Ari did not seem worried about the dungeon, which made me feel a lot more relaxed. However, the same could not be said about my fellow companions, or rather. The party I got forced into, unfortunately, they weren’t in such a great state.
“Just go in!”
“How about you go in?! Miss-Assassin-I-am-great-at-my-job!”
“W-Wha… WHAT DID YOU SAY?!” She grabbed the archer’s collar.
“Guys, guys. Relax, weren’t we going to do this together? We are returning, it’s not like we can’t deal with undead.” Roy tried to intervene, bringing reasoning.
“B-But, should we really do this?!” The mage asked with insecurity.
“Relax, everything will be okay.” Roy intervened once again.
He took a deep breath as he looked at the mossy structure that was supposed to be a dungeon. Although to be fair, the entire place had an eerie atmosphere and smelled like death. I guess it wasn’t so pleasant, for some reason the smell did not bother me that much. I guess it was because the smell was rather familiar, it was the exact same smell as the dungeons in the game. So there was that.
“Let us go!” Roy exclaimed as he ventured into the dungeon.
“Yeah!” the archer exclaimed as he threw a triumphant fist into the air. The assassin wordlessly nodded and the healer trembled.
“Y-Yeah…” She finally cried her reply and unsteadily made her way inside.
“I guess they forgot about us, huh…” Ari casually mentioned.
“Yeah… I mean, I guess it’s fine. More importantly.” I paused and looked at Ari in the eyes. “Are you sure you can go inside, it’s going to be dangerous.” I could always just summon Fifi and force, I mean, convince him to guard Ari outside.
“Yeah, don’t worry about it. As long as you are fine I am fine.” She sounded confident about it, so I hesitantly nodded. Truthfully I did not expect it to be an undead dungeon, they weren’t hard, but I was worried about Ari. They normally carry some real bad miasma that’s bad for one’s general being, hopefully, the clothes I gave Ari can block that out.
“Ari, you know about undead dungeons?” I asked again.
“You mean the miasma?” I nodded. “Ah, don’t worry about it.” She didn’t seem to care yet again, so I sighed in defeat and started walking into the dungeon, with hesitation to say the least. I paused just a few steps into the dungeon, it had stairs leading down immediately, I didn't even make it to the stairs.
“A-Are you sure?”
“Yea…” Ari confirmed yet again. I sighed and continued walking with defeat, I felt like I was worrying too much. The insides were dark and oddly wet, Ari did not seem to be bothered by the smell so there was that.
I looked around, the decayed moss eventually turned green, so I guess the atmosphere wasn’t as grim. The stairs kept going on though, it went oddly deep. There was bio-luminescence generated by the moss, so it was weird. The moss wasn’t entirely green either, some of it was green and some of it was just dead, the bricks were still black and dark. So it gave the feeling of being in a hidden passageway of sorts, it was pretty and captivating.
Ari and I continued absentmindedly descending through the passageway, it took a few minutes, there was no sign of the party nor the deadly undead mist that there was supposed to be, which made me close my eyes and sigh in relief. After a short pause, I opened them, and could not see much ahead, it was foggy, almost as if was covered by something. Upon going down a few more steps there it was; the mist.
With a gulp, I stopped walking and looked back at Ari. She tilted her head and smiled at me, she continued walking herself, prompting me to reluctantly take the lead once again and descent into the mist. As I got closer to the end of the stairs I noticed the mist never really crossed my knee level, so I guess it wasn’t a bad dungeon. I started hearing metal clashing a shouting. I guess they had engaged in battle.
We stepped at the bottom of the stairs, I quickly glanced at Ari to see how she was doing with the mist in constant contact with her. She did not seem bothered by it at all, which made me sigh in relief once again. I personally could not feel the mist, but just looking at my status it had “engaged” in “battle mode” so I got the nifty stat boost from my gear. It brought back a bit of nostalgia being in such a familiar situation for the first time in forever. How long had I been in this world? Three-weeks? Honestly, I kind of forgot already, it still is like… nothing…
Ari and I took a few steps into the dungeon, it seemed to be like an underground city of sorts, well, rather than city it was more like a small town, all of the houses or rather. Destroyed houses were made of the same black brick and covered with the same fluorescent moss. I still found it captivating.
We walked towards the noise that was coming from the center of the place. We walked into a mini plaza with a well in the middle. There they were surrounded by around fifty undead skeletons, they did not even have weapons. Yet…
“Kuhh...” They are formidable.
“O, earth that is connected to me, bring me life and sprawl into me, for I am, a tree.” What was with that chant… The healer/mage started glowing green and touched all of her teammates, they also glowed green for a second. I guess it was a healing spell?
The archer was firing some wet arrows to the undead, I noticed he pulled a bottle and literally bathed his quiver with it. I guess it was holy water? The warrior and assassin did the same, their blades were clad with holy water. I mean, did they really need holy water.
The assassin rushed in and deftly evaded the arm swings of a skeleton by ducking, simultaneously severing the vertebrae of her foe, needless to say the poor skeleton stood no chance. I saw the pile of skeletons pile up slowly but surely. I heard some dirt move to my side, there it was. Yet another skeleton. Ari did not seem to care for it, for whatever reason.
I pulled the dagger the dwarf made me and stabbed it in its forehead, and just like that. It died for good, it seriously wasn’t that hard to deal with them, just stab them with a good weapon, I don’t know… Even a [Rare] grade item would be able to deal with such things. Yet for some reason, this party of adventurers were using holy water… I mean, I get that Rare grade isn't that common, but if you are obsidian you should be making big money right?
I heard the battle stop and Roy came to my side. “Looks like you are doing alright by yourself.”
“Yeah…” I awkwardly scratched my head. ‘I could have probably done this dungeon in one-hour maximum. Yet these people took around ten minutes fighting some low tier skeletons.’ Thanks to such thoughts I couldn’t help but feel weird in such a position.
Their party rested for a bit and finally stood up and started looking around. We were now in an empty-town-like place. There were no more undead anymore and the miasma was gone, my party on the other hand... They were clearly lost on where to go. Dungeons normally go up or down, this one was the later. Thing is, there was no clear way of going down.
“I thought this was supposed to be a dungeon.” The assassin said with disappointment.
“I mean, how is this not a dungeon? It went downstairs for quite a while.” The archer pointed the obvious.
"Maybe we should go back?"
"What are you saying, we took the dungeon quest. Let's look for the way down!" Roy commanded and the party was split.
Ari and I stood there next to the well. "Hey Yami, aren't you going to look for the way down?"
I tilted my head. "it's right here though…"
"What do you mean?"
"The well is the way down…"
"Oh." Ari looked down the well. "Looks possible... I guess? How did you think of it though?"
"It's obvious, town like dungeons either have a completely obvious tower with stairs in it or a well that has absolutely no water that just happens to have some stairs to go down."
"Where are the stairs?" Ari asked with confusion. I gestured her to look inside the well once again and pointed to the strange gaps that it had in its interior walls, they were just laid in such a way that could be used as climbing points, however, they were so close together that they just simply worked as stairs that were inside the wall.
"I never thought you would be so knowledgeable in dungeons," Ari bluntly said.
"Well, dungeons are a great way to get exp."
She sighed. "I think you are the only person in this world that could say such a thing."
“Maybe, but it’s really not that hard to comprehend, just think outside the box a bit.”
“You’d be surprised…” Ari suddenly found it relatable.
“Well, let us wait for them to figure it out, it shouldn’t be that bad,” I commented as I sat down.
I decided to share some food with Ari, which in this case were apples. Since I still had the apple barrel from Mirl, so it wasn’t much of a problem. We munched on the apples without much worry, we heard some shouting from afar and a lot of running, but did not pay much attention to it. A great thing about dungeons was that enemies did not respawn once a room was cleared, in this case the town level counted as cleared. Or at least the center plaza did.
A few minutes went by and some more running, they did not seem to be getting anywhere, but they should hopefully figure it out with time if there is only one way to go down it has to be the well, since it would be the only thing that goes down inside the room. It was simply put — logic.
Or so I thought, hours passed and there was no sign of them coming back to the center or making sense out of things. I sighed in defeat about the problem I ran into — I could either call them and tell them it's the well, which I honestly did not feel like doing simply because of annoyance, or I could clear the dungeon myself, but the problem with that option is that I would kill four people in the process. Collapsing is a big downside of a dungeon, sigh.
“Um, should we tell them?” Ari impatiently asked.
“Let us wait another hour, I am not that patient either…” I was certainly hoping they find it.
* * *
An hour went by, my legs trembled as I hopelessly smashed the ground with my fists, this was the worst outcome.
“They are… noobs…” I muttered my truest thought yet, I had no problem dealing with new people, but weren’t these people Obsidian rank?! Weren’t these people an already established adventuring party?! Weren’t they just returning? Shouldn’t they be veterans at this!? They are just phonies!
I felt deceived.
“Um… Yami, are you okay?” Ari asked with concern.
“Yeah… Listen Ari, let’s never speak about what I am about to do.” I said with seriousness, she nodded with a gulp. I stood up.
It was time to become the party leader for once in my life.
“COME HERE!” I shouted at the top of my lungs, it really wasn’t my style to be rude, but I didn't even want to be in such a scenario, nor deal with these people’s antics. Worst case scenario I would end up insulting them, hopefully that didn’t happen. Sadly becoming leader had a myriad of downsides.
A few seconds went by and I heard hurried footsteps coming from all directions. The entire party gathered in front of me with curiosity and visible confusion.
“Alright, listen I will be taking over this since you people don’t seem to have ever done a dungeon before.” I bluntly told them.
“W-What are you saying?! We lighting boar have done multiple dungeons!” The leader suddenly justified himself.
“Then where are the stairs down?”
“That is…” He clenched his teeth.
“We are in the process of finding them, duh… You don’t need to come with us if you are just going to get in the way, tch talk about spoiled kids.” The assassin said that as she turned around. I started trembling from rage. Did she seriously just discard me like that?
Hearing that statement something broke inside me, I had heard similar words before, I always found them annoying, but them coming from someone that clearly had no idea what they were doing made me feel enraged.
“Alright, listen retards... We are going to do things my way, or I will clear the dungeon myself and you people can die from being buried underground.” I was done.
“Em, Yami are you okay?!” Ari asked with panic. I smiled at her and shook my head, I wasn’t okay at all.
“Are you challenging me?!” The assassin exclaimed as she turned around with bloodlust.
“Wow, let’s calm down for a second girls.” The archer intervened. "There is enough of me for both of you, heh."
"You, come here."
"What do you need, hot- Ough..." He dropped to the ground in pain. The assassin had punched him in the stomach.
I sighed and decided to pretend as if nothing happened. “The stairs are inside the well, let’s go.” They looked utterly confused as I went down with Ari. Ari decided to ride on my back by hugging me tightly as I went down the well. Needless to say my mood was horrible.
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