Ulgio flinched at the word ‘die.’
“Well, we should keep that in mind. I…I’m sure it will be fine. I’ll protect you.”
“If it comes to that, we will be counting on you.”
“Leave it to me.”
They had told me that they weren’t exactly fit for combat, and so I would have to protect them. In the back of my mind, there were definitely concerns about my body. But, it would probably be fine as long as we weren’t caught.
“The three of you, stay on guard. I’m going to take a look inside.”
“Be careful… We went inside partway as well, and there were so many.”
I nodded at Igeldo’s warning and activated Presence Block. The clothes I was wearing gave me a boost as well, and the effect was much stronger than usual.
The three were quite surprised by this, but they quickly gathered themselves and began to watch the surrounding area. I sighed in relief and headed towards the hollow in the tree.
□ □ □ □
The entrance was incredibly disgusting, so I entered it without touching anything. Immediately, all light vanished around me, and so I had to activate Nighteyes. Hmm. That was much better. I could keep going now.
The hole was really just big enough for a single adult to walk through, and then it quickly went down in a steep incline. Well, it was practically a drop. The path was hardly flat, and it would be hard to move if you were in a hurry. Considering that we might have to escape… It might be better to find a different way to get in… Well, I’d leave that to Manager.
As I descended while using Legs of the God Wolf, I started to hear something. When I perked up my ears, I heard the groaning of numerous goblins.
It sounded like I was near a busy shopping district. That’s how many were below me.
On the way, the ground became more soil than roots. Before I knew it, I was off the incline and in what looked like a tunnel. The voices I had heard must have been echoing through here.
I carefully made my way through the tunnel. Surprisingly, it did not branch out. This was actually a relief, as there was no need to worry about ambushes. I used Presence Detection to search the place, but there were no trap doors or hidden goblins.
“Hmm… This is bad.”
As I spread out the range of Presence Detection, I sensed that some goblins were coming down the tunnel. As there was just one path, we would definitely bump into each other. I could just kill them here, but I was worried if the others would smell the blood. It could just end up rousing the them.
“Grrr. Ggggg ggrr.”
And so with Presence Block activated, I used Legs of the God Wolf to stick to the ceiling and wait for them to leave. As it would be hard to stay there for long, I thrust my sword into the ceiling and held onto it. Thankfully, goblins were rather short creatures, and so there would be enough distance between us. The others might be surprised when they saw them coming, but I’m sure they would manage just fine.
I calmed my breathing and watched them come. That’s when I realized something.
These goblins were wearing leather armor. So they were just like the goblins that had been sent to Namila Village. However, the goblins that we had killed in the area surrounding the tree had not been wearing armor at all.
Had they been thrown out because there were too many of them..?
It was very curious to be sure, but I couldn’t find an answer. It didn’t take too long for the goblins to pass me and leave the cave. I suppose they would use their claws to climb up the steep wall. Well, good luck, scouts.
Once they were completely out of sight, I dropped back down and continued on my way. This time, I moved a little faster.
After a number of turns, and descending quite a bit, the path suddenly grew wider. Up ahead, there was no visible ceiling. The underground nest must be up ahead. And so I slowly approached it and peered over the edge; I gulped.
“Well, there it is…”
That Nise Yggdra Tree hadn’t been planted here for no reason. It was likely used to hide this place. A tree of that size would be more than enough to conceal such a place.
Well, there was one great flaw. And that was the hollow in the tree. It led me straight to this place, after all.
“This is bad… You damned ancient elves. What have they left us…”
The underground of the Nise Yggdra Tree.
It was an abandoned city.