Chapter 422

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Dungeon of Scorching Heat (3)
The next day, we enthusiastically stepped onto the second floor.

“It’s a bit chilly here~”

The second floor was completely different from the first floor, resembling a mine tunnel. Moreover, it felt considerably colder.

“Allen, Elena, are you guys okay?”
“”Okay?””

Allen and Elena tilted their heads while saying they’re okay. This doesn’t seem okay.

“Here, put these on.”
“”Yes~””

I couldn’t let them stay just in short sleeves, so I took out cloaks from the Infinite Storage and helped Allen and Elena put them on. I also put on a jacket myself.

(I thought the second floor would be similar to the first floor, but it’s completely different.)
“Yeah, I thought the same. Dungeons are really mysterious, aren’t they~”
(Yeah~)

In the Dungeon of Colors,’ the base was a forest, but only the colors have changed. In the ‘Entwined Dungeon,’ there was heavy rain and thick fog. In this dungeon, the very environment has changed completely. The variety is truly absurd.

“If it’s a mine tunnel, could we find something through mining?”
“”Ohh!””
“If we dig?”
“Will something come out?”
“It’s not like you’ll find something no matter where you dig, though~ If you want to mine, you have to choose the right spot. Well, if it’s you twins, I think you should just dig where you feel like saying, ‘It’s here!’!”

With Allen and Elena’s intuition, if they dug in a place they felt something might be, I’m sure they’d definitely find something.

“”Will look for a digging spot~!””
“Yeah, let’s search while moving forward.”

And so, as we advanced through the mining tunnel, we began to carefully consider where to mine.

“”Ah! Here!””

Just as I thought that, Allen and Elena immediately discovered a spot that caught their attention.

“”We will dig here~””

Swiftly pulling pickaxes from their magic bags, they started digging into the wall.

(Here? Does it seem like there’s something?)
(I’m gonna dig too~)
(Krrr~)

Joule and Vector also joined in, using their front paws to dig into the wall, and Radian followed suit, pecking at the wall with his beak.

“”Ah!””
“Oh, did something come out?”
(Oh, here too!)
(I’ve found something too~)
(Krr~)

It seemed like everyone had uncovered something.

“”Pink stones~?””
(Mine’s also a pink stone!)
(Mine too~!)
(Krr~)
“Seems like everyone found the same thing.”

I immediately used my Appraisal skill to examine the stones and found out that it was halite.

“Halite. It looks like it’s salt.”
“”Salt~? But it’s not white~?””
“Ah, yeah, halite comes in colors other than white.”
“”Heh~ really~””

The children handed me the halite they had dug out and looked at me with hopeful eyes. They probably wanted to taste it right away.

“Okay, okay, let’s try using it for lunch.”
“”Ehehe~ Looking forward to it~””

When I mentioned using it for cooking, the children smiled happily. They seem eager to try the taste of the food they find… They’re becoming more and more like me.

(Ya~y! Looking forward to lunch~)
(Yeah, excited, so excited~)
(Krrr~)
(Ah, uf we dig around here more, will we find lots of halite?)
(Oh~ let’s dig, let’s dig! Radian, stay a bit away~)
(Krr!)

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To find more halite, Joule and Vector started digging boldly around the area where they had found the pink rock salt.

(Is this amount enough, I wonder?)
(Niichan, what do you think? With this much, we should be fine for a while, right?)
“Yeah, thanks. It’s plenty. With this much, we can even bring some back as a souvenir for the Ruven family.”

Joule and Vector managed to dig up a considerable amount of halite in a short time. Well, whether we’ll make souvenirs out of it depends on how it tastes. But considering they’ve gathered so much… I hope it doesn’t taste weird~

“Ah! Something’s over here!”
“Over here too! Something here too!”

Allen and Elena moved to a different spot and, sensing something, rushed over with pickaxes in hand.

(Fufufu~ it looks like our exploration of the second floor is already getting quite eventful.)
“We’re not in a rush to clear it quickly, so it’s fine, right?”
(We were kind of thinking about how quickly we could get to the next floor… but yeah, you’re right. There’s no need to rush.)
“Ah~ we’ve been going at a similar pace until now. But it’s true that for regular adventurers, it takes several days to clear a single floor, so let’s take it easy~”
(Yeah, let’s enjoy it at a leisurely pace!)

Feat, Bolt, Mile, and I watched from a distance, taking it easy.

“”Heave-ho~!””
(Krrr~)
“”Mh?””
“Does Radian want to dig too?”
“Alright then, try digging here!”
(Krr!)

Allen, Elena, and Radian were all busy with the excavation.

“”Found something~””
“Did you find something good? Or is it salt again?”
“”Well… um…””
“N?”
“”… Don’t know what this is?””
“Hahaha~”

It seemed like they had dug something up, but they weren’t sure what it was.

“Alright, let me see.”
“”Here~””
“Mm~… this looks like iron, doesn’t it?”
“”Iron, huh~””

The children were clearly disappointed upon realizing it was iron.

“Well, there are uses for iron, you know~”
“”But we can’t eat it~””
“Nono, it’s difficult to find food through mining…”
“”Also, it’s not a pretty gem~””
“……”

First, it’s about finding food, and second, it’s about finding beautiful stones. The priorities haven’t changed. It’s really consistent, isn’t it~

“Well, it’s unfortunate, but this is still the second floor. Maybe we’ll find something better if we go deeper?”
“”Oh, right!””

Seems like the children had momentarily forgotten that this was still the second floor, and their spirits lifted.

“”Oniichan! Let’s go quickly!””
“Well, we don’t need to hurry, okay!? For now, I’d like to find a place where we can rest. And let’s also do a taste test of the salt.”
“”Right, right. Salt tasting.””

Allen and Elena quickly found a suitable resting spot, so I started preparing lunch.

“Now, what should I make~?”

While thinking about the menu, I crushed and ground the salt to make it usable right away. By the way, from the little taste, it feels like a regular, good-tasting salt, right?

“… Maybe I should make salt onigiri after all? And then… salt-fried food and salt-marinated vegetables?”

This should be sufficient. That being the case, I swiftly prepared the meal and started eating.

“”Oniichan, it’s yummy~””
(Yeah, yummy~)
(But the deliciousness comes from Niisama’s cooking skills. The saltiness itself is… normal, I guess?)
(N~ I don’t sense any impurities, so it’s probably decent salt, right?)
(It’s yummy, so whatever goes!)
(It’s not okay to say whatever goes! But it’s delicious!)
(Krrr~)

In conclusion… well, I think it’s safe to make souvenirs out of it, I guess?

“Now, let’s take it easy for the rest of the afternoon~”
“”Oh~!!

Continuing to mine while taking it slow, we progressed through the second floor.

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