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Published at 24th of October 2020 09:47:29 AM


Chapter 276

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Rex joined us, and I had to tell him about the inefficiency of hogging prey and the importance of everyone gaining experience, as Manager and the others carved up the Arachne. To be honest, I didn’t want to carve up a monster that looked that close to a human. Which is rich, coming from the guy who killed it…




 

“Finished.”

“Hmm…okay. So, Rex. We’ll be leaving then. Even though you have a map now, be careful.”

“Aye. I’m sure we won’t get lost, yet we’ll still have to be wary of monsters. I still can’t thank you enough for killing the monster for us… You be careful out there.”

 

Rex raised his fist and I bumped mine against it.

 

“Who do you think I am?”

“Haha. See you in the capital!”

“Yeah, in the capital!”

 

It reminded me of another parting. But this wasn’t as hopeless a situation. I was quite sure we would meet again as I watched them head for the exit.

 

So, we would continue on our journey then… Hmm?

 

“What’s that?”

“Huh?”

 

Daniela looked towards where I was pointing. The webs had all been frozen by my magic. They were all harmless now, and behind one section, the floor seemed to have peeled off.

Whatever it was, it wasn’t stone, wood or concrete. A surface that was black and shining. I went closer to get a better look. The others followed me.

The frozen webs shattered easily as I moved through them. I could see it clearly now. There was a shining line drawn on the material that looked like black stone. And there was a light blinking as it moved along the line from the right to the left. As if it was heading somewhere.

 

“What the hell?”

 

Manager scratched her head. I could practically see the question mark floating above Lemon. Daniela held her chin and stared at it with concentration. Like she had seen it before…maybe. However, I was the only one that was certain.

 


“I found something just like this before by accident. It was when I was exploring through an ancient ruin.”

“You what…?”

“Surely…”

 

Manager and Daniela seemed shocked. Lemon looked at me and waited for me to continue.

 

“It was an ancient elven ruin.”

 

It had been bugging me all of this time. The dungeon being inverted. The lower floors rising.

 

Why should the most important part, the heart of the dungeon, rise to the top?

 

Usually, the deepest part would have the best security. Even with a labyrinth such as this. Traps would make sense. But inverting the layers? That didn’t seem right. Why would they move what they wanted to protect the most to the top?

 

“So this place…it is an ancient elven ruin too.”

“No…  So this center that we are headed to, it’s not the real core?”

“It must be a trap.”

 

Once the dungeon is conquered, it inverts as part of a disaster. And then people are sent to solve it. And then when they reach the core and touch it, the real trap would activate… Considering this possibility, it felt like we were on a road to hell. The others must have been thinking the same thing because they now looked at the continuing passage with fear in their eyes.

 

“Perhaps there will be a guardian protecting it.”

 

Daniela said.

 

“Considering how grand all of this is. It would not be off if there was a guardian or some kind of warden up there.”

“Yes… I doubt it can all be automated magic.”


 

That being said, if this was an ancient elven ruin, then it was over a thousand years old. Even though it was intact, the elves themselves were long dead.

 

“Can elves live for a thousand years?”

“Who knows? I have certainly not lived that long…and I have never met one who did. But I once met an elder who was over seven-hundred years old.”

 

Rachel had reincarnated eight-hundred years ago. But in human years, that was probably like a ten-year difference.

 

“Perhaps it is some kind of artificial intelligence…”

 

Manager muttered. I see. Yes, that seemed possible as well. It was an age of highly advanced magic tools. While it may be hard to have automated magic spells, it was a little different with machinery with independent features.

 

“Well, we still have to go forward. But not down this path. We go…”

 

I stared at the light on the floor.

 

“Just like before. Down.”

 

Pretend that it’s inverted and hide everything below. I wasn’t sure of it, but it was clear that we shouldn’t continue on to the center. In that case, we should go deep down, where no one could see. The ruin in Replant had been similar. There was a structure on the surface that hid the real thing underground… Though, that place didn’t have a core. But then again, there might have been a lower layer that I missed. There was no confirming it now.

 

No one disagreed with me, and so we decided to head downward. However, there was still only one route ahead. Manager suggested that the center might have means of going to the lower levels, but there was also the possibility of traps. I really didn’t want to go to the center… But it seemed like we had no choice for now.

We would go to the center in order to reach the bottom. By the time we made this decision, it was so late that no more light leaked into the dungeon from the outside.

 

If the upper layers and lower layers inverted, the weaker monsters would be in the lower layers. Well, that was what seemed obvious to me before we came here. Not only me, but the rest of the party thought so too.

 

However, we soon realized that it wasn’t the case.

 


“Daniela. It went over there!”

“Got it!”

 

We reached the center without much trouble. There were some typical dungeon monsters like Minotaurs and golems, but they went down easily. It was my first time seeing a golem. Daniela and Manager killed it before I saw much, though. Apparently, there was a trick to doing it.

 

“Ahhh!”

“Lemon! I’m coming!”

 

Like that, we killed the monsters, advanced, became annoyed as they kept coming, and then finally reached the center. It was a large hollow chamber with a door on the far side. The whole thing seemed to scream ‘here is the way to the core.’ However, things were not so simple. A giant centipede was lying in front of it.

Clearly, it was a guardian.

 

“Hah!”

 

It was dark now that the sun had gone down. And I was in a hurry. I rushed past the others and cut the centipede in half. And then it became two. This might sound confusing, but I understood it. Damn it. This was going to be troublesome.

 

I cut again and they multiplied. Soon there were twenty of them. Even though I know I shouldn’t, I couldn’t help it when Lemon was in danger. I wanted to freeze them all with magic, but…look, I’m not saying I used up a lot of magic while showing off and freezing the entire room earlier…

 

“Can’t you do something!?”

“We only have swords! Maybe with a blunt weapon…!”

“Blunt!? Like a great hammer!?”

“Yes!”

 

I see. Crush instead of cut. It was so simple I don’t know how I missed it. But we’d never fought monsters like these before. 

Still, that made things easier. And so I made a hammer with ice magic. It was a simple weapon in design. But it had a decent weight that my current status and level were able to manage. I made four of them.

 

“Use these!”


“Good!”

“It-it’s so…heavy.”

 

It seemed like it was a little much for Lemon. And so I made another one that was closer to a sledgehammer and gave it to her. While she was still a little shaky, she seemed alright with it.

 

“Crush their heads!”

 

The others nodded and scattered. As we were four people in a square room, we each took a corner. I picked up my hammer and ran to my side. Seeing the writhing centipedes made my skin crawl, but I wasn’t particularly scared of bugs. You know, I quite liked tarantulas and whip spiders. But nevermind that… I swung down on the first centipede that caught my eye. The floor didn’t break. The hammer didn’t break. The centipedes head exploded in a wet mess. As the hammer was quite large, it partially crushed a nearby centipede as well. Thankfully, it stayed intact and did not multiply.

And so I raised the hammer again in order to finish it off, but the barely intact centipede was faster. I gave up, let go of the hammer and lept forward while creating a sledgehammer in one hand. Then I swung down and crushed it. The sledgehammer was much easier to swing. However, it did require a little more precision.

I looked over to Lemon to see how she was doing. She must have been good with her hands because she was adeptly killing centipede after centipede. I sighed. Still, I wasn’t going to get any better by doing that. What I could do was use Jack of all Trades, Master of None and try and copy her movements. It was easy to do that if you had the basics down. I see. Yes. It’s all in the waist, huh? Interesting. This might affect how I swing with a sword as well. I felt like I just gained a level.

 

After learning this, I continued on my centipede squashing rampage. They didn’t breathe poisonous fumes or use magic. They just multiplied. This might have been hard if I was alone, but thankfully, I had friends to help me.

Once I was done, I returned the hammer to mana and looked around the room. The others were also finished and leaning on their hammers while they rested. No one was injured. That was pretty great, considering this thing had been a guardian.

 

We rested for a while after that, and then I suggested we gather the proofs of the hunt. However, that dream was crushed, just like the heads. There were no fangs to be recovered. And no one wanted to spend time gathering the legs.

 

“Perhaps…the carapaces. It can probably be used as materials for something.”

“Hmm… Yes, since it is so late, we should just take them and then rest for the day.”

 

Daniela suggested. And so I flipped over the centipede at my feet and slid Ashikirimaru in between the stomach and back. Needless to say, it was a horrible experience, but it came off rather cleanly. I tried tapping it my sword and it seemed quite hard. They hadn’t put up much of a fight against my hammer and sword, but to be honest, mine were better than your average weapons. You couldn’t just go to a weapon store and buy them. But that was what it took to cut through these. And since there was a lot, they could fetch a decent price. Maybe they would become armor for some newcomer Adventurer.

 

“Alright, let’s take the undamaged ones!”

“And then we can have dinner.”

“Leave the corpses in a single corner when you are done. I do not want them close to the tent.”

 

I got my hollow bag from Lemon and slung it over my shoulder. We would need the tent soon, and I felt bad for making her carry it all this time. We then split up again and began to carve out the materials. After all, while it wouldn’t happen immediately, the corpses would eventually turn into mana and disappear…



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