That day, a group of four adventurers came to our village.
This was the first time that adventurers have visited us. They likely heard rumors about us and thought they could use our village as a base of operations for exploring the monster-infested areas here.
Personally though, I wanted them to challenge another place.
“Hey, Ari, is your dungeon improvement going smoothly?”
“Yup, thanks to you, everything’s perfect!”
Ari the dungeon master declared so while puffing her chest.
By the way, I went to her dungeon via a direct underground route from my home.
“My dungeon has 5 floors now. Plus, I’ve shifted things around so that it starts easy at first and gets harder the further in you go. Oh, and I’ve deployed a powerful boss monster now!”
Her dungeon originally only had two floors.
In addition, even her first floor had an excessive number of traps and monsters.
“Okay, so people can go deeper now.”
Dungeons had this feature called dungeon points. Basically, dungeon points were earned based on the length of time each visitor to the dungeon has stayed there.
So, if her dungeon was hard from the start, people would leave at once and cause her to earn less dungeon points.
“So, do you think your dungeon’s ready for adventurers now? There’s a group of adventurers who just arrived at the village, you see.”
“Alright, I’ll go ask them to give your dungeon a try.”
Having gained Ari’s permission, I immediately went to meet the adventurers.
I estimated that they should have passed the fields and the inner gate by now.
Is that them?
Compared to soldiers, many adventurers preferred lighter armor. Because of that, they could be mistaken for travelers at first glance.
However, the group I found seemed to match the description Satin gave me via his telepathic report.
“They still call this place a village, so I guess we should, just to be safe. But have you heard that the one who built this place is the son of Lord Albert?”
“You mean that battle junkie lord that has the [Sword Master Techniques] Gift…?”
“So, the son built this place because he’s a battle junkie that loves to hunt monsters? If so, I bet you he looks totally like a brute.”
…I’ll just pretend I didn’t hear anything.
“Welcome, adventurers. I am Luke Albert, the chief of this village.”
◇ ◇ ◇
A sweet-looking boy said so.
That stunned us for a while.
Huh? This boy is the village chief? He’s the son of that Lord Albert? Also, did he come all this way to welcome us? No, that’s impossible; he must have been just nearby. But then, how did he know we were adventurers? We did identify ourselves as adventurers when we passed the first gate, but not enough time should have passed for him to get that information…
While thinking all of that, I and the others knelt down.
Even unrefined adventurers like us knew that one should always do these kinds of things before a noble. Failure to do so could get us severely punished.
It didn’t matter if the noble in question was a kid.
Strangely though, the boy tried to stop us with a hand gesture.
“Ahh, there’s no need for such formalities here. More importantly, am I right to assume that you came to our village with the exploration of the nearby monster-infested areas in mind?”
I was never one for manners and etiquettes, so I was quite relieved to hear we didn’t have to worry about those things.
No need to tell me twice. Still, not just appearance, he also doesn’t have the arrogance typical of nobles. As far as first impressions go, I think I like this kid.
“Yeah. We were thinking of using this village as a kind of base for our exploration of those places.”
“I see. We’ve actually just built an inn here, so I hope you give that a try.”
Are you telling me a city, err, a village of this size didn’t have any inn until recently? Where did all the merchants stay then?
“Actually, I’ve got a proposal for you all.”
I couldn’t believe what the boy said next.
“What do you think of exploring a dungeon?”