Chapter 14: A Troll Joins the Party
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The Sparrow Knights and their two new comrades had spent a total of three hours within the dungeons, slaughtering every monster they came across. Each individual member of the Sparrow Knights was utterly taken aback by the powerful abilities being an Esper granted. She could throw her opponents about or cause them to collapse while kicking and screaming. Wolves, slimes, spiders, ants, enormous centipedes, low-level undead — all completely powerless when faced with Zeruna's wrath. She isn't even using the full extent of her powers. When she fought against the now-dead Demon King more than 300 years ago, she crumbled an entire mountain and launched the pieces at him.

However, the four noted her blatant cruelty towards Goblins in which she would ensure their deaths would be extremely painful in nature. The most horrifying thing they saw was Zeruna twisting one's limbs around violently then pulling them off. Such acts quickly made each member pray they never get on her bad side in any way.

They were also impressed with the magical abilities of Tina, they far exceeded their ex-comrades spells. Before, the party didn't know much about the spell tier system and thought there wasn't much difference between the first and second tiers. Healing spells are much more potent and there are more elemental spells and fewer utility spells. She could also multicast spells  which requires a massive amount of focus. Using not only a fireball but also a healing spell at the same. This was after Eleana was hit by an arrow from a Cave Goblin archer from the end of the tunnel.

The SP she is obtaining from killing the monsters is minimal, roughly a sixth of what she was getting before. The other thing on her mind was that group of adventurers whose names weren't told to her by appraisal. Everyone else's was shown so why is that particular group wasn't is driving her to insanity.

"Shi, look out!" yells Eleana.

Zeruna turns around to see a large green beast barreling towards her, its hand holding a metal morning star that is being flailed around.

"Light shield," utters Tina causing a magic barrier to block the attacker before they could reach Zeruna.

She is now only inches away from her attacker. It's green skin, bulging muscles and comically large underbite in full view. Drool escapes its mouth, slowly slides off the barrier and lands on the floor. A cave troll. Zeruna darts back as the shield shatters from the force of the shield on the barrier.

The troll begins speaking in a guttural and slurred language, but Zeruna can still make out what he is saying, barely though. On his chest is a necklace with a griffin symbol on it. The group notices the necklace and quickly stands down. That item is given to creatures that are not dangerous to adventurers. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the second necklace that allows for a kind of telepathic translation between it and everyone else.

"You have come to help Fug? Fug needs help," says the troll.

Intrigued by this, Zeruna puts her hand up signalling her five comrades to not attack.

"What does Fug need help with?" returns Zeruna, shocking the Sparrow Knights. 

"So does little girl agree to help Fug?" asks Fug.

"Perhaps, depends on what you ask of us."

Meanwhile, the Sparrow Knights stand their, mouths agape in pure shock at what they are witnessing. Tina turns around and tries her best to explain away what is happening, she states that Zeruna can communicate with anything that can speak through the power of Psionics.

"So, you're telling me, there's a ruin in one of the gigantic caverns in the ninth floor that caused the massive rush in monsters from the lower floors?"

"Yes, I lives here in the twelfth and them dungeon-bred creatures flooded into my home. On the ways past, I saw the building from a tunnel. They seem to be coming froms that big big building."

"You're quite observant for a troll," Zeruna says. "We came here to resolve this problem anyway, you're assistance is much appreciated."

"Many thanks, Fug among his siblings was always called the Smart One," replies Fug in an attempt to brag. "It's also why I haves this on me. A smart person becomes friends with what can kill it."

Zeruna turns back to the rest of the party with her thumbs up, the entire group sighs in relief and they lower their weapons. In as best as she can, Zeruna explains Fug's situation while also translating what she is saying to Fug, so everyone is in total understanding. Everyone excluding Tina is shocked by the many applications of Psionics.

After the confusing conversation, the entire group follows Fug through the floors. Unsurprisingly, Fug is a loose cannon, charging recklessly into danger without a second thought. His level is 61 which probably came about from him living deep in the dungeon.

"So Shi," says Arin. "Where exactly did you learn Psionics? Another question too: Why do you wear that emotionless mask?"

"I cannot reveal where I learnt Psionics, such an action would be against a vow I took. As for why I wear the mask: I... I was burnt badly, as in, severely burnt by... I wear this mask as to not scare everyone I meet," answers Zeruna, trying her hardest to make the story to sound real by changing her tone of voice.

"Oh, I'm sorry," Arin replies. "However, I have another question!"

Argon darts over to Arin and slaps him over the head. "You need to be more sensitive about people's pasts," he scorns.

"I'm just curious!" yells Arin.

"Seriously, Arin, you never relent do you," adds Eleana. "Even though I'm curious about her too, you need to be more careful."

"At least let me ask the final question," Arin moans. "Can I?"

'Man acting this much is annoying and taxing, how do OP anime protagonists do it so well? I have to meticulously choose what words I say to keep up this persona up. Well, I brought this upon myself technically.'

"Depends," utters Zeruna half paying attention.

"Why do you hate Goblins so much, what have they done to you?"

The air around Zeruna immediately runs cold and thick, the atmosphere instantly changing with a few curious words. The choking air beings to crush those present, strangling them as if two phantom-like hands are being wrapped around their throats with the intent to kill. A powerful aura suddenly flares around Zeruna, pushing everyone, including Fug and Tina, aside and into the tunnel walls with a loud crash. However, they are lucky that wave of power wasn't her mana. Zeruna's raw mana is enough to melt metals even if t is barely concentrated.

"Shi, calm down!" Tina yells.

The air loosens causing the asphyxiating pressure to disappear. Zeruna breaths become longer and longer in an attempt to calm herself down. Her teeth grit hard, so hard that she thinks she just might break them herself. The sudden wave of emotion wasn't done on purpose. It was completely out of her control. As if someone else took control over her body temporarily.

All the Sparrow Knights are terrified to go any closer. They then all look to Arin, many glares collapsing down on the poor boy. Tina, knowing the intimate past between Vidir and Zeruna, glares daggers at Arin stronger than anyone else. If given the order, she wouldn't hesitate to tear him limb from limb. Fug, being completely confused, merely sits on the ground trembling while profusely sweating.

"Apologies, my anger... sorry. I don't really want to talk about my hatred for Goblins as it involves diving into a more sensitive part of my past."

'Was that me or the real Zeruna then? In-game, I was heartbroken and enraged when Vidir died, it makes sense for Zeruna to feel the same. I was angry then, like real anger. I want to know the answers to these questions; however, I have to first and foremost, focus on satiating my hunger. Now that I think of it, Tina is probably just as hungry as me meaning she too must be struggling with controlling herself. She did eat more than me the day we arrived at Sevis.'

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