Chapter 37: Dungeon dating
“Anastasia-san, I heard you go to the academy dungeon?”
After Anastasia returned from the academy dungeon, Brandt asked about her in a hidden room in the library.
“Yes, I went with Lena and Hoyle and received [White Fire].”
“Oh, you’ve already been there. So you’ve visited the [back]?”
Unable to think of anything, Anastasia tilts her head.
As far as Anastasia knows, it must have been the last room to be given a [White Fire].
“I guess you haven’t been told that much yet. There are more dungeons beyond the chamber of trials. There’s a hidden door. Only a few students know.”
“There’s more beyond that…?”
Anastasia was surprised but also convinced.
This dungeon has a low difficulty level. It’s meant for real beginners, not for those who have a little more experience. If the goal is to train, it is not surprising that there is more ahead.
Anastasia didn’t know, probably because she didn’t join some of the students in her last life.
“Sometimes even normal students who shouldn’t know about it find it by accident. Usually they run out of magic and get stuck. Then when they go into the dungeon and don’t come back for a long time, they are supposed to ask me or other seniors for help.”
As Anastasia listened to Brandt’s explanation, she recalled a time when Brandt had told her that he had had to dive into the academy dungeon.
At that time, there was probably a request for help.
“It’s a good place to train. However, it’s not very good since you can get only junk magic stones and monsters that can’t be used as materials. If you want to earn money, you’d be better off in the beginner’s dungeon. However, it has the advantage that you can go there on a normal day. There’s a transfer stone at the back, so you can get back to the entrance in an instant.”
“Unless you’re on weekends, it’s difficult to get to even the nearby beginner’s dungeons. With the academy dungeon, you can get there quickly, even after classes are over. There’s even a transfer stone, so it’s very convenient.”
The transfer stones are an ancient legacy that can’t be created with modern technology.
It can take you to a specific place instantly.
Anastasia is impressed by the thoroughness of the preparations.
“Yes, that’s right. So, let’s go to the academy dungeon together. The deeper we go, the stronger we become, and it’s a good place to train.”
“Is it okay for me to go there?”
“Yeah, it’s okay. Anastasia-san will teach me to fight anyway. It’ll just be a little sooner.”
With Brandt’s confident assurance, they decided to go to the academy dungeon the next day.
After class, they meet in front of the academy dungeon.
“…Thank you for waiting.”
When Anastasia arrives at the meeting place, Brandt is already waiting for her.
A few students were watching from a distance. There were not only girls but also boys.
As Anastasia approached Brandt, the students’ gazes seemed to penetrate her.
“No, I’ve just arrived. The third-year classroom is closer.”
Brandt answers with a smile and heads for the reception desk.
Anastasia walks with him, and the students rustle.
“I’m going to the [back].”
“I don’t mind Brandt-kun, of course, but she’s a freshman, right?”
Brandt approached the woman at the reception desk, and she looked at Anastasia quizzically.
This is not the same receptionist Anastasia saw yesterday when she entered the academy dungeon.
“This is Anastasia, first year at the top of the class. She has permission to enter the academy dungeon, so there should be no problem.”
“But you haven’t gone in the [back] yet, have you? It’s fine for a normal entry, but…”
“I’ll take responsibility if anything happens. I’ll go with her.”
“Well, if Brandt-kun is with you…”
Brandt persisted, and the woman at the reception let Anastasia through, although she seemed reluctant to let her in.
Anastasia and Brandt enter the academy’s dungeon, feeling the students’ stares from behind.
“…I’m not sure if this was really a good idea…”
Anastasia feels a little uncomfortable and mutters to herself.
“It’s okay, Anastasia can go all the way to the end by herself. Besides, I get rescue calls all the time, so at least I have to make myself available at all times.”
Brandt replies, seemingly unconcerned.
But after a short walk, he stops, as if something suddenly occurred to him.
“Yeah… But come to think of it, maybe going to the academy dungeon wasn’t such a good idea to ask you out.”
“…What do you mean?”
Brandt frowns awkwardly, but Anastasia doesn’t understand why and tilts her head.
“Look, it’s the first place we go after we start dating. I thought it would have been better to go see beautiful scenery or eat delicious food. I’m sorry you had to go with me on this dungeon hobby of mine.”
“No, I like defeating monsters in dungeons too; it’s fine.”
Anastasia sincerely replies to Brandt, who looks apologetic.
——It’s fun to see beautiful scenery and eat good food, but the dungeons, where you don’t see many other people, are more relaxing.
Brandt stands out from the crowd, and when you walk with him, he attracts the attention of others, which can be exhausting.
Anastasia has no pretensions to being attractive enough as a woman to stand next to Brandt. Rather, it’s only natural to be backbitten and talked about behind her back.
But as a magician, she can stand proudly beside him.
For Anastasia, the dungeon is perhaps the most appropriate place to find fulfillment.
“Besides… with Brandt-senpai, I would be happy anywhere.”
Anastasia whispers, holding Brandt’s hand gently.
——I don’t care if it’s in a dungeon or some other place where the other girls would stare me down, as long as I can be with Brandt.
Even if another woman curses me for not knowing my place, I can’t let go of it.
If anything stands in my way, I’ll use my powers as a magician to defeat them.
Brandt stammers and glances shyly upward.
He squeezed her hand hard as if to answer.