Chapter 48 Treasures and fire
With her sphere, Ilea could see everything in the room and even what was within the various chests. She was sure now that the only traps in the room were the pedestals. Except of course if there was something new to the mechanisms here that she had never seen before.
In the chests Ilea saw mostly coins. Nearly all of them were empty though and the rest were close enough. ‘If this was the treasury they certainly hit hard times before they left or died or whatever...’ she thought and kept scanning the room. Several small items hid between the chests, horns, a helmet, a sword but the most interesting thing in the room was what hid near the wall right behind the pyramid shaped object.
A skeleton clad in armor. Ilea slowly walked to the skeleton, making sure not to even breath towards the pedestals. Crouching down, her auras lit it up a little. It was small and broad, just as one would imagine a dwarf to be.
‘So you stayed hmm?’ she asked in her head and slowly extended her hand. Touching the skeleton, it immediately turned to dust. Ilea immediately reacted and caught the falling armor and clothing that still remained. Only dust fell to the ground as she slowly lowered the gear.
‘Apologies...’ she thought as she put down the armor. She identified the gear and smiled.
[Legate Guardian Armor – Rare Quality]
The armor didn’t reflect any light so Ilea had no idea how it actually looked like. She moved it a little further away. Other than the armor that seemed to consist of five individual pieces, there was a necklace still lying on the ground.
A noise resounded inside Ilea’s head as soon as she touched it.
[Legate Guardian Necklace – Ancient Quality] – Would you like to claim the Legate Guardian Necklace?
‘Wat?’ she thought and confirmed the question.
You have claimed the Legate Guardian Necklace
She held the necklace in her hand. It had a thin metal string and on it hung a small piece of metal in a similar form to a Taleen Guardian’s head. It didn’t look exactly like one though but it was the closest thing Ilea could compare it to. Holding it in her hand, she concentrated on it more.
[Legate Guardian Necklace – Ancient Quality] - [Storage capacity at 7/250]
“Are you kidding me!” she said out loud and saw some gears click in the walls upon her outburst. ‘Oh fuck...guess we’re out of time...’ she thought and willed mana into the necklace while touching the armor on the ground. It vanished but Ilea knew for a fact that it was inside the storage necklace.
She had definitely fucked up by talking out loud but couldn’t help smiling a wide smile. Quickly she ran around the room and grabbed the two horns, the helmet and the sword and made them vanish as well.
The noises of gears became louder and louder as she emptied the coins inside the chests into her necklace that she had put around her neck. It had immediately closed down to not hang as loosely.
“Hahahahahaaaa fuck all of you!” she shouted as the coins vanished into her necklace. Luckily the process didn’t use a lot of mana, not as much as moving the armor inside had taken.
She heard loud groaning noises of metal upon metal coming to life and just when she grabbed the pyramid shaped object, the sound of a flood entered her ears. “Shit, acid.” she said out loud and made the pyramid vanish into her necklace.
Luckily she had meditated before as that act used up over a thousand points of mana. ‘What the hell is this thing???’ she thought as she exited with a blink. Below her she could already see the acid rising and it was rising fast. Blinking up, Ilea reached the hole five seconds later and continued upwards.
After blinking half a minute she came upon a closed ceiling. ‘Oh fuck no...’ she thought and started punching with all her power. “Come ON!!” the stone gave in and pieces of it fell downwards, she could hear the acid rising but wasn’t sure just how close it was already.
Her punches rained into the stone and she quickly tunneled through. Not quick enough though as the acid had reached the ceiling of the wall and pushed upwards into the small opening. ‘Fuck fuck fuck’ was all her thoughts consisted of as she continued cleaving through. She couldn’t see above the closed off tunnel yet but her blink ability reached over ten meters further than her sphere skill.
Ilea held her legs close to her chest and blinked upwards, appearing inside the room above. Breathing out, she landed on the floor and activated the traps there as well. The room closed up and Ilea stared into an opening on the wall where a green flame rushed towards her.
She blinked out of the room but not before touching the fire. Her skin had melted immediately and she turned off her perception of pain to heal the damage. Ilea stood outside the room and fell to the ground, breathing heavily while Reconstruction restored her body.
She checked the necklace but found it completely unharmed. All her other clothes and even her mace had started melting in the quick touch with the flame. Ten minutes later, she was healed fully.
“Fuck, that was close...” she said out loud. The fire had moved faster than a centurion’s attack. “What the hell was all that, that was way more deadly than just a bunch of spears...” the bright smile on her face betrayed her words though as she played with her necklace.
‘Can’t wait to see how this thing’s gonna work...glad I could at least get all the stuff in the treasure room. This is definitely the biggest win though...’ she thought and twirled around.
“My precious!” she shouted and lifted it up. “And I won’t have to share any of this stuff. Fuck yea.” she was giddy with excitement to look at all the things she’d gotten but tried to calm down a little first to think about her next steps.
‘Meditate first though...’ she thought and sat down again. Breathing in and out consciously helped a lot at calming her adrenaline pumped body. A couple minutes later she had recovered a fair bit.
‘Might as well look at everything right here, can’t imagine a safer place than between acid and green murder fire and six centurions...heh.’
And so Ilea removed the necklace from her neck and studied it in her hand. Sadly there was no additional information than the following which she had already seen.
[Legate Guardian Necklace – Ancient Quality] - [Storage capacity at 21/250]
‘21/250? Wasn’t it seven before..makes sense though considering I added a bunch of things.’ Ilea tried to see what was in the necklace and immediately new knowledge came to her head. It wasn’t instantaneously knowing all the things inside but she could look through them. Items she knew were inside she could access rather easily.
Willing an item to appear, the sword she had found came to her hand. It took a little over a second to completely appear but touching it, she didn’t see any difference than an actual sword. It of course was an actual sword but to Ilea it was a bit strange to simply have things appear and disappear.
Shooting around fireballs and lightning seemed less strange after all this time in Elos. Only Aliana had used something like her necklace but doing it herself, Ilea didn’t know how to feel.
She continued to make the sword appear and disappear for the next two or three minutes. ‘This is so cool.’ she thought and started checking her mana and notices. It only took her around ten mana to either make the sword disappear or appear. The capacity went up or down by one upon removal or storage.
Actually identifying the sword was a little underwhelming.
[Legate Guardian Sword – Rare Quality]
It was a silvery green short sword that looked a little like the one romans would use. ‘Gladius...’ Ilea thought and played around with it a little. She didn’t have a sword skill but with her high stats in Dexterity it didn’t look quite stupid when she thrust the sword in the air.
‘Rare quality though...whatever that means. Gold is rare and would probably break immediately. Oh well...’ she shrugged and made the sword disappear again. Removing the armor pieces next, she placed them on the ground in front of her.
[Legate Guardian Armor – Rare Quality]
Each individual piece could be identified as [Legate Guardian Armor Chest – Rare Quality] and so on. It seemed to be some sort of fabric with a lot of the silvery green metal added. The problem was that it was obviously made for a dwarf. ‘Sadly I’m not one meter fifty tall and just as wide...’ she thought and made the armor vanish again.
She noticed that it took a little more mana to summon and store the armor but compared to her total it was negligible. The next obvious thing to look at was the helmet she’d found. Unsurprisingly it was a [Legate Guardian Helmet – Rare Quality] made from the same metal. The metal covered nearly all of one’s face with only tiny holes for eyes. She tried to put it on but it fit loosely on her head.
Sadly the armor didn’t seem to have the ability to change its size to the wearer like the necklace did. Ilea tried on the armor to make sure. Looking down on her naked body she sighed. ‘I’m gonna store so much clothes in this thing...’
Next were the horns. They looked incredibly beautiful, reflecting the dull green light on their complex metal workings.
[Taleen ceremonial horn – HIgh Quality ‘Used in Taleen celebrations’]
‘What does that mean...great, I hoped for a buff or summoning something...oh well.’ Ilea knew without taking out any of the coins that she had gathered 2683 Gold coins from the treasury. “Guess money won’t be an issue in a while...how much is a house?” nobody answered her question.
Seven units in the necklace had already been occupied before she had gotten it. Checking them she found that one was a book written in a language she didn’t understand. Further there was a set of clothes for a dwarf, equipment to cook and a tent.
‘How is that seven...I’ll find out in time I guess.’ She added just the pot for cooking and found it was one unit. The ladle was another unit.
‘So separate things are definitely units...what about the gold then though...’ she couldn’t figure it out with moving a bunch of coins in and out of the necklace.
‘The book is the most interesting one, maybe Splicer can read it or someone in that Foundation...’ she thought and got back up. Her mana had reached the maximum again in the meantime as she hadn’t stopped using meditation.
“Oh, wait I forgot one thing.” Using one thousand mana to get out the pyramid shaped object, she held it in her hands. There were complicated runes carved into the metal. ‘It’s beautiful, maybe I can use it to decorate my place in the temple or something.’
[The Tungsten Key – Ancient Quality]
‘Well yea with that description it’s not good for anything more than a bloody decoration. Where’s my quest?’ she thought but no further information came to her. Throwing the pyramid shaped key up and catching it a couple times, she stored it again and continued to meditate, two thousand mana down. ‘Guess it’s a good way to use up mana if that helps in any way...’ she thought but still smiled. The necklace rested on her neck again and after she had reached maximum mana again, she prepared to leave.
And so Ilea blinked back towards the waiting centurions, escaping quite similarly as she had before. One randomly thrown spear nearly got her right before she blinked out of the second hall after grabbing her backpack.
Reaching the great hall entrance, Ilea checked cautiously if any of the other adventurers had reached this far already but everything seemed undisturbed. She had an idea and placed some destroyed guardians at the molten entrance that would have to be moved upon coming in.
‘So now the left entrances...’ Ilea removed the dwarve’s clothes from her storage and looked at them sceptically. ‘Better than naked I suppose...’ smelling them she couldn’t find anything wrong with them and dressed. The pants were too high and broad but luckily there was a belt included.
She used the gladius to remove the arms of the shirt. ‘Basically a crop top now...’ she smiled and got it on as well. The clothes were obviously green. Testing a little, Ilea could store her whole backpack but it would take over ten units.
‘It’s weird to see someone down here without a pack though...’ she thought and stored her notebook inside the leather pouch which took only one unit. One of her two canteens with water was stored as well. Her cloak and alpha hound trinket went into the necklace too.
The metal pen and a good portion of the food made the storage capacity reach 31/250. ‘That’s a lot of space...I wonder what Aliana’s ring has...’ she thought and got on the backpack again that only held food, one canteen and her adventurer badge. ‘Oh I forgot to get that one updated.’ she shrugged and walked into the first door on the left.
‘With this necklace I can have second breakfast at any point of the day anywhere...’ she smiled happily at her new trinket while playing with the gladius. She could store it or summon it in her hand because her neck was touching the necklace at all times. ‘Can I...’ she thought and made the blade appear on top of her foot which worked as well.
On top of her head worked as well but not further away than a couple millimeters from her body or the clothes that were above it. ‘Could someone wear like a ton of armor and summon fifty swords around it as a sort of hedgehog tactic?’ her thoughts were interrupted as she walked into the the room that followed the staircase.
Or well, lack thereof. A chasm opened before her that led onwards for nearly a kilometer. Ilea blinked through the room with nearly thirty uses of the skill and found that one the other side there was no door or way to go further. Her sphere couldn’t detect anything behind the stone wall either.
She clung to it by slamming her outstretched hand into the wall. ‘There’s nothing further up...so only one way to go...’ she thought and let herself fall. Every hundred meters or so, she would punch into the wall again to slow herself and look around.
‘This chasm is stupid deep...and the other one before the great hall must be right over there...’ she thought and looked at the wall to her left. A couple minutes of falling later, she saw some stone protruding outwards into the chasm. Landing on it, it was as expected an entrance but she didn’t go in immediately and looked downwards over the edge. ‘Nothing I can see...but man this means there could be more secret entrances down in all the chasms so far...’ Ilea went inside.
“Stone Wall!” Jeremy shouted as the machine’s swords stuck into his hastily built defense. At the same time lightning and fire joined together to slam into the creature but it wasn’t enough. Arrows flew over his head to strike the ranged machines a little further away. Five of them had ambushed their group while two of the bladed machines attacked directly.
“Where’s the backup!!?” he shouted but didn’t dare look back. Stone spikes stopped the sword guardian before him for a couple seconds as more spells rained onto the monster. They were a group of five, sent in to explore one of the many roads in this Taleen Dungeon. Their group of nearly forty adventurers had at first tried to lure out the machines into the more open squares to deal with them using their full group’s power but they sometimes wouldn’t follow them further than a certain point.
At the moment there were three groups of five exploring different roads with orders to fall back to the last square should they be overwhelmed. They went in and spent their resources to deal as much damage as possible and then fall back again. Dedicated tanks combined with magic support could stop the sword guardians in their tracks for half a minute or more while mages and rangers delivered their fully powered magic attacks.
In the meantime rangers or rogues would distract the ranged attackers with smoke bombs, arrows or even teleporting skills. It wasn’t a very quick method to deal with the machines but quite effective nonetheless. They had only lost three people quite early on because the groups sent into the streets were too big and the people got into each other’s way.
Most of the adventurers were around level 150 to 170 with some individuals even exceeding that. Certainly not an ordinary adventurer group but considering a high noble paid them and planned for months for this expedition it wasn’t surprising.
Jeremy himself was at level 172 with his main class Ground Caller, and level 166 with his second class Heavy Paladin. This made him effectively a tank and crowd controller with some very limited healing abilities. They certainly needed that as only two people in the whole group were dedicated healers. They had been brought in from other cities just like many of the higher leveled specialists as well. Only two other people next to the healers had abilities to treat people other than themselves, Jeremy being one of them.
Of course some had an ability to heal their own wounds but those skills were often limited or bound to killing or harming an enemy to trigger.
‘How did they even manage to hire those people...’ he thought as someone shouted behind them.
“Switch!” was all Jeremy heard as a lance of ice hit the guardian before him, expanding into big crystals after the impact.