Chapter 152 - The Library In The Dungeon
“Wh-where am I?”
The blue phoenix soared about Cecile’s head, but no matter how high it flapped, it couldn’t reach the ceiling. The bird’s light had shone brilliantly radiant in the casino, but here its brightness appeared as an insignificant blue dot, indicating the vastness of the space.
‘Possibly a dungeon?’ Cecile considered the space, with its unreachable ceiling that even the phoenix’s flames couldn’t illuminate, might be a so-called dungeon that she’d often heard of in stories. They were often described as having treasure hoards that would bring great riches to the heroine.
Sometimes the protagonists would wander lost and chance upon some ancient undiscovered elixir, while falling deeply in love. While at other times… they found themselves trapped in a tomb for villains, never able to find their way out! Now that she thought about it, the appearance of a dungeon often signaled a bad ending, since that was how dangerous such places were.
“Come back,” Cecile called to the blue phoenix that was hovering above. Like a well-trained dog, the phantom bird returned to perch on her shoulder. Scratching its beak, she murmured, “I’m glad you’re an illuminating bird.” The blue phoenix let out a pleased cry. It would’ve been terrible if what was summoned was a harbinger of darkness or similar instead. Seeing how the phoenix was calm, Cecile felt comforted that there must not be any danger yet. She decided to begin exploring with the blue phoenix resting on her shoulder.
‘Looks like I didn’t let go of this, even while I was out.’ Cecile gripped the scepter in her hand and walked forward. If anything, the scepter would be a handy weapon if the need arose, considering it was intact even after she used it to beat Richard with a vengeance.
Cecile couldn’t help but wonder how she’d ended here. The last thing she remembered was falling from the sky, so she thought she would’ve landed on land or in an ocean? But dropping into a dungeon? She couldn’t for the life of her figure out how the spaces had connected. And then, she remembered that one memory that caused her face to darken.
‘I was definitely pushed.’ She hadn’t tripped. There was definitely a bright flash before something had pushed her hack. She saw the white hand hovering above the others, who were too shocked by her fall to notice. That had to be what had pushed her. Oddly, even though the disembodied hand floating in the air was bizarre, Cecile didn’t find it scary. She glanced down at the hand clutching the scepter. ‘For some reason… it looked like my hand?’
It made no sense since her hands were both securely attached to her, but somehow the hand really reminded her of her own. ‘But why did it push me?’ Why had it pushed her into the gate? If the intent was to dispose of her, it should’ve aimed for her throat. The mystery made her tense up, as she continued walking forward.
After covering a fair distance, Cecile found herself in front of a giant door, the likes of which she’d never seen. It was humongous. One wouldn’t even be able to find such a door in the imperial palace, or any other kingdom for that matter. No matter how far back she tilted her head, she couldn’t see its top. It seemed to be as high as ten of the mountains behind the imperial palace stacked on top of each other.
Could this be an enormous dungeon even among dungeons? She’d never read about dungeons of this scale. It was so ginormous, even a giant from legends wouldn’t be able to open it. The blue phoenix, who’d soared up high, also returned to her shoulder and made a dejected sound, as if apologetic that it couldn’t open the door either.
“No, it’s not like I’m asking you to open it,” Cecile sighed. She felt like a difficult employer making an unreasonable request. She pondered whether she should retrace her steps, since there was no way forward with the door blocking their path, but for some reason she had a feeling that she shouldn’t go back.
“That roar,” she muttered. Suddenly, she recalled the roar she’d heard when the gate had opened, and was struck by a sense of déjà vu. It was the same sound she thought she heard when they were organizing the storage room. When she’d asked Tania if her handmaiden had also heard the noise, Tania had puzzledly answered no, but Cecile was convinced that it was the same roar as the one she later heard through the gate connected to Etia.
Her hands tightened around the scepter, and the memory caused a corner of her heart to ache. The roar was terrible, but she felt the urge to move closer to it. “…It kind of resembles His Majesty’s voice.”
Thoughts of Estian flooded her mind. Cecile intended to boast about how she’d brilliantly ousted Yuliana when he returned. Of course, she’d inevitably have to make desperate excuses for the actions she took, but she was certain Estian would listen intently and laugh until she drifted off to sleep. ‘I hope he’s safe,’ she thought.
Sniffling, she cheered for herself, exclaiming, “I won’t cry!” She was a little teary, but she refused to cry! It wouldn’t change anything. If she had the energy to snivel, it would be better to spend it on finding a way out of place. Placing a hand against the door, she muttered, “Whatever the case may be, I won’t be able to go beyond this door…” Abruptly, the ground began to shake and the giant door that had been blocking her path began to creak open with a thunderous sound.