Almost there! Next one is where the action comes in! Enjoy the chapter~
That night, I headed to a small garden with a fountain near the West Dorm.
Klaus and Auguste were already there.
“It seems that the monastic dragon knights have taken control of the sky.”
Klaus frowned and looked up at the sky.
I’ve never heard of such a situation, but why do they have to be patrolling tonight?
“Do the dragon knights usually patrol at night?”
“It’s nothing unusual. It’s not known to everyone, but they fly at night. However, it may be better to check if there are dragons inside the school for guarding the ground.”
After saying so, Auguste pressed his temple with his left hand.
It seems that he’s expanding the range of his telepathic ability.
“Hmm, as far as I can see, looks like the dragons are only patrolling in the sky. It seems we can do it tonight. I know their patrolling route and I will ask the children who may find us to turn the other way……oh no, this is bad.”
Auguste covered his left eye hurriedly.
Something is wrong.
“What’s the matter, Auguste-sama?”
“I was found out by Professor. No, not only was I found out, but also for a moment there, he hijacked my left eye.”
Speaking of Professor, he was the Theurge who was inside that black dragon, huh.
I remember that the reason we held off investigating the museum last time was also due to Professor.
Auguste continued his words while looking dispirited.
“He made plenty of snide comments, such as how careless I was as the Crown Prince, to be wandering about at this time……and Klaus. Sorry, you were also found out.”
“Haa? How come?”
“I guess it’s either because he saw you when he took over my vision or your presence was caught in Professor’s telepathic range.”
I wonder what I should do, now that this happened.
I’ve been preparing for this with enthusiasm, but if this continues as is, it is likely that I would also be preached to.
Being lectured this late at night, that’s a bit harsh.
“That means I also……”
“No, it doesn’t seem like you were discovered. You happened to be a bit out of sight, and Aurelians are less likely to be caught in the telepathic range. Since that is the case, if you want to go, you should do it now.”
“Eh, is that okay?”
“You’re not someone who would return to the dormitory obediently, right? We’ll join you once our business is over. Well, it’s because I’ve become familiar with situations like this.”
“That’s not something to be proud of though.”
When Auguste said so, Klaus nodded while looking annoyed.
“Then, I will take up your kind offer……Auguste-sama, Klaus-sama, please be safe~!”
“Don’t force yourself until we catch up! Promise me!”
“In the worst case, I will send Goldberry to your location~!”
It’s a little disheartening that I wouldn’t have those two with me.
But, well, I’ve brought a lot of items and there is also Tirnanog by my side.
I fled from the spot and headed towards the Phantom Beast Museum.
I ran past the school building and arrived at the Phantom Beast Museum on the other side.
Unexpectedly, there are fewer patrols than usual, I wonder why.
“It would be nice if the rest of the investigation goes smoothly like this.”
First of all, after entering the hall via Passwall with Tirnanog, I used Magic Mapping.
Looking at the finished map, all the rooms that seem like storage rooms for specimens had stairs in them.
Maybe the specimens are stored in the basements too.
But, simply having them interconnected would have been fine then.
Having one or two stairs would be enough, so why several?
“This is strange.”
『Umu. One of these should be our target.』
“Let’s go and check.”
First thing first, we should move closer and investigate the suspicious parts in detail using Glam Sight.
If it is difficult or dangerous to enter, I’ll scrutinize it further using the Eyes of Overworld.
I decided to go through the exhibition area of the museum and to the area where the storage rooms are lined up along with Tirnanog.
While moving through the dark hallway, I found a shadow below a minotaur bone specimen.
Tirnanog stepped forward as if protecting me.
There was the figure of a familiar girl there.
A girl with light brown hair and icy blue eyes, Chloe Cloacina.
Chloe was in her uniform, but she was armed with a sword at her waist.
“Erica-san? Why are you here?”
Chloe asked with a suspicious look.
“I’m checking out the Seven Wonders, for some reason.”
“For some reason……?”
“Yes, they seem interesting. Of course, I chose the Seven Wonders that would not bother you.”
I gave a friendly smile and pretended to be sightseeing.
Chloe nodded and did not pursue it further.
It seems that I was able to convince her at once.
“Chloe-san, are you still searching for the previously mentioned morgue? I thought this is the 「Staircase to the Underworld」.”
“……I have been going over the school buildings and investigating them one-by-one and this building is the last one.”
Did she investigate the facilities in the academy because she couldn’t get information on the morgue?
I think that’s quite a difficult task.
“You were checking the entire academy?”
“Yeah, I’m thinking about checking all suspicious things. If there’s something evil, I’m going to destroy it. But, no weird phenomena happened.”
“Eh……I saw some of them though.”
An astonished expression flashed in Chloe’s glass-like eyes.
“I also have uncovered the cause of some of them.”
Chloe had a pale face and was faintly shaking.
Because she has spent a lot of effort investigating, I guess it must be shocking for her to know that an outsider has been experiencing the wonders while going on a pleasure jaunt.
However, I wonder why she didn’t encounter the wonders that occur every so often.
(Speaking of which, don’t tell me……)
I tried to say what I was thinking of.
“Some of the wonders are generated by absorbing magical power. Maybe, don’t you carry a snowsilver sword?”
“Swords made of snowsilver ore shouldn’t have any effect if they are contained in their sheaths……aah, don’t tell me, my accessory……?”
“Do you always carry it close on your person?”
“Yeah, except during the magic classes, I always……I see, so it was because of this……!”
Of course she wouldn’t have been able to reach the mirror beyond the Infinite Corridor, which doesn’t work unless one provides magical power.
And maybe because I got to the mist golem ahead of her……
It may also cause some kind of inhibition to the artificial spirit.
However, since this is Dolores we’re talking about, she may not have come out because she feared for her own safety.
“I was always wearing it because it protects me from evil1, but it was also due to this……why didn’t I notice this before……I……”
“It might be better to put the accessory in your room when you’re investigating.”
“Well, since now I know the cause, it will be fine because I have this pouch.”
Chloe took out a pouch from the pocket of her robe.
It was what Brad lent to Chloe in the 〈Judgement’s Room〉.
“I was asked by Clochydd-sensei2 to use it for magic classes and such.”
Chloe put her snowsilver accessory inside the pouch.
That may be how she blocked the effect, even during the Summoning Magic class.
“Uu……I should have used this from the very beginning……”
Only realizing the existence of the pouch now, Chloe appeared to be getting more and more depressed.
“Um, you see, the snowsilver ore is not the only cause, there is also the matter of timing. That, I think, is the most important part.”
I intended to give a follow-up, but the effect seems to be weak.
Chloe opened her mouth while still looking like she was in shock.
“I don’t want to get you involved, Erica-san, but I think it would be better to consult you……I just can’t figure it out alone……”
“You can consult me as much as you like.”
“Thank you……I’m investigating this tonight……”
Chloe presented a map from the pocket of her robe.
It looks like the output of the wand of Magic Mapping that I used previously.
“There is a discrepancy between this map and the sense of walking inside and outside the building.
“It feels a little bit smaller inside than outside.”
I tried to take out the magic map I created earlier and showed it to Chloe.
“This is the map I just made. Let’s compare it with your map.”
I received the map from Chloe and examined the two maps carefully.
Then, I found a slight difference between Chloe’s old map and the new one.
“There is a possibility that a camouflage magic has been made after the older magic map was created. Look, over here.”
One of the hallways is displayed slightly longer on the old map.
It is the furthest hallway lined with the storage rooms in the left side of the museum.
“If it’s this width……I guess it will only be able to hide one door……?”
As I raised my face from the map, my eyes met with Chloe’s.
Even so, to be able to notice the discrepancy just by walking.
It was obvious for me because I checked the maps, but it would have been more difficult if I didn’t use any magic.
If she has been doing the same investigation method on all the buildings in the academy, she must have an amazing willpower.
“Yes, there is a possibility of a hidden door……I wonder if that is the entrance to the morgue?”
“Yeah. It is also possible that it’s the entrance to the 「Staircase to the Underworld」, but……I think it’s the morgue.”
I headed towards the location while talking with Chloe.
At the end of the storage room’s hallway, I used the wand of Glam Sight.
“It looks like the special camouflage magic is only applied at the end of the hallway here.”
When I touched the wall, I felt the sensation of rough and cold stones.
This is a type of illusion that not only fools one’s vision, but all of one’s five senses.
The only salvation is that it’s not a spatial magic that connects different spaces using the previously mentioned Pattern3.
But, what should I do?
This magic doesn’t seem like something that can be solved with my exploration wands.
If Klaus were here, he would have been able to Dispel it quickly.
“If one doesn’t know the correct procedure, they will be stopped subconsciously even when they know that this wall is fake. And because this is not a physical wall, it will not be affected by Passwall……”
“Ah……so that’s what this is.”
As I was thinking, Chloe pulled out her sword from its sheath.
Snowsilver ores have the property of destroying the magic or spells they come in contact with.
Chloe slashed the wall at the end of the hallway with her sword.
The whole wall shook with a ripple and the space became distorted around the slashed part.
The illusory space also seemed to resist the restoration attempt.
However, a crack finally formed on the space as if it could no longer withstand it.
The view of the hallway broke like a broken glass and another hallway could be seen on the other side.
After the illusion shattered and dispersed, a hallway that was a little longer than the original hallway appeared.
At the end of that hallway, there was an ancient-looking and vibrantly-colored door on the left-hand side.
I have a feeling that something is about to happen.
“We did it……let’s go, Erica-san!”
Chloe’s shout of joy resounded.
Unexpectedly, I noticed another problem.
Huh? Wasn’t my purpose to identify and investigate the location first and not to rush into the morgue?
I was supposed to stop Chloe, but I am being swept away by her and am about to head towards the awfully dangerous place.
“Wait, Chloe-san! Don’t go too far because it’s dangerous!”
Before I knew it, Chloe had already disappeared behind the door.
I also rushed through the door to chase after Chloe.
1 It says ‘evil’ but reads as ‘magic’.
2 She doesn’t actually say ‘Clochydd-sensei’ here and only say ‘sensei’, but it was implied, so I put his name there.
3 I have edited ch 121, but this Pattern is something inspired from Chronicles of Amber. See ch 121 note.
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