The Playboy and the Tenth Floor Boss
The Heavenly Tower of Babel.
Morning. After spending a night in the Boundary Cottage, we decided to get moving.
It’s hard to imagine that an entire cottage fits inside that tent.
Tina made a strange voice as she peered back into the tent from outside.
“Looking at it from the outside it’s just a tent, but when you look inside… So mysterious!”
“I totally agree.”
I folded up the tent and with a magic trick returned it to spatial storage.
After confirming our directions on the map that Nyannyan drew, we set off for the stairs once more.
“We’re almost there, nyaa.”
As we were walking, the Top Thief gave us a report. She was vigilantly keeping an eye on our surroundings.
And suddenly, just as I was thinking about it, she came to a stop.
It seems like she’s found a monster using the thief’s ‘Detection’ skill. It’s a skill that can detect monsters, traps and other adventurers that are within several meters. As its level rises, the detection range increases.
“Master, there are adventurers and monsters ahead, nya. They’re probably fighting already. I can hear battle sounds, nya.”
“Can you figure out who’s winning?”
Using the ‘detection’ skill alone, it would be hard to know the details. But since Nyannyan is one of the beastfolk, her ears are very good.
Her ears twitched slightly.
“Hmmm~ The adventurers’ voices seem a bit impatient, nya. On the other hand, the monsters seem to be laughing, nya.”
“Are they outnumbered, maybe? For the time being, let’s take a look. Nyannyan, Tina, let’s pick up the pace, but be ready for anything.”
With Nyannyan taking the lead, we made our way towards the battle.
Soon, we saw a party in a fight against monsters.
It was a balanced group, with a warrior, a thief, a priest and a mage. With the exception of the warrior who’s a man, the rest of the party were all quite high-scoring girls.
They’re up against three hobgoblins. They’re characterized by their dirty green skin and hulking bodies. In their hands, they have stone axes and clubs.
Attacked by the leading hobgoblin, the warrior was blown off his feet. Now that the party member acting as the tank was out of the way, the mage was attacked by the two other hobgoblins.
The thief brandished her knife and the priest raised a magic casting hand to try and help her, but they won’t make it in time.
Just before one of the hob’s club swung down at the cowering mage connected,
Nyannyan got there in the nick of time. Jumping on the back of that hobgoblin, she sliced through to the back of its neck with her dual blades.
As she did, Tina charged into the other hobgoblin with her shield using her momentum to land a heavy blow. It was quite a sight, seeing the tiny girl who only reached up to the waist of the hobgoblin sending him flying.
As for me, I made my entrance on the stage from up high.
I jumped, actually.
“Why, hello there. Are you quite alright, lovely ladies?”
With a flick of my wrist, I held out three roses to the three girls in front of me. Their mouths hung open as they looked at me.
“Huh…? No, wait, behind you!”
The thief girl pointed at something behind me in a panic.
As I turned around, I swung the reinforced longsword, Night Watch. A red line was painted from the left hip to the right shoulder of the hobgoblin who had tried to crush my head with an axe. Of course, that was the line my sword had drawn.
With that, the upper half of its torso began to slide off. And just as it hit the ground, it turned to fog.
Looking around, I saw Tina finishing off the hobgoblin she’d sent flying with her new sword and Nyannyan was collecting the manastone of the hob she’d assassinated.
It’s our win.
Good, good. Even without me, Tina and Nyannyan can deal with hobs easily.
The warrior who had been blown away finally managed to walk back. He doesn’t seem to be badly injured, the same goes for his party.
“T-Thank you very much…?”
As the thief girl stammered out a thank you, I gave her a wink.
“You’re welcome, baby. My name is Dylan. If it’s fine with you, I’d love to know your――”
“Dylan-san! Let’s get going!”
“Master! You can practice your pickup lines after we beat the boss, nya!”
Oops. The bad habit of the jester again, huh?
Winking at her once again, I gave her a wave. Then turned to leave.
“My apologies, young ladies. Let’s just start as friends first.”
I joined up with Tina and Nyannyan.
“Jeez, Dylan-san, as soon as you see a woman you start going off!”
“It’s nice to make more friends, but think about the time and the place nya!”
I’m being scolded, apparently. Jeez.
“You know, you two are cute when you’re angry?”
“”E-Even if you say something like that, I’m not going to be happy about it!” Nya!”
I achieved the much coveted double tsundere.
◇ ◆ ◇ ◆ ◇ ◆ ◇ ◆ ◇ ◆
As we pressed on, we came across an open area.
The sky overhead is blocked out by a mess of tangled branches and leaves. It’s as if the tree itself was a ceiling.
That large tree had its roots in the middle of the clearing, its trunk stretching up into the sky.
Looking closely, you could see a staircase ringing the tree.
The staircase to the eleventh floor.
And in front of that staircase stood a giant creature.
With a huge body, short legs, long hair arms and a massive torso ―― It’s a troll. And in its hand, it held a big club.
From the bushes, we watched the troll.
“It’s so big~. Even if we stacked five Tinas or Nyannyans on top of each other, it wouldn’t be enough.”
“Dylan-san, I don’t think five of you would be enough either?”
“Compared to that guy, there’s not much of a difference between our heights and master’s, nya.”
“Anyways, like I said back in the cottage, we’ll take him head-on. Don’t forget about teamwork.”
“Alright, let’s do it!”
As I gave the word, Tina and Nyannyan started running.
The troll noticed us straight away.
I’m not going to use dazzle or a magic trick.
And I’m not going to cut the tendons in its limbs with playing cards either.
I won’t summon spirits using a dance or use my cards to teleport myself.
I have a bunch of ways to kill the tenth-floor boss instantly, but I won’t use them.
The reason is that getting Tina and Nyannyan valuable fighting experience is worth way more than a quick win.
I’d like to stand out a bit as we fight the boss, but it can’t be helped.
――Man, oh man. Wasn’t the whole point of my job change to take the leading role?
As I sighed, I began casting a mage spell I had learned.
Tina’s body was wrapped in light. It’ll strengthen the protection passively provided by her job whilst also raising her defensive abilities.
As Tina sprinted at it with a speed that outstripped what you’d expect from a tank, the troll swatted at her with its club.
The ground erupted in dirt and dust. Any human being standing there should have been obliterated.
But, Tina who took the attack head on was completely fine. As she held up her massive shield to block the blow, another kind of defensive shield other than my own wrapped around her body in pale blue light helped her.
【Art of War】Iron Wall. With my defensive magic and her warrior skill, that little girl took on the troll’s attack with no problem.
The shadow that flashed past Tina was Nyannyan.
The troll noticed and swung its free hand at her.
However, I’d already finished casting my second spell.
It’s a priest spell that raises dexterity. Nyannyan climbed up the monster’s arm on all fours like a real cat.
The twin swords flashed. The thief slashed at the troll’s armpit. There was a spray of blood, then the monster’s arm hung limply at its side. She cut straight through its tendon.
That won’t be enough to end it, though. As Nyannyan jumped off the troll’s shoulder and got behind it, she turned and cut through the Achilles tendon of the monster’s left ankle before dashing away.
The troll fell to its knees. And straight into its jaw,
As soon as the cooldown period from her 【Art of War】was over, Tina flew in and uppercut the troll with the edge of her shield.
With a dull sound, the troll’s jaw broke. The giant’s eyes rolled back in its skull. It was a coup de grace.
With the momentum of her attack, Tina jumped to the troll’s left side. Nyannyan approached the other side of the troll’s head.
Tina and Nyannyan looked at each other. Made eye contact. And with perfect timing…
They cut into the neck of the troll from both sides, the warrior’s one-handed blade and the thief’s dual swords.
The giant’s head slid off its shoulders and fell to the ground. As if trying to follow it, the troll’s body collapsed as well.
As I approached, I let a dove fly out of my sleeves with a magic trick and let loose a bunch of fireworks.
As I sang their praises, the girls jumped up and down against the background of the troll fading into mist.
“We did iiiiiiiiiiiiit!!”
“We did it, nyaaaaaaaaaaa!”
As they ran up and hugged me, I stroked both their heads.
The troll’s body faded away completely, leaving a manastone behind.
But, something was different than usual. Something had appeared where its club had fallen to the ground.
“Master, there’s a drop item, nya!”
It’s rare, but sometimes monsters can leave behind an item as well as a manastone. It’s usually the weapon the monster used, or some kind of material like claws, scales or jewels.
This time though, it looked like a rock.
I took out the appraisal mirror and had a look at it.
“――’Troll’s Giant Rock’, huh? It can be used to craft armour. Tina, it might be useful for you. Nyannyan, can you work with it?”
“Okay, nya. I’ll process it later, nya!”
“Is that okay!? Thank you very much, Dylan-san! Thanks, Nyannyan!”
“It’s fine, nya. Because Tina makes delicious food, nya!”
“I’ll definitely cook you some meunière again!”
“Nyaaahooo! You’re a saint, nyaaa!”
Their breasts bounced like crazy as they hugged each other. What a sight.
After collecting the manastones, we stood in front of the staircase and looked up.
“Alright, let’s move on to the eleventh flo-”
Nyannyan and I noticed at exactly the same time.
Nyannyan noticed with ‘detection’ and I noticed with an instinctual skill known as ‘gaze’ that I perfected as a jester.
We looked behind us.
From the forest, two adventurers entered the clearing.
One was a priest, wrapped in the official robes of the Monte faith.
The other was a mage wearing expensive robes.
The priest opened her mouth.
“…It has been some time, jester Dylan Albertini.”
It was Mills and Aiza.