The Fat Aristocrat Waltz in the Labyrinth - Chapter 24
Chapter 24: The fat aristocrat acts in a party
The following morning, Canule arrived as promised.
As expected, she had her hood covering her face, seemingly rejecting the brightness of the sun. Unexpectedly, she carried a shield on her back.
Porters are professionals who specialize in carrying cargo. Normally, they carry loads on their backs or backpacks and transport them on sleds or wagons.
As they descended through the labyrinth, they inquired about the shield. Canule explained that it was for emergency preparedness, so it wouldn’t interfere with her duties.
“I will make sure not to get in the way of carrying your luggage… Um, is that okay?”
“I heard that porters should also be equipped—I think it’s fine.”
Though they are all called porters, their roles can vary greatly. Those without combat ability wear only armor and hide in safe places during battle. In the case of new adventurers, who also work as porters, they sometimes carry weapons and participate in combat.
As long as they can carry luggage, the form and method are not specifically designated.
“Isn’t that shield heavy?”
Mitrof asked. Canule wore a leather gauntlet on her left arm. It couldn’t be said to be light, yet the round shield on her back could hide half of her body. It was made of wood, covered in leather, and edged with brass.
“Well, actually, maybe it’s the result of taking on this appearance, but I am strong.”
“Oh, so this is the curse’s effect.”
Canule not only carried the shield but also the luggage of the two of them. Even with three people’s worth of luggage on her back, her steps are not slowing down, and she does not seem to be bothered by it.
Mitrof did not know how much of an impact porters had on labyrinth exploration. However, as soon as combat began, he quickly understood its importance.
Until now, both Mitrof and Grace had put their luggage off before combat and put it on again afterwards. Eliminating this step not only reduced time and effort, but also reduced the stress of fighting.
As soon as they found an enemy, the two of them could immediately move into battle. There was no need to take care of belongings, distance themselves, avoid paths, or make such considerations.
After the battle, they could collect rewards from the monster.
The items that could be collected from monsters on the shallow floors remained few. But there were still some small things, such as weapons that the monsters had, extra fangs or claws that had been left behind, and plants that grew along the way.
The fact that they had the luxury of collecting such things was more than gratifying for them.
While engaging in several battles, they descended to the fourth underground floor as the shortest route. Since they encountered a troll early on last time, they were not able to do much exploration.
Now, they took a deep breath to prepare and advanced down the corridor, with the guild-hired guards standing in front of the large hole where the troll had emerged. It was sealed off so that adventurers would not enter without permission.
This morning, before entering the labyrinth, the receptionist told them that the troll had not yet been spotted. Even now, adventurers who had accepted the quest were said to be patrolling regularly.
“…I hope it doesn’t suddenly jump out again.”
“Once you experience it, you become unnaturally cautious—but it’s understood that it’s unlikely to happen twice.”
They cautiously walked away from the wall. The fear of encountering the troll slowed their movements, but that fear vanished as soon as they engaged in battle with the kobolds. Kobolds were swift, fierce, and intelligent opponents not to be underestimated.
However, compared to trolls, the kobolds were two or three levels below Mitrof. No overwhelming sense of tension or intense concentration to narrow his vision was needed. He simply dodged their attacks, stepped in close, and thrust his rapier to slice through the kobolds’ onslaught.
Grace was also highly skilled with her bow. With no openings in both close and far ranges, she could easily deal with a pack of three kobolds.
While kobolds had poor quality weapons, they sometimes carried metal ones. Though they could be worth a lot of money if sold, their weight would make them cumbersome to bring back.
If it had just been the two of them, they might have left it alone reluctantly. However, with the porter known as Canule, everything could be collected.
On Canule’s back, a round shield and a bulky hemp bag were shaking. Every step made the metallic sound of clanging. Mitrof and Grace’s baggage was tied around Canule’s waist.
“…Are you sure it’s not too heavy?”
Armor and weapons are not light. It is even harder if it is made of metal. If there were many of them, it would be a burden for the frail Canule.
“I still have plenty of room.”
Canule remained calm as ever.
“Relics are truly mysterious—well, I suppose it’s not just a light word for Canule…”
In response to Mitrof’s concern, Canule chuckled and said, “No, it’s not.”
“It’s strange for me, too, because my body is now a skeleton, but I have more power—but it must be useful…it doesn’t lose to monsters either.”
“That’s reassuring.” Grace smiled, thinking it was a joke.
But she quickly saw that it was true.
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