Intruders Part 2
Translators: Henet, Frostfire10 & Skythewood
While the sun still had not rose, there were countless people gathered on the Earl’s land. Warriors, magic casters, priests and theives. Almost everyone were specialists in their own field.
After the last team, [Foresight] arrived, that number was 18.
The ones here were the ones gathered by the Earl for work, the Workers in the Empire that had confidence in their strength.
The worker teams maintained a distance between each other as they sized each other up. When the four members of ‘Foresight’ finally arrived, they were welcomed by the collective stares of the other worker teams. This scene could almost be considered spectacular in its own way.
In the area between the separated teams, three people had gathered in the center, exchanging information. The three were the representative for each team.
As it was early morning and the area was still dark, Hekkeran and his company squinted their eyes as they tried to determine who those three were. They have already investigated all their competitors within the Empire’s capital. There could roughly guess which were the teams from the looks of it.
“Cheh, that guy is here too.”
Imina spat as if she saw something disgusting after confirming the identity of one of the three men. Although she expressed it with a soft voice, it was sufficient to drive Hekkeran and the others to check their surroundings for signs of hostility.
“Got it, Robert. He would be a colleague for this round of work…Still, I do not want to see his face.”
“―― I don’t like it myself.”
“Well, if I had to pick between like and hate, I also dislike him.”
“…Oi, oi, you still have to greet him afterwards, so don’t think about unpleasant thoughts, or they’ll show on your face, okay?”
“Do your best, leader.”
Hekkeran frowned in response to Roberdyck’s encouragement, as though saying “don’t poke into other people’s businesses”, and then walked towards the group of three.
The first person that greeted Hekkeran was a worker who wore a suit black full plate armor. The design of the armor was oddly rounded, almost spherical. Due to the especially large pauldrons, the man wearing the armor appeared more like an upright beetle than a human. On his waist was a two handed battle axe.
A man’s low deep voice came out from the slits of the metal helmet that completely hid the face.
“Just as I had foreseen, thou also came, Hekkeran.”
“Yo, Greenham. I thought the request wasn’t too bad so we came.”
Hekkeran raised his hand as a gesture at the remaining two leaders in a casual manner.
“About your side…” Hekkeran said, after glancing over to Greenham’s team and quickly counting them. “There’s five of you. What happened to the rest?”
“Resting, recovering from fatigue. Due to our previous work being of similar nature, some of our members had to stay behind to help with the transportation and repair of damaged goods.”
This man, Greenham, was the leader of ‘Heavy Masher’, a worker team comprising of nine members. Having more members definitely had its advantages, such as having more options available in choosing how to handle each request. In particular, it provided the flexibility of being able to select the best suited members for each different request. On the other hand, it takes a longer period for them to determine their approach, slowing down their overall movement.
Those were the pros and cons of a large team, it wouldn’t be unusual at all for a team to just suddenly split into two. Being able to maintain full control over such a large team of workers demonstrated just how strong Greenham’s management and leadership skills were.
“Fuuhn, how tiring. How about supporting us so you can earn enough not to disappoint the comrades you left behind?”
“Thy suggestion is foolish. After we finish this job, bonuses will be given based on the leader’s performance. As unfortunate as it is, the best performance will naturally belong to me.”
“Oi oi, spare me already.”
Greenham simply grinned. Sensing that he had no intention of stopping, Hekkeran shrugged and turned towards the other man.
“I think it’s the first time we’ve met face-to-face.”
Hekkeran stretched his hand out. The other man grasped it and shook back.
He had a set of beautiful eyebrows. That word was suited to describe the youth. His face was symmetrical, and his mouth curved into a smile. He equipped himself with a breastplate armor, and on his waist was a sword that originated from the southern city.
He moved his eyes and stared directly at Hekkeran.
“—’Foresight’, I’ve heard a lot about you.”
It was a voice that sounded as clear as a bell, which matched very well with his appearance.
The genius swordsman that was undefeated in the arena, there wasn’t a single worker who wouldn’t recognize who he was.
This man’s ‘Tenmu’, was in a sense a team composed purely of himself.
“The sword genius who’s said to be a match for the Kingdom’s strongest, Gazef Stronoff. It’s reassuring to have your squad with us.”
“Thank you. However, I think it’s about time for it to be said the other way around. That man should only be referred to as being able to match up to this Eruya Uzruth. “
“Oh, you have your way with your words.”
Eruya smiled faintly, fully displaying his arrogance. Seeing this smile, the unpleasant feelings concealed inside Hekkeran almost surfaced again.
“Well then, we’ll be relying on you inside the ruins.”
“Of course. Leave it to me. It’ll be great if there are monsters that can put up a decent fight inside the ruins.”
“….It’s completely unknown what kind of monsters might exist inside. Perhaps we’ll even run into dragons?”
“That would be quite scary. Monsters such as dragons would definitely put up a hell-of-a fight.”
Hekkeran was laughing forcefully while having to suppress his other emotions.
Taking only the skills with a sword into account, there were rumors that Eruya could even win against A+ ranked adventurers. Considering this point, there was some basis behind his boasting. Having confidence was a good thing, since it was also important for workers to showcase their abilities.
However, there should be a limit to just how much one can boast.
The world’s strongest race, Dragons.
Masters of the sky, capable of producing powerful breaths, with scales that were near impenetrable, and possessing a physical prowess that was superior by far. As they age, they even became able to use magic. Having a life span that humans simply couldn’t compare with, the wisdoms that they accumulate would humble even sages.
Just like in the tales of the Thirteen Heroes, the last opponent in their adventures was a dragon known as the ‘Dragon God’.
Even though these existences were only used as an example during conversations, but to still be able to act this arrogantly was rather surprising. No matter how one interpreted it, Eruya’s words seemed like a joke. However he could tell that Eruya was completely serious just from the looks in his eyes. Just how self-conceited could he be?
It was still uncertain what kind of monsters would be in the ruins. Eruya’s sense of judgement would definitely be a hindrance to the overall operation of things.
It’s probably best to stay away from him.
It would be convenient if he was to perish by himself, but it would still be troublesome if the overall formation became broken. A faint smile appeared on Hekkeran’s face as he reached his conclusion, and adjusted his attitude towards Eruya, towards the direction of ‘discard after use’.
“Over there must be the members of ‘Foresight’. Oya—”
The look of his eyes when he saw Imina was filled with prejudice and disdain.There were rumors that Eruya hailed from Slane Theocracy, where humans were considered the most superior race. As an alleged citizen of the Theocracy, he had the tendency to treat those with mixed blood as lower-class humans. His eyes did not hide his disdain for such a woman to stand as his equal.
“…Oi, oi, don’t be so hostile to my comrade, okay?”
“Of course. We’ll be comrades for the same work this time. I’ll definitely be cooperative.”
Perhaps the powerful wild child Eruya matured, but Hekkeran was still afraid that he would run amok. In short, he could feel the mental instability of Eruya. Hekkeran couldn’t relax even after giving the warning, that’s how unpleasant the atmosphere was.
Hekkeran decided to be careful of him.
“Ay, trust me. Anyway, returning to the previous topic, I don’t mind letting someone else take leadership during this trip. As long as there are no special cases, I’ll follow the orders given. If we encounter battle, I don’t mind taking the frontlines. I’ll let you guys witness my blade skills.”
“…Well then, I’ll be returning to my team then. If there are any problems just call me.”
Eruya bowed, and walked off.
Hekkeran’s face slightly twitched after seeing a number of women following Eruya. However, showing one’s emotions here was simply unacceptable. It was not uncommon for situations to suddenly turn unfavorable after one’s emotions were exposed. As the leader of a team, this kind of behavior would be unacceptable.
Hekkeran suppressed his emotions, and removed all facial expressions. Looking away from what he considered as trash, he greeted the final person.
Golden hair, blue eyes. His fair skin denoted a healthy complexion under the sun. He possessed the common features of a person from the Empire like Hekkeran. His features were ordinary with nothing distinguishing.
His age was around the mid-twenties.
Palpatra was wearing full plate mail. On his back was a spear and a large shield. His equipment were more focused on defence than attack. Hence, he was called the ‘Iron Wall’.
“Fumuu. However, that guy seems a bit dangerous.”
Towards the Parupatra who spoke in a hushed voice. Hekkeran nodded in agreement.
“—That’s right. It doesn’t matter if he ends up killing himself, but it’ll be bad if we end up getting dragged down with him.”
“Indeed, it’s true that guy is really strong, but his overconfidence could endanger the rest of us. He’s like a walking hazard.”
Greenham also chipped in with a whispered “So troublesome to deal with”. After seeing Eruya’s attitude, almost none of the workers would think otherwise.
“Also, just how strong is that guy anyways? I haven’t been to the arena recently.”
“Ah, Hekkeran does not know as well? I did not see it personally. I didn’t visit the arena nor have I work with him before. Greenham?
Greenham’s helmet moved left and right.
“I’ve only heard about it but never witnessed in person. I might be able to find out more if I ask my comrades. In the end, how do we define the threshold for strong? If we use Gazef Stronoff as the reference point, from what this old man currently know of… for example, ah that’s right… where would we place the Four Knights of the Empire?”
“The knights titled ‘Heavy Explosion’, ‘Unmovable’, ‘Lightning’, and ‘Violent Wind’ . What about the Agrand Republic’s Dragon Lords?”
“C’mon, Let’s limit it to just the swordsmen among humans for now.”
“Then the most of the Agrand Council is out. They are full of demi-humans after all. There are strong ones among them….Like Dragon Knights….Umm, then the ‘Devil Lord’ of the Coliseum is out….The Holy Knight of the Roble Kingdom?”
“Ho, indeed there was. The maiden who carries the Holy Sword? Her skill with the sword was rather terrifying.
The conversation became more energised. While it was natural for Workers to gather information on strong enemies, this was something they extremely enjoyed as warriors.
“The average capability for those from Slaine Theocracy is rather high. But none of them seemed exceptional. Mah, even there is, it would be their magic casters who utilizes holy magic.”
“How about the Kingdom’s A+ ranked female adventurer?”
“Mah, the one known as ‘Not Breast but Pecks’. She is indeed strong.”
“….They are some A Class adventurers that will kill you if you casually call them by their nicknames….”
“If only on skill….It’s a bit difficult. From adventurers and workers, then the [Hero-sama] or [Dark Lord]. [Crystal]’s Serabreit, [Flaming Red Lotus]’ Optics, and Brain Unglaus?”
The conversation halted for the first time.
Parupatra asked Greenham.
“You don’t know? He is quite famous in the Kingdom though.”
Hekkeran was asked if he knew, but he also shook his head.
“You really don’t….”
Greenham was slightly surprised, and dug up his past memories to talk about the man Brain.
“When I participated in the Fighting Competition in the Kingdom, he beat me in an instant. He was ridiculously strong.”
“Was that the competition where Gazef Stronoff won?”
“Yes. Well, Brain lost to Gazef in the end. But, it was an amazing fight. I feel blessed to have been able to seen it….How did he deflect that and how did he attack from there….It was amazing.”
Greenham spoke of that man. If he could fight with the strongest warrior in the surrounding kingdoms, Gazef Stronoff on even terms, then his strength was top class.
Hearing that there were strong people he did not know, Hekkeran felt admiration.
“Now….Brain and Eruya, who’s stronger?”
“Brain.” Greenham instantly replied. “I do not know how he currently is, but he is a genius of the sword. I was defeated in two swings. Of course, I am stronger than before, but I do not feel confident…. Well, he’s better than Eruya.”
The sound of flesh hitting something and the screams of a woman could be heard.
All of the workers’ gazes gathered at one spot. Several dropped their centre of gravity, ready to dive into battle at any time.
There, one of Eruya’s comrades (Doubtful) had fallen in front of him. As to whether she was hit, imagining it was not difficult.
Hekkeran felt displeased, but then panickly faced one of his comrades, Imina. From her face, she was still maintaining her fighting stance. And her blade was at the ready. She gave off the feeling that if anything more were to occur, she would act.
Panicking, Hekkeran gestured at her to hold it in.
Personally Hekkeran felt the same as Imina. However, they could not butt into the affairs of other teams. Of course, if they decided to they could do it. However, there was a need to bear all the consequences. In fact, several other members of the teams made the same faces, but they were not moving.
After making a rude gesture at Eruya’s back, she clicked her tongue.
“….Now, we should end this talk here.”
Hekkeran spoke to the other two to change the conversation.
“….Yes, Hekkeran has arrived, and the most important things have been decided.”
“Eruya has left, but who should hold command over all the teams?”
Silence accompanied Greenham’s words.
There were four worker teams. While it was a considerable fighting force, if there was no one to command then it would be impossible to work well. Eve having multiple arms, one could do nothing if not controlled.
And to communicate well with teams with such strong personalities was quite the task. Especially if complaints could not be voiced.
If one did not try to take leadership, when done badly the other three teams would dislike them.
“Honestly, wouldn’t it be fine to not choose an overall leader?”
“That is just postponing the problem. It will be dangerous during a battle.”
“….What about rotating it once a day?”
“Then, shall we give the right to lead in order of our arrival?”
“What about Eruya’s [Tenbu]?”
“Eruya abandoned his choice, so he shouldn’t mind.”
“Then, first would be our [Heavy Masher]’s turn.”
“Please do, Greenham.”
“Got it. Well, within the Empire we should not encounter dangerous monsters, so there is no problem. The trouble will start when we enter the Kingdom, we will be quite close to a forest as well.”
“Ah, we should have started from the back.”
As Hekkeran hugged his head, the two silently smiled. Afterwards, their expressions immediately hardened and they faced the finally brightened hall. Most of the surrounding Workers were headed there.
At that moment, a butler walked in. He had a ramrod straight posture. It was an attitude that suited one that worked for an Earl.
As the butler walked to the front of the workers, he bowed. While no one responded, he politely spoke.
“It is time. We are grateful to those who have accepted the request of our Earl family.”
“The ones accompanying you from our house are these two. The destination is the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick within the Kingdom. The period to investigate for is three days. The following payment will depend on the information brought back. So, it will be discussed at a later date. If there are no problems, please follow me. I shall guide you to the prepared location.”
Why do you have information on that tomb? What information should be prioritised?
There were various questions, but the Workers knew from experience what would be answered. If they would be informed, then it would already have been given to them.
For that reason, all of them silently followed behind.
The ones at the back, was Hekkeran and the rest’s Foresight.
Imina, who was next to Hekkeran, whispered.
“It would be nice if that piece of shit died.”
Imina spat out the hateful words she could not contain about Eruya. It was quite a suppressed voice, one could not be sure if it was due to her anger or restraint. Hekkeran could not read her, and could only pray it was the latter.
“I have heard from the rumours, but he is a terrible man.”
Everyone from Foresight expressed their unhappiness. It was natural. On top of having Imina as their comrade, Eruya’s actions were difficult to forgive.
Apart from Eruya, everyone on Eruya’s team were women. And elves. If it was just that then Imina and the other members would not be displeased. However, there was a reason for Eruya’s attitude earlier.
All of the female elves were provided the bare minimum wear, but there were parts that were torn and not patched well. And the ears that should have poked out from their short hair was gone from the middle.
That was the proof of a slave.
They, all of Eruya’s team members, were elf slaves from the Slane Theocracy.
The Slane Theocracy allowed for slavery of other races. And in the case of elves, their proof of slavery was not a brand, but to have half of their ears cut off.
It was true that the Empire did not allow slavery.
However, there were occasions where this was given a silent nod such as demi-humans fighting in the Coliseum. Eruya’s elf slaves had that type of relationship with the Empire.
The percentage of humans in the Baharuth Empire, Re-Estize Kingdom and the Slane Theocracy was about 100%, with a mindset that was more isolationist that the surrounding countries. So demi-humans—Even Imina—found it difficult to live in these countries.
However, only Dwarfs were different.
The Azelisia Mountain Range that ran along the border of the Baharuth Empire and the Re-Estize Kingdom. There was a Dwarf Kingdom located within, and since the Empire had trading relationships with them, the rights of the Dwarves was secured.
“I can understand that the Elves are pitiful. However, what we cannot do is save them.”
Imina did not replied and heaved a sigh.
She could internalise it, but she had to bear it. Accepting the 100% displeased signal, Roberdyck and Arche both stiffened their dissatisfaction. Since the one who should be the angriest was keeping herself in check, they themselves should not show it.
The workers headed towards two large carriages. The horses pulling them were different from the usual. One of the workers who saw them whispered.
The horse pulling the carriage had eight legs. The race of this horse, was known as Sleipnir.
They were larger than normal horses, and they were stronger, had more endurance and maneuverability. So they were the best tamable beast that could run on land. Of course, their price was quite high. With a price equal to that of ten war horses, even nobles had trouble keeping them.
Two carriages with two horses each for a total of four. Even if one was lost during the adventure, they could only say that this was nice.
No, that’s not it—Hekkeran thought, the ones who could see it thought the same thing. That it was that needed of a job.
“Please use this carriage. Food supplies are inside.”
At least one person from each team went as a representative, checked the interior and confirmed what the butler said.
The carriages had a large amount of food and a magic item that could dispense water. Considering the time it would take to arrive, it was more than enough. Since they were undergoing a secret mission, this was all the provisions they would receive. However, even taking that into account, this would be fine.
The representatives handling the provisions talked among themselves, checking if anything was amiss.
Hekkeran walked over to Greenham. This was as they had something they needed to talk about.
“What is it?”
“About the sharing of carriages, can we separate from [Tenbu]?”
Greenham moved his helmet to check on Imina. He then nodded.
“Got it. Then we will share a carriage with Tenbu.”
“Sorry about that. My thanks.”
“Do not fret. In this round of request, we are all comrades. It would be troublesome if anything happens before we even start investigation and infiltration work.—Then, let’s go.”
Seeing that the handler conveyed his understanding, Greenham shouted out his orders.
Within four fifths of their journey to the Great Tomb Nazarick, no major issues arised due to the Empire’s superb security measures.
Within the Empire’s territory, bands of knights would frequently patrol the area. It would be rare to have groups of monsters loitering around. Even bandit attacks were uncommon. Hence, the problem lay with the final one fifth of their journey, which was after entering the Kingdom’s territory.
Due to the nature of their job within the Kingdom’s land, they decided not to use the major roadways but chose to travel on the empty plains. Traveling within no man’s land would undoubtedly raised the chances of encountering monsters.
With the current team of Workers, they could easily overcome most monsters. Nonetheless, they could not rest their laurels. Monsters like Basilisk and Cockatrice with their petrifying gaze. There was also the fatally poisonous Dove, where a simple scratch from it will easily result in fatality.
Luckily, they never encountered any such monsters when they entered the Kingdom. Soon, they reached their destination――The Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick. This was likely the blessing of Lady Luck towards Hekkeran and the other Workers.
The Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick.
The grounds was surrounded by thick stone walls, six meters in height. There were only two entrance leading inside. One front and one at the back. A newly build wooden house was seen beside the front entrance.
On one hand, the grass growing within the grounds were neatly trimmed, giving the impression that the place was neat and tidy. On the other hand, there were many large trees as well, creating a rather eerie atmosphere.
The tombstones were arranged randomly, like the croquet teeths of an ugly witch. This contrasted with the tidy landscape of the tomb. Outside observers would feel uneased by it. Numerous artistically detailed sculptures of angels and goddesses dotted the place. The sculptures would be evaluated highly for their aesthetics values.
Located at the North, South, East, and West sides of the Tomb were four small scale mausoleums.
The center of the grounds was occupied by a large luxurious mausoleum. The central mausoleum was surrounded by eight sculptures of armored knights, measuring more than ten meters in height.
There were no movements within the grounds.
A magic caster who used the flight spell observed layout for the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick from the air.
The 18 workers who were involved with this round of request were observing the Great Tomb of Nazarick, 300 metres away from the backdoor. As they observed the place, their brows could not help but frown at the information they received.
Those who frown the deepest, was the magic casters. Among the Workers, they could be considered as the most knowledgeable. All of them huddled together, discussing the information.
Their question was, why a tomb existed here at such a place?
They already found it weird after investigating by books.
However, it would be understandable if they wanted to hide the place. But there were no signs of any logging. Nothing exist here other than empty plains. The place was not a convenient spot to build a tomb.
Considering the practical purpose for a tomb, it was weird to build such a luxurious tomb, so far from civilization. Needless to say, it was highly inconvenient.
If the purpose for the mausoleum was not to serve as the resting spot for the dead but as a monument of someone that had great achievements from the past, it would be understandable. As this had been done before. Yet, they could not find any matching history nor legends linked to Nazarick. Furthermore, they could not understand why there were many tombstones occupying the place.
Every team combined the information they collected, but found nothing usable. Or it could also mean that none successfully entered the place. No information about such a remarkable tomb leaked out.
The presence of a log house indicates that someone was managing the place. So. the information they obtained was not entirely useless. Considering that the royal demesnes was nearby, it would seemed that the place was guarded by the Kingdom’s soldiers. But the place does not seemed to be on alert.
In the end, everything seemed very unnatural.
Their sense of uneasiness was like something that was stuck in the throat, causing them to narrow their brows.
In truth, the unnatural landscape made it looked like a trap. If it was a trap however, there was quite a number of unanswered question. What was the reason for sending Workers into the territory of the Kingdom instead of the Empires.
The Workers burned their brains thinking about everything. But they could not think of any leads.
“Now, what do we do?
Hekkeran asked the tired looking Arche who just return.
“—In short, when it’s night, three teams of Workers would act covertly. The remaining team will pretend to be adventurers. They will try to have perform friendly negotiations with those whom were within the wooden house.”
“So it seems. We could be easily detected if we tried to infiltrate during daytime.”
Although the walls of Nazarick were tall, they could not see any sentries. It gave the feeling that they would be no problems if they try to sneak in now. Still, its best avoid unexpected situation, plus it would be safer to operate under the cover of darkness.
Besides there was still time until nightfall, if they keep up their observation on the tomb, they might gain some new information.
Although there was a limited timeframe for them to fulfill the request. The time would be considered well spent for the intelligent.
“Wouldn’t it be safer to use 《Invisibility》 to investigate the place?”
“—We’ve considered it. But there was the possibility of brewing trouble. Hence, it would be better to check out the place in one go. At least, we could glean something, no matter how trivial it may be,”
Although invisibility magic exist, there were many ways of countering it. The spell was not foolproof. If the Workers decided to approach the place while the effects of that spell and was detected by the tombs’ sentries or someone related, the alert level for the place would be increased. If they were unlucky, it may reached a level where it would be impossible for them to infiltrate the place.
To avoid such a circumstance from developing, they decided it was better for them to act together.
“Then, I really wished that they give us some resting time.”
“—Yes, each team would take turns to be on alert. We’ll stick to the arrangements made since departing from the Earl’s place.”
“In other words, our team would be the last.”
“—That’s right. We’ll switch after every two hours. It will be quite a while before we reach our turn.”
As the conversation reached here, Arche turned her head and dropped her shoulders.
“Thanks for the hard work.”
Roberdyk nodded towards Arche.
“—This is really tiring. We spend so long because that terrible man tried to forcefully push his agenda. We used quite some effort to refute him. That man does not know the meaning of accommodating others.”
“…Oh, Eruya was it?”
“Just call him Mr. Lowest Piece of Shit.”
Towards Imina who was filled with murderous rage, Hekkeran smiled and tried to change the topic.
“Then, until it is our turn. Let’s go back and set up camp.”
“Agreed. Although it might not rain now, it would be unfortunate for us if we are not prepared. Imina, when it’s your turn to head out. Don’t show such a scary face.”
“—Ok then, I am really bursting with anger. Let’s set up camp somewhere further away at least.”
“If it’s the preassigned spot, it should be ok?”
In truth, the spot was not that suitable. If they were too close, it may result in an argument.
“Let’s go. Hey Greeham, we are heading back first.”
The four of them started walking away. They waved towards Greenham from Heavy Mashers, the first team to start sentry duties.
“…The more I think about it, the more puzzling it is, the Earl’s request.”
Everyone turned their heads towards that voice. They noticed that Arche stopped moving and was looking at the tomb.
The remaining three, including Hekkeran stopped moving as well as they gazed upon the walls of Nazarick. Those thickset walls were not made from stacked stones. It looked more like it was carved out from a stone basin. It would be impossible to transport a 300 meter long stone. They could have annealed the stones together. But this was not a technique known to man.
Likely it belonged to the stone race, the dwarven craftsmanship. It could also be that of dragons whose intellect surpassed that of humans. There was also the possibility that it belonged to an unknown race.
Just by looking at the outer wall, they could think of many possibilities.
Hekkeran in the end could not help himself but laughed, trying to suppress his excitement.
“…It might be that a powerful undead was sealed within.”
“…uh-wa. So scary.”
“…that’s really fake, Hekkeran. It’s nothing like me at all. Personally, I find it digusting.”
“But why this place though? If it’s to say that the tomb magically appear here, then it would make sense.”
Three pairs of flipped eyes were directed towards Roberdyk who mumbled to himself.
“Don’t be ridiculous.”
“I am not saying like that happened. It was just a sudden thought.”
Roberdyk bemoaned with a hurt look.
“Still, it is kinda exciting.”
“Yep. For what reason this tomb was built. What sort of person was buried here. This really stimulated my intellectual curiosity.”
“Agree. Turning the unknown into the known is a little exciting.”
Under the night sky, the thirteen workers started their operation.
Their first objective was the walls surrounding Nazarick.
As many of them were wearing armor, their movements would be slowed and the occasional voice would appear making it hard for them to appear stealthy. However, these were only common conjectures. To people who could use magical abilities, it was not impossible to solve such a minor issue.
Firstly, they would use 《Silence》with a magic that could eliminate the noise at a certain radius, whether it was noise from the armor or their footsteps would not be transmitted.
Next would be 《Invisibility》, once they became invisible, it would be extremely difficult to be detected visually.
As a precaution, a rogue that was enchanted with the spells, 《Invisibility》, 《Fly》and Eagle Eye》was covering them from the sky. He was observing the groups surrounding, to enable them to arrive at the walls safely. His hands was holding onto an arrow that was laced with paralysing poison in preparation for any immediate response.
Everyone of them arrived at walls safely just as they predicted.
In the midst of their inspection, the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick did not employ any night time surveillance network. Not only were the sentries missing, not even a grave keeper could be found. Furthermore, there was not even a shadow that came out from the wooden house.
They were overdoing it by using so much magic for a defenceless tomb. Their action was in fact a request from their employer.
It would be troublesome to become a wanted criminal within the Kingdom.
But, there would be more problems after that. Overcoming the wall, inspecting the insides and infiltrating the tomb.
While still under the effects of 《Invisibility》, the workers began their next move.
The next step would be infiltrating the tomb.
There were two ways to approach it. Scaling the wall or entering it via the main gate.
There were gaps on the gate like that of a lattice door. Although there were gaps, the width was too narrow for a person to pass through. The gate was nearly 4 meters in height. It would be difficult to forcibly push it open. Furthermore, the walls were slippery as if it was carved out from a single stone. Scaling it would be very difficult. It would take some time even with climbing tools.
But the experienced Workers already had a plan for it.
A strange rod about 30 cm in length suddenly floated in the air before it felled to the ground. It floated in the air as if an invisible person lifted it, and the rod suddenly emitted a faint light after it was bend. This special rod – a fluorescent rod, once bend, the alchemical liquid inside would be mixed, causing it to be fluorescent. Once invoked, the magic 《Invisibility》would affect all things possessed at the time of activation. In order to make it visible, the item had to be withdrawn from one’s body.
A few of those lights moved left to right. Once it was spend, the rods were disposed off. The alchemical solution was sprinkled on the ground, seeping into the soil. All traces of it was gone.
After a while, three pieces of rope dropped from the top of the wall. Knots were formed at fixed intervals along the rope. It was the work of the rogue who was in the sky, he landed on top of the wall that surrounded the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick,
The rope shook easily.
If a person was looking at the place closely, he or she would notice the climbing figures of invisible people.
Even magic casters like Arche who rely more on their magic than muscles could easily climb it with the strength of their arms. They do not require further training to strengthen their muscles.
The first to arrived at the top began to chant a magic.
Then, another three pieces of rope dropped down from the wall. The end of the rope was not secured but it looked as if it was glue to the air. The setup looked fragile at a glance. But none of them were worried about it and slipped down the rope.
As the magic effect was lost on the rope, it flopped down towards the ground. Those responsible for it retrieved the ropes. Although it was weird to see coils of rope floating in midair, there was no helping it.
With this, 13 Workers successfully infiltrated the grounds of Nazarick. Their series of actions was the proof of them being veteran of many battles. All of them acted under the unfavorable condition where they could not see nor hear each other.
A detailed plan, each team trusting each other, grasping the opposites action. Without these factors, they would not be successful. Of course for a team to work well, they need to have a good relationship between those who lead and those who were lead.
And, they split up.
Their first targets would be the small mausoleums at all four corners. There were three teams that successfully infiltrated Nazarick. They decided to each investigate a different target.
As the effects of 《Invisibility》 had expired, they all reappeared. Then, each team moved towards the mausoleum they were tasked with.
Shrinking their bodies, using the tombstone, trees or statues as cover, they moved quietly through the grave. 《Silence》was still in effect. Hence, they did not make any noise.
As Heavy Masher’s leader, Greenham approached the mausoleum, his eyes widened.
Because the temple was more luxurious than what he expected initially.
The mausoleum was humongous, build by stones layered on top of each other. The surface of the white stone wall was smooth. Although the building looked like it had quite the history behind it, there were no signs of staining from rains nor any weathering effect from wind and snow.
A thick iron grilled door sat above three layers of marbled stairs. The doors were so-well polished that there were no signs of any rust. The black tinged iron grills were practically shining.
The casual observer would understand how well the building was cared for.
—In other words, one could deduce that someone was taking care of the tomb.
As Greenham thought about this, he looked at the log house.
His teammate, the thief, headed towards the front, closely examining the first layer of steps. Greenham received the hand signal to fall back due to the effects of the magic, 《Silence》, and he slowly retreated, to avoid any potential area- of-effect traps.
The thief was focused intently on his examination. But he could not help but feel anxious himself.
The fleshy human body was nothing but a vessel to hold the soul. As the vessel began to decay, the soul will be recalled by God. Henceforth, the dead should be immediately buried in their graves, basically within the earth. But those with privilege like the nobles do things differently.
In the event of an immediate burial, they have no choice but to dig up the grave again in order to confirm that the dead body was decaying. For this, to obtain the proof that the body was decaying, they would leave the dead for a period. Of course, they would not have chosen a spot like their homes.
For such a purpose, they would utilize the cemetery’s mausoleum. They would place the body there for a period. The cleric would then made a decision after observing for signs of decay and whether the soul within had return to God’s side.
The area where they placed such bodies would be the communal space within the mausoleum. Several stone platforms would be erected within the vast hall and the bodies would be placed there. It would be a common sight to see rotting bodies neatly lined into a row. Anyone seeing such a scene would have been creeped out. Since, this was just a commonsense in this world. The scene would have been treated as something natural.
But for nobles who possessed both power and money, things would be different for them. They would not be using communal mausoleums but those which were passed down by their ancestors. The bodies of these influential people would be placed here until summoned back by God. It was not surprising that a mausoleum would be a symbol of power.
It would be quite common to find furniture and treasures decorating the interiors of the mausoleum.
In other words, to the grave diggers, the mausoleum was like a treasure vault to them. Hence, it would not be surprising that traps were set up in such a place to deter robbers. Hence, the more luxurious the mausoleum, the more dangerous it was.
Therefore, the thief was investigating the place more carefully than usual.
After finishing his investigation on the stairs, the thief moved towards the iron doors. At that moment, the sound of their surrounding returned.
The effect of 《Silence》 had reached its end. The timing was perfect. The thief stealthily approached the main door. He placed something like a listening device to the door, checking for sounds inside the door.
After a few seconds, the thief turned towards Greenham and the others, shaking his head.
The meaning was ‘There’s nothing here.’.
Every member of Heavy Masher was showing a suspicious expression. The thief was shaking his head from left to right. The thief himself tilted his head in puzzlement as if the situation itself was strange.
It was extremely weird that such a luxurious mausoleum had ‘hardly anything’.
It was also a mystery as to why the place was not locked up as well. If the thief could not detect anything else, next would be the vanguards turn.
Greenham proceeded to the front while the thief started to oil the door. The other warrior with his shield stood forward.
In a single breath, Greenham pressed down on the door knob and the door opened slowly. As the door was oiled beforehand, or possibility due to the place being well maintained. The thickset doors swung open easily. The warrior who was on the sides earlier now stood between the entrance and Greenham. His shield was raised to counter any possible traps or sudden attacks.
There was nothing like traps shooting arrows at them as the iron doors fully opened. Only complete darkness appeared in front of Heavy Mashers.
The arcane magic caster used a spell to light up the ends of the warrior’s mace. The magical illumination could be adjusted to a certain degree. The insides of the mausoleum began to brighten up. With the invocation of the spell, the warriors weapon began to glow as well.
From both source of light, one could easily mistaken that the room belonged to that of royalty.
In the middle of the room was a white stone coffin, similar to those placed in the temple altar. The coffin was 2.5 meters tall decorated with detailed but conserve figures. At all four corners of the room were white statues of knights carrying both sword and shield.
“Does anyone here recognise the emblem?”
“Ah, no idea on that.”
On the wall was a flag with a strange emblem threaded with golden threads. Although they were at a foreign country, the magic caster and the thief who committed the details of many noble families into their memories did not recognise it. It would be safer to assume that it did not originate from the Kingdom.
“Could it be a noble predating the foundation of the Kingdom?”
“You mean 200 years ago?”
200 years ago, the Demon Gods laid waste to many countries. Around here, there were few countries with a history of more than 200 years. The Kingdom, Holy Kingdom, Theocracy and the Empire was established within the 200 years history.
“Saying that, to be so-well maintained without a trace damage over time. What sort of material was used to build this place?”
“Probably due to the effects of preservation magic?”
Everyone had their own questions. The thief entered the room carefully, searching every inch of the place.
The remaining people placed a thick metal rod between the doors. Even with the trapping mechanism, the door will not close off entirely. To prevent the lights from spilling outside, they only closed one side of the door. As the thief examined the interior, Greenham and the others kept their vigilance towards their surroundings. As they have no choice but to rely on magical light, although it may expose them to any observers.
As there were no sign of movement outside, the thief moved directly below the flag, examining it. Bracing himself, he reached out a hand towards the flag.
After touching it, he quickly withdrew his hand.
“….This probably worth something. It was weaved with metal threads.”
“Could such a flag exist?!”
Astonishment voices leaked from many people. And in a hurry every one of them approached the flag and touched it. The cold texture was exactly that of metal.
“Hey hey hey. You never heard of this?”
“What’s with this mausoleum?Which high nobility does it belonged to? No, probably not high nobility. Maybe it belonged to the royal family.”
What sort of delicate alloy was used to make this flag? What would be the price of such a flag? Unable to imagine it, everyone in Heavy Masher could not say a word.
“Should we take it back?”
After hearing the question from the thief, it was Greenham who was first to recover from shocked.
“The thing looks rather bulky. No doubt it is heavy too. Let’s recover it later. Any suggestions?”
After confirming that there were no other opinions, the thief nodded.
“This is the result of the search. They are no traps nor hidden doors.”
“….Then, I’ll be troubling you.”
Greenham nodded towards the magic caster. His teammate evoked a spell as if understanding his intentions.
“《Detect Magic》. I don’t sense the presence of any magical items.”
Along with the words from the magic caster whom used a spell to detect the flow of magic earlier, a sense of disappointment started to spread around the confines of the mausoleum. That was obvious because the most valuable type of treasure was not present.
The price of magical items were astronomical. Just a simple enchanted sword would fetch a decent price. Even a full plate armor enchanted with a simple weight reducing spell would be considered as a precious treasure.
‘Then, the next would be that fella over there.”
Their attention was focused on the stone coffin located in the middle of the room.
The thief took some time examining it before confirming that there were no traps.
Greenham and the warrior nodded at each other before working on the lid of the stone coffin. As the coffin was rather huge, they thought the cover would be quite heavy. However, it was surprisingly light to them. The two almost lost their balance as they put in an excess amount of force.
The cover for the stone coffin was removed. The contents reflected the light, causing a dazzling radiance spilled out.
Gold and silver, mixed with a myriad of precious stones with different colors. They were also various decorative pieces that were radiating brightly mixed within the haphazardly piled gold coins.
As he had an epiphany after looking at the flag, Greenham’s face underneath the armor began to smile. He silently looked at the thief who had something on his hands, a dazzling golden necklace.
Needless to say, it was also a remarkable work of art. Not because that it was a golden necklace, but the golden chain itself contained intricately carved figurines.
“… The price is estimated to be around 100 gold pieces. Considering the location, it could go as high as 150 gold pieces.”
Various expression were form after hearing the thief’s appraisal. Some started to whistle while others began to grin. But, they share one common feature, every pair of eyes were reflecting their inner joy and the flames of their desires.
“This really is….This tomb might be a hidden mountain of treasure.”
“This is really great. I am so happy that I feel like I am soaring through the sky.”.
“Really, it would be a waste just to leave the treasure here. Then let us spend it wisely.”
As he said this, the magic caster took out a large ruby ring from the pile and he placed a kiss on the stone.
The cleric sticked out a hand and grabbed a handful of coins. Some of the coins slipped through his finger, dropping back into the pile.
The crisp sound of metal as the coins rubbed on each other was heard.
“Never saw this type of gold coin before. Which age and country does it belong to?”
The thief who used a knife to scratch the surface of the count sounded amazed.
“This really is quite the gold coin. Its weight alone was twice of those coin we use. Coupled with its artistic values, the price will bound to go up.”
“Really, this is…Hohoho…”
It started with a chuckle. Then, everyone started to laugh as if they could not help themselves. Although they had this amount to be shared amongst them, each person would still attain a considerable sum of money.
Everyone was thinking of the ways to best utilize the money.
Of course, there were the matters regarding proper ownership and also the part where the treasure was discovered within the territory of the Kingdom. However, a worker was different from an adventurer. They would not question the act of stealing treasures.
“You lot can thank god later. Just take whatever we can grab. We have to meet up with the others. Our share will decrease if we are late.”
A loud cheer sounded out in response to Greenhams’ word, filled with excitement and heated passion towards the newly discovered treasure.