Before us stood a solemn gate that once represented prosperity. Connected to the gate were the remnants of a wall. Much of it was covered by vines or eroded by the roots of the Heat-Emitting Trees, but there was still a trace of the grandeur that the village once held.
…However, we didn’t have the time to be leisurely sightseeing. As we approached the village, the atmosphere became oppressive, just like the atmosphere back at the Execution Ground of Hunger and Thirst. I could distinctly feel it seeping out from inside the gate.
“Don’t go in through the gate! Take a right turn instead and follow the outer walls! We need to secure a place we can use as a base first!” [Ryouma]
“Got it!” [Glen]
Glen-san changed directions and cut open a path for us.
“It should be around here! Look for a crevice! We’ll be able to enter through that!” [Ryouma]
“A crevice? Well, I can’t find any! Let’s just break through!” [Glen]
By the time he said that, he was already punching the wall covered in vegetation. A thunderous sound resounded with every strike of his fists, attracting the undead, and scattering stones and plants in the process. No doubt he was digging through the wall at a considerable speed.
” ‘Flash Bomb’ …He truly is a reliable ally.” [Ryouma]
“And for the finishing blow!” [Glen]
As I detonated light magic to buy us time, a large hole opened on the wall with a particularly loud noise. Apparently, he used a flying kick at the end and ended up entering the village along with his attack. I followed him inside to find that there were undead in the village too, but what caught my attention was a particular house.
The village was understandably overgrown with plants, having been left unattended for so long, but the area surrounding the house wasn’t as overgrown. There were some weeds, but the house itself barely deteriorated, so it stood out like a sore thumb.
“‘Holy Space’ ‘Dimension Home’” [Ryouma]
Upon reaching our destination, I secured us a safe space with Remilie-san’s Holy Space, then mobilized the Light Slime and the Grave Slime. Slimes are cumbersome to use in combat while moving because they move so slow, so it’s only in situations where we’re not moving that they can demonstrate their full potential. In such situations, it’s no longer a battle but a mere task for them.
I lured the undead with the Grave Slime’s Attract Ghosts, while the Light Slime and I shot down the troublemakers. If non-undead monsters were to attack, Glen-san and I could deal with them while protecting the slimes.
There were no major issues with our strategy, but it did feel like there were more troublemakers that refused to be obediently devoured by the grave slime this time.
Is this also because of that monster beast the gods asked me to hunt? It’s a bit concerning, but well, it should be fine.
More importantly, I have a lot of things to do.
“Let’s rest here once we’ve secured the area.” [Ryouma]
I merged the slimes then got them to act as the gatekeepers before stepping into my grandparents’ house. The interior was in disarray as expected, and the furnishings were simple too. It didn’t resemble anything that might be the residence of someone as distinguished as the Sage or the Martial God.
The exterior was reasonably large, but it was otherwise a simple building with a square shape and five chimneys. The walls were made of stone, and the roof and windows appeared to be made with the wood of the heat-emitting tree. Overall it was as if a large rock had been hollowed out, so it was probably made with my grandparents’ earth magic.
…It might seem rundown at first glance, but despite its aged appearance, its walls were plenty sturdy. It’s been left unattended for so long, yet it gave one the impression of security. The ceiling and floor have decayed beyond repair, though, but that couldn’t be helped.
As I thought that, a loud creaking sound resounded behind me.
“Phew, that was close… Almost stepped through. But man, this place is in a terrible state. It looks as if it’s been ransacked.”
“That’s probably the case. The people here were just like the ones stationed at the frontlines, after all.” [Ryouma]
“Ah, those guys.” [Glen]
“The people living here were strong, so they didn’t dare mess with them, but when they were gone, they didn’t care anymore.” [Ryouma]
The built-in cupboard on the wall was unusually close to the ceiling, and the lock had also been broken. The surrounding marks suggested that it had been repeatedly struck with a poorly sharpened axe or something similar. Given the location and the kind of damage, the monsters were clearly not the culprit.
“If it was guys like those, then yeah, they would have definitely robbed the place given an opportunity. By the way, have you been here before?” [Glen]
“I haven’t mentioned it, have I? I used to live here when the village was still full of people. This was our house.” [Ryouma]
It all finally made sense for him after I told him that, while I found it surprising that he actually followed me all the way out here without an explanation. Well, I guess it didn’t really matter to him. And I appreciate that he’s not asking a lot of questions.
“Looks like they took everything that wasn’t broken.” [Ryouma]
“It’s totally empty. Even the undead wouldn’t find a place to hide here—ah.” [Glen]
Looks like there was finally a section of the floor that was too broken to support Glen-san’s weight. He wasn’t injured, but his left leg was buried all the way to his knee.
“Tch, this won’t do. I’ll go outside. The floor is like this, and it’d be hard to fight in here anyway. I’ll borrow some of your slimes to clean up the monsters outside.” [Glen]
“Got it. If you can throw them somewhere convenient, I’ll tell them to clean up.” [Ryouma]
After parting ways with Glen-san, I checked for undead and took measures to protect against attacks. Finally, I arrived at the last room, the most crucial place in the house. Inside the alchemy room could be found broken medicine shelves and desks.
There were also three stoves of different sizes lined up. This was most likely where my grandmother, the Sage, concocted medicine. Of the five chimneys visible from the outside, three were connected to the stoves in this room. The remaining two were linked to the kitchen and the forge that my grandfather used.
“This is the place.” [Ryouma]
The largest of the three stoves looked large enough to comfortably contain an adult. I reached inside and scraped out the accumulated ash and leftover embers. It took some time due to the depth, but eventually, I reached the bottom of the opened stove and found a circular line with two grooves beside. This was the hidden entrance to my grandparents’ legacy.
Entering the stove, I inserted my hands into the grooves, hooked my fingertips, and pulled upward. With a grinding sound, a stone cylinder emerged from the bottom. Once it was lifted to around thigh level, the cylinder came out completely, revealing a gaping underground passage.
Setting the cylinder outside, I cast a light ball into the dark passage. It looked to be about 3 meters deep, the surroundings seemingly made of the same stone as the walls. There were occasional indentations, providing footholds. As a precaution, I used wind magic to ventilate the passage before entering.
…Shining a light on the passage with light magic revealed a short tunnel that led to a large and spacious room. Despite being left unattended for a long time, it showed no signs of weathering or accumulation of spider webs or dust. Gayn and the others have informed me that there were no traps, but evidently, some form of magic was at play.
Perhaps the fact that the vegetation hadn’t eroded around this house was also due to this hidden basement, preventing the roots from spreading too deeply.
“It’s like a storage room.” [Ryouma]
The room was filled with tightly packed bookshelves, barrels filled with weapons, and unidentified boxes and bags. In addition, right in front of them, between the multitude of items and me, was a stone table. Atop it lay something that resembled a thin book. Evidently, it had been placed there on purpose to be noticed.
Upon closer inspection, it wasn’t a book but a notebook made up of several bundled sheets of paper. The author was none other than my grandfather, Teagle, who was known as the Martial God.
He appears to have written down whatever came to mind. It was so poorly written you couldn’t even call it legible as flattery. However, it quickly became apparent that the content was a sort of will addressed to the person who discovered this place.
“Let’s give it a read then, shall we?” [Ryouma]
…The narrative briefly detailed the events leading to my grandparents’ arrival in the village.
To summarize, my grandparents were known as the Martial God and the Sage, earning the respect and admiration of the people. It wasn’t difficult to imagine the constant invitations and attempts at recruitment from nobles and merchants alike, and there were also those among them who resorted to unfair means.
The text continued with more complaints rather than examples, so I’ll just skip those parts. It appears that, like myself in the past, they grew weary of living in human society and decided to hide somewhere others couldn’t easily enter even if they knew where they were.
The destination could have been anywhere, but after considering various options and traveling around, they eventually arrived at this village. Just like the front-line base, they found solace in a village struggling with difficulties, where status and fame held no meaning. By providing their strength for the defense of the village and securing a source of income, they were able to ensure their freedom within the village.
“What better place could there be for Melia to conduct her research in peace.” [Ryouma]
The first half of the content ended there, and the second half spoke about my inheritance.
“My wife passed away, and I know I’m not long for the world. The things in this room no longer matter to me, but I can’t stand the thought of that greedy village chief getting his hands on our belongings and my wife’s research. I can’t dispose of them either, so I’ll hide them here.” [Ryouma]
After that were instructions that read: ‘I bequeath everything in this room to the first person who finds them,’ as well as an inventory of the things here. Ideally, he hoped that someone not from the village but a complete stranger would be the one to find the things here. He also requested for the research results of his wife to be taken somewhere they could be utilized. There were also notes regarding specific items.
“…Thank you for the inheritance, Teagle-san, Melia-san. I will take over the research on medicines, so may the both of you rest in peace.” [Ryouma]
With a silent prayer for the departed, as well as to show my gratitude, I collected all of my inheritance into the Dimension Home. I’ll check them later when i can afford to be more leisurely.