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While walking through the corridors of the labyrinth, I could quickly check the usefulness of the Radar, as it allows us to go directly to the enemies.
Making it easier to find them, instead of having to be trying our luck with the various twists and turns of the place.
It seems that the girl-lynx's abilities are related to stealth. At least as far as we can perceive...
Or not perceive in this case.
Since, when an enemy appears, the girl seems to disappear from my sight, and it is the same for Azur's senses.
If I concentrate on where I know she is, I can see her.
But, if I avert my gaze just a little from her location, she disappears until she does something that gives away her position, like attacking an enemy or talking to me.
With that ability, she could have slipped into the labyrinth without anyone knowing, but she seems sensible enough not to attempt such stupidity.
She told me that her name is Deirdre. And, despite being only 12 years old, she seems to do quite well in the labyrinth.
But she's not fighting the monsters directly yet…
We'll see what happens when she has to fight one on her own.
It's been an hour since we entered, and we're on the 29th floor, since that's as far as I can go in this labyrinth for now.
The girl is mainly dedicated to finishing off the goblins that I or Azur leave her to level up.
She's taken on a few on her own, but she's not very skilled at fighting.
So, she usually leaves it up to us.
However, I can say from her expressions that she's very enthusiastic about finishing off goblins with her twin daggers, though she doesn't say much.
I'm focused on defeating the monsters with the loot bonus, since I want to collect as much money as I can for my sword.
So, she can take advantage of the experience bonus.
To distract me a bit while we walk in search of more enemies, I ask her, "so… Why are you so determined to come to the labyrinth?"
"Because I want to be able to fight! I need to be strong so I can help my parents," she says and picks up her pace a little.
"Don't go ahead alone. After all, I'm the one facing the monsters..." and, when I see her slow down, I continue talking, "so, do you have to help your parents? Did something happen to them?"
"None of your business..." she mutters in an annoyed tone, but doesn't go forward again.
"I'm sorry if I'm bothering you. I just want to talk about something to pass the time..." I say and, thinking that maybe she'll stop being so taciturn if I tell her something about myself, I add, "I'm here to get money. My sword broke a few days ago and I need to buy a new one."
"What kind of sword did you have?" I hear her ask, and I notice a certain tinge of curiosity in her voice.
"A short steel one. It had been a gift from a friend. Why do you ask?" I say, looking at her also with curiosity, but she doesn't answer me and starts laughing.
"Hahahahahaha. No wonder it broke. Iron and steel are for beginners. My mistress says it all the time," she says while laughing out loud.
Hmm, it seems that the idea of telling her about me worked pretty well.
"Your mistress?" I ask quizzically about how she addresses her.
"Ahh. I-I-I..." she begins to say stuttering. Her joy from a moment ago is gone, replaced by an embarrassed expression on her face "I was a slave back home, and… I-I still can't get used to the fact that I don't have to call M-miss Charity as my mistress."
"And who is Miss Charity? Did she come with you to this continent?" I ask her, trying not to make light of the pink tinge her face is starting to take on. And seekingto keep the conversation going, so we don't go back to the boredom of walking in silence through the halls of the labyrinth.
Hmm. I thought that having her skin covered in fine fur wouldn't show things like the blush on her face, but I see I was wrong.
"Hmm, yes. She's my best friend, and she's the one who commanded the expedition to come here...she's also the only member of the orc race that came into the group. The rest of us are all therians and reptilians," she says, relaxing a bit.
"hmm. And why is that?" I ask in a flat voice, trying not to let the curiosity I have for the inhabitants of the new continent show in my tone or face, so that my companion doesn't go back to her silent mood.
"Because orcs are bad in general… Except for a few of them. But most of them only consider other orcs as people, and see us therians and reptilians as animals. There are even some orcs who raise us as food... The reality we live in our motherland is quite hard, and that's why I need to strengthen myself to come back and bring my parents and Charity's family to this continent. They are the only good orcs that I know… Them and the wolf..." she explains to me, and finishes the last sentences in a mumble while looking at me with a frown, as she realizes everything she is talking about.
"And why does your friend say that about iron and steel swords?" I say, trying to get back to a topic that seems safe. "do you know much about swords?"
"Ohh, yes. Miss Charity is the best blacksmith in the empire. Her family is entirely devoted to manual labors. Such as blacksmithing, tailoring, etc. But she is a prodigy. Her creations are unmatched," she says enthusiastically. "These daggers, for example, are of her own making. They have the ability to self-repair, self-sharpen, and increase the wearer's speed."
I can tell she admires her friend a lot but…
It's quite hard to believe what she says.
"Hadn't you told me a moment ago that iron is for beginners?" I say, looking at her with a smile.
"Yes, well. I meant it's for beginners when talking about the equipment used for fighting," she says and looks embarrassed. "I was a slave until recently… That's why these daggers had to be as basic as possible. Besides, they were only given to me so that I can perform my chores around the house."
"That being the case, could you introduce me to your friend? I want to entrust her with the creation of my new sword" I say, thinking that any option is better than going to Joseph's family.
But, if it is true that the weapons that woman creates have special abilities that should only be in some of the weapons that come out of the labyrinth, it would be convenient for me to entrust her with my new weapon.
I'm not ready for that yet…
But I still need a blacksmith and, if it's someone who's the best on the new continent, I guess she's a good choice.
"Only if you promise to bring me to the labyrinth more times," she says with a beaming smile. "Ahh, and don't even think about telling my M- Miss Charity that I'm coming to the labyrinth. She feels responsible for my safety since my parents entrusted me to her, and I could barely get her to let me walk around town."
We continue exploring for several more hours as we talk about various things.
It seems that orichalcum is the best metal for weapons and armor, not only on our continent, but also on theirs. Since Deirdre recommends me, just as Octavo did earlier, to buy myself an orichalcum sword.
We reach a challenge room and, since we have been inside the labyrinth for quite some time now, I decided to try to pass the challenge.
After all, we are on the 29th floor. How hard can it be?
It's a shame we didn't find the room to go up to the next floor, but what can we do?
It's called a labyrinth for a reason.
Sometimes it can be very easy to find rooms to go to the next floor or exit, and other times very difficult.
When I finish checking that the room doesn't have a scalable difficulty, which means it's safe for me to enter with Deirdre, I start explaining to her how the challenge rooms work.
So far, we had only encountered safe rooms, so I hadn't had the opportunity.
When I'm done with my explanation, I decided to ask her about her ability.
"I have a question, Deirdre," I say and get ready to talk to her about a subject that has been bothering me, but that I didn't mention until now for fear that she would go quiet again during our exploration "I noticed that you have some sort of ability that allows you to hide. Could you let me be exempt from its effect? I mean, it would be much easier to control if you are safe if I could see you easily all the time, and not just when you make some sound or give away your position in some way"
"I don't know… I've never tried it," she says with an unsure expression.
"Please try it when we go in," I say as I try to think of what tips to give her for her first time in a challenge room. "I hadn't asked you before, because in the corridors it's easy to control what enemies will do. But in this room, there may be multiple enemies in scattered positions. It would be great if I could see you constantly."
"O-okay," she replies, looking at me strangely, and I see her frown as she turns towards the entrance of the room.
She must be concentrating on what's coming…
This is making me see the job Ragnar had in a new light.
I used to think his job was simple, but teaching is anything but simple.
Or… yes, it is, but not teaching well…
"Here," I say, pulling out two health potions and handing them to her. "These are some health potions. If you see an enemy harming you, take their contents and try to move away. I'll take care of eliminating the threat".
We enter, and the landscape around us changes to that of an immense meadow covered by tall grasses that reach me up to my knee, and for my companion up to her waist.
After walking a few steps, we are attacked by the inhabitants of the challenge room.
They are 6 incredibly agile and fast horned-rabbits.
They are small enough to stay hidden in the grasslands, but still, be a threat if they skewer us with their horns that are easily 20 centimeters long.
We beat them without much trouble because, although the grasslands can be a good hiding place, this type of scenario is easy to overcome for a sorcerer with an affinity for fire.
All we had to do to defeat the rabbits was to find an elevated rock and throw fire between Azur and me into the grasslands, which immediately ignited, eliminating the enemies.
When the fire was extinguished, we chose to call it a day.
We have been in the labyrinth for several hours, and this is more than enough for Deirdre's first day of the experience.
Now that I was able to watch her at all times as we ran to the rock, it was amazing to see the speed this little 12-year-old has.
It seems that her singularity is not only dedicated to stealth…
With that speed, and with a little practice, she will be able to fight without problems on these floors of the labyrinth.
Sadly, I didn't level up in any of my classes, despite spending so many hours in the labyrinth. Not even in the Explorer class.
I guess the experience bonus is a must if I want to improve as fast as possible.
"Tomorrow you have to take me to meet your friend. I want to order a sword from her," I say as we leave the guild building.
"Mn," she replies without paying attention to my words, looking at me with an exhausted expression. "Ahh, yes. How about we meet here tomorrow at noon? I'll take you to talk to my friend, but remember that in return we have to come back here. You promised it!"
"Yes, yes," I answer laconically, amused at how suspicious she is. "See you tomorrow. Try to get as much rest as you can. Since, for someone who's not used to combat, you may have put too much strain on your body this first day."
"Hmt, what would you know..." she says quietly, snorting in response.
And, without another word, we say our goodbyes.
As I walk away from the guild building, I think to myself that I can take quite a bit of advantage of the fact that I have to group with Deirdre.
After all, I need a partner to kill the monsters with a golden name, so I can take advantage of the experience bonus of the enemies with the silver name...
Maybe it wasn't the idea that Agustin had when he told me to take her to the labyrinth, but I don't care, I will make good use of this happy coincidence. After all, I need a companion to get the loot bonus.