“It’s here. This place that is now overgrown with trees. There’s a huge stump over there, right?”
As Rachael indicated, we took a look at the old entrance to the magic ore mines.
I wonder how long it has been since it went out of use? The tree stump is completely corroded.
If I compare the entrance to the one they use now, I believe the hole is just as big. But the wood surrounding the entrance has started rotting, and roots of the trees seem to be blocking most of the entrance. Truth be told, if she didn’t tell me there was an entrance here, I would have definitely overlooked it.
Rachael who was already experienced with using this entrance moved the tree roots with ease. Eldor who held a rope on his shoulder dove through the roots with a lamp that he borrowed from the miners.
“Will you fit in?”
Who knows. The height is alright, but the width is just barely enough.
“Do the insides have the same width?”
“Nope, just the area around the entrance. The tree roots don’t grow that far in. However, halfway through the rocks become a hindrance so adults can’t pass through there.”
If that’s the case, if I’m able to pass through this part, I should be able to proceed? I bent over slightly to evade the tree roots. The roots, seemingly coming from everywhere keep hitting my back and fat stomach without mercy.
Damn it; I can only barely make it…! I gathered my strength and pulled in my stomach pushing the roots away with my arms. The roots that have seemingly been here for ages were rugged and hard. The moment we passed through that tiny tunnel and its roots, my stomach shook with a boing as if feeling relieved.
I wonder if I’ll be fine with passing through the rocks…
“Watch your feet. It’s quite slippery. It’s easy to get entangled by the roots on the ground as well.”
“The rock surface seems to be wet. To think the rain got in this far.”
“The ground points downward after all.”
“There’s more illumination in here than I thought.”
Apart from Eldor’s lamp, the inside of the tunnel seemed to be dimly illuminated. It seems as though the rock surface itself was shining faintly.
“There are still some magic ores left behind. If you turn off the lamp, it becomes really beautiful. Ah, but don’t turn it off just yet. It becomes much more beautiful once we get further inside.”
“Hey hey, before that, properly take us to where the injured are.”
“Okay, got it! That’s our top priority.”
After crawling through the rock’s surface and the roots extending along it, a big rock blocked the way. Rachael looked up at the rock.
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“It’s here, right? The spot where adults can’t pass through?”
“It’s completely sealed off, huh? Is there any way to pass through here?”
“I once went through under this rock. Once you pass under it, you’ll come out on the opposite side.”
Wait, what does she mean? “Look, look!” said Rachael while pointing at the bottom of the rock. After we took a peek together, we finally understood.
Although it was dark and you could only see rocks blocking the path with a glance, we were able to see that there was a gap underneath the rock that blocked the path and further down there was a wide open hole. It felt like the huge rock was on top of that pit. The hole was probably not big enough for an adult to pass through it though.
“I’ll go first, okay? That way the opposite side will be much easier to see.”
Rachael who was peeking through the hole dove through it without a second thought and just like that we watched as she crawled right under the rock. Following her, Eldor went through it gallantly.
… I wonder if I’ll be able to pass through it. I have no choice but to try!
I pulled in my stomach and followed after them. This time instead of the roots I had the surface of the rock pressed against my stomach as I somehow managed to get inside the hole. I managed to crawl down under the rock quite easily. All right! I should be able to pass through the exit with ease as well. Looking up, Rachael looked at me with a somewhat troubled face.
“I just got a scary thought. Can you climb up?”
Hold on, wait a moment. How to put this, it’s not like I didn’t expect this. I was able to reach the edge of the exit if I jumped up, however…
“Ha, hang in there! I can only root for you though!”
“Lease, please give me your hand. We’ll pull you up from here.”
“Wait, that’s impossible you know…”
I didn’t grab Eldor’s hand. Cause no matter what, there was no way he could sustain my weight, right?! I hang on the hole’s exit with both arms. The only thing left to do for me is carrying my large build onto the path on the opposite side, but…
“Hey, how are things on that side? I can’t see it from here, but aren’t you having trouble?”
“Lease is hanging from the exit’s side, but he isn’t climbing up!”
“Shall we push him from the bottom?”
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“Two won’t be able to fit inside the hole.”
“Everyone, please step away from the hole a little. Lease-sama, just stay right where you are and hold on tight, okay?”
What is Trian up to? Even now it looks like I might fall down any minute?! Right when I thought that…
Blowing from down under me, I was carried upwards by the wind. Using the momentum, I crawled onto the path that lay behind the exit.
“Amazing Lease, you did it!”
“Above all, it’s good that you succeeded.”
“Trian, you saved me…”
Haa, haa. I was completely out of breath. He really saved me. If Trian had not pushed me with wind magic, I might not have been able to climb upward. Once again my weight is really problematic. Even though I look like this now, I have lost some considerable weight since I retrieved my memories.
“Hey Lease, can you move aside a little? If you don’t, we can’t climb up.”
“Oh, my bad… I was out of breath…”
While I was sweating a lot, Eldor lent me a hand and helped me lean onto the tunnel’s wall. The insides of the tunnel didn’t have any sunlight and was more refreshing than outside, but it felt like the humidity in the tunnel was higher. Riley and Trian crawled through the hole easily.
“Good, everyone was able to climb it. From here on we can walk on normally. However, there are many side roads, so make sure not to part from me, okay?”
Rachael put the helmet on firmly. I wonder where these tunnels are. In any case, it would be great if we could reunite with the son and grandson duo of the Eruzumagie store.
“Rachael how far are the tunnels mentioned by Bran-sama from here?”
“The first tunnel isn’t that far from here I think. I’ll take the shortest route I know, this area we are in now doesn’t have much interesting to look at.”
No matter where one looked, nowhere around us was any sign of cracks in the rock’s surface. After walking for a while, we arrived at a bigger and wider path. The rails lighted up the road. On top of the rails, two empty cars were left behind.
… They use workers too. It’s a magical mine, so I was under the impression that everything was mined using magic. Then again, if they didn’t need people, there would obviously be no miners in the first place, I guess.
“… Did you hear something just now?”
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Eldor held the lamp in front. Listening carefully, I could certainly hear a sound coming from somewhere. It was someone talking. We hurried towards the direction the voice was coming from. Taking a turn in one of the side roads of the tunnel, the lamp showed a person’s figure.
“Neld-sama? Or is it Clott-sama?”
“That voice, is that Rachael? What are you doing here?”
“We came to rescue you! Lease-sama here can use healing magic!”
A low voice replied to us. Neld-sama who was illuminated by the lamp had features that resembled those of the shopkeeper of Eruzumagie.
“Is Clott-sama nearby?”
“I’m down here.”
Behind Neld-sama, deeper into the earth’s surface a voice echoed. Eldor pointed the lamp in that direction. From the voice it sounded like he was fine, but what about his injury?
“We’ll be dropping a rope down. Try tying it to your body please.”
Eldor fastened the tip of the rope to a rock and dropped the rest of the rope inside the hole. We held the lamp towards the bottom of the hole which revealed a young man of short stature sitting down. Aside from his leg, it didn’t seem like he had any serious injuries, so Clott-sama tied the rope to the belt around his waist firmly.
Truth be told, it would have been better if I had descended. Doing so, we could pull him out after healing his left, but… If I go down there, I would without a doubt not be able to climb out again, and nobody would be able to pull me out. So we have no choice but to pull Clott-sama out first and heal him after.
“We are going to start pulling, are you ready?”
“Yeah, go ahead.”
“Ready… and pull!”
Everyone firmly pulled on the rope. Every time we reeled up part of the rope, the small Clott-sama got closer to us.
“You save me, thanks a lot.”
“Stay still like that for a little.”
I examined his feet quickly. I think it’s a scratch and a sprain. I put my hands on his swollen ankles and chanted a spell. The blue light cured his injuries easily.
“Amazing. My pain disappeared completely.”
Clott started jumping on the spot out of happiness.
“I’m glad that you’re okay. But if you’re not careful, you might fall again, you know?”
“Wow, that would be scary!”