Underground City of the Ancient Gods 7
As soon as he spotted the giant, Hikaru quickly closed the window. He had a hunch that staring at it for any longer would be bad.
The mysterious light that illuminated the whole castle vanished and it was dark once more. Hikaru’s Mana Detection saw the undead monsters confused for a bit, but now they were back to being stationary.
In the room lit up only by a lamp, Hikaru and Lavia sat down on plain chairs that were still sturdy even after six hundred years.
「Did you see that?」Hikaru asked.
「Yes. Was that a giant?」
「Did you read about one in novels?」
「There are no books about giants. Ah, but they appear in myths. Giants are the gods’ soldiers.」
「Oh. Soldiers of the gods, huh?」
They exchanged glances.
「I think I know the reason why the capital sank underground with its citizens turned into undead monsters…」
「They incurred the wrath of the gods?」
They were both silent.
It’s horrifying how I can’t deny that possibility. Gods exist in this world, after all.
In Hikaru’s pocket was a guild card in which he received the gods’ blessings.
「Let’s forget about that giant for now and check this place.」
The trembling stopped. As he had suspected, the tremor was a response to the light. First Hikaru checked the parchments on the table. He couldn’t keep holding Lavia’s hand so he had her touch his nape instead. Group Obfuscation only worked if their skin touched.
『Year XXX, Month X, Day X. Minutes of the Imperial Council Meeting. Two days after the capital’s transportation underground.』
「Oh, I hit the jackpot right away. It’s about the transfer underground.」
Hikaru read it out loud so Lavia could hear it.
『Meeting to discuss how to deal with the giant attacking our holy city. His Majesty’s intentions are unknown. The Minister of Military Affairs and the generals want the city to be returned to the surface and fight the giant. The Minister of Finance says the nation’s financial status is dire after all the expansions to the city. The holy mana supply facility’s operation is not going well.
The Minister of Internal Affairs has a status report on the citizens. Many express deep gratitude to His Majesty’s imperial decision. While the supply of holy mana is frequently interrupted, it doesn’t affect their daily lives.
Meeting suspended. A thunderous roar was heard, like the sky itself was torn asunder. The Minister of Magic says something is trying to break into the holy city, but repelled by the barrier. The Minister of Military Affairs orders the knights to be on alert.
A deafening roar rang out once again. This time much louder than before.』
The text ended there.
「Does the “something” that’s trying to break into the city refer to the giant?」Lavia asked.
「If that’s the case, a lot of things make more sense. The reason there’s not a lot of knights and soldiers around is because they were sent to fight the giant then got killed.」
「It sounds like they think too highly of themselves using the word “holy” a lot.」
「They had the technology to transport a whole city underground. They thought they were superior beings.」
The text mentioned returning the city to the surface. It was safe to assume that transporting the city underground was their own doing.
I gotta say, it’s incredible how they used magic to transport a whole city. Unfortunately that technology was now lost.
「Why did that giant attack the city? I don’t know what “holy mana supply” means either. Why did citizens turn into undead monsters? Is it really because of the gods’ wrath?」Lavia asked.
「I have no idea. We might find the answers if we look some more…」
The earth trembled once more. Dust fell from the ceiling.
「I thought that giant stopped. It might’ve noticed us.」
「Wait, Hikaru. What’s this?」Lavia said, pointing at a scroll on the table.
「Holy dynasty’s family tree. What about it?」
「What’s it doing here? I think it’s because they were in a state of emergency.」
「That’s a great point, Lavia.」
Hikaru unraveled the scroll. A family tree diagram was indeed written on it. Names, who they were married to, those who left the family…
What’s this? I feel some sort of magic in this scroll. Is it important? Plus…
Normally the name of any royal family member would end with G. Poelnxinia, but there were also those that left the family then returned, or nobles that married into royalty. Their full names were written clearly as well. The father of the last king came from a different noble family and his name was written everywhere.
The historian, Gafrasti N. Valves was clearly related to the man.
A rumbling sound echoed. They peeked slightly through the window and saw the purple giant slowly turning itself towards their direction.
「It doesn’t look like it’s exercising.」
「Is it headed here?」
「Probably. Lavia, I want you to be prepared.」
「Prepared to kill the king. Oh wait, I guess he’s already dead.」
Killing the undead king was what he wanted to say. Lavia’s expression stiffened.
「…Okay. If you say so, I’ll take him down.」
「Thanks. To be more precise, I’ll kill the king, while you deal with the undead.」
Hikaru rolled the scroll and stuffed it into his bag. He had no idea what it was doing here, but Gafrasti most likely wanted it. There was no harm in taking it, and they had no time to check other things anyway. Holding hands, they left the archives.
A detector that sensed humans, light that used something like electricity – those were things Hikaru had not seen in this world before. People used magic lamps, but they used batteries, just like flashlights; not electricity from some wall sockets.
Electricity supply… holy mana supply…
The floor shook, a sign that the giant was moving. They both returned to the audience chamber.
「So we’re going to kill the king then head to the treasure room?」
「Exactly. We can’t fight that giant. Our best option is to run.」
Hikaru was almost sure the giant was what created the undead. There was no way a kingdom who called themselves holy would commit group suicide, turning all of them into undead monsters. The giant destroyed a wide area. It was no doubt extremely powerful, beyond human comprehension.
Soldiers of the gods…
A huge foe like that was out of Hikaru’s hands. He knew he couldn’t defeat it.
「Lavia, we’re here.」
They stopped right before the audience chamber. Hikaru could hear the faint voices coming from the Dead Nobles having a discussion.
They didn’t move from here even though a giant had appeared nearby, counting on their army to do the job. Perhaps it was arrogance from having obtained too much technology. And before they knew it, some sort of force kicked in, turning them all into undead.
「I’ll kill the king alone. You’ll stay here as you chant your spell. They’ll see you once I let go of your hand, but you can just use your magic then.」
「Don’t hold back. I’ll be fine.」
「I promise. I’m extremely cautious, after all.」
Hikaru’s grip loosened.
「…You’re such a liar.」
「I don’t have any intention of dying, and I’ve calculated the risks. Your spell has a wide area of effect, but I can hide behind the walls.」
「I’ll be fine no matter what kind of spell you use.」
She recalled the aftermath of her fire magic usage last time. Lavia looked worried.
「I’ll trust you.」Lavia smiled.
She looks fine, Hikaru thought. Lavia started chanting her spell.
「O’ Spirit, heed my call. A raging fire is what I desire. Fire to burn down all living things, all creation, even the laws of the universe…」
A magic circle formed with Lavia at the center. With Group Obfuscation still active, the undead were not aware of what was going on.
Now! Hikaru bolted.
Every last one of the monsters turned to Lavia. Hikaru clicked his tongue. He didn’t expect a fast reaction from them. But he didn’t want to stop now.
「I offer you my mana, so sing, Spirit!」
Hidden with Stealth, Hikaru made it in front of the king. With his Dagger of Strength, he stabbed the man through his chest. Strength left the king’s body. Alone, even the king could not sense Hikaru. He felt his rank go up. The Dead Nobles were going straight for Lavia, but stopped when they noticed the king was dead. Quickly, Hikaru removed the ring and deactivated his Stealth.
「It’s nice to meet you, everyone. And farewell.」Hikaru said, grinning, before turning around.
「Take back our once pure world and burn everything down to ashes.」
The Dead Nobles rushed towards Hikaru, but he was much faster than them and quickly made it back to Lavia’s side. His two points on Power Burst was doing wonders.
A huge ball of fire formed overhead from the magic circle.
The circle shattered to pieces like glass, casting flashes of light everywhere. The flame serpent swallowed the Dead Nobles whole. As soon as it landed, a gust of hot wind swept over the place.
Hikaru carried Lavia, who was exhausted from the mana consumption, to the hallway. The audience chamber turned bright as midday. The splendid carving on the ceiling — a battle between angels and demons — had seen light for the first time in six hundred years. But it didn’t last long. The flame that burned the undead, the king included, had been extinguished.
The wind carried with it the smell of something burnt. It wasn’t the scent of roasted meat. More than that, it was the smell of carbonized corpses.
「Can you walk?」
「Yes. I feel a lot better than before. Perhaps it was a good thing that I set my job class to Challenger of Magic Principles.」
While the power of her spell decreased, it consumed less mana. The Flame Magus class was too strong.
「I feel like my rank went up a lot.」
A mass slaughter of Dead Nobles. Then again, they were already dead, so the term “slaughter” didn’t really fit.
「Probably. We’ll check afterwards. But first we have to get out of here. He’s coming.」
The tremors were getting closer. Hikaru grasped the ring he took from the king tightly.