The Strange Adventure of a Broke Mercenary

Chapter 325: From Instruction To Report (1)



Chapter 325: From Instruction To Report (1)

2Chapter 325: From Instruction To Report (1)    

Proofreader: Xemul    

After leaving the inn, Loren’s group went to the location indicated on the map and found themselves in an old, deserted, and abandoned church.    

It was obvious from the dirty exterior walls that the building had not been used for a long time. The windows had cracks all over, and the entrance door was swinging with a high-pitched squeaking sound, as if it was not even locked.    

It seemed unlikely that there was anything here that could help with the current situation, and Loren wondered if they were being pranked by the Commander. But he decided that he would have to properly inspect the church before making such a conclusion, so he urged Lapis and the two Evil Gods who had followed him to enter the church.    

“Are you alright with going into a church, Luxuria?”    

“What do you mean by that, Lapis-chan?”    

“Because the wrath of God befalls the wicked.”    

“Why don’t you say this to Gula, but only to me?!”    

Luxuria stomped his feet, and Lapis gave him a cold look. Loren thought that according to this logic, the demon tribe, which was universally recognized as wicked, must also suffer the wrath of God, but of course he was not foolish enough to say it out loud.    

“If you want to fool around, do it later. Look around to see if we find anything first.”    

“But I’m not trying to fool around…  What do you want us to look for?”    

“Just anything? Assuming, the Commander didn’t send us to this place as a joke…”    

Yuri had only said that there was something that could help them here, but he did not provide any information about what it was. Loren, who knew Yuri’s character to a certain extent, thought that the man did not specify any further not because he forgot, but because he believed that they would have recognized it if they went here.    

However, Yuri was also the type to pull pranks, such as leading them to a place where there was nothing of note. If this was the case, Loren must take some kind of retaliatory action; that was what he was thinking as he stepped into the church.    

With Lapis close behind him and Gula and Luxuria wandering a bit further at the back, Loren walked straight down the central aisle and stopped in front of the altar at the far end of the church.    

The only thing left inside the decaying church, aside from a crumbling bench, was the altar.    

There might have been a variety of furnishings once upon a time, but with the entrance door unlocked, there was no way to tell if someone had taken them.    

“Oh, this is…”    

Lapis spoke behind Loren.    

When he turned around to see what was going on, he found Lapis with her hand on her chest, her eyes downcast, and her head slightly bowed.    

“Lapis?”    

“It seems that this was originally the church of the God of Knowledge, whom I worship.”    

Loren turned his eyes toward the altar, but it too had been neglected for a long time and was dirty and crumbling, so it was impossible to tell what God it was dedicated to. Even so, it seemed that Lapis, who was truly an expert in this matter, could tell.    

After offering a prayer in that posture for a while, Lapis walked past Loren, approached the altar, and began to examine it, being careful not to completely destroy the crumbling thing by a clumsy touch.    

Loren, not wanting to tamper with the altar in any way, decided that it would be best to leave its examination to a professional. He crouched down beside the nearby bench and began to examine it carefully.    

“It’s not uncommon for a part of the chair to be hollow and have something stored in it…”    

“Do you like that kind of book, Loren?”    

“Not really, but… They do come in handy when I have a spare night.”    

“Reading a book by the light of a campfire, with a sword propped beside you… That seems quite classy, doesn’t it?”    

“…I wouldn’t know.”    

Loren himself could not see the scene from an onlooker’s point of view as Lapis described it, so he would never be able to make a judgment as to whether or not the descriptions of ‘classy’ were appropriate – Loren thought as he continued examining the bench.    

Lapis, who was examining the area around the altar, tapped on the floor and made a hard sound, drawing the attention of Loren and the others, and then beckoned them to come to her.    

“Did you find something?”    

“Probably. Could this be it?”    

As Loren came near, Lapis pointed at a colourful panel and a metal plate that had been inserted into the back of the altar.     

While it did not appear to be concealed, it also did not seem to be a necessary part of the altar. When Loren looked closer at them, he saw that there was a sentence on the plate.    

“Let’s see… What language is this?”    

Lapis judged it to be a sentence because there was some level of regularity to the symbols inscribed there. But she had no idea as to what the sentence said, which was the important part.    

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen those letters before…”    

“If even a priest of the God of Knowledge can’t figure it out, then isn’t it hopeless?”    

Loren quickly gave up, but still looked into the plate to see what was written.    

From either side of him, Gula and Luxuria did the same thing.    

“Hm… How to read this? Morning… evening… hmmm?”    

“I know that it says something about colours, but I can’t make out anything else.”    

Gula and Luxuria seemed to be able to read some of the words on the plate.    

Lapis gave them a questioning look, and Gula explained.    

“This is a type of code used in the Ancient Kingdom.”    

“Why is it here?”    

“Well… I don’t know, either. By the way, the meaning of the same symbol changes depending on the combination and order of the letters…”    

“We obtained some information about it during the war against the kingdom, so we can read some of it, but not all.”    

“From the colour of the sky before dawn, we must follow the colours one by one until we reach the sky at dusk, right?”    

Lapis, who was wondering what to do as the two Evil Gods gave up, was taken aback when she heard Loren read out the text of the plate without hesitation. The Evil Gods felt the same, as they stared at Loren, whose expression didn’t even budge.    

Loren’s words in response to the three’s gaze made them wonder if that was the case again.    

“The Commander knew how to decode it.”    

“Shouldn’t we go check your Commander out before we check this place out? It’s absolutely ridiculous. After what Gula and Luxuria explained just now, you can’t think that it’s normal to know how to decode this, can you?”    

“Maybe he heard it somewhere else? Well, first of all, the colour of the sky before dawn is purple-ish blue, so we should start from here.”    

Lapis and the Evil Gods looked at each other as if to say ‘Is that so?’. Loren, however, did not care, and placed his finger on the panel of purplish-blue colour among the panels set into the altar.    

“One colour at a time means to touch each colour once, and the colour of the sky at dusk is red, so this is the finish point.”    

Loren’s fingertip traced over the multicoloured panels, touching each only once, and then stopped at a panel with a subdued red colour.    

As Loren’s finger stopped moving, the altar itself slid to the side, revealing the entrance to a staircase leading to a basement.    

Loren pointed at the staircase that appeared in front of them, not in a proud manner, but in a matter-of-fact manner.     

“This is how you do it.”    

“That’s great, Loren, but I still have a few unanswered questions.”    

Lapis answered with a very dissatisfied expression on her face. Loren was not sure why she was dissatisfied with the fact that it didn’t take them too long to figure out how to proceed.    

“Me too. Shouldn’t solving riddles be the role of magicians and priests? How come a warrior can solve it so quickly?    

“How come a warrior can read characters that even I can’t?”    

It seemed that the two Evil Gods were feeling the similar frustration that Lapis was feeling, but Loren couldn’t do anything about it.     

Unable to think of any other course of action, Loren simply said ‘Let’s go’ and quickly stepped into the stairwell.    

“In times like this, it’s very convenient that we don’t need torches, isn’t it?”    

It seemed that Evil Gods could see things in the dark, and Lapis could also see through the darkest of dark places without using magic with her own eyes.    

The only one who couldn’t see in the dark with his own eyes was Loren.  But it seemed that the power of the King of Death possessed by Shayna, who was currently residing within Loren, was gradually mingling with Loren’s own power, so he now could see things in the dark without having to synchronize with Shayna’s vision.    

“Well, we’ll have to be careful.”    

“Be careful of what?”    

“When we’re with other adventurers. If we go into a cave without a light on, it will look suspicious.”    

“I see. It does slip your mind once you’ve become used to it.”    

Even as she said this, Lapis began to follow Loren down the stairs without making a light.    

Loren, sensing that the two Evil Gods were following them, continued down the stairs, which were not very long, and soon led to a straight passageway. Wondering why there was such a thing in the basement of a church, he carefully followed the passageway.    

Yuri’s lack of warning made it unlikely that there were any dangerous traps that could threaten their lives, but Loren thought that even so, caution would never be unnecessary. However, the three following behind him did not seem particularly alert and were looking around at the walls and ceiling of the passageway.    

“It seems rather plain for a hidden place. The walls are just stone.”    

“There are no specific markers, so it’s hard to tell when it was built.”    

“The place doesn’t seem to be too humid despite being underground. There are also no signs of weathering. That’s amazing in its own way, isn’t it?”    

The only thing Loren was amazed by was their lack of caution, but considering they could handle almost anything that came out or happened to them, it was understandable. He continued onward until he came upon a dead end, where a door that seemed to be made of metal blocked the way.    

“Does it require a key? Or is it another riddle?”    

“Hm… No, it seems to open straight away.”    

Lapis, who walked past Loren and brought her face close to the door, shook her head in response to Loren’s question and lightly pushed the door open.    

The door, which must have been quite heavy, didn’t seem to take much of Lapis’ effort and opened inward without making a sound.    

“It doesn’t seem to have traps of any kind.”    

“Is that so? Then I’ll go first.”    

Loren, who had stepped forward in place of Lapis, put his right hand on the hilt of the greatsword on his back and pushed at the door with his left hand, causing it to open even wider.    

Slightly leaned his upper body in through the opening, Loren immediately looked at the chamber beyond the door to see if there were any traps or attackers waiting for them. When he was sure that there was nothing, he went straight inside.    

“How is it, Loren?”    

“It’s alright. There is nothing here. Or more like there is no space for anything.”    

The others came in as Loren beckoned them. But as he had said, the space on the other side of the door was not that large. It was surrounded by walls on all four sides, and if several people were to enter at the same time, they would feel quite cramped and uncomfortable.    

One of the walls was decorated with the shape of a gate.    

“Is this it?”    

The inside of the decorative gate, which was supposed to be just a wall, was filled with some kind of very creepy looking light. Lapis quickly looked away, feeling as if her consciousness wavered just by looking at it.     

It seemed that Loren felt the same way; after pointing to the wall, he did not look in that direction again.    

However, the Evil Gods did not seem to mind at all. They stared closely at the gate and the light inside it, and Gula softly said.    

“I wonder what was in this place that we didn’t destroy it.”    

“It’s so far from the capital of the kingdom that I wonder if it was left out of our knowledge.”    

“Then this is it?”    

When asked by Lapis, Gula nodded.    

“Yes. This is the so-called ‘Evil God’s Gate’ that leads to our den.”    

    

    

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