My【Repair】Skill Became an Almighty Cheat Skill, So I Thought I’d Open Up a Weapon Shop
For the time being, Garnet and I quickly finished gathering the mithril, and we returned to Bottomhollow Fort.
We hadn’t heard the details yet, but apparently there was some development in the investigation of the ruins beneath the 『Territory of the Demon King』.
–It was back when Bottomhollow Fort was under construction.
The hero Falcon, who had been turned into a chimera with dragon parts, attacked the base that the fort was to be built on.
Then, through some unjustified resentment, he attacked me instead. He persistently went after me despite the overwhelming difference in power between us.
Finally, I ended the fight by tricking Falcon into falling through the ground and down into an area below the『Territory of the Demon King』. We were now heading to the mysterious ruins where that had occurred.
「But are the ruins a place we can walk to from here?」
We were passing through the cave people normally called the『Dragon’s Cave』to go to the other side of Hollowbottom Fort that was at the『Territory of the Demon King』.
The underground space was a barren wasteland, and had many steep rocky hills and mountains before the fort was built.
The mountainous area was split in half by a steep valley, and the entrance to our destination was at the bottom of it.
「There’s no need to worry. There’s a route that can bring us to the bottom of the valley without the use of specialty skills. We discovered it early on during our investigation.」
The engineer guided us down the mountain.
It wouldn’t be strange if we were to run into monsters here, but Garnet who had a strong combat ability was with us, and the Golden Fang Knights also lent us a soldier just in case, so we proceeded without fear.
「…This doesn’t look like an easy route.」
「Even so, this is the route we have carefully selected among many.」
No, you can’t even call this a path anymore, I thought.
The path was so narrow only half of our body could fit on it. We had to hold onto the rocks that protruded out from the mountain in order to climb downwards.
It was the complete opposite from the nicely made path back at 『Sundial Forest』.
Perhaps one day this path would be easy to climb up and down on, but that wouldn’t be for a long time, I assumed.
「You guys take a path like this every single day?」
Garnet asked with amazement, but the engineer laughed and shook his head.
「Of course not! There’s a base set up along the valley, so most of us stay there overnight. Luke-san, would you like to stay the night?」
「No I’m fine, thank you. I have to open up my shop tomorrow morning.」
We continued down the path while hugging the cliff and eventually reached the bottom.
The last time I came down here… Or rather, when I fell down here expecting to die, the area looked a lot different.
First of all, there were people walking along the valley like it was normal now.
There were man-made things like buildings all around, making the area feel like an adventurer’s campsite.
「The frontline skirmish against the demon army is a little further down. This area is already in our control.」
「Ehh… Things are proceeding faster than I thought.」
「Strictly speaking, the demons didn’t control this area to begin with, so we decided to take the chance and occupy it.」
According to the soldier who was accompanying us, further down the river on the other side were the plains that the demons did have influence over. It took a lot of effort even for strong adventurers to sneak into that area to investigate.
I looked around as I listened to the explanation, and saw two familiar looking adventurers.
「Hey, if it isn’t Nagi and Melissa. It looks like you’re in the middle of adventuring.」
「Ah, manager! Thank you for the opportunity before!」
Melissa gave us a smile as usual.
Standing next to her, Nagi looked like he was slightly deep in thought, but before I realized it he was one step away from me.
「…I’m giving you a warning. If Shiranui Sakura requests you to make her a katana with the hihi’irokane, it would be wise of you to refuse. If you think of that woman as a comrade, change your mind now.」
I couldn’t reply to what Nagi said to me.
What he had said was rather vague, but even before that, there was no point to his warning now. I couldn’t think of a way to even reply to him.
I had already received Sakura’s request to make her a hihi’ironkane katana, and I was even planning to polish it up in a few days as well.
While I racked my brain trying to decide whether I should tell Nagi about that, Melissa called for him and he went away.
「Manager, we’re going back to exploring. If you need anything, please ask us again!」
「…Please excuse us.」
They both did a small nod and left towards the direction of the upper stream.
Seeing that our conversation was over, the engineer and soldier pressed us to continue.
I felt a bit troubled that I couldn’t grasp the meaning behind Nagi’s warning, but we had come here for a different reason today, and that took priority.
「The entrance into the ruins is here. I believe Luke-san already knows about it though.」
「…Ahh, I see now. You re-purposed the hole that the hero smashed open.」
Before, when I was being chased by the hero and fell into the valley, I had used 【Disassemble】to open up a hole in the rock wall.
Of course, I had sealed it up using 【Repair】, but the hero smashed through the wall by sheer strength and continued to chase after me.
The hole had been cleaned up and adjusted into a makeshift entrance into the ruins.
In any case, we went through the entrance and into the passageway of the ruins. I turned towards the direction of the space where the hero and I had fought.
「Luke-san, it’s the other way.」
「…? But the hero and I fought at the area over here…」
「We discovered something, but it was on the other side. The path gets rather complicated, so please follow me so you won’t get lost.」
We followed the engineer down the path opposite to the straight path I had gone through before.
This path branched off and intersected with other paths a lot, which made it feel like a labyrinth.
The ceiling radiated light in a similar way as the underground space’s sky, lighting the corridor. There were marks on the walls that indicated the route to take.
(Are these marks left by the adventurers who ventured through here before…?)
There may be many adventurers who were professionals at exploring ruins, but little of them were also professionals at studying relics.
When adventurers find unknown artifacts within a labyrinth or ruin of a dungeon, they bring back information or if possible a sample of it to give to a specialized researcher, who would analyze it.
Most people request an adventurer that is rank C or higher for quests like these. In order for the researchers or the adventurers who accompany them to find their way, it is common for them to leave marks like these behind.
(As expected, it’s only a group of high-ranking adventurers that had come here before. It seems like they checked each and every corner of the area thoroughly during their travels.)
…As I thought about that, I felt a pair of eyes gazing at me from below.
「Garnet… Is there something wrong with my face?」
「No, not really? It’s just that whenever you had to go to the dungeon, you looked like you wanted to die, but now you look quite happy. Did hearing about the new discovery make you that excited?」
That’s not true, I wanted to say, but I realized I couldn’t say she was wrong.
Before, I had to muster up all my courage just to enter 『Sundial Forest』, but now I didn’t feel that way anymore.
It was definitely thanks to that meeting with King Alfred.
The current king of the Westland Kingdom used to be an adventurer. The moment I discovered that the adventurer I looked up but didn’t know the name of was actually the king, it felt like the weight on my heart was lifted.
「This face suits you better than the irritating face you had before.」
Garnet laughed and smacked my back. She didn’t use a skill to strengthen her arms, so I only felt the softness of her true strength.
「Our destination is just ahead. I’m sure you’ll be surprised.」
At the end of the path was a large space that made one’s eyes open wide.
The walls and floor were leveled and covered with artistic-looking carvings. The ceiling that was brimming with light was quite high up, making one have to look upwards to see.
Then, on the wall facing us at the entryway stood a massive door.
「This is… quite the discovery…」