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"It confirms it?" Yuki asked. "Just read it already…"
"Yuki don't be so pushy." Benladann reprimanded her.
"No, its fine. I'll read it. However, I was just a bit surprised… I didn't thought some random ruins in the swamps would reveal this so easily. It seems that in the past there was some religion revolving around the Ocean God, and the Deep One. They are both praised as different beings, although it seems they're the same… Nonetheless, here's the text."
I quickly began reading what I could understand.
"In Ancient Times… Deep One… Defeated. His Power… Vast. He, the one that defeated him… Could not kill him. Sealing his soul… possible. Four Fragments… were distributed. Stigmas. Carries of… the cursed fragments? Responsibility… Hold the… seal? I think it says that. It is hard to read, even though I somehow understand it, I am not good at reading this."
"Is this for real? Who could had defeated this overpowered guy?" Wondered Yuki.
"Four Fragments… Sealing…" Benladann said. "Wait, don't tell me these Four Stigmas are the Fragments of the Deep One. Each person carries the Stigmas, holding something like a seal over his true body? Did I get it right?"
"Maybe…" Miranda said. "Perhaps the one that defeated him was incapable of killing him, perhaps the guy had super regeneration or something. So he decided to seal him!"
"…But he was too strong so he had to weaken him first. He cut off four pieces of his power and sealed them into four people, generating the Stigmas." I said, figuring out the rest.
"So because these Stigmas were created carrying a part of his power, he was weakened enough to be sealed… In the underground of this city?" Asked Pekora. "Then this church… Could it had been originally created to contain him as well? If it has an underground passage…""Most likely." I agreed. "Though I would love to just break his seal and kill him as quickly as possible, that's bound to bring disaster. We don't know how his seal is structured either, or where the other shards are located exactly. Worst case scenario, if I go ham he'll only get stronger and reach the goal he originally wanted, people could die due to my recklessness as well. His body must be massive, if he awakens, he'll end up destroying the entire city and taking everyone's lives."
"I agree, we need to take a more careful approach." Benladann said. "If we can figure out some more of this info… Maybe a confrontation with the Queen could be possible? If she's truly connected to him in some way, perhaps if we beat her up she might agree to give us a way to kill him."
"I believe it won't be possible either way." Ruby said. "He's incredibly strong. Drake, I am not doubting your strength, but this guy is not someone you can easily grab and throw into the sea, nor someone you could one-shot. You will need a big fight to defeat him… And we don't even know his full power either. Nor his truest intentions. We need to investigate these ruins and also the Royal Family. Also, if we intrude rashly and bring disaster, innocents might get caught in the destruction. There seems to be a lot of people they had kidnaped as well, destroying the whole underground would probably leave nothing for us to investigate."
"You're right." I nodded. "However, I have learned that sitting idle and waiting for problems to resolve themselves is inefficient, so I need to act. I cannot sit here all the time and try to think of a way. There's a powerful Divine Barrier protecting the underground and the castle, my slimes cannot infiltrate inside, I need to figure out a way to break through, I think we could find something in the ruins. Artifacts left by the one that sealed the Deep One might facilitate the act of breaking through the barrier without causing a ruckus."
"How did you know that, Lord Drake?" Wondered Miminga. "Ah, the text!"
"Yeah, I read this part over here. Where the "Hero" that sealed him is shown. It was actually a beautiful mermaid priestess, a woman holding a staff made of fish bones and with a shard of the Blue Orb. I don't exactly know who she is, but we'll find more clues in the ruins within the Salty Swamps." I nodded. "I think we know what to do now. It says in here that she left behind "treasures capable of fighting the Deep One"… I hope they hadn't been stolen by tomb robbers yet."
"I see!" Benladann seemed to be decided as well. "Then we should go there- Ah, how many Shards are there left?"
"Three more, they're all in here. The Queen most likely holds one, the presence from the castle is not lying. Then the Deep One probably has another within him… The third one might had been left behind by this mysterious figure, the one that sealed him." I added.
"Makes sense. But if that's the case, how come they never retrieved it if it's so strong?" Pekora asked. "Even if it is sacrilegious to rob a tomb and all…"
"Perhaps because there's something in there protecting that is strong enough that even the Followers of the Deep One, nor even the Queen holding a shard herself can easily deal with." I said with a smile. "We might find ourselves an ally there… or a frightening enemy we might have to eliminate to get through."
"Sounds interesting!" Miranda said. "However… isn't there a dungeon in those swamps? Is it connected to the ruins?"
"Yeah!" Hector said. "Actually, we sensed each ruin distributed around to be connected to that big dungeon through underground labyrinths. Some were too covered by rubble to get through, but they were spawning monsters inside the ruins, so perhaps not many people through history had even dared to explore these ruins. They may be mostly untouched."
"So we need to conquer a dungeon, huh? Been a while since we've conquered a normal one, it might be fun. Alright guys, we'll be going tomorrow morning. For now, we should get ready. Ah right, let's open the Restaurant already, it's over 6 AM!"
To have some fun and learn more about the folks in town, I opened a restaurant adjacent to the orphanage.
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