Chapter 87 is here! And this time, we’re getting a special Pov, sorry for the one day delay, I wasn’t at my place yesterday, there was a national holiday and stuff. Anyway, this chapter was edited by Fordoom, who did a great job as usual!
For the Patrons, chapter 88 and its preview are available here.
He was running out of breath. His heart was beating so fast it felt like it would explode at any moment, and his limbs felt as heavy as iron or lead.
Nevertheless, the man, Hugo Grafton, did not stop running. Given what was behind him, he did not have much of a choice in the matter.
While scrapping their claws on the ground and raising a cloud of dust in their wake, a group of Spiral moles were approaching. Their numbers were over twenty. He would be able to do something if they were five or less, but Hugo did not possess a superhuman strength that would allow him to fight these numbers.
Therefore, he had no other choice than to use all his energy to escape. For, if the monsters were to catch up, he would undoubtedly end up dying.
As he ran, he was frantically swinging his arms and pouring his strength into his feet, that seemed like they were about to get tangled up at any moment.
When it came to speed, he would have been able to shake the Spiral Moles off a long time ago if he was going in a straight line. However, in the zigzagging passages within the tunnel, that wasn’t so easy, especially since his pursuers were accustomed to moving here.
The reason Hugo had fallen into such a situation was his very own greed.
In the depths of the ruins, there were countless small rooms, and in one of them was a treasure chest.
The only monster in that room was a lone Spiral mole. Hugo had thought that that one monster alone would not be difficult to handle. But, perhaps as a retribution for being taken lightly, when the Spiral mole was on the verge of being killed, it called its companions. Three new Spiral moles appeared. If Hugo had run away then and there, perhaps he would have managed to do something.
The truth was that Hugo did want to escape. However, unfortunately, the Spiral moles were blocking the small room’s only exit. To make matters worse, they seemed to be in an agitated state, so time was of the essence.
Still, he somehow managed to knock down two of them, but when there was only of them remaining, Hugo hesitated. Since there was only one enemy left, escape was a possibility. Although Hugo had not taken any direct hits, he did have wounds as he had taken some damage before, and his stamina was consumed as well.
Hence why he wanted to run away, but due to the fight, the Spiral mole was still in an agitated state. If Hugo just left the mole as it was, it could end up calling its companions, in which case both victory and escape would become extremely difficult. As Hugo hesitated like so, he dropped his guard ever so lightly, and the Spiral mole let out a strident squeak-like cry. That was a signal to call its companions.
【”Damn it! Why did I hesitate? I should have just run away!”】
Although Hugo blustered that, it was already too late. Immediately after he escaped from the small room at full speed, Spiral moles suddenly appeared from everywhere. From that point onwards, the situation turned into a game of tag, with Hugo’s life on the line.
He somehow managed to pull through the fierce attacks of the monsters that came flooding in, until finally, he saw an exit that led to an open space.
Evading a claw attack by a hair’s breadth, he dived through that exit in a falling motion.
He rolled on the ground while scratching his limbs on the rocks that were protruding from there. Then, when he struck his abdomen on a slightly large rock, his body, which had been rolling with a strong momentum, came to a stop.
That impact forced the air out of his lungs. Due to the pain, he couldn’t breathe properly, and the resulting slight lack of oxygen made his field of vision tremble. Moreover, there was almost no strength left in his body. He needed to immediately stand up and escape, but that was just wishful thinking.
While groaning, Hugo somehow managed to raise his body a little; however, what came into his field of view was a group of Spiral moles surrounding him. Their numbers had increased even further.
【”Shit, is this it….?”】
As he had expected, with this, both victory and escape were now impossible. Because he had taken on the dangerous occupation of being an adventurer, he had the resolve to lose his life on the job. However, he did not think that this day would be it.
He had not expected death to come for him so soon.
Just when Hugo had resigned himself… a straight flash of light ran through the dim ruins. It was by no means showy; it was a fast, sharp, and truly instantaneous manifestation of white light.
After that flash, only a single thing had changed. In a space that had been empty just a few seconds earlier, there was someone standing between Hugo and the Spiral moles.
Because that person was covered with a robe and was giving his back to him, Hugo could not figure what his face looked like, but judging from his physique, he made a rough guess that he was a man. However, he had no time to think about whom it was or the like.
The spiral moles, which were near the man who had suddenly appeared, had their heads drop down to the ground. As they fell, their blood colorfully scattered in the vicinity. Yet the man with the robe did not avoid it, he received the rain of blood without moving an inch.
【”If you don’t want to get mixed up in what’s coming, go crawl somewhere else.”】
Hugo couldn’t move even if he wanted to, so that was a useless warning to give him. However, in the next moment, he was shown the reason behind the man’s words.
Seeing their companions get killed right in front of them, the spiral moles that were still in an agitated state attacked the man in the robe.
First, a mole’s arm flew off. Each of its astoundingly sharp claws flew past Hugo while spinning and drew an arc of blood over him.
That scene brought upon an odd sensation, as if the effect had come without a cause to it.
It seemed as if the right arm of the spiral mole had been suddenly cut off and blown way when it had commenced its attack. Hugo could tell that the man in the robe had probably done something, but he couldn’t tell what.
With no regards for Hugo and his confusion, strange events, outside of his understanding, kept occurring one after the other.
The upper-halves and lower-halves of the spiral moles were disconnected. The drills at the tip of their noses were cut right in half, starting from the crowns of their heads. Before Hugo knew it, tens of slashes, maybe hundreds, had been dealt.
Like that, the only thing the spiral moles could do was to be hunted down. They died without even being able to resist.
For a while now, Hugo had not been able to see the robed man who was responsible for this onslaught. The speed of his movements and attacks was probably too fast for Hugo’s eyes to see. And while vision was bad in the dim ruins, there was no way such a phenomenon would occur if the man’s speed was only a little faster than his.
It seemed like this robed man was far stronger than Hugo.
【”Hey, you dead?”】
Despite how critical the situation was, Hugo was lost in the sight of that surreal scene. What called back Hugo’s awareness was the voice of the robed man who had annihilated more than 20 Spiral moles, in just a few minutes, before Hugo had even realized what was happening.
Why had he come to confirm that Hugo was dead rather than to confirm that he was alive?
【”N-no, I’m fine. You really saved me there.”】
For the time being, Hugo reported his own safety. Still, judging from the robed man’s voice, he was considerably young. He probably was even younger than Hugo himself.
The man’s face could not clearly be seen as it was still hidden by the robe he was wearing, but when he turned towards Hugo for a moment, he showed an unnatural stiffness. However, that was only for a moment, after which the young man questioned Hugo with a somewhat irritated voice.
【”Is that so? Now then, what’s going on?”】
【”W, well, actually….”】
In spite of himself, Hugo found himself at a loss for words. He had fallen into that pinch because he had ignored the basic established rules of exploring ruins. He had fought even though he was completely unable to manage the risks that came with that. As an adventurer, he was ashamed; he had brought trouble not only to this young man, but to the other adventurers as well.
That man seemed to have roughly guessed the situation, but his doubts had probably turned into convictions upon seeing Hugo having a hard time enunciating his words. He let out a grand sigh.
【”Avoid fighting in the ruins as much as possible, and never push the monsters into an agitated state. I heard those were ironclad rules.”】
Hugo could do nothing but bow his head in apology to this man who was younger than him. On top of him having made a rookie mistake, there was a very high chance that this matter would agitate other monsters. Moreover, there was a thick smell of blood hanging over the area, which could attract even more monsters here.
So, in order to prevent that, it was necessary to quickly dispose of the dead bodies and to restrict entry into the ruins for a period of time that could last a week or so. It was a measure to ensure the adventurers’ safety, but there would still be some adventurers who had to stay and work together to get rid of the dead bodies.
In short, Hugo had gotten in the way of the other adventurers.
【”Humph, whatever. That’s none of my concern.”】
The man certainly did not seem concerned. The robed man sent a Spiral mole’s corpse rolling elsewhere, walked on the ground that was wet with blood as if he was on a stroll, and went to enter the tunnel through which Hugo had run away for his life.
Hugo hastily stopped him.
【”W-w-wait, where are you going?!”】
【”There is something I want to do at the depths of the ruins.”】
【”That’s the case for everyone that comes here, but it’s dangerous to go now!”】
Hugo used every word at his disposal to explain the dangers that would come to the man were he to dive into the ruins right away. Hugo was still feeling the pressure from almost losing his life just moments earlier.
Faced with that, the man’s response was【”You’re in no position to freaking talk.”】. That one statement mercilessly pierced into Hugo’s wounds. However, since Hugo was the one at fault here, he kept stubbornly trying to persuade the man.
【”On the contrary, it’s precisely because of my position that I can say this. I don’t want my own mistakes to expose you to any more danger.”】
【”You don’t ever shut up, do you? Approximately how long will the corpses’ disposal and that period of inactivity last?”】
【”Well, around ten days”】
【”That’s out of the question.”】
【”I’m telling you, hold on! You’ll be in real danger.”】
【”That’s probably the case for the likes of you, bastard. But for me, it’s gonna be a walk in the park.”】
His words were outrageously overconfident, but judging from his ability to reduce the spiral moles into a sea of blood, it was certainly hard to imagine that he would die easily.
However, nevertheless, Hugo could not support the man in his choice. It was impossible for Adventurers to survive by only being strong.
【”Monsters are not the only danger. There are traps and there are places where you can’t enter without deciphering some texts and whatnot. Exploring ruins is a long process; you should wait until the situation reaches the right conditions so that you’ll be able to keep your item and stamina consumption to a minimum.”】
【”…I see, that makes sense.”】
Though Hugo’s persuasion seemed to be completely useless, the man in the robe surprisingly gave in.
Feeling great relief from that, Hugo was about to suggest to go above ground for the time being and to give the others a report regarding the situation within the ruins. However, before he could do so, his shoulders were firmly gripped by that man.
【”Then, you’ll be coming with me. You should be able to guide me on the way, right?”】
His body is even shorter than mine, just where does he bring so much power from? While he wondered that, Hugo’s muscular body that stood at a height of 185 centimeters, was dragged along, and it was useless for him to argue about it.
【”You’re being noisy, stop screaming damn it.”】
【”Of course I’m gonna scream, what did you expect?! You’re basically telling me to go die!”】
【”You were already pretty much dead earlier. Even if this kills you, it won’t change anything.”】
【”This is way beyond unreasonable… also, who the hell are these guys?!”】
Before Hugo even realized it, a pair of people, whose faces were concealed by robes, had appeared behind him and the man. Encircled by three unidentifiable people whose faces were all covered in robes, Hugo was in a considerably eerie situation.
【”They’re my baggage carriers. “】
【”Oh, so they’re your companions… Yo, I’m Hugo. You guys must have it tough, being abused by a tyrant like him.”】
Hugo sardonically called the self-centered robed man a tyrant.
However, upon being called baggage carriers, the two people accompanying that man showed no reaction, they only remained silent. When Hugo felt like he could not endure the silence any longer, he spoke up.
【”…They don’t talk much, do they?”】
【”Of course they don’t. Those two don’t have the ability to speak.”】
【”What the hell? You all are terrifying.”】
That was the conclusion he had gathered from the information that had been given to him.
The tyrant’s companions were not normal either apparently.
That unidentifiable man was overwhelmingly powerful, but he did not listen to others, and those eerie attendants who were with him could not talk. The communication within that strange, unbelievable party was catastrophic. While Hugo, who had been coerced into joining that bunch, was cursing a god he did not believe in for this day that was certainly the worst day of his entire life.
Translator’s note: “Worst day of his entire life” Talking a little too fast here, especially if he’s going to hand any longer with Harold lol
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