[So you got that as a reward? Wow. Gods are also shameless. Shouldn't you get a different reward in exchange for being entrusted with the holy sword?]
[That's what I'm saying.]
[So how long have you had that holy sword?]
[TL Note: I assume he's talking to the girl who's currently going through Hell Difficulty.]
* * * * * *
[Rather than that, wouldn't it be better to slash downwards more heavily?]
"Maybe. If I consider the next motion, I think it'd be better to swing lightly."
Seregia acknowledged my opinion.
Therefore, our three opinions were divided 2:1.
However, the holy sword wouldn't accept it.
[Just slash downwards with all your might. Everything will be taken care of if I use my Barrier Magic. Summoning a Fire Wall or a Wind Wall to block their approach works too. If not, then even if you just shoot a lightweight magic like Magic Missile, you'll be able to block the enemies that are trying to aim for your weak spot. Of course, you have to wield a magic sword that can do that first. Hoo hoo. However, where would you find another magic sword as great as me in the world? Haha.]
He really is a natural at getting caught up in his own boasting.
I got irritated every time I heard the holy sword bragging.
This guy would boast all the time.
He's at the level of a narcissist.
[Warrior, you've been extremely lucky. There's not another sword like me in this world. Hahaha.]
I can't snap at him in times like this.
I realized that in the past few days.
If I say something, the holy sword wouldn't accept it and we'd start arguing.
And that argument would usually be sprinkled with the holy sword’s boasts.
If I didn't want to hear that, the answer was to just ignore him.
So I just stayed silent.
Seregia stayed silent for the same reason.
Nobody responded, so when I heard the holy sword's flustered voice, I felt a little more cheerful.
I stood up.
"I think I've rested enough, so shall we go?"
[Yes. I believe three days’ rest was enough. Let's depart.]
After Seregia calmly spoke, the holy sword, whose humility had reached its limit, spoke.
[At last, this is the start of a new journey. Warrior! Adventure! Friendship! Love! Justice! New bonds in a new world! And those new bonds will create a new legend of the holy sword! Ah… these are words from my early childhood, travelling here and there on the continent was my hobby.]
I want to sew his mouth shut and throw it away.
Ah, that guy doesn't have a mouth, does he?
I want to infuse the Thousand Arms sheath with a Silence Magic.
In truth, I had checked the store to see if there was anything like that.
If the holy sword didn't have a Dispel Magic function, I definitely would've bought it.
I ignored the holy sword that refused to stop boasting and stood atop the portal.
I passed a bonfire room and was transported to the stage.
I explained to Seregia and the holy sword that I travelled between dimensions and that like the mercenaries who worked as Warriors, I would travel to this or that world, and my job was to accomplish a specific goal.
Because of that, the title of Warrior was quickly discarded.
Also, I told Seregia to use my name and speak informally.
In truth, it didn't matter if they disregarded my title, but since Seregia personally insisted that she was more comfortable with the title, we just decided to keep it as is.
The holy sword had also told me to call it by its name Ahoubuch, or whatever, but it was hard to pronounce so I just decided to call it the holy sword.
The holy sword was disappointed as expected, but I ignored him.
Other than that, Seregia and the holy sword couldn't perceive the portal, the waiting room, or the Tutorial at all.
They could only understand to the extent that they were a means of transportation and safe lodging.
It was unfortunate, but since they can't even perceive it, I did not pity them as much.
[Welcome to the 27th floor stage.]
There was a village built in front of a large cave on the 27th floor.
No, I should call it a town instead.
There was a fairly large number of people walking around and I also saw a lot of buildings compacted together.
But from just a glimpse, it was a town so squalid that it seemed to be more of a village for natives of a jungle.
[Warrior, what is your objective here?] Seregia asked.
The holy sword maintained his silence.
The holy sword had to be alert when he went outside, so I told him to talk as little as possible.
Maybe it's because I stressed it several times, but the holy sword was silent just as he promised.
Honestly, it was because of this that in this round I canceled my plan to rest and hurried into the stage instead.
I don't know how long the holy sword will be silent and keep his promise, but it was a relief he was well-behaved, even if it was for only a short while.
"I'm not sure. Let's wait for a little bit."
I couldn't immediately respond to Seregia's question, since I don't know yet.
I briefly stood at the center of the town and waited.
[The 27th floor's challenge is starting.]
Explanation: To the east of Gravia , there are two trade routes to the western continent. The first route is the sea route, crossing the sea between the continents, and the second is via the enormous subterranean cave beneath the ocean. This subterranean cave that is well-known as Gravia's underground dungeon, is made up of three stairways. Also, there is an existence that is occupying the lowest floor alone. In the lowest floor of Gravia's underground dungeon, please vanquish the ruler of the lowest floor and seize the earthworm's treasure.
You will need a special guide in order to reach the lowest floor of Gravia's dungeon.
Please enter the building made of red bricks and obtain a guide.
1. Defeat the earthworm.
2. Acquire the earthworm's treasure.
It was a fairly comprehensible stage.
So I attack the underground dungeon and defeat the boss mob.
Plus, I also have to acquire the boss mob's loot.
The clear condition concerning the existence of the earthworm caught my attention more than the stage's concept.
An earthworm, huh.
But “an earthworm” normally refers to an actual worm.
However, if it were just the average earthworm, there would be no way it would have a treasure worthy of being the stage's clear condition.
In any case, isn't it a dragon?
[TL Note: The previous section is the author’s wordplay. The Korean word for “earthworm” can be taken apart and literally translated to mean “earth (dust) dragon,” though it is not usually used this way. This is Ho Jae’s perception of the term, not what the clear condition actually says.]
Didn't it say that it was on the lowest floor of the underground dungeon?
Didn't it say that it’s occupying the lowest floor alone?
Perhaps exactly as its written, it's a dragon living underground?
I was a little excited.
Seregia and the holy sword had also learned of the clear condition through the message.
[I'm looking forward to it. If possible, I hope that there will be a lot of enemies on the path leading to the lowest floor.]
[To defeat a wicked evil dragon...]
Seregia also showed her anticipation.
In the holy sword's case, it was excited about something and started talking, but when I gripped the hilt, it immediately stopped talking.
The holy sword that had been briefly silent spoke furtively.
[Can't I just speak casually with you as well? I won't be too noisy.]
"You can't. I don't trust you."
[You're too much. Isn't this favoritism?]
It is favoritism.
"If you don't like it, then you can go back into the inventory."
[Yes. I'll remain quiet. I love you, Warrior. You know that I always respect you, right?]
What are you talking about?
After we finished our conversation, I walked towards the red building.
I didn't walk that far before I reached the front of the buildings made of red bricks.
It should be sufficient to simply pick a guide from here and travel to the dungeon.
Kiri Kiri had advised me to pick my guide carefully.
However, what did she mean by ‘pick carefully’?
I have no idea.
I confidently shoved the door open and entered without much thought.
The scenery inside the building was typical.
An adventurer's guild inside of a game would look exactly like this.
They were selling alcohol and plain food and the people sitting at the tables all looked like vagrants.
There was a large wooden block situated in the middle of the building's interior, pinned with information notices and advertisements regarding this and that.
[It's a noisy place.] Seregia commented.
It was actually really noisy inside the building.
[It also reeks.]
After she said that, the holy sword beside me commented as well.
I have no idea how the holy sword could smell it when he didn't have a nose, but this place honestly reeked of a disgusting smell.
I briefly looked around the building and found a person who looked to be the front-desk clerk or a worker.
She was a fairly old-looking middle-aged woman.
She was sitting at the counter and either telling people about this and that or diligently writing something down on paper.
No matter how I look at it, she didn't act like a customer at all.
If I were to point a out a peculiar point, it was just that she had a red eye tattooed on her forehead.
I approached the middle-aged woman at the counter and asked outright.
"I'm looking for a guide that can guide me through the dungeon."
"You're that dual-wielding swordsman that I saw talking to himself over there."
"It's nothing. You said you were looking for a guide?"
It seems like she had seen me talking to my swords outside the building a little while ago.
Then again, it must've looked a little strange.
If you just look at me, I carried around two conspicuous swords and I had stood in the middle of the street muttering to myself.
"What is your destination?"
"The lowest floor."
"Are you by chance looking for a spot to kill yourself?"
Her voice that abruptly asked whether I was going to kill myself was sad, but I calmly responded.
Immediately after I had told her that I wanted to go to the lowest floor, the woman began furrowing her eyebrows right in front of me.
If I had told her that I was going to kill the dragon, it seemed like she would call it a bluff and chase me out of the building.
"As you may know, even if we can guide you there, we cannot guarantee your safety. That is…"
"I don't need it."
When I bluntly told her that, the woman retained her crumpled face and pondered for a long while.
Then she pointed to a corner of the building and said, "Ask that child over there. That child's probably the only one who will guide you."
I saw a kid that didn't even look ten in the corner that she pointed at.
"Are there no other guides?"
"I'm not sure. That child's probably the only guide who needs to make money today or else he’ll die tomorrow."
I had no choice but to accept this guide considering the circumstances.
I roughly said my goodbyes and I approached the child squatting in the corner.
Right when I was about to introduce myself and raise the child up, the child abruptly stood up.
"Hello, Swordsman. Did you say you were going all the way down to the lowest floor? Woah, you're an amazing person. You're manly, you've got courage, and moreover, you have a couple of swords. You don't have to worry too much about the lowest floor. Especially since the scary rumors regarding the lowest floor were made up by all sorts of people. But for a swordsman like you who's the real deal, it won't be a very dangerous place for you. Haha."
Perhaps he was listening to my conversation with the middle-aged woman, but the child already knew about my destination.
Because of that, it seemed like I wouldn't have to separately explain it to him.
Strangely, the child had a red eye tattooed on his forehead just like the middle-aged woman.
[In his first meeting with you he's smoothly flattering you; he's an unusually rude little kid.]
The holy sword muttered.
Look who's talking.
[Rather than flattery, I also hear it as sarcasm.]
It was just as Seregia said.
That's how I heard it.
This little kid wasn't sincerely being sarcastic with me.
That's just how I heard it.
Since I heard the kid's words that way, it seems like his expression was hugely affected.
His thin voice that hadn't yet gone through puberty was also probably disturbed as well.
This young dirty kid revealed his white teeth and was smiling brightly.
However, his smile only formed on the sides of his mouth.
He bowed his forehead slightly and the eyes that looked up at me weren't smiling at all.
He was repeatedly rotating between observing my facial expression, my clothes, and my weapons.
Seeing as how he's repeatedly looking at the places he's observed before, I could tell that the child's mental state was extremely anxious.
[He's a child without much attentiveness. His focus is also terrible.]
I agreed with everything she said.
[If he wielded a sword, he'd die outside of his home within a month.]
This time, the holy sword commented.
It was a little uncertain, but I agreed.
The child seemed to be an existence that exhibited all the habits or peculiarities that you can't have as a swordsman or a warrior.
His intentions are written all over his face.
His attentiveness and his focus are lacking, and he wasn't even sure of what he had seen himself.
He looked around carefully for other people's gazes, but he turned his eyes towards too many things, and he couldn't identify what was most important.
For example, my eyes that are looking straight down at the kid.
His breathing was so erratic that he may as well have had tuberculosis, and his standing posture was terrible.
Even if you look at his build from the outside, it's terrible; the space between his legs when he steps is erratic.
No, the angle that his feet are touching the ground is strange.
There may be some kind of problem with his feet.
[Warrior. I maintained my ego for a considerably long time, but this is my first time seeing such an untalented human in the world.]
The holy sword didn't drop its criticism.
This kid isn't even a swordsman, so why do his talents matter?
It's fine as long as he guides me well.
[Yes. He really does have the worst ability. Even in the academy where numerous students gather, there wasn't anyone that bad. He's still young and he doesn't seem to have been given any particular education nor has he been trained. Even if we consider his malnourished and unhealthy state, it's really hard to find a human like that. He's a dunce sent by heaven.]
The holy sword's and Seregia's criticism combination was too cruel that even I, the one listening, felt sorry for the kid.
"Swordsman? Is there any problem…?"
"No, there's none. Then, can you give me an explanation regarding the dungeon? I need to test whether you have enough knowledge as a guide."
"Yes. First, please sit over there. I'll explain after you sit down."
I had thought of this before, but it came up again.
Kiri Kiri had advised that I need to pick my guide well.
I don't really understand the meaning behind that.
The only option I had was this kid.