Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
「The Trip Underground」Part 1
I slowly stood up in order to get a better look at the strange sight we found ourselves in. The ceiling was about one hundred meters above our heads.
There were light emitting crystals scattered about the cave that illuminated the whole area.
The lake that rested in the cave was so vast that I couldn’t even see its opposite shore. Halfway along the nearby wall, there was a considerably large opening from which water was pouring into the lake.
The water that filled the lake was crystal clear and reflected the one man-made structure located in this fantastic underground scenery.
There was a simple wooden pier next to the lake with a huge ship anchored to it.
The ship was the only thing there and resembled a three-masted galleon, I could see multiple oars resting slightly above the waterline.
If such a ship could be found in this underground lake, it could only mean that this place was connected to the surface.
“For there to be naturally occurring light emitting crystal here……”
After Ariane stood up, she approached a wall studded with crystal and voiced her admiration. Ponta also peeked out of Ariane’s bosom and began to look around on her own.
“Judging from the pier and ship, it’s clear that humans have been here.”
Chiome had done her own investigation before she focused on the ship.
“But how did they manage to reach such a place?”
As Chiome looked in confusion at the man-made pier that just didn’t belong here, Ariane picked up a nearby stone and showed it to us.
“This might have something to do with it……”
When she turned the stone over it emitted a slightly pale, purple light from its crystalline form.
Chiome’s eyes widened when she saw the purple light emitting stone.
“High-purity magic stones are scattered all around this place. That’s how the naturally formed light crystals maintain their power.”
The light emitting crystals around us worked the same way as the ones in my lamp.
I held up my lamp to get a better look at the crystals inside it.
“Are you sure these crystals are the same thing?”
“The crystals in the lamps were created artificially. The expensive natural crystals would never be used in camping gear.”
The lamp in my hand, the one Chiome had called a rather expensive commodity for humans, was a cheap item according to her.
If that was true then the crystals in this place would be a literal gold mine.
The magic stone could also be used by the elves to make fuel for magic tools. The innumerable uses for the stones casually lying at my feet came to mind.
“With the magic stones alone, I could bath for a year straight without worry!”
Ariane had a bitter smile when she heard my comment, but then she stroked her chin and took another look around as she started speaking.
“With the number of resources here, I’ll need to inform father about it. We may need to have a team of warriors investigate later……”
“It appears to me that we should look into those who reside here before we proceed……”
Chiome returned her suspicious gaze to the nearby ship and voiced her opinion to Ariane.
Ariane and I both turned to the ship when she said that.
Given its present condition, it was obvious that someone was maintaining it. The ship didn’t appear to have been abandoned, and if anything it seemed like it could set sail at any moment.
However, I couldn’t see anyone around the ship. I couldn’t hear the sound of anyone moving about, only the sound of the far-off waterfall.
It might be necessary to board the ship in order to investigate its owner.
“For now, how about we just check out the ship?”
When I turned away from the probably haunted ship to look at Ariane and Chiome as the two of them nodded at my suggestion.
The three of us, and our little fox, walked up to the side of the ship.
The full length of the ship, from bowsprit to stern, was about sixty meters and from the main mast to waterline it was thirty meters tall. There was also a platform leading up to the ship’s deck.
Ariane seemed rather anxious as she looked up at the ship.
“There’s no sign of anyone here……”
When we made our way up to the deck, I saw that the large double doors leading to the main hold were left open. In addition, there were four cannons on each side of the deck, the stern of the ship was higher than the main deck and equipped with ship lanterns.
While I wondered if the ships in this world already came equipped with cannons, Ariane stepped forward and shouted once she saw them.
“Are those mana cannons!? What are these doing here!?”
A confused Chiome asked Ariane just what she was talking about.
“Ariane-dono, what are mana cannons?”
“It’s a type of magic tool that can shoot metal balls over incredible distances by consuming mana. Only the elves of Great Canada forest or the Fabuna’ha kingdom of the southern continent should have access to them…… I haven’t heard anything about human kingdoms acquiring them.”
Ariane glanced at the cannons fixed to the side of the deck as she spoke.
I didn’t remember seeing any ships equipped with cannons in the Rhoden Kingdom’s harbor city Lanbaltic when I went on a bit of a rampage there.
“Then, if this ship isn’t from the same group of elves Ariane-dono is from, could it belong to the Fabuna’ha kingdom?”
Though it was a logical conclusion, Ariane crossed her arms and shook her head at my question.
“This ship isn’t designed like elven vessels, and there is no proof that it’s a Fabuna’ha ship…… it seems different from the ones I’ve seen before.”
Ariane had started brushing the barrel of one of the cannons as she spoke.
“Where in the world did this ship──”
“There’s something coming from below deck……!”
Before Ariane could finish her question, Ponta suddenly let out a cry as she buried herself into Ariane’s chest and Chiome’s ears perked up as she called our attention to what was happening.
The next moment, the doors leading to the ship’s deck were forcefully thrown open and a large number of sword-wielding skeletons attacked us.
“Huh!? Is this entire place infested with these things!?”
Only the sounds from rattling bones and clanging swords could be heard as skeletons similar to myself silently sprung from below deck and swarmed us.
“These are just ordinary undead skeletons! If they were as strong as Arc, countries would fall if such a large number of them existed!!”
Ariane made a rather rude comment as she set her sword ablaze and struck the knees of the approaching skeletons. Splendidly dodging their attacks, Chiome proceeded to shatter the skeleton’s bones with roundhouse kicks.
Myself, I drew the 『Sword of Holy Thunder』and began smashing the skeletons with the flat side of the blade.
Since the blade of the 『Sword of Holy Thunder』 was so wide, it shattered the skulls of the skeletons with a dry sound as more and more skeletons moved above deck.
“This ship already belongs to the undead! The simplest method to get rid of them would be to set the whole thing ablaze!”
Chiome proposed destroying the ship as she continued to knock skeletons away. Ariane then shouted her agreement to the idea.
“Yeah! There’re too many of them, once I set it on fire we need to jump over──!!?”
While Ariane tried to answer as she knocked away another bunch of skeletons, her voice trailed off when she noticed something.
All of a sudden, the skeletons that had been crawling up from below deck were blown away as a single large body emerged.
Unlike the skeletons before it, this humanoid monster was covered in patches of discolored skin.
It was taller than even me, standing around three meters tall. It wore a chest plate on its muscular upper body, a body that seems to be composed of two torsos fused together. Both sets of arms held a sword and a lump of metal that seemed to be a shield. And the creature’s lower body was that of a giant spider.
The creature had two human heads beside each other on its neck, each head had a mouth full of fangs capable of ripping flesh from bone and topping everything off were the four and five eyes the heads had respectively.
The chimera spider released a bone-chilling roar before it agilely moved it’s spider legs through the crowd of skeletons to go where we were fighting.
When they saw the monster approaching Ariane’s and Chiome’s eyes bulged in shock and horror.
“What…… is that thing!? It’s clad in death’s taint, so it’s an undead as well!?”
Judging from Ariane’s tone, she didn’t know what the undead creature was. When I turned towards Chiome it was clear that she didn’t know either.
Of course, this was a monster that I’d never seen before, not even in the game.
When it was near enough, the creatures glared at us before opening it mouths and spit out some coherent sentences.
『Kill…… all intruders!! Moku kill them all!! Kill everyone!!!』
When it’s scratchy voice boomed through the area, the creature’s spider legs quickly extended as it flung itself into the sky with its weapons raised high.