Kansutoppu! / Kansutoppu! Chapter 18 part2

Roel shouted as she swung her staff, downing the Cave Rabbit with a swift blow to its head. She had taken it out with just one strike. She was only Level 2 when we first came here, so I understood why she was nervous then. The Roel I was watching was a completely different person. Then again, I doubted she would be scared of a little rabbit after what we faced in the haunted house. That’s how I made sense of it, anyway.

“The 2nd Floor isn’t scary at all anymore!” Roel was looking at me with a broad smile on her face.

She was so happy she hadn’t noticed the bats about to attack her from behind. I stepped in, slapping them away and into a wall. The pride on her face was replaced with shock.

“Woah, it’s like they were bugs… Ryua, you’re really really strong.”

“It’s a hassle to keep drawing my sword…”

We passed by the grove with the spring from Pablo’s commission and continued straight down to the 3rd Floor. There was one more floor to go until we found what we came for. As soon as we reached the 3rd Floor, the atmosphere changed. It was gloomy, with only the occasional lamps along the wall to help, but it was still noticeable. I wondered why none of the monsters hadn’t gotten rid of the light.

The passages were more spacious than they were on the higher floors, so it would probably be better location to fight. Unfortunately, just like the higher floors, the treasure chests had all been emptied.

“The light makes it much easier to get around down here,” I said.

“Yeah, but I’m still worried about the poison. Kohzoh did say to bring antidotes, after all.”

[ Killer Tail x 3 have appeared! HP 53 ]

The scorpions appeared out of dark hole off to the side of the room. They were huge, probably half my height, and just as long. On top of that, they had giant tail that ended in what I only guessed was an extremely poisonous needle. And there was three of them. The cave was definitely more intense the farther down you went.

They started to move, and were much more agile than I would have thought. That would be a dangerous combination along with their long tails. Before they could spread out, I drew my sword and struck. Swiping straight across in a large arc, I cut their tails off first. They cleanly disconnected from their bodies and fell to the ground. To finish them off, I quickly cut their bodies entirely in half.

[ Ryua attacked! The Killer Tails took 382,991 damage! ]

[ The Killer Tails were defeated! HP 0/53 ]

There was something about a sword that suited me well. The iron sword was indeed a nice blade and cut easily. But I probably could have killed them quicker with the wing blade… Maybe I should have gotten that one. Though I was promised an even better sword after the commission, so I was particularly motivated.

“Oh wow! Amazing! If it were me, I would have had to run like hell from them.” Roel was clapping enthusiastically.

I probably went overboard cutting off their tails like that, but they were totally gross and I didn’t want one to touch me.

“I guess we really won’t need all these antidotes after all…” Roel was taking a long look through our item pouch. She was probably upset about spending the money.

I agreed with her. Originally I thought all of our preparation would be useful maybe once or twice, but it looked like it was completely unnecessary. I thought a Danger Level 10 area might be a little tougher than it was turning out to be.

We continued on the straight path through more wide open rooms. We made it to the 4th Floor with ease, but when we arrived I noticed some kind of strange presence.

“Someone is here,” I said.

“Huh? Maybe an adventurer was here already?”

“I don’t think it’s an adventurer.”

“N-no? Then, who…” Roel was fidgeting next to me.

I sensed someone watching us and felt a strong bloodlust. It was completely different than the feeling I got from monsters. It was definitely another human. I had no idea what they were planning, but if they were going to come after us I was going to meet them head on.

[ A Killer Tail appeared! HP 53 ]

[ A Monstrous Frog appeared! HP 65 ]

Whoever they were, they would have to wait. I switched my attention to the monsters that had appeared. I quickly cut their heads off. As we continued, we kept finding treasure chests that were already opened. There was no doubt in my mind the other person had taken them. We carefully made our way along and finally arrived at the mining area. We took out our equipment and got to work.

While we were working, a thunderous roar sounded, and suddenly giant footsteps were stomping toward us. With a thud, the large monster stepped into the room. It was the first time I had seen anything like it. The mining area had only one exit, so we were cornered. The only way out was through the monster.

[ Calamity Colossus appeared! HP 815 ]

It had the body of a rhinoceros and the head of an elephant. It made the otherwise wide open area seem small.

“A Floor Monster!” Roel looked terrified.

A Floor Monster. I had heard that term from Gantetz back when he was a little tipsy and couldn’t stop talking. He had told us they preyed on adventurers who couldn’t tell they were outclassed. I could tell it was stronger than what we faced in the cave so far, but there was no real difference between it and the monsters on the 2nd Floor of the Caverns of Hell.

The monster started to thrash about violently and I was afraid it was going to cause a cave in. I had to get rid of this thing quickly.

I took out my sword, but the monster suddenly swayed. I thought it was going to lunge forward at us, but instead it fell flat on its face with a loud noise and a cloud of dust. It gave one final twitch and stopped moving. I could see the outline of a large figure behind the beast. As the dust settled, I saw a man standing there with a satisfied smile on his face and his fists in the air.

“Looks like I saved ya.”

I figured he was more than double my size as he drew closer. Though his head was balding and his beard thinning, he still had very large muscles.

“What d’ya think you’re doing in here? Just two little girls like yourselves? That was pretty scary, right? Lots of adventurers think they’re all tough after the 2nd Floor and decided to take this guy on. I don’t think I need to tell ya they ain’t here no more.”

“Umm, thanks for saving us.” Roel gave the man a small bow as he came over and patted us on the head. Then he moved his hands to our shoulders.

“Well then, why don’t ya just leave all your stuff right here. A pretty small price to pay for your lives, eh?”

So that was his scam. His excessive confidence and fake attitude made it pretty easy to tell.

“I-I don’t think we…” Roel said.

“Ya don’t think, what? It can’t be ya don’t wanna return the favor? Right?”

“There has to be something else…”

“Hmmm, then how ’bout we go and —-?” The man was smiling broadly.

“We wh-wh-what? What’s that?”

I had no idea what he even said, and Roel’s response told me she didn’t either. It was clear that he was trying to mess with us, though, and I understood whatever he had said was worthless. Clearly that was his plan from the beginning, so there was no reason to hold back. I grabbed his hand off my shoulder.

“Oh? What’s this now?” He looked down at his arm with a hard expression on his face.

I took his wrist and applied a tiny amount of pressure. He screamed out in a high pitched voice laced with agony. When the man dropped to his knees, I finally decided to let go. As soon as I did, he shakily got to his feet and backed away as quick as he could.

“Wh-wh-what was that!?”

He just kept asking that over and over as he trembled. Maybe he was confused.

“You’re just a brat, how’d ya… to me… I’m Grundom!”

He was blowing on his hand as if to cool it off and was staring at me, wide-eyed. Grundom… That made sense. So that was him. He was an even bigger piece of human garbage than I had imagined.

“So you’re Grundom the Beginner Crusher, huh? Why do you do it?” I said.

“Oh? So there’s rumors floating ’round about me, eh?” Somehow he still managed to come off as smug.

“The Guild attendant said that as soon as the B Ranks come back they’re going to take care of you.” Roel was looking at the big man like he was something disgusting on the side of the street.

Grundom’s hand must have been feeling better since he stopped massaging it, though he was still covered in sweat.

“Hah, like I give a shit!”

He charged straight for Roel as he yelled, dashing around the large rocks in the ground as though he’d done it plenty of times. He took his large, log-like, arm and swung it directly at her, but he was way too slow. I even had time to sigh before I jumped in front of her and blocked his arm with my own. He cursed in pain.

Had he forgotten what happened a few minutes ago? Or was he just incapable of learning? Whatever it was, his arm looked as if he had punched an iron pole.

“I’ll ask once more. Why do you do it?”

“I-I do whatever I want!”

He finally recognized I wasn’t just someone he could easily take advantage of. His breath was ragged, and he was grinding his teeth. He still looked like he wanted to try something, though. He ignored Roel and came straight for me, throwing a flurry of blows. I easily dodged all of them, moving only as much as I had to. The small effect his fists had on the air slightly ruffled my hair. I hoped it infuriated him. I let him strike over and over again until his face turned bright red and he was forced to stop, completely out of breath. He hunched over, breathing heavily.

“You don’t stand a chance,” I said.

“What the hell are you!?” He let out a growl as he lunged at me.

Despite missing every single punch, he somehow felt a tackle would work. I stopped him in his tracks with my right hand on top of his head. He kept trying to run, but my hand held him in place as firmly as if he were running against an invisible wall.

Grundom let out a roar like a wild animal. He probably meant it to be threatening, but, in reality, I just viewed him as a pathetic creature that didn’t know when he was defeated.

“Shit! What the hell are you doing in a goddamn easy dungeon like this!? What’re you, an A Rank!?”

“I just got to C Rank”

“Stop lying!”

“It’s no lie. Here, look.” I showed him my adventurer’s card. He looked at my card, then at me, then back at my card. Suddenly, his anger seemed to leave his body.

“There’s no way…” Grundom dropped both his arms to his sides with a look of despair on his face.

I saw Roel was still standing there with her staff at the ready. Even though I had already overpowered him physically, I wanted to continue my attack on his will.

“I guess I’ll ask again. Why do you do this?”

“I-I do what I want.” He was on the ground and his shoulders were rising and falling with his deep breathing, yet he still wanted to be stubborn.

I thought he was done, but he suddenly thrust both his hands behind him and in one quick motion brought them out to face me. That must have been his trump card. Something like my Sonic Ripper flew quickly from his hands right at me. I drew my sword and, managing my power as best as I could, let loose a very weak Sonic Ripper. I only wanted to match his power and negate the attack, but I wasn’t able to hold back enough. The Sonic Ripper collided with Grundom, tearing a hole in his armor. Fresh blood gushed from the wound.

Grundom fell with a scream. “You killed me!” He was so over dramatic.

Roel ran over to the suffering man sprawled out on the floor and cast Heal on him. It probably took care of most of the damage, but Grundom was still on the ground and complaining.

“Ugh, it hurts…”

“Oh, does it?” Roel said.

“It hurts, it hurts so bad…”

“Then why don’t you learn from this and never do this kind of thing ever again?” Roel was still looking at him with disgust, despite healing him.

“Damn it! Damn it!”

The large man started crying. For such a giant adult, he cried like a little boy. He was a completely different person from the angry man before.

“Is this… is this really the best I could do?”

“Ryua’s already been asking, but I’ll ask again. Why do you do this?”

“Everyone hates me. A Ranks, D Ranks, it doesn’t matter. Everyone I started with is an A Rank now. You’re going for it too, right? I thought I was good enough to be an A Rank, but I got left behind. Over and over I watched C Ranks become B Ranks, then pass me, too. I’ve reached my limit. I failed the A Rank test, so I’m stuck as a B Rank forever. I’m no match for the A Ranks, that’s why I pick on the lower ones. I know it’s wrong… I know I’m scum. I go after the beginners because I want to take away their optimism, crush everything they have. Those adventurers who climb the ranks, going after their dreams… I’m jealous of them all.”

It was like a dam broke as Grundom’s words poured out. I could understand his feelings, but I was still angry about what he had done.

“I was weak when I started, but I didn’t give up. Now here I am. I worked at becoming better. I didn’t take out my anger on other people like you,” I said.

“… Don’t you know about the Level Cap?” Grundom said.

“Level Cap?” I’d never heard that term before.

———-Bestiary———-

[ Killer Tail – HP 53 ]

A scorpion that weakens its prey with poison before eating them alive.

While it is much faster than its large size would imply, and its tail provides it with a longer reach than expected, an adventurer who is familiar with them doesn’t have anything to fear.

However, if they appear in a group and encircle you, they become far more dangerous.

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