According to common sense, ferocious beasts in a wood so close to the city shouldve been eliminated if there were any.
But it was possible that some animals came here when they were lost or starving.
In such a case, the missing girl probably wouldnt have met a good end.
In any case, they had to search for the girl. It was also possible that she was hiding in a safe place and trembling by herself.
Night had fallen again. Roland summoned four light spheres, but they found nothing after scouring for a while.
Roland suggested, "Why dont we separate? This is a fairly large place. With your night vision, you should be able to move freely. Whether or not we find the missing girl, we will meet at the city gate in the morning. How does that sound?"
"Well" Betta hesitated but nodded in the end.
Then, the two of them separated.
The place was quiet but emanated scary noises now and then. After they separated, it was even quieter and more horrifying.
The thirty-meter radius around the light spheres was as bright as day, but further away was complete darkness.
It was pitch-black. Something seemed liable to rush out any moment.
Dry leaves rustled as Roland stepped on them. The tiny noises from the daytime were now clearly audible.
Roland was rather scared in such an environment, too, but he gritted his teeth and looked for any possible lead.
After a long time, he suddenly saw a trail.
On the dry leaves, a line of footprints extended forward.
The footprint was two sizes smaller than Rolands. It could only belong to a child or a woman.
Delighted, Roland tracked the footprints.
Five minutes later, he found a site where the leaves had been disturbed. A gray basket had fallen, and several white mushrooms were scattered.
The dry leaves were furrowed, and drag marks swam into the depths of darkness.
Gloomily, Roland ran forth.
Ten minutes later, he found a dark cave at the foot of a hill.
The drag marks entered the cave.
Hardly had Roland approached the cave when he smelled an intense stench.
It smelled like fish, mixed with the stink of goats.
Roland floated the sphere of light inside, only to discover that the cave was quite deep.
Should I go in alone? Roland thought for a moment. Then, he gathered the four light balls into a big one and shot it at the sky. It exploded like fireworks.
The dark sky was illuminated for three seconds, before the dust of light fell like rain.
Roland summoned another four light balls.
Four minutes later, he shot the four balls again.
Then, he repeated the process.
Very soon, Betta arrived at his location, breathing hard.
"Brother Roland, it was indeed you who lit the fireworks!" Betta panted and said, "Did you find anything?"
Roland nodded and said, "I found a basket and mushrooms. Theres also drag marks leading into the cave."
Bettas eyes glittered. "This is definitely the place. As a half-warrior, Ill lead the charge. Brother Roland, youll control the enemy just like before."
Drawing his longsword from the Backpack, Betta entered the cave.
Roland followed him.
The stench was even more intense after they entered the cave.
Both of them subconsciously covered their noses with one hand.
The cave was damp, with water on the wall.
The tunnel was about two meters tall, so they could walk without lowering their heads. It was also broad enough for them to walk next to each other.
A light ball floated ahead and directed the way for them.
The tunnel sloped. They were highly anxious, but they did not meet any danger before they reached the end of the channel.
Their horizon was widened, and they saw an underground space.
"Why is there nothing here?" asked Betta in confusion.
The space was not large. One could see everything with a quick glance.
Nothing was here except brownish mud.
"Besides, the stench here is much weaker," said Roland. "Lets search the place. There may be hidden doors or something."
The two of them searched for a while, and Betta suddenly said, "Brother Roland, look here!"
Roland walked over and looked at where Betta was pointing.
The mud there looked regular, but a little bit fresher than the mud nearby.
Under normal circumstances, the tiny difference wouldve been neglected, but Roland and Betta were searching for hidden doors, so they easily noticed the anomaly.
Two Hands of Magic were summoned and began to dig into the mud.
"Theres indeed something wrong." Roland controlled the Hand of Magic and said, "The mud is unusually soft."
Betta stepped forward and was ready for battle.
Soon, Roland dug through the wall, and a black hole appeared before them. A disgusting smell embraced them.
Roland widened the hole with the Hands of Magic and moved a light ball inside.
Then, both of them paled.
Many corpses were scattered in the room.
Most of the corpses were dry bones, but two were still recognizably human.
Both of them were naked women.
One of them was rotten, with tremendous maggots slithering within the flesh.
The other corpse had a stab wound on the left side of the chest, but the blood there was already dry.
Roland and Betta realized what happened after a quick look.
Betta gasped, but suddenly squatted and threw up.
Roland clenched his fists. He felt like vomiting, too, but he managed to hold it back.
His face tightened. He walked into the cave and observed the fresh body of the girl.
This should be the target they were looking for, because she had been highlighted by the system.
Were too late! Roland was both angry and helpless. It was possible that the girl was already dead when they accepted the quest.
Who was brutal enough to have done this?
At this moment, a notification suddenly came.
Quest accomplished. EXP +184.
Like anyone cares about the quest right now!
Roland cursed in his heart. He took off his magic robe and covered the girl. He was about to bury the girl elsewhere, when he suddenly noticed that the girl was still warm and not rigid yet!
Logically, her body shouldve stiffened if she was dead for such a long time!
Could she be
Roland put his finger before the girls nose. Then, he sensed her feeble breath.
Roland roared and picked up the girl carefully but rapidly. He rushed out of the cave, only to discover that Betta was still gagging. He immediately kicked the young man.
Roland shouted, "What are you doing? Carry her now! Shes alive! Youre stronger and faster as a half-warrior! Take her back to the city, to a doctor!"