Chapter 12 – Carmen Valtas.

Carmen Valtas

So Carmen Valtas?

The surname after that was odd. Valtas was a spy’s surname in this wild north. For one man.

Ensis Valtas, the Black Wolf. One of the best warriors in the North, he was known for being the strongest sword in the Queen’s defense and a fierce principled man.

As if sensing my thoughts, Carmen smiled brightly, her jet-black eyes shining.

“You’re right in thinking that. Ensis Baltas, the Black Wolf, is my father. But, just in case you’re thinking the wrong thing, I’m a bastard.”

A bastard? A bastard to the fussy, principled Black Wolf? I thought he’d been a bachelor ever since he lost his wife. Perhaps rumor and reality are not the same thing.

But it wasn’t polite to probe further, so I gently changed the subject.

“I was wondering if you could introduce me to the people in the back?”


Carmen replied cheerfully, her cool voice the kind of voice that would strike up a friendship with anyone.

“The lady in the robes over here is named Tonissa, the ‘Wizard’. She is the one who will lead us to the ancient ruins.”

Tonissa nodded her head in greeting without really looking at me. I didn’t feel the need to get to know her better, so I simply smiled and bowed slightly.

Most ‘wizards’ were a bunch of clueless as*h*les in the first place.

In this world, becoming a wizard was quite simple.

To be born a wizard. They were born with magic from the moment they left their mothers’ wombs, and while there were slight variations between individuals, they would awaken at a certain age, at which point their minds would be flooded with a vast amount of information about ancient languages.

And so they are reborn as one true wizard, using ancient spells and innate magic to bend the laws of the world. Without paying any price.

However, with all the information about ancient languages crammed into their heads, they are naturally unwilling to learn. As a result, most wizards are uneducated, powerless brutes.

Finding education in a wizard was as difficult as finding a snow hare hunkered down in a pure white snowfield.

So there’s no need to stress about getting too deeply entangled.

After watching the wizard and I exchange pleasantries, Carmen introduced me to a heavily armed horned man.

“This is Sukus. As you can see, he’s a horned man, and you can always count on him.”

The horned man called Sukus took a step forward and extended his hand to me.

“It’s good to meet you. Marnak the Demon Slayer.”

I smiled awkwardly and extended my hand.

“Please just call me Marnak, I’m ashamed of that nickname.”

“There is no shame in what you have accomplished. Be proud.”

The large clasped hands grew stronger and stronger.

Yes, this is a horned man. My previous encounter with Cornu, a Covenant priest, had been very well socialized as a priest, but the Horned Ones are basically a race that thrives on struggling with the strong. When dealing with them, it’s always better to be a little stronger in the beginning.

I tugged on their interlocked hands with a little force, and Sukus, who was at least a head taller than me, leaned forward, his center of gravity pulled by my force. Then I slid one foot over the other and stepped on his foot.


The large body fell to the ground with a heavy thud. I smirked as I held out my hand to the fallen Sukus.

“Is that enough?”

Sukus laughed out loud as he lay there.

“Hahahaha! That’s great! That’s great! You’re a demon slayer! Your strength is almost as good as ours, and I love your sneaky little personality!”

Laughing heartily, Sukus grabbed my hand and stood up.

“I’m glad you like him.”

“When this is all over, we’ll have a drink together!”

“I’m looking forward to that.”

To a man who had lost his sense of taste, alcohol was a tasteless abomination, but there was no point in making things awkward by declining here.

When Carmen realized I’d said hello, she smiled cheerfully.

“Well, now that we’ve exchanged pleasantries, why don’t we get going? We’ll make up for any lack of conversation as we go, after all, we’ll be walking for at least two days before we reach the ruins of the ancient empire.”


Burning wood, leaping embers. The campfire glowed alone in the dark night.

Carmen pushed in a new log and turned to me.

“Aren’t you going to bed? Your turn at the fire is over, so you might as well stay up until daylight.”

“I’ve already had enough, I can’t sleep anymore.”

It’s been two days since we left Guise. Carmen and I had gotten to know each other pretty well. I’ve built a decent relationship with Sukus. Tonissa, the sorceress, was a very reticent woman and we didn’t talk much, but I didn’t mind.

I tugged on the furry robe I’d bought before leaving Guise and wrapped it around myself. The fine fur tickled my cheek playfully.

“The more I look, the more I realize, but I don’t think you’re human, Priest Marnak. Are you half-horned, perhaps your father or mother were?”

“My father was clearly human, so can I take that as a casting of doubt on my mother’s chastity?”

Carmen giggled at my playful comment.

“It’s a joke. A joke. By the way, since you’re in the thick of things, do you have any interesting tales to share? For a priest of Marnak’s stature, I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of women.”

I picked up a piece of firewood that had fallen to the ground beside me and shoved it in.

“I’m like a pure white snowfield that no one has ever stepped on.”

“Hmm. That’s quite remarkable, so do you have a favorite woman?”

Carmen asked with an amused twinkle in her eye, and I felt a small stirring in my breast pocket.

“Hmmm. I guess I like a woman who stays with me.”

The stirring in my pocket stopped. Carmen nodded in agreement.

“Well, there’s something to be said for waking up in the morning and seeing a woman sleeping soundly next to you.”

“Now that you’ve told my story, why don’t you tell yours?”

“You mean about my favorite woman?”


Scratching her cheek in embarrassment, Carmen looked at Modak and spoke.

“I mean, a horse. I think a woman’s heart is the most important thing.”


Her mother snapped her fingers in her pocket, as if she were quite satisfied with the innocence of the word. Before her mother could finish her tirade, Carmen drew a large breast in the air with her hand.

“Of course,” she said, “the heart is in the chest, so if the heart is big, the vessel for it must be big.”


Mother Corruption was genuinely puzzled by the suddenly strange turn the conversation had taken. Carmen turned her head to meet my eyes and smiled broadly.

“Priest Marnak. I like women with big breasts.”

I sensed a purity in her demeanor that I’d never seen before. Before I could say “Moor,” my mother screamed into my hair.


I smirked, trying to calm her down as she urged me to distance myself from the lecherous man immediately.

“It’s not a bad thing to have strong tastes, they’ll be a beacon of light for the rest of your life, but if I may offer a word of advice, I wouldn’t bring it up in front of the ladies.”

Carmen laughed heartily.

“Hahaha! I don’t go around saying things like that everywhere either, it’s all in front of the priest, and besides, we’ve been getting along quite well lately, haven’t we, and when I talk to him, I feel like I’ve known him for years.”

Truth be told, I was quite fond of this cheerful man. I smiled sheepishly and replied.

“I feel the same way.”


With that, and my mother’s shouts of “keep your friends to yourself,” we were off into the morning.

It was time to enter the ancient ruins.


“Let’s open it, then.”

Tonissa muttered the ancient language in a small voice and pushed the ‘key’ into the void. The space warped and a black hole gaped open.

I felt my heart sink slightly at the sight of the ruins of an ancient empire. This was my first time exploring the ruins.

Entering the ruins of the Ancient Empire was quite simple.

1. get a Key, a key item that allows you to enter the ruins.

2. go to the coordinates on the key and read the ancient language on the key.

3. Finally, push the key into thin air and turn it clockwise or counterclockwise as desired.

After fulfilling these three conditions, you can enter the ruins of the ancient empire.

However, only wizards can read the ancient language on the key, so their presence is indispensable for exploring the ruins. The only exception to this is the player of this game.

That’s right. I could read ancient texts. I had tried to get the ‘key’ to the ruins a few times, but the ‘key’ was quite a precious commodity for someone with no ties to this world.

“Let’s go in!”

Carmen shouted as she stepped into the black hole, followed by Sukus, then me, and finally Tonisa.

Once Tonissa, with the key, entered the ruins, the black hole slowly disappeared. Now the only way out of the ruins was to use the key once again to get out of here, or to find an ‘exit’ somewhere in the ruins.



Carmen and I exclaimed as we observed the ruins. In fact, the overwhelming sight of the ruins, which I’d only seen in screenshots on the internet, with my own two eyes, made my heart swell.

At the end of a tunnel of giant white rocks, a giant white structure flaunts its presence. But there was no sign of life amidst its stark beauty. No tiny birds chirped, no insects buzzed, no beasts breathed.

There was no sound of life here, only the silence of the sedimented years.

Carmen smiled softly through the stunned silence.

“Shall we go in, then? It looks like a much better preserved site than I’m used to, so I’m sure there’s plenty of artifacts.”


Carmen’s words jolted me out of my reverie. A well-preserved ruin means that it has a high ranking in the game.

This meant that there was a high probability that a high-level guardian would appear. Of course, there was also the possibility that it was a bonus ruin with no guardian.

It never hurts to be prepared.

Besides, high-ranked ruins naturally held high-ranked ancient artifacts.

I stepped forward, tapping my toes in anticipation, Carmen leading the way.