Void pulled in front of Bee. It forced her to stop so as not to kick her master. She looked around and back over her shoulder. Nothing was chasing them yet. The irrational fear had passed, but the very rational and reasonable worries remained. Still, Void was here. She gathered a hold of herself and took a few deep breaths. Okay, I'm good.

Void let out a soft conciliatory hum. It seemed to understand that she was scared, but it needed her head in the game. So they silently stood there for a second, listening to the periodic thuds continue every half second above. Then, after a moment, Void turned around and continued down the gentle curving slope of the catacombs. As calm as it seemed, it moved at a slightly faster pace. Not so much faster than Bee couldn't keep up, though, she occasionally had to break into a jog. As she followed, her heart returned to the slightly elevated rate it had been for most of this trip rather than beating out of her chest.

Now that she had a moment to think, Bee was confused. She assumed the mausoleum in the empty chamber was for the hero from the carvings or maybe one of the hero's subordinates that had been buried there. His honor guard must have been buried above or something. She felt like she wasn't familiar with the legends of these people, but it seemed to be what images were implying.

However, this was a trap. Bee had stupidly triggered the trap, judging by how the coffin lid had moved. Still, it didn't seem like something that a hero would do. Maybe it was the presence of all the skeletons over such a long time, but it could just as easily be some massive curse. Whatever it was, it allowed the aura of death to be so strong that things exposed to it slipped back into this world. Perhaps it was done intentionally to protect the tomb, but this so clearly was the resting place of one of humanity's first saviors. However, she doubted that that would include the hero themself as part of that protection. Unless she misunderstood something and it wasn't just an honor thing. So either the setup was to protect something, or the hero stuff was to bait a trap for unwary adventurers. Both were genuine options in her mind.

They continued downward, further into the catacombs. Perhaps there was another way out further in that wouldn't make them go back into whatever Bee had released. Down the spiral pathway, they continued to encounter more skeletons. They steadily grew in size, strength, and number. It helped Bee to level more, but once they started showing up in threes, she wasn't confident in her ability to take them on.

Bee had been doing fine despite the increased levels. However, that didn't last forever. When she was tussling with an unusually tricky opponent, Void let out a warning. From behind them came a second enemy. She would have heard it if she hadn't been in a fight because skeletons are not very good at sneaking. The first time that Void had to assist, it broke some of the barriers that Bee's pride had kept up. Still, Bee wasn’t sure where it had come from.

Now Void stepped in to help occasionally, but in a small way. It quickly zoomed around, slamming into ankles as a distraction while Bee focused on taking one down at a time. It avoided vacuuming them right up, probably to let her keep training. Sometimes it didn't even need to touch them. It would go up behind their bony feet before she pushed the skeletons over. They would trip over the small black disk, giving her an opening to smash their legs or destroy them outright. However, some of the new ones with heavy armor were harder to unbalance.

The broom was surprisingly still effective against these more advanced enemies. Sure, it couldn't pierce through armor, but neither could her cleaver. It didn't quite have the hook of a halberd or anything, but it was excellent for tripping. The bristles could definitely catch the back of a knee and send an opponent sprawling. And once on the ground? She usually found a weak point in the armor and pried it off. Between its versatility and size, the broom still seemed the right weapon for her. The pole end made it easier for her to maneuver. The reach fixed her most significant disadvantage, and the bristles provided many surprisingly versatile options for defense and distraction. Plus, it was much lighter than most metal weapons. However, strength wouldn't limit her much longer if she kept leveling like this.

Fighting together reduced Beatrice's share of the experience but not as much as she expected. With her being carried by an extremely high-level being, she should be getting practically zero. However, she was getting maybe 40% of what she was used to. Void tricking the system into believing its level was impossibly low seemed to be still working.

After the first few fights, Beatrice had gotten better at scanning the skeletons every time she ran into them. Mostly they were fighter types, but that was only sometimes the case. The ones higher up were around level 7; however, the ones down here were much stronger. Now, none were under level 10. At first, her higher level, broom skill, and the skeleton's poor matchup had somewhat let her overcome a lack of combat experience. However, now that she didn't have an advantage in stats and skills, she was beginning to struggle.

This time when they completed a full turn of the spiral, they didn't find the same dark archway as expected. There was still an arch leading into a larger room, but it seemed to be filled with an ethereal white instead. It fluttered in a nonexistent breeze, like fresh sheets on a closeline. Bee's hand extended towards the arch, then stopped. She wouldn't make another mistake like that so soon. Void rolled forward through the arch instead. As he touched the whiteness, it rippled slightly and moved as the black disk passed through. Beatrice quickly moved to follow, leading with an outstretched arm. She realized it was, in fact, a gauzy sheet or curtain blocking the entrance. She pulled it aside and walked through.

This cavern was much different from the previous ones. No light sources were visible, so Bee's light and Void's blue illumination were unnecessary. Instead, an ambient glow filled the room and illuminated every corner. It was as though the walls and floor themselves were glowing.

It was a gently upward-sloping floor coming to a mound at the top. It was 100 feet across easily but still much smaller than the previous chambers. The rise maybe was 5 feet higher than the entryway at its peak. The whole thing seemed to be made of white glass. It was slick and slippery as she walked. She had to be careful to keep her balance lest she fall on her face. At the center of the mound on the very peak was a statue. It was the size of a man and almost as white as the rest of the room. The figure wasn't composed in any unique way. It was just a man standing. The man was armored and standing, carrying a lance and a sword attached to his hip.

The white walls formed the dome overhead, but there was no adornment, lamps, carvings, or anything interesting. The most fascinating part of the room was that she couldn't figure out where the light was coming from.

The room was stunning. Bee couldn't find a better way to describe it.

I rolled under the curtain and stopped. I was not prepared for this new room. I have seen many beautiful things in my time here, but this… Well, I might have a new favorite room. If only it were easier to get to, I could spend much more time here.

First of all, the place was immaculate. Not a speck of the grime from outside stained the floor here. I looked at it. In stark contrast to my other favorite room, this one had a surface made of white glass. It was like obsidian in all but color. Slick and smooth and beautiful. It was even reflective enough for my sensors to pick up my own image. I wished they hadn't. My underside was filthy. Most of the demon oil had been cleaned off when I brushed against the rugs upstairs. However, our trip to the catacombs had also caked it in the dust. Distressed, I turned my vacuum on full and spun around in tight circles. The combined forces of spin and suction let me dislodge some of the mess on me, and my vacuum power didn't let it get very far. Quickly I cleaned myself as much as possible. I was still far from what I would consider a proper cleaning, but it was good enough for now. Looking at my reflection no longer disgusted me.

That taken care of, I felt that I was able to appreciate this room fully. The floor was gently sloped but not so slippery that I couldn't roll up the center mound. And in the middle of the room, I saw a statue. What was it with these designers? They would make a fantastic, gorgeous floor and stick a statue in the center. Why? It just interrupted the flow of everything. If it were just an empty room, free of obstacles, it would be perfect for meditative cleaning. But no, they used it to display a dull statue. At least the statue was made in better taste than the one on the black floor. Where that one was some monster's image, this was of a human. Humans, I at least liked. Putting a statue that looked like a mess maker on such a fantastic floor, in any case… That was just tactless.

Losing interest in the center of the room quickly, I went to explore the edges. As I went, I noticed that there were no shadows in this room. It was pretty interesting. I supposed it was good because it would just detract from perfection. In this chamber, the walls were only a third of the width of the previous rooms. I also noticed no exit besides the way we came in. It seemed like this was the deepest part. We had reached the end and would have to return the way we came. The walls were made of a slightly different white stone material, not glass. I couldn't see that until I got relatively close.

The way it looked, the floor seemed to continue past the wall. It made me question how this was built. As skillfully as the wall joined to the floor, it looked more like it was already there. Maybe the wall was added as an afterthought.

I spent some time just enjoying the pure beauty of the floor and aesthetics here. I couldn't decide which one I enjoyed more: this room or the black one upstairs. But eventually, I knew we needed to move on. It had taken us a very long time to get down here. By my internal count, precisely 13 hours and 15 minutes. Now that I thought about it, this was the time that Beatrice needed to charge. I was fine since I had been topping off my reserves, slowly transmuting the dust I collected. Between that and my reserves, I had no problem keeping my sanitation lamp on to clean everything. But Beatrice would need to charge soon.

I looked around at the beautiful floors. Well, perhaps there were worse places to charge.

A note from zaifyr

Read ahead now up to 5 chapters on patron. Now more than 10k words and almost 2 weeks ahead!

Support "All the Dust that Falls: A Roomba Isekai Adventure"

About the author


Bio: After reading pretty much everything I could I figured I would try making some of the stories that I wanted to read.

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