Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Volume 1 - Chapter 17 - Posterity


Bell and Rick dash off into the tunnel where they came from, a few [Shadowhound]s have already appeared since they walked by previously.

"Nya nya nyan NYAN!" With her halberd partially extended, the felinoid slashes and runs down the [Shadowhound]s in the way, opening a path.

*te te te*

Rick drops the caltrops he had previously bought in Feia, hoping to slow down any pursuers.

"Wait! Are gu-"


A voice desperately screams after them as they run away, sounds of metal striking can be heard faintly as they run away.

* * * * *


"«Ice Wall»!"

"Right side is coming down, Kun-ni~"

"Got it."

"«Spell Modifier»!"


"«Air Hammer»~"


As soon as a group of [Shadowhound]s breaks through an «Earth Pillar» from a tunnel on the right side of the chamber, a powerful mass of air slams them into the tunnel's wall.

"Reduce the amplification a bit Kun-ni~"

"You sure?"

"Don't worry, don't worry~, cast it after I shoot first though~ «Air Hammer»!"

Without waiting for a reply, the girl with aquamarine hair smashes the «Ice Wall» that's blocking the tunnel on the left side, breaking it into shards and stunning the monsters attacking it.

"«Spell Modifier»!"


"«Dust Devil»~"

Note: Dust Devil is literally a mini-tornado

*fyu fyu fyu fyu*

Without slowing down, the two cast spells in quick succession. A miniature tornado filled with ice shards from the destroyed wall sucks in all but one hound, shredding them to pieces. The black-haired man runs forth right after casting toward the lone hound.

*ka* *sha*

Striking the claw that was aiming for him with a magician's rod in his left hand, Kun follows the rod's momentum and chops with a dao in his right hand through the thick, inky neck of the [Shadowhound] that remained out of range of the «Dust Devil».

[Note: Reminder, Dao is a single bladed sword.]


"Eh? «Fireball»!" Without hesitation, a small fireball flies from the young man's outstretched palm toward the right tunnel.

"Nya!" A shadow leaps to the side of the tunnel, before leaping to the ceiling and kicking off of it to land gracefully into the chamber.


"Wha- AHH!"

The duo tenses up as they recognize the figure and the voice in the back.

"Don't worry, we have some time." Bell gives herself a pat to get rid of some dust before fully extending her halberd with a *kin*.

"Damn it you guys, I would be roasted if I reacted any slower." A blonde youth with singed, frizzled hair walks out from the tunnel and into the chamber.

"How many are we facing?" Kun walks up toward the two while trying to peer behind Rick. Till is focusing on the other tunnel, in case more [Shadowhound]s appears.

"Looks to be a full [Raid], so likely 35 users."

"Damn, think we should get out first and come back later?"

"Not a bad idea, you guys teleport first, I'll stand guard." Bell nods her chin toward Till before turning around.

"«Fireball»!" Kun sends another fireball down the right-side tunnel, zooming by the side of Rick's head. Reacting right away, the youth turns and draws a pair of daggers. Although he brought the arrowless bow with him, its damage is subpar and isn't useful in this particular situation.

"Wait! I surrender! I'm here to talk! Look! I'm alone!"

An unfamiliar figure with its hands held up approaches the group. A scratched out symbol can be seen on its breastplate.


"«Ice Wall»."

"Alright, close enough buddy, stop right there, what do you want?" Rick put the pair of daggers into a reverse grip before crossing his arms and raising one of his eyebrows.

The man stops suddenly and stares at the youth's unique hairstyle before giving himself a shake and continuing. "Are you the ones selling the [Warp Scroll]s?"

The youth slowly turns his head back toward the catwoman and young man, the two both give a curt nod.

"That's us, got a problem?" Rick snaps his head back toward the man and raises his other eyebrow while dropping the previously raised one.

"Look, there are some innocent people that got tricked into helping some sick sons of bitches, we are trying to get them out of here. They already lost enough levels already, they don't need to die on top of that."

"Wait... What? Aren't you guys blackhearted blades and moonlight loonies, why would you guys help anyone?" Rick drops his arm, while Bell shifts her weight forward slightly.

The man winces at those words before giving a sigh. "Look, most of us in the two guilds were tricked, we didn't know half the shit the leadership and their inner circle were doing until after we got wiped out the other day. All of us left and grouped together to try and beat this dungeon one last time, we just wanted to raid and have fun in the first place."

"Then why do you guys have the [Murderer]'s mark?"

"We met the bastard GMs and their group, they tricked random people and sacrificed them at the altar. Our groups collided after we went to rescue those people, we killed some of them. Did you know that you can sacrifice people's levels to bypass the first section of the cave leading to the [Boss]? And that both guilds were doing that to strangers without letting the average member know?" A bitter smile spreads across the man's face. "No wonder we were so hated, we thought it was merely jealousy and contempt."

It is the group's turn to wince. They were tricked previously for the exact same thing, that's how they got to level 0 in the first place, but to think they would have even tricked their own guildmates. Bell grinds her molars before giving Kun a look, he merely close his eyes and nods. She walks pass Rick, who also gives her a nod as he cross his arms again.

"We don't trust you 100%, but we will give you a chance. Lead us to these people that you claim to be protecting, if what you said is true, we will even give you guys the scroll."


Bell opens a pouch and brings out a block of stone.

"This is a bomb, I'm going to attach it to you. If you so much as try to trick us, we will blow you up on the spot." Turning toward the girl that's still standing guard. "You are in control of it, Till!"

The man nods calmly, letting the catwoman tie it to his waist.

"Please hurry, I'm not sure if my comrades can win the fight. They should still be fighting near the altar."

* * * * *

*haa haa*

"What... what the hell are... you guys...?"

The group ran from the 2nd safe area all the way to the entrance of the [Boss] dungeon without pause. The catwoman opened the path by driving any [Shadowhound]s in the way to one side before being finished off by either the young man or the youth. When there's a large group of hounds, the girl would slam them to death by casting a combination spell with the young man, a combo that the man has never seen before. The group didn't slow down at all when they reached the lower levels where the tunnels are narrower and monsters are fewer, but a lot stronger. Treating the [Orthrus], [Black Cadejo]s and [Black Shuck]s no differently than the [Shadowhound]s save for the little girl that occasionally impaled them with ice, the group advanced at a relentless pace; what shocked the man was that these monsters would normally require a full party to take down. The man had to be rescued numerous times as individual monsters that bypassed the group came after him. Trying to catch up, getting rescued, desperately fending off individual monsters that would come after him, it is small wonder he's worn out.

[Note: Orthrus is a two-headed dog from Greek myth (related to Cerebus), Black Cadejo usually appear in the form of a large (up to the size of a cow), shaggy dog with burning red eyes and a goat's hooves, although in some areas they have more bull-like characteristics. Black Shuck is one of many ghostly black dogs recorded across the British Isles. Sometimes recorded as an omen of death, sometimes a more companionable animal, it is classified as a cryptid, and there are varying accounts of the animal's appearance. (Wikipedia)]

The group stopped for a moment at the entrance to allow the man to catch his breath. Bell's paw traces the intricate design on the door, remembering the first time they were brought here. Giving it a push, it reveals a large chamber with a large altar sitting in the middle. Bubbling, hissing water surrounds narrow pathways that leads deeper into the cavern.

*Kan Kan*

The sounds of metal striking metal reverberate throughout the chamber. Various men and women are fighting one another, with many corpses laying about. At the bottom of the altar, a small group of people are huddled together, being protected by various [Guardian]s, who are slowly being overwhelmed by 2 dozen or so attackers.

"Damn it! «Backstab»."

The man that was out of breath leaps into action after seeing the situation. Seeing that they don't know who is on which side, the group quickly decide to focus on attacking the people that are attacking the [Guardian]s. Typically, [Guardian]s have high defense, but have relatively weak offense, thus making them ideal as defenders. Rick takes out his bow, unfolds it and shoots some of the attackers in the back. Till uses «Air Hammer» to stun them. Kun uses «Stardust» to blind the attackers as he follows Bell who is running silently toward the enemies.

The invisible arrows and «Air Hammer»s catch them completely off guard; the man managed to critically hurt one of the attackers with his «Back Stab» before being forced to pull back. The [Guardian]s take the opportunity to forcefully push the attackers back, reforming their defensive line.

"Bell, toss me in there."
"You sure?"
"Yes, I will be fine, just don't send me to the roof."
"Got it."

Bell stops running, grabs Kun by the collar and turns him around to face her. Compressing herself like a spring, she turns Kun like a slow spinning top and then sends him flying by pushing both her paws into his chest while releasing all the stored energy in her body and his original momentum from the spinning motion.

*shin shin shin shin*

"«Spell Amplifier»... «Icicle Squall»!" While soaring in the large chamber, Kun sends icicles as large as men's arms toward the attackers. Righting himself in midair after casting, he uses "«Burst»!" to soften his landing just behind the [Guadian]s. "Quick, use these and get out of here!" He throws them some vellum of [Warp Scroll]s before sending an amplified «Fireball» over the head of the [Guardian]s.

"Where... where does it... lead to?" A teenaged boy with chattering teeth stammers out as the fight grows in intensity.

"What?! Anywhere else is safer than here! It warps to the entrance! Go! «Earth Pillar»!"


Kun raises an earthen wall to block an incoming fireball from behind. The group of huddled users disappear one by one as they use the scrolls to escape.

"Nya Nya NYANNNN!" Swinging her halberd around like a madman, Bell finally reaches the ones attacking the [Guardian]s and critically injures every one of them within her reach. Seeing that the ones they were protecting have escaped, the [Guardian]s break their «Defensive Stance» and start attacking back.

"I don't know who you people are, but thanks for the help!"
"Thank that guy over there, he brought us over. I'll leave the rest of the warp scrolls here, get out when you can."

Kun briefly talks with one of the [Guardian]s before rushing out towards Bell. Enemies would get knocked sideways or get stunned before being brutally bisected by the raging felinoid. Although [Wind Spells] are relatively weak compared to other elements, it has the advantage of being nearly invisible unless one's paying attention. Till, along with Rick, have been assisting Bell without anyone noticing, thus catching them off guard each time Bell swings at them.

With Kun going back to back with Bell, the fight quickly ended as the enemies get pincered and destroyed. The [Guardian]s quickly spread out from the spot and go assist their allies, while Bell and Kun would rush to help anyone nearby that one of the [Guardian]s assists.

A surge of enemies suddenly rushes toward them from the narrow pathways on the water as they were winning.


"Got it Kun-ni~ «Dust Devil»!"

A small waterspout appears in middle of the water, dragging the enemy reinforcements into it.

*hyu shi sha*

Strong wind engulfs the area around the waterspout, anyone that touches the water are burned by both the heat and the acid it holds.

The fights have all ended save for the massacre occurring on the water, if one can even call it a fight.

"Holy shit..."
"Who are these guys?"
"They... are our allies, right?"
"I don't remember ANYONE that can do THAT."
"Niji brought them... so they should be fine?"

The group gathers around the altar where Kun had left the bag of [Warp Scroll]s. Not one of the defenders had used it, they chose to fight to the bitter end. As the defenders go about picking up the loot, the man that brought them here approaches them.

"Thank you for your help. Oh, right, I didn't introduce myself, my name is Niji" The man gives them a deep bow with his feet together.

[Note: Niji's name means "second son".]

"No problem, you weren't lying one bit, so get out of here, the entrance got caved in if you didn't get the news." Kun picks up the bag and offers it to the man.

"No, we still have to deal with the ones that went ahead. We can't let them do as they please, or let them defeat this dungeon after doing what they did."

"Then give everyone a [Warp Scroll], if anyone's about to die, just go. We will help you with these sons of bitches. How many of them are left?" Rick's face holds a menacing expression as he imagines wiping the floor with Keely, Tabeus and everyone else that wronged them.

"Um... they had 4 raids when we spotted them, 3 raids already went in, we had 2 raids when we encountered the last raid and the victims."

"So they've 2 raids in here then? Since one came back already and got dealt with. You sure you guys want to keep going? We have barely 1 raid here including our party. No offense, but you guys are pretty weak." Bell has a deadpan expression as she calculates the odds as she cuts the bomb off.

"We are ashamed of what we were part of, we need to do this to clear our conscience."

"Alright, let's go then~"

* * * * *


"Alright, this should work... thanks, Kun, «Ice Shell»!"

"Stay low now~ «Gust»~"

The remnant group of former guild members and Bell's party advance smoothly over the first section of the dungeon. This particular section has no monsters whatsoever, but the environmental hazards have destroyed many raids due to its irregular nature. The steaming, highly corrosive water comes in waves, revealing the odd foothold here and there beyond the narrow paths near the altar. Slipping into the water, getting sprayed by a random splash, or even getting stranded on a foothold would usually spell death for all involved. There's a path above which can teleport people down onto the narrow pathways, but it seems to be accessible only if you approached from the second section of the Boss dungeon.

[Note: As in, it's an exit teleport only as a shortcut to get out.]

To counter the environmental hazards, Rick is paving a path of ice while Till keeps any splashes away from the group. Kun is busy amplifying Rick's spell while Bell is responsible for any sudden changes and to command the few [Mage]s within the raid on where and when to apply more ice.

"This is easier than we thought... why did they have to sacrifice people...?"
"Maybe none of them thought of this method?"
"No, they did try this method, people got splashed, causing a panic before breaking the ice from all the sudden movement, wiping out the entire raid."
"Why didn't they just get someone to stop the splashes?"
"Hm... I don't think we had a [Wind Mage] in the guild... did yours?"
"Actually, you are right, we didn't have one as well. We thought they were a useless class. Who knew..."

The various members of the raid talk among themselves as they easily complete the section.

* * * * *

"You guys get in the middle, this part is going to get rough. [Guardian]s! Box formation!"

The group had to climb a small hill after jumping off the ice onto the shore.

"Just how big is this dungeon, for it to have a small lake and now a hill..." Bell ponders as she follows Niji's instruction.

Groups of [Orthrus], [Ahuizotl]s and [Hellhound]s appear seemingly at random and from random directions on the barren path going up the hill. These enemies are significantly stronger than the enemies within the regular part of the dungeon. The fight consists of the [Guardian]s maintaining a «Defensive Stance» to absorb the initial attack, collapsing into a tighter formation as everyone else rushes out and slaughters the enemies; the attacking group then runs back behind the [Guardian]s when they get pushed back. This allows a war of attrition while spreading the damage around.

[Note: Ahuizotl is described as dog-like, its waterproof fur often clumping up to create spikes (hence its name). The ahuizotl has hands capable of manipulation and an additional hand on its tail. The ahuizotl is feared due to its liking for human flesh, especially nails, eyes, and teeth. It is said to live in or near the water and to use the hand on the end of its tail to snatch its prey, dragging the person into the depths to drown him or her. (Wikipedia)]

After about the 10th battle and nearly losing a man, Bell speaks up. "Niji, can you do me a favour? Line the [Guardian]s to the right and left and we will handle the front and back."

Recalling how the the party of 4 managed to get to the [Boss] dungeon so fast, the way they fought and the way they dealt with the first section, Niji accepts the request. "Go ahead, [Guardian]s, two columns!"

"Two columns...?"

"This catlady here has a plan! Get in formation!" Niji shouts over the dissenting voice, forcing them into formation.

"Rick, you and all the melees are with me to the front. Kun and Till, you two take the back with the ranged."

"Right away, your fatness."

Bell smacks Rick in the head with a *kon* as soon as he walks up to her.

"Time it right, Till."

"Got it~"

The fights come from the sides for a few more times, ending up with the usual war of attrition, one [Warrior] ended up dying by not running behind the [Guardian]s in time. Finally, a frontal assault occurs.

"Melees! Attack once then fall back behind a [Guardian], make it like a pinwheel and let the one behind you attack! Range! Save your shot for when a melee is about to strike! [Guardian]s! Form 2 rows, intercept any attack that's within your range, 2nd row, don't let the enemies move freely, don't move out of formation, be pillars that the melees and range can hide behind!"

Rick shoots arrows at the various canines before falling back as they get close, Bell rushes up to the first one, hits it with a heavy swing and runs back with the momentum from the centripetal force. Melee fighters follow the same pattern after her, throw one heavy swing and get out. Since the ranged fighters are attacking just before a melee attacks a target, the heavy swings land more often than not. The [Guardian]s become living obstacles, whenever a canine engages one, a melee fighter would take the chance to attack it. Since the damage output is significantly higher, the battle becomes an one-sided slaughter as opposed to a war of attrition.

There are no significant injuries from the fight, and no potions are needed. The group moves on with higher morale.

The next fight starts with an attack from the rear. Kun starts giving out commands before some of them even become aware that they are under attack.

"Make a 2 man deep V, [Guardian]s! Melees to the flank and hit and run back when you have the chance! Range, heavy fire, focus on center, fire after Till! Go for it when they are in range Till. «Spell Modifier»!"

*HYOO* *pyu pyu pyu pyu* *buo* *buo* *buo* *gaa*

"«Air Lance»!"

"«Rapid Shot»!"
"«Earth Lance»!

Some canines are sent flying, others tumbling down the hill and just a few remain standing. Unfortunately for them, the ones that remain standing are greeted with spells and arrows. The melees rush out and hack them to death before running back behind the [Guardian]s. This process repeats itself a few more times and only once did a [Guardian] need to intervene. This formation drains a touch more MP, but there's next to no damage.

With their method of advancing forward secured, the group moves swiftly to the next part of the dungeon.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the chapter!
    Ooh, now we know why they hate those two guilds...


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