.
Marianthe felt the same way, and she voiced the concerns that Walm couldn’t speak out loud.
“When Hari says that, it feels like it has some other implications.”
“Marianthe, it’s not good to have unnecessary suspicion in your friend.”
“Huff, that’s an advice fit of a warrior monk, but…”
Merrill comforted Marianthe, who seemed indecisive.
“Sometimes Hari comes to his senses.”
“What if I give a strong stimulus to his head…”
Marianthe, interrupting her words, stared at the mace she had been leaning on.
Merrill sensed the intent of her gaze and moved into action.
“Marianthe, you should stop. It may heal, but it may also get worse.”
Said Merrill, with a head-shaking.
Marianthe, who had no words to answer, gave up the rough treatment that she thought at that moment with a feeling of deep regret. Truth was, even Walm wanted her to choose a gamble as a last resort.
“Next, let’s talk about magic and skills. I haven’t shown it yet, but my “skill” is the reason they call me the Trimagitack. Also, Marianthe can use bestowing magic――” [TN: For now, I’ll call it this]
The exchange of opinions after diving into the Labyrinth covered a wide range of topics, from combat to rest and meals. As expected, no amount of time would be enough for five people with different values, circumstances, and origins to deepen their understanding of each other.
And so, the evaluation meeting, which began at sunset, continued until the twin moon reached its zenith.
Walm wasn’t a member of the Adventurer’s Guild. Therefore, when he joined the Trimagitack, he was classified in the employment form as a Porter or Guide. Nevertheless, this caused chaos in the Adventurer’s Guild. The reason was the black hole, which was the only connection to the Labyrinth.
In the Great Labyrinth of Belgana, there were several black holes, both public and private, but Walm used the one for the people who were just starting out and had poor skills. The black hole that the Trimagitack used, on the other hand, was for those aiming for the mid-rank floors and deeper, and was only available to mid-rank and high-rank adventurers belonged to the Adventurer’s Guild.
Although the destination was the same labyrinth and there was no difference in the hole itself, the waiting room and attached facilities were different. In short, Walm couldn’t enter the Guild House, but even if he could, he would only see nothing more than a bulletin board and a reception desk where requests and recruitments were posted.
In any case, the members of the Trimagitack stopped using the black hole they usually used, and together with Walm, they repeatedly entered and exited the Labyrinth through the black hole for those aiming for the low-rank floors.
It was the Adventurer’s Guild Belgana Branch that panicked over this. Because for them, an influential party was a valuable existence now that Fausto’s party, the oldest and most influential, had defected. If an influential party used a black hole for the low-rank floors, a rumor would naturally spread. It might even become a bad example for the other parties.
By expanding the interpretation of the internal regulations more and more, the guild decided that those who weren’t registered as adventurers, could enter the Guild House through a contract method. Good news indeed. However, Merrill rejected the proposal on the grounds that special treatment would set a bad precedent. Therefore, they continued to use the black hole for low rank.
The passage leading to the waiting area was traversed by countless people earning their money in the Labyrinth. In such a passage, Walm followed the members of the Trimagitack as he looked around. Merrill’s path was undisturbed. Probably people purposedly did that. Also, occasionally a fledgling adventurer would approach to exchange a greeting with Merrill.
“You’re pretty popular.”
It was inconceivable for Walm to receive a greeting just before diving into the Labyrinth.
“Same with my ability, but my appearance is also cool…… Walm, sneering at others isn’t cool.”
Merrill, who didn’t like Walm’s reaction, protested. Having received a warning, Walm silently followed Merrill.
When they arrived at the waiting area, a party called out. This time, the one being called out wasn’t Merrill, but Walm himself.
“Are you going deep diving now?”
Walm searched for the owner of the voice from his memory.
The adventurer was a man named Peyrouse who had just gotten out of his fledgling career. Behind him stood three of his companions.
“Yeah, that’s right. Did you earn a lot lately?”
“With the thing you gave us, seems that we all can have new equipment soon.”
“Thing I gave? Aah, that one. Glad that it’s helping you.”
The man spoke of the sharp spear of the Bone Collector that Walm had defeated in the Labyrinth. A male member of Peyrouse’s group held it on his shoulder like a treasure.
After a few words, Walm wrapped up the conversation with Peyrouse.
Since joining the Trimagitack, the number of people talking to Walm had increased. This affirmed Walm the importance of social credibility and made him silently lament the unreasonable world.
Hearing the sound of approaching footsteps, Walm looked back. It was Merrill who had finished the reception, smiling as if to say that what Walm had done earlier wasn’t forgotten. Perhaps there was a sprinkle of mischievousness behind the smile.
“It was my bad, so stop laughing like that. After all this time, people are finally looking at me normally So I haven’t gotten used――”
“Oh my, that’s a very touching story…… Alright, shall we go now?”
Merrill, flushing away the whining effortlessly, began moving to the transfer room.
It would be long before Walm could return to the surface. As he thought about it, something bothered him. And that something felt like it was pulling at the back of his head. Turning around quickly, he realized it was coming from the reception.
It was Lisi, the receptionist, who was watching Walm’s back with a worried look.
As their eyes crossed, Lisi interrupted her busy work as a receptionist and shook her hand lightly. The sunlight streaming through the skylight made the silver bracelet on her wrist glow.
Walm responded by raising his left hand. He hadn’t yet thanked her for helping him with the party recruitment. Even the matter concerning the use of the black hole exchanged with the guild had Lisi in between. She helped fill in the hole that might take place in Walm’s matter. So, he thought that he should make time to properly thank her.
“Walm quick, or you’ll be left behind.”
“Sorry. I’m going, now.”
Marianthe called Walm back from the sea of thought as his steps slowed. This was no different than a confused and lost toddler being called by his mother. At least that was how Walm felt.
Without letting himself sink into the sea of thoughts again, Walm averted his gaze from Lisi and focused his attention on the Labyrinth which he would continue to dive into from now on.
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