Vol.1 Intermission: Unlucky man
The mayor of Labyrinth City — Sutaro, sighed for the x-time that day. There was but one reason for this behavior. He received a report that the biggest dungeon in the human world, which was also the center of Labyrinth City — Abyss Dungeon, had been cleared for the first time. In addition, a book was discovered and brought out from the deepest floor.
Many valuable objects had been found inside the Abyss Dungeon. Depending on the items, ones could even earn enough fortunes to live in luxury for the rest of their lives without having to work anymore.
How valuable the book discovered in the deepest floor of Abyss Dungeon would be? For better or worse, Sutaro couldn’t even start to imagine it.
Though temporary, as the mayor of Labyrinth City, Sutaro was in the position to safekeep of such a valuable book until the whole procedure was finished.
For weapons, armors, and the likes, he could just ask merchant or blacksmith to give him an expert’s opinion and their estimated price. Even if the estimated price turned out to be the amount of money that enough to buy a small country or two, his job would be still easy to finish.
However, the books were different. He needed to check the contents, verify them, and then determine their value. Those process would take a lot of time and resources.
“Of all times, why did this have to happen in my term?” (Sutaro)
Sutaro became the mayor of Labyrinth City in order to marry his wife. He himself had no interest in this position at all.
Sutaro’s wife was his childhood friend, and the daughter of big merchant who owned a major brand. Because of the difference of their status, it was originally impossible for Sutaro, who was just a son of an escort guard, to marry her.
The two had been really close since they were still children, and together with the fact that she was just the fourth daughter, her parents made a compromise by putting a condition; if Sutaro showed his talent as a merchant, he would be allowed to marry their daughter. Unfortunately, Sutaro had no what it took to be a merchant.
Then, out of the blue, Sutaro — who was good at connecting people, was nominated as a mayor candidate. Furthermore, with the great support from his supporters, everything headed towards that direction in rapid pace, regardless of his intention.
In the end, Sutaro won the election and became the new mayor of Labyrinth City. Her wife’s parents acknowledged Sutaro had sufficient qualifications as their son-in-law, and allowed him to marry their daughter afterwards.
Those all happened three years ago. The mayor’s term of office was five years, and if nothing went wrong, he would have spent another two years as a mayor peacefully.
Unfortunately, something big happened, a report that someone came back from the deepest floor of Abyss Dungeon with an unknown book had reached his office.
Sutaro sighed again….
The next day, Sutaro was waiting for the adventurer who discovered the book that was schedule to come to his office. His job was to take that book for safekeeping and to get the recommendation of people who might be able to verify its contents from that person. In addition, a geass magic will be used so that the contents of the book wouldn’t be leaked elsewhere.
Why did he have to do such troublesome things? That was because the objects or writings found in the Abyss Dungeon often contained lost magic or lost technology. In order to not lose the chance to revive them, everything must be handled carefully.
Unlike equipment and the likes, in the case of books, it was necessary to verify the contents first. If the contents leaked to somewhere, the value of the books would decline, regardless of whether the contents were fact or fiction. In order to avoid such cases, a geass magic would be used.
Of course, the discoverers wouldn’t do something to lower the value of their discovery. However, there was some incidents in the past where malicious people force them to leak the contents of the books.
Not only to prevent the value of the books from declining, the geass magic also played a role in protecting the discoverer from such people by putting them in a state where they were unable to tell anything related to the contents of the books.
The items found inside the Abyss Dungeon were to be auctioned in the Labyrinth City, and 10% of the winning bid would flow to the Labyrinth City’s income. For this benefit, the Labyrinth City would bear all the expenditure during the process, provide the facilities, and all the supports needed. The protection of the adventurers was one of them.
For weapons, armors, and magic tools, the cost to appraise them would not so high. However, for the books, their value varied greatly depending on their contents, and in some cases, the income could be far less than the money spent on the verification process. If that happened, of course it would put the Labyrinth City in the red.
Since it was found in the deepest floor of Abyss Dungeon, the value of this book could be expected to some extent. Then again, the possibility that it may have a little value wasn’t nonexistent either.
How many people must be gathered for the verification? In the first place, will he be able to gather them? Those two questions plagued Sutaro’s head.
If he handled this poorly and put the Labyrinth City in the red as result, he might be removed from his position. In the worst case, he might even be forced to divorce his wife.
“I thought I was a lucky man when I won the election….” (Sutaro)
Sutaro sighed again for his lack of luck.
Guided by his secretary, a young woman entered Sutaro’s office. From her appearance, she looked like someone in her twenties, with white porcelain skin, long jet black hair, and eyes of the same color. If you asked 10 people about her appearance, 10 people would answer that she was beautiful.
However, Sutaro’s first impression was that there was something inhuman about her. Then, when he gazed at her black eyes, it felt as though she was reading his mind.
Even after his secretary went out of the room, no one initiated conversation. In Sutaro’s case, he was lost for words because of the pressure like that of veteran adventurers, that the young woman in front of him emitted.
Sutaro had often met seasoned adventurers because of his position. However, all of them were already reasonably old. It was unthinkable that someone who had only lived for around twenty years could have the same aura as theirs.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Sera, an adventurer with adamantite rank.” (Sera)
Listening to her clear and beautiful voice, had made Sutaro late to notice that she just spoke to him.
“Oh, yes, it’s nice to meet you. I’m Sutaro, the mayor of Labyrinth City. Thank you very much for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet me today.” (Sutaro)
Sutaro tried to regain his composure as he returned her greeting.
Thinking about it logically, she’s someone who strong enough to clear the Abyss Dungeon alone. There’s also a possibility that she is actually older than what her appearance suggests.
In the first place, the main subject of this time is the book, and her appearance has nothing to do with it. In addition, this is not a negotiation where I should read my opponent’s thoughts, but a simple administrative procedure.
“Oh, my apologies. It’s just that… you’re really different from what I had imagined. I was actually expecting a fierce-looking adventurer would come today.” (Sutaro)
“No, please don’t worry. I’m used to it, after all. Those who didn’t know me always had similar reactions when I told them about my adventurer rank.” (Figures)
Figures! — Sutaro held that word on the tip of his tongue, and responded with a smile instead. To begin with, adamantite was the highest peak of adventurer rank. No one would have thought that someone who looked like a young noble lady was an adamantite rank adventurer.
“Then, let’s proceed with the procedure.” (Sutaro)
“Yes, this the book.” (Sera)
Sera took the book out of an empty space. Sutaro was momentarily surprised, but then he understood that the book was stored inside the subspace using space magic.
The space magic tool itself was not something rare in the Labyrinth City. However, the human who could use space magic directly was a rare existence. Once again, Sutaro realized that the woman in front of him was not just an ordinary woman.
Carefully, Sutaro observed the book placed on the table without touching it. There was no title, and it looked like a normal book that you could find in the bookstores if you look for it.
“Excuse me, are you sure this is the right book?” (Sutaro)
Sutaro was expecting an old-looking book. However, the book in front of him looked like something that just recently published. No wonder he asked such a question.
“The book seems to retain its state because of preservation magic. The information written here was extracted from my guild card. You can see that I really obtained this book from the deepest floor of Abyss Dungeon. Please confirm it.” (Sera)
Sera took out a bundle of paper from her subspace as she said so. Sutaro picked up the papers and adjusted the position of his glasses before starting to read them. In the last page, the grand master of adventurer guild even provided a signature, as a proof of its authenticity.
Just in case, Sutaro channeled his mana into the bundle of papers in his hands. The result was the bundle and the book emitted a pale blue light at the same time.
“Certainly, this book and this document are both real. I’m sorry if it sounded like I was doubting you.” (Sutaro)
“No, it’s fine. I also had my doubts when I found this book.” (Sera)
Sutaro wrapped the book and the bundle of papers in a soft cloth, and then stored them inside the magic vault. No one but Sutaro had the authority to retrieve them. However, if something happened to him, the authority would fall to the vice mayor, his secretary, and so on.
Even though the value of the book has not been confirmed yet, Sutaro was already in a position where it wouldn’t be strange if someone aimed for his life. He was about to sigh again, but he remembered that Sera was there.
“Since I’m sure Sera-sama has already read the book, I will use geass magic to make sure its contents won’t be leaked to somewhere. This procedure is compulsory.” (Sutaro)
“Sure, I don’t mind.” (Sera)
Sutaro took a geass magic tool from somewhere, and then placed it on the table. It was a crystal ball with diameter of about 20 cm, which was fixed on a pedestal.
“Put your hand on the crystal ball and declare: ‘I will not say anything related the book I found in the deepest floor of Abyss Dungeon to anyone’.” (Sutaro)
“I understand.” (Sera)
Sera stretched her hand towards the crystal ball, but stopped before touching it. Sutaro stared at her in wonder.
“If we use the geass now, wouldn’t it make me unable to give the necessary information to proceed?” (Sera)
Sutaro had just realized his blunder. While there was no need for him to know the content itself, he still needed to hear the general information about the book, and get a recommendation of people who would be gathered to verify the contents of the book from her.
“I-I’m terribly sorry! That was a blunder on my part.” (Sutaro)
“No. it’s fine. Good thing I realized it before it’s too late.” (Sera)
Sutaro immediately took out a notepad and be ready to write.
“Then, for a start, could you please tell me what kind of book is that?” (Sutaro)
There were many different kind of book found in the dungeon, from spells books to technical books. It was said that something called dungeon core created them.
The dungeon absorbed mana from the creatures inside it to be used to maintain its function. If there was an excess of mana, the dungeon core then would use it to produce physical objects, such as weapons, armors, or books. It was said that the dungeon core acquired the necessary information and technology to create them from analyzing the equipment and magic of those who entered the dungeon.
“In short, it’s a diary.” (Sera)
Sutaro pondered whether it was a good news or a bad news. In the case of a diary, rather than the contents, its value depended on whose diary it was. If the author was a royalty, noble, or someone close to them, the value of diary would greatly increase, but so did the risk.
There was a record about the diary of a woman who served as nanny of a certain royal family was found inside a dungeon in the past, and caused a civil war to broke out. In her diary, the woman wrote about the rightful heir to the throne who escaped from an assassination attempt and fled from the kingdom. Later, the heir who was living as a mercenary, killed the brother who had become the king, and became the new king.
If the diary contained that kind of story, there was no choice but to make the related party to buy the diary before the information spread to public. In the worst case scenario, Sutaro will also be killed to seal his lips forever.
“Are you not surprised?” (Sera)
Sera’s question pulled back Sutaro to his sense. Hearing the book was a diary had made him lost in the sea of thought.
“Not surprised? Well, the value of diary depends on the author and the content, it’s still too early to be surprised….” (Sutaro)
Sutaro paused. Sera certainly said that the book was a diary. In other words, there was a diary in the deepest floor of Abyss Dungeon.
Abyss Dungeon was the biggest dungeon in the human world that had been around for millennia, and it was the first time someone successfully cleared it. Or at least, that should be the case since there was no official record about it.
“Could it be the author is someone who had cleared the Abyss Dungeon in the past? Or perhaps the dungeon core itself?” (Sutaro)
“That’s deeply related to the content of the diary. I’m afraid I can’t answer it.” (Sera)
When Sutaro heard that a book was discovered in the deepest floor of Abyss Dungeon, he thought it was a book created by the dungeon core. The story about the Nanny’s Diary itself was a famous story. Therefore, when he heard from Sera that the book was a diary, he was not that surprised.
However, he remembered that the Nanny’s Diary was not found in the deepest floor of dungeon. In addition, it was very unlikely the dungeon would create a diary. Or at least, there was no precedent of such a case.
Sutaro had come up with three theories regarding the origin of the diary so far;
- Someone had cleared the Abyss Dungeon before Sera and left the diary in the deepest floor.
- The creator of Abyss Dungeon who once lived in the deepest floor was the author of the diary.
- The dungeon core has a will like human and created / wrote the diary.
Of course, those theories could be wrong. However, there was also a possibility one of them hit the mark. Thinking every possibility that would increase the value of the diary, Sutaro couldn’t help but raising his expectation.
If it’s the diary of someone who had cleared the Abyss Dungeon before Sera did, even if it’s an unknown name, the diary is still worth a lot.
If the author of the diary is the dungeon creator, there would be a lot of collector who would happily throw their money to get their hands on the diary.
When it comes down to a diary written / created by the dungeon core, its rarity would be immeasurable….
I couldn’t think of any other possibilities, but at least, now I know that the book is valuable and won’t put the city in the red.
Sutaro felt as though a heavy burden had just been lifted from his shoulder.
“No, I actually was already surprised. I was only thinking about how valuable the book discovered in the deepest floor of Abyss Dungeon, so when I heard that it was a diary, it threw my mind into disarray. I’m embarrassed.” (Sutaro)
Hearing that, Sera only put a little smile on her face. Sutaro took out a handkerchief, wiped the sweat on his forehead, and then coughed to clear his throat before he continued.
“Next, do you have any recommendation of people who will most likely be able to verify the contents of the diary? If you don’t have any recommendation, I will appoint the appropriate people myself.” (Sutaro)
“Yes, I do. I want to recommend seven people in total.” (Sera)
Seven? That’s less people that I expected. Perhaps those seven are famous scholars who are experts in their fields? Or if the names of famous people are listed in the diary, it’s possible that they’re their descendants.
Sutaro waited for Sera to continue.
“First is the Maou.” (Sera)
“Huh!? Excuse me, but are you referring to the king of demons who live in the demon world?” (Sutaro)
Sera affirmed by shaking her head vertically.
Well, with enough money, it’s possible to send the invitation to the demon king in the demon world at least. However, whether he will come just to verify the content of the diary or not, it’s a completely different story….
Nothing will come out from mulling over it now. If the invitation is declined, she had to give up on the idea.
“I understand. I will try to invite the demon king. Then, could you please tell me the next person?” (Sutaro)
“Next is the Hero.” (Sera)
Now that I think about it, I can’t invite the demon king to some place without inviting the hero too. The presence of hero is indispensable as deterrent for the demon king. Then again, there is more than one hero out there. I wonder which hero she wants to invite.
“Have you decided which hero to invite?” (Sutaro)
“The Battle Princess.” (Sera)
Sutaro head went blank in an instant. Putting the demon king and the hero who was well-known as a battle maniac in the same place, it was a sure-fire way of inviting a disaster. It wouldn’t be strange if the human-demon war broke out because of this.
After all, it was a common knowledge that the Battle Princess always look for strong people and challenged them to a duel, regardless of the other party’s status. Sutaro could already imagine what would happen when she met the demon king. If possible, he didn’t want to invite her.
“Just in case, can I hear the reason? Can’t we invite the other hero instead?” (Sutaro)
“No, it has to be the Battle Princess. I can only say she’s related to the diary.” (Sera)
Then, there’s no helping it. If the demon king will come, she will definitely come too. That being the case, I will wait for the answer from the demon king before sending the invitation to her.
“Who will be the next?” (Sutaro)
To be honest, nothing can surprise me anymore. I don’t think there are more troublesome candidates than the Maou and the Battle Princess out there. I just want to get this done as soon as possible.
“The Witch.” (Sera)
The Witch was a title given to a woman human with the most mana in the human world. In his memory, the current Witch was the grandmaster of the magician guild.
“Do you mean the grandmaster of magician guild? Inviting her would be easy since she’s my acquaintance.” (Sutaro)
Sera shook her head.
“No, it’s her daughter. Two or three days ago, her mana count has surpassed her mother’s and she should have succeeded the title now.” (Sera)
“Is that so? That’s a news to me. I might have overlooked the announcement from the magician guild.” (Sutaro)
Sutaro didn’t know the grandmaster’s daughter. He knew that she had a son, but it was the first time he heard that she had a daughter. Sutaro wrote it down in his notepad so he wouldn’t forget to confirm the information later.
Still, why did she recommend her? The mother should have more experience and knowledge than her.
Sutaro pondered. However, since he was getting really tired, he put that question in the corner of his head and went on to the next topic.
“That makes four people. I hope you can go easy on me, but who else should I invite?” (Sutaro)
“Please invite the Holy Maiden.” (Sera)
“The Holy Maiden of the Saint Religion? Which faction?” (Sutaro)
Those who had amounted good deeds during their lives were worshiped as saints after their death. The Saint Religion allowed its believers to worship any saints, but worshiping more than one saint was prohibited.
For that reason, there were many factions in the Saint Religion in accordance to the saints who were worshiped. Occasionally, factions may be in conflict with each other. Each faction has a woman called Holy Maiden, which was the symbol of that faction.
“It’s the Holy Mother Faction.” (Sera)
When there were many wars, many children were raised in the orphanage created by the Holy Mother. As time passed, those children grew up into excellent adults and held important positions in the society. Eventually, the Holy Mother Faction became the biggest faction in the Saint Religion.
“I will send the invitation but I don’t know if she will come. And even if the person herself agrees to come, I doubt her fellow faction members will allow it.” (Sutaro)
The current Holy Maiden is said to be the second coming of the Holy Mother. Some people even have already started worshiping her as a living saint. However, the problem is that she is still around 10 years old. I heard that her fellow faction members are overprotecting her.
I wonder who will she throw at me next….
Sutaro, with his weary brain, thought that he could easily conquer the world with these members.
I don’t need to be present during the verification process at least. Still, my stomach hurts when I think I have to negotiate with those people later.
Unaware of Sutaro’s inner conflict, Sera continued to the next person.
“Next is the Adventure King.” (Sera)
“Oh, him!? If it’s the Adventure King, I’ve met him a few times. However, I’m afraid I don’t know where he is now.” (Sutaro)
The Adventure King — an adventurer who had discovered numerous ancient ruins throughout the human world. It was said that even the adventurer guild didn’t know his whereabouts because he was famous for never staying in one place for too long.
He was an acquaintance and a member of adventurer guild. Therefore, if Sutaro invited him, he would most likely come. Then again, whether his invitation will reach the person in question or not was a different story.
“Then, the next person please.” (Sutaro)
“Next is an archaeologist called Professor.” (Sera)
Sutaro never heard that name. However, since that person had a moniker, he guessed that person was an excellent scholar.
“Professor? That’s an unfamiliar name. Could you please give me more detailed information?” (Sutaro)
“I don’t know much either. However, it seems that person is currently doing some kind of excavation work at the Floating City ruins.” (Sera)
The place where the Floating City fell thousands of years ago was originally just an empty hemisphere with a radius of about 5 kilometers. However, the entrance to the interior was discovered hundreds of years ago.
Since then, many people gathered there to look for a quick fortune and various other purposes in mind. The time passed and a city was formed around the site, just like how the Labyrinth City was.
“Excuse me, but are you sure you want to recommend this person as a member of verification team?” (Sutaro)
Sutaro didn’t understand why Sera wanted to recommend someone who she herself didn’t know about. If she recommended a wrong person as a member of verification team, the value of the book would decrease, so did her income.
Money might be irrelevant to an adamantite rank adventurer. However, for Sutaro who his career was on the line, he didn’t want to invite people who would devalue the book.
“Not just Professor, I don’t know much about the other candidates either. One thing is certain, they’re related to the diary.” (Sera)
Sutaro peered into Sera’s eyes. Once again, he was caught in a sense that she was reading his mind. Nevertheless, he didn’t avert his eyes from hers this time.
She seems to be telling the truth…. I’d like to know the reason, but I cannot hear it because it’s related to the content of diary. Well, there is nothing to be done.
“I understand. I will believe in Sera-sama’s words.” (Sutaro)
“Thank you.” (Sera)
“Then, please tell me the next and the last person.” (Sutaro)
Sutaro felt sorry for the stranger who would be thrown into this group. Therefore, when he heard Sera’s words, he realized once again that he had no luck.
Sutaro stared at Sera without saying anything.
“I want to recommend the mayor of Labyrinth City — Sutaro-san, as one of the verification team’s members.” (Sera)