Akira was sitting in the same hard chairs as yesterday while waiting for the two grandmasters to arrive.
‘I wonder what type of test they have planned for me,’ thought Akira while tapping his finger on the long wooden table.
A half hour passed before the door to the office opened with both Deve Hobs and Beel Geets walking in.
“Sorry, we’re a little late. We had to set up the test along with taking care of a few other minor things to keep the magic guild running smoothly,” said Beel Geets.
“No time for pleasant talk. We have little free time in our busy day, so follow us and we’ll explain everything to you when we get to the testing room,” said Deve Hobs in a brisk manner.
The two left the office just as fast as they had entered, leaving Akira to hurriedly stand up and run after them.
Akira walked behind the grandmasters as they descended down the stairs passing many floors underneath the main floor.
The two abruptly turned left and walked off the stairs and into a maze of hallways.
After what felt like an extremely long walk they finally arrived at a large underground room which had its doors already wide open. As Akira walked into the room he looked at the sign above the doors which read [Experimental Training room].
“Sorry about the long walk but this is the only safe area that we can test out our new inventions and other secret items safely,” said Beel Geets.
Beel Geets pointed at a pair of sturdy metal doors inside the room.
“Beyond those doors is a small mock dungeon. We want to test you on three things; your ability to get to a destination, your fighting ability, and again how well you are at retracing your steps. This test is quite simple. The test will show us if you are both mentally and physically fit enough to handle the job. You can only use the sword and shield you’re carrying right now,” said Beel Geets.
“That sounds easy enough. So when do you want me to start?” asked Akira.
“Right now, and please do hurry as we have a busy day ahead of us. We’ll watch your progress from above the mock dungeon,” said Deve Hobs.
Without another word, Akira walked forward past the numerous other training equipment inside the room. When he stepped in front of the large metal doors a the loud clunk as the metallic doors locks were opened. The doors soundlessly slid opened without anyone touching them, allowing him to pass through before they closed behind him.
You have entered the Magic Guild’s Experimental Training dungeon!
Akira scanned his surroundings, he was now in a small gray passageway only wide enough for one person to walk through. It was dimly lit by lamps that had the magical green fire burning inside.
The lamps were hanging from the ceiling that was made of some type of special glass.
He finished inspecting his surroundings he cautiously began to walk forward with both his shield and sword ready to be used.
The first passageway was short, once he reached the end of the passageway it split into a branching Y with two paths to choose from. Akira made a split second decision and began walking down the right path.
As he continued forward there were multiple other branches in the path, which he only took a few seconds to decide on which one to take.
After ten or so branches he walked into a small box-like room. Inside the room, there were three gelatinous looking monster slowly moving around leaving a trail of slime behind them.
Akira stared at one of the monsters trying to inspect it. A second later the name and level popped up. [Slime lvl: 10]
“This should be easy,” said Akira.
He walked forward and attacked with his sword hitting the slime closest to him.
Instead of dealing a large amount of damage to the slime it instead split into two identical slimes that both looked unharmed.
Akira gripped his sword even harder and used his full strength to attack the two new slimes. Each time he attacked with his sword the slimes multiplied. There was now a total of six slimes in the room.
‘Something’s not right. Why do they keep splitting?’ Akira thought to himself.
He didn’t want to use his special skills while he was being watched. Plus there was a chance that if he used [Sword slash] he might end up with twelve slimes instead of six.
‘If slicing and stabbing won’t work, I guess I can try using my shield as a blunt weapon.’
Walking over to one of the slimes he used his shield to attack it.
The slime was hit and sent flying into the wall in front of Akira where it burst open sending its acidic body fluid everywhere. A drop of the acid flew onto Akira’s cheek where it started to feel a burning pain. He quickly wiped it off his face with his sleeve, looking at his sleeve he could see the acid had eaten a hole in the fabric.
‘I have to keep my distance that acid is some nasty stuff,’ thought Akira.
Now that he had figured out how to kill the slimes it was easy to take care of the rest. The hard part was avoiding the acid splash created by the slimes when they burst open from the blunt force attacks.
When all six of the slimes were defeated the dim light from the green magical fire flared up and the voice of Beel Geets could be heard from above the ceiling.
“You have completed the first two parts of the test. The last part is to find your way back to the entrance.”
The two grandmasters stood in a room above the dungeon maze. They were watching Akira through the glass floor of the room that revealed everything in the mock dungeon.
“He seems to be good at making quick judgments when choosing a path. His memory is not bad either, so he won’t be getting lost, and he reached the room with the slimes rather quickly,” said Beel Geets.
“Yes, his fighting strength is nothing to look down on. Although he is young, so there are many people far stronger than him,” said Deve Hobs.
“Overall I would have to say he is very impressive. Give him a few more years and he might even be able to enter the annual Caidia strength tournament,” said Beel Geets.
“Keep dreaming! He still has a long way before he can enter a tournament like that,” said Beel Geets.
Akira stood in front of the two grandmasters waiting for their assessment.
He had been able to return to the entrance quickly without getting lost due to the map that had tracked all of his steps. It wasn’t cheating! The functions of his class ‘Son of the Night’ was a part of him!
“Young man I have to say after watching many people attempt the maze dungeon you are the first to have been able to finish it so quickly,” said Deve Hobs.
“Yes, quite an impressive feat. We have decided that you will be allowed to do the job. But first, before we inform you on the details you should stock up on healing potions and other items at the guilds store. Make sure you have everything ready,” said Beel Geets.
“Do you need us to show you the way to the store or do you remember where it is?” asked Deve Hobs.
“I think I remember where it was, so there’s no need to take any more time out of your busy day to show me,” said Akira.
“When you are finished preparing for a fierce fight, go back to the front desk and inform the receptionist that you are ready. We will try to get back to you as fast as we can,” said Beel Geets.
Akira and the two grandmasters left the Experimental training room and headed in different directions.
Akira walked through the hallways and up and down the stairs trying to remember which floor the store was on.
“Um…where am I?” Akira asked himself.
During his search for the store, he had gotten lost. So he did what anyone would do and started opening every door that was unlocked, trying to find someone who could help him.
Almost all doors were locked, the ones that were unlocked were all empty and had no one inside.
He walked to the last door in the corridor labeled [Workroom 42] and tried to open it. The door opened without a problem allowing Akira to walk inside and close the door behind him.
The large room was dimly lit by candles that were placed on the walls and stone pillars.
Startled from the sound, Akira whirled around and looked in the direction the sound had come from. A set of large cages came into view. Each of the cages had several people inside of them.
Male, female, adults, and children were all inside the cages. He walked over to one of the cages to get a better look.
“Hey, can you guys hear me? Who put you in here, and for what reason?” asked Akira.
Silence. There were no replies only low moaning coming from a few people. The others all looked to be on death’s doorstep and were too weak to even make a sound.
While searching for a way to open the cage Akira recognized one of the faces of a man in the cage. His face was one he had seen a few days prior on the towns message board for missing people.
‘Why are these people caged inside the magic guild?’ Akira pondered.
His thoughts were broken when he started to hear footsteps and the voices of three different people stopping outside the door to the room.
Before the door could open all the way, Akira dived behind some boxes next to the cages without a second thought. Making sure not to make too much sound.
“Who left the door unlocked? If the grandmasters find out you could get us all killed. Make sure to lock it next time,” came a voice from the open door.
“What’s the big deal? Just look at them they can’t escape even if they wanted to,” another voice replied and then laughed.
Akira peeked between two of the boxes he was hiding behind to see three men in long white lab coats that scientist and researchers liked to wear.
They walked up to one of the cages quickly unlocking it. One of the researchers reached inside the cage and dragged out a middle-aged man by his arm. A second researcher grabbed onto the man’s other arm and the two of them dragged the man to the center of the room out of Akira’s view.
Akira moved as quietly as he could and found a spot where he could see the center of the room.
The prisoner was laying in the middle of a large circle of crude carvings.
Akira’s heart froze as he continued to look at the crude carvings on the ground. He had seen similar crude carvings over a month ago. The carvings on the ground were Dwarven Runes.
There were hundreds of runes carved into the ground creating a large circle with three layers. Three lines of runes led away from the large circle and connected to three smaller circles made from the runic words. One researcher stood in each of the smaller circles.
At the far end of the circle, there was a line of runes that led to a small knee high stone altar covered in runes.
The lead researcher walked up to the altar carrying a small bag which he opened and pulled out multiple magic stones of various colors and sizes. He quickly but neatly laid them out on top of the altar. When finished he returned to the small circle he had been standing in before.
After a few moments of silence, the three researchers began a dark and grim sounding chant in a language Akira had never heard before, the chant caused the hairs on his arm to rise.
The runes of the small circle began glowing, growing brighter and brighter. The runes leading from the small circles to the larger circle began to light up as well causing a chain reaction were one rune after another started glowing.
This continued for over ten minutes until the last of the runes on the altar were glowing brightly.
The male prisoner’s body in the middle of the circle began to rise into the air and stopped a few feet above the ground.
The researchers continued their chanting fully focused on the body in front of them. A minute later what sounded like a loud sigh was heard and bright misty light began escaping from the male prisoner’s mouth.
When the misty light stopped growing it was the size of a head. The researchers chanting changed slightly and the misty light began floating over to the altar.
After five minutes the misty light reached the altar and began covering the magic stones laid out on top.
The chanting of the researchers began to speed up to an extremely fast pace. Akira guessed that this was not there first time doing this as they did not mess up their chanting even at such a fast speed.
A suction sound could be heard as the misty light began to be sucked into the magic stones. In less then a minute the misty light was gone and the researchers chanting stopped.
Akira looked at the magic stones on the altar to see they had morphed into magic gems with runes engraved on top of each one.
Akira gasped, luckily there was no one close enough to notice it. Those magic gems were the Magic guilds new skill gems!
‘This is how they make the skill gems? What am to do with this information? I have to do something,’ Akira quickly though but couldn’t think of anything.
Now that he knew how they were made, he felt appalled that he had thought of trying to learn the method the day before.
Akira watched as the lead researcher collected the magic skill gems from the altar and placed them back into the bag they had come from.
“Is he dead?” asked one of the assistant researchers.
“Nope, just unconscious,” said the second after checking the pulse of the male prisoner.
The two researchers again grab the prisoner’s arms and dragged him to his cage and lock it. They open another cage and dragged out a young girl who Akira guessed was probably in her early teens.
She was dragged into the middle of the large rune circle. The processes was repeated all over again, but this time the altar had a large stack of empty scrolls.
After placing the completed consumable skill scrolls into a small bag they looked at the young girl.
“The young ones die too quickly,” said the lead researcher.
He watched as the other two carelessly dragged the limp body of the young girl over to a large hole in the ground and tossed the body into it.
Loud snarls could be heard coming from the pit, along with the sound of flesh being torn, bones being broken.
“How many did she make for us?” asked the lead researcher.
“Umm…three sets I think,” said one of the assistants.
“This formation is too brutal, tearing out their souls and using their life force to create these new type of gems and scrolls,” said the second assistant.
“It wouldn’t matter if the formation was too brutal if the people that we have to use were normal. But we have to capture people with rare natural ability in order to copy and imprint the skills into the gems and scrolls,” said the first assistant.
“This method was created by those crazy bastards of the..” said the first assistant only to be interrupted.
“Don’t say their name so casually,” said the lead researcher, “We can leave, now that we’ve got what we needed. The grandmasters don’t like having to wait.”
Akira waited five minutes after they had left the room and quietly walked out from behind the boxes he looked at the people still stuck inside.
Sadly he could not help them right now. The decision was painful but they could not even move on their own and he could not carry them out of the Magic Guild. All he could do was leave the Magic guild and inform the city guards.
The door had not been locked even after getting a warning from the lead researcher, which allowed Akira to open the door
As he opened the door he looked at the back and saw an odd carving of a large triangle surrounded by Seven other small triangles three on both the right and the left and one at the top above all the others including the large triangle.
Akira paid it not attention and exited the research room and started to run down the corridor. Reaching a corner he continued to run.
“Uff..” Akira was knocked onto his butt from running into another person.
“Sorry, I wasn’t looking where I was go…” said Akira his voice stopping when he saw who it was he had bumped into.