Chapter 10: The old man challenges the Golden Pyramid.
After spending the night camping outside the pyramid, we entered the pyramid the next day. In the pyramid, the pathways were illuminated by torches hung on the world, meaning that our visibility were firmly secure.
[Youya, the torches look weird. How are they continuing to burn?] (Luna)
Luna tilted her neck.
[Now that you mentioned it, it does seem strange. Since it looks convenient let’s take some home with us.] (Youya)
It was natural for torches to be present in the game, so the thought about them being able to burn forever was pushed to the back of my mind. However, a torch which was capable of such a feat is a precious and convenient item. I tried to remove the torch from the wall however, I couldn’t pull it out despite how much I tried. I thought that it would had been a valuable item if I could bring it back however it seems to be stuck to the wall.
[The air feels stagnant.. It’s the smell of dead bodies.] (Til)
Til began to frown.
[The monsters present here are completely different from the monsters in the desert. Undead monsters have the smell of death following them around. Besides undead monsters, other bug-type monsters, poisonous monsters and golems will appear.] (Youya)
The three girls faces turned blue with disgust after mentioning the bug-type and undead monsters. I understand what they are feeling since they hated insects and undead were hated with a strong prejudice.
We continued walking on the stone pavement, with our goal being the top of the pyramids. This pyramid consists of 4 upper floors and the monsters here were annoying to deal with, however the most dangerous part about this place was the traps. In this world as well, pyramids were erected as the tomb for rulers and countless traps were set up to repel grave robbers. The Golden Pyramid wasn’t an exception to this.
[Everyone, as usual be aware of any traps that may be around.] (Youya)
Everyone nodded as I sharpened my senses and relied on my experience to locate any traps present. We aren’t planning to just stop at intermediate dungeons, we are going to conquer the most difficult dungeons in the world. Together with Luna, the two of us continued to walk at the front. I would praise her whenever she located a trap and would teach her how to locate the trap if she were to neglect any.
[Difficult, however Luna has already memorised it. Youya, this type is also ouh~~kay!] (Luna)
It is extremely fun to tutor Luna as her growth rate is ridiculously fast, already becoming an excellent Thief. Just as I was planning on taking a break, Luna’s fox ear began to twitch.
[The ceiling! A demon is crawling!] (Luna)
Right off the bat we’ve encountered the unique monster for the pyramid. It’s an extremely dangerous monster which has placed many adventurers into their graves.
[Phil, Til. I’ll leave it to you.] (Youya)
[Leave it to me.] (Phil)
[That, isn’t this dangerous!!?] (Til)
The two of them released their arrows towards the ceiling, at the Silent-Death Scorpion which was crawling on the ceiling. It was a scorpion the size of Luna’s head. It wasn’t a powerful monster, however it was as troublesome as its name implies. It doesn’t produce a single sound. It silently crawls on the ceiling, approaching oblivious adventurers.
For parties which didn’t possess Presence Detection, they would be unable to notice its approach, and by the time they do, they would be injected with an extremely potent paralysis poison by the scorpion, taking away their consciousness. Many adventurers who survived their encounter often suffered traumas from it.
[It’s pointless! There are too many of them! We aren’t even doing anything to them. What! Why does my lightning spells not work on them! My ranged magic can’t work on them!] (Til)
[Til, stop focusing on your mouth and move your hands.] (Phil)
Silent Death Scorpions had another troublesome feature. They often moved about in swarms. Furthermore, they were small and fast, making them difficult to hit. Til who was a genius in archery even had her accuracy reduced to 70%. Whereas normal adventurers would only be capable of landing about 30% of their shots.
Phil on the other hand…. Could only be described as a monster. She hadn’t missed a single shot until now. Showcasing her ability to fire three arrows at one go, and landing each of them with absolute accuracy. Meanwhile, Til was struggling to land her shots among Phil’s rain of arrows.
[Luna,Selene. It’s about time for them to jump onto the ground. The moment they land, beat them with all of your strength.] (Youya)
[Uhn. Luna will do her best.] (Luna)
[It is difficult to deal with numerous small targets.] (Selene)
Scorpions began falling from the ceiling, holding up their poisonous stingers above their heads one after another as I began to cut them. Individually, they have low vitality and it would be easy to kill them with a single blow. However, it’ll be bad to receive even a single hit from any of them as their poison is lethal to our hearts.
[Stop moving!] (Selene)
[Ugh.. Can’t land a single hit.] (Luna)
Similar to Til, Selene and Luna were beginning to struggle. Looks like it’s time to use that.
[Both of you get behind me! I’m activating my magic!] (Youya)
I managed to gather enough hate and the enemies were attracted to me, entering my range. I began my chant as I swung my sword at the nearby enemies. This time, I’m activating a customized version of the Intermediate Magic Ice Storm. I increased the spell’s range as well as area of effect by lengthening the cast time while dropping the power to near zero. After my long chant was completed, the spell was activated.
With the low ceiling, cold air begins to fill the narrow passage. Due to the enclosed space, the scorpions had nowhere to run and became enveloped by frost, freezing in place. However, since the spell had almost zero damage, this isn’t enough to defeat them. This spell has a different purpose though, as Ice magic possessed an additional effect despite it’s low power. It inflicts the abnormal status effect, Frozen. Even if the enemy managed to escape the brunt of the spell, their speed would still be decreased within the effective range. Thus, as a Magic Knight with inferior magical abilities, it is possible to raise the effectiveness of Ice magic by decreasing its firepower. I decreased its firepower, aiming to improve it as a magic capable of sealing the enemies movements over a larger range and area. Even if its firepower decreases, the effect of being frozen doesn’t change. Permafrost was an incredibly useful magic.
[Now we can easily defeat all of them! Let’s defeat all of them in one go!] (Youya)
This isn’t even a battle anymore now that all the small insects weren’t capable of moving anymore. And even if they were, they weren’t able to move very quickly. Now then, let’s hunt all of them in one go.
[It’s finally over~~~~.] (Til)
While picking up her arrows, Til voiced out her exhaustions. The reason she was collecting her used arrows was to replenish her stock of arrows. Especially for arrows created by someone with Phil’s status.
[Youya, Youya! We leveled up!] (Luna)
[Ah. Me too.] (Til
[Now that you mentioned it, so did I.] (Selene)
[Since my level was lower, my level increased by three.] (Phil)
[Silent Death Scorpions are small and brittle, however each of them gave experience that was appropriate for their level. Since we managed to defeat all of them, our levels would definitely rise in one go. With this high of an efficiency, we may even come back once they respawn.] (Youya)
Silent Death Scorpions were things nightmares are made of for normal adventurers, however it may even be the best option to raise our levels. Thanks to that one battle, Phil’s level rose to 15. However, the girls began giving me sharp looks after listening to my comment. It wasn’t that I didn’t understand their troubles, since it was difficult to transverse the desert and walking in the pyramid.
[Be sure to pick up all the items dropped by them. The Death Scorpion Poison is an item we need for the quest.] (Youya)
I picked up a vial containing purple liquid on the ground. It is an item that has a low drop rate, however thanks to Luna’s Increased Drop Rate, we were able to secure several of them at once.
[Youya-ojisan, wouldn’t the poison be dangerous if it was spread around the city?] (Selene)
[Of course it isn’t meant for that sort of thing. Poisons and medicines come hand in hand. Poisons dropped by scorpions in dungeons can be turned into materials used for intermediate recovery potions and antidotes. I’ve also heard that it can be used to make perfumes.] (Youya)
[I see.. Then what would happen if you ingested the liquid just as it is?] (Selene)
[Depending on the amount.. It’ll cause instant death if you aren’t strong enough and most likely a severe poison status effect onto intermediate level adventurers.] (Youya)
[Poisons from monsters are that dangerous.. We’ll have to be careful with the vials then.] (Selene)
After our conversation, we continued to collect the items dropped by the monsters and arrows before continuing forward.
After wandering in the pyramid, we were about to arrive at the top layer of the structure, after breaking through three floors of the pyramid. Aside from me and Phil, the other girls looked tattered with empty eyes, their spirits seemingly broken by the immense number of monsters and traps we encountered within the Golden Pyramid. In the pyramid, the traps aren’t just targeted at adventurers, but were also utilized in combination with the monsters in the dungeon. Many of the traps were designed to kill adventurers and at the same time, they served as a signal for monsters to convene at the location in order to neutralize any intruders. Thanks to this, the three girls were completely worned out. It was important for them to hone their instincts and mind towards a sudden crisis, however when they were too focused on their surroundings, their physical strength and mental concentration would be exhausted as time passes.
[Drink this and relax your mind.] (Youya)
I handed everyone some coconut juice which we collected back at the oasis as their minds seemed to recover slightly with the sweet liquid.
[Youya.. This place.. Never again.] (Luna)
With her fox tail hanging low, Luna said with an unusually depressed tone.
[I know what you are going through, but it served as a good learning experience.] (Youya)
Encountering another dungeon with a similar variety of traps is highly unlikely as we continue to travel in the future, making this experience an extremely valuable learning trip for Luna who chose to be a Thief.
[But Youya-niisan, we’re finally at the goal now right! Just a little more and we’ll be out of here right?] (Til)
[Thats right. Although this isn’t a normal dungeon. The closer you are to the goal, the more difficult the dungeon becomes.] (Youya)
The two girls began hugging each other, trembling as they heard my response. Looks like they were having flashbacks to the undead trap we had encountered on the third floor earlier.
[Anyway, let’s continue forward. It’s been difficult for us to arrive at this point. We wouldn’t want to return here again do we.] (Selene)
Selene was right. However her bad habit of tunneling her focus onto a single goal was kicked into gear, neglecting everything else happening around. Looking at the ground ahead of her, it looked like a trap was hidden in the ground. However that was a good trap to activate as it looked like it’ll serve as a good wake-up call for them. As Selene’s foot took a step forward, a hard sound could be heard.
[Ah. This… Did I do that?] (Selene)
[Yup. You did that.] (Youya)
A dull sound could be heard from behind das a gigantic metal ball began rolling behind us. The fifth floor of the pyramid was a single sloped path with a turn a distance away. It looked as if once we are past the corner, we’ll be safe from the metal ball.
[Hurry up everyone!] (Til)
Luna and Til raised their voices as I grabbed their collars.
[Youya-niisan. What are you doing! We’re going to die at this rate!] (Til)
[Luna, Til. There are numerous traps present in this small path up ahead. Are you able to identify each of them while escaping from the metal ball?] (Youya)
The two of them looked down to the ground as they observed the ground ahead. As a matter of fact, the metal ball was just a decoy. It was just a trap to lull the intruders into a state of panic, hurriedly activating every trap present in the hallway. Adventurers who escape from the ball in a hurry would wind up getting caught in an even more vicious trap.
[Selene. The ceiling here is quite high. Using your shield as a ramp, let’s make the ball jump over us.] (Youya)
[We can do that!?] (Selene)
[If you don’t want to, we’ll just die here.] (Youya)
The metal ball was rolling closer and closer as Selene made her resolve. Her eyes changed as she held the shield at an angle from the ground and activated her spikes, turning her body so that her shield was on her back to use her entire body as the support. If we’re lucky, the ball would bounce over our heads using the shield as a ramp. The ground began to rumble as the ball was quickly approaching us.
Activating her skill, a blue wall permeated from the shield at a similar angle as the shield. The wall and the ball collided as Selene grit her teeth trying to endure the weight of the ball. Then, using the wall as a ramp, the metal ball flew over our heads, rolling further down the path and activating the traps in the corridor. The two children embraced each other with their face pale with fear. The ball was pierced by spears, shot with arrows, bathed in oil, burnt in fire, caught by undead protruding from the wall, shot with poisonous substances, struck by a gigantic hammer and stabbed by an electric fence before breaking down miserably after colliding against the corridor.
[Isn’t that funny? If you continued to run then you would had turned into that.] (Youya)
It was had been too difficult to avoid every single trap, so I decided to let Selene activate that trap, having the trap be our dummy for any subsequent traps.
[Youya. Luna definitely doesn’t want to return to this dungeon again.] (Luna)
[Just how vicious can this dungeon be! We would had been dead a hundred times over!] (Til)
[As a reward for surviving, there is a chest for us. Let’s go.] (Youya)
I smiled bitterly as I put my hand out to Selene.
[That was a good performance. Thanks to you we can rest easy.] (Youya)
[Eehh.? I thought that we were seriously dead this time around.] (Selene)
Selene had an awkward smile as she grabbed my hand and stood up. I wonder if she was seriously frightened by that, I’ll have to remember to take care of her afterwards.
Thanks to the metal ball activating every trap in the pathway, we managed to arrive at our destination with ease. Although we had essentially destroyed every subsequent trap, Luna had already been able to experience the traps we encountered earlier.
[Now. It’s time for the last trial.] (Youya)
A stone statue of a sphinx appeared at the end of the hallway. I heaved a sigh of relief as the sphinx wouldn’t appear unless the treasures behind it was already taken. The fact that it is present means that no one has arrived here before we did. The eyes of the sphinx began to glow as a voice appeared in our heads.
[Those who have courage and wisdom. Well done coming this far. Now is time for the final trial. Everyone come before me.] (Sphinx)
An altar appeared in front of the sphinx.
[Let’s go. The trial won’t start without all of us.] (Youya)
[Hey, Youya-nissan. What happens if we fail?] (Til)
[We’ll be thrown to the basement head first onto the first floor. Although you can rest assured that we wouldn’t be in danger as there will be a layer of sand to cushion our fall.
Although I had said so, Til looked even more worried than before. Rather than starting over form zero, we’ll actually have to advance an additional floor.
[Tell me, adventurers. The name of the emperor which rules over the Golden Pyramid. The name of the forgotten king.] (Sphinx)
Luna,Til and Selene froze as they were unsure of the answer.
[Senedo. This pyramid is the grave of the Sun King Senedo.] (Youya)
[Magnificent. Well done on solving the mystery. This pyramid is the grave of the Sun King Seneo, built to signify his presence in the world. So long as there are people who recognise his name, the Sun King Senedo will never disappear. As our thanks, we give you our blessings and treasures.] (Sphinx)
The Sphinx dissolved into sand as the treasure warehouse behind him was revealed.
[Youya-ojisan, how did you know the answer?] (Selene)
[I’ve came here before. At that time, I failed the trial and was thrown into the basement. After I was thrown into the basement, there were countless traps and monsters, however the monsters were behaving strangely, and so were the placements of the trap. As if they were trying to dissuade me from something. After defeating all of the monsters and disabling the traps, there would be a mural on the wall about the Sun King Senedo ruling over an army of monsters.] (Youya)
What troubled me about the trial was that there isn’t a pathway to the basement from the first floor. However, once you are thrown to the basement after failing the trial of the Sphinx, the path will open up for you to exit the place. The hint to the mystery was the fact that the monsters were behaving in an obvious manner, as if they were protecting something from the intruders. It felt extremely cruel to have to defeat all of them to obtain the hint. I had even thought about returning to the basement to give them a proper burial.
Hence, the only way to solve the mystery was to follow your instincts in that abnormal situation and force your way through the monsters.
[The malice overflowing from the dungeon was so strong that I wouldn’t had been able to solve the mystery.] (Selene)
[Well. That’s why if you aren’t skirmishing with other adventurers for the monsters, this place would be quite a valuable location.] (Youya)
We entered the hidden room containing a treasure box and a necklace. The treasure box was a chest that contained rare items, making it easier to obtain than usual. Then, in the necklace was emitting magical power while containing a hole large enough to fit a jewel. The necklace was my target as it was the item that allowed us to have a five-man party.
[Everyone, it’s the treasure. There is also a Magical Vortex. Once we obtain the items, we can return to the town and enjoy their alcohol along with their food! Then, it’s to the hot springs!] (Youya)
[I want to drink a cold cup of juice!] (Til)
[I can’t wait to wash myself up at the inn.] (Selene)
[I’m looking forward to entering the hot springs after such a long time.] (Phil)
Now then, let’s hurry up and return back to the inn. I can’t wait to drink a nice cold mug of ale that will definitely taste like heaven tonight.