One month has passed since Hero Ark’s journey to defeat the Demon King began.

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The place was Fabos, a town 20 km north-west of the castle town.
It was the bar with the largest customer base there.

“Alright, I guess we have a deal.”

Ark the Hero smirked.
The two strong men in front of him also grinned wryly.

“I’ve hired you with a lot of money, make sure you play an active role, okay?”

“Leave it to me.
I’ve been around here for many years as an adventurer.
I’ve done countless monster fights.
I’m over level 20.”

Zain, the best swordsman in town, replied, and made a fist with his thick arm, which was as thick as a woman’s waist.
His arm strength is said to be such that he can wield with one hand a large sword that an ordinary man can barely lift with both hands.

“Hmmm, Zain isn’t the only one.
I’m good at killing monsters too.
I get requests to hunt Cave Bats every month, and I’ve taken on slimes and wolves on my own along the way.
I’m level 19, and there’s no one around here who can match my right hand when it comes to archery.”

Enrique, also the town’s best bowman, says confidently.
Ark has heard from others that he could kill the Cave Bats, bat-shaped monsters with a single blow, whose irregular movements make them difficult to aim at, and even the soldiers have trouble exterminating them.

“It’s reassuring to know that both of you are close to level 20.
I’ve done my fair share of monster slaying, too, but I’m still at level 17.”

Ark made a reluctant face.

“If it were true, I would have been leveling up, but my friend said there was something to look for, or that I had plans, or something like that.
I couldn’t make time to fight monsters at all.”

“Well, it’s not easy to raise your level in everyday life, so it can’t be helped.
And it’s not something you have to force yourself to raise.
Enrique and I have only slowly risen through repeated defeating of monsters on request.”

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Enrique also nodded at Zain’s words.

“It’s inevitable, because raising our level didn’t bring us any money.
Even if my skill at defeating monsters has improved, there’s no advantage in dealing with the same monsters as before.
Well, that was finally rewarded when Mister Hero came to hire me like this.”

“Ah, I’m amazed that you’ve continued defeating monsters until today, you two.
With you, I’m sure we’ll be able to defeat the Demon King.
From now on, we will be a glorious party of heroes, and our name will reverberate for generations to come.”

Ark, Zain and Enrique raise their mugs.

“To our glorious future!”

Kashan! Ark and the others bumped their mugs against each other and gulped down the liquor inside in one gulp.

“Kuhh! I love a drink in the middle of the day!”

“I don’t want to do the slow monster-killing requests anymore!”

Both Zain and Enrique gulped down their drinks, one after the other.

“You’re drinking well, boys! There’s still plenty of money left over from the king, so drink up and eat up! It’s all on me!”

“Ohhh! I love you, hero-dono!”

Clash! Once again, they bumped their mugs against each other and downed their drinks.
Ark also emptied his third mug of wine today.

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“Hey, hero, who’s your friend, anyway? Are they strong?”

Zain asks, his face red from the alcohol.

“Well, she s a pretty good sorceress.
Though a bit of a moron to drop her own wallet.”

“I hear a lot of sorcerers are nervous and clumsy, but a sorcerer who drops her wallet? Haha, that’s a masterpiece.
And is that all there is to it?”

“No, there’s one more person.


“… nothing.
The other one is a thief, but this one is a temporary member.
We found this one doing some petty thievery here in town, and looked like could pick locks, so we decided to catch and threaten to take this one with us.”

“Come on, man, How is a puny thief going to be of any use to us?”

Zain says with a hiccup.
He’s had too much to drink.
He had already emptied nine mugs.

“Hey, Zain, didn’t you hear what the Hero-dono just said?”

This is Enrique, on his fifth mug.
But his face is still red.

“Tomorrow we’re going to capture the [dungeon] you know, that’s what he said, remember?”

“Ah, the dungeon? Ah, that’s what he said.
So, so what? Why do we need a thief? Hiccup!”

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“That’s to open the treasure chest that might be there, isn’t it? Hey, hero-dono!”

Ark nodded with a bright smile.

“Oh, that’s right.
The treasure map I got the other day was written in an ancient language that only I, a hero, can read.
The map shows where the Armour of the Hero is sealed in the dungeon there.
According to the legend, by equipping this, my status as a hero will increase all my stats by one level.”

“Wow, that’s amazing.
Even equipment that raises some stats is only the highest level of equipment, but to be able to raise all stats is an exceptional performance.”

“Yeah, isn’t it great? With me, you, and my friend the sorcerer, dungeon crawling is a piece of cake.
We’ll get through it in no time and then we’ll go and get this armour.
Because with that, there’s no one who can stand against me!”

“Ah, Hero-dono is very enthusiastic about defeating the Demon King, isn’t he?”

“The Demon King? Well, that’s part of it, but first I have to pay the debt to [him]..”

“Huh? Who’s that?”

I’m just talking to myself.”

Arc rubbed his lower jaw as he said this, then downed his mug of alcohol as if he were downing a bad memory with it.

“Well, I’m done with this place.
Let’s go to the next one!”

“You’re going to the second place? Well, that’s fine, but, Oi Oi, Hero-dono.
What about Zain? He’s sleeping like a baby.”

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“Damn it, wake up, Zain!”

“Ummm, umm, one more drink.”

Zain grumbles, holding up his empty mug.

“Hey, if you come to tomorrow’s dungeon crawling with any alcohol left in your system, I’m not going to be happy about it, okay?”

“Nn? Danjon ……?”

Zain reacts to Ark’s voice and rubs his blurry gaze.

“What was it, I feel like there was something ..”

“What do you mean, ‘something’?”

“There’s –something in Danjon, or there isn’t, or go, or don’t go, or …….”

“Oi, you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, you drunkard.”


“Don’t go to sleep!”

– and so the day in Fabos passed.

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