We have found the boss room of 13th floor of Haruba’s labyrinth.
While exploring, we found a small room.
The door opened, and I walked inside the room.
I immediately understood that it was the waiting room since it had only two doors. One in front and one behind.
“Is the boss room ahead?”
“The boss Pick Hog is the upgraded version of Pig Hog. A really tough monster that attacks using its fore paws. Well, I think Roxanne-san will be alright, but please be careful.”
The door inside the room opens.
I bring out Durandal in a hurry.
“The three of you handle Pick Hog, I will take care of Grass Bee.”
The monster accompanying the boss was Grass Bee.
I finished it quickly.
I join the attack on Pick Hog.
Pick Hog is the boss of 13th floor. It is one size bigger than Pig Hog.
Its fore paw attack is similar to a drill.
Standing on its hind legs, it swings its fore paw down on Roxanne.
It is similar to what wild boars do on their short legs.
Is it okay not to help?
Such thoughts rushed through my head.
Roxanne lightly avoids its swing.
As expected of Roxanne.
Had I been there instead, I would have been hit.
No, I will never get hit because I always attack from behind.
I cautiously slash using Durandal.
With careful attacks, we manage to defeat Pick Hog without any accident.
Well we had already defeated bosses up to 15th floor in Quratar’s labyrinth.
13th floor couldn’t have been a problem.
“Sherry, which monster appears on Haruba’s 14th floor?”
The carnivorous plant-type monster, Sarracenia, whose weakness is fire magic.
We proceed further on 14th floor under Roxanne’s guidance.
After killing Sarracenia with 5 [Fire Storm]s, I then kill remaining Pig Hogs with 3 more [Water Ball]s.
Next, we fight against a group of three different types of monsters.
First, I kill two Sarracenias using 5 [Fire Storm]s.
After that, I finish one Grass Bee using 3 [Breeze Storm]s, and then I slaughter the remaining Pig Hog with a single [Water Ball].
9 attacks in total huh?
“Hmm… Even though there were three types of monsters, I needed one extra spell to finish them, unless I made an error in the count. Please guide us to another group of three types of monsters.”
I instruct Roxanne.
The battle duration is longer, but we can fight on Haruba’s 14th floor.
I can finish a group of one type of monsters using 5 spells. If someone survives, Roxanne can deal with them.
That much can not be avoided.
Having reached Haruba’s 14th floor, I move to Bode’s labyrinth in the afternoon.
Every now and then, I drop by Tare’s and Bode’s labyrinths to keep a tab on the progress of their exploration.
There may be an easy floor similar to Quratar’s 16th floor.
“How far has the exploration progressed?”
The explorer at the entrance replies.
The exploration of Bode’s and Tare’s labyrinths is progressing slower than Vale’s labyrinth.
Because there are three labyrinths, the Duchy’s order of knights had to split up.
Or perhaps, they decided to focus on the exploration of Haruba’s labyrinth?
The party led by the Duke and Cassia, and also the party led by Gozer were exploring Haruba’s labyrinth.
Gozer’s party will blaze through Bode’s 11th floor in no time.
However, it is probably wasteful for such a high level party as Gozer’s to explore 11th floor while they can explore higher floors.
It is rational to break through floors one by one without diverting the focus.
So far, I have not directly contributed to the exploration.
Since it is acceptable to just enter the labyrinth, there doesn’t seem to be any problem.
And I defeated Heinz the bandit.
Since it helped the knights in reducing the number of patrols, I helped them at least that much.
“I will stop by the furniture store before heading home.”
“The bed is getting smaller for us, we can’t keep using it as it is right now.”
I thought about it when we were in the small room on Bode’s 1st floor.
And I would like to rid myself of this uneasiness as soon as possible.
Whenever I express that I will expand my harem, I get tensed.
Fearing that someone may object.
Nope, I don’t plan to increase it just yet.
It is just preparation.
Preparation for when I have to expand it.
So I am feeling a little guilty.
“I see. It would certainly be great. Thank you for caring about us.”
I am feeling even more guilty now since the bed is actually for my selfish motives.
I jump to Quratar’s adventurers guild and head to the furniture store.
“I don’t think we should buy a large one. May be another bed similar in size to the one we have? I am thinking of setting them side-by-side. What do you think?”
I propose that while checking the beds.
The current bed we have is quite large.
It should be able to accommodate 3 more if I add another bed next to it.
I am not sure if two beds can be attached though. It may create a gap in the centre.
Since I sleep in the centre, I would rather not have that.
Depending on how I arrange it, the gap may not be directly below my butt, so there may not be any problem.
“It will be too big.”
“I will eventually increase the number of party members.”
Even though I was tensed, I tried to appear composed.
I must keep reiterating that I will increase the number of party members.
It will be awkward if someone objects when the time comes.
“Is that so?”
“A-Also, it will be wasteful to throw the current bed away.”
I give her another reason in a hurry.
Things may not go as smoothly as I thought.
“I understand. Let’s go with what you said.”
“Next time, can we buy a shelf?”
With this, I can use 30% discount.
Since the owner of the furniture store is a merchant, 30% discount should be effective.
The more the party members, the more the luggage. Like I said, it is preparation.
Had I said that I would be buying a shelf and had then suggested buying a bed too, it would probably have been better. Oh well, it’s too late now.
Men play it fair.
They break through the front.
They caress it and shove it in from the front.
Only cowards do it from the back.
I leave the matter of choosing the shelf to the three.
They will be the ones using the shelves mainly.
So it’s better to leave it to them.
Their group, with Roxanne in the middle surrounded by Sherry and Miria, is clamoring while deciding on the shelf.
I’m observing them from the side without throwing in my opinion.
It took them quite some time to choose.
I purchase the bed and the shelf they chose, and return home.
“Stay here until the furniture arrives. We are already done with the labyrinth for today. You guys will be preparing the dinner. In the meantime, I’ll head to Vale.”
“Vale? Trading house?”
“That’s right, but I’m not going there to add another member. I’m going there to gather information in order to make preparation. Also, I have to express my gratitude to the slave merchant for introducing me to the trading house in the Imperial capital.”
As for the number of party members; the more, the better.
It is necessary to expand the party.
Roxanne and Sherry both are aware of this.
However, not much time has passed since I bought Sherry.
You don’t find beauties like Roxanne and Sherry every time you visit the trading house.
Therefore, this time, I’m going there only to gather information.
There can be up to six people in a party.
You can’t randomly add party members.
I must be careful in choosing the next member of the party.
If I go to the trading house in the Imperial capital, there’s only that beautiful woman who was unwilling to be my slave.
If I go to Alan, the slave merchant in Vale, he may introduce me to more trading houses.
And I have one more thing to ask him about.
The slave merchant in the Imperial capital mentioned slave auction.
Sherry may know about it but I can’t ask her about such a thing.
So I’ll ask Alan, the slave merchant.
“Well then, I’m leaving.”
“Okay, take care.”
“Take care, desu.”
After having been seen off by the three, I leave the house.
I jump to Vale’s adventurers guild and head to Alan’s trading house thereon.
There’s no change in the townscape at all.
“Is the owner here?”
“Wait here, please.”
I was led inside after I asked the person who came to receive me.
It’s the usual waiting room.
“Oh dear customer, welcome.”
Alan appears before long.
I was then led to the back room.
“I went to the trading house in the Imperial capital last time. I thank you for introducing me to that slave merchant.”
“Yes, I heard that there was a successful transaction and that both the parties were satisfied.”
Even though he was forced to offer me 30% discount?
They have no way of finding it out, it seems.
“We’re good for the time being but I intend to add another party member in near future.”
“Exploration of labyrinths seems to be going well for you. That’s good.”
“Thanks to Roxanne and Sherry.”
When I went to buy Roxanne, I was short of money, so I had to wait before buying her.
But now I’m intending to buy a fourth slave.
From this slave merchant’s viewpoint, things must be going well for me.
“Since I explore labyrinths, quality of party members matters more to me than the number of party members. Therefore, rather than increasing the number of party members in a rush, I’m searching for good combat-ready slaves carefully.”
Actually, there’s no other option for the party size is limited to six.
And then there’s my vigor.
Because I have Sex Maniac, I have to go for more.
“You need a party member that’s strong if you are to challenge higher floors. For stronger slaves, you might want to give the slave auction a try.”
Fortunately, the conversation moves to auction without my asking.
“The slave auction is held on holidays, that is four times a year. The slave auction is held at Quratar’s merchants guild. On holidays, normal auctions are called off and the guild is reserved for the slave auction only. In the slave auction, many combat-ready slaves, who are suited to be explorer or adventurer, are exhibited.”
“And I can pick a strong one from among them?”
“Yes. The entrance fee is 1,000 Nars per person. It is designed to filter out those who attend only out of curiosity and those who try to manipulate the price. In case your bid succeeds, the fee can be appropriated toward the bid.”
1,000 Nar is indeed quite high if you’re a spectator.
However, to those bidding for slaves in excess of 100,000 Nars, it’s not that much.
Furthermore, if my bid succeeds, the fee will be returned.
If all the people attending the auction place a bid in order to have their fee refunded, the price will go up.
“Would doing so not drive up the price?”
“At the very least, the price can’t be manipulated, I believe.”
The slave merchant grins.
“Will Alan-dono be exhibiting his slaves?”
“Of course, it’s a stage for slave merchants after all. Unfortunately, due to some circumstances, I have let go of the centre of my exhibition’s attraction already.”
That must be Roxanne.
I don’t know what the circumstances were.
If I feel the need to know, I’ll have Roxanne tell me.
Had Roxanne been sold at the auction, it wouldn’t have been for 420,000 Nars.
30% discount isn’t effective in an auction.
There’s a drawback of buying at an auction. 30% discount isn’t effective there.
Should I keep my search restricted to trading houses then?
But there’s less than a month till the next holiday.
It’s likely that they won’t show me their best slaves.
If they have good slaves, they will try to sell them at the auction.
Even if I visit trading houses after the auction, I will only find leftover slaves.
So, should I try the auction even if it’ll cost me a bit more?
Even a bit is a lot for a miser if it comes to money.
However, the charm of the auction is that there will be many to choose from.
“I guess I can find a good member for my party at the auction.”
“Indeed. I look forward to meeting you at the auction.”
I wrap up the conversation and head home.
“There will be an auction on the coming holiday. We will go there to look for a new member for our party. Expansion of our party is necessary to increase our battle strength.”
I talk to the three after returning home.
It is better to make their mind up beforehand.
“At the auction, we will definitely be able find a good member for our party.”
“Miria wants to be elder sister, desu.”
Like I thought, Sherry knows about the auction.
There’s no knowing if the next member will be younger than Miria though.
Well, she will be senior at least.
“Don’t ask for a little sister for yourself.”
After that, we try our new bed.
“Roxanne, please cherish it until the number of members increases.”
That doesn’t mean that I won’t love Roxanne anymore.
My love won’t change with the number of members.