Chapter 16: The Way Out
"Big brother, why are you bringing those nobles along?"
While we were passing through this era's longest underground tunnel, Oyado suddenly turned her head towards me and asked.
"Their combat abilities aren't even half of either big brother's or mine, right?"
However, Oyado's voice was a little loud, I guess the two people behind had heard it as well.
"What are you two talking about!? Weren't you people the ones who wanted us to go together!?"
"I did indeed say that, because this isn't the time for an argument. Let me ask you this, compared to your life, is your honor as a noble more important than surviving?"
Since this guy takes the problem of the difference between nobles and commoners so seriously, then I shall clearly tell him this now, so as to prevent complications from surfacing later.
"This... Both of them are..."
His expression was very hesitant, and I could not help but heave a sigh.
"So, in other words, in your opinion, between putting down your rejection towards working together with a commoner to escape this place, and dying here, it's hard for you to decide between the two?"
"That's... not it either... If you put it that way, it seems..."
He thought for a moment, and seemed to start agreeing to my words.
"So I have been thinking, just what's going on with all of your heads all day? You people sound as though your lives as nobles will be shortened when you have to stick together with regular people. Look at Princess Michelle, she's a royal princess, yet, she stays with us, and we have formed the strongest team in the academy as well. This is the difference. That's all the logic I'm going to tell you, you figure out the rest by yourself."
After pausing for a moment, I pulled out the statue of Purewhite.
"But this time, the enemies aren't just your average foes. If you're struck by the light in their eyes, you will end up like my companion, Purewhite, and turn instantly into stone. And, those monsters have a certain degree of resistance against long-distance attacks. Right now, unless we work together, we will..."
I stepped closer to him, and said while giving him a glare.
"Otherwise, we might possibly die here together. When that time comes, the so-called noble bloodline running through your veins, will completely turn into stone as well. If your family members aren't able to recognize you... You might even be dealt with as a corpse of a regular person as well. Do you understand now? The problem we're facing right now, is even more troublesome than you think!"
"Un... Un, alright, I understand now. However, I will not give an apology, because..."
"I know, I know. I don't want you to give us an apology or anything either. After all, it's not like I can't understand your thoughts at all."
I turned to face the depths of the passageway, and turned back to look at him.
"After all, the identity of a noble could be said to be a type of privilege. Even if a regular person were to obtain it, he might casually give it up instead. After all, that way, it will be much more convenient for him. While, the higher your status, the less reasons you will have to give it up. However... That will still depends on the time, right? Right now, if your life is gone, even if you can still maintain your title as a noble, you won't be alive to enjoy it, right?"
"I... I understand already! Then, in this period of time, let's properly work together to escape this place."
"Un, you're actually able to move the stubborn Domisis with your words. As expected, Fir, you're not an average person."
Duran at the side silently retorted.
"Domisis' unrelenting stubbornness is famous, you know."
"Duran, what are you saying..."
"Domisis, you have to at least be self-aware of it as well, you know. Your stubbornness is already famous. This was also the reason why you were expelled from the[Sweepers]. Your personality, worsens the separation of the Knights the inner circle of the Knight Squad. This was initially said by the Captain."
"Enough, I know already. Stop talking about it."
Domisis seemed to really mind about his past doings. And after he was pointed out like that, he felt even more embarrassed.
"I will no longer bring up this topic, so... you people stop talking about that as well. Alright, then why don't you tell us, how are we going to escape from this place?"
I nodded, and then, spoke to Oyado.
"Keep a look out. If those demonic beasts come chasing us, remind me. I'm relying on you."
"Leave it to me, big brother!"
Seeing Oyado's confident smile, I stroked her head.
I have completely no other choice but to send Oyado to help out at the exit. In the past, I would completely rely on my mini-map, titles, and attack warnings. However, right now, all of these functions are completely lost. Forget about titles, nothing is even being shown on the mini-map. Even by relying on Oyado's abilities, it might be very tough for us to leave this place.
I smiled bitterly, and then, looked towards the rest.
I found out from Princess Michelle earlier, that the exit of this passageway has already been walled up by someone. Although I don't know the reason, very clearly, our enemy doesn't want the students of the academy to leave."
I looked towards Princess Michelle.
"Regarding this tunnel, other than being used to escape the academy... are there any other uses?"
Right now, in this room, the only one who comes from an imperial family is her. So, asking her is my best choice.
Princess Michelle pondered for a moment, before nodding her head.
"I heard that the basis this passageway was built under was to use it as an escaping lifeline. But, when they were digging this out, they dug out the initial Ruins of the Ancients that were built under the academy. However, no one knows where's the exact location of the entrance..."
"Un, seems like that place is our destination. Although my initial plan is to gather all of the remaining students in the academy and break out from the top, after pondering for a moment, even with a big or small number of people, it most likely won't work. If we have few people, we might be heavily drained and destroyed by the monsters outside, while, if there's a huge number of people, the target itself will be too big. THe enemy just had to shine at a large number of people for them to fossilize, that would instead be even worse. Since this passageway leads to the underground ruins... Then we should just think of a way to find the entrance and flee inside. However, before that, we best find the rest of the students who have similarly hid inside the passageway as well. After all, the more people we have, the less pressured we will feel."
"Un, I agree. However, even I don't know the entirety of this underground passage. If we want to find the entrance, I don't know how long we will need to take."
"This is also why we have to find as many people as possible, Princess Michelle. The more people we have, the faster the search will go.
"You guys don't have any opinions, right?"
I looked towards the rest of them, and all of them silently shook their heads.
"Then, if no one has any opinions, let us be off. After all, we're tight on time here. If those Medusa's were to enter this passageway, then this place will become our grave."
Probably, they had imagined the scenario I said earlier, most of them began to shake uncontrollably.
I silently kept the statue of Purewhite in my ring, and then, looked towards everyone.
"Let's go! If you guys don't want to become a statue, that is."
Suddenly, Oyado did a 'hush' signal.
After pausing for a moment, she softly said.
"Three people are walking towards this place!"
I looked at everyone, and then, pointed to the crack by the wall at the side.
And then, I hurriedly extinguished the lights on the wall. Oyado and I then split into different positions near the entrance.
And the sounds of those footsteps... became even closer...