|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3149 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1386 words|
Mira washed down the last bits of cheesecake down with milk tea, then after taking a breath she took the files on the table. There was a diagram of a transversal cut through the mysterious underground cavity, which showed just how deep the hole in the middle went.
(That looks rather deep. And it’s a really straight hole.)
The hole in the center was at least a hundred meters deep. Only someone rather courageous would dare venture inside it. After looking at the hole for a bit, Mira noticed what looked like multiple smaller rooms above the cavity.
It looked like diagonal paths went up from the edges of the large space, leading to rectangular rooms above. Then other paths came out from those rooms, leading to others above, continuing on and on reaching just below the last floor of the white castle.
「Say, Solomon. What are these rooms?」
The white castle was on the bottom floor of the Ancient Temple Nevrapolis, but there was nothing else below it. That was how Mira remembered it, so she pushed the paper to Solomon’s face as she asked that.
「Ohh, you’ve noticed those rooms? I guess you did. I guess I have to tell you then.」
Solomon reacted, as if he really had wanted Mira to ask him that, speaking with a bright smile. The investigation team that went to the place had found other corridors different from the one the devil opened.
There were uneven steps on those corridors leading up, and when they reached a certain room, they found a lever that opened a gate into a larger room. The investigation team were taken aback by what they saw in that room.
「You see, that room was actually a hidden treasure safe!」
Solomon’s smile became even wider as he produced another document titled ‘Ancient Temple Nevrapolis, Underground Inventory,’ which he showed Mira.
「Ohh…oh..! This is incredible!」
All the items found in that treasure safe were listed in the inventory. There were the average gold, silver, and jewel type of treasure, but also items like Dragon’s Crown, Spirit Princess’ Divine Red Sword, Elixirs, Goddess Tears, Hermes’ Winged Boots, Magic Spear Brionac, and others. A quick glance was enough for Mira to know there were plenty of powerful items there, making her exclaim in surprise.
「It’s incredible, I know! I did a quick sum and I’m sure it’s all worth more than a hundred billion Rils. I couldn’t sleep from excitement that night.」
「I don’t blame you, finding such a haul.」
Mira’s eyes glinted as she looked at the things found in the cavity the devil dug to. Solomon was not done talking yet.
They were all valuable and powerful items and weapons, so rather than keeping them in the castle’s treasury, Solomon let the army manage them. As a result, many of the commanders and officers in the army obtained better weapons, raising Arkite’s military power all across the board.
Meanwhile the legendary weapons with names were given to various peace-keeping organizations like the guards.
「There have been an unusually high number of monster sightings lately, so I’m glad they’ll have more firepower if there’s a surprise attack.」
There was a chance the devils were planning something in secret, but overall there had been an influx of monster spawns. Solomon was exceedingly happy that he had been able to find a solution to that issue with the treasure, and he thanked Mira for going to the Ancient Temple before, happy for the finds in there.
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「Anyway, that was not the end of the rooms there. The investigation team found there were even more above them. Look at the diagram again, there are ten more rooms.」
There was a network of multiple rooms beneath the white castle, and Solomon pointed at them on the piece of paper again.
「Wait, were the other rooms also…」
There might be other inventory lists. With that expectation, Mira almost sprung up onto her feet with excitement.
「All the other rooms… were not chock full of treasure. Sadly, they were all empty.」
Saying that, Solomon let go of the papers and slumped his shoulders.
「Hmph, I expected as much.」
Mira reclined back on the couch and stuffed her cheeks with a chocolate cream puff, glancing at the diagram on the table.
The corridors reached all the way up to the white castle’s basement. It was actually rather simple. The correct route to reach that treasure safe was to enter through the white castle, and slowly make way down the rooms.
「Well, I guess it does make sense though.」
After that Solomon spoke about one room he had not mentioned yet.
The investigation team was essentially going up the rooms in reverse order, so they had little difficulty reaching the highest rooms. But the intended path to reach there was hidden by many ingenious doors. The entrance from the white castle to the highest room was hidden below a floor tile, which led to a corner of the ceiling of the room.
There was a column in the room next to that spot as well, which helped hide the entrance even when the floor tile was removed.
If one went down the entrance, they would find themselves in an empty room. After closely examining that room, the door to the next room would eventually become apparent, but that room would be empty as well. After repeating that for room after room, they would eventually reach the treasure safe.
「So if you go through the correct route you’d probably leave after reaching that room.」
「Yes, anyone would assume that’s the finishing line.」
The two muttered, remembering the many dungeons they cleared in the past. Having a room full of treasure was a common endpoint for a set of rooms. After finding a secret room under the white castle in the Ancient Temple, they would reach a room with treasure. Anyone would be satisfied with that.
But that was all a front to hide the large cavity further below even more.
A hundred billion Rils filled that room as nothing but a smokescreen to conceal the space below. That devil had been looking for something in there. A follow-up investigation was underway to figure out exactly what the devil’s objective was.
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「That sounds so bothersome…」
The devil itself had been defeated already, so there was little they could realistically do. But Mira could not quench the feeling something was wrong.
「Anyway, I’ll take care of the rest, don’t worry. You just focus on your own mission. Let’s talk about him and that castle, shall we?」
Solomon returned the investigation documents to a shelf before returning to Mira with a smile.
「My mission, huh…」
He brought a different set of papers, which Mira accepted with a slight grimace.
「Oh… you’ve discovered this much already?」
Mira sounded impressed as she glanced at the new set of papers. It contained everything Mira had discovered in her travels so far, and the conclusions reached from that.
「While you’re working hard out there, people here are hard at work as well. As you can see, it seems he started looking into a way to create the Brilliant Chalice of Divine Decree at least five years ago.」
Solomon sat down in front of Mira and poured milk tea into two cups as he summed up the results of the investigation so far.
The first step to create the Brilliant Chalice of Divine Decree was to take the root of a Sacred Tree and carve a chalice out of it. The carving could only be done in a very particular place, and Mira had found wood shavings there. A specialist examined the shavings Mira brought back, and determined they had been made at least five years prior.
「Hmm, five years, huh. That’s quite a lot of time. Do you think he’s done creating the chalice then?」
After saying that, Mira took a cup of milk tea and began sipping on it.
If Soul Howl was solely focused on making the chalice, then five years was plenty of time to finish. And from the traces Mira had found so far, it seemed he was rather desperate to complete it.