Chapter 30 The Stranded

 the stranded

"Huh, huh, huh, huh, huh..."

 The man--the foreman, the chief executive officer of the mine site--was desperate.

 We have to dig out the iron ore properly in the country's leading iron mine.

 I have to live up to the expectations of my boss, the mine manager.

 I was desperate to protect my position.

 With the advancement of magic technology, the world needs iron more and more.

 When the selling price increased, the quota of the mine also increased.

 The mines were supposed to be generating tremendous profits, but these profits were not being returned to the miners and foremen, and the weight of the quotas just kept increasing.

"Huh, huh, why is this..."

 He was already submerged up to his neck in water, and his right hand was clinging to the wall.

 His left hand held a magic lamp above the surface of the water, which was his only source of light.

 There's no one else.

 Sometimes the earth would shake, and then the water level would rise.

 The rising of the water level was the same as the shortening of my time left.

"I'm not the kind of person who should die here...! An accident like this shouldn't happen...!"

 I couldn't stop crying and sniffling.

 I felt sad when I thought of the faces of my wife and children who were waiting for my return, and then I wondered how my family would survive.

 But how?

"Help will come... when the water recedes, help will..."

 The light of the magic lamp finally reflected the ceiling.

 I think we're about five meters away.

 If the water rises at this rate, we'll be under water in less than an hour.

 We might run out of air first.

"No, no, no, no, no, no..."

 District 4 was a well-watered area.

 But there were plenty of veins, and the only way to meet the quota was to dig here.

 I knew there might be a risk.

 And yet, it's worked so far.

 We've been blocking the flash floods.

 We've been working selfish miners to meet our quotas.

 I've never had a ceiling collapse out of nowhere before.

 In addition, you have never had a problem where you were the only one left behind and your death was imminent every second.


 His grip slipped, and the foreman's body floated for a moment. He sinks slowly into the water.

"Whoa, whoa!"

 When I moved my arm in panic, the magic lamp was submerged in water and the light went out.

 The foreman flails his arms frantically in the sudden darkness.

 The next thing I know, someone is grabbing my leg.

 Could this be the work of the ghosts that have been rumored to be in the mine?

"Gobo! Aah! Aaahhhh!"


"Geez, !!!!!!!."

 The foreman screamed because he heard a voice right next to him.

"Shut up!"


 I was hit on the head with a heavy blow, and even though it was through my helmet, the impact caused stars to scatter in front of my eyes.

 That brings the foreman to his senses.

 There's someone in front of me, breathing hard.

"What? What, what are you..."

"Huh, huh, huh...I'm here to help."

"Rescue? The heavens have not forsaken me!"

 I've gone from joy to ,

"...No, wait, are you a ghost dog? You, you're not the one who got trapped..."

 You sound suspicious.

 In the darkness, Tien couldn't tell what kind of expression he had on his face.

"...I don't care if you don't want to be saved. I'm leaving."

"Wait, wait, wait! I didn't say that! How the hell did we get here?"

"The collapse was fixed by the mage sama. I swam the rest of the way."


 I wonder what the foreman was thinking in his silence.

 Did you think it was a lie?


"...You knew I was here, and you came to help me?"

"That's right."


 There was another moment of silence.

"...Thank you. Really, thank you. I've got a wife and kids and if I die, they're gonna--"

"You can't talk about that kind of thing until you've been saved."

"Well, yeah... so, how do we get back?"


 Now it was Tien's turn to be silent.

"Hey, what's up? Oh, yeah, the rope, huh? You swam all the way out here with a rope, didn't you? Didn't you?"

"Yes, but the rope is gone."

"...What do you mean?"

 Tien lifted the rope around her waist and showed it to him - he couldn't see it in the dark.

"It wasn't long enough."


 Indeed, thirty meters in a horizontal direction was a sufficient length of rope.

 However, the rise of the water level from there was unaccounted for.

 The portion of the water surface that rose was because it was not long enough.

 So how did Tien get here? Astrid and Emily pulled the rope hard to the limit of its length, but Tien ignored them. But Tien ignored them and pushed on.

 At first the rope was tight, but eventually it loosened.

 That is, the end of the rope is somewhere in the submerged passage.

"Well, I can't get it to pull me over there, but I can swim like you, right?"

"...Yeah. But we'll have to keep diving."


 The foreman knows that the distance from here to the entrance is quite long.

 It's also not something you can just swim to.

 In addition, you have to go through the darkness.

 If you can't swim through, you're sure to drown," the foreman gulped.

"If we stay here..."


"Yeah, well... staying will only make things worse..."

 The foreman knew that much.

"No, let's do it. We have to."

"Yes . We're going then."

Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

 The foreman's voice was shaky.

"But if I'm out of breath, you go ahead. You can leave me here."


"It's better than both of us dying. Isn't that right, Tien (・・・・)?"


 They look at each other, even though it's dark, and then--.



 At the same time, he went into the water.