Chapter 9:

Chapter 8: Leaders

Your Healer

Chapter 8: Leaders


“You can wait in the car. This should not take that long.” I said to Eliza.

“Of course, try not to get annoyed.”

“You are asking for the impossible, but I will try it for you.”

And so, I entered the guild house of my colleague, Sami.

His guild had recently suffered a severe loss in a dungeon, and luckily, my new hire Kayla saved the life of someone who was already as good as dead.

I expected nothing but praise, maybe a huge offer to sell her to another guild.

As I entered the building, I met with the Co-Leader of the guild owned by the current King of Mages. She is a wise woman, around 50 years old, who always was very kind towards me, even after I was branded a danger to humankind.

“Good to see you, my Queen.” She said, smiling gently.

“Please stop that. I am not your queen.”

“But everyone knows that you would have been. You are more fit for the role than anybody else.”

“Every time we meet, you start with flattering me. Is that a strategy to get on my good site?”

“No, of course not. I just wish for a good woman at our king’s side.”

“He could lose his title next time.”

“The official title is one thing. His standing won’t change because of an election.”

“Is that why his majesty does not attend today’s meeting?”

“He is on a research trip outside of the country.”

“Is he still searching… that girl?”


“Never mind, let us get going, not that the others have to wait for us.”

As we entered the meeting room, I noticed a round table at the heart of the room, with several chairs surrounding it. Every place was equipped with a tablet, allowing us to share data and visuals more easily compared to good old paper.

I envied Sami for this technical stuff, no, for this whole building. But we can’t compete financially with a guild with over 20 members.

“Crazy, they still let you run free?”

That was a stupid question coming from a stupid person. The one who spoke was the leader of a guild that earned most of its income not from clearing dungeons but from entertainment.

They hire only young, good-looking women, put them in typical magical girl costumes, and create various content for social media.

At first, they were laughed at by other mages, but after they had great success, they quickly became one of the most famous and best-paid guilds in the whole country.

“Funny, I’ve learned there are no stupid questions, but you always prove me wrong,” I said, smiling as friendly as I could.

“Lilith, great to see you,” Sami said, who just entered the room behind me.

“Sami… again, I’m so sorry for your losses.” I meant it. I can’t imagine what I would do if I lost any of my girls again.

“Thank you, I appreciate it.” his voice was sad, but he seemed composed.

“Please take your seats. We want to start.” He said.

In the end, we were four leaders or co-leaders of regional guilds, plus two other people. We informed more guilds about today, but none of them thought they could contribute anything meaningful to the conversation.

Anyways, we had Sami, the leader of the guild, who lost several members.

The magical girl lady.

The co-leader of the current Magic Kings guild.

A representative from the Ministry of Magic who had to write the protocol.

Me the leader of the best guild ever.

And finally, the director of the magical school where I had sent my precious girls for their boot camp.

Everyone had a role to play in this meeting. I’m sure the one we expected the most from was the school principal since he is an eminent authority in dungeon science.

“Let me start with a huge thank you for appearing here today. I will start by describing what happened.”

“One of our members found the mission posted on the board very early after the dungeon opened up. We instantly received feedback and became the exclusive entering license for the first two weeks.”

“Since we got a department for magical resources, we wanted to harvest the best materials before the dungeon became open for all the other guilds, so we sent our research team of four capable mages to the dungeon gate on that same day.”

“They built up a barrier around the gate and entered the dungeon. After two hours, we got a call. They told us that they grated it as a D-Rank. Still, the number of resources was fairly big, so they advised us to tackle the mission with a large team.”

What he has described so far has been very regular. A D-Rank dungeon is something I would send even Miko and Kayla to by themselves.

You had to expect small, weak monsters, probably animal-like creatures without much brain capacity at this level.

“We built our camp for the whole two-week stay the day after our research team returned.

We also started to create a rough map and checked the inside of the dungeon with every single member.”

“This dungeon resembled a flat mountain range. Huge grassy areas, small forests, and three mountains with a maximum height of 400 meters. The only creatures we encountered on the first day were slimes, boars, and some tree creatures.”

So far, everyone listened to Sami’s report until that magical girl started sighing, “Is that all relevant? Where did you guys mess up?”

Her choice of words was a bit harsh, but I was waiting for that part, too.

“I am sorry. I will come to that in a second. We worked inside the dungeon for eight days until one of our rookies made a discovery inside one of the mountains. There was a small cave, and inside it, there was a gate.”

You could feel a slight change in the atmosphere. I would pay a lot to know what some of the people at this table thought at that moment. I suppose it was fair that I didn't since nobody was aware of my opinion regarding the second gate.

“This gate was much smaller than the ones we used to enter dungeons, but the architecture looked similar. We had one of our members check the mana density in the cave, and he assured us that there had been no recent activity.”

Recent activity? That sounds way too vague. No wonder they were surprised by enemies.

“Nevertheless, we decided to place two guards at the cave entrance. There was no danger that the gate through which we entered would close for the next few weeks, as we fueled it with our own mana in addition to its own reserves, just to be on the safe side.”

This amateurish behavior is crucial because they did not even know where the dungeon core was.

So, they wasted resources because they were afraid that the entrance would close. I really have to restrain myself from saying anything.

“The same night, we got an emergency signal from inside the dungeon. We expected it to come from the guards at the cave, but our tracker led us into one of the forests. The moment we got a message from the guards inside the cave, asking us why we entered the dungeon, it was already too late.”

“We got attacked by a group of goblins, which started with shooting arrows from inside the trees. I instantly ordered my people to retreat, but outside the forest, we were greeted by orc-like creatures with anti-magic armor.”

The faces of the others when the word anti-magic armor was mentioned were priceless. These pencil pushers had no idea about the real world of magic. Why did they act so shocked? I sighed loudly.

Depending on the creature wearing the armor, something like this would easily be assigned to Rank B or A. You must understand that dungeons with such a level of danger are not available on the board for guilds to choose from but are offered to guilds suitable for such a task.

Before I formed my own, I was in one of those guilds. We worked all over the continent, clearing the most dangerous dungeons imaginable. Once, we even fought a Wyrm, a dragon-like creature.

Fortunately, these are as rare as you’d expect. However, monsters with anti-magic equipment were dangerous for any mage but not uncommon.

That’s the reason why there are witches like Miko, who specialize in close combat with brute force. I don’t know many armors that would withstand an attack from her.

“I couldn’t count the enemies, but with the goblins, we were up against at least 30 enemies that worked together as a team. They were coordinated and had a strategy. And even the raw combat power of these orcs surpassed most of my fighters.”

“We decided to leave the dungeon and destroy the gate. We didn’t want to take the risk of these creatures setting foot in our world. For some reason, they stopped following us at some point. Most of my members left the dungeon. I entered again to search for Krystof, who was guarding the cave together with our new healer. But I could not find them…”

He certainly wasn’t looking for them. Miko explained how long he was in the dungeon, and walking from the entrance to the cave in that short time was impossible. But I am not here to blame him for sacrificing one or two members of his people to save his own life.

“On that day, I lost six members of my guild. I lost six friends of mine, and I want to know why. So, I am asking you, what do you think happened there?”

“There are not many options for what could have happened to you. The most obvious possibility was that the gate inside this cave was activated, and these goblins and orcs entered through there.”

My original plan was not to involve myself too much; I knew half the people present would rather see me in handcuffs behind iron bars. But I had to share some of my thoughts.

“But the gate was guarded.” Said one of the others.

“Yes, it was. So how could they get past the guards? If they had anti-magic armor, anything would be possible. There are things like cloaking spells and items. Maybe these two inside the cave were working with the enemy. Who knows?”

Sami was punching the table and pointed his finger at me.

“One more word and I will kick you out. How can you accuse my members of working together with these creatures?”

“Take a breath before you threaten something you can’t execute,” I said, smiling dryly. I hated these emotional reactions of humans; in these moments, they were not better than animals.

“I was just speaking out my thoughts. May I continue, or are you too offended to listen to me?” I asked.

“Go on.” He said, staring at me without a blink.

“Thank you. Where did I leave off? Oh yes, the potential betrayal. I don’t think that really happened. Could those creatures have been already in the dungeon before you found the cave?”

“When you consider that they owned magical items, yes,” Sami said, sighing loudly.

“I can at least assure you that these creatures were not there when the gate opened. Our Ministry’s dungeon assessor assured us that the potential danger within the dungeon was no more than C-Rank. If you like, I can share the initial report with you.” Said the representative of the Ministry.

These first reports are handy. I don’t know precisely how they do it. However, these researchers used a magical item that was able to create a scan of the entire dungeon in a relatively short time. That was the only reason it was very rare for a guild to be paired with a dungeon that was beyond their capabilities.

“Maybe the researcher was the traitor? Who says we can trust the Ministry with anything?” asked the magical girl guild leader.

“You should refrain from such accusations.” The representative said, outraged.

“We all should send some of our people to this dungeon and let them search for information again. And we leaders will thoroughly investigate the Ministry. That way, we can fight this mystery on both ends.”

With my suggestions, I didn’t mean to say that I didn’t trust Sami’s people. Still, after hearing his report, I had some doubts about the reliability of his guild.

The old lady who sat beside me started whispering. “Lilith, you can’t be serious…” I simply smiled at her, “Of course I am.”

“OK, why not? But who pays our best members for that mission? The Ministry?” asked the magical girl leader.

The Ministry’s representative started sweating, “I can’t make promises. Of course, it is a matter of the Ministry to clarify this incident, but paying four guilds for that could be too much.”

Suddenly, the director of the magic school cleared his throat loudly and stood up. “May I speak?”

Everyone nodded and awaited his words in anticipation.

“I think Lilith’s suggestions are great, and while I got no guild. I have great students and a budget for research that is not entirely used up. I want to say that our school will finance this mission.”

I looked through all the faces on the table. It was rare to see such a mix of emotions.

“Awesome, I will send our most capable girl. Just send us a date, and she will be ready.”

The leader of the magical girls said, smiling happily. Money certainly made her day better.

“We will ask around our guild who wants to join this mission. All of them are capable enough to contribute greatly to the course.” The old lady spoke.

“Please give us at least a few weeks to recover before I send some of my people back inside this dungeon,” Sami demanded.

“That is perfect. My members are not available for the next two or three weeks. But they both will be happy to join this mission.” I said, “But we need to talk about the seals on Miko before. I can’t send her inside a dungeon with a handicap like that.”

The guy from the Ministry was gulping. I was optimistic that they would lift her restrictions.

“Or you pause my suspension, and I’ll sort this out alone.” I proposed, laughing. But the other ones weren’t that excited by that idea.

“I’ll see what we can do. We should end this meeting and schedule the next one to discuss a concrete plan. I suggest next week. That should be enough time for everyone involved to work out the details.”

“I agree,” Sami said, so the meeting ended after 15 minutes.

“I’ll see you next week.” Said the old lady from the King’s Guild.

She was the first one to leave the room, the member of the Ministry was the second, and right after him, the leader of the magical girls walked away.

That left Sami, the school director, and myself inside the room.

“You have hardly given me time to speak.” Said the director, looking at me.

“I am very sorry, but I could not stop myself.”

“I would like to invite you to a cup of coffee in my hotel room. There are some things I want to ask you.”

“Just coffee? I am open for any adventures.” I said, chuckling.

“Although I am still fit for my age, I must decline. I am sure my wife would not accept it, even if it is with you.”

“I am flattered and would love to continue our talk in private. I will ask my secretary to drive us to your place.”

“Oh, you can join us, of course.” The director said, looking at Sami, who was a bit weirded out by the conversation.

“No, thank you. I need to do some paperwork.” He showed us a forced smile and also left the room.

“Be honest with me. You know much more than we do, don’t you?” he asked me seriously, now that we were alone.

I just shrugged.

“Who knows?”