Today is the day we leave the elven village.
I had been allowed to stay here for four more days.
Alusha and the chief came to say goodbye.
"So you're leaving now... I'll miss you."
"We'll be back. We still haven't fully decided which scrolls we'll be taking as our reward."
"You are always welcome here. You are now friends of the elves."
We shook hands.
One day we will meet again.
Maybe that time will come sooner than we think.
The chief approaches and whispers.
"I feel concerned about the destination this magic circle will take you to. I am sorry to bother you with this request, but if there is a problem, feel free to send us a message. And if this circle is in a place where it can easily lead other creatures or humans to our village, please destroy it for me."
He probably has it in mind to use the circle, since if it's not exposed or a security risk, he doesn't want it to be destroyed.
The provenance is a matter of considerable concern.
Personally, I would like not to destroy it.
After saying goodbye, we headed to the magic circle.
It is not clear where it will send us.
If we are not careful, we could find ourselves in a place where we could die instantly.
But it is inevitable not to want to know what awaits us.
"Let 's go!"
"Yes! Alright! Kyui!"
The three of us jumped into the magic circle at the same time.
We arrived at a place where there was very little light.
The magic circle shines, but the space is too big to overlook.
It smells of dust and dirt.
And there are no signs of any animals nearby.
《Notice: the level of the camouflaged ring is now level 2》.
Are you really going to level up at a time like this?
What a bad time to do it.
Although it is useless to scold the ring....
"Be wary of the surroundings, and don't turn on any lights yet. Kaede, make an assessment to find any enemies. Frau, use reconnaissance to see if there's anything lurking."
"Panda, float above us."
I unsheathed my sword and sharpened my senses.
I feel no malice, no traces of living beings.
The air doesn't feel heavy.
Maybe we are in an enclosed space.
"I don't see any enemies."
"Nothing and no one is hiding."
"All right, make a light."
Kaede uses her orb of light to illuminate the place.
Apparently, we are inside some ruins.
There are pieces of the ceilings crumbled on the floor, and there's debris from the walls scattered all over the place.
I see no exit anywhere, I sense that this is a closed room.
I will use [Great Thief] to find a way to get out.
"That 's strange."
I pushed a part of the wall, and suddenly a passageway opened up.
However, there was no light behind that hidden door, everything was completely dark.
Also, I can't feel any air flow, so this must also be an enclosed space.
"I know we're inside some ruins, but I don't see any signs of a way out. This is worrisome."
"We have to find one fast. I don't like being locked up."
The three of us walked through the door.
Various parts of the room have cracks that allow bits of dim light to shine through.
It is approximately the same size as the previous room.
Moreover, the deterioration is even worse here, and the sand falling from the roof formed small piles everywhere.
"What do you think?"
"Hmm, the front wall looks suspicious."
I made sure to knock on the door in hopes of finding another secret room.
But unfortunately, this time there was nothing like a hidden door, and it was in a completely sealed state.
Although a slight sound was generated the moment I touched it.
It seems that you can't get out without destroying the wall.
"Everybody stand back."
I pulled away, took a step back, and quickly ran towards the door to break it down with my body.
Just one moment before I made impact, the door flew open.
Behind the door, there was an old man in a robe.
The momentum of my body caused me to collide with him and I knocked him over with me, slamming us to the ground. The lantern he was holding in his hand hit the ground, generating a loud noise.
The old man's lips and mine touch a bit.
His beard makes me feel a tingle around my mouth.
It made me nauseous.
It's not the first time I've kissed someone, but it's certainly the first time I've done it with a man.
I couldn't even imagine an old man being in a place like this.
"Hey, get away from my lips!"
"I've never done this with anyone but my wife!"
"Don't bring it up again, please, you're torturing me."
Anyway, I apologized for the incident.
Even if it wasn't really my fault to appear out of nowhere.
In my mind, destroying the wall made me look cool. But the reality was different.
I should have broken the wall with my fists.
"Are you all right, Master?"
"I hope that old man didn't do anything to you!"
"I'm fine, don't worry."
I explained to Kaede and Frau that there was no problem.
Although the incident with the old man's lips is something that I'm taking to my grave.
Fluttering footsteps echo.
"I heard a scream, are you okay?"
We are in a place that looks like a living room.
There is a passage in the back, from where four adventurers came out.
A muscular man, who appears to be the leader among them, turns the torch towards us.
"You are safe, Lord Scotchell!"
"I'm not injured. I'm just a little surprised."
"I'm glad to hear that. By the way, who are these people?"
"I don't know. They came out of nowhere, through that wall."
The adventurers who appeared drew their weapons.
"Wait, we're not bad people!"
"Then tell us who you are. From the looks of it, you seem like other adventurers, but nothing assures us that you are not demons in disguise."
An adventurer suddenly appears in the ruins.
This is certainly very suspicious.
"We are the Manyu Brigade. We are a B-rank party."
"Manyu Brigade... Are you the rumored adventurers we've heard so much about recently?"
"That we are. What is this place?"
"It is the deepest part of the ruins near the capital Grigit."
The deepest part of the Grigit ruins?!
Weren't there about 20 floors in those ruins?!
We were very lucky to be sent to a distance relatively close to the elves' village.
It means that the distance it takes to walk about three days has been considerably reduced.
The old man noticed my bracelet and looked back.
"Oh, that's a hero bracelet, he's telling the truth!"
"What? Old man, you know about the bracelet?"
"Yes, I was once the hero of this country."
The old man rolls up his sleeves and shows me a gold bracelet.
The design is different, but certainly very similar to mine.
"Hey, don't you dare call Lord Scotchell old!"
"I'm sorry, but you guys haven't introduced yourselves either."
"Orlos, calm down, the boy is right."
The old man steps forward and introduces himself to us.
"I'm Scotchell, a former hero with the title of baron, and these are [The Flame Axe Gang], they're escorting me."
"My name is Orlos, I am the leader. this is Poloa, my vice leader, this is Lynn, and lastly Bax."
Scotchell is an elderly man with gray hair and a beard.
Orlos is a strong man with fiery red hair tied at the back of his head.
Poloa is a young man with one eye hidden by a long golden fringe.
Lynn is a girl from the cat tribe, a part of the beastkin race, and has brown hair.
Bax is a muscular young man with short black hair and a headband.
The flame axe gang, I had heard of them before.
I believe they are an S-rank party that originated here in Grigit.
If they have reached the deepest part of the ruins, then they must be a very skilled party.
"I have a hobby of investigating ruins, and this time I planned to investigate the deepest part of these Grigit ruins.... But then you lot showed up and interrupted me."
"Sorry for the inconvenience."
"It 's alright. How did you get here?"
Lord Scotchell's eyes were sparkling.
Even if he didn't bother to ask, I could see it in his gaze as if he were saying "if you came out from in there, then there must be a big secret."
I can't say anything about the magic circle.
It would be a big problem if you could use it to enter the elven village.
"I had stepped on a magic circle by mistake. I didn't know what it was, so I was just engrossed in looking at it. I think it was a trap."
"Where did you step in the magic circle?"
"In the underground ruins of Einark."
"That's a little vague."
Lord Scotchell looks at me with suspicion.
"Let me take a look in the back."
The old man feels along the wall and enters the place we came out of.
He looked in all corners with a lantern and then let out a sigh.
"I had hoped to find some relic that has not yet been discovered, but I see that there is nothing here. These ruins have been exhausted."
"Is there something you're looking for?"
"Well, my granddaughter has been poisoned, and I'm looking for a high-grade antidote. This search is just an excuse."
The old man's face twisted with sadness.
It was terribly heartbreaking to watch.
I wanted to help him.
I put my backpack down and pulled out the magic storage.
From within the cloth, I retrieved a bottle I was saving.
I took it out, and gave it to Lord Scotchell.
"This is a high-grade antidote."
"With this you will be able to help your granddaughter."
The old man, upon receiving the antidote, fell to his knees, closed his eyes and let out a deep sigh of relief.