The exit is right ahead. As I squinted my eyes to shield from the light at the end of the tunnel, we finally made our way out.
Wonder how many hours that took. The sun is already high up in the sky.
"Aah, aah, aah... Graaaamps!"
An emotional reunion between a grandkid and her gramps. The scene looked like it was moving in a slow motion. Not to forget the glittering light as the backdrop.
But my eyes popped wide open at that abrupt scream.
That was the gramps's. The running Minya suddenly made a sidestep and threw an exquisite javelin punch on the gramps' face, a clean, no a critical hit.
Her timing and distance closing step were simply superb.
The gramps got blown away and spun in mid air like something you'd see in a gag manga.
The entire chain of events happened so fast.
"You blockhead geezer! What were you thinking running off on your own without consulting me! Do you even realize how worried you made me?! Shutting yourself in a cave for month to end with no contact, I'm sure you never even think about me your grandkid! Of course you don't! After all, your head is full of stuff about debts, there's no room for me!"
"W-wait, you've got it wrong, I'm always thinking about you..."
"Then let me tell you how I really feel here! This shitty geezer won't get it unless it's driven through his thick skull! Listen well! I don't care if our store closes down as long as I have you, gramps! We can work on our debts bit by bit no matter how much! No, as long you're alive, no pain is too much to go through! I won't forgive you if you die from something so trivial in the future! You're the only family I have left, gramps... I don't want to lose you too.. Don't leave me alone..."
Minya squeezed that last line in tears.
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"...Forgive me... It was selfish of me."
The two finally let it all out as they hugged each other, happy for finally reuniting.
"Aah, sorry to butt in during this moving moment, but we gotta move outta here, pronto!"
"Eh?" the two turned to look at me in puzzlement.
"Just move your legs! Time's a ticking! Come on! Stand up! Run!"
An unbelievable number of Skeletons stood in our path when we made our way out here.
But they completely stopped spawning midway through which I found curious but gave no further though since we reached the exit soon after.
However, that was a bad idea. Letting my guard down was a bad idea.
Watching the family drama unfolding right before my eyes had delayed my reaction.
I could hear a tremor and rumbling coming from inside the mine.
The two finally felt it as well, their faces went pale before immediately proceeding to run.
Yep, it's a sign of the dungeon collapsing which can be felt even from here.
Now that it's lost the structural reinforcement from mana, the dungeon is quickly collapsing.
Unlike ordinary tunnels which are dug out while accounting for directions and soil integrity, the Crystallized Mana directly 'Remodel'-ed the dungeon with mana, skipping all other processes.
Once that mana support is gone, more and more cracks keep growing until it crumbles down altogether.
The Crystallized Mana is the Dungeon Core. A collapse could be avoided while it was still inside. But what if it got brought outside?
With the mana reinforcement completely cut off, the dungeon immediately entered vanishing stage.
This is completely logical. It's like a house going down once you remove its central pillars.
As I ran away from the mine, a chill ran down my spine thinking how I narrowly escaped with my life when I decided not to smash the Crystallized Mana back then.