With more than 3500 words, and 15 pages of word document, this monster of a chapter is finally finished. The actions begin on the next chapter. There are so many information that my brain practically short-circuited after translating this lol. I hope this chapter is understandable for you guys! Enjoy, while I sleep like the dead~
ED: clover, eristol
We went down the stairs following the past Ann who we saw using Urd Sight.
This is the eighth layer.
How far will we go down?
We went down to the next layer as usual, starting from the unchanging staircase.
However, the scene ahead was completely different from what we had seen in Ruins of Visitor so far.
It was full of the scent of death.
When we arrived, dead bodies of unfamiliar creatures were scattered about everywhere.
Blood covered beasts, chopped reptiles, crushed huge bugs.
Multipod monsters that had become charred, plenty of chopped meat—
I felt dizzy.
It was fortunate that we had not been exposed to such bad odor, as they had been subjected to simple preservation treatment.
There was no animal I recognized among the corpses, and it was fortunate that all the other monsters had irregular shapes.
Otherwise, I might not have been able to suppress the nausea.
Two filters, olfaction and vision, changed the scenery into an impression like seeing a game or a realistic movie.
You are useful in unexpected places, game brain.
Those thoughts were making me smile unexpectedly in spite of the nauseating scene, keeping my mind from panicking.
“Uh……are you alright, Erica?”
“I’m not alright, but I will be fine. What about Klaus-sama?”
“I’m familiar with this kind of scene. See, going to the same places with my father, getting rid of monsters……”
“Your speech is becoming messy, Klaus-sama.”
It is nice to have a conversation with a friend.
Shocking videos, too, are surprisingly less damaging when you watch them with other people.
But that means that the person who saw this alone is taking it harder than us—
“Let’s hurry. Ann should be here.”
“Yes. I’m sure she would find it hard to feel fine.”
Most of the pillars were knocked down, large holes were opened all over the walls.
Mechanism of huge gears to move the labyrinth were exposed and there were also damaged parts.
It was an evidence that the power of terrible destruction was demonstrated here.
“This is why your older brother accumulated so much money.”
“These monsters were his opponents, huh?”
“Although I intended to be armed perfectly when we left the simple base camp……I feel frightened when I think that all these carcasses were living and moving.”
When Klaus said that, shivers also ran down my spine.
What if the group of Eduard-oniisama had not wiped out these monsters?
I don’t know what would’ve happened to the three of us.
The reason why the Ruins of Visitor is said to be the most dangerous area in the Aurelia territory was finally felt with our skin.
How long have we been walking around?
Thanks to the creepy mountains of carcasses, I feel like it has been longer than the actual search time.
It feels like Eduard-oniisama has guided us towards this situation.
We stopped in front of a room.
At the entrance of the room, there was a message written by Moonlight Gallnut Ink.
“‘Do not step on the stars. Otherwise’……huh? It disappeared?”
“It seems that there is a thick cloud right now. The first row was ‘Do not step on the stars’, wasn’t it?”
“It seems that way, but……”
“I don’t know what will happen if we step on it, but I haven’t seen the mark of stars yet in this layer, so I think we’re safe for now.”
From brother’s note, this kind of warning is a first, so I feel a bit nervous.
When going in and out of the room, we might have to observe carefully whether there is a mark of a star in the state of not emitting light.
In addition, since the Levitation effect time is almost over, we should wave the wand……
When I thought so, Klaus suddenly crouched on the spot and started to investigate something.
“Klaus-sama, is it a mark of a star?”
“No, it’s not……this is the eastern spellcard. Magic of Alarm1 that narrows the range and increases the accuracy……that’s how this spell works.”
Klaus suddenly stood up, stepped over the spot where the spell was cast, and took a step into the room.
“……Ann! Are you there!?”
It was a room with relatively few traces of destruction.
A small girl was crouching and trembling on the other side of Klaus.
She noticed us and raised her face.
Oh, good……we came in time……!
The lamp attached to the end of the staff illuminated the little girl who looks like Klaus.
Ann Hafan’s face is ghastly pale with fatigue and fear.
I can see how hard this has been for her, just by looking at her face.
There are traces of tear tracks on Ann’s cheeks.
But the tears flowing down her cheeks now are different from other tears.
Klaus ran to Ann and hugged her.
Ann also hugged Klaus back.
“Onii-sama……Onii-sama! ……Onii-sama, you idiot!”
“……It was bad. I was bad. Ann, I caused you a bitter hardship.”
“I was lonely……I was really scared, you know……?”
“Aah, I’m really sorry.”
It is probably because Ann’s tension thread broke after she joined Klaus.
She burst into tears with a loud voice.
Klaus gently stroked Ann’s head with a gentle face that I have never seen before.
While being stroked, Ann returned it with warm-hearted punches like a spoiled child.
“I’m glad you’re okay……I was worried all the time.”
“Mou……mou……that’s my line. You’re bothering Erica-sama!”
“Aa, it’s all my fault. Ann, did you come to such dangerous ruins in order to stop me?”
“Ah— yes. That’s right. I tried to bring you back without telling Otou-sama. Please appreciate it.”
“I see. You used your head……”
Ann……your eyes are swimming……
That’s right. I felt this way from the very beginning.
If it was only to stop Klaus, she could’ve stopped him when he used the sleeping magic.
As we talked about it during the dinner party, I wonder if her interest in the ruins came to her at that time.
These two really are siblings.
Once she finished crying, Ann left Klaus.
She wiped away her tears, stretched her spine and faced me.
“Erica-sama, I’m sorry for having caused you trouble.”
“I’m glad, Ann-sama. You are okay, I’m really glad.”
I cleaned the face of Ann who was falling apart again with a beautiful handkerchief.
Her expression, it changed to the same smile as the one I saw in the Knot Garden.
With this, I was finally at ease.
(I had a bad feeling when we arrived at this layer, but it seems to have ended in peace safely~~!!)
If the three of us can escape from this Ruins of Visitor, the death flag will be successfully avoided—!
After this, it would be a simple task of simply using the Pass Wall while rising up with Levitation, going through the transfer gate, and then sleep.
Aah, there is also a sermon by my father before going to bed……but compared to the fate of the death event that would be waiting six years in the future, it is overwhelmingly better.
Klaus took out the magic recovery potions and let her drink it.
Ann also lost most of her magical power while searching the ruins.
Rather, it is amazing that she managed to keep her magical power so far by herself.
The fact that her precision magic is better than wide area magic, is compatible with the characteristics of the labyrinth.
Now then, the excursion is an excursion until we go home.
It slipped through my mind now that we have joined with Ann, but I don’t know what might happen on our way home.
First of all, until Ann can move, we will rest in this room—
Since a little while ago, I have been thinking that the moving sounds of the mechanical labyrinth should be done.
This sound is the sound I have heard frequently since entering the Ruins of Visitor.
Therefore, I got used to it, and it was kept away from my consciousness.
But, somehow, hasn’t it been going on for too long?
I looked back to the way where we came from.
There was no particular change.
However, there were ruins devastated by battle and many dead bodies.
“What’s wrong, Erica?”
“No……somehow, I feel like there is something wrong……”
Far from stopping, the moving sounds were growing louder and louder.
Somehow, I feel like it is getting closer.
“By the way, Onii-sama, Erica-sama—I have been worried for a long time, but what is that?”
“Yes. I think that it is the Moonlight Gallnut Ink……”
“Ha!? Erica! Hide the lamp!”
Klaus looked at the direction pointed by Ann, shouting like in a hurry.
He covered the lamp attached to his staff with the sleeve of his robe.
I also imitated him and put the lamp in my bag.
—Indeed, in the outside world the clouds that were covering the moon seems to have cleared up.
A light bluish golden light shone on the whole floor of the room.
We were standing above the starry sky drawn with Moonlight Gallnut Ink.
In my mind, the warning message written at the entrance resurfaced.
Do not step on the stars. Otherwise— Otherwise, what would happen?
Fearfully, I shifted my shoes.
There was a mark of a star in the place where my shoes had stepped on.
Uwah, I, I am too unlucky!?
“Ann! Erica! Hands—!”
The crumbling sound of the stones obstructed Klaus’ cry.
The field of view tilted obliquely.
No, it is the floor of the labyrinth that became inclined.
I could see the hard stone floor swelling like a stormy sea.
Floor, wall, pillar, ceiling—-
The layer itself fell as it crumbled.
We were caught up in it and were thrown into the air.
(Uwah, this, in such a place? When the three of us finally got together……!)
Ann who was close to Klaus barely caught onto his arms.
However, I was watching the reunion of the brother and sister from a little distance away, so I was separated.
While protecting Ann, Klaus had hundreds of spellcards take shape like an umbrella.
It is a Protective Circle to protect themselves from the collapsed debris.
However, they are five meters or more away from me.
A trap of wide area magic interference – if that is the case, the Protective Circle won’t reach me!
Uwah, what should I do!
“Calm down, Erica! The Passwall is still in effect!”
……as he told me, that is correct.
If I look carefully, Klaus is ignoring the rubble falling on him, and the spellcards are only repelling the rubbles that are likely to hit Ann.
Accelerated gravel stones hit me and Klaus, but they all flew through us.
What a handy magic.
Eduard-oniisama, thank you for preparing the immature scrolls!
The pit made by the collapse is deep and unexpectedly wide.
Although we have been falling down for quite some time, the bottom of the hole still can’t be seen.
I thought that we would plunge into the gigantic Crevasse made in the bedrocks when we pass through the labyrinth.
But, on the walls of the surroundings, there were cavities to store the artificially made star crystal lamps.
It might be like a cathedral with a height of……several tens of meters, no, over 100 meters.
It would be safer to drop slowly and reach the bottom.
“Klaus-sama! The wand of Feather Falling!”
“Oh, I understand.”
I instructed Klaus briefly while pulling out the same wand.
Coordinating the timing to swing the wand with Klaus, I also used the Feather Falling.
Beneath us, magic circles like white thin membranes were deployed.
When jumping into it, the magic circle crumbled and disappeared in the shape of a small feather.
Fluffy, a feeling like being wrapped in a soft air wall, my body was being held gently against the gravity.
The falling speed became very gentle.
The broken stones and the remnants of the mechanism of the mechanical labyrinth overtook us.
After a while, the collapsed layer dropped to the bottom of the hole and the sound of a rumble in the ground echoed.
“Ann-sama! Are you alright?”
“Y-yes! Erica-sama! Thanks to Onii-sama, there are no injuries!”
“Are you still alright, Erica?”
“Yes. Thank you for your patience.”
Klaus and Ann were reaching out their hands to reach me.
However, since we were more than five meters away from each other, they couldn’t reach me.
I took out a magical rope from the bag and ordered it.
“Stretch, like a snake! Tie, like a rope!
Like a snake that jumps over to its prey, the rope shrunk once like a spring and then quickly jumped out.
Flying with a loose parabola form, the rope firmly wrapped around Klaus’ arm.
“You’re really well prepared.”
“Because I am an alchemist of Aurelia.”
These were actually prepared by my brother, though~
When Klaus pulled the rope, I was drawn towards his body.
With this, the three of us were finally be able to be together.
“What the heck was that? Was that a trap?”
“A trap……rather than that, it must have been caused by a malfunctioning trap.”
“Perhaps deep damages accumulated in the mechanism of the trap, the floor of the labyrinth, and the pillar itself, due to the battle of Onii-sama and his friends.”
“Well, there certainly was a place where the broken gears were exposed, the mechanical labyrinth tried to work, but the labyrinth itself couldn’t bear that movement.”
Thinking about it, there were other strange things.
Dead bodies of those monsters were almost left untouched.
In the higher layer, there was a golem for material recovery wandering around.
Maybe because he was aware that the layer might collapse if the mechanical labyrinth operates, my brother didn’t install a golem in this layer.
But, Onii-sama……it is impossible to predict such a collapse accident with only that hint.
“What is it, Ann?”
“No, somewhat, it’s beautiful……”
The star crystals contained in the wall were shining pale blue in response to our magical powers.
In the midst of such a fantastic sight, we were holding hands and falling down slowly in a circle.
“I’m sorry for saying this at such a time.”
“No. It’s alright. I was just thinking something similar as well.”
That is true. Even if I care about it, I can’t help it.
If I think about it, it is a wonderful experience if I limit it to only the pit of these star crystals.
It sounds like a movie from Studio Ghibli2.
If there was my star crystal necklace, it might’ve become even more similar to that.
I packed the star crystal lamp and hunting knife in my bag too!
……but I hope there is no one with a colonel position3.
Outside our anxiety and impression, the magic of Feather Falling gently brought us to the depth of the ruins.
After a while, we reached the bottom of the Ruins of Visitor.
The feeling of the structures and decorations was similar to the cathedral from the ancient times of Aurelia.
There was an arched entrance between the nave where we arrived at and the inner court.
On both sides of the arch, if it was a cathedral above the ground, there would be statues of the distinguished Dukes of Aurelia from the past adorning it, here there were statues of a legendary alchemist who supposedly lived in the era before we visited this continent.
However, the familiarity ended there, there were numerous differences with this cathedral inside the labyrinth as deep as this.
First of all, the ceiling was a few hundred meters below the ruins we had fallen from.
Naturally, there was no window.
On the wall of the side aisle where the windows should be, constellations imparted by the alchemist, which can’t be seen on this land, were engraved.
Mythological figures such as monsters, animals and tools for navigation.
They became reliefs, star crystals were embedded in the part corresponding to the stars, and they were shining pale blue.
Well, it seems that the carcasses of the monsters from the labyrinth were scattered all around.
In addition to the carcasses, fragments of debris falling from the eighth layer were also scattered around.
Although it was a force majeure, it is a scene that my ancestors were likely to get angry at.
When I thought of such a thing, some of the magic circles surrounding the three of us turned into particles of light and disappeared.
I caught a glimpse of the silver pocket watch and checked.
It seems that the effect of Pass Wall has expired.
“I’m glad that the collapse has subsided, if so many big rocks continued to fall down, my Protective Circle might not have been able to repel them.”
“This seems to be an important place for the people of Aurelia and I feel sorry that it was ruined by the falling rocks.”
“Yeah. It feels majestic. Erica, is this like a shrine?”
“Well, I guess that is probably the case……”
I looked around carefully.
In the inner palace of the cathedral – originally the place where the altar of St. Brendan should be – there was a star crystal megalith instead.
There are several cracks running on the megalith due to the collapse just now.
I looked at it and tilted my head.
“‘The God of the Visitors, the Altar of Bren’…… it is supposed to be that……”
The materials are different, but this megalith is the altar of the worshiped god of Aurelia itself.
The altar of Aurelia’s founder Bren, or St. Brendan was decided as a megalith.
Originally in the West we worshiped the god named Bren, who is the god of voyage, star and alchemy.
However, when consolidating with the other three countries on this continent, Aurelia also converted to the same religion in order to align the states with each other.
The religion of the Federal Kingdom is a monotheism derived from the southern continent worshiped by Ignitia of the South.
The religion of Ignitia is tolerant of the gods of other religions.
In this religion, as a part of the governance policy, we incorporate the gods of other people as angels and saints.
It might be a familiar way of thinking with the Japanese’s Daikokuten which was derived from Shiva4.
Thus Aurelia’s god Bren, who we still hold faith in today, became a saint, St. Brendan and is serving the god of Ignitia.
(If it’s the game setting, shouldn’t there be a sealed ancient evil spirit? Although it seems as though the ancient god is enshrined……)
When I looked closely, there were letters engraved on the star crystal megalith.
It was the letters of ancient Aurelia used in Aurelia-style scrolls and rune stones.
In this way, I could barely read them myself as someone who is lacking in study.
“‘Crossing the ocean of the far away star, we shall bury you here together with the long journey. Sleep peacefully, our unnamed friend. We hope that this abundant land will be your eternal cradle–’”
When I read the poem engraved on the megalith, Klaus and Ann took a stance of prayer.
“Not an altar, maybe it’s a tomb. For Aurelia’s people who died before reaching this Ichthyes continent……”
“Somehow, it’s a sad inscription.”
“That’s right. But, I wonder why my ancestors buried this person with the same rites as a god……”
I touched the inscription on the megalith with my finger without a care.
Huh? Is it only my imagination?
The place where my finger carelessly touched became corrupted—
—From far away, I heard a voice.
The air of the cathedral was trembling.
Sounds like treble and bass, string-like instruments and brass instruments were played and heard.
It was a sad voice like the sounds of a child weeping, like the sound of a whale singing.
Every time the voice echoed, the star crystal megalith turned black from the inside and became corrupted.
The star crystal which was previously shining blue is now dyed in black.
From the cracks on its surface, black water is overflowing.
It looks as if the megalith is shedding tears.
The moist wind bearing the scent of tide, shook my hair.
In response to the magical power rising in the cathedral, the star crystals on the walls and ceiling strengthened their lights.
Somehow, the overflowing black water covered the whole floor of the cathedral.
The black wave washed over my boots.
Klaus, Ann and I were perplexed as we looked around us.
We all saw the spectacle that can’t be seen at the bottom of an underground ruins.
There, the black sea which endlessly continued to the other side of the horizon, and the sky full of stars was spreading out.
1 Magic of Alarm: Set an alarm against unwanted intrusion. Until the spell ends, an alarm will alert you whenever a tiny or larger creature touches or enters the warded area. You can also designate creatures that won’t set off the alarm. (source)
2 In the raw it actually said ジ○リ but I know it was referring to Studio Ghibli.
3 These three sentences are actually referring to the movie Laputa: Castle in the Sky, a movie from Studio Ghibli. In the movie, Sheeta had an aetherium crystal necklace. And she was being chased by Colonel Muska for her necklace.
4 So, like the Japanese which incorporated Shiva as their own god, Daikokuten, the religion of Ignitia incorporated other countries’ god as angels and saints. So, while in Aurelia Bren was a god, in the Federal Kingdom he became St. Brendan, a saint. (please correct me if I’m wrong about the Japanese god).