“There are suddenly pitfalls at the entrance!?”
“Send the Goblins ahead! Find the pitfalls!”
On [White Trial]’s side, Haku’s retainer in charge of their offense was busily coping with the traps.
The pitfall traps tripped them up. A lot of them were immediately caught by them.
Though the corpses would normally plug up the holes if this weren’t a dungeon, this was a Dungeon Battle so their bodies were immediately absorbed.
However, if they could figure out where the pitfall traps were, they just needed to avoid them to advance.
“Alright, pitfall traps found, resume the invasion!”
“—! Wait, a Minotaur fell! … Gu—, skewered, instant death!”
“What!? The Goblins definitely went past that place just a second ago…!”
However, the pitfall traps in the [Ordinary Dungeon] were only reacting to the Minotaurs and Lizardmen, not the Goblins.
“The pitfall traps choose their target…!? Something like that should definitely use a lot of DP… I wonder if the contest was decided from the start.”
“Aah! Another Minotaur! Eleven remaining! Thirty Lizardmen remaining as well! Do your scouting job right, Misha!”
“The Goblins went by there just a little while ago!”
Another Minotaur fell, reducing their numbers.
In a different location, two Goblins fell into a pitfall as their footing collapsed beneath them.
Haku didn’t fail to notice the moment their footing collapsed and fell.
“… I understand it now. The reason the Goblins don’t fall… I’m sure of it, it distinguishes them by weight.”
“I see, with just that much of a rough condition, the DP consumption would be reduced and a number could be prepared…”
“The pitfall traps are definitely hollows under the floor. Though it would take time, you can advance by striking the ground and checking the sound.”
“Yes! Goblins, forward!”
“c.r.a.p, that was a blunder. Goblins don’t activate the pitfalls… the flooring isn’t equally thick since I made it with a lack of sleep… yeeep, that’s a miss. Guess it wasn’t thin enough?”
“Ah, look Kehma. Check it out, a Minotaur fell down you know!”
“Seriously? Oi Meat, your pitfalls are going great.”
“A-above all, happy I could help.”
The [Ordinary Cave] was seeing some unexpected results.
“We have broken through the first floor of the enemy dungeon! … On the way, we sustained many injuries from surprise attacks. We have few Goblins left.”
“That swords would appear out of the wooden door when opened to skewer them… brilliant.”
“Oh my, I would like to use that next time… What is the situation for defense?”
“Enemy forces, arriving on the third floor! … The fire traps, able to contain a portion of the rats!”
The flame trap was a trap that literally spat fire.
These ones spat fire at fixed timings. Since they couldn’t constantly spout fire or they would malfunction, they couldn’t stop all of them.
“… The opponents are rats, so the valuable Lizardmen aren’t that useful. What about our offense?”
“Our opponent’s second floor is… it’s a labyrinth!”
“Hmph. Challenging the [White Labyrinth] with a labyrinth? Divide our units to explore.”
Labyrinths weren’t as effective in Dungeon Battles as they were against adventurers.
They could map it out and give commands from a control area.
“Muu, it looks like Golems are wandering around. A set of five… b-bows!? The Golems are divided between vanguard and rearguard, with the rear guard covering them with bows! The Goblins won’t stand a chance!”
“Tch, are the likes of Golems imitating adventurers? No choice then. We can only respond with Lizardmen… have the Goblins act as sentries, send the Lizardmen and Minotaurs forward in order!”
“Uwaaah!? The enemies’ weapons are too strong! The Lizardmens’ swords were cut!? T-these Golems… all three of the vanguard are equipped with magic swords!”
“What did you say? … Golems with magic swords!?”
Even though Golems were DP-efficient, they weren’t strong enough to equip with magic swords.
Since magic swords used up quite a bit of DP, they were valuable and strong, so it was better to give to monsters that moved well.
“Rather, there’s only been Golems so far. Does he like Golems that much?”
“… Maybe he has some sort of emotional attachment to them? However, that’s fatal. Merge our forces, pincer them with Minotaurs!”
“Yes! … H-huh!? P-please wait a moment, the map is being weird, this, why is there a wall there!?”
They compared the map view to the monster’s field of view, but there wasn’t a path.
While they were puzzled by the change, the force that had started merging finished.
“No way, a [Transforming Labyrinth]…! It’s a lie, there’s no way it could be done with 100,000 DP on this scale!?”
“The important points, I wonder if you don’t designate them…. If that’s the case, 50… no, 40,000 DP could do it. But probably, there won’t be any large-scale traps after this.”
Haku was impressed by his operation procedures.
It was extremely efficient as it used a small amount of DP. It was really good. Though it was temporary, the Dungeon Battle required them to use the same amount of DP. What decided victory or defeat was how it was used.
Using a small amount of DP to shave away a lot of DP from the opponent, that was how the fight went.
Then, could Kehma only win when fighting with the same amount of DP…? No, she could definitely feel Kehma’s skill.
“Fufu, it’s too bad that this battle only used 100,000 DP.”
Right, if this wasn’t 100,000 DP, but 1,000,000 DP, the difference in fundamental fighting strength could have been overcome. However, it was 100,000. Looking at it from Haku’s point of view, this could only be a short-term battle no matter how she tried to look at it.
The vanguard Golems were equipped with mass production-type Blade Golems. Only the blade part of it was iron with the rest being stone, plainly economizing.
Doing that, a few Blade Golems could be made from a single iron ingot. The stone was free since they dug the materials themselves.
I also made the bow and arrows. The arrows used sc.r.a.p material. How they were made… if I had to say, labor and mana potion (barrels).
Furthermore, though by all rights the weapon Golems should have been indicated on the map, they weren’t. This was due to the map not more than necessary, so they appeared as Golem + equipment. Convenient.
So, despite looking at the map, the Wall Golems could move while completely in the enemy’s blind spot.
“Alright, the Wall Golems could move, Huge Success!”
“That’s… the thing Meat hit the other day and destroyed, right? It could move? There’s no feet though.”
“It’s a new model. There are tires under it so it can move around.”
Additionally, the cost of this self-propelled Wall Golem was exactly 0 DP. Handmade and made from sc.r.a.ps. They didn’t even need magic stones since they were only meant to be used inside the dungeon.
The key word here is ‘economical’.
Completing the labyrinth, the rats went towards the fourth floor in the [White Trial]. There were still more than 150 rats remaining. Once they received instructions, they cleverly avoided the flame traps. Still, their numbers were decreased by the Lizardmen on defense in the stair room.
“No way, we need to ascend again after going down, that’s… though I thought the labyrinth was on the third floor, it was two floors together.”
“He’s not an adventurer, it might be good to have him work as an advisor for our dungeon….”
Then, they climbed up the staircase out of the labyrinth, but it kept going… Two floors. At first, she assumed it was the entrance to the first floor… but what was this, the zero-th floor? Or maybe it was the negative first floor?
“… I don’t know what to call it.”
“Using something like that’s just underhanded… it’s now called the first upper floor!”
“Yes, certainly, it’s the first upper floor…. there’s a door!”
Borrowing the monster’s field of vision, the door seemed to be very st.u.r.dy.
And there was an exaggerated sign next to it.
“… What’s written on it?”
“Let’s see… it seems to be a riddle. I’ll read it aloud. [The answer is easy. Don’t overthink this. The way to answer is to divide one silver coin between three people.]”
“To divide one silver coin between three people…? … Umm, since there is one hundred copper coins in a silver coin, umm…”
“I got it. First off, one silver is one hundred copper. Then, to divide it three ways, the person who divided the amount keeps the excess as the fee.”
A problem of this level was no problem for Haku, a Dungeon Core that had a lot of experience.
“As expected of Ojou-sama!”
“With her, there’s certainly no need to be frustrated.”
“A perfect answer.”
“I mean come on, give up! There’s no way Dungeon Core No. 89-sama wouldn’t know a riddle like this!”
[Wrong. Please come again.]
“””” Eh—!? “”””
An awkward atmosphere settled in the [White Trial]’s Core Room.
Without them doing anything else, the room’s entire floor turned into a pitfall trap… where was its destination? The entrance floor.
“Why? My answer should have been perfect…!”
“Let’s settle down for a moment okay!? Hey, all of us haven’t answered yet! Ah, the damage report!?”
“Ah, eh—, a-a Minotaur’s ankle was sprained, impossible to return to battle… two died instantly from the fall… for the Lizardmen, three are safe. The goblins… umm, not good! None left! Our remaining troops, 6 Minotaurs, 12 Lizardmen, and divided into three groups, 8 Goblins.”
Haku pressed her hands against her temples while wringing out her directions.
“Have the surviving Lizardmen evacuate with the Minotaur that sprained its ankle… ku—, to fail a riddle that I was confident of… disgraceful…! Stuff the Minotaur that sprained its ankle as decoration, to remember this disgrace…”
“O-Ojou-sama, let’s do this once again with just Goblins! We can go in with the rest of our forces when we answer correctly!”
“…. S-such disgraceful conduct… No. 695-chan is watching too you know!?”
“Endure it, this is a serious matter…”
“Th-the fourth floor has been broken through! The rats’ movements have improved, they can’t catch them!”
Chloe implied that this wasn’t the time for worrying about that.
Haku was excellent, so she made the decision.
“Understood… assemble, ass-em-ble! There! Send the Goblins!”
[You distribute it according to their contribution level of obtaining it!]
[The leftovers are turned into community property of the party, the remainder is divided up.]
[… The silver coin is divided into three, giving each person a part!]
[Give it to an impartial third party to distribute it!]
Oh oh, that fall was magnificent.
As expected, after the second time around they sent a single Goblin at a time to be sacrificed… There wasn’t much weight to it if they didn’t answer correctly, in other words, it was amusing.
“Hey Kehma, this riddle…”
“Ah, Rokuko. You were able to answer it right in three seconds. You’re amazing, seriously, good job. You didn’t even need to hear the end of it.”
“B-because it says the answer! But, no way Ane-sama would…”
“Smart people won’t break out of the loop. Your Nee-chan is worthy of being called smart, I think her constantly coming up with answer is also pretty amazing.”
While giving her a sidelong glance, several of the rats, which had decreased in amount, were able to steadily invade deeper into the enemy’s dungeon after becoming easier to control.
… Maybe I won’t even have to use my hidden gem?
Haku had been thoroughly tricked.
Even if she thought and thought, it was wrong, wrong, wrong…!
“Ku—, how terrifying… turning this Dungeon Battle into a mental attack…”
“Umm, Ojou-sama… I wonder, is this really a [Gate of Widsom]…?”
Gates of Wisdom. They were special traps that would test the wisdom of people who came to the dungeon.
It was a very strong door, but once the riddle was solved, anyone could pass.
Haku had also used them to challenge people with riddles.
“… Eh, i-is there a basis to think that? Chloe.”
“Yes. First of all, it is impossible to exceed Ojou-sama’s wisdom. Then… considering the amount of DP consumption this far, would there really be enough DP to install a [Gate of Wisdom]?”
Certainly, earlier, Haku herself had said it. ‘There won’t be any large-scale traps after this.’
Even the worst [Gate of Wisdom] costed 30,000 DP. Though it became stronger with a more simple question, it became fragile with difficult questions, and required more DP.
That much was a large amount for a contest of 100,000 DP.
“Then… this is…”
“There is a possibility it is an ordinary, destructible door… possibly, the pitfall activates when an answer is spoken in front of the door.”
Then it was an extremely foul trap. No matter how you answered, even if it was the correct solution to the riddle, it didn’t matter at all. At the point they decided to stop, they were already caught in the trap.
T-terrifying… Kehma, what is going on inside that man’s head…!?
“T-this an advanced and cowardly trap!! Isn’t this just unfair!?”
“Moreover, if we didn’t realize it, how many times would we have…”
“Uu, but I’m in the wrong for being tricked. I’ll properly acknowledge my defeat here. Fufu, however, Chloe saw through it well. As expected of my right-hand person, you supported me splendidly even though I had fallen into tunnel vision.”
“I am humbly delighted to receive your praise.”
Then, the pink-haired War Cat girl, Misha, raised her hand.
Of her five retainers, she was the one with the lowest prospects of completing riddles.
Simply put, an idiot.
“What is it, Misha? I’ve already decided to destroy the door with brute strength, will you hinder me?”
“No, nothing like that! It’s just, that, the answer is… isn’t it [Easy]? It said it…”
“Huh? … Easy? W-what are you saying? Misha. Ah, right, it’s certainly easy, plain and simple. This trap has no answer!”
“T-that’s not it, umm, it’s just, didn’t it start by saying [The answer is easy]!?”
The air solidified.
“N—… no way… no, something like… that… hahaha…”
“N-no way Misha, s—omething… that’s…”
“A—hahaha, what are you trying to say, Misha-san…”
Their voices were strained.
The other retainers also thought… that might have been it.
Then, so did Haku. And Chloe.
“… … Chloe. For now, just try it out once…”
“… … Yes…”
If this was the correct answer… her mind would break, and, resolving herself, Haku gave the final answer personally.