Chapter 11: If You Don’t Mind Me

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Lysette exhaled a warm breath after finishing the soup.
Her stomach is feeling warmer.
It seems that the exploration on the ice appears to have used up more of her body heat than she had anticipated.

“I feel bad saying this after all of your help… I had no idea I’d end up eating monsters.”

“Fufu, Didn’t it open a new door?”

Lysette laughed as she cleaned up, and Leonhardt laughed softly.

But what do they eat in the dungeon if not monsters? It was a straightforward question.

Food brought in from outside would be insufficient to sustain them, and the amount of food they could bring in would be limited.
They are unlikely to be able to explore for an extended period of time.

“Did you get separated from the party as well?”

“No, I’m not in a party with anyone.”

“You’re not—Are you going to the dungeon by yourself?”

Leonhardt is taken aback.

Lysette wondered if it was that unusual.

“Aside from me, Leon-san must have lost his friends.
I can help you find them if you like.”

Lysette is grateful to Leonhardt for his assistance in the Adventurer’s Guild, though he doesn’t seem to recall it.

She wanted to help Leonhardt until she knew he was safe.

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” No, I…”

Leonhardt’s expression begins to fade.

He doesn’t appear to want to talk about it.

“If you don’t want to answer it, you don’t have to talk about it.”

Lysette was curious, but that was just curiosity.
She has no desire to coerce people into disclosing their secrets.

“What are your plans for the future? Are you going to look for them, return, or continue on? You don’t seem to be feeling well right now, so think about it until you do.
I’m also going to rest here for a while.”

She increased the heat to stay warm.

On the ground, the magical fire flickered.
It was a lovely red flame.

A few moments of silence pass.

“…It’s a stupid story.”

“Yes…”

“… My friends left because they said they couldn’t handle my case.”

“Well…”

“I appreciate you.
My body would have rotted away if you hadn’t found me.
I apologize for being in this layer.”

“No, it’s each other’s business.”

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“…”

Leonhardt is deafeningly silent, staring into the flames.

Lysette has no idea what he is thinking behind his emotionless expression.

“May I ask what Leon-san’s purpose is?”

“…It’s dragon slaying—You’re not considered a full-fledged member of my family until you’ve killed a dragon.”

“Isn’t it a militaristic family?”

The coming of age to slay a dragon is a significant event for that “family.” They are one of the most powerful families in some faraway land.

Is the party he was with his subordinates at the Adventurers’ Guild?

There appears to be a complicated reason why a person of such high status is dying alone in this layer’s hidden area.

Was he truly on a daring adventure, or was he in some sort of trouble? It is also possible that all of the members have concluded that Leonhardt is not to be the group’s leader and have abandoned him.

—This is most likely a plot.

Lysette is unaware of the details and has no plans to learn more; her interests lie elsewhere.

“Dragon…”

—A monster, no, the pinnacle of all monsters.

“I suppose… Dragon-Steak is the best option.”

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“What are you talking about?”

“N-No, don’t worry about it.”

“…I’ve seen many adventurers seeking dragon fangs, scales, and bones, but I’ve never seen anyone attempting to eat the meat…”

Leonhardt appears surprised, but slightly amused.

“…The surface dragon is on the verge of extinction, that’s why I came here in search of a dungeon where dragons will appear.”

—Militaristic clan, indeed.

“Why don’t you first just go back to the surface and organize your party if you want to slay a dragon? —Leon-san will soon have all of the members.”

“I doubt it—”They” took almost everything except my equipment, so making a comeback will take some time.”

She didn’t think they’d go so far.

The treatment in the dungeon is inhumane.
Didn’t anyone in his party have a conscience?

Betrayed by his friends, stripped of everything, starving alone, on the verge of death.

How much despair did he feel, and how much pain did he feel?

Lysette has no idea how to mend a broken heart.

She is at a loss for words and simply stares at the flickering flames in front of her.

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“Then why don’t you just abandon the dragon slaying?”

Those were her first words out of her mouth.

Leonhardt takes a deep breath and laughs dryly in his throat.

“It’s simple for you to say…”

“…Because I’m an outsider, I’ll take the liberty of saying it.
I believe it is acceptable to leave a house that will not even acknowledge you for doing so.”

Lysette also left her home.
Or, to be more precise, she was the one who was abandoned.

But she realized when she was abandoned.
She knew she was crazy to stay in that house.
From a distance, it appears to be a gem that is bright and shiny, but upon closer inspection, it is just a piece of rock.

“…I never considered that.”

“You have a lot of options—don’t be concerned.
People can do anything if they eat and sleep properly.”

—That’s what living in the Dungeon taught me.

“When you feel better, Leon-san, let’s go to the surface—We can form a party after.”

“With you?”

“I’ve never been to a party before, so I’d like to get some practice.”

Leonhardt responded to Lysette’s suggestion with some confusion.

“…if you don’t mind me.”

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