“Selen, now that it’s spring, there’s something I’d like us to look into.”
“And that is?”
That day, I came to ask Selen a certain favor.
“To the west of the village, there’s a rocky area, but there’s something a little unusual about it.”
“In what way?”
“For some reason, this place isn’t recognized as under my control.”
Each time the village levels up, its area expands.
When it became level 6, the majority of the wasteland was considered part of the village.
However, the place I mentioned was not part of the village, even though the nearby areas and beyond were. I noticed this in the middle of the winter, but because of the snow, I decided to hold off any investigation.
By the way, I knew it was a rocky area because I was able to see it partially from an observation tower.
“So, I’d like us to take a closer look.”
“Oh, I see.”
“By us, I mean–”
Before I could even say I wanted to come as well, Selen refused.
“But why? The hunting team will be there, so it should be safe, right?”
“Even so, no. You do know you’re the reason that this village even exists, right? What do you think will happen to it if you get hurt badly out there?”
“Come on, you’re treating me like a helpless baby…”
The journey from the village up to the rocky area was at most 10 kilometers. The dangers along the way should be nothing compared to the fight against the orc horde.
Besides, this wasn’t the first time for me to leave the village: I have been to the elves’ hamlet in the monster-infested forest.
“……at least let us do a preliminary investigation. For all we know, there might be a dangerous monster there.”
“But once you’ve confirmed that it’s safe, I can go?”
“I guess, but we’ll have to be sure, ok?”
◇ ◇ ◇
“So, this is the place Luke was talking about.”
The hunting team led by Selen has journeyed toward a certain rocky area. The hunting team had more members since the addition of the elves to the village, but only 15 were selected to come to this mission.
“At first glance, nothing looks out of the ordinary in this place…but if Luke-dono says so, then there must be something else going on.”
Among those that came to the mission was Philia the elven warrior.
Having both [Bow Techniques] and [Green Magic], she was a great addition to the hunting team.
Some of the other members that came along were Balrath who had [Sword Techniques], Noel who had [Shield Master Techniques]. And Goate who had [Herculean Strength].
As long as nothing gravely dangerous happens, their fighting force should be more than enough.
Before long, they arrived at the vicinity.
Their thoughts earlier remained the same: this place looked like any other rocky area in the wasteland.
“There doesn’t seem to be any scent of monsters.”
The one to state that was a member who had the [Beast’s Sense of Smell] Gift.
Much like its name might suggest, this Gift allowed its user to have a sense of smell similar to that of a beast. Being able to detect an approaching monster made them a valuable member of the hunting team.
“That big boulder near the center there…I’m getting a bad feeling from over there.”
Another valuable member was the one who had the Gift called [Danger Perception].
“I still don’t smell any monsters though…”
“Maybe monsters are not the cause?”
“…I don’t know, but I’m certain there’s something going on there.”
“Alright, everyone, proceed cautiously.”
Like that, they moved as a group toward the large boulder in the center of the rocky area.
When they eventually reached the place, they discovered something.
At the foot of the large boulder was a large hole.
The opening was about 3 meters in height and 2 meters in width.
The group was wary, but they decided to take a peek inside. The hole sloped downwards gently and continuously. Yet, for all its depth, there didn’t seem to be any kind of obstacle in the way.
“I’m getting a strong sense of danger from inside…!”
“I wasn’t able to before we’ve come here, but now…I smell the scent of monsters deep inside…”
Hearing those reports, Selen and Philia looked at each other.
They seemed to have arrived at the same conclusion.
“…there’s no mistake about it, right?”
“Yeah…this is a dungeon.”