After that, we made good progress and eventually arrived at the boss's room located in the innermost part of the 10th floor.
Now, a heavy stone door stood in front of us. Beyond this door, the first boss of the "Royal Tomb" is waiting for us.
"Well... this will be the first boss, but I won't touch him, so you guys have to defeat it by yourselves."
"What? What do you mean?"
Shakuna's eyes lifted up with a twinkle as I spoke.
"If I help you, the fight will be over in a second, and I want to see what the three of you can do. If you guys struggle against the weakest boss, there's no way we'll make it to the 50th floor, where the treasure we're after is. If that happens... no offense. It's better to give up on the 'Tomb of the King' and think of other means."
"Heh... so you're going to test us. But you're just our hired hand."
"Even mercenaries choose their employers. Wouldn't it be in good faith for a mercenary to say no to his employer's unreasonable demands?"
"...Fine. I understand. We'll do it!"
"Can we do it...?"
Against Shakuna's boldness, Ryuna's eyebrows are lowered and her expression is uneasy.
"If you can't do it, you'll die before reaching the 50th floor of the 'Tomb of the King'. Well... you are a healer. Trust your companions in the vanguard and support them."
"...I understand. I'll do my best."
Ryuna bit her lip.
Then, I turned my attention to the last one, Hadis, the priest-knight, who nodded vigorously in return.
"In case you are about to die, I will help you. Don't worry."
"You don't have to do that. We'll show you that we can beat the first boss with a solid margin!"
Shakuna says boldly.
In fact, the three of them can conquer the 10th floor boss without any problem.
I have seen their abilities on the way and even had a duel with Shakuna. Even though the 50th floor may be tough, I don't think they will have a hard time in the 10th and 20th floor.
That is, however... if they can fight with their composure.
Can they show stable strength after hours of dungeon diving, fighting creepy-looking demons, and having their spirits worn down?
Mental strength, which are not reflected in skills and stats, will be put to the test.
"I know it sounds harsh, but... if you're exhausted at the 10th floor, you can't even dream of going down to the 50th floor."
I'm sorry to tell them that, but I'm afraid I have to move on to the other way if they can't do it.
Shakuna's main goal is to escape from Guru Rudanaga and protect Ryuna, but she also wants to get the treasure of Salomon and rescue his puppet father.
If they cannot fight well here, I will abandon the manipulated king and the oppressed people and send Ryuna into exile in the Slayers Kingdom.
I know this may sound harsh... but my goal is to crush Rujanaga's ambitions, not this country itself.
* * *
After opening the stone door and entering, a large, square room unfolds before us. Orange torches are hung on the four walls, illuminating the room.
A low yell is let out by the bull-faced, humanoid monster waiting in the center of the room.
The name of the monster, which is similar to the 'Minotaur' in Greek mythology, is 'Borek, the Bull-headed Demon'.
Now, Borek's golden eyes glare at us, and its open mouth spills viscous saliva all over the floor.
The stench coming from the deformed monster makes Ryuna let out a nauseous voice. However, she tries hard not to vomit and stares at Borek with her eyes that do not reflect light.
"Ryuna... Are you okay? Can you fight?"
"No problem, Onee-sama. More importantly... it's coming!"
Borek swings its beast claws and attacks with it.
The target of the attack is Shakuna, who stood there protecting her sister.
"I won't let you!"
However, Haddis, who moved swiftly to the front of the line, caught the enemy's attack with his large shield.
He protects his companions in the rear by holding back the attack of an opponent nearly twice his own size.
"Auxiliary Magic—Guard Up!"
Ryuna and Shakuna simultaneously invoke their magic.
Ryuna's auxiliary magic raises Hadiss's defense, and at the same time, Shakuna's sharp thunderbolt pierces Borek's huge body.
Seizing the opportunity when Borek is frightened by the thunderbolt that burns its body, Hadiss pushes off the huge body.
He pushes the enemy away with all his might, and then thrusts his right-hand spear into Borek's leg.
"Shakuna-sama! Hurry while you still can...!"
"Okay! Curse Dance—'Raana Arume'!"
Shakuna begins to dance with her left and right shamshirs in her hands.
Unlike the 'Warrior’s Dance' she had performed in the duel with me, which was an intense belly dance, this time the dance is slow and had a strange rhythm.
The dance is a bewitching one, with incendiary gestures emphasizing her breasts and legs at various points, as if to charm and lure her partner.
As Shakuna's rhythm builds, a black mist entangles Borek's huge body, binding it like a chain.
If the 'Warrior's Dance' was a dance with a support effect, the 'Curse Dance' is a dance with the opposite effect that debuffs the opponent's power.
'Gugaaa! Guuuu, guuuu...!'
The restrained Borek groans in pain and falls to one knee.
The debuff applied by Shakuna has temporarily weakened her opponent, severely reducing his power and speed.
"We're going to attack while we still can! We have 60 seconds to finish this!"
Shakuna shouted sharply, leaping out from behind Hadiss.
The emphasis on '60 seconds' suggests that Shakuna is concerned about her defeat in the duel with me, in which she ran out of time for the buff effect to take effect.
"I'll support you. Auxiliary magic—Power Up! Rabbit Foot!"
Seeing that the battle had turned offensive, Ryuna immediately invoked her auxiliary magic.
The buffs affect their power and speed, and Shakuna and Hadiss attack in one fell swoop.
Shakuna slices the enemy with two shamshirs, and Haddis thrusts his spear at the opponent's legs and joints.
Borek also resists with its claws, but its speed is slowed down by the debuff. So, both Shakuna and Hadiss easily avoid and defend themselves.
Soon the bull-headed demon falls on its face and its huge hairy body sinks to the ground. The battered body turns into blue light and vanishes.
This is the end of the 10th floor.
As Shakuna declared this victory, it only took about a minute for the team to win.