Chapter 56 – The farewell

In a nameless passageway of the dungeon, seven people were standing around a headless body, with blood from it spilling everywhere. Sarah, Erna and Brendon hadn’t known Henry for that long, so besides regret and frustration they didn’t have any other feelings and right now only stood there, staring in horror.

Unfortunately, the other three had been a part of the same party and had been already adventuring together for a very long time with him. Due to that they were close to breaking down. Camila was already on the ground shrieking and crying with Vor by her side trying to comfort her, while Tera simply stood there completely frozen in place as she stared at Henry’s lifeless body.

Only Ariel seemed to be almost unaffected. Only slight regret in his eyes betrayed that, he felt anything at all. He was also the one, who decided to take Henry’s body and head, and transport it to a different place while everyone else still didn’t know what to do as of yet.

This death decimated everyone’s thoughts of advancing further, and for a while they only sat, grieving. However their shrieks and shout had most likely been quite laud, because soon, out of the dark corridor came the sound of a person’s footsteps. Thankfully the party still had some sense left in them and they immediately prepared for battle, just in case.

But what came out from the blackness was not a monster, but a human. From his clothes Ariel’s group discerned that he was also from the Academy, and the person’s seemingly older age indicated that he was one of the patrols that were sent to keep and eye on the students.

When the person in question noticed the seven people near a headless body, he immediately ran up shouting. “What happened, is anyone else hurt beside the person on the ground?!” Worry could be heard in his voice and seen on his face as he came closer.

Sarah was the first one to respond to him. “Everyone else is alright, but… Our comrade died due to a trap.” The further she spoke, the quieter she got.” Even Sarah was affected by this and couldn’t muster her usual noble elegance.

The newly arrived patrol heard the suffering in Sarah voice and decided to bring up the topic as little as possible. “Well. My name is Robert and I am one of the people in charge of patrolling the dungeon. Unfortunately, even in these circumstances I cannot raelly take you out before the time is up, unless you experience some serious danger, or choose to give up. What I can do however, is to bring out the rest of theses adventurers, since they don’t seem to be in a state to continue anymore.” Everyone at the scene saw that Robert was truly earnest to help and relaxed.

Vor was still unwilling to accept this and was about to say something, but Tera put a hand on his shoulder and while shaking her head spoke. “There is nothing we can do about what happened, we can’t even take revenge. It is best to at least bring out Henry’s body out of this cursed place.” Hearing her words, Vor let down his head in frustration, because he knew that Tera was right.

Soon enough everyone agreed on Robert taking the three adventurers to the outside. However they still took a rest before going, simply to relax them a bit. When they were ready, they started walking back the way they came, but not before Tera could come up to Ariel’s party and bow to them.

“Thank you for all the help you have given us. If Henry was alive he would have thought the same, without you we all could have died multiple times, so we are grateful. Also, you shouldn’t blame yourself, if for some reason you are you should know that death is something all adventurers should be prepared for and it is something only the person in question can avoid.”

The party let out their sighs and nodded, after this everyone made their good byes, Erna was especially sad because she and Camila became quite close, but soon enough they had to bring it to an end, and Robert with the adventurers eventually left the premise.

Ariel and the other, who were left the standing felt a bit out of place and decided to stop for the night. They went back a bit and looked for a place to camp just like they were taught. It took them a bit, but after some time they finally noticed a decent crevice and set up camp. No one really wanted to talk and the time went past solemnly until they all went to sleep.

The next day, all of them felt a bit better from a good night’s sleep. Brendon then, decided to ask the important question. “Do we continue? These traps are extremely deadly and more difficult to deal with than simple monsters, not to mention that we don’t even have someone experienced in this area.”

The girls went into deep thought after hearing Brendon and stayed quite, Ariel however immediately spoke up. “If we leave like this, then in the future this moment will be engraved into our mind and will become a thorn that will hamper our training.”

His words broke everyone’s absent mindedness and their face turned more serious. Ariel seeing this continued. “So I think we should continue delving deeper, also, I actually have some experience with traps. Unfortunately I hadn’t known we would encounter them here, or maybe I could have done something, but there is nothing we can do now.”

Ariel in his previous life commonly had to work with all kinds of similar trap like devices, as well as sometimes make them himself, so he did know a bit about how to avoid them. The rest of the party felt a bit relieved after hearing what Ariel wanted to say, and trusted his decision.

What is more, they knew about the problem Ariel spoke of, and actually didn’t want to deal with it later on in their life. Due to these reasons they carried on exploring the dungeon after they were done with their further preparations.

Thankfully the journey wasn’t as treacherous as they expected it to be. Ariel was very careful, as now he was leading the party while walking at the front, he checked everything he thought was suspicious, and although most of the time it was nothing, but some of them were truly deadly traps. Because of such dedication another event like with Henry didn’t happen, and so they moved on.

Strangely, or maybe not, there weren’t a lot of monsters here, only one or two lone goblins. It might be from all the traps, but no matter what, it was helpful for the four to get their teamwork back in a proper shape. While they were traveling with their short term comrades, they got used to a different formation, and now that they separated, Ariel’s group had to get used to the old one.

Time passed like this as they delved deeper into the dungeon. It was unknown how much time truly passed, but they had already rested a few times by now, when they reached a dead end. What they saw was merely stone wall, and although it seemed to be decorated a bit, it was still a dead end.

Of course it is only one of the passages they found and all they needed to do was head back. However Sarah for some reason found the ornaments on the dead end wall a bit strange and decided to investigate them. Erna, who was ready to start going back and was a little frustrated, called out to Sarah. “It is just a wall, we should get going, this is the fourth dead end that we found and it is stressing me out.”

Sarah was slowly gliding her fingers over the wall as she heard Erna’s words and replied. “It just seems a bit different to the previous three, I will be done soon.” While Sarah continued what she was doing, Ariel was also staring at the dead end.

He didn’t know what it is, but some why he was feeling like there was something unusual about this wall. Several minutes passed just likes this. When Sarah had finished going through the lines on wall for the seventh time, she was finally was satisfied and called out to the group. ”I can’t really make out anything from this, it is unfortunate, but we should move on.”

Hearing her words Brendon and Erna, who were already quite tired from waiting happily jumped up from where they were sitting, ready to go. Only Ariel still kept his eyes on the wall and due to that he saw how, as Sarah began walking away from the wall, a tile beneath her foot pressed down and light started shining from it.

His body instinctually moved as his mind immediately deduced that it was a trap. However, just when he managed to run up and hug Sarah to try to get her away from the spot, the floor and the dead end opened into a ramp going straight into complete darkness.

All Ariel managed to do was to turn himself mid air to cushion Sarah’s way down. From then on everything went by way too quickly. Both Ariel and Sarah disappeared in an instant, and before Erna and Brendon could do anything, the entrance closed.

They of course ran up right after and tried to open the passage way, but nothing worked. Sweat began to run down Brendon’s face and Erna screamed out. “Ariel, Sarah!” Unfortunately only silence came after, and her voice echoed through the abysmal shadows of the dungeon.