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Chapter 5 – Getting caught in one’s own trap

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Author: Sasaki Ichiro Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 3679 characters
Translator: Tanaka English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1804 words
Editor(s): Hydra

“I’m just a half-baked magician.”

Says Fiore as she brought her knees to her chest and buried her head into them.

Come to think of it, our guild also had a member just like her.

That certain member had chosen a production job on a whim but as the production job had the stigma of a non-combat type, they received blunt refusal everytime they applied for temporary party members recruitment and I heard some of them were even abusive.

But the fact was production job was a surprisingly tanky job (High VIT value which represents life force) alongside considerable physical strength (the same goes for STR), so this wasn’t losing out in any way in comparison to combat jobs when it comes to fighting. Though they were relegated to unfavorable positions in the battle just because they were missing the key point of combat job; that instantaneous firepower due to the lack of strong skills.

“Why do these people have to act horrible just because I have a Production job…”

Saying that, they would often fall in slumps, though they themselve were an amusing person. Besides, I was also powerless 一 a swordsman with paper armor 一 but the several hours we two spent conquering dungeons was undoubtedly fun (Like the same dungeon Lubbock might take no more than 20 minutes took us two and a half hour to complete, though.)

It would be better to accept who you’re from my perspective than moping around and comparing yourself to others, but sometimes an easier solution is the hardest to swallow in situations like this.

I wanted to say that to her too, but since she was feeling down comparing herself to me, any half-hearted attempt at consolation might just backfire……

As I was racking my brain to come up with something, the first one to speak was Chloe.

“Say, Missy. I’m dumb when it comes to magic but ya be at least able to use water, fire and even offensive magic, don’t ya?”
“…Four basic element magic including earth and wind, and a little bit of ancient magic.”

‘So what of it,’ Fiore mumbled as kept her face buried in her knees.

“Wew!” Chloe lightly whistled, “This is an impressive feat at your age. The magicians I know can only use one or two types of magic.”

“…… But I only know how to use them, they are useless in battle. A magician who can use a strong spell even if it is only one kind is far better than me.”

“Who knows. 一Hey, Princess. How many kinds of magic can ya use?”
“One type of sacred magic.”
“一There you have it. Ya have memorized so many types of magic, isn’t that just the testament of ya hard work ‘nd talent? I think you should be more proud about your hard work.”
“Such pathetic magic can’t be counted in the battle…… A talent that no one accepts is just meaningless.”
“But you work your a̲s̲s̲ off because ya wanted your hard work to be appreciated, right, Missy?”
“……”

Chloe must have hit the mark, as Fiore descended into silence.

“I believe magic also depends on how you use it. Even martial artists can only become strong through the accumulation of simple and repetitive hard work. If ya ask me, words like ‘talent’ or ‘limit’ should only be spoken when you’re at death’s door and nothing works out in the end.”

Chloe stood from her spot as if saying that’s all she had to say.

On the other hand, I elbowed Joey who was absent-minded the whole time during our conversation.

“一W-What are you doing?!”
Why is his face red?

“Don’t ‘what’ me, shouldn’t you also be saying something to her as a friend?”

Joey crossed his arms and put up a complicated expression when I whispered this to him.

“I can’t put it into words, I just don’t get what you’re talking about at all.”

He’s just as senile minded as always.

“I can’t use magic at all. Fiore is amazing, and she was also a big help, that’s why I don’t get what she’s worrying about.”

Chloe burst out in laughter at his nonchalant tone, and even Fiore lifted her face and looked at him with a dumbfounded expression.

Her expression saying she still didn’t catch up with what she had been told.

She had been worried about her incompetence for so long, as such, she was unable to accept herself even if she received words of encouragement. She might not be able to suddenly believe in such stupidly simple but frank praises like ‘amazing’ or ‘great help’.

However, it’s because they were such simpleton words that it worked.

I said it with a bitter smile, “There, you see. You’re properly getting the rewards for your hard work, aren’t you?”

“……” Fiore raised a smile on her teary face 一a smile of joy一 and nodded slightly.

◆◇◆◇

After the temporary break and when Fiore was once again back on her feets, we took stairs to the 9th floor.

The floor changed completely from the earlier floors of sand and dirt to a massive, stone-made maze. So the rearguard, Fiore and I, were in charge of mapping while we cautiously advanced.

Speaking of Mapping, my skill ‹Auto-Mapping› automatically draws a map inside my head wherever I move in a normal dungeon, however its performance would be hampered in labyrinth type dungeons like this one and this fact hadn’t changed even after coming to this world…… Geez, just why do things have to go offline when they’re needed most.

We requested Chloe to take the lead as according to her, mazes like these were often accompanied with traps like bogs, pitfalls or revolving doors in which she had a plethora of experience in dealing with such situations. Joey followed behind her while also learning how to spot or cancel traps and behind him were me and Fiore walking abreast.

The monsters we encountered on the way like Stone golem were pulverized under the might of Chloe’s magic staff.

Other enemies like Sand Golem were usually defeated with Joey helping in chipping away its body to search for the core and then destroying that core. Our advancement proceeds smoothly contrary to our expectation in this way.

The thing that helped out most in our advancement was Fiore’s magic, like stopping stone golem with her earth magic even if for a second.

Sand golems were even more straightforward, where she would raise their viscosity by bashing them with mass of water, then destroying them which was extremely effective since physical attacks hardly damaged them.

She proved to be helpful in the end.

The person herself was appearing to be brimming with confidence after her experience on this floor.

And it happened when we had passed one hour mark in our advancement, mostly because we were advancing cautiously fearing traps; the stone floor and walls made a gritting sound and began to go through transformation like the building blocks being rearranged and soon, we had found ourselves back to the entrance of the 9th floor.

Furthermore, the maze had also transformed into an entirely different pattern from earlier.

“…That means there’s a time limit in which we must cross the floor.”

This change of course reverted the map to blank slate.

After a brief discussion, we all decided to prioritize the time attack mode; ignoring any monsters or traps on the way and only focused on searching the exit.

“I think I’m the one with the best reflexes and speed among all the present members, so I will be taking the lead this time, but try to not fall behind.”

Of course I was going to take it easy, since none of the members could hope to catch up with me even in a million years if I dashed off seriously.

We decided to move along the right side wall once sorting out the plan and while branched routes had caused us to slow down, we somehow managed to break through the 9th floor in around 2 hours.

◆◇◆◇

Fast-forward, we were now on the 10th floor, the boss room.

This was quite a small floor in comparison to upper floors (that being said all sides were around 300 meters in dimension so it wasn’t exactly small) and the whole floor looked like a room.

A sphinx 一A monster with a head of the human woman, the body of a lion and the wings of an eagle一 was sprawled on an enormous pedestal placed beyond the rows of pillars giving the vibes of an ancient egyptian temple.

There appeared to be a passage behind the pedestal so I assumed the teleportation magic circle was beyond that.

The sphinx raised its face listlessly as it seemed to have noticed us.

“Hmm, another intruder. Seriously, I am not even getting the time to sleep.”

She(?) muttered in an unexpectedly calm tone and continued with her monologue.

“Very well, O’ uninvited intruders. I have a question to ask of thou. Shalt thou answer be correct, thou may take the path behind me and return. However, thou shalt become my food shouldst thou proved to be incorrect.”

My, this pattern, it must be that…… Right?

“What goes on four legs in the morning, on two legs at noon, and on three legs in the evening.”

We all looked at each other reflectively.

«……This is that, right?»
«…… I’m sure it’s that.»
«…… Indeed, it must be famous that.»

So that’s how it is, if it was clear that the boss is a ‹Sphinx›, you could avoid the battle and advance ahead smoothly.

It explains why the information was so less known. Because then, others could use the teleportation magic circle without any hiccups as long as they could make it to the 10th floor.

“Let’s not waste time engaging in needless battle and take teleportation magic circles”, was the general consensus we could see from each other’s gaze and nodded.

In the same fashion, I was decided to be the spokesperson being urged by their eyes.

“The answer is, a ‹Monster›?”

Alas, I was a step late as Joey replied so foolishly while cocking his head. Everyone’s gazes including the Sphinx’s gathered at him with each having the same incredulous expression.

“一You were wrong, Human! Thou be prepared to become my food!!”

A complete contrast from earlier, the Sphinx ferociously stood from her spot in rage, unfurled her wings and assumed a stance to jump at us as she channeled strength on her four limbs.

“Huh? Was I wrong…”

Said Joey scratching his face.

“Ma…… Master you idiooooot!!”

Fiore turned towards him and cursed him loudly, her yell echoing throughout the floor. With that as a signal, the Sphinx also roared, kicked the pedestal and swooped down at us from above.



 

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