“What a dungeon?” asked Akira who immediately became interested in the gossip.
“Yeah, but like I said I only know people who were talking about it. I didn’t encounter anything while traveling here.”
“Who was it?” asked Akira.
“It was Bumnickus. He is the old fellow drinking heavily by the palm tree,” said Knuckles pointing to an old man slumped next to a palm tree with multiple bags next to him.
“Here we go again,” said Varbu.
“What is it?” asked Mileena.
“Just watch you’ll see soon enough,” said Varbu.
The two of them followed after Akira as he walked up to Bumnickus who was currently drinking a large amount of alcohol from a leather waterskin.
“What do you want?” asked the slightly drunk Bumnickus, upon seeing the three people surrounding him.
“Can you tell me where you encountered the monsters that attacked your caravan?” asked Akira.
“Why? What benefit do I get to let you know?”
“I might be able to take care of it for you. Which will make your future travels easier.”
“See,” said Varbu nudging Mileena with his large elbow.
“What’s he talking about?” asked Mileena while moving away from Varbu’s large elbow.
“Are you nuts? Those monsters are vicious. Normal people can’t fight them,” scoffed Bumnickus.
“We’re not normal people,” said Akira.
“Hmph, suit yourself, I warned you. Do you have a map so I can show you where it was?”
Akira nodded and pulled out a map from his bag that he had bought for a high price before beginning the long journey.
“Hmph…you call this a map? I’m surprised anyone would buy such a crappy piece of paper,” said Bumnickus with a few slurred words before taking out an ink bottle and a metal-tipped feather from one of the bags next to him.
Bumnickus dipped the end of the feather in the ink and began to draw extra details onto the map. His hand was surprisingly steady creating crisp sharp lines and in an artful way. This happened even while he continued to drink his alcohol with his other hand.
He seemed to have gone into a trance and was slowly transforming the almost bare map into what looked like a piece of expensive art rather than a map.
After half an hour Bumnickus completed the last stroke finishing his task of transforming the map. He wiped the metallic tip of the feather on his pants and placed the cap onto the ink bottle and put them back into his bags.
When his hand came out of the bag he was holding a shaker that had a special finely ground sand and shook it over the map in order to soak up the excess ink. He let it rest for a short time before gently brushing the sand off with a soft horsetail brush.
Akira, Varbu, and Mileena had all been hypnotized by the masterful way he worked that the time had passed by quickly without them noticing it.
“Right, here is where we are,” said Bumnickus pointing to an artfully drawn oasis on the map, “About a two days walk south the road branches into three. One to the left, one strait, and one to the right. I came from the left and was ambushed around here.” Bumnickus pointed to a spot on the map which showed multiple pyramids.
“Is it legal to own such a detailed map?” asked Akira.
“The king of Caidia does not care if others get ahold of a detailed map since it’s hard to move any large army through the desert without a large caravan of supplies, which makes them vulnerable and slow. If you can take care of the monsters at that dungeon then me filling out your map will have been well worth the time spent on it.”
“What type of monsters attacked you?” asked Akira.
“There was a swarm of large rat or mouse type of monster. Before I escaped I was able to to see at least one Ratman that was giving commands to them. There may be more than one of them.”
“How were you able to draw so skillfully,” asked Mileena who was interested in drawing.
“I was a cartographer before I branched out and became a merchant, and now on this trip, if I’m lucky I’ll barely make back what I spent on the merchandise I lost,” said Bumnickus mumbling the last part.
Akira pulled out a small bottle of alcohol he had taken from the banquet at the castle many weeks ago.
“Here have this as thanks for your help,” said Akira as he handed over the bottle.
Bumnickus pulled the cork from the bottle and sniffed it.
“This is some fine wine from the north you don’t see much of it down south anymore where did you get it?”
“From a friend,” said Akira not explaining any further.
After exchanging the wine for the map Akira and the other two headed back towards their tents.
New Quest received!
How to train your catgirl:
You have learned the location of the Rat man’s hideout. Take Mileena and help her level up her fighting skill inside the Rat man’s hideout.
You must work on your teamwork while in the dungeon. You will receive a grade after completing the dungeon. If the grade is to low the quest will be a failure and you will not receive any experience or reward from the completion of the quest.
This is a perfect chance to deepen your bonds of friendship.
Reward: Decided after receiving the grade.
Will you accept?:
Yes / No
Akira accepted the quest and was about to go into his tent before Varbu placed a hand on his shoulder.
“What are you planning?” asked Varbu.
“Don’t worry it’s not a detour the road past the dungeon leads to the main road we need to take to get to Otria. We’ll just take a day to clear the dungeon. This way Mileena and I can work on our teamwork for the arena,” said Akira trying to reassure Varbu before he made any complaints.
“You think you can handle a dungeon?” asked Varbu as he turned to Mileena.
She shrugged her shoulders, “I have never seen a dungeon, Is it hard? It sounds better than regular training,” Mileena said the last part while looking away from Akira.
“It shouldn’t be too hard if we need to Varbu and I can use our full power to kick their butts. Well if that’s all you needed then I’ll be going to sleep,” said Akira escaping into his tent.
A few days later in the morning desert heat, the three of them stood next to a large sandstone Pyramid that had multiple large stone steps leading up to a small stone door. The door had been cracked in half allowing enough room for a short person to walk under it. The height would force tall people like Akira and Varbu to crawl.
“Are you ready? This should help deepen your understanding of fighting and you might learn something new from it. If you get into a tight situation just remember the basics we have been practicing and you should be fine,” said Akira trying to reassure Mileena.
“I can do it!” said Mileena before entering the dungeon first with Akira and Varbu following.
You have entered the Ratman hideout.
The cool temperature inside of the pyramid was like night and day compared to the scorching heat outside.
The sound of rat squeaks could be heard from a distant place in the dungeon.
When Akira entered the small room the only light that came into the dungeon was the light from the hole in the stone door and a few cracks in the ceiling.
Akira was going to pull out a torch or lamp to light up the area but was stopped by Mileena.
“No need for a light I can see just as good in the dim places as I can outside. Aren’t werewolf supposed to have night vision as well?” asked Mileena.
Akira had not really paid attention to something like that and had been using lights in the dark because he was almost always with someone else that could not see in the dark so it had become a habit.
“I haven’t used it that much and Varbu has a hard time seeing in dark places. I guess this is for the best since it can help with our training,” replied Akira.
“Since I won’t be able to see stuff clearly ahead of us I’ll just protect the rear,” said Varbu.
They exited the small room with Mileena leading the way due to her having the best eyesight in the darkness between the three of them.
The movement and squeaks of rats grew louder as they walked down the narrow pathway to wherever it led to.
“I see at least eight large rats,” Mileena informed the other two behind her.
Akira looked at the rats to figure out their strength. [Ratman minion Lv 10].
“Show us what you got,” said Akira prompting her to make the first move confident that they were not life-threatening enemies.
Swiftly and silently Mileena walked forward using the shadows to get close enough before she pounced onto the nearest rat that was chewing on a piece of rock.
Her two daggers stabbed right into the large rats unprotected neck and back paralyzing it and causing blood the spray everywhere. The rat was still able to cry out in pain alerting the other rats in the room.
Mileena’s daggers flashed again and the throat of the giant rat was cut open silencing it and causing it to bleed to death.
The other giant rats seeing an ally get slaughter like that screeched in anger and scurried forward as one to attack her.
Before they could swarm her Akira jumped in front of her and blocked their attacks knocking four of them back with a well placed [Shield bash].
“Your training in teamwork starts here. I’ll hold off all but one your task is to take care of it. We’ll repeat the process until they are all dead. Varbu will protect us from any attacks coming from the rear your job is to just kill them all.”
“Fine,” said Mileena as she readied her daggers.
With Akira and Varbu making sure to control the situation Mileena was able to gain more experience in fighting with her weapons of choice and experience battle as a member of a team.
“Last two! Try to defeat them on your own,” said Akira as He knocked them towards Mileena.
The two rats were angry at being knocked around lashed out at the nearest person which happened to be Mileena.
She narrowly dodged the first attack but received a cut on her side from the second rat’s claws causing her to let out a low hiss and her tail to stand up.
She gritted her teeth and focused on dodging the attacks made by the monsters.
Akira watched closely as she continued to dodge the attacks but never launched an attack at the rats.
“Don’t just dodge, if you don’t attack they will never be killed. Dodging is important but if that’s all you do you will only be hurting yourself, plus you’re not equipped to defend against them,” said Akira.
Mileena continued to dodge the attacks waiting for a chance to attack. Now! She pounced on one of them after it had missed her in a failed attack quickly stabbing it in vulnerable areas to kill it quickly.
There was now only one rat left which was easily taken care of after a few more attacks.
“Looks like you’re going to need more training with multiple enemies attacking at once,” said Akira as the three of them sat down to catch their breath.
“So what’s my grade?” asked Mileena.
“You’re a scrappy little fighter. Overall it seems you have learned the basics well enough you just need to experience more battles in order to gain more fighting knowledge. Varbu and I won’t be able to help you 100% of the time like we just did. So you need to train harder to be light on your feet and skilled enough to handle multiple threats if something unexpected happens. Varbu, anything else to add?” said Akira after a short time of thinking.
“No, I agree with what you said,” said Varbu.
“We shouldn’t waste to much time resting we still have to travel a few more miles today after we clear this dungeon,” said Akira standing up “Same formation as before.”
They walked down a small set of stairs and into another maze-like hallway Mileena randomly picked a path and started to walk down it.
A large spiked ball fell from the ceiling passing only an inch or two from Akira’s face and slammed into the ground.
Akira and Varbu grew alert looking for an enemy but saw none.
They couldn’t see anything that could have thrown or activated the attack after searching blindly they gave up and continued forward.
Snap! The sound of a wire snapping was heard in front of Akira and Varbu.
Two large sharp axes one at knee height and the other a little higher above the waist swung out from the wall nearly bisecting Akira who was forced to drop to the ground to avoid the sudden attacks.
“These look like traps,” said Varbu looking at the Axes.
“Yeah, I can see that. Mileena, watch where you’re stepping. You’ve activated two trap’s already,” said Akira grumpily.
“Whoops! I got it, don’t get too angry it was an accident,” said Mileena innocently.
Even with Akira’s warning, Mileena seemed to be an expert at triggering all the traps causing Akira and Varbu massive amounts of trouble.
“Jeez this klutz,” complained Varbu in a mumble as they rested in an empty room.
“You guys seem really tired already. Has the dungeon really been that tough on you guys? I’m doing fine,” said Mileena as if she didn’t know about all the traps she had triggered.
“What was that I thought I heard someone crying?” asked Akira.
“I thought I told you to forget that!” said Mileena who used her daggers to take a swipe at Akira only for her attack to be blocked by his shield. She received a light push and was forced back landing on her butt.
“We have cleared most of the dungeon, I’m guessing that the [Ratmen] will be somewhere in the last room up ahead is everyone ready?” asked Akira Ignoring the dagger-like stare coming from Mileena.
Mileena and Varbu both nodded their heads.
“Then let’s finish this place quickly.”