There was a three-story tower (shaped like a three-tier cake) near the hidden oasis, and the oasis's water was clear enough that it reflected the ground.
Within the water lay gold coins, bars, and ornaments, as well as jewelry made of all sorts of precious gems. There was also old pottery, platinum cups, etc.
Plenty of items worthy of being called treasure were submerged in the water.
"Heok. I've hit the jackpot!"
Kang Oh's jaw dropped. To think he'd find so much treasure here!
"There's so much treasure here," Eder admired.
"This is... holy water," Grano drew some water and said.
As befitting a mage, he could feel the divine power that lay within.
"All of it is holy water?" Kang Oh asked.
Holy water possessed the power of purification, and it could never be created naturally.
It could only be created via a god's blessing or might. In other words, the oasis must have been touched by a god's influence, as it was filled with holy water.
"Are you alright?" Kang Oh looked at Eder and said.
"I'm ok. Why?"
"This is holy water. You're undead," Kang Oh said.
"Oh, that's right. I wonder why I'm ok."
Eder touched the holy water, but he wasn't affected in the least.
"Not all holy water is fatal for the undead," Grano said.
"Ah, is that so?"
"Yes. It depends on the god; some holy water will harm the undead, but some won't."
Kang Oh and Eder simultaneously nodded their heads.
"In any case, it seems like the hidden oasis is somehow connected to Turu."
Grano retrieved Turu's Slate from his subspace.
The slate was radiating a never-before-seen gentle light.
Grano had realized that Turu had a close connection with the hidden oasis ever since he'd seen the phrase on the slate.
"So is this Turu's shrine or something?" Kang Oh asked.
"I'm not sure. Whatever the case, we need to take a closer look to know for sure. We need to keep a particularly close eye on that tower."
Grano pointed towards the three-story tower.
Kang Oh scrutinized the treasure with his arms crossed. Although he wanted to rush over and claim the treasure right away...
'Something feels off.'
It was strange; why would they just leave the treasure here in broad daylight for anyone to take?
"It feels like a trap, doesn't it?" Kang Oh asked Grano.
"Probably? I believe it best if we look around and then come back for the treasure later," Grano said.
Kang Oh nodded his head.
He couldn't forget his experience in Beskamen I's tomb, where he'd fallen for a trap (the tomb caving in) and had come out of the dungeon empty-handed.
Yet here he was, being forced to ignore the treasure right before his very eyes... He couldn't move away from it easily.
Seeing that, Grano said, "The treasure won't go anyway, so let's go into the tower first."
"Mr. Grano is right. If you're too greedy, you could lose it all again," Eder said.
'Please wait for me.'
Kang Oh regretfully glanced at the treasure and forced himself to step away from the treasure.
A short while later...
Kang Oh's party stood before the entrance of the tower.
The entrance was shut tight via a tough stone gate.
Eder tried to force the gate open, but it refused to budge an inch.
"Looks like it's locked," Eder said.
Grano approached the gate, and pointed to the engraved letters that were written in the Bariton Desert's ancient tongue.
"What it says on the gate is: 'Courage completes wisdom.'."
"I feel like I've heard that somewhere before."
Eder furrowed his brow. He could’ve sworn he'd heard that somewhere before.
"We saw it before we defeated the golem," Kang Oh said.
"Ah, you're right. We saw it back then!"
Eder clapped his hands.
"It must be asking you for proof that you possess both courage and wisdom."
Grano stretched out Turu's Slate towards the gate.
Once the gentle light shined on the door, the gate's ancient letters began to shine as well.
The massive gate opened on both sides.
[You have discovered the Tower of Wisdom.]
[You are the first to discover it.]
[Fame has increased.]
"The Tower of Wisdom, huh... Have you ever heard about it before?" Kang Oh asked Grano.
"It's the first I've ever heard of it, but it's definitely connected to Turu."
Grano stated the obvious.
After all, the gate could only be opened with Turu's Slate, and the tower was called the Tower of 'Wisdom'.
"We don't have any info regarding the tower, so everyone keep your guard up. We don't know what's going to show up in there," Kang Oh said.
Eder and Grano nodded their heads.
Kang Oh entered first, being wary of his surroundings.
Grano and Eder followed close behind him.
* * *
Kang Oh examined the inside of the tower.
To start, it was bright. He didn't see anything in particular illuminating the tower, but it was bright nonetheless.
There was a passageway that went straight forward, and the ceiling was high. Both walls were covered in a mural.
Grano seemed interested in the mural.
"What's wrong? Is there something that caught your eye?" Eder asked.
"The mural uses various letters, shapes, and meanings that appear across the Arth continent."
"Ah, now that you mention it, there are letters in the mural," Eder said as he closely studied the murals.
"Yes. This mural is a dictionary for Arth's letters," Grano said.
"A dictionary? Why would they add a dictionary to a mural?"
Eder tilted his head.
"We'll find out as we go along I suppose," Kang Oh said.
Kang Oh's party progressed through the mural-filled passageway.
When the passageway ended, they found themselves in a vast space.
"Is this a library?" Kang Oh asked.
"There are tons of books in here," Grano said.
As they said, there were a large quantity of books within the tower.
There were countless bookshelves filled to the brim with books.
Eder, who normally loved to read and was interested in books, was excited.
He quickly examined the books.
Eder's eyes widened.
"What? What's wrong?" Kang Oh asked, as Eder's reaction was unusual.
"P-Please give me a moment," Eder stammered and tried to pull out one of the books.
This book was called <Grandjole's Travelog>.
"Huh? This book won't come out."
Eder tried to pull the book out, but the book wouldn't come out at all.
"What is it? Is it expensive?"
"I'm not sure about the price, but this book is listed in <The Top 100 Lost Masterpieces>," Eder said.
"So it's a book that no longer 'exists'," Kang Oh said.
Then it should be expensive.
Then, Grano, who had been inspecting the books, pointed at a different book.
"This book is the same."
The book he was pointing at was written in the Bariton Desert's ancient script.
"What kind of book is it?" Eder asked.
"It's called <How to Make Beskamen Silk>. The way to create Beskamen Silk, which is what my turban is made out of, should be written inside."
Grano pointed at his plumed turban.
"You said that the way to create Beskamen Silk was lost," Kang Oh said.
"Yes. However, a record of it still exists here. But I can't take the book out and look at it, so I don't know whether it's the real deal or not."
Grano shrugged his shoulders.
"This seems like a place where lost knowledge is stored. There's some hidden force preventing us from taking the books too," Kang Oh said.
Grano nodded his head, as if he agreed with Kang Oh's assumption.
"How do we take these books out?"
Eder looked anxious, as if he was desperately waiting for someone to be finished with the restroom.
Kang Oh shook his head.
Eder looked desperately at Grano.
"I'm not sure at the moment."
Grano too shook his head.
"There're stairs over there that lead to the next floor. Let's go to the 2nd floor."
Grano pointed towards the spiral-shaped stairs.
"I wonder if there's anything on the 2nd floor. It'd be nice if there were gold bars there instead of books..."
Kang Oh walked towards the stairs.
"There might be books that we can actually take," Eder said.
"We'll see when we get there."
Grano followed suit.
Kang Oh's party ascended the stairs up to the 2nd floor.
There were several rooms on the 2nd floor.
There was a bedroom with a stone bed, a conference room with a round table and chairs, and a work room with a work bench inside; also, there was a kitchen, a storage room, and a bathroom as well.
"Hmm. Someone definitely lived here. It might've been the members of the Order of Truth," Grano said.
"Probably," Kang Oh agreed.
"Then why don't we see anyone?" Eder asked.
There were traces of people living here, but no people.
"I'm not sure..."
Grano stroked his chin.
"Let's look through the third floor for now."
Kang Oh headed towards the spiral-shaped stairs and his party ascended to the third floor.
There was an altar at the center of the third floor.
The ceiling was wide open, and there was a crystal at the top that illuminated the entirety of the hidden oasis.
However, Turu's Slate shined light straight forward like a laser.
Its light had made contact with the altar.
"Why's it doing that?" Eder’s gaze alternated between Turu's Slate and the altar.
"It must mean that we need to place the slate on top of the altar," Kang Oh said.
Kang Oh's party approached the altar.
He was right. There was a groove at the center of the altar that matched the size of the slate.
Furthermore, the slate's light shined upon the groove as well.
"Should I place the slate inside?" Grano asked Kang Oh and Eder for their opinions.
"It could be a trap."
Kang Oh looked concerned.
It was still clear in his mind; when he turned the key in the Tomb of Beskamen I, the entire place had caved in.
"Hmm. I cannot be sure, but I don't think it's a trap, since Turu's Slate has been leading us here. If it was a trap, then it wouldn't have led us here in the first place," Grano said.
It was because they possessed Turu's Slate that they could open the door. Plus, Turu's Slate was glowing, effectively telling them to place it into the groove.
There was merit in Grano's opinion.
"Please place it into the groove."
"Are you in favor too, Mr. Eder?"
Eder nodded his head.
Grano carefully placed the slate within the groove.
It fit perfectly.
At that moment!
The tower slightly shook.
Kang Oh furrowed his brow. This is what happened last time in the Tomb of Beskamen I before it caved in.
Eder instinctively raised his head, checking to see if the ceiling was falling.
Eder sighed in relief. He remembered that the third floor didn't have a ceiling in the first place.
At that moment!
The slate emitted a powerful pillar of light.
[A god has been called.]
[You have proven your worth.]
[The God of Wisdom, Turu, has responded to your call.]
The pillar of light disappeared.
Soon, an old man appeared, standing atop the altar with a long, question-mark staff in his hand.
The old man's hair, eyebrows, and beard was all white like snow. He also seemed ill-tempered and fastidious.
The old man said, "Did you guys call for me?"
He appeared annoyed.
"Are you the God of Wisdom?"
Kang Oh widened his eyes in disbelief.
He was much too unattractive for a god. He looked like the strict old man next door.
"Indeed. I am the God of Wisdom, Turu!"
Turu smacked the altar with his question-mark staff, speaking with as much dignity as he could muster.
It was momentarily silent.
"Oh, my body aches."
Turu suddenly supported his back and sat on top of the altar.
"Man, you really have to pass on when you get old," Turu put down his question-mark staff and said.
He rubbed his body all over with both his free hands.
Kang Oh and Eder glanced at each other.
'Is this guy a fake?'
'It does seem that way.'
However, Grano bowed his head.
"Lord Turu. It's an honor to be granted an audience with you."
His expression was quite serious and somber.
"Haha," Turu laughed.Previous Chapter Next Chapter