Aika, Sona, and Koneko joined Finn and Riveria's group. The trio then started greeting everyone from the Loki Familia and Hephaestus Familia.
The three of them knew that there would be some dissent, especially from the members of the Loki Familia since they would come with them. Even though they already heard that it was an agreement between Loki and Hestia, some of them still couldn't accept that they would be piggybacking some Level 2 kids from some unknown Familia. The news about them being able to slay Minotaurs while still just being Level 1's was still highly doubted, as most people thought that they received help from the executives of the Loki Familia.
Despite that, the trio continued to greet everyone in an effort to ease some of their dissatisfaction, after all, they would be together for at least two weeks of their journey. But once they had done their greetings, they figured out that most of the dissatisfaction only came from the lower Leveled members of the Loki Familia. Even Bete, who was famous for his rash mouth and brash attitude, seemed to quietly accept their presence. Not because his superior told him to accept them, but he already witnessed them risk their lives against something that is much stronger than them. They might be weaklings, but they aren't cowards, is what was on his mind.
The trio then went to the front as Riveria instructed them and, once they reached the group of executives, Riveria asked, "How was it?"
"It's better than I thought," Sona answered.
"Of course, they're our members after all. However, small dissatisfaction can't be avoided, especially from those who just joined us." Riveria made a small smile.
Off to the side, the energetic Amazoness immediately greeted them, "Hey, hey~! It's been awhile~! I heard you guys are periodically seen on the 18th floor and beyond! You guys are still Level 2, right? That's amazing~!"
"It's thanks to the people who supported us. Without them, we wouldn't be here." Aika replied to Tiona.
"Oh, I've heard of one of them. Yoruichi, right?" Tione asked.
"...Yes. She's the one who is mainly training our fighting skills." Koneko answered.
The group of executives from the Loki Familia and the trio kept on chatting until they reached the 7th floor, which had a weird atmosphere. And the first one to notice it was Koneko who had been using her Senjutsu, "...The smell of blood is thicker than usual, and it comes from people."
Everyone from the Loki Familia frowned and looked towards Bete who also started sniffing the air and confirmed her statement, "She's right... And panicked voices are coming from the front."
They were surprised that Koneko was able to notice something before Bete but they didn't have time for that right now, "Let's move faster." Finn commanded.
And a few seconds later, everyone could already see a few Adventurers running towards them, "Hey, what happened?" Tiona asked them.
"Geh! Amazoness!? Tiona Hiryute!? The Loki Familia!? An expedition!?" One of the Adventurers reacted with a scared expression.
"Why do they always react this way?" Tiona wanted to cry.
Bete grabbed one of their collars and started asking with a threatening tone, "What are you guys doing!?" It's only normal to be suspicious of Adventurers running away as they might have just passed a parade of monsters to other unsuspecting Adventurers.
Knowing the suspicion on them, one of them immediately answered, "T-There was a Minotaur!"
"As I said, there was a Minotaur! There was a Minotaur on the upper floors! We got out of there as fast as we could, when we saw a white-haired brat getting attacked!"
"Where is this Minotaur?" Sona interrupted and pressured him with her gaze.
"O-on the 9th floor." The Adventurer answered.
Sona immediately got on Koneko's back and told the rest, "We're sorry, but we're going ahead first." After that sentence, Aika, Koneko, and Sona had disappeared and reappeared more than ten meters away from the group and were already running towards the depth of the Dungeon.
"Wait!" Riveria shouted at them but they already disappeared into the distance. Those who first time saw the Flash Step were incredibly confused at what just happened.
"I'm following them," Ais stated as she ran after them.
"Ais!?" Tiona shouted.
"What are you doing!?" Bete reacted.
"We're following them," Finn commanded. Since they were already here, they might as well see what was happening. Who knows? It may lead to more clues regarding the tamer.
Aika, Koneko, and Sona immediately reached the 9th floor, "What do you think, how big is his chance of survival?" Sona asked.
"Hmm... If he could just throw away that cowardly instinct, then he can probably defeat that Minotaur. After all, we've been teaching him a few tricks that could be useful." Aika answered.
"... If he could push away his fears, that is," Koneko added.
On their way to where they suspected the Minotaur and the white-haired Adventurer was, they came across a familiar but bloody figure, "The Pallum who's always with Cranel-san!"
The Pallum, Lily, noticed them and immediately pleaded despite being in a confused state because of the wound on her head, "Adventurer-sama... please help us...!"
Aika hurriedly moved in to catch her falling body and immediately took out a potion, pouring it on her face, "Please help Bell-sama...!" Lily continued pleading.
"Where is he?" Aika asked.
"He's in room E-16 on the regular path...!" Lily did her best to point in a certain direction.
However, just as she finished speaking, Koneko warned the others, "Someone is here! And he's strong!"
Aika set Lily down and looked towards the direction she pointed. She then saw a burly Adventurer walking out of the shadows, "Ottar of Freya Familia..."
"I have a business in here and you're interfering with my work. You shall not pass." Ottar unsheathed his gigantic great sword.
Sona got down from Koneko back and said while fixing her glasses, "I see, this is Freya-sama's arrangement. I wonder what for?"
"I don't know what you're talking about, but this is my business alone. Do not interfere." Ottar replied, not a bit bothered about what she said.
The three of them knew that they couldn't match Ottar, but it wouldn't hurt to try going against the said strongest man in Orario.
Without speaking, Aika drew her nodachi and dashed towards Ottar while brandishing her blade. However, the moment their weapons met, Aika was instantly blown away, "Kuh!!!"
Koneko caught her midair and set her down, "That brute force is something else." Aika muttered.
It was Koneko's turn to try to pass him. Using Flash Step, she reappeared in front of Ottar and immediately aimed her hammer at his face. But, as if he already knew what she planned to do, Ottar easily blocked her attack using his sword.
A split second later, Aika also reappeared behind him and aimed for his neck. But even then, without looking back, Ottar easily dodged her strike. Seeing that their attempt was unsuccessful, the two of them immediately retreated.
"What a strange magic," Ottar muttered while looking at them.
"Nope~. We can't do it." Aika sighed.
"Let's wait for Ais-san. She's coming here." Koneko also gave up.
And a few seconds later, Ais did arrive and Ottar finally took a stance, "Sword Princess, I wish to challenge you."
Ais was confused about why the 'Champion' is here, but she also pulled out her rapier and clashed against him.
While they're distracted, Aika, Koneko, and Sona slipped past Ottar. Ottar, of course, wouldn't allow it and chased after them with a speed which was even faster than the fastest member of the Loki Familia.
However, with a grin, Aika pulled out a pepper spray and used it in the general direction he was taking which became pretty effective as Ottar was forced to retreat, "We'll go ahead~!" Aika shouted while waving at him.
Alexander: That's my girl. Now, I really want to see that ba**ard getting trashed by Kisuke.
28th00: Ah, Freya being scummy. The usual, huh? Pepper spray works on everyone, equally. Hestia and Loki can confirm! They're such good friends that they tested it on each other for quality control! I kinda like how you've portrayed Bete here, since in most fanfics he's shown to be an ass, no questions asked. He just really hates cowards, which is exactly what Bell is in canon, hence his ridicule. His crush on Ais doesn't really help out much in that regard though.
Alexander my dude, I'ma go after you for aggressive usage of commas one day! At least Tiona and Tione weren't mixed up, this time… It was horrible whenever they were central characters and I had to decode who was who half the time!
Alexander: What, can, I, say? I'm, German, so, I, love, commas.
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