The Empire that Start to Move .
The door opened with a loud noise . Three people entered the room . Yuuki took his eyes off from the document he was reading, 「Yo, welcome back」
He greeted the three . But,
「Yuuki-san, it was impossible . The bottom zone was extremely hard . 」「Yeah, it went well until the 50th floor . But, after the 55th floor, Death Knights were roaming together in a platoon . I think this would be hard for ordinary knight ranks . Well, the problem started from the 59th floor though . ]「――That was dangerous」
They began to speak vigorously . Maybe it was because they were excited, they didn’t mind how theylooked anymore . If you saw the three’s clothes, the ripped chain mail was broken in some parts . Just by looking at it there was no doubt that it was due to a fierce battle . The story of the three continued .
「The boss of that floor was a Commander rank Death Knight――Death Lord―― but,three of them appeared at the same time, you know!
Moreover, they were accompanied by 5 Death Knights each, you see?」「That was horrible . . . maybe, we were relaxed until the 50th floor」「The boss monster with a cow-like face had a strength comparable to an A rank . Anyway, to have such monsters guarding it, there seems to be something in that labyrinth」「Hee . . . then, did you guys give up at the 59th floor?」「No, we somehow managed to defeated the three sets of Death Knights and their commanders . But well . . . . . . 」「The guardian of the 60th floor seems to be a named boss, it was absurdly strong, you know」「Because we were almost defeated by the numbers on the 59th floor, we were already prepared for a battle of attrition on the 60th floor though . . . 」「The result was our defeat by a single humanoid type monster」「It clearly had abnormal strength, to the point of being the superior version of a Death Knight」「――That was, impossible . Even if we try it many times, we will lose」 When the three talked to such an extent, Yuuki sat on a chair, and settled down a bit . He drunk the served tea, and took a breath . Yuuki, thought that,to some degree,his expectation was correct,
「Then, there seemed to be something over there?」
He questioned the exhausted trio . Apparently, the three seemed to have just left the town by foot after being defeated at the 60th floor . They regrouped with Damrada, who waited at the outskirts of the town, and immediately returned with Transfer Magic . This was because they feared a pursuit . They heard that the highest record for the labyrinth was the 39th floor and there seemed to be a stalemate against the waiting boss of the 40th floor before they had challenged it . Meanwhile, they thought that they certainly stood out by advancing and establishing new recordsright off the bat . They said that they realized their mission had failed, and they withdrew when they confirmed existence of strong individual guarding the place without re-challenging the labyrinth . After some considering they,
「There’s no doubt . There should be some kind of facility beyond that place . 」「The size of the labyrinth was quite something . I think it was expanded through some kind of magic though, but it didn’t seem to be an artificial structure . In the first place, that place didn’t seem to have something like underground ruins originally, either . In that case, it was a mystery how they secured a place that wide . 」「――Only in that floor, the defense was abnormally severe . No matter how you lookat it, they’re guarding something . Not only the knight that we defeated, there was a skeleton magician, and ghost dragon later on . I think that the forces there were very different than on the other floors」「Right . You could laugh but…Probably, if all the monsters up to the 59th floor fought against the monster of the 60th floor――Those guys from the 60th floor would win . 」
Shinji and Zhen nodded in agreement with Mark’s thought .
They say that it had such an overwhelming presence . Yuuki had no doubt that the floors until the 50th floor were originally the labyrinth sections for tourist attraction purposes, while the 51st to the 60th floors and further, were a restricted secure area . After that, they ate a light meal, and he received the report in calm, eased state . It didn’t seem that they were able to enter Tempest, but they seemed to have been able to gather information from the openhearted adventurers in the labyrinth town . They summarized such information, and reported it . As well as all sorts of thing they had obtained,their spoils of war . They got a high quality “Magic Crystal” from a monster . They were able to get some quality equipment from the treasure chest, which could be located in a room inside the labyrinth, or from the floor boss, and so on . Each one of them were rare class, while the bardiche that Mark had was unique class . They could sense,that to gather so many people, they needed to set up an unthinkable amount of money and labor . Meanwhile, there was some worrying information . That is,
Therewas a city on a certain floor inside the dungeon (Underground Labyrinth) .
Or so they say . 「As expected, it doesn’t seem to be a mistake . 」「Yeah . I think it must be . 」「――It is . 」
「The point though, is that we cannot passed the 60th floor . 」 At least, because he judged it to be absolutely impossible with only his group, Shinji reported it obediently . It was on a level that saving face was of no use, since the boss was just too strong .
「Well by the way, to what extent did you feel that boss’s strength?Can you compare it with people that belong to the Imperial Guard Army to be specific?」
Shinji and the two were lost in thought at Yuuki’s question . Though it was called the Imperial Guard Army, in the army there were people like Shinji and his group, who weren’t interested in the Rank Deciding Battle . They were indebted to Yuuki in various ways after they had come to this world, and had helped under his instructions in various ways…Since they were not interested in being in the top 100, they didn’t participate in the Rank Deciding Battle seriously either . Furthermore,since the Corps Commander had been replaced by Yuuki, they had purposefully transferred from their original Armored Corps to the Mixed Army Corps that Yuuki led as Corps Commander . In this corps, there was no need to participate in the useless Rank Deciding Battle . There wasa number of people that existed among them that thought like “Otherworlders” . They weren’t given a large responsibility, and they didn’t show off their power, they were people that lived suitably . Because the abilities of such people were not clear, it was a mystery whether the Imperial Guard Army was really the strongest group though…But, on paper, there was no mistake that this group was the strongest group in the Empire .
「Well…At least, around the top 50th rank . . . ?I think those guys’ subordinate aren’t worth considering」
「In the end, it was just that one knight, right?That knight, we weren’t able to touch him, even with the three of us, you know?」「――Right . People in the top 30th rank, might fight evenly against the knight?」「Which reminds me . . . Wasn’t there an Arc Demon subjugation troop dispatched before the construction?That time, I participated as the campaign’s doctor . . . 」「Ah, the “Lake Shore Dyed in Scarlet” incident? Is it true, Shinji was a survivor of that incident?」「―― I was lucky to survive」 The “Lake Shore Dyed in Scarlet” incident was one of abominable incidents that had occurred in the Empire territory . A vassal state, adjacent to the beautiful lake, revolted against the empire, and shouted for independence . That time, the king of that vassal state took a certain measure, since his state was inferior in war forces to Empire . That was, the secret art of Demon Summoning,which could be considered Taboo . The king gave an order to summon the strongest demon thatwould obey him, and the Imperial Court Magician answered the order . Even if they opposed the empire, that small country population didn’t even reach 10,000 people, so there’s should be no chances of victory for them, but――There was a reason why the king suddenly declared his country’s independence . A noble from the Empire desired for the princess, his only daughter . In the Empire, which had become powerful, it was impossible for the emperor to grasp the movementsof such a small country . The margrave, who was entrusted to rule the area, borrowed the emperor’s authority, and performed atrocities . Such a spectacle was a common occurrence in the Empire . The Arc Demon appeared from the Demon Summoning;then destroyed that small country . The demon’s desire was that kingdom’s princess . The Imperial Court Magician, whose mind began to break the instant he saw the demon, presented the princess in response to the demon’s demand . The demon sprouted a wicked smile, and possessed the princess’ body . It accomplished embodiment through the princess . The King went into a rage . However, that anger was immediately replaced by fear as the demon’s rampage began . In the end, a report that the small countrywas destroyed reached the Empire, and the demon’s subjugation was decided . As if their initial response was late by a step, that place would becomethe location where the second Guy Crimson wasborn . The beautiful lake was dyed with the blood of that small country’s populace, and the water change into a red color . Even in the several hundred years of the Empire’s history, this detestable incident could be called the worst that had ever happened . 「Well, about the main issue in hand . I only saw its appearance during the fight at that time though,I felt the 60th floor boss was about the same as the Arc Demon」「What? Such thing as anArc Demon! It’s on a level that we can’t defeat, you know?」「――Is it really, the same?」
The Armored Corps, which had branches throughout the entirety of the Empire’s territory, solved the “Lake Shore Dyed in Scarlet” incident . Or so it was the official story . However, Shinji who was there, saw that a few knights defeated the Arc Demon, which the troops couldn’t fight, from afar . He didn’t intend to mention it, but he thought that they were probably people who belonged to the Imperial Guard Army now . Therefore, because of it,he had lost his interest in the Rank Deciding Battle . He really felt that they lived in a different world .
「Ah, they might be like this . It would be great if a machine to check the enemy’s power can be developed, though it would probably have no significance . That knight seemed to be strong since he was a high level swordsman . The later magician-like skeleton had an intimidating air that was comparable to an Arc Demon . 」
Shinji’s words didn’t contain doubt, and were full of his true feelings .
「Then, it can’t be helped that we lost . In addition to those powerful two, there was a dragon right?It’s a bit too cruel . The balance is too difficult, that labyrinth . 」「Until the 50th floor the balance was good though…As expected, if you consider what lies on the other side, there must be a town after that place . 」
Receiving the three’s report, Yuuki pondered . It wasn’t an accurate conclusion,since he didn’t see it with his own eyes, but as there seemed to be a floor that was guarded by an undead transformed dragon, and two beings with an Arc Demon class . It seemed they couldn’t reach the targeted research facilities if they didn’tpass that place . (Oh well, it can’t be dealt with with ordinary means, as expected)Yuuki could go and breakthrough the labyrinth himself, but he would be noticed immediately by Rimuru and his group . He didn’t participate in the labyrinth simply because they were cautious about his movements . However, Yuuki wanted to achieve the goal of the labyrinth’s capture somehow . He may ignore it, but Yuuki had a hunch that some problemsweregoing to occur later . Yuuki pondered for a while,
「Thank you, you guys should have a good rest . That’s right, if you want to examine the obtained equipment in detail,you guys should visit the Imperial Court Magician, Gadra-roushi . Shinji, you should greet your master for the first time in a while as well, right?Also, you guys may sell the unnecessary things, since the Supplies Section will purchase it . 」
He thanked the three people, and called out to them . The three, who remembered that they were tired withhis words, showed delighted expressions, thanked Yuuki, and left the room .
The seeds were scattered . It might have been too early to spread this matter to the other sections . Probably, the Empire would move . Yuuki thought as much, and quietly sprouted a smile .
After the three left Yuuki’s room, they went to the Supplies Section to sell “Magic Crystals” and unused equipment . Their reconnaissance ended in failure, but they were able to get a considerable income in a short amount of time . Their salaries, provided by the army,were more than the average income of a commoner, but not to the extent where they could live luxuriously . On the other hand, to leave the army and become independent, the conditions in this world were very severe . Being able to live a steady life, was already attractive . 「Hey, hey, where did you guys obtain this “Magic Crystal”?This is something hardly seen recently, isn’t this a high quality one!」「The equipment here is great too . It’s a weapon made with pure Demon Steel . Though I’m bothered by this hole thing . 」「Hahaha, where it was obtained is a secret . Please don’t ask again . 」
After having such an exchange, they had a good rest in their respective rooms that day . The forced march had ended, their bodies, and minds might have been dead tired . When Shinji woke up, it was the evening of the next day . Shinji who woke up, contacted the other two . Zhen was up, but it seemed like Mark was still sleeping . Actually, his fatigue would be great for sure, since Mark mostly played an active role . The three met, and decided to have dinner .
In the Empire’s capital, the three had a meal at a high class restaurant . It had been a while since they had last has such a luxury . Yuuki didn’t tell them to hand over the spoils, and was happy to give everything to Shinji and his colleagues . When permission to plunder is not given, the spoils obtained in the middle of a military campaign belonged to the military . In this case, they couldn’t complain, even in the worst case where everything was taken away . Well in most cases,
「However, if all things and money obtained were taken away, we might seriously think about migrating away right?」
The two agreed with Shinji’s remark . One gold coin was equivalent to 100,000 yen . The market price was similar in the Empire . The gold coins in the market were issued by the Dwarf Kingdom, the quality was standardized as the common gold coin . They could use the original Empire gold coin, but there would be an inspection of the money by the moneychanger, and the fee was larger too . Therefore, the majority of transactions were using the gold coins made by the Dwarf Kingdom . The gold coins made by the Dwarf Kingdom were inscribed with magic, any counterfeit money would be exposed immediately . If by chance, a counterfeit was exposed, it would result with a death penalty . Because of that, there were only a few idiots that counterfeited money in the present . The gold coins that Shinji’s group obtained from the labyrinth city,which was the satellite city of the Monster’s Country Tempest,were without doubt made by the Dwarf Kingdom .
It could be used inside the Empire without any problems . The army had an annual salary system . The promotion was also included, calculated and collected the next year . However, taking in consideration the people who didn’t have the money on hand,they had devised a system where they gave out daily allowances from the reserve funds . For an ordinary soldier, it was ten gold coins――their annual salary was equivalent to 1 million yen . Because the army took care of the life necessities (food, clothing & shelter), it was a large sum of money for poor people . The gold coins that they obtained were altogether more than 100 pieces . Mark and Zhen’s rank were First Lieutenant . Because Shinji had the qualification as an army doctor, his command right was two ranks higher, he was a Major . Because Otherworlders are given preferential treatment, even at the lowest they will receive treatment as Second Lieutenants . Of course, the salary provided by the Empire in a year was more than for an ordinary soldier . But, even so it was around 50~100 pieces of gold coins . The amount of money they had earned during this short-term mission was greater than their annual salaries . Not to mention that the unique class equipment and so such, were things that they couldn’t get throughout their lifetimes unless they paid hefty sums for it . Being unable to stomach Damrada’s lavish lifestyle was the biggest reason Mark hated him . In short it was jealousy, there was no other meaning . Mark didn’t like Damrada, whom he didn’t know, who was just living a good life, while he, himself, was personally just a dog of the army . In addition, he was disgusted with himself, who thought about such things, and took out his anger more strongly on Damrada . Shinji could understand Mark’s feelings, but he could satisfy himself with only the salary he received as an army doctor . If he said something careless word, it would disturb Mark’s mood . They were thinking about something based off the information that they were able to get in this mission . That, ‘Even if they didn’t particularly cling to the military, the three of them could live together in the labyrinth city, couldn’t they?’
Was something like that . Sure, the Empire was the leading force in culture and technology . It was an excellent capital . The food was delicious, and the living conditions were comfortable too . As long as they had money, they were able to enjoy a fulfilling life comparable to their former world . But, they were more or less civilian employees .
They might be given a dangerous mission, and so they couldn’t be careless . In that regard, that dungeon was very satisfying . After all, they didn’t have to worry about dying . They were half in doubt, but because they had experienced it themselves, they had no choice but to believe it . If they didn’t have to worry about dying, wasn’t it better for them to live interestingly over there?It was normal to think so . Even if there was money, there was no meaning in it if there was no entertainment…Over there, there was a place called the Colosseum, and it seemed it could be used freely on its day off . Various sports games, like soccer and baseball, were played over there, and they had already investigated that the adventurer citizens enjoyed it . About the taste of the food, it was equal to empire . Though it was equal, it hada nostalgic taste that couldn’t be reproduced by the people of this world, and it attracted their hearts as people from Earth . To be frank, it was because theywereindebted to Yuuki that they didn’t have feel like to changing sides . When the war begun, they would be considered deserters, but fortunately right now was a peaceful time . If it was now, it would be easy to retire from duty, and leave the army . 「The problem is the war…right」
Mark muttered . It was the reason they couldn’t decide . That was caused by the problem he just stated . War would certainly begin . Otherwise, they would have left this country long ago, and would have moved to the labyrinth city .
「Which side do you think will win?」「Just saying, what will we do if we receive an order to attack that city?」
The three looked at each other . There was a feeling of unpleasantness in attacking that city they liked, right after they had stayed there for a while . But they, judging from the strength of the boss inside that labyrinth, expected that the strength of the strongest person in Monster’s Country Tempest would be unthinkable .
「If you think about it, normally you would think that the guardians that protected the research facilities were strong, right?But, the people that belong to that country’s army are monsters, right?If so, the guardians in the labyrinth aren’t the strongest, right?」「I think the same . At least, the Demon Lord Rimuru might be an exception . In the past, a city seemed to have been annihilated by a wicked dragon named Veldora…Actually, a similar thing seemed to have happened . I think that an Arc Demon is equal to a tactical nuclear weapon in Earth . 」
「That’s right . The war is about numbers, even if several of that boss appear it will be useless . 」「――With our class, we can’t fight against ten people, I think it’s meaningless . 」 The three talked till late that day, but in the end the talk wasn’t settled . At least, they had only decided to leave the army before the war began, and parted on that day .
In the office where a splendid desk was placed, a man with one eye was sitting in a high class chair . His left eye was covered with an eye patch, his appearance was of a skinny man around 40 . His name was Calgurio . He was the Corps Commander of the Armored Corps that boasted of the greatest power in the Empire . On the desk in front of him, a few “Magic Crystals” were placed .
Theywere high quality “Magic Crystals,” which had high purity,and would become sources of magic energy . In his hand was a sword . It was made with high quality Demon Steel, and the skill with which is was madecould be grasp as a high level . It was a splendid sword, equal to the ones which the best craftsman of the Dwarf Kingdom forged . It was said that the Supplies Department purchased it, but it had a clear distinction from the items sold within the Empire . A subordinate of a high rank noble who was on familiar terms with Calgurio got his hands on Supplies Department, and reported if there was an outstanding item . That was the case this time . Many nobles came over with indecent smiles, and reported it to Calgurio . Calgurio’s origin was as a low rank noble, the high rank nobles would not bore themselves to talk to him if he was a civilian employee . Those nobles were looking down on Calgurio, but they knew how to be courteous towards the head of a corps of the greatest faction . Thus, their relations were equal . “It seems to be impossible to harvest “Magic Crystals” of this purity from monsters that generated naturally”, so they say . ‘If we want to aim for a stable supply, we should secure the place that produced this “Magic Crystal”!’ like that . They demanded of Calgurio in the report . There was no thing as a high rank noble that moved while disregarding their own profit . There was no such thing as ‘They reported it with good intent,’ or something like that . There was another story that he worried about . It was about the sword that Calgurio held in his hand . Many times,『This unusual item seems to have a mysterious effect』such an exaggerated thing was said when he came to buy it . If it was examined, it would likely strengthen the Empire’s army . In the end, it was sold at 100 gold coins due to such a reason, but surely there was something that Calgurio was worried about .
There was a hole in the sword . Did the hole have any meaning?Calgurio couldn’t decide . Therefore, he handed the sword over to the Technical Group after he was troubled . If it was them, there would be some discoveries . When the result was brought a few days later to Calgurio, he was surprised, but determined . Because the sword attracted the best craftsman among them, he noticed it . Also the origin of the sword was from inside a dungeon that belonged to a certain country, and when he learned of that, Calgurio drafted a strategy inside his mind . He was thinking while smiling thinly . When the time came, he must never allow anyone to have a head start . And, despite having a chance to obtain such important information, he thought that his colleagueswere pitiful to not notice this . After all, this fellow was a foolish upstart . His head didn’t stop thinking while sneering at his colleague . ‘How much could he enjoy the maximum profit if he did it?’He was thinking about the opportunity to apply the initiation of the military campaign to the Emperor while thinking about it deeply . ————-
Author’s note:By Calgurio’s action, the Empire begin to move . It wasn’t necessary to write it, but it was for the time being . In case Clayman goes for the labyrinth capture, can he capture the former 60th floor? The probability is low . He would surely lose if he took on those three (Guro: Magician, Knight & Dragon) at the same time .  “紅に染まる湖畔”事件 “Aka ni Somaru Kohan” Jiken .  Btw Embodiment’s kanji is 受肉 Juniku, which mean getting a body/physical form, Incarnation .  老師 Roushi – old master/ old teacher/ sage .