Chapter 162: To the Labyrinth of Traps
It was still dark by the time I woke up but after rapidly circulating magical power within my body with magical power manipulation and performing mental images for the perception-type skills like how I did last night, the morning sun came out.
“Being able to see is wonderful after all.”
I earnestly thought so as I looked at the morning sun before leaving my room.
When I stepped out, I ran straight into Kefin so he was probably guarding my room.
“Good morning Kefin. Thank you for keeping a lookout.”
Kefin merely smiled but didn’t touch on the topic of keeping guard.
I didn’t really know how my training would be conducted so I asked Kefin.
“This past half a month, everyone had mock battles too right?”
“Yes. It was quite intense until Luciel-sama lost your hearing. After you lost your hearing, we began technique training and your 「High Heal」 when the repetitive training had caused our fatigue to accumulate really helped us.”
” … Well, a certain degree of preparedness is needed when under Shisho’s instructions. Moreover, Shisho and Lionel’s fundamentals deviate from the norm …”
Kefin and I both laughed when we both nodded in sync.
Only the word harsh can fit the experience of being worked hard by those two.
“They probably thoroughly investigated the ant labyrinth before guiding me in right?”
“Yeah. Whirlwind-sama did a preliminary examination on everything. He looked quite worried as he was fidgeting most of the time but training became stricter when we ended up laughing.”
To either be overprotective or to be spartan, Shisho couldn’t be clear.
While feeling just slightly exasperated, I thought of heading to Estia’s place but it felt a bit too early so I asked Kefin.
“I wish to visit Estia but I have a feeling it’s a bit too early right now?”
“Yes. Estia is currently in the same room with Cathy and those sisters so do you think it is a good choice to visit that room before breakfast time?”
It was a reply that I had anticipated so I wasn’t flustered.
“I see. Has anything out of the ordinary happened?”
“No, there hasn’t.”
I boldly used this chance to try asking Kefin for his true feelings.
“Do you not feel uneasy with the Spirit blessings or going into labyrinths to release the dragons?”
“No. On the contrary, I’m thrilled by it. Just like how when Whirlwind-sama told us about the prophecy that he would die protecting someone and that he wishes for Luciel-sama to inherit his techniques, I also wish to see the time when Luciel-sama is heralded as a hero.”
Kefin said with shining eyes.
“I think writing my biography would not be very interesting though?”
“That depends on how the people writing it view it.”
I thought to myself that unless I leave behind achievements that approach Rainstar-dono’s level, it wouldn’t really be enjoyable to read.
We headed to the canteen after finishing that morning conversation and while waiting for the others, I asked Kefin about his impression on perception skills and his mental image when using them. He said that although he doesn’t understand Magical Power Perception, he perceive by olfaction and presence.
I realized that the skill image differs among humans and the various races.
“What about Cathy?”
“I’ll discuss with her if we have the chance during our journey back to Ienith. Since I also wish to talk with Naria-san about it too.”
Looking at Kefin’s slightly embarrassed smile, I could tell that he could not completely hide his happiness aura.
“Please think of the future as well when considering my offer to release you from slavery. Though I would hope that you continue as my follower.”
After that, everyone else gradually gathered and even Estia who I was worried about came to say she was fine and to eat breakfast so I was relieved.
“Shisho, do you have any place in mind for the mock battle location?”
“Yeah. I’m sorry for bringing up unwanted memories for the 2 sisters there but I think we should go to the Labyrinth of Traps.”
There’s no reason to go there.
The dragon has already been released and even though I’m worried about the core, it is a weapon used to call the Evil God so I’d prefer not to approach it if possible.
” … Why?”
“Because the Labyrinth of Traps is just right for leveling up. Furthermore, Sen’oni and I will also be fighting the monsters without holding back to complete our final preparations.”
“Luciel-sama, this is a request of mine not as a retainer but as a warrior.”
There was no way I could say no after Shisho and the others appealed to me as warriors so I gave up.
We should be fine as long as we don’t touch the core and though I’ll definitely be going to the Labyrinth of Traps, I sought confirmation from Nadia and Lydia.
” … Okay. Nadia, Lydia, what do you want to do? Will you come with us? Or part with us here?”
Not wanting to make them recall painful memories, I could not ask them to follow us.
The 2 of them looked at each other and both nodded as Nadia spoke.
“Please allow Lydia and me to accompany you all. Since we feel that we will be able to aim for greater heights as adventurers when we are with everyone here.”
“Kefin, I believe the detection and removal of traps will be harder than the labyrinths we’ve been in until now but I’ll entrust it to you. Cathy, please support him.”
“Estia, I will be relying on you this time too.”
“Er, yes. The same goes for me too.”
She looked surprised that I suddenly lowered my head but while wishing that she would be able to somehow adapt to our party, I decided on our objective for the future.
After checking out from the inn and purchasing large amounts of food, we departed for the Labyrinth of Traps.
After departing, Nadia passed me the Holy Dragon Spear and Illusionary Sword.
“Thanks. But why are they with Nadia?”
“The dragon’s power apparently repulse the others. Even I can only hold onto it but not wield it so I stored it in my magic bag.”
When I channeled magical power into the Holy Dragon Spear and Illusionary Sword, a pale light spread throughout my body and scarlet, brown and yellow circles of light appeared and disappeared in sequence.
Realizing that they were my exclusive weapons made me slightly excited.
In order to cool myself down, I closed my eyes and focused on using my whole body to search for magical power and presence.
Is this any different from searching for enemies? My consciousness expanded even as I pondered that question and although it was hard to sense presences, I found something with magical power perception but … for some reason, the sense disappeared just as it appeared.
When I was curious and asked Cathy and Kefin who were in the driver’s seat, the 2 cavalries had already defeated the presences like it was natural.
I felt that the 2 of them were really gradually becoming more amazing.
Then, after the carriage ran non-stop for 3 hours, we arrived in the vicinity of the Labyrinth of Traps.
After seeing the Labyrinth of Traps, I decided on the first words to use.
“What the heck is this?”
It’s without a doubt the location of the labyrinth going by the map but, for some reason, there was a towering mountain in place.
“That’s strange. When we entered it, it was like a cave.”
Nadia looked at Lydia for her agreement but Lydia seemed like she didn’t hear it.
” … I hear a voice.”
Lydia muttered and begin walking.
” … It might be a spirit so let’s follow her. We might even be able to find out the reason for this.”
Although she was only walking along the mountain instead of climbing the mountain, she only followed the words she heard and walked while completely defenseless even when the bird-type monsters approached from the skies so it became a strange group formation where all the members walked while defending Lydia.
“It must be the influence of something after all for these number of monsters to appear. If I’m not mistaken, this should be the mine that occupied the space between Grandol and Meratoni.”
” … If that’s the case then monsters with attacks that cause abnormal conditions will appear too?”
“Yeah. Moreover, they should be strong … it’s quite mysterious but it has become interesting.”
Shisho was rather pleased.
After continuously walking for less than an hour since we caught up to Lydia, I noticed the smell of sulfur.
I could only associate the smell with hot springs but when I studied the local specialties and places of interest of various lands a long time ago in the past, it wasn’t written that there were hot springs in this region?
I followed after Lydia while having that thought but before that, Kefin and Cathy looked like they were suffering so I passed them nose plugs.
While thinking that for beastmen who possess many times stronger olfactory sense than ordinary people, the unique smell of hot springs should be quite painful for them, we advanced and saw a geyser gushing out.
“You’ll get burnt if you touch it so please be careful.”
I explicitly told everyone since 「Area Barrier」 can’t prevent that from happening.
Then, Lydia abruptly placed her hand on the surface and a magic circle formed, causing a little fire bird that emitted scorching heat to appear from the scarlet magic circle.
If I could only see it visually like before, I might have made a fool of myself but even without closing my eyes, I could tell it exuded amazing presence.
Lydia seemed like she was about to collapse like her role had ended so her elder sister Nadia supported her.
《I am the Fire Spirit. The person with the Spirit King’s blessing dwelling in her body, the person who has received many spirit blessings and the person who receives the affection of the Darkness Spirit. You’ve done well to come.》
A ceremonious voice unimaginable from the little bird in front of my eyes echoed in my head.
“Fire Spirit. Seeing that you beckoned the girl holding the Spirit King’s blessing in a manner that would not be an exaggeration to say it was against one’s will, is there an emergency?”
《It helps that I’m able to speak to many blessing holders at once. Actually, in the gap when I was sleeping, this mountain was transferred.》
《Indeed. The ones capable of this should only be the demons but I can’t sense the magical power of demons at all.》
If it’s not the work of man, doesn’t it mean it’s the work of the Evil God?
I had a terribly bad feeling about it.
” … Still, we won’t be able to demolish something like this and our objective is the Labyrinth of Traps that was supposed to be here …”
《Umu. Don’t misunderstand me. For this mountain right beside us that has been transferred, I can reverse the transfer.》
That means, there is only one thing the spirit wants of us.
” … You mean to say you want my magical power?”
《Exactly. It’s not just for my sake alone. If such a large landform like this is transferred, the habitats around the mountain will undergo changes and even the flow of the stars will change.》
” … What should we do?”
《Umu. Let me first give you my blessing. Then raise both your hands and overlay them like you are wrapping them around each other.》
When I reluctantly raised both my hands and overlaid them, the mechanical sound of an announcement flowed through my brain.
《Fire Spirit’s Blessing acquired.》
《Well then, firmly hold onto your consciousness.》
The moment it came into contact with me, it gradually enlarged until it transformed into the figure of the legendary undying bird Phoenix.
While feeling impressed at its appearance, I looked towards everyone’s direction and even though Estia and Lydia were shocked, in comparison, Shisho and the others were only staring at me without looking upwards.
I recalled that only the kin of spirits could see them but thanks to that, I was able to calm down as there was not much excitement from their side as my feet staggered from the continuous sucking of my magical power.
Then, when I was left with about 1%, the Phoenix cried and the mountain disappeared with a flash.
《Holder of the Spirit King’s blessing, refine yourself so that I will be willing to obey you. Holder of the many spirit blessings, I will await your call.》
I don’t know if it was a phoenix or a salamander but the Fire Spirit disappeared.
I knelt down after somehow weathering through.
It felt like it was Space-time magic that used to transfer that mountain but I guess anything goes for spirits.
And I understood that that power is not something man may utilize.
I took a deep breath and explained to everyone who was worried about what happened.
” … If that’s what happened, the distance to Meratoni will return to the 2 days travel like before. Well, if the spirit corrected the distortion in the world, it can’t be helped.”
I also thought so but I had slight suspicions that it just didn’t like the mountain being in this area.
“However, after the mountain is gone, we can tell that we’re a distance away from the labyrinth.”
Since we walked all the way here, we could no longer see the labyrinth.
“Although the spirit was unreasonable, this time the mountain was returned so the outcome is all right? Lydia is fine too?”
“It seems like I have slight magical power depletion but I’m all right.”
“Do you have any magical power potion?”
“I’ll be fine after resting for a bit.”
Lydia declined the potion.
“Is that so? Then, we’ll rest for awhile and Nadia, could you briefly explain the monsters and traps that appear in the Labyrinth of Traps?”
“That’s important too but we should eat when we have the time to eat.”
Since Shisho put forth his suggestion, we ate an early lunch as we combined knowledge from Nadia and Lydia who actually dived into the Labyrinth of Traps as well as the information gathered by Shisho and Kefin to challenge the labyrinth with the shared information.
Thank you for reading.