07-12 To the Ancient Ruins
The day Jin’s group would head to Keine Village, the weather had been clear since morning.
As planned, they departed towards Keine Village with Jin’s carriage. The lineup was Jin, Reinhardt, Elsa, and the butler Claude.
Reiko sat in the coachman’s seat.
Just like it had been said, the road was rather poor. It was of course uneven, there were abrupt slopes, places where it got narrower and large rocks were strewn about.
In spite of such a bad road, Jin’s carriage kept going and they arrived in Keine Village before noon.
“We’re early, eh? Just as expected from Jin’s carriage!”
Reinhardt commended the carriage again.
“Alright, now where could the so-called ancient ruins be?”
After parking the carriage in a suitable open space Jin observed the surroundings. This Keine Village had the atmosphere of a deserted mountain village. It was much more declined compared to Kaina Village.
“Are there really something like ruins here?”
If there was such cultural heritage-like thing here wouldn’t it be better for this place to be a little more populous, Jin thought.
“Hey you, you came here to see the ruins, right?”
Jin turned to face the voice, and there stood an old person with a crooked back leaning on a cane. They seemed to be from this village.
“Uh, yeah. The ruins of…Keuwan, was it? Certainly we thought we’d want to have a look.”
Jin explained their reason for coming here and,
“Oh-hoh, I thought so. The ruins, eh. Ya got some strange tastes.”
The elder said with a slight accent and laughed,
“In that case, over here. I got spare time anyways, so I guess I’ll be yer guide.”
They then began to walk towards the mountain.
Jin’s group exchanged glances.
“What do you want to do?”
“Well, how about we try going along?”
“Mm. I think that’s fine.”
“There doesn’t seem to be any danger. I couldn’t feel any bloodlust or ill will from that person.”
Apparently the butler Claude was a top-class swordsman in the past, and he judged the elder to not be a danger.
“Alright, in that case shall we go? Oh yeah, Jin, will the carriage be fine?”
Reinhardt asked worriedly, but Jin just smiled and siad it’ll be fine.
“I locked it, so.”
Far from just a lock, secretly the SP were standing guard so Jin could leave behind the carriage without a worry, but Jin couldn’t say that.
“Oi, what’s wrong?”
The elder at the end of the road turned around and yelled. Jin quickly took out the luggage and,
“Okay, let’s go.”
He began to walk. Reinhardt and the others also started walking. Elsa noticed that Jin curiously had luggage this time so,
“Jin-kun, that, what is it?”
She was interested and asked. Jin replied with a smile.
“This? Various necessities.”
He said and began to explain.
“Light, water, food, and rope are packed in there.”
After that clarification, Claude raised his voice in approval,
“Oh my, Jin-sama has thoroughly prepared, haven’t you. Unlike yesterday’s sightseeing in the mines, ruins receive practically no maintenance, you see. Illumination and water are necessary for sure.”
He said and pointed at his own luggage. Apparently Claude also made his own preparations.
This time for the first time in a while, Reiko was walking by Jin with ‘Peach Blossom’ in hand, as if to prevent being separated.
“You guys, you brought a lot of stuff but there’s no need for something like that.”
The elder who went in front of them absent-mindedly said.
“The ruins aren’t that large, you see. We’ll just take a quick peek inside, and it’ll be over after that.”
“Is that right?”
Jin asked and the elder nodded.
“Yesh. If it were a little more noteworthy there would be a lot more people, see.”
Apparently it would be quite a let-down. But, as they had already troubled themselves they kept carrying the luggage they had.
After ten minutes of walking, they arrived at the face of a huge cliff.
“It seems to be at least a hundred meters tall.”
“The entrance is over there, check it out.”
The elder pointed at the nearby vertical cliff that was all granite, and at its base was the entrance to the ancient ruins.
“There’s no dangers or anything. Sometimes during hot summers we locals go in to cool off.”
The elder’s explanation somewhat dampened their interest, but as the group had come for expressly this, they moved towards the entrance.
“It seems to be somewhat disappointing.”
Reinhardt said but,
“Even so this is my first time in a place like this. Maybe it’ll be unexpectedly interesting once we enter.”
Elsa said. Jin kept walking in silence. Then, Reiko suddenly stopped and grasped Jin’s hand.
“Father, there is someone in the ruins.”
Just like she said, from the entrance of the ruins a single person came out.
“Oh, how curious. Visitors, eh?”
“Oh, teacher, investigating the ruins today too I see.”
This person seemed to be an acquaintance of the elder as they called him teacher. He too was old enough to be called an elder. No hair was found on top of his head, and instead on his chin was a magnificent white beard.
But his back was upright, and from his grey eyes one got an impression of overflowing vitality. He was wearing a white robe-like coat, indeed giving him the atmosphere of a researcher.
“Mh-hm, if I don’t come here once a day I can’t calm down.”
He said, turned to Jin’s group and,
“Young people having an interest in ancient ruins like this makes me the happiest I can be as a researcher. I am Rucall, the town archeologist.”
“I’m Jin. This is Reiko.”
“I’m Reinhardt. And this is Elsa.”
“My name is Claude and I am their butler.”
As the man named Rucall introduced himself, so did Jin’s group introduce themselves and greet him.
“I’ve investigated these ruins for ten years now, but there’s still a very much left that I do not understand. Even so, would you like me to be your guide for a bit?”
Rucall offered. They were honestly thankful to have a person who’s done research on the ruins as a guide rather than just look around aimlessly.
“That’s right, in that case if you would, please.”
Reinhardt acted upon the group’s interests and said.
“Alright, then come this way.”
Rucall led the group to the entrance of the ruins he had just himself left.
The ruins’ entrance was a crack in the cliff’s granite, giving a really rather weathered and crumbling sensation, but after stepping inside that impression was blown away.
“Wha…What is this?”
It was a wide room with many chairs, benches, and beds. Scattered around were piles of trash.
“Hahaha, you must be surprised. This was originally a wide empty room, but as this place is cool in the summers and warm in the winters, the locals started using this place for summering and wintering. And because of that the condition is like this.”
Rucall explained. Likely for that reason magic lamps were set up here and there, and although it wasn’t as bright as during the day, it was still plenty bright.
“Oh, so that’s how it was.”
“It was so sudden, so I got surprised.”
After Rucall’s explanation Reinhardt and Elsa laughed and said, while only Jin had a frown on his face.