In a small space at the heart of the Dungeon Oasis, a solemn atmosphere was hanging in the air.
Sat on the ground resting were four men ranging from their late twenties to early thirties.
Metal armor, leather armor, and a thick robe, ostentatious equipment wrapped around the bodies of this adventuring party – “Wild Crew”.
Strained by nervousness, their tense facial expressions were marked by the shadow of irritation and fatigue.
The labyrinth exploration was not progressing as well as they had originally imagined.
“Damn, even though we don’t have the time to screw around in a place like this.”
A Heavy Warrior clicked his tongue while cursing.
“For those kinds of small fries, to use magic against them!”
In the previous battle with the monsters, the Magician boasting the greatest strength in their party decided to use his attack magic.
Magic is powerful, but it consumes a lot of mana.
The only way to recover is to either drink mana potions or rest.
And mana potions are orders of magnitude more expensive than other potions, moreover, because there are few stores that stock them, it’s difficult for even intermediate Adventurers to get them.
“I wasn’t playing around.”
The dark robed Magician raised an eyebrow while refuting.
“Because the vanguard couldn’t stop the monster, I had no choice but to use it.
I want you to stop passing on responsibility.
While snorting, he spat out words of contempt.
This was slang with the meaning of a “wall full of holes” – a Heavy Warrior who should be protecting the rearguard unable to fulfill their role.
“What’d you say, bastard.
Wanna settle this!?”
An agitated Heavy Warrior, a sneering Magician.
The other party members were a Light Warrior and a Raider who, not to mention trying to mediate the argument, were instead laying down as though they were uninvolved.
The place they are resting at is the 20th underground floor of the Tyros Labyrinth.
In the vast floor at a certain corner – they had scrambled away with their tails between their legs to this safety zone.
Because monsters hate water, for Adventurers, wide spaces in Dungeon Oases become excellent resting places.
Luminescent moss is abundant, so despite it being deep underground, it was bright as midday.
“It’s dangerous to raise your voice.”
The sound of footsteps and a laid-back voice broke into the tense atmosphere.
“Although this is by the water, it’s not the case that it’s completely free of monsters.”
The four Adventurers instinctively reacted, but upon confirming it was a young man in a leather long cloak, relaxed their wariness.
He was maybe slightly over 20 years old.
Light brown hair tied in a braid behind his neck.
A slender and lanky build from which you could hardly see the dual qualities of strength and endurance required of Dungeon Sherpas.
The timing of his appearance was probably bad.
The wrath of the Heavy Warrior was redirected to the youth – Rowe.
“I thought I hadn’t seen you from a while ago, the hell were you wandering around, this shit Sherpa!”
Looking down at the basket he was holding in his hands, Rowe cooly replied.
“There is a place nearby where herbs grow.
It can be made into a powerful smelling salt.”
“Smelling salt? Do such things sell?”
The raider who was lying down asks.
With a grin on his face, Rowe picked up the vermilion leaves from the basket.
With just all this, you can turn it into one silver coin.”
It’s enough to stay overnight in an inn with food included.
The Heavy Warrior, the leader of the “Wild Crew”, wasn’t pleased that the Sherpa they hired was earning small change on the side.
However, while their magic was exhausted and they were fatigued, half-surrounded by monsters and almost annihilated, it was only this young man’s instructions and directions that saved them.
To complain at this point, as expected even he had hesitations, so he instead let out a frustrated groan.
In his place to speak however, was the Light Warrior focused on attack power and speed.
“Isn’t it also the Sherpa’s job to tell us where herbs grow?”
“Such options do exist, but you ‘Wild Crew’ only opted for the shortest route to the 30th underground floor and guidance to the Dungeon Oases.
You know you can’t alter the contract until you leave the labyrinth, right?”
The members of the “Wild Crew” were all silent.
It had been the party consensus to choose the cheapest option.
Rowe stowed the herbs into a pocket on a huge rucksack he carried on his back, and retrieved some small vials, arranging them on the ground.
Red, yellow, green, blue – a rather colourful selection.
This caught the Raider’s interest.
This was the so-called “everything shop”, which played the role of distributing positions during battle.
Rowe explained their effects in turn.
A healing potion for wounds.
A cure potion that ameliorates fatigue.
A mind potion that raises the spirit.
And finally, a mana potion that restores magical power.
“It seems to me that ‘Wild Crew’ were exhausted by the previous battle.
I was wondering if you might possibly be worried about running out of supplies.”
In parties that lack healing magic for their members, potions become literally lifelines.
The members of the “Wild Crew” became serious and gathered near Rowe.
“Of course, but you’re not just saying for the sake of saying so, are you?”
The Magician confirmed while looking at the mana potions.
Nodding, Rowe took out a piece of paper from his bosom.
“This is the price list.
The unit is in silver coins.”
It was a table marked with squares.
The price wasn’t fixed – the deeper the floor, the higher the price of the potion.
The Heavy Warrior shouted.
“Screwing around! This is a scam!”
At the 20th underground floor, the price was about twice that aboveground.
The price of a mana potion was ten silver coins – one gold coin.
“In any store, the price of potions depends on the ease of obtaining herbs used as raw material.
Two years ago, there was a shortage of herbs for making cure potions, and the retail price jumped more than three times.
In other words, even if the demand stays constant, the market price will change depending on the available supply.”
You can’t traverse deep into the labyrinth without potions.
However, it takes more time and money to return to the ground and resupply.
“I don’t think this is by any means too expensive, right?”
Perhaps because of Rowe’s innocent smile, the heavy warrior turned away and expelled a “ke”, displeased.
In the end, despite complaining and cursing, “Wild Crew” bought some potions from Rowe at a mark-up and continued exploring the labyrinth.
Their final descent record was 25 floors underground.
Although this didn’t meet their target of the 30th floor, everyone, including the Sherpa was able to return with all their limbs attached.
The results of cashing in the drop items, after deducting their expenses, would only give the party a profit of one gold coin.
These extravagant Adventurers were disappointed by such returns.
For them, it would surely be used up by the end of the week.
After that, they would have to re-challenge the Tyros Labyrinth or set out for another labyrinth.
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