I had traded Bogochan’s Necklace to the Magma Giant. Since then, I haven’t found a necklace that I liked.
Of course, I bought a necklace with strong magic resistance from the Accessories Store and am currently wearing it, but it wasn’t at a satisfactory level.
But, ‘The Necklace of the Golden Sphinx?’ Even the name alone made me feel like I hit the jackpot.
I also received a piece of an old map. I needed just one more piece, and that came out today.
In other words, the Demon Cave Clearing to earn map pieces is finally over.
Of course, I cannot let the temple know about this fact. The temple is connected to the Ameri Kingdom, so only the shell of the Church of the Sun can remain when the Ameri Kingdom attacks the headquarters of the Church of the Sun.
Either way, it is not the time to be thinking about that right now.
The map is already in my hands. Right now, I need to aim for the things that are not in my hands yet.
Something I cannot get if I don’t get it right now.
I quickly took out the magic bag and filled it with the Golden Sphinx’s blood.
‘Thank God. I was lucky.’
When will I be able to meet a golden monster again?
That was why I bought 10 magic bags in order to gather as much blood as possible whenever I saw one.
But I was being too greedy. After gathering the blood up, it barely filled up a single bag. I did open up the second bag, but it didn’t manage to fill even 10% of it.
It is because the magic bag had a large storage space while the amount of blood flowing from the heart was less than I expected.
The monsters around the area were to blame as well. They continued to attack me while I was gathering the blood, making it impossible to focus.
They forced me to swing my sword with one hand while gathering the blood with the other, which meant that a lot of it was spilled to the side.
‘Ah, so annoying! You damn monsters!’
I quickly tied up the bag and started to properly swing my twin blades around.
It was my angry slashing toward the petty(?) monsters.
The Demon Cave Clearing Squad members also helped by using fire marbles, fire magic, and support magic, allowing us to get rid of all of the monsters in less than 5 minutes.
‘Aww, what a waste!’
I looked down at the blood that was on the ground next to the Golden Sphinx. I probably could have filled three whole bags if I had been able to save all of that.
It started to slowly disappear as time went on.
I suddenly felt someone’s gaze on me. When I turned around to look, Shione was looking at me with a meaningful gaze. She was asking if I found the piece of the old map.
I laughed lightly. That was enough of a response for her.
Shione also had a extremely subtle smile before it quickly disappeared again.
“Let’s head out now.”
In the middle of the night.
I was still staying at the luxurious guestroom of the Athena Temple. Thanks to the extreme hospitality from Shione, as well as the other female priestesses, I felt like royalty while I was here.
Maybe that was why I always started to smile whenever I came in here.
But today, that smile was wider than usual. It was because of the drops from this Demon Cave.
[The Necklace of the Golden Sphinx]
Magic Resistance +20
Lightning Sphere Skill: Cooldown 10 seconds
I had been feeling that my vitality and magic were both not where I wanted them to be. I just held back because I wanted to raise my agility to the maximum level first.
The thing I liked the most was the Lightning Sphere skill. It should be very useful when I am in danger.
Anyways, it was making me feel like I made a smart decision to trade Bogochan’s Necklace with the Magma Giant. Even if I had Bogochan’s Necklace, I would have picked this Golden Sphinx Necklace over it.
That was how much I liked the effects of this necklace.
I heard a knock on the door while I was smiling by myself.
I quickly put the necklace on my neck.
The door opened and Shione entered.
Shione really looks the best in this pure white priestess outfit. The Leather armor and robe combo she wore in the Demon Cave was pretty as well, but it did not measure up to the priestess outfit.
It felt like my eyes were being purified.
Would you like some Cannaba Tea?”
“Thank you very much.”
Shione poured two cups of Cannaba Tea. While she did that, I pulled over the chair on the side for her.
Shione offered me a cup as she sat down on the chair.
“Did you find the last piece?”
Instead of responding, I took a small piece of the map out of my bag.
Shione’s face lit up with a bright smile. She then took out all of the map pieces she was hiding under her robe and handed them to me.
“Please quickly put them together.”
Shione’s voice lightly shook as she said that.
My heart was pounding as well. I will finally get a path to utilizing Spirit Energy.
I put the map pieces on the bed. There were a total of twelve of them.
I put the pieces together like I was completing a puzzle. Suddenly, I saw a dim light coming from the map.
Shione grabbed my hand.
“I think this is it.”
I saw it too. Within the dim light, the pieces came together to show a completed map.
I stopped moving my hands and Shione and I both looked over the map.
All of the lines on the map were really faint. The map was also not in good quality, with some areas looking like they were erased. Most importantly, it was written in strange characters, making it extremely difficult to make anything out of it.
“Where do you think it is?”
“I’m not really sure. It doesn’t look like a terrain I’ve crossed. All I can tell is that there is a large mountain range.”
I can see the mountain range as well. But this Muon continent has way too many mountain ranges for that to be any help as a clue.
I need to look for another clue.
Shione and I looked through the map for a while longer. We were extremely close to each other, with our faces being able to easily touch, but both Shione and I were completely focused on the map, not leaving any time to feel any weird emotions.
Then, suddenly, something caught my eye.
“What do you think this is?”
“Is it a river?”
I thought it was a river at first too. But the more I look at it, the more I feel like it isn’t a river.
“Then why would it cut off here? And this …… hmm?”
I was following the squiggly line that seemed to mark a river, before stopping at the end. There seemed to be some type of stain right there.
But when I took a closer look, it was not a stain.
It was a city. Well, it was too small to be a city, but too big to be a village.
As I took a look at the roads and villages as a whole, it suddenly made me think of a place.
But it doesn’t seem like Shione has realized it yet.
“Why? Do you think you might know where …… omo!”
We both turned our heads toward each other and became shocked. Our faces were so close that our lips almost touched.
Both Shione and I stepped back to created some distance.
But it was not the time to be caught up in that type of atmosphere. My beating heart was also beating because of the map, not because of Shione.
I responded to her as quietly as possible.
“I think I know where it is.”
Shione’s eyes opened extremely widely.
“Where is it?”
I debated telling her the name of the region before quickly changing my mind. There was no advantage in Shione knowing where it is.
It wasn’t like Shione could accompany me there. She needs to remain in the temple and prepare for the next Demon Cave Clearing. The temple still thinks that we have not found the last piece of the map.
“I think it would be better if priestess-nim didn’t know about it. I will go and verify the location of the Church of the Sun. Once I go there and get rid of the evidence, the Ameri Kingdom would not be able to progress any further even if they do find the location.”
Shione had a slightly disappointed expression.
But she was not stubborn about it. Neither Shione nor I would benefit if there was a conflict and we clashed with each other right now.
“Please trust me.”
“I understand. I will trust you.”
I split the map into pieces again. Since it was only gathered together with a magic force, putting just a little bit of strength broke it apart into the original pieces.
The next morning.
The bishop looked extremely shocked.
“Again? Where are you going to go this time?”
The bishop seems to be misunderstanding something.
Well, that is human nature. If you are always nice to someone, they are going to think, ‘That person is always a nice person.’
The bishop was the same way. Since I always participated in the Demon Cave Clearing Squad without many conditions, he seems to be thinking that I am a, ‘Pawn associated with the temple.’
Maybe that was why, but the slightly respectful tone was gone and he was talking very informally with me now. Which means, he is thinking lightly of me.
Might as well change that mentality around right now.
“Is there a reason for me to report my every move to you, bishop-nim?”
“……Hmm? T, that ……”
The bishop looked like he was smacked in the face. He was so shocked at my sudden verbal attack that he could not even speak properly.
“Honestly speaking, is there a reason for me to continue being a part of the Demon Cave Clearing Squad? It isn’t like the temple has given me a proper reward or anything.”
“Haven’t we given you a reward every time?”
Of course, they did give out rewards. I always received Intelli points, and I managed to raise the amount even further by gambling it each time. I also receive the, ‘Athena Temple’s Healing Potion,’ as a special reward from time to time as well.
However, those rewards are things any Demon Cave Clearing Squad members can receive. Which means, the fact that they only give those types of rewards to me shows that they do not consider me to be special.
I nodded my head at the bishop’s words.
“You’re right. You did reward me. And I don’t need that type of reward anymore. So I don’t need to participate in any more Demon Cave Clearing Squads now right? It’s not like the temple will lose anything from my not taking part.”
The bishop’s expression turned pale.
“No, that …… did you have an issue with the reward? Then why didn’t you tell me your concerns?”
He seems to finally understand my value as a Demon Cave Clearing Squad member. His tone returned back to the old respectful tone as well, and he was the one to bring up a discussion about a proper reward.
I wonder if he will be able to bring out a reward that would satisfy me.
Of course, I still plan on coming back to participate in the next Demon Cave Clearing Squad, even without the reward, for Shione.
Since we have said that we have not collected all of the map pieces, Shione will need to go into the Demon Cave once more.
However, since the bishop does not know about that, I hold the knife in this negotiation.
“Is there another reward you would like?”
He wants me to name it?
To be honest, I didn’t bring up the issue because of the reward. I just mentioned it because I wanted the bishop to see the reality of the situation. I also wanted to create a reason to be away for a while.
But if you’re going to lay down the red carpet, I will gladly dance for you.
What kind of reward should I bring up?
There’s nothing that comes to mi……!
‘Ah! There is one!’
But the question is whether the temple will hand that over. It is an extremely special item.
Having it is like having an extra life.
Might as well give it a go. I had nothing to lose.
“Unicorn’s Horn Flute.”
“Didn’t we already give you one of those?”
Indeed, you have. I still have it in my bag.
But did you know this?
“Isn’t the Unicorn’s Horn Flute the type of thing that is ‘the more the better’?”
The end of the bishop’s sentence trailed off. That mean that he was extremely conflicted.
‘Oho! Take a look at this!’
The fact that he is extremely conflicted means that, depending on the negotiation, I really might be able to receive a Unicorn’s Horn Flute as a reward.
Then it is a jackpot.
I am the one with the knife here anyways. I can be a bit pushy in a situation like this.
“Anyways, I am tired right now. Even if you said you are going to give me a Unicorn’s Horn Flute, I will need to take a break for at least a couple of months. You can leave a note for me with the Magician’s Tower if you make up your mind.”
The bishop could not say anything back. His mind seemed to be full of the Unicorn’s Horn Flute right now.
It made sense, even the Athena Temple did not have an unlimited supply of the Unicorn’s Horn Flute. It would also need the approval of the headquarters of the Athena Temple as well.
I’m sure many things will require a long time for him to come to a decision.
“And I am saying this because I am worried, but I’m sure you remember what happened with the last Demon Cave Clearing Squad. If you plan on creating a Demon Cave Clearing Squad without me, make sure you pay a significant amount of attention to the members you select.”
I’m sure that was enough for him to understand.
If they pick incorrectly, the entire Demon Cave Clearing Squad will be killed.
The most important thing is, of course, Shione’s sacrifice. She might be able to save her life because of the Unicorn’s Horn Flute, but it will be better to give that Unicorn’s Horn Flute to me than to create such a situation.
“Then I will be on my way now. Thank you for everything until now.”
I stopped there and started to walk away.
“That …… you see ……”
I could hear the bishop’s extremely weak voice behind me, but I did not even look back. There was something more important to deal with right now.
‘The headquarters of the Church of the Sun.’
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Translator : Miraclerifle
Proofreader :Borderline Masochist