Brendel continued to carry Scarlett through the dark tunnels, and the latter held the Light Crystal which barely lit the pathway.
The mine did not collapse at just the gathering site. Rocks and boulders have nearly blocked off their path, and more often than not, they discovered that certain areas were completely sealed off.
Brendel had considered clearing obstacles with brute force, but in order to prevent a second collapse in the mine, he chose to find another way around them.
Scarlett could feel Brendel’s strong heartbeat, and she felt her own heart beating fast in response. She felt she should say something to end the awkward silence, but was unable to find the words because of the situation that had happened without warning.
After feeling her slightly flushed face for a while, she finally managed to speak: “Is it really okay to bring me along?”
“……A good commander doesn’t abandon his subordinates,” Brendel said, quoting his female upperclassman in the past.
“……Do you think the others are safe?”
“I don’t know, but they should be fine.”
Brendel shook his head. He had not discovered any signs of Jana. He summoned Medissa’s card in his mind and tried to call out for her, but she did not answer. Since the card did not turn grey, it would mean that she was not sent into the graveyard yet.
He recalled that Medissa was closer to Kodan than either of them during the final moment when the ceiling collapsed. Perhaps she was knocked out, and Kodan had escaped. She was not a match for him alone.
“Are you still in pain?”
“N-no,” Scarlett quickly changed the topic, “but I find there’s something odd earlier.”
“What is it?”
“The earthquake happened after Kodan suddenly shouted for us to stop, and I don’t think that our attacks are on a scale that would damage the other tunnels. At most it would just affect the room, right?”
Brendel pondered silently. He was also suspecting this point. Even though it was a dangerous thing to have four Gold-rankers battling it out in a closed room, the origin of the cracks seemed to be unrelated to the damage caused by them.
[If this place is really a Sanctuary…… No, I should investigate how extensive the damage is first.]
Brendel continued to move in the dark tunnel, ducking high and low because of the fallen debris. At the third dead end, he finally concluded that there was no way up from the passageways available. The only option was to use the lift and head downwards to the pits.
That area was a complicated maze of tunnels that led to various sections of the fourth level, and from there, he might be able to get past the dead ends and reach the third level. Jocah had informed him the lifts in other areas accessed higher levels from other points too.
The lift’s noisy descent stopped with a shudder upon hitting the ground. Brendel observed the area and realized that there was also signs of the mine collapsing
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