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Chapter 55 – King of the underground (6)
The worker saw things differently. He tried to resist Scarlett’s pull and started shrieking: “Let me go…… And both of you should run too! These things are incredibly tough, and blades can’t cut through them!”
He saw his partners smash their mining picks repeatedly on the creatures, but even when they used their full strength, they left only slight impressions on their bodies.
And when these creatures attacked, their claws easily smashed a person’s body to a pulp. It was a nightmarish scene that he could still recall viscera splattering onto the walls and ground.
But his words quickly died in his throat.
Brendel swung his sword seemingly in a light, elegant stroke through thin air, yet the panther that was still a distance away from him was sliced into two. That was still not the end, as its split body smashed against the wall, and shattered into pieces.
The worker was completely flabbergasted.
“You…… You……” He pointed at Brendel, glancing back and forth at Scarlett and the youth, and continued to stutter without managing to say a full sentence.
“Stop making noise!” Scarlett’s slapped his hand down. But when she looked back at Brendel she was shocked to find out that his swordsmanship seemed to have become even sharper than before.
Brendel realized the same thing too. His ability to utilize the sword had become even easier. He quickly brought out the Stats Window and discovered there was a +2 next to his Military Swordsmanship stat. (TL: When he fought his grandfather back then, he gained +1.)
He was certain that he had gained the additional rank after fighting Kodan, and probably missed the system alert after he lost consciousness because of the falling rocks.
This gain surprised and delighted him at the same time. Even though there were cases where fighting high-level NPC swordsmen increased the level of swordsmanship, they were incredibly rare. The increment of a swordsmanship gain was usually because of the accomplishment of a mission, and there had to be strict conditions before one gained it.
[I thought the reason why I managed to gain +1 back then was that a story-like quest progression between the old Brendel and his grandfather happened. I have never gotten an increment like this in the game from fighting NPCs, and that’s over a hundred years worth of in-game time. But now I feel it’s because the system recognizes the fact that I’m able to understand the grandmasters’ skill in Military Swordsmanship—]
Another rock panther leaped towards him, interrupting his thought. He got irritated with the annoying gnats bothering him, so he charged into their midst and began cutting them apart. Each time he swung his sword, multiple pieces of rocks were sent flying away.
============ Romaine’s POV ==============
The town had felt the impact when the earthquake happened in Schafflund’s mines. The people on the streets felt the ground quiver, and shop owners held on their goods to prevent them from falling to the ground, but they only had two hands and cursed loudly when the ones they could not protect crashed onto the floor.
Residents who had relatives working in the mine panicked as the news spread to every corner in the town.
Romaine had been staying quietly in her room since the beginning of Brendel’s absence because he had bought her different sets of clothes, and she had been testing them out. One of the more striking dresses looked somewhat like a maid’s uniform, which Brendel had bought because of an ulterior motive.
Even though the real motive was a little immoral, Romaine was quite fond of it. Brendel would have given two thumbs up if he was around Romaine.
She had been checking herself out against the mirror when the earthquake started, and in a rare moment of clumsiness, knocked her head on the mirror’s frame, causing a bump to appear on her head.
She rubbed her injury as she saw stars in her eyes, but quickly steadied herself and got out of the room in curiosity. She went straight to the angels outside, but they stated they did not know what was happening. In the end, the merchant girl went to the innkeeper and received accurate news.
There was an earthquake in the mines. She thought about things in detail and became worried soon. She made an earnest decision after a moment:
“I want to find Brendel,” she said to the angels in a serious tone, “come along with me.”
“Miss Romaine, Lord Brendel will never agree to this,” but the angel replied so.
“Lord Brendel’s orders are for Miss Romaine to stay here in this inn without going anywhere before he comes back, without any exceptions.” The second angel was even more direct.
“To add on to my partner’s words, we are still here without any changes to our orders, which means Lord Brendel is fine.” The angel who replied to her first persuaded her.
“Even though Brendel is fine right now, that is precisely why we need to help him because he might be trapped in the mines!”
If Brendel knew Romaine was going to talk about him with her unlucky tongue, he would have rubbed her temples with rotating fists. Unfortunately, he was not there, so Romaine was overly enthusiastic.
Her thoughts were indeed rejected by the two angels who shook their heads at the same time. In a way, they thought she had a career in writing tales for the bards.
But Romaine was not dejected from being rejected. Not long after Romaine returned to her room, they heard yells and screams coming from within. The angels quickly rushed in because they had to check for danger.
Little Romaine was rolling around in her bed under a blanket like a child throwing a tantrum. Once she felt like they had entered the room, she revealed her head from the blanket as if to peek at them, and inflated her cheeks.
“I. Want. To. Go. To. The. Mines!” She said with teary eyes, with the subtle threat of ‘or else I will make a scene’.
The angels glanced at each other with a slight shrug of their shoulders and closed the doors after they left. After this situation repeated several times, they gradually ignored her antics.
“I can see why Lord Brendel told us to ignore weird situations. From the looks of it, the advice is logical.” The first angel said to his partner after Romaine’s last attempt happened to be on the floor.
“Yes, he knows Miss Romaine well.” The second angel nodded.
The two concluded that Brendel was very fond of Romaine.
Unfortunately for them, when she realized that Brendel’s evil subordinates finally ignored her actions, she hurriedly changed her clothes and revealed a cunning fox-like smile while she executed her plan.
She wore a common-looking adventurer’s shirt, and a loose pair of pants that were not unlike pumpkins with a pair pointed leather-skin boots. The combination was quite ridiculous, but because of her inquisitive looks, it made her look surprisingly adorable.
She packed her strange collection of items into her bag and started tying her bedsheet to the window. She even turned around to the door and made a funny face before she climbed out.
Despite her detailed plan, she had missed out on one detail. She was prepared to sneak down to the back of the inn as she swung from the bedsheet, but suddenly realized that it was not long enough—
She continued to swing in mid-air while her sweat on her forehead shimmered: “I-it seems like I have gotten into a little bit of trouble……”
Odum was passing by the back alley as he had always done to enjoy his afternoon beer. He happened to raise his head up and saw this particular scene.
At first, he thought he was still asleep and widened his eyes, but quickly confirmed that a girl with a ridiculous outfit was dangling from above by holding on to a bedsheet.
The dwarf lowered his head and started to think if it was a day of celebration and people were doing crazy things. But he could not remember if it was the summer festival or the harvest festival. He quickly lamented the deterioration of memories when people got old, but eventually recalled that the previous festival was a few weeks ago, and the next one was two months later.
He thought that he had gone to the wrong alley or he somehow triggered a magic spell when he entered it.
But he quickly whirled his head to check for the inn’s landmarks and was certain that he was in the right place, and there was indeed a possibility that a girl was hanging from above. He supported his lower jaw and asked:
“Lass, what are you doing?” He asked.
“Excuse me, old mister, but it looks like this bedsheet is too short—” Came the reply.