[A change in the beginners dungeon, you say?]
[Yes, according to a report submitted by Lufree-san.]
After quickly looking over the written report, puzzled I tilted my head to the side
The beginners dungeon is a dungeon in the vicinity of our town, Riemer. The dungeon master of the dungeon has already been subjugated, but since the dungeon core couldn’t be found, the dungeon entered a dormant state where it was neither dead nor alive.
It was only a low level three floor dungeon to start with, and the appearing monsters and traps were of no real danger, which made our Riemer branch of the decide to use it as a practice area for beginner adventurers. A dungeon without a dungeon master won’t grow any bigger, but as long as the dungeon core is intact, more monsters will keep spawning and new traps will keep getting set. As a training location, it’s quite ideal and effective.
[The atmosphere inside the dungeon and the strength of the monsters has changed?]
The monster that appeared within the beginners dungeon before were limited to slimes and kobolds. Yet, according to Lufree’s report, the monsters that appear now are wraiths and black steel golems. Lufree is a mid level adventurer, yet he was unable to do anything according to the report.
[Could this be a sign that the beginner dungeons master has revived… No, the more likely cause is that a new dungeon master has been born.]
If the dungeon master spontaneously generated from the dungeon core, it would be a monster or an animal. The other possibility is that a human or demon has formed a contract with the dungeon core giving birth to a new dungeon master. A dungeon master steals magical power from those who die inside the dungeon, and using that magical power allows the dungeon to grow. If left alone, the dungeon will grow without limit, so the dungeon master immediately becomes a target for elimination. Otherwise, before one knows it the town and even the capital will be swallowed by the dungeon, something that must be prevented by all means.
Since the dungeon core was still operational, someone should have touched the dungeon core becoming the new dungeon master.
However, what I’m worrying about is the strength of the monsters, and the ominous atmosphere inside the dungeon. Both point to the new dungeon master being a substantially strong existence. Is it a strong monster, or perhaps… A demon?
[Could you call Vaif’s group for me?]
[You expressly calling for us, Guild master, that’s rare.]
The next day, I met the four-man party of adventurers I’d called for inside of my office. They are the top ranking adventurers in our town of Riemer, and currently among my resources the highest leveled party I could muster.
[I want to request this investigation to you.]
Saying so, I handed over Lufree’s written report to Vaif. Vaif looked it over once, whereupon he handed it to the other members for them to look at as well.
[A change in that beginners dungeon, huh? Why would you go out of your way to have us dispatched?]
[Because of my intuition. I have a bad feeling about this.]
[Oh dear, your intuition is usually on the spot as well.]
Their top priority is to determine the threat level of this former beginners dungeon. Since the mid level Lufree couldn’t do anything, if I don’t send out a suitably high level party, I won’t be able to get a proper grasp of the dungeons difficulty, so I can’t be stingy.
[Please take great care during your investigation.]
[Understood, just leave it to us.]
[Then, the results are in this report?]
After reading his submitted report, I called out to him who stood in front of me. Compared to the time I gave them the request, their impressions are very different. They seem awfully depressed about the result.
[It’s not like I’m going to blame you. Since you’ve managed to assess the dungeons threat level, the request is fulfilled.]
It’s just that the results are more severe than expected. I couldn’t even imagine that our town of Riemels top rank adventurers would fall in the second level of the dungeon.
Strong monsters coupled with annoying traps, and moreover…
[Miasma, you say?]
[Yeah, and a bothersome one that affects your mind. Without a countermeasure, it’s virtually impossible to venture deeper.]
Miasma is something that evil beings release. There are two kinds, those that ruin the body and those who directly assaults the mind, like the current one. It’s been confirmed that if there’s miasma inside a dungeon, it’s released by the influence of the dungeon master. The dungeon masters who release miasma are usually high ranking, and especially those who attack the mind follow that trend.
The barrier of an ascetic monk, or an item blessed by the Sacred Goddess faith can act as a countermeasure, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is troublesome.
[Nevertheless, I’m amazed that even though you collapsed in the dungeon, you ended up fine.]
[That’s true, usually it would end up with us being eaten by the monsters and that would be the end. About that matter, it’s also written in the report, but…
It seems that after falling unconscious, their weapons and items were taken from them, and when they woke up they were at the entrance of the dungeon. This coincides with the earlier report from Lufree. Honestly, the purpose escapes me. I think that the existence of a new dungeon master in the former beginner’s dungeon can be considered confirmed, but the goal of a dungeon master should be to kill prey within the dungeon, stealing their magical power. Taking the weapons and items of those who faint, then letting them leave… This is the first time I’ve come across something like this.
[Then, how will you handle this?]
No matter how much I think about it here, I don’t feel like I will reach a conclusion on the dungeon masters intentions. What I should focus on, is instead what Vaif is asking me, how I should move from now on. Since his first attempt ended up in humiliation, he will probably want to rechallenge the dungeon though.
[That’s right, as a countermeasure to the new dungeon, I think I will spread this request far and wide. As for the reward, I think I will set it to thirty gold coins.]
[Thirty gold coins!? …Well, I guess a reward of that level would be necessary, huh.]
Honestly, for a newly made dungeon, it’s an extraordinary reward, but I don’t think it is too much. Vaif was also surprised, but he quickly agreed. This adventurer guilds top rank is after all his team, and if even he thought it was a rough journey, then we have no choice but to hope for combat potential from outside. With this reward, teams from all over the country will probably arrive to challenge the dungeon.
[Other than releasing the request, we must also decide on a name for the new dungeon. It’s already something entirely different than the beginner’s dungeon. That’s right, how about we name it the “Wicked cave of the robber”?]
[That name perfectly captures the essence of the dungeon.]
With the mysterious interaction of it’s repugnant miasma and how it is robbing the adventurers weapons and items, it is truly a fitting name. All right, when I send out the request, I’ll also need to contact the neighbouring towns adventurers guilds.
Things are going to become hectic here from now on.
That this name would earn me the ire of the Evil God, was something that I couldn’t even imagine in my wildest dreams at the time.