x201C;Hey Lapis . Sorry to interrupt your good mood . x201D;
As he watched Ritz clumsily climb up the ladder, he called Lapis, who was standing next to him with a big smile on her face, as calmly as he could .
Lapis, who was in a good mood being able to explore Ancient Kingdom ruins, turned her smiling face toward Loren .
x201C;Once we climb up there, wouldn x2019;t they tell us to go home? x201D;
Unlike Lapis, who was too excited at the rare opportunity, Loren was calm the whole time .
Lapis froze at Loren x2019;s words .
x201C;Ritz and the others know the way back because they fell down to this floor, right? If we go up, it means they know the way back from there . x201D;
All they had to do now was see if taking them further so they could use Lapis x2019; divine arts once, was worth it .
If Loren was in their shoes, it would be easier if he told them that they were lucky to get out and to go home, even it meant not being able to use divine arts .
Loren thought that veteran adventurers would come to a similar conclusion, but apparently Lapis hadn x2019;t thought that far ahead, as was still frozen on the spot .
x201C;What should I do . This is unexpected . x201D;
x201C;I guess you have your moments as well . x201D;
x201C;I was too excited by the fact that I could explore the ruins x2026; But we really must go to the upper floor . There x2019;s really nothing down here . x201D;
Loren turned his gaze from Lapis, who looked troubled, to Ritz, who was still climbing the ladder .
To Loren, having Ritz tell him the way back and getting out of there wasn x2019;t a problem .
To adventurers like Ritz and his party or to someone who acted out of intellectual curiosity like Lapis, the ruins might be a fun place to be, but to Loren it was just a dangerous place that he could care less about .
But seeing Lapis this dispirited, he felt like he wanted to grant her wish despite the dangers he might have to face .
x201C;Is there like, anything we have to offer? x201D;
x201C;Other than divine arts? That x2019;s a difficult question . If I told them I could use magic as well, I would look too suspicious . x201D;
x201C;Anything like knowledge or skills? x201D;
x201C;If I can find out what kind of ruin this is, I x2019;ll have a pretty good idea of what these ruins look like . x201D;
The information that Lapis just said was very useful, even to someone like Loren who didn x2019;t know anything about exploring ruins .
He thought that it was more efficient if they had a basic idea of what the insides looked like than to walk around with no idea .
x201C;That x2019;s impressive, but how would you know? x201D;
As Ritz barely managed to climb to the top, Quartz started to climb up, but because of his robe and his old age, he was even slower than Ritz .
As Loren asked Lapis, he saw Nim x2019;s face become frustrated at how slow the two before her were, and at how long they were making her wait .
x201C;Loren, do you know what the adventurer guild looks like inside? x201D;
x201C;I x2019;m not too sure, but there x2019;s the floor with the front desk and a place where you can eat, right? There x2019;s also the archives and the guild master x2019;s room x2026; Something like that? x201D;
Loren, who hadn x2019;t been an adventurer for long, didn x2019;t know too well about the building so he told her what he saw and heard about, and Lapis nodded .
Loren saw Quartz, who was halfway up, miss a rung and fall back down .
Since it was quite a long fall, Loren was worried that he may have hurt himself, but he immediately stood back up, rubbing his butt . But he let out a groan as Nim, who was even more frustrated now, kicked him down .
Although Loren knew she wasn x2019;t being serious, and Quartz knew that as well, he couldn x2019;t help but see it as abuse, so he averted his eyes .
x201C;People in the Ancient Kingdom built things functionally and efficiently, so most of the time buildings are built similarly . x201D;
x201C;Any exceptions? x201D;
x201C;There always exceptions . Apparently, that stayed the same from ancient times, and there are weirdly built ruins every now and then . x201D;
Lapis crossed her arms, annoyed .
Although slightly unreliable, Loren thought that the fact that Lapis was a priest of the Knowledge god who used divine arts as well as being quite knowledgeable about ruins was good enough of a reason for Ritz to tell them they could stay .
Loren concluded that if he told Ritz what Lapis just told him before Ritz tells them to go home, there was a high possibility that they could stay . As he decided that he would make the effort for Lapis, who still looked frustrated, Quartz gripped the edge of the hole and froze .
x201C;This is bad! x201D;
As soon as he yelled, Jack jumped over Quartz and back down the hole .
Ritz followed right after him, and shouted as he descended .
As soon as Nim heard him, she readied her bow . At the same time Jack landed on the ground without a sound, and Ritz landed as well with a dull sound .
x201C;Quartz, jump down! x201D;
Quartz was almost at the top, and it was twice as high than when he fell earlier .
Jack and Ritz could jump down thanks to their agility and sturdiness, but Quartz saw how high up he was and hesitated .
Then came the problem, the horde of goblins .
The goblins x2019; daggers and clubs scraped his head and shoulders, and he lost his grip on the edge and started falling headfirst toward the ground .
Lapis feared that he might fall on a poor place and be badly injured, but by then Loren, who had been right beside her, was already on the move .
Loren started climbing up the ladder at an incredible speed for someone who had a large great sword on his back, and as soon as he caught Quartz, jumped down with no problem at all .
x201C;S-sorry . x201D;
x201C;Don x2019;t have time for that right now! Run! x201D;
Quartz started to thank Loren as he gently put him down, but at Ritz x2019;s voice, Loren looked up to see what the problem was . As soon as he saw the goblins start dropping down the hole, he started to run .
x201C;What is that!? x201D;
x201C;How am I supposed to know! All I know is that there x2019;s a lot of them! x201D;
Nim and Lapis quickly understood the situation they were in and had already started .
Ritz was running in front of everyone, but Loren decided that from a party x2019;s perspective, it was natural for the leader to be in front and choose where to go, and it wasn x2019;t that Ritz was quick to run away .
If they took one unlucky turn and ran into a dead end, the only end that awaited them was death from a horde of goblins . Every single one of them tried to think of a way out, but none of them could think of something that could stop a horde of goblins, and could do nothing but pray they don x2019;t run into a dead end .
x201C;T-this is x2026; x201D;
x201C;This, isn x2019;t looking too well . x201D;
The first ones to start running out of stamina was Quartz, who was way older than everyone else, and Lapis, for reasons that only Loren could guess .
Lapis was slowing down because her prosthetic feet had run out of mana due to all the sudden harsh movements .
As the two slowed down and were about to be passed by Loren, he wrapped his arms around each of their waists, hoisted them up, and started running with both under each arm .
x201C;H-hey . Are you okay . x201D;
x201C;I x2019;m used to it . x201D;
Running while carrying disabled comrades was something mercenaries did all the time, and Loren had done this many times before .
Compared to sturdy mercenaries wearing full armor, an old man wearing a robe and a girl wearing priests x2019; clothing was way less of a burden .
Loren not slowing down even with the weight of his armor added to that, his strength and stamina was at a level where even Jack and Ritz were surprised by them .
x201C;Sorry young one x2026;I x2019;ll make sure to thank you later x2026; x201D;
x201C;I x2019;m sorry for the trouble again, Loren . x201D;
x201C;I x2019;m fine . Don x2019;t worry about me and try to use your brains . We x2019;re going to get caught eventually . x201D;
Loren wasn x2019;t sure who had more stamina, humans or goblins, but compared to them, who all had armor and equipment, the goblins, who had weapons but were lighter in general, seemed to have the upper hand .
Although they couldn x2019;t lose the goblins and the goblins couldn x2019;t catch up to them either, it was only a matter of time before they would be unable to move anymore .
If the goblins caught them at that moment, their sheer numbers would crush all of them .
Loren continued to run behind Ritz and the others, praying that the two he was carrying would think of a solution .
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