Chapter 7 – [side Selma] The Explorer Called Orn Doula

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 My name is Selma Claudel.

 An explorer who belongs to the Clan called “Night Sky’s Silver Rabbit” and one of the clan executives, in-charge of explorer coordination.

 After I casually sent my feet over to this restaurant aimed at young people called “Moon Teasing Pavillion” managed by “Night Sky’s Silver Rabbit”, I happened to meet my younger sister, Sophia.

 Sophia was with Orn, a member of the Hero Party, and because I thought he was aiming for my cute little sister, I was initially wary.
However, I was actually mistaken, he seemed to have helped Sophia, and was apparently invited to a meal by Sophia.

 It’s rare for the shy Sophia to invite people on her own initiative.

 And following the flow, I ended up eating together with them.

 Orn has black hair and lapis lazuli eyes, and his age, if I’m not wrong, is 18.

 He has a medium build and an average physique.

 In last month’s joint subjugation, he was in a robe, dressed in the attire of a Magician, but now he wears a hooded long coat that looks more suitable for agile movements.

 While we were eating, from the direction of the conversation, I found out that he had left the Hero party and was currently free.

 And before I had even noticed, I was already requesting him to join our guided exploration.

“…Guided, exploration?”

 Of course, knowing nothing about guided explorations, Orn would have questions.

“I’m sorry, let me explain first.
This ‘guided exploration’ is a new initiative that “Night Sky’s Silver Rabbit” is trialling.”

 This was something devised by our sponsors.

 I wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about it, but in the end, I was the one tasked with executing it.

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 And since I’m doing it, I can’t accept anything other than making it an absolute success.

“……Please continue.”

 Orn’s eyes turn serious.

 Seems to have caught his interest.

“The content of this plan is for beginner explorers under our Clan to be led by A Rank or above explorers, to descend to the 51st floor of the Great Labyrinth in three days.”

“Three days for 51 floors, you say? That’s a pretty unreasonable schedule.”

 Orn’s point is fair.

 The layers below 50 mark a turning point of the Great Labyrinth.

 While it is true that some say the difficulty level remains comparatively low until the 60th floor, those who say so are only A Rank advanced explorers.

 For a new explorer to reach the 50th floor, no matter how excellent they may be, it is estimated that they will still take about half a year to a year.

 And I said that we will be overcoming that in three days.

 A decent explorer will be able to quickly understand exactly how absurd this is.
Even though we did mention this, those old men sponsors…

“…It’s true that it’s an unreasonable schedule, but if we always proceed on the shortest path, it’s not an impossibility.
Fortunately, our clan has completed the mapping of over 90% of the upper and middle layers.”

“’Night Sky’s Silver Rabbit’ is also abused in various ways huh…”

 Orn appeared to understand the hidden circumstances behind this plan, and sympathised with a bitter smile.

 Him saying “also” might suggest the Hero party was made to do such unreasonable things in the past.

“…If until now it’s just an unreasonable plan, then you should still be able to reject it.
You’re also not a Clan incapable of reasonably arguing against it, I’m sure.
Even so, you decided to execute this plan, does that mean you intend for the beginners to skip the Floor Bosses?”

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 This guy is really… Exactly how sharp are you…

 I gave nothing but the bare minimum information.

 However, not only the circumstances behind this plan, but also its merits have been accurately pointed out by him.

 From my way of speaking, he had probably understood the current situation “Night Sky’s Silver Rabbit” had been placed in.

 It’s the same as when talking to President.
It feels like he can see through everything.

 Every 10 floors of the Great Labyrinth, there exist powerful demonic beasts known as Floor Bosses.

 And you can’t continue to the next floor unless you defeat the Floor Boss.

 Most explorers usually lose their lives or retire from suffering career ending injuries due to battles against Floor Bosses.

 However, if advanced explorers accompany and deal with the Floor Boss on behalf of the beginners, the beginners can still proceed to the next floor.

 This is due to the nature of the labyrinth – as long as you can register your Guild card by holding it over the crystal at the entrance of a floor, you can transfer to that floor as and when you like even without fighting any Floor Bosses.

 Thinking long-term, we do want beginners to grow and improve by defeating the Floor Bosses with their own strengths.

 But, considering these are beginners who are still not adults, there is no need to expose them to such danger yet, so the decision was made to execute the plan in this way.

“…It’s as you say.
So, how about it? Orn, if you happen to be free, we would definitely want to have you on this guided exploration.”

“From what I’m hearing, I think this is an important plan for ‘Night Sky’s Silver Rabbit’, but why are you requesting an outsider as escort?”

 Orn faces me while asking with serious eyes.

 I feel like those eyes are saying lies won’t be forgiven.

 It was during the joint subjugation last month that I learned of the existence of this explorer named Orn Doula.

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 A few years ago, the Hero Party started making a name for themselves, and after I found out that they were going through the lower layers in the blink of an eye, I started to pay close attention to their movements.

 Information on the four other than Orn could be collected from various sources.
It was only Orn that I couldn’t find out anything about, and the impression I had of him was pretty much just his name and that he was an unremarkable Enchanter.

 When I first saw Orn’s magic in a preparatory meeting for the joint subjugation, in my heart I had mocked him.

 The abilities Enchanters require are many, but among them, the effectiveness of their support magic is one of the most important measures for the strength of an Enchanter.

 An Enchanter is said to be excellent if their support magic can increase abilities by four or five times.

 Compared to those Enchanters, Orn’s support magic only has a Multiplier Effect of two.

 This is a level inferior even when compared to an average Enchanter, and it was difficult for me to not be puzzled by why such a low-level Enchanter was in the Hero Party.

 However, this impression was immediately blown away as the actual battle began.

 Certainly, the Multiplier Effect of his support magic is low.
But his magic activation speed is abnormal.

 I also have confidence in my magic activation speed.
But in the time I took to activate one spell, Orn could already activate four or more spells.

 I wasn’t able to believe that humans could activate magic that quickly even though I was seeing it before my very eyes.

 Furthermore, even though I had thought highly of myself for being able to use any kind of support magic, he had used numerous magics that I had never seen or heard of before.

 I think this was probably magic that he had independently developed, and it was more than enough to compensate for the low effectiveness of his support magic.

 Situational judgement, foresight, precise timing of magical support, in these areas he was above me, that figure of Orn was my ideal as an Enchanter.

“What I value about Orn is your high flexibility in adapting to different situations.
This guided exploration will involve more than fifty people challenging the labyrinth.
I can’t say for sure that nothing unforeseen will happen along the way.
But in that event, it would be reassuring to have Orn around.”

 Even though the joint subjugation should have been the first time he fought under my command, in just a few minutes, it seemed as though he was able to grasp everything I was thinking, and moved to act how I wanted him to even before I could give any orders.

 I believe that with Orn’s presence, he will be able to easily identify the optimal solutions and bring about the best results even in situations I cannot handle.

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“I don’t think I should be evaluated that highly…”

 Orn says so with a troubled smile.

 The mood looks like its heading towards rejection.

“Ah, um! I’m also participating in the guided exploration as a newcomer… …! So, if Orn can also participate, then, I would be really happy, that, I think…”

 Sophia, who had been silently reading the air until now, assists me at the best timing! Sophia, thank you!

I’ll cooperate.
But please don’t expect that much of me, yeah? There are also things I can’t do.”

“Really!? Thank you!”

“However, I have one condition.”

 Just as I thought the conversation was over, he brought up talk of a condition.

 Exactly what kind of condition? A large reward? “Night Sky’s Silver Rabbit”’s confidential matters?

 As expected, that may be difficult…

“…What is it? If it’s within my ability, I’ll do the best I can.”

“From today on, I have converted to a Swordsman, a Vanguard Attacker.
It seems Selma, you’ve evaluated me as an Enchanter, but I would like you to have me on as a Swordsman during the guided exploration.”

 …………What is this guy saying? Even though he’s overflowing with that much talent as an Enchanter, why is he saying that he’ll be a Vanguard Attacker?

 I don’t really understand Orn’s intentions but, in the case of any unexpected situations, I have no doubt that he’ll be able to return to his original job as an Enchanter.

“…Got it.
Let’s drink to that condition.
Orn will accompany the guided exploration as a Vanguard Attacker.
Then, tomorrow night at eight, can you come to the headquarters of ‘Night Sky’s Silver Rabbit’? I want to talk to you about the specific details and rewards.”


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