The match ignited the red phosphorus.
The flame burned swiftly. When the fire reached the skeleton pit that had been splashed with kerosene by Kieran, the small flames turned into a raging, dancing fire.
Thick smoke rose up high in the sky, forming a big dark cloud.
Herbert and Pierre were softly saying a prayer for the dead.
Even the big guy was standing aside respectfully.
The huge fire burned for almost two hours. After the flames dimmed down, Kieran picked up a shovel. He wasnt going to fill the pit. He was just going to bury the unburned bones he had collected from it.
They might still be dug up by an animal for dinner, but they had done whatever they could.
Pierre, the big guy, and Herbert joined him for the digging. The group kept burying bones until the sky turned dark.
"I swear I will never have a Bizel steak1 again!" Pierre, who was resting beside the campfire, said in a serious tone.
"I think I wont have ribs for a very long time! I never really had any before though!" Kieran followed up with a joke of his own.
The steak Pierre had mentioned was a local dungeon delicacy, so of course Kieran had never had it before. Herbert started describing the steak in great detail.
"Bizel steak, huh? The part where the bones are attached, that tender and juicy meat, is known as the best part of the cow. Especially the red juice. It really increases ones appetite"
"Ugh! Stop, Herbert! Youre making me sick to my stomach!" Pierre yelled with a disgusted look before Herbert could finish teasing him.
Kieran could not take it either. Thanks to Herberts description, he had remembered the bloody bones inside the pit.
Kieran quickly pushed the thought out of his head. He did not want such memories to affect the taste of his food. He immediately changed the topic.
"So when do we start, Herbert?" he asked.
"Right now, of course!"
Herbert finished his meal and stood up right away. Holding a kerosene lamp in his hand, he ventured towards the uncharted area of the inner city. Kieran, Pierre and the big guy followed closely.
"According to Neegor traditions, most of the nobles, knights and royalty resided in the inner city. Commoners like businessmen, no matter how rich they were, could not enter this part of the city! Truth be told, the Neegor Dynasty had a very strict hierarchy system. If a commoner wanted to advance to a noble level, there was almost no other way to do it other than by having great achievements on the battlefield. A person would have to kill at least 30 enemies, one of them a commander, in order to achieve that!"
When the group reached a field filled with holes, Herbert explained what was before them.
"This has to be the inner part of the city. The inner city buildings had a higher architecture than common houses in the slums. As time passed though, the buildings sank into the ground, merging together and becoming one. Although I hate that those gold diggers destroyed historical artifacts, I have to thank them because they saved us a lot of time."
Herbert raised his kerosene lamp, picked a hole and went down straightaway.
It turned out not to be a random hole though. As Kieran followed him into the hole, he confirmed his theory.
After walking through a narrow passageway with steep slopes filled with dust, they saw a wide space appear before them.
There was no need to bend over, as the air did not feel stuffy. The underground space was much wider and better ventilated than theyd imagined.
"This must be the mansion of a nobleman. The room we entered must have been his chambers. Lets go over there and see what he has in his study!" Herbert said as he walked towards it.
He sounded extremely confident, as if the place he was in was not ancient historical remains from 1,500 years ago, but his own backyard. He was familiar with every corner and nook of the house.
Starting from the noble mansion before them, the group spent a whole week exploring Isogu City.
Other than during meals and resting time, Kieran was behind Herbert all the time, listening to his explanations about the place.
Kieran was observing the place with a sense of vigilance, in case there was any potential danger. He knew what was best for him very well.
He actually hadnt known a single thing about the history of Isogu City or the Neegor Dynasty before the expedition. If it wasnt for Herberts explanations, he could not even have identified what was he looking at.
From Kierans perspective, everything he saw was pretty much the same. Stones and dirt, and some broken household utensils.
Kieran could not process that with his limited knowledge, but that did not make him sad.
He knew what level he was at. Honestly speaking, even the gold diggers back at the campsite had known more than Kieran about the place before theyd died.
Otherwise, Kieran would not have followed Herbert around. Herbert was a real professional.
The best proof of that was Kierans vision, where notifications about the exploration kept popping up non stop.
Although it was not as much as 1%, as when hed first entered Isogu City, during that week, [+0.1%] and [+0.2%] notifications would pop up from time to time as Kieran followed Herbert around.
When his completion rate reached 15%, Kieran was delighted. Another 5% to go before he completed his Main Mission.
However, during the past two days, the notifications had grown fewer and fewer. Kieran knew that if he wanted to increase his exploration percentage within a short period, he would need a big discovery. Following the holes dug by the gold diggers would not do anymore.
Truth be told, Herbert was doing the same. Every time he left a hole dug by the gold diggers, he would take down notes.
Kieran could not understand his notes. There were lines and numbers on them though, so he knew that Herbert was trying to locate the weapon.
It was not an easy task though. If it was, the guardians or the Night Race would have found it already. They would not have waited for Herbert to do it for them.
Kieran did not rush Herbert. He just waited quietly.
So did Pierre, although he was waiting for the Night Monsters instead.
Within a weeks time, Pierre had found some things from the gold diggers campsite that he thought might be useful, such as flintlock pistols, a big amount of bullets, swords, knives, and bundles of explosives.
The use of the explosives was self-explanatory back then.
During the night, a campfire was burning at the inner part of Isogu City. Everyone was stuffing food into their mouths.
Pierre was tidying up the weapons again, Herbert was using the light coming from the fire, writing down notes that only he and his students could read.
Kieran was in the shadows, scanning his surroundings. He needed to be prepared, even if it was just for the night watch,
The day before, Kieran had picked up a spying gaze more than once. The malicious gaze had been as sharp as a sword.
"Cant wait anymore?" Kieran guessed.
The Night Race was less patient than he had imagined, but that was good news for him.
It meant that the monsters were unable to act rampantly. They experienced anxiety too.
Why would the Night Race feel anxious though?
Maybe it was because of the guardians of Isogu City or some other hostile forces.
No matter what the answer was, it was good news for Kieran, who was fighting alone.
Soon, he got some more good news.
Herbert, who was sitting next to the campfire, suddenly stood up. He looked quite tired after all that research, but his eyes looked happy.
He signaled at Kieran and Pierre carefully, without making a sound.
Herbert was worried that the Night Race might possess superhuman senses, so a deal had been made between the group.
That signal had only one meaning.
He had found it!
The weapon had been found!
Bizel Steak: Local dungeon specialty
Found it already? That was quicker than I expected...