The Dark Passage is said to be a ruin that has existed in the city of Safuro for a long time.
It is a place that is shrouded by darkness, making it difficult to see, and absorbs any light that enters.
It is also inhabited by monsters and have been sealed for a long time, and was classified as a place forbidden to explore.
"...His Excellency wants to use the Dark Passage as a sort of direct route."
"So you don't know where it leads to?"
"There is a dark path near the city, and we believe it connects to it. The request is to validate that information."
We were drinking tea in a restaurant while listening to the story.
"So who was that guy?"
"General Gio. I used to be with the Knights and have had a long relationship with him. Because of his position, it's hard to turn down a request like this, even though it's kind of impossible."
She also told us that she tried several ways and methods to explore this passage, but failed miserably every time.
I don't think it's right for a stranger like me to tell her what to do.
She accepted the request, understanding that it was an impossible mission to accomplish. Even if there is no possibility of succeeding, there will always be requests that cannot be refused due to personal interests.
For example, someone who owes you a favor.
"Please. Please lend me your strength. I'll do anything if we succeed."
A jolt passed through my entire body.
The beautiful dark elf before me will do anything for me.
Anything... I don't know if there is any man who wouldn't be moved by these words.
However, I thought I saw Kaede's eyes grow teary, so I quickly replied.
"We'll take 70% of whatever we find in the ruins. I don't want a paycheck for this job."
"Are you sure about that? I mean, there might not be anything there."
"It's okay if there's nothing. It's like sightseeing."
The place we're entering is forbidden, plus I can't rule out the possibility that there are valuable objects there.
If there are relics to be found, I'll be able to make a lot of money. Since this deal is already mutually beneficial, there's no problem.
"But I still don't know how we'll be able to enter that place if all light is absorbed."
"If we use light magic, we can make it. I don't think everything will be absorbed in an instant, and you already know part of the way. What do you think?"
Ultina was silent for a while and then nodded her head.
"I think we can do it. Frau's ability can emit enough light to illuminate the place, plus, if I regulate the energy, you can use me as a torch."
"Then it's settled, I'm relieved to know that we've found a solution to that problem."
I didn't think Frau had refined the power of her light skill. It might be a more dangerous ability than I imagined.
Kaede and Panda had traces of fear in their expressions.
The Dark Passage is on the outskirts of the city.
The entrance was locked by a solid metal door.
General Gio unlocked it with a key and opened the door for us.
"Be careful. There are some nasty monsters roaming around down there."
"We'll be fine."
"Hmph, I missed that look. I remember those days when you were my second in command. How many times have I rescued you from one pit or another?"
"Your Excellency! Don't bring up something like that now!"
"I'm sorry, I forgot your companions were here."
Now I see why you couldn't refuse this job....
Ultina doesn't make eye contact and goes downstairs first saying, "Come on!"
"Take care of her."
I nod at Gio's words as we follow her.
"I can't see anything!"
"I'll turn on the light."
Ultina turns on a lamp.
But the light got smaller and smaller in an instant, till it was the size of a firefly.
So this is the Dark Passage. I can understand why it hasn't been explored until now.
"This is where Frau comes in. Cover your eyes."
The light that appeared in front of us was so intense that I could see it even with my eyes closed.
When I opened my eyelids in fear, I saw that Frau was illuminating the surroundings with a light equivalent to the intensity of a torch.
Now we could really explore the passage.
"Are you all right?"
"Yes, I think I'll be able to hold it for some time."
"Let me know when you can't anymore, I don't want you to risk it."
Frau and Ultina lead us down the hallway.
Behind them was Kaede mapping the surroundings, and at the end was Rosuke and me.
Luckily Rosuke is a beast that doesn't rely on vision.
So he'll be able to perform well with his senses here.
"I was wondering, why did the great race build a place like this?"
"Surely they were trying to hide something."
"Master, is there a treasure here?"
My job, [Great Thief], is detecting it.
There is treasure here. Something akin to a sense of smell picked it up.
"Yes, there is a very rare item hidden here."
Paki paki pkai
That sound... Again.
It seems like this moment has finally arrived.
《Notice: Your labor saving has reached the upper limit, so your payment will be updated》.
《Notice: The payout will be increased by the effect of skill UP》
《Notice: You have acquired the job [Illusionist]》
I was a little hopeful that I could get a good job.
No, this is okay.
I have too much power as it is.
Even if I have a lot of job classes, if I don't use them, it'd be a waste.
Suddenly, a disturbing sign appeared in my field of vision.
《Report: The first Job limit layer has been destroyed.》
Ehh, what the heck?
Does that mean I'll still get many more in the future!?
"Take it out, Wanger!"
The Wanger was pitted against a snake, which it then mauled to death.
They say that snakes can sense heat, so they must be able to perform in a place like this
Beyond the road, the Dark Passage split in two directions.
"There's a breeze coming from there. It smells of flowers and grass."
"So that's the way to the capital - what should we do, Ultina?"
"I'd like to check the route to the capital first."
Now I understand everything. That's what we're here for.
This town is far away from the capital, but if you use this passage as a direct connection, it is possible to make the trip in one day.
The only obstacle is the monsters.
"I can see a light."
It has been five hours since we entered the passage.
I started to see a small, diagonal light in front of me.
We climbed some stairs, and found a meadow in front of us.
The entrance to the Dark Passage was at the edge of the forest, buried in the woods.
This seems to be the reason why there are monsters all along the path.
If you build a door and finish off the monsters inside, you will be safe even with all that darkness in the air.
The first thing I did was cut the surrounding plant life with my sword, and blocked the entrance with a wooden board from the inside to prevent more monsters from entering.
"Now all we have to do is get rid of the remaining monsters inside and we will have accomplished our mission."
"Thank you very much for your help. I hope I can repay you in some way for this."
"You can thank Frau, it was thanks to her that we were able to get this far."
Hearing those words, Frau thrusts her chest out with pride.
"Exactly, thank me. Without Frau here, you wouldn't have been able to explore the place. I'm no longer just a washboard with wings."
I never said that.
Ultina looked at Frau's chest, then thanked her with a smile.
We returned to the fork in the passage and, after some rest, resumed our search.
The other path seemed to lead further down, and we descended the stairs several times.
Ultina's axe slashed through one of the enemies.
She began wheezing, slowly approaching her limit.
Time to switch.
"My turn, I'll take care of the enemies we encounter."
"I'm sorry, I think I've reached my limit."
"It's okay, it's time for you to rest."
I eliminated all the monsters that came our way with my bare hands.
Finally, we came to a door.
"Why is there a door in such a big space?"
"Were there any other hidden doors along the way?"
"No, [Great Thief] didn't detect anything. If there had been, I'm pretty sure I would have found it."
I grab the doorknob and turn it.
Time to pull out the Super Universal Key.
I pulled the cable out and opened the door.
Giiiiiiii. The door slowly swings open.
This is a great treasure!
There were countless relics stored in the room.
And there's also a magic circle on the floor that seems to have stopped working.
A black shadow darts across the corner of the room.
It hid behind a relic and held it's breath.
"I know, prepare to fight."
I pulled my sword out of it's sheath.
Come on out.
I kicked the ground hard and ran to where the shadow was.
I quickly confirmed the appearance of what was hiding there, and stopped abruptly because of how shocked I was.
What I saw was Luna, who looked haggard.