170 Child Mind and Conclusion of Inference
Zenan followed us inside. Fine by me so long as he doesn't cause trouble. But this guy's seriously noisy. I'm fed up.
"I shall watch over you so you won't do anything foolish and make things worse. I won't take any complain!"
Chimera cried out once, 'Meow' ignoring the guy. It's been perching on my shoulder since this morning. In a relaxed pose of course.
"Oy, what in tarnation is that thing? I've been wondering for a while, just what?"
(You ask that now...? How lacking of critical thinking are you?)
I ignore the guy. He should have caught sight of Chimera whenever he turned his vision at me, why would he ask now?.
The cave is quite spacious inside. The width and height is just enough to swing your sword around. The path ahead is a straight one.
"Why's it so bright? Here I was sure we'd need a light source."
I had taken a torch out of magic bag. Yet the surrounding areas are brightly lit to not warrant one.
"The mana spreading out of Dungeon Core is filling the walls, affording them to emit lights."
I thought that was just too convenient an explanation, but then I recalled how the goblins died outside.
(They did disperse lights bright enough for me to distinguish even though it was in mid noon. Mana light or something?)
Lights that dazzling would easily illuminate this cave for sure.
Despite thinking that, my state of mind reverted to that of a child at this point.
Have you ever experienced something like this in your childhood? Going on an adventure to new places, entering a cramped space to make your own hideout nobody knows.
Children play. I don't think you can blame me getting similarly excited with this 'grown up' version of that.
However I'm still retaining enough composure to keep myself from shouting out loud, 'This is so thrilling!'
"Now's a good time to put out my theory, at least until we arrive at the innermost spot."
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I couldn't stand the nervous silence, so I opted to speak what I came up with.
"First, the Dungeon Core expanded this cave size. So magic beasts or monsters could stumble inside. That was when a lone goblin wandered inside and arrived at the core. Magic beasts are animals that survive getting bathed in mana over a long period of time right?"
"Yes, that's right... could it be? A goblin took in the Dungeon Core mana and mutated!?"
"Yep. I believe that's the likeliest explanation. Thus that goblin settled in this cave and gradually got stronger over time. Serena, how do you usually find dungeons to remove here?"
"The mana in this forest would at time flow irregularly and converge in one spot. It's practically assured that we would find a small Dungeon Core right next to this convergence. We immediately destroy the core whenever we find one. As mana in this forest is quite dense, we are always on the lookout for one. But it is unusual for no one to catch a wind of this particular core..."
"What if that goblin kept absorbing this leaking mana over its limit? The flow of mana never escaped outside and yet the Dungeon Core would keep growing. And that goblin managed to survive."
"!? Oy! There is simply no way a mere goblin could endure that! Taking in more mana than your vessel can hold will result in an implosion, it'd turn into dust!"
Seemingly unable to bear that possibility, Zenan denied my theory in a panic.
"So yeah, this goblin was a stray that got lost in this cave, alone."
"...The goblins that rushed outside died without leaving their bodies behind... are you saying that?"
I paid Zenan no heed and resumed talking to Serena. Then I postulated a potential answer for the last issue.
"Yep, you've probably guessed right. If those goblins were created from the mana leaking out of Dungeon Core, then there should be a base goblin they take after. And goblins are the only type of monsters that have been created. Then that lone goblin must be producing those goblins on purpose. The longer you let this be, this forest will eventually get overrun by goblins, until the point of no return."
"Once it comes to that, it doesn't matter even if we move our settlement..."
"Yep. Goblins will rule over this forest. Not only that, they will eventually infringe upon human inhabited zones, causing an unprecedented calamity. Too late to do anything."
Zenan turned pale as he finally got a sense of crisis from what I said.
They may just be goblins, you can't shrug off strength in number. Even if each of the elves is a warrior that matches a thousand, they likely can't avoid casualty.
And if it's got to the point where the goblins fill the entire forest, they'll be out of their depth. Those goblins would spread out in all directions so eliminating them all at once would be difficult.
"We absolutely must put a stop to it now. Milord, we beseech you to lend us your power."
"Come on now, no need to repeat that. I'm here exactly for that reason after all."
Settling this problem once and for all inside this narrow cave would be best. It would be foolish of us to avert our eyes from this.
Postponing to deal with a problem that you know will end in the worst possible outcome will only make for an even worse outcome.
(I knew this was a mess, but who could have imagined it would connect to the demise of human world... wait, am I not a commoner? This crap is way over my head.)
Where's hero, sage, knight king or a holy swordsman or something? Heck I'd even take cursed blade wielders.
Those types should have been the ones dealing with this kind of stuff, why does a commoner who wishes nothing but a peaceful life like me get dragged into this?
I could never come up with an answer to that. I am a commoner after all.
For better or worse, there's nothing I can do if I get swept up in a mess. All the more if I'm the only actor capable of cleaning up the mess.
It'd leave bad taste if I just went my merry way here and the damage reached human world.
I was prepared for the worst but I couldn't help but felt, 'Why me?" still.
"Oops, looks like we're here. Let's take cover and check things out first."
It was a dome shaped open space. Around the size of an elementary school gym.
Then at the center of this innermost depths. A scenery I had predicted could be seen.