Ch 33 – He dead bro
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As the mercenaries entered the dust filled cave, the oddities started to pile up. The cave slowly tapered until only 5 of them could walk side by side. Of course, the optiones who lead them already knew that, but it did not stop the rest of the men feeling off.

The strangeness only grew when the dust settled. To the side, near the first turn, just a couple minutes after entering the cave, there was a small campsite. The fire had died down, but embers were still present and the pot over it was still hot...

 

'Wasn't the princess alone' Most of them were thinking.

 

The whole bunch went ahead to check the campsite. Curious about the odd familiarity. A couple of them stayed behind talking.

 

"Come on... Why are we even going in here...? Didn't part of it just collapse or something..."

 

"Yeah... this place is weird man... I don't wanna die here."

 

"The fuck is wrong with them... We could just wait for Captain outside and get him to bring us the girl... Or rather, we could have just waited for her to leave once she starts starving."

 

"Yea-"

 

One of them randomly tripped.

 

"Oi! Josh! Are you okay?!"

 

The other mercenary raised his Lighting wand to check on his fallen colleague.

 

"Fuck!"

"OOOOI! Somebody help here!"

 

"The fuck happened!"

 

"He tripped and fell and..."

 

"Yeah, yeah, let me- Fuck"

 

"What?"

 

"He dead bro..."

 

"Wha-"

 

The mercenary was left aghast as the other leaned closer to the ground with his Lighting Wand...

 

The mercenary Josh's head was in a puddle of blood.

 

"He must've fallen onto a rock... Sorry... We'll get him on the way out."

 

He grabbed onto the corpse's arms and was about to pull it.

 

"You not gonna help me out here?"

 

"Huh? Ah, sorry."

 

A turmoil of emotions swirled inside this mercenary's head. His colleague had died in a stupid way right next to him.

 

'He'd just said he didn't want to die here...'

 

He thought as he stared at the face of his dead friend while they carried his corpse to the side of the cave.

 

Neither were able to notice what had really happened.

Neither the floor sinking under his feet.

Nor the stone that propelled itself out of the ground into his skull.

 

Nobody knew what had actually happened. Nobody but two people elsewhere in the dungeon.

 

The oblivious pair rejoined the group, telling Marcus and Lancer what had happened.

 

"This is stupid... How could a seasoned veteran die like this...”?

 

"I mean, he could've been very unlucky..."

 

"Still, Marcus... All people here have undergone many battles and at least a job change... Nobody would have Vitality low enough to die from a single fall, even if they hit their head... Unless it was a hell of a fall... Which doesn't seem to be the case."

 

"So... You think there's something behind it?"

 

"Yeah... This is all too strange... First that dust cloud, now this... I think we should hurry to find Gahan and the guys... This might be dangerous..."

 

"Yeah... Better call their attention on it."

 

"ATTENTION! ONE OF US HAS ALREADY PERISHED. DO NOT TRUST YOURSELVES ALONE IN HERE. ALWAYS WALK IN GROUPS AND BEWARE YOUR SURROUNDINGS!"

 

""WHAT!?""

"DAFUCK?""

""WHO!""

 

Confusion ensued among the mercenaries. Nobody heard any signs of battle. Marcus' words lit up the warning signal for them. The off-putting feeling turned into fear. Something lurked in the cave. Something aiming for their lives.

This was, of course, expected, and the normal course of action for this group. Fear was the way to avoid further losses. Humans, when pushed into the corner, would muster strength beyond their limits, and the Optiones, as well as Gahan, knew that very well.

 

They regrouped, now in a standardized formation, ready for battle, and slowly progressed deeper into the dungeon.

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

< An enemy was slain >

 

Nice!

 

<< Hah~... I didn't expect that to work to be honest... >>

 

I told you! using the dungeon as a weapon is an amazing strategy. I only spent 2EP on the explosives and spring.

 

<< How the hell do you even come up with such a trap... >>

 

< Level Up! >

< Level Up! >

< Level Up! >

< Level Up! >

< Skills Leveled Up, please check Status. >

< You learned a Skill. Trap Perception I >

< You learned a Skill. Trap Dismantling I >

< You learned a Skill. Trap Construction I >

 

Oh... Apparently, he was pretty strong.

 

<< That's the very reason... How can a person die from just a fall?! >>

 

Ah... See... The Nitroglycerin I placed under the stone where he fell projected it into his head as soon as he hit the ground... You can imagine it as him falling while the stone was moving up. And pressed against his head...

You get the idea.

 

<< heeeh... So, the damage comes from the explosion rather than the fall... And the fall only serves as a trigger. >>

 

Exactly... Maybe me leveling up increased your intelligence status a little bit.

 

<< Fuck You! >>

 

She's so cute while pouting... I just can't avoid messing with her a little...

I thought while looking at her on the image to my side.

 

Maybe it's time for some monster though...

I thought while looking at Gahan and Garth, casually strolling deeper into the dungeon.

 

<< Why don't you make some traps for them? >>

 

You think they would fall for it?

 

<< Yeah... Nevermind...>>

 

Oh, Glory. What does this Gaze skill do?

 

<< Sounds like you stare at someone attentively... OH! RIGHT! It makes so that you can kinda see some of the person's status. >>

 

Oh, really? Let me try it out real quick.

 

"Gaze"

 

Hah? Nothing happened!

 

<< I guess it failed then... Did you specify which one of them you wanted to use? >>

 

Hm? Oh, yeah, I have it on both the Core and the Human body, right...

 

<< Yep. System defaults to the highest-level skill but since your Dungeon Master body isn't manifested the skill just failed. >>

 

And what if I tried it without seeing the target from that body's perspective?

 

<< Dunno... You can try it later though. >>

 

Sure thing.

 

"Core. Gaze"

 

I tried once again, this time staring at Gloria through the images.

 

<Gaze>

 

< Third Party Status                                       >

<                                                          >

< Name: Gloria                                             >

< Titles: Failure Child                                    >

< Useless System, Telemarketing Attendant, Wannabe God     >

< Race: Divine Being                                       >

< Job : System Administrator                               >

< Rank: 51 - Level 1 Demi-God - Assistant                  >

< DOP Status: In love Lvl. 17                              >

<  Attributes:                                             >

< ◘ VITALITY(VIT): ØØ                                      >

< ◘ MANA(MAN): ØØØØ                                        >

< ◘ STRENGTH(STR): ØØØ                                     >

< ◘ AGILITY (AGI): ØØ                                      >

< ◘ STAMINA(RES): ØØØ                                      >

< ◘ INTELIGENCE(INT): Ø                                    >

<                                                          >

<  Passive Skills:                                          >

< • Ø                                                      >

< • Ø                                                      >

< • Ø                                                      >

< • Ø                                                      >

< • Ø                                                      >

< • Ø                                                      >

< • Ø                                                      >

< • Ø                                                      >

< • Ø                                                      >

< • Ø                                                      >

<                                                          >

<  Active Skills:                                           >

< • Ø                                                      >

< • Ø                                                      >

< • Ø                                                      >

< • Ø                                                      >

< • Ø                                                      >

< • Ø                                                      >

<                                                          >

<  Unique Skills:                                          >

< • Ø                                                      >

<                                                          >

< Divinity:                                                >

< • Demi-Goddess of Systems                                 >

 

Failure child.........

 

<< W-WHY DID YOU DO THAT! >>

 

Because I was curious... Why else?

 

<< But... >>

 

Your titles are a disgrace... wow... Good thing you've become more useful quickly...

 

<< I feel glad but... still, Fuck you! Asshole! >>

*Tuck*

 

Gloria?

 

...

 

Gloria?

 

...

 

Oh, shit! she's crying.

 

Come on Gloria, you know I like you... I don't care what others call you. You are still very much useful and extremely cute... Now please unmute yourself, I'll spoil you all you want if you come back. We have many guys to kill...

 

<< Really? >>

 

Of course... When we're done here I'mma go there and pat your head like the good girl you are... Now please, Help me out with the monster crap.

 

<< Okay! >>

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