The Amber Sword Chapter 237: The catacomb

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The entrance to the catacomb was located near the lowest point of the valley. Several broken pillars stood in the dense foliage with vines creeping all over them. If one did not observe them carefully, they would have thought the pillars were green boulders.

Brendel studied the passage that was dug by the mercenaries and gave a faint nod. The youth thought the latter was professionals. He previously dug tunnels in the game as the physical work was left to the warriors and he was quite good at it, so he could tell how the mercenaries performed.

His eyes turned back to the pillars for a second look.

[The corrosion of the pillar’s rock material is very deep. Are these pattern-like things actually words? No, not Kirrlutz or Elven. Perhaps the native Highlanders of the old? They were the ones lording over this place before the King Erik or even the Silver Elves. If this bit of history can be tracked all the way back to the War of the Holy Saints, then this tomb is really old.]

Brendel turned on the system in his eyes but the patterns were showing up as question marks. The points in his side profession, Scholar, was unfortunately insufficient. He initially wanted to pass himself off as a noble but he now thought it as a waste of skill points.

The magicians working for Alistair were starting to chant and create magic orbs of light, and everyone moved into the catacomb. Though the stale air within the catacomb had been let out for quite some time, there was still the odor of decay. The rays of light were a little dim as they proceeded through the dark catacomb. Recesses in the wall could be seen with skeletons laid in them. Some of the skeletons’ bones were broken.

The mercenaries informed Brendel that the card was found in these grave niches. The youth tried sensing if there were anything in them but he did not detect anything, though he felt a mana signature emitting from the front and it caused a tremor in his mind.

Brendel started walking ahead to where he felt the mana signature. Ciel was behind him, while Scarlett and Jana moved respectively at his sides.

The female mercenary commander’s hand was placed on her longsword. Her emerald eyes reflected the dim light, making it seemed like there was a green fire burning in them.

Scarlett gripped her spear and silently watched for any movements in the dark with her amber eyes.

The stench of decay gradually became stronger, and it slowly made the group restless. Romaine held on to Brendel’s hand tightly, but her gleaming eyes had a slight tinge of excitement as they darted all over the place.

The piled sandy soil in the catacomb hindering their path was quickly dug away, revealing a ghastly assortment of light rays. Upon closer inspection, they found that it was a barrier that had runes on it. Its center was thick while the sides were thin, and a look at it made one certain that it was some kind of magic barrier.


“You said you encountered a barrier. Is it something like this?” Brendel asked.

“Yes, My Lord, and we tried various means but we are unable to dispel it,” Alistair promptly answered.

[It’s no wonder. It’s a Chaos Crystalline Barrier, a Sixth Circle Spell. The caster is at least a level 40 Law Wizard. It would be weird if Alistair and the others managed to dispel it.]

“Can you remove it?” Brendel turned towards Ciel and asked.

“Easily,” Ciel replied in a relaxed manner, “now?”

The youth nodded.

The young wizard started to chant and stretched his hand to touch the magic barrier lightly. A black hole on the agate-colored barrier appeared in the center of where his fingers were. The area of the black hole quickly expanded and the entire barrier was gone in an instant.

There was a short moment of silence.

“A simple task. The barrier’s caster should only be at the Sixth Circle,” Ciel said.

He was at the Seventh Circle, and a full Circle was roughly the gap between heaven and earth.

“This spell doesn’t look like it’s meant to protect, but sealing,” Brendel remarked.

“Why?”

Ciel did not understand.

“The Crystalline Chaotic Barrier is a powerful defensive spell. It feels like it’s meant to prevent things from entering it. Typically, barriers meant for guarding tombs or similar things include some kind of attacking nature.”

Ciel clearly did not realize Brendel had seen one too many dungeons in the past.

“You even know about such spells, My Lord?”

“Of course, I’m a Highland Knight from Karsuk,” Brendel kept a poker face.

This time Ciel felt his teeth hurt.

He obviously knew that his master was clearly not a Highland Knight or Highland Wizard.

But the other people around him believed in his words. Other than a Highland Knight, who would be able to bring a wizard around as his squire throughout the city and know so much about an unknown magic spell?

After the barrier was gone, Brendel led the others. He moved cautiously compared to the initial expedition into the catacomb. A defensive barrier might be dangerous, but a sealing barrier meant there was an unknown danger in the passageways.

[Usually sealing barriers tend to mean the area is sort of a mystery until it’s fully explored. There aren’t many places that seal spirits in Aouine, and the most infamous one is in Ampere Seale…… And it’s also a catacomb. I feel like we’re going to run into some serious trouble.]

It was a gigantic burial chamber behind the barrier. Ten-odd solitary pillars stood silently in the dark area, illuminated by the weak light. Numerous coffins were laid in the center and even more recesses could be found on the walls.

[There’s a lot of dust in this area. Undisturbed cobwebs at every nook and cranny. Clearly, this place was not sealed from the beginning, but done so after very much later after this place was constructed. Hmm. According to the barbarians’ customs in the game, the status of these buried people should be higher than the ones outside.]

Brendel tested for signs of mana and discovered four points of blinking light, but there were no Cards of Fate.

A morsel of meat was still meat, and a low-level dungeon would still have something good most of the time. He pointed to the approximate locations of the objects and the apprentices immediately started searching the chamber. Unfortunately, someone knocked over a vase, and the silent place suddenly had grinding noise echoing throughout it.

It did not take long for Brendel to see a few dark figures pushing the cover of the coffins away and climbing out.

“Zombies!” Several of the apprentices yelled with a pale face.

These zombies were level 27 undead zombie mutations. They were close to Silver-rankers, and those that they killed would also become undead creatures. They could be seen as the top killers of low-level adventurers in a dungeon.

The youth watched the terrified men huddle together with amusement and recalled his own first adventure. Because the scenes of the underground dungeons were too realistic, a few of his close friends were so scared that they soiled their pants as they ran out.

He uttered a few chuckles upon remembering them.

But Ciel who was at his side looking at this sight only felt a loss of pride. These apprentices could be considered to be his direct subordinates, and it reflected how he taught them if they reacted poorly.

“What are you panicking for!” The youthful wizard finally could not resist bellowing at them: “Are you trying to head to your deaths by standing where you are while screaming?”

The apprentices seemed to wake up from their stupor, but the Tomb Ghouls had already climbed up the nearby pillars and reached the ceiling. The dim orbs of light did not reach the creatures and it was hardly possible to see them.

It was unclear as to who started casting spells, but the Wall of Air, Rock Armor, Water Shield, and Barrier of Reflection were cast almost all at the same time.

“Set the Orbs of Light on the ceiling!” Alistair ordered.

Several orbs of light were thrown up and immediately attached to the ceiling. The Tomb Ghouls were fond of attacking from dark areas, but there was nowhere for it to launch an ambush at that instant. The hunched monsters were exposed under the light and they uttered angry wails.

“Six….. Seven, eight, there are eight of them!”

The apprentices started chanting, but the Tomb Ghouls moved in a deceptively quick manner unlike their sluggish climb earlier, and they pounced onto the apprentices’ midst. Several men were pushed down, but the Tomb Ghouls’ sharpened fangs were temporarily unable to pierce through their protective measures.

Terrified screams filled the chamber.

Scarlett glared at the monsters and tossed her spear at them, nailing three Tomb Ghouls to the wall, while Jana was already rushing in to get the creatures off the apprentices. She was an intermediate Silver-ranker and though she was not particularly outstanding among Brendel’s subordinates, she was more than a match for a mere level 27 Undead. It only took a few seconds for her sword to pierce through the heads of the Tomb Ghouls holding on to the apprentices.

The final two Tomb Ghouls cowered and retreated deeper into the chamber, but there was no way that Ciel’s apprenticing wizards would allow them to flee. Various colored rays of light lit the burial chamber, and the remaining two monsters were struck by countless magic spells of ice, fire, electricity and Magic Arrows.

The spectacular fireworks even made Brendel open his mouth a little in surprise.

Ciel wiped away the perspiration on his forehead.

The battle started quickly and it did not take long to end. There were a few skeletons that rose slowly after the Tomb Ghouls, but they were eliminated as well.

Brendel took a moment to sigh, casting his thoughts back on how he had trouble dealing with these skeletons when he arrived in this world for the first time, but now even his worst mercenaries and apprentices could deal with these skeletons in a few strikes.

After the battle was over, the apprentices found a few magic talismans based on Brendel’s instructed locations, which were nothing fancy and at a level where an ordinary Alchemist could produce. At best these talismans could ward off minor evil things, and they did not interest him at his level. He told the apprentices to distribute the talismans amongst themselves and the latter cheered intermittently.

The final thing that was shown to Brendel was a magic longsword, and the youth looked at it with a little surprise. The longsword was completely red in color and gleamed like a cornelian gemstone. The longsword’s guard was a pair of Fire Raven, and there were rune-like patterns on both sides of the blade. One look at it and anyone could tell that it was a rare treasure.

[The Fire Raven’s Tongue? That’s one grade below the ‘legendary’ grade. It’s not bad in terms of stats and it can cast a spell that resembles a whip on fire. It’s considered rare equipment in the early stages of the game.]

Brendel’s eyes shifted to Jana’s longsword in its hilt and he told her to take the magic weapon.

“My Lord?”

Jana replied in a puzzled manner, not comprehending the situation until she received the magic weapon with both hands. It was common for low-grade magic weapons to appear in the market, but the longsword in her hands was definitely a real treasure. It was true that Brendel had no use for this longsword since he had Halran Gaia, but he could still have kept it for his closer subordinates.

She truly did not expect that Brendel would give it to her without any hesitation. She caressed the blade with loving fingers. There was no swordsman who did not love swords, especially when it was such a good one.

“Thank you, My Lord. I will definitely treasure it,” Jana spoke with a solemn expression that was rarely shown.

The youth really did not think much of his action. In his eyes, the Fire Raven’s Tongue and other ‘Brass’ rated weapons were ordinary artifacts. Jana was his subordinate, and even if it was a ‘legendary’ rated weapon, he would not hesitate to give her one if it was suitable.

One of the apprentices who went off to scout for any hidden areas came running back and spoke with a pant:

“M-my Lord. There’s a room ahead of us.”

Ciel clicked his tongue in disapproval and turned his face away to pretend he did not see him. These subordinates of his were actually exhausted with just a single battle, and he wondered if he was too lax when he taught them. He decided that he needed to drill them hard when they returned to the city.

“Room, you say, hmm?” Brendel did not really mind the apprentices’ performance.

The truth was he was in even worse shape compared to them during his first adventure in a tomb, and he instead felt a kinship to them like he was watching the newbies running around in a game, who even appeared in high-level areas as though they were lost rabbits.

“Yes. We checked the room but we didn’t find any other passages, My Lord!”

“Huh, that’s the end of the catacomb?” Brendel was slightly surprised and he muttered under his breath: “I didn’t think that it would be this small, but there were indeed quite a lot of mini catacombs like this in the game……”

It was a catacomb, not a labyrinth. The biggest catacomb in the kingdom was in Ampere Seale, and it was really more of a dungeon. Any player who conquered it reached a true milestone in the game.

“Is there anything in the room?” He asked.

“A grand coffin, and many of the cards that you seek.”
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