TSKD 147

147. Arriving at the Dungeon

We headed over to the dungeon immediately after eating our fill at the inn’s dining hall.

Neither Fran nor I knew where to go, so we asked one of the lady’s at the inn. The reply we got from her was surprisingly short and simple.

「The west dungeon’s over near the western stronghold, and the east one’s right beside the eastern stronghold. Just walk in a straight line, you can’t miss either of them.」

It looked like the dungeons were inside the large cylindrical buildings. Rather, it turned out that the buildings had actually only been constructed in order to enclose the dungeons in the first place. [1]

At first, most people had still felt that the dungeon masters were rather untrustworthy. They didn’t actually believe that they would uphold the contracts they made with Dias.

Thus, the Kingdom of Kranzel ended up constructing two large buildings, one around each dungeon. These two constructions were an attempt to minimize the people’s feelings of anxiety. The people would be less concerned about the dungeon masters failing to fulfill their promises so long as they had insurance in the case that it happened. The wall that surrounded the city was also constructed with the same purpose in mind.

That is, the outer wall would be able to contain the dungeons’ monsters even if they managed to break through the strongholds built up in their immediate vicinities. The construction of both these countermeasures managed to settle most of the citizens’ concerns.

That, however, begged a certain question. What did Ulmutt’s citizens think? It was technically possible for the city to end up as a battlefield.

We’d asked for the innkeeper lady’s opinion, and it turned that most of the people that lived here actually felt more positively about the dungeons than anything. The majority of Ulmutt’s citizens either were merchants and adventurers, or had some sort of connection with them. They’d actually only chosen to move to Ulmutt because of its dungeons. They knew the dangers and had long acknowledged them as a part of their daily lives. In fact, the city’s people saw the dungeons as their breadwinners and were even concerned with their conservation.

They went as far as to regard the city’s outer walls as a nice added bonus that they just happened to be lucky enough to get from the government, reason being that they hadn’t paid even a cent for it themselves.

All I had to say was… wow. I mean, I should’ve expected it given that the city was frequented by rowdy adventurers and cunning merchants, but damn, the people here got guts.

***

We did as the innkeeper instructed and made our way towards the eastern stronghold. It didn’t take long for us to realize that navigating the city’s streets was as hard as navigating a maze, even with the end goal almost in sight. It’d almost felt whoever built the place had done so without a solid layout planned out ahead of time.

The closer we got to the fortress, the more apparent this became. The buildings themselves started getting older and more historic looking, whereas the streets just flat out degenerated into a huge mess of alleyways and intersections. The older buildings looked to be of a poor quality, as they obviously weren’t built with any sort of construction related principles or standards in mind.

We went up and down stairs, hit dead ends, turned around and did all sorts of wandering before finally reaching the dungeon’s entrance about an hour after we first set out for it.

「Arrived. Here, dungeon?」

「Woof?」

『I’m pretty sure that this is the fortress they built up around the dungeon. We should be able to get ourselves inside if we head over to that gate over there.』

The building looked pretty big up close. I also now realized that the stronghold we were looking at was no normal fortress. It didn’t have windows, and its gate would actually be pretty small if you ignored the part that had been dug out under the ground level. I could see why though. I mean, they called it a fortress, but it was only actually built in order to keep the dungeon in check and whatnot. In other words, its goal was to keep what was inside in as opposed to a regular fortress’ goal of keeping what was outside out.

A group of soldiers had taken up residence in the fortress’ upper floors so they could act in times of emergency.

Ten odd adventurers were lined up in front of a small building set up by the fortress’ gate. It looked like they were waiting their turns in order to get themselves admitted to the dungeon.

Fran garnered a bunch of attention as she got in line, but this time around, there wasn’t anyone that bothered messing with her.

A fair portion of the adventurers gathered at the gate seemed to be ranked in at D or higher, and most were able to discern that she wasn’t just some weakling. Having Urushi around helped quite a bit too. We’d already had him go back to his actual size, so he looked fairly intimidating.

Even the more mischievous looking adventurers seemed not all that keen on involving themselves with us with our giant ass wolf friend around. Urushi was normally restricted from using this form. He couldn’t parade around town in it, and dungeons were often too narrow for him.

「Next plea — WHAT THE! That wolf is huge!」

「W-What’s wrong? What’s all this commotion all of a sudden!?」

The person responsible for admissions accidentally screamed when he saw Urushi. The guard hadn’t ended up seeing him ahead of time because he happened to be in the building’s blind spot.

「W-Whoops, s-sorry. I just got a bit surprised is all.」

「Sorry little lady, he’s a bit of an idiot.」

The guards that showed up here were much more pleasant sounding than the ones that we’d met outside the city. They apologized sincerely and whatnot, and more importantly, they didn’t really seem even to bear even the slightest bit of disdain. Their attitudes were so good that they even left Fran in a state of confusion.

「…?」

「Is something the matter?」

「Nn. Complete opposite of guards outside city.」

「I see. Did you run into any sort of complication with them, perhaps?」

「That’d probably be because they sent all the more diligent guys over to Barbra.」

Ulmutt’s soldiers needed to be strong enough to both guard the dungeons and keep unruly adventurers in check. Thus, stronger individuals were often hired even if their attitudes happened to be a bit lacking.

The city had decided to send some of its troops over to Barbra in light of the recent events that had occurred, and it went without saying that sending the more ill-mannered individuals was nothing short of a horrible idea. Hence, Ulmutt’s higher ups had ended up deciding to send over most of their harder workers, the people that normally made up the backbone that supported most of the city’s regular guard-related activities.

As a result, the less well mannered guards usually responsible for rounding up criminals and subjugating magic beasts outside the city’s walls were tasked with helping with maintaining public order. As a result, the town had, in general, gotten a lot less secure. In fact, the guards themselves ended up bringing about a fair amount of trouble.

「The men we sent to Barbra will be returning in due time. The Guildmaster and several other high ranking adventurers are helping us keep everyone in line for the time being, so everything’s still thankfully under control.」

「Still, it’d be best for you to be careful. It was honestly very difficult for us to immediately see you as an adventurer. We wouldn’t have believed you if not for your guild card, and I’m sure there will be others that not only feel the same, but are more stubborn in their ways.」

「I think you’re probably the youngest adventurer to have ever tried entering the eastern dungeon.」

「…And you’re registered. Your guild card should now log the dungeon’s info.」

「Log?」

「It’ll track the floors you’ve visited and number of monsters you’ve defeated. It’ll let you immediately determine whether or not you’ve completed a request.」

Oh, nice, that sounds really convenient. It sounds like it’d make reporting subjugation requests incredibly simple. It’d also prevent people from giving false reports, not that that mattered to us seeing as how we were actually planning to do stuff the legit way anyways.

「Do pay attention to the fact that the east and west dungeons have separate trackers. Nothing done in the eastern dungeon will count towards trackers for the western dungeon and vice versa.」

I guess that means we’d have to register again if we wanted to do stuff in the western dungeon too.

「And here’s your card back.」

「Don’t push yourself too hard.」

「Nn. Thanks.」

Alright! It’s finally dungeon time.

(Let’s go.)

(Woof!)

『Be careful though. The place is supposed to be filled with traps.』

(Nn. Got it.)

You know, now that I think about it, this is actually our first time entering a more difficult dungeon all on our own. It’d be best for us to be prudent.

Having Fran die by falling in some random trap without any real warning would totally suck, so I’d really prefer for that not to happen.

『Urushi, don’t warn us about any traps unless we’re about to get totally screwed. We won’t be able to get much training done if you do.』

(Ruff.)

The door opened as one of the guards did something with an item he happened to be holding. There seemed to be a weird flow to the magic in the door’s vicinity, so he’d probably just used some sort of magic item.

We caught sight of a small shrine-like thing situated in the centre of a stone dome the moment we went through the gate.

『Is that the dungeon’s entrance?』

「Small.」

「Woof?」

Looking a bit closer, I noticed that the shrine’s entrance contained a flight of stairs that ultimately led deeper underground. Still, the dungeon’s entrance sure seemed small for how famous it was, but that didn’t mean we’d be letting our guards down. A dungeon was a dungeon, after all.

_______________________________________________________________

[1] This wasn’t all that clear in earlier chapters, but turns out there are two cylindrical buildings. Japanese rarely involves the specification of plurality, I unfortunately had no way of knowing whether there were one or multiple ahead of time.

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10 thoughts on “TSKD 147

  1. Looking a bit closer, I noticed that the shrine’s entrance contained flight stairs that ultimately led deeper underground.

    contained flight stairs ⇒ contained stairs

    Like

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