Chapter 4-32 : Rescue Request Ⅰ
*/TL : We’re back to the expedition gang.
「*Cough cough* Is it over…?」(Iris)
A few moments later, the ground stopped shaking and the ceiling stopped crumbling. The ground was shaking in a relatively short period of time but for Iris and the others, it felt like an eternity.
Iris slowly raised her head and looked around but she could only see smoke of dust.
「Kate, Nord-san, are you guys alright?」(Iris)
「I’m good. *Cough cough*」(Kate)
「Me too. We’re lucky we didn’t get buried alive here.」(Nord)
When the smoke started to disappear, they could finally see each other.
They slowly got up and looked around. Their coat and luggage were covered in dust and there were chunks of rocks all over the place but none of them were buried in rocks.
「I think some parts of the cave collapsed and caused the vibration… I have a bad feeling about this…」(Iris)
「By the way, I don’t know if it’s a good sign or not but I can no longer hear the sound of that Salamander’s footsteps.」(Kate)
「It would be nice if it gave up on chasing us and went back to the river of lava…」(Iris)
「Anyway, we should keep going. Let’s go.」(Nord)
As always, Nord looked so carefree, but what he said was right. They had to keep going.
Iris and Kate sighed and followed Nord who held his lighting artifact and started heading to the entrance.
「Are we… trapped in this cave?」(Kate)
Their way to the entrance was blocked by large rubbles from the ceiling and walls.
Iris and the others didn’t expect that. They started to get worried.
「Nord-san, can you make it brighter?」(Iris)
「It will consume more of my magical power but… Alright.」(Nord)
Nord was complaining but then he did what Iris asked. He put more magical power into the lighting artifact he was holding to produce brighter light.
They were looking around, trying to find an opening to pass through the rubbles but they couldn’t find any.
「It’s completely blocked…」(Iris)
「These rocks looks quite heavy but… Nord-san, do you think we can make our way through?」(Kate)
「It doesn’t seem realistic but we can try.」(Nord)
They tried to move the rocks by pulling and pushing them but they didn’t even budge.
「This is no use… I’m confident with my physical strength but I don’t think it’s possible. Besides, we don’t know how deep this pile of rocks is. Moreover, we might make the situation even worse if we carelessly move them.」(Nord)
「Hmm… You may be right. What should we do then?」(Iris)
「You guys are learning magic from Sarasa-kun, right? Can you use some kind of earth spell that can blast away this rubble ?」(Nord)
「I can’t use earth magic, but…」(Iris)
Saying that, Iris glanced at Kate.
「Well, Lorea and I are learning earth magic from Store Owner-san but she only teaches us earth spells for cultivation. I don’t think they’re useful here. Besides, I’m a beginner. I can’t manipulate my magical power as precisely as Store Owner-san, so I might mess up and make things even worse.」(Kate)
「I see. That’s too bad.」(Nord)
Nord nodded a few times and put his fingers on his chin, trying to keep his cool.
「Nord-san, how can you look so calm?」(Kate)
「Umm, perhaps it’s because I’m used to getting myself into trouble? I mostly study monsters and their nests after all. I trained my muscles so that I can survive in bad situations but I don’t think they can help this time.」(Nord)
「Instead of training your muscles, I think you better train yourself to behave so as not to get yourself into trouble…」(Kate)
Kate was actually right. All that trouble wouldn’t have happened if Nord hadn’t done that dangerous experiment.
However, Nord smiled cheerfully at Kate as if he didn’t feel guilty at all.
「Hahaha! I can’t do that. If I lose my adventurous spirit, I won’t be able to call myself a researcher. You see, we researchers will do anything it takes to satisfy our curiosity.」(Nord)
「But you need at least be cautious of what you’re doing or no one will be able to keep up with you.」(Kate)
「Ah, you’re right. Perhaps that’s the reason why no one wants me to hire them a second time even though I pay them well.」(Nord)
As Nord said that, Iris and Kate looked at each other and sighed.
Just like the people who once worked for Nord, they didn’t want to take a second job from him, but considering the bad situation they were in, they decided not to tell him for now.
「Anyway, shall we go back to where we came from? This is a huge cave and it has many passageways, so we may find another way.」(Nord)
「Seriously? Ugh… I hope we don’t encounter that lizard again.」(Iris)
「Don’t worry. Like I said, I don’t hear its footsteps so it most likely stopped chasing us.」(Kate)
「I hope you’re right… Alright then, let’s go.」(Iris)
They decided to go back, heading deeper into the cave while looking for another way.
After walking for a few minutes they saw the way leading to the place where the salamander spawn was blocked by a lot of rubble as well.
「No way… We’re doomed…」(Iris)
「I see now. That’s why that lizard stopped chasing us…」(Kate)
「Wait, is that…」(Nord)
While they were looking around, Nord found a small opening behind a large chunk of rock that fell from the ceiling.
「There’s something behind this rock. Hold on. I’ll move it away …Hngghh!!」(Nord)
Nord put his hands on the boulder and pushed it away, showing a small path that was hidden behind it.
「Bingo! There’s another path.」(Nord)
「Good job, but… uhh… I wonder where this passageway leads.」(Iris)
「Yeah. It might lead us to a dangerous place like a Lava Lizard’s nest or a place full of poisonous gas…」(Kate)
「Might be. But we don’t have any other choice. We will starve to death here if we don’t move. Let’s hope it leads outside.」(Nord)
「…Alright. You’ve got a point. But, Nord-san, I don’t think we will be able to protect you if something bad happens.」(Iris)
「It’s okay. I understand. You guys can leave me if something bad happens. I won’t blame you. You know… I actually feel bad for putting you both into this situation, so…」(Nord)
Stepping into a dangerous place meaning that their life would be in danger. Nord was no exception no matter how trained he was.
Looking at Iris’ troubled face, Kate suddenly remembered something.
She then turned her gaze to Kurumi who was clinging to Iris’ backpack.