Chapter 34:

Chapter 28: A-Rank

Your Healer

Chapter 28: A-Rank


Jeez, she’s gone already

I woke up quite early, but Kayla had already vanished. I don’t know how she can get ready so silently that it doesn't wake me up. I rolled over to the site where she had been lying. It smelled like her… how should I get out of bed now?

After ten more minutes, I crawled out of the cozy nest and prepared to leave. Today, they will post the first results for the Dungeon Raid rankings, marking the end of the first week.

With my uniform on, I left the room and made my way to the dining hall for breakfast. Our table was almost always occupied by someone from our guild when I arrived. Today, it was Luna, who had already sat down in her usual chair with a glass of orange juice in front of her.

“Morning, Miko.”

“Good morning.”

“Did you see the rankings?”

“They are out?”

“Yeah, since they are temporary, they got posted as a simple note at the stage. Don’t get angry when you see them.”

It's obvious that I will get angry when she tells me something along those lines.

“I'll take a look and get some food after. Where are Lilith and Kajsa?”

“Speaking to some important people.”


With anti-aggression breathing techniques, I walked over to the stage, trying to stay somewhat peaceful. Some other mages passed that huge note hanging on an exhibition wall without showing too much emotion at all.

The ranks E to A were displayed, and the limited S-Ranks would be announced at the end of the event after three months.

Where do I start looking at… D-Rank, maybe?

The first name I found was Luna at the center of C-Rank. After that, my own name... barely getting into B-Rank, and just some lines later, Kayla also B-Rank. It was just as I expected. Kajsa would be the one with the highest ranking. She was the one who destroyed the most Dungeon-Cores from us.


I couldn’t find her name at all. Not at B-Rank, not at A-Rank, nowhere. Somehow, I lost my appetite. What was the reason for this? Because she's a demon? Because it's our guild? She deserved recognition for her achievements.

I returned to our guild's table with a gorgeous-looking breakfast spread on a metal tablet. I was in a bad mood, but I should get rid of my hunger first before I get any more upset.

“It's because she isn’t a registered witch,” Luna said, shrugging.

“Did she get no temporary license for the raid?”

“Lilith forgot to get her one.”

Sorry that I was about to blame anyone else

“Figures. She's kind of stupid.” I meant that. I don’t deny that Lilith has much to think and worry about, but how could she forget to get a license for her new guild members?

“But what do you say about Kayla? She's higher ranked than any of us.” Luna's smug face pushed itself into my field of vision.

"She worked hard for it, but all except one of the healers are B-rank. I don't really know what they should do better to get to A-rank. It would need a big accident with many injured to raise their points."

“You really think badly of the ministry. We've only been here a week. What a message it would be to give everyone the rankings they deserve from the get-go.”

Luna was right, but I wasn’t happy with it anyway.

Twenty minutes later, Lilith and Kajsa joined us at the table. They grinned creepily, and seeing that expression on Kajsa's made me a tad uncomfortable.

“I have an announcement to make,” Lilith said after sitting down. That was rarely a good thing.

"Kajsa got her temporary license, but they told us that all she has done so far was for nothing. Because she didn't have a license, she was completely ignored despite everything she did in the dungeon. I've been thinking about how to respond to this rudeness. And I've decided to register you for an A-rank dungeon to show these idiots who they've been messing with."

To be honest, it didn't sound as terrible as I expected. I cleared my first A-rank dungeon at age fourteen, a few months before the incident at the last election. They're as dangerous as you might expect. Even some of the best mages with decades of experience get killed in them. But with Luna and Kajsa, I'm confident we won't have any severe problems and won't be the only guild in it anyway.

“There is a shuttle driving you to that dungeon in one hour. You will stay overnight since you are urged to clear it as soon as possible. It spawned last night. Some guilds are already inside, but they surely have not progressed too far yet.”

“And you want us to take that shuttle?” Luna sighed, “Do you have some data about the dungeon?”

“Just its layout, sorry.” Lilith chuckled. That was no good sign.

“How does it look like?”

“Like a temple, a huge one. With tons of floors.”


“I don’t know.”


“You want to talk to Kayla before you leave?” Luna asked, already standing up. Just then, it sunk in that it was possible that I would not see her for some time. In the worst case, it will be for longer than a week.

“Yeah, I guess I should tell her that her guild leaves her alone.” My words came out way more pissed than I wanted. Somehow, I wasn’t even mad anymore that Kajsa got no ranking. Right now, I didn’t care for anything but the fact that Kayla and I would be separated.


“No problem, just get injured, and you will see me faster than you maybe wanted.” Kayla was sad. She always makes jokes of that kind if she doesn’t want to talk about something that bothers her.

“You guys don’t seem so tough anymore but don’t worry. Our guild is already working on clearing the dungeon.” Enya, one of the King's guild healers, said in a tone that earned her a punch into her face, but obviously, I refrained from actually hitting her.

“Alright, I will call you as often as possible, so don’t forget to charge your phone.” I've never said I would say a sentence like that, but I wasn’t going to hide that I needed to talk to Kayla if I planned to keep a stable mental health, and I don’t care if I depend so much on her.

“Gosh, are you lovers or what? It's disgusting listening to both of you.” She was excellent at playing the role of the irrelevant side character that no one likes.

“We are. Do you have a problem with that?” Kayla said in a quiet, relaxed tone.

“No, I am sorry.”

Wow, she backed up immediately. I wasn’t really able to follow the flow of this conversation. I met Enya for the first time after seeing her at the opening ceremony. Maybe she was joking earlier? But if she wanted to sound sarcastic, she sucked at it quite a lot.

After hugging Kayla a bit too tight, I left that healer's office and went straight to our hotel room to pack some clothes for the following days. Theoretically, I could go back and forth from the dungeon. Still, as Lilith said, we are supposed to stay inside working on clearing it as soon as possible. If the ministry makes a recommendation like that, we are supposed to follow it.

Equipped with my backpack, I walked to the bus station, where our shuttle would pick us up in around twenty minutes. Other than I expected, there was not a single member of my guild waiting there, only another familiar face.

“On your way to that A-Rank dungeon, too?” I asked as I kept walking towards him. He was carrying a big crest full of healing potions in his hands, which made him look a lot like the errand boy of his guild.

“Yes.” He was definitely pissed. Somehow, this morning was stacked with people in a bad mood, and I would still put myself first among the most annoyed ones.

"Great," I whispered, not really looking forward to waiting here alone with him and hoping that Luna and Kajsa would join us soon, which they fortunately did only three minutes later. Unlike me, they suspected Krystoff was in a bad mood and didn't say anything to him. But maybe they had another reason for ignoring him. Who knows.

Inside the shuttle, our group of three sat down in the back row while Krys chose a spot for himself and his potions near the door in the center of the bus. Demoted to the person who replenished the healing supplies must feel bad. I never had to deal with a situation like this. Even on my first mission, I was sent to the very front of every single fight.

I'm not sure which one is better. When I negatively think about my past, it seems like they wanted to kill me. But maybe they just wanted me to improve because they recognized my talent.

I still don't understand why Krystoff joined Jora's guild. Yeah, it sounds good if you can tell everyone that you're in the guild of the current King of Mages, and aside from their leader, they're a decent A-rank guild. If you can compare yourself to those members, you're definitely in the top 5% of all mages.

"Are you more excited or scared?" Kajsa asked as we approached the dungeon gate near a high school. I hoped that classes were canceled for safety reasons and because I had no interest in any kids trying to observe us working.

"Excited," Luna said with a gentle smile. "One of the reasons I joined this guild was because I missed exploring these small worlds. I'm not excited to fight, but it's necessary, even if we find someone who'd rather talk."

“And you, Miko?”

"Tough question. I'd say I'm afraid that someone might get hurt. But I'm also curious to see what kind of enemies we'll face. What about you?".

Kajsa played around with her tail as she pondered an answer.

"I feel so many things that I don't know what to say. I asked you to maybe find something to follow, but now it's even worse. I don't know what to expect from dungeons. The ones we've destroyed so far weren't challenging and not worth saving."

"What do you mean by saving?" I wanted to know.

"Like the feeling that you don't want to destroy it, that this world is so beautiful that you get sad when it disappears. I had a sort of emotional connection to the dungeon with the goblins. I saw myself spending more time in it. The green valleys were such a nice diversion from my home."

There was a trace of sadness in her voice. She made no secret of the fact that although she was happy to have the chance to join us, she missed her old life, her family, and especially her best friend, who had been killed by Luna in that fight.

"Maybe we'll find a gateway back to your world in this dungeon," Luna said, patting Kajsa's back.

“Would you come with me?”

"I... I don't know. I'm sorry." Luna took the question more seriously than I expected. It was somehow impossible for us to leave. Although our humanity is in possession of records of the language of the other worlds, it wasn't enough to be able to translate them meaningfully to even dream of visiting or even living there.

"Don't worry, I didn't really need an answer." Kajsa smiled, and shortly afterward, the shuttle came to a halt. We had arrived in the area near the dungeon gate.

Luna and Kajsa were the first to leave the bus. I checked my phone first and texted Kayla that we had arrived.

"What kind of ridiculous conversation was that? Do you know how many of my friends have died because of that demon? And yet you're happily chatting with her about how fun this dungeon will be? You make me sick."

I felt sorry for him to a certain extent, but I wasn't very happy that he spoke up after Kajsa left because if he was so fed up with her being here, he should tell her himself.

"Come on, you know who's really to blame for your friends' deaths. Yourselves! If you were stronger, you would have defeated the goblins with ease, but oh no, an ambush is impossible to defend against. Goblins with a single instruction are so much smarter than us. I don't want to hear whining from the one who left his guild after one bad mission. At least you won't have to watch them die next time."

I went overboard. I talked myself into some sort of rage. He just picked the wrong day to mess with me.

"You're right. I'm sorry." He took the box of potions and left me behind, stunned by his cold reaction. I didn't want the situation to escalate, but I expected it to. Krystoff, however, decided it wasn't worth it.

Let's ignore the fact that he wouldn't stand a chance against me. When he fought Kajsa's friend in the dungeon, this knowledge didn't stop him from launching attack after attack.

When I got to Luna and Kajsa, who were waiting for me outside the gate, they looked at me, a little confused.

"He just apologized and went straight to the dungeon." Kajsa was confused and Luna even more.

"Don't ask me. I can't read his mind. I'm not Lilith."

"As if she could read minds," Luna said, smirking, only to look at Kajsa, who shrugged her shoulders and smiled as if she knew more than we did.

"Well, let's get this over with," I said, walking through the shimmering blue gate. The next moment, I saw a temple that looked more like a tower, so high that I couldn't see the end of it. The path from where I spawned to the temple entrance was entirely covered by a veil. I could see the mana so dense that I wouldn't even try to touch it. Who knows what would happen if I crossed the boundaries of this dungeon?

"Wow, this looks like a place straight out of Dark Elf territory," Kajsa said, looking around in open-mouthed amazement.

"What exactly are dark elves?" Luna asked.

"A race that is a mixture of demons like me and elves like your Magic King person."

"Now that you mention it, do you think Jora may be from your world?"

"I don't know who says there's only my and your world. Maybe there's more. He's definitely not human. That information is interesting enough. But you guys are pretty tolerant of anything that looks like your own race."

"We're just lucky that those who criticize us mages don't really believe in other worlds or races besides humans, so they just pretend elves aren't real."

"I love ignorance. They could look the devil in the eye and still say he doesn't exist."

"Hey you, come in!" someone shouted from the entrance to the temple. After we did, I recognized his uniform as that of the ministry's mages who organized everything around the Dungeon Raid.

"Magic Support Guild, three out of five members. Is that correct?"

"Sounds about right. Is there anything we need to know?"

"There are some narrow corridors. Please do not use area of effect magic there. The first three floors are free of monsters but concentrate. It is always possible for some to escape from the upper floors. Since this is an A-rank dungeon, our protocol writers will not follow you into every situation to ensure their own safety. I wish you good luck and, above all, success."

Only now did I realize that we had to take the stairs to get to the upper floors, and I could just hope that the dungeon's core wasn't at the top of the temple.

"Can you detect anything?" Kajsa asked Luna, who was always on the lookout for mana signatures around us. She has used this ability to find countless traps and sometimes even enemies. It's fascinating how well she's connected to the magic around us. I was quite happy that while I was concentrating, I could notice mana in general.

"Nothing. What scares me a little is that I can't even detect anything above us. But maybe the floor is empty."

We would find out after we climbed the huge stone staircase at the left end of the 1st floor. All this architecture looked amazing; the ceiling was about 10 meters high, and every stone had some kind of ornamentation. The walls were full of ancient-looking artwork, similar to what you would expect in Egyptian tombs.

When we reached the second floor, we found something similar to the camp we had set up on the mission where we had met Kajsa. Several tents had been set up near the stairs. I found Krystoff again, walking around with his crate, which was much emptier than before.

"I don't know how or why, but the floors are somehow not connected. Right after I set foot down here, I sensed the mana from everyone around here."

"That makes sense. Entering this floor felt like entering a dungeon. The stairs could actually be portals. They're just invisible to our eyes. This temple needs windows. I'd like to know how high we are now." I said.

“Imagine the destinations of these portals would be randomized. With some bad luck, you would never get out of here again.” Thank you, Kajsa, for giving me nightmares.

“Let's talk to someone. I hope they already figured it out, too.”

We walked around, and it was amazing how much we got ignored. They all acted like we were air.

"Excuse me, is Jora anywhere nearby?" I asked a girl who was sitting down for a break.

"He's not taking part in this mission." She didn't even look at me properly.

“What about Wace?”

“Upstairs, searching for the dungeon core.”


What a bitch

She answered my questions, but it's a matter of how I'm curious if I was similar to her when I was younger. Many people have told me how disrespectful I've been acting all this time.

Together, we walked up the stairs to the next floor. I led the way, with Kajsa and Luna right behind me.

"It's creepy here. Let's help them find this core as quickly as possible."

The floor we arrived on was also one of the emptier ones. In some ways, it reminded me of a crypt. Every corner of this enormous room was so dark that I couldn't see anything.

"We should watch out for traps. This place looks like a giant stone ball could roll at us any moment." I grinned nervously but got no reaction from the girls.

"Is everything all right?" I asked, turning around to find that I was alone. Had they stayed on the last floor? No, I was sure they were on the stairs with me, and they would have told me if they wanted to turn back... It could only be that I had ended up on a different floor.

Should I head back?

I wasn't sure if taking the stairs back was a good idea. Maybe it would get me even further away from the 1st floor. I guessed logic wasn't the right thing to apply in this temple. I think I'll just wait a few more minutes. Maybe someone will end up on the same floor as me. Going on alone might not be the wisest decision.


"What do you mean you lost her? Are you kidding me?"

"We went up the stairs together, but the portal took us to different floors."

"And why was Miko the one who got separated?"

"I don't know, Kayla... Relax, I'm sure she's fine."

"'You're sure? That was five hours ago. She's been alone in an A-rank dungeon for five hours?"

"Wace is still looking for her."

"And why aren't you looking for her? I'm going now."

"No, you're not. Even if we go with you, it's too dangerous."

"Screw you, I don't care if you don't search for her, I definitely will."

During the whole conversation, I didn't have a single thought. I responded automatically. I felt like I was watching the conversation from the outside. How could Miko have gotten lost? Why her? Not that I wished Luna or Kajsa would disappear, but why Miko?

At that moment, I wasn't sad or worried. I was just angry that she, of all people, had to be gone. So many were running around in this dungeon, and Miko had to go missing.

How was I supposed to deal with this situation?

I want to see her now

The ringtone of Luna's phone brought me back to reality.

"What?! Shut up, Wace, you've got to be fucking kidding me. Yeah, thanks for nothing, asshole." I'd never seen her this angry before, which wasn't a good sign given our situation.

"The other guilds are giving up on the dungeon. They think it's too dangerous because they know they could get lost," she explained without looking me in the eye.

"What do you mean by that?"

"No one will help us anymore. If we want to get Miko back, we have to do it alone."