Thanks Asma for the support...
After a long night, Alexis and Fransisca, the second-in-command, sat down in the command center to discuss the future of the dungeon.
While sitting around the desk in the command center with Fransisca, who was the second in command, Valencia opens her mouth and says, "—By the way...".
For the note, Valencia is wearing light armor even in the fortress, perhaps because of hir knighthood. She also had a sword hanging on her waist, and wore a white-painted breastplate and leg armor over her plain clothes. She sat with her back straight and her hands folded behind her back in a resting posture beside the chair in which Fransisca was sitting.
「Why did you call me here? I am not a commander...」
Valencia looked puzzled.
"Because you seem to know a lot about this foggy dungeon. I'd like to hear what you have to say about it," Alexis replied.
「Sure, that may be true. But I haven't been away much. In fact, the distance I walked when I accompanied you the other day was much longer...」
Still puzzled, Valencia probably has no idea how special a place she is in.
Indeed, the last time they returned to the fort, Valencia did not talk to them about such specifics. Alexis thought that Valencia would be exhausted both mentally and physically, so he left her alone...
（The next day, she was already ready to accompany me to the dungeon, right? Although she seems to have weak lachrymal gland, she has surprisingly strong nerves...）
He thought it would be okay, and that's why he called her this time.
「Still, you know the dungeon better than us, in a way. Especially this one. After all, you survived there for two years, didn't you?」
「If you say so... I hope I can be of some help.」
Valencia seemed to have decided to comply with Alexis' request, although she looked unsure of herself.
Thus, Alexis first explained to her in detail the difference between the conventional dungeon and the dungeon that Valencia knew.
* * *
「—I see. I had heard that they were different, but I didn't expect so much.」
Valencia's eyes twinkled with astonishment.
「Then, tell me how you survived for two years.」
Alexis told Valencia as he straightened his posture.
What Valencia began to tell was much more substantial than expected.
The place Valencia was in seemed to be different from the dungeon full of grasslands and fog they had been patiently walking through yesterday, where there were remnants of some town, trees, ruins, and so on scattered around after a while of walking.
「Damn. If it was such a place, it might have been more rewarding to explore it instead of returning immediately...」
To Alexis' frustration, Fransisca chided him, "It can't be helped," she said.
「After all, Valencia was there at the time and the artifact was there...」
「Well, that's true, but...」
After watching the end of their exchange, Valencia continued.
「There were a lot of obstacles in that area. There was a risk of running into a monsters if going right behind a wall or something like that. But I was able to avoid those obstacles and get around safely, maybe because I tripped and fell on a round thing at the beginning. You know, I've always had bad luck.」
Valencia, smiling shyly, seemed to think that she was talking about her failure, but there were words in her words that Alexis and her friends could not ignore.
「...Round? Are you talking about this?」
Alexis took out a piece of the unidentified crest stone that he had left in a drawer in the command center, and showed it to Valencia.
"Oh," Valencia said.
「Yes, that's it!」
Alexis handed her the stone and Valencia rolled it in the palm of her hand to check the crest.
「...Oh, this is different from the pattern I know...」
Apparently, Valencia called the crest a pattern.
「What is the one you know?」
「Mine is... —Can I have a pen and paper?」
Valencia asked, so Alexis put them on the table. Valencia drew a shape on the paper that looked like a running snake.
"This one and this one are also very useful." Alexis and his colleagues were also familiar with this one.
「The ball with this pattern on it, if you throw it on the ground and break it, you can locate monsters in a radius of about a hundred meters. Even if you are behind a wall, you can see a reddish light. And this one... If it hits a monster, it disappears, so it was very useful. It disappears in a flash.」
Alexis and Fransisca look at the pattern that Valencia points out and whisper to each other, "...it's a teleportation".
「Well... Of course. I've been avoiding it because I thought it was dangerous since I heard it could move inside the walls... but it's good to use it against monster...」
「—Then, isn't it possible to use it for something else? For example, the crest stone of 'monster'...」
「No, not that one! That's just too dangerous...!」
Valencia's eyes twinkled as she heard Alexis and Fransisca talking.
「Do you have a lot of things?」
「Yes. I try to bring them back as soon as I find them for investigation, including unappraised ones.」
Alexis nodded and again held out a pen to Valencia.
「If you don't mind, I'd like you to write down any other crest stones you know of. And then tell me how it works. It seems that not a few of them do not work magically in the fortress.」
At Alexis' prompting, Valencia begins to write down the crests. It seemed that the time for discussion was going to end with that.
* * *
After a brief discussion of the crest stones, the three of them decided to take a break.
Valencia was allowed to have a free time, but before she left the room, there was one thing that was still bothering her.
「Um, by the way...」
Valencia suddenly opens her mouth.
「I've been wondering... what is that?」
Valencia pointed to a large bed in a corner of the command center.
Fransisca gets an indescribable look on her face.
「...Valencia. I'm surprised you noticed that.」
Valencia is surprised to hear Alexis' rather ostentatious response.
「Of course I noticed it! Anyone would have noticed it if it was placed there so openly!」
「I see... I see... —By the way, we still have time to finish our break, don't we?」
「Huh? Well, of course, it's just past break time...」
「You said you were planning to become my slave, right? Then why don't you take off your clothes and climb up there?」
Alexis's finger pointed to the bed.
Valencia finally realized the meaning of the bed.
「Wh-Wh-What are you doing? —In the command center!?」
Valencia, her ears even reddening, waved her hand sideways in a panic.
In a way, that reaction was expected. After all, Valencia was still a naive girl.
「I see. In that case—」
Alexis hugs Fransisca's shoulder.
「Fransisca is fine. After all, Fransisca is my slave too.」
Fransisca nodded with a happy smile on her face.
Then she took off her clothes without hesitation and sat down on the bed as Alexis instructed her, without a stitch of clothing on.
Valencia was taken aback by the sight of her lord without a trace of hesitation.
（No, no, this is not the time for me to be absentminded too...!）
Valencia regained her composure and made up her mind.
After nodding her head, she straightened her posture and said.
「If you insist, I'll do it too!」
"—Hmm?" Alexis raised his eyebrows.
Valencia couldn't help but blush as she said to him.
「M-M-Me too. I want to serve Alexis-sama with dignity...!」
So today, both Valencia and Fransisca were going to serve together at the same time.
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Thanks for reading.
Thanks for reading.