Secret of the Ruins
“What’s going on?”
Entering the depths of the ruins, Anjie and the others stared at a hole that wasn’t there before.
They tried holding up a lantern, but couldn’t see inside.
It seemed like the floor had collapsed.
“Could it be──that they dropped down from here?”
Hearing the sounds of gunfire from within the hole, Anjie was uneasy.
Jilk immediately began preparing to descend.
“I’ll set up a rope soon.”
Greg shouldered his spear and was about to descend, saying “I’ll go down there alone. It’s likely that Marie and Baltfault are in there. We need to hurry up and help them.”
Livia expressed her intentions.
“I, I’m going too!”
“You stay here.”
“I’m going too!”
When Anjie was about to descend as well, the village chief came running while yelling.
“What are you doing?!”
Anjie maintained her firm attitude towards the angered village chief.
“There’s a hole in the floor. There might be two people inside. We’re going down there too.”
“E, err──I understand. I’ll go down there soon, so all of you, please wait outside.”
Worried about Marie, Greg rejected the village chief’s suggestion.
“There’s fighting going on down there! What will you do if something happens to Marie?!”
“In that case, you should return to the village at once and tell an experienced person.”
The village chief carried a rifle in his hand and descended down the hole.
Anjie felt uneasy seeing his figure.
(That village chief isn’t fazed at all?)
They didn’t even know what awaited them down there.
The village chief marched towards the area where gunshots could be heard.
We were down in the underground layers of the ruins.
While Luxon illuminated our surroundings, Marie and I walked along a passage.
“The underground structures─I remember it now. The underground of these ruins was an explorable location.”
Portions were broken, causing dirt and rock to come in and block passages, turning the place into a maze.
I turned my head around and stared at Marie.
“You used healing magic, right? You’re walking slowly.”
I complained towards the limping Marie, having to adjust my walking pace to match hers.
While irritated, Marie didn’t seem to take notice of that.
“It hurts for a bit even after healing! Walk slower.”
“Livia could erase the pain as well. That’s what makes you a fake.”
“What was that?! You look stupid being so engrossed in her just because she’s a little cute. Nobody’s going to be with a mob like you.”
“Unfortunately for you, I’ve ended up becoming quite popular with the girls despite how things may look. I’ve received a mountain of invitations.”
The letters weren’t that pleasing, but Marie seemed genuinely frustrated in response to my bluff.
I once again brought up a certain subject.
“──Why did you think about making a reverse harem?”
“You got a complaint? It would only be human for someone to seek a happiness that they could reach.”
Happiness? That’s the reason why this girl took everything from Livia?
“You’re saying that it feels great to kick others down for the sake of your own happiness? Apologize to Livia.”
Marie cast her eyes downward while grumbling within the dark passage.
“What do you know? I wasn’t blessed with fortune in my previous life. What’s bad about living my second life as I please? This is about me! I just want to be happy.”
Her methods were so heartless that I couldn’t even laugh.
She had five idiots latch onto her, and to make matters worse, made an irreversible mistake.
“You’re being a nuisance to Livia and sabotaging Anjie. You’re the worst.”
Thereupon, the glowing Luxon spoke.
[The same could be said about you too, Master. In a sense, you looked for me and snatched me away from Olivia, Master. Furthermore, you also said something along the lines of ‘It feels great beating up those five in front of the public!’]
Hearing that, Marie criticized me this time.
“You’re the worst. You have no right to criticize people.”
“I don’t want to hear that from you! You’re the one causing me trouble in the first place! What do you even plan on doing during the final battle? If you mess up, the kingdom will lose.”
In that otome game, Hertrude was supposed to use an item called the “magic flute” to summon the final boss.
Currently, Hertrude and the magic flute are being managed by the kingdom, so having that final boss appear is unlikely, but──I’m worried.
“I can figure something out using my power as a saint.”
“Huh? The saint’s strength alone? What are you going to do about Livia’s power?”
“What are you talking about? That girl’s power is the saint’s power, right?”
“No, l mean──”
Luxon interrupted our conversation.
[Master, one of my suspicions has been answered.]
When Luxon said that, it suddenly became bright, forcing me to squint.
It appeared that our surroundings were being illuminated with lighting equipment. Looking around, it seemed that we were in a large room.
“C’mon, give me a break.”
──I was disgruntled while Marie was shocked.
Within the large room stood cylindrical capsules filled with fluid, and inside them were figures resembling humans.
There were elves waiting there, pointing rifles and handguns at us.
I stood forward to cover Marie while readying my own rifle.
There are a mountain of things I need to hear from this girl, so it wouldn’t do good to have her die here.
One of the elves pointing a gun at us, their representative, made an eerie smile.
“You’ve arrived at the land of humanity’s beginning. Quite welcoming to have a human male, human female, and while I’m at it, strange round thing be here, isn’t it? Perfect laboratory specimens.”
Laboratory specimens? Upon looking at the elves, there were some wearing white robes as well.
That behavior and manner of speaking were akin to those of a mad scientist’s.
“Are you the ones who made those freaks?”
If they were monsters, they would have disappeared when killed, but the creatures underground here don’t do the same.
In other words, what I’ve been killing up until now weren’t monsters.
The representative-like male elf answered while pointing his gun at me.
“You’re certainly quick on the uptake. I didn’t think you people would be able to make that guess.”
The male gently touched a capsule with his hand.
Inside it was a large flower──and in the center of the flower was a human face.
Uncanny. It’s more frightening than a monster.
“You’ve set foot into these ruins, a god’s domain where life is created. You humans probably don’t comprehend it, but long ago there was a civilization more advanced than what you see today. It was a period ruled not by savage humans, but by us elves. These ruins are proof of it.”
The ruins, where life was being created, resided within the island they lived on. And from that basis, they’re saying that elves created humans here.
The male chucked in laughter when I didn’t respond.
“You don’t get it? That’s all you humans amount to. Our ancestors have created many lifeforms here. Among them are you humans, an inferior race.”
In response to the elf’s declaration…
“Impossible! That kind of setting didn’t exist.”
──Marie was astonished. Or rather, she didn’t believe him.
Leaving that aside, the thought of elves creating freaks here long ago gives me the shivers.
When I turned towards Luxon, it shook its one eye in denial.
It seems that this is beyond Luxon as well.
The elf didn’t stop blabbering on.
“We will take back the world which has been stolen by humans. Then, the elves will bring along all races, guide them, and the world will regain its rightful figure. For that, you all will become our precious sacrifice. What kind of experiments should we run first? Oh right──”
Luxon interrupted the elf, who was so intoxicated over himself.
[That is incorrect. This facility was run by humans, and the ones they created──were you elves.]
I tilted my head in confusion when Luxon suddenly asserted that.
Up until just a bit ago, this thing had a lot of questions about the elves, so what’s with this change in attitude?
Marie grabbed my clothes and tugged several times, looking up at Luxon.
“Hey, what kind of familiar is that?”
“This is Luxon, a cheat item. You should know what this thing is, right?”
“I don’t know about it. Or rather, cheat items are unfair. Let me use it.”
“You’ve got the greatest of personalities, you know that?”
The elves’ expressions distorted.
“What do you know? Humans creating us? Even for a joke, I can’t laugh at that.”
[I accessed the AI lying dormant within this room. As a result of sharing information, I’ve found that this island was one involved with taboo──an experimental site.]
In response to what Luxon stated, a large electronic noise resounded within room.
It was a voice different from Luxon, a voice more akin to a woman’s.
[That is correct. The elves on this island are those have become feral after being created here.]
“There are AIs other than Luxon?”
Though I looked around, I couldn’t find the figure of this AI.
[Indeed. I have been on sleep mode for a long time. All things considered, it is fortunate meeting someone like you who carries the genes of the former humans. It is proof that our fight was not meaningless.]
The elf glanced around him, panicked over the electronic voice.
“W, who’s there?! Who would say such lies! Us elves are beings who surpass humans. We have longer lifespans and are more capable of using magic!”
The AI plainly spoke the truth.
[The longevity is just for the sake of being able to fight for longer. It would be troublesome to have them die soon. Proficiency at magic is again a design choice. However, it seems there has been a drop in quality compared to the elves of our initial stages.]
While the elves were in confusion, the male in front of us was in anger, his face turning a deep red.
He trembled while darting his eyes around, perhaps wondering where to aim his gun.
“Don’t joke with me! There is no truth to that. We are──”
Feeling a presence from behind, I turned around to find the village chief there.
However, he seemed strange.
“What in the world are you doing?!”
The shrieking village chief──pointed a gun at us.
“Oh, Village Chief──huh?”
The village chief pointed his rifle at Marie, who thought that he came here to save us.
Luxon seemed to comprehend something.
[I see. So the village chief was also involved in these ruins.]
The village chief ordered the panicking elves.
“Dispose of these people here. Make it look like they were finished by artificial lifeforms.”
The elves began to regain themselves in response to village chief’s words.
Upon the touch of a control panel, the fluid inside the capsules were drained, sending out the artificial lifeforms.
[Should I praise them for being able to operate the equipment?]
I readied my rifle while beside the calm Luxon.
“So you’re going to kill us as a destruction of evidence? It seems that elves are as black-hearted as they come.”
The village chief looked at me and smiled.
[A human shouldn’t get cocky. Inferior beings like you should just bow to us!”
The AI complained.
[What foolishness──this has been judged as a state of emergency. It will thus be dealt with.]
Immediately following, weapons appeared out of the walls, aimed at the lunging artificial lifeforms, and shot them to death.
The elves were frightened by the sudden event──and not passing up the chance, I shot the village chief in the shoulder with my rifle.
The village chief dropped his rifle, so I closed the distance and bashed him in the face with the gunstock.
The elves turned towards me and yelled.
“O, open fire!”
As bullets and magic were being fired at us, Marie was at her wits’ end.
“I can’t take this anymooore!”
While thinking about how annoying she was, I gave Luxon an order.
[You won’t be able to hurt Master with just this much.]
All the bullets and magic were repelled by a wall of light that appeared around us.
While pointing my rifle at the village chief, I looked over at the elves.
Realizing that their guns and magic had no effect, the elves stopped their attack and stood still.
“Still want to have a go? Do such high-class, wise elves take a fancy to the aesthetics of destruction?”
Knowing that they couldn’t win, the elves tossed their guns and put their hands up.
“Restrain everyone. You, lend a hand as well.”
“Hey! Despite how it seems, I’m still a saint. I’m your higher-up!”
“How about I just blow your brains out? Destruction of evidence, right?”
I didn’t intend to actually go through with it, but upon threatening Marie, she forced a smile.
“Now, no need to get so angry. I, I’ll do what you say, so don’t shoot.”
──She could have just said that from the beginning.