「That Lambert old man is so fast…」
「… That full plate armor is supposed to be really heavy.」
Both Lily and Lloyd were voicing their dissatisfaction.
Lily turned around, glared behind as she wiped the beads of sweat on her forehead with her long mantle.
Fiona and Co. went chasing after Lambert who went even deeper into the 3rd floor.
The strongest demon on the 3rd floor was an ogre but it didn’t mean that they were going to pop out around every single corner.
There was almost no demon strong enough to slow down Lambert; he went deeper and deeper into the 3rd floor, leaving Fiona and co who were chasing after him far behind.
「Lily, what is the status of our pursuer?」
「They seem to be preoccupied with demons. But they’re steadily shortening their distance with us. Their number is beyond my perception. I don’t think they’re your usual robbers. They might be the people from… 《the Dark Guild》.」
「So escaping by spreading out our force would be impossible. It also means that our only choice is to chase after Lambert-san…」
Chasing after Lambert itself wasn’t that difficult since he left the demon’s corpses slain behind like unnecessary baggage.
Though Fiona and Co. met other demons feasting on those corpses from time to time, they were too busy with their meal to spare them even a glance.
Fiona and Co. kept diving even deeper until they’re finally standing before a huge door that was left open. Color drained from their face when they tried to see beyond inside the room.
Beyond the door was a giant stairway that went down below the current floor.
「A-Are you kidding me…」 𝑖𝗻𝗻𝑟e𝒶𝗱. 𝒄𝑜𝑚
Lloyd’s face went stiff at that moment.
According to the legend, UG 4th floor of Ainsaz’s Underground Labyrinth was a place protected by the『Myriad Form Black Mist-like Monster』which had never been defeated ever since the founding of this labyrinth. No one who challenged it returned alive.
It was a place that 2nd rate adventurers like Lloyd and Co. would never dream to enter.
If it weren’t for them following Lambert…
Even though his actions might be rather eccentric from time to time, it was just because he had yet to master the common sense of the current era. It didn’t mean that Lambert was insensitive.
Even during today’s case, he reassured Fiona and Co. that he wouldn’t go down to the 4th floor.
But Lambert had no other choice but to renege as soon as he saw 《Sage Domilise’s crest.》
Because if this place was 《Sage Domiliune’s research facility》, it was natural for this place to have some sort of bizarre magic formulae or weapon.
He absolutely couldn’t let any kind of dangerous weapon or magic formulae be known by the public.
Thus, he needed to find whatever was there as fast as possible and dispose of it immediately to prevent any future trouble.
Hence, he planned to secretly soloed Ainsaz’s Underground Labyrinth after Fiona and co returned to the surface.
「I-Impossible! This is too much you know! EH… Don’t tell me that Lambert old man truly went down to the 4th floor!?」
「But if it’s Lambert-san, I think he’ll manage somehow…」
「Like hell he can! Don’t tell me you forgot how『Witch’s Candlestick』went down with its twenty strongest members and yet, not even one of them made it back to the 3rd floor!? This isn’t even a playground for those big guilds, let alone small party like us.」
『Witch’s Candlestick』guild was the 3rd biggest guild in Ainsaz, till a while ago that is.
It wasn’t a simple adventurer guild because of the fact that only excellent sorcerers could enter their rank. Their name was widespread in the entire Kingdom of Regios as a sorcery research organization.
But this was just past glory right now.
Half a year ago,『Witch’s Candlestick』set out a campaign to capture the 4th floor of Ainsaz Underground Labyrinth, they’re armed to the teeth. They took into account a retreat route in case they failed their campaign and yet, no one returned alive from that campaign.
『Witch’s Candlestick』who has lost the majority of their upper echelon fell from grace and dissolved on their own later.
「I won’t go in! Absolutely not! L-Let’s go back!, Yeah… Or, let’s just hide ourselves somewhere somewhere on the floor above! We may be able to leave this labyrinth safely if we kept running!」
Lloyd was desperately finding another way to save their life other than going down to the 4th floor to chase after Lambert.
At that time, Lily who had shut her eyes as she held her staff upright against the ground opened her eyes. She let her staff fall on the ground and shook her head to show her disapproval.
「Those guys…They are coming to us from several passages. It’s already too late to go back now.」
Fiona turned around to look at her two comrades after she adjusted her breath.
After a short nod, she drew her sword and went down toward the 4th floor, completely ignoring her two comrades.
There was no need to stay in this place any longer.
Fiona concluded that the best course of action right now was for her to take the lead rather than waste their time convincing Lloyd.
Lily, who saw through Fiona’s determination, followed her immediately.
Lloyd stretched his hand to stop Lily but missed.
Lloyd stood alone on top of the stairs, he dropped his shoulders and became crestfallen as he watched Lily and Fiona got down toward the 4th floor.
Without a choice, he stepped violently on the floor.
「F4CK, F4444CK! FINE THEN, I’M GOING DOWN TOO!」
Thus, the three of them went down to chase after Lambert on the 4th floor.
What was waiting for them below the stairs was a gigantic room.
The pyroxene in the room that had been lit up. Lambert produced enough lighting for them to survey the room.
Though the inside of the labyrinth up to the 3rd floor was anf historic ruin, the atmosphere in the 4th floor was clearly different. Compared to the previous floor, this one was more like an ancient palace.
Though there were small carvings on the wall all around the room, upon closer look, the majority of those small carvings were eerie designs such as flowers with hand-like petals, a giant one-eyed demon, and the wings of some kind of creature emerging out of a broken egg.
The floor was filled with water, it was up to their ankles.
Although bewildered by the scene, a huge sense of relief washed upon Fiona and Co. as they found Lambert’s figure immediately.
That Lambert was standing still in the middle of the room, his sword was hanging loose from his hand.
When Fiona was about to approach Lambert, she saw a black shadow leaped vigorously toward him.
It was too fast. It flashed toward Lambert’s side.
「T-That’s the rumored…」
No doubt about it! It was the『Everchanging Black Shadow-like Demon… The 4th floor’s reaper.
「Wa-Watch out, Lambert-san!」
Lambert swung his great sword at a god-like speed. The shadow was severed in half right away. It fell on the ground, splashing something dark from its cross-section.
The water around Lambert rose up due to the impact when his great sword collided against the floor.
「Kyaaaa! D-Did he defeat that thing!?」
But then, the black shadow’s fragment suddenly leaped up again as soon as it touched the ground.
「I-IT’S FRE4KING ALIVEEEEEE!」
「O-OLD MAN! COME OVER HERE!」
Lambert had already raised his great sword high in the air, then he swung it down diagonally.
The sound of the black shadow being crushed echoed.
Lambert’s figure vanished along with a spray of water.
When everything settled down, the figure of the black shadow couldn’t be seen anymore.
「D-Did it die for sure now?」
Lambert squatted on that spot, his hand picking up something that looked like squashed internal organs.
「This core, a slime core huh. I got a bit scared since its movement was rather fast. What a let down.」
「Ah… That’s what you’re surprised about huh.」
Though Fiona couldn’t see a thing, Lambert easily defeated that black shadow. She somewhat calmed down after hearing his voice.
（I’m surprised there’s a human as strong as him… What a relief to know that he’s the same human as us.）
Wrong, he was an undead!
「O-Old man, i-is that a… Mutated slime?」
「Nope, I guess this slime underwent remodeling by human hands. If it was a normal slime, it would have lost its bodily function and core after being cut in half and drastically reducing its movement speed. How can it be a coincidence? For it to be able to move at the same speed even after it lost half of its body is too much for a mere mutation.」
Lily’s eyes opened wide as she heard Lambert’s words.
「N-No way! S-Something like creating new type of demons is like the work of a god or a high demon…」
「There was a fool who once stepped into that realm. That’s why, I can’t just let that person know that this fool might have created something even more dangerous. For the future of the Kingdom of Regios, I can’t let that person release these kinds of dangerous beings. I have to kill that person as fast as possible.」
Lambert lowered his great sword to the ground,then turned around to face Fiona and co.
「You guys, why did you follow me here? Didn’t I tell you to go back?」
「We couldn’t! There were some nasty guys tracking us from behind… That…」
「……… Ah, so that’s why.」
Due to his trait as an undead, Lambert could grasp the position of living beings.
He has long been aware of those strange groups who scattered their force to advance through the labyrinth.
But he didn’t pay any special attention toward them, they were nothing more than small fry to him after all.
Moreover, he was completely focused on 《Sage Domiliune’s issue》.
「Let me take care of my business here first. Till then, do not leave my side.」
Lloyd, who was extremely surprised by Lambert’s power, quickly had a change of attitude.
Despite the fact that he was standing inside a dungeon filled with numerous unknown demons, Lambert gave the impression that he was completely used to it.
「Sorry, we’ve ended up being a burden to you…」
「Don’t worry about it. I also got a little bit too excited that my vision narro-… Ehm?」
Lambert didn’t finish his line as he suddenly sprung toward Lily. His hand stretched out to strike the place beside her face while the other seized her shoulder.
Even the taciturn Lily screamed out in the face of such a sudden change of situation.
The wind pressure from Lambert’s fist disheveled her hair.
His arm was smeared with black fluid, his hand crushing the slime’s core.
「So, that guy was hiding under the cover of water. It seems they can hid their presence in their liquid form, then hardened themself when they’re going for a kill.」
Lily nodded in silence.
Lambert raised his vigilance as he led Fiona and Co. ahead.
「Lambert-san, how about we go back to make the preparation…」
Lily tried to call out to Lambert.
Lambert turned around, looked at her for a moment, then faced forward again as he shook his head.
「My bad, that’s impossible since I don’t want to alert the owner of this labyrinth about my visit. If I go back to make preparations, the owner might use everything in their disposal to prevent me from breaking through the labyrinth. I have no idea whether the current owner of this labyrinth is the successor or a mad researcher who understands that person’s passion. Maybe it’s simply a rampaging demon but… I think it’s best to kill that person today.」
After he said those words, he walked forward.
「Maybe… We’ll a higher rate of surviving if we choose to go back…」
Heaving a sigh, Lloyd muttered those words while looking at Lambert’s back.
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