The Adventurers were to attack it and seal the use of its eyes and legs. And then an attack that was so fast it wouldn’t be able to do anything even if it saw me.
That was Adlus’s plan. Well, he knew how to make the most of our talents.
Ultimately, we had been able to take the monster down. It was a fight I couldn’t have won alone, and a fight they couldn’t have won without me. It was a fight that made us believe we could take on any monster as long as we worked together.
□ □ □ □
The Jades all returned to the surface. Manager led the group back through the passages and out the hollow of the Nise Yggdra tree. They were probably back at the campsite by now.
“Are you sure about this?”
“Yes, we’ll be fine. You take care of the others.”
“…Very well. But if something happens, run.”
Adlus said. And then he too disappeared down the dark passage.
Now it was just Daniela and me in the underground city. Why? Well, we had not found out anything about the monster. Well, I did have an idea. The place that it had appeared. It had come from the direction of the facility that the Queen’s Knight Goblin had discovered.
Someone had done something that resulted in its creation. That was the only explanation. However, we couldn’t be completely sure. And so Daniela and I decided to go and check.
Silence had fallen over the city. The monster was dead and the goblins had been annihilated. So, who had created the monster? It was bugging me.
“Well, that thing destroyed so much.”
“Cultural heritage, huh?”
We walked through the abandoned city. I knew that this was no time for sightseeing, however, it was hard to relax, and I kept looking around excitedly. This wasn’t the kind of thing you could see every day. I wanted to burn these images into my brain.
We arrived at the tower. Now it was just a straight line to the facility. But as the monster had destroyed buildings in its wake, it was a little difficult to walk.
“Asagi. Be careful.”
“I’m fine. I’m fine.”
The occasional brick tried to trip me, but we continued on our way.
It finally came into view. However, the building was in ruins, thanks to the monster. It did not even retain its original shape. Regardless, we had to make sure that all of the equipment was completely destroyed. The thought of something like that monster being born again was unbearable.
“I cannot detect any monsters…”
Daniela muttered as she used Presence Detection. I agreed, and so we pushed away the rubble and moved inside.
It was a mess. The equipment had all been in the basement, and there had been a room further on where the goblins were kept for breeding. If that was where the monster had been born, it was no wonder the ceiling was broken and both the basement and first floor were filled with rubble.
“None of this looks salvageable to me.”
“Still, we should make sure of it.”
There was something that looked like a control panel that had been crushed when the building collapsed. I wasn’t sure if the floor was part of the machinery, but it was made of something like glass, which was also cracked.
We tried pressing buttons but there was no reaction. When pulling out the panels of the floor, the only thing we saw was torn cables and wires. I didn’t see how anyone could repair this stuff, unless an ancient elf suddenly popped out and did all of the work.
“…Hmmm. It should be fine. We should go.”
I got off of the floor and brushed the dust off of my clothes and stretched my back.
“…Ahh… Daniela. Let’s go.”
I called. There was no answer.
Worried, I walked over to the spot that I had last seen her. It was a dangerous area, where brick walls leaned over, ready to topple. Daniela was standing in the shadows. It was too dark to see her face.
When she turned to look at me, I saw that her expression was serious. Maybe tense. She was pointing at a small hatch on the floor. It was round and just large enough for one person to go through. It looked exactly like the one I had found when I discovered the Automata.
“I saw the same thing in the ancient elven ruin. You know, where I found the Automata and the appraisal glasses.”
“So it is related to them.”
“This…we can’t just ignore it.”
“But it might be dangerous.”
That was true. Even the first time, I had been so excited and hadn’t considered the possibility of traps. And this place had a facility that had been working until recently. It could definitely be dangerous.
“But we’ll always be worried if we don’t check it. We have to be sure…”
“…That is true. It will be hard to sleep knowing that we may not have dealt with the root of all this trouble.”
Daniela sighed and then lay a hand on the handle.
This was a ruin that was hundreds of years old. What would be waiting for us on the other side?
It creaked loudly as she turned the handle. And started to wonder.
What would we find?
There was no way to calm my fears. Still, I looked into the depths of the opened hatch.