Chapter 44 – Mourning Trapezohedron
None of us had too much HP or MP to spare, but we decided to head for the rendezvous point, since it was much closer than turning back would be.
Also, if we manage to get there, then we can leave Knight Bone, the Dream Lord, for other adventurers to fight.
Kalos should be more than enough for that by himself.
The number of monsters are fewer than I expected.
I expected there to be more, since even Kalos couldn’t deal with them by himself, but since a bunch of high level adventurers entered recently, monsters should be pretty scattered right now.
…..bumping into two Patchworks at once despite that can only be called bad luck.
Celt returned after walking further down the corridor once.
“We will be going right on the next corner. There is a group of monsters to the left, so don’t be making any noise now.”
“Celt, haven’t you gone too far ahead just now?”
“I have [Enhanced Hearing] and [Sixth Sense]. With [Stealth] in the picture too, it’s safer to be farther away from you all to scout instead. The risks of a monster coming after me if it notices me is also low that way. If it wasn’t for that stupid map leading us into a dead end, I wouldn’t have ended up making a spectacle of myself like that.”
Walking in the front, Celt answered my question.
[Enhanced Hearing] is a Skill that lets someone be aware of the general location of monsters farther away, while [Sixth Sense] sometimes lets the user know the location of dangerous monsters or items.
“….so that’s why you were gripping that map so tightly. Although I would have rather you’ve told us about that before this.”
Mabel griped with some exasperation.
“Like hell I would say anything about it. If you’ve used that as a reason to put me in the front, then I wouldn’t be alive right now. My HP is low and, depending on the corridor, I might not be able to run away in the tight confines of the Dungeon, even if I know where the monsters are. Hunters work best outdoors, not inside a cramped Dungeon.”
Celt was glaring at Mabel.
“That’s….well, sorry about saying things without thinking.”
Even though Mabel was a Priestess, she also had some thoughts on the subject.
It’s something I’ve observed in the adventurers of La Colina, be they a Magic Swordsman, Hunter, or Priestess, everyone tries their very best to hide their strengths and weaknesses.
“With our current MP, even small fry monsters could be a problem, if they manage to surround us. The next time it turns into a rout, we might get wiped out entirely. So, I’ll draw the short straw this time. I ended up making a huge debt too, and…. you guys are the first ones in a while who I think I can trust to keep me alive.”
Celt said while scratching the bridge of his nose, looking uncomfortable.
“Also….I can’t just keep being a petty asshole with someone as impressive as you in the party, Elma. I didn’t think you would be able to beat one of those by yourself like it was nothing.”
“I wouldn’t call it easy at all.”
It was a hard-fought victory even though I was aware of the Patchwork’s hidden strengths and weaknesses, its ways of attack, and a reliable method to defeat it.
“How I envy a guy like you who can just fight head-to-head, all bright-eyed like that. Honestly….it’s enough to make a guy jealous.”
Celt let out a sigh with a bitter smile on his face.
Seeing that Luce immediately went pale and grabbed one of my arms and kept clinging to it.
“I-I won’t let you have Elma-san, Celt-san!”
“How the hell did you interpret what I just said to reach that conclusion?”
Celt narrowed his eyes and glared at Luce.
At that time….Celt’s left eyelid twitched.
That made him turn around and head for another corridor right away.
“My [Sixth Sense] reacted to something. Apparently, there is a rare item nearby. A Dungeon acting abnormally can also create unexpected rare items, not just a massive number of monsters. However, we don’t have too much leeway, so I’ll leave the decision to Elma this time. I’m of the opinion that we should go for it, since I can’t sense any monsters on the way either.”
A rare item…. huh.
“We don’t know what could happen even without that in the picture. I think we should prioritize meeting up with everyone else first.”
Normally, Mabel would be right, here.
However, even after considering that, Celt thinks otherwise.
I tend to lean towards Mabel’s opinion more, but….
“Celt, lead us there, please.”
“That’s unexpected. I thought you were gonna go for the safer option.”
“If it’s an expensive item, then it might be something that was left by deceased adventurers that entered ahead of us. I would like to collect it if possible. Also…. nevermind, we will be able to see soon.”
This investigation into the Graveyard of Sorrows was originally to find out what may have caused the abnormalities in the nearby Dungeons.
There is a possibility that all that was caused by some kind of item or items.
However…..if that really ends up the case, then it will also serve as confirmation that it was caused by humans.
The party followed Celt for a while.
We found the item we were looking for before long.
It was simply left there, half-way buried into the floor.
“What kind of gem is that….? It’s somewhat different from a magic stone. I did not expect a rare item like this.”
What Celt picked up was a black, irregularly shaped gem with many sides.
It was approximately the size of a clenched fist.
With how dark it is in this place, without [Sixth Sense] we may have just walked over it without noticing it at all.
“It’s unknown what this item might be used for, but apparently it’s quite valuable, Elma-san!”
Luce said in a cheerful manner.
However, I couldn’t care less about it at that point.
“Celt! Give me that, please!”
“Ah, okay? What is it?”
I took the item, the Mourning Trapezohedron, from Celt and immediately threw it at the wall with all my strength, then shattered it with my sword.
The fragments let out some black miasma, then shrunk down somewhat.
“H-hey, Elma! What did you do that for! That was a valuable item!”
“….that’s something that could not be allowed to remain whole. Please understand, Celt.”
【Market Value: 25 million gold】
It was created by forming a crystallized mix of high purity dark mana and the souls of monsters by the use of necromancy.
A strong grudge dwells deep inside it, which invites disasters if left uncovered.
It’s especially difficult to store.
In other words, it’s a very powerful magic stone.
Dungeon abnormalities happen when strong sources of mana pile up in the Dungeon and surpass its capacity to contain it.
Those usually mean the corpses of high level adventurers and the magic stones left behind after monsters.
A Mourning Trapezohedron is a magic stone with artificially increased purity.
If there are people who intentionally and maliciously leave such items within Dungeons, then it can explain the sudden increase in abnormal situations.
However, just one or two of these would not lead to this outcome.
There should be at least 10 or so scattered around.
That means that the culprit must’ve used items worth at least 200 million gold to cause this phenomenon.
“With this in the picture, the story changes significantly…..”
If the culprit went this far with this, then they won’t simply accept the Dungeon getting cleared by this Raid Quest without a word.
They should be aware of the movements of adventurers too.
It’s obvious that they would have a plan to deal with it.
Trying to take down the Dream Lord right now would be too dangerous.
“…..hey, I can hear a scream from far away….and also, the footsteps of something coming closer stupid fast.”
Celt’s face lost its color.
It’s most likely not just [Enhanced Hearing], but also [Sixth Sense] that are warning him right now about how abnormal the situation is.
“W-we really should’ve just headed for the rendezvous point first then….!”
Celt mechanically shook his head at Mabel’s words.
“It’s coming exactly from that direction. We won’t be able to meet up like this anymore.”
I could feel a shiver run down my spine from those words.
I already thought it couldn’t get worse when we found the Mourning Trapezohedron, but it seems the world’s about to prove me severely wrong.
The rendezvous point is near the Dream Lord’s room.
“It’s a Wandering Lord…..”
“Wha-, there is no way that can be true! If a Wandering Lord were to get loose right now, it would be a disaster!”
Celt shouted with wide eyes.
When the Dream Lord manages to temporarily escape its room to roam the Dungeon, it’s called a Wandering Lord.
If it were to encounter the adventurers before we can meet up again, then the whole advantage of the Raid Quest would disappear.
With the Dream Lord’s high recovery speed, it could go around and take down the unprepared groups of adventurers in detail.
Also, a Wandering Lord is easy to cause by simply attacking the Dream Lord, then withdrawing immediately.
Normally, a Wandering Lord wouldn’t be roaming for too long, but if you know the exact timing of when the adventurers will enter, then it would be fairly easy to set up.
We can’t even alert each other to the danger.
Probable inspiration source for the trapezohedron: H.P. Lovecraft Wiki
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