To Hell With Being a Hero! - BestLightNovel.com
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Chapter 223. Seven Rooms (5)
The march resumed. The expedition members entered the third compartment. The tense atmosphere persisted, but the battle was more doable than expected. The first opponent they faced was a group of werewolves. It was a tribe known to have met its end during Ragnarök and gone extinct during the mythological age. Their numbers were not small, totaling eight, but fortunately, the expedition members were able to notice them first and defeated two of them before the battle officially began. Moreover, Ru Amuh literally ended the battle with a flying performance with his new weapon.
The second opponent they faced were spirits of the spectre species. They popped up out of nowhere and attacked first by inflicting curses, but thanks to Bogle’s quick reaction, the expedition members were able to avoid significant damage. Then Ru Amuh’s sharp wind cut them apart, and they scattered like fog without even getting a chance to scream; it seemed Ru Amuh’s newly acquired weapon had the ability to fight spirits.
When they finally arrived at the third room, they saw a door with a pattern of two hands clasped in prayer. The expedition team raised their guard and opened the door firmly, and was faced with an unexpected monster—a durahan. The headless knight riding a horse was a foreboding sight, but Chi-Woo and some of the other expedition members looked happy; the durahan was a monster in the evil alignment.
While Dalgil and Ru Amuh concentrated on defense and dragged the durahan’s attention, Chi-Woo met everyone’s expectations and dropped the durahan off its horse with a single blow. Then the durahan screamed at Chi-Woo’s merciless blows and turned into a handful of ashes. It was a very miserable end.
Bogle commented, “Captain, it’s my first time seeing a durahan in my life, but I feel sorry for it for some reason.”
“I agree. I think I know now why G.o.d Mamiya changed the test.” Dalgil immediately opened the door to the fourth compartment because the third had only left them with a few small wounds rather than anything major. Compared to their state after going through the first and second compartment, it was a great development. Their morale had increased, and above all, the expedition members were able to show more of their power and became more used to fighting together with each consecutive battle. Of course, Ru Amuh obtaining a new weapon and Chi-Woo’s advantage over the third room’s monster played a pivotal role.
Thanks to all these factors, they were able to move to the fourth compartment more easily than expected, but Dalgil did not let down his guard; he instinctively knew that this feeling of victory would be brief, and a difficult ordeal would come again soon. However, the expedition team was confused after entering the fourth compartment. It had been a while since they resumed marching, and according to Hawa, the next door was just around the corner, but not a single enemy had appeared. Normally, at least one should have shown up by now. Considering what they’ve gone through so far, it was definitely suspicious. In the end, the expedition members stopped moving at Dalgil’s request. He judged that the situation was strange and began a discussion with the guide, Hawa. While Dalgil and Hawa looked up at the ceiling and talked, one person gently approached Chi-Woo and Bogle.
When they looked back, they saw Ru Hiana holding Airi with both hands. “Would you be able to look at Airi’s condition? I think it’s getting bad again…”
Bogle and Chi-Woo were startled at her tearful words and hurriedly rushed towards Airi. Honestly, Airi’s condition hadn’t really gotten worse again as it had never gotten better in the first place. The poison and evil energy had been thoroughly removed from her body, but the internal injuries she sustained needed attention as soon as possible. However, since they were continuing their expedition with frequent battles, it was only natural that her condition would have continued to deteriorate without any signs of recovery. If this persisted, Airi really might die once they returned to the holy city Shalyh after the expedition ended.
“That’s why I wanted us to go back…” Bogle took out a valuable healing potion and fed it to Airi even though he knew it wouldn’t really improve her condition. He sounded remorseful and slightly regretful.
“Senior, can’t you use your power one more time? Just to try?”
Chi-Woo was going to turn down Ru Hiana’s request since exorcism mana was a destructive power to exorcize evil, not a power to heal anyone. However, he couldn’t do so when Bogle fervently requested Chi-Woo to use even a little bit of his power for Airi. When Chi-Woo obliged with the mindset of grasping for straws, something strange happened. Airi reacted a little bit. She let out a faint groan and slightly crouched, and if he wasn’t mistaken, she looked a little more comfortable than before.
“Airi likes warm light,” Bogle muttered in a bitter voice. “When she got sleepy after lunch, she would always look for a sunny spot to take a nap…” Then he looked at Dalgil, who was talking to Hawa, and sighed deeply. “When will this end…”
“We’re almost at the fourth door, so we’re more than halfway finished.”
“Still half…even half-way…yeah, I should think positively.” Bogle clenched his fists as if he was forcing himself to stay strong. Since the team’s morale wasn’t bad, Bogle didn’t want to bring down the atmosphere with his troubles.
Chi-Woo read Bogle’s feelings and readily offered to take care of Airi outside of battles; projecting his exorcism mana from time to time might have a positive effect on Airi’s condition. In reality, Chi-Woo’s exorcism mana merely brought about an untested placebo effect, but Bogle looked very relieved and grateful to Chi-Woo. His anxious expression also improved. By the time Chi-Woo took Airi under his care, Dalgil and Hawa’s discussion was over. They didn’t reach any concrete conclusion, but told the others to be wary of the environment and structures around them like in the second compartment. The expedition members moved forward with more caution because there might be traps, but they didn’t encounter any. In the end, they reached the fourth door without fighting once. Like the second room, the oak-colored door did not have any patterns.
“This is a bit concerning… Is it okay to go in like this…?” Bogle smacked his lips. Dalgil glanced sideways at Hawa.
“…I don’t know.” Hawa looked up at the ceiling and frowned. “I see something…but it’s not moving. It looks kind of like an altar…”
“If it’s an altar…” Dalgil didn’t finish. In the first and third room, monsters had come out. Then treasure came out in the second room. Therefore, a reward should come out in the fourth room if the first floor followed a specific pattern. No—it was only speculation that the first floor of Narsha Haram was symmetrical. Nothing was certain in the first place. However, it was now too late to go back.
“Everyone, get ready.” Dalgi stood in front of the door with a stiff expression.
“Captain, be careful. We don’t have many healing potions left, and Airi’s condition is also…”
“I’ll keep that in mind.” Dalgil responded to Bogle’s concerns and raised his foot. The door slammed open as soon as he kicked it hard. The expedition members, who immediately prepared for battle, inhaled instinctively as a wind flowed out from the inside. Chi-Woo covered his nose and mouth after realizing his mistake, but his eyes soon widened as he felt his brain become clear after a single breath. The air was very clear and clean. It even felt mystical and holy. There was no such thing as a monster inside, and they could only see an altar like the second room.
On the altar was an ingot. A square, straight-cornered ingot measuring 20 centimeters by 10 centimeters, big enough to fill one hand.
“Hmm, a metal ingot. It doesn’t seem like ordinary metal.” Dalgil moved closer and tilted his head. The ingot was strangely mixed with silver and blue light. It looked as if a piece of the sky had been extracted and put into this ingot. Moreover, a clear and cool energy was flowing out of it, reminiscent of the autumn sky. As Dalgil said, it didn’t look like an ordinary object.
“Bogle,” Dalgil called out to Bogle just in case, but Bogle didn’t answer. One by one, the expedition members looked back at him with a puzzled expression; Bogle was gaping with his mouth wide open. His eyes became big as saucers, and he looked like he was going to choke.
“Bogle! What’s wrong? Are you okay?” Dalgil shouted and wondered if Bogle was being attacked by an invisible monster.
Fortunately, that was not the case. Bogle had simply been so astonished that he stopped breathing. He finally gasped after being hit hard on the back.
“Y-You know…” Bogle calmed his startled heart a little and managed to say, “I-if that is…what I think it is..” Still, he continued to speak with pauses as he looked at the ingot with wide eyes. “That’s…very precious…and really good…”
“What is it exactly that you’re acting like this?” Dalgil asked with interest.
“A reliquia.” Bogle continued, “It’s an ore that’s one of the materials to create a sacred relic.”
“A sacred relic… Don’t all G.o.ds have one? Well, I guess it’s rare.” Ru Hiana said and looked around; she was probably thinking about Shahnaz’s sacred statue and other objects like that.
“No! That’s not it!” However, Bogle furiously shook his head.
A sacred relic was a holy object used in religious ceremonies and symbolized the church of a G.o.d. This was a concept established throughout the mythological age, in ancient times, the Middle Ages, and up to Liber’s modern era.
“This reliquia is from the mythological era! Even in those days, it was extremely, extremely precious!”
However, a sacred relic held a different meaning in past eras, especially during the mythological age. In the days when G.o.ds came down to rule the middle world, the sacred relics held an influence incomparable to the ones in Liber’s modern age. They had been more than objects carrying some of the G.o.d’s divinity—but objects that could contain the full power of a G.o.d and act as their representative. In other words, it was a type of equipment that G.o.ds carried.
“The reliquia is the most important and main material in creating such holy relics. I don’t know about the other materials, but I heard that this was essential!” Obviously, reliquia was impossible to obtain in the middle world as it didn’t exist there. Chi-Woo had an epiphany when he heard this; he had felt a sense of déjà vu when seeing the ingot, and he realized that he had had the exact same feeling when the mysterious girl handed him the seven-sided die before he entered Liber. Thus, the ingot in front of them was an object that couldn’t be created in the middle world, just like the World’s Milestone.
When Bogle finished explaining, everyone became silent save for the sound of them gulping, and Dalgil was no exception. The ingot seemed to be beckoning gently toward him, so he reached out and touched the ingot as if in a trance. All misgivings that this object might not be the reliquia disappeared once he touched it; the mere contact with his palm allowed him to feel its powerful energy, and it was enough to convince him that the reliquia was genuine. Greed naturally arose in his heart. This ingot was proof that G.o.d Mamiya acknowledged him.
If he offered it to Mamiya, he could aim for high priest or beyond this position. And if they succeeded in making this reliquia into a sacred relic, the status of the buhguhbus tribe in the Ca.s.siubia League would soar. It will also significantly help them in future wars. He wanted it; it was only natural he wanted it. Even if he gave up the test, he wanted to at least take this ingot and return. Although such a strong temptation swept through his body—
“…” Dalgil suppressed his desire with great effort. He needed to suppress it. He had promised Ru Amuh and his group to hand over everything except the token in the first place. He had no right over any of the treasures in this tower. Even though he really wanted it, it was obvious that problems would arise if he said so. Above all, it was clear that this was part of the test. After thinking for a bit, he was sure that this was also a trial that Mamiya was testing him with—to give up everything and obtain the ingot, or keep walking on the given path. The thought helped Dalgil regain his self-control and get up.
“…I’ll tell you this in advance.” Dalgil restrained himself with superhuman patience and looked back. While he was still hesitant, he said, “The owners.h.i.+p of the reliquia will be…pa.s.sed to you.” Dalgil suppressed his desire and made his decision. His eyes were directed at none other than Chi-Woo. Everyone’s gaze snapped to him, and Chi-Woo, who was fiddling with the World’s Milestone, widened his eyes. He had his hopes, but didn’t think he would actually get it.
“If any of you have complaints, tell me now.” Dalgil looked back at the expedition members with menacing eyes; it looked as if he would immediately shut down anyone who came forward. Everyone slightly shrank back under his blazing gaze.
“Ah…I envy you…a reliquia…a reliquia of all things…” However, Bogle couldn’t help but speak in an envious tone.
“For your information, neither you nor Airi should dream of getting anything in the sixth room.” Dalgil decided to make their position clear while he was at it.
“Tck. That’s the condition Grandpa Mangil set on his own. I don’t know about you, Captain, but why must Airi and I…”
Bogle murmured quietly, and Dalgil didn’t bother rebuking him. Since the object was so precious, it was understandable that Bogle would complain, and his murmur could be easily overlooked.
“Sigh. That’s really amazing… I’m so jealous. Anyway, congratulations! As expected, people who live a kind life are blessed.” Bogle was envious, but he accepted Dalgil’s words and congratulated Chi-Woo with sincerity. Dalgil’s expression also brightened. He thought that at least one or two people might claim owners.h.i.+p over the reliquia, but everyone easily accepted his decision.
“If no one has any more complaints, it’s decided.”
Chi-Woo looked fl.u.s.tered. He had been envious when Ru Amuh obtained a magic sword, but he had never dreamed that he would receive such a precious item incomparable to the sword. Chi-Woo tried to refuse once out of courtesy, but he couldn’t bear to open his mouth; he felt a strong sense of impatience to obtain it—not from himself, but from La Bella.
“Hmph. I’m really jealous. It might be accurate to say that this expedition is for you and not for me.” Dalgil tried to suppress his envy as much as possible, but he ended up voicing his thoughts. And when he was about to finally lift the ingot—
“!” Hawa, who had been blankly looking at the altar, flinched. She quickly scanned her surroundings and slightly widened her eyes. And when she was about to quickly shout something—