165. An Encounter With the Dungeon Master
Urushi laid himself down at Fran’s feet, as if trying to appeal for something.
『Oh, right. Yup, you did level up, Urushi.』
Yeah I totally forgot that I was supposed to check Urushi’s stats too.
Species: Darkness Wolf (Magic Wolf / Magic Beast)
Status Level: 30/50
Darkness Resistance: Lv 8
Darkness Magic: Lv 4
Sharp Nose: MAX
Espionage: Lv 7
Fang Techniques: Lv 6
Fang Arts: Lv 6
Shadow Dive: MAX
Shadow Transport: Lv 6
Air Jump: Lv 8
Fear: Lv 4
Vigilance: Lv 7
Presence Concealment: Lv 6
Regeneration: Lv 5
Deadly Poison Magic: Lv 2
Evil Energy Detection: Lv 1
Evil Energy Resistance: Lv 1
Blink: Lv 5
Muffle: Lv 6
Spirit Magic: Lv 5
Life Force Detection: Lv 8
Resistance to Mental Abnormalities: Lv 6
Claw Arts: Lv 1
Poison Magic: MAX
Echolocation: Lv 8
Howl: Lv 8
Shadow Slip: MAX
Dark Magic: MAX
Greater Poison Fang
Automatic HP Recovery
Automatic MP Recovery
Immune to Poison
Kin to the Sword
Kin to the God of Wolves
Claw of Capture
Defeating the pill bug had allowed Urushi to gain a level; he’d finally hit level 30. He needed way more exp than Fran to get anywhere at all, but he was still gradually making gains.
『And I think he’s learned a new skill too. I’m pretty sure he didn’t used to have Claw Arts.』
He always did like battering his enemies with his front paws, but I guess he never really used his claws until after he equipped the Claw of Capture.
Urushi picked up a nearby rock and tossed it into the air. He watched it for a bit and used his hind legs to stand up while skillfully swiping at it with his front right paw. A series of claws extended the moment he attacked and easily split the rock in four. The attack appeared both fast and powerful, it could definitely be put to good use, especially when taking the Claw of Capture’s paralysis effect into consideration.
「Nn. Urushi, cool.」
The fact that Urushi was praised made him so happy he nearly jumped for joy.
You know, Urushi was actually pretty damned strong for a magic beast ranked in at a C ranked threat. His stats were relatively high, and he had an incredible amount of skills compared to the pill bug and basically everything else like it.
He might even end up being considered a B ranked threat if he just levels up and grows a bit more.
That said, he was lacking both in combat experience and composure. He also wasn’t really like… wild enough. I guess that’s kind of my fault because of how much I spoiled him, but how could I not? Just look at how adorable he is. He’s capable of two way communication, and even listens to what we say even without the need for any sort of disciplinary action. He’s practically a dog owner’s wet dream.
In fact, he was only just responding to Fran petting his head by narrowing his eyes and wagging his tail. I mean, that’s at least better than flipping over and showing his belly, but, still. It’d probably be better for us to be a bit more strict with him.
「Master. What next?」
『Oh, right, I got side tracked, my bad.』
We shouldn’t just be hanging around like usual. We didn’t come all the way here just so we could beat up the boss. We were here to see the Dungeon Master.
I shoved the Disaster Pill Bug’s corpse in storage and had us survey the boss room for the time being.
We were currently at what was supposedly the dungeon’s deepest depths, but I expected a door or pathway of some sort to open up after we beat the boss regardless.
What actually happened differed from, but still kinda resembled what I’d expected. That is, a glimmering pillar of light appeared at the room’s center after a bit of a short wait.
「Master. Something appeared.」
『Looks like the info we got was spot on.』
The pillar was a teleportation device, specifically one that’d return all who entered it to the dungeon entrance. It’d normally be a helpful device as it’d save you the walk, but, it wasn’t what we’d been looking for. Entering it would force us back out the dungeon.
『Let’s try investigating the room and seeing if we can find anything.』
We looked around for about 10 minutes, but we weren’t able to find any sort of hidden area.
Er, actually that’s not right. I mean, we did technically find a spot that seemed like it had something on the other side, but we couldn’t figure out how we were supposed to get to it.
It wasn’t like the other areas in the sense that the Dungeon Master had restricted access to it. Forcing ourselves in probably wasn’t that great of an idea. We’d be putting not only the request, but also Fran’s life at risk.
『Hmmm… What do?』
Oh wait. You know, thinking about it, it wasn’t actually absolutely necessary for us to go to where the Dungeon Master was. We could just have her come out instead.
『Hey Fran, try showing off the pendant Aurel gave you.』
「Nn? Got it.」
Fran rummaged through her dimensional storage and pulled the pendant out from within it.
『Now try calling the Dungeon Master.』
「Got it. Dungeon Master. Delivery.」
She raised the pendant overhead as she spoke.
I was pretty sure that calling the Dungeon Master would work. We’d just beaten the boss, so chances were, the Dungeon Master probably had her eyes on us right about now.
And you know what, we can just try something else if it doesn’t work. It’s not like giving it a shot would cause any harm.
「Are you perhaps on one of Dias’ or Aurel’s errands?」
A young woman’s, presumably the Dungeon Master’s, voice resounded through the room after we tried calling out a few times.
「I see… Very well. I request you wait a brief moment.」
A hole appeared in one of the walls shortly after the woman voiced her agreement. It seemed to lead to the area that we’d suspected just a bit earlier.
「You may enter.」
The corridor didn’t have any traps in it. Still, I couldn’t help but worry that we’d be lead to a room full of magic beasts or traps. It wasn’t impossible for the Dungeon Master to choose to do precisely that, so we proceeded with caution. I made sure to have a bit of teleportation magic queued up just in case.
However, our concerns ended up appearing to be in excess. There weren’t any magic beasts anywhere to be found. The path was, well, just a normal path.
The passage’s only defining traits were its dimness and the softness of the light that seemed to shine through from where it lead.
A magnificent sight reached us once we finally arrived at the tunnel’s exit. The room it lead to looked like it’d come straight out of some noble’s mansion. It was incredibly wide, and filled to the brim with all sorts of gaudy furniture.
A beautiful woman of about 30 years stood in the room’s centre. The robe-like thing she wore made it look like she was in the midst of enjoying a sort of leisurely respite. Her body was rather slim, and her face charming, but I still couldn’t help but feel that she gave off the air of a warrior, a perfect balance of strength and beauty.
She was strong, incredibly so. I knew it from the moment I first laid eyes on her, but I couldn’t tell exactly how strong she was. Either way, she was at least stronger than we were. In fact, she was probably at least a match for Amanda.
I didn’t feel any bloodlust or malice from her, so I managed to avoid putting myself on guard. However, I surely would’ve immediately switched to battle mode if we came across her under any other set of circumstances, especially so if we were in a dungeon, seeing as how dungeon goers had the tendency to be more easily aggravated.
To be honest, I actually tried appraising her, but it seemed she had access to Appraisal Jamming, and thus, I wasn’t able to really get many details out of it. I only managed to learn her name, confirm the fact that she was the Dungeon Master, and figure out a few of her skills.
That said though, my attention had already been drawn elsewhere.
Her head sported a pair of black cat ears, and her rear a black tail. Both of these identifying features were ones that I was rather familiar with. They practically looked identical to Fran’s, after all.
『Is she a Black Catkin…?』
「You’ve done well to venture this far. I welcome you, fellow sister of the Black Cat Tribe.」
Fran immediately took to her right knee with her left fist pressed against the ground the moment the woman welcomed her. She’d placed her right hand behind her back and placed it on her waist.
「Thank you for gracing me with your presence. I believe this to be our first meeting. I am Fran, of the Black Cat Tribe.」
Fran kicked her Court Etiquette skill into full swing and bowed whilst speaking in a manner that completely differed from her usual one. Her greeting was not like that of a retainer, but more so like that of someone acknowledging another’s superiority. I guess that’s just a beastkin thing?
「And I am Rumina, Warrior to the Black Cat Tribe and the master of this dungeon.」
I knew it, she was a Black Catkin, but that doesn’t really explain why Fran suddenly went all out with the etiquette. I was confused, but didn’t have to wait all that long to find out, as the pair’s next exchange provided the answer I’d been looking for.
「Might I presume you to be a Black Tigerkin?」
「Fuhahaha, that is correct. Allow me to reintroduce myself. I am Rumina, one of the Black Cat Tribe’s Black Tigerkin.」
Ah, so that’s it. Fran’s respect stemmed from the fact that the person that stood before her was one that’d achieved her goal.
「Again, I welcome you to my domain.」