Translator: Kell | Editor: Weasalopes
The Huge Hole Underground
Hikaru could’ve taken the Blade of Severance and Dark Night Cloak, but he decided to leave them for now. It wasn’t as though the researchers would make sudden progress in the next few days, making the items usable. Right now, he wanted to gather information without getting distracted.
I’m sure the Pope treats these holy mana items as top secret stuff. I think it’s safe to assume that Father Scott Fairs found out about them and got killed.
When Hikaru stepped out of the room, he saw the man guarding the door eating with his colleagues. Relieved, Hikaru returned the lock back to its place.
Next stop: Underground.
Hikaru only came to the Tower to get information he could use to outwit the condescending priests and monks who picked a fight with him, but instead he stumbled upon greater spoils. He moved by the wall, wondering what to do with this information. He had completely mastered the movements he learned from Professor Mille; each step he made was silent.
As he made it to the entrance, he checked to see if anyone was around before stepping outside. After returning to where the paths split, he proceeded deeper underground.
The stairs made for an easy descent, gently curving downwards, away from the laboratory.
「Such immense mana… I can’t really tell how many people are down there.」
The incredible amount of mana hindered Hikaru’s Mana Detection. There should definitely be people in there, but he could also be wrong. The stairs eventually led to a cave.
It looked like a naturally-made pit, with a high ceiling that couldn’t be seen from the bottom.
A magic circle… So this is the source of the mana.
The cave had a diameter of about a hundred meters, almost elliptical in shape. In the middle was a magic circle at least fifty meters in diameter, with a two-fold golden light spinning gently at its outer edges. Geometric shapes─Spirit language─filled the circle and at its very center was an octagon.
I thought the magic circle that Lavia creates when casting her spell was dreadful, but it looks adorable compared to this one. What’s this magic circle for anyway?
The magic circle seemed to be blocking the huge hole on the ground. Or at least that’s what it looked like.
Why close off this huge hole, though? Who even made this magic circle?
A magic circle was a manifestation of magical power, used to tell the Spirits what kind of phenomenon the spell caster wanted to produce. That is why Spirit language was embedded in the magic circle.
However, not one person could decipher the language. Spirits were, after all, beings that couldn’t be seen nor felt; they could only be accessed when casting Spirit magic.
There are armed men here too, huh? Hmm, is that a Blue Knight?
Just like the laboratory, this place was guarded by armed men as well. No torches illuminated the cave, the only light came from the glowing magic circle. The men weren’t temple knights. Their supervisor, however, was a Blue Knight, a middle-aged man with short, brown hair. They were on the opposite side of the circle, so Hikaru couldn’t hear what they were saying.
I should get close.
Then, as Hikaru moved his feet, a booming roar came from the huge hole, followed by a slight trembling.
「Oh, crap. This place is dangerous, man.」
「It’s fine. As long as that magic circle holds, no monsters will come out of there.」
Hikaru heard the exchange of the men closer to him.
Monsters? In this hole?
As Hikaru glanced at the hole, the Blue Knight stepped into the magic circle and sauntered inside without any problem. Beside him was a set of stairs that led down. Peering into the hole, the knight descended slowly.
Is this what I think it is?
Hikaru was taken aback. If his guess was right, then he just stumbled upon something incredible. He heard the other men talking.
「I shouldn’t have taken this job.」
「Sure, the whole confidentiality thing is a pain, but it’s an easy job with pretty good pay. We just have to watch this place and pray nothing comes out of there.」
「How many have made it up here before anyway?」
「No idea. Although I heard a few knights who went down there went missing.」
「Damn, that’s terrifying.」
Their conversation just proved Hikaru’s guess to be true.
Is this an entrance to a dungeon?
Hikaru returned to the hotel late that night. While it was one step inferior to that of the Grand Hotel, all they really needed was a place to stay, and it served that purpose well. What’s more, there were plenty of hotel of this class, so they didn’t have to worry about being found.
「I’m back. Oh, you’re still up.」Hikaru said.
「Welcome back, Hikaru.」
「What happened, Hikaru-sama?」
A number of books about this country’s Church lay scattered on the table. Lavia pretty much read anything.
The room was considerably smaller than the one in Grand Hotel, but talking among themselves should be fine. Hikaru paid for a separate room.
Hikaru then proceeded to tell them everything that happened today.
After finding the note that Hikaru left, the girls moved to this hotel. They should be able to hide here until the foreign minister from Ponsonia arrived in a few days. As soon as they met with the man, they should be able to leave the city without any trouble.
「A huge magic circle…」Lavia muttered. She looked really interested.
Hikaru stayed for a few more hours underground to determine what time the laboratory closed and what time the guards changed shifts.
He was starving, so he munched on an apple-like fruit in the hotel room.
「Do you remember what the magic circle looked like?」Lavia asked.
「I knew you’d ask, so I made notes.」Hikaru handed a piece of paper to Lavia who stared at it intently.
「Uh, Hikaru-sama. What’s a holy mana item?」
Paula knew about the revolver, but Hikaru hadn’t told her how it came into his possession. It was the perfect time to tell her about the Underground City of the Ancient Gods.
「Whaaat?! You cleared that dungeon?!」
Apparently, this was news to her.
「Hikaru, this magic circle…」Lavia finally raised her head.「It’s different from the ones I know. This is just a guess, but I don’t think you’ll find something like this anywhere.」
「What do you mean?」
「Normal Spirit magic uses only one element, but there are people who can combine two elements at a time. In that case, the magic circle becomes a bit more complicated.」
「So does this one use two elements?」
Lavia shook her head.「I think… it combines all four elements. A Mage who can control all four elements at a high level might know what this is.」
One person came to Hikaru’s mind. A girl with black hair tied in a pigtail. She possessed a special Skill called Spirit Affection and had five points on each element on her Soul Board.
「Selica might know something.」Hikaru said.