All-rounder Healer Chapter 231: Fifth Floor Village

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 Then I walked around, eating lunch and doing search-and-destroy, before finally finding the rift to the fifth floor.


 The sun was already setting. It might have taken eight hours to get here.



“…at last.” (Rook)


“Kyu…” (Shion)



 There had been a good number of adventurers around the rift on the previous floors, but there were no people in or around this rift.


 As expected, Shion and I are quite exhausted. Even if you we defeat them with [Turn Undead] and prevent surprise attacks using [Magi Location], it will still be a bit of a hassle if we make a mistake and end up fighting a ghoul head-on.



“Now, let’s see what the fifth floor is like…” (Rook)



 With a bit of anticipation, I entered the Rift to the fifth floor, and what appeared was a lake.



“Wow!” (Rook)



 A large lake in the middle of the forest. Trees grew thick around the lake, and a huge, hazy mountain range could be seen at the far end of the lake. And a wooden wall standing by the lake. That must be the Fifth Floor Village.


 The lake was covered with a faint haze, creating a fantastic landscape.



“What is a dungeon…?” (Rook)



 Somehow it escaped from my mouth.


 The more you know, the more mysterious this world is. The first thing that comes to mind is the fact that the dungeon is a place where people can go to have a good time.


 From the rift to the Fifth Floor Village, I walked along the path that had been trodden by human feet.


 As I approached the village, I noticed an adventurer with a bow on the wall. I don’t think I’m going to be shot out of the blue, but just in case, I carefully approach the village gate, keeping my attention focused on it.


 The gate was a large wooden gate, now open.



“One gold coin.” (Guard)


“Of course.” (Rook)



 Next to the gate, there was a man who looked like a gatekeeper, and he asked me for a gold coin, which I gave him in a polite manner. This was just as I had heard, so there was no problem. However, I might have hesitated if I had not heard about it beforehand. After all, information is important.


 There were only about 10 houses in the village, the smallest I have seen so far. The buildings were all made of wood. I guess it can’t be helped that these are just simple buildings in a dungeon.



“Hmm?” (Rook)



 On the wall of a building near the entrance, there was a sign that read, “Buying Low-grade Dungeon Potions, 5 gold coins for each potion, Duke of Almeil’s Squires.”


 Low-grade potions? Are the Duke’s squires buying them directly here?


 I took out a piece of paper summarizing the dungeon’s information and checked it.


 The information on the dungeon in the Adventurers’ Guild was up to the sixth floor, and I should have copied down to that point.



“Let’s see…” (Rook)



 The Blood Knight that appears on the sixth floor sometimes drops low-grade potions. Is the Duke’s house buying these? And for as much as five gold coins? Why?


 The potions in this world have a short use-by date and are not suitable for long-term storage. In fact, I heard that the Magic Potion I am using has a use-by date of about seven days.


 There are many problems, such as the question of whether it is safe to use potions that are in the possession of the undead, and the question of when those undead potions were made. …But the fact that the duke is buying the potions here is not meaningless.



“There must be some reason…” (Rook)



 Possibly, this was the duke’s way to make the potions available for long-term storage, or something.


 …No. If that were the case, there would be no need to buy potions in the middle of a dungeon like this. They could have an alchemist in town make them for you. Unless we assume that–



“The potions in the dungeon and the potions made by alchemists are two different things, right?” (Rook)



 I think that is the most likely possibility.


 Well, I don’t know if I can think about it further at this moment.


 Switching my mind, I looked around the village.


 The buildings in this village are mostly stores, and there seem to be no private houses. No one would want to settle down in a place like this.


 And almost all the people walking around in this village look strong. This is an area where C-rank monsters appear, so it is likely that the population of C-rank adventurers is quite small.


 In a normal town or village, you would see housewives shopping and children playing, but not in this village. It feels more like a military facility or a military base than a village.


 I think it is quite irregular that I forcefully come here even though I am D-rank and soloist.


 The village facilities include an inn, a general store, a blacksmith shop, and a sub-branch of the Adventurers’ Guild, which seems to be the minimum necessary for adventurers.


 We decided that we needed to check out the Adventurers’ Guild office, so we went inside.


 From the outside, it looks much smaller than most Adventurers’ Guilds. But it is clearly labeled “Adventurers’ Guild,” so there is no doubt about it.


 When I opened the wooden door, there was a counter in front of me, and in the counter was a bearded old man.



“……” (Rook)


“Hey.” (Old Man)



 I approached him as he called out to me.



“Excuse me, is there a receptionist?” (Rook)


“Yes, we do. It’s me.” (Old Man)



 No, no, no… Come on, isn’t there someone else, like in an ordinary Adventurer’s Guild.



“No receptionist would want to come to a dungeon like this. If you don’t like it, go home.” (Old Man)


“I didn’t say I didn’t like it.” (Rook)



 Most of the receptionists in Adventurers’ Guilds are women. They are also well-educated women. This is the first time I’ve seen an Adventurer’s Guild with an old man working as a receptionist. Maybe it’s an exception in the Adventurer’s Guild industry.



“So, does this guild have the same functions as Aluppo’s guild?” (Rook)


“Of course not. We mostly buy magic stones and some items.” (Old Man)


“Do you do rank-ups?” (Rook)


“No, we don’t. This is a C-rank area, so you can’t come if you’re D-rank. In the first place, even Aluppo can only rank up until C-rank.” (Old Man)



 Then isn’t there any point in selling magic stones here anymore?


 Well, is it significant to be able to exchange it for cash without having to go back to the ground?


 No, it’s more than that…



“Why can the Adventurers’ Guild in Aluppo only the rank up to C rank?” (Rook)


“…there are various circumstances.” (Old Man)


“What are the circumstances?” (Rook)


“…Usually there is one Adventurers’ Guild in every country that can promote to B-rank… This country has difficulty in finding a place to put one.” (Old Man)


“Ahh…”  (Rook)



 So that’s it. This country is run by three dukes, so there is no head. Every duke wants to attract concessions to his own territory, and more than that, he doesn’t want to hand over power to another duke’s territory. If we set up a special adventurer’s guild that could be promoted to B rank in some duke’s territory, it could be taken to mean that the adventurer’s guild would be supporting that duke. Or something like that. Political matters are complicated and troublesome, but it is really scary because there are dangerous situations when I don’t know about them.


 I should gather information about politics in each area, otherwise I might be attacked from unexpected places when I make a conspicuous move.


 I thanked the receptionist (an old man) and left the Adventurers’ Guild.


 The sun was lying low in the sky and it was getting darker and darker around us.


 From the village gate, adventurers who had been out hunting were returning one after another. Some of them have begun to set up their tents in a vacant lot at the edge of the village.


 Saving money, perhaps? If they charge us a single gold coin for entry to the village and even an inn fee, the expense would be huge.



“Oh.” (Rook)



 This is no time to think. If I don’t get a room soon, I’ll be in trouble if it’s fully booked. I didn’t sleep last night, and if I don’t sleep at an inn today, I’m going to be in danger.


 So, I headed for the building marked with the innkeeper’s sign.


 There is only one inn in this village, and if I miss this one, there is no other. From the outside, the inn looks larger than the inns outside the dungeon, so it seems to be able to accommodate a good number of people.


 When I opened the door of the inn, I could smell the aroma of roasting meat wafting from inside.


 I don’t know what kind of meat it is, but it looks delicious!


 Glancing from the door to the bar on the far left, I headed for the counter at the front of the inn.



“How much for the night?” (Rook)


“It’s one gold coin per night including dinner.” (Inn Keeper)



 Oh wow… That’s very expensive… The price range is the same as the expensive inn I stayed at in Arnorn before.


 This is the thing. It’s the same phenomenon as the expensive vending machines at the top of the mountain. I think the prices in this village are very expensive. Well, it can’t be helped that they have to deliver various supplies to here, so it must be expensive.




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