WebNovel The Strange Adventure of a Broke Mercenary Chapter 176

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The Strange Adventure of a Broke Mercenary is a Webnovel completed by Mine, まいん. This lightnovel is presently Ongoing.

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Read WebNovel The Strange Adventure of a Broke Mercenary Chapter 176

The luggage cart, together with their party, embarked on the ship surprisingly smoothly. There wasn’t even a sound. Lapis then steered them into a cylindrical pa.s.sage.

The vehicle they were in was also lit by the same light sources coming from the ceiling, but had had no windows, making it impossible to tell what was going on outside. They knew they were moving, but had no idea at what speed. The interior design was dreary. Aside from having no windows, there were only some chairs for pa.s.sengers to sit on and some s.p.a.ce with shelves for their luggage. It was apparent that the thing was built solely to be functional.

There was a waist-high platform in one corner, which seemed to be where the controls of this vehicle were placed. Lapis was the at the platform, her fingers sliding over the controls. She told them:

“The weak point of this transportation method is that we’re moving in a tube. There’s no taste at all.”

Loren had given up on understanding all these earlier on. Even if he took a peek, he wouldn’t understand what she was doing, or how.

“It’s as fast as a fast horse though.”

A fast horse wouldn’t be able to make the journey in two and a half hours like Lapis had said. Even if they could change horses freely, they wouldn’t be able to carry their luggage. A vehicle that was able to run continuously without break at the speed of a fast horse was surely convenient.

“The weakness of this vehicle is that it can’t run without its own pa.s.sage, isn’t it?”

“You’re correct. It can’t run without a rail.”

Lapis said that this was probably a track built during the ancient kingdom era to link this facility with the dwarves’ tunnels in the mountain range, and was probably used to transport ores and such. She didn’t know where the main part of the research facility was, but it seemed like the compound and attached rooms she had discovered and used as her own base was just a part of it.

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“Eh? So you store your personal stuff somewhere in those rooms, Lapis-chan?”

“Yeah, what of it?”

Lapis asked without stopping her work. Gula clicked her tongue while snapping her fingers and said:

“I knew it. I should have pinched something there.”

Lapis had brought a fortune out of her home. Gula was sure that it must also include a large sum of cash, and she was regretting not getting her hands on it. She would be able to eat freely for a while otherwise.

Hearing Gula’s remark, Lapis stopped her work at the control and turned towards Gula. Gula immediately hid behind Loren as if she was using him as a shield.

With Gula clinging to his back and Lapis slowly approaching him from the front, Loren wondered what to do. He suddenly seized Gula, then lifted her up and calmly set her down in front of Lapis. Lapis leapt at Gula, and Gula hurriedly offered an excuse while resisting her.

“Gula!”

“I haven’t! I haven’t done anything yet!”

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As this suddenly-arose ruckus had nothing to do with him, Loren sat down on a chair, folded his arms, and closed his eyes. If they really would arrive at the time Lapis had said, that meant they had two and half hours of doing nothing. He should try to preserve as much strength as possible and take a brief nap if he could. It’d be better if something happened later that way. Lapis and Gula should have done the same instead of exerting themselves in meaningless scuffle, but demons and evil G.o.ds had incomparable stamina anyway. Actually, it might be better for them to get a bit tired, since it made them more tamed.

“Wake me when we’re there. And don’t mess around too much.”

“It’s not messing around! Loren! Stop Lapis…”

“Understood. I’ll wake you up later, so just sleep!”

From the other side of his closed eyelids, Loren could hear dangerous sounds like something breaking / detaching and something being kicked or punched. Then a scream, probably of Gula, came, and Loren believed that he shouldn’t stay conscious for any longer. He tried to calm his mind and sleep while feeling cold sweat running down his body.

Sleepiness finally came, the sounds became distant, and Loren entered a light nap that made his body feel pleasantly warm. He was enjoying this feeling of being asleep and awake at the same time when a tentative pat of Lapis’ hand roused his consciousness.

“Sorry, Loren, but we’re at our destination.”

She sounded apologetic for having to wake him when he was having a good time. Loren waved his hand to tell her that he didn’t mind and stood up. Sleeping on a chair made for not very nice sleeping posture, and he ma.s.saged his arms and legs to loosen his stiff muscles. That was when he discovered Gula’s unconscious body on the floor. He was quite interested in what the h.e.l.l had happened during his nap, but there was more important matter to tend to right now. So he asked Lapis:

“We’ve arrived already?”

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“Yeah. We’re right in front of the mountain range. Fast, right?”

Even if Lapis said so, Loren still couldn’t see what it looked like outside as they were in a windowless vehicle. He only knew that the vehicle had stopped.

“Is it alright to go out now?”

“It is. Do you want to see outside first?”

Before unloading their luggage, Loren wanted to first solve the question, whether they had actually arrived at the mountain range or not. He accepted Lapis’ proposal. Leaving the luggage and unconscious Gula inside, Loren followed Lapis and got off. He stepped through the door, and saw a pa.s.sage similar to the one at Lapis’ base stretching out before him. There was another door at the end of the pa.s.sage.

“The layout is the same as the desert base.”

Lapis opened the door. On the other side was a large, empty room. There should have been a frozen horse and carriage if this was the other base, but there was nothing here as if to prove that this was a different place.

“We can go out through this room.”

There was another door on the opposite wall. Loren stopped, but Lapis ran to the door and stroked it before slowly pushing it open a crack. The chilly night air immediately flowed into the room together with the scent of greenery, which couldn’t be found in a desert at all. Just that scent made it apparent that they weren’t in a desert anymore, and Loren peeked through the crack with a somewhat surprised face.

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The first thing that came to his sight was the spa.r.s.e but overgrown trees. He could see them clearly in the night thanks to the bright moonlight streaming down from the sky. In the distance were the mountains, standing out as if being highlighted by the moonlight. Even from afar, the mountains boasted such a height that made people have to look up to take them in. They gave an impression that it wouldn’t be easy for anything to come out from behind them.

“So that’s the mountain range at the center of the continent that separates demons from the other races.”

“Not really, if we really wanted to cross them, we would have done it in no time.”

It was rather blunt, but it wasn’t a lie or an exaggeration. Loren, who had some knowledge of demons, knew that. The demons didn’t want to get involved with the outside world because they found it to be troublesome. Once their interest did turn to the rest of the world, crossing this mountain range would be child play as Lapis had said, and they would descend upon humankind like an avalanche.

“And so, we’ve really arrived here, and in just four days

It had taken them three days to get to Lapis’ base from Kapha, and less than one day to get to the mountain range from that base. They had finished the trip in only four days, half of the time it was originally meant to take. If they went back using the same method, they should be able to save quite a lot of time. But other adventurers weren’t able to do the same.

“It’ll be quite profitable if you transport other adventurers here for a fee, won’t it?”

“I don’t think I’ll get many customers.”

There weren’t that many adventurers who wanted to get into the demons’ territory or use the dwarves’ mines and tunnels. Without a good number of customers, it would be very difficult to make profits from a service, no matter how convenient it might be.

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“The silver-ranked will still use the service even if the price is a bit high, won’t they?”

“But silver rank adventurers are not that common either, right?”

Loren turned around to look behind him. There was a small hill, and the door they had just exited through was set into its slope.

“This one is above ground.”

“The one in the desert was originally above ground too, it was just buried under the sand. Its location should have been more or less like this one.”

Loren actually had the same thought. It was difficult to think that such an organization would build its facility underground, where both construction and commute was troublesome.

“Let’s stay here for today. Tomorrow morning, we’ll go looking for the dwarves, find out the tunnels’ condition, then decide whether we will use the dwarves’ tunnels or the abandoned ones.”

“Is there any other option besides the dwarves?”

If they had to go find the dwarves, they would use up the precious time they had saved, and Loren would prefer using the abandoned tunnels in that case. But then, the question would be which tunnel ran across the mountain range. If they were unlucky enough to pick one with a dead end, they would need to spend time searching for another route and end up missing their deadline.

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“Just leave it to me. I have some friends among the dwarves.”

“So you do …”

It went without saying that demons were despised by all other races, and were not the type to make friends, even by mistake. Of course, as an exception himself, Loren didn’t have much right to say anything about Lapis’ claim, but it was unbelievable to hear that demons and dwarves could be friends.

“It’s pretty easy to make friends with rare ores and cash.”

“That simple?!”

That might be how it was with the dwarves, but Loren didn’t think demons could be handled the same way as dwarves.

“Rather than complicating matters by reasoning and negotiating and ending up not even knowing what you’re saying yourself, isn’t that much better?”

“That… Well, you’re right.”

“They’re reliable and trustworthy partners, as long as you pay what needs to be paid. They’re extremely easy to understand.”

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Loren was unable to say anything back, and if he couldn’t object, there was no choice but to leave this in Lapis’ hands.

“Please take care of this matter.”

“Leave it to me. I’ve walked these paths multiple times.”

Lapis puffed up with pride and nodded to Loren, full of self-confidence.

———-

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