The Third Facility, Urbesertrus
The scene beyond the door was a familiar one. The walls here were black, which was a big change from the stone building we had been in. There were lines that ran down a hall and seemed to be leading us deeper in.
I spread out the range of Presence Detection as I unsheathed my sword cautiously.
“We don’t know what’s down here.”
“Still, you might make them think that we are hostile.”
That was true. I suppose it would be better to just use magic if something happened then…
I decided that Daniela’s way better, and so I took off my cape and sword and stashed them away in the hollow bag.
Daniela seemed to have already put her cape and weapons in her bracelet. And she was now scanning the area.
“We should go then.”
As Daniela was a direct descendant of the ancient elves, she took the lead.
We slowly followed the blue glowing lines. There were several turns, and we were always careful to make sure it was safe before continuing on.
After we had walked for some time, we came upon some stairs. Daniela touched the steps lightly with her foot to make sure there were no traps. And at the bottom, there was a door. It was similar to the door we had found in the Estarosta. An automatic door.
“Push me, and I will kick you.”
“I didn’t say anything yet…”
I had only meant to tease her, but she glared at me murderously. So, she was still holding a grudge then. If I pushed her any further, she would kick me until I cried. And so I quietly moved away.
She said as if she had finished preparing for something. Then she slowly approached the door. And while she looked anxious, I was proud of her for not retreating. Good for you, Daniela. You should always challenge yourself.
As she inched her way forward, she entered the detection range, and there was a hiss as the door opened.
She held back whatever sound she had been about to make. But then she looked through the open door and saw that there was nothing to be afraid of. And she sighed.
“Alright… I am a stronger person now…”
From what I had seen, she still had a long way to go. When you were at my level, you could just walk up to it and enter as if it were the most normal thing. Well, that was obvious. I was used to automatic doors.
□ □ □ □
Leaving Daniela’s personal growth aside, I too had a look at what was in the room. It was clear that it was our destination. It was where the lines of light stopped. There was also a familiar, rectangular console. The Karma.
“So, there were no traps after all.”
“Maybe we were being paranoid.”
It was better than being careless, but we had spent a lot of time covering so little ground. Besides, perhaps it had all come off as terribly rude to the Karma.
Daniela stepped in and approached the console. A blinding light then filled the room. I tried to squint and look through it at first, but ultimately had to close my eyes completely.
When I opened them again, a beautiful woman was there, floating above the console.
‘This is facility three, Urbesertrus. Welcome, descendant Daniela Villesilf and ‘otherworlder’ Asagi Kamiyashiro. I have been waiting for you.’
Oh, so it did know about us after all. We were usually ordered to state our business. But now we were welcomed.
“We came here in order to acquire the key to reach the Nova. Is it here?”
‘It is. It has been debated through the Karma Network, and we have decided to give you two the key.’
As the Karma said this, the surface of the console began to glow in the shape of a square and then shift without a sound. When Daniela and I peered in, we saw that there was a ‘key’. It was like a drawer.
“This is it?”
“It looks more like a crystal…”
It really did. Both sides were sharp. A doubly terminated crystal. It was light blue in color.
‘This is the key. The third key, Astra. You need only insert it into the keyhole.’
“Thank you. We’ll keep it safe.”
Daniela accepted it and put it into the hollow bracelet. The Karma watched her and nodded slowly.
‘I will now disclose to you some information about the Nova.’
I had not expected this. We could not miss a thing.
‘It is now possible for me to disclose to you some information regarding the true reason behind the Nova’s summoning of ‘otherworlders.’’
‘Yes. The Nova’s purpose was to connect to the world of the gods.’
Connect? Did that mean it wanted to go to this world of the gods?
‘Partially. Not go there, but for them to come. A connection to their world so that they can be called.’
“So, gods exist…”
‘Their world is in a dimension that is isolated from our own. And it was these experiments with creating connections, that resulted in the accidental summoning of ‘otherworlders.’’
I had heard of one in particular who was called a Hero long ago. It must have been a very unexpected result for someone hoping to connect to the world of gods.
‘We called this connection ‘reincarnation.’’
“I see… Well, that is ironic.”
Reincarnation. Did they want the gods to come down so they could be reincarnated?
And it was due to repeated failures that I, Matsumoto, Manager, and this Hero of the past was brought here?
I was lucky to have met Daniela. But that was a different matter. Life wasn’t that simple.
“We are going to destroy this Nova. Daniela and I.”
‘Yes. We hope for the best results.’
Daniela was looking at me with an expression of concern, and so I smiled at her. She looked relieved. I did not need the Nova in order to protect her. I did not need the Nova to bring stability and peace to the world.
“Well, we’ll be heading to the second facility next. We’d appreciate it if you let them know we are coming…”
‘I understand. I will speak to them through the Karma network.’
Alright, we were finished here now. It was time to leave. While the Blue Dragon was a bit of an obstacle, we had managed to overcome it. And so this journey hadn’t been too hard… It would have been a different story if we fought it head-on… Well, I felt that I could do an even better job next time.
“We better go now.”
“Thank you for your help.”
‘Yes. Be careful. I pray that you have bright future ahead of you.’
The Karma smiled softly and then vanished into the console.
Silence fell over the room. And it was painful. I started to think about what we would do next, when Daniela turned to look at me.
“Well, we should return now.”
She looked tired, but smiled anyway. I smiled back. It was like we had just gotten off work. It was dumb to think about our next job so soon. I was surprised by how passionate I had suddenly become about this Nova business.
“Yeah, let’s go.”
First, it was back to Cath Palug. We would tell the chief what happened and then see how Ash and his family were doing. Then we would leave.
But if there was to be another feast, I hoped that Daniela would play again.