“The person who oversaw this place must have been a nice person . There aren’t any weird riddles we need to solve or keys we need to find . ”
Lapis, while jogging toward where it seemed to be the control room, was evaluating the person who oversaw the facility .
“Mean people would make up riddles that would make you want to rip your heart out trying to figure out . ”
Loren didn’t really get it, but he wondered what kind of ruins Lapis had explored before this one .
He wanted to ask her, but had a feeling that she would start talking about something unspeakably terrifying, so he was scared to ask .
“I’ve read it in a book . ”
“I’m sure you did . ”
Lapis somehow guessed what Loren was thinking, and gave a reply, but to Loren, it sounded like nothing but an excuse .
He would believe her even if she said that she explored tens and twenties of ruins already . This is what his image of Lapis was at this point .
“I really did read it in a book, you know!?”
“Okay, let’s say that that’s true, so hurry up and lead us to the control room!”
Surprisingly, it wasn’t Loren that rushed Lapis, but it was Ritz, who was running right behind them .
Although he chose to follow Loren and Lapis, it didn’t change the fact that half his party couldn’t fight and they didn’t know when more goblins would appear .
Loren thought that if it were just goblins, Ritz could handle them on his own, but the fight with the mock-goblin seemed to make him want to avoid goblins at all costs .
“Man, this quests sucks . ”
“Can’t say that I don’t understand that feeling . ”
Loren understood that Ritz couldn’t help but curse .
He didn’t know much about exploring ancient ruins, but he didn’t believe that there would be many of them that would take them to one such as the one they were in right now .
He thought that Ritz and his party were very unfortunate to have chosen this quest, but Lapis softly whispered to him .
“We’ve wandered into these ruins, you know? We’re way unluckier than they are . ”
“Can you read minds or something?”
“Loren, you keep writing your thoughts all over your face . You should really be careful, okay?”
At Lapis’ words, Loren reached up and rubbed his face .
When he was a mercenary, he never looked straight at a person’s face and tried to guess what that person was thinking .
No one had said that to Loren until Lapis had just now .
But since Lapis had accurately guessed what he was thinking so many times already, he decided that his emotions and thoughts must really be easily guessed by looking at his expression .
“In comparison, I would say that the party that was competing against Ritz’s would be the unluckiest . ”
“Yeah, well…I guess that’s true . ”
“Well, enough chatting for now . We’ve arrived . ”
Lapis stopped in front of a pair of large double doors .
It didn’t have a keyhole or handles on it, so Loren wondered how Lapis was going to open them . He watched her walk up to them with the manual in hand, and with her other hand, swiftly traced a part of the doors .
The parts where Lapis traced started glowing and the doors opened forward without a sound .
“That’s impressive . ”
“It’s too early for compliments . ”
The room they walked into was quite large .
Lined up and stacked up across the wall from the entrance were a large number of boxes, and there were words in the Ancient Kingdom language written on them .
It was a dreary room with nothing else inside it, but Loren looked at the walls on either side and saw large double doors on both .
“This is the control panel . This can control the whole facility . ”
Lapis walked up to one of the boxes and touched the surface, then started hitting it .
As soon as she started doing that, the words on the boxes started to change .
But all Loren could tell was that they were changing, and had no idea how they were changing .
“Can you do this?”
“Of course . You can count on me . This is a piece of…”
Lapis stopped talking .
Loren looked at what Lapis was staring at and saw that red words on the surface of the box .
“This is weird . It keeps kicking me out when I try to operate it . I was able to turn on the control panel and all I need to do is send the shutdown signal…”
Lapis, looking unsatisfied at the result, tried again to gain control, but the red words popped up again .
Loren didn’t know what they said, but he did know that Lapis failed to gain access yet again .
While Ritz and the others looked on with anxious looks, Lapis knitted her brow and read through the manual again and tilted her head .
“This is strange . I didn’t mess up operating it . ”
“If that isn’t the problem, do you have any idea what might be?”
“If there was anything I would’ve fixed it already…I wonder what’s wrong? Maybe the control panel itself became weird after all the time that pa.s.sed? If that’s the problem, there’s no way to fix it . ”
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As she said that, Lapis traced her fingers on the box once again .
“What are you doing!? This is really bad!”
Ritz tried to grab Lapis, but Nim and Jack, who managed to stay calm, held him back .
They did so because they knew las.h.i.+ng out at Lapis wouldn’t do anything, but their worry and anxiousness could be seen on their faces .
“The facility’s defense mechanism just activated . ”
“Can you be more specific?”
It may have been obvious for some people, but Loren had no idea what was going to happen .
After Loren had asked for an explanation, Lapis put her thoughts together and explained their current situation .
“The ruins have recognized us as foreign existences, and will eliminate us using goblins . ”
“What are we going to do?”
“I believe that all the goblins that are already produced will all rush towards this room, so for the time being, please keep them away . ”
Ritz and his party’s faces were filled with despair .
Loren grabbed the handle of his great sword and prepared for battle .
If the mock-goblins came it would be quite a hard fight, but there was a chance that they wouldn’t show up .
There were three entrances, but he didn’t think that many of them would swarm in at once . As Loren thought that if it were a few of them at once they still had a good chance, he heard Lapis’ voice .
“I’ll try to fool the system . Once I get in, it won’t matter how many goblins are here . ”
“I just have to buy you some time, right?”
“I’m sorry . I’ll be defenseless while operating this, so . ”
“How do you even know how to do that, anyway . ”
Although he felt hopeless, Ritz must have realized that fighting was the only choice they had right now . Ritz asked Lapis as he readied his sword and s.h.i.+eld .
“I’m a priest of the Knowledge G.o.d, after all!”
“You can’t say that every time, you know that?”
Loren snapped at her convenient excuse .
Part of him was trying to warn Lapis that it won’t work for everything, but the other part was trying to save the reputations of other priests of the Knowledge G.o.d that were out there . He also didn’t want Ritz and the others to get a mistaken image of them, either .
“I haven’t said anything that isn’t true you know?”
“I guess you haven’t, but…Never mind, just keep doing what you’re doing . ”
As much as Loren wanted to defend the priests’ reputations, he reminded Lapis that there were other things they had to do right now . Lapis nodded and went back to focusing on the control panel .
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