314 Those Blocking the Way
We arrived at the stairway to floor two without any problem.
But an appalling object lay in front of the stairway.
Kidd carefully approached this object to check on it.
"Barido... He's dead... And it's..."
Yep, Barido who fled back then had managed to reach this spot.
Yet something doesn't look right. His back. Barido is dead lying face down. With a huge gaping wound on his back. It must have been fatal seeing how deep the injury is.
"I don't sense any presence around here. Also, the blood trails lead to the stairway. This is most likely..."
Melgis checked surrounding traces. Firuna added her hypothesis.
"Barido was cut down by someone on floor two and escaped back to floor three. I see, he chose to get rid of Barido."
"Discarding him like garbage after outliving his usefulness or something? Ugh, these people are just the worst."
"Marquis Alestain did this huh. I suppose they're lying in wait on floor two then."
Mary and Danku were sure the marquis is behind this. I added.
"I guess this marquis guy had double, triple fold plans ready huh?"
Regardless if Barido succeeded or not, the marquis would nab it all in the end.
He only ever saw 'Ring of Light' adventurer party as a foil, or more correctly a disposable pawn.
I'm sure there's other terms that fit more, but that should be about right. Though, had Barido proved himself usable, the end result would probably look different.
"They're definitely blocking the path ahead. It'd be a pain I'm sure~. Is there another path?"
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I asked if there were another passages leading outside. But the reply didn't sound promising.
"There might be one. Or might be none. This floor three is incredibly vast. There's always a possibility of another undiscovered stairway that connects to the surface existing."
"But that ain't an option we could take. We've only got so much food and water. Nowhere near enough to find this passage. Neither time nor manpower's on our side. Heck, who knows how long finding one in this huge forest even gonna take with just us."
"Even if there were one, I do not believe we would be able to quickly find it by luck."
Kidd, Melgis and Danku replied while smiling wryly. Meaning this stairway is our only ticket outside.
"What should we do? There's absolutely no way he's willing to listen with Barido like this. I might as well blow them all up from the get go, shouldn't I."
"Mary, that will be our last resort. It is important to always be prepared. However, we must make sure to 'conduct ourselves'. Remember that we are not 'mob'."
Resorting to killing only after it's clear it must be done. Otherwise we're no better than criminals.
Firuna calmed Mary down with that reasoning.
But that approach could end up with us getting led around by the nose, missing the best chance to strike. You need a very careful judgment.
What's more troubling is how the marquis could claim that Barido created this mess on his own and the marquis took care of him.
Even if that was a lie, simply bringing it up would be enough to stop us from making a move.
"Now then, where does this lead to I wonder? We've got the core. And we're bringing that to the association yeah? So if someone tries to take that by force or stand in our way, how should we deal with them?"
My question is extremely basic. I'm not familiar with adventurers.
Weirdly enough, that fact also allows me to see what's truly important.