Chapter 110 – An Underground Lake!?
The doors opened, and the torch that I was holding illuminated the space in front of us.
When I looked down, I saw that the floor was stone and glistened wetly.
And when I slowly raised my gaze, the stone floor suddenly cut off into an area filled with water.
“Is it…a lake?”
While I could not see the far back, it did seem like an underground lake.
And there was a salty smell to it, so it was possible that it was connected to the sea.
“I’ll try illuminating the back.”
I used the torch to create more spheres of light, and then unleashed them in all four directions.
This space was circular and about thirty beters wide…which was not very big.
The lake made up twenty beters of the back part.
And the walls looked like natural, exposed stone from a cave.
“It’s very pretty.”
Melk said as she looked at the reflection of the lights on the water’s surface. The lake’s water was crystal clear.
And though we all walked towards it hesitantly, no enemy made an appearance.
Still, Iria kept a hand on her sword hilt as she muttered.
“So, is this place not a dungeon then?”
“Or maybe it was a dungeon a long time ago.”
I said, and then Ecleshia answered,
“If it was the wooden board that opened the door, then the child we are searching for must know about this place. Perhaps this is where its people live.”
“That is certainly possible. If there are no monsters living here, then perhaps someone could have made it their home. But…”
As far as I could see, there was no one here.
However, Melk seemed to have discovered something in the shadows of the rocks.
What Melk picked up and showed me was some rotted clothes made of reeds.
“It looks just like the clothes that the child was wearing.”
The reed clothes. It had rotted and looked like hair.
“There is more over here.”
Asuha brought out some more from a different spot.
There were similar reeds along the walls. We even found some crude stone tools.
“A clear sign of life here… It is quite likely that the child and its people lived here.”
I said, and then Iria looked around her.
“But they are no longer here.”
Indeed, even bugs and fish were nowhere to be seen.
And judging by the fact that there were no corpses around, the residents here must have gone away.
Either they left through the door, or through this lake that was connected to the sea.
In any case, there must be a reason that this place became uninhabitable.
Or a reason that there were no corpses…
Thinking about it like that, this place suddenly felt very dangerous.
“Everyone… We should leave for now. There might be something inside of the water. Ecleshia and Asuha, watch the entrance. The rest of you, keep your eyes on the water as we slowly withdraw. We will go back up the steps in this way.”
Something might attack us from the lake the moment that we show our backs.
And so we slowly retreated to the entrance.
However, just as we reached the stairs, bubbles started to rise to the water’s surface.
“So they came after all. Craft…Wall.”
I immediately created a stone wall in front of the lake.
However, it was smashed down just as quickly.
“No, Sir Joshua. Please allow me.”
Iria said as she drew her sword.
And then something that was thicker than a log came flying out from the shattered wall.
But by the time I recognized it as the leg of an octopus or squid, it was already moving towards us.
Iria shouted, and the legs split into multiple pieces.
They fell to the ground but continued to writhe.
And then from far away, a low, dull sound echoed.
It was not the sound of a creature that lived on land. It was distinct and made you want to cover your ears.
The source of the sound must be from the sea, that was a short distance away.
As the sound rang, so did the ground shake. It felt like the entire island was moving.
“It’s bigger than I thought! All of you, run up the stairs!”
I said, and we headed back to the surface.
I made multiple layers of walls so that the tentacles wouldn’t reach us, and created pillars to support the stairs so that it wouldn’t crumble.
Like this, the light up ahead came into view. I could see that Berdos was doing his best to keep the stone doors open.
“Go, before it’s too late!”
And we all jumped out of the entrance.
“Berdos! You saved us!”
“Don’t mention it. More importantly…”
Berdos quickly picked up his axe.
Monica had already taken up her bow, and was unleashing her arrows on the countless, giant clam shells that moved towards us.
Shield Shells. They had large shells that were in the shape of a crescent moon, and they had tentacles that extended from their shells in order to move or to eat.
These were wild monsters that were said to lurk by the sea shore, and fishermen were often attacked by them. And though their attack ability was not high, their hard shells made them difficult to defeat.
However, for the demihumans, this was not a problem.
As Berdos swung his axe, the shell of the Shield Shell shattered into powder.
As for Iria’s blade and Monica’s arrows, they shot into the crack with precision, piercing the insides.
After flying up into the air once, Asuha descended again.
“Mette and the others are also being attacked, but they are holding their own! Ms. Celes and Ymir are also heading towards the tower that you made, Sir Joshua.”
“The lighthouse. We should go there too. Asuha, you should continue to watch the area from the sky.”
And like that, we decided to retreat to the lighthouse.