Right now, the Female Samurai is the shop manager, working as hard as she can managing the headquarters in the Royal Capital when I’m not around. Even if something unexpected were to happen that the Female Samurai wouldn’t be able to handle, she would still be able to communicate with me through the ear cuff, making it possible for her to receive instructions even from far away.
With ≪Solitude≫’s helping hands functioning as the manpower, they’re likely to be able to deal with it as long as it’s nothing major.
Therefore, it isn’t necessary for me to stay in the Royal Capital.
Because it became clear to me that, everything I’ve done up until now, can be considered as the actions of a simple ogre, my place of activity will, sooner or later, gradually steer away from the Sternbild Kingdom.
Though there are several reasons, the biggest one is the regrettable fact that the only 【Age of the Gods】 dungeons in the Kingdom are of 【Demigod】 rank, and there are only a few of them.
I think that from now on I’ll strengthen my main force by conquering an 【Age of the Gods】 dungeon not by myself but with Kanami-chan and the 【8 Demon Generals】 as well. I’m planning to do a 【God】 rank, which is a rank higher than 【Demigod】 rank. I did think about challenging a 【Great God】 rank, but there are only 5 of them in the world. Regardless, I will need to leave the Kingdom whatever I do.
Of course, I am still able to enjoy a 【Demigod】 rank, but seeing as there are so few around here, we’d finish capturing them in no time.
That’s why I decided to go to an 【Age of the Gods】 dungeon outside the Kingdom. I considered first diving into a 【Demigod】 rank dungeon and then switch to a higher difficulty 【God】 rank one.
I felt that it would be too early for the group, aside from me, to challenge a 【God】 rank dungeon. But I already challenged a 【Demigod】 rank dungeon and because Minokichi-kun and the others knew that, they were set on conquering a 【God】 rank dungeon without fail. And as I wanted to challenge one myself, I didn’t plan on changing the difficulty for the moment.
We agreed that if we are unable to go through the early levels of the dungeon the way we want, we would immediately change to a different dungeon.
Because the lower levels of a 【God】 rank are somewhat similar to the depths of the middle layer of a 【Demigod】 rank. It’s pretty difficult to stay alive.
Still, we’re only considering going into a 【God】 rank dungeon. Considering the most prominent out of all the potential places, it’ll likely be the Demon Empire.
The Demon Empire is on very bad terms with the Holy Kingdom. The 【Age of the Gods dungeon】 there is called 【Flames of the Fire Dragon Mountain】.
Even if the national relations are bad, it won't turn into a large-scale war that easily. The current situation is more like that off a cat-and-mouse game between spies and some small skirmishes.
The 【Flames of Fire Dragon Mountain】 has a structure that is different from the underground of a conventional dungeon. It’s one of the dungeons classified as a natural enclosure, which I haven’t challenged before.
The natural enclosure model can be easily explained as a dungeon that has its exterior and interior separated by a special area called a 【Border Place】, turning it into a huge 【Boundary Range】 of which the entire interior became a dungeon.
A natural enclosure model can come in different shapes and sizes, such as a large valley or a great forest. This time around, the 【Flames of Fire Dragon Mountain】 is a volcano type that is classified as a natural enclose with a particular high degree of difficulty.
It’s a rising spiral-shaped volcano with the dungeon boss’ lair in the center. On top, it’s a place where harmful volcano gasses gush out, a place where countless rivers of lava flow around, a place with a cruel environment that resembled a forest of blazing trees, including plants-like dungeon monsters that adapted to it.
The many dungeon monsters that frequently appear here are formidable adversaries. Their types are aligned to rock and flames. The path of an adventurer conquering the dungeon is being blocked every step of the way by heinous traps everywhere. The special characteristic of these traps comes from the area they’re set up in: they’re related to lava.
On top, the dungeon boss here is a high-ranking 【Wisdom Dragon】. It’s an uncaptured dungeon with a long history. No one has been able to fully go through it yet.
It’s still unconquered because it’s packed with frequently appearing field bosses ―― which are of the same rank as the floor bosses that appear in a conventional underground dungeon. On top, anyone that arrives at the center of the spiral-shaped volcano, is slaughtered. That means that nobody has been able to beat the powerful dungeon boss.
Because there aren’t a lot of people challenging this dungeon, it’s only natural that the accumulated information on this dungeon is scarce.
Its location is on the border of the Demon Empire and the Holy Kingdom, causing adventurers of both countries to try and challenge it. It’s considerably more difficult than any other 【God】 rank natural enclosures.
To give a rough example: It began by a reckless, strong adventurer seeking a way to conquer it and assembling a party mixed out of good and bad people. If you trace back history, this mighty warrior that could match a thousand belonged to either the Holy Kingdom or the Demon Empire. His reputation even surpassed 6 【Legendary Heroes】. He challenged the dungeon with a great number of associates.
During the time they challenged the dungeon, they displayed an overwhelming power as a unit. It was thought that their time needed to conquer the dungeon would be short.
All of their members had experience in conquering at least a 【Demigod】 ranked dungeon. The one leading them even succeeded in conquering a 【God】 ranked dungeon.
However, that was the last anyone heard of these 【Legendary Heroes】.
Not one person of the party that included 【Legendary Heroes】 had returned. It’s not clear what happened.
However, violent battle noises resounded at the foot of the mountain during the time the 【Legendary Heroes】 were challenging the dungeon and a 【Wisdom Dragon】 was seen flying high in the sky. Moreover, the sounds didn’t subside for several days. Looks like it was possible to reach the dungeon boss’ lair, but it’s very likely they were defeated.
From the bottom of my heart, I personally wanted to eat the 【Legendary Hero】 that was said to be so strong. If only he would be around in the present.
However even with a 【Legendary Hero】 challenging it, there wasn’t anyone that has conquered this dungeon. The main reason looks to be the fact that the dungeon boss is a not a Lesser Dragon, but a genuine one.
At any rate, unlike an underground structure where space is restricted to some degree, the dungeon boss of this natural enclosure was a 【Wisdom Dragon】. They are able to freely soar through the sky, with the exception of a Water Dragon. The characteristics of this kind of dragon include its high intelligence and its ability to draw from a huge amount of magic power. It uses an incredible magic air attack that far surpasses any human one. This makes the degree of difficulty jump up.
Even in the best circumstance, it would be difficult to get past its huge body and super-hard scales. On top, there’s its saturation attack that causes a downpour that restricts any kind of counterattack. Even for someone like a 【Legendary Hero】, a hard fight would be inevitable.
Moreover, because it’s a 【God】 rank, could it be that the companions of the 【Legendary Hero】 wouldn’t be able to resist a lot of blows and were murdered before long?
The 【Legendary Heroes】 might not have been able to develop the techniques that would have prevented them from being trampled. I give a silent prayer in tribute.
How would it taste? I decided to keep this deep desire for myself.
By the way, there were precious minerals here that were appropriate to the overall level of difficulty. And because the rare item drops from the dungeon monsters will become featured products hereafter, there’s merit to trying to conquer the dungeon, even if it’s not possible to go after the dungeon boss.
And while I also examined the other prospects, and they each had their own merits, the 【Flames of the Fire Dragon Mountain】 is the one that kept popping in my head.
If you really want to attempt one, it’s best to try here.
However, 2 of my 8 Demon Generals complained 『Hey! It’s unreasonably hot in there. Nevertheless, it might be a feast for my eyes when the men are battling in that atmosphere and breaking a sweat… …whether they like it or not… … *slurp slurp (sfx)*』『Hey! The current me might be a burden just a little......』It might not be something positive to say before entering the labyrinth, but it looks like it’s necessary for me to get them motivated.
I could have decided that it would be better for the two demons that weren’t motivated ―― Irofu-chan and Dodome-chan that became Kugime-chan ―― to leave. But seeing as the objective is to confirm the battle formation effect that forms when the 8 Demon Generals are together, and to see it in actual combat, I will take them along no matter what it takes.
Though I can order them to forcibly come along, at this point, I want to understand the reason behind why these two didn’t want to come along.
The undead Irufo-chan is susceptible to flames, and Kugime-chan’s afraid that big flaws in her battle abilities might make everyone anxious and less dependable when inside the labyrinth.
Because they both had a valid reason and because it’s their first time, I’m going to gently persuade the both of them.
As for tomorrow.
I will perform the traditional mock battles that I normally have with Minokichi-kun for the entire day.
We haven’t been using our special weapons recently, as the damage to the environment will become too big. Even if we didn’t use our special weapons, the martial arts he learned from me still proved useful. Now Minokichi-kun is able to perfectly handle his superior physique and his strength has surely increased.
His unleashes fast fists continuously and they hit so hard that it can break bone. He adequately aims at my vital parts to destroy me.
Warding off all attacks, I increase my offense to break Minokichi-kun’s posture and make him collapse, but because of his excellent physical ability, he was able to force himself to rally.
The Minokichi-kun from the past would have dropped to the ground from this for sure, ending the fight, but the current Minokichi-kun didn’t seem to be phased by such attacks anymore.
His rapid growth felt reliable, and I spontaneously smiled. Without taking a rest, I started to fight more seriously.
I am grateful having a partner that’s close to my level, who I don’t need to go easy on.