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Once the descending platform touches the ground of the underground’s space, Renya’s group is led outside through an exit that opened up in the transparent tube.
The beastmen, who carried the luggage in rotation, and the armed soldiers of the various races step on the ground and as they murmur something or other about the platform, it releases a pale phosphorescence once again and ascends up the tube. Before long it vanished as if it was sucked into the hole that opened up in the ceiling.
Compared to its descent, it’s ascent proceeded with quite the speed, Renya assesses while following it with his eyes until it’s out of sight.
If it descended as if free falling, it would be life threatening to the people inside, but even if it accelerates a bit excessively during its ascent, it will probably be fine. That seems to be the general idea here.
He feels like he can strangely consent with it being a device located in the beastmen country, despite them being a bunch of muscle heads.
“A sorcery device? It’s a sophisticated device that doesn’t seem to suit the beastmen country, doesn’t it? I think that such a device doesn’t even exist on the human country in the first place, but…” (Mayria)
Seemingly unable to recover from her surprise, Mayria mutters while still having a somewhat blank expression.
For Renya, who knows about elevators, it’s doubtful for a device, which simply makes a platform go up and down, to be such an amazingly surprising installation, even if it is operated through sorcery, but as Renya’s doubts appear on his face, Rona secretly whispers,
“If it’s a device one tenth in scale compared to this one, then even the royal palace of the Holy Kingdom should have it, if I remember correctly, but one this size, it’s very unlikely to exist anywhere else.” (Rona)
“How about the Trident Principality?” (Renya)
“As far as I know, there isn’t a single one there. Introducing it might be possible, but Her Majesty the Archduchess is a friend of saying If you are going to use something like this, you might as well walk on your own two feet~.” (Rona)
At the same time of thinking, Then it sure would be something valuable, Renya believes that it might end up broken.
Although he believes, By no means is it something you can demand compensation for, even so it will create a feeling of guilt for the party responsible for breaking it after all.
In this case, rather than saying that the destruction of such a device and the monetary compensation needed is inconvenient for the royal palace, the point lies in the feelings of guilt towards the craftsmen who made such a valuable device. This is a typical Renya way of thinking.
“In the elven country there are devices that seem to have more or less the same size, but…those are things that require the hands of artisans skilled in producing complex sorcery handicraft. Is the beastmen’s knowledge in this branch of sorcery this profound?” (Croire)
“Let me tell you…” (Kaede)
“No, I’ve heard that all of this existed here from the start.” (Lepard)
Interrupting Kaede, who was about to say something while puffing out her chest, Lepard answered Croire’s question.
Lepard continues his explanation while doing his best to not look at Kaede who started to glare at him after being startled by his interruption.
“I don’t know which of the previous Fang Kings it was, but in the middle of his training in his youth, he accidentally discovered historic ruins. Once he tried to enter, he apparently fell down to this place through a transparent tube.” (Lepard)
“…He fell?” (Renya)
Being told that, Renya looks upwards once again.
If he was on the surface, he could have seen the sky, but in this place he can only see bare rocks that stand out due to being illuminated by the light in the far distance.
The distance until the ceiling, which is located quite high over his head, isn’t a height one would be able to survive after having fallen from there, no matter how he looks at it.
“Ah, of course that doesn’t mean that he fell from the surface just like that. Even for me there ain’t no way to come out unhurt from such a height.” (Lepard)
“No, you will die, you know?”
Renya retorted calmly, but Lepard looks at Renya as if asking him What are you talking about?
“You won’t? If you use the walls of the tube, you can kill the speed somewhat, no?” (Lepard)
Renya arbitrarily decides, Most likely his abilities as a living creature are completely different.
Though the other members behind Renya uniformly shared the impression If it’s Renya, he will probably get down without any injuries.
“So, he apparently discovered this place, but from the start it seems to have been in a state which allowed it to be used as the groundworks for a city to some extent. Deciding that it would be possible to make some profit with it, he created the current city on the surface.” (Lepard)
“The majority of this underground city had already been built back when it was discovered. The elevator we used just now is an accessory of the historic ruins. Right now we ain’t capable of repairing it, so it will stay broken should it break down once.” (Lepard)
Kaede silently punched the back of Lepard’s head who burst into laughter while saying, “I wonder whether we’ll end up going up and down on rope ladders sooner or later once all of the tubes break down.”
Going by the sound caused by having the back of his head hit, it appears that she attacked him with considerable strength. Lepard becomes teary-eyed, holds the back of his head with both hands and squats down.
“Lepard…why are you revealing everything by flapping your mouth thoughtlessly!?” (Kaede)
“No, I mean, leaving you aside, Kaede, it’s the culmination of the beastmen race’s entire wisdom not to tell lies? That means, as a result of hearing this story, there will be countries on the human continent that’ll believe that the beastmen country is undoubtedly world-leading in sorcery handicraft techniques, no?” (Lepard)
“It’s fine since it won’t be leaked anyway!” (Kaede)
Kaede started making absurd claims with the humans and elves closely listening, but the reaction in the vicinity was weak.
Everyone was apparently thinking, Her again?
“Is even that ridiculously large royal castle a relic of the historic ruins?” (Renya)
When Renya asks while recalling the building, which might as well be called a mountain, that he saw in the middle of descending, Kaede, who apparently accepted it as unreasonable to deceive them any longer, denied him so easily that it was a let-down.
“Just as I told you some time ago, that’s His Majesty’s preference. Ah, of course it was the Fang King from many generations ago who excavated these historic ruins.” (Kaede)
“Huge things are incredible! That’s our value system after all.” (Lepard)
“Thanks to that, there’s a continuous recruitment of maids and guards to serve in the castle.” (Kaede)
It’s a royal castle that’s mostly just a mountain.
Renya ends up wondering how many hallways and rooms are contained within.
How much do they have to pay for the labor to guard, clean and maintain those rooms and corridors? With just thinking about it, there’s no mistake that it causes astronomically high expenses.
There is a large distance between the elevator, which Renya and the others used, to the royal castle.
Even Kaede seemingly has no intention of going to the castle by foot, so she tells the guarding soldiers something, and a couple minutes later two carriages to turn up.
Due to them being the heroes and their patrons, Renya and Kurz sat together with Kaede and Lepard.
Given that Frau and Shion firmly requested it, they got on the same carriage as Renya.
Once the remaining members boarded the second carriage, the carriages began to slowly head towards the castle.
“You said you continue recruiting guards and maids. But the numbers become saturated sooner or later, right? Are there many who resign due to it being difficult?” (Renya)
While viewing the outside scenery through the carriage’s window, Renya continues the previous topic.
Frau and Kurz were captivated by the extremely unusual scenery of an underground city and thus tried to stick to the window, but Shion firmly clung to Renya’s right shoulder without even trying to look outside.
“That’s correct. After all it’s laborious to cover so much space, so it’s certainly difficult, but…there’s a big problem besides that—” (Kaede)
The end of her remark vanished within the sounds caused by the carriage’s wheels, apparently tapering off, or rather her speaking became ambiguous as she didn’t seem to be very eager to talk about the topic.
Seemingly having an idea due to the topic, Lepard frowns slightly.
“Yes…well, umm, how to say it…the problem is that it’s too spacious.” (Kaede)
Lepard takes over for Kaede who hesitated to continue.
“The inside of the castle is practically a labyrinth. We, or rather the the beastmen, especially the men, aren’t very good at thinking about minor details. That castle looks finished only when looked at from outside. As a result of repeatedly remodeling and extending the interior by adding and adjusting things afterwards…it’s in such a sorry state that even the castle’s residents don’t really know how to navigate through the corridors which seem to be all over…” (Lepard)
“We are generally able to grasp the main corridors because our predecessors drew up a map while paying dearly for it. But, if it comes to the corridors at the ends of these main corridors, things become extremely vague and complicated. To put things bluntly, there’s quite a number of people that went missing.” (Kaede)
Once that happened, there was a motion to find out the detailed information regarding the castle’s interior through a proper investigation once and for all, but several investigation teams became stranded again due to the paths not being clear at all, resulting in there being missing people even among those who headed out to rescue them.
Moreover, for some reasons there are also spots where traps unknown even to royalty have been set up. While at it, the beastmen often destroyed those traps here and there using their excessive strength, but after confirming the fact that the configuration of the corridors changed each time the traps repaired themselves, there wasn’t anyone left suggesting to create a detailed map of the castle any more.
As for the mystery of why there have been traps placed in the corridors; until this very day that hasn’t been clarified and it’s treated as one of the 12 mysteries surrounding the royal castle.
“The fact that there’s 11 more mysteries is quite scary…how much of the interior has been actually grasped?”
“The parts that have been completely mapped out amount to around 60%, I think? As for the remaining parts: we have vague information on 10%, there are records with lacking credibility remaining for another 10% and as for the last 20% it’s said to just give up on returning once you get lost in there.” (Kaede)
Kaede calmly speaks the sentences with such outrageous contents.
Renya has never heard of a royal castle where it’s possible to go missing.
“Tear down and rebuild that defective structure.” (Renya)
“As far as it goes, the construction has begun from the time when this underground city was discovered. For the present beastmen it’s a building with an ancient and honorable origin, so even if they were told to turn it back into an empty lot…” (Kaede)
Due to Kaede calling it a historical structure, Renya breathes out very deeply and then suddenly tries asking cautiously,
“Just out of curiosity, but how many victims are there every year?” (Renya)
“By victims you mean the missing people, right? Then it’s approximately 20-30 people. The ones resigning due to worry and fatigue are around ten times that though. If it’s the number of people that have been rescued after going astray, I think it’s a little short of 100.” (Kaede)
While massaging the wrinkles that stood out on his forehead, Renya once more asks Kaede, who said so nonchalantly,
“Is there a difference between victims and missing people?” (Renya)
“Just because they have gone missing, that doesn’t naturally connect to them being victims. In reality there’s a story about a maid who was found alive after many years of having gone missing.” (Kaede)
Until today it was apparently unclear on how she kept on living for so long.
It’s conceivable that she very likely drank water such as rain that fell in through cracks and fissures, and ate rats and some kinds of wildly growing plants, but the rescued maid was extremely weakened. Furthermore, once she finished recuperation after the rescue, she had completely forgotten about her experiences while missing, resulting in the actual happenings remaining unknown.
“Weeell, as expected of beastmen. Even your maids are strong, aren’t they? What a pleasant topic.”
“It’s not really pleasant, is it?”
Being informed about the truth of the place they are currently led to, Renya drops his shoulders in depression.
At the same time he decides in his mind that he definitely won’t go anywhere else but the places they are guided to as long as he’s inside the royal castle, even if an emergency occurs.
“Master, it will be fine, so you don’t need to worry so much ~no.” (Frau)
Frau, who had apparently noticed Renya’s state, taps Renya’s left shoulder.
“After all it’s no more than a stone building that has been built irresponsibly ~nano. It’s not like countermeasures against sorcery have been set up, so you just have to destroy it to get outside if you get lost ~no.” (Frau)
“If it’s for the sake of Margrave-sama, I will do my best!” (Kurz)
Frau says with a smile while Kurz speaks his words with both fists tightly clenched and his eyes sparkling, but the contents of either remarks are dangerous.
“Gotcha….I will gratefully accept your feelings of worrying for me, but make seriously sure to not go on a rampage.” (Renya)
It was far too easy to predict that those two would cause large-scaled destructions with just a bit of rampaging.
If they actually got serious about destruction, the royal castle might vanish from existence before the beastmen can reassess and try to return the castle to an empty lot.
While thinking that he must not get lost by any means so as to avoid that from coming true, Renya and the others slowly passed through the underground in their carriages and directly headed towards the castle.
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