A hot, dry wind was blowing through Nevada, September was almost over, but the temperature was still over 25° C.
At a certain governmental research facility, Chief Aaron Ainsworth was shouting loudly, “What did you say!? The dungeon = passage theory has been verified?”
“No, well. I suppose you could call it proof.”
The communication official, who had come to deliver the data personally, gave a half-hearted explanation in response to Aaron’s overly threatening attitude.
Exactly one month ago, in a dungeon situated between Surgut and Nischnewartowsk, at the basin of Russia’s Ob river, a certain, unique skill orb had been discovered.
The name of the skill sealed in that orb was 『Alternate Dimension Language Comprehension』.
They had planned to send the orb to a research institute in Moscow immediately, but unfortunately, the plane couldn’t take off because of bad weather, and as the shelf life of the orb was about to expire, it was used by a D-Card holder, who happened to be nearby by coincidence.
“So, has the name of the skill holder been publicized? There’s no point in hiding it since it’s an academic anyway, isn’t it?”
“It was publicized. According to the publication, he’s called Ignat Severnyy.”
As far as Aaron knew, no dungeon researcher with such a name existed in Russia.
“Over here are the contents of the publication ― partial translations of the epitaphs discovered in dungeons all over the world.”
Aaron inserted the memory card handed to him by the communication official into the slot of his tablet, entered his own password, and immediately opened the file.
The details written in there were sensational.
According to the documents, the dungeons were passages to different worlds, and they also were tools for terraforming. The dungeons, which pierced a dimension like needles, acted as tools to conveniently transform the connected world. The swarms of monsters pouring out from within were used as means to produce a substance called 『Magic Particles』 which might not exist in the connected world yet. One could truly describe it as terraforming.
And the dungeons exceeding 128 floors apparently became 『Passages』 crossing over to the world connected on the other side.
“If this is the truth, it’s quite shocking.”
However, it was still only Ignat Severnyy who was able to read those characters.
Even if he really read the epitaphs for argument’s sake, no one could confirm the contents he claimed to have translated.
At this point in time, only God could prove that he hadn’t simply put his own delusions down on paper.
“We have no other option but to have another person obtain the same skill orb and try reading the epitaphs to verify his translation.”
“Have we confirmed the existence of monsters dropping that orb in our country, too?”
“The drop monster hasn’t been announced officially. However, the dungeon, where the orb was discovered, is called Kiryas Kul’yegan Dungeon. It’s a dungeon located at Reka Kul’yegan, a place tied to the Ob River. Given that the monsters within the dungeon’s captured areas have been publicized based on the International Dungeon Treaty, how about investigating it by working through all the available data?”
“That’s rather roundabout, but I guess it’s inevitable.”
Aaron gazed outside the window, watching Nevada as the sunshine was gradually growing weaker. Evening in Nevada at the end of September was accompanied by a drastic decline in temperature.
His body involuntarily trembling was probably owed to that chill. If not, it might be triggered by the power of the something merely 120 m beneath his feet.
And then night fell.