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While thinking “It’s the second day in a row, huh?”, I gave them a congratulatory gift.
The morning training ended without a hitch, and I ate the lunch the sisters prepared for me, Gobue-chan, who should have been in the mines, came to me flustered.
She was embracing something small and brown with a bright red jewel on its forehead, sharp cuts could be seen all over its body. It was covered in blood, just like me some time ago. I could tell from its erratic breathing that it would most likely die any moment.
It would have been beyond saving if I was ten minutes late, I felt relieved when I was somehow in time as I’ve managed to heal the injury.
However even healing doesn’t return lost blood. Carbuncle fell asleep after I forcefully made it drink a potion Alchemist-san made, a “Hematopoietic Potion” (Prototype) made from blending various herbs that helped with blood formation. Luckily for Carbuncle I was sated after the meal so I didn’t feel like eating it. Besides, Gobue-chan asked me to help it so that’s what I did.
[T/N: Hematopoietic means blood producing.]
A few minutes later, the 30-cm tall Carbuncle opened its eyes and explained its situation.
It thanked us.
“Thank you very much”, it said.
According to the story it told us when I asked why it was covered in injuries, the Carbuncle’s name was Returner, and the reason it was covered in wounds was because it was attacked by some human adventurers.
The red gem, splendidly mounted on its forehead, looked like a super high-class item, if sold, it would probably be worth a hundred million gold coins—I think one gold coin is ten yen—, that seemed to be the adventurers’ objective.
This is what I put together after hearing the story:
~ It seems that “Returner” is an artificial Carbuncle created a long time ago by the legendary magician Velvet who was well-known throughout the continent. It is the manager of [[[Velvet]]’s Hidden Treasury] — A structure recognized in this world as a dungeon — that Gobue-chan and the others broke through when they were digging for Spirit Stones.
~ Though its superficial wounds that I healed seemed to have stabilized, but the fact was that its “core”—though Returner was a non-living artificial Carbuncle without a set lifespan it seems that it would die if the core was broken — was deeply damaged when the humans attacked. The healing seemed to prolong the time until it disappears.
~ Within the innermost part of the Treasury, there lay [Legendary] Class gems and elixirs that topped the list of magic items that Velvet had painstakingly collected over his lifetime. If the treasure chamber was savagely broken into by those greed-stricken nitwits and its treasures were taken away, there was no way Returner could tolerate all that.
~ Returner wanted to solve this problem by its own, but its fighting strength was lacking and because its core was damaged, its time was limited.
In the dungeon were magical creatures: the “Skeleton Soldier”, the tougher “Skeleton Warrior” and the advanced level skeleton, “Greater Skeleton”, and against the party composition of the adventurers they were worse than useless.
That’s why it came to us who seemed slightly strong, to drive the adventurers out and on top of that, to bury the other entrances.
If we could help eliminate the problem, it is willing to hand over the contents of the treasure chamber to us as thanks. Velvet hated humans, so it might as well hand over the treasure to us.
After thinking on it for a while, I couldn’t think of any downsides.
I called Gobukichi-kun, Gobumi-chan, Gobue-chan, and then both Hobusei-san and Hobusato-san to get properly armed. After that I asked Blacksmith-san to bring me the knife made from spirit stones. I thought having a weapon is much better than being unarmed.
Because the Spirit Stone Knife was flashy in appearance, it seems like it would be useful as a deterrent.
As I began instructing my Goblin underlings; Blacksmith-san, Redhead, the two sisters, and Alchemist-san looked at me, their faces full of unease.
That is because they heard the request to kill humans. They would feel some unease, even though they are strangers.
However, because Returner asked for it we will drive them out of the dungeon through and through, we will strike first against the adventurers and try to win without killing them.
First we will try to persuade them, if that doesn’t work, then and only then will we resort to the use of force. I said that since to protect ourselves we have to use deadly force, I’m afraid it will end with us having to kill them.
“If it’s for self-defense then it can’t be helped, otherwise we’ll get killed, right?” I said.
When I told them that talking is important, and showed them my smile, they more or less gave me their consent.
In the end, this is what happened.
We killed all six adventurers, men and women, who had entered the dungeon and tried to kill Returner.
Well, I did try persuasion first.
Initially, to prevent them from being too anxious because of our superior numbers, I had Gobukichi-kun and the others hide and went to persuade them by myself. This was an act I did in good faith.
But the moment they saw me they said something flag-like “This dungeon not only has just Greater Skeletons, they also have Ogre subspecies here. This piece of shit has lots of weaknesses. Even though it’s a troublesome opponent, he’s no match for us. Let’s just kill it quickly. If we let it go we’re not gonna find anything like it ever again”, while beginning to attack me full of killing intent.
I was not an Ogre subspecies, but a rare variant. In the first place, they didn’t want to hear what I was saying, not even a little. That’s robbers for you, I thought.
Well, things like intruding on people’s houses (dungeons), recklessly killing its inhabitants (monsters)—although it wasn’t me—while recklessly abandoning and pillaging the treasure inside…This is, by no mistake, a murder-robbery case isn’t it!! Moreover, they’re not even aware of their crime; these people are beyond saving!!
Meanwhile, upon using [Appraisal], it seems that the robbers’ equipment were all high-class items endowed with magic or a craft similar to that, even by appearance the party exuded an aura of considerable strength.
However, I felt nothing like the despair I felt when I went against the Red Bear, because by being an Ogre [Rare Variant] I had increased my base specs, and because repeated use of my abilities was now possible, I felt that defending against the robbers’ attack was a simple matter.
I mean, I could judge that just by looking at their first blow.
Their attack was totally clumsy. Their aim is also relatively dull, not only were they unable to handle their weapons efficiently, there were hardly any unpredictable and complex feints to mislead the enemy mixed into their offense.
Their slashing attacks were quick, and their weapons were of a superior quality, so if a usual Ogre were to be hit he’d be slaughtered leaving only pieces, however, in my opinion their combat techniques were not on par with their body’s specifications, the impression I had of their attack was that it was crude.
Whether it’s because of body strengthening from their levels, or buffs from their [Job], they are certainly strong, but conversely, it could possibly be inhibiting their efforts to raise their potential. Without thinking where they swing their swords in front of themselves, raising the levels of usable techniques and so on, never noticing that relying on those techniques they are probably obstructing themselves.
So far they had probably been gaining levels by killing their opponents relying on brute force, thus they had naturally started to spend less effort when fighting.
I don’t mean to find faults in others affairs, but their current methods was excessively lethal for themselves.
If they had spent more effort, they would probably have been able to fight me on equal ground. That’s how high their base spec was, yet.
Having neglected their training they were not real opponents for me.
There was a margin of error allowed for me because they were weaker, and so all their attacks were easily defended against by my parrying. While this was happening I continued my attempt to persuade them.
Usually when robbers are trying to murder you, you don’t manage to convince them.
As I was talking to them, while still being attacked, from the deep part of the dungeon a young looking [Magician] came out and cast a [Lightning]-based magic which was followed with a *bam* as soon as it struck.
I didn’t collapse, but all the same I stumbled a step or two forward from the shock. The resulting damage was only to the degree that I felt quite sore.
Even though it looked like a small attack based on it’s size, I would’ve died from it if it weren’t for [All Elemental Resistance] and [Lightning Resistance] abilities. The power of it was so strong your head would evaporate without a trace.
Ah, as expected. Since you’ve done this much, it can not be helped. My patience was already reaching its limits.
I sent a signal to Gobukichi-kun and the others who were hiding to commence their attack.
Apologizing to Returner in my mind, I cut off the retreat path of the adventurers by destroying a part of a mysterious opal corridor that made me want to remark “What is this, a royal palace?”
And in order to attract their attention, I attacked from the front.
Yeah, although I originally thought the ability of the Spirit Stone Knife was only amusing, it actually turned out to be amazing.
While the blade itself has absolutely no sharpness, since the materials used were Water Spirit Stones, water was being ejected from the blade with each slash. When I swung that thing a little seriously, the water coming out at high speed became a water blade, it cut the adventurer’s armor in half along with its contents while making a loud sound.
“Awesome! Awesome!” was what Gobumi-chan said following with a question about whether or not she could cut them in two with it, but I replied with a no because if there wasn’t any force behind it the water didn’t cut the opponent, it would only wet them.
It seems like it was useless without suitable swinging speed, although it was still cool.
After killing all of the adventurers, we stripped the bodies and ate them. I took the upper portion while Gobukichi-kun and the others got to share the lower bodies.
Ability [Job-Assassin] learned.
Ability [Job-Crusader] learned.
Ability [Job-Guardian] learned.
Ability [Job-High Wizard] learned.
Ability [Job-Bishop] learned.
Ability [Job-Enchanter] learned.
Ability [Quick Thinking] learned.
Ability [Parallel Thinking] learned.
Ability [Horseriding] learned.
Ability [Anti-magic] learned.
Ability [Shortened Incantation] learned.
Ability [Chivalry] learned.
Ability [Intuition] learned.
Ability [Conceal Presence] learned.
Ability [Demigod of Mercy's Divine Protection] learned.
Ability [Demigod of War's Divine Protection] learned.
As expected even among humans being an adventurer means you need to be on a considerably high level.
Since they had a lot of high-quality equipment, a fairly useful magic item was found. I ate it immediately of course.
Ability [Conceal Self-Status] learned.
Ability [Item Box] learned.
What I ate were two different magic items; “Hermit’s Ring” and “Backpack Storage (Large) x6” I stored the rest of the adventurers’ gear in my item box–when I tried to retrieve an item, a *pon* sound could be heard and the item appeared.
The transfer item-like feature has given me a sense of nostalgia.
The ability allows me to store up to 1200 different items and the same-named items can be stacked up to 99 times each which is just cheating. Then Returner guided us to the entrance of the dungeon.
In the deepest part of the cave, we found a hidden entrance which we collapsed, now there’s no other entrance here except the one Gobue-chan made. After we have collapsed that passage, there will be no way to enter this dungeon.
Carbuncle guided us into the treasury, where we all saw it.
There were various valuable treasures; the previous adventurer’s equipment that we got our hands on looked dull compared to the vast number of powerful magic items here. Amidst this treasury crammed full of items, in the innermost part, was a mummy with a strange left arm shining in silver, enshrined in a throne.
Returner’s time was about to run out and before that he wanted to tell us something.
A wide variety of spirit stones could be gathered from the mines of our current home, it was the influence of this dungeon. Usually depending on the type of Spirit Stone it could found in a location that corresponds to their attribute —— places with good ventilation have Wind Spirit Stones, Fire Spirit Stones are found near hot places like volcanoes, Spirit Stones of different attributes aren’t usually found in one place.
However, because this dungeon was a place built by Velvet who excelled at handling spirits, somehow spirits who do not belong can remain here even now, and it’s possible to mine a wide variety of spirit stones because of the dungeon’s influence.
As soon as he finished talking, as if having reached its end Returner showed a faint smile as he faded.
Clink*, And only the jewel was left behind.
After I picked it up I ate it .
Ability [Golden Rule] learned.
For now, we gave a silent prayer dedicated to Returner.
And so I took all the riches in the treasury. Really, the item box skill is amazing.
I could afford to cram everything from the treasury, and I still had surplus space left. Yeah, it’s all thanks to the adventurer party from a while ago.
Thinking that, only the mummified Velvet with the strange-looking left hand remained in the lonely temple and treasure chamber, as I thought, I couldn’t bring myself to leave him as he is, so after recovering the gem-encrusted throne, I cremated the mummy.
Raising my face, I clapped my hands in prayer and said “namu”, and as the rumbling fire died out, only the strange-looking artificial hand, shining in silver, was left in its place.
“What is this?”, I thought as I used [Appraisal].
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Appraisal] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Name: Silver Artificial Arm – Airgeatlámh
Rank: Legendary Class
~ Elemental Echo
Details: A divine artificial arm previously worn by Velvet found in the depths of a certain ancient dungeon. Those who lost an arm can obtain an arm that they can equip and with it perform any movement flawlessly.
By taking in other kinds of metal, it is possible to change the shape according to the wearer’s intent, this ability improves with each use. Destruction of this item is fundamentally impossible.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Appraisal] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Hm, is Velvet saying “I don’t need this any more, so I’m giving it to you” to me who had lost my left arm? I thought this as I picked it up at the elbow and brought it closer to my missing left arm. Somehow I was able to attach it.
My impressions: It was incredibly painful.
Well, somehow when I brought it close, the arm’s armor expanded and its metallic tentacles extended from its center and covered my left arm up to the shoulder. Then the tentacles did something that felt like it was eating my flesh, the pain was so intense that I almost blacked out.
Then after I had recovered from my screaming, my left arm had become Airgeatlámh up to the shoulder. The silver arm that was the size of a human’s when I picked it up should have been far too small for me who was an Ogre, but somehow it had transformed into the same size as my right arm in both length and girth; it suited me well.
This might be the effects of [Self-Evolution].
There was no discomfort even when clenching and opening all five fingers. It didn’t feel weird at all.
Moreover, I could tell when I touched things with it, and when I tried hitting a wall I felt no pain at all. Even though I could accept having no sense of pain because it was a prosthetic arm, I wondered how it was able to transmit the sense of touch.
I was incapable of understanding it, and since I had no idea how abilities work in the first place, I wasn’t going to think too deeply about it for now.
Then, the movement limitations of the elbow joint seemed to have outrageously wide range of motion, and here and there were all sorts of gimmicks. The wrist and fingers could be rotated like a drill, and I could move the elbow and the shoulder at angles impossible for the skeletal structure of an Ogre.
And then I confirmed that I could properly use my abilities through the silver arm. I was able to spin thread from the sharp pointed fingertips without a problem.
Yep, I had obtained an awfully good thing.
Even though I could somehow manage with the slime finger, but as expected, having a solid basis made dealing with problems easier.
After that, we returned to base and had a party. Since it’s the conclusion of a great battle, and among the things we got from the adventurer party —this is important—there were bottles of booze. If we’re not going to have one now then when are we going to have one?
In Velvet’s case, maybe it didn’t matter because he died a long time ago, our worrying about it is because of the current atmosphere.
I explained the details gently and thoroughly to Redhead, Blacksmith-san and the others trying to get their consent.
Even though I persisted in trying to persuade them, towards the greedy humans it was useless. But, yeah, booze is delicious!!