There is a saying that misfortunes never come singly, but that didn x2019;t seem to happen to Loren this time .
After a while pa . s . sed since Loren and the others had found the remains of the armor, Lapis tapped Loren on his shoulder .
Of course, she tapped the shoulder that wasn x2019;t injured, and Loren realized that she was able to move her limbs again .
x201C;You alright now? x201D;
x201C;Yes . Sorry about all the trouble . x201D;
Loren made sure to check with her before he softly let Lapis down from his back .
Lapis stomped her feet a few times and stretched out her arms over her head, then nodded .
x201C;Did you unfreeze, young lady? x201D;
Ritz said to Lapis with a smile, without any sort of sarcasm in his voice, and Lapis didn x2019;t detect any either .
x201C;Yes . Riding on Loren x2019;s back was so comfortable, so I wanted to stay a bit longer, but I would be in the way, so . x201D;
x201C;Are you guys in that sort of relationship, by any chance? x201D;
Loren was immediately about to say no, but Lapis covered his mouth with her left hand .
Loren was surprised at her actions, but was even more surprised at what came out of Lapis x2019; mouth .
x201C;Yes, we are . x201D;
x201C;Well that x2019;s something that can x2019;t be overlooked . You managed to catch quite the jewel there, brother . x201D;
Jack sounded very happy for some reason .
As Jack was about to cheer them on, Nim calmly landed a kick from behind .
x201C;If you want to draw attention, do it alone . x201D;
x201C;I feel like I x2019;m going to get killed by you before monsters ever get the chance to x2026; x201D;
x201C;I think so too . x201D;
Quartz agreed with Jack, who was lying face first on the ground, groaning .
Although it looked like Nim didn x2019;t go easy on him, it seemed like it didn x2019;t do much damage, as Jack quickly got up and stroked his back .
x201C;This means that you can fight now, right? x201D;
Loren nodded at Ritz .
It wasn x2019;t that he couldn x2019;t partic . i . p . ate in fights until now, but it was awkward to do so, because he would have had to let down Lapis first .
If it were an emergency, Loren was going to drop her, but he did feel some guilt to dropping a girl from his back .
x201C;Then I count on you to keep watch behind us . Young lady, you can support him . x201D;
x201C;You can count on us . x201D;
Now that they were a six-man party, Ritz and Jack were in the front line, and Nim and Quartz were in the middle .
Now with Loren and Lapis in the back line, they continued on their way down the corridor .
x201C;Loren, this is quite the rare experience we x2019;re having right now . We x2019;re helping investigate Ancient Kingdom ruins, and even better yet, it x2019;s an unexplored one . It x2019;s a job that copper ranks never get to do . x201D;
Just when he thought Lapis was finally able to walk by herself, she kept talking to him with a small voice, sounding very excited .
The party that was competing with Ritz x2019;s party .
In a situation where a silver rank party may have suffered extreme losses and where there shouldn x2019;t be anything to be optimistic about, her happy expression and excited atmosphere didn x2019;t match .
Loren thought that maybe this was one of the personalities of demon kind that other species hated, and nudged Lapis, who was looking around here and there next to him, with his elbow .
x201C;Loren, I x2019;m scared . x201D;
x201C;That x2019;s way too forced . x201D;
To Loren x2019;s luck, Ritz and the others, who had completely left the back to the two of them, didn x2019;t notice them talking quietly . Loren wondered what to do with Lapis x2019; excitement, but he couldn x2019;t think of a way to act in the situation they were currently in .
It was a bother if she did a poor job of acting frightened, but her current state of looking excited and interested with no trace of being scared didn x2019;t seem right either .
x201C;I got that you x2019;re intrigued and all, but keep it down a bit . Alright? x201D;
x201C;It can x2019;t be helped, I guess . x201D;
Lapis looked like she wasn x2019;t convinced, but she let go of Loren x2019;s arm and nodded .
x201C;By the way, what is the goal we are trying to accomplish? x201D;
x201C;Investigating the ruins is the main objective, but we x2019;re also investigating what happened to the other party . Not sure what we should prioritize . x201D;
Lapis nodded at Nim x2019;s upright response, then continued .
x201C;If that x2019;s the case, I recommend that we return to the pit fall where everyone fell down . x201D;
x201C;Let x2019;s hear why, young lady . x201D;
Ritz asked Lapis, who suddenly suggested, for an explanation .
Lapis started to explain her suggestion to everyone like it was nothing .
x201C;The pit fall that everyone fell through was most likely a trap for intruders . x201D;
x201C;Of course, it was . x201D;
Jack wondered why she was pointing out the obvious, but Lapis just continued .
x201C;Since the trap wasn x2019;t set up to kill, it x2019;s likely that this whole floor was made for intruders who fell into the trap . x201D;
x201C;So, you x2019;re saying that they kept monsters loose in here and let them deal with the intruders . But why would they go through all the trouble? x201D;
x201C;I don x2019;t know for sure, but in any period and country, it didn x2019;t really matter how they treated intruders, so . x201D;
Everyone made an unpleasant face at her words .
She was implying that they were making use of intruders that couldn x2019;t move anymore or killed by monsters for something else .
They didn x2019;t know what exactly, but everyone guessed that it was something unpleasant .
x201C;Putting all sentimental thoughts aside, there is no way there x2019;s anything important on this level . So if our objective is to investigate the ruins, staying here would be meaningless . x201D;
x201C;What x2019;s your reasoning for going back to the pit fall? x201D;
x201C;I think there is a maintenance hatch near it . Or some path to collect the people who fell here . Whatever it may be, it would lead back to the upper levels . x201D;
Ritz stopped and thought about Lapis x2019; suggestion .
x201C;It x2019;s worth a shot . Even more since we don x2019;t have any other thoughts . x201D;
Nim easily agreed with Lapis, but Jack seemed against it .
x201C;Wait a second . There was nothing like that where we fell down . x201D;
x201C;As much as I would like to say to shut up and search, I really don x2019;t see anything like it . x201D;
x201C;I mean, we x2019;re silver adventurers . If there was a hidden pa . s . sageway we would x2019;ve found it already x2026; x201D;
The sound of something heavy and hard moving sounded as Jack was talking .
Everyone braced for whatever was coming next .
Loren looked up and saw the hatch open with a pole coming down from it .
Everyone, confused at what was happening, stared at Lapis, who had her hand on the wall .
x201C;What did you do? x201D;
No one said anything, so Loren asked Lapis, who was standing next to the wall, on the behalf of everyone else .
x201C;It x2019;s hard to see because of the mana material, but there is a control panel here . x201D;
Loren looked closely at the part of the wall Lapis was pointing at .
He couldn x2019;t believe that there was such a thing on the dimly glowing wall, but after staring at the wall for a while, he could make out pale lines etched onto it .
Loren, who wasn x2019;t a magician, wasn x2019;t sure what kind of device it was, but apparently, those who were knowledgeable about these things realized that it was indeed what Lapis said it was .
x201C;Isn x2019;t this something you should x2019;ve noticed old man? x201D;
x201C;Idiot . A thief like you should be able to notice those sorts of mechanisms . x201D;
Jack and Quartz immediately started blaming each other .
Meanwhile,the pole continued to descend, and when it hit the floor, handles extended from either side of it .
x201C;Man, it feels like we x2019;ve been walking around for nothing . x201D;
x201C;Lucky for Loren and I though . If you had returned to the upper floor, we wouldn x2019;t have run into you . x201D;
x201C;I guess you guys were lucky . But still, can we even climb this? x201D;
The ladder wasn x2019;t thick, and it wasn x2019;t wide either .
It seemed st . u . r . dy enough for the girls to climb, but looked like it would break if a warrior with full armor like Ritz tried to climb it .
x201C;It x2019;s from the Ancient Kingdom . I doubt that climbing it would break it . x201D;
Although that x2019;s what Lapis said, she wasn x2019;t that confident in her words .
The ruins were quite old .
No matter how technologically advanced the Ancient Kingdom was, there was no way it could stand against time, and it wouldn x2019;t be strange if it got weaker over time .
x201C;I x2019;ll go first . x201D;
Jack was the first one to volunteer .
x201C;When it comes down to weight, Nim could go first as well, but I x2019;m the only one who could jump back down if there are monsters up there . x201D;
x201C;Good decision . Hurry up and go . x201D; *
x201C;You x2019;re saying that with a different nuance, aren x2019;t you? x201D;
Jack made a pathetic face for a moment at Nim x2019;s words, which sounded like she wanted him to take responsibility for not being able to find the ladder . But he grabbed onto the ladder and started climbing up with light, swift movements, as expected of a thief .
Jack reached the top in no time, grabbed the edges of the hole, and pulled himself up .
x201C;It x2019;s alright . Coast is clear . The ladder x2019;s st . u . r . dy, too . Come up one at a time . x201D;
They could see Jack leaning over the hole, telling them to come up .
The remaining members looked around at each other, trying to decide who should go next .
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