[Vol. 1 pt. 24] Advanced Tactics
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My aurbold threw me with all of the strength that she could muster at the back of the human’s head. He wasn’t wearing a helmet, so we actually managed to hurt him.

I had another’s blood on me for the first time.

As I fell to the ground, he spun around to see what just happened and my aurbold rushed to my construct.

“A damn aurbold threw a rock at me!” he shouted to his partner whom could be heard laughing from outside of the dungeon.

Neither of them was taking it seriously still. Even the man was simply smiling as he rubbed the back of his head with one of his hands, his hammer resting on his shoulder.

Just as he turned his attention to my aurbold, the woman said, “Hey, I don’t think that’s just some rock.”

“What?”

He looked down at me.

At his feet was no ordinary rock. Instead, there was the core of a dungeon surrounded by an aura of raw aether.

“Seriously? Are you seeing this?” he asked.

His partner finally joined him beyond the magma pits to look at me.

Meanwhile, my aurbold successfully helped my construct up and retreated beyond the traps.

They were safe.

“Have you ever seen something like this before? The amount of aether that must be stored in this rock is unbelievable,” she said.

“I’ve never seen it myself, but I’m thinking it’s one of those natural resources that basically just got lucky and managed to draw in a bunch of aether. Aether attracts aether. Once something gets a bit more than it should have, it starts drawing in more.”

“I don’t think that’s how aether works.”

“Listen, I’m just telling you what I think I remember hearing a researcher say once. Besides, it’s not like anybody understands how it works anyways.”

“What you think you remember?”

“I swing hammers. I don’t read.”

“So macho. So strong. I’m truly impressed by your desire to disregard knowledge in your pursuit of hammer swinging.” She sighed. “It’s probably just some purified or condensed resource that we haven’t discovered yet. I’m much more likely to believe that than aether attracts aether.”

“It doesn’t matter either way. All that matters is that we take this back to the headquarters and get paid.”

As he picked me up to shove me into a pouch hanging from his side, I considered what orders to give my monsters next.

All I knew for sure was that any order would end with the death and conversion of those who hurt my construct.

“Want to finish looking through this tunnel? That aurbold and construct looked to be working together. Might be worth checking out whatever is down that way,” she said.

“We might as well. Might be more prizes for us down there.”

Or we could go back, let the researchers know what we’ve found, and let them do the exploring. They might get mad if we kill monsters that haven't been seen working together before.”

“Listen, don’t suggest one thing and then suggest something else. Make up your mind.”

“You see, this is what happens when one uses their mind instead of relying only on their hammer. You think and come up with multiple options to weigh against each other. Then you can – what?”

“Seriously?”

They might not have been taking my dungeon seriously before, but now they were surrounded by my newly-summoned skeletons.

One skeleton was given the order to secure me as the others distracted the two humans. It tore the pouch away from the man’s side and tossed it, and me, to another skeleton I summoned further away from them.

“Hey! Where do you think you’re throwing my prize?!” the man shouted.

The skeletons might have been too stupid to do anything on their own or be useful in actual fights, but for something as simple as “distract them and throw me,” they were as useful as they needed to be.

The skeleton that caught me then had the order to toss me into the northern hallway where my aurbold was waiting.

Once more, I was back in her hands where we would both rather me be.

The skeletons were wiped out just seconds after that. All it took was one spin from the man to destroy the ones surrounding him with his hammer, and the woman leapt with incredible speed to thrust her spear through my last skeleton’s head.

“I guess we have to go that way now if we don’t want to leave emptyhanded,” she said.

“I’m pissed off now. How did those skeletons appear out of nowhere?”

“No idea. Want to go back and report or get our rock and some information?”

“We’re not leaving here without it, damn it. Especially not because of some skeletons.”

“Then let’s get our prize back.”

By the time that the humans entered the northern tunnel, the rest of us my monsters were already in their positions.

Each and every one of us was angered at how they hurt my construct. Regardless of any rivalries they had - regardless of whether or not they could benefit from killing each other, the death of the invaders and those who dared to hurt any of us was more important than such trivial things.

The first stonefall trap activated upon the two stepping underneath it.

The woman dove forward in her lighter armor to avoid getting crushed under the stones, but the man simply ducked with his arms over his head to protect it.

She didn’t dive far enough to skip the pitfall trap.

While he was distracted by the stones falling onto him, she fell into the pit where my golem could fall onto her and pin her. Then my snake sunk its fangs into a section of her arm that was only protected by leather armor.

Her arm got blown off much like how the centipede’s backend did.

It was the first time that any of us heard the screams of a human in pain.

“Damn it! What’s wrong?!” the man shouted, finally able to move now that the stones were done falling onto him.

My snake turned its attention to the woman’s neck.

It wasn’t going to be the last time we heard their screams.

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