Underground City of the Ancient Gods 8
As Lavia said, her condition wasn’t severe. Hand in hand with Hikaru, they walked at a brisk pace. They could feel the giant getting closer. How far was it?
The giant knew “someone is in the castle”. If Hikaru used Group Obfuscation and left the castle, they would be fine. He didn’t have to worry about his Skill not working. If the giant could see right through it, it would’ve come the instant they entered the place. The best way to get out of this situation, then, was to run.
Man, I can’t really run knowing I have the key and the treasure room is just around the corner!
They could just return later, but there was no guarantee the giant wouldn’t destroy the treasure room. After all, it was a giant. When he looked at it through the window of the archives, they were pretty much at eye level. The thing was more or less ten meters tall.
「All right, let’s try it.」
Hikaru inserted the ring he took from the king into the dent in the key. It was a perfect fit.
「I knew it.」he said as the key shone for a bit.
They exchanged glances, then Hikaru thrust the key into the keyhole.
「…Uh, it’s not moving.」
「What?! Are we missing something?!」
Hikaru thought about it for a bit before letting go of Lavia’s hand. Suddenly everything went bright. There was a mechanism in place that made the lights turn on when a living human was detected. Not wasting any time, he immediately grabbed Lavia’s hand once more and turned on Group Obfuscation. In the meantime, something was happening before their eyes.
A ripple of light came from the keyhole with the key still stuck in it. The door shook, its surface seemed to undulate.
「So that’s how it works.」
When no one was around, the “power” in the castle was turned “off”. Just like electricity. It was surprising how it still worked after six hundred years. Although, perhaps it still worked because no one had used it all this time. Slowly, the door opened. At the same time, the rumbling was getting closer.
「It must’ve responded to the light. Damn, this giant is sharp. Let’s go.」
The door was opened just enough for one person to go through one at a time. It was plenty bright inside. The room wasn’t really huge, just long and narrow. Items were packed on the shelves that lined both sides. The aisle was wide enough, but items were also displayed on the center which made the place feel cramped.
「Let’s just get the good stuff.」Hikaru said.
「It feels like we’re robbing the place.」
「The difference between a thief and an adventurer is that the latter steals from monsters. Anyway…」Hikaru glanced around.「This place is incredible.」
After staring at the darkness too long, the light was too bright for their eyes. That might’ve contributed to their awe. But even if that wasn’t the case, the room was still as impressive.
A box made of gold overflowing with precious stones. A necklace with a pearl the size of a thumb. Full armor made of scraped crystal. Carelessly leaning against the wall was a spear, shining bluish-white. Even the books were adorned with gems. Five crowns placed alongside each other. A cloak with diamond ornaments. The room was basically like a king’s walk-in closet.
It was dazzling. Blinded by greed was a fitting phrase.
「Lavia, let’s take what we want. Just pay attention to the weight.」
「Are you sure? Can we really do that?」
「I thought about getting permission, but the guy couldn’t talk so nothing we can do about it. There are no undead around so I’ll let go for now.」
They split up and took every treasure they could. Hikaru walked deeper into the room. If this were an RPG, the best stuff would be in the deepest part of the room.
By the wall on the farthest side were three pedestals. In the center was a table about fifty centimeters in diameter, a velvet spread out on it. A pale-blue, square crystal sat on top, only slightly smaller than a baseball ball, with sparks running around inside it. The metal plate on front read “Holy Mana Ball”.
Poking it seemed fine. Hikaru wrapped it in the velvet and stuffed it in his bag. Next was the treasure on the left. He froze for a moment.
He certainly didn’t expect to see something like this here. A grip made from what seemed to be scraped ivory. A silver piece of metal, so smooth he could see his own reflection. Barrel with six chambers. Hammer linked to the trigger.
A real gun – a revolver sat there.
Hikaru reached for it and took it. Heavy, he thought. It was the first time he’s ever held one. Elaborately made, it wasn’t a model gun. After checking it wasn’t loaded, he pulled the trigger, and the hammer made a clinking sound. Shiny silver bullets lined up beside it. He grabbed them and loaded the chambers.
Can I… shoot it? It would be loud. I can’t try it here. What’s this thing even doing here? This here is technology beyond current capabilities.
Wait a sec.
A member of the Four Stars of the East is clearly Japanese. There was another reincarnated being as well… even before six hundred years ago. Maybe he or she made it… But there are no guns in this world. Did they make it themselves, but then never taught how to make or use it? Is that possible? It’s easy to copy once you’ve seen it.
Hikaru then realized something.
Taking the bullets out from the chambers, he could feel mana flowing in them. If this gun was something that couldn’t be recreated, then it would be an extremely precious weapon with only six rounds. Like the previous item, there was a metal plate placed in front of it.
「Hmm? I can’t read it. Sorcery… Crea…ted by Lugantz… one of four… Wait, what?」
Hikaru hadn’t had difficulty reading ancient language up until now. That only meant that it was probably an even older language. Or perhaps other language was mixed in.
Then, Hikaru’s Instinct sensed danger.
「Lavia, get down!」
She looked confused. Hikaru dashed towards her, tackling her to the ground.
The wall to the treasure room got blown off. An arm emitting ominous, purple mana peeked in from the hole.