|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 966 words|
That place was in the middle of a forest, and the only part of it where the greenery was cut off. The vegetation growth was interrupted there, as if it was avoiding something, creating a peculiar vacant space.
It stretched for about ten meters at most on every side. It wasn’t so big you’d call an open clearing. However, my eyes that were used to the greenery around perceived it as quite vast.
And on one of its sides… the slope of the mountain was shaved off in the form of a cliff. The surface of that cliff was covered in black stone, seeming as if they were burned in place with some kind of heat source.
“Reid, is this the place? It looks like an ordinary cliff… Or not?”
After he looked over the surroundings, he took back his initial judgment of it being a simple cliff. He clearly felt something was out of place here.
“Ohh, as expected of a magic specialist, you noticed, huh?”
“Was this wall created through magic? It looks to be quite an old technique too.”
“Yeah. It seems that this technique was some kind of ancient legacy.”
I jumped down from his shoulder and headed towards the cliff. Then, I picked up a particularly blackened stone like obsidian from nearby… and knocked it on a reddish stone inserted into the wall.
I knocked once. Then twice. Then four more times. And once.
The loud knocking of two rocks reverberated through the night. Surprised by the sound, the wild birds flew away and the winged insects gushed out from the ground. Other than those, I could even feel the monsters in the forest getting disturbed from their sleep.
“Reid, even if it’s the middle of a night, making such a loud sound is…”
I could understand where he was coming from. There was no knowing what kind of dangerous animals could be living here. Provoking them in the dead of night was something only fools would do.
Still, I disregarded his words and observed the situation. And soon enough, one part of the cliff crumbled down like sand and opened a path leading to the inside.
“Oh…! A hidden passage, huh. However, it appears like a wasted effort. A simple illusion would have worked well enough to cover it.”
“If an illusion was used, monsters and bugs with bad eyesight could still walk into it.”
“I see, I did not consider that. The point of view changes based on what lives in the vicinity, huh.”
I stepped inside the cave without any hesitation. The inside was illuminated by magic tools bestowed with Light magic, so there was no fear of tripping up.
It went on so deep that you couldn’t see the end of it from the entrance, and the corridor was reinforced well enough to match it.
“It appears that even the corridor and the walls have been fortified with Toughness.”
“Oh, really? I didn’t notice that.”
“Moreover, it is bestowed with Countersense from the outside too to block the perception of magic power. They have gone quite overboard with their hiding efforts.”
“Heh. I knew that old man could make magic tools but… Ah, we’ve arrived.”
Finally, we arrived at the end of the cave where an old wooden door was installed. No, if you looked closer, there was an entire hut buried under the ground.
I knocked violently on that door. He probably noticed when we opened the entrance path, but this old man was a really obstinate and misanthropic man.
“Hey, it’s been a while, old man. It’s me, Reid!”
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Despite my violent knocking, there was only a faint reaction inside. Maxwell was looking at me with vacant eyes as I continued hitting the door.
“Hey, I know you’re there! Answer me already!”
“Go away. The Reid I know wouldn’t have such a high-pitched voice.”
Then, quite an unthinkable reply came from the inside. No well, it was a logical argument, but still.
“I have my circumstances, okay!? Please, just open, will you? You’re making me look like some clown!”
As I was making my entreaty in half tears, the door suddenly opened vigorously…on the outside.
Yes, outside… In other words, towards where I stood.
Since I was in the middle of slamming my fists on it, I couldn’t dodge it in time and took it right in my face. I felt Maxwell holding back his laughter behind me. I’ll remember that, you old fart!
Beyond the door spread yet another corridor, both sides of it furnished with all kinds of weapons and tools. They were emitting such strong magic power you wouldn’t possibly overlook them.
“Are these magic tools…all of them!? If you had this much, you could even buy a small town with that money.”
“That’s part of the reason why he’s hiding. If this blacksmith felt like it, he can make items of this level without trouble.”
“…Are you serious!?”
Maxwell looked shocked, but even I was at a loss for words the first time I visited this place. It even crossed my mind to grab one and make a run for it. However, in a straight corridor like this, you’d get locked in faster than you could make a getaway.
After about ten meters, there was yet another door. That old man must’ve been beyond this door. This time, I opened it without bothering to knock.
“Good grief. You could just let me in without making things so difficult.”
“Isn’t it natural to be vigilant when you hear an unfamiliar voice?”
The man inside, appearing to be in his prime of life, made a shocked face the moment he saw me.
Author’s note: Just who could this hidden blacksmith be…? feigns ignorance
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