When the magic power surrounding her dissipated, a woman looking closely 『Japanese』 with black hair and eyes, and wearing a witch outfit, took form. The woman slowly approached and talked to me.
「I’d like to praise you for doing great, and I’m sorry that the dungeon defence mechanism caught you at the end. Thanks to that though, I’d say I’m lucky that you ended up here. It makes me really happy」
「Ah, Sorry about that. I got a bit too excited since I haven’t met anyone for quite a long time. You can rest assured as I am currently holding back the system around us. That one is also coming to help you using that string on your wrist. You will be able to return later」
「Umm, who are you?」
I asked the person who suddenly just went on a non-stop barrage talking. After all, it felt like she would just continue without stopping if I didn’t intervene.
「Ah, that was bad of me. For now, let us introduce ourselves」
Is what she said after realizing her mistake and while bowing down.
「My name is Cerberica Akabane. I am one of the 16 great witches that created this dungeon and a descendant of a Hero」
Oh, a surprise character showed up. I didn’t expect to actually meet the creator of this dungeon that the old man mentioned. I wonder if I should be careful about how I speak myself……no, I don’t think I need to and I want to hear more about this place.
「……I see, I’m Aidle. I have a lot of other things to ask, but first of all. What’s with the mechanism of the floor after 20?」
「It was my masterpiece」
「No, that was just insanity!! I even thought I would die, you know!!?」
「Fuhahaha, that’s just the privilege of a Dungeon Maker……Sorry about that, but I had to do it. I really had to, anyway…………Aidle, could you handover the Holy Armor for a bit?」
「Eh, okay, here」
After reluctantly taking out the armor and handing it to her, Cerberica touched the armor as if observing it. I could also feel she was holding onto something dear to her.
「I see…it has finally returned………yoshi, that should be good enough. You can have it back」
「Are you okay with that?」
「It’s fine, I’m just a bit fond of it. I would like to thank you for purifying it. Now then, we shall proceed to the main subject. That armor would also be quite relevant to you in the future」
The witch then waved her hand and something resembling a video screen appeared. It seems like it was showing something set in the past. It was about the humans that have disappeared from the records of history.
「I was born from a person known as the 『Sage』 who partnered with a Hero. During that time, in order to counter the Demon King a few Heroes would be summoned, but they would usually be alone. A lot of things happened in this world and the Heroes did long for the previous world, but two people fell in love and I was the result. They fought the Demon King but……they died」
「Did they failed?」
「No, they were betrayed by another Hero. It was a real tragedy」
After the fight, black smoke erupted from the remnants of the Demon King and possessed the Holy Armor of the dead Hero.
「Normally, a Holy Armor would lose all of its power in order to not be exploited by others and could only be activated by another Hero. However, while the holy armor was still in the middle of diminishing its power the Demon King’s soul possessed it. The Demon King was able to do it because it possessed powerful skills under the Curse Branch. As a result, the Armor was transformed into a hideous monster」
Moments after that, the possessed Armor went berserk, killing the remaining heroes one after another. When everyone was dead it then stood in front of the Demon King’s throne. As the video continued, the view changed into a tattered royal castle and a cityscape full of monsters.
「It was supposed to be a Country, yes. But it has now turned into a dungeon」
「Ah, as expected……」
And so in this world where the Hero that was supposed to wield it disappeared, a Cursed Armor was left behind. A pitiful possessed armor that couldn’t rest and would only curse and kill everything that came near.
「After that event, the world went into turmoil. None of the heroes came back after all. Everywhere was a hellish picture due to the damage received from monsters. But I wanted to save that armor, the armor that was left behind by my father. It was the only keepsake that remained……that’s why along with my friends, we developed it. The 『Dungeon Creation Magic』」
「Wait, aren’t dungeons a created via natural phenomenon?」
「That’s right. You could consider a dungeon a mutation of a monster that manipulates 『Space』 and it is created by absorbing the surrounding environment. In exchange though, a 『Dungeon Core』 would also be created along with it. One won’t normally find it, but there will always be one within it.」
「And we got a hold of one of those dungeon cores」 she continued. Using the altered dungeon core and it’s features, they encapsulated the armor and sealed it in the depths of the newly created dungeon, never to be seen by anyone again. They then changed the dungeon to make it look like a naturally generated one.
「The 20th layer is supposed to be an area where no normal human would be able to pass, and would even trouble Heroes unless the possess a skill called 『Trap Removal』at 『EX』 rank. I was really surprised by a small group of people that cleared the areas with such great momentum. And with their non-stop advance they even reached the point of defeating that Armor. I couldn’t help but laugh at the hilarity being presented to me to the point that my stomach was hurting.」
「O, Oh, is that so……by the way, why do you call yourselves witches?」
「The answer is simple. A Dungeon is a Monster that is harmful to humans. And we created such a munster, that’s when we got labeled as 『Witches』. In actuality though, there were those who supported us even while knowing that people would hate us to the point that they would want to eliminate us. I don’t know how my other friends passed… My only regret is that I was not able to witness it. After all, I used myself to become a pillar managing this dungeon.」
「Eh, wasn’t that the old man’s job?」
Hearing me, her happy expression changed and she became a bit dark. Her tone of voice also became depressed. She then turned off the video with her hands, and with a voice as if making a confession to atone, she answered.
「About that kid……it was just an unexpected incident that caused it. We simply did not expect that a fairy would actually manifest in the dungeon core. And because that happened, the administrative controls that I was handling were suddenly taken away from me. Halfway after being born, he was merged with the core and and since I lost some administrative functions, I was not able to interfere or do anything about it」
That’s probably how her biggest miscalculation started, and also the beginning of the old man’s misfortune.
「But, can’t you communicate via the dungeon core?」
「Didn’t I tell you already? I am nothing but a soul. I have taken form now because of the influx of magic power, but I was not able to do that at the time he was appointed as the manager……it was really vexing. All I could do was watch that one desperately learn things as he watched the adventurers that enter the dungeon……that’s why, this time I have the chance and I would like to do everything I could possibly do. It’s kind of ironic that the being that was able to help the both of us was from a similar race as him. That little has finally been freed……」
Because I forcefully removed the administrative functions, Cerberica was able to return as the administrator, and laughed happily from the bottom of her heart.
Is this what she truly feels? Her story is bitter, tragic and painful and she ended up like this. Is it really alright to let it be……no, isn’t this just the right time to turn things over?
「Alright, I’ve decided. I will also take you out」
「It’s simple, I’ll just have to remove about 90% of this place to take you out」
「Do you even know what you are saying……how are you even going to do that?」
「Well, you should take note of this and keep it as a souvenir. There is nothing impossible when it comes to Fairy Magic!」
And so, using all of my power, I took control of the system around us and forcefully created a new core. Using the skills of the dungeon fairy as base, I forcefully fitted a similar skill structure to replace what was needed. This time, there are no functions that would bind a soul in this place anymore.
She was about to say something bad again, but I silenced her with my reasons.
「At this point, of course I definitely want you too. Meet with the old man, talk to him, and tell him you are his first friend ever in this world. You were also alone in this place after all. I don’t want only one of you to have a happy ending. I won’t ever forgive such results. And fairies never admit defeat. That’s why」
Moments after completing the rewrite, a hand of light grabbed me from the string in my left hand. I then offered my empty hand to the witch that was sobbing and couldn’t do anything on her own.
「Come on Cerberica. I want you to name that child after we leave.」
「…………Ugh, haa, fine I give up. It’s really amazing, fairies that is……」
Finally after grabbing my hand, our bodies were sucked into the string, and the space we left was crushed by an intense bright light………
「Gramps, you’re back!!」
「I got her. Help me pull her out!!!」
The old man came halfway out of the dungeon core, and then her best friend was holding his hand.
「Master, you were safe!!」
Everyone immediately rushed to confirm Aidle’s safety, but Aidle’s hand was still stuck inside the dungeon core. The others were wondering what was happening.
「Ah, sorry Arena. Wait for a bit as I pull this idiot out. Come on now, don’t be shy, or do you have some kind of communication disorder. Don’t tell me something like you’re embarrassed to appear in front of many people now. What happened to that rapid non-stop talking you were doing earlier? Come- on- now- and- just- come out!!!」
After a bit of time, Aisle forcibly pulled out what seemed to be a human, leaving the core with creaking noises after she pulled her out. However, the old man seems to be the most surprised seeing the person that was pulled out.
After a while, things have finally settled down. The normal Arena and a loli La Veil were now sitting with me on Maurice that transformed into something like a sofa. The children were seated on chairs prepared by the old man while he and Cerberica were surrounded by everyone. This is to prevent both sides from running away. As we were doing so, Mika started talking to me.
「Hey, Aidle, is that person Japanese?」
「I’d say half. You could say that one of her parents married someone from this world」
「Oh, isn’t that kind of romantic」
It does sound like a nice romance story. I also like those kinds of stories. Now then, right now Cerberica was looking at gramps as if she had done something terrible. I already told Gramps about all the things that I have witnessed inside the core, but he just calmly listened.
「……Um, how should I start this, nice to meet you I guess? I didn’t expect that Creator was actually in my immediate vicinity, not to mention that I was actually given the chance to meet her in the immediate future」
「Well, about that, it just couldn’t be helped……I also wanted to communicate with you, but I just couldn’t do anything」
「Ahaha, that is really embarrassing. When I was younger, I definitely did a lot of things that would make me look like I was making a fool out of myself」
「No, no, I am actually quite happy that you were able to get that far, not to mention that you were actually able to help us get out of the core under such circumstances, you are way more amazing compared to me………and I’m really sorry for not being able to do anything. I’m sorry……」
Gramps did not respond to her apologies and just started to pat Cerberica’s head gently. Cerberica was a bit terrified and raised her face to look up at Gramps, who greeted her with a gentle smile.
「It’s alright. You did try to protect the world even to the point of giving up your life while worried by a lot of things. Whatever the results, I also thought that you did what was right. We definitely both felt lonely because of that. But I’m more happy by the fact that I could share that experience with someone else, so please don’t look like that anymore. After all, I also wanted to give my thanks to you」
「……I see. Then I would like to thank you for all you have done so far. I want to give a gift to you, who will walk in a brilliant future from now on. As the first and last parent who created you」
「……I will receive it with great respect.」
Cerberica then lifted her hands to his cheeks while the old man kneeled down and bowed his head in front of her. The two were now both smiling.
「Then I shall give you your name, your name will be 『Quad』 . It was a name that according to my father should have the meaning of『Innocence』. And as your parent, I’ll also add my name to it. So from now on, you shall be known as 『Quad Cerberica』. I want you to accept this in happiness and continue to pursue your happiness in your future endeavours……」
After doing so, Cerberica started fading from her feet. It seems like the excess magic power that made her materialize was now running out. Arena attempted to supply her again with magic, but this time I held her back. Sorry……but,
「You must not prevent those who are already satisfied from passing on, okay?」
I hugged Arena as I watched over the fate of the two unfolding before my eyes.
Gramps wrapped held both her hands as he said in tears.
「Yes mother. I wish you a peaceful rest……please have a good sleep」
「Yeah……farewell then, my beloved child」
Just as Cerberica was about to disappear, she turned towards me and bowed a little saying her last farewell.
「Aidle. Please, I ask of you……would look after my child, Quad?」
「Un. I swear I won’t let him live a life of regret. That’s why……you may take a peaceful rest, Cerberica」
「Yeah……I’ll do so……」
And so, the descendant of the hero who has lived for over 10,000 years finally had a peaceful rest, and the existence she left behind was also satisfied while feeling their love for each other even after they had parted…………