After King Adrin and Ryota explained what had happened between her and himself and that Zeruna might no longer a threat, the entire room burst into applause. To blend with the other adventurers, Zeruna clapped but didn't scream and yell like some of the energetic characters. Despite the influence of alcohol, the Dwarf conducted himself surprisingly well and managed to hold his tongue on the fact he's best buddies with Zeruna.
King Adrin described the appearance of the Orc spy and his untimely death due to the hastiness of an unnamed individual. The emergence of a spy also means that the Orcish Kingdom has been tracking them, meaning Ryota may be called into action sooner than later. Majority of the King's important vassals would be arriving within two days. It may be the adventurer's jobs to accompany armies and help with reconnaissance or healing. There is additionally the probability of them fighting in large-scale battles.
"Now, I will give everyone a choice: to fight for your country or not. There will be no repercussions to denying; however, those who accept will be handsomely rewarded," the King says. "The Hero Ryota has chosen to accept as I hope you will too."
"The Mystic Moon refuse," Zeruna states loudly and bluntly. The entire room to turns the cloaked female with looks of disbelief and shock.
"We're refusing?" splutters Vidir as he lumbers over.
"I don't like where this is going," whispers Aema quietly.
"Very well, may I inquire as to why?" King Adrin replies.
"With all due respect, your majesty, I am no mercenary, and I do not have any allegiance to the crown nor anyone else. I am adventurer because it is the only way I earn money. I may change my mind if the fight ever becomes personal, until then, I'm not interested."`
"I agree!" says another in the back.
"I'm not discarding my life for a Kingdom I barely care about. Unlike most here, our focus is not helping those who need it but making money," adds a female from the same party.
"Unacceptable," murmurs Ryota suddenly, he suddenly explodes with anger. "Unacceptable! Unacceptable! You call yourself adventurers, and yet you do not protect the weak and innocent (elven) lives being affected in–"
"Please calm yourself Sir Hero, they do not have to join this conflict if they don't want to. After all, I do not own the Adventurer Guild; it is a independent continent-wide organisation with roots in most countries, not just our own. There are even some guild building in the territory of our enemies. It is already a tall order asking them to intervene in matters that do not involve them."
"Adventurers are not mercenaries, Sir Hero," replies Tina.
"I will have the guard see your two parties out," Adrin says. "Thank you for contributing to the summoning of the hero."
"No problem, your majesty," replies Aema.
"With pleasure. If we sounded rude earlier, that was not my intention," says the leader of the other uninterested party.
With that, they were left to their own devices with half a day left to spend before the sun would set.
"I will be momentarily departing for the Sevis dungeons, I should hope it won't take too long to do what I want to. Aema, I ask you to take me to the exact place you woke up," declares Zeruna.
"For what reason?" she replies.
"I do not wish to say as it may bother you... anyway, I ask that you buy heavy armour and a mask for a male with a height of about 6'6. This is critical for what I'm going to do."
"Fine, keep your secrets, Runie," replies Aema as she sticks her tongue out childishly.
"Please do not refer to me as that," mutters Zeruna.
"I used to call her that!" Vidir exclaims.
Zeruna rolls her eyes before giving both of them a minor but annoying headache with a flick of her fingers, "Tina, you can use this time to rejuvenate your mana. I will most likely be back by midnight. For the record, the nickname Runie will never pass any of your lips within earshot. Should it, I will commit terrible atrocities upon you like giving you a constantly moving itch."
A bright oval of light appears in the empty throne room of Vampire Lord Caspian. Cobwebs han gin every corner and the aftermath of Zeruna's and Caspian's duel are littered everywhere. Broken bricks, tattered banners, dried blood — only a fraction of the things on the floor. It wasn't long ago, yet a feeling of nostalgia lingered in both people. It isn't a good nostalgia though.
"I will make my way back to Aiveast myself. Please do not get into massive amounts of trouble while I'm absent," says Zeruna as she removes her cloak and mask.
"What are you going to do here?" asks Aema again.
"Business that should be no concern for you. I don't feel like telling you as you may not like it," responds Zeruna. "Please do not take offense."
'If I should tell her, I would. I know not what the consequences will be if I do tell her about Life and Death; however, there are also consequences if I do not tell her.'
"None took, I've wised up a bit. Man, ain't this crazy, an isekai."
"I know, I actually wanted this, in a way. My life was so boring that you'd rather watch paint dry. Now run along, little girl."
"Little girl? I'm 23!"
"And you wrote books about highschool students, very creepy if you ask me."
"I'm going, I don't feel like speaking with you anymore."
"Adiós," Zeruna says as she waves.
"Arrivederci," Aema returns.
"Au revoir," replies Zeruna.
"Damn," Aema mutters. "I can't think of any more languages to say goodbye in."
Zeruna chuckles, "Goodbye? We didn't say that."
"Goodbye," Aema blurts.
"Bye then! Are you just going to keep standing there looking like an idiot?" barks Zeruna.
"Hah, you look like a tsundere," taunts Aema.
"N-no, I don't! Now, go before I–"
"You what?! Call me a baka?" continues Aema.
"I could cut your head off where you stand if I desired," weakly threatens a rather flustered Dark Elf who is doing a bad job at hiding the fact she's flustered.
"Yeah, but we both know you won't."
"Go! Leave my sight!"
"Okay," Aema says as she disappears into a portal, sufficiently satisfied with her successful taunting if Zeruna.
As soon as Zeruna is sure Aema is gone, she collapses to the ground and begins ploughing her head into it over and over and over until she feels content with her self-harm. She's trying to reserve the amount of strength she puts into each headbutt as to not cause significant damage. It's not because it'll hurt, infact, something like this doesn't even scratch her skin. She holds herself back to make sure the entire castle isn't brought down on her.
"What was that, me?! That was way too awkward! I've been with this girl for approximately three months and I still have trouble speaking. I even acted like a tsundere, I can't believe I allowed myself to stoop to such low levels! What's wrong with me?!" Zeruna yells at herself. "Maybe I'm being too formal with her? Yeah, need to loosen up a bit. I'm playing my character too well. No, that's a lie. If I was truly playing Zeruna, I would've seduced Ryota then killed him, killed Adrin seven times over and subjugated the entire kingdom. Man, Chroniks didn't let you hold back when being a massive dick. Fuck, what's wrong with me, why am I feeling like this?"
Zeruna's ears suddenly perk up and begin rotating to a creepy scuttering sound. She rotates herself to the origin of the sound just in time to see an enormous overgrown monstrous Tiger Spider looking down from the ceiling. It's eight eyes stare creepily at the Dark Elf as it slowly approaches her with intent to kill.
A string of web shoots out to Zeruna who is still recovering from her awkward encounter. Like glue, it sticks to her arm which is instinctively thrown up to block it. For some unknown reason, the web string is wet, soaked in some sort of liquid that runs down from the spinnerets of the spider to Zeruna's arm. The spider moves its head to the string before its twitching creating a spark. What Zeruna assumes is an electrical current runs down from the spider to her and passes through her body; however, she cannot be sure herself as she feel absolutely nothing from the attack.
"Not an average Tiger Spider, are you? That liquid is either an acid or some sort of liquid that is a good conductor of electricity. It seems that was meant to deal electrical damage, however, my maximum levelled resistant to that element made it useless," comments Zeruna. "Looks like you're out of luck."
With a quick motion, Zeruna pulls the spider down from the ceiling and into the ground. Almost like a water balloon, it's abdomen burst open and spills out a thick, dark red liquid. It scrambles to its feet and upon realising the strength of its opponent, bolts for the half-open throne room doors. Before it could reach the doors, is reduced to bloody ribbons that fall to the ground and create a pool ofs. Zeruna licks the odd-coloured blood off her blades as she approaches what's left of the corpse.
[Killed Electric Tiger Spider, 14 SP gained.
Current amount of SP is 940.]
"Aye, I forgot you existed, summoning system thing. Get ready for a long haul because I'm going to cull 75% of this dungeon's monster population head-to-toe. Maybe I'll finally be able to satisfy that tingling feeling in my fangs that I've been getting recently," a shiver runs up Zeruna's spine. "I'm not having spider, that'll probably taste absolutely revolting."
Zeruna begins at her currently floor, slaying three-quarters of the monsters she encounters. The more she descends into the dungeon, the more numerous the horrifying monsters she wished to avoid become. Huge pale worms with nightmarish teeth that make bobbit worms look pretty, Lesser Shoggoths ripped straight from Lovecraft's nightmares and the dreaded Taurns that Zeruna is forced to kill with her eyes closed due to their sheer ugliness. It is as if the dungeon core was creating more horrific monsters to deter the Dark Elf from venturing further.
The SP stacks up, increasing with every kill. After two hours of slaughtering whatever she encountered, Zeruna happened upon a secret entrance. Said secret entrance was an elevator from that floor into eternal darkness. She knew what this leads to; she had cleared numerous dungeons in the early days of Chroniks.
The boss room of the Sevis Dungeon sat at the bottom and with one well-placed tap, the door shot off. Behind the door was the dungeon core that was undoubtedly larger than a four-story building. Strangely, a sizeable chunk of it was absent, as if someone had punched it off. Scattered around said core was what appeared trillions of books, tomes, grimoires, scrolls and additional written media. Unfortunately, Zeruna was unable to get to it due to a mysterious unbreakable magical barrier. These would usually, these would disappear once you've destroyed the boss monster.
Even stranger, there was no boss monster like an Elder Shoggoth or Supreme Skeletal Dragon. Whatever guarded this area was deceased and all records of its existence erased. Was it taken away somehow? Dungeon spawned monsters can't survive outside the dungeons too long as there is normally not enough mana on the surface to sustain them. Zeruna was scintillating with rage and curiosity at being unable to access the juicy lore, she gave up after an hour pleading to the core in the hope it would release its barrier.
"Oh, mighty system yadda yadda, let me summon," Zeruna mutters as she emerges invisible from the dungeon entrance and into the nearby forests of Sevis.
She begins making her way to a more secluded location, there could be an adventure party who are going for some late-night dungeon crawling. She also kills additional monsters on the paths to a place where she is sure there is no one around. This secluded location happened to include a beautiful picturesque stream. She then begins looking around the silent green environment, there's no one.
Zeruna begins to wash the blood and gore from her body. With a little assist of some magic and psionics, Zeruna manages to remove every speck of dust, stain of blood and chunk of meat from her. She then looks at herself in the reflection of the water and begins correcting every minute detail on her face.
"I have to look presentable when summoning my subordinates, it wouldn't reflect well if it looks like I've been on a bloody rampage. I can't leave a speck of dirt on this face, it shall remain flawless until the ends of the earth!" Zeruna yells while chuckling at herself. "I would've said that a couple of months ago."
[Host has sufficient SP to summon two companions. The first summon will cost 5250 SP and the second will cost 8750 SP.
1. Mordain, The Grand Necromancer
2. Nyrilieth, The Devourer
3. Phalanx, The Protector
4. Verille, The Indomitable
5. Ursula, Of The Trident
6. Shogan, The Master Of The Swords
7. Hans, The Master Of Combat
8. Varsarius, The Wild]
'Let's see... no, there are only two choices, one I've already prepared for Phalanx to be summoned. Mordain, Nyrilieth and Varsarius are way too chaotic to summon, particularly Nyrilieth and Varsarius. Shogan and Hans aren't trouble; however, mana among the group is starting to spread thin, so people who won't be able to blend in will be a pain. I wish I had a Charm of Polymorphing, but, she'll do.'
"I wish to summon Phalanx and Verille."
[Summoning complete. 5250 SP consumed. Summoning complete. 8750 SP consumed. Next summoning requires 12500 SP. You currently have 234 SP remaining.]
Two beams of light descend from the heavens. Zeruna realises it's too late to attempt a dodge and instead embrace the head-on damage.