“We’ve really made it somehow?”
Ritz asked as if seeking confirmation, but no one responded.
Yes, everyone was tired because of all the continuous running, but the impact of the place they had just escaped from was more heavy.
“What a bad experience.”
Between them, Lapis was the one most affected, with her white priest dress becoming filthy. It was covered in cobwebs and all the dirt they carried, and stained with body fluids and chunks of the spiderlings she had trampled on the way.
Loren and others thought she shouldn’t have dressed in priest clothing if she disliked getting dirty, but Lapis stubbornly insisted on it.
“It’s not about the design. It’s a necessity for a priest.”
Seemed like it wasn’t an excusable thing. Loren didn’t understand why, but if Lapis insisted so, he thought her opinion should be respected. He also thought she should put up with the dirt in that case.
The states of the others’ shoes and pants weren’t much different from Lapis. But for some reason, Gula was the one least affected. With so much skin exposed, everyone was concerned that she would be covered with spiders’ webs and fluids and flesh. Yet while they were tediously wiping themselves down, there wasn’t a speck of filth on her body. Even Nim, who was unquestionably light on her feet as an elf, still had her legs quite dirty. Ritz and others were impressed by her unexpectedly skilled footwork, and only Loren had a different idea.
“Did you eat them?”
“Ah, I feel so refreshed somehow.”
Gula played dumb, but it was obvious that she had done something. From the state of things, it was certain that she had secretly used an Evil G.o.d’s power.
“You ate them, right? You have such bad eating habits.”
Gula’s power was basically eating. While others were struggling to escape from the adult spiders while the spiderlings were swarming under their feet, she had used <> to clear her way and ensured her own foothold.
“I’ve no idea, whatcha talkin’ about. By the way, Loren, I heard that in certain southern countries, spiders are used as dessert. Is that true?”
Refusing to admit it, Gula asked him a question back, but Loren curtly answered:
“We still haven’t got through this tunnel yet. Please refrain from chatting.”
Ritz chided, and Loren and Gula obediently shut their mouths.
Getting through the tunnel was of course their top priority right now, but there were still things they had to worry about.
“We ran over that many spiders, so it won’t be strange if some has gotten inside our clothes. Be careful.”
Depending on the situation, it wouldn’t be much of trouble to notice or exterminate a big spider. But the spiderlings they had run over might be able to slip under their clothes as they were small and at that size, they would be very hard to detect. According to Lapis, huge spiders wouldn’t lay eggs until they became adults, so the risk of being injected with eggs was very low. Still, having spiders in one’s clothes was super gross, and their group walked on while patting their clothes to check for spiders.
“Gula, it’s great for you to not have to worry about it. With that attire, there’s no place for spiders to hide in.”
The spiderlings surely wouldn’t have any place to crawl in and hide in Gula’s daringly exposed outfit.
“Poor you, Lapis-chan. With such a dress, the spiders will be all over inside, right? Be good, lemme check it out for you.”
Grabbing Lapis’ hand, Gula pulled her towards herself and started thrusting her hands into Lapis’ clothes.
Gula acted so fast and smooth that Lapis didn’t even have time to protest or stop her. She was taken aback, but she came to her senses after a short while and began to push Gula’s hands away in a fl.u.s.ter.
“It’s alright, just leave it to me. Lapis-chan, you have lots and lots of hiding places. I’ll properly check them all and kill all the spiders for you.”
“Where are you putting your hands on?! If there are spiders there, I’d definitely noticed!”
“Nah ah~, it’s unexpectedly easy to miss.”
Gula held Lapis from the back so that she couldn’t get away and touched her all over. Naturally, the scene attracted Ritz’s and Jack’s eyes.
“Wai… eh? Err, that’s why there…”
“It’s nice, right? Isn’t it nice here?”
“Hyaa?! Where are you touching!”
“It’s just women bonding. It won’t shrink anyway.”
“No! The visible thing won’t shrink, but the invisible one will!”
Loren wondered what would shrink while averting his eyes and tried his best not to look over there. At the same time, Nim kicked Jack, who was watching very eagerly.
“Your eyes are those of a criminal.”
“Can you not be that savage?!”
Jack immediately got up and protested, but he shut up as soon as he saw Nim’s unhappy face and meekly mumbled some excuse instead.
Gula s.h.i.+fted target to the unhappy-looking Nim and went towards her with grabby hands.
“Nim-chan, do you need me to look you over too?”
Making use of that opportunity, Lapis put some distance between her and Gula and went to hide behind Loren as if intending to use him as a s.h.i.+eld. Her face was red.
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“Don’t say so, Nim-chan. Your outfit is also really fluttery…”
Having a spider on your shoulder wasn’t a pleasant feeling, it just sat there motionlessly without biting him. Loren poked at it with a finger to chase it away but it didn’t budge no matter what, as if it had decided that his shoulder would be its home.
“Is this a spiderlings of that Huge Spider?”
“Eh, it seems a bit different somehow?”
It really did look different from the spiders that had been attacking them. Huge Spiders had long thin legs, but this one was rather short and round, with short thick legs. It had a black body that gleamed like obsidian, and eight eyes that were as red as ruby.
Loren poked it a bit stronger, yet it still didn’t budge from that spot.
“Can it be that it feels attached to me?”
“You mean the spider? Are there spiders that feel attached to humans?”
Loren didn’t have an answer for that. Not knowing what to do, Loren continued poking the spider. Nim, who had grown tired of verbally abusing Jack, noticed what he was doing and came over. She leaned closer to look at the spider.
“It’s an adult Obsidian Spider, I think. It’s extremely rare.”
“Is it dangerous?”
“A bit. They tend to cling to strong individuals.”
According to Nim, they had very hard bodies and even carried poison, yet weren’t aggressive. They preyed on the kills of the individual they clung to.
“They also spit threads. They’re quite strong by themselves, so it’s a mystery why they cling to others.”
“Will it lay eggs inside me?”
The victims from earlier flashed through Loren’s mind. He didn’t want to go through such an experience.
“These spiders lay only one egg, but this one seems to be a male.”
As the spider didn’t move no matter how much he poked it, Loren tried pressing on it with his finger. But the spiders planted his feet on Loren’s jacket and firmly but stubbornly refused to leave.
This continued for a while, yet even multiple tries later the spider still showed no signs of moving no matter what, and Loren gave up.
“Can’t be helped then. It’s fine as long as it doesn’t bite me.”
“It can look like an accessory.”
As Lapis said, the unmoving spider’s s.h.i.+ning black abdomen certainly did go with the color of his jacket. So it indeed looked like an accessory.
Loren sighed and flicked at the spider head to tell it to not cause him troubles. As if understanding it, the spider stirred just a bit, then returned to its stationary state. It didn’t even twitch.
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