Walking through the bandits’ base wasn’t difficult at all .
After all, they didn’t have the luxury to care about Loren’s party right now . They were busy trying to form groups to deal with the sudden attack of the undead, but parts of the groups kept becoming undead themselves and attacking the rest . Thus, they just couldn’t get the situation under control .
The only way to solve this was to deal with its source, Shayna the King of Death, but she was currently wielding her power to cause this magnificent chaos from within Loren . So no one could even come up with the idea that this human swordsman was the source of this undead outbreak .
[‘Sucking out their life, killing them, then controlling their corpses… It’s a simple task for me . ’]
Shayna said . One could see the triumphant look on her face just from her tone, but only Loren could hear her voice . Watching the horrible spectacle unfolding around him while jogging towards the ruin’s entrance, Loren thought that it was surely a power worth boasting about .
The smart ones among the bandits had already started to run away at this point . The not-so-smart ones were still trying to intercept the undead’s attacks, but unless this outbreak ended, they only had two options: running away or becoming undead themselves . The base’s destruction was just a matter of time now .
Loren’s group pa.s.sed through such chaos with no trouble, and before long, they reached their originally intended destination: the ruin .
Its door was gigantic . It was several meters high, made of metal, and looked to be very solid and very difficult to move . Loren looked at the closed door and wondered hard about how the h.e.l.l Tizona managed to get past it to go inside .
As if to answer him, Lapis pulled at his sleeve:
“What is it?”
“There’s another path . ”
Lapis pointed to a normal wooden door installed directly into the mountain a little distance away from the metal door . In front of the door there were two piles of ash being scattered by the wind, the door itself had a burned hole, big enough for one person to comfortably pa.s.s through .
“Why is there a door here?”
“Maybe… That door doesn’t open, so they had to dig into the wall and make this door?”
Ruin doors were normally locked, and the sealing methods varied: It could be via physical locks, or via magical seals . It seemed like the bandits weren’t able to open the door of this ruin, but still determined to make use of it . So, they destroyed a side wall and inserted a regular door there to make an entrance .
“What the… such a brute force…”
“It looks like the walls weren’t strong enough to prevent being brocken through . ”
“So it means this huge door won’t open . ”
Loren touched the metal door, thinking it was such a waste of such a majestic door . Feeling the cool sensation of metal under his palm, he gave it a little push, wondering if it really wouldn’t open . The door was lighter than its size and thickness suggested, and it opened inward a little .
“Hey, has it just opened?”
“Eh? Why do you open it?”
“You ask me why?”
Things meant to be opened should be open, right? Loren pushed at the door with a little more strength . He felt no weight, and it easily opened further inside .
“Maybe Tizona opened it from inside?”
“Then what did she burn that big hole in the wooden door for?”
Loren peeked inside and took a look at the wall next to the metal door . The wooden door with the big burned hole was there . Whichever doors one picked, he would end up at the same place .
“Looks like there’s no one here . ”
Loren said while slipping inside the ruin . Lapis and Gula followed him .
On the other side of the door there was a s.p.a.cious entrance hall . Wide staircases fixed to both the right side and the left sides of the walls were leading to the upper level . They met at a landing of the first floor, then continued to rise and joined at the third floor . The third floor looked to be a hall with handrails .
Several chandeliers hung down from the ceiling . They probably once served to illuminate this large s.p.a.ce, but now none of them were casting light . Instead, there now were tallow candles erected here and there on the stairs’ railing and at each of three floors, casting faint light . The walls looked to be coated with something, but after centuries and years, they were all peeling now, revealing the stones . Still, the place overall was very s.p.a.cious, and gave off the ambiance of a n.o.ble’s mansion .
The party had originally expected that numerous bandits would enter the ruin, and that they would have to start fighting as soon as they entered . However, thanks to Shayna, the bandits had all become characters in the picture of h.e.l.l outside, and there was no sign of anyone coming to meet them now .
“Tizona is deeper inside, I guess?”
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Everyone strained their ears, but all they could hear were the shrieks and sounds of the battle outside . Nothing could be detected coming from deep inside the ruin . If Tizona was engaging in battle with enemies inside, they should have heard something .
“Oh? Who might this be? Is it another mouse?”
Still carefully avoiding looking at Tizona, Loren warily held his sword ready and looked around . The room was vast with a tall ceiling, and deep inside it was a slightly elevated platform, on which there was a throne-like, heavily and gaudily decorated thing .
The figure sitting on the throne spoke, while Gula stood on guard beside Loren:
“Eh? Wouldn’t this be Gula? Why might you be here? And with humans at that . Isn’t this preposterous?”
“I’m also finding this ridiculous . I’m sorry, but gathering bandits at such a place and playing king? We haven’t met for a long time, have you leveled up on stupidity since?”
There was a bit of disgust on Gula’s face as well as in her tone . That surprised Loren, but what made him even more surprised was the voice coming from the throne deep inside the room . It was a male voice, but a bit high in pitch . It sounded almost like a child’s voice to Loren .
“You’re still as sharp-tounged as ever, Gula . I’m not playing king . I AM a real king here . They just gathered here without me even doing anything . It’s quite convenient to be honest . ”
“From the look of things here, I already know what you’ll answer if I ask you to quietly come with me . ”
“Gula? Are you gathering us? Should I obediently come with you? But too baaad, I think I’ll do what suits me this time around . ”
The owner of the voice stood up from his throne . He wasn’t very big, and with just candlelight illuminating such a large room, Loren couldn’t see his face from this distance . But then, the figure snapped his fingers rather dramatically, and a magic light appeared right above him . With it, Loren could see him clearly .
“Loren, he’s Mammon Avarice, the one called Evil G.o.d of Greed . ”
Loren gazed at this Evil G.o.d as Gula spoke . He was quite short and wouldn’t even reach Loren’s stomach . He had fluffy curly brown hair, and his purple eyes, the characteristic of Evil G.o.ds, seemed to look down on Loren . Just as Loren had guessed from his voice, he appeared to be a young boy . He also dressed like a kid from a well-off family, which made the thing he was holding look even stranger .
“I should say ‘Nice to meet you’, should I? By the way, who is this human to you, Gula? Bait, or portable snack?”
The boy called Mammon smiled . In his right hand was Tizona’s armor, and he was twirling some small piece of cloth on the finger of his left hand .
“I’m just wondering, but is that the underwear of the naked lady over there?”
“You want it? You really want it don’t you, onii-san . But I won’t give it to you . Because I’m Greed . ”
The smile turned into a somehow murky laugh . Alert by the change, Loren turned the sword in his hands towards Mammon, ready to strike at any time .
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