Three days have passed since then.
I didn’t have anything particular to do—well, I couldn’t move at all, to be honest—so I spent my time watching the videos sent by Elibel.
The deep layers are very quiet.
Not only Ann but also Una, Dos, Tres, and Pururu, it seems like they have been sent to scout the new territory. Currently, there are only the minimum number of people in this dungeon.
You might think that such a small number of people wouldn’t be enough for scouting, but surprisingly, it seems to be working fine.
Elibel added surveillance functions to the bird-shaped golems homunculi that I created and released them in the Eld Desert and the surrounding borders.
If there’s anything abnormal, the birds immediately send a signal to Elibel.
Most monsters are afraid of Accurate Crow and the White Wyvern, so they don’t approach this place, and these two species have an agreement with us, so they don’t pose a threat.
Elibel’s opinion is that humans won’t come for a while after the sacrifices we made.
So, I just watch the videos that are sent and think about ideas for the new dungeon.
But I’m bored.
Is this how it feels to be a hospitalized patient?
It’s really tough not being able to move.
Oh, another video has been sent.
『Wow, this underground space looks good. The feel of these rocks and caves… it looks delicious.』
The videos that are sent are mostly of caves and underground spaces.
They range from things on this continent to things on another continent beyond the sea, with various types and locations.
But how did Elibel manage to find such locations?
I’ll ask her about it later, I guess.
Occasionally, I also receive video footage of Tres and Pururu making peace signs or striking poses.
It’s so soothing.
Both Tres and Pururu seem unexpectedly happy.
I don’t know, Tres has been strangely gloomy at times since that battle. Eh, I’m sure she’s fine.
Ah, I’m bored.
…Should I take a nap?
It’s still before noon, though.
As I was thinking that, I heard the sound of running footsteps.
And this magical power…
「Hellooo! Earth, are you alive?」
I looked toward the source of the voice.
She seems to have an incredibly smug expression on her face.
Could it be…?
「Earth, rejoice! I’ve completed the method to remove your ‘armament’!」
She said it with such an air of importance that it feels like I can see flashy background text saying “SUCCESS.”
She’s incredibly annoying, but her statement is amazing.
I couldn’t help but move my body.
Ah, the ground cracked.
In that instant, a claw swipe narrowly missed Elibel.
「Hey! Don’t move just because you’re happy! You almost kill me there!」
Oh no. I got so excited that I ended up getting flustered.
I hurriedly lowered my head and arms, but in that instant…
Another claw swipe was launched.
Oh wow… a part of the wall got gouged out, and I can see all the way to the edge of the deep layers…
I must say, it’s incredibly powerful.
Oh, it grazed Elibel’s shoulder…
Um, it wasn’t intentional, you know?
I really didn’t mean it.
Elibel smiled with a smirk.
Well, she’s a skeleton, so she doesn’t have expressions, but it looked like she smiled.
A dark aura emanated from her.
She’s angry. She’s really, really angry…
「…This damn dragon, do you want to be dissected? Is that what you want? Should I just cut off your arm for now? It’s dangerous, isn’t it? Should I cut off all your limbs and turn you into a Daruma Dragon?」
I immediately prostrated myself.
I’m really sorry.
Slowly, I lifted my head.
『But, is it true? Can you really remove my armament?』
Let’s divert the conversation.
「Yes, for real. I’m super serious. Look at this!」
Successful topic change.
You’re too easy, wise one.
Saying that, Elibel held out a small test tube filled with a mysterious liquid in front of me.
The liquid inside was green, with small bubbles floating in it.
It looks very suspicious.
「This is the potion I developed to remove your armament. It’s called ‘Return X!’」
『That sounds like a name for a sports drink.』
The naming sense is extremely lame, but it doesn’t matter right now.
「A sports drink…?」
『Ah, sorry. It’s nothing. So, um… this ‘Return X’? Does it mean my body will be healed?』
「Yes, theoretically. This liquid can reverse-engineer the alchemical process of armament, extract the fluctuation values and post-fluctuation magical elements, and then reintegrate them through the medium of the target’s magic power. But for that, as ingredients―――――」
Elibel’s complicated explanation continues, but I have no clue what she’s talking about.
She mixed various things like the earth dragon’s spine and dragon apple seeds.
Anyway, I’ll return to normal if I drink it, right?
『Whatever, just let me drink it already! I can’t even scratch my back when it itches, and I want to return to normal quickly.』
「Tch, this is why idiots who can’t understand magic and my greatness… Interrupting my explanation without listening to the end… This isn’t a drink you consume, it’s a topical medicine.」
Saying that, Elibel dripped a drop of ‘Return X’ on each of my hands and feet.
And the effect was remarkable.
With a faint light, my arms and legs gradually returned to their state before armament.
It feels really strange.
Making thumping sounds, my body returns to its original state, but it doesn’t hurt at all.
And after a while, my limbs are completely healed.
I lightly wave my hands.
No shockwaves or slashes are sent out.
I take a few light steps.
No craters are formed, and there are no earthquakes.
I try walking.
No cracks appear in the ground, and the earth remains undisturbed.
My body has returned.
I can scratch my back. I can dig into the ground.
Ah… I am free.
『Elibel… Today, for the first time, I truly think you’re amazing.』
「Oh, really? I wonder what you thought of me until now. Depending on your answer, I could put you in a preservation solution and make you a specimen right here and now.
By the way, don’t you have a word of thanks for me? To the Great Elibel who fixed your armament? Instead of cutting off your limbs and using regeneration magic on them, I could have done that. Despite not resorting to such methods and properly healing you, you don’t have a single word for me, huh?」
『I apologize, I was in the wrong. Thanks to you, Wise One, I was able to restore my limbs. Long live the Wise One, the Wise One is the best.』
I immediately prostrated myself.
I’m really sorry.
And thank you.
「Well, such a commendable attitude isn’t too bad. I’m a skeleton who thrives on praise. Worship me more.」
The Wise One (Skeleton) becomes pleased immediately.
The Wise One is so easily swayed.
Even though she’s a genius, what a disappointing person.
「Now then, Earth. Since your arms and feet has been successfully restored, let’s call the rest back.」
『Oh, in celebration of the restoration, shall we have a feast?』
I’ll dig, I’ll dig for a ton of magic stones.
I can mine hundreds of magic stones right now.
I’m hungry, too.
「You idiot! We’re going to discuss the future now! Did you forget about the current state of the dungeon?!」
My dungeon is currently in a state of collapse.
I need to create a new dungeon before the humans invade again.
I got so carried away with my restored arms and all.
「You watched the footage I sent, right? Hurry up and start working on creating the dungeon. I’ll gather everyone for a meeting. We could decide everything between you and me, but I also want to hear the opinions from the site. After all, it’s Ann and the others who will be actually working.」
『Well, yeah, that makes sense.』
I send a thought transmission to Ann and the others.
It seems like everyone has returned to the dungeon.
They all replied immediately, saying they would head to the depths.
『They’ll be here soon.』
「Okay, got it.」
Now then, while waiting for everyone to arrive, should I mine some magic stones?
It could be a form of rehabilitation as well.
Scratch, scratch, scratch… Oh, they’re coming out, they’re coming out.
This is it. This is what I wanted to eat…
High-purity magic stones emerge from the ground.
Let’s have one right away.
Crunch, crunch, crunch… gulp
The taste of rich magical energy fills my mouth.
It’s the best.
「Oh, Earth, could you give me one too? I’m quite tired.」
『Here you go.』
I hand a magic stone to Elibel.
There are still plenty left.
「Well, the purity is as impressive as ever… This place is truly mysterious. It’s astonishing how magic stones of such purity can be formed in such a short cycle.」
『Come to think of it, you mentioned something like that before.』
「Yes, the generation cycle of magic stones in this wasteland is abnormal, to say the least. Say, Earth, do you know how long it usually takes for magic stones to form?」
She casually asked as if it were an ordinary question.
There’s no way I would know.
Hmm, but thinking about the magic stones I’ve mined so far…
『About two to three days?』
「Thirty years. Normally, it takes over thirty years for magic stones of this purity to form.」
What did you say?!
『Magic stones take that long to form!?』
「That’s the usual cycle. Even for regular magic stones, it takes about a year to fully form. The cycle here is exceptionally short, and the concentration of mana is unusually high. When I was alive, the cycle wasn’t this short, so something must have happened during those two hundred years… I’ll look into it later.」
Well, for now, Elibel started eating the magic stones again.
『By the way, Elibel, about the new dungeon. Have you thought about what kind of dungeon it should be?』
「Well, to some extent. But really, it’s something you should be thinking about.」
『Yeah, I know. But you’re my advisor, so I wanted to know your thoughts.』
Elibel scratches her head and sighs.
I’m really sorry. I’m a useless dragon.
「A teleportation-based dungeon.」
Elibel mutters softly.
「I said a teleportation-based dungeon. You don’t want the dungeon to be destroyed again, do you?」
「Then… Oh, it looks like Ann and the others have arrived. Let’s continue the discussion with everyone, shall we?」
Everyone have arrived.
Now then, let’s proceed with the creation of the second dungeon.
『Return X』Creator – Elibel
An elixir that Elibel spent three days creating to fix Earth’s armamentization.
It reduces substances composed through alchemy back to their pre-alchemized state. However, currently, it is limited to Earth only.
Materials other than the earth dragon’s spine were procured by Berg from Elibel’s dungeon.
In terms of price, the value of this elixir alone easily exceeds the lifetime wages of ten knights in this world.
By the way, Elibel is planning to further research this medicine and expand its range of effects.