Life didn't get easier, even in another world -
Kairen canceled his spell. The only thing that he could think of in that brief moment was that.
He cut off the spell’s mana and destroyed the magic in a hurry.
The moment that the spell was canceled, the shaking of the door lessened and lessened until it stopped moving. The light that was being emitted from the door also went out gradually.
“Huff... Huh? Huff.”
Kairen was almost drained of mana. His head hurt and he felt slightly weak. He leaned his sweat-soaked back against the wall and gasped for air.
“What the hell?”
“What happened just now?”
Darren and Carlson were clearly stunned. They lowered their arms that were covering their faces and looked around, flustered and confused.
“Kairen, are you fine?”
Reyan and team leader Dains snapped out of it quickly and walked towards Kairen as soon as they saw him leaning against the wall with a pale face.
Kairen was more flustered than anyone else. He could still sense the disgusting feeling he felt when his mana was being sucked all over his body. He never expected such a thing to happen.
He opened his mouth without waiting for others to ask him anything.
“What? That- That thing was absorbing mana... How the hell... It stole almost all of my mana... What the hell...”
Aside from the unpleasant feeling he had, Kairen was scared as fuck.
“Are you okay?”
Reyan and team leader Dains responded at the same time.
Kairen pointed at the stone door with his slightly shaking hand and tried his best to explain.
“I cast the magic spell, then my mana... got sucked in that thing...? I canceled the spell... That door stopped shining...”
How was he even supposed to explain what happened just now?
“Calm down first.”
Team leader Dains touched his watch, and a small bottle appeared in his hand out of nowhere.
‘What the hell!’
He showed the bottle to a visibly-baffled Kairen.
“What is it?”
Team leader Dains looked slightly surprised at his question but he answered Kairen nonetheless.
“A potion that helps your mana refill faster...”
Kairen looked at the small bottle in his hand. He didn’t know there were things like that here.
‘Why didn’t you give me one of these before? I was about to pass out because of lack of mana in that first mission.’
When he looked closer at the bottle when opening it, he could see a symbol printed on its surface. It was the logo of SMF.
‘Are these only given to SMF members? Discrimination never ends, huh?’
He drank the whole bottle while having such thoughts. To his surprise, the liquid didn’t taste bad. It wasn’t really delicious though. It was a sweet liquid almost like the cough syrup he used to drink whenever he was sick when he was a kid.
Kairen could feel his mana refill faster after drinking the potion. He looked at the bottle again and made a note in his mind to get his hands on this potion in the future. It would be good if he didn’t need to worry about running out of mana.
Team leader Dains asked him to explain again after he was done drinking the potion.
“After I cast the spell, my mana suddenly got sucked into that think. It was as if the door was absorbing it. I’m not sure how is that possible. I could only think of canceling the spell at that moment.”
Team leader Dains listened to him with a complicated gaze. He looked at Kairen from head to toe before telling him that he had done well.
‘What have I done well?’
Kairen didn’t know, but he didn’t ask anything.
“We shouldn’t have approached this think thoughtlessly.”
“It might have been dangerous.”
“It WAS dangerous I guess.”
“We need to look into it more. These symbols and all don’t seem ordinary.”
The others started to speak about the stone door. No one knew anything about this thing so they couldn’t say anything for certain.
In the end, they decided to take several pictures from the door after exchanging a few words and head out.
It took less time to go back to the entrance compared to how long it took them to reach here. It was expected as they didn’t have to stop at different rooms and check them out as they did when coming in.
“I can see the stairs.”
They arrived at the stairs soon. The passage wasn’t dark anymore as the daylight coming through the entrance was brightening the area. They turned off the flashlights and headed to the stairs.
“Oh, they are back.”
“They are coming back.”
They could hear Asa and Rai’s voices from above. They were most probably waiting for them in front of the entrance all the time.
The group walked up the stairs and exited the passage one by one.
“Are you guys fine?”
Elsie and Asa walked forward and started to examine them. The people coming out of the passage were all covered in dust from head to toe.
“What was that shaking? We thought that something had happened to you.”
Deputy team leader Bray also came forward with a frowning face and looked at them from head to toe.
“You sensed that?”
“Yeah, the ground suddenly started to shake a few moments ago. We thought it was an earthquake but the shaking was coming from a small area and it stopped soon.”
“There were indeed weird things down there.”
“Weird? Like what?”
“A huge, mana absorbing stone door.”
The deputy team leader looked at Darren with a puzzled face. She then turned to the team leader and tilted her head as if asking ‘What is this idiot talking about?’
Team leader Dains sighed and nodded his head.
“That’s right. There was a huge stone door that was apparently capable of absorbing mana.”
She looked between the people who had come out of the passage, but their expressions were serious.
While others were having such a conversation, Kairen closed his eyes as the bright sunlight made his eyes sore and lowered his head. That’s when his eyes caught on something unbelievable.
He couldn’t surpass his surprise and blurted that word loudly. Kairen blinked his eyes and looked down at his hands with an open mouth.
“What is the matter...”
Reyan who turned to Kairen after hearing his surprised voice stopped talking and looked at the scene with an expression similar to Kairen’s.
Others stopped their heated conversation about the mysterious stone door and all turned to look at them, but everyone’s reaction was the same.
They were all puzzled. The group that had come out of the passage just now were the most surprised ones. They silently looked at Kairen’s hand. They looked ad the notebook that he was holding. No, they looked at what used to be a notebook a few moments ago.
What lay in Kairen’s hands was a half-destroyed notebook and a bunch of dust. The notebook was gradually crumbling and turning to dust like a cookie. It was as if the pages were made out of the dust in the first place.
‘What is going on?’
They dazedly looked at the notebook being destroyed without knowing what to do.
A light breeze passed and fluttered their clothes. The dust fell out of Kairen’s hands because of the wind, whirled in the air, and disappeared before falling to the ground.
“What did you do to it?”
The first one who could utter some words was Reyan. He looked between the nearly destroyed notebook and Kairen holding the dust in his hands.
“Nothing... It just turned to dust by itself...”
Serria walked closer and touched the dust. The soft dust diapered after her touch.
“What is this.”
Kairen blinked his eyes again and said with a somewhat sad voice.
“It used to be a notebook...”
Team leader Dains also came forward and looked closer at the dust.
“Is it rotten?”
Rotten? How can it be rotten? The notebook was intact the whole time that Kairen was carrying it with him. And he had checked the whole thing before, there weren’t any signs of rotting in it. The quality of the pages wasn’t good, but they were in a good condition. Kairen was sure of it. i𝒏𝘯𝙧𝐞𝒂𝗱. c𝚘𝓂
“Did it start to rot and be destroyed after leaving the passage?”
Kairen muttered those words under his lips. That was the only explanation he could think of.
He looked at his hands again. The dust had also disappeared and nothing remained from the notebook. Even If you call it rotting, how did the book turn to dust in such a short time...
Kairen suddenly felt sad. He felt really sad after seeing that there was nothing left from the notebook. The notebook was gone like WOSHH...
‘Good thing I took those pictures... At least, I still have them...’
That was the only thing that he felt happy about at that moment.
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