Chapter 29: Return to the Town
“You also have the Demon Lord factor,” the demon said earlier. Whether Anastasia has it or not, the fact that you “also” have it is intriguing.
That means someone else possesses the demon lord’s factor.
Furthermore, Brandt was the spitting image of his mother, and it seems that the demon also considered Brandt’s mother to be important.
Brandt’s mother could have been a demon connected to the demon lord. If this is the case, the phrase “only half a mix” makes sense:
Because the demon showed no regard for Brandt’s father, he was most likely human.
The fact that Brandt is said to be the Magic Academy’s greatest genius since its inception, that he possesses incredible magical power, and that the magic he allegedly learned from his mother is a demon magic formula, all make sense.
Anastasia is taken aback by her own thoughts.
Anastasia calls out his name, not knowing what to say.
At that moment, the tower shakes.
Anastasia is taken aback when she realizes the dungeon core has been destroyed.
“This structure is about to fall! We need to get out of here!”
Now that the dungeon’s core has been lost, the only option is to collapse.
Some dungeons take a long time to lose their ability to function, while others collapse immediately.
Maybe this is the type where the whole building collapses instantly.
However, Anastasia already has insufficient magic to carry Brandt and use [Transfer].
Brandt has gotten a little better, but he still can’t use magic spells and will have trouble walking.
Brandt, however, wobbles around and examines the pedestal where the dungeon had been.
“…There it is, the emergency exit.”
A doorway beneath the pedestal led to a steep, narrow path leading downward.
Anastasia would have preferred to avoid this path, but she had no choice given the circumstances.
“We should be able to get out soon if we slide down here—I’ll ride in front, while Anastasia-san stays in the back.”
Brandt then positions himself at the emergency exit.
Anastasia did as she was told and held on to Brandt. She was embarrassed to be so close to Brandt’s back, but she had no choice.
Brandt let go of the door and slipped inside once he was certain Anastasia had her arms around him.
It was more of a fall than a slide.
Anastasia clings to Brandt and closes her eyes involuntarily.
She feels herself spinning in circles, going downward, and then stopping with a dull thud.
They appear to have arrived. Brandt is pinned beneath Anastasia, and she rushes to get out.
“Are… Are you okay?!”
“Yes… The hard part is the loss of magic power… Are you alright, Anastasia-san?”
With a flutter, Anastasia helps Brandt up.
Despite his obvious pained expression, Brandt is concerned about Anastasia.
“Thanks to Brandt-senpai, I’m fine—but it’s Brandt-senpai who has suffered the most…”
Thanks to Brandt’s cushioning, Anastasia wasn’t shocked too much.
Anastasia was only exhausted, not injured. Brandt, on the other hand, has lost his magic power, has internal injuries, and his magic circuits have been damaged.
It is heartbreaking. Anastasia thinks she should have been the cushion instead.
“I knew this emergency exit was steep… I couldn’t let Anastasia-san get there first… At least let me be that stubborn…”
Brandt appeared to be struggling to speak, but he maintained a slight smile.
Then he slowly began to walk on his own two feet.
Anastasia walked beside Brandt and supported him.
“Just go through that door there; it’s right outside… Come to think of it, it wasn’t very dirty today…”
Anastasia notes that they weren’t that dirty.
They had expected the emergency exit to be soiled with feces and urine, but their clothes were only slightly dusty.
They had no idea why, but it hit them once they were outside.
“Hey, the tower’s collapsing! What’s going on?! —A lot of people went through the emergency exits today!”
The guard goes half insane when he sees the tower collapse.
According to what he said, many of the people had escaped before Anastasia and the others through the emergency exits and had been cleaned off with their bodies.
More people retreated earlier, most likely because the difficulty had increased. The group they met on the tenth floor also stated that they were leaving via the emergency exit.
“Oh… you guys are safe!”
Then a voice came from the wagon driver’s platform.
Anastasia recognized the man serving as a driver as a member of the group she had met on the tenth floor of the tower.
The man who had almost died in the fight with the monster wolf also got out of the covered wagon when he heard the voice. He looked at Brandt and frowned.
“…That brother over there appears to be quite pale. Have you run out of magic power? —We’re on our way back to Russell—do you want to join us on the ride?”
The man offered to give them a ride. He appears to be the leader.
Anastasia and Brandt gratefully accept and are seated in the back seat.
“I apologize for the small size. I’d like to lay you down, but I can’t afford it.”
“No, it’s just enough to get a ride… It’s a relief… Thank you.”
From the interdimensional bag, Brandt takes two vials.
Anastasia wondered if it was safe to show them the interdimensional bag, but no one seemed concerned because it was small and could be stored in any ordinary bag.
“Anastasia-san, here is a potion that will restore magic power.”
Brandt gives Anastasia a vial and drinks the contents of the other vial himself.
Potions that restore magic power hasten the recovery of magic power. They must, however, be taken in a secure location because the person must remain at rest.
Anastasia drank the contents of the vial. A bitter taste spread through her mouth.
Brandt’s complexion appeared to improve slightly.
“… It’s amazing you have a carriage—are you a high-ranking party?”
Brandt asks as he recovers slightly.
“I’m a rank 3 hunter, and the other three are rank 4 hunters. The wagon isn’t much; it’s just a used one that I happened to find. What in the world had you two been up to? —Did the tower collapse have anything to do with it?”
“… A demon appeared.”
“Demon? I’ve heard they only show up in higher-ranking dungeons… Wasn’t that tower an intermediate dungeon? —No, but it was above the intermediate level at the time…”
The leader paused for a moment before shaking his head.
“I’m not sure what I’d think if the hunter’s guild investigated it—they’ll probably ask about the hunters who were in the tower today—you guys might want to take the rest of the day off, but you should go to the hunter’s guild tomorrow or the next day or the day after.”
“I’ll do that.”
The discussion of the towers came to an end there, and the remainder of the time was spent introducing themselves and chatting.
They are a hunter’s party based in Russell. They’re exploring intermediate rank dungeons in the area. Sam is the leader’s name.
He was surprised to learn that Anastasia and Brandt were Magic Academy students, but was convinced that they were at the top of their class.
“Top of the third and top of the first year? —You two are made for each other.”
He teased her like that, but Anastasia didn’t take it seriously because she thought it was a joke.
The wagon has finally arrived in the town of Russell.
Brandt was looking much better by this point. They thanked them, got off the wagon, and said their goodbyes.
“I think we should stay somewhere for the night and rest…”
Brandt appeared to be struggling even though his magical power appeared to be recovering.
Anastasia had regained some of her magical power as well, but she was still exhausted.
The two went to one of the inns, which Brandt described as an upscale establishment frequented mostly by hunters in the middle and upper ranks.
When they arrived at the inn, Brandt took care of the hotel formalities.
Anastasia and Brandt each had their own room next to each other.
Anastasia tries to pay her fair share, but Brandt shrugs.
“… I’ve given Anastasia-san a lot of trouble—this is my payment for your trouble… This is probably not enough, but…”
“Brandt-senpai did nothing wrong… He slayed the dragon and expended his magic power for me. I would have lost to the demon if it hadn’t been for that.”
Anastasia shudders as she says this.
The demon was powerful. Anastasia would not be here if she had challenged him with less magic power.
“… Anyway, rest up for the day, and we’ll talk more later. Good night.”
Brandt entered his room with a stumbling gait.
Anastasia also went to her room and lay down in bed.
There were still some worries and unresolved issues, but they made it back to town safely.
Anastasia closes her eyes, biting back the thought of being alive.