59-Imaginary Echo

 North end of the eighth floor.
 In front of the staircase with the iron bars down, there is an open space.
 In front of the stairs, there is an open space. The large trees that look like pillars are suddenly cut off in front of this space, leaving only the ground covered with undergrowth.

 In the center of the square.
 Sitting there was an exceptionally large wolf with black fur.
 It was tall enough to reach my chest, and if it stood up, it would probably be comparable to an antlered deer.

 Three wolves were lying close to the giant wolf.
 Because of the familiar size of these wolves, from the side they look like a mother and child.

 The four wolves are about to be attacked by a large group of us, and we seem to be some kind of poachers' villains.
 It makes things difficult.

 I patted my chest in relief while thinking of unnecessary things.

"Well, it's a good thing the boss isn't an antlered deer.

 Fifteen fairies boycotting me here would be a bit of a problem.
 He looked around and then looked back at the flying fairies and shook his head.
 Apparently, there were no forest crows or other ambushers.

"Shall we begin? Sir?
Okay, let's stick to the plan. If we stay calm, we should be able to win.

 The boss monster's level is a fixed value obtained by adding fifteen to the hierarchy, so that big wolf would be level 23.
 The current levels of Kuu and Yoru are 24, and Paula and Mia are 23.
 Even the blue slimes are 22, almost the same as the bosses.

 Of course, we have raised their stamina and other values as if they were bosses, but even so, they are probably not worth worrying about.


 Yoru, astride the slime Sue, shouted in an adorable voice, and that was the signal to start the war.


 Kuu, who was also astride the slime Ra, followed suit and shouted energetically.
 Riding on the jumping blue slime, the two of them quickly closed the distance to the giant wolf.

 The wolves immediately stood up, but then a series of arrows pierced the air.
 One of them, hit in the leg by one of Etan's arrows, easily fell to the ground.

 The other two bared their fangs at the troublesome archer, but this time they were met with a sharp crack of the whip.
 In addition, the wind blade, aimed at a key point, skillfully interfered with the wolves' movements.

I'm getting pretty good at hitting them. I'm getting pretty good at hitting them, aren't I, Miss Pau?
"Yes, it's great, Mia.

 With the help of both of them, Etan swung his bowstring hard with plenty of time to spare.
 -- The arrow was well aimed and pierced the wolf's brow, which was stuck by the paralyzing poison.
 At this rate, the next two will be over soon.

 In the middle of the square, Yoru and the others were struggling against the big wolf.
 The little beasts were moving about and the blue slimes were bouncing and rolling around.

 And then there's the birdy, flying through the air.

 The boss, a giant wolf, seems to be having a hard time focusing on the furballs, which are changing their positions at a dizzying pace.
 One more thing.
 A group of fairies quickly circled behind them, and one by one they unleashed the "fairy kiss".

 Blinding is ineffective against a wolf with a good sense of smell.
 So I asked them to constantly shower me with the Fairy Kiss, which inflicts confusion.

 The boss is not susceptible to abnormalities, but they cannot be completely nullified.
 Besides, fairies have the highest magic attack power in the world.
 They also consume a lot of magic power, but I've already taken a potion to restore my magic power, so I don't have to worry.
 As you can see, the boss wolf sometimes stops moving or bites in the wrong direction, so the effect seems to be working.

 The characteristic of the black-haired wolf is that it attacks in waves, making the most of its group, but the boss wolf, which was set upon by the black-haired wolf, had no choice but to increase the number of wounds on its body.
 The boss wolf was helplessly wounded, even though it had hard and supple black body hair, there was nothing it could do if it was repeatedly attacked.

 Paula and the others seemed to have safely taken care of the three cronies.

All right, let's get this over with.
"Leave it to me, my dear.
Yeah, we're almost there.

 The giant wolf, which was covered in blood from the defeat of his aides, seemed to have decided to make a reversal move.
 Suddenly, the wolf stepped on its limbs, turned its back, and opened its mouth wide to the sky.
 At the same time, a fierce howl was emitted from the back of its throat.

 -- This is a special skill that black-haired wolves who have reached level 20 can learn to call their friends to them.
 The giant wolf howls powerfully in succession.
 His voice echoes through the trees and everywhere in the hierarchy.

 ............, but that's it.
 There's not a single black shadow in sight, rushing to the boss's rescue.
 Well, all the wolves under his command were killed on the way over.

"Huh, you won.

 I declared victory without meaning to, but within a few minutes my words were true.
 Finally, on top of the poisoned wolf, Yoru shouted in his usual tone as he tucked in his tail.

"Good job, you did good.

 As Yoru and Kuu approached him, taking out the green tangerine he had hidden as a reward, the fairies swarmed around them like pigeons in a park sprinkled with beans.
 Yoru and Kuu's eyes also changed color, and they climbed up my body as hard as they could.
 The onslaught exceeded that of the boss wolf battle, and the fruit disappeared in an instant.  

 Yoru and Kuu can't believe it's gone, but they keep looking at my palm and licking it.
 It's a cute and ticklish gesture, but nothing that can't be begged for.

 I set them down on the ground and walked over to Mr. Etan, who was looking at the wolf carcass.

Thank you for your help, Mr. Etan. You've done a good job, Mr. Etan. You're going to make a great pelt.

"Yes, it's winter up there, but the wolves haven't lost any weight, and the unseasonably green berries are producing well. It's a strange place indeed. ......

 After a pause, Mr. Etan looked up at me and continued.

It's a really interesting place. It's a really interesting place, I wish I could stay here forever. ......
Yes, if you'd like to explore it with me forever.
Are you sure you want to go to ......?
Yes, by all means.

 The young man from the tree race who made eye contact with me nodded quietly.
 He grasped the slender hand that was offered to him firmly.
 The strength with which he squeezed back seemed to have completely restored his lost confidence.

 From the boss wolf, I was able to collect a large pelt, fangs, and a lump of red magic stone.
 After collecting the same materials from the cronies, we headed for the downstairs where the bars had been lifted.

 This is where we said goodbye to most of the fairies.
 We decided to ask one of them to follow us as a scout and a light.

Shall we proceed to the ninth floor?
"Yes, sir.
Hmm, I'm nervous.
What's next? I'm looking forward to it.
I'm in!

 We were each enjoying our time exploring the labyrinth.
 But at the same time, there was a commotion going on upstairs.