Chapter 227 Strongest Sage, Witnesses Site
A bit later.
We reached the heart of the Sixth Source without encountering any obstacle along the way.
『Here it is.』
『So this is the heart of the Sixth Source... It's so big... I can't see the bottom...』
An artificial lake called 『Central Storage Lake』 is in the heart of a Source.
500 meters in diameter, 2000 meters in depth.
At the bottom of this gigantic lake lies a magic tool that produces enormous amount of water.
One man is sitting down by the side of the lake.
--It's the masked man who was transporting the poison from before.
Next to him is the bag with poison the man was carrying.
The bag is written with 『Special Disinfectant. Wear mask when deploying.』
Looks like the poison is being disguised as a disinfectant for water supply.
Well, that's only real obvious.
After all, no one will be suspicious of disinfectant being in a Waterworks Bureau's warehouse and having it poured into the Source.
Ordinary disinfectant would have some toxicity as well to kill fungus, so it can be used as a reason to put on a defensive magic augmented mask.
The masked man is watching a hourglass next to the poison-filled bag.
Looks like there's a set time to release the poison.
『...We just need to stop that guy right... Doesn't seem like he's got a defensive magic on, should I shoot with my bow?』
『Nah, an arrow will likely get caught in the detection net... If you look closely, this reservoir is full of magical detectors.』
I point at the nearby ground.
There's a magic tool that can detect air current put in there.
Magic tools that detect air current have a shortcoming of giving off false alarms even with the slightest of wind.
Thus, it's not used in places where there's a high foot traffic and of course, outside.
However, that high sensitivity is precisely why it's hard to deceive.
As it would immediately react if the surrounding air current got disturbed even a little.
It's unlike mana detectors that can be eluded simply by erasing your mana.
This reservoir is filled to the brim with such detectors since it's exactly 『a place without foot traffic』.
The land part is of course full of it, but since the detectors have also been set inside of the lake, walking above the lake by setting up barrier above the water surface is not safe from them.
Only reason why we didn't get detected is because the entrance to the Central Storage Lake's shore is the only part without any detector.
It's probably to prevent false alarms.
I can't guess just by looking what'd happen if we got caught by these detectors... but there's no doubt it's nothing good.
From our enemy's point of view, blowing up the entire reservoir in a huge explosion along with any intruder that was detected is no big deal at all to them after all.
The person in charge of putting in the poison wouldn't be safe as well if that were to happen... but they're not one that would care about that.
『Uwaah. That sounds annoying... Can we even get to the other side without alarming these?』
『We should manage somehow if we're careful... Wait here a bit.』
I erase my presence with magic, and approach the man while being careful not to trigger the detectors.
On my way there... The masked man made a move.
It's not like he noticed me.
The man's line of sight is locked on a hourglass in his hand.
It must be simply the time to put in the poison.
『That guy moved!』
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『He'd put the poison into the lake at this rate!』
『Yeah. I won't make it in time.』
I carefully make my way while being careful of the magical detectors.
There's no particular need to stop the poisoning.
『Err... Is it alright not to stop him?』
『Once the poison got in the water, it would take about three hours for it to flow outside with the water. We've just got to take care of it during that period... Besides, even if we just leave this alone, the situation won't change from yesterday anyway.』
『Ah oh yeah. This country's water has been poisoned for a long time now but everyone is still all fine.』
『That's that... Well that doesn't seem to apply to the person pouring the poison though.』
I look at the masked man.
He's tidying up the poison bag while staggering around with a pale face.
He's clearly lacking life force.
There's no way you can completely prevent the poison with a mask that just covers face.
The masked man seems to have lost quite a lot of life force from the concentrated poison, he's losing his strength.
...He could collapse any time now.
Looking again, there are many bloodstains around the man.
There must have been other similar masked men coming here up until now.
And they all collapsed on the spot right after pouring the poison.
While thinking that, I managed to get close to the masked man.
As there's no detector magic tools near the man, killing him here is easy... but he might be holding onto some info, and unlike the dollmaster, it feels like this man is only being manipulated.
...For now, I'll just knock him out.
I throw a simple magic on the man, knocking him out.
The man muttered as he fell down.
『I... gotta protect the water supply... If I don't, epidemic will, this country...』
Looks like the man is merely a hardworking staff member of the Waterworks Bureau.
He's lost quite a lot of life force, but apparently this man is inherently very tough, his basic stamina is pretty high.
He probably won't die even if we leave him alone here.
『Alright, after checking up the security of other places, let's open that particular hidden room. Getting hit by a pincer attack when we got to the hidden room would be the worst possible scenario after all.』
Afterward, I went back to the girls and led the way back to the path we took.
I know that the enemy is hiding in the hidden room that's connected to the warehouse outside, but if there are demons lurking in other locations, and they carry out a pincer attack on us, it'd be the worst.
To prevent that, first we need to secure all visible spots.