Chapter 421

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Dungeon of Scorching Heat (2)
Finally, we enter the 71st dungeon, “Scorching Heat,” and passed through the entrance to proceed to the first floor.

“”Warm?””
“Yeah, it is.”

The moment we pass the boundary, the temperature clearly changed.
Around 25 degrees Celsius (77 °F), I suppose? It’s quite warm from the beginning.
Assuming it gets hotter and hotter, I wonder how hot it will be when we reach the 50th floor, the final floor? I have no idea, to be honest~

“”Stones~ Rolling around~””
“Is this a rocky area?”

As far as the eye can see, there didn’t seem to be a single blade of grass.
And, as always, it’s unbelievably vast for a dungeon, with the sun clearly visible. It’s quite mysterious.

“We probably won’t find any medicinal herbs in this dungeon.”
“”Eh~!?””
“Don’t be so surprised, just take a look. There are hardly any plants or grass here, right?”
“”Ugh~ so disappointing.””

Allen and Elena seem genuinely disappointed, with a hint of dejection.

“But considering that high-level adventurers come here, there must be something valuable… probably related to minerals?”
“”Minerals?””
“Yeah. Stones, iron… maybe even gemstones.”
“”Ohh~!””

While there may not be much to collect, it seems like a dungeon suitable for mining.

“So, what do we do for now? Head straight to the lower floor, or take our time exploring this one?”
“”Explore~!””
(I want to see what this dungeon looks like first!)
(Yeah. I’m in favor of exploring as well.)
(Eh, let’s go down quickly and fight some strong monsters~)
(Information is crucial! Let’s explore!)
(Krr~?)

Six votes for exploration, one vote to proceed, and one vote for whichever, I guess?

“Majority rule. Let’s explore slowly. It’s okay to wander a bit, but be cautious as there might be other adventurers around. Also, make sure to stay in a position where you can quickly return! And Radian, always stay close to someone, understand?”
“”(((((Yes!)))))””
(Krr!)

After stating the instructions, the children all started running together. Since they all headed straight in one direction, I also began walking that way.

(Aniue, there are various minerals that can be used in medicine as well, right?)
“Of course, there are.”

Allen and Elena were with Joule, Vector, and Mile, while Radian was with Feet, and Bolt stayed with me. As Bolt and I walked around, we kept an eye on the stones scattered around us. Since it’s the first floor, we haven’t found anything noteworthy yet.

“”Oniichan, come over here~””
“Okay, what’s up~?”
“”We found mushrooms~””

The children seem to have found some mushrooms.

“Let me see, where~?”
“”Over here~””
“Oh, these!”

In the gaps between the round stones, there were things that at first glance looked like pebbles, but upon closer inspection, they had the shape of mushrooms. Using the Appraisal skill, I confirmed that they were called ‘Iwatake’ mushrooms.

(Oniichan, are these edible~?)
“Let me see… Unfortunately, no. They are poisonous, so we can’t eat them.”
“”Ehh~””
“But it seems they can be used as medicine.”

Although they are poisonous mushrooms, they can be processed into medicine.

(Well, it’s a shame we can’t eat them, but if they can be used as medicine, that’s good enough.)
“”Yeah, you’re right~””
(Alright! Let’s continue looking for Iwatake and search for other things too!)
“”Oh~!””

For the children, the exploration is all about finding food and medicine. As Allen, Elena, and the others head back to collect, Radian and Feat come running towards us.

(Krrr.)
“Radian, welcome back. What is it?”
(Niisama, Radian found a beautiful stone and wants to show it to you.)
“Is that so?”
(Krr!)
“Alright. Will you show it to me?”

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Radian handed me a smooth, white stone slightly smaller than my palm.

“Wow~ this is indeed a beautiful stone.”
(Kr~)
“You found it well. Oh, come to think of it, I didn’t have a treasure box made for you yet. I’ll have one made next time, and we can keep items you find precious in it.”
(Krr!)
“Until the treasure box is ready, is it okay if I hold onto it?”
(Krrr!)

Radian seems to be joyfully hopping around. I need to have that treasure box made for Radian as soon as possible.

(Krr~)
(Radian, don’t go off alone.)

Radian happily ran off to look for treasure again, and Feat hurriedly chased after him.

(He seems to be having fun.)
“Yeah~”

Although it was Radian’s first time in a dungeon, he seemed to be enjoying himself.

(We just entered, so the monsters aren’t too strong yet, just as I thought~)
(Of course! If powerful enemies showed up from the first floor, that would be a shock!)

Next, Vector and Mile returned, each holding what seemed like loot. They had a fire magic stone and a bright red fur.

“What did you defeat?”
(A Flaming Rabbit!)
(It dropped a magic stone and part of its fur!)

Flaming Rabbit, a D-rank fire attribute monster.

“The monsters coming out are also of fire attribute, huh. Since you are the same attribute, I can’t say it’s a good match. Don’t push yourself too hard, Vector.”
(It’s alright. No problem at all.)
(Vector! Don’t be careless!)
(Ouch! Hey, that hurts, Mile~ Isn’t it you with the bad compatibility, not me?)
(Annoying!)
(Ow!)

Despite my warning, Vector remained nonchalant, and Mile gave him a firm tap on the forehead as an educational lesson.

“Well, it’s true that wood magic would have a bad compatibility here, but for beast-type monsters, earth magic should be plenty effective, right?”
(That’s right! Pebbles from the ground are very useful!)
(In that case, I–! I’ll use my body instead of magic and take them down!)
“Hey now, no fighting among yourselves! If you don’t get along, I’ll cancel tomorrow’s snacks!”
(We don’t want that! We’ll get along!)
(I am sorry!)

While it didn’t escalate into a real fight, it was getting heated, so I intervened to stop it. Vector and Mile seem to dislike missing out on snacks, so they quickly settled down.

“Alright, for the good kids, I’ll prepare your favorite snacks! Decide what you want by tomorrow.”
(Ya~y.)
(We did it!)

With excited expressions, Vector and Mile returned to their search.

(They get along quite well, don’t they?)
(Yeah, Mile may say otherwise, but she always voluntarily follows Vector around.)
(Well, Mile has a naturally caring personality. She can’t just leave Vector alone.)
“It’s a big relief for me~”

Though it should be my responsibility to take care of Vector, I can’t help but rely on the dependable children. I often rely on Feat, Bolt, and Mile, but I should make an effort to spend more time with Vector too.

“”Oniicha~n, we found stairs~””
“Eh, you already found them?”

While we weren’t specifically looking for the way down, it seems Allen and Elena have already found it. Since we found it, let’s finish the exploration on this floor and head downstairs.

“Everyone, let’s head down~”

Even though we are in an advanced dungeon, the search on the first floor ended like a picnic.

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