Ariel has been walking through the tunnel connecting the lake cavern to something else for quite some time already. While he moved, he constantly made sure that there were no traps ahead. The previous two accidents with his companions which happened due to traps made him extremely wary of them.
However all of this inspection slowed down Ariel by a lot. Thankfully he still managed to keep a decent walking speed, after a couple of minutes of travel he didn’t find any traps or strangeness about the place and slowly relaxed. What he did notice tough, was that this passageway wasn’t naturally constructed by nature, but crudely carved out by man, and it became more and more apparent the deeper he went into it.
He finally saw the walls turning completely smooth and he found the end after he turned the corner to see a giant stone gate with a lot of scriptures engraved on it. Ariel stopped for a moment after witnessing this and then stepped closer towards this door, but every step of the way he made sure there was no danger.
After another several minutes of “exemplary” carefulness, he reached the door and immediately scanned over the inscribing on the gate with his eyes. From what he could discern with his extensive knowledge from reading, was that these were not just some random symbols done for decoration, but magic glyphs.
From the crudeness and the ancientness of the place he could guess that it was at the very least few hundred years old. It was unknown if it was still in working condition as well as for what these glyphs were used for, so Ariel didn’t try to recklessly open the gate.
Instead he took a deep breath and closed his right eye, while opening his special vision. He immediately saw the enormous amount of Mana in the area, and while keeping his mind together directed his gaze towards the giant door.
What he saw was actually quite different from what he had seen in the dungeons previously. Unlike the dungeon walls which were completely made out of Mana, this stone gate appeared to be made out of natural material that had Mana running through it instead.
After noticing this point, Ariel stopped for a moment and instead of continuing to look at the gate swept his glace around his surroundings. He quickly understood that he wasn’t in the dungeon anymore. The walls of the corridor barely had any Mana inside them, and even the little amount they did have, came from above.
As he looked above Ariel saw the already familiar walls created out of pure Mana which were part of the dungeon. With this last piece of information he now could come to the conclusion that this place was under the dungeon, but not part of it.
This meant that theoretically he and Sarah could dig out from under the dungeons if they wanted to try that. Unfortunately since Sarah’s and Ariel’s magic wasn’t really meant for that, it was almost impossible to do in practice.
Letting out a sigh Ariel returned his gaze to the gate, although he didn’t get much useful information about getting out of this place, it still had its merits. Ariel didn’t know if the dungeon or the place behind the gate came into being first, but there still might be a way out of here through this entrance.
While making sure that he wouldn’t get too excited Ariel began carefully and slowly analyzing the gate to understand how to open it. Soon he figured out its peculiarities and a cold shiver went down his spine while continuing with his work. What he saw was a lot of lines, similar to a person’s blood circulation pathways covering the gate with Mana constantly running through them.
A normal person wouldn’t understand this mechanism, but Ariel could barely remember something about this from the Academy’s library. If he was correct, then this was a lock mechanism they used in more ancient times to keep out other people, it was even used by kings of that time. Unfortunately the knowledge of how to create such locks has long since been lost.
The thing which unnerved Ariel was that now he could see that there were many magic sigils across the gate connected by the previously mentioned Mana, all of which will release powerful magic spells at the intruder it hey are triggered. Someone without Ariel’s special vision or the “key” needed to open this place would be quickly turned to dust.
Thankfully all Ariel needed was time to figure out the entire system without really risking anything. Like that an entire hour passed, showing how difficult it was to crack the lock even with such advantages. Luckily this one hour was enough and just when he reached the end in the Mana maze, the gate rumbled.
With a gust of dust and heavy sound the stone gate began to slowly open itself. Ancientness was practically steaming from this place, showing how long it has been since anyone entered here. As the gate was opening, Ariel could see some light on the other side, and thankfully due to it he didn’t need to step inside to have a good look of the place in case of danger.
As the gate opened, Ariel looked ahead and interest immediately appeared on his face, which was quickly changed by shock. Inside was not too spectacular, walls didn’t have lighting and you couldn’t really make out anything on them, while in the middle of the room there was just a pool which had a pathway across it towards a large bed at the center of it, the bed being the actually unusual thing here.
After having a look at the entrance and not finding anything suspicious, Ariel started heading deeper into the room. Step by step he closed in on the pool and after reaching it continued walking down the, bridge like, pathway. Due to it being made out of pure stone he didn’t feel that there was much danger of it collapsing, nor did he feel any movement he would from something like a rope bridge.
When he reached the small platform with the bed on it he stopped and once again examined the surroundings. There were no unnatural sounds or sight of anything dangerous, but he couldn’t help but feel weird about this situation.
However that thought of his lasted only for a moment, after which he spread open the canopy of the giant bed to have a look inside. Surveying the interior he immediately noticed a conspicuous skeleton sitting on a bed in a meditative pose. Ariel stepped back a little from shock of this sight and only after carefully examining and making sure that this skeleton wasn’t going to comeback to life did he come closer again.
Without needing to worry about the dead bones anymore he scanned the rest of the bed and could see that not counting the skeleton there were two things there. One was a book looking similar to a journal and the other was a simple ring.
Although there was nothing seemingly outstanding Ariel for some reason still felt like this was a great fortune. Having his doubts he once again looked at the dead remains to figure out the cause. Only then did he notice that the almost disintegrated clothes on its body were most likely really well made and luxurious in the past. Looking at them with his special vision he also saw that they could have possibly been enchanted.
Even though it wasn’t a very powerful to the point that it would stand the test of time, it was still impressive. What’s more, it meant that whatever was left behind by this mysterious figure could be really precious, so without a second thought Ariel took the journal, and began reading it to find out a little more about his.
He found that this was a diary of a powerful magician and as he continued reading it, some truths of the world started unveiling for him.