33 Ashes and Bones (2)

Outside of the cemetery, the 33 adventurers set up camp, since the sky had begun darkening an hour after Seran went into the crypt. One of the swordsmen was busy cooking a massive pot of soup, as he had a space ring full of emergency supplies in case they were needed, while the others were gathered in a semi-circle around Theodore, who was holding Seran's hand mirror, through which one could see June, again. They'd been talking since the horde was cleared up and Seran had gone onward alone about what had happened in the last two years while they'd been frozen in time.

"So, as I was saying, it was around springtime when Seran first came into the Lightwood Fortress branch. I remember it very clearly, even though it's been nearly a year since then. His welcome into the guild was Etienne getting crushed under two idiots who couldn't stop fighting, at the very instant he stepped through the door." June was currently recounting her first knowledge of Seran to her audience, who were listening with rapt attention.

"Etienne did? He should've been able to protect himself quickly enough. He's a decent D-ranker." Theodore sighed as he thought about his old friend, smiling just a bit at the thought of him getting tackled again.

"Considering the two idiots were close to B-rank, it wasn't much of a fight, Theodore. Etienne was fine, just hit his head pretty hard on the wall in the process. It was Braxton and Atmore, Theodore, that were fighting."

"Oh, those two... eesh, poor Etienne. Those two are solid walls." Theodore shivered a little when he thought about being crushed by the two muscular men.

One of the two High Priests, Rebecca, excitedly asked, "What happened next?" She was an avid lover of stories, as it was one of her childhood pastimes, and hearing the story of such a powerful person had caught her full attention.

June shook her head quickly to regather her thoughts, "Right, next. Well, Braxton threw a wild punch that nearly killed Seran's little brother, Fenmore. When Seran saw that, I'm telling you that I nearly lost my mind out of fear from that brief flash of killing intent. Even the strongest adventurer other than me present, which was Padric, the Aquamancer, wasn't able to spot him move. Everyone blinked and, suddenly, a pair of chipped knives were right at their throats, with Seran growling irritably."

The Greatsword User, a Tiger Beastman, scoffed lowly, "I would've flat out killed them for that." He cracked his knuckles for emphasis.

Adrianna knocked him on the head with her gauntlet, "Shut up, Bracken. You'd do it if they looked at you funny."

After a round of giggles from the audience, June was prepared to continue, when the Bishop girl suddenly stood up in surprise, a little gasp coming from her mouth.

"What's wrong, Jenn?" said Rebecca, as her fellow High Priest, Anna, stood up with her.

Jenn was shaking visibly as she managed to stutter out, "T-te-terror... a-aura... Elder Lich!"

---

Earlier, inside the crypt:

The ominous, repetitive sound of metal on stone echoed in the silent corridor of the crypt as Seran strode past dozens of doors, in which were at least 30 different coffins, most of which had been shattered from the undead. The light of his guandao's blade was brighter than the weak candle flames that sputtered at irregular intervals on the walls. Every time he passed a door, he used his minimap to place a bomb made of light-infused ashes in the room. When each bomb exploded, it did so quietly, with just a small poof sound, as the ashes dispersed throughout the room and scorched any still existing undead into yet more ash to add to the floor. This way, he was able to cleanse the area quickly, and without causing a sudden rampage. Other ash-based spells spread down the hallways he didn't pass, permeating through the hallways and rooms to silently cremate the undead. As he did so, each tap of his guandao on the stone floor acted as a sensor, sending out pulses through the floor and air, quickly updating his localized Map with the details. Sure, he could cheat and remove the fog of war function, but it wouldn't be as fun if he did. Of course, as he moved, he rekindled the flames of the candles he passed, making it so he would not need to light the way back.

A full twenty minutes passed of him walking in a straight corridor, casting ash spells before he reached a solid metal pair of king's court doors. While it was only steel and iron used for the construction, the designs were well-crafted, indicating that a person of good reputation was buried here. However, nothing was found in the entire crypt of who was buried here, or even what was. All of the old plaques and markers for the coffins had faded after countless centuries. Lighting up the pair of braziers hanging beside the doors, Seran had William scan the designs and investigate them with the data kept in his database.

[Let's see here... Most of this is written in the old Fairy Language, which died out after the Abyss Invasion ended due to their subsequent extinction... that would be about 3000 years ago. This... looks like it was around the same time period, so it would be related to the Abyss Invasion... Hold on, got a translation. Let me skim through it quickly." Seran hummed to himself as he waited, which didn't take too long, as William came back just as quickly as he'd left, [So, a brief summary is that it's about a fairy prince who set off on a journey to save the world, doomed to not return... it lists off his achievements here, along with several names of witnesses to his final stand... erm, it mentions that he is the last of his line following his sister's death, making it so the line of fairy royalty died in battle. For some reason, it doesn't mention his name, or who he fought with... it just has these two identical circular markings with the runic symbol for 10 inside it.]

"Hmm... Abyss Invasion, last of his line, sister's death, died in battle... saving the world... didn't return... 10... wait... William, go through that again, then cross-reference it with the remnant records of fairy history that the elves managed to rescue." When William asked why, Seran simply said, "I have a hunch, and it's not much to go on, but I think I know who's buried here."

Several minutes went by as William muttered to himself, doing dozens of calculations and cross-referencing with the few legible fairy scripts from the elves. Seran was nervous about the whole thing, as it was only a hunch, but his nerves went down considerably when William shouted, [Holy fuck, no way! They never found his body! It was buried here the whole time!?]

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"Is this place what I think it is, William?"

[It is definitely what you think it is.] Silence pervaded, save for heavy breathing, before William finished, [It's Eric Astheme, the Assassin King's tomb!]

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