When Jill entered the room, Lucius wasn’t there.
There was only Deanna with her brows raised and arms folded in the room.
「Jill? What the hell were you saying? Without knocking no less. 」
Deanna greets Jill, who barged in with perplexed expression.
Jill gazes around the room, not minding about Deanna’s presence.
「Where’s the guild leader? 」
「Right now he’s on a business trip. What did you want to talk about? You didn’t even knock the door. No matter how high your ranking is, that’s just rude. 」
「Deanna, why did the guild leader kicking out Laurent-san from the guild? 」
「Laurent? Aah, that appraiser. 」
Deanna said it like she had no interest.
「Laurent-san is… he carries the guild’s future in his shoulder. He’s a person we shouldn’t lose. 」
「He seems to be getting along well with 『Guardian of the Magic Tree』 than with us. 」
「『Guardian of the Magic Tree』? That’s… why did that happen? 」
「Did you know when you were doing a joint quest, he became acquainted with Lilianne? At the time, he also helped her develop her unique skills. I thought he was charmed by the mage’s charm. It seems he’s been making a blunder on her request, and they’ve sabotaged us. 」
「He didn’t only gave her a skill, but sold his loyalty to the guild. 」
「Something is wrong. Laurent-san is not that kind of person. He’s been helping me opened the way. Even if he helped our competition, he wouldn’t sabotage us. 」
「Anyway! We can’t let such a traitor stayed in our guild. You too! You should be careful about your careless behavior. While it might be true that you felt thankful for his assistance, it would set a bad example to other members if you defend the traitor. Most of all, I’m concerned with the guild’s morale. 」
Jill turns her back to leave the room.
「Wait! What’s your answer? 」
「…I can’t… I can’t speak ill of him. 」
Afterward she said that, she exited the room.
The door closed.
Deanna sighed at the interactions.
（Sigh. I’m afraid she’d cause trouble with her honesty. I get what I wanted, but I wish she just forgets a man that has fallen out of favor. ）
She gave a cold grin.
「If I leave it alone, and it will eventually collapse. But just to be sure, maybe I shall take some precaution? 」
Laurent supported Arie’s work as well as continued the interviews.
（Thanks to Arie’s hard work, the 『Earth Craft』 business is getting on track for the time being, but it will not always going like that. Still, the minerals other than 『Earth Craft』 are controlled under the alchemy guild managed by 『Golden Hawk』. 『Ore Refining』 is not enough. Unless I hire an A-rank person in another position. ）
Right now, Laurent was interviewing a boy called Lange in front of him.
He had suntan skin under the tank top shirt that he puts on. His height is average, but his muscular body stand out.
He dressed as a miner.
The sharpness in his eyes showed his fighting spirit.
「Can you tell me what type of job you want? 」
「I want 『Ore Mining』. That’s the only alchemy related skill that I can manage. 」
Feeling awkward at the question Laurent threw at him, he scratched his cheek as he answered.
Laurent activated his 『Appraisal』 skill.
Ore Mining B→A
（I see. Right now, his mining skill is B-rank. But it has the potential to become an A-rank skill in the future. Clearly, he’s a clever boy who knows himself well. He’s promising. ）
Laurent continued his 『Appraisal』 to see if whether he had the other remarkable skill or not.
Workshop Management D→A
Store Management E→A
Mine Management C→A
（This is it! Three high potential management skills. ）
His eyes sparkled.
（If I hired him and helped him to develop his skills, before long, he will become the core members of the guild. ）
「I understand. I will hire you for your 『Ore Mining』 skill. By the way, do you have any experience doing management tasks? 」
「Management task? 」
「Yeah. If you can help me manage the workshop, I can double up your salary… 」
「Huh… but I’ve never managed a workshop before. 」
「It’s okay, we will provide guidance and support for you. 」
「Then… I’m going to take my chance and try it. 」
He nervously scratched his cheek when answering.
At this point, it was his habit to do that when he was nervous.
From that day on, Laurent had Lange manage all the management tasks in the workshop.
He will teach him how to manage the inventory, account book, and iron room.
At first, it was awkward for Lange, but he quickly grasped the knack of his work.
Ore and tools were scattered about inside the workshop were soon put in the boxes to keep things tidy.
From time to time, he brought the ore to Arie and shipped it in a box, work becomes much more efficient, no time was wasted.
Laurent saw the quick understanding and independence that Lange had; it was better to leave it up to him to do this type of job.
He decided to give him only rough instructions and leave it to his discretion.
「Lange, your mission is to have Arie make at least one A-rank 『Earth Craft』. You have to arrange the management system of this workshop to increase Arie’s productivity! 」
The effect is almost instant.
As soon as Lange saw the way Arie’s work, he began to think about how making it easier for her to move while she works.
He gave her the ore at the right time when she wanted it, gave her the hammer when she needed it, if she needs to concentrate, he will leave the room and preparing her water when she’s thirsty.
He arranges everything to make it easier for her to work.
Arie’s productivity soon increased, she can refine 12 pieces of 『Earth Craft A』 in a day compared to the ten pieces in a day.
Arie also delighted with her own advancement.
「That helps a lot. Lange-san, we’ve done our best. 」
（As expected, Laurent-san. To have such an excellent support staff. ）
He feels ticklish from the way he rubbed his face.
While Laurent was teaching Lange how to do the management works, the main troops from 『Golden Hawk』was trying to reach the deepest part of the latest dungeon.
Even though the soldiers began to feel worn down, they were still in high spirits.
It’s been a long time since such a large-scale dungeon was found.
If they managed to clear the new dungeon, they would get a huge income.
The troops were approaching the last barrier.
There were no monsters in sight for some time.
It meant that this dungeon’s goal was close.
There’s no mistaking it. The last boss must be over the hill they were trying to climb.
As they crossed the hill, Marco, the commander of the unit, ordered them to stop.
Beneath them were stretched plains with the countless number of coffins placed there.
Marco counted 100 coffins.
「This is… Skeleton warrior’s coffin? 」
Surprised at the number of the coffins, one of his men said that.
「Aah, it looks like this is the last boss of this dungeon. 」
Said Marco with a wry smile.
If they come any closer, the skeleton warrior will come out of that coffin.
（For real. The thing is I have worn out all my armor and sword. ）
Marco looked back to look at his troops’ condition.
His troops consisted of 30 people divided into six groups of five.
And they were in dreadful shape.
Everyone’s equipment is wearing out.
This dungeon seems full of monsters that especially worn out your equipment like slime monsters with mucus that can be oxidized.
For them to fight the skeleton warrior who doesn’t stop moving until they are broken into pieces, there will be a fierce melee combat battle.
And it was dangerous to fight in a ruined state.
「Every group reports the worn-out state of your equipment! 」
「Three half-damaged equipment in group two. The remaining two are slight wear. 」
「In group 3, 4 half-damaged equipment, and one minor damage. 」
「Group four reporting one minor damage, and the remaining is half-damaged. 」
「Group five were all half-damaged. 」
「Same thing with group 6. 」
「I see… 」
（Half of my party was half-damaged, the other two people suffered minor damage. 24 out of 30 soldiers’ equipment was half-damaged, and only 6 with minor damage. ）
Marco sighed with resignation.
If it was only minor damage, it could be fixed here immediately. But to repair the half-damaged equipment requires them to back to the city or using 『Earth Craft』.
「We will withdraw. 」
「Um, we are going to withdraw? 」
「Yeah, it’s dangerous to advance and fighting the skeleton warrior in this state. It’s enough to find out who the last boss is. We will withdraw, then make some preparation before coming back here again. Return to the headquarters, and we will request soldiers with melee combat ability and 『Earth Craft』. 」
「But… isn’t it too passive if we withdraw without doing anything? 」
「Even after one last battle… 」
「The capture of this dungeon depends on how fast you can prepare your melee weapon. For this reason, we can’t waste our time unnecessarily. We will retreat quickly. 」
（If you will fight 100 skeleton warrior, and you need to prepare about 30 pieces of 『Earth Craft』, or 60 if you want to come prepared. And… do I need to borrow Jill’s strength again? ）
With her high defense and stamina, she can maintain the front alone and shielding us until we can breakthrough.
For example, being surrounded by skeleton warriors is no problem for her. With her greatsword, she has the power to crush the skeleton warriors.
The boss battle is expected to be a long melee battle; the best thing to do is relying on her since she’s the strongest.
Marco let out a bitter laugh.
Recently, he has been indebted to her.
He needs to do something to make it up for her.
As he thought about this, a buzz suddenly arose among the troops.
「What is it? What’s the matter? 」
「Captain! Someone is coming from behind us! 」
「What?! New troops? 」
「It’s the leading force from 『Guardian of the Magic Tree』 under Lilianne. 」
Thirty soldiers consisting of 20 warriors, five mages, and five archers are passing by Marco’s troops.
They were heading up to the hill, which Marco had climbed up just now.
「It’s bad, captain. If those guys pull through… 」
「Rest assured. Look! Their equipment is on the limit. 」
Marco pointed at their worn-out equipment.
The melee unit equipment that Lilianne lead is even worse than Marco’s troops.
Some of their swords are broken, and some were stripped of their armor.
He doesn’t think they have the power to fight the boss battle until the end.
（『Golden Hawk』’s alchemist guild can prepare 60 pieces of 『Earth Craft』 in a month. It’s the opposite with 『Guardian of the Magic Tree』. ）
Everyone in the town knew that 『Golden Hawk』 has a strong connection with the alchemy guild and 『Guardian of the Magic Tree』 has a strong connection with pharmacy guild.
（But we shouldn’t be careless. If they’re advancing, they’ll probably prepare the 『Earth Craft』 sooner. ）
Marco wanted to withdraw even more.
「Now that the 『Guardian of the Magic Tree』 has reached this point, we need to make preparations more quickly. Let’s go! 」
Marco told his soldiers, turning his back from the plain full of coffins.
However, when he begins to withdraw, he heard the sound of coffins opening from his back.
（What? No way?? ）
Lilianne is preparing for battle using her 『Floating』 skill.
Her melee units were also descending to the plain.
「Captain, they’re going to fight. 」
「Stupid. They’re too reckless. 」
Lilianne’s power was indeed tremendous.
A blow will kill ten skeleton warriors.
But it also has a weakness.
Once she attacked, she’s going on overheat and can’t cast any magic for a while, nor can she 『Float』.
Once she descends on the ground to replenish her magic and rest, she needed to have support nearby.
No matter how many skeleton warriors she crushed, if the ground forces suffer damage, once she descends on the ground, she would be torn to pieces by skeleton warriors in her overheated condition.
（What are you going to do? ）
Marco and the others stopped their efforts in withdrawing and watch the battle unfold before their eyes.
The skeleton warriors have awakened from their sleep, and the plain was soon filled with skeleton warriors armed with sword and shield.
From the air, Lilianne gave them a signal.
In response to her signal, they take out an item all at once.
Everyone is holding a shining blue stone in their hand.
「Is that an 『Earth Craft』?! 」
「How?! You fool. The workshop that can refine 『Earth Craft』 should be under our control. How can they have so many 『Earth Craft』?! 」
Moreover, the 『Earth Craft』 that hey hold was excellent quality.
All looked like 『Earth Craft A』.
In a blink of an eye, their equipment is restored like new.
And the battle began.
The sound of sword and shield clashing is echoed, the skeleton warriors gradually went towards the crowd of adventurers.
And when the time is right, Lilianne casts thunder with magic.
The thunder flickered, 15 skeleton warriors were blown away with a dense stream of energy.
The skeleton warriors’ battle formation was thrown in disorder for a short time before the new one filling the space.
The overheated Lilianne flew down to the ground with melee units firmly in their position, and they couldn’t let their defense breached by the enemy.
She landed safely to replenish her energy.
The battle lasted long.
Not long after, the adventurers’ equipment began to wear out again.
Marco was relieved.
They won’t be able to clear up the dungeon.
But to mock Marco’s prediction, Lilianne’s melee units restored their equipment by taking out another 『Earth Craft』.
She flew again into the air.
She observed the battle from above.
Her troops are unperturbed to see the sturdy skeleton warriors.
（It’s a great success. Thanks to Laurent-san. ）
The second thunder struck echoed.
Her magic crushed more than 20 skeleton warriors this time.
More than 70% of the skeleton warriors have already defeated.
The melee units switched from defensive and were on the offensive when they had the advantage in number.
There was no need for the third thunder to strike.
Lilianne’s troops destroyed the skeleton warriors.
『Guardian of the Magic Tree』 led by Lilianne managed to capture the dungeon.
After the boss has been defeated, adventurers other than the 『Guardian of the Magic Tree』 in the dungeon are returned forcibly to the city.
During the month after this dungeon was captured, 『Guardian of the Magic Tree』 have the exclusive right to collect and use all resources found in the dungeon, such as ores, raw materials, and monsters.
According to the adventurers’ law, no one can enter this dungeon unless they’re a member of the guild that captured the dungeon or those whom they have permitted to enter.
Anyone who breaks this rule is sentenced with extreme punishment.