Chapter 13 – Secret of Wall Paintings
“—Seiino!!” [ET: Sorry, but there is no proper english word for this.]
The fist strikes a monster while making a dull *Bakii* sound. Eventually, the monster dies with just one punch.
The demon is not the monkey from before, but a wolfy-bear……how should I put it, it’s appearance is that of a small bear with the head of a wolf. It has red eyes and brown hair. It looks like the mane of a horse.
It’s not fast like those monkeys but it does has quite an amount of power. According to Elk this is called as ‘Little Beast’.
“……It’s really strange”
Elk murmurs while seeing me killing the ‘Little Beast’ just now.
“Strange?……by any chance, this guy also doesn’t appear here?”
“Yeah. They live in deepest parts of lower floors. And they are on this first floor……”
Right after kicking the asses of those Mad Monkeys (by alone), I heard from Elk that the dungeon is going through an abnormal phenomenon.
This dungeon, ‘Labyrinth of Naga’ is an ancient ruin starting from ground floor to 6 floors underground. In total it is of 7 floors.
And either the floor itself or somewhere inside the floor are the demons territories. And it naturally distributes weaker demons from stronger demons, which is convenient for adventurers.
There is a food chain made up inside, and due to that there is rarely any change in the ‘distribution’.
According to Elk, right now that ‘Distribution’ is strange.
For example, on the first floor and near entrance only low-levelled ‘Goblin’, ‘Rabbit’ and ‘Wolf’ appear which rookie adventurer can kill for training.
If they are unfortunate, they will meet up with the ‘Spider’ which I fought against yesterday or a ‘Black Wolf’ nothing else.
The more floors you descend you’ll meet up with more powerful demons or so is the distribution system.
Like, a ‘Scorpion’ about the size of a dog.
or giant cockroaches called as ‘Roach’ which prefer darkness and crawl super fast.
or flame throwing lizards called as ‘Red Lizard’
The ‘Little Beast’ I just defeated is the most dangerous of them all. Normally, they only appear in the lowest floor. Many say that a rookie can’t do anything in front of it.
And that right now……attacked us on the first floor.
This is obviously abnormal. I can’t help but think that something is occurring here.
Though I’m curious to know the reason for this abnormal situation, but as they say it’s foolish to deliberately poke a sleeping snake. And so the principle that says ‘Let the sleeping dog lie’ is important here!
And just like Elk said, I decide to leave here as soon as possible.
I tried to……but due to the demons appearing here and there we can’t move as we want.
Well, I can kick their asses if I was alone but right now there is Elk with me.
I have to fight while protecting her.
And so we are roaming here and there to find the route with monsters that are not much fast.
Even so, there are still monsters like the previous one.
While I’m thinking that, Elk is tearing off the useful parts of the ‘Little Beast’,
“This guys is a rank C? I had only saw it in documents before……if guys like this are loitering here then all the rookie adventurers will be killed.”
“Hmm, now this is an abnormal situation.”
C, huh. This is great.
A goblin is E, the monkeys from before are D and this one even one rank above it.
From what I’ve heard, Elk’s rank is E and her friends are also E and D. Even if they all work together, it will be difficult to survive……this is something even I can understand.
……By the way, this demon……
“Hey Elk, I found it strange when fighting the monkey from before too”
“? What happened?”
“Most of these guys are thin?”
Let it be the monkeys or this bear-ish (tearing off completed) thing.
It’s like their bodily fluids have been sucked out. It seems like they have too less amount of meat according to their body size……yeah, as if it’s due to malnutrition.
Elk says that she hasn’t see them so she doesn’t know about their physique. But if it’s like what I’m feeling……
“They lost to some other demon in a fight and came here after losing their place to live, maybe?”
“No……that can’t be. In the first place, this guy is the most strong demon in this dungeon. Others are ‘Mad Monkeys’ and ‘Statue’ only……”
So it’s impossible to imagine a demon who can defeat them, present in this dungeon, eh
Ah, the ‘Statue’ is a demon with a body of stone statue and it moves. It mostly appears in historic ruins. It’s rank is D.
But, it’s only logical if I think about it……Nh?
“I just heard something……‘
“? What? Scream of demons?”
“No, this is coming from before.”
I already had good ear and after enhancing my hearing ability along with other senses, I can hear things that Elk can’t. So it’s only natural for Elk have a ‘?’ float above her head.
The scream of demons are pretty far right now.
But just for one second I did hear it……
The sound of something really big crawling.
I walk while worrying about it and reach a place which is really spacious.
It’s area is about the gymnasium of an elementary school, no, a little small?
This labyrinth is pretty big and there a lot of places which are spacious but this one just somehow seems too much spacious.
And in front of us are numerous corridors. Well this is the so called corridor junction place. Pretty cliche.
This place is underground so it’s cool and refreshing. Air is flowing here from somewhere. This is spacious so there is no locked-up feeling here. If you just be careful from demons then this place quite a pleasant place.
“Only you’re the one who says……that it’s pleasant in a dungeon where demons are roaming in crowds.”
Oh, I see.
But, this really is more pleasant that I expected. It’s spacious, it’s not much humid so there is no need to worry about moss accumulating here and this place doesn’t has any weird smell.
When I once again think about, it’s does pique my interest. This dungeon is dark and underground then why doesn’t this place has any humidity? Is there any drainage system here?
I casually ask about it to Elk,
“Yeah, that is because the rock walls here are made of volcanic ash.”
“Yeah. There is a volcano near this dungeon. Right now there is no danger of it erupting, but……long ago it was an active volcano. And when the volcanic ash piled up after it erupting, it was used to make rocks and it is the ingredient used in making this dungeon. That’s why the drainage is good.”
While hearing Elk’s story, I surveyed this spacious room.
I see, so this all is made of volcanic ash.
In my previous world, volcanic ash was white, I think, well this is another world with magic and swords. It won’t help me thinking about these things.
Well, now that volcano has also stopped its activities so, there is nothing to worry……
(A volcano near this place?)
My mind grasped something inside the words spoken by Elk in a nonchalant manner.
The things that are coming to my mind are……various sorts of information that I’ve gotten a hold of, after coming here.
There is a dormant volcano near here which used to erupt long ago.
Recently, there have been earthquakes and a part of dungeon collapsed.
The monsters who should be on lower floor are on upper floor and are thin.
And……the wall painting of snake.
“……Er, Elk, I need to ask about something?”
“Eh, what is it?”
“Do demons, hibernate?”
“Hibernate? Well there are those who do. There are also those who hibernate for 1 whole year instead of just hibernating during the time of winter. Is something wrong with that?”
“So then, do you think this hypothesis is true?”
I take a deep breath and,
“Long ago, and that so, really long ago, this volcano was near here right? Naturally, the climate would’ve been really hot……unlike right now.”
In general places like cave or underground water areas are places where sunlight doesn’t reach and are a lot cooler than the places where sunlight falls on. Then this historic ruin is not an exception from that.
But, if there is a volcano near, then it’s another talk.
This place where magma falls, it would’ve been more than enough to somewhat warm up the ground of the dungeon. And if it was an active volcano then all the more.
“? Well that’s true. So then?”
“After the volcano stopped erupting then the ground temperature fell down and the dungeon became cool and refreshing as it is right now. And that so, even before adventurers started entering this dungeon.”
“Yeah, well that is true. I’ve heard that guild investigated here after the active volcano became a dormant volcano.”
“I see, then……”
What if, by any chance.
“What if a monster hibernated due to the decline in ground temperature and……that monster woke up due to the earthquakes happening recently?”
From what I’ve heard, it seems like due to the earthquakes the bedrock broke apart which was quite sturdy.
And all of a sudden an undiscovered treasure room made it’s debut appearance.
It’s possible that……not only the treasure room made it’s debut appearance.
“And that monster is very ferocious and strong that it eats the monkeys and bear-ish monsters……Yeah, for example……”
And then I punch the wall painting of the snake made on the wall beside me.
SFX: Zuri……ZuriZuri…… (Crawl)
……I hear it!
This time I clearly hear it.
The sound of something approaching us at a really fast speed.
Elk asks me after hearing my reasoning and after hearing the crawling sound……while making an expression as if she understood the situation immediately, or rather her face is saying that she was made to understand the situation.
Her face turns pale and her legs start quivering along with her face saying ‘Please say that what I’m thinking is wrong.’
“It’s a……joke, right?”
“……Why don’t you ask it from the guy behind us?”
Immediately we turn our face back,
and it is the superb timing that it made it’s appearance before us, while coming from the other side of darkness.
The thing that appeared before us is a Snake.
The same damned snake whose artistic paintings are made all over the walls of this labyrinth.
It’s more thick than a log and it’s skin is like an armor that can outshine other armors sold at shops and it’s length is about 15 metres……rather than calling it a snake it’s like a dinosaur type of big serpent.
It’s like that anaconda which I saw in hollywood movies in my previous life. The impact from seeing it up front is out of this world’s measuring machine. Yeah.
No doubt it. This guys is the reason for all the abnormal situation.
(POV changes to Elk)
I switched my eyes between the faces of Minato and that ‘Snake’ repeatedly and fell down as if the power from my legs has been lost.
My voice won’t come out. I can’t put any power in my legs.
I absolutely can’t do anything against the demon which is not a normal demon.
I can’t even move my own body.
I can’t put power in my legs, I can’t stand up. I can’t run.
Now that I’ve lost power in my legs and sat down, I can do nothing but only wait for death to come.
……The ground under my butt, is getting wet and warm.
Looks like I have peed.
But there is no time left for me to even feel embarrassed about it.
Even after Minato sees me, I don’t feel any speck of embarrassment, nothing at all. I don’t care about that.
I realized that I don’t even have time to think carefully after my sub-consciousness speaks in my mind ‘You’re going to die in the end.’
I don’t have any chance of being saved in front of this demon.
And even if my legs could move, this guy is so large that it’s obvious it will catch me easily.
And I can already imagine myself becoming a prey to that guy’s big mouth.
I am peeing and crying too.
I lost all my hope while being in that miserable state.
Most probably, it sensed that I don’t have any intention to run. The big serpent came towards me slowly without hurrying.
Slowly that face, fangs, eyes and everything that will lead me to my ‘Death’ is approaching towards me.
SFX: Zuri……ZuriZuri……(Crawl) [ET: *snaps*nfm;lisadgtoe hdrghoisg;kohdjo;ihdt]
The sound of it crawling near me reaches my ears. It is gradually becoming larger.
Not just its appearance but also with the sound of it approaching me is enough to instill fear in me.
I can’t move, can’t resist, but I’m still scared,
My heartbeat becomes faster and I can properly hear it,
I can’t stop my tears, my body is quivering, and my teeths are already chattering.
I am sure that I’m looking really miserable right now, but I……
SFX: –Hyuu (Flying sound)
Suddenly, I feel like my body is floating in mid-air.
I landed near the wall on the opposite side of the snake and now the distance between us quite a lot.
……I land there while being held by Minato in his arms.
A second later, I realize that I reached here while being held by Minato.
Within just one second, we distanced ourselves from the snake to an unbelievable extent.
After seeing Minato from up close……I understand that in contrast to me, Minato is quite calm even after seeing that scary devil demon.
Minato puts me on the floor gently,
“Stay behind, Elk. or rather, don’t move from here.”
Minato separates his eye from me and stands straight,
and then starts walking towards the snake while scowling at it.
For a second, it looked like the snake became bewildered. It’s natural, after all, even the snake wouldn’t have predicted it.
That a human will,
A person from the frail race which is small and weak than him is not having any speck of fear or shock like me and is standing in front of him brimming with the expectation to fight it.
“Well then……finally someone I can fight to my heart’s content made it’s appearance……?”