"Damn it! Quickly, avoid it, Ben!" a short dark-skinned teen shouted to his friend as he blocked the attack from the High Devil that was standing in front of him.
Eight-feet-tall, jet-black skin, two-feet long horns and claws the size of swords. There were only three such monsters on this floor of the dungeon, but Ronny and his group of friends were clearly outmatched.
They were all friends from high school and had been at a late-night cosplayer meet-up when the apocalypse started. Ronny and his four friends, Ben, Samantha, Trisha and the foreigner, Xing, had quickly gotten accustomed to the changes and were able to overcome their attacks together.
They each had well-rounded classes and matched each other thanks to their fake cosplay weapons being counted as actual weapons by the system. While their weapons weren't real, they were able to quickly buy genuine ones from the system and kit themselves out.
Each one of these teens owned several C-rank items and skills and Ronny even had a B-rank skill, so they were confident that they could clear this E-rank dungeon.
It was unfortunate, but they were wrong. On the third floor, the unpredictable attack patterns of the Hellhounds was too much for the group of teens which resulted in Trisha getting bitten by one of them and Xing was clawed on his chest.
The two tried to heal themselves with the shop's recovery gel, but as it turned out, it wasn't possible to buy things inside this dungeon, so they had to make do with Ben's minor healing spells.
They wanted to leave immediately after that, only to realise that they were trapped in here. After asking the system, the group were told that the only way to leave was by killing the boss, the Demon Lord.
While the five wanted to return to their hideout and rest, they had no choice but to climb up to the fourth floor. What greeted them were two High Devils. Ben was standing in the back to avoid any damage as the healer while Ronny and Xing, the tank and assassin, attacked one and Trisha along with Samantha, the two main attackers and only girls of the group, dealt with the other one.
Things were going well initially, that was until a third High Devil just appeared out of nowhere and immediately attacked Ben who was all by himself. There wasn't any time for Ben to react, so despite Ronny's warning, he was immediately pierced by the High Devil's claws and it looked like he was killed on the spot.
The creature let Ben's corpse slide down its claws before licking them with glee. It then turned around and looked at Trisha with hunger in its eyes. Clearly, these devils were fans of blood, and it could smell her bite wound.
'We're dead, aren't we? I knew we shouldn't have come in here! Damned Xing! I shouldn't have let him persuade me! Damn it! Damn it! Damn it!' Ronny was panicking and experiencing despair for the first time since the apocalypse had started.
"Ah, fuck me," an unfamiliar voice rang out through the chamber, "they're a bunch of kids. This sucks. I was hoping to get some loot, but if they're just kids, even I would feel bad."
"I don't really care. We're all survivors here, so age doesn't matter as much as it used to. I won't feel guilty, but if you wanna save 'em, then sure, Lord, hahaha!" a loud laughter resounded in the room.
"We-We're going to help them?" the very weak and feeble voice of a man followed after.
"Then again, this might not be that bad," the first voice's owner, a grey-haired man with a half-burnt face and ghostly-green arm, said.
The unoccupied High Devil stopped looking at Trisha and eyed the six new people and one Golem that had walked onto this floor. It saw a crippled child sitting in a chair and it grinned viciously before sprinting across the room towards her. As it happened, young children was the only thing High Devils loved to kill more than virgins and injured prey.
"What? You're only about half as strong as Og was, so you don't have the right to look at my sister like that," the strange man who seemed to be this group's leader said with a chill in his tone.
He stepped forward to block the creature and Ronny looked away to avoid watching another person die today.
The man called out the names of two skills and the sound of something hitting the ground filled Ronny's ears before silence took over. What happened had even shocked the other High Devils to the point that they unconsciously stopped attacking the teenagers.
Craning his head towards the strangers, Ronny was stunned to see that the powerful High Devil that had killed his best friend, Ben, with a single attack, was slumped on the floor with several gashes all over its body. It was clear for anyone to see that it was dead.
"Crusher, get the one on the left, Maddy, the one on the right," the man with a peculiar arm and dead-looking eyes ordered the two woman standing by his side.
Ronny found it to be strange that there were two of this grey-haired man and that their group had a child in a wheelchair and a large golem in it. 'Who the hell are these people? Are those two guys twins or something? Well, I can't really complain... It looks like we're getting saved... But Ben...'
Crusher ran across the room and yelled, "Gravital Impact!" before smashing one of the High Devils' heads, killing it with ease. Crusher was happy at how strong she'd gotten after evolving especially considering that she hadn't spent any of her merit points yet, but she felt unsatisfied with such an easy battle.
Madison made swift motions and whispered, "Laceration," while unsheathing her sword and then calmly sheathing it again. What followed was the last High Devil's body falling to the floor in two halves.
"Str-Strong..." Ronny mumbled in astonishment.
Daz walked up to the presumed dead boy, Ben, and crouched down next to him. "Hmm, this kid's still alive. Barely, mind you... Hmm."
Daz's mind was busy making a decision that would ultimately decide the fate of these five youngsters. 'I really want them to become my citizens... Maybe I should use the Legendary Gift of The Gab skill and convince them to join Fort Skip? After all, I could use a few more brave people willing to fight. Yup, I'll do that. If that fails, then I'll resort to thought seeds.'
"He's alive?!" Trisha, the youngest of the two teenaged girls, yelled. She then ran over to Ben's side and pleaded with Daz, "Save him, please! We'll do anything, please, save him!"
Xing had a mildly sour look on his face when he heard that. "Trish, we can't promise that. We don't know these people, and it's obvious to see that Ben's dead. Just let him go in peace."
"A lover's quarrel?" Daz said with an expressionless look on his face. "Well, I do want to help you kids, but not for free. What do you guys say to joining me and my friends here?"
The nonchalant nature of Daz's voice scared Ronny and Samantha while Trisha was excited and happy to accept the proposal if it meant saving Ben, and Xing was cautious and scared of Daz's seemingly apathetic nature.
"Thanks for saving us, but who are you? What do you mean by joining you? You want help completing the dungeon?" Xing was more than aware that the people in front of him were way too powerful, so he couldn't figure out why they would need their help.
"I guess some introductions are in order," Daz said as he nodded his head. He stepped away from Ben's body and gestured to himself. "I'm Daz, the lord and owner of the skip site, now castle-type base, on the western side of town, Fort Skip. Nice to meet you."
Daz then pointed at each of his companions one by one. "That's my sister, Rose. My friend, Dorian. My best friend, Rimmy McShineston, call him Mr McShineston until I tell you to do otherwise. My fighting companion and good friend, Crusher. My clone, pay no attention to him. My girlfriend, Madison."
Daz gave the teenagers a few seconds to soak in the information before he said, "I already know who you all are, so again, would you like to join us? By the way, I mean as residents of my base."
"You own that thing on the edge of the city?" Xing was doubtful.
"I don't need to prove myself to you. Hurry up and make a choice, Ben's going to die in about twenty seconds." Daz shrugged his shoulders again. He really did want to save Ben since it would leave a bad taste in his mouth if he let a kid die, but he knew that Fort Skip would benefit more from having them join it as citizens instead of simply saving them for free.
"How do you know his name?!" Xing was getting incredibly anxious. Everything about Daz was raising all of his alarm bells.
"We'll join you! Please, save my friend!" Ronny felt like there wasn't a choice. Either Ben could be saved if they followed these people, or he would die from his wounds. The answer was obvious.
"You're the leader? Okay, Crusher, heal him if you would, please," Daz said as he looked at the tall muscular woman that had been watching everything with a grin on her face.
"Sure. You're as scary as ever though, Lord. I guess it makes sense that you know about my racial traits and new skills, huh? Hahaha," Crusher chuckled.
She then walked over to Ben's body and sliced her palm open with a pocket knife she had for emergencies. Crusher then knelt down next to Trisha and placed her hand over Ben's mouth. "Blood of The Gods," she said loudly and clearly.
|Blood of The Gods [S-Rank (Middle Tier)]|
|A skill unique to the extinct Species of Titans. It was developed by the original Titan, Gragonius, in an effort to borrow the God of Strength's power and the incredible healing properties of his flesh.|
|Turns the host's blood into a medicinal elixir. Can only be used twice per day and the healing properties do not last any longer than thirty seconds.|
As soon as Crusher's blood touched Ben's lips, his body started shaking and in front of everyone's eyes, his chest wounds slowly sealed themselves. The young fifteen-year-old raised his torso and looked around in confusion.
Trisha wrapped her arms around his neck and began sobbing. "I thought you were dead! You... You... I'm so relieved..."
Xing's face contorted hatefully upon watching this display of affection, but he kept silent.
Ben was confused. "What happened?"
Trisha removed her head from Ben's shoulder and smiled while she looked at his face. "You nearly died, but these people saved you."
It was only then that Ben noticed the towering eight-foot-tall Crusher and the rest of Daz's group.
"Well, you guys can continue being lovey-dovey and get yourselves acquainted with my friends. Dorian, come with me. We're going to kill the Demon Lord," Daz claimed with a shrug.
"M-Me?" Dorian knew that he was useless in battle, so he had no idea why Daz wanted to challenge the dungeon's boss with just the two of them.
"Yes, you. Come on, let's go. Crusher, look after these kids and make sure they don't try to do anything funny, especially Xing, he's the one with the big mouth," Daz ordered the Titan.
Crusher happily nodded while Xing's face flushed red with embarrassment. Daz then proceeded to take Dorian with him to the next floor. On the way there, as usual, Daz's mind was filled with various plans. 'I need to deal with that Xing. A thought seed would probably be for the best. His attitude is risky.'
With that in mind, Daz, his clone and Dorian, entered the final floor. A grand throne room filled with cages was what was waiting for the three of them in the final room of this dungeon. Each of those cages had a skeleton or a naked human within it. Whether these humans were from Earth or the dungeon's original planet, was up for debate.
Sat on the room's throne was a tall man with purple skin. He had two large horns which curved out of his skull and he was adorned with exquisite silks and cloth. He sat there with an eager expression on his face. "Welcome to my home, explorers, and welcome to your deaths."
"How cliché," was Daz's lacklustre reply.
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