Dried fish, about 20 centimeters long, sizzled on the net, and the smell of grilled fish filled the room.
“It’s almost ready.” (Borok)
Perhaps because of the smell, Mr. Borok picked up the dried fish by the tail and grabbed the head.
“Yum, it’s delicious. The saltiness is perfect.” (Rook)
Then he gulped down the wine.
As I watched him, my mouth filled with saliva, and I was suddenly very hungry, so I reached for the net.
“While we’re on the subject… where did you come from?” (Borok)
As he said this, Mr. Borok put some dried small fish on the net. I followed him with my eyes, tearing the fragrant dried fish with my hands as I answered.
“Oh… from the port city of Ruda.” (Rook)
“Hmm. I’ve never heard of it… I don’t think it’s in this country.” (Borok)
Not in this country, huh? Well, I expected that, and I’m more than happy to hear it. But I didn’t expect to be told that he had never heard of it.
With that in mind, I picked at the dried fish, peeling the flesh from the bones.
It doesn’t have the crunchy texture of fresh fish, but the meat and flavor are tightly packed with a rich and salty taste. The fish has a distinctive smell, but it is delicious.
“This country is the Kingdom of Karim, right? Or is this the Kingdom of Almst?” (Rook)
“This is the Republic of Canadaira. Actually, the Republic of Canadaira has the entrance and exit to the cave, but the mountains in this area do not belong to any country. So, I see that the… Death Cave also leads to the Kingdom of Karim.” (Borok)
Have I ever heard of the Republic of Canadaira? Well, I don’t remember any. Perhaps I went west through the mountains on the border between the Kingdoms of Karim and Almst and arrived at a third country.
“By the way, what is the Death Cave?” (Rook)
“Hmm… what is the Death Cave… You know more about it than I do, don’t you?” (Borok)
With that said, Mr. Borok swirled up his wine.
“I know…?” (Rook)
“You’ve been through the Cave of the Dead, haven’t you, and you’ve seen what’s in there.” (Borok)
Mr. Borok continues his words while pouring wine.
“Normally, you can’t go on, because the Death Dust is too thick in the air, and it will kill you from the inside through your chest. That’s why the area where we met is the limit. But you walked in from the back with an unconcerned look on your face. And you were dressed like that. So, you should know better than me… What was back there?” (Borok)
While saying that, Mr. Borok looked at me.
I’m not sure if it’s safe to say. I don’t really want people to know about the space in the back, which has been purified and now looks like a white sandy beach… Well, he says he can’t proceed that far, so I guess it’s okay.
However, the Death Dust is so thick that it will kill you from inside your chest… I wonder if it’s related to the lungs. I think I started coughing after I entered the cave, but I don’t think that’s it? But …… on the other hand, I could say that it might be it. It wasn’t so bad that I felt like I couldn’t go on. I’m not sure if I have some kind of tolerance that other people don’t have.
“There was a village in the back that looked similar to this village, and there was a giant Black Slime there. There were also a lot of black crystals.” (Rook)
“Well… I see. Was the old man’s fairy tale true…” (Borok)
Mr. Borok folded his arms and stroked his beard.
“Once upon a time, when the Death Cave was not the Death Cave. There was a dwarven village in the back of the cave, and they had contact with this village. But when the non-humans appeared, the village collapsed and was transformed into the Death Cave. That’s what my grandfather told me.” (Borok)
“So that’s it……” (Rook)
It’s hard to tell how old the bearded dwarf is, but he looks to be over fifty years old. If it’s a story about a man who Borok calls his grandfather, it’s a story about a hundred years old… or maybe even more if it’s a fairy tale.
Ah, maybe the reason why there were many dwarves in the town of Ruda is that the dwarves who fled from the collapsed village moved or they created that town. It’s possible that the doorway of that village had collapsed because they buried the non-human so that the giant slime wouldn’t come out. However, if that happened…
I stroked the egg wrapped in the cloak around my neck.
This egg—the egg of the Holy Beast Riofanel—has been in that place for how long?