Arc 4 Chapter 56: The Dungeon is where?

When Akira returned to the city he was met by the castles royal guard captain who had been waiting for him near the gate of the city.

“The queen has ordered me to escort you back to the castle so you can give her your report on the mission,” said the captain.

Varbu and Larf tried to follow but the captain put up his hand to stop them.

“The queen only wants to see Akira,” said the guard captain with an icy tone to match the cold air.

“I’ll return to the inn later,” Akira told Varbu before leaving with the guard captain.

***

“.. and that is all that happened,” said Akira finishing up his detailed explanation and answering all her questions.

“How fascinating for such a monster like that to really exist. I’m glad you were able to kill it. From your report, almost all of the monsters seem to have been cleared out of the burning forest. So there shouldn’t be a problem for a while. I already sent a scouting team out yesterday to find the origin of the rockmen, they should be back soon. So were you able to find any fire stones?” asked Jezebel.

Akira pulled out a number of Firestones and handed them over to Jezebel all of them were various sizes, shapes. The quality of each Firestone was 10x better than the ones she had received before.

He had picked up a large number of them while fighting the rockmen and since he was unsure how valuable they were he kept many of the smaller ones along with the large Firestone that dropped from the [Rockman golem].

“So many! You really outdid yourself! With these my plan is possible!” said Jezebel happily.

Ding!

Quest Complete!
Lvl up!
Lvl up! 
You are now Lvl 23!

“What exactly are they used for?” asked Akira after happily reading the message.

“Nothing much don’t worry about it. Can you stay here until the scout team returns tomorrow with the news?”

“Well, I guess it shouldn’t be too much of a problem,” said Akira.

***

Next day.

Akira was standing near Jezebel as she listed to the report given by the team leader of Scouts.

“You found where they came from?” asked Jezebel.

“Yes, your highness! The forest was mostly empty as you said it would be we were able to search the area quickly and found traces leading to and up the Crepitus volcano. Near the top of the volcano was an entrance to a Dungeon!” said the scout captain.

“A dungeon? Where you able to figure out how big it is?” asked Jezebel.

“We only had enough time to scout out the first floor which was rather large with a few winding paths that led to smaller rooms filled with monsters.”

“The first floor… so there’s more than one floor? What type of monsters were inside?”

“From what we saw there were a few different types of monsters on the first floor all of them were of the fire type. Which seems to have been boosted due to them living in the volcanic dungeon. The second floor most likely contains even more powerful monsters.”

“You may leave,” said Jezebel dismissing the man.

Jezebel looked over to Akira after the scout leader left the meeting hall.

“I feel bad for asking you this but can you help me with this? I’m sure that the people I send will get It done but judging from the monster you encountered in the burning forest the dungeon might be even more dangerous and cause a large number of deaths. I’m sure with your power you can help clear it,” said Jezebel.

Akira took a few moments to think it over going over the information he had just heard in the report. He had been planning to leave the capital in a day or two but now with Jezebel’s request, he was torn on what to do.

Ding!

New quest!
Help Clear the Crepitus volcano dungeon:
Jezebel has asked you to help clear the Crepitus Volcano dungeon that has been found. 
She does not want to lose many people to the monsters inside and is relying on your strength to help take care of this problem. 
It is not known how many floors there are. All monsters inside will have a high affinity to the fire element.

Difficulty: D+
Reward: Unknown
Will you accept?
Yes / No

“Don’t worry I’ll set up a reward for adventures that go to the dungeon and help clear it. This way you won’t be alone,” said Jezebel trying to persuade Akira.

He wasn’t too sure if they would be much of a help since they tended to not fight together and stayed in small groups doing whatever the group leader wanted.

“Alright, I’ll help you,” said Akira agreeing. ‘I can do this last thing in order to thank Jezebel for the presents she gave me. But after I finish this dungeon I need to leave.’

“Thank you!” said Jezebel jumping towards Akira and hugging him.

A message window popped up that the two of them could not see.

Innate skill unlock: 50%

***

Varbu was walking next to Akira as they were hiking up the narrow path leading to the Crepitus volcano.

Many adventures had seen or heard the news about the dungeon clearing expedition from the town criers. Many were enticed by the large amount of gold that was to be given to those who helped clear it.

Akira could see that there were a few familiar faces among the adventures. They were from the group of people that had gone out a few days ago to clear the burning forest with Akira and Varbu.

Many adventures had heard the tales of the large boss fight and the success of the last group at their favorite taverns. This stoked a fire of wanting to experience an adventure like that for themselves while also earning enough money to last them a few years.

“What’s wrong with your head? Aren’t we supposed to be searching for your clan?” asked Varbu unhappily, only after making sure the other adventures were not near enough to hear their conversation.

“This is the last thing, I promise. I’m just doing this last thing to pay back the hospitality and gifts that have been given to me. When we finish here we can leave immediately after I report the results to her,” said Akira trying to reassure Varbu.

“It seems like your friend is just using your past relationship in order to keep having you do things for her.”

“No, she’s not like that.”

KaBOOM!

As the group reached the path leading up the volcano. The sky above them darkened as the volcano spewed ash into the air along with small burning rocks that began to rain down on them.

Varbu grumbled as he batted away the raining rocks that had come near him.

The narrow path up the volcano was dangerous due to the loose rocks that littered the path making it easy for someone to slip and fall to their deaths. The only good thing was the path was not covered in snow due to the heat that was pouring out of the volcano.

Although there were a few close calls everyone reached the top safely.

This time the group didn’t have a leader and was solely made up of Adventures. They were all standing at the large entrance to the dungeon chatting together unsure what to do.

“Everyone I know we are not a group of friends or allies but let’s all avoid causing trouble and if we see another needing help we will all go and assist them,” said a tall muscular adventure who was carrying a pair of hand crossbows.

There was a low mummer of agreement from the crowd of adventures before they all began to enter the dungeon.

Ding!

You have entered Crepitus Volcano dungeon.

The entrance of the dungeon led to a medium-sized room that had more than ten paths branching out from each other. The chill of the outside winter air was now nonexistent inside the room. The temperature was rising with every step they took forward.

The group began to break up as they choose different paths to test their luck at finding treasure, rare ore, or a monster that had rare parts that could be sold for large amounts of gold.

Akira and Varbu picked a random path that no one had chosen yet. The last of the undecided adventures seeing the two entering it did not follow them and formed their own small groups to explore the remaining paths.

Akira and Varbu were vigilant while walking down the hallways ready for any type of attack.

They reached a four-way up ahead and were surprised to see another group passing by who were just as startled.

“Looks like the paths intersect with each other,” said Akira as he looked at the minimap that was being slowly revealed as they continued to walk.

***

“Your majesty a new report from the life force inspector,” shouted out a royal guard.

“What is it?” asked Jezebel.

“The report shows that multiple people have died already and it has not even been a full day yet.”

“Very well! You may leave,” said Jezebel coldly showing no emotion after hearing the news. When he exited the room a vicious smile finally appeared on her face.

“Wahahaha! These idiots will do anything I tell them as long as there is gold offered up. It’s a good thing that many will die inside the cave this means that I can cull those that might cause problems for me later and keep the cost of the dungeon expedition down. Hopefully more die,” said Jezebel while laughing.

“I wonder how Akira is doing.”

***

Fwooshhhh!

Akira ran forward with his shield held in front to block the incoming small fireballs being spat at him by four lava slimes. [Lava Slime Lvl 23]

In the beginning, the heat in the large cave was almost unbearable due to the large number of [Lava Slimes] that had continuously shot fireballs making the air extremely hot. But now that there were only a few left the unbearable heat was lessening its intensity.

Once he got close enough he used his skill [Sword Slash] to kill that last four remaining Lava slimes.

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“Is it me or are these things too easy to fight? I thought they were supposed to have an advantage because of this being their home turf,” said Varbu.

“They are strong it’s just that your brute strength and blunt force is their worst enemy. You’ve been just blowing through them. From what I saw earlier some of the other adventures have had some problems with fighting one or two of them at a time I even saw a few burn to death,” said Akira while picking up the silver coins on the ground that the slimes had dropped.

“I’m not that powerful, and it’s the only thing that I can use since the Magic fire gem has no effect on them. What’s crazier than my attack power is your defense. You know I’ve been meaning to ask you but where is that money coming from?” asked Varbu. He had watched Akira pick up multiple copper and silver coin over the last few hours.

“The slimes I guess. They must have eaten someone or something that had this money on them and were unable to dissolve it. I’m just happy to find it, my money was getting low,” said Akira giving a vague answer.

“We should be nearing the stairs to the next floor,” said Akira quickly moving to a new subject as they walked through one of the many winding paths.

The mini-map that Akira had been recording showed just how crazy the place really was. He wondered how the others were able to navigate with all the twists, turns, and crisscrossing the paths did.

When Akira and Varbu entered the next open cave room filled with Lava slimes another small group of four adventures entered from the other side.

Seeing each other both groups did not speak and began to start killing a large amount of [lava slimes] on their own side of the large cavernous room.

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Since there was plenty of room and monsters for both of them to fight Akira and Varbu ignored the other group and continued to fight the [Lava slimes] all the while picking up the coins that they dropped upon death.

The Other group of adventures had been keeping an eye on Akira and Varbu and when they saw the slimes that the two were killing were dropping copper and silver coins greed clouded their senses.

They began to slowly move towards Akira and Varbu killing a Lava slime one at a time and were soon killing slimes that were right next to Akira and Varbu.

Akira not wanting to cause trouble decided to not bother with them and moved away.

But the adventures kept following them trying to kill the slimes that he and Varbu were going to kill.

“Can I help you with something?” asked Akira who was now pissed off for having to deal with their petty acts.

“We were here first. These are our monsters to kill,” said the leader of the group.

Akira was speechless at the gall of the leader who was acting in such an overbearing way. Everyone in the room knew they had entered at the same time.

“Fine, we’ll go somewhere else,” said Akira through clenched teeth.

“You do that,” said the leader with a smirk. Happy to get the slimes that were dropping silver all to himself.

Akira and Varbu left through another tunnel and continued forward until they reached a circular cave that had a set of stairs in the middle of the room leading down to the next floor.

The room was empty of any monsters. There were already multiple adventures sitting around the entrance eating, talking, and repairing their equipment.

“Let’s go to the second floor,” said Akira.

“Fine with me, I need to kill something right now,” said Varbu.

One of the adventures standing near the stairs tried to stop Akira from entering the stairs.

Akira glared at him.

“It is dangerous down there, it will be better if we all wait here until everyone has gathered and we can go as a team to clear the floor,” said the young adventure hurriedly explaining himself.

“No need, we’ll go right now,” said Akira walking past him with Varbu following behind him.

***

Back in the cave where the adventures had forced Akira to leave they were surrounded by slimes that they had attracted from all over the cave while they had been moving towards Akira.

An argument had broken out between the members that were fighting off the large numbers.

“Why are there so many of them?”

“Why has there not been a single coin drop from these damn Lava Slimes!”

“Are you the one stealing the coins? They were dropping every time that guy killed one.”

“If you’re stealing all the coins I’ll kill you after we finish with these monsters!”

“How do I know you’re not just trying to say that to keep the blame away from you?”

It seemed the conflict between the members would not end well.

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