Live Dungeon!

Live Dungeon! – Chapter 147, Friends Are For Benefits

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Translator: Barnnn

Editor: Silavin


Tsutomu made preparations to start exploring layer seventy-one and welcome the new Clan members, while the other current members except Diniel spent the two weeks training. Eventually, Hannah came back from her home village.


“I have returned!”


“Welcome back.”


It was cold outside, but Hannah was as energetic as ever. As soon as she showed up, Tsutomu handed her and everyone else a set of documents detailing the Clan’s future additions.


“These are the people we might be welcoming as new Clan members soon.”


After everyone got their papers, Tsutomu watched out for what Amira would say, but she did not seem to have any reaction when she saw Leleia’s name.


“…Amira, don’t you recognize anyone on the list?”


“Yeah? You talkin’ about Leleia?”




“I have no idea why she’d leave there and come over here, but that’s cool if it works for you, I guess.”


As it turned out, Amira was not particularly concerned about Leleia. The three new Explorers were not considered permanent members yet, but Tsutomu was relieved to see that, for now, the others were welcoming of them.


“Okay, so… these three will be joining us next week. They’ll go through the same probation period as all of you have before, so be sure to tell me if there’s any trouble. That’s all for today. We’ll be exploring layer seventy-one tomorrow, so be ready.”


After the four were dismissed, Hannah, exhausted from all the training back at her village, went straight to Ollie and begged for a massage. Diniel immediately went back to her room, while Daryl and Amira turned to look at each other before approaching Tsutomu.


“Sir Tsutomu, if you’re free, how about exploring the Dungeon with us?”


“Oh, sure. I haven’t gone at all these past few days — might as well get back into it now.”


Despite saying that, Tsutomu had actually been getting some training in. He decided to follow the two others, with the plan being to get a look at layer seventy-one — but before that, he gave them their newly-completed equipment.


“Well, here you go. Your new gear.”




It would be extremely difficult to explore the Snow Field layers without proper protection against the cold. And since the Clan, unlike Silver Beast, had no high-leveled Adventurers with skills to nullify terrain effects, they had to get the necessary effects from their equipment instead.


Amira looked at what she got with great interest — a set of red leather armor with a retractable black plate. The function had been implemented with her <<Dragon Form>> in mind, since her wings sprouting out of her back would ruin the armor otherwise. The underside of the armor was made of tanned, highly cold-resistant monster hide, and was padded with wooly down for improved comfortability, making it superior to her previous set in virtually every way.


Daryl’s heavy armor was switched to one that specialized in protection against the cold, equipped with a function to generate additional heat using Inferno Magic Stones — and also functions to use the heat to attack, which would prove effective against the monsters of the Snow Field. It was heavier than the previous one, but that was no problem for Heavy Knights like Daryl, who all had the passive skill that reduced equipment weight.


The new set of padding clothes underneath the armor had also been made with cold protection in mind, and his boots were switched for a pair that made it easier to walk through snow. Other cold-weather gear, including gloves, knit caps, and hand warmer packets had also been prepared. With all of these items, the team should be able to avoid freezing to death like Ealdred Crow’s early attempts.


“Do I really have to wear these gloves? They kinda get in the way.”


“Better to get used to them now. You’ll eventually have no choice but to keep them on.”




No public information past layer seventy-five was currently available due to Ealdred Crow and Silver Beast having yet to progress to that point — which was in turn due to their issues with Ice Magic Stone marketing deals. Tsutomu remembered from his game days that the latter half of the Snow Field layers had the snow storm weather effect, and that the layer boss could also cause snow storms in the arena, so he knew that it was better to prepare countermeasures beforehand.


After persuading Amira to wear her gloves and scarf despite her dislike for them, Tsutomu prepared a set for himself and headed to the Guild. Then, after registering at the reception desk, the group got onto a Magic Circle and teleported down to layer seventy-one.


The view of the snow-covered landscape impressed Tsutomu so much that he spent a moment to simply look at it, before he proceeded to prepare the team’s Potions… during which a thought crossed his mind,


[Wait, are the Potions going to freeze?]


So far, no information suggesting such an occurrence had been publicized by the two leading Clans, but it was apparent that the deeper the layer, the colder the temperature. Considering that, it was quite possible that it would eventually be cold enough to freeze the Potions’ liquid contents.


If they were to freeze on layer eighty or earlier, then he would have to take some sort of countermeasure. As he had heard in passing, the Potions would lose their potency when frozen, and even if not that, the contents would be difficult to remove from their containers. As such, he must ensure that they maintained their liquid state.


[Well, I’ll know when Ealdred Crow gets to layer eighty, I guess.]


If Potions actually started freezing, there was sure to be an uproar, so for now there was no real need to worry about it. Be too obvious with his preparations, and he could stand out in a bad way as he had almost been during the Stampede, so playing it safe now would be the better choice.


Once the Potions were ready, Tsutomu handed them to Daryl and Amira, then they proceeded to walk through the snow with their newly-made boots. Eventually, they came across a pack of Snow Wolves, trademark monsters of the Snow Field layers.


[Heh, these little shits aren’t so scary when I’m not soloing them.]


Tsutomu thought back to the time he had cleared the Dungeon’s hundred layers by himself while simultaneously controlling five PCs; he had particularly struggled against the Snow Wolves due to them spawning indefinitely during fixed periods of time. This time around, all he had to do were hold his position, cast support spells, and occasionally attack with <<Air Blades>>.


Daryl and Amira were not used to running on snow yet, so their performance was relatively poor, but not bad enough for the Snow Wolves to be a problem.


Daryl would occasionally be thrown off-guard when up against larger groups, but since his VIT rating was an A, he was able to withstand their attacks with ease. He still needed to watch out for critical hits to his head and such, of course, but being fully aware of that, he exercised extra caution and was in no danger of taking hits in the wrong spots. 


Amidst all the chaos, Tsutomu and Amira’s attacks caused the Snow Wolves’ formation to falter, giving Daryl enough time to get up and pull aggro back toward him.


After defeating the pack of Snow Wolves without much difficulty, the team went on to fight more monsters, this time encountering the types that appeared on all layers such as Slimes and Orcs. Following the first few fights, one of the monsters dropped a small Ice Magic Stone, which Tsutomu proceeded to pick up.


Ice Magic Stones had brought not only great riches to Ealdred Crow’s treasury, but also a heap load of problems to their front door. Many individuals and organizations had disputes over deals to trade for Ice Magic Stones with the Clan; it took a lot of hard work just to simply keep track of their negotiations.


Bribes, extortions, and misleading statements were naturally rampant; even Ealdred Crow, a major Clan known for managing a large number of personnel, was having trouble staying on top of things. It would not be a surprise if any other Clan were to collapse under the same pressure.


However, thanks to Rook and industry-veteran office staff, their Clan had managed to ride out the storm and land themselves some acceptable trading agreements. Rook and his subordinates looked dead inside by the end of it though; their blank, emotionless eyes suggested they had gone through a great deal of hardship.


At around the same time, Silver Beast, the second group to reach the Snow Field, had also had to deal with negotiations from various organizations. Having read about Ealdred Crow’s complicated troubles in the newspapers, however, they had been able to gather the necessary information relatively easily; in the end, they got the marketing part out of the way without much struggle.


Absolute Helix had also been faced with some interference shortly after clearing layer seventy, but the demand was not too great to handle by then, due to the two other Clans already supplying the market with a considerable amount of Ice Magic Stones. Besides, it also helped that no organization would dare to put too much pressure on Tsutomu, as he had been publicly awarded by House Babenberg, the ruler of the Dungeon City.


Afterward, the team proceeded to explore more of the Snow Field and collect more Ice Magic Stones. After getting a good amount of them, Tsutomu decided to take a break; the snow on the ground was not deep enough to completely constrain their feets, but the need to exercise extra caution caused everyone to be tired faster than usual.


First, Tsutomu spread a mat on the ground, set up a tripod stove magic tool, and hung up a pot to heat up some corn soup. Seeing that Daryl was looking into the pot quite excitedly, he let the boy keep an eye on it, while he proceeded to prepare everyone’s mug cups — color-coded for each member.


“Tsutomu, you’re so damn good, you know that?” Amira said as she placed her greatsword down on the snow.


“Huh? What’s that all of a sudden?” Tsutomu blinked twice, doubting what he had just heard.


Seemingly not pleased with the reaction she got, Amira turned grumpy and snatched her red mug cup from his hand.


“What I mean is, it’s so damn good to be in a team with you.”


“Oh. Thanks, I guess.”


“At least try to sound happy, damn it!”


“Sir Tsutomu! It’s ready!” Daryl interrupted Amira and Tsutomu’s chatter, telling them that the corn soup was ready. “May I go ahead and drink it?”


As Amira started making snowballs and throwing them at Tsutomu, he cast a <<Medic>> shot at her head as a joke, then proceeded to take a ladle and scoop the corn soup into his and Daryl’s mugs.


“What’s her problem? Ugh…” Tsutomu grumbled while brushing the snow off his robe.


“Ah, we partied up with the Guild Master and the staff some days ago,” Daryl explained while refilling his mug with corn soup, having finished the first serving in no time at all. “That’s probably what she was talking about.”


Getting Daryl’s explanation, Tsutomu pondered it over for a few moments, after which he seemed to understand what he had been told earlier.


“…Oh, so you got to work with another White Mage, then? –By the way, what did you think about that, Daryl?”


“Well, things were so different from the usual, so I had a lot of things to say…”


“Yeah, that’s what I’d expect,” Tsutomu said and proceeded to blow into his corn soup to cool it, then started sipping from his mug. “The Guild’s Healers operate differently from me, so you’re bound to have some gripes teaming up with them for the first time.”


Even Stephanie, the most competent of Tsutomu’s direct students, was far from perfecting her strategic routines, so it was natural for one to feel that other Healers were not quite as good as Tsutomu yet.


“And, well, it’s definitely important to be on the same page with your Tanks, you know. I appreciate your input, Daryl”


“Y-yes! Likewise!”




Daryl started bowing formally as the conversation went on, and Amira, watching it play out, stayed silent and sipped from her mug of corn soup. Tsutomu, seeing her sulking in a corner of his eye, pointed his ladle at her.


“No bad vibes allowed, girl.”


“You try’na make me kill you or what?”


“Ooh, sho scawwy. C’mon, what’s there to worry about? You do know that you’re getting stronger just fine, right?”


“It’s just… after working with another Healer, I realized how good I’ve been having working with you.”


After the round with Camille and the others, Amira had continued to explore the Dungeon with the Guild staff several times, but none of their Healers were able to keep up with her <<Dragon Form>>. She eventually learned from that experience that she had been able to fight without thinking about strategies only thanks to Tsutomu.


“I gotta learn how to work with other people better. If I don’t, I can see myself dropping down to the second team.”


“…Heh, at least you know what’s wrong with you — that’s more than good enough.”


Seeing Amira grit her teeth, Tsutomu lowered his ladle.


In adding more members to the Clan, Tsutomu’s main goals were to increase their chances in the deeper layers and broaden the scope of their strategies. He also considered this an attempt at motivating the current Clan members — especially Amira, Daryl, and Hannah.


If everyone could stay in the main party without doing anything to maintain their place, they were sure to stop trying new things and eventually stagnate. The same could be applied to Tsutomu — For now, he was cutting no corners in his attempt to return home, but if that turned out to be impossible, perhaps he would end up taking it easy and simply collect just enough Magic Stones to pay for his expenses. He likely would not do anything that could get him killed, like challenging layer bosses, either.


“Besides, at least you’re thinking about it way earlier than I expected — like, before you’re demoted, at any rate.”


“…I’ll improve all I can if it means I’ll still have your support. So? Anything you think I should work on?”


Seeing that Amira was serious, Tsutomu stopped joking around. He proceeded to wipe his ladle with some snow to clean it, then put it away in his Magic Bag.


“Well, your <<Dragon Form>> gives you a big advantage over everyone else, so see if you can get it to work reliably first.”


“…That’s it?”


“Yeah. That’s it.”


“But it’s just the same stuff as before! Aren’t you gonna… you know, ask me to listen to your strategies more and stuff?”


“Would you be able to do that immediately if I told you to? I don’t think it’s something you can do just because you feel like it, at least.”




Amira had been acting however she pleased this whole time, barely adjusting her moves to match up with the others. Such was the most apparent during the times she worked with the Guild’s staff members.


“So, again, start with gaining complete control over your <<Dragon Form>>. First by being able to disengage it by yourself, and then by being able to maintain your consciousness. Once you’re able to do that, you’ll be able to move on to learning to act in sync with your supporting members.”


“…Wouldn’t that mean I’d still be relying on you?”


“And what’s wrong with that? What do you think I’m here for?” Tsutomu grew more and more frustrated with Amira’s repeated denials. “Don’t try to do everything by yourself. I mean, we’re a team for a reason… Well, speaking in a way you should understand — Just consider that people have friends so that they’d benefit from one another. Go ahead, see how you can benefit from me, how I can help you get stronger.”


“…Damn, you sound like you actually mean it.”


“C’mon, I’m not THAT cynical, you know,” Tsutomu said, averting his sight as if to distract himself from the awkwardness, and then he shrugged his shoulders. “Besides, just saying to ‘believe in your friends’ wouldn’t have been enough for you, would it?”


“Oh, no doubt.” Amira chuckled. “…Heh. Don’t you worry — I’m sure as hell gonna get every bit of benefit I can out of you.”


“Sure thing. And just think about it — Daryl does the defending, and you do the attacking for me. The benefits go both ways.”


“…Man, you’re so annoying.”


Amira got quite a bit irritated by how much Tsutomu could do, including the occasional attacking and evasion-based Tanking he did — though that frustration went unnoticed by the young man.


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