Chapter 454: 454
The previous trap had a huge impact on us so everyone is on high alert again .
Even when I try to call out to Celia, she only gives me short replies and doesn’t continue the conversation .
「From my study―― it’s possible the author missed it . There’s no way to confirm that fact . 」
Tristan is the only one who speaks, expressing his thoughts about some book I know nothing about, which is more boring than anything . In addition, he begins explaining at length when I say “I don’t know” .
I mean, this is better than being too lax, but when everyone is this tense, unnecessary mistakes will be made and they’ll overlook simple things .
I should clear the air here .
After making two blunders and being put at the end of the queue, that just means I’m useless, doesn’t it?
「It just so happens that I had potatoes for dinner . 」
I lightly stroke my belly and tense up my abs .
The loud fart breaks the silence without any prior warning .
「Gyaa!?」「Piih!」「Dowah!?」「Kyaa!」「……」「Wai-, that was right in front of me!」
Natia ducks her head between her shoulders and Celia instinctively jumps away .
Agor and his attendant fall over, while a blood vessel bulges on Mack’s bald head .
It’s quite amusing to see them look back .
「Hahaha, sorry . I couldn’t keep it in . 」
I jokingly apologize and everyone gets angry, but they don’t complain, rather they just stare silently at me .
「……sorry . 」
That’s not what I expected . You didn’t have to get so upset .
My only salvation was Celia who softly pounds my chest with puffed cheeks .
「Gosh, Aegir-sama you’re-! Gos.h.!.+」
Celia returns to the front still angry, but as soon as she takes a step forward, she immediately turns her heels around and runs back .
「The floor here is weird! It felt like it sunk a bit!」
Natia puts her face against the floor and slides it around the general area .
The shape of her a.s.s is really p.r.o.nounced in those long fitting adventurer pants of hers . What a nice a.s.s .
「Pressure sensor…… it’s the type of trap that activates when something exceeding a certain weight steps on it . Unlike a switch, the entire floor will react, so we can’t avoid it unless we jump over it…… it’s roughly 8 m, can we do it?」
Natia explains as she draws a symbol with red ink .
「We’ll have to try . 」
After my answer, Natia nods and gets ready for a running start .
Natia leaps at the edge of the red mark and extends her Torimo-kun, easily surpa.s.sing 10 m before sticking a beautiful landing .
「That’s an elf for you . 」
Natia is a forest elf who regularly jumps from tree to tree .
On top of that, she’s proud of her physical ability that she trained to exceed most of the other elves in exchange for not being able to use magic .
「I’ll stick a foothold on the wall, so if you make a two-step jump, you can easily cross . 」
「Understood! Aegir-sama, I’m going on ahead . 」
Celia, with a running start, leaps diagonally, jumps off of Torimo-kun and then bypa.s.ses the trap successfully .
「Alright, next . 」
Natia urges the rest of us to hurry up .
「No…… you see . 」
「……it’s hard for me . 」
「It’s impossible . 」
Mack and Agor shake their heads after looking at each other, while the attendant nuzzles against Agor with a face that’s on the verge of tears . Tristan knows such a feat is impossible for him and sits down on the spot .
「Alright, Agor is up first . 」
I signal Mack with my eyes and the both of us lift Agor up by going under his armpits .
We synchronize our timing and run at full speed――then hurl the large man .
Agor narrowly flies over the trap .
Natia and Celia positioned themselves to cus.h.i.+on his fall, but judged that they couldn’t catch him, and moved out of the way, allowing Agor to crash and slide face first on the floor .
「That was close . 」
「Yeah . 」
Mack and I firmly clasp our hands together and compliment each other on our efforts .
Agor looks as if he wants to complain after receiving a b.l.o.o.d.y nose, but that was the only way to get across .
Following that, we throw Tristan and the attendant in an arc into Agor’s arms on the other side .
Everything thus far has been perfect .
「The problem is how we’re going to cross . 」
「Yeah . 」
We’re both pretty heavy, so throwing the other person over is out of the question .
We also aren’t deft enough to double jump like Celia .
In that case, we can only rely on our leg power .
「Will it work?」
「……fuu . 」
Mack feels his ma.s.sive thigh muscle and smiles daringly .
「Here we go!!」
With a huge running start and large final step that was enough to echo throughout the ruins, the both of us launched ourselves at the same time .
My body is heavy and I can’t dance in the air like Natia can .
But I compensate for that with the strength of my steps .
In order to fly as far as possible, my upper body was leaned forward, so I would be landing on my chest first rather than on my feet .
Celia has opened her arms with a determined expression, ready to catch me .
Of course Celia――can’t accept all of my weight, so the both of us ended up cras.h.i.+ng and tumbling on the floor .
I manage to stabilize and stop myself just before falling on top of her, almost like I pinned her down for some fun .
「That’s dangerous, don’t do it again . I appreciate the thought though . 」
I give Celia a kiss on the lips and her neck before picking myself up .
「I guess we somehow cleared the obstacle . Next――」
Mack looks at me sadly .
He only jumped 4 m and dropped in front of the Torimo-kun which Natia placed before the landing point .
Mack’s body pressed down on the floor, which slowly sank down, and caused the walls in front and behind us to swing shut like hinged doors .
「That wasn’t even close! If you couldn’t do it, why didn’t you say so, you muscle head!!?」
Before I could yell more, I started to hear a soft hissing sound, like air was being blown .
「There are no saws or b.a.l.l.s coming . 」
「This sound…… what could it be?」
Celia’s and Agor’s heads move on a swivel as they try looking for the next source of danger .
The noise gradually gets louder, although we can’t do anything about it .
「Wait, I can smell something strange . 」
Natia suddenly takes out a cotton swab from her chest pocket .
Is that one of the seven tools of an adventurer?
「――!? I-it’s poison gas! Cover your mouths and get down!」
Natia’s warning was too late .
「Aah, I knew I should have gone home . 」
Agor and Tristan collapse to the floor, and Mack falls to one knee .
Celia covers her mouth, but is swaying unsteadily .
「If anymore of the gas fills the room, we’ll die! We have to do something!」
I don’t know if it’s because Natia is an elf, but she has a higher resistance than all of us .
「First we have to plug up the hole it’s coming from…… where is it?」
I can’t find the source no matter where I look on the floor or the walls .
In the first place, how can I even see gas that is colorless and transparent?
「Gehoh gehoh…… wait . Seven tools: Air Vent Finder――!」
Natia immediately slams a paper bag on the ground .
The bag breaks open, scattering some sort of powder that glows red .
The cloud of powder spreads like smoke and drifts like snow onto the floor .
「I see, it’s coming from above . 」
Straining my eyes to follow the movements of the fine powder, I find two silver pipes protruding from the ceiling .
With that said, the ceiling is 30 m high and out of the reach of my sword .
「Celia, can you move?」
Celia stands up, her hand still over her mouth .
Sorry, please endure it .
「Mack, hurry up and stand . 」
「……guoh . 」
This is your mess, so you have to wipe your a.s.s .
This is no time to be foaming at the mouth .
「Natia, I need two of your bird limes . 」
「Geho, geho…… it’s getting tough for me……too . 」
I stick two daggers with the adhesive substance and hand them to Celia .
「Throw these at the openings in the ceiling . Plug up the pipes with them . 」
「R-right . However, I can’t reach from here . I also don’t have enough air to jump……geho geho . 」
I put my hands together with Mack’s in the middle of the path .
「Run towards us and we’ll toss you up to the ceiling . We’ll catch you so you can rest a.s.sured when you fall . 」
Celia replies that she understood and then coughs twice again .
Even in the suffering, she is still dutifully taking off her shoes .
Poor girl . If this fails, I will find a way to scale the wall and headb.u.t.t those things .
When Mack clasps his hands with me, his eyes start rolling back .
Hey, don’t do something so disgusting, you’ll scare her .
「Here I go!」
Celia stumbles a bit and then dashes forward .
I’ll make sure to toss her to a nice height .
The moment Celia’s foot touches our hands, I swing my arms and body upward .
Celia’s light body flies vertically at a rapid speed, halfway up to the ceiling about 15 m .
「Go for it, Celia!」
Celia bends her body in midair and flicks the two daggers at the targets .
Almost like the daggers were connected to the pipes with a string, they accurately flew into the holes, sealing the spouts of the poison mist with the bird lime Natia claims will never come off .
「I-I’m at my limit . 」
After confirming her hits, her head tilts back and she falls back down .
「Good job, Celia . 」
When I catch Celia, I make sure to cus.h.i.+on her as much as possible to reduce the impact on her body .
Mack falls over on the spot .
The steady sound of air being blown out changes to a more m.u.f.fled noise and eventually sputters to nothing after one last puff, similar to the fart I let out earlier .
「Hey, it stopped . ……wait, n.o.body is awake . 」
Agor and Tristan were knocked out before I knew it .
Meanwhile Celia is agonizing in my arms .
Having broken the trap, the doors slowly open up, allowing fresh air to rush back in .
「We made it through somehow . 」
I carry Celia and sit her down where there is fresh air .
As she happily gasps to regain her breath, I’m reminded of the cute goldfish Mel keeps as pets .
「Uuu……I can finally move my body……the antidote……」
Natia crawls on the ground to distribute an antidote to everybody .
Mack is convulsing and on the verge of death, but also manages to survive .
He revives after coughing a few times .
「How pathetic when your body is so huge . How are you going to die to something like this?」
「I actually find it strange that Aegir isn’t affected . Inhaling a bit of the poison should numb your entire body, rendering you motionless and unable to breathe in a precarious position…… yet you’re as healthy as ever . I guess you don’t need the antidote . 」
That’s not it .
「Give me the antidote too . I’m feeling the numbness . 」
Surprised, Natia hands me the medicine .
「S-sorry . You were enduring it? It was because of Aegir that all of us are alive……」
「I feel the tingling in my crotch . What an annoying poison . 」
I gulp down the antidote and the numb feeling disappears .
As I thought, Natia is the greatest apothecary .
「Hey, is this guy really a human? The numbing drug and the poison mist all goes to his crotch?」
「It might be because it’s really humongous and all the blood flows down there…… or perhaps his heart is there……」
Celia and Natia whisper something to each other .
Hey, if you guys are all lively, then let’s get a move on .
Afterwards, we continued to encounter and overcome various traps as we progressed further in the ruins .
For the trap where sections of the floor fall piece by piece, Natia tied a special thread around our bodies to save us .
For the trap where arrows shoot out of a wall, Agor noticed barely in time for us to lay on the ground .
For the room where countless wires barred us from crossing, Celia skillfully maneuvered through and deactivated the obstacle .
For the trap where the ceiling falls down, Mack and I somehow held it up long enough for everyone to escape .
「We might actually have a perfect party geared towards ruins exploration . 」
「How can you say that when out of all the traps we triggered…… 90% of them were your fault!?」
As Natia tries to hide her embarra.s.sment, we advance forward and come face to face with a large door .
There are ten pillars about 2 m high around it .
「This is easy to discern . It’s another trap, right? Something will happen if we open the door . 」
I do a few warm-up exercises as I ask Natia .
「Probably . However, these types of traps can’t be avoided……we have to overcome it with brute force . 」
「Unauthorized……unlock……warning……soldiers…… so it says . 」
It reads: Soldiers will eliminate any unauthorized persons who open the door .
With that said, it’s been hundreds of years and soldiers won’t be around for that long .
Even if they are, they would be reduced to bones .
「There might surprisingly be nothing waiting for us . 」
I smile and push open the door .
As soon as I did, I heard the sound of heavy gears turning and the pillars surrounding the door bloomed like flowers .
「……I see . That’s what it meant by soldiers . 」
Appearing out of the pillars were figures made out of metal .
Their bodies could best be described as a skeletal framework and their faces were smooth like a metallic vase with a single round object in the center resembling an eye .
On their left arm where the wrist should be is a s.h.i.+eld while the right hand is holding a sword .
「Amazing! This is my first time seeing them!」
Celia shouts cautiously while Natia finds a way to get excited in a situation like this .
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「Sure, they’re awesome . But you can admire them after you break them apart . Here they come!」
（What’s wrong with waking up now?）
A rapist dragon can sleep forever for all I care .
Regardless, I’ve slain the six that I promised .
「How are Celia and the others doing……?」
I check on Agor and see him wrestling with a mechanical soldier .
With both of his arms wrapped around its neck, he wrenched the head and finally pushed it to the ground, rendering it motionless .
The machines are hard to defeat with a sword because of how durable the surface of their bodies are, but don’t seem to be as strong against bending forces .
Mack’s guttural bellow attracts my attention as I see him grab a mechanical soldier and repeatedly slam it into the wall .
Bits and pieces scatter and an oil-like substance squirts out, then ultimately it goes up in flames .
I see, the wall is just as hard as these guys are .
Celia throws her knives .
Although they seem to be sucked into the soldier’s body, I don’t think they’ll have any effect……
「Got ‘em! Direct hit!」
The soldier’s gears creak loudly and its movements become awkward before it tips forward onto the ground, and writhes around like it was an insect that just had boiling water poured on it .
「I could see the gears in its body so I wedged my dagger there!」
The gears in a large water wheel will also stop if a small stone gets jammed in between them .
As usual, she has quite the precise aim .
Natia hurls a bottle at the same time she evades the mechanical soldier’s attack .
As the bottle breaks, a syrupy liquid spills out and hardens instantly into an amber-colored gla.s.s .
Frozen in the mysterious fluid, it could only twitch .
「All of them are taken out? Well done . 」
「Same to you, Lord Hardlett . You took out six of these annoying things . 」
Well, I have the Dual Crater after all .
If I didn’t have it, I would have had to use the same joint-locking maneuvers and slammed them into the floor until they died .
（I couldn’t reap their souls because they weren’t human . ）
You, shut up .
「I guess that’s it . 」
I peek under the door and look up to see a pillar as high as the ceiling, in other words, 30 m .
Umu, I get it now . I understand everything .
「Alright, we’re running . 」
Everyone furiously nods their heads .
Noise comes from the pillar and steam puffs out .
「That was close . If something that huge appeared, we’d be done for . 」
I comment as I lean against the wall .
「They’re as st.u.r.dy as anything……I don’t even want to see those standard-sized ones ever again . 」
Agor tosses away his broken sword, which has become only a handle .
「The gears are small and they move around, so it’s a real pain . 」
Celia restlessly feels her chest and thighs .
It seems like she’s almost out of daggers .
「I wanted to bring the one I hardened back home alive……」
Natia says regretfully, but then hangs her head in resignation as she looks in the direction of the path Mack came from .
「In any case, this is our goal . 」
Tristan, who had been quiet up to this point, lightly taps the wall .
In front of us was a door larger and more fortified than the previous one; a door that screamed “final door” .
「So we’re finally here?」
However, Tristan’s expression did not improve .
「We’ve arrived . But it’s locked . 」
Tristan points to the dial next to the door .
「It uses a base-12 numeral system, has eight digits, and four additional levels…… 12 by 8 by 4…… what do we do?」
Everyone paused for a few seconds to think, then collapsed to the floor .
「We’ll have to guess . I mean, we might randomly stumble upon the correct answer . 」
「No, it’s impossible . How many combinations do you think there are? There are as many combinations as there are stars in the sky . 」
I silently fiddle with the lever and numbers .
「The capital sells these tickets for a lottery, you see . 」
You do this…… I see, that’s how it works .
「Everyone says that they can’t win n.o.body how many they buy . Yet, everytime someone ends up winning . The possibility isn’t zero . 」
「Sure, that may be true theoretically . Still, I don’t think you’ll win the lottery right here and now . 」
Tristan sighs as I complete the input of numbers and operate the lever .
「That might not be the case . I’ve won twice before in the past . 」
There was a low-pitched sound that rang out, almost like it was telling me I was wrong .
「No way . 」
Tristan’s jaw dropped . What a rare sight .
「You never know until you try . 」
I put in the next number and pull the lever . Again, the low-pitched sound played .
Tristan’s mouth opened wider . I wish I could show this to Leopolt .
「Who knew . 」
It appears the third number was also correct .
I guess I’m really lucky .
Celia also couldn’t believe what she was witnessing .
Dang, you’re going to make me imagine different things and get excited .
I save the fourth number and pull the lever .
Alright, got that one right too .
「What is going on……」
Natia’s eyes were opened wide in awe .
Her ears drooped so low that they were resting on her shoulders . Is that how they are when they lose strength?
The fifth was wrong .
「Lord Hardlett……he truly has the luck of the devil . 」
Agor is staring blankly at me .
The sixth……alright, it’s correct .
On the surface, Mack’s expression didn’t change, but the blood vessels on his bald head are moving .
What a strange way of showing his surprise . I’m surprised at that .
The seventh……wrong .
The female attendant is defenceless and I can see her chest .
She unexpectedly has a nice pair, good job Agor .
「Alright, last one . 」
I randomly pick a number and input it . A 5 should be fine .
I look over at Natia, whose ears start to perk back up in antic.i.p.ation of success .
1, 2, 3, 4……7 .
「I’ll change it to a 7 . 」
I switch the numbers and pull the lever .
There was a loud thud unlike the other sounds .
My first thought was that I got it wrong, but in the next moment, the large doors swung open, accompanied by the heavy grinding sound of stone rubbing together .
「I don’t think I’ll believe in probability theory anymore . 」
Pleased at Tristan’s reaction, I look into the door, not sure what to expect .
『Entry confirmed . T99 automatic doll activated . This is a high security area . Please state your name and job t.i.tle . 』
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