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Cathia Chapter 3-5: Dark tunnel
When I wake up I see a good shape of lips in front of my eyes.
And I also feel the warmth from the outside of my futon.
My blurred vision gradually becomes clear, I can finally grasp the situation I was in.
『What are you doing, Fina-san?』(Cathia)
Fina-san is laying down face to face and staring at me.
She does not even blink, it’s a bit scary.
『Enjoy looking at your sleeping face!』(Fina)
As she replied so, she finally blinked.
It seems like she came and laid down next to me since morning.
And I can hear her words clearly but I don’t understand her intention!
『Why is that …』(Cathia)
『Collect material for paintings! How about a title like Sleeping Princess?』(Fina)
『Please stop by all means』(Cathia)
Something like spreading the pictures of my sleeping face, how embarrassing …
Only narcissist can say something such as 《I am so beautiful and also my sleeping face》
However, such a pattern isn’t a princess. Maybe because it’s morning, my head can’t keep up with the turn of event.
After leaving the workshop yesterday, we came back to the inn after choosing Neil-san’s weapon which took quite some time at the store.
It’s just a borrowing weapon, but Neil-san is very happy to get the weapons of Blacksmith Van.
It is early in the morning now.
When I got down to the cafeteria of the inn, Neil-san already had a seat.
It seems like he still didn’t call any meal yet.
Have I kept him waiting?
『Good morning. Cathia-san, Fina-ane』(Neil)
『Good morning, Neil …
Listen! Cathia’s sleeping face is really cute!』(Fina)
Fina-ane! Is it about the picture !?』
『Cathia-chan didn’t agree though』(Fina)
You two …
I will be in trouble if she sleeps next to me and staring at me again,
I swear I will get up as early as possible from next time.
After having the breakfast at the inn, we headed to the mine as planned.
Besides our usual equipment, we also carry a “Cantera” (lamp) and water.
Lastly, Neil-san also has a map he received from Nanashi-san yesterday.
『Here we are』(Neil)
The tunnel was filled with hardened earth that was with soil magic.
On the entrance, there is a wood sign with number 6.
This must be the sixth tunnel.
Because the tunnel’s branches somehow connected to each other, the worms could appear anywhere in the tunnel.
There were two guards near the entrance, and after I explained the situation to them, they started dissolve the soil magic that blocked the entrance.
And then other soldiers also came to help out.
They seem to be soldiers from the information department.
In the case of worms come out of the tunnel, these people will handle it.
It is up to me to decide whether we advance or withdraw.
The reason is I’m the only one who could afford to do it when fighting.
This is the result of the discussing with Fina-san and Neil-san.
I thought of asking Neil-san, but unfortunately, he has no command experience.
Needless to say, if I made a mistake, there will be a danger to all of us.
This is heavy responsibility …
『Well, let’s go』(Cathia)
The tunnel was pitch black as there were no people used it for a while.
We can only see the way with light from the lamp we brought in, it is a magical tool that illuminated with magical powers.
There are two kinds of magic tools that can be used,
The first that will automatically convert the aura’s magical power to lighting.
The other one only lights up with a certain kind of magical powers.
There is no one who can not use the aura, so the former is more convenient.
However, the conversion efficiency is rather bad, it was as much as using an attack magic tool in actual battle.
Therefore, the latter, the magic tool with lower compatibility that can light up with specific magic is more practical.
Lighting equipment in the tunnel is the latter. Because I can use fire magic so I can use my magical power to light up.
Since the lighting is magic, there’s no need to worry about the lack of oxygen in the tunnel.
The light is faint.
『Ah, it must be nice if it is a bit brighter…』(Fina)
Surely, it must be nice if the light turns on.
『If we go along this rail, we can easy reach the mining point』(Neil)
It is true, just like Neil-san said, the rail is still running.
It probably is for a trolley used for transportation.
The passage of the tunnel is wider than expected, wide enough for three people to pass through, the height is also about 3 meters.
It is strengthened with wood pillars, and the walls were hardened by soil magic.
『If we follow the rail, we don’t have to worry about getting lost』(Cathia)
『Let’s move in a line. I will go first, Fina-san in the middle and Neil-san is in the back』(Cathia)
『Is that all right? Cathia-chan』(Fina)
Fina-san is worried, but I have a bad feeling when moving at a place like this.
But if it’s me, even if it is somewhat dangerous, I have no problem to deal with it.
『Yes, let’s go』(Cathia)
In a narrow tunnel, this line formation should be the best.
We need to focus on the front and rear due to the nature of the tunnel.
Neil will be able to cope even if something happens behind.
I will handle thing in the front
We move as we turned on the lights and repeat the progress. (T.N: maybe the wall torches)
The inside of the tunnel is eerily quiet.
『There are no worms』(Cathia)
Up to this point, we still didn’t fight any worms yet.
『Yes, and I thought that when we enter, we will have to fight a lot of worms』(Fina)
『We were told that this might be an empire’s trap, so they might also manipulate worms here as well』(Neil)
Like the wyvern back then?
If the empire really can manipulate a group or more than one monster, that will be a considerable threat.
Still, it does not change that we have to continue.
『Even if it may be a trap, we still need to investigate ….』(Cathia)
『It’s troublesome, it’s all Nanashi’s fault!』(Fina)
Is she holding a grudge?
Well, I don’t know how Fina-san really feels but I think I should focus on the surroundings for now.
The inside of the tunnel was humid and hot, our clothes stuck to the skin with unpleasant sweat.
Although it’s still spring, it’s still quite uncomfortable.
There are places where the gas is leaking out, it has a strong smell.
As for what we want to say
『I want to take a bath』(Fina?)
『I want to cleanse the sweat』(Cathy?)
『I also want to change clothes』(Neil?)
It was like that.
The environment inside the tunnel is harsher than I expected.
The miners who are working here is amazing.
As we walked while tolerating discomfort, we came closer to the destination without encountering any worms at all.
『We will reach the destination soon… From here, I think that we’d better not to make noise』(Cathy)
We advanced with caution.
As we go further in, natural cavities become wider.
This is our destination.
We are slowly entering with light footsteps.
The inside is dark, but this is the most suspicious place.
The moment I stepped in, I felt a lot of signs.
In the next moment, there’s some kind of skill was used to Illuminate all the lights in the cavity all at once.
What we saw there is a skinny, white-haired man.
And the worms lining up in order, it can only describe as a mountain of worm.
It’s really a trap after all!
『Fuhahahahaha! Welcome to my area!』(Crazy Old-man)
The number is too many!
We should withdraw for now.
『You shall not escape!』(Crazy Old-man)
The magical power of soil magic bursts and entrance is filled!
As our escape route is lost, there are rattling and loud noises coming from behind.
『I can’t let you escape …
I have been waiting quite a while here,
I will be in trouble if you don’t play around with me!』(Crazy Old-man)
A skinny old man said so to us.
There’s no way out.
We can’t do anything but fighting now.