There will be double update this week, so another chapter will be released in two days. Enjoy!
ED: eristol, xtostos
“—So, how does it work?”
Along the way, Chloe questioned Lièvre about the wonder that occurs in the museum.
“Hmm, how should I put this.”
While tilting her neck, Lièvre offered information as much as she knew.
The underground transition seems to be a phenomenon that occurs only in the basement of the Phantom Beast Museum.
The transferred part will return to its original position before long, but at the same time, the coordinates may be slightly offset.
Therefore, it is said that new stairs were added many times to the room which became disconnected from the original stairs.
The unusually long staircases in the basements of the museum are said to have been created by hundreds of years of accumulated coordinate-shift due to the transition.
(I see……now I understand why there are variations to the stone used to build them.)
The Phantom Beast Museum was created to contain the transition phenomenon so that it would not spread to other important facilities.
Maybe the direct cause of the transition is due to the fact that someone is supplying magical power to the ruins.
Such disturbing rumor is also whispered among the staff.
Lièvre said that she heard this information when she added the stairs several years ago.
“The rooms under the staircases seem to have an ancient specialized Barrier so that the rooms themselves don’t move. I don’t know why the empty room from before is also protected though.”
“I understand. That means the only moving parts are the staircases, huh.”
“Yes, that’s why, in order to prevent the worst case scenario where both of you are left behind underground, please heed my warning.”
Chloe is taking this very seriously.
From her point of view, the information that came from Lièvre would be valuable.
I would like to dissuade her from approaching the morgue, but seeing her being this serious, it seems that would be difficult.
As for me, all the stories I have obtained tonight are important.
In particular, the murder attempt case is very concerning.
By any chance, is that something Chloe’s older brother Claude had caused?
Although there is a possibility that my older brother who was enrolled at the same time as him knows something, I feel like he wouldn’t tell me.
I suspect that Actorius-sensei also knows about the details.
Then, as we passed around the corner leading to the sixth landing of the stairs, Lièvre who was leading us stopped.
“Oh? Was the door here in this state? Somehow the aura is……”
There was an old wooden door on the spot where Lièvre pointed at.
The surface of the door was scorched as if it had been burnt, the surrounding stones were also stained with soot and some charred splinters were strewn across the floor.
This is not the door we entered from.
If the door was like this from the beginning, I would have remembered it.
“Please wait. The situation is strange, so I’m going to check it first—”
Before I could finish my sentence, Chloe suddenly rushed out and stood before the door, overtaking us.
Chloe unsheathed her sword, stabbed the sword through the door, and pulled it out again.
The next moment, what came falling in along with the door was a huge two-headed dog—an orthros.
The smell of blood and beast filled the narrow staircase.
“W-w-why is there a living orthros in a place like this—!?”
Lièvre, who let out a shriek-like outcry, remained still on the stairs powerlessly.
“……There is another one.”
After saying so quietly, Chloe stepped over the dead body of the orthros and rushed into the room.
Two pairs of eyes could be seen shining in the dark over Chloe’s back.
The other black two-headed beast was at a distance, being on guard against Chloe and letting out a low growl.
I took out a Crystal Cluster from the glove of storing and used wand alteration to rearrange the spells inside the wand.
When a sharp crystal spear penetrated both throats of the orthros simultaneously, the huge beast fell on the stone floor.
Following Chloe, I stepped over the carcass of the orthros and entered the room.
Illuminated by the pale light of the star crystal lamp, we could see that it was a stone room which was completely different from the museum.
It was like a very old ruin.
“Are there any injuries? Are you okay, Chloe-san?”
“Yeah, thank you, Erica-san……but, this situation, what does this mean?”
I looked around our current location using Glam Sight.
The room itself looks like a normal room, but there are traces of some spatial magic on the staircase.
“Using some kind of spatial magic, the staircase and the entrance of this room have been connected. This is probably the previously mentioned underground transition.”
“Could it be……is this the underground ruins after all?”
“Yes, there is a high possibility that this is the ruins of the Fourth Corpse City Annwn.”
This is the Fourth Corpse City Annwn, that is, the ruins of the cursed capital city beneath the academy.
It appears that we have been caught in one of the Seven Wonders, the 「Staircase to the Underworld」.
“Even so, why is there an orthros in a place like this~~~?!”
Lièvre was panicking without being able to accept the situation.
What she said is also true.
The place that is supposed to be the habitat of the phantom beast orthros is the south-eastern part of Karkinos.
They are not supposed to be inside the basement of a place in the middle of Ichthyes.
“That’s true, I wonder why they are in a place so far away from their habitat.”
To my knowledge, the capital city Annwn has already been destroyed, and now it is just a place that is waiting to be purified from the curse.
Even if there is something, it shouldn’t be a phantom beast but an unknown intruder.
While Lièvre and I were talking about that, Chloe looked around and muttered.
“The carcasses……they disappeared?”
Hearing those words, I illuminated the floor with the lamp.
There was only a crumbling crystal on the floor; the carcass of the orthros, which was huge, was nowhere to be found.
The other carcass at the staircase exit had also disappeared.
Even before that, the smell of blood and the smell of the beasts had disappeared unnoticed.
“Certainly, I can’t seem find the carcasses……no, wait. There does seem to be something there. This is……?”
Giving a closer look at where the carcass should have been, I noticed that a small piece of white meat had fallen.
I took out a pincette and a jar from my bag and collected the pieces of meat, being careful not to touch them directly.
“Lièvre-san, there is no rush, but please analyze this later. It seems what attacked us was not a mere orthros.”
Having said that, I offered the collected pieces of meat to Lièvre.
She is a specialist in magical beasts and phantom beasts, so rather than me, she would be more qualified to analyze it.
Lièvre seemed to have regained a little bit of composure by working on something she specialized in.
(Well then, what should we do now?)
I should find out whether we can escape with our own strength and choose an escape route.
And, supposing that escape is difficult and we need to wait for rescue, I should also find out where the safe evacuation site is.
There might still be dangerous monstro like the previous orthros.
“I will start using my demonic eye magic to investigate where we are and our current situation, and to find an escape route for us.”
After informing Chloe and Lièvre thusly, I launched the Eyes of Overworld for the second time.
A field of view with a radius of about five hundred meters was displayed immediately, but the view of the surface ground was not visible in the field of view.
Does that mean we are somewhere deeper than five hundred meters underground?
The ruins are some kind of underground labyrinth.
Just in the part visible to me, it was formed from 100-200 layers in an intricate manner, crooked and irregular.
Looking at the unnaturalness of its condition, there is a high possibility of the ruins being distorted by spatial magic.
Then it would be safer not to use the wand of Digging or Passwall scrolls carelessly.
Around the upper layers, there is also a valley-like, large V-shaped chasm.
If we go there, there is a possibility for us to escape using Levitation.
“Erica-san, how is it?”
“The structure is complicated and it is extremely unlikely for us to find an escape route right away, but if we go up to some extent, the possibility will be higher.”
When Chloe asked with a low voice, I whispered back my answer.
Upon hearing my opinion, Chloe nodded with a mysterious expression.
I continued checking using the Eyes of Overworld.
Apparently, there are many large creatures in the surroundings of our current layer.
Most of them are moving individually, but some are forming clusters.
“But, there are quite a number of large creatures around us……and finally, right in the layer above us there are ones that are excessively crowding the space……”
There is a place where countless creatures are jostling.
I guess it’s about one-meter radius.
On a closer look, the number is gradually increasing and spreading.
It is similar to how white worms proliferate.
(Speaking of which, wasn’t one of the white worm jars in the large stable lost?)
I didn’t know how it came to be in a place like this, but just recalling about it caused shivers to run down my spine.
At that time, I could see Chloe and Tirnanog readying themselves at the edge of my normal view.
Almost at the same time, a thunderous roar that seemed to cause the wall to tremble echoed nearby.
The sound shocked Lièvre as she ducked and held her head.
“Erica-san, Lièvre-san, step back.”
Chloe said that and went ahead of us.
When I concentrated the Eyes of Overworld on the vicinity of this room, I could see four creatures on the other side of the wall.
“There are four large creatures with heights of 2 to 4 meters beyond the wall on the far right.”
At the same time as I conveyed the obtained information, the effect of the Eyes of Overworld ended.
At that moment, the wall collapsed with a roar and a huge monstro appeared from the cloud of dust.
Resounding through the darkness, was a roar that could only be called deafening.
What was illuminated by the light was the phantom beast minotaur.
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