Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, Vol. 5 (24 page)

“Hee-hee, this is awesome…The real deal.”

Mord fought back tears of joy.

He held a black helmet in the shape of a hat in his hands.

He looked down at the magic item made by Asfi, aka Perseus—“Hades Head”—with the eyes of an adventurer who had just struck gold.

“Hey, you over there, release me! You think you can get away with this?! I’m a goddess, you know?!”

Mord looked over his shoulder at the source of the protests.

They were somewhere in the middle of the southern forest on the eighteenth floor of the Dungeon. Crystals were scarce in this area
while thick grass spread out between the trees. Hestia lay beneath one of the big ones, her hands and feet bound with rope.

“My apologies, Lady Worship. Please forgive my sloppiness.”

“You don’t feel sorry for anything at all, now do you…?!”

There were two more adventurers standing around the tree, the same ones who’d sat next to Mord at the bar in Rivira.

They surrounded Hestia on her left and right, watching her.

“Disappearing and reappearing out of nowhere, is that your Magic?! Why did you bring me here?!”

“Ha-ha-ha, I can’t answer all those questions at once, Lady Worship.”

Mord kept the Hades Head out of Hestia’s line of sight as he turned to face her, a faint grin on his face.

The power of the magic item he received from Hermes granted the wearer invisibility. Requiring no Mind or physical strength to perform a Skill, the person remained invisible as long as the item was equipped. Mord used this ability to kidnap Hestia from the campsite and bring her here.

It was easy for him to find an opening once he knew that Bell’s group, along with
Loki Familia
, would be busy preparing for their return trip today.

“We have nothing against you directly, Lady Worship. So please don’t worry. None of us is stupid enough to raise a hand to a deity. The repercussions are just too scary. So won’t you please quiet down?”

“What reason do I have to be quiet, now that I know you won’t hurt me?”

“Hee-hee-hee, Lady Worship. Please forgive me, but if you aren’t quiet…I’ll be forced to cut that beautiful hair of yours, or maybe those clothes, until you shut your mouth.”

Mord grinned as he pulled a longsword hanging from his waist halfway out of its sheath. Hestia fell silent. Her shapely breasts shook under the one thin layer of fabric keeping them contained, as if expressing the fear that overtook her.

Mord was satisfied by the look of distress in the small goddess’s
eyes and thrust the blade back in. Leaving the others in charge, he once again turned his back to her.

“Hey, we’re not finished here! What are you trying to do?!”

“…I’m going to teach a member of your precious family a lesson.”

Mord’s teeth flashed as he grinned at Hestia’s wide eyes.

“The boy’s got a thing or two to learn about the code adventurers live by.”

“You find them?!”

“No, Mr. Bell and Lady Hestia are gone!”

Lilly’s voice shook responding to Welf’s call as the young man ran up to her.

Not much time had passed since Bell took off by himself to find Hestia. Lilly was the first to notice his absence and asked for help searching the campsite and the surrounding forest.

Lilly hunched over, trying to catch her breath. Mikoto and Ouka joined them.

“This is not good. If we don’t find them soon,
Loki Familia
will leave us behind.”

“There is no time…”

The two of them were still looking around the forest even as they spoke.

Loki Familia
’s second group had agreed to escort them back to the surface, they were under no obligation to wait. With no formal agreement to hold them back, they would start their journey according to their schedule. The window for the young adventurers to join up with them was closing with each passing second.

Welf furrowed his brow and said:

“This ain’t like Bell and Lady Hestia, especially not at a time like this.”

“That would mean…something has happened to them?”

Lilly said what all of them were thinking. The four quickly formed a circle, stress and anxiety overtaking them. It was written clear as day on their faces.

“Can we request assistance from Lord Hermes and Ms. Asfi?”

“They could be on the other side of the forest by now. With no way to find them, we lose too much time.”

“Ms. Lyu…No, the hooded adventurer. Does anyone know where she is?”

“Only Bell would have any idea where to start looking.”

Welf started swearing to himself, frustration overtaking him as he folded his arms. That was when a new voice reached the party.


Chigusa came running into view from between the trees north of the campsite, frantically waving her arms. “What’s wrong?” “Did something happen?” Rather than try to explain, Chigusa led them to the spot where the vials of potions littered the ground.

“Aren’t these the ones that Hestia received from Nahza…?”

“Oh, and also, I saw Mr. Cranell run off that way. He looked very distressed…”

“…Lilly thinks it’s safe to say they’ve got mixed up in something bad.”

Said the prum as she reached down to inspect the potions for any kind of clue.

“Indeed, it seems unlikely that a monster did something to Lady Hestia. So that means this was the work of other adventurers?”

“Kidnapping? Without any of us or
Loki Familia

Welf and Mikoto’s conversation going on over her head, Lilly’s hand shook as she found something.

“This is…”

“Found it…!”

Bell saw a large blue crystal reaching up toward the ceiling as he made his way among the trees.

Stuffing the map down the front of his shirt, Bell picked up his pace. The ground was uneven with thousands of thick roots. He tore through the forest with powerful strides as if guided by the wind.

The Central Tree was due east of the crystal landmark that stood
directly in front of him. He squinted his eyes as the crystal’s glow grew more intense with each step. The trees thinned out as he emerged into a very open and bright location.

“He’s here, Mord!”

An adventurer hidden in the shade of one of the last remaining trees saw the boy and called up toward the crystal.

Bell came to a stop. The adventurer who emerged from behind the blue crystal was none other than the person who he’d bumped into in Rivira, Mord.

“That was fast, Little Rookie!”

“…The goddess?!”

He immediately figured out that the man in front of him was the one responsible for Hestia’s disappearance and wasted no time asking him about it. Mord moved out from under the shadow of the crystal, his lips forming a toothy grin.

“Yer Lady Worship was nothing more than bait to draw you out, little punk. We haven’t done jack shit! After all, who’d be stupid enough to hurt a god? They can hold one hell of a grudge!”

Bell’s eyes sharpened. He was their real target.

“Why…What do you want with me?”

“You must have some idea. You can’t seriously be that stupid, can you, record holder?”

The man’s voice was laced with a thick, cold hatred. It told Bell everything he needed to know.

The reason that the man had gone as far as capturing Hestia to lure him out was…

“You alone?”


“Is that so? Well, I brought some insurance, just in case.”

Rustle, rustle.

Upper-class adventurers emerged from behind trees and under grass. There were too many for Bell to count offhand, at least twenty in all.

Mord’s group moved to surround Bell, his body tensing up on the spot.

“Don’t have a heart attack, they won’t touch you—follow me!”

Mord jerked his chin over his shoulder. Bell had no choice but to do what he was told. The squad of adventurers wasn’t far behind—
clack, clack
—tapping their exposed blades against their armor as if waiting for the fun to begin. Bell kept his mouth shut and tried to ignore the thinly veiled excited smiles that surrounded him.

His first priority was to rescue Hestia, but that was impossible under these conditions. He didn’t know where she was being held, and no one here was about to let him have a look around. Bell came to the conclusion that he had no choice but to listen to their demands for the time being.

He had fought enough monsters to be calm in the face of danger. However, he didn’t recognize the quiver running through his limbs at this very moment as fear.

“This place…”

Mord led Bell to a small plateau.

The surface was almost perfectly smooth, with a circular area slightly higher than the rest. About seven meders in diameter, it was unmistakably a stage designed for an audience.

“Up, now.” Once again, Bell did as he was told. Mord was close behind. The squad of adventurers surrounded the stage. There was no way to escape.

“And now is when the fun begins. We duel.”


“That’s right, a duel! And the pathetic loser has to do whatever the winner tells him…When I win, I’m takin’ all of yer good-looking equipment and selling it for profit.”

The scars on Mord’s face warped as he grinned yet again, as if to say,
you might as well hand everything over now
. The look in his eyes and the tone of his voice showed extreme confidence.

The winner would take everything from the loser. Bell needed a moment to let that archaic and violent rule sink in. He narrowed his eyes, eyebrows sinking as low as they would go.

Steadying his breath, Bell responded with as much resolve as he could muster.

“Release the goddess if I win.”

“…Sure, sure.
you win.”

Mord’s face went blank for a moment when Bell issued his demand. However, a thin, cold grin reappeared on his lips in no time, his eyes glaring.

The surface of the stage was covered with loose dirt and small pieces of crystal. The imposing form of the towering blue crystal stood not too far away. Bell and Mord took their places in the middle of the arena, pulling weapons from the sheaths around their waists.

The type of weapons they carried gave clues about each of the combatants’ fighting styles. The Hestia Knife in his right hand and Ushiwakamaru in his left, Bell fought with a combination of high speed and an overwhelming flurry of knife strikes. The crowd of adventurers around the stage started whistling and hollering as Bell took a defensive stance.

As for Mord, he slowly withdrew a great sword that he kept strapped to his back, longsword still at his waist.

“But don’t get the wrong idea, ya punk-ass brat.”

He rested the gigantic sword on his right shoulder and reached behind his back with his left hand.

Then he laughed. Dark and evil, his eyes glinted at Bell.

“This is a show—where I beat the livin’ shit out of you!”

He thrust the massive weapon into the ground.

The force of the impact was enough to crack the stage as well as send up an explosion of loose dirt and debris. Bell felt the ground shake through his boots as Mord disappeared from sight. “Dammit, man!” came the angry voice of an adventurer behind him as he took a face-full of the dust. Bell quickly jumped away from the cloud to gain some distance, set his feet, and watched carefully.


The dirt cloud was gone, but Bell couldn’t believe his eyes.

The great sword was still stuck in the ground, but Mord was gone. Not left or right—Bell quickly scanned the audience to see if he was trying to sneak up on him from behind using them as cover. Mord wasn’t there.

His eyes went wide as he looked toward the ceiling—but the blow came
from the side


Something about the size and shape of a fist swung in from the right side of his head. It was powerful enough to take Bell off of his feet. He quickly recovered, rolling a few times before jumping back up. Bell quickly looked around the stage, doing his best to ignore the throbbing pain in his right temple. But Mord was nowhere to be seen.

Bell had just enough time to register confusion before the next hit came.

A jump kick?!

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