After that, the group spent about four days exploring the dungeon, trying to find the throne of Sagrado Castle and any other possible survivors.
Although they found some rubble and ruins scattered about, they had no particular success and ran out of the portable food they had brought with them, so they had to return back this time.
After using Fransisca's royal pendant power, they are teleported to the perimeter of Avalon.
Before them is the front line and the garrison, where soldiers are deployed to deal with the monsters emerging from the darkness. —It should be like that...
「Alex, Your Highness! I have been waiting for you!」
For some reason, Fatima is standing there. She is not dressed in her usual maid's uniform, but in a conjurer's robe and carrying a staff on her back.
Well, in itself, it is worthy of being on the front line like this. It is understandable that she must equip herself well like that. But—
「Fatima, I thought you were still resting. But why did you come all the way here...」
Alexis had noticed that behind Fatima was the armored figure of Eden, who was supposed to be Jerome's personal guard.
（Fatima and Eden? That's a strange combination...）
While Alexis was thinking so, he heard "What's wrong?". It was Fransisca who called out to Fatima and Fatima started to talk.
「Your Highness, actually—」
This is what Fatima speaks instead of Eden, who remains silent.
「Jerome-sama said that if we continue to remain silent, he will go to Avalon alone...」
「What!? Aniki, are you crazy!?」
Alexis couldn't help but shout.
Fatima shook her head with a pale face.
「I stopped him by saying "You can't go back without the Her Highness artifact". Eden tried to stop him, too, but...」
「This is... my fault」
Eden, who had been silent for a long time, blurted out.
Her face is hidden under her helmet, so her expression can't be seen. And...
「It's... my fault. Because of me...」
She even said in a muffled voice. She must be very distressed.
At this point, Fatima then tries to tell her, "No, it's not your fault".
「After all, Jerome-sama seemed quite upset that his subjects would not talk. When Eden stopped him, he did not listen at all. But that does not mean that Eden was wrong. I think the problem lies with the Lord's inability to trust his subjects...」
Fatima must have been feeling somewhat aggrieved. Without saying anything to anyone, she continues to speak.
「In general, the way Jerome-sama said it was terrible. Such as, "It's your fault...", "You're bad", "I won't listen to you when you don't talk...," Really, he's like a child, trying to talk down to her, telling her what to do...」
Fatima let out a sigh, then shook her head, "Ah... Sorry," with a concerned look at Eden behind her.
Then she looks again, alternating between Fransisca and Alexis.
「Your Highness, and—Alex, I have a favor to ask you」
Fatima was about to say, when Eden stepped out of the way. Then she said, "...No. I'll take care of it... myself".
With these words, she then dropped to her knees and bowed deeply to both Fransisca and Alexis.
「Please... help me. Help me to save my lord. I need your help...!」
Alexis bit his lip.
Her love for her lord was painfully clear. But Alexis and the others had just returned. The fatigue is accumulating in the team. However...—
Eden looks up. However, Alexis says, "But".
「I'm not helping you! I'm doing this because he's my brother. And I'm not without family feelings either! It's a personal thing... that's it」
Alexis turns around and looks at his friends who have just returned with him.
「I can't involve you in this. All of you go back to the fort and get some rest! I'm going back to the dungeon. And, Fransisca...」
「Yes, I understand」
Fransisca smiled and nodded.
「Of course, I'll go with you. Wherever Alexis-sama goes, I will follow」
「Your Highness, Alexis-sama...」
Valencia was the first to speak up.
「I-I'll go with you then...」
「No, you rest」
「What are you going to do? Without me, won't you be in trouble without healer?」
It was Sara who said that.
She must have been worried this time.
「Oh, don't worry. I can get a substitute from the soldiers in the area. They are well equipped」
So Alexis answered.
「But I don't think we can replace the Conjuror...」
Maria said, but then, Fatima answered, "I'll go".
「The medical officer told me I could move now, so here I am. I will accompany you as a conjuror」
At Fatima's suggestion, Alexis nodded.
「Then you need an engineer, right? What are you going to do? If you don't have a substitute, I can go with you」
Dorothea said with a worried look on her face.
「Hahaha. You don't need to worry about that!」
Suddenly, they all turned their eyes toward the voice.
Ahead of them, there was a dense forest, and from the forest, a figure suddenly emerged.
「...Hey, haven't you grown bigger?」
「That's not all, Your Highness!」
Fransisca, Alexis, Fatima, and the others all had their own thoughts.
Lorenzo, on the other hand, appeared with a skinhead, great curly horns, muscular limbs swelled up to three times his size, and a tattered scrap of cloth wrapped around his waist, looking just like he had been trained.
「You see, after that incident, I went on a journey of spiritual training... and I gained a strong spirit that is unmoved, and worthy of a priest...!」
「...I'm sorry, Lorenzo, but I can't seem to make the connection between a strong spirit and a priest」
「More importantly, Lorenzo-kun! Your horns are still attached! Let me cut them... oh, no, it's nothing!」
Sara was the first to notice that the horns had grown too long and were stuck in Lorenzo's skull. Alexis thought for a moment that she was about to say, "Let me cut them off," but it might have been his imagination.
「Um... Who is this man? I-Is he a monster?」
Maria's eyes are black and white when she sees Lorenzo for the first time. Not surprisingly.
「Wow, Lorenzo-san. You've had quite impressive change after had a refreshment after not seeing you for a while!」
Valencia is smiling and seems to be innocently happy to see him again.
But Alexis thought, "I don't think he's changed just because he's had refreshments", but he decided to keep quiet.
「Anyway, I guess the engineer is all set now, right? Now all we need is a healer and we can resume our exploration right away」
「Yes, that's right. We should go here to get some more food too...」
Fransisca nodded but Fatima answered, "Wait, I have already prepared some food".
「I see. Then all we need is a healer and Lorenzo's outfit」
Lorenzo looked down at his waistcloth and nodded.
「Don't worry, I'll just go and get the right equipment from the nearest soldier. Well, it's been a while since I've been in a dungeon. My arms are ready!」
Alexis patted Fransisca on the shoulder as he watched Lorenzo's back as he walked briskly away, and he said.
「Hey, Lorenzo, your tone has changed a little bit, hasn't it?」
「Well... is that so? Maybe...」
Fransisca tilts her head.
「...I always thought you were a bit of a non-engineer looking guy. No, right now, you're looking more and more far away from being an engineer...」
Dorothea whispered these words in a low voice, and everyone seemed to share her feeling. Everyone nodded in agreement.
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