Chapter 244: Ant Army
Translated by Zzonkedd
Edited by Gumihou and Onionpi
Please read this at kitchennovel dot com
The first monster we encountered on the 11th floor was an ant.
The ant was completely black and very big. It was nearly 1 meter in length.
“That’s a Killer Ant. This floor has both standard and special varieties.”
The giant black ant was making clicking noises with its mouth, it was rather unnerving. From the look of its jaws, it could probably chop off my arm with a single bite.
“Killer Ants are classified as D Rank monsters, but its power lies not in its strength but numbers. One Ant is nothing, but make sure you don’t get surrounded by a bunch of them.”
“… what happens if you’re surrounded?” I don’t think I want to know, but…
“Once an Adventurer gets surrounded, the Ants will chew them down to the bone in seconds. These Ants have very powerful jaws which could chop off a person’s arm or leg.”
“Scary…”  yeah, I was not happy being right about that.
Whatever, all I have to do is make sure I don’t get surrounded, right?
 “Ugh, there are more of them!” I cried. Sure enough, behind that first Killer Ant marched a whole troop of Killer Ants. “There’s more than a dozen of them!”
“The standard practice is to attack and destroy them before they could form a cohesive group. Naturally, you must also conserve your mana and enough strength to run away if needed,” said Elland-san calmly.
I’m amazed by Elland-san’s calmness under these circumstances. Because I’m panicking already! How to conserve mana while attacking these huge groups of Ants??!
““The basic point is to kill everything first! Gotcha!”” Dora-chan zoomed forward and his body began to crackle with energy.
Bari bari bari bari bari!!!
A huge thunder zapped through the Killer Ants and the black ants… just stood there.
“Eh? It didn’t work?” I wondered.
 Suddenly, bits and pieces of the ants began to fall off and the next thing I knew, the Ants had crumbled to pieces.
“Wow! As expected of Dora-chan!” Elland-san clapped his hands furiously. “Amazing! Incredible!”
““Humph, looks like this elf knows a good thing when he sees it,”” Dora-chan puffed up his chest and sniffed.
… the way Elland-san praise Dora-chan is bad for his character development.  This is like spoiling a child with too many praises.
Let’s move forward quickly.
As we rounded a corner, a new batch of Killer Ants appeared.
““Sui will go next!””
Pew! Pew! Pew!
The Acid Bullets accurately struck the Killer Ants on the forehead. One after another, the Ants collapsed.
Once the bodies disappear, ““Aruji~ something came out~”” Sui handed me the Drop item.
“That’s a Killer Ant’s Jaw,” said Elland-san. “Hard and durable, good for making knives and such. Killer Ant’s Jaw knives are sharper than the standard iron knife and won’t rust. So it’s a popular and easy to maintain weapon.”
“Really?” I held up the jaw to my eye and tested its strength. I might keep this one for myself and get Sui to make a knife for me. Mithril knives attract too much attention and not something that I could use in public.
We defeated a few more groups of Ants as we travelled down the corridor. Just as we cleared up the last group of Ants…
“Stop,” Fer’s voice rang out. “Just around that corner is a large group of Killer Ants along with a few special species.”
Since there was no one else around, Fer elected to speak up.
He flexed his body, “I shall go.”
 Then he sprang forward, sailing smoothly through the low ceiling dungeon with all the majesty of a wild beast running through an open field.
“Huh, looks like he can’t hold it back anymore,” despite turning up his nose against all the ‘weaklings’, even the Legendary Beast Fer wants to join in the fight.
Slash! Slash! Slash!
The slashing sounds heralded Fer’s favourite magic type. Wind.
Soon, all the Ants toppled over and broke into little bits. When the Ant bits were gone, something black and glowing was left.
“Hmm, looks like there’s at least one Killer Ant Knight here,” said Elland-san as he examined the Drop item. It looked like a large piece of shell or part of an Ant’s body, except it was glowing.
“Killer Ant Knight?” I asked.
“They look just like regular Killer Ants, but about one size bigger and covered in a special hard shell,” Elland-san rapped his knuckles against the thing.
 “So, a good Drop item?”
 “Fairly high quality. The shell of a Killer Ant Knight is light and durable. Popular item for making armour,” lectured Elland-san. “Especially when you consider the fact that leather armour tends to be light but lacks durability whereas metal armour is durable but heavy. Naturally, Mithril is the best in terms of lightness and durability, but not everyone could afford that.”
“So the next best thing is insect carapaces?”
“Yes, Adventurers with a little extra money would go for these. In fact, I seem to recall Nadia-san complaining about how the shortage of insect carapace has been driving the prices of insect-based armour up. I’d like some for my Guild too.”
“Well, I guess the demand for armour and weapons would be higher at dungeon cities where lots of Adventurers gathered together.”
“Hoho, yes, I’m glad Mukouda-san understands.”
“Drops are luck-based anyway, we can only hope to collect lots of them,”  I hedged, not wanting to promise anything to this guy and potentially angering the Giant Princess. I’m more afraid of her than this dragon otaku elf.
With Fer participating in the battles, we proceeded at a much faster pace. We managed to clear a lot of rooms while avoiding other Adventurers and collecting plenty of Killer Ant Jaws and Killer Ant Knight Carapaces.
Before long, we found ourselves in front of the Boss Room.
“Oh, it looks like the previous party’s battle is just over,” Elland-san commented.
I peeked in and saw five Adventurers, all wounded in various stages, slowly making their way out of the Boss Room. They were also chugging down potions of all kinds. It looked like they were not planning to move forward anymore.
My party stood aside and let these weary Adventurers pass us.
“Well then, shall we go?” Elland-san waved his hand magnanimously as we all trooped into the room.
 … I finally understood why the previous party looked so devastated.
 Inside was a tall pile of Killer Ants.
In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to say that an army of Killer Ants have gathered inside.  I think my mind whited out a little as I stared at the writhing black bodies stacked on top of each other. It was disgusting and frightening at the same time.
“Thi- thi- this…”
“Hmm, that’s quite a large number of Killer Ants, we may have a Killer Ant Queen controlling them,” Elland-san drew his sword.  “I do believe we’ll have to dig the Queen out of that pile of insects.”
 “Th- the Queen?” I stammered.
“Yes, in fact, Mukouda-san,” Elland-san said slowly. “I’d say today is our lucky day.”
 “Lucky? Why lucky?” I asked a little faintly.
 “The Queen is the rarest and highest of Killer Ant species,” he grinned. “Can you imagine what kind of Drop we could gain from this?”
Before I could answer, Sui bounced forward, ““Sui will pew pew lots and lots~!””
““Yahoo! Here I go!!”” Dora-chan zoomed forward and began sending ice spikes into the heaving mountain of Killer Ants. Soon, corpses of the Killer Ants began to disappear, leaving only the more durable Killer Ant Knights and the biggest ant I’ve ever seen yet.
“We can’t see it earlier, but that’s the Queen,” said Elland-san.
“Yeah, I kind of guessed,” I muttered.  The Killer Ant Queen looked pretty much like every other Killer Ant aside from its size. Oh, and its butt end was bigger than the rest. I guess that’s because she’s the egg producer, which kind of made sense…
 “Queens have almost no combat power,” Elland-san said absently as he slashed at some random Killer Ants that made it to our space. “But it’s designated as a B Rank monster because of its ability to produce large amounts of Killer Ants.” 
“So, how do we beat it?” I asked.
““Sui will do it! Sui will pew pew the big ant!””
““Hey! No way! I want to do it!””
““Sui wants to!””
As expected, my familiars are too motivated.
Fer stepped forward, “Hold it you two.” All four of us stared at him. “I will take care of that thing.”
It was not a suggestion.
Fer lifted his right paw and wind power swirled above his claws.
The Queen, her Knights, and whatever remaining creatures protecting her fell to pieces in an instant.
… as always, I felt a little sorry for the creatures facing Fer’s almighty powers.
“Ahah! As expected, our luck is good,” Elland-san ran forward to pick up a piece of rainbow-coloured opal about the size of a man’s fist.
 “That is…”
 “Killer Ant Queen’s eye,” he held it up critically into the light. “Haven’t seen one in this size for a while. It has no magical properties, but it’s pretty enough that nobles would pay quite a lot of money for it.”
 “I see, so it’s basically a jewel?”
 “Yes, nothing bad about it being a jewel. Since it’s so large, you should be able to find a buyer very quickly.” He casually tossed the Eye to me. “It’s also an extremely rare drop, so it should fetch quite a bit.”
 Well, I’m not going to object to more money so let’s put this rainbow opal away first.
Aside from the Eye, there were lots of other Drops. With the help of Sui and Dora-chan, Elland-san and I collected a good number of small magic stones belonging to the Killer Ant Queen, Killer Ant Knight’s Carapaces as well as a bunch of Killer Ant Jaws.
After collecting everything, we went ahead to the 12th floor.
[Gumihou: How leisurely, lol!]
 Structural Change: Combine 2 paragraphs
 Structural Change: Combine 3 paragraphs
 Structural Change: Combine paragraph & dialogue
 Structural Change: Change passive sentence to dialogue
 Delete Repetitive or Pointless Information
 Additional Information for Aesthetic Purpose
 Add Dialogue Tag
 Appropriated Fer’s dialogue for Mukouda-san. Since it was in telepathy and also, what does a Fenrir know about purchase prices of dungeon Drops anyway? Switch statement to question for Elland to answer.
 Changed the dialogue a bit to fit into the situation. They’re about to face the Killer Ant Queen and as an Adventurer with a weird personality, I imagine Elland-san to be the type to be a little flippant and insane. This reflects in his dialogue style.
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