“For now, the plan will be for you two to buy time with close-quarters combat. As for Alec, I will give the signal once preparations are made. Until then…do your best. I’m sure you can do it! Wahahaha!”
Loki laughed and then handed me the artifact.
It was called ‘Schwart.’
But it just looked like a plain sword, and most would not realize it was an artifact if no one told them.
And while it was solid and heavier than my magic sword, it should not really affect my swing.
‘…In general, that bastard is a liar. So you should thoroughly check anything that he gives you.’
And so I followed Ornest’s advice. But I could not find anything wrong with it.
“Well, since there are no problems, I will go and do my part.”
Loki said, just as I was sheathing the sword. He had probably been watching me.
“So, Clashia-chan, can I ask you to he… Gah!?”
“…Like I said, don’t call me that.”
Loki’s words turned to pain and alarm as Clashia reflexively and mercilessly kicked him in the shin.
Loki grunted as the pain shot through his body, but he managed to hold himself together, though he had teary eyes.
“Bu-but Yorha-chan allows it.”
“Unfortunately for you, I am not as tolerant as her. I don’t like it. Understand?”
She made it clear that she would not cooperate if he annoyed her any further, and so Loki shut his mouth and then coughed as if to start over.
“…One of the reasons that I was talking with Ms. Clashia earlier, was because I wanted her cooperation in regards to moving from this place.”
“Yes, yes. If we walked around and searched on foot, it would take forever, right? And so some useful magic could…you know. However, such magic uses a lot of mana. So it would be too severe for just me alone.”
And so he wanted Clashia’s help.
“If it was just me, it would be a little worrying to use Teleport, don’t you think?”
He muttered this casually, but that word alone caused the others to freeze.
“…Hey. Teleport? Isn’t that some country’s top secret spell?”
There was silence for about ten seconds, before Ornest opened his mouth.
I had thought that he had no intention of speaking to Loki again, but I was wrong. However, he looked terribly exasperated.
As for Yorha, she sensed the trouble immediately. And so she looked away as if to say that she didn’t hear anything.
It was one of the spells that was forcefully cast on people when moving to the next floor of a dungeon.
However, in spite of it being a spell that many were familiar with, it was also shrouded in mystery.
But one country had dedicated resources into its research for decades. And with the exception of that country’s top people, no one else was able to use the Teleport spell.
This was common knowledge.
“…Hah! What children you all are. Listen. I shall bestow on you some sagely advice. You can do anything you want, as long as you don’t get caught.”
Judging by what Loki said, he must have somehow stolen information about the spell.
Yorha was clearly disgusted.
Eventually, Loki seemed rather bothered by the looks of contempt he was receiving from all sides.
“…Don’t look at me like that! All four of you… Now, listen here! Listen and watch. You are all going to use it too, and then be accomplices in the crime! See! We’re in the same boat! So let’s be nice to each other! Yes! Hey!”
“You’ve got to be joking.”
It was a miraculous moment where all four of us had the exact same opinion.
He was trying to get us involved in his crimes as if it was the most natural thing. It was no wonder he was considered to be a bastard.
“…But, well… If we can avoid wasting our energy, that would be for the best. Of course, if it comes down to it, we will make sure that Loki takes full responsibility for it.”
I said. And then the others started to agree.
Loki’s mouth began to twitch, but I pretended to not notice.
“So, even if we do use this Teleport. Where are you going to send us?”
“I have it marked down, but that is all. I don’t know where it is in relation to the floor boss.”
“…You cannot go where you want. Just a fixed location.”
“Yes, yes. And so it is possible that you can teleport right in front of the floor boss. …And so you must be prepared to fight at once.”
After saying this, Loki directed his right palm on the ground.
And then a platinum magic circle appeared.
It started off as the size of his hand, and then slowly expanded.
And then as if to follow him, Clashia also directed her palm over the ground.
“…In that case, I’ll take my weapon out first.”
I brought out the Artifact that I had borrowed.
And Ornest did the same with his spear.
There were a series of high-pitched rings, as the magic circles for support magic appeared in the air.
“While there is one bastard here, it is quite nostalgic doing this together, isn’t it?”
Ornest said as he leaned the black spear on his shoulder.
We were in a dungeon.
And this was how we usually prepared before taking on a floor boss.
Carefully make sure that everything was in order, cast as much support magic as possible, draw out your weapons, check your potions, make sure there was an escape route. And then go.
“Indeed. Without the self-proclaimed genius, Ornest, it would have been a perfect party.”
“Shut up. I was talking about you, bastard!”
Loki retorted mischievously and nodded, causing Ornest to shout at him.
“What is it, young Ornest?”
“I hope you understand that you’ll owe us big time after this.”
He was talking about how we had come down to the 64th floor to save Loki and his party.
“…Well, I suppose you can say that.”
He said reluctantly.
“As long as you understand. So, I’m sure you know what to do? …When this is over, you are to recommend ‘Lasting Period’ to your leader.”
“If you’re going to play dumb, maybe we’ll just leave you here right now?”
“…Fine. If all of this ends happily, then I’ll talk to the leader.”
Loki said with a resigned sigh.
“…What are you talking about?”
“Isn’t it obvious, Alec? Recommend us for promotion. So we can be an S-Rank party. You need to be recommended by another S-Rank party, as well as have the Guild Master’s approval. So we’ll just make them do it.”
After all, they will now owe us a debt. Ornest smiled.
“…Still, young Ornest. Don’t you think you’re counting your eggs before they have hatched?”
“Talk all you want. There is no need to worry. We’ll exceed your expectations.”
They started glaring at each other.
…I wondered if they ever got bored of doing that.
“You can stay there and fight if you want. Or you can get ready.”
By then, the magic circle had expanded enough to cover all four of us, and the metalic sound of enchantments were ringing.
Next, small particles of light began to rise up from the magic circles.
They increased in number until they covered our vision and then… I felt the strange sensation of floating up in the air.
And in the next instant, the scene around us was switched with something else.
“…I am truly amazing. Wasn’t that perfect? Look at this.”
Loki’s voice hit my eardrums.
But only briefly.
Because it was soon silenced by the violent clashing of swords.
I said, knowing that he would be next to me. But my body was already moving.
And Ornest was the same.
With the artifact in hand, I launched myself into the air. And ran. And ran.
There were two human figures in sight.
And something else. Sparks moved with every unusual movement of the dark figure.
It was a few hundred meters away from the spot where we had teleported.
With every second, every step, I got closer. And then…
“Move out of the way!!”
“I’ll take care of this!!”
We said at the same time.
Ornest and I shouted together.
I then raised my speed even more. Like an arrow that is unleashed after being drawn to the limit. I rushed forward like a storm.
I was able to do this because of Yorha’s support magic.
Eventually, the figures ahead, which had been the sizes of grains of rice, became visible.
There was a thin man and a woman.
It was clear that they were badly wounded under their tattered clothes.
That was probably why they obeyed us without even thinking about it. And so they took a step back and retreated.
And then Ornest and I rushed in as if to fill the space.
The enemy was also clearly visible now. And it was just as Loki had described. A knight in full plated armor.
He said with a smile, and the black spear was thrust forward.
It shot towards the head of the knight as if it was being sucked towards it.
It looked like a killing blow.
However, the only thing that flew were sparks.
The knight blocked it with its greatsword with ease, and I saw Ornest frown.
“Sorry, but it looks like it’ll take the both of us.”
But the attacks didn’t stop there.
When the weapons clashed, I moved even closer, and raised my sword in the air.
Now that its attention was on Ornest…
It was blocked with its greatsword, and will not have enough time to defend itself. So my attack should definitely hit.
“Are you serious…”
Had it been human, I should have cut through its muscles and bones. But with inhuman speed, it dodged the attack.
Eventually, with its right leg as an axis, the knight began to rotate. As if to say that it would not fight us at the same time, it slashed with its sword, drawing a straight horizontal line right in front of my eyes.