A few hours late, but late is better than never.
Continuation from the last chapter, and if you forgot, Silver met his friend at the Guild and was convinced to bring her in his first-ever dive past the 18th floor.
/Following their conversation in the coffee shop.../
'Silver and Nicc talked and joked around as they made their way to the Dungeon.'
'They were rather close with each other and they looked quite good together, or so thought the narrator...'
'The two passed by the Guild once again to get Silver's commissions, and of course, he started to argue with Loiju since the Elf almost pranked him by hiding some pretty nasty missions in there.'
'He could choose to not do them, but that would be a pretty big hit to his pristine mission history.'
'And after making the Elf go bald with his plasmids, Silver left with a happy smile, saying he would give his hair back when he came back.'
'Of course, Loiju begged for forgiveness and he eventually got his hair back and Silver his commissions, this time, without any surprises.'
'And without anything happening on the way, the two eventually got in the Dungeon where Silver led Nicc almost without stopping towards the Middle floors...'
"I've been thinking about it, but I don't know much about you, how did you receive a blessing so early?" Silver asked as he walked next to Nicc
"And also, what do you wish to accomplish by coming with me? Just getting stronger? Seems rather sudden for a researcher."
'Nicc felt good knowing he wanted to know more about her, but instead of just answering, she asked:'
"And what about you? Aren't you an oddball as well? We've been walking past monsters without them noticing us at all, what did you do?"
'Silver smiled at her question, saying:'
"So me first?..."
"Invisibility, and a bit of sound-canceling, our smell is still out so be a bit careful, especially around blind and such monsters that rely on other senses rather than vision."
"There aren't that many such monsters on these floors, but it's better to be safe than sorry."
And I am too lazy to remove that as well, I improved a lot, but using several effects at once for long periods of time is still taxing for me.
'Silver also moved his arm to the side, almost hugging her.'
"We can see each other because we are close by, so never go beyond arm's reach of me okay?"
'Nicc was impressed and embarrassed at the same time.'
"You are full of tricks, what else can you do?" She asked seriously
"I can answer that, but you first."
'Nicc's expression was a bit sad as she replied:'
"My parents used to be supporters from two different Familias that used to work together, they met in an expedition, and eventually, I was born…"
"And ironically, that was also how they left this world." She said in a light and rather a sarcastic tone
'Silver looked at the poor bear girl as her ears dropped.'
'Silver patted her head and said:'
"You shouldn't make light of their efforts by speaking in such a way, besides, why don't you tell me what happened after? If you don't mind of course."
"... If you ask so much I'll end up thinking you're into me." She said with a sneaky smile
'Silver looked at her and couldn't help but think how much she changed…'
'Or perhaps, this is her true personality? A cheerful girl that loves studying and is overly curious about the Dungeon and its everything.'
'While the silent and cold girl he met before was due to many years of negligence and ignorance, eventually making her shut herself from others…'
'Nicc hit Silver's waist lightly with her elbow, as she asked with a red face:'
"Why aren't you saying anything?..."
"I'll leave that to your imagination."
'Nicc stepped on Silver's foot.'
"Ouch…" Replied Silver in a monotone
That's what you get for playing with my heart... Bastard.
"So, are you going to tell me or not?" He asked
"Are you still onto that?!"
"Yes of course… So how about I start first?"
'Silver cleared his throat and said:'
"A long long time ago, in a village hidden by the leaves…"
"Why are you narrating it like this?"
'But Silver ignored her, continuing his nonsensical story.'
'Time passed and they exchanged several stories as they made their way down the Middle floors, thanks to Silver abilities, their path was rather simple and carefree, who would believe it, a Level 1 and 2 walking in the Dungeon so leisurely…'
'It was almost at a point where the two were flirting with each other, if someone was to see them they would've probably given them a kick in the head.'
"And that is how it ended..."
"I am mostly surprised at how you managed to come up with such a story on the fly..."
"Who told you it was made up?"
'When Silver was done with his simple and over simplified story, Nicc told him her's and as expected, it was rather sad.'
'She lost her parents not so long ago, during Orario's dark age, as he expected she was introduced to her current Familia by her parents when they were still alive.'
'This was done mostly by her mother, and when they died, she continued working in the same line of work as her, by being a Dungeon researcher.'
'She liked it and not only that, she also felt it was her duty to carry on their legacy.'
'Silver was pensive upon hearing her words...'
Orario's Dark age…
A lot of people died for those Gods' trifling entertainment… Fucking Evilus.
I'm no one to judge a God, but such morally gray and dark Gods should just be confined to Heaven, force them to work there instead of causing trouble down here.
It's not even a bet but more of a guarantee that they will cause trouble.
But I guess there are Gods like Dyonisus, who can keep their inner thoughts hidden away while carrying out their true twisted desires in the dark.
Worse is that they can just get away by going back and waiting several ten thousand years… I hope they die of boredom.
"So your mother was a… Bears? What is the name of your race?" Asked Silver
"Just Bear people, there used to be a more fancy name but that ended up being forgotten like most races have, I think it was… Kuma-e? I may be wrong."
"So, a bear mother and Human dad, that is not something you see every day."
"Our race is not from near Orario after all, most of us are from further North, so I guess that's the reason."
'It was then that she noticed what was wrong, wasn't she a bear adventurer, and he a Human adventurer?! It was almost perfect!'
'So her face got a bit redder…'
'But Silver did not pay attention to that because they had arrived at a major milestone of their journey.'
'So he said out loud:'
'Nicc looked in front of her to see a massive ravine, this was a rather famous place as it led all the way to the 17th floor. The moment she saw it, she had a bad feeling.'
'Silver noticed her expression of course.'
"Are you bad with heights?"
"Not exactly, but I am not comfortable around them either."
"Alright then, that doesn't change much what I was about to do anyway." He said as he nodded
'Nicc looked at Silver in confusion as he gave her his hand.'
"Come, can you help me for a minute?"
'Nicc fully trusted him and never for a moment did she think he was going to do anything bad.'
'Silver took out something from his backpack, yes, he always carried one when he went to the Dungeon like this in the open.'
'It was a metal box, Nicc didn't recognize it.'
"Smile wide." Said Silver
'The flash suddenly disoriented her, making her take a step back, and trip, but Silver easily grabbed her and brought her close to him again, making her stick to his chest.'
'He was smiling as he looked at the box, making the embarrassed Nicc look at the box and see something horrendous… Her face, especially her expression.'
"Is that… Me?... In fact, that looks quite similar to the images of the monsters you bring me after every commission, is that how you make them?.."
"Yes, I made it, quite neat right?"
"No! First, delete that!"
'Silver ignored her plight.'
"... So? What about it? Want to take another picture?"
Sorry, but I won't delete such a precious moment...
'Nicc opened her mouth but stopped, she nodded with a smile. It was only then that she realized that Silver had been holding onto her all this time.'
'But just when she was about to mention it, Silver gently grabbed her hands and brought her to the edge of the precipice, he let go of her while he grabbed his backpack and put it on his back again.'
'He raised his arm and made a selfie gesture, but he soon realized Nicc was a bit too far.'
"Nicc that won't do, my arm's length is just so big, the photo won't fit the two of us inside."
'Of course, Silver could just use telekinesis but he had other plans…'
"Yo-You… Fine, my bad."
'She took a step to the side and her shoulder touched him, she smiled awkwardly, and…'
"Oh? This one looks quite good."
"Is it? Let me…"
'Silver was about to show it to her when he pulled her close again and took a step backwards towards the precipice.'
'Nicc's expression distorted as the blood drained off her face, she felt as if she saw the sun rising from the wrong direction as she felt her body fall into the precipice.'
Why am I seeing the ceiling?...
'First, it came the momentary confusion and fear as her body tensed up and relaxed at the same time...'
'But against her fears and worries, a strong arm came from the side and held strong onto her, burying her face in Silver's chest.'
'This feeling of momentary respite made her forget everything… But after a few seconds, she opened her eyes wide in shock, screaming.'
"Why are you screaming?"
"We-We-We… Are falling?!"
"No, we're not, we've long reached the bottom."
'She looked at Silver with a blank face.'
'She raised her head out of his chest and into the surroundings and as expected, they were on the entrances to the Goliath room, they were unmistakable.'
'She was very confused, and she asked:'
'Silver smiled and chuckled.'
"I wanted to cut the time of our trip so I jumped, did you forget I can fly?"
'Nicc looked at him with a blank face that even contained a bit of anger before she realized another terrible thing!'
'She was hugging him all this while! So she pushed him away and said:'
"Humph! You hug girls too much!"
'Silver scratched his head and thought:'
She is probably the third one right? I hugged Artemis and… Hestia a lot… But that's it?
My mom and grandmothers?
"I can't marry anymore…" She said dramatically
'Silver smiled, almost nodding but he stopped.'
"That's an odd line I never thought I would hear, thank you, another thing crossed from my odd things to hear list."
"Who writes such lists?! And you better stop, okay! Else I will… Make you take responsibility!" She said with a red face
"Best I can do is take your commissions until you get married." Said Silver with a monotone
'He made his way to the hole and got ready to enter it.'
"Let's go, it's dangerous over here, we can talk more when we are actually in Rivira."
Besides, I have a lot to do later as well...
'Nicc remained silent as she saw Silver enter the hole, she went after him and when she saw him disappear, she muttered to herself:'
"What if I never get married? Are you going to take care of my commissions forever?"
'With such dangerous thoughts in her head, she and Silver made their way to Rivira.'
'As for the Goliath, it had been long destroyed by another group of adventurers, rare would be the days when the Goliath could take a step out of the stone for several hours... Better luck next time.'
'Without any interference, Silver and Nicc continued on their 'peaceful' journey.'
'Raising their heads to look at the ceiling, Silver, and Nicc were immediately drawn to the prettiness of this place...'
"It's so pretty… The rumors do little to explain the beauty of this place." Said Nicc as she looked at the massive tree on the 18th floor
'Silver looked at the tree and also said:'
"Hum… Yeah. It's rather cool."
How did it grow so much? Is it a special tree like the ones the Elves are so euphoric about? Or is it something else?
Does it have seeds? Fruits?
'Silver looked up and saw the glowing crystals in the ceiling, that was how day and night passed in this place.'
'During the day, the crystals would glow and illuminate the entire cavern, and dim at night. Simulating the day and night cycle.'
'During their observation, Silver tapped Nicc's arm and asked:'
"Hey, you think I can get a few of those? They are rather interesting and would make a fine decoration in my office…"
'Nicc looked at him with a serious face.'
"I think you are the only one who could think about getting them, look at it! It's at least a few hundred meters high! Perhaps even more..."
"I don't think it would be an exaggeration to say it's over a Km high..."
'Silver nodded in understanding.'
"This means I am the only one who can, right?"
"It's not about that though?! What would you do with a crystal that shines in daylight and stays dark during the night on the surface?"
"Why not? Are you going to tell me you don't want one? Alright, wait here." Said Silver as he started to float
"GET DOWN HERE!..."
"At least bring me a piece!…"
'Eventually, Silver came back with a 20 Cm crystal in his hands.'
'It glowed strongly as if Silver was holding an incandescent lightbulb.'
"... Alright, this is pretty cool." Said Nicc as she closed her eyes due to how strong the light was
"I know right? Since this is still the Dungeon, I am sure it will eventually fix itself."
'As he said that, he stored the crystal on his backpack after enveloping it in cloth so it wouldn't shine inside the bag.'
"Here, for you." He said as he gave her a small piece the size of a finger
"... Thank you." She said as she looked at the beautiful blue crystal shining in white light
"Let's go?" Silver asked with a smile
'The two continued on their way while Nicc told Silver everything she knew about the place.'
'But eventually, she asked:'
"We're not going to Rivira?"
'But Silver shook his head.'
"No, those people are known to be a bunch of annoying scammers and I have no wish to waste time sightseeing there."
"Not even once?"
"But like… It's the only city in the Dungeon!"
"It's supposed to be something incredible! Even if the city itself is nothing much its historical value is immense."
'Silver stopped and said:'
"We can come here on the way back if we wish, sell some of the magic stones to unburden ourselves, are you pleased with this development?"
"The way you talk pisses me off sometimes." Said Nicc as she rolled her eyes
"But at least you are not bored."
"How does that matter in the Dungeon?!"
'Silver also smiled as he made his way onto the entrance of the 19th floor…'
A bit of sidetracked from the main story, but so is the start of a volume.
We'll see many events that may not be connected in any way to the main story until they suddenly fall together.
Besides, the story passes in Orario so all of this can be seen as the common day-to-day life of Silver.