The Underground City of Estarosta
On the other side of the hatch, there was a passage that looked very similar to the one I had gone down before. There black walls made of an unknown material, and glowing lines that ran along the sides. It was as if these lights were leading us deeper down.
We saw no doors along the way. There was a part of me that hoped we would find something, an Automata or items, and so I was a little disappointed. We had discovered a ruin, surely they could have left us something…those stingy old elves.
Daniela was walking ahead of me, but she suddenly stopped. I looked over her shoulder to see what it was. The passage had curved a little to the side, and there was a door. A door without any handles. It made me think of an automatic door.
“It is different here.”
“That’s a door, right?”
“A door? But it has no handles.”
“…Well, it’s one of those doors that open automatically, I think.”
“Such doors exist…?”
Sometimes, I wondered just how close the great age of magic was to modern-day Japan.
They were advanced enough that something like this didn’t really surprise me. Though, it was quite different for Daniela.
“Well, let’s go inside then.”
“I hope there is nothing dangerous…”
We were surrounded by the unknown. Though this was my second time being in a place like this, so I wasn’t as cautious as I might have been. But Daniela seemed very tense. I wasn’t sure if she was being needlessly paranoid, or I had my guard down. Still, we could balance each other out. And so I stepped in front of her and approached the door.
“Unless I’m wrong…ah.”
“See. It opened.”
It was an automatic door after all. The only thing it was missing was a bell ring and a ‘welcome.’ That being said, it wasn’t every day that I got to see an expression of surprise on Daniela’s face.
In fact, she still looked hesitant, and so I gave her back a push forward.
“Wait, Asagi. Do not push me!”
“You idiot! I am in no mood for this!”
But Daniela was oddly adorable when she was like this, and I couldn’t help but tease her.
There was a wide room on the other side. But there wasn’t anything there. Just another similar door on the opposite side of the room. Maybe this was like an antechamber.
“Well, nothing is happening. Let’s go.”
“Ahh…haa… You… I will remember this…”
“Sorry. I will stop fooling around.”
I felt just a little bad.
We went through the next door and came out into another plain hallway. There were an odd amount of turns as we continued down if for half an hour. Then we reached another door.
“I won’t do anything. See? After you.”
Damn, she was scary… Daniela glared at me and then turned back to the door and stepped forward. There was the hiss of air and then the door opened up into another room.
However, this time there was something in the center.
“Daniela, you go in first. We don’t know what will happen if I do.”
It was clearly some kind of ancient elf machine. It looked like the one that we saw in the underground of Reserentrible. In that case, it would be better for Daniela to enter first, as she was a descendant of the ancient elves.
Daniela gulped and slowly entered the room. I had Legs of the God Wolf activated, in case we needed to make a quick escape, and watched her from behind.
Then the lines along the floor and walls all gathered to the terminal in the middle of the room. The gathered light shone blindingly as a voice echoed in the room.
‘This is Estarosta. Facility 68. State your business.’
A woman with short, platinum hair appeared within the light and looked down at us. I had been expecting something like this, but it was still a surprise when it happened.
‘If you do not have a legitimate reason…’
I interrupted it hurriedly, before it prepared to drive us out. The Estarosta machine looked over to me.
“Monsters have been making use of this facility. We came to stop them and to investigate.”
‘This is not some trading city where monsters can easily enter. Your tale defies belief.’
“One thousand years have passed since the age you were created. There are no pure elves like you anymore.”
Daniela said. And the holograph looked away from us and fell silent. She was probably making calculations, much like Karma had done in Reserentrible.
‘…I see. According to the report from facility 215…’
“Reserentrible? I think it was.”
So, Karma had made a report of the events to someone. I didn’t know how or where the report had gone.
‘According to the database… You are the foreigner, Asagi Kamiyashiro. And you are Daniela Villesilf. The descendant. Your names have been confirmed.’
‘Welcome to Estarosta. Please accept our humble hospitality.”
The sudden show of kindness was confusing. We were now confirmed and welcome.
‘There have been reports about you two in Karma’s database. We have confirmed that you are not hostile forces, so do not worry.’
“Oh, uh. Umm, thanks.”
‘No, thank you.’
This machine was more polite than I was.
‘Your sudden arrival was most surprising, but it makes sense given who you are. Now, would you please tell me the rest?’