The members were Alexis, Fransisca, Eden, Dorothea the engineer, Lily the healer, and Fatima, the conjuror.
「So, Sara is seriously not going to follow us after all...」
Alexis let out a sigh. He really wanted to be fully prepared for the challenge...
「I-I'm sorry. I'm sorry I couldn't help you as much as Sara-sensei did. ...But I'll do my best...!」
Lily said in a panic, so Alexis knew he had misspoken.
「No, that's not what I meant. Your support has been great. You were very supportive last time.」
Alexis nods and holds out one hand.
「Of course. I'm looking forward to working with you, Lily」
Lily's face tightened, and she took Alexis' hand.
「Yes... I'll do my best to be of service to you, prince...!」
Alexis nodded and looked around the group.
Then he tells them again, "Well, let's go!".
* * *
It had been about a week since they had set foot in the jet black again.
The scenery was as gloomy and foggy as ever.
There were often only grassy areas, but on this day, unusually, there were a series of stone walls as soon as they arrived.
「Where are we?」
Looking at the wall in front of him, Alexis wonders to the other members behind him.
「I don't know...」
Fransisca nodded and turned to the others, "Fatima, do you know?".
Fatima seemed to know what she was talking about and looked up at the wall.
「Well... a big building must be a castle or a temple. Since it is relatively large, it could be the Sagrado Castle... no, but it does not have such plain walls. Then the other possible candidates are Cortes Castle in the east or Adelmira's Castle in the north, or... if it is a temple, then Adelmira Temple or Theodora Temple. Ah...yes, there was one big private residence as well. It is called Los Rios' mansion...」
Alexis was surprised to see Fatima speaking so eloquently.
「You know a lot about geography, huh?」
「...Well. As a priest, I've travelled to many places in the world」
「Hmm, so you've moved around a lot...」
「Yes, there were at least 10 other princesses besides Her Highness. In the first place, what if I didn't talk to Her Highness about other places? It would bore her.」
The bottom line is that Fatima actively studied geography regularly. And that too with the motive of keeping Fransisca occupied.
「Really, she's such an idiot princess...」
Alexis whispered, but Fatima didn't seem to have heard it and asked, "Hmm?".
「...No, it's nothing...」
Alexis shakes his head and then says to Fransisca.
「So, does this dungeon look familiar to you?」
「...No, I've never been here before.」
「Well then, we have to start walking again without knowing where we are...」
Alexis lets out a sigh.
Even if they know the building in front of them, they can't use it as a landmark.
「Well, in any case—」
Alexis' mouth tightens.
「...Our priority is to take down Aniki. Wherever we are, we're still going to have to walk around. But perhaps this is just a guess...」
Alexis turns and looks around at the group.
「...He must be looking for us, too. After all, he was chasing us, and we were running away. In other words, the encounter rate should be relatively high」
Hearing that the encounter rate is high, the members become tenser, and each of them becomes silent.
「Be ready for anything」
The members nodded their heads in response to Alexis' words.
* * *
For the next few moments, they wandered around the dungeon but took a break without encountering Jerome.
The mage's box garden was brought out just as usual, and they rested.
（We did not know when we would encounter Jerome. It would be better not to do anything too tiring...）
Alexis thinks so but decides to go to the bathhouse to cleanse himself.
But then, four women were standing in front of the bathroom door.
「...I see. The one to wash Alex's back...」
Fatima nodded in understanding, folded her arms, and muttered something.
"Yes, there is one, isn't there?" Dorothea said.
「Wawawa... A-As expected of a prince...」
It was Lily who said this with a bright red face.
The last silent one is Eden.
"You guys don't look right," Alexis said at the beginning of his speech.
"What?" Fatima, one of them who had turned around and added.
「...What do you mean, it's not right?」
At Fatima's question, Alexis can only reply vaguely, "Nothing...."
（Fatima says someone is supposed to wash my back... That means they are here to make a decision. But why are Lily and Eden here too?）
He thought so but decided to keep quiet because he was afraid to ask.
「I mean, where is Fransisca?」
He decided to change the subject for the time being.
「If it's Her Highness, she's on guard duty.」
「Princess was disappointed. But we had to pick a winner in a game of rock-paper-scissors」
Dorothea follows Fatima's lead, to which Fatima replies, "That's why I offered a change".
「No, don't spoil the princess too much. These things have to be fair, fair!」
To Dorothea's emphatic words, Lily's cheeks turn vermilion.
「T-Then we should decide this one by rock-paper-scissors-scissors...」
Lily is looking at her hands with an expression of "Mmm..." as if she is repeatedly struggling.
「Rock, paper, scissors...」
Eden finally uttered a muffled voice.
Then, "...hmm," she holds out one gauntleted hand.
「...Hey, are you going to join us, Eden...? In this, this stupid rock-paper-scissors game?」
Fatima answered, and Eden said, "Fairness is the game's name here".
Following her, Dorothea and Fatima took a posture for rock-paper-scissors.
It was Lily who muttered with a stunned look on her face.
「Hey! What are you going to do about this result!」
Alexis had no choice but to interject.
Of course, Lily, who was the most innocent and had never done anything with Alexis before, had won. There was no other way but to interject.
「...But it's decided...」
Fatima said seriously, followed by Eden's nod.
「Uuu... But, I've never washed a man's back before...」
Lily gasps, blushing up to her ears.
「Well, I guess you're right...」
Alexis nodded, then turned to see if Dorothea would change her mind.
「Fight it, Lily-chan!」
However, she gave her a push.
（It seems that even Dorothea is slowly becoming a part of the color scheme these days...）
Alexis thought so but didn't point it out.
「P-Please take good care of me, prince...」
Lily bows her head with a red face and a fidgety expression.
Seeing her new attitude, Alexus was worried about her safety, but on the other hand, he couldn't help but feel his groin move.
（Come to think of it, I haven't had my first meal in a while...）
Alexis puts his hand on his chin and thinks to himself.
「No, no, no...! What am I thinking!」
He shakes his head involuntarily, and Lily must have taken it as a different meaning, which makes her look anxious.
「Ah... I-I'm sorry. I should not have been the one to do it, right...? Maybe Fatima-san or Dorothea-san, who are more familiar with this...」
「Eh!? Ah... No, no! That's not it! I don't mind if it's Lily at all」
Alexis says this unintentionally and then thinks, "Oh, no!"
Then, Lily smiles with a relieved look and says, "Then, I'll do my best".
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