Live Dungeon!

The group that departed from Sentrea toward the frontlines of the Stampede comprised the Scarlet Devil Squad, Absolute Helix, Labyrinth Conquerors, and a portion of the marching band, totaling around a hundred members. Among them were also non-combatants such as cooks and handlers for miscellaneous tasks, most of which were provided by the Labyrinth Conquerors.

The Labyrinth Conquerors, being well-versed in Dungeon expeditions, ensured that all of them — even the cooks — were capable fighters. One among them, the man currently taking care of the horses, spoke with Ollie, who was beside him.

“So… you used to be a servant for House Babenberg?”

“Yes, I was.”

“That makes you even more… surprising. How are you so knowledgeable about processing horse manure?”

“It is only a part of the teachings passed down through generations in House Babenberg.”

The man calmly observed Ollie’s effectiveness at work and cracked a dry smile. Ollie’s knowledge extended not only to horse care but also to the proper processing of horse dung for use as fertilizer.

Generally, members of Clans in Dungeon City did not embark on expeditions, so most of their servants were limited to routine work. When Ollie offered to assist the handlers, she was initially rejected, but then she proceeded to take on the dirty work that nobody else wanted. Gradually, she advanced through stages, and now she was responsible for horse care.

Nevertheless, Ollie’s behavior remained within the realm of a servant, focusing on the work she could do.

She would not be able to handle combat like the Labyrinth Conquerors’ workers, but her natural stamina enabled her to endure the marches without issue. Moreover, she efficiently handled dirty tasks whenever they arose and, due to her prowess, executed various administrative duties with ease. Where she lacked in combat prowesses, she made up for by handling various miscellaneous tasks with the speed and accuracy of a well-maintained machine.

“I’ll take care of the dirty work,” Ollie proceeded to say with a bright smile, a stark contrast to the harsh conditions at the unprecedented forefront of the Stampede.

“…You know, I’ll tell our boss that it’d be a waste to leave you here. We can get you something better to do,” the man said while stroking a horse’s face.

While Ollie established her position by taking the initiative in handling unclaimed dirty work, the frontline group continued their journey southward, receiving information from Leon along the way. Finally, they reached a position where the waves of the Stampede were visible.

Under the overcast sky, the size of the Stampede appeared larger than before, but there were no particularly noteworthy monsters. Small fry monsters, led by Goblins, walked in groups.

Christia, after observing the Stampede through a telescope, promptly gave instructions to the group behind her.

“Marching band, start playing. Rear guard, trim as much as possible. Others, standby.”

In response to the instructions, Diniel and Leleia stepped forward. Unexpectedly, Amy, with a triumphant expression, also stepped forward, prompting a puzzled look from Tsutomu.

“Wait, why are you also going, Amy?”

“Hehehe… She did say to trim as much as possible, right?”

“Uh, I mean, even your <<Dual Wave Slash>> won’t reach that far, you know — it’ll be a gentle breeze at most.”

Indeed, the only long-ranged skill that Dualbladers learned early on, the <<Dual Wave Slash>>, would lose power as the distance increased. Amy, also known as the Chaotic Dancer, particularly excelled in the handling of <<Dual Wave Slash>>, but its effective range was nonetheless limited, which Tsutomu pointed out.

“Lelee! Do the thing!”

“<<Contract — Sylph>>.”

In response to Amy’s call, Leleia’s green hair fluttered as the Sylph, the Spirit with a fairy-like appearance, appeared. The Sylph proceeded to sit on Amy’s head, holding on to strands of her white hair as if they were controller sticks.

“…So Amy is compatible with the Sylph?”

“Yes. As much as I am, actually.”

“Hmm. sounds like you’ve been running some tests.”

“Yes, we have. After seeing how good her compatibility was, we’ve been practicing with <<Contracts>> activated.”

While glancing at Amy, who was high-fiving Sylph with her fingertips, Leleia proceeded to form a <<Contract>> with the Salamander.

“However, she doesn’t have good compatibility with other spirits. The Undine especially seemed to dislike her, so much so that it initiated a fight on one occasion.”

“Whoa, that’s scary.”

“The Undine has always had poor compatibility with women due to its jealous nature. It most likely dislikes Amy due to all the attention she naturally garners,” Leleia calmly explained, then instructed Salamander to start attacking the Stampede.

As Diniel began shooting arrows, Amy, in a flustered state, spoke to Sylph,

“Welp, we’re already late to the party! Let’s go, li’l Sylph — We’re going all out right from the start!”

The Sylph, responding with a sharp salute to Amy’s declaration, nestled between the cat ears on Amy’s head. Amy drew her swords and imbued their blades with swirling wind, then she took a few steps back, considerate not to disturb her surroundings.

“Not yet, not yet! Gotta charge up more!”

Tsutomu, in response to her, narrowed his eyes as the wind enveloped the dual blades. As the wind intensified, Leleia’s knees began to tremble.

Then, Amy, with her dual blades crossed, firmly planted her feet on the ground and shouted out with determination,

“Here we go! <<DUAL WAAAAAAVE SLASH>>!!”


The attack, tens of times larger than its usual, was released in the shape of a cross. The <<Dual Wave Slash>> effortlessly shaved through the ground as it headed towards the horde of monsters; thanks to the Sylph, its power remained undiminished. And when it reached its targets, the Goblins were sent flying as if caught in a tornado.


However, the recoil from releasing such a powerful blast seemed considerable, as Amy herself was also blown back. She performed a mid-air somersault before landing on the ground. Her flexible body and skilled landing prevented any injuries, but she still let out a slightly pained groan.

The rest of the group, watching from behind, was also surprised by the power of the <<Dual Wave Slash>>. It was comparable to a skill unleashed by a top-tier Black Mage. They had not expected a Dualblader to have such long-range capabilities.

“How’s that, huh!? Tsutomu!”


As Amy and the Sylph sprang up from the ground and made v-signs, Tsutomu gave them a half-hearted round of applause. Then he pointed to Leleia, who, with her knees on the ground, seemed to have been overcome by nausea — a result of the sudden mental energy drain.

“Its power is impressive, sure, but energy efficiency is terrible.”

“W-well, yeah… I guess! Sorry, Lelee!”

“Yes, you ought to know some restraint…”

The source of the Spirits’ power was Leleia’s mental energy, so using it would naturally burden her. If the balance was adjusted at least a little more, then perhaps this powered-up skill would become more practical. Tsutomu, after seeing that Amy had apologized properly, hopped on his horse and gazed at the Stampede.

Unlike the previous time, the number of small monsters this time had not decreased, and they did not exhibit any signs of fear toward anything behind them — It was just an ordinary herd of monsters. At this rate, they could probably be easily repelled in the Royal Capital region, assuming the Devourer Dragon did not appear.

[Yeah, we’d probably be worry-free as long as that thing doesn’t suddenly show up.]

The probable cause of the Devourer Dragon’s appearance was the accumulation of magical energy due to the emergence of God’s Dungeon, which had resulted in the lower efficiency of monster culling in the other Dungeons. If this theory held true, there was a high likelihood that Dungeons in the southern region, long neglected, might also spawn monsters rivaling the Devourer Dragon.

Those who had experienced the previous Stampede seemed to be well aware of this, as even during this time when they could attack monsters from a safe range, there was no room for complacency. Vigilance extended in all directions, with sufficient distance maintained from the Stampede.

Christia, commanding from above using the <<Fly>> skill, seemed adept at leading, directing the group as if it were a single living entity. Under her command, even those unfamiliar with group battles could demonstrate sufficient strength.

In this state, the sharp-eared members of Absolute Helix — Garm, Amy, Diniel, and Daryl — were able to efficiently detect faint abnormalities. Amidst this, Hannah sensed by instinct that something was approaching.

“Is it just me, or does something feel… off?”

“…I feel it, too,” Diniel said. “Good girl, good girl.”

“W-why’re you suddenly acting like that?”

“You’re an idiot, Hannah, but at least you’ve got intuition.”

“…Wait, you’re making fun of me, aren’t you!?”

Having thoroughly processed Diniel’s words in her mind, Hannah, who had come to that conclusion, instantly changed her relaxed expression. Diniel, ignoring the look Hannah was giving her, released a large arrow for long-range shots.

Both Weiss of the Scarlet Devil Squad and Christia of the Labyrinth Conquerors also seemed to be aware of the anomaly. They both looked up at the overcast sky.

“<<Eagle Eye>>.”

Shifting their gaze to the arrow Diniel had released before, they saw that it had pierced something. Diniel, observing bat-like wings in her field of view, proceeded to warn the group of the arrival of Wyverns, swooping down from the sky.

“All personnel, prepare for retreat. Rear guard, replenish your mental strength with Potions, and be ready for the Wyverns descending from above.”

Christia’s instructions came promptly from the sky, and Tsutomu immediately dismounted from his horse, retrieving some vials of Blue Potion from his Magic Bag. He then passed them to Diniel, Leleia, and Amy.

“…Are Wyverns supposed to fly through clouds?”

“They don’t like doing that, no.”

Airborne monsters generally avoided entering clouds since it obstructed their view of the surroundings. In the case that they did enter, it was likely only in emergency situations where obscured visibility would not matter as much.

“But it didn’t look like the Wyverns were being chased by anything. And even though it should be hard to see in the clouds, they were probably calm, too… If they WERE being pursued, they would have been much noisier.”

Diniel, having sipped from the Blue Potion vial that Amy handed to her, looked slightly refreshed. This particular vial was brewed by Elf elder Forest Apothecary, so it went down smoothly.

“…I have a bad feeling about this.”

“Same,” Diniel said as she mounted her horse, then she repeatedly shot arrows into the clouds.

Those who had already completed their preparations followed suit, unleashing skills into the sky.

By the time the frontline group withdrew and set up a line for interception, monsters emerged from the thick clouds.

“…What in the…!” Christia, the one closest to them, exclaimed, her amplified voice echoing through the area.

The monsters that leaped from the clouds were indeed Wyverns, as per Diniel’s information.

However, atop the Wyverns were green-skinned Orcs. Carrying a shield in their left hand and a spear in their right, the Orc-mounted Wyverns directly rushed towards Christia.


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