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The Runesmith - Chapter 262: Leap of faith
Chapter 262: Leap of faith
Before him, a strange scene that he wasn’t expecting was playing out. Normally Roland wouldn’t be able to see anything when looking up. The only reason now was a strange clearing up of the fog that mostly barred anyone from peeking through. Together with the latest enhancements to his eyesight-boosting spells, there was a tiny bit that he noticed.
There were people getting pushed against the edge of the chasm. He could not really tell who they were with his eyes but his mapping device was different. Previously he had done some experiments with some of his weapons. He wanted to see if he could include them in his map display to know whenever a person with this weapon was near.
There were two of his better runic creations up there, one he made for Armand and the other for Lobelia. The main reason was at first a joke, he wanted to just avoid the musclebound idiot whenever in the dungeons or outside. Yet now he was sure that it was him and his sister that were close to falling down.
‘These skeletons aren’t that strong… could that thing be up there with them?’
Roland wasn’t sure if the Lich that he saw within the other dungeon was the true perpetrator just yet. It was still possible that some kind of necromancer was behind it all. There was a possibility that this person discovered his secret mining area and decided to take it over.
Perhaps Armand and the adventurers up to had been unlucky and ran into him as he was going out from the chasm. To his knowledge tier 3 magical classes were able to produce a levitation spell. While it was nowhere near a flight spell it was enough to move the caster up and down in places and would be perfect to enter the mine from this side.
‘Either way, If I don’t help them they will die…’
A Lich or a powerful Necromancer didn’t change much, they both had to be strong enough to push back Armand and Lobelia along with three other people back. It looked like they were going to fall which indicated that they were surrounded by those blazing skeletons. Quite a bit of them had fallen down here and there were probably more.
However this was troublesome, the area where he was was more than a kilometer away from them. The bumpy terrain also didn’t leave space for maneuvering, if they didn’t fall directly towards his location they would just go down and probably die somewhere below.
‘Will they even jump down or get pushed?’
He wasn’t sure about anything but he used his large mana pool to try to enhance his detection devices even further. To get a better signal he took out a small disk from a spatial satchel and threw it up towards the direction of the fight. As the disk rose in height it started giving off a brownish glow. When close to the end of its flight this glow caused it to stick to the wall like a magnet.
This runic implement was a signal amplification device, with it he could get a better grasp of the situation that was happening up there. With its help, he could clearly see a group of five adventurers that were all above level one hundred. It was a party made up of gold ranks and they were surrounded by reanimated skeletons.
Yet the more interesting circle was slightly behind the large group of blazing skeletons. With this Roland had his answer, the one responsible for all of this wasn’t a Necromancer, it was a high-level monster instead. The color of the dot and its size indicated that a tier 3 monster was standing a bit away from the swarm of its minions that were pushing into Armand’s group.
‘Could it really be that strange Lich? How did it get out? Is this all my fault?’
There were a myriad of questions going through his head but they mostly went towards one point, how was this thing able to get out of the dungeon? Roland was almost positive that it probably had something to do with his involvement with the other dungeon. It would be too much of a coincidence if it wasn’t due to his excessive grinding habits.
This was an unprecedented situation that he had no knowledge of ever happening before. Only one situation was somewhat similar but it didn’t really involve two different dungeons interacting with each other.
A dungeon break was the closest thing he could come up with. It was a situation in which monsters could go outside and no one had a proper explanation for why this happened to this day. This Lich had been able to escape to this dungeon so it wouldn’t be strange if it could go outside of it as well.
‘What will happen to Albrook if that thing gets out?’
Roland tried recalling the level of the Lich, it was close to level hundred sixty but now it had become free of the dungeon. Monsters just like humans could raise their levels by killing other beings in this world. It was clear by the many skeletons that it was summoning that it had been clearing out the creatures from this dungeon.
There was one difference between necromancers that were still alive and Liches. The summoned creatures would weigh hard on the caster's soul. This limited the necromancer’s creature pool but it wasn’t the same for the Lich. That monster didn’t have a soul or was never a person, to begin with. Its minion count was mostly unlimited, until it was alive it could just produce more and more monsters.
Various scenes went through his head in just a fraction of a second before he decided to act. Even though the monster was out there he could not do anything about it now. The people up there probably needed his help and the only way for that to happen is if they noticed him or fell down.
First, with the help of his earth runes, he started to produce a sturdy platform on which he would be able to support more than just himself. The shape of it was also quite unique as it began to take the shape of a large bowl.
This would only work if he managed to get Armand and Lobelia safely towards the tunnel. The foundation was created, with somewhere for them to fall towards but he also needed to make the party aware of his presence.
For this he had two options, make himself visible through bright light or through loud sounds. The latter would be harder as to the nature of the walls here. They were from a strange rock that liked to absorb sound, even if he produced a loud bang the sound would probably not find its way into Lobelia’s ears.
The first option of making it bright was the next best thing. Probably the Lich had done something to the fog that was usually blocking the view. Thanks to his mana sense he could feel that some kind of spell had been cast, perhaps during the Lich’s ascend up he had somehow removed it.
This spell wouldn’t last forever as he could already see some dark mist coming back from the sides. Thus he threw a few more disks up towards a few locations. These were not as intricate as the previous one that magnified the signal instead, they just produced a bright blinking light.
To top it all off he fiddled with his runic programming to produce a bright spell which he shot up over his head, if this light show didn’t produce the effect then he wasn’t sure what would. There was also a code inserted into the light. This word had its own morse code analog that he set up with a hidden message. People like Lobelia or any tracker should be able to figure out what the blinking meant.
“They really jumped down…”
In all honesty, Roland wasn’t sure that even if Lobelia saw him down there she would just jump. Some adventurers would see a more favorable outcome to just toss themselves against the Lich and hope that at least some of them got away. Yet there they were, trusting in the light show that he was producing.
To not be a disappointment to the people that put their faith in him he went to the second phase of his plan. It would have been nice if he had any gravity runes that he could use. They would be perfect to cushion their descent but he would need to go with the next best thing, wind, and water.
While he was producing the light show he had already used his feet to produce a simple water creation spell. The shape of the bowl was to hold it in place and the wind spell he was about to shoot up would dampen the fall enough for them not to die before hitting the water. The biggest issue here was the limited space and then the hasty process of this entire construct.
“I’m going to haunt you forever if I dieeeeeee!”
Roland could finally hear some voices as the party of five descended from above. most of them were shouting but one voice that probably belonged to Armand was constantly yelling at someone. Soon they would be hit by a giant twister made up of green energy due to the mana that produced it. This torrent of winds would try to push them up while soon after suddenly pulling them towards the basin of water.
This was not an easy feat to achieve even for an experienced mage. Roland really had to strain his multiple pseudo brains that his Parallel Thinking trait gave him. When straining all three that he had access to at the moment he was somewhat able to guide the falling people down into the pool of water he created.
‘Shit it won’t hold…’
Yet after the initial splash, the hastily produced platform couldn’t hold and the group of five went through it. Roland had somewhat expected this to happen and so he shifted to plan B which he had also prepared. This one was a lot less refined as it involved just two sturdy magical ropes that he wrapped around his arms.
These ropes were made from special materials that would allow the infusion of mana. After injecting mana into them the caster could make them move like extensions of their body. It took a few tries to get the hang of it but Roland had already gone through the training. At the moment of impact and destruction of his pool, he executed his rescue plan.
Both of the magical ropes shot out to entangle the closest people there. Instantly after the entanglement, he could feel a large amount of force pulling him down. He had to quickly activate all of his strength buffing spells as well as some that would make his footing stable. Along with these he also felt a ruby tail wrapping itself around his waist as Agni attempted to aid him in this rescue endeavor.
“Shit… we are alive! Haha, I’m alive!”
“Will you shut up already, we aren’t safe yet!”
The first one to call out was Armand and he was quickly shot down by Lobelia. On one side he entangled Armand, Lobelia, and some dwarf that he had never seen before. On the other side, there was a large Half-Orc that he was familiar with together with another woman adventurer that he somewhat recalled seeing at the guild once or twice.
“... Stop moving around so much…”
Roland called out to the people dangling on the ropes. It was already a miracle that his half-assed plan had worked, he actually expected some of them to tumble down. Luckily the increase in strength thanks to his leveling spree allowed him to be able to support even five people with part of their gear intact. Some of their weapons had been tossed into the dark abyss below but that wasn’t that important.
“Wayland, is that you? What the hell are you doing here?”
“We'll talk later, I’ll pull you up now…”
Instead of chatting, he started pulling everyone into the tunnel opening. Armand was quick to quiet down as he finally realized what kind of situation he was in. Slowly the first person that was Lobelia managed to grab the ledge and pull herself up. Then it was Armand and the other woman that he recognized from the guild. Soon all of them were safe and hugging the ground under them.
“Let’s never do that again…”
Lobelia gave out a sigh while panting, beads of sweat dripping from her forehead. The decision she made was luckily the right one. During the scuffled up top, she had noticed the blinking lights and the hidden message behind them. It was just one word, jump. Normally she wouldn’t have taken this gamble but the image of Wayland popped into her head which pushed her into going with her instincts and jumping.
Wedamir slowly dusted himself off while glancing down towards the rest of the chasm. Even before the jump, he was forced to let go of his tower shield which a large number of monsters was clinging to. Now he was only left with his halberd while Korgak on the other hand was missing his axe.
The half-orc nodded towards Roland that was standing there and also sweating. The whole rescue mission was over but now he had some explaining to do. He was sure that the group would ask about the reason for him being here. While perhaps Armand and Lobelia would keep their mouths shut, the other three were different. Before they could work this out, however, they needed to make sure that they were truly safe.
“Are you just going to be quiet or will you explain yourself, Wayland? What are you doing here?”
The one prying wasn’t actually Armand, instead, Lobelia quickly jumped off the ground and started shouting at him. She was clearly shaken by the near-death experience so he decided not to get into a shouting match and first to calm things down.
“I… this is a secret area that I discovered.”
“A secret area?”
There was no use lying about it now. For them to get out of here he needed to guide them through the secret passages anyway. It was better to just come clean but he still just could keep the other dungeon secret for the time being. Even if it was revealed his connection to the Lich could probably not be proven.
Nothing like this had happened before so he was not actually sure if this wouldn’t have happened eventually even if he didn’t come here. At least that was what he was trying to tell himself. If this was all his fault then he was probably responsible for the deaths the Lich had caused. While he wasn’t directly responsible for the Lich coming here, probably some fault was on his side.
“Yes you’ll see it soon but could you explain one thing to me, what happened up there? What’s with all those skeletons?”
Roland also wanted some answers, what was the Lich doing up there? There was still time to get out of the dungeon and seal it. After evacuating all the lower ranked adventurers they could procure platinum rank adventurers. Together with gold and silver ranks, they would probably be able to kill the lich that could only create lower-level tier 2 monsters. Their numbers could be dwindled by their gold and silver ranks while the platinum went for the kill.
“The skeletons? Sure…”
Lobelia started explaining everything while the group of five started moving away from the tunnel entrance. Roland on the other hand peeked his head out towards the runic items that were left behind in the walls. With the signal enhancer there he was still able to see the group of skeletons roaming the area before the chasm.
“What is it doing…? Fuck… we need to move!”
“Huh? What’s wrong? You were the one that wanted me to explain eve…”
“That’s not important, that thing, I mean the Lich… it jumped down, it will be here soon…”
“Huh? It jumped down?”
“Yes, Liches have levitation spells, it will be able to get in here, now go!”
The whole party glanced at each other before quickly bolting towards the unlit tunnel. They were unwilling to fight a tier 3 monster even if it was six against one. The only realistic way out of this was to escape…
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