Read at Watashi Wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 109 – In the Back of the Hidden Dungeon
Equipment? Check. I shoved in some extra gear and a weapon, just in case.
“Alright!” I said as I stood up.
Today, I was going to spend the day wandering around the canyon, and I would try to go a little deeper into that dungeon.
…If the water level was still low, that is.
I checked my inventory one final time and left my workshop.
It wasn’t that I’d forgotten about the prime minister’s quest. But I hadn’t received the materials from Yuuta yet, and I hadn’t even been able to collect the ordinary materials around here yet.
So the more urgent matter came first.
I walked toward the north gate and said hello to the gatekeeper, who was standing there again today.
“Take care, Mac.”
“I will. I shouldn’t have any trouble along the way.”
After the gatekeeper saw me off, I proceeded towards the canyon.
Picking up materials along the way and defeating the monsters I encountered, it took me longer to reach the canyon than it did on the way back yesterday.
Fortunately, the water level was still low.
I quickly went down to the bottom of the canyon to where I left off yesterday.
And again, I had to pause and think a bit in front of the dungeon.
Should I go upstream or go into the dungeon?
If I went upstream and the water wasn’t flowing due to a cause that even I could manage, the river would go back to its usual flow the moment I removed that cause, right? Well, I didn’t think it would be that simple, though.
But I guessed I should try going in this way before that happened. Once the water level rises again, it might become difficult to get into the dungeon.
I concluded that the dungeon was my first priority.
I proceeded through the same dark cave as yesterday.
The enemies that appeared were still of the same strength as in the upper section of the map. If I had entered the cave alone, I might not have noticed anything strange because I could search for them normally. I was grateful for the middle school students.
As I did yesterday, I proceeded to the end of the narrow path and collected the Draining Moss that was growing again.
As soon as I reached the open area, an familiar-looking wolf jumped at me.
I hurriedly avoided it and pointed my sword at the Aqua Wolf, which immediately jumped at me again. I swung my sword to match it. If it was an enemy from around here, it should have been light. But the wolf in front of me didn’t even squeal as it was cut in the stomach, it just jumped backward. Every bit of blood that spilled was turned into light, but it was still looking at me as if it still had the will to fight.
It was just as I thought. It was stronger than the ones before.
I gave it another hit and finished off the sluggish wolf, and it turned into light and vanished.
The drop in my inventory was a wolf pelt. It wasn’t even high quality, just an ordinary one.
But I could still handle it with just the sword, and as I continued on, I found another collection point on a side path.
I turned to see what it was this time.
“It’s the same material as the other location, but the rank is higher?”
I did a thorough evaluation. The moss collected at the previous location was C-rank, and the moss collected here was B-rank.
Did that mean that there was more to come, that the enemies would get stronger, and that the rank of the Draining Moss would go up even more? No way.
The monsters that appeared could generally be defeated in three shots, so I proceeded, keeping an eye on my stamina.
Then I found another narrow path.
I figured I had no choice but to continue.
I walked down the narrow path and quietly looked ahead at the exit.
The map of the large room showed several red dots where monsters were wandering around, and I backed off a little, wondering if I might not be able to defeat them all this time.
I took a deep breath and stood at the entrance of the hall, holding a blinding potion in my hand.
Just as two of them were approaching me, I threw the blinding potion I was holding.
Instantly, the demons outside of the blinding range jumped at me.
When I thrust my sword up into the wolf’s path, it twisted and dodged the attack.
I had no choice but to produce another blinding potion and throw it at the demon in front of me.
The roaring, distressed demon didn’t fight back when I attacked it, but my sword turned it into light and made it disappear. Yeah, the blindness potion was a must-have. I was glad I’d packed all of those before I headed out.
Even after I defeated one of them, the other two were still roaring as they wobbled around due to the blinding effect.
I defeated them with my sword without any difficulty.
“I guess that means I can’t go on from here without using my blinding potions. I wonder if a bomb or something like that could work… but I don’t think that’s possible.”
I tried to advance forward, using a lot of blinding potions.
By the time I passed through another long, narrow path, the monsters had become so strong that I would have immediately been killed if not for the blinding potions.
“This is… well, it’s a good thing we didn’t keep going yesterday.”
I desperately threw a blinding potion at the wolf. This time, the wolf was so quick and evasive that the middle school students who had just made it to Tre couldn’t possibly have stood a chance.
It helped that, even if I didn’t hit it, as long as the potion fell close enough, it would work.
I defeated the struggling monster and my shoulders dropped as I exhaled in relief.
The map looked almost the same as the first section, so there were good places to collect materials.
Once I’d gotten to that point, it was all S-rank materials. I was like, “Hey, no way, right?”
Materials that can be collected usually have an upper limit of B-rank. There are only a few A-rank materials mixed in. But this place had S-ranks. What, has someone been working here?
Was someone growing Draining Moss in this cave, or something? Nah, there was no way. It was overrun with monsters. On top of that, it was usually underwater…
As I moved forward with a sense of excitement, I found that the place where a long, narrow path was supposed to be was just a dead end.
I thought there might be some kind of boss enemy here or something. A dead end… Oh, wait! At lower levels, it was a place where I couldn’t feel anything.
“[ Detection ]”
When I activated the skill, the place that should have been a dead-end glowed ever so slightly.
In the ancient magic language, [ Magic Power Release ] was written. I assumed you had to raise your search level to a higher rank and be able to read the ancient magical language in order to proceed. It felt like this dungeon was made for me. So, I guessed that meant I had to go on. Standing at the narrow dead end, I saw a circle under the words [ Magic Power Release ], which was obviously a magic circle.
“Absorption, release, unlocking, recognition, detection, convergence, magic, movement, expansion, circuit.”
The letters on the magic circle read as such. Maybe I could put my hand there and give it some of my MP. Then I could advance.
“Might as well do it. I’ve already come this far.”
After recovering my dwindling MP and checking my HP, I placed my hand on the magic circle.
Instantly, the magic circle glowed.
I was surrounded by light, and my MP was decreasing rapidly. Wow, wasn’t this a similar pattern to the Taruar Grass?
I wondered if I should have had a magic high potion on hand, but at last, the light around me began to fade away. Somehow, I was okay.
Relieved, I looked around.
I found myself standing in a completely different room from the one I had just been in.
“Woah? That magic circle was for teleportation, not opening doors? That’s totally different from what Crash taught me.”
Assuming this was the next room, it was pretty rough to use so much MP to travel so close.
I took out a magic high potion and drank it while I looked around.
There were no enemies on the map.
More importantly, this place…
“It looks like some kind of laboratory…”
There was an old, worn-out desk with an apparatus on it that looked like it might have been used for some kind of experiment. On the wall, a bookshelf with a wooden frame was built into the rock, lined with tattered books.
It was a laboratory that looked like it was decades or centuries old.
My heart was pounding in my chest!
What kind of secret was this?
Someone from the past must have been living here in hiding, doing all kinds of experiments!
I approached the shelf and picked up the book. This one was in such a state of decay that if I dropped it, it would probably fall apart instantly.
I opened the book and everything was in the ancient magical language. I’m really glad I memorized that language. Thank you, Crash.
I wondered if I could take this with me. Would that make me a thief? But it felt like no one had been in here for years, so I supposed it would be okay.
I put it away in my inventory like I was putting it in my bag, and I found it was properly stored under the name [ Old Books ]. Oh, that looks like a good sign.
I put them in one by one, and the total number of [ Old Books ] became 65. Thank goodness for the weightless inventory. Seriously.
Next, I moved on to the desk, which was dirty and looked like chemicals had been used and left to dry on it.
“[ Appraisal ] … [ Failure… Remnants of a failed attempt to make a resuscitation drug ]. What’s a resuscitation drug?”1
There shouldn’t be any items in this world that could bring people back to life. Not even magic was capable of such a thing. Even though it was said to be possible to return from death, there were surprisingly few people who would go to such lengths. The feeling of returning from death is so vivid, you feel like you really did die. Most people, once they’d experienced it the first time, wouldn’t do it again. I was the same way.
But this was a failure. That meant there was no such item yet.
I picked up the scattered papers and peered at them, trying to see if I could read anything easily. If everything was in the ancient magical language, maybe the person who was doing this research was someone who was alive when the ancient language was mainstream. How long ago was this person here? Researching resuscitation drugs since back then? And hiding in a place like this? I sensed some kind of insanity.
The papers had notes written all over the place and some pages were crumpled up or had violent scratch marks crossing things out with a pen, making it hard to tell what was what.
I tried to put the papers in my inventory to see if I could use them for something as well, but for some reason, the papers just went into my bag and didn’t show up in my inventory.
Ah, I should have realized that this would be one of those items that you aren’t supposed to remove from the room. I quietly put it back on the desk, thinking that it would be a bad idea to try to take it with me. That meant I could take the books in my inventory with me. A little relieved, I took a screenshot of each piece of paper. Most of them were crumpled up, as if the owner had made a mistake.
The lab equipment showed up in my inventory as normal. I found a great Advanced Dispensing Kit. Wow, I got a good one.
I searched through all the desk drawers and shelves, and then I found it: that person’s diary.
I wondered if I could open it up and read it.2