045 Exploring the Demon Woods 2 p.1


Translator: yAmi

Proofreader: LoneButcher

For adventurers, exploring a dungeon wasn’t something that could be done impromptu. No amount of preparation could be said to be excessive when exploring a place as harsh as the nest of monsters. In addition to equipment and stocking up on medicines, they must also prepare to make camp for extended journeys. Most dungeons were not within a day's travel distance (if they were, the city would be attacked by demons in a heartbeat), and the vastness of the Trees of Darkness made it impossible to explore it completely in a single day. Therefore, adventurers would have to maintain night vigil while moving and exploring the dungeon. In some cases, they would have to keep it up for multiple days.

The essentials adventurers had to prepare were long-lasting food and drinking water. Mages of a certain skill level could use magic to produce water, but doing so drains magic power. Magic is one of the trump cards during adventures, and is also the very purpose of a mage in a party. Thus, wasting magic power is frowned upon. In any case, no matter how much magic power a mage had, it was unlikely to produce enough water for all members of the party. Therefore, it was an ironclad rule that adventurers prepare their own supply of water from the very beginning. Of course, if there was a spring or other water supply point within the dungeon, this burden could be reduced somewhat. Fortunately, there were several springs in the Trees of Darkness, so it was easier and more rational to bring a pot for boiling water than to carry more water.

Adventurers should not forget to bring their tents, sleeping bag, and blanket to sleep comfortably and in safety. Accumulating fatigue and stress would cause loss in concentration during the adventure, and make it more likely for adventurers to make mistakes that wouldn’t be normally made. Also, it could be said that mosquito nets were a must because they fended off disease-carrying mosquitoes.The cloth of the tent acts as a simple layer of protection against monster attacks when camping. It was only cloth, but it will certainly expend the energy of the monster trying to tear it apart. Surprisingly, the attempt of tearing the cloth made the difference of life and death for some. Also, no matter how hot the place was, it was a taboo to ever forget the sleeping bag. Once night falls, the cold ground would deprive their bodies of heat, and energy would be wasted to maintain body temperature. To begin with, the ground was hard and uncomfortable to sleep on. Simply lying on the ground was exhausting. Merely using a sleeping bag could greatly increase comfort.

Other than that, extra clothes — especially innerwear and underwear — was something that adventurers should not be negligent about . Some may question whether they should spare time on such frivolous things, but clothings were surprisingly impactful during adventures. Adventuring was a dangerous job that carried the risk of injury. What happens if an adventurer sustains a wound and was wearing unsanitary clothings? What happens if the dirt gets into the wound? The concept of germs was only known to the magic academy of St. Gallen, and only a select few within the academy were privy to this knowledge. Still, it should be commonplace knowledge what happens if a wound gets dirty. Simply by keeping the surroundings as clean as possible, the incidence of tetanus and other diseases would be significantly reduced. However, there was no way adventurers have the luxury of bathing and washing their clothes since every drop of water was worth a drop of blood. Thus, many acknowledge that the bare minimum was to at least have a change of clothes.

In this way, adventurers heading to a dungeon have to prepare a great deal of supplies. It costs money just to procure them, and it's not easy to transport them. Of course, even the strongest and toughest adventurers would not be able to fight to the fullest of their abilities while carrying their bags. Most adventurers would hire a pack-bearer to carry their load and focus on the adventure as best they could. Lower ranked adventurers from other parties were sometimes hired for this job, but sometimes was done by volunteers from a guild, or by slaves owned by the party.

For the Guardian of Balance, they took the orthodox approach of hiring other adventurers. The members of the Guardian of Balance were not fond of using slaves, and the Trees of Darkness was not an easy dungeon for them to confidently adventure in. (TN: I assume they want to rely on the strength of the recruited adventurer too? Or that they don’t need to protect the hired adventurer?)

“Hey, Guardians of Balance. I guess we could just hang around here?”

The sound of a middle-aged adventurer's voice could be heard from a corner where bushes had been cleared out.

This was the border between the explored and unexplored sections of the Trees of Darkness. It was the end of the entrance to the endlessly spreading forest.

“Yes. We're going to go deeper, so I'd like you to hold the campsite for me. We plan to return in a day. But if we don't return by two days, please help us by reporting to the guild.”

"Hahahaha! Well, let's hope it doesn't come to that, Mr Priest.”

The person conversing with Mariano was the leader of one of the two D-ranked parties that have been tasked to carry their luggage and maintain their temporary base. The young and impulsive Joel was not suited to handle such discussions, so it was Mariano’s job to do so. It was bad for rumours to publicly leave everything to Mariano, so Joel tried to at least show his face during these discussions.

However, perhaps knowingly or unknowingly, the leader from the D-ranked party spoke directly to Joel.

“Hey, kid, is it alright that we get a fifty-fifty split of everything we caught on the way?”

"Oh, not ...... Cough. Yeah, I don’t mind.”

Joel responded roughly, in an attempt to fool the other party. It was part of the contract to give the two D-ranked parties all the parts and materials from the monsters they defeated along the way. Thanks to this condition, they were able to negotiate a big bargain on the payment, but most of the profits for the Guardian of Balance were also wiped clean. If they do not kill some big game in the depths of the Trees of Darkness, the cost of the adventure might be more than their earnings.

They were conscious of that possibility, and they weren’t that foolhardy to gamble everything to collapse on a single failure. They had come up with a plan to recover the money in the event of failure. Nevertheless, it didn’t feel good that their earnings were being taken by another group.

“I'm relieved to hear that. You're more understanding than you seem, huh, rising star?”

The adventurer tapped Joel on the shoulder, with a hint of ridicule. To put it bluntly, he was mocking him. Most likely, he was mocking the Guardian of Balance that was gambling on an adventure that may or may not be profitable.

There were two main ways for adventurers to earn money. The first is to complete requests from the guild. The other was to sell the parts and materials of the monsters they defeat. The latter, in fact, was the less profitable option. After all, you could also sell materials of the monsters that were defeated during the quest, so naturally the former was more profitable. Of course, if you could monopolise the easy hunting grounds, like what Raymond and his gang were doing, you could make lots of money with the latter method. However, in Joel's case, he was giving away all the scraps of profit he got along the way. Hence, the remuneration was less than satisfactory.
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