After weeks of practical lessons, our teacher had deemed us ready to do some dungeon exploration. He said that experiencing dangers and battles would help improve our survival capabilities and critical thinking skills. Everyone should have at least a bit of experience working together and overcome difficulty.
“In this exploration, we will be traveling to the outskirts of the kingdom, to a C-ranked dungeon called Bugsworn Valley, and as you can see from the name, it is filled with bugs, although it is not overly dangerous, you will need to stick together and watch out for any unexpected things that’ll happen. Now, i said that this is an exploration, but it’s actually a test.”
The students started to murmuring amongst themselves, getting excited. They could not wait to use their powers and abilities against real monsters, almost all of them are brought up sheltered, so this will be a first for them.
“Now, i want you to split yourselves into groups of 3, objective of this test is to collect the most number monster cores, the group with the highest amount and quality wins.”
The class immediately split into their groups.
“You want to join my group?” I asked Parzival. He accepted with a hesitant nod.
“Something bad might happen if you team up with me, are you sure?” He asked worryingly.
“It’s fine, now we have one more slot left, who do you think we should pick?”
I looked around, and everyone seem to edge away from Parzival, like he is some kind of roach. I looked on in dismay.
But surprises comes in mysterious ways.
The Ice Princess got up from her desk and walked graciously across the classroom, as if she was floating. Everyone stopped what they were doing and like moses parting the red sea, they let her through. Their eyes were on her every step.
She slowly approached my desk and stopped right in front of me. I could feel the chilly aura emanating from her.
“To what do i owe the pleasure of your presence, little princess.”
Everyone gasped in shock at the way i referred to her, even Parzival was staring at me in horror. They held their breath, afraid of what she would do next.
Although her face remains impassive, i could see shock in her eyes. Clearing her throat, she said,” i would like to join your group.”
“And what if i refuse?”
This time a slither of emotion leaked out from her face and her mouth formed a perfect ‘O’. I could see panic slowly settling into her eyes.
“Just kidding with ya, we were looking for an additional member anyways, welcome to the group.”
After getting my confirmation, she headed straight back to her seat.
“That was crazy dude, why do you think she wanted to join our group?” Parzival asked.
“Beats me, guess we’ll find out later.” i said as i watched her retreating back.
“Now he brings Anastasia into his team too? That bastard, how many times is he gonna piss me off.” Markeil threw a bottle of whiskey across the room, shattering it. The others in the room flinched in fear. “Roland come here, and listen well.”
Roland approached Markeil timidly with heavy steps. Putting a hand on the Roland’s shoulder, Markeil said,” I want you to do whatever it takes to mess with Eric’s test, make sure to f*** him up, understood?”
“Ye-yes my lord, by your will.”
“Hahahaha, that’s great, now get out of my sight.” With a dismissive gesture, Roland and his gang scuttled away.
The day of the test came and the whole class took the teleportation gate to the dungeon. Everyone gathered in their groups.
“Listen up, you will be in the dungeon for 3 days, and by the end of those 3 days, you will all return to the dungeon entrance, and well will count your cores. Now be careful, if you see anything you cannot handle, retreat immediately. You are now free to go.”
Everyone left in a dash, excited to start their new adventures. My group walked leisurely into the dungeon. I was excited to see what they were capable of. Parzival was nervous to approach Anastasia, i remained silent, and she remained as impassive as ever, the atmosphere became a little awkward.
It didn’t take too long before we encountered our first monster. Parzival equipped his dual wield deadric daggers, i brought out Severance and Anastasia pulled out her jewel encrusted wand. This was just the first level of the dungeon so the monster won’t be too difficult to handle.
In front of us were a few ants the size of dogs, they had 6 eyes on their forehead and massive pincers which looked like they could crush steel easily. “Get read-” But before i could finish what i was saying, Anastasia dashed forward and raised her wand up.
What followed was a flash of blinding light that illuminated the entire area and sound of bodies dropping onto the ground. I was fast enough to react and cover my eyes, but the same cannot be said for Parzival.
“Jesus, a little warning next time would be nice”? I said.
“I am sorry, i am not used to working together.”
“That’s fine, just don’t do that again.”
We both looked at Parzival still rolling on the ground clutching his eyes and looked back at each other unable to contain our grins. That was the first time i saw any expression on her face, and it was beautiful.
Once we collected ourselves, we started discussing plans and tactics. After that, it was smooth sailing as we traveled down the dungeon. I used my seismic sense to locate the monsters, Parzival rooted them with his shadow chains and Anastasia engaged them after blinding them with her light magic. It didn’t seem like i had much to do, as they dispatched them so easily.
We gathered lots of cores as we progressed and quickly reached the first boss room on the 10th floor. It seemed like we were the first to reach the room as there was no one else on site.