After checking my status, my party had finally all gathered. Accadeas, Laila, Reia, Allein and Tris were now all present although Allein was keeping mostly out of my sight and was being watched carefully by Accadeas. It wasn’t really necessary since I knew she wasn’t going anywhere, but Accadeas was even less trusting than me.
As for Tris, “Tris! Wow, look at you! I must say, becoming a Demihuman has really done wonders for your appearance!” I said while teasing her with a sarcastic smile.
“Shut up Fayde!” She replied venomously.
“Haha, well you were pretty before, but really, you are much prettier now!”
She just growled at me and showed her teeth, but I didn’t feel as if she was really unhappy about my words. Despite my sarcasm, I meant what I said and it also was apparent that her personality had changed somewhat. Either way, I wasn’t about to let her get too big of a head.
“Just remember, you belong to me now, and I’m never going to let you go!” I whispered into her ear so that no one else could hear.
I unintentionally said it a little too vehemently and she shivered when I placed my hand on her shoulder. I didn’t care about her feelings on the matter, though. I was never going to let her escape my grasp now.
We all made our way to the outskirts of the cemetery with all the warriors and wagons in tow. There were hushed conversations going on between the various parties and I could see the excitement on many of their faces.
I walked ahead of the rest, remaining silent. Reia and Laila were busily discussing something while Accadeas watched Allein, who was most likely feeling very uncomfortable. Tris lagged behind the rest of us and glared at anyone who tried to approach her. Some of the young male warriors had taken an interest in her since she became a Demihuman, but she wouldn’t allow any of them to approach her.
Once we arrived at the outskirts of the cemetery, the undead which were previously wandering around aimlessly became aware of our approach. Most of them were still some distance away so I brought the large group to a halt and turned around to address them.
“All of you, back away. I don’t want to waste time here and even though these undead are relatively weak, there are a lot of them. At least several hundred, so to avoid any casualties, I will take care of them myself.”
At my words, those who were near me back away and gave me a wide berth. I saw this as a good opportunity for me to show off a little bit of my new powers. They had seen my fly, but they had yet to see me go all out. I was about to teach them the meaning of true strength.
Hmm, I suppose about 10 of my ‘Void Fireballs’ should do it. That will leave me drained of most of my VP, but I can at least take it somewhat easy after taking care of these small fry.
“Time to show you all what carpet bombing looks like. Get back a little more.” I said while watching the undead monsters rise from the ground and slowly make their way over to me.
There were a variety of undead skeletons and zombies either already shambling towards me or now rising from the ground.
“Carpet bombing? What’s that?” Reia asked curiously from behind me.
“Hehe, just watch and see.” I replied without turning around and my body ignited in black flames as I slowly rose from the ground into the sky above.
Even though these moments were fleeting, there were times when I would get a little excited and want to show off. This was one of those times.
All of the Demihumans looked on in amazement as I flew up into the sky above the cemetery. Even though they had already seen me fly, it was still an amazing sight to them and quite a few gasps of awe left their lips.
The undead which had been previously targeting me looked confused for a moment, but then their targets switched over to the warriors on the ground since they had no means of attacking me in the air. They continued to shamble on over towards them, slowly shortening the distance, but their efforts were futile.
I only observed them for a moment in silence before I went to work firing ‘Void Fireballs’ from my hands which quickly descended. The intense flames of the fireballs heated up the air around me and as they moved, the space they entered visibly shook and rippled as if the flames were disrupting the very fabric of reality.
Everywhere the fireballs landed, loud explosions rocked the earth and the undead were sent flying in pieces. Their dismembered body parts littered the cemetery and the dark flames burned uncontrollably, devouring everything in their path.
I quickly flew forward, raining fireball after fireball down upon the hapless undead who were incapable of doing anything to defend against my wrath. After my tenth fireball crashed against the undead, none were left moving. Every undead within the cemetery had been eradicated by my powerful flames. The entire cemetery had been completely ruined with debris everywhere.
I flew back towards where everyone had been waiting, a safe distance from the carnage, and slowly descended. My feet touched the ground and the flames around my body subsided. I hadn’t noticed when I was descending, but all of the Demihuman warriors were looking at me with a bit of fear.
Their looks didn’t bother me at all. I would think it would be stranger if after seeing that, they felt no fear. Since the Demihumans respected strength, this would only increase their respect for me in the future. The only ones who weren’t really affected by what I did were those closest to me. Reia gave me a look that basically said stop showing off, and Laila was clapping like I accomplished something great.
“Well, let’s go.”
My words woke them from their stupor and they soon followed me as we made our way towards the crypt which was the entrance to the second floor. The wagons wouldn’t be able to fit down the stairway so we set up our base camp there within the ruins of the cemetery.
Since I had already cleared out all the monsters, there was very little danger. However, Some guards would still need to remain just in case, but this wasn’t an issue. Not all the parties would be entering at the same time, and there would be constant movement back and forth as parties returned to rest and possibly unload resources and equipment.
Most of the transportation of resources and equipment wouldn’t happen until after a floor was cleared, but any returning groups would carry whatever valuables they could when heading back to camp.
I had no intention of returning until the dungeon was completely cleared and already planned to continue on ahead of the other groups. For them, this would mostly be training, but for me this was a complete extermination. They were already instructed not to take any serious risks and head back whenever necessary.
Leaving behind four groups to guard the encampment and instructions for a proper rotation schedule of groups, I led my party members and the remaining 16 groups down into the depths of the dungeon.
The second floor of the dungeon was similar to a large labyrinth, but with the numbers they had brought into the dungeon, it wasn’t difficult to clear the floor. Multiple parties moved together in order to ensure their safety while clearing out monsters and avoiding traps.
Their preparation and careful selection of warriors with a variety of talents and skills proved very useful in successfully eliminating the undead on the second floor. While some parties continued to explore the labyrinth of the second floor, others had now gained access to the third and continued on.
It had taken several hours to due to exploring cautiously, but progress so far had been swift and without casualties.
“We’ll set up camp here, there is no reason for us to return back to the surface yet and once we rest, we will continue to explore the third floor.”
Largear had been placed in charge of his own party which consisted of two vanguards, himself and a Tigerkin male named Kreln. Kreln was a proficient spear user and could easily take on multiple opponents without breaking a sweat.
Their party also consisted of a Foxkin female named Rinna who had an affinity with fire magic, a Catkin female named Teara who was a healer, and a Rabbitkin male named Raph who used a shortbow and excelled at scouting.
It was an all around party with a high level of skill and they had easily crushed the undead monsters they fought up to this point.
“This floor is huge, much larger than the second floor. Looks like we won’t be able to receive much support from other groups since we had to separate and spread out to explore the floor. I didn’t imagine the atmosphere in the dungeon would be so oppressive…”
Raph was especially sensitive to the atmosphere in the dungeon since he was a Rabbitkin and felt the most uncomfortable. Rabbitkin preferred open spaces and bountiful natural environments, so it would be suffocating for their kind to be in this type of dungeon setting.
From the information that had been provided to all of them before entering the dungeon, there were dungeon settings which basically cloned natural environments, but the environment within this dungeon was dismal and dark.
“Nothing can be done about it, you are just going to have to live with it Raph. I hope you don’t go insane on us.” Teara said teasingly.
“Bah, I will be fine, it’s just uncomfortable. Let’s talk about something else, I don’t want to think about where I am.”
“Wasn’t the Great Khan amazing! I knew he was strong, but I have never seen anything like that and I have known him for much longer than all of you!”
“His power is incredible. That’s right, Rinna, your Foxkin tribe has been with him for a long time now. Did you know he could do that?”
Since Teara and Rinna were the only females in the group, they had become close and loved to gossip which annoyed the men in the group.
“Ugh, here we go again, aren’t you two a little too laid back? We are in a dangerous dungeon you know!”
Largear did his best to act as leader of his group, but he had some difficulty with his party members not taking him seriously.
“Haha, Rinna, did you see how Largear kept looking at Reia nervously? I thought he was going to faint in embarrassment. Just imagine that big oaf dropping to the floor because of that!”
“Shutup Teara! Ugh, this is why I hate cats!”
“You better be more careful Largear, if the Great Khan catches you ogling his wife, he’s going to burn you right there on the spot!”
Rinna, being a member of Reia’s tribe, was especially sensitive about this and warned Largear about his wandering eyes.
“Although, grilled wolf might not taste bad!”
“You too Kreln? I thought you were more sensible than those two brats!”
“Be quiet!” Raph said warily, “I hear something.”
Rabbitkin were especially known for their hearing and the others immediately quieted.
“There are a number of sounds approaching, most likely monsters, let’s get ready!”
Even though visibility was low, it wouldn’t be too much of a problem for them as all Demihumans possessed at least some night vision.
“I see them now, undead! Quickly, Rinna!”
Rinna didn’t need much time to act according to Largear’s orders and immediately began attacking at range with a ‘Fireball’ that hurled towards the approaching undead, exploding in their midst. It was nowhere near the power of one of Reia’s ‘Fireballs’ but it still was powerful enough to take out a number of the approaching undead.
“Alright, half-arrow formation, I have the front.”
Largear gave his orders and the group formed up with Largear at the head of the formation. Kreln stood on his left, but slightly to his back while Teara, Raph, and Rinna were behind them in that order.
Raph quickly shot off several arrows, penetrating the heads of approaching zombies. His arrows would have no effect against skeletons and so he targeted only zombies which could be killed by penetrating their brains.
Rinna began firing a barrage of ‘Fire Arrows’ as the enemy came closer to avoid friendly fire. They were very effective against zombies and slightly effective against skeletons. If anything, they could at least slow the advance of the skeletons while taking out some of the zombies.
Teara used support spells to enhance the vanguard, while Largear and Kreln waited for the monsters to come into the range of their weapons. Kreln’s spear wouldn’t be very effective against the skeletons, but he could easily handle zombies. However, Largear’s battle axe was more than sufficient to slaughter any skeleton that came within his range.
Before long, they had wiped out the approaching monsters without sustaining much damage, but they were clearly low on stamina.
“Don’t even bother gathering their crystals or equipment. We could be attacked again at anytime and we need to rest. We’ll leave that for once the floor is sufficiently cleared of monsters.”
The group returned to sitting near the small fire they had started in their small camp and ate while settling their nerves. They were all warriors, but it was unnerving fighting undead monsters surrounded by endless darkness.
“This… I wasn’t expecting it to be like this. Rinna, didn’t the Foxkin conquer a dungeon already. How did you do it?” Kreln asked while chewing on a dried piece of meat.
“It’s true that we fought in a dungeon before heading to the Sacred Grounds, but it was nothing like this… The dungeon we fought in was a huge battlefield and our whole clan fought in that battle. We fought an army of goblins and orcs and the dungeon was well lit. Only the Great Khan and some others entered further into the dungeon, this is just too much!”
“I heard the Great Khan and his party aren’t going to return to the camp on the surface at all. They are going to keep going until they kill the dungeon boss… We’ve only been in here for a day and I am already ready to go back!”
“I know what you mean Raph, but the Great Khan… and the others, they are all monsters on a whole other level from us! We can’t even come close….”
Largear seemed somewhat depressed and sighed.
“Haha, look, he’s probably thinking about Reia again!” Teara chuckled while Rinna glared at him.