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The next morning, 12 knights from West Barga Knight Order and the Sasanqua members, led by Viscount Caymon, headed into the labyrinth’s depth to conquer the Dungeon Master. The 6 knights in the remaining party also headed deep into the labyrinth, but not to the inner sanctum. They followed another route to sweep the labyrinth’s depth.
Once the Dungeon master was defeated, the Dungeon Core – a large magic stone – could be removed. The magic in the labyrinth would gradually decrease afterward until it completely disappeared within a month or so. Monsters wouldn’t appear anymore. Blank mana stones*, something that wasn’t obtainable from labyrinth monsters, would surged up instead. Then when all of its magic had disappeared, from the lowest level, the labyrinth would close up as if it was shriveling away. Finally, the entrance would close up and it would disappear completely. That was the Labyrinth’s death.
In addition, if there were fields imitating nature inside, the trees and any minerals found there could be harvested as resources. And then, there was the Transportation Magic Circles. They existed in the innermost area of the lowest level and every 10th level like the Gatekeeper. These transportation circles were stone tiles that could be torn off and brought out of the labyrinth. Then the circles could be replicated and things could be transported from the original circle to the duplicates, no matter the distance. Not only the Kurtmelga Kingdom but other countries on the Orlando continent also used this method of transportation. At first, it had been used for cooking ingredients such as spices; now it was also used for raw materials, human resources and intelligence. These magic circles were controlled by the government as they were related to national defense, but they were opened for merchants to use for a high fee. However, when transporting large packages, land routes were still the most common method.
Conquering labyrinths served two purposes: to stop it from spreading harm to any living creatures near it, and also to make use of all its resources. This was why one of the knight parties went to clean up the labyrinth instead of joining the Dungeon Master’s battle. This was also why I had been commissioned to map out the labyrinth. It was so that once the Dungeon master had been killed, they could retrieve the mana stones and such as smoothly as possible.
I left the Spring and went to map the passages we hadn’t explored yet. I had multiple fights on the way, and even now, I could hear 4 more monsters heading towards me. I threw down some light Ggrass seeds to add some light to the passages, then turned off the P90’s flashlight. In the newly-formed shadows, I crouched down while readying my gun as I waited for them to appear in my crosshairs. Before long, a goblin appeared in my night vision’s green field of view. I squeezed the trigger and a hole appeared in his head.
The first one appeared to be a normal goblin, but the following 3 were Goblin Assassins. They were agile in the labyrinth passages so it would have been a pain if this turned into a melee fight. I also got the second one as the remaining 2 spread out to rush both my sides. From my position, I did a slide-jump backward to dodge the attack coming from my right side. I shot at his torso and killed that one. The goblin on the left side had kicked at the wall and came at me from above, but I had moved back nearly 6ms with the slide-jump. So I watched him land flat-footed and shot his head, ending the battle.
Afterward, I continued my mapping while fighting more battles. When I thought of returning to the spring, I heard a wail reverberate through the labyrinth. At the same time, the air in the windless labyrinth quavered. It seemed like they had defeated the Master or removed the Core. Whichever it was, the Labyrinth’s death had begun…
The original plan was that the Sasanqua members and I would leave the labyrinth to head back to the main camp today. However, the situation changed after the Gatekeeper’s battle, so we were to stay another day. Similarly, the Rafflesia – who should have gotten back inside the labyrinth today – was now on standby. The Guild staffer who was posted in the Spring had run up to tell us about it in the middle of the night.
At the Spring, I waited for the knights and the girls. The first to come back was the knight party tha hadn’t taken part in the battle. They also returned after hearing the wail.
After a couple of hours, my headset picked up the footsteps of 10-odd people.
Just as I spoke up, the other knights raised their voices. It looked like they had also noticed them. Then the 12 knights and 5 Sasanqua members came in. No one was missing, neither did anyone seem injured. They also didn’t look like they had defeated the Master, rather, they looked unhappy – as if unsatisfied with something.
“There’s no Master…?”
“No. There’s nothing beyond the Gatekeeper room.”
“There’s no one sitting on the throne, only the Core stone there, nya.”
“First time like this.”
According to Frau-san and other girls, after they had opened the white gate-of-hell lookalike inside the gatekeeper room, there had only been a vast empty space behind. The Core stone had been placed on a pedestal, so they had taken it, and the Labyrinth had reached its end. The wail had been from removing the Core. Where was the Labyrinth Master?
Mitche-san had mentioned a throne with no one sitting on it. An empty throne just like the one on that gate. Maybe this labyrinth had no master since the beginning? It was Frau-san who answered my question.
“A Labyrinth could exist precisely because there is a Dungeon Master. It’s unthinkable to say that there is no Master, but this labyrinth has only one level, unlike the others. Maybe it’s not impossible to have no Master here, but we can’t conclude anything until tomorrow. after we’ve searched through the entire labyrinth to confirm it.”
Of course, we couldn’t make a conclusion right here and now. The Emerald Demon Labyrinth itself had already reached its death after the Core’s removal. We discussed our plan for tomorrow onwards over dinner. The first thing to do was to return to the main camp in the morning. The Knights led by Viscount Caymon would remain inside the labyrinth and hunt the remaining monsters while searching for anything that could be the Labyrinth Master.
We went to sleep soon after dinner to ensure we would be in good condition for tomorrow, with the watch keeping being entrusted to the knights.