After Margulus suddenly declared that the party got a new member, we headed to the transfer formation to go to the lower-layer of the labyrinth.
A short walk from the adventurer guild, a sturdy yet old-looking stone building came into sight.
That was the building where the transfer formation was installed, the only entrance to enter the labyrinth from this city.
However, even after we came here, I didn’t release my vigilance toward the warrior who just entered the party.
After all, I could only see the man as dodgy.
The man had a well-trained body and seemed to possess a considerable ability.
…… But, the man was using a mask to cover his face, moreover, he had yet spoken any words.
There was no way I wouldn’t think of him as suspicious.
Besides, that receptionist lady repeatedly saying that this man was capable also fueled my distrust.
I had no good image for that receptionist lady.
That was why, I couldn’t help but felt there was something else about this man who was introduced by that receptionist.
Precisely because I had that doubt, I opposed Margulus and Sarveria who said we would go to the lower-layer.
Certainly, if an excellent warrior entered the current Sword of Lightning, then we would be able to dive further.
Lower-layer’s monsters were no longer a threat if the vanguard could hold the enemies properly and Armia could show her ability to the fullest.
… But that was assuming the warrior was truly excellent.
Honestly, we didn’t really know if this man actually strong or not.
After all, I had no eyes that could discern the ability of someone I just met for the first time.
That was why, it was normal if we at least verified the man’s ability by going to the middle-layer which we definitely could handle.
That was my opinion, Armia’s was also the same, and so, both of us tried to persuade Margulus and Sarveria as best as we could.
However, Margulus didn’t even try to listen to our plea.
Opposite of that, after he called us cowards, he dragged us to the room where the transfer formation set up and started to operate it.
Unable to hide my anger, I glared at Margulus’ back.
Still, I took a deep breath and calmed my mind.
If in the end this masked warrior is totally useless, or he wants to do something disadvantageous to Sword of Lightning, the one who will be in danger first is, naturally, the vanguard: Margulus and Sarveria.
In that case, even if it becomes dangerous, I can just return and abandon them, or so I told myself.
And then, after I calmed down a little, I glanced at the masked man again.
At that time, I felt like I had seen the man somewhere.
While holding onto that feeling, I tried to look into my memories.
「Please wait a minute! Leader, why are you setting it to go that deep?!」
「Gh! Armia, just shut your mouth!」
… However, my thought was interrupted by the sudden shouting Armia made next to me.
With the sudden commotion, I saw Armia and Margulus arguing about something.
「If you set it so far down, we will meet a boss! Hurry up and set it higher!」
Hearing Armia’s next words, I was at lost for words.
For a moment, my thought was frozen.
Only then did I notice that Margulus stood in a place to hide the setting of the transfer formation with his body, and then I raised my voice.
「What are you doing!」
Margulus’ expression warped and he clicked his tongue.
But even after we pointed that out, Margulus still didn’t change the transfer setting.
「Sarveria, you, drag Armia! I will take Laila!」
On the contrary, he gave orders to Sarveria, and together, they took me and Armia to the transfer formation forcibly.
For a moment, I tried to resist, but there was no way a healer like me resisted a warrior and their physical strength, and so I was dragged into the transfer formation.
Seeing me who was about to enter the transfer formation, the masked warrior reached out to help, but stopped partway.
When people with physical strengthening skill pulled a person without one on both ends, it was clear how much damage would be incurred to the body of the person that was being pulled.
With that in mind, it was no wonder that the masked warrior was hesitant.
Finally, we were transferred from the transfer formation…
◆ ◆ ◇
After being transferred, I was going dump all my anger toward Margulus and Sarveria.
But, from the sight that entered my eyes, I felt like I even forgot what anger was…
…… Because right in front of us, there was a labyrinth’s boss.
The monster in front of us was a bird covered in flame, Phoenix.
In front of this intimidating feeling, I was stunned and prepared for my own end.
The place where the labyrinth’s boss exist was undecided.
Bosses appeared on a certain level, on that level it was not possible to activate the transfer formation to return because of the abnormalities caused by the bosses’ magic power.
…… In other words, we were trapped.
However, for some reason, Margulus and Sarveria had smiles on their faces.
「Hahahaha! This is good! A phoenix! With this we’re good!」
「It’s like what Almast said, there is a boss monster at this level!」
…… After I heard what they said, I now understood that they were purposely brought us to this level with a boss in it.
However, I couldn’t get angry even if I knew that.
Not with this fear, induced by the monster in front of us.
Margulus and Sarveria were also scared like me, but they bore with it and laughed even though they couldn’t move.
「If we’re with that warrior, then it should be fine! This one is on the same power-level with the hydra, if we add another warrior…」
「That’s right! We’re strong enough even without Raust… ah, hmm? Where is that warrior?」
… But, when they realized that the masked warrior wasn’t with them, agitation showed on their face.
「A-Are you kidding me! Why is he not here?! I already handed over the contract money! I-If this is the case, the phoenix will…」
Margulus and Sarveria’s face turned blue from the realization, which was natural.
Perhaps, Margulus and Sarveria had tricked that warrior.
There was no way that masked warrior didn’t notice he was being deceived with that incident in the transfer formation before.
If that’s the case, then there is no reason for that masked warrior to follow every word of Margulus and Sarveria to the letter.
Thinking so, I felt a murderous feeling toward Margulus and Sarveria for involving me and Armia in this suicide act.
…However, the phoenix didn’t even give me time to complain.
The phoenix showed its hostility toward us and fired a fireball at Armia, who was determined to have the most threat.
The moment I saw the fireball, I reflexively moved to protect Armia.
The fireball was about the size of a human’s torso.
A fireball this big would just swallow me and Armia together.
But even though I knew it was useless, I couldn’t abandon Armia.
After laughing at my helplessness, I closed my eyes and wait for the impact.
At the very least, I hope Armia survive.
「… Really…… Hmm?」
—— And yet, despite waiting for a period that felt like an eternity, the impact never came.
As I opened my eyes timidly, I saw a figure of a person.
Stood there was the masked warrior.
He stood there, showing his strong back toward us.
Seeing that figure, I realized he was protecting us from the previous fireball.
「Y-You are…… Why are you here..!」
From his appearance, I felt like something clicked inside me.
Following the urge, I screamed at the back of the masked warrior.
However, the masked warrior didn’t answer my question.
Instead, with a strong voice, the warrior told me.
「I’m late, but it’s alright now.」
At that moment, for some reason, I was convinced that we were saved……
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