386-354 Get out of the forest area (3)

 It was a huge tree.

 It was not unrealistically large, as one might think of it as a fantasy, but it was one or two times larger than the surrounding trees, and more than three times as tall.

 It stood tall in front of the pathway, as if it were a roadblock.
 And in front of it, there was a little wide open space--well, that's too obvious.
 According to my game-like thinking, that was almost certainly the boss area.
 That tree must be moving.
 If it doesn't, I'll be disappointed.
 I take another look at the whole area, and drop down on the rope to let the next person take over.

 Since we've been up and down cliffs many times before, there's no one who's shying away, and it doesn't take too long for everyone to finish.

 The only one who took a little longer was Yuki, but she had taken out a map and wrote on it, so it was only natural.

"What did you think?

"Probably, or rather, almost certainly, the rocky mountain area, followed by the forest area. That cutout area is the boss room, or maybe the boss area.

That's right. There will definitely be huge torrents, right?

I mean, they're already there, aren't they?

I've never seen multiple bosses on the same level before, but they're not always separated by stairs, according to the dungeon books.

 I guess everyone felt the same way I did.

 If this place was outside the dungeon, it would be different, but since it's surrounded by a rocky mountain that restricts your movement, it would be strange if there were nothing here.

How about going down the river? Wasn't there a rocky outcrop there too?
"There's also a way up the mountain. It's a bit expensive, but it's ...... not impossible.
Yeah, that's an option. However, I don't think you can get through ...... without incident.

 I'm not sure what to say, but I'm going to say it.

 I'm curious to see what will happen when we try to go through the river part, just like the flash floods that hit us when Natsuki and I fell.

 I'm curious, but I don't think I want to experience it.

Choking can be avoided by magic, but muddy water is not something you can just breathe through.

You'll probably hit a rock or get hit by a piece of driftwood. In the literal sense. There's Trent and stuff.

It's ...... dangerous to get tangled up in those roots underwater.


 It's dangerous just to have a piece of driftwood crash into you, but it's also dangerous if that piece of driftwood attacks you, no pun intended.

There's also the danger of a waterfall up ahead, you know?
If I fall, I'm dead.
Even without the trap, it's dangerous.
No way we're getting out of there.

 It may not be 'game system impassable' like the shortcut Natsuki and I took through the boss's gargoyle, but it seems to be highly dangerous.

I'm sure you'll be able to find something that will help you out.

I'm not sure what to make of it. I can't even rock climb with a doorplate on my back.

Flying Gars are exactly that type.

 If you're prepared to rock climb, you'll be able to handle climbing, but dealing with enemies is another thing.

 Even if Toya is able to climb with a doorplate on his back, he can never be too careful because there are enemies that attack not only from behind but also from the side of the rock, like rock spiders.

Normally, I would gather information before entering a dungeon, but that doesn't apply to this dungeon.

We're the first ones. On the other hand, that's why we're getting good stuff.

The risk is proportional to the reward. First kill rewards, treasure chests, that sort of thing.

 We go back and forth, buying unnecessary equipment and doing inefficient things because there are no adventurers to go on.

 The reward may be a treasure chest, but we don't want to take unnecessary risks for it.

If that's the case, we're going to have to go for that cut-through. ...... Are there three routes?

"Well, there are three routes: straight through the forest, along the rocks from here, or along the river?

 I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to do that.

I nodded. "Oh. As for the forest across the river, there's no point in going there, right?

Unless you're looking for treasure chests or something.

It's ...... unlikely, though, isn't it?

We haven't found any in the meadow area or in the forest so far.

That's right. I'm not opposed to it if you want to go, but from what Nao and the others have told me, it seems to be quite troublesome. This forest?

I don't want to go that far either. ...... For now, let's consider the three ideas Yuki presented, shall we?

 Cut through the forest.
 Needless to say, it's the shortest distance.

 But even then, it would take more than a day to get there, and you'd have to be on your toes the whole time, so it would be quite tiring.

 Specifically me.

 Whether or not I can rest depends on how reliable Toya's [spotting] is, but realistically speaking, it will be difficult for me to relax and let Toya do the work.

 We continue along the river.
 The advantage is that the path is easy to find and the threat from the forest is slightly reduced.

 The problem is that the river is not always free of threats, and there are not always convenient places to walk along the river.

 You can't be sure that there are no crocodiles or other monsters in the river, and if both banks are cut off, you either leave the river or go through it.

 Considering the fact that there were flash floods, there seemed to be little advantage.

 Along the rocky mountain.

 As you can see from above, there is almost no risk of getting lost, and the rocky mountain on one side reduces the threat from the forest.

 The only drawback is that it's a long way to go, and there's a risk of collapse.
 Having experienced such a trap once, we cannot be too careful.

 Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages, but we chose the path along the rocky mountain after much discussion.

 The most important factor in our decision was that we didn't need much material from the forest at the moment.

 The price of magic stones from Shadow Margay is around 10,000 rares, which is a little cheaper than the demons we encounter near the entrance of this dungeon.

 Despite the danger, the profit from the magic stones is small.

 The destination of torrent materials is yet to be determined, and the price of furs and meat is also unclear.

 Considering the Bind Viper, it is likely to be sold at a reasonable price, but the purchase price of demon meat does not depend on the strength of the demon, but simply on how delicious it is to eat.

 No matter how strong the enemy is, if it tastes bad, it's garbage.

 And in most cases, there are not many demons that are more useful and tasty than orcs - in other words, there are not many demons that can be sold at a high price.

 The same is true for materials such as fur, etc. Even materials from strong demons are garbage if they have no use.

 The only thing that can be sold at a higher price is the magic stone.
 It's a very hard world.

 In the case of skins, the stronger the demon, the stronger the leather, so in many cases the strength is proportional to the price.

    I'm not sure if this is a good idea.

 A few days after choosing to go along the rocky mountain.

 Our journey was going well.
 There were no attacks or rockfalls from the rocky mountain side, which we had been a bit worried about, and the only problem was the forest.

 On the other side, there were some attacks by Trent and Shadow Margay, but we were surrounded and only had to watch one side.

 My mental fatigue was greatly reduced, and Yuki's ability to use Plane Shift also helped.

 More importantly, with so many people, I felt much safer than when I was working alone with Natsuki.

 After all, numbers are power.

 Six days after entering this area.
 We had reached what we thought was the boss area.