Tianna raised her staff and cast a spell, and like the name implied, it shot several icicles.
After the sneak attack was a success, Nick and Karan jumped out to attack… Or at least that was the plan.
“…Yes, all ten are down.”
Tianna’s icicles pierced the goblins’ skulls.
“Hum, let’s move on shall we?”
A flustered Tianna used 《Enemy Search》 again.
“It’s not like I’m mad… But part of the reason why we’re here is to test our strength, so leave the next group to me and Karan.
And then Tianna found the next pack of goblins. There were five of them, perfect for the vanguard.
“Alright, I’ll follow you.”
Karan held up her dear dragon bone sword, but it seemed too big, which surely would make it hard to move in the forest because of all the obstacles in its way.
Nick ran towards the goblin pack to do something about the ones that would escape, but something happened that he didn’t expect.
Karan let out a piercing shout as she mowed down the goblins, who were cut in half as if they were twigs.
Two went down to this attack, while the other three tried to run.
Karan set her eyes on them and took a deep breath.
Three fireballs shot out from Karan’s mouth. It was a special technique of the dragon race, 《Breath》.
With the divine protection of the fire dragon, Karan could use 《Fire Breath》.
She could control her breath, so she could release a continuous stream of fire, or shoot separate balls of fire.
“Alright! It’s over!”
The goblins were burned to a crisp when Karan’s fireballs hit them.
Nick had no time to do anything.
“Ooh, that was amazing,
Tianna and Sem congratulated Karan on a job well done.
“Yes! Leave the vanguard to me!”
“That was easy… I’m the only one that didn’t do anything aren’t I…?
Up until this point, Nick did not do a lot, and he was feeling like this was too easy.
But the others did not see Nick the same way he saw himself.
“Eh? We’ve been relying on you all this time… Right?”
“Yes, I feel bad about that too.”
“Yes, that’s right.”
Nick tilted his head.
“Yes. How to pick labyrinths and objectives,… Without you, we would not have been able to make any decisions. And also…”
As Tianna was talking, she started counting on her fingers the things that Nick had been doing.
Nick talked about a lot of things on the way to the labyrinth. The labyrinth’s features, geography, what monsters appear and how to deal with them, but also more ordinary things and common knowledge about the labyrinth city.
“That’s a pretty nice robe Tianna.”
“Yes. Well, it was provided by the school…”
“Put something else on top to hide it. If people start thinking we’re rich it will lead to all sorts of trouble.”
“It’s a pain when the side taking the job is better dressed than the side offering it. It’s not just the robe, the same is said about weapons and armor.”
Tianna noticed a few mistakes in her past. She was rejected everywhere she went when she was answering job offers for sorcerers, and she always wore that robe on interviews.
Tianna realized that it wasn’t just that there were a lot of sorcerers looking for work, she was pushing people away.
“…I-I’ll be careful.”
“Hn? You don’t have to be so docile about it… And Sem…”
“What is it Nick?”
“I don’t know if you’ve noticed this but… By wearing a cassock and no cross, you’re basically telling everyone you’ve been excommunicated. You should either wear something else or get inside a temple from another sect and get one of their crosses.”
He also talked about what to look out for while resting at their destination, etiquette in town, and what to do when they found monsters. The adventures of ‘Survivors’ were built upon Nick’s knowledge.
“…So you shouldn’t worry so much.”
Tianna said, and Nick tilted his head even more.
“…It’s not as big of a deal as you’re making it out to be. If anything, I should be thanking you for listening when I talk so much.”
Nick was aware that he talked too much, his former party made sure he knew.
Nick former C rank party All Martial Arts had a bad characteristic, its members were the Weapon Master, shield knight, samurai, archer, and a light warrior, all physical attack types
With that balance, they would never make it past B rank, even if the individual members were as good or better than A rank adventurers. In fact, it was a small wonder that they made it to C rank without a sorcerer and relying completely on strength alone.
Nick was the smallest member of this muscle brain party and was a step or two behind when it came to having the power to take down monsters. This is why he volunteered to take care of all sorts of chores, and worked towards filling the gap left by the lack of a sorcerer. Nick’s contributions were all good, but the other members hated being told what to do, especially by someone weaker like Nick.
In order not to upset these people, Nick would buy medicinal herbs and magic items, put together plans to explore the labyrinths, and do all sorts of chores in advance. Nick tried to make it so it would be easier for them if they just listened to him, but he still heard complaints. This was why it was so easy for him to explain things to people that actually listened to what he had to say. He was also the perfect guide for this party with two new adventurers.
“What about you Karan? Are there things you find easy or difficult?”
Karan was flustered.
“…I’m a little confused.”
“In my previous party no one ever asked me what I thought. They just said they were counting on me and I did what they asked.”
Nick frowned at Karan’s explanation.
Nick thought that Karan knew very little, considering her experience. Even Sem and Tianna were a little better.
She did not remember a lot about beginner level labyrinths like the Goblin Forest and Sticky Goo Gate, and could not even retrieve materials from monsters after defeating them.
Adventurers were normally not like this. Even if they were somewhat strong, an adventurer had to know the basics or it would be a drawback for the party later.
On the other hand, if they were not going to be kept in the party for long, and the plan was to deceive and kill them, it would be convenient to keep them ignorant.
Nick was disgusted by the thought of people like that, and Karan misunderstood the bloodlust in Nick’s expression.
“It’s not your fault…”
“All I can do… Is fight.”
“Well… Yeah. But, only being able to fight is bad.”
Karan thought Nick was angry at her and sadly lowered her head, but she was surprised by what he had to say next.
“So remember it. I’ll teach you what I can but I won’t pamper you.”
“…Really? This isn’t easy to teach…”
“Yes really, otherwise it would be a problem. Do you remember when we decided to form a party, and I told you to doubt me?”
“You need knowledge and intelligence to doubt, so you need to get to that level soon. You need to be able to tell when someone’s acting strange or saying something that doesn’t make sense. You need that to be in this party, got it?”
Tears started to well up in Karan’s eyes, and Nick regretted saying so much.
“N-No, I mean, it doesn’t have to be right away. It’s not like we’ll throw you out or anything…”
“T-That’s not it.”
Tianna shrugged her shoulders at a panicked Nick.
“Don’t be so insensitive. Get it together leader.”
“W-What…? A-anyway, sorry Karan.”
“I-It’s alright.” Let’s continue our adventure!
Karan yelled energetically.
For the first time since leaving her hometown, Karan wanted to become a proper adventurer.
She was not being treated like a customer or prey, and the feeling that she belonged there filled her heart.