Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Volume 1 - Chapter 15 - Unexpected Outcome

"Good job Mak'ra, De'muel."

Bell is going through the parchments of records concerning the loot inside an officer's quarter in the Orllewinwell barracks lent to her by the guards. Bell, Rick, and Till were carried into the quarters while they were logged out. They would've been happy to wake up in the caravan, but it seems the captain wouldn't have any of it and said they should be treated as important guests and brought them here. Now Bell is reviewing their spoils of war with the help of 2 of the oldest students.

Till had sent a few students back to the Academy to get the "baggaged traveller" group moving toward Ashentor when she went to deliver the message to the captain of the Feian guard. Mak'ra and De'muel were expressly transported to Orllewinwell to take an accurate inventory of their haul. Although they were slightly delayed since the fliers had to rest, they still managed to make it to the city before the Feian troops returned from the outpost. Isnic was already given all the instructions by Till, so there was no issue when the Feian met with them, aside from the curious glances from everyone.

"But what does this x next to the gold, silver and various equipment mean?"

"They are slightly damaged and will likely needed to be melted down or repaired."

Rick starts whistling and tries to walk away when he hears that.

"What did you do, Rick?"

The two look at their sensei curiously.

"Um... I... umm... might have tried to set them on fire when we were escaping." He has a sheepish look about him.

"You... tried to set metals on fire?"

"Yes...?" The youth scratches his cheek with a finger.

"Thank gods you are stupid, didn't you know metals don't burn? At least not with the usual fire. Well, thanks to that, we have-" Bell looks at the documents again "-2700 or so damaged gold, 4600 something damaged silver and a bunch of Magic class or up cloth armours. We might have to pay a fee to separate or reforge the gold and silver and repair the equipments, but it's still a small fortune."

"Wah?" He has a dumbfounded expression on his face.


The two students clap their hands. Their sensei's stupidity never ceases to amaze them, and there is really no insult or malice in their belief - they honestly think Rick's screw ups will somehow, someway, change the outcome for the better. The story of him fixing others' impotence is well known among the students, although they aren't old to enough to start their own family, they know the importance of one's ability to leave behind offsprings.

"Your. screw up. saved us. alot. alot. alot of monies." Bell spells it out for him, emphasizing the words. "There's still the matters of the Feian guards and Sardon. But even if we give them a share for the guards' assistance and Sardon some compensation for the damage we've caused, we are still making a killing. We are already swimming in monies from the stray loot, but that pile of treasure that you didn't destroy, that's icing on the cake."

"Actually, about that." Rick furrow his brows. "I think we should claim they provided us with support during the attack, or even as the main force."

The 3 demihumans looks on with interest, waiting for him to continue.

"I mean, if they find out that it was just us that took down their guilds, they wouldn't hesitate to hunt us down, even take over or burn down the academy if they learn about it."

"Wow... lightning does strike twice. Did you hit your head last night Rick? You are actually making sense." The other two are nodding as well. They've seen the foolish behaviours of their sensei, but they've also noticed that his intention is never malicious towards them. And when he does something, actually trying to do something, it makes one doubt reality. Rumours about the spars and hunts he had done in Feia had spread to them when the Feian guards dropped by on their way to Ashentor. If they didn't know their sensei personally, they would think it was a different person.

Rick shows a soft smile, having had some time to think for himself that night, he realized that even if he's stupid, there are still things he's capable of. Using Kun as a guide, he realized he's beyond lucky. If he keeps thinking that stupidity is what defines him, there'd be no future for himself. If he can't do it by himself, it doesn't mean he can't do it with others. Obliterating those two guilds was proof of that. As the saying goes, people can change like water can flow, even with approaching difficulties, it can be overcomed if he has the resolve and tenacity to plant himself firmly into the ground. This already happened once when Rick traveled with his diplomat parents to a far off country in South America and ended up living with Bell's family for a few years. This change in mindset allowed him to look at himself objectively, there are indeed things he's good at. Making friends, warding off jealous, petty bastards, understanding relations, and last but not least, his charisma. If he's too dumb to lead, then just be the figurehead to help the truly smart ones lead the way. "Hopefully I'll bring you a storm." He gives them a mischievous wink. "So, let's revise the payout a little, I'll go see if the captain and the guards will agree. Check if Till or Kun have any objection though."

[Note1: The saying and the surrounding sentences have been modified to reflect the context better, the original is a lot shorter.
Note2: "Lightning can strike twice" and "Hopefully I'll bring you a storm." is a play on word that I had to use with the english equivalent, let me know if you don't get it (I'll go with the original if too many ppls doesn't understand it, even if it's even more awkward/troublesome to read).]

* * * * *


Hmm... strange, what's different from now and two days ago?

I'm currently using «Spell Amplifier» and shooting «Fireball»s into the sky, but it is nowhere near as powerful as the ones from two days ago. The «Fireball»s do increase in size and strength, but it's only slightly more powerful than a normal one.

I should save some MP just in case.

I stop my experiment and decides to wait for Till. I've respawned somewhere in the [Field of Ashes], I can't see the outposts, but I can faintly see the hills to the east. Respawning can be dangerous since you won't know what situation you will appear in, it is not unheard of for people to respawn in an area that's filled with monsters and die again as a result. Lucky for me, I'm somewhat close to a fort that was reclaimed by Sardon when it was abandoned by [Dawn's Moonlight] to concentrate their force at the outpost. Till is currently on her way with some of our students, so I just have to stay put until they arrive.

A dead user will respawn tens of kilometers away from where they die, in a random direction away from everyone else. There is a limit of 3 Amoatlzan days before they can log in again, they will be completely locked out from the system for the 42 hours. The revived user will spawn with whatever gear they've left on them when they faded away, minus anything that was taken, destroyed or randomly dropped. Fortunately, I was mostly naked when I got sucked into the fire tornado, so I didn't lose anything of concern. But it seems all the equipments I had on me were burned after I died since I respawned naked save for the clothing that's part of my avatar. I also lost a chunk of experience, but that's to be expected.

"Kun, Rick and I are thinking about asking the Feian guards to take credit for the battle, got any objections?"

Lifting my hand to my right ear, "Not at all... actually, that's a good idea, but there's something else we will have to discuss."

"Eh? What's the matter?"

"We will talk when I get there, I think I see Till. See you in a bit."

"Okay, we will set things up on our end then."

A small white dot approaches from the east with several dots following it in the air. The dots in the air drop down to the white dot and they starts heading this way. It seems like I was spotted.

*shi shi sha*

The white furry blob... glides? and stops in front of me. I honestly don't know how it propels itself, I don't see anything resembling legs or limbs for that matter. According to Rick, it's unbelievably comforting riding inside it, as long as you don't get slobbered that is.


"Good work everyone." I take a look at the blob known as Sammy before giving it a pat. It flattens itself to let me hop on. Guess I won't have to ride on the inside.

"Were you fighting birds Kun-ni? We saw the fireballs from the a distance."

"Nah, I was just testing them out. Seems like the fireballs doesn't want to come out like it did during that battle."

"Hm... Bell-ne would know better than me, let's ask her when we get back." Till gives Sammy some rhythmic pats, it suddenly gets up and dashes to the east. The 4 student escorts are giving me side glances every now and then as they fly along us on the way back, I'm not quite sure what to make of it.

* * * * *

"Are you for real?" A blonde youth paces back and forth next to the table. A little girl and 3 demihumans are sitting on chairs while a young man is standing nearby.

"It's just rumours, but it's plausible. I've been keeping an eye on the forums and such since I couldn't log in."

"Well, our plan failed in the first place, this is somewhat within expectations. Nevertheless, it's troublesome. To think the guilds would disband and the remnants would form a new guild... But for the big guilds to take notice of the dungeon, I didn't see that coming."

"How about we just destroy what's attracting them~~?"

"... destroy the Barghest Dungeon?" Rick makes a complicated expression. "Is that even possible?"

"Actually... how about a cave in?"

"Will that work?" Kun can already imagine what Bell has in mind, but there are still some doubts. "What's stopping the others from digging out the entrance?"

"Did you forget where I'm working? There are multiple ways to make the entrance unusable. We can even make a back entrance for ourselves."

"Oh right! You are with that mining company! Wait... can we make one of those boring machines?!" The youth chirps in excitedly, he had seen one of these behemoths in a museum when he was young, he had always wanted to see one of them in action. Unfortunately, the lack of a reliable source of power that's both strong and stable enough have made those machines inoperable. That is, except for the ones in Antarctica and the Arctic due to the continuous sunlight during their respective Light season.

[Note: Light season is referring to the season of 24/7 light particular to the polar regions. The opposite would be the Dark season where it's dark all day.]

"No, but we can make a smaller version. It looks like it's a Karst system, but we can have Dosnak help us check it out. It should also suffer some sort of groundwater issues since it's in a swamp. We can create a few false entrances and fill them with carbon monoxide by setting fires in them."

[Note: Karst topography is a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, dolomite, and gypsum. It is characterised by underground drainage systems with sinkholes, dolines, and caves. (Wikipedia) It wasn't fun looking this up since the chinese characters were written wrong by a few strokes =.=]

"Will that even work? Does carbon monoxide even exist here?"

"De'muel, Mak'ra, are there any stories about miners dying mysteriously? And the rescuers dying as well?"

The two were listening attentively, even if they only understand part of the conversation. But in regards to stories, they've read and heard plenty.

"I'm not sure about stories, but the headmistress did teach us not to sleep with a fire when deep inside a cave."

"Or inside a building without an opening."

"Yep~ that's also why the workshop was made the way it is with so many windows, we wanted to add a forge as well, but none of us know how to use one, so we just left it as it is."

Bell smiles. "Look like it is probably there. Any other problems you guys can think of?"

"Is it right though...? To be doing this?" Kun mumbles to himself. "No, wait, there are no rules we have to play by, and it's not like we are hurting anyone by sealing it off."

"Sensei, how will you cause the cave in though? Wouldn't it be crawling with immortals like yourselves?"

"We can just cause a commotion inside and cause a panic."

"Or we just randomly throw spells inside the dungeon~"

"Okay, this sounds like a plan. I will log out and get some blueprints ready, I will probably need you afterward Kun. Till and Rick, sort out the things in regards to the loot and the Feians. We will be short on time, the nearest big guilds would only need a week to reach us. Considering that we pretty much took both the Blades and Moonlight's funds, they will need a few days to regroup. The other users can't clear it anyhow, so it's a race against time."

Everyone in the room nods before heading off to do their own things.

* * * * *

"«Ice Wall»! Everyone, get away while you still can!" A man in a magician's robe and hood is shouting loudly within the cavern.

"«Air Hammer»! Um, I don't think it will hold much longer! Eek!" A little girl in a witch costume is hammering away at the ink-like, black canines that had made it through before the «Ice Wall» came up.

"What's going on...?" A burly man inquires from another part of the cave. Surrounding him are 6 other members of his party, they are in here to do some leveling since the dungeon never runs out of monsters. Approaching the two, he laughs as he spots the half dozen or so [Shadowhound]s. "You two need some help?"

"What? No! Run away!"

"Ahahaha! There's nothing to be afraid of little lady, I'm not like that twig over there." The man points at the hooded man that's fending a hound off with his staff.

"«Entomb»! Run!" The hooded man encases the hound in front of him in stone before running toward the entrance, followed by the girl.

*pa pa pa*

The laughing man swats a few of the [Shadowhound]s around him, showing off his strength.


"What are you doing, Ed?! Run!" One of the man's teammates came to check out what he was laughing about, then he spots the black shadows that are completely obscuring the view behind the wall of ice.

*ka ka ka shin*

The wall of ice cracks, allowing dozens of [Shadowhound]s to spill into the chamber. The laughing man's face pales and immediately starts to run.

"«Net Shot»!" One of the man's teammates shoots a large arrow with an attached container. A net of rope bursts forth from the container while in midflight, catching some of the hounds, temporary slowing the inky mass. Well, it slowed them down for a total of one second, barely enough time for the burly man to get away.

"Shit! What's going on?!" The burly man managed to reach his retreating team with the help of his teammate's stalling tactics. The group turns a bend, following the magicians, unfortunately, the one known as Ed steps on a piece of stone, falling face first into the wall.

The man turns and gives an "EEEEEK!" as a [Shadowhound] aims for his face with its dark, opened maw.

"«Ice Wall»!"
"«Air Hammer»!"

A wall of ice forms at the smallest part of the bend in the cavern, once again blocking off the hounds. The one that's nearly on top of the man gets slammed into the side of the wall before shattering into particles of light. The stunned man held his helpless pose with both hands in front of him.

"Move your lily ass Ed!" The [Trapsman] that shot the net is laying down some more traps and nets next to him. Seeing that he's safe, he flushes pink and gives his teammate a nod before running off.

They make their way to a large chamber with a dome ceiling, with connections to tunnels in all direction.

*ta... ta... ta... ta.. tatatatatata*

"Oh shit oh shit oh shit!"
"Oh my gods! Run!"

Out of another another tunnel, a dozen or so users came running out. The two groups look at each other with dumbfounded expressions for a moment.

"ta... ta... ta.. tatatata"


A rugged looking youth with blonde hair runs by them as he runs in from another tunnel. Two dozen or so users follow right after.


The [Shadowhound]s' growls emit from the tunnels.

"This way to the entrance! Hurry!"

The blonde youth runs toward the tunnel where the magicians are standing off. They all start running up the tunnel, ones that were already running continue to follow the youth. The ones that were dumbfounded quickly got their sense back and run after them, including the burly man.

"Hey! What happened?"
"I don't know! I heard that some party got wiped out, the lone survivor panicked and started running all over the place and ended up training all the mobs in the lower levels!"
"Can't we just defeat them? Think of the experience!"
"You do that! I don't want to die here, no way anyone can take down that many!"

[Note: Training is referring to the method of aggroing (or drawing the attention) of monsters en mass, this is usually done as a method of baiting the enemies into massive AoE (area of effect) attacks.]

The users are talking while running. It wasn't long before the light from the surface can be seen pouring from the entrance, the pillar of light looks almost divine in their situation.

"Hurry! We will try to hold them off!" The male magician readies his staff.

"Wait, I'll help too!"
"Me too!"

"«Ice Wall»!"
"«Icicle Squall»!"

The [Mage]s among the retreating users start casting spells toward the back of the tunnel, thinking that with a group of spells, they should be able to at least take down a majority of the hounds.

*ka ka ka*

"Wait... 'dokan'?" The users react with a confused look.

*ga ga gau*

The ceiling of the tunnel starts cracking.

"Who was the dumbass that blew up the ceiling?!"
"Why did you bloody attack at all?! Walling them off would have been fine!"
"It was free experience! Like you wouldn't have done the same if given the chance!"
"Shut up and RUN!"

The users are running straight out of the tunnel as the ceiling shakes, unbeknownst to them, the 2 magicians and blonde youth from before are nowhere to be seen.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the chapter!
    Well trying to completely shut off the entrance to a dungeon is a new way to do things and create a different entrance for just themselves is another out of the box thinking. With the previous plan of 4 vs 2 guilds with hundreds of users is also insane and now the dungeon? They sure are keeping busy.


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