The group led by Selen took a step inside the cavern that they thought to be a dungeon.
While going down a gentle slope, they came upon a fork in the road.
“If ever we needed more proof that this is a cave-type dungeon…”
“Yeah, it was a straight path only in beginning. Whether we go left or right, it seems the way will branch off again.”
Just from taking a peek, they could tell that this was going to be a complex dungeon.
Should they misremember even one direction, simply returning to the entrance might become a herculean task.
“Philia, have you experienced being in a dungeon before?”
“A few times, yes. I mean, I have been alive for more than a hundred years, remember? And from that experience, I can tell you that we need to be properly prepared if we are to investigate further. First of all, there’s only so many of us that can fit in these narrow passages, so we should actually have fewer members in here. We also need mapping tools. All these require planning, so I suggest we turn back for now.”
“Understood, let’s go back to the village then.”
◇ ◇ ◇
“Yes, we’re sure of it.”
Selen’s group returned from their investigation and gave me their report.
“So, that’s why that place is excluded from being a part of the village.”
I recalled the lessons my private tutor gave me about dungeons back in my parent’s home. According to him, dungeons always had a dungeon master, the term used for the being that owned the dungeon.
If that rocky area was a dungeon and thus was under the control of someone else already, it made sense that my Gift didn’t make it part of the village.
“From the looks of things, it’s an unexplored dungeon. That or one that’s not been explored for a long while. Either way, we might be able to obtain valuable items and materials from there.”
“I see. Since the hunting team has more members now, we should have enough manpower to continue with the investigation, right?”
I was informed that because the passages within the cavern were narrow, having too many people at once wasn’t advisable. They said that the limit should be about 10 people.
“But isn’t that too few?”
“It is what it is. We’ll just have to make do with fewer support members.”
“In that case…”
I recalled a certain person. This particular villager had an excellent Gift for conquering dungeons.
◇ ◇ ◇
“…eh? Y-you want me to go? To a dungeon…?”
Wide-eyed and pointing to himself was Kamuru-san.
Age: 38 years old
Village Bond Level: Average
Suitable Occupation: Adventurer
Gift: Labyrinth Exploration
Kamuru-san was from the same village as Belrith-san. Similarly, he was also among my very first villagers.
However, likely due to his poor social skills, he rarely talked to anyone. In fact, other than for work, he stayed in his apartment unit all the time. And because of that, his hair was unkempt and his facial hair has grown out.
“Yes. A dungeon was actually discovered not far from the village. We’re thinking of exploring it, and we’d like to have your cooperation.”
“Eh? My cooperation? But it’s me; I don’t think I can do much to help…”
“I disagree. Your Gift [Labyrinth Exploration] will definitely come in handy.”
“Y-y-y-you’re expecting too much…Even with a Gift, I don’t think won’t be of any help. I mean, I don’t even know if I can properly use my Gift…”
Without any self-confidence, Kamuru-san said so and hung his head.
I’ve heard from Belrith-san before, but Kamuru-san really did seem like quite the pessimist.
“Hmm, I see. Then, talking here won’t do us any good. Let’s delve into the dungeon and find out whether you’ll be of help or not.”
Persuading him more gently was a bit troublesome, so I forcefully took him along instead.
When all of the 10 members were chosen, we finally set out.
“Alright, let’s go.”
“Hold up a minute.”
“Don’t eh me. Why are you acting like you’re going too, huh?”