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The Innkeeper – Chapter 260: Druk Bahasa Indonesia

The crunch of stepping on dead leaves on the ground was unusually audible as Lex stepped out of the camp alone for the first time. While normally he would have admired the satisfaction of such a crisp sound, this time Lex could only worry about the fact that he was not trained to move silently through a forest, or without leaving a trail.

But there was no room for self doubt on this journey through a sentient forest, stuck in a realm that was not his own, without so much as a GPS or even a compass for that matter. No, there was no kind of hand holding going on. The only way Lex would ever get back was if he took the steps and risks necessary.

Anyway, who needed a GPS when he had the Fancy Monocle? Fitting the monocle in front of his left eye, Lex quickly departed. Since Lex did not have the skill to hide his trail, he had decided to actually submit a scouting report when he returned, to make his venture more credible. With the monocle feeding him information, he was bound to learn more than the expedition members, anyway.

Lex moved at a light jog for fifteen minutes until he was on the border of the camp’s radius of influence. He didn’t know what Ptolemy had done, but Goli hadn’t attacked the camp after the first day, and most animals had vacated the area. That did not mean the danger was eliminated, but at least they weren’t being targeted in the same way.

Lex took out an acorn from his backpack and crushed it in his fist before covering himself with acorn dust. This acorn provided by Karom would allow Lex to hide from Goli’s senses and eliminate much of the danger for him.

But, moving forward, he would still need to be more careful. The best he could do to stay hidden was move close to trees and crouch between the tall grass or behind random bushes. That would in no way hide his figure, nor would it prevent the sound of his footsteps on crunchy leaves.

Fortunately, things were not as bad as he made them seem, as he had gotten somewhat used to moving through the forest while he accompanied previous scouting parties.

He was currently following a stream of water, hoping to find its source. One of the mines nearest to him was deep underneath a lake, Karom had told him, but no one had as of yet found one.

It was hard to tell how much time passed in the forest, as there was no concept of the sun rising or declining in this realm. Instead, the leaves seemed to always emit a warm, candescent yellow light that made it seem like the forest was stuck in perpetually at noon.

At least that made it easier for Lex to identify any creatures in his path. Up ahead, he saw a small scaly creature that looked somewhat like a grasshopper, only about 3 feet wide, drinking water from the stream.

Not wanting to take any chances, Lex moved around the creature, as he had done so many times before, when the monocle showed him something interesting. It identified gold!

Hidden behind a few bushes was a naturally formed tunnel that seemed to descend underground at a 30-degree angle. Right at the mouth of the tunnel, however, was a small rock with bits of gold in it.

Having worked with the weaponsmith for so long, Lex learned an interesting tidbit that he suspected fed the actual reason for the value of gold back on Earth. It was a great conductor for spiritual energy, and when mixed with other metals in the manufacturing of weapons, or any item really, it served to enhance its capabilities greatly.

Could this be a gold mine? Lex put the gold infused rock in his backpack and decided to carefully explore the tunnel.

The immediately dark tunnel was a sharp contrast to the ever bright forest, but while it troubled Lex, the monocle was in no way impeded from functioning. As Lex slowly descended, the monocle started to detect other valuable ores and minerals.

Lex was congratulating himself on making a huge discovery when the monocle flashed a familiar red sign stating danger. Thankfully, the danger was not in the usual bold letters that meant Lex was about to be attacked.

Up ahead in the cave, hidden in the darkness, was some kind of creature, asleep thankfully, that the monocle did not have any information on in its repository. But, while it could not identify the creature, it gave Lex plenty of information on it. It was massive, with the length of its body at 20 feet (6.1 meters), nearly a dozen short and fat legs, two scythe-like claws and a face that seemed to exist directly on its torso.

Its body was not scaly or lethargy, but instead consisted of an unusual blend of metals and minerals.

Whatever it was, it weighed a few tonnes and Lex thought that the metals that made up its body were extremely valuable. Deciding not to take any more risks, Lex silently exited the cave and grabbed a few more rocks on the way out.

Lex spent another few hours searching for any identifying landmark that could help him locate one of the mines he was looking for, but when he could not, he decided it was safe to share the story about the tunnel with the camp. With this, if the tunnel proved to be valuable, their attention would be focused here, making it easier for Lex to explore other places in the forest.

Once he returned to the camp, much to the relief of the student on gate duty, Lex first went to someone called Barry and told him about the tunnel and showed him the rocks he had brought out. Barry was a sort of jack of all trades kind of guy, and had deep knowledge of geology, metallurgy, energetics, thermodynamics and a bunch of other fields Lex did not know the meaning of.

Initially, Barry was listening with interest, but as soon as Lx began to describe the creature he jumped off his seat and yelled, “Druk! You found a Druk lair? Rich! We’re going to be rich! Quick, someone called Ptolemy! Tell him we’re going to be rich!”

Lex was startled and confused at Barry, who was laughing like a maniac.

“Barry, what the hell is a Druk and why are we going to be rich?”

“Druks are creatures that live in Spirit Well, Lex! If we can confirm the presence of a Spirit Well, then the academy itself will reward us for this discovery!”

Suddenly, Lex felt like cursing Karom from the bottom of his heart.


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