Sunday, July 17, 2022 @

Chapter 171 Escape from the Royal Tomb

 "No problem. Come on, take it."
 Salomon raised his hand, and three items flew in front of my eyes.
 One was the reward for clearing the 50th floor, which I had not yet retrieved from the treasure chest. It is the 'Scepter of Osiris', similar in shape to papal ferula but with an oval on top.
 It is an item that removes all kinds of curses and abnormalities. The treasure brought me to this dungeon in the first place.
 "And then... Here is the 'Small Key of the Zodiac,' and the 'Feather of Horus.'"
 The 'Small Key of the Zodiac' is the reward for clearing the 60th floor. Contrary to the name "key," this item is shaped like a rectangular seal.
 The 'Feather of Horus' rewards for clearing the 70th floor. It is a big feather of more than 30 centimeters in length, with white, blue, and red lines in various places.
 "With that item, we can help Ryuna, right? What does it do?"
 "That's... I'll explain it to you on the way. Let's get out of this dungeon first since we don't have much time."
 I put the three treasures into my item bag in response to Shakuna's peeking at the items.
 We are now tied at the neck. Our hopeless odds have been raised to 50:50, and we now have a glimmer of hope of rescuing Ryuna.
 "Salomon, we'll leave now, and I'm sorry, but can you keep the man's corpse? I'll come back for it later."
 I point to Hadiss's body lying on the floor.
 I don't want to leave my companion's body, who has been exploring the dungeon with me thus far, but I can't carry him since there isn't enough time.
 "Yes, that's fine. Take care of yourself."
 Salomon waves at me with a friendly gesture.
 It's a casual gesture, like seeing off a friend who's going to the convenience store to buy some groceries... but for now, he agrees to my request.
 I take Shakuna and leave the boss's room. Then, upon returning to the room entrance, I see a magic circle that leads back to the dungeon's entrance.
 "I know it's a little late for this, but I'm glad you're here in this kingdom. I am sure you will be able to defeat Rujanaga and prevent the resurrection of the evil god."
 As soon as I stepped into the magic circle, Salomon's voice was thrown to my back.
 "I feel the presence of a god from you. You are not a sealed evil god. Rather, it's the presence of a new god who came into this world from the outside and could seal up the old gods."
 "But somehow you've been noticed by the god, and your future may be far from peaceful... well, just do your best. I'll at least cheer you up."
 I try to listen back, but before I can do so, the scenery changes before my eyes.
 The teleport magic has thrown me to the entrance of the dungeon.
 "The last thing he said bothered me... is he playing a joke on me?"
 I mutter in annoyance and leave the EX dungeon—the 'Royal Tomb of Salomon.'
 Still, for the first time in a few days, I finally got out of the dungeon and saw that the sun had set and it was night.
 Ahead of me was a desert scene shrouded in darkness, with several human corpses lying around.
 "...The bodies of the priest knights... It seems they were killed when they challenged that demon Veinrune."
 Those are the corpses of the priest-knights who traveled through the desert with me.
 They had been Hadiss's men, and their corpses clutched weapons, indicating that they had lost their lives fighting someone.
 "Everyone... I'm sorry. I involved you in this...!"
 Shakuna kneels down near them and weeps softly.
 They had accompanied Ryuna and her on the journey to rescue her from being sacrificed. Here they had died trying to stop Veinrune, who had been released to pursue them.
 In a sense, they died for Shakuna and Ryuna.
 "...All of you saved our lives. You did a good job."
 But... it doesn't matter where the blame lies. The Maafern sisters are not the ones to blame here.
 They died fighting to protect what they should have saved. Those men's corpses will not be treated with contempt.
 Although the time they have gained may have been short... if not for that, Veinrune might have caught up with us before we reached the 50th floor.
 As I was praying for their souls in my heart, something came out from the dungeon's entrance.
 It was a demon with the head of a beast. A demon under Salomon.
 The beast-headed demons pick up the corpse of the dead priest-knights and carry them into the dungeon.
 Perhaps those dead priest-knights will be kept together with Hadiss's body.
 "Get up... Shakuna. We don't have time to sit around!"
 After making sure the bodies of the priest-knights have been taken care of, I call out to Shakuna, who is sitting down.
 "Don't let their deaths be in vain. Helping Ryuna is rewarding those who died fighting. Don't you agree?"
 "...I know it. I don't need you to tell me that."
 Shakuna wipes away a tear and stands up.
 Stare! She stares at me with piercing eyes and opens her mouth, puffing out her chest.
 "Let's go save Ryuna! Our goal is the altar of the snake god... Don't delay!"
 With her eyes brimming with tears, Shakuna steps toward the desert.
 She overcomes the death of her friends and tries to move forward with the grief in her heart.
 This powerful figure shows that Shakuna is a descendant of the legendary heroes.
 "Shadow Bind"
 But then I force Shakuna's legs to stop.
 Shakuna's legs are caught in a shadow bind, and she plunges head first into the sand.
 "Stop... Where do you think you're going? There is no way we're going through the desert this time of night."
 Well, this period is typical for RPGs. The monsters are more powerful at night.
 Even if the two of us continue through the desert at night, we'll be too exhausted to rescue Ryuna.
 "H-Hey, couldn't you tell me first with your mouth!? I drank the sand, you know!"
 Shakuna yells at me, her face covered in sand.
 "Besides, King Salomon said it would take six hours from here to the altar where Ryuna is! We might not make it in time if we leave in the morning!"
 "Oh? You've thought it through, huh? That's very impressive."
 If the sun rises at 5:00 a.m., the ceremony will be held at noon. That's six hours to get to the altar, which is not a lot of time. Shakuna has a point.
 "But... aren't you mistaken? Why do you think I got this item?"
 I took out the 'Feather of Horus,' the reward for clearing the game that Salomon had given him.
 With this item, we can turn the tables. We'll be able to clear the time problem.
 "We have 18 hours left. By then, I'll show Rujanaga what I'm capable of. I'll show that old snake whose girl he took!"
 "Ugh... you're smiling that bad again..."
 I smile with my fangs bared and eyes raised.
 At this sight, Shakuna was scared and retreated back from me, who was supposed to be his ally.

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