“There seems to be something beneath us,” Orthylss whispered to Brendel about her findings after surveying the area for a moment. There was some kind of corrosive mana that was surging up from the ground, like water being reflected back upon impact with the floor underground. The Wind Elves were naturally sensitive towards mana. If they were not, they would not have devised all those miraculous Sword Arts. Brendel nodded in agreement. In front of them, Ina was leading the way as they went out of the tunnel as they dwelled deeper into the area.
Upon walking for some distance, the walls turned a dark red hue. Looking closer, Brendel realized that it was due to some type of red quartz that coated the surface, causing it to gleam under the light. Brendel squeezed a sample in his hands, only to find it crumbling into dust.
"What’s going on?" He asked.
"It had always been like this even since the beginning of the construction,” Ina picked up some of the debris and continued, “But it seems like the crystallization is picking up in intensity recently. The corruption did not reach here the last time."
Something is definitely wrong here.
"Do you recognize what these are?" He bent down to pick up a piece of the rock, and silently asked Orthylss. She stared at it and searched her mind for a while, “It sort of looks like he Magical Quartz found within the Dark Forest. Have you heard about it?”
The magical quartz are usually found in places corrupted by magic, like the sides of the Dark Forest's river streams. These types of quartz are usually low in quality, travelers who encounter them can usually earn a small fortune, but it is unprofitable for the big organizations to mine them.
Brendel had indeed heard of them. He picked up the rock, "We will know if they are the same thing in a second."
Mana detection was basic homework for all Spellcaster, and it was not a hard task even for an amateur Elementalist like him to do it. He raised the rock with his left hand and directed his right hand's thumb, index and middle finger on the rock, and read out a Rune Word. And the rock glowed faintly.
"It was indeed a Magical Quartz.”
“Yep.” Orthylss nodded. “But it seemed to be of lower quality than the normal ones.”
It was impure and did not even have the value to be mined, totally a hassle for anyone to bring home.
"The magical corruption in this place is really severe." The youth surveyed his surroundings.
"But this place should still be within Mother Marsha’s sanction."
"That’s why this place is suspicious" Brendel tossed the rock away, looking up to see Ina stopped in her tracks.
She was on all fours and upon confirming her position, she called out, "Brat, we’re reaching our destination. It’s a dead-end at the back. Do you still want to venture further?."
Brendel moved two steps forward, trying to see just what laid inside the tunnel passage before him.
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