The kid continued his explanation for a while.
It seemed like I wouldn't have to be dubious of his knowledge of the dungeon.
But I still couldn't believe him.
This kid said it'd be best if I stayed in this building's quarters on the 2nd floor and departed tomorrow morning.
It was a good plan.
In various ways.
"Fine, let's do it like that. Here, give me your hand."
I took out a subspace bag from my inventory and the kid obediently stuck out his hand as I instructed.
I pulled out a few gems that I had prepared in advance from the subspace bag.
"Here, this should be enough for a down payment. Exchange it for money as you wish."
I placed the gems into the kid's dirty palms.
It seemed like the kid was in disbelief at the gems that had been placed in his hand; his mouth gaped wide open and remained still.
"Like you said, I'll stay in this inn today, and we'll depart tomorrow. Come pick me up here tomorrow morning."
After I finished speaking, I left the stunned kid and the corner; I went towards the counter with the middle-aged woman.
"A room?" the woman immediately asked as I approached.
"Yes. You have good hearing."
It wasn't easy to listen to my conversation with the kid in the corner inside of this noisy building.
What's worse, she shouldn't have been able to see us as we were cleverly hidden behind a column.
"What do you mean, good hearing. I just guessed. The dungeon's also quite far, so rather than departing at such an ambiguous time, it'd probably be better to depart in the morning. If you were going to depart immediately, you wouldn't have left that child over there and came here by yourself."
Now that you mention it, you have a point.
She definitely could've guessed that I was going to ask for a room.
However, I was certain.
This middle-aged lady could hear my conversation with the kid.
Since that kid had also heard the conversation between the middle-aged lady and I.
"Then you're even more amazing."
As I said that, I placed a single gem on the counter.
"This should be enough, right? I don't need the change."
The middle-aged lady hurriedly grabbed the gem, hiding it in her bosom, and said, "How about being a bit more careful, especially if you don't want to be robbed in the middle of the night?"
She's an amusing old lady.
The old lady should also be well aware that I'm not concerned about things like that.
Even if I hadn't taken out the gem, I knew.
Compared to the people around me with their disheveled appearances, I wore clean, trimmed clothing and I had two expensive-looking sword hilts strapped to my waist.
Also, the woman should be well aware that I don't mind attracting the attention of other people.
However, I wonder why she's pretending like she doesn't know.
This old lady, after I had entered this building and started conversing with her, has been maintaining a consistent attitude.
Whether I'm thinking about my own power or this woman's ability to gauge my level of strength, it's not the right attitude for her to take.
"Auntie, do you have any interest in being a guide? I think you'd do well."
"Not everyone can be a guide."
After she was finished, she shut her mouth.
However, I didn't stand up and stared closely at her.
The old lady showed a variety of expressions after that for a short time.
After she had cycled through several emotions on her face, the final emotion she revealed was hostility.
It was a vivid, clear killing intent to the point that I could feel it.
When I didn't react at all to her hostility, the woman quickly dispersed her energy.
"I have no intentions of going on a trip with a monster whose intentions I don't know."
That was an interesting statement.
"Your room's on the 2nd floor. Your room number is written on this key here. Go up."
After she said that, the old lady left the counter and went outside the building.
Rather than following her, I decided to go up to the building's 2nd floor.
I found the room number that was written on the key and as I entered the room, I thought.
She had no intentions of going on a trip with a monster.
If she had regarded me as that dangerous of a person, I had to rethink what she had said.
Her warning about the lowest floor… Did she say that it's dangerous despite taking a peek at my strength?
If that's not it, was that also just an act?
I ought to reassess the kid.
The assessment that the kid needed to work if he didn't want to die immediately tomorrow.
Did that old lady think that that kid would go down to the lowest floor despite the risk of death, or if not, did she think that the kid would die because he was going with me?
It could be both.
I entered the room and roughly tossed the subspace bag atop the bed.
Shall I meditate until tomorrow morning?
[Warrior.] Seregia said.
[I believe that there's a high possibility that the young child from before won't return in the morning. I cannot be sure, but that's what I think.]
"That's also what I think."
He'd probably disappear somewhere with the down payment of gems.
If the lowest floor is that dangerous, and he didn't want to work together with a dangerous person who carelessly takes out gems in this squalid place...
[Then why did you give that child...]
"In the event he doesn't come, I just need to find a different guide."
[Didn't you hear that that child's the only guide available?]
"No. She just said that that kid's the only one willing to guide me on such a dangerous path."
There are definitely at least two guides.
Kiri Kiri told me that I had to pick my guide well.
Plus, the young guide also had a strange tattoo engraved onto his forehead.
That meant that I could easily make an inference.
What I needed to worry about right now is the woman who had recommended the boy, who had ran away with my gems.
How do I use this excuse to convince her?
The fact that she's excessively hostile towards me will be a variable.
If convincing her isn’t possible, I think I'd need to threaten her.
[I think differently, Warrior. Hoo. Hoo. Hoo. Hoo.]
While I was in the midst of organizing my thoughts, the holy sword cut in.
"If you're going to talk gibberish again, I'll put you into the inventory immediately."
[No, it's not that. It's not that, Warrior. Please trust me! When have I ever spoken nonsense for you to say that! Please trust me!]
How can I trust you?
[I'm telling you this because neither the great and courageous Warrior nor the cute and shy Miss Seregia seem to have encountered a lot of people. If you don't have experience in cases like this, it's something you wouldn't know well.]
Seregia groaned at his flattery of our cute such and such.
I really should put him into my inventory after all.
I opened my inventory and was about to put it in when the holy sword hurriedly yelled.
[That child will return tomorrow!]
"What did you say?"
The holy sword hadn't given up, yelling something, and once I put the holy sword into my inventory, I started to meditate.
Only one ego sword had disappeared, but I started to take in the silent and calm mood of the room.
[I think like I can live now.]
I agreed with Seregia's half-muttered sigh.
* * * * * *
"Good morning, Warrior. Then, shall we immediately go to the dungeon?"
[See that. I was right, wasn't I?]
Seregia and I couldn't refute the annoying holy sword's statement.
Because the kid had appeared with a much cleaner appearance than yesterday.
Perhaps the kid washed his hair this morning, since it was clean and tidy; even his clothes looked much better than yesterday.
His clothes were clean, but they weren't new.
He had exchanged the gems that I had given him into currency and rather than buy new clothes, it seemed like he had come wearing his best clothes.
Plus, he was wearing a large backpack on his back.
It looked bloated even from the outside and I was certain that it was packed full of miscellaneous items.
"Yeah, let's go. Take me there."
I didn't refuse and just told him to go.
I could tell why the child had turned up even without the holy sword explaining the reason.
Amongst the kid’s various flaws, his most fatal flaw was that he would diligently observe someone, but he wouldn't realize that the very person was also observing him.
The next fatal flaw was that his gaze and his expression were like an open book.
I had heard these words before.
A person's greed knows no end, and they would repeat their mistakes.
Where did I hear this again?
That's not what's important.
What's important right now is that this kid is repeating his many mistakes excessively.
I nonchalantly slung my subspace bag over my shoulder which contained my bed and left my room.
Based on the movements of my bag, the kid…
The kid's eyes were following the movements of my bag and it was only after I got right in front of him that his rapidly-moving eyes paused.
"Yes. I'll take you there."
[Hoo. Hoo. Hoo. Hoo. What did I tell you?]
I just silently listened to the holy sword's annoying condescension.
Now I could read the bare greed within this dirty kid's eyes, though I ignored the dissatisfaction I saw.
Even after I had gone home and thought about it calmly, I couldn't fathom a desperation worth gambling his life on.
It's been a while since my abilities were lacking.
Also, this was the type of ability I cannot be lacking in.
Though I'm clumsy when it comes to situations regarding tact, I was confident when it came to reading my opponent's intent.
When I was a pro gamer, I remember saying that I didn’t know what the difference was between my two team members.
I don't know why it is that I can so easily grasp an enemy's intent, yet I don't even have the slightest idea of what other people usually want.
However, I definitely felt something different.
Also, I had failed to discern the kid's intent yesterday.
Even though it was such a clearly-exposed intent.
Was it because I took this kid too lightly due to his lacking strength, or if not, would it be because of a different reason?
It was troublesome work.
Because of that reason, I didn't obstinately plug the holy sword's mouth and left the town.
And we approached the cave's entrance, no, the dungeon's entrance…
They say that the dungeon that looks relatively close by is actually much farther than your eyes can see.
It would take around six hours to get there, walking.
When I was in the town, it didn't feel like it would take that long, but after I left the town and starting walking through the woods, I could definitely feel it.
The dungeon looked as if it were right in front of you, yet the true distance hardly lessened.
The path between the dungeon and the town was tranquil.
There would occasionally be some adventurers or merchants who passed by and I matched the kid's slow strides, but in no time I had walked far ahead of him.
The kid's gait was on the slower side.
Even if you consider his still short legs, he was still slow.
And it was tough for the kid to even walk this slowly.
If you listened to him, you wouldn't be able to call it pathetic; it was to the point that even I, who was walking beside him pited his breathing.
"Let's rest here for a little bit."
"Yes… Thank you."
I helped the kid lower his backpack and we leaned our backs against a wooden column.
I also dropped my subspace backpack from my shoulder and put it on my lap.
We were sitting under a tree like this, which reminded me of Myong Myong again.
Is he living well?
It made me uncomfortable that even in this peaceful memory, several things weighed on my mind.
Indeed, what kind of condition would mean ‘living well’?
And whatever the condition, can I say that Myong Myong is living well?
Is the Myong Myong I'm even talking about that Myong Myong?
What's the difference between that Myong Myong and the other Myong Myongs.
Let's say that all the Myong Myongs found their happy ending. Does that mean they're living well?
Kiri Kiri had, in a roundabout way, referred to the tutorial and challengers as places that aren't Earth.
There should definitely be some challengers who reached the 19th floor besides me.
These civilizations that exist in the cosmos and the tutorial that possibly exists within them.
Also, in the face of all those possibilities, there is a possibility that Myong Myong isn't unhappy.
The more I recollect it, the more sad I get.
When I was together with Myong Myong, if I hadn't deliberately tried to ignore this fact, would I be able to laugh together with Myong Myong?
If I had left Myong Myong in front of the closed-off town's gate; what kind of choice would I have made?
It was suffocating.
It was the exact same back then.
Still, the reason I hadn't completely ignored it was because Idy had suggested a path that would enable me to resolve this suffocating feeling.
I brought my unproductive thoughts to a close and focused on the here and now.
After I had organized my thoughts, I asked the two ego's swords' opinions.
What do you think?
Rather than using my voice to speak like usual, I transmitted my intent through voice transmission.
Seregia and the holy sword both agreed with my opinion.
[I also agree, Warrior. For things like this, you need to tidy things up beforehand so that there's no trouble down the road.]
I confirmed their opinions.
I'll confirm it one more time and then take care of it.
I took out some bread and water from my subspace bag and passed it to the kid.
"Eat it while you rest."
The kid saw the objects protruding out of the subspace bag and was astonished.
"This is that magic bag, right?" the child asked excitingly, and the sound of his breathing had quickly calmed down.
To be exact, it was a subspace bag, but well, I guess it's the same thing as a magic bag.
"Do you have other items in there besides food?"
I decided to answer the kid's excited questions and say it like it was.
"Of course. I also took out and gave you the gems from here yesterday."
The kid was in awe, saying 'woah', and I waited briefly for the kid to eat his bread.
When the kid started eating the bread, I took out a short sword from my bag.
"It also has weapons!"
"Of course. It contains various weapons."
In truth, this short sword was the only weapon inside the bag.
It was the gladius that I had bought after clearing the 4th floor.
According to the holy sword's logic, which was strapped to my waist, the gladius was a treasure that could be called a holy sword thanks to the god's blessing it had received.
It wasn't fancy and it was actually rather plain, but possessed a high quality aura on the outside.
I raised that short sword and threw it towards a tree that was a bit far away.
Just as I had intended, the short sword lodged into the center of the tree trunk.
And I concentrated, moving my mana.
Due to my mana, the short sword pulled out of the tree column, flying into the air before returning to my hand.
Beside me, the kid was exclaiming.
"Is it a magic sword!?"
"Yeah. It's a magic sword."
To be honest, I had just idiotically pulled out the faraway short sword with my mana.
It wasn't as if I had used mana's special characteristic or displayed its absorbent power.
I had just used my mana to embed the short sword in the tree trunk, pull it out, and raise it up before it flew to the front of my hand.
Even compared to normal people, this kid's magic circuits were tightly blocked and he wouldn't be able to notice what I had done.
I threw my short sword again, towards the tree column.
And using my mana again, I brought the short sword back to my hand.
As he saw my acrobatics, the kid who had been exclaiming with all he had bashfully asked.
Upon his red flushed face, his eyes gleamed, and his fingertips were slightly shaking.
"May I also try once?"
Sure, of course you can.