“You said return it to its dormant state, but how?”
“I haven’t really thought that far ahead . It’s not like I know everything . There’s many things that I don’t know about . ”
To Loren, nothing rang a bell when it came to shutting down the ruins .
He asked Lapis, but apparently there were things that even she didn’t know about .
Loren thought that it would be so much easier if Lapis, who seemed to know a lot about ruins, knew how to shut it down, but Lapis added with a huffy look .
“Every ruin is different, so there isn’t a definite way to do it . It’s not like I haven’t done enough research . ”
“It’s written all over your face Loren . That’s not a good thing . ”
“Then where are we headed right now?”
Luckily for Loren, Ritz caught up to them and changed the subject .
When Loren gave her a questioning look, Lapis looked slightly dissatisfied, but sighed and answered .
“I was thinking of searching the rooms of the Ancient Kingdom’s citizens . I’m sure there was a person in charge of this place, and the manual for these ruins are most likely there as well . ”
“There were people living here?”
There was no detailed record of where the capital of the Ancient Kingdom was .
Some said that it was at the bottom of the ocean, and others said it was flying up in the clouds, and the records of how it perished were nonexistent as well .
If the records did exist, adventurers would swarm it, looking for lost knowledge and technology, but nothing of the sort had been found yet .
Even if someone managed to find it, it wouldn’t be in a place that was close to any city or village .
Loren had traveled here from the village of Ain for the quest, so he knew how far the goblin nest was from there .
Loren was surprised that people actually used to live in this remote place, but Lapis seemed to have an idea and started talking about it .
“They did have the magic , but paying the high mana cost of using such a spell just for transportation between the city and the facility isn’t ideal . ”
“Well, I wouldn’t know . ”
“It would be better to make living quarters inside the facility and make sure people can live comfortably there . ”
“Is that the way it is?”
“That’s exactly how it is . There should be houses for the researchers and related people in here . We should go and search their homes for a way to shut down the ruins . Also while we’re at it, if we find anything of value, we take them for ourselves . ”
“Don’t proudly announce that you’re going to steal stuff . ”
Ritz, who was walking behind him, said to Lapis with a tone of exasperation, but Lapis didn’t seem to care . She tightened her fist and firmly declared .
“The owners have died hundreds of years ago . It’s not stealing if they’re dead . ”
“But still . If these ruins were put on pause, wouldn’t it mean the people in the Ancient Kingdom, did it? Then wouldn’t they have already taken everything valuable?”
Loren thought that if he were the one in charge, that’s what he would’ve done . Lapis suddenly looked disappointed and drooped her shoulders .
“Yes, that’s probably true . And in that case, it’s also possible that they took the manual for the ruins and it doesn’t exist here . ”
“If that’s true, what are we going to do?”
“What should we do?”
Loren looked behind him with a troubled face, as Lapis returned his question with the same question .
He saw Ritz and the others, but they were in no shape for another battle .
Ritz and Nim were still able to fight, but Jack’s injury prevented him from being able to fight freely, and Quartz was out of spells .
Loren himself wasn’t in his best condition either .
“Man, my sword…”
Along with the crumbling blade from the fight with the mock-goblin, it seemed that there was damage done to the blade itself as well, so his sword was slightly tilted .
The goblin was indeed quite tough, but it was also because Loren hadn’t repaired it well from the last battle he fought as a mercenary, and even though he regretted not taking it to get repaired, his regret didn’t do anything for him now .
“I think it’ll break after another two or three of those mock-goblins . ”
“That’s a problem . But…procuring another weapon isn’t going to be easy . ”
“If it breaks, I’ll think of something then . Right now, we need information . ”
“That’s exactly what we need . Time to raid!”
After firmly raising her voice, she opened the door in front of them .
Jack made a shocked face as Lapis suddenly opened the door without even checking for traps, but Lapis walked in with no worries at all .
Loren guessed that they reached the living quarters, and Lapis’ actions were based on the calculation that no one would put a trap on their own door, but he still thought that she was acting overly confident . When he walked in after Lapis, he saw her already searching for things .
“Is she okay?”
Ritz, who came in a moment later, asked Loren, but all he could manage to do was shrug .
It was indeed a question that Loren didn’t know the answer to, but he didn’t want to tell that to Ritz and make him uncomfortable .
“I’m actually quite familiar with these kinds of ruins . Rest a.s.sured and leave everything to me . ”
The room looked like a private room, with a bed and bookshelf, but both had rotted over the long period of time .
Lapis started flipping them over with no reserve at all, and though her actions looked like she was familiar with the place, it also looked as if she was flipping over random things, so it was hard to tell if she actually knew what she was doing .
“She knows more than us for sure, so we should let her do her thing . ”
That was all Loren managed to tell Ritz as Lapis started to look more like a robber than a priest, pulling out shelves and flipping the bookshelf .
“There’s nothing useful at all . ”
Lapis’ raid moved from room to room .
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She didn’t find much of anything valuable, but still managed to find a few books and accessories, as well as some coins .
“Too late for me to turn back now . I won’t leave you on your own . ”
“I’m relieved . This is a bit too much for me to handle alone . Thank you . ”
Loren rubbed his nose and looked away from Lapis, who was smiling at him .
He didn’t have any experience of anyone thanking him back when he was a mercenary, and although Lapis’ straightforward grat.i.tude and happy expression didn’t feel bad, it did make him feel a bit of embarra.s.sment .
“I have some good news for you, Loren . ”
Although she said it was good news, Loren couldn’t really take it seriously at this point .
Without showing it on his face, he lamented that ever since he accepted Sarfe’s invitation, nothing good has happened to him .
Not noticing Loren’s frustration at all, Lapis took out a book from the shelf and waved it proudly in front of Loren’s eyes .
It was definitely old, but somehow preserved very well, and although the color was faded from it and the corners were crumbling, he could make out the words on it .
“Even if you put that in my face, I have no idea what it says . ”
“This is the manual we’ve been looking for . It has the instructions for shutting down the ruins as well . ”
“You’re able to read that, huh . Impressive . ”
“I’m a priest of the Knowledge G.o.d, after all . ”
Loren, thinking that other priests of the Knowledge G.o.d probably wouldn’t know how to read the language, stared at the book held up in front of him .
Lapis opened up the black leather cover and pointed at a part of a page to tell Loren where the instructions were, but of course he couldn’t understand a word that was written on there .
“Are all priests of the Knowledge G.o.d this extensively knowledgeable?”
“There are some . Like me . ”
Loren didn’t miss Lapis’ gaze slightly turning away from him .
He guessed that saying that priests of the Knowledge G.o.d knew many things was just an excuse, and all the things she knew were things the demon kind knew about .
“So, what do we need to do?”
“There’s a control room somewhere . We need to use the control panel to get it to shut down . Let’s head over there immediately… Have you made up your mind, Mister Ritz?”
Ritz looked back at his party, then back at Lapis, and finally made up his mind .
“We’ll go with you guys . I feel like we’ll have a higher chance of surviving if we do . ”
“I see . Then let’s hurry to the control room . Once we get there, the job should be as good as done . ”
Lapis closed the manual and tucked it under her arm .
As Ritz made his decision, the only thing left to do was act .
For Loren, whose thoughts became completely pessimistic at this point, couldn’t help but think that there was no way they would get to the control room without trouble, and tightened his face .
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