x201C;The person who oversaw this place must have been a nice person . There aren x2019;t any weird riddles we need to solve or keys we need to find . x201D;
Lapis, while jogging toward where it seemed to be the control room, was evaluating the person who oversaw the facility .
x201C;Mean people would make up riddles that would make you want to rip your heart out trying to figure out . x201D;
x201C;You serious? x201D;
Loren didn x2019;t really get it, but he wondered what kind of ruins Lapis had explored before this one .
He wanted to ask her, but had a feeling that she would start talking about something unspeakably terrifying, so he was scared to ask .
x201C;I x2019;ve read it in a book . x201D;
x201C;I x2019;m sure you did . x201D;
Lapis somehow guessed what Loren was thinking, and gave a reply, but to Loren, it sounded like nothing but an excuse .
He would believe her even if she said that she explored tens and twenties of ruins already . This is what his image of Lapis was at this point .
x201C;I really did read it in a book, you know!? x201D;
x201C;Okay, let x2019;s say that that x2019;s true, so hurry up and lead us to the control room! x201D;
Surprisingly, it wasn x2019;t Loren that rushed Lapis, but it was Ritz, who was running right behind them .
Although he chose to follow Loren and Lapis, it didn x2019;t change the fact that half his party couldn x2019;t fight and they didn x2019;t know when more goblins would appear .
Loren thought that if it were just goblins, Ritz could handle them on his own, but the fight with the mock-goblin seemed to make him want to avoid goblins at all costs .
x201C;Man, this quests sucks . x201D;
x201C;Can x2019;t say that I don x2019;t understand that feeling . x201D;
Loren understood that Ritz couldn x2019;t help but curse .
He didn x2019;t know much about exploring ancient ruins, but he didn x2019;t believe that there would be many of them that would take them to one such as the one they were in right now .
He thought that Ritz and his party were very unfortunate to have chosen this quest, but Lapis softly whispered to him .
x201C;We x2019;ve wandered into these ruins, you know? We x2019;re way unluckier than they are . x201D;
x201C;Can you read minds or something? x201D;
x201C;Loren, you keep writing your thoughts all over your face . You should really be careful, okay? x201D;
At Lapis x2019; words, Loren reached up and rubbed his face .
When he was a mercenary, he never looked straight at a person x2019;s face and tried to guess what that person was thinking .
No one had said that to Loren until Lapis had just now .
But since Lapis had accurately guessed what he was thinking so many times already, he decided that his emotions and thoughts must really be easily guessed by looking at his expression .
x201C;In comparison, I would say that the party that was competing against Ritz x2019;s would be the unluckiest . x201D;
x201C;Yeah, well x2026;I guess that x2019;s true . x201D;
x201C;Well, enough chatting for now . We x2019;ve arrived . x201D;
Lapis stopped in front of a pair of large double doors .
It didn x2019;t have a keyhole or handles on it, so Loren wondered how Lapis was going to open them . He watched her walk up to them with the manual in hand, and with her other hand, swiftly traced a part of the doors .
It was a dreary room with nothing else inside it, but Loren looked at the walls on either side and saw large double doors on both .
x201C;This is the control panel . This can control the whole facility . x201D;
Lapis walked up to one of the boxes and touched the surface, then started hitting it .
As soon as she started doing that, the words on the boxes started to change .
But all Loren could tell was that they were changing, and had no idea how they were changing .
x201C;Can you do this? x201D;
x201C;Of course . You can count on me . This is a piece of x2026; x201D;
Lapis stopped talking .
Loren looked at what Lapis was staring at and saw that red words on the surface of the box .
x201C;Uh, what? x201D;
x201C;What x2019;s wrong? x201D;
x201C;This is weird . It keeps kicking me out when I try to operate it . I was able to turn on the control panel and all I need to do is send the shutdown signal x2026; x201D;
Lapis, looking unsatisfied at the result, tried again to gain control, but the red words popped up again .
Loren didn x2019;t know what they said, but he did know that Lapis failed to gain access yet again .
While Ritz and the others looked on with anxious looks, Lapis knitted her brow and read through the manual again and tilted her head .
x201C;This is strange . I didn x2019;t mess up operating it . x201D;
x201C;If that isn x2019;t the problem, do you have any idea what might be? x201D;
x201C;If there was anything I would x2019;ve fixed it already x2026;I wonder what x2019;s wrong? Maybe the control panel itself became weird after all the time that passed? If that x2019;s the problem, there x2019;s no way to fix it . x201D;
As she said that, Lapis traced her fingers on the box once again .
This time the whole surface flashed red and black words started flowing across the surface .
The sudden change made Ritz and the others back off, and Loren, who was surprised as well, continued to watch over Lapis . Lapis put her hand on her chin and started thinking, and after a moment clapped her hands together .
x201C;That x2019;s right . This is a laboratory . x201D;
x201C;What about it? Anyways, what x2019;s with the red box and the words on them? x201D;
x201C;There are always researchers inside laboratories . x201D;
x2018;That x2019;s x2026;I guess there is . x201D;
x201C;Researchers are usually registered into the laboratory x2019;s system . x201D;
x201C;So, what? What are you trying to say here? x201D;
Loren couldn x2019;t understand what Lapis was talking about and began to get irritated, but she took no notice of it and traced her finger on the box x2019;s surface once again .
Meanwhile, the words that were flowing across the surface of the box sped up, and the light that was being emitted from the walls became disgusting shade of red as well .
Then the three doors on each wall fully opened .
x201C;H-hey . What x2019;s going on? x201D;
During all that, Lapis continued to work .
x201C;What are you doing!? This is really bad! x201D;
Ritz tried to grab Lapis, but Nim and Jack, who managed to stay calm, held him back .
They did so because they knew lashing out at Lapis wouldn x2019;t do anything, but their worry and anxiousness could be seen on their faces .
x201C;The facility x2019;s defense mechanism just activated . x201D;
x201C;Can you be more specific? x201D;
It may have been obvious for some people, but Loren had no idea what was going to happen .
After Loren had asked for an explanation, Lapis put her thoughts together and explained their current situation .
x201C;The ruins have recognized us as foreign existences, and will eliminate us using goblins . x201D;
x201C;What are we going to do? x201D;
x201C;I believe that all the goblins that are already produced will all rush towards this room, so for the time being, please keep them away . x201D;
Ritz and his party x2019;s faces were filled with despair .
Loren grabbed the handle of his great sword and prepared for battle .
If the mock-goblins came it would be quite a hard fight, but there was a chance that they wouldn x2019;t show up .
There were three entrances, but he didn x2019;t think that many of them would swarm in at once . As Loren thought that if it were a few of them at once they still had a good chance, he heard Lapis x2019; voice .
x201C;I x2019;ll try to fool the system . Once I get in, it won x2019;t matter how many goblins are here . x201D;
x201C;I just have to buy you some time, right? x201D;
x201C;I x2019;m sorry . I x2019;ll be defenseless while operating this, so . x201D;
x201C;How do you even know how to do that, anyway . x201D;
Although he felt hopeless, Ritz must have realized that fighting was the only choice they had right now . Ritz asked Lapis as he readied his sword and shield .
x201C;I x2019;m a priest of the Knowledge god, after all! x201D;
x201C;You can x2019;t say that every time, you know that? x201D;
Loren snapped at her convenient excuse .
Part of him was trying to warn Lapis that it won x2019;t work for everything, but the other part was trying to save the reputations of other priests of the Knowledge god that were out there . He also didn x2019;t want Ritz and the others to get a mistaken image of them, either .
x201C;I haven x2019;t said anything that isn x2019;t true you know? x201D;
x201C;I guess you haven x2019;t, but x2026;Never mind, just keep doing what you x2019;re doing . x201D;
As much as Loren wanted to defend the priests x2019; reputations, he reminded Lapis that there were other things they had to do right now . Lapis nodded and went back to focusing on the control panel .
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