29-Communicating reflections and policies

You did good, Yol.

 I held Yoru in my arms, who was still slumped over, and gently placed the bottle of magic recovery potion over his mouth.
 Yoru's throat started to choke, and the glass bottle emptied in no time.

 Yoru finished the bottle in one gulp and let out a satisfied breath.
 I pulled away the silver crown and lightly stroked between his ears with my fingers, and he closed his eyes and began to make a low sound in his throat.

 I checked his status and found that his strength was slowly returning and that he would be fully recovered in about ten minutes.
 There was no blood on his fluffy fur, and he didn't seem to be in any pain when I touched him here and there.

Okay, I think I'm okay.
"Good job! Good job, Yol.

 Mia and Kuu jumped on him as he sat on the throne again.
 Yol lifted her nose proudly as her brother hugged her and Mia pressed her face to his.
 Yeah, you're a big sister.

"Now, what can I do for you? Nino-sama.

 Hans-san asked me, and I looked around the arena.

 The goblins were already nowhere to be seen.
 After they had settled their scores, I thought they had gone into a frenzy, but they had quickly left.
 All that was left was the corpse of the defeated Goblin King and a pile of garlic for the winner.
 And the entrance to the stairs leading to the basement.

 The pile of garlic had already been collected because the two goblins didn't like it.
 From the King's corpse, I recovered a white magic stone and a large club he had been using.
 I asked Kuu about it, but he said he doesn't eat boss goblins.
 I wondered if the fairy species were unpalatable.

 One thing that bothered me was that the club's name was the Big Bone of the Scary Bird.
 It seems that there are still vicious monsters lurking on this floor.

 Well, it took me about four hours to get here.
 We didn't have to kill any demons on the way back, but it still took a little less than two hours.
 Since we left in the afternoon, the sun will have set by the time we reach the ground.

Since it's getting late, let's take a look at the sixth floor. Yol did a great job.
"Hmm. Is this your first time to the sixth floor? That will be fun.

 Hans-san looked at me expectantly.
 He seems to have fallen for the charm of the underground labyrinth.

I'll take care of Yol. Let's go.

 Paula reached out her hand to me, but I refused and picked up the little beast.

 At least this is what I have to do, since I can't fight.

 We descended the stairs in single file, led by the fairy Yoh.
 After the familiar transference sensation, the first thing I hear is the sound of water.
 Immediately, the source of the noise came into view.

 At the bottom of the stairs, on the sixth floor, was a huge underground lake with no discernible end.

"Whoa! What is this?
What the hell?

 Because there was no light source on the ceiling, the black surface of the water seemed to go on forever.
 At the far end, there were many faint lights floating on the surface of the water.
 Because of this, the vastness of the area seems to stand out even more.

 There was almost no change in the surface of the lake, except for the occasional small wave, as if a slight breeze was blowing.
 There is little change in the surface of the lake except for the occasional small wave, perhaps caused by a slight breeze, and the quiet sound of water and ripples caused by drops dripping from the ceiling.

 I couldn't help but shudder at the oppressive feeling of the huge volume of water that I couldn't bottom out.
 I'm really not good at this kind of eeriness, where something huge seems to be lurking.

Don't get too close to the water's edge. You never know what's out there.
"Yes! Cuu, let's throw a rock.

 Mia and Kuu are playing happily.
 Mia and Kuu are playing happily, and the fairies Yo and Gobu are throwing rocks into the lake.

 On the other hand, the two adults, perhaps pressured by the unfamiliar expanse of water, just watch from the bottom of the stairs and make no move.
 The big worm and the caterpillar are not very good at water, and don't even try to come down the stairs.

 I carried Yoru in my arms and walked a little along the water's edge.
 I opened up the map in the command menu, and found that the walls and shoreline of the lake extended east and west, but the important part of the lake remained black.

This looks like a tricky floor. ......
Yes, it does.

 I'm not sure what to make of this, but I'm sure it's a good idea.
 I stopped, and she came alongside me.

 For a moment, we gazed at the black surface of the lake in silence.

By the way, about that fight earlier: ......
"Yes, I'm prepared to take all the flak I can get.
I have no intention of doing so. You've helped me again. Thank you.

 If I hadn't overlooked it, Yol would've had more time to pick up the win.

I also wanted to apologize for my lack of words. I'm sorry for making you make a hard decision.

 Paula looked puzzled at the sudden apology.
 I exhaled a small breath and asked her, remembering the situation earlier.

Even if Yol was going to lose like that, Paula probably would have stopped us, right?
"............ Yes.

 The demon woman looked me in the eye and continued to speak.

You're going into this labyrinth with a great deal of determination. We are merely the foundation for that. If you keep stumbling, you will not be able to fulfill your ambitions.

 Yes, you have a point.
 It is indeed foolish to do more damage to save one animal or one person.
 Especially if I, the irreplaceable one, fall, it is obvious that the development of the dungeon itself will come to a halt.

 Well, knowing that very well, I wanted to help Yoru.

That's the thing. As I said before, my goal is to build a safe residence in this underground labyrinth. Well, as it turns out, I don't think it's going to be as big as the empire ...... that Paula is talking about, but it might get there. And the reason why I want such a place is quite simple, I want to help everyone.

 I took a breath and checked Paula's reaction.
 She remained silent and did not move, but her eyes were looking at me earnestly.

However, I understand that it's impossible to save everyone. I don't feel like getting involved with a bunch of strangers in the first place.

 At first, I tried to do so.
 But it was too much for me, who only knew how to live a safe life.
 So I had to pretend to have given up, or else I'd go crazy with guilt.

But the people who were involved with me ...... and the demons... I want to save them at all costs. Especially Paula, Yoru and Kuu. They're the ones who are doing the most .......

 When Paula's eyes widened slightly in surprise, I said plainly.

So I'm going to continue to be reckless when someone is in danger, so I'm going to ask you to act on the assumption that no one will abandon you. I know it's a reckless idea, but I really need your help. I'm sure I can't do it on my own, but if Paula is with me, we can probably ...... make it work. I'm sure I can't do it on my own, but with Paula, maybe we can ...... make it work. ......

 But I have to tell you this point.
 I finally felt relieved that I was able to say it all, even though it was a bit of a mess.
 Then I looked at him again for his reaction.

 Paula, who had been staring at me in silence for as long as it took to make a hole in her heart, gradually grew red in the cheeks.
 Then, as if squeezing out a response, she mumbled.

...... You care for us so much, don't you? How ...... merciful you are. From now on, I will serve you with even more sincerity.
"No, it's too heavy. Mr. Paula.
Why are you using honorifics again?

If you can, let's just work together.

 As I said this, I offered Yolu, who was sleeping peacefully and comfortably.
 Paula's eyes widened a bit again, and then she accepted the beast.
 After making sure that I was holding her gently, I announced as if nothing had happened.

So, shall we go home?
"Yes, my lady.

 Today's harvest.

 First basement floor.
 Twenty-one blue demon stones. One small blue demon stone.
 26 blue slime bodily fluids. 10 labyrinth moss.

 Already smelted.
 15 bags of labyrinth water. 1 large bag of labyrinth water.
 5 slime skin bags. 8 Demon's Life Restore Potion (low level).

 Second basement.
 17 Green Demon Stones. 1 Green Demon Stone (Small). 11 Black Demon Stones.
 11 Bat's Flesh. 9 Dog Bones. 28 bat manure stones.

 Two tanned bat wings.
 Twenty tanned bat wings.

 Third basement floor.
 16 yellow magic stones. One small yellow magic stone. Twenty-two red magic stones.
 13 Earthworm Flesh. Twenty-two wire tails.

 8 copper ingots.
 Twelve polished white stones.

 4th basement.
 5 white magic stones. 1 white magic stone lump (small). 5 Yellow Demon Stones. 1 Yellow Demon Stone (small).

 One fairy scale.

 Already smelted.
 Six bundles of silk thread. Two insect ashes. A bag of happy water.

 5th basement.
 5 white magic stones. 1 small white magic stone. 4 Red Demon Stones.
 5 goblin bows and arrows. 5 goblin sticks.
 5 goblin talismans (2 stars).
 4 wild rabbit horns. Four wild rabbit skins. Two pieces of wild rabbit meat.
 Forty garlic cloves. Forty-four green hard nuts.
 Silver fairy crown (2 stars). Large bone of a fearsome bird.  

 Twenty bottles of jade oil.

 Sixth underground level.
 A bag of water from the underground lake (rarity?). .

 Items consumed or eaten along the way have been removed.
 However, the biggest expenditure this time was probably the six bags of water and the thirty-five red magic stones I gave to Red Feather.

 The two demons that have been added are the worm and the goblin.
 Both of them are going to be very useful, and I'm looking forward to playing with them.

 Finally, today's level-up status.

 Paula and Kuu are level 17, Mia is level 16.
 Yoru has risen two levels to level 18 after defeating the Goblin King.

 Yo-chan, the fairy, and Imotchi, the giant caterpillar, are level 16.
 Gobbler is level 15, and Earthworm is level 14.
 Dirk, the village chief, is still at level 20.

 Unfortunately, there was no significant change in his status, just a slight increase in value.
 However, Hans's level went up in one day, and it was a great change.

---------- --Hans
Name: Hans
Race: Pan racial
Occupation: Swordsman (Level: 15)
Physical Strength: 23/23
Magic power: 8/8

Physical attack power: 39
Physical Defense: 30
Magic Attack Power: 12
Magic Defense: 12
Speed: 26
Special Abilities: , , , , .

Equipment: Weapon (small cast-iron sword), head (bat-feather cap), body (large bat-feather cape), hands (leather shield), feet (leather boots)
---------- --

 I was surprised to find that the physical attack and defense values were much higher than I expected.
 His speed is also a bit high, so he should be able to beat any mercenary in the area.
 All in all, the pace was good for the second day, as I felt that I was slowly but surely reaching the next milestone, level 20.

 After returning to the village and sorting out my items, I'll try the underground labyrinth again tomorrow.

"Hey ......, what's with the water, it's too salty!