It’s been one hour since we received the request from the Guild Master.
We’ve returned to the inn.
『Then, shall I absorb the Magic Stones?』
『I wonder what kind of Skills we’ll get…』
『Thinking about it, this is a bit like a grab-bag, huh.』
『Ahh, how should I put it… A grab-bag is a bag filled with hopes, dreams, and a bit of despair.』
『Many brave men have challenged such bags for items of favor, only to meet a terrible fate.』
「Has Teacher seen one before?」
Well, before I make a fool out of myself, let’s use absorb the magic stone.
Thanks to Demonic Beast Knowledge, I can see the stones’ Ranks just fine. With 5 stones total, 3 are D Rank, and 2 are C Rank.
The D Ranks come from a Fortress Hermit Crab, a Sea Lion, and a Trident Shark. I had chosen Demonic Beasts of the sea since we hadn’t actually seen the ocean yet.
As for the 2 C Rank magic stones, one is from a Red Colossus, and one is from an Old Yeti.
「First: D Rank.」
『Mhh! Here we go!』
Fortress Hermit Crab Magic Stone Status：39
Hunger Resistance：Lv1, Water Pressure Resistance：Lv1, Underwater Respiration：Lv1, Weight Reduction
Sea Lion Magic Stone Status：79
Swimming：Lv1, Current Manipulation：Lv1, Water Bullet Discharge：Lv1
Trident Shark Magic Stone Status：43
Underwater Acoustics：Lv1, Current Jet：Lv1, Watersports：Lv1
We obtained quite the variety. We’ve attained an extensive set of water-based Skills, just as planned. Next is the well-awaited C Rank stones.
The Magic Stone thrown into the sky by Fran is cut in two through in one stroke by me. Uoー, it came, it came! After a long time, the sense of absorbing big-game has come!
Red Colossus Magic Stone Status：196
Frenzy：Lv1, Heat Resistance：Lv1, Weight Increase, STR ↑
Old Yeti Magic Stone Status：127
Cold Resistance：Lv1, Poison Knowledge：Lv1, Ice Resistance：Lv1, INT ↑ Low
With these, a long-awaited Rank Up will occur! Prior to absorbing the 5 stones, my status looked like this:
ATK：434 Retained MP：2050/2050 Durability：1850/1850
Magical Power Conductivity・A
Self-Evolution〈Rank 8・Magic Stone Status: 3146/3600・Memory: 70・Points: 2〉
And now, it’s like this:
ATK：478 Retained MP：2500/2500 Durability：2300/2300
Magical Power Conductivity・A
Self-Evolution〈Rank 9・Magic Stone Status: 3630/4500・Memory: 79・Points: 47〉
Alright, alright! With this, I can tweak my Skills yet again. This time, Superior Skills are the things on my mind. I couldn’t afford to tamper with it before, but I’d like to make use of it.
And so, my eyes are fixed on Sword Arts LvMax. When I make it a Superior Skill, will it simply become Master Sword Arts, or will it become a completely unknown Skill? If it does become Master Sword Arts not much will change in terms of sword-fighting, but what would happen to Sword Techniques? If its supporting skill Sword Arts disappears, would Sword Techniques even be usable? Or, because I have Master Sword Arts, would it work without an issue?
The chance to find out has arrived. Even if the worst occurs, there’re many Goblins that carry Sword Arts, and with Self-Evolution Points, bringing it back to LvMax isn’t really an issue.
『During this commission, we should be able to secure a magic stone from a Sword Arts carrier!』
It’s been two days since that was said. We’ve once again returned to the Adventurers Guild.
「Now then, let’s take this chance to introduce ourselves. My name is Cruz. I’m the leader of the C Rank party『Azure Guard』 to which these two, Rigg and Izel, are members of. For this commission, I’ll be acting as your instructor as well as your examiner.」
Name：Cruz Liuzel Age：28
HP：256 MP：175 STR：113 END：119 AGI：178 INT：80 MGC：91 DEX：119
Malice Perception：Lv3, Stealth：Lv2, Evasion：Lv5, Court Etiquette：Lv3, Presence Perception：Lv4, Sword Techniques：Lv5, Sword Arts：Lv7, Self-Defense Arts：Lv4, Leadership：Lv2, Instantaneous Movement：Lv7, Cold Resistance：Lv4, Poison Resistance：Lv5, Trap Perception：Lv2, Vigor Manipulation
Mithril Longsword of Flame, Light-Silver Steel Armor, Light-Silver Steel Gauntlets, Light-Silver Steel Greaves, Cloak of One Hundred Spiders, Bracelet of Poison Resistance
He’s an Ikemen. A blonde-haired Ikemen. An Ikemen that’s C Rank despite his young age, and judging by his white-and-shiny equipment he’s probably loaded. Furthermore, he has a family name, meaning he probably comes from an aristocratic home. His very facial features seem to emanate a feeling of nobility. Undoubtedly, this man is popular! Tch!
Aside from that, he has the Righteous Title. With that in mind, he doesn’t seem like a bad person… So I’ll refrain from cursing him for now. If he goes after Fran, it’ll be an instant death, however!
「I use the Sword as my weapon. Please treat me well.」
Although the abilities between C Ranks should be roughly equivalent, he’s weaker than Donna. Or rather, I should probably see Donna as top-class among C Ranks.
In terms of Status, his two comrades are similar to him. Rigg is a user of Water Magic, while Izel seems to be something like a Scout-oriented Thief. Although they give off completely different feelings than Cruz, their relationship seems to be good. They must have been picked quite skillfully.
「From the E Rank party 『Roar of the Dragon』, m’ name’s Clad: the leader. My forté is the Spear. With us ‘ere, this Dungeon exploration’ll be finished in no time!」
Clad has spiky gray hair and suntanned skin, and behind him several Yankee-like youths raise their voices. His height is most likely more than 180cm.
HP：127 MP：97 STR：67 END：56 AGI：47 INT：50 MGC：46 DEX：42
Transportation：Lv2, Balancing Act：Lv4, Danger Perception：Lv3, Hunger Resistance：Lv3, Pugilist Arts：Lv1, Spear Techniques：Lv1, Spear Arts：Lv4, Threatening：Lv3, Climbing：Lv3, Vigor Manipulation
High-Quality Steel Spear, Plate Armor of the Rock Ox, Vambraces of the Rock Ox, Boots of the Giant Spider, Overcoat of the Stone Spider, Bracelet of Self-Healing・Low
It seems that the condition to raise to Rank D is only whether or not you can use Techniques, so while he’s not particularly strong, Rank E’s should be at about his skill level. As for the four other members of his party, they have similar Spear-related skills. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of flexibility, but they’re probably strong when working together. Or… That’s the impression I have, anyways.
From what I’ve seen, Rank C’s are usually around Level 35, Rank D’s are about Level 25, Rank E’s are around Level 15, and Rank F’s are only about Level 10; Rank G’s are even lower. That’s more or less how the ranks’ level-zones are.
There are exceptions to that, however. For example, the former Mercenaries that picked a fight with Fran and were exterminated. Their levels were ~15, but their abilities didn’t match up. Judging by their low Skill levels, they likely power-leveled just to seem strong.
Viscount Auguste is a similar case. Even though he was Level 30 — about Rank C in equivalency — he would probably lose against an E Rank in a fight.
In that respect, Clad is quite good. His status is definitely one that would allow him to step foot into the grounds of Rank D.
That being said, his personality doesn’t seem to be all that great. He’s been looking at Fran all this time, so chances are he thinks that the lovely little Fran is out of her mind for participating.
「I’m Frion, leader of the E Rank party:『Eyes of the Forest』. I’m not very good with weapons, but I can use Spirit Magic to compensate.」
A blond, thin-eyed Elf. There’s no other way to describe him. He seems a bit younger than the Guild Master.
HP：71 MP：233 STR：36 END：34 AGI：60 INT：91 MGC：111 DEX：69
Archery：Lv1, Harvesting：Lv2, Cultivation：Lv4, Evil Perception：Lv3, Nature Magic：Lv3, Plant Knowledge：Lv7, Drowsiness Resistance：Lv3, Spirit Magic：Lv5, Soil Magic：Lv3, Water Magic：Lv4, Medicinal Herb Knowledge：Lv4, Divine Protection of the Spirits, Magic Manipulation, Child of the Forest
Cane of the Black Speckled Elm, Breastplate of the Red Monkey, Clothes of the Forest Spider’s Thread, Overcoat of the Forest Spider’s Thread, Ring of Water Production
He’s a Wood Elf: same as the Guild Master. His Skill configuration is also similar. The only difference is that he’s not strong, huh? I think that Clad’s overall strength is higher. In particular, his peculiar pro-magic build seemingly characteristic to the Elves isn’t that eye-opening.
As for his companions, there’re two Warriors and one person with the configuration of a Ranger. It’s pretty well-balanced.
「Then I guess I’m next? I’m Amanda. Best regards.」
Without mentioning her Rank, she gives a brief greeting. However, just that was enough. The only Adventurer that didn’t know of her would have been Fran a couple of days ago, after all.
The Rank E’s are too shocked for words. That an A Rank would take on a Rank D request is unprecedented; she sticks out like a sore thumb.
Only Clad seems capable of forming his words.
「I see how it is…」
「What do you mean?」
「I mean that I know th’ reason an A Rank like you’d take on such a low-rank request! This commission’s probably just somethin’ you took in your spare time, right?! We had to seriously prepare ourselves, y’know?! This isn’t where you should be playing around!」
Uwaー He said it right to her face, huh. Well, I can see that he’s only pretending to be tough given by his stiff expression though. Maybe he’s at the age where he’s compelled to pick fights with the strong?
「I have no intention of simply playing around though? Besides, I have permission from the Guild Master.」
「Now, now. Then, the young lady next please.」
Cruz diverts the conversation to bring a change to the bad air starting to develop. With the selfish Amanda and the seemingly-strong Clad, he has good reason to worry about the situation. This has definitely surpassed the duties of an examiner. My condolences.
「…… That’s all? Is there anything else?」
「Rank D. Beastman. Favorite thing: Curry. Don’t particularly dislike anything.」
Clad, your gaze is scary. He doesn’t really seem to like Fran. She’s a newly-raised Rank D, so it’s possible that he can’t permit such a young girl being ranked higher than himself.
「No, that’s not… I was meaning your weapon choice or the like…」
「Oi, brat. I said it before, but we’re going at this mission seriously. If y’think this’ll just be a simple excursion, then it’s better for you to go back home and suck your mom’s teat ‘nstead!」
Weーll, you certainly like picking fights, huh Clad? Even though you’re a Human, you seem more like a mad dog. Moreover, he’s even using his Threatening Skill. His intention to make her cry is clear, but… Well, things like that don’t work on Fran at all.
Mhm. Those words hit the hardest, huh. If he could retort to even that, his identity as a Human would seriously be doubted. In addition, he would’ve needed to do so under the bloodthirsty gaze that Amanda’s giving off.
「For an adult to shout at a child! Seriously… Are you alright, Fran?」
「Nn. No problem.」
Such a threat was only at the level of a puppy yapping away when compared to the feeling of intimidation given off from a devil. Hopefully, my implied meaning in those words is understood. Anyways, Clad returns with provocation. His aim isn’t Fran, though.
「You–! Wadda ya mean by that? Aah?」
「Errー Then, because the self-introductions are over, I’ll move on to the briefing.」
Wanting to avoid any more turmoil, Cruz forcibly ends the conversation. Hang in there, Cruz. I have no means of helping you, but because the above-mentioned dispute has happened early on, do your best. It’s a good opportunity, probably!
「Please, attempt to be friends for the duration of the request.」
「No problem. Good friends.」
「I sincerely hope that’s the case…!」
After crying so in desperation, Cruz moved onto the briefing.
「The request consists of the investigation of Aressa’s Dungeon:『Cobweb』which has already been conquered. In addition, we are to recover the Magic Ore that’s being generated by the Dungeon at the same time.」
The Dungeon consists of six layers, and its inhabitants mainly consist of insect-type Demonic Beasts. In particular, the 5th and 6th layers are essentially Spider Demonic Beast nests, and their numbers are no laughing matter.
「Because the Magic Ore is generated in the Dungeon Core Room, it’s necessary to make our way there.」
「So we’re to collect Magic Ore, then.」
「Ah, ’bout the Demonic Beasts, can we take ’em down? They’re bein’ allowed to live there on purpose, right? 」
「Ahh, there’s no problem. Reducing the number of Demonic Beasts is also part of the request to a certain extent.」
「Hehehe. I’m lookin’ forward to it.」
Spider-type Demonic Beasts by the name of Trap Spider reside in Cobweb, ranked at Threat Level F. It isn’t a bad opponent for low-class Adventurers for the sake of experience.
「I’ll warn you now, but while the Spiders are weak when they’re alone, they’re intelligent enough to use traps in groups. Their true threat comes from their cooperation. Please, don’t be careless.」
「Ke, there’s no way I’d lose to a Demonic Beast that even a Rank F could take care a’. They’re nothin’ but experience points.」
「…… In addition, Demonic Beasts aren’t the only thing to watch out for inside the Dungeon. Most of the traps in Cobweb aren’t a big deal, but watch out for Transition Traps.」
Transition Traps are traps that transfer their victim to any place in the Dungeon. It’s difficult to prevent them from triggering, so even experts can fall into a crisis.
There seem to have been cases where Transition Traps placed in spider webs were triggered, sending their victims to Monster Rooms. There’s a need to be careful.
「The Transition Trap is a fiendish trap that can sometimes involve more than just yourself. Be careful.」
「Yeah, yeah. I got it, I got it.」
He doesn’t understand at all. I’m worried. With a reckless, incompetent fellow with a high likelihood of sabotaging others… I’ll have to protect Fran.
Combat methods and Titles have been added to the earlier chapters.
As for the current Status of Fran:
Race：Black Cat Beastman
HP： 304 MP： 215
STR：150 END：129 AGI：140
INT：95 MGC：117 DEX：108
 A Grab-Bag is essentially a bag filled with a variety of objects; people’re supposed to simply reach in and grab something without knowing what’s inside. A good comparison would be Booster Packs for cards.
 So, there’re two ‘Swimming’ skills here: 水泳 from the Sea Lion and 遊泳 from the Trident Shark. Because I’m simply using machines, I can’t be sure of what the difference is, but I did look into the single characters that made the two different and found that the former seems to be just plain old swimming (水 = Water), while the latter seems to be referring to the sport/game-oriented side of swimming (遊 = Play).
If anyone has a better suggestion on how the two should be translated, I’d be happy to hear it. Thanks to Mesaphrom for the suggestion for 遊泳!
 転移の罠. Tempting as it is, I won’t translate it as ‘Teleportation Trap’ because it’s possible that ‘Teleportation’ will simply be a stronger version of Transition. Something like a trap that teleports its victim anywhere in the world, for example.