Arc 6 Chapter 96: Hall of heroic trials

“What? Did you say the Hall of heroic trials?” asked Chack with an odd look on his reptilian face.

“This time we can not overlook your words that have shamed both me as your father and Hich-nolik Cuhgar, who is the champion warrior of our village,” said Chack’s father.

“You’re lucky that your father stepped in and asked for leniency, otherwise we would have fed you to the Lizarsaurus,” said one of the elders.

“We have given you the honor to enter the hall of trials. If you can complete the hall of trials we will give you our judgment after,” said another elder.

“What’s this hall of trials?” asked Akira.

“It’s normal for someone like you too not know. Warriors from all the Griiq clans who have been shamed will go there to test their power and recover their lost honor, most do not return. Those that do are heavily wounded,” explained another elder.

“So it is just a place to die?” asked Akira.

“It will be an honorable death not just anyone is allowed to enter the Halls of trials. Anyone that is sent there should be glad they are allowed in,” said Hich-nolik.

“Chack you are allowed four warriors to join you. But it looks like no one is willing to throw their lot in with you since it would mean they would have to receive the same judgment as you,” said Chack’s father.

“As punishment for helping hide this trouble maker you all are ordered to help him,” said an Elder pointing at Akira and the other three behind him.

“Wait. We were just passing through the swamps. We have no intention of interfering with your clans, last I checked our races have never had any ill will towards each other,” said Akira.

“Silence you have no say in this. The elders have spoken!” said Hich-nolik.

“Please sir, if you do not go with my son then he will have to enter the Hall of trials by himself,” pleaded Chack’s father.

Ding!

New Quest received!

The super-duper trial at the Hall of trials!

Chack’s father has asked you to help support Chack to clear the Hall of trials and regain his honor!

Difficulty rank D+

Accept?

Yes / No

Akira stayed quiet as he thought about it.

Chack stood next to him and waited for an answer, hoping for the help Akira might provide.

“Fine, but I want to let you know that you ordering us around like this is not helpful to the relationship between our races. You are stretching our goodwill thin.”

“Hmph…like we care what a nobody says,” said Hich-nolik.

“I thank you for agreeing,” said Chack’s father.

“Let’s go! No time to waste,” said Hich-nolik.

“What right now? We just arrived and have been traveling all day already. Can we not have a rest and ready our equipment and supplies?” asked Akira.

“No need. You rested while we traveled in the war sleds! You should be well-rested and it is best if you enter the hall of trials and use your own power without preparations to show off your true potential,” said Hich-nolik.

Akira wholly disagreed they had been standing with spears pointed at them during the whole time they traveled here. Not a very relaxing rest.

“We will go now! No more discussion! Hich-nolik, lead the way!” ordered one of the Elders.

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While walking towards the hall of trials Chack’s father walked up to Akira and started to talk in a hushed voice so that only he could hear him.

“Please take care of my son. He is a good kid. He is shy and not that great with others but he just doesn’t know when to keep his mouth shut and is always too honest with his words.”

Akira didn’t say anything and just nodded his head he had no plans of dying or letting Chack die inside of the Hall of trials.

They traveled through the swamps behind the Griiq village for several miles before stopping at a large hole in the ground.

“We are here!” said Hich-nolik.

“We elders will stay outside near the entrance to the hall of trials we will wait a day for you to return. If it takes longer than a day for you to complete we will assume you have died and leave.”

“Don’t think that we will not know if you are just standing near the entrance to wait for the day to end before coming back. We will know if you have really challenged and completed the trial inside or if you are just wasting time before coming back out,” said one of the Elders.

“If you should die, die honorably,” said another Elder.

“May the ancestors be with you in the trial and may you not shame them as they watch,” said Chack’s father.

“Don’t worry we have no plans on dying. We’ll be back when we finish clearing the hall of trials you can count on it,” said Akira before stepping into the hole that was gently sloping down into the ground. He raised his shield and sword ready for a fight.

The others including Chack followed behind him splashing as they walked forward into the hole.

Ding!

You have entered the ‘Hall of trials’!

‘So this place is just a dungeon? I was expecting something more interesting,’ thought Akira.

The sloping tunnel was quite slippery due to the mucky swamp water trickling down it in small amounts.

It only took them a few minutes slip and sliding for the floor to slightly even out and when they reached the first room of the dungeon.

The dark murky swamp water covering the floor was already up to their ankles hindering their movement only a little.

“I’m…I’m sorry that I dragged you into this. If I was able to hide better, then you would not have found me and would not have been captured by Hich-nolik,” said Chack.

“Don’t sweat it we can take care of this fairly easily,” said Akira.

“Really? Thank you so much!”

“Let’s not waste time and clear this place. As repayment for our help you can lead us to where we can meet the Werewolf clans,” said Varbu.

“What can we expect ahead and what type of fighting style do you use?” asked Maya taking out her notebook and pencil to write down information.

“I don’t know what is inside since no one that returns ever talks about it. My weapon is this,” said Chack holding up a mace with pointy spikes on it.

“Okay, just be sure to stick with Mileena and Varbu. They are melee attackers like you as well,” said Akira,

“Let’s see what this place has to offer,” said Varbu smashing his fist together.

There was no need for them to use a torch or lamp due to the light from the glowing algae on the walls and the ground.

“Everyone, be careful there might be some of those nasty snakes in here,” warned Akira.

“No need to worry about those snakes they do not like shallow water like this,” said Chack.

“Okay just stay on guard for anything that might hide in the water.”

As they entered the next dimly lit room the sound of creaking and clacking of bones could be heard. It was coming from a dark corner of the room filled with numerous moving shadows.

Three bony undead slowly walked out of the shadows and into the green glowing algae light.

Akira looked over the bony bodies of the guests that had joined them and saw that they looked a lot like Griiq but without and skin or guts.

[Undead Griiq lvl 40]

They undead each held different weapons and wore different armor.

“What is this?” asked Chack greatly troubled at the appearance of the undead.

“Is something wrong?” asked Akira.

“I know them. They are all warriors that were sent to the Hall of trials because of their failures. But why have they all turned into beings like this? Gohge-Nau only entered the Hall of trials last month. Is this what happens to those who fail?”

“I don’t know, but we told your father we would clear this dungeon. So even if these people were your friends when they were alive they are not the same people. We still need to kill them all to make good on our promise,” said Varbu with a roar. He charged forward with Akira right by his side.

The three Griiq warriors bone jaws clacked a few times as if they were laughing at Akira and Varbu who were charging towards them.

Bam! Akira used the skill [Shield Slam] to charge into one of the skeletons and ram it into the slick mud wall behind where it became stuck and was unable to escape.

Varbu leaped into the air and brought his quarterstaff down on the [Undead Griiq’s] head shattering it and its collar bone before having to jump away to dodge a counter-attack.

Maya and Mileena teamed up to fight the third one. Swoosh! A green arrow flew through the air and slammed into the bony head knocking it off and into the mud wall behind it.

Mileena moved forward and started to hack at the undead with her daggers.

Chack was torn on what to do. He didn’t want to fight those who he had known and shared meals with when they were alive. But Varbu’s words were true that they were now dead, so could you really consider them to be the same person that they were when they were still alive?

Akira continued to hack away at the [Undead Griiq] that was embedded in the wall breaking each of its bones thus killing it.

The fights ended a minute later when everyone had completely crushed the [Undead Griiq] they had been fighting.

“Whew, nothing like a good fight to get the blood flowing and wake you up,” said Varbu rotating his arms.

“Who are you people to so easily defeat them? Are you famous? I knew it all along! That is why I picked you to be my allies,” said Chack.

“We’re just everyday normal people,” said Maya.

“I lie! I had no clue you were such monsters. Good thing we are friends and you won’t eat me,” said Chack.

Everyone ignored his comment about them eating anything and continued to fight their way through the underground swamp dungeon. Everyone they fought, were all people that Chack had known.

It was getting harder to move the deeper they went into the dungeon. The water that was only at their ankle was getting higher and higher and was now at their waist.

The skeletons had little to no trouble moving through the water and were getting harder to fight.

Seeing this Chack finally started to show off his skills as he began to help them. He was able to move agilely through the swamp waters as if it was not there.

His hard scales were stronger than most leather armor so he did not have to wear any extra armor to weigh him down allowing him to clobber things and quickly escape.

They continued to fight for over four hours and with the help of Chack they were able to take care of the undead that filled up every room in the dungeon even with the water level rising up to their chest.

When they killed the last [Undead Griiq] in the room Akira noticed a simple wooden door at the back of the room. The door was halfway open and had a different green glowing light coming from inside the room behind the door.

Akira motioned them to stop their movements and continued to listen for any noise on the other side. There was none.

Akira stepped forward and walked up several stone stairs leading up out of the water and stood next to the door.

He reached out with his sword and pushed the door open further his shield in front ready to block anything that might pop out.

Creeeeeeak! The door opened all the way to reveal a well lit dry stone room that was far out of place with the rest of the dungeon that was full of mud and water.

On the ceiling of the room slightly covered by moss going unnoticed by Akira was a symbol of 7 triangles surrounding one large triangle carved into the stone.

The room was empty except for a large stone table and the items on it.

On top of the table was an empty space with a circle of runes carved into. There was a small indent in the middle of the runes where something could be placed Akira was unsure what.

Surprisingly, the source of the green light was from the green magical fire lantern sitting on one of the edges of the stone table.

Everyone walked up the stairs and into the room after seeing it was empty.

Akira walked over to the table and inspected the tools, empty glass bottles, and crumpled used paper.

Picking up one of the empty bottles and sniffed it. He scrunched his nose in disgust. ‘Ew… smells like rotten death.’

“What is this place? Why is there something like this in the Sacred hall of trials?” asked Chack.

“I’m not sure, but judging by the dust on everything no one has been inside for at least a year,” said Mileena before she sneezed, causing more dust to fly in the air and cause her to sneeze even harder.

Akira picked up one of the crumpled pieces of paper to see if there was anything that could explain what this place was used for.

[Experiment 69: Another failure! This time it still did not spread like I wanted it to. When will I find the right formula? singed B.]

“Was this someone’s experiment lab?” asked Akira out loud.

“Impossible who would defile the sacred Hall of trials and use it as if it was a normal room?” asked Chack.

“Whether you like it or not someone was here using it for something like that,” said Maya as she rummaged through the tools and empty bottles in a crate on the table.

“Jackpot!” Mileena held up a black wooden box she had found in the drawer under the table.

Inside was a small smooth blue gem placed on soft silk to protect it.

“Hmm.. maybe it’s one of those skill gems? Activate! Move! Alwakabush!” Mileena tried to use the gem but nothing happened. She threw it back in the box disappointed.

“Here hold onto this!” said Mileena before she tossed it over to Akira.

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Akira fumbled with the box that was thrown at his face and almost dropped it.

Ding!

Rare Magical tier 1 growth type gem.

Stats: ???

Your Intelligence is to low to understand the workings of this gem.

Maybe read a book or two and not be such a meathead.

‘What type of stupid description is this?’

‘Hmm, looks like it would fit that hole on the table,’ thought Akira.

He took the gem out of the box and placed it in the hole where it fit perfectly, but nothing happened.

He shrugged his shoulders and placed the gem back in the box and put the box into his bag.


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