TL: Welcome back! A new year means new resolutions, yup.
tl;dr next update Jan 3rd.
Let me start off by listing the donators in the last month (won’t post surnames for privacy purposes, and will do so in the future):
Henri, Ahmed, Matthew, John, Christopher.
One of the donators even went as high as $200, my gosh.
There’s going to be some editing for the next few chapters and I’ll be releasing them hopefully together so that the arc wraps up without cliffhangers. The next update will probably be on Jan 3rd.
There should be 18 or 19 chapters this month with the combined donations and patreon. This will be a busy month for me lol.
Also, here’s the Sennheiser 598SR headphones I ordered from Amazon, beside my Wacom pen.
Chapter 76 – King of the Underground (27)
“Currently, the only lift working is in sector a03, but mister Odum, are you certain you want to go down?” A worker said as his gaze shifted between Odum and Romaine.
He was leading Odum and the girl deep into the mining tunnels, and behind them were ten-odd soldiers.
Perkins had been completely frightened out of his wits because Kodan was gone for hours. When Odum appeared and requested to venture into the mines, he nearly jumped up in joy as the dwarf was the noble’s final hope to solve this situation.
As for the strange appearance of Romaine?
Perkins did not even realize a girl had appeared beside the dwarf, and even if he did, why would he interfere with his savior’s choice? Who was going to care if the dwarf was willing to bring his daughter into the mines?
Upon hearing the worker’s question, the dwarf snorted through his nose.
“That’s a stupid question. Why else would I come here?”
He glanced at the trembling soldiers behind him; they were obviously frightened from the mine’s rumors.
“You can go back if you don’t wish to follow us.”
The soldiers were relieved to hear that, but someone amongst them asked: “What if Lord Perkins questions us about it?”
“And what has that to do with me?” The dwarf growled.
Bringing these soldiers down was a problem for him since it interfered with his goals, but it was also true that he did not want to go down without any guards. There were many people who claimed they encountered monsters, and he might meet the damned creatures along the way. Even though he was capable of using a weapon, he was not particularly good at it.
“…… Just find an excuse, or is there not one amongst you lot who knows how to lie? I’m not going to expose you—” The dwarf continued after a moment of hesitation.
The soldiers finally nodded: “It’s very thoughtful of you to think of our safety, mister Odum.”
The group quickly reached the lift.
Romaine looked around curiously. If it were not for the fact that there were so many people, she might have fiddled with all the mechanisms in front of her. Just as she was hesitating, the dwarf prodded her and got her to enter the lift.
The worker who led them did not follow: “Mister Odum, I won’t be going any further. Please stay safe.”
“Naturally I’m going alone without the other miners or guards. You humans are really cowards.”
The guards’ expression contorted, but the worker responded with a little embarrassment on his face: “I assume the lifts for all the sectors are the same and there’s no need for me to teach you how to operate this particular lift, right?”
“You do know that you’re talking to a supervisor?” The dwarf rolled his eyes and operated the levers and the machinery started moving. It slowly descended and left the worker and soldiers behind, which then picked up speed and the walls quickly flew past the two passengers. The air was becoming warmer as well.
Romaine soon woke up from her docile state when there were no outsiders. She gingerly reached out to the walls flying past her eyes with her hand. Odum immediately smacked her hand down and glared at her.
“Lass, do you want to lose your hand?” He roared.
“I’m sorry!” Romaine apologized in an instant.
At that moment, the lift suddenly slammed against solid ground and both of them became unsteady on their feet. Odum lifted the torch and found the exit led to a narrow tunnel that was filled with stale air. He thought for a while, shook his head and extinguished the flames.
[…… Damn it. I forgot to bring along a Light Crystal. Even though I can take the lift back up and get from them but that’s too shameful. A supervisor forgetting to bring the necessary items?]
Since he was capable of seeing things in low light, he decided to continue.
“It’s really dark,” Romaine said, her big eyes reflecting the incredibly weak light emitted from the minerals in the wall.
“Shhh! Just follow me!” Odum said.
“Why did you extinguish the torch?”
“Because we’re deep underground and air is precious here.”
“How about a Light Crystal?”
“I don’t have that—”
“But it’s so dark.”
“There’s no helping it!”
“But I really want to have a light source.”
“Oh will you just shu—” The dwarf’s words died in his throat. The area in front of him was softly illuminated all of a sudden. He blinked a few times and almost thought he was dreaming. He turned around with his beady eyes opened to the widest he could make them, and saw Romaine raising a glowing hand up.
“H…… How did you do that?” Odum stuttered once.
“I don’t know, my hand just lit up, how interesting!” Romaine turned her palm back and forth.
“You don’t know?” The dwarf felt she was pulling his leg.
“That’s right,” Romaine nodded obediently, “I just want a light and my hand just lit up. Amazing, right?”
“This is the first time?”
The dwarf tiptoed and touched Romaine’s forehead.
“Nothing, how strange,” Odum shook his head, “…… I’ve heard stories about special humans shunned by wizards and witches because their blood carries mana in them— Did your family ever do the same thing like you are doing now?”
Romaine thought for a while: “Brendel says that my aunt’s a witch.”
“A witch,” Odum’s eyes became even bigger, “that’s impossible! Witches and that special…… cannot coexist. Unless she’s not your real aunt, are you adopted?”
Romaine was cross. “My aunt is my aunt!”
Odum raised an eyebrow at her angry retort.
[That’s true. What does someone’s else family has to do with a dwarf like myself?]
He suddenly felt that he had more and more bad habits coming out ever since he met this girl. He scratched his head: “Very well, it’s good that we have a light source, follow me closely. Don’t lose yourself in this place alone. It’s not a game.”
“Understood.” Romaine nodded.
But this meek behavior only lasted for a few seconds as she pointed at something. “Odum, what’s that?”
The dwarf turned to follow her finger subconsciously and was taken aback by what he saw—