Chapter 27: Two People in the Underground Temple
Caria and Helot Stanley’s voices started to fade away while we went further underground. It looked like we changed positions, and we got separated from them. I came closer to the sideline to have a better look at the surroundings.
「I feel that this place could have some sort of traps. 」
「…For some reason, I’m feeling nauseous. I’m not exaggerating. I wonder how adventurers handle these extensive explorations.」
After professing those words, Filaret la Volgograd looked at me while I put some chewing tobacco on my mouth. I could only hear the chewing sound coming from my mouth. Strangely, the volume of their voices gradually faded away. Only silence remained.
We went to the underground temple and we got separated from the others. Filaret was feeling bad, but she kept her cool and continued to walk using her instincts.
It was not nausea. It was nerves and tiredness. That’s why I brought some chewing tobacco with me. I could feel the burnt smell through my nose. It felt refreshing and my mind was clear. It reminded me of my younger days. I was always nervous because of the dangers of my previous quests. I was always alone when I scouted. I regarded myself as a scared crow waiting for danger to strike me from my back.
「Wha…What should we do? Should we wait here for help? Or should we move on?」
I rounded my eyes as I thought about her words. I was about to swallow the saliva I accumulated from chewing my tobacco. But, I felt uncomfortable because the black-haired Sorceress was staring at me with anxious eyes.
Well, I had to say that I found this rather surprising.
Who knew that Filaret la Volgograd would ask for my opinion? In this timeline I was an existence to her after all. Of course, she was different now from her future self. She regarded me differently at this present timeline. Yet, I felt something overlapping here. I could not tell what it was. It was surprising to see her cheeks tightening in this unexpected situation.
I got a wooden stick and I filled it with fatness from a demon beast. I lit up a fire using the lighter from my chewing tobacco.
「Okay, let’s move on. Don’t fall behind, miss employer. I’m used to this. So, let’s go before the fire goes out.」
「But, it’s really dark in front of us. I wonder if adventurers can really see in this darkness.」
Like I said, I was used to it. Still, I gave my hand behind my shoulders in order to avoid her being lost in this darkness. Ah yes, I was really used to this type of surroundings. Although, this was just my second experience in the dark, after coming to this timeline.
The underground temple was built of old stones and clay. It was far from being a delicate space. I could feel a harsh atmosphere from this place.
There were no valuable things down here. And it didn’t look like a place that was used for worshipping. But, still, it was the Sorceress idea. There should be a significant reason that made Filaret want to come here… That was why she hired me in the first place. She had no choice but to hire someone capable on wandering through the dark depths of the temple.
These abandoned places and ruins became the habitat of wild animals and evil spirits. This location belonged to the city-state Guild’s jurisdiction. Rather than leaving locations like this restricted, the Guild organized from time to time, expeditions for adventurers. Sometimes, it didn’t involve just explorations requested by the Guild. The state-city would, occasionally, order some excavations as well. Therefore, the Guild wasn’t the only place to commission people to do these types of works. The city-state administration would also be paid accordingly to each request completed. It meant that each of them would receive some profit as well. Money wouldn’t go in the pockets of the poor no matter where we went.
In other words, it was not acceptable to enter freely into the Guild management facilities. Whether we brought something back from the expedition or did some sort of excavation work. It would only be acknowledged if the Guild gave permission directly or if the request was made officially by a third party. Otherwise, Filaret wouldn’t be able to hire me if we didn’t follow these rules.
Ah, of course, I should’ve known why everything was messy. It was because of the former apprentice Knight. First, she behaved rashly when we were inside the Guild and, second, she ventured inside this temple without proper evaluation. What an idiotic person. It seemed that her brain was only made of rocks.
I held the torch and I moved forward. I could hear Filaret’s footsteps from behind my back. It was interesting to hear the echoing sound of stepping on cobblestone.
I stopped walking and I looked back to have a glance of all the surroundings. My eyes were strongly assessing this place. I opened my mouth to profess some words. Yes, we should be fine.
「You know, the demon beasts…I thought that something would crawl out from this darkness. This place is safer than I thought it would be.」
「Hey, hey, we should not let our guard down. This place is the perfect location of nesting monsters. Some people have crazy fighting instincts, but I’m not like that. I’m afraid of death. Let’s hope any of those monsters won’t attack us from inside these traps.」
We put our hand in one wall and it opened naturally. We managed to avoid stepping in a similar trap like the one before.
Yes, the first trap was triggered when Filaret was separated from Helot Stanley.
「However, it seems that you’re enjoying the thrill of this place. The ruins of the temple from the old religion is not something we should explore with half-hearted feelings.」
Anyways, we all came here as a party. Since Helot Stanley decided to come with us, it would’ve been obvious for him to remain by Filaret’s side by all means. For a man who had an awful sense of justice and commendable companionship, his words became meaningless in a place that resembled a child’s play.
It was not as if I schemed for this to happen on this specific moment. If I had to choose, I would rather not speak to this particular woman.
However, in the future, Filaret only viewed Helot Stanley has the only existence in the world besides her. That’s why their link had to be broken no matter what. Just by imagining their interactions, my heart would drop as if it were a hard stone. The struggle I had during my days with the rescue party and the hate I always had for Helot Stanley. I felt a sense of fear wondering if this world would follow the same path as the world before. I might end up with same results once again.
All sort of emotions were driving me crazy. I could feel excruciating pain from my insides.
Therefore, I must become the one beside her, not him. That’s why I had to seek something in order to separate them for good.
「…You’re noisy. We have a situation here. There’s no time to talk about feelings.」
「How can you speak like that to a Sorceress. 」
Well, that’s it. I should become Filaret’s acquaintance. First, I had to break the awkwardness between us.
Of course. To be honest though, it looked like she had visited this place before. I wondered if something went wrong during the previous time she came here. Maybe she found this place from taking a detour on a particular journey.
However, I wasn’t sure if I would call her a woman during this timeline. She took off her hood to observe the surroundings of this place. Based on her looks, I could say that she was still a girl.
Perhaps, she failed to issue a request in the past. She couldn’t have come here without the formalities of the Guild. She was probably forced to give up. That’s why she became obsessed to explore this area. If that was the case, then I thank her for bringing me here with her. That way, I could get more familiar with her. Of course, she didn’t know about that.
「Listen, you should be fine. Why are you afraid of death? You are a Sorceress. You can perform all sorts of magic.」
The times I spent with the rescue party came to my mind. I remember that the future Filaret la Volgograd was a fearless and confident Sorceress. She wasn’t afraid of anything because she believed that she could do everything with her magic skills. In regards to sorcery, I didn’t think that anyone would be able to beat her.
「Don‘t speak like you know me. 」
Suddenly, I heard strangely distorted words. I opened my eyes widely and looked behind my back. She continued to speak.
「Listen, you don’t know anything about me. At all. Do you get it? Thanks for reminding me of my unworthiness! You are the one that isn’t thinking properly. You are the person without knowledge here…Well, forget it. It doesn’t matter.」
Her words were firm, yet brutal. On that moment, I could see faint tears on the corner of her black eyes. She was always a calm and well-disposed person. And yet, she portrayed a seemingly impatient attitude with me. It was strange to see her behaving like this. After some thought…
「It’s true that I don’t have much knowledge. I get that. But, I know about you because it’s normal for me to investigate about my client to some extent in advance. Besides, I know that you’re a student from Bolvato, a location east from here. I did just a small research, but it was enough to give me an understanding your character. After all, you are a known student of ancient and modern magic at that school.」
After I answered back at Filaret’s words, I started walking ahead while chewing some tobacco.
Of course, I didn’t investigate her. However, according to what I heard during the rescue party, people said that she was a devoted researcher of magic in Garoua Maria. I heard that she amassed accomplishments very early on. She was named a genius of her expertise. So, it was obvious she wasn’t an ordinary person.
「…Ah, I knew it. You probably received the request after hearing about me. I’m probably a foolish person, you know. I’m a girl from the outside, but I’m much crazier from the inside.」
I was amazed at everything she said to me. What were those words? Were those masochistic words? Or were they, perhaps, a joke? This was not a laughing matter.
「Hey, give me a break. You are a very talented person. You don’t look like a fool to me.」
「Talented? Hmm…Don’t say unreasonable things. But, if I don’t seem like a fool to you, okay then. Does that mean that you think that I’ll succeed as a Sorceress?」
「Of course. And, you’re no fool. Yeah, that’s why I accepted your request in the first place.」
I didn’t understand this at all. I heard that she was a woman full of talent from a very young age. Naturally, if someone had to bet on her future as a Sorceress, anyone would say that her future would be full of glory. But, it was confusing. This person, who always acted as if I were a mouse to her, was actually listening to what I had to say.
For a brief moment, our voices became silent. It was obvious, because we’ve arrived to a particular location in the darkness of the underground temple.
I was glad that we managed to reach our destination safely.
「Well, we’re here, miss employer. This is your destination, right?」
I could hear Filaret’s heavy breath. She seemed astonished and happy at the same time. It looked like she wasn’t able to sort out her own emotions. But, she certainly had a very good expression on her face.
The place we arrived after coming from a darkish narrow passage was a large Basilica. I see, so this was the main hall of the underground temple. This was the true destination of Filaret. The ancient place that kept the knowledge of the heraldic order.
Damn I’m wasted today, sorry for the eventual mistakes that might have slipped through this chap.
Thank you to the Patrons for the continued support!