Hazure Skill ‘Mapping' wo Te ni Shita Ore wa, Saikyou Party to Tomo ni Dungeon ni Idomu Chapter 3
Special Thanks: Rinkage
The day after Jin approached me, the two of us immediately headed for the town of Puriff by carriage. Which was just as well, seeing as I didn't have any good memories nor reasons to stay in the town of Broad anyway. I quickly equipped myself for the journey, briefly said my goodbyes to some acquaintances, then left the town of Broad as if I was fleeing from something.
From there, it took ten hours of swaying in an uncomfortable carriage. After spending an uninteresting journey out of Broad that felt both long and short, Jin and I arrived at our destination.
The destination was this hustling and bustling town. The town of Puriff was built in the immediate vicinity of the dungeon. And in this town was the headquarters of the 'Arrivers'.
—The town of Puriff.
Located in the southwest of the kingdom’s territory, it would be more appropriate to call a town this busy a city instead. Stalls and shops lined the streets, people came and went, and carriages kicked dust into the air. The reason behind the lively appearance of this town was the presence of one of the ten or so dungeons discovered in the world.
Its name was the 'Dungeon of Puriff'. The only dungeon in the kingdom.
It was unclear whether the dungeon or the town came first.
However, the town of Puriff was overflowing with adventurers that challenged the dungeons and dungeon loot, making the town of Broad pale in comparison at the level of activity.
To be honest, this was the first time I had been in a town as prosperous as Puriff. Because of that, I was aware I was losing my composure.
I lived in Broad, the town where I obtained my skill and started my adventure, until yesterday. Before that, I lived for 15 years in the tiny village where Miya and I grew up. Changs. There was no slate of God in Changs, so we had to go all the way to Broad. If I recall correctly, Miya's birthday was earlier than mine, so she waited for me to turn 15 before having her presentation ceremony?
There was no need for Miya to wait for me if we were to separate half a year later anyway…
I'm really starting to hate myself for holding Miya back so much.
As I drowned in the negative thoughts that had become a habit over the past six months, Jin worriedly called out to me. I immediately replied to advert his worries, while regretting how easily I let myself sink into my own world.
"I'm fine. I was just swallowed by the atmosphere of a new town."
"You've never been to a town this busy before, right? I don't blame you for feeling surprised," Jin said as he looked back over the mess of people mingling in the town.
Jin and I had talked about many things in the ten hour carriage ride. It was my first time being in a cramped space for so long with another man I barely knew, but Jin's friendly personality had kept the atmosphere pleasant. Thanks to that, I told Jin my story with Miya, and Jin explained his story and why the 'Arrivers' wanted a member with my skill.
Jin's party had been looking for a 'Mapping' skill user for a while now. It was just at that time when their tank member left the party. They couldn't challenge the dungeon anymore, so while they looked for a new tank, they decided to search for a 'Mapping' skill user in earnest.
When they heard the rumour of a 'Mapping' user in the town of Broad, Jin came running immediately.
That was when I brought up the question I had been wondering the whole time—why did they need a 'Mapping' skill user?
"The monsters that spawn in a dungeon are so strong, they're called adventurer-killers. But that wasn't the wall we ran into as dungeon-clearing specialists."
According to his words, dungeons were several times more complicated than anything I had imagined. While the early levels that had been mapped by predecessors were still alright, the middle levels had no maps, making it difficult to grasp their current location and return the way they came.
To spend manpower tediously trying to draw a map in the midst of that would be inefficient and take more effort and time than defeating the actual monsters. That was a great loss for the 'Arrivers', who were aiming to reach the deepest depths of the dungeon. They wouldn't be able to reach the deepest depths if they were distracted by mapping. But if they didn't have a map, they couldn't proceed further.
That was the current dead-end they were at.
Which was where I came in, Jin said. While Jin's words certainly had a point, there was still one poiny I found skeptical.
"If that's the case, then I think it'd be better if you looked for a 'World Map' or 'Area Map' person instead…"
As if waiting for my simple and trivial question that anyone could have thought of, Jin replied with a laugh.
"True, that's what you'd think of normally, right? But 'World Map' and 'Area Map' are useless inside the dungeon."
"How come?" The question burst out of me immediately.
Contrary to my panicked desire to know the answer, Jin answers in a calm voice, "Do you know the exact effect of 'World Map' and 'Area Map'?"
He answered my question with a question. I shake my head from side to side in response.
"The effect of 'World Map' states is the ability to map up all areas of this world within the brain and store it as knowledge. 'Area Map's effect is the ability to map a certain range from your current position within the brain and understand it as knowledge."
Ah, that was right. It was something like that.
"Do you remember the effect of 'Mapping', Note?"
Jin puts forth another question in succession.
The answer to that is simple. I remember it. I hated how it was burned into my brain.
"The ability to map up to a 1000 metre radius of previously traversed ground within the brain and store it as knowledge, right?"
"Exactly. What's important is that 'Mapping' is the only skill that doesn't have the words "in this world"."
"That's true… 'Mapping' doesn't have those words, but why is that important?"
"Dungeons are thought of as creations of God, according to some people. You know how some even say they're outside the logic of this world?"
"In other words… Dungeons are outside of the scope of 'this world'. That's why the 'World Map' and 'Area Map' skills don't apply to them. But what about 'Mapping'?"
Through Jin's guidance, I could clearly see what he was trying to say. And at the same time, the necessity for this trash skill…
"It's inside the skill's scope! Which means the 'Mapping' skill can be used!"
A chill ran through me at those words. I had goosebumps. Blood rushed through my whole body, making my head feel light with elation.
A way to use the trash skill 'Mapping'—
This skill wasn't a lower-class skill, but a skill that had a completely different class of use. Arriving at this truth was like being smacked in the head while having my vision opened.
"We only noticed this by coincidence too. Sometimes, when we're clearing dungeons, we run into the corpses of previous parties that progressed there in the past. These corpses had become nothing but skeletons, but their possessions were still comparatively intact. We were looking through their possessions for some form of identification when we found several maps."
Due to the aftershock of finding the use of my skill, Jin's words didn't really reach my ears. But in contrast to my joyful excitement, Jin solemnly took out a map from his jacket pocket.
"This isn't the map of the early levels circulating in the market, but a map that shows the same place as what we've transcribed on our own. It's a map of the middle levels," Jin said, and pulled out the map they had transcribed next.
The difference in quality was clear.
The map that the skeleton had was more accurate and easier to understand than anything else. It completely overwhelmed even the map of the early levels drawn by predecessors that Jin showed next. As if it was drawn by a skill.
"That's when we came up with a theory. What if this map was drawn by some sort of skill? But we already knew that 'World Map' and 'Area Map' were useless inside the dungeon. That was a well-known fact amongst anyone who planned on clearing a dungeon. But no one had tried 'Mapping' before."
I could pretty much imagine the reason why no one tried 'Mapping'. 'Mapping' was too famous as a trash skill. Even if a person with such a skill was an adventurer, they would never risk their life diving in dungeons known to take the lives of even first-class adventurers.
'Mapping' was also pointlessly rare, further decreasing the number of possible owners.
Perhaps the skeleton of the adventurer from the past had noticed the use of 'Mapping'. I was grateful to that long lost 'Mapping' senior of mine from the bottom of my heart.
"But isn't there a possibility that the 'Mapping' skill won't work in the dungeon? What if that skeleton was just really good at drawing, or it was some kind of newly-discovered skill?" I promptly blurted out the uneasy thought that crossed my mind.
Jin scratched his head uneasily.
"Well, now that you mention it, yeah. It's true that we won't know until we try it."
Uh, I kind of hoped you would deny that part…
As I recalled the conversation from the carriage, Jin and I arrived at the foot of a certain building. On the sign outside of that building was the word 'Arrivers' written in bold, colourful writing.
They were surprisingly boastful of themselves…
Blind to my hesitation, Jin turned to me and proudly puffed up his chest.
"Welcome! To our headquarters! The 'Arrivers' Party House!"
At Jin's expression that was filled with confidence and pride towards his party, I finally realised I had made it this far. There was no going back.
No, I had no intention of going back to begin with.
This time. This time I will not fail.
I failed in the party with Miya. My heart broke, and I wasn't able to keep following Miya. I never want to repeat such a hopeless past.
No matter if the members of 'Arrivers' surpassed Miya's abilities.
I'll follow them to the end. I'll cling to them. Down any road of carnage.
So that I won't be abandoned by the people who need me, by the 'Arrivers'. So that I meet their expectations.
This time, I definitely won't give up trying. I will struggle through.