The next day, after a good rest, they gathered in a special room in one of the Entertainment district.
“So Artemis, what are the Xeno?” asked Hestia with her Familia with Hephaestus, Miach, and Takemikazuchi in the room.
“The Xeno are simply put monsters that have separated themselves from the Dungeon’s influence,” Artemis said.
“Influence?” said Welf. “Aren’t they just naturally that way?”
“That’s what is commonly known but given how tight-lipped the topic of the true nature of the dungeon is to the gods I only hypothesized that something or one is down at the very bottom of it making these monsters go towards the surface.” Said Cirrus as he looks at the gods in the room and they simply look away.
“So… Wiene and Kalion managed to separate themselves from the Dungeon? How?” asked Bell.
“From what I gathered, I assume it’s due to them being reincarnated so much that whatever emotion they have eventually built up leads to them gaining their own mind separate from the dungeon.”
“So… does that mean every monster has the potential to be a Xeno?” said Lili.
“Probably over time, so when you go back into the dungeon to bring Wiene back to her people, there is no need to hesitate to kill whatever monster attacks you. Think of it as self-defense. Should they attack, first it’s reasonable to protect yourself?”
“Speaking of attack, how strong are Xeno?” asked Mikoto. “Kalion knocked me and Welf out instantly.”
“That depends on how many magic stones they have eaten and what their species is.” Said Ai. “When we first met Kalion he was about a level 3 in power, but over the years we have given him plenty of magic stones and now he’s in terms of power is a high level 6.”
“L-level 6!!” they shouted.
“He’s that strong!” said Bell.
“Of course, when I got to Orario I saved up all the magic stones I got from the deep floors of the dungeon and when he came I simply just gave it to him so it would be weird if he wouldn’t be at least a level 6,” Cirrus said.
“Then Wiene could get as strong as him?” said Hestia.
“Given enough time and magic stones, then yes.”
“I… I see… so who else knows of the Xeno?”
“Besides you 4 about 4 more not counting Artemis.” Said Cirrus.
“Four more… I assume they are Hermes and Ouranos right?” said Takemikazuchi. “Hermes has been working with Ouranos for a long time and Ouranos is Ouranos it would be stupid to think he or the Guild wouldn’t notice a monster leaving the Dungeon. But… who are the last two?”
“Ganesha and just recently Hermes got a name, Ikelos. Seems his Familia has been trafficking monsters for years, gaining funds for a project that I’m not at liberty to discuss right now.”
“Why not!” asked Hestia. “If we are in this, we should know! Especially if Ganesha, of all people, knows!”
“Please don’t dismiss Lord Ganesha he is the god of new beginnings, success, wisdom, and remover of obstacles. So you know he’s a lot more than what one would expect from a god who likes to say his name and poses. So information like this is valuable and dangerous. For now, when the time is right, I will inform you and then you can help. In the meantime, I suggest keeping growing strong as a Familia. Things are moving in Orario, and we will need strong adventurers.”
“Moving… as in how?” asked Miach. “It isn’t like—"
“It’s similar to then, Lord Miach.”
Miach made an expression sour expression.
“… I will go on ahead first. Should anything of the need of medicine, I will help.” He quickly got up and left.
“And I’ll be going back to my work.” Said Hephaestus, having the same foreboding feeling as Miach. “If it's like back, then I will need to get some stuff prepared in case of anything happing.” Cirrus, if any Familia needs weapons, I am just a help away.” She left as well, with a bit of speed.
They both take their leave. Many could see the hurry on their faces.
“W-what do you mean ‘like back then?” asked Hestia.
“This was before you two arrived in Orario, but it seems fragments of Evilus have resurfaced.”
“!!” Bell shook a bit from here that. “Then… the people Ryuu said she destroyed are still around?”
“Sadly yes. So I want you all to keep going about your business in the dungeon and keep your eyes open for strange activity. Should you see people in white robes? I suggest you run or kill them quickly. These people won’t hesitate to kill themselves if it means your demise.”
They all had solemn looks on their face. They had found themselves in something beyond their pay grade.
"C-can’t we capture them?” Bell asked with some confliction on killing.
“Sure you can!” said Ai. “You just need to quickly get rid of the bombs they have strapped to them and quickly knock them out! By the way, the bombs activate upon the slightest hint of magic, so be careful!”
“R-right!” Bell said, a bit more relieved he didn’t have to kill them but still stained on how he was gonna go about it.
“Good, now it’s… about almost noon. I need to go and help with the new Familia member, see ya.” Cirrus got up and left.
“And I need to help the level 1’s with the dungeon! Bye!” said Ai, leaving as well.
“And I have patrol. Make sure you keep an eye on Wiene. If you have any more questions, ask Kalion.” Artemis then took her to leave.
“… It would seem we have stepped onto something bigger than what our Familia’s are capable of handling.” Said Takemikazuchi.
“Yes… it seems we keep finding ourselves deep and deeper into the rabbit's hole.” Said, Hestia. “Bell, everyone, we will do as he suggests and focus on getting stronger!”
“Yes! Lady Hestia!” her children said.
“Um, sorry to say this, but I will need time to repair our gear. And then there is Wiene.” Said Welf.
18th floor of the Dungeon.
“So this is the 18th floor.” Said Neze.
“Yes, but why did you wish to come here?” said Thetis, as both were wearing hoods.
“A feeling left behind in this body, no… a memory.”
“… Will it affect you in the future?”
“No… I am simply curious what these are, sadly they are bits and pieces of what this body considered important, so I figure I indulge myself a bit.”
They walked around the floor and came across a grave with swords impaled into them with a flag.
“A grave. Let’s move.”
“No…” Neze walked up to it. “This…” she looked down to see a dagger with a star on its hilt. “This was this body's grave… her Familia.” she counts 9 weapons out of 12. “Two members of this body Familia are still alive, guh!” she could feel her head throb and the faces and names of the two appeared in her mind. “Ryuu Lion and Cirrus Zephyr.”
“!?” Thetis shook a bit from hearing Neze say his name. “A-are you saying you have one of his Familia’s members' bodies?”
“It would seem so.”
A twisted smile grew on Thetis’s face.
“Take the dagger. I’m sure it will be of use later.”
“… I dislike that smile you have, Thetis. You know when one is buried, they shouldn’t be disturbed.”
“Even if Cirrus Zephyr is our enemy? I mean, he has Nox and Circe contracted. Sure, Circe is only good at running away, but Nox? We have heard tales of her strength from our fellow Spirits, hell even if we didn’t, her status as a Grand Spirit is enough to use and put anything we have to used to kill her and Cirrus.”
“!?” A shake of the earth could be felt on the floor. “… You truly do have a twisted personality.”
“Blame the human I got! She was a surprisingly twisted human!”
Neze walks over and places her hands together.
“… I am sorry for dishonoring your grave, fallen ones.” She took the dagger and a few more weapons. “The others won’t have much respect for you, so I must apologize even more.” She placed her hands together and prayed.
‘Kukukuku!!! I’m sure with this it’ll really make them suffer!’ thought Thetis.