Here’s the chapter, enjoy~
Chapter 15 – I Found An Ancient Labyrinth
I took the job of defeating the Elder Lich from Count Maillard, had a brief discussion about future plans, and left the “Shadow Cow Pavilion.” Iris, Lily, and Surara were with me.
It seems that Count Maillard is leaving town now, preparing for the worst.
Due to the effect of the Yggdrasil branch, the curse of the Black Death is in a dormant state for the time being.
However, within half a day, the curse will resume its activity, spreading to the surrounding areas and causing great loss of life.
To avoid this, he will move to a place where there are no people.
We avoid the busy streets and make a short run for the north gate.
“This way, everyone!”
“The back streets aren’t that crowded.”
“Master-san, thank you for carrying me!”
“Don’t mind it.”
I run through the crowd with Surara under my right arm, weaving my way through the crowd.
It is thanks to my [Dexterity] that I am able to do this.
Soon we arrived at the city gate.
Many people were coming and going, but not so many that I could not pass through.
After quickly walking out of the town, I opened the [Item Box] at a little distance and summoned Dest and Grand Cabin.
“Are you calling for me, Master?”
“Yeah. I’m in a bit of a hurry.”
I activated [Auto Mapping] and showed Dest the map of the area around Surier.
“The destination is here. It’s deep in the mountains, so we’ll be on foot from the halfway point. Please go as close as you can.”
“Understood! Leave it to me!”
I nodded at Dest’s reply and climbed into the coachman’s platform.
If any monsters appeared on the way, I would immediately blow them away with my fire arrow.
Iris sat on my left and Lily and Surara on my right.
“Well then, we’re off! Full speed ahead!”
With Dest’s powerful declaration, the Grand Cabin began to move.
It reaches its top speed in just a dozen seconds, and the scenery flows by, buzzing from side to side.
“Master-san, the carriage is moving faster than usual!”
“It’s an urgent situation, after all.”
I nod at Surara’s words and check the [Auto Mapping] map.
The distance to our destination is still far, but at this speed, we should reach the foot of the mountain in about five minutes.
While I was thinking about this, Iris muttered something to me.
“Hey, Kou. Isn’t the current situation just like Lily-chan’s [Foresight]?”
“Indeed it is.”
Last night, Lily saw three images through [Foresight].
The first was the scene of me receiving the trumpet.
The second was the scene of me taking out a green branch from my [Item Box] at the fountain.
And the third is the scene of all of us riding in a carriage to the northwest of the city.
“So all three of my [Foresight] came true.”
“Lily-chan, that’s great.”
“…Thank you very much.”
Lily bowed her head in a small, reserved expression.
“But I didn’t do anything. I just have amazing skills, I think.”
It sounds like a line I’ve heard somewhere.
Iris thought the same thing and immediately responded.
“You sound just like Kou.”
“Kou also used to say that all the time. He used to say, ‘It’s not that I’m great. It’s just that I have great skills.’ …But I don’t hear that much these days, though.”
“I’ve changed my mind a little bit. Skills, after all, depending on the person who uses them.”
“What do you mean?”
“Even if people have the same skills, some people can use them well and others can’t. Skills are part of who you are, including how you use them.”
“A Part of yourself…”
Lily seemed to have something on her mind. She repeated my words and nodded deeply.
Not long after that, the Grand Cabin arrived near the mountain.
We got off the platform and looked up toward the mountain.
From here, we had to go on foot because the area was a forest.
“Dest, thank you. Take a rest for the time being.”
“Understood! See you soon!”
Dest raised his right arm and saluted.
I touched his feet and stowed him and the Grand Cabin in my [Item Box].
Then I checked the map on the [Auto Mapping] and started walking toward the red light spot that indicated the location of the Elder Lich.
The mountain was gently sloping, and the air was somewhat cool.
“Come to think of it, have you both heard about the Elder Lich before?”
I asked Iris and Lily along the way.
“Yeah. There are a few references to it in the lore of the Dragon-folk. But all I knew about it was that it caused a lot of damage to the Dragon-folk’s land.”
“It’s the same for me, too.”
Lily nodded her head.
She continued, “In the old records of the God of War religion, there is a story that a large city was destroyed in one night because of the Elder Lich. That wasn’t a lie or an exaggeration. It may have been caused by the curse of the Black Death…”
If the curse of the Black Death is activated in a densely populated area, then the number of victims will increase dramatically.
I am so glad I had a branch of Yggdrasil on hand this time.
As I sighed with relief, Surara jumped in line beside me.
“Thank you, Master-san, for bringing me here.”
“It’s okay. You’re one of us, after all.”
As for Surara, there was an option to have him stay in Surier, but there was also the request from the person himself (the slime?). So, I decided to have him accompany us this time.
Helper Slimes can freely change their body size, weight, and shape. Perhaps he could be useful in unexpected places.
However, since he is basically a non-combatant, I will ask him to become the smallest size during the battle and shelter him in the pocket of my Fenrir Coat.
After five minutes of walking, we arrived at the bottom of a sheer cliff.
A rugged rock face spread out before our eyes.
Looking at the map in [Auto Mapping], the red light spot was shining on the inside of the cliff.
“Hey Kou, I kind of remember a situation like this before.”
I nodded in agreement with Iris.
“This looks just like when we found the underground city at Aunen.”
As I said this, I knocked on the rock wall and found a rock that made a strange sound.
It was a vertical rectangle, about twice as big as my body.
I held up my right hand and reminded myself to put it in the [Item Box].
A magic circle appeared on the ground, and the rock disappeared as if sucked in.
Behind it, a metal door was revealed.
Lily exclaimed in admiration.
“How did you know the door was hidden?”
“We experienced something similar at Aunen.”
I answer and then approach the metal door. On the surface of the door was engraved a symbol that looked like an hourglass.
I wondered what this could be, and Lily gasped behind me to my right.
“The emblem of the calamity cult…!”
“Do you know it?”
“Yes. I learned it when I was educated as a [God of War’s Shrine Maiden]. The calamity cult was a pagan religion that existed during the time of ancient civilization, and as the name suggests, they worshipped calamities as gods.”
“I know that, too.”
Surara said in a more serious tone than usual and pulled a pair of glasses out of his mouth.
He put on the glasses and looked sharp and wise before speaking.
“Four thousand years ago, the people of an ancient civilization were making various preparations to confront a calamity, but the calamity cult kept blocking their preparations. Perhaps this is one of their strongholds.”
The Elder Lich had a very terrible taste to live in such a place.
…Wait a minute.
Liches are often portrayed in fantasy anime and games as high-ranking sorcerers who have somehow become immortal.
Perhaps Elder Lich was originally a follower of the calamity cult or something like that.
Well, whatever the identity of the opponent, what we need to do remains the same.
All we have to do is defeat the Elder Lich and break the count’s curse.
But the trouble is, the metal door has no knob or handle, and there seems to be no way to get inside.
I wondered if this could also be stored in the [Item Box]… when Surara jumped up and stuck to the door.
“Master-san, this door seems to use a system from an ancient civilization, so even I can open it. Just wait a moment while I unlock it.”
Immediately afterward, an electronic beeping sound… rings out from overhead, and the door opens to the inside.
“Okay, let’s go.”
We nodded to each other and stepped inside the door.