Chapter 54 Cards and poison
The remaining debris clattered to the ground slowly as Ilea blinked to Agor and checked his injuries. ‘Not too bad...’ she thought as her healing mana flowed into him. Just half a minute later he was completely fine again.
“Thanks, although it would’ve healed in a couple minutes more on its own. You have to touch people to heal them?” he asked to which she nodded.
‘Quite a bit less experience compared to when I fought alone...’ she thought. ‘...although still not bad and it was much faster.’
“Well that sucks, you’re more a heal after battle type then. Or I guess we could’ve retreated to take care of our injuries.” he said as he made his sword vanish. “Pretty good experience, although it would’ve been better if I killed it alone.” he said.
“My thoughts exactly...” she said and moved to the crater in the cave’s wall.
“Anything?” he asked but she just shook her head after looking in the area.
“I don’t think they drop anything...” she said as Agor removed his helmet. The man below was smiling, his light skin was accompanied by a cleanly shaved rough face with two noticeable scars crossing through. Bright red hair that looked wild but was kept short accompanied his blue eyes that matched hers. He looked to be around his thirties, not very handsome but Ilea liked his smile.
“Maybe not, no. Haven’t heard of anyone finding something from the guardians either...” he said and looked at the teleportation gate. “...what’s that?” he asked and walked up to it to touch the luckily undamaged contraption.
“I have no idea...” she said as she walked by him to get her helmet that still lay on the ground.
He chuckled and looked at her. “For someone so beautiful, you’re a terrible liar Ilea. Keep them to one word replies or half truths...I didn’t question the false name you gave before. Just a tip.” he said, still smiling as he put on his helmet again.
The two horny adventurers looked at each other for a second before she nodded and walked towards the door. Horny, not horny mind you. Though horny they may have been.
“You said there were six of them one of the other ways?” Agor asked after a moment of silence.
“Mhm.” she answered “I don’t think we can take them though...let alone two at the same time.”
“Two or three would be manageable but I agree. By the way, you forgot this.” he handed her the dagger she had left behind. “I’m Lorcan Agor.” his hand was kept extended after she took the dagger.
“Thanks, Ilea Spears.” she shook his hand and let go again.
The two reached the squid room where they found Jasper looking at the dead monster. “Found something?” she asked the man who shook his head.
“I’m a little confused to its presence here but otherwise no. You destroyed the centurion then? Agor it’s been a while since I saw you this battered. Congratulations on the two levels though.” he said and continued “I assume the way is clear then, no more traps or enemies this way?”
Ilea nodded. “Good, then I’ll have the scouts map out this part as well. Let’s go back then. We have a dungeon to explore.” he said and jumped upwards. Ilea followed with her wings and Lorcan with his sword. The three reached the campsite in the great hall ten minutes later.
“I think we can trust her Jasper.” Agor said as the two man walked to join Inström.
“How’d she do?” Jasper asked only received a nod in response. That seemed to be quite enough though as he nodded back slightly. Ilea wondered at the intricacies of the nods.
‘Like two mute monks, an understanding transcending time and reality...’ she thought and walked to the cooks. “Hey guys, guess who’s back.” she waved at them, not realizing that her dagger was looking quite fearsome combined with the now battered armor. A massive hole was in her chest area, covered only by some tattered cloth. Additionally a piece of her leg armor was missing where her leg had been cut off.
“Maybe you should visit the smiths first to fix you up Lilith.” Jeremy said as he sat down on the table she had chosen to eat at. A bard was playing light music nearby next to a small campfire that broke through the monotone green color the lights gave off. The smell of food filled the room nearly completely now, only hours after the expedition had arrived.
A couple of guards had been posted at each entrance to the room, the people switching out positions after a couple hours. Some of the people chose to sleep in individual or bigger tents that were built up in the space they had. The hall was quite big, easily accommodating the sixty or so people inside it.
“Maybe I should, I’m getting free service anyway. What’d you do in the past hours?” she asked the man as she slurped the last of her minestrone soup down. The girl that had stood on the table when they had last talked was there again, standing a little further away.
“Hey! Hey you! Reddie. Why not sit down with us?” Ilea shouted and waved. Some of the people around them looked at her and chuckled at Rin’s expression. The woman sat down, her face matching her red hair ever so slightly. “What’s your name? You’re with Jeremy here?” Ilea asked and motioned for one of the cooks to bring some more soup. The cook returned her look with a ferocious stare.
“I’m a friend miss Lilith. I’m Rin.” the woman said. Ilea received her bowl of soup and started eating again.
“Well nice to meet you Rin. So how’s the expedition doing?” Ilea asked as a message popped up in her mind.
‘ding’ ‘You have been poisoned by dark potion, -50 HP/s for 2 Minutes.’
‘Wow, that cook has balls. I’ll go talk to him later...’ she thought as Reconstruction started canceling out the poison while she simply continued to eat. ‘The flavor is actually better like this...’
“Scouts have been sent into all four smaller entrances, although twice as many into the one you haven’t mentioned. They haven’t returned yet so it’s kind of a waiting game at this point. Some mages are still building a safer way down to the armory while others are dismantling the traps there.” Jeremy said “I helped there as well until half an hour ago.”
Ilea finished her soup and motioned to the cook for more. He looked back frowning at her and nodded.
“Do you guys have cards or something? Anyone brought ale?” she asked but neither of them had any of the requested things. ‘I really have to go back to the city and make some use of my necklace. There’s so much I can take with me everywhere now…’ she smiled at the thought as more soup arrived.
‘ding’ ‘You have been poisoned by midnight dream, -93 HP/s for 4 Minutes.’
Reconstruction worked hard to keep the poison at bay this time and her mana would’ve reached quite a low point were it not for her Meditation skill that she had activated as well. The slowed movement wasn’t noticeable while simply eating. Her poison resistance apparently helped a lot as well as her HP didn’t at all sink as fast as implied by the message in her head, even without using Reconstruction.
“I can ask some of the others if they have cards. I’m sure I saw some before...” Rin said and got up. Ilea got up as well and took the bowl of soup that still had some left in it with her.
‘ding’ ‘Poison Resistance reaches lvl 17’
Walking up to the cook she locked eyes with him and held the soup out to him. “This is good soup.”
“Yes of course it is. And you’re eating more than your share lady. We’re gonna run out of stock if you continue like that.” the man replied.
“And it’s poisoned.” she said and held the bowl out to the man.
“Bullshit.” he said and took some of it, his face blanching immediately.
“That was stupid.” he said and sagged down to one knee.
“Oh yes, yes it was.” Ilea said, shaking her head and started healing the man. Seeing the poison being much more effective than it had been on her and seeing that the man was only level 42 left her with little choice but to ask for help. “HEALER!!” she shouted as her spell barely managed to keep the man from dying.
His life was slipping when a sudden dark green light enveloped the two and quickly focused on the man, leaving her with a slight pleasant tingle. ‘Magic perception sure is nice...’ she looked over to see a robed woman with a cloaked head, blond hair reaching out a little. Her hands were outstretched, holding onto a wooden staff with intricate runes carved into it.
[Healer lvl 142] she saw with Identify and could hardly believe the stereotypical healer that stood before her.
The woman closed in on them and Ilea felt how the man’s health returned to him. They stood there with both healing spells active for another three minutes until the poison lost its potency.
“At least you have poison resistance now.” Ilea said to the cook, chuckling.
“The man nearly died, this should easily be manageable by a healer your level.” the woman lectured Ilea and shooed her away from the man before looking into his eyes. “Were you the one that poisoned him?” she asked. Others had arrived to look at the scene.
“Nah, I was poisoned first and he didn’t believe me. So in his fabulous brilliance he took a sip from my soup. It’s still there if you want proof.” she motioned to the bowl that still stood nearby.
“Okay who poisoned her?” Agor asked, not doubting Ilea’s story. The other adventurers and the healer didn’t seem to question her either after the man asked the question.
“It’s alright Agor. Not like they’ll out themselves. But let me make sure the rest of the soup is fine...” she said and dunked a fresh bowl into the boiling soup before downing the whole bowl where she stood. Some of the people looked horrified at the scene while others nodded with respect. Her Heat and Pain resistances did quite the job. The boiling soup didn’t hurt her in the slightest.
“It’s fine. And very good. My compliments to the cook.” she said and helped the man up.
“You’re coming with me...” Jasper came up to the man and grabbed his arm. Ilea certainly didn’t envy the cook.
‘Edwin vs Jasper, scarybowl get hype...’ she thought as she got another bowl of soup. ‘Fuck this is good.’
The people around them whispered and talked but soon found their way back to whatever they were doing. It didn’t seem too strange to most of them that someone wanted to poison someone else. The general concern that Ilea heard was what if the poison had gone into everybody else’s soup. The cooks seemed most terrified at the situation and kept their heads low but Ilea doubted any of them were actually involved.
She walked up to the healer and introduced herself. “Hey, Lilith the name. Thanks for the help and sorry for being inadequate at healing apparently. Any tips?”
“I apologize for the comment Miss Lilith. I’m sure that with resistances like that, you’re not a full healer. I’m Luciana from the Corinth Order.” she bowed a little.
“Wow you’re graceful. And beautiful. Just Lilith is fine by the way. And no, I’m not a full healer. The skill might not be very strong but it can heal quite a surprising amount of damage if given enough time.” she said.
“Hmm yes, a hybrid class then. Usually whatever else might be included in the class will take precedence in the description but you might be an outlier. Just out of curiosity, what damages can you heal?” the woman responded.
“Hmm, I’m not sure I want to tell you...how about a trade then. I trust you are quite honorable...with that robe and all. Give me a second please.” Ilea said and let the woman stand there before approaching Jeremy and Rin again who had watched the whole scene from near their table.
“Hey you guys, you think I can trust the lady from the Corinth Order over there with some details on my healing skills?” she asked them quietly.
“Are you nuts? The order hunts down any healer class that might threaten their superiority. At least that’s what I’ve heard...” Rin whispered to her.
“What with like a monk hitsquad?” she asked to a confused Rin.
“What’s a hitsquad?” the woman asked.
“Lilith you shouldn’t share too much with her, Rin is right.” Jeremy said, looking towards the healer with disdain.
‘I kinda want to see that now...it’s like the inquisition of healers or whatever...I hope they have similar robes...’ she looked towards the healer and smiled brightly. “I’ve barely encountered any good healers, can they reform lost limbs?” she whispered the question to the people next to her.
“Yea, I think after lvl 50 or so that’s a pretty common thing. Otherwise you’d see a lot more retired adventurers.” Jeremy said as Ilea walked back towards the healer.
“Ok I can share, just wanted to make sure you don’t murder me in my sleep first.” Ilea said with a smile. The woman grinned back while cocking her head to the side.
“I had no such intentions.” she said with a sweet voice, lyingly.
“God damn I love you.” Ilea said “I can heal most wounds and given enough time even limbs. I do feel like I’m not special enough for your interests though sadly...” she said but didn’t mention her ability to heal even crushed organs as vital as her heart. Or her ability to heal the mind, Walter seemed to interpret that as quite the feat back when she’d fought the demon.
“That is indeed rather average. It would’ve been wonderful if you could’ve added something to the order.” the woman said and bowed again before leaving Ilea standing there.
‘Wow she’s fucking creepy.’ Ilea thought, looking at the woman like a fascinated zoo visitor. ‘Well I wonder if she believed that or if I’m gonna be visited by the baba yaga of healer monks...’
Getting her helmet back on, Ilea walked over to the smiths. “Got some cards?” she asked Rin and Jeremy who were woken up from their stares to the Corinth woman. Rin resumed her self bestowed task of finding cards and Jeremy seemed to join her. ‘Oh they’re gonna be a thing aren’t they...’ she thought as she looked back at them.
“Hello there. Can you fix this?” she asked the smith in front of her, pointing at her chest and then leg. The burly man looked at her with a thoughtful expression and grunted.
“I’m not fluent in smith but I take that as a yes.” she said and started removing her chest plate and pieces of leg armor. “There you go. Do you need more of the dwarven metal?” she asked but received a likely negative grunt in return. Seeing the smashed bits of dwarven metal piled on a table behind the man she was quite sure of her interpretation.
“I’ll be back in an hour or so then.” a grunt answered her. “Ok two.” she walked back to Jeremy and Rin. The woman had apparently managed to get some cards. ‘Now I just have to learn whatever games these people play.’
“You don’t know Stent? What a boring life you must’ve led.” Agor said, having nonchalantly joined the three on their table.
“We didn’t play cards in demon land sadly. There’s only fire and pain.” Ilea answered and got a chuckle from the man in response.
“Nice demonstration with the soup. I don’t think anyone’s gonna try and poison you anymore.” he said.
“I was just hungry.” Ilea said when Jeremy tapped the cards on the table.
“I’m explaining, so LISTEN.”
“Hai shishou!” Ilea said which led to some confused expressions but as on earth, weird people were quickly categorized as weird and their antics were mostly ignored. ‘The power to smash some skulls certainly helps though...’ Ilea thought as she smiled under her helmet. She liked the thing. With her sphere and high stats it barely reduced her visibility and the looks she got were fewer and less creepy. ‘My horny disguise...’ she thought and realized she hadn’t listened to Jeremy at all. He noticed too and looked at her with a stare that could down a flock of angry geese. A feat impossible to all but gods.
“I apologize teacher. I have difficulties with concentrating.”
“I noticed but do not worry child. You too shall learn.” Jeremy answered.
Stent was a rather simple game that once learned, Ilea found to be incredibly addicting. The bard playing music in the background made the whole thing rather wholesome. Two hours passed until one of the sent scouts returned from the last smaller unexplored doorway.
“What does the rune mean Jeremy?” Ilea asked the man while they watched the slightly charred scout report back to the leaders. Agor had left the table as well to join the man.
“Dungeon I think. I mean we are in a dungeon but they had a dungeon as well. Not sure if it means there’s another dungeon in there or that they held prisoners in there.” he replied.
“Well either way I think it’s time we get back to exploring...” Ilea said. She had lost eighty silver pieces while playing Stent. Rin wanted to play something called Magic but complained that nobody had any cards with them. Ilea had managed to get the coins from her new backpack, summoning them while her hand was inside. Luckily nobody seemed to notice or they simply didn’t care.