DEFENSE SPECIALIZED AND ENCOUNTER
「I think that we can’t leave this cave today……」
「If so, we need to find a place to sleep then」
Adding a safe place to sleep in the exploration objectives, the three went through right and left through the hallways.
「I just wish that we can coincidentally find the exit〜……」
「I also think that’s for the best… I’m already tired for today」
Maple and Sally were very tired. They even want to stop exploring right away and sleep.
And, when they saw another wide room through the hallway after numerous times.
「I can also feel it now!」
The ground shook so much that they could feel it with their body.
And, *GuchoGucho*, a disgusting sound could be heard from the wide room ahead.
While preparing to fight, the three looked at the wide room.
And from a different path from the three’s path, “that” appeared.
Judging from the height of the ceiling, it has a height of more or less 5 meters, and length of more or less 7 meters.
A giant snail crawls out to the wide room.
It seems like it didn’t notice the three, it disappeared into another path.
「………this is bad. That thing’s bad」
「It didn’t have an HP Bar……」
「H-How bad is it?」
Maple cautiously asked the two who were having a serious face.
「Since it has no HP Bar……it means, it can’t be defeated」
「If we don’t find a safety area and encounter it……it’s the end」
The three’s body is connected by chains.
They can’t let anyone become a decoy.
「For the meantime, let’s leave this place. Before it returns」
「Un, let’s do that」
「Then, that way should be good?」
The three went through a different way from where they came from, and different from the way that the snail came from very quickly.
「I see……that’s why this dungeon is in this shape」
This dungeon is like an ant’s nest where there are a lot of extending paths and dead ends.
And all of the places have high ceilings, without any unneeded obstacles.
And, the players are connected by chains.
It means, it is made that it would be easy for the snail to move, and hard for the players to run away.
「Maybe, this dungeon’s difficulty would change depending on the time」
It was as Kasumi has said.
This dungeon would change into a monster’s nest where the snail lives in after 6 pm.
And the time which that would end also exists, but the three doesn’t know when.
And, as the time passes, the sound of the ground shaking becomes louder.
「I-I wonder if there’s more than one?」
Sally heightened her hearings, and tried to find where the sound comes from.
She can’t hear the *GuchoGucho* sound nearby.
It seems like it isn’t anywhere near.
Even so, it is also true that they need to be continuously on guard.
And that thing, is the reason that reduces Sally’s concentration.
And when they have advanced through several branching ways, that happened.
The instant that they turned to the corner.
The snail was there.
「Run! We’re turning back!」
Kasumi and Sally started to run, but Maple couldn’t keep up with them.
Faster than Sally pulls up Maple, the snail closed in.
The snail shook its body while splashing out a liquid that was very sticky.
Thanks to the large shield devouring the liquid, Maple was barely able to avoid the liquid.
「Sally, we’re running! Use【Super Acceleration】!」
「!! I got it!」
The last resort they had decided in the case where they cannot escape by any other means.
The two’s body accelerated.
Maple’s body was dragged.
A typical player would receive damage from this and die.
If so, they would all die.
However, Maple is different.
If it is Maple, she can survive receiving no damage.
But even so, it isn’t something comfortable.
That is why, it is the last resort.
*GachanGachan!*, the armor sounded.
Maple instinctively put away her shield, but she couldn’t make it on time to operate to put away her armor.
「How is it from behind?!」
「It’s alright! It isn’t able to keep up!」
The three could somehow successfully run away.
However, for a while, they can’t use【Super Acceleration】. They would probably be ready to die when they encounter it while it is on cooldown.
And in that situation, they started to hear the *GuchoGucho* sound without any time to rest.
「……ku!… it’s also coming from a different direction!」
They ran through left and right of the branching paths.
Maple removed her equipments and was carried by Sally.
It was their usual style.
「As I’ve thought! That snail, it’s reacting to sounds!」
When the sound of Maple’s armor disappeared, the *GuchoGucho* sound that they could hear started to go away.
「How is it? Is it there?」
「……I think it’s not anywhere nearby, I guess?」
The three leaned against the wall.
It cannot be said that it is said in the middle of a path, but it is many times better than sitting on a dead end.
「We should somehow… find the exit」
「Un, I guess so……」
Their goal was decided without any need to consult.
The longer they stay, the more dangerous it will be.
And for that, they need to find the exit quickly.
「It seems like this dungeon doesn’t have a boss……we should be content just finding a medal or an equipment just like Maple……」
「Ahh, let’s do that. There is that snail… this dungeon’s concept is probably exploration」
「You mean like……this whole dungeon is a boss room?」
「Well, I guess so」
Finishing their conversation, Sally prepared to depart.
「Let’s go before we’re found. The entrance is from above……so I think that the exit’s below, I guess?」
「That might be the case. It isn’t for sure though……」
「Then, let’s go down. It should be better than going up」
There were some paths that were slightly going down. They were planning on advancing through those paths as soon as they find one.
The three went deeper and deeper.
Along the way, they were able to see the appearance of the snails.
Seeing them, Sally became sure.
To the fact that those snails are faster than Maple.
Meaning, they cannot escape them by running away normally.
In the case where they meet it in a corner.
There is a time lag before Sally carries Maple.
And if they are caught by its sticky liquid in that instant, they would get caught.
However, Sally would not be able to carry Maple if she was holding her large shield.
They wished that they would not encounter it at a very close range.
「Fuu〜……I should concentrate……」
Forcing her tired body, Sally heightened her concentration.
Sally’s reconnaissance is the three’s lifeline.
And after advancing very carefully trying to not make any sound, the appearance of the cave started to change.
「I somehow feel a little at ease…」
The violet crystals in the walls were shining.
Those things here and there could not be gathered, but the three’s third heart became a little healed because of their fantastical light.
And in addition.
「The ceiling…became lower?」
As Sally has said, the ceiling became lower in some places. It was barely enough height for the snails to pass through.
「But……the sound of the ground shaking became louder」
「Just thinking that the environment changed while their numbers increased, it would be more of an advantage for us」
The three advanced.
The three wished to escape from this place today if possible.
While praying that they would not hear the *GuchoGucho* sound, they started exploring while being careful of a pincer attack.