Chapter 22: She who Stole the Principle of Fire


Two hours after I saved the slave, the Franrühle party vs the Legion Bats battle ended without a hitch.

I had already learned that the Legion Bats had a core magic stone inside their bodies, so all I had to do was to act as a decoy and look for that core.
As long as Franrühle and the other three didn’t become viciously competitive with each other, there was no way we could lose the battle.

Thus, in no time, we cleared the 9th floor and were on our way to the 10th floor.

—Indeed, the 10th floor.

I couldn’t help but to recall the events of the previous day.
Tida, who claimed to be the boss of the 20th floor, had been written as the 20th Guardian on the Display.
If that was the case, I could predict that Alty, who was written as the 10th Guardian, would be the boss of the 10th floor.

However, the mere fact that we were attacked by the boss of the 20th floor on the 5th floor rendered that prediction moot.
Franrühle and her party of students had informed me that the boss monster of the 10th floor was not on the 10th floor, so perhaps doubting that prediction was the correct line of thought.

After all, no matter what floor it was, dangers lurked at every corner in the Labyrinth.
That was all there was to it.

Although I was getting mentally exhausted from all the questions Franrühle threw at me, like what my hobbies or my special skills were and whatnot, we reached the 10th floor without any problems.

The 10th floor was a special floor.
The room where the stairs ended was filled with a brightness usually not to be found in a Labyrinth.

—It was a spacious room that stretched forever, with nothing but flames no matter how far the eyes saw.
There was nothing else.
This was all there was on the 10th floor.

The flames weren’t hot enough to scorch you.
However, it was still a room full of raging fire, which made me hesitant to enter.

We chose a path where the fire had been extinguished by the barrier of the Main Road and walked on.

After reaching a suitable point, Snow-san pulled out a bottle and tried to capture the flames with it.
It was an odd sight.
A lick of the flame was sucked into the bottle, separated from the rest of the fire, and continued to burn inside of it even though there was nothing to burn.

That was the end of their assignment.
Finally, I could leave their party behind me.

I take it that this is the end of my duty?”

I spoke up to start saying my goodbye.

“Onii-san, mew’re a huge help.
We’re really lucky to be able to cooperate with an explorer as skilled as mew.
I was prepared to see one of us getting injured on our way down, mew see.
Ah, here is mewr paymewnt.”

Erna thanked me and handed me a gold coin.
Franrühle then interjected.

“Christ-sama! Given the opportunity, may I suggest that you escort me to the surface as well?! Yes, given the opportunity! The House of Hellvilleshine would like to thank you and treat you to dinner! We have always wished to be associated with a young, strong, sincere, and kind explorer much like you are, Christ-sama! Please do consider my petition!”

Even I, as dull as I could be to peoples’ feelings, could clearly tell that Franrühle was deeply attached to me. 

Being liked by a good-looking young lady like her sure was a happy thing.
However, I couldn’t help but feel like getting closer to her would only cause me more trouble.
Partly because of our positions, but mainly because there was a gulf between our mindsets.

“I’m deeply sorry, Franrühle-san.
My objective is beyond the 10th floor.
I regret to say that I can’t escort you to the surface.”

I politely declined.
I didn’t forget to act as if I really regretted it.

“I-I see… I cannot possibly force you to answer to my whims, not after you have saved me.
However, please do remember that we, the Hellvilleshine siblings, always welcome Christ-sama to our home anytime.
You can count on us whenever you need to.”

“Eh, me too? Well, if it’s you, then you can always come and play, Christ-san.”

Franrühle had decided that Liner-kun would welcome me too, perhaps out of her own initiative.
However, Liner-kun didn’t seem to be too reluctant with the idea.

“Thank you very much.
I hope we may meet again.”

“Yes, let us meet again! By all means, please do visit Eltheaulieux Academy! Ah, Hellvilleshine Manor is in the third district of Whoseyards! You can see it as soon as you enter the district! Whenever you need aid, whatever it is, come to us—!”

Franrühle was reluctant to part, trying to appeal to me up until the end.
Had we met in my previous world, she would have been the hardworking and likable type.

However, I soberly decided that she wasn’t someone I needed at the moment.

Finally, there were only two people left to say goodbyes to.

“Onii-san, mew seem to be the gullible kind, so don’t get fooled easily, mkay? See mew later~.”

“…The Labyrinth doesn’t fit you.
I suggest you change your occupation.
That’s that.” 

For some reason, the both of them bid me farewell with harsh words.
We had watched over each other’s backs, albeit for a short while, so I hoped they meant it out of concern for me.

Thus, I said goodbye to the academy students’ party.
I was smiling when I saw that Franrühle kept looking back and waving to me time and time again.

Finally, I was the only one left behind on the 10th floor.
The sea of fire that filled the room made me drip sweat.
I started walking along the Main Road to get to the 11th floor as soon as possible.

I was finally alone, but then, I felt a strange solitude.
It seemed like having someone as a party, regardless of who they were, created a sense of security for sure.

However, I had decided that, from there on, I should go alone, all by myself—

You’re alone now?”

All by myself.

I was supposed to be all alone.
In that place where there shouldn’t be anybody else, I heard a voice that wasn’t my own.
Immediately, I strengthened my magic. 


I took a huge leap back, looking for the owner of the disembodied voice.

—A vast space with only two entrances.
An unexpected voice, blazing flames all around.
It was just like that time.

I used my magic to probe all around me.
I checked the ceilings, the corners, the shadows of the flames, everywhere to determine if there were any enemies.
But there was no enemy in sight.

“Forgive me, I must have startled you.
I mean you no harm, so please remain calm.”

And then I noticed that the flames imitated the shape of a mouth. 

“—from the flames?”

“Yeah, I’m hiding in the flames.
But if you’re alone, then I have no qualm showing myself.
Just wait a minute.”

The flames spoke.
I recognized that voice.

The flames changed into human form, as it did, bandage-like objects with scriptures on them gathered from all over the room.
The bandages wrapped themselves around the humanoid flames, functionally replacing clothing.

Finally, its fiery head turned into a human one, specifically a red-haired girl that I had seen some other place.

It was Alty, the 10th Guardian.


I was at a loss.
From a game’s logic, she was supposed to be inferior to Tida, who was crowned as the 20th Guardian.
However, I wasn’t sure I should easily assume that.

Unlike when I fought Tida, I didn’t have Dia by my side.
My side’s attack power was much lower, but that also meant I had more freedom to withdraw from a battle without him.
If it was just me and my high physical abilities, the range of tactics would be versatile.
Above all else, I was level 10 and my AGI had increased, simply fleeing from the scene was an option.

After much deliberation, I decided to continue conversing with Alty, who claimed to have no hostile intent.

I could just run away when the situation called.
I might even catch up with the students’ party if it came down to that.
I felt sorry for them, but if it came down to a melee, then having more options to take was always better.
I’d prioritize my life over a good night’s sleep.

* * *

Reaper Scans

Translator – Mab

Proofreader – ilafy

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* * *


“You are… Alty, right? Are you here to fight me?”

I spoke to Alty, now that she had assumed a human form, without lowering my guard.

Alty floated, then immediately shook her head.
I was really at a loss with how human her appearance was.

If we were to get into a fight, Alty’s appearance would be a negative factor for me.
She looked like a human child at a glance, really playing it foul.

“Nay, nay.
I just told you I mean you no harm.”

Alty’s tone was pompous, despite her small figure.
It felt really out of place.
However, this feeling was a reminder to me that the little girl was indeed a monster.

“I don’t buy it.
It was just the other day that delightful monster Tida attacked us.
You think I forgot that it was you who blocked our escape route?”

“I was only setting up the stage.
But if you are angry because of that, then let me apologize.
I am sorry.”

“Apologizing doesn’t entitle you to my trust, you know…”

“Mumu… I can see that your impression of me isn’t the best one.
That’s a bit shocking.
It’s not like I attacked you or anything.”

Alty’s lips twisted into a pout. Aah, so she’s like this too.
Both her and Tida are the same.

“That’s obvious.
How could anyone have a good impression of monsters? When humans meet monsters, they fight to kill.
That is the unwritten of this world.
That was what Tida said.”

You don’t have to take that to heart.
Tida just made that rule up on the spot.”

Alty remonstrated me, eyes mellow, like seeing a child who still believed in Santa Claus.
It was annoying to be looked at like that by a girl who was at least two sizes smaller than me.

“Which means you don’t want to fight me.
Are you telling me to believe that?”

“I am.
I’m not like that battle junkie, I’ve got no intention of taking this monster business seriously.
That’s why this room is always empty, it is so that you explorers can go to the 11th floor without worrying about procuring fire.”

“Huh… I don’t think I can go to the 11th floor without worry, though.”

“Aah, worry not.
Now that you have me by your side, those boss monsters are nothing.
And I mean those who stay at places far away from the barriers of the Main Road.”

Wait wait wait.”

“Mn, what’s the matter?”

The headache wouldn’t stop.
That unilateral side of her was exactly like Tida’s.
She decided everything all on her own.

“Who said you’re coming with me? That’s not happening.”

“Hm, it seems like you have no trust in me at all.
I am planning to prove to you that I mean you no harm by my actions.
So I have decided just now that I will help you in your exploration.”

“Stop it.
I can’t fight with you behind me.”

“Then I will be in the front.
I’m also good with swords.”

Saying that, Alty produced a flaming sword and repeatedly swung it and thrusted it into the air.
Appearance-wise, she looked like no more than a child playing with a sword.

But no.
Flames were leaking out greatly from her hands, her feet, and many other places.
I couldn’t treat her like she was a human being.

“That’s not the point.
Just having you near me makes me constantly high-strung.
I couldn’t explore the Labyrinth like this.”

However, this is a serious matter for me too.
I am planning to stay close to you until I gain your trust.
After all, building a relationship based on trust is most important.
I will stick close to you, no matter how many years it will take.”

Alty’s smile was innocent.
The way she spoke straight and without hesitation made me feel like she wasn’t lying.
For what it was worth, I couldn’t sense any hostility from her.

But maybe it was because I was too inexperienced.
Her presence was a source of uneasiness.

Just how much easier it would have been if she’d just attacked me.
The Anti-Guardian measures I came up with the previous night were down the drain.

“So, that means… You’ll just be hanging around me, always? Until I trust you?”

“That’s right.”

“…Erm, can’t I just slay you right now? You being a boss monster and all?”

“That’s pretty terrible against someone who is presenting friendly intentions.
A pretty girl wants to be your companion; you should welcome her with open arms… How cold, all I ask is for you to trust me, really.
I have this small wish, you see, and I just want it to come true.
And for that, I need a human’s cooperation.”

Alty raised her hands in a pose of surrender as she spoke.

She waved her hands, insisting that she was harmless.
I was about to take a slice out of her, seeing how full of openings she was, but a certain word that she uttered bothered me enough for me to hold back.

“—Wish? So you do have a wish?”

I recalled a certain something.
Tida, that battle freak monster’s, last testament came to my mind.

“Oh, will you listen to it?”


Would it give me any advantage to hear it?

Sure, I needed all kinds of information so I could conquer the mystery of the Labyrinth.
However, was it really right to try to extract information from Alty there, at that time?

“Putting aside all the trusting business, there is one thing I want you to hear.

“…I will lend you an ear, but nothing else.
You also said something that caught my interest before… Something about having a misgiving left and not being able to fight.
Tell me about that too.”

Each and every word that Alty spoke, with her being on the side of the Labyrinth, would count as a spoiler for me.

It was loathsome that, even then, I couldn’t shake off those videogame-tinted glasses.
And those glasses demanded that I listen more.

“Fufufu… Sure, I will tell you.”


Alty snickered bewitchingly and took her time to tell me her story.

Since we have the chance, let’s start with the thing about my misgiving… I’m sure you will be interested in this.
After all, you can kill a Guardian without fighting her.”

Alty’s smile was ever-present.
Even though it was supposed to be a method to kill her, her expression remained the same.

“Actually, we Guardians are forced to guard the Labyrinth as monsters because we have a Lingering Attachment to this world.
Just whatever will happen to a Guardian whose Attachment has been solved… I have always had this suspicion, you see.
And Tida, he cleared my suspicion up.
It seems like we are beings that weaken and disappear once our Attachment is cleared.
I guess that's why that nigh-immortal Tida died so easily.”

From the way Alty talked, it seemed like she saw when Tida died.
That and she seemed to imply that Tida shouldn’t have died the way he did. 

He died because he got what he wanted, that’s what Alty believed.

—That was news.

I had never heard anything like that from anywhere.
I felt like that it was information that no one in the allied nations, the four nations that were trying to conquer the Labyrinth, knew.

Now, onto my wish… What I wish for is only one thing…”

Then, as though that bomb of a statement was nothing more than a preamble, Alty made her voice low and heavy as she spoke.

What she would tell me was her wish.
Which meant her forthcoming manner of death.

“—I want to fulfill a love.”

Arty spoke bashfully, then looked up into the air, only to quickly add “How’s that, romantic, eh?” then chuckled at her own words.


My headache worsened.
It wasn’t a simple pain.
It was a pain caused by a mixture of annoyance, madness, amusement, and a whole slew of emotions that would not normally mix together.

Alty was looking straight at me.

I endured the headache in my head and replied simply with: “You’re a pain.”

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