Chapter 278: Spicy deal.
“So that’s what happened, that a higher rank dungeon would be under my nose, you say that the undead could have come from there or have been a triggered trap?”
“It’s a possibility, honestly I don’t really know, I have never heard of monsters being able to cross through unconnected dungeons.”
“That is true, never heard of an event like that happening before but we can’t count it out…”
Roland and Arthur were at the end of their discussion and he had disclosed most of the information. He didn’t lie about the Lich's origins as he couldn’t truly know if the monster was the same one he saw on the other side of the dungeon. There was also a possibility of it actually being a random sp.a.w.n in the dungeon or some kind of timed trap that was activated after he stayed in the mine for too long.
“I’ve heard of boss-rank monsters appearing when adventurers spend too long in a specific zone… but if it actually crossed from the other dungeon over to ours then it could be problematic… but also… a chance…”
Arthur at first seemed distraught by the idea of monsters ransacking his city but after hearing that there was a tier 3 dungeon hiding under his nose, he recovered quickly. Roland wasn’t sure how he gained the rights to this city but how he reacted made it seem that he wouldn’t lose any rights to the tier 3 dungeon even if it was found.
Normally a n.o.ble in a higher position than Arthur would jump in to take the place. A dungeon with proper tier 3 monsters was like a true gold mine. The materials that these monsters left behind could be made into true treasures. Even a simple bone from the Lich could be turned into a potent elixir or a strong weapon that could go against tier 3 individuals.
“You say that there were more than one of these tier 3 undead there? What rank would this dungeon be rated in your opinion?”
“What rank?... That depends if the area the mine connects to is unique or not… if it’s just a small zone containing a few tier 3 monsters then it would mostly be a B but if it’s more than that…”
“If it’s more than that? Could it be?”
“Yes, an A-rank dungeon.”
Roland noticed a strange twitch in Arthur’s eye. It probably took a lot out of this small-time n.o.ble to not fall off his chair. Gaining something like an A-rank dungeon next to his city could either be a blessing or bring disaster. Dungeons of this rank were quite rare, even in the whole kingdom they could be countered on one hand.
There was a possibility of one of the Valerian brothers trying to force their way into these lands to get to a dungeon like this. They probably wouldn’t be able to do it through legal means. The war for succession wouldn’t allow that, everyone was given something to start with and if they got lucky that was counted in. This however didn’t mean that they wouldn’t use underhanded means to get to him.
‘If Arthur died then his brothers could add this land to their forces, putting someone from their side to manage it would be the next move if they couldn’t just include it into their territory.’
This was quite problematic as most of the people that Arthur was competing with had access to tier 3 cla.s.s holders. From Roland’s perspective, it wouldn’t be that hard to pay off a powerful a.s.sa.s.sin to get to him. There were some ways of getting a protective shield around him though, one through the same means as the a.s.sa.s.sin.
“...But there is another possibility…”
He spoke up as in his mind there was another probability. It was strange that an A-rank dungeon was just hovering in this place without producing an exit. These strange underground structures wanted to be discovered. The way they always produced one entrance was proof enough. This one, on the other hand, didn’t seem to have made one yet but it was already this rare, it made more sense that something else was happening here, it might have already had an entrance somewhere else.
“The S-rank dungeon in the middle of the island, this might be part of it.”
“Mr. W-wayland you must be joking right? How could it be part of that dungeon…”
“Those kinds of Lich monsters do appear in that dungeon… could it be part of the infernal wyrm maze? Wasn’t there an incident a few years ago where some miners unearthed a secret pa.s.sage?”
Mary Chimed in from the side while Arthur slumped against the desk before him. This was no laughing matter, gaining access to an S-rank dungeon would be tremendous. What was an S-rank dungeon? It was one that actually contained monsters above tier 3. Only Orichalc.u.m and Adamantium rank adventurers had any hope of coming out alive against monsters above that tier.
‘That S-rank dungeon is said to not have been fully explored even after being discovered hundreds of years ago. What did they call the last boss there, Calamity Dragon, or was it the Nether Infernal Dragon?”
Roland tried to remember the records concerning the dungeon. In reality, people had given up on killing that monster and claiming the treasure it protected. After several Orichalc.u.m and even Adamantium parties were wiped out by it, the consensus of the beast being too strong had spread through the whole kingdom.
The only possible way of claiming the last victory was a combined effort. If the Kingdom lent their best knights, if the Solarian church allowed their cardinals to compliment the Adamantium rank adventurers then it might be a possibility. However no one was willing to potentially give up their strongest fighters, it was just too risky. If they lost even one of those pillars of support for their faction it could be disastrous.
“You’ll have to excuse me for a moment Wayland, this is quite a bit of information you have brought me.”
“I understand but Lord Arthur…”
“You can just call me Arthur when we are here.”
Roland nodded as his being a runaway n.o.ble was somewhat known now. He had not mentioned his roots and was allowed to forsake his old name after answering some questions. The contract compelled him to prove that he was not part of any of the opposing factions, a spy from Arthur’s brothers or another kingdom. After confirming that his background didn’t really matter he was in the clear with Arthur and Mary.
“Fine… Arthur, I’d advise you to think about the hidden dungeon later and focus on the problem that we have now, first we should get rid of the Lich and then tackle the other issue. I’ll guarantee that unless you let someone else mine that area they will not discover the secondary dungeon, you don’t really even need to disclose it as another dungeon yet…”
“Oh? What do you mean?”
“How about, we just say that it’s another part of the Albrook dungeon? If you let me work on the entrance, I can create a permanent entrance.”
“That would give us time to explore it but for that we would need the guilds support…”
“If you are talking about that guild master, then he would probably go along with it.”
“Yes, that man’s greed knows no bounds…”
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The image of a grinning bald Aurdhan appeared in his head. Roland had interacted with this guild master on a few occasions and he knew the man was always willing to try a good scheme. With his help, they could slowly examine the dungeon without news spreading. He had enough contacts to hire a platinum-rank party for such an occasion.
“Ah yes, the monitoring system was it? That is certainly an ingenious creation, we will have to discuss its implementation in the dungeon after this little event is done with.”
Roland replied in short sentences as always which made Arthur chuckle slightly. Their little daylong discussion was over and he had somewhat been able to get out of it without landing in prison. With the contract signed Arthur has somewhat proven his desperation which he could use now. However, this was just a small bandaid on an entirely bigger issue. A whole new can of worms could be opened now as he would have to put his eggs into Arthur’s basket and hope they don’t break during the b.u.mpy road ahead.
‘Hope this doesn’t bite me in the a.s.s in the future but it should be fine to just support him with some runic items at lower margins.’
That was his takeaway from the conversation that they were having. He would aid the young lord with his runic expertise and counseling while the other would see past the current events. In reality, this was something he was eventually planning to do. The tier 3 monsters next to the mining area couldn’t be withheld for all eternity.
He just wanted to do it after he achieved his next cla.s.s change to be in better standing. If that was the case the contract he prepared would have probably been a lot more in his favor but due to his blunder, he needed to give up on some things. While he wouldn’t be giving up his autonomy Arthur would be able to call for him for help if it was needed.
‘I hope that one clause won’t bite me in the a.s.s later on…’
Not everything went his way with the contract but it was already a done deal. Now he needed to focus on the present. He was already in town so before going back to his workshop he decided to pay Elodia and the orphans a visit. Bernir didn’t trigger any alarms so it was probably safe for now. Later he needed to return him to his wife as there was no need for him to remain after the small attack was over.
‘Arthur should be right, the Lich will probably remain in the dungeon and try to ama.s.s a new army but I’m not sure if it will stay there indefinitely.’
This was the big question, would that thing be content in remaining in that dungeon as a regular Lich would, or was it going to come out? A lot depended on the Platinum rank adventurer party that they were scrambling for and that was currently indisposed. Even if they gave out a mountain of gold, if the adventurers were busy then they needed to wait.
‘I don’t think Arthur can call up any of his brothers for help either, not after he knows that he is sitting on a gold mine.’
If Arthur had proper backing he would have enough power to call over some valerian knights. Within a few days, they would be here to kill the Lich that compared to the monsters inside the S-rank dungeon was a speck of dust. This speck of dust could be a potential giant wall that they get crushed by. Time was ticking and another wave of angry skeletons could arise at any moment.
“R…Wayland, you’re okay!”
While thinking about the future he arrived at the home that Elodia lived in. She spotted him from her window and quickly ran out to give him a hug. This of course made the patrolling soldiers give them an odd look as the city had been closed off for the time being. Only thanks to an identification plaque that he was given by Arthur was he able to move around freely, one of the new boons of their new contract.
“Yes I’m fine, just came to the city to check up on a few things but mostly you.”
Roland said with a straight face which caught Elodia a bit off guard. Considering that the city wasn’t breached it was obvious that everything was fine but other means of trouble could arise even without any monsters present. If the city remained closed off for too long there was a possibility of riots and pillaging. There weren’t that many guards around and they were already busy watching out for the possibility of a monster uprising.
It didn’t look so bad but since coming to this world Roland knew well that it was always quiet before the storm. If his life here taught him anything is to prepare and over prepare as much as possible because when it rained it always poured…
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