I'm sorry you had to go through all this.
No, I was the one who asked for help the other day, and if there's anything I can do to help, please let me know.
When I went to ask her to accompany me on my "ghost busting" mission, she smilingly agreed, and the next morning Leanne and I headed off to our destination.
The location of the request from the Adventurer's Guild was an old warehouse near the entrance to the Labyrinth of No Return.
The place has long been famous for its hauntings. Lean knew a lot about the area and told me many stories as we walked.
The basement of that warehouse used to be part of a dungeon. However, the materials are the same, and there is no connection to anywhere. It is said that adventurers who visited this place hundreds of years ago, after destroying the demons that had been lurking there, began to use it as a storage place for food because it was spacious and strong. It's quite a venerable warehouse.
You've been using it for ghosts?
Yes. It's not that dangerous if it's only occasionally haunted. If you have a weak heart, you should avoid going near it, but as a material storage warehouse, it is sometimes appreciated because it keeps rats away. A little harm, a little good. Ghosts are like that.
I didn't know it, but it seems that ghosts are a familiar presence in this country.
I didn't think people thought they were just a way to keep rats out of warehouses. .......
However, it is said that the reason why ghosts appear in such places is unknown. In the first place, they say that they don't even know what a 'ghost' is.
There are many theories. Some say that they are a form of bio-magic created in the ancient times when labyrinths were born. Others say that they may be the wandering spirits of adventurers who died in their dreams, playing tricks on the living out of envy.
"I see. You know a lot about ghosts, don't you?
You've been talking about ghosts with glee ever since, perhaps Lean likes that kind of thing?
When I heard you were coming here, I did a little research in the archives. It's important to do your homework.
You went to the trouble of checking ....... You're a diligent girl. Maybe I should learn a little from you. However, I don't have a library that I can freely access.
I don't have a stack at my disposal, but ...... I heard that there might be a 'skeleton', is it the same thing?
"Skeletons? I've heard that there might be skeletons in the labyrinth (dungeons), but skeletons are real and are a type of demon, so the principle of their occurrence is a little different. Also, I don't think they appear in the places we're going. It seems that the only thing that has been reported there are ghosts.
"Hmm? Is that so?
I'm a little relieved, but a little disappointed.
I'm sure there are a number of places in the capital where the ghosts to be exterminated can be found, but perhaps your uncle has chosen a place that is not dangerous.
I'm both grateful and confused.
I didn't tell them that I wanted to fight skeletons, so I'm sure they were just being considerate.
I guess I'm just happy to meet a ghost.
This is it, isn't it?
After walking for a while, I arrived at a place with a sign and a wooden fence in front of me.
Here it is.
By the way, I remember coming here when they were removing the rubble.
It had been a restricted area since then.
You mean here?
It says "No Trespassing", but can I go in?
Yes, sir. We have permission to enter, so let's proceed.
We climbed over the fence, and after a while, we saw a large stone staircase leading to the basement in the middle of nowhere.
The destination is at the bottom of these stairs. That's where the ghosts come from.
As I approached the entrance to the basement, I felt a slight chill in the air.
It's pitch black and you can't see through it even if you strain your eyes.
It's a ...... kind of place.
So, let's go.
I gripped the black sword in my hand tightly and took my first step into the basement.
In retrospect, I was glad that Lean had come with me.
It's not that I'm afraid of going into a dark cave by myself, but if I had been alone, I might have gotten lost on the way here.
This girl is only 14 years old, but she is really reliable.
It's a far cry from when I was about her age. .......
As I walked down the wide stairs, thinking about this, I gradually lost sight of my surroundings. After a while, I couldn't even see the face of the lean next to me, not even within my reach.
"This is the entrance.
Lean told me to open the wooden door, and I walked out into a large space.
It was ──── dark.
I really can't see anything.
In the darkness, I decided to use the [Petit Fire] and rely on the light to move forward.
I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but please be careful of the walls and floor. It is unlikely that there are any traps that are still alive after hundreds of years of discovery, but your black sword is quite heavy, so there may be unexpected situations.
In the past, when I went to a bandit training center, the instructor told me, "For some reason, you always step through traps, so never go near places where there might be traps.
It is said that this place used to be part of the Labyrinth, and there might even be some dangerous devices.
Let's be careful.
The moment I made up my mind and took my first step, ──────
Suddenly, the cobblestones beneath my feet sank, and I heard a sound as if something were falling out.
It's so scary, it makes me shrink.
It's much bigger and scarier than I thought it would be.
A primordial fear.
That's what the monster was giving off.
"Doctor! Are you all right?
Leanne came down from the hole I fell through.
It seems she saw me fall and came after me.
At that moment, the thing in the darkness turned its gaze to Lean.
Lean was startled and stiffened.
...... Well, I know the feeling.
This is what it means to "come" mentally.
The ghost, which had been humanoid at first, wriggled and changed shape when it found Lean's form. The two thin arms swelled to eight thick white arms, and the legs parted and stretched out toward the floor, walls, and ceiling.
The huge eyeballs that used to be two keep splitting and increasing, and I don't even feel like counting how many there are anymore.
No wonder no one wants to come and exterminate such a creepy thing, no matter how harmless and life-threatening it is.
《──────── wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow Ohhhhhh... ────
...... Nevertheless .
I've heard that it's not dangerous, just scary, but isn't that too scary?
I've heard that people with heart problems should stay away from it, but even if you don't have a heart problem, you'll probably die from it.
While I was thinking about ......, another ten or so thick arms were added.
I'm sure there are about a hundred more legs that have grown here and there, and countless bloody eyeballs of all sizes that have multiplied and are staring at me and Lean.
──── I'm really, really scared.
Honestly, I want to go home.
But you'll have to kill at least one of them to get home.
I had to ask Lean to come with me here.
I'm sorry... but I need you to stay here and watch.
I'll take care of that one myself.
But if ...... gets compromised, I need your help.
I'm counting on you.
It's a good idea to have a good idea of what you're looking for.
──── I'm not afraid.
You'll be able to find a lot more than just a few things to do.
Now, this is where my "ghost busting" begins.