United Nations, Seacliff Mining and Dungeon Town, Level 7 Dungeon

Leon stood with his greatsword ready as he carefully shepherded his two newbies in the ways of dungeon exploration and combat. Snarls and growls of beasts came from all directions before them.

His party of five stood their ground at the entrance into a massive great hall that was supported by hundreds of stone pillars that were wider than a person's outstretched arms could hug. Each square pillar was spaced evenly in the hall with orbs of glow lights hanging off their sides that lit the hall up.

Covering the surfaces of the pillars were decorative etches and even the stone floor had decorative carvings cut into the stone. The surfaces looked as new as the day they were carved despite the age of the dungeons and there were not even any traces of battles once fought here.

The hall stretched into the distance as far as the eye can see, and shadows of lurking beasts could be glimpsed moving between the pillars. Leon as the party leader stood in the middle of while Ciel was positioned on his left and Justze on his right.

Behind him stood Yill as magic support with his defensive and healing spells and hanging further back was Kat armed with a long rifle, providing accurate and long range fire support. The snarls and growls of the beasts came closer and closer, and the clicking and scratching noises of their claws echoed down the hall.

"Don't worry, kids!" Leon had a bloodthirsty grin on his face. "Adventurers' Inc. has already cleared this level many times! So don't worry about any mutated monsters appearing!"

Ciel and Justze both gulped nervously as a beast came into the light. The two headed beast was almost as tall as Leon who topped them both by a head and more! Leon laughed as he saw the beast pawing the hard stone floor before them. "Look! Its a two headed beast!"

The two headed beast had a body of wolf with two heads that eyes glowed with malice as it stared at Ciel and Justze hungrily. "This level is the easiest!"

"Just a straight hall!" Leon shifted his stance and grip on his greatsword as he readied himself. "No messy twists and turns! Just a straight five hundred steps to the exit!"

Justze cursed under his breathe as more and more two headed beasts appeared, some of them a totally different species. Two headed long toothed boars, monstrous snakes, owlbears and many other types emerged from the shadows.

"Hold your ground!" Leon ordered. "They look fierce but can be easily killed! Remember your training!"

"Here they come!" Kat yelled as the leading twin headed wolf suddenly roared out a challenge and pounced forward. She had supported her long rifle over the back of their porter golem and when the twin headed wolf pounced forward, she squeezed the trigger.

The hi powered long rifle chambered in .50 calibre barely had any recoil as Kat had enhanced her strength with magic. The muzzle of the rifle erupted into a eye searing flash as the heavy bullet whizzed past her party members and nailed the leaping wolf in the centre of mass. The wolf gave a loud whimper of surprise and pain as the armour piercing round punched through its tough fur and shattered its ribs and internal organs before blowing a massive bloody hole out from its side.

The half spent .50 calibre round continued its way happily till it embedded itself into the side of a pillar, blowing a chunk of masonry and stone dust out. The loud gunshot seemed to shock and freeze the situation, as the beasts paused in their actions and watched their own bleed out before them.

"Remember, kids!" Leon suddenly spoke out in the silence after the echoes of the gunshot disappeared. "Always wear ear protection! Or you will get deaf!"

His sudden words seemed to wake up the beasts as they all suddenly roar out together and charged. Leon casually drew out a large revolver from his side and emptied its chamber at the charging beasts, bowling them over before he tossed it aside and swept up his greatsword and received the remaining charge of the beasts.

Ciel and Justze opened up with their shotguns, knocking the beasts back as they guarded Leon's flank. Justze stepped back and placed his hands on the floor and concentrated his magic, "STONE WALL!"

The ground shook slightly as suddenly two grey rock formations slowly raised up on both sides, connecting the entrance walls to the nearest pillars, creating a corridor. The twin headed beasts screamed in anger as their route was cut off and they started to swarm their way over the rock formations which were barely a few meters in height.

"Good work!" Leon yelled out cheerfully as he decapitated the snarling head of a boar, its other head screamed in pain and it lurched forward, trying to chomp down on Leon who laughed and reverse slashed his greatsword, cutting a deep wound against the face of the beast which whimpered back in pain and pawed its wounds. "Now, they can only mostly come from the front!"

"Recover Stamina!" Yill cast a recovery spell on Leon before he raised his hands up and flung a bolt of lightning at the twin reptilian head of a giant lizard that appeared over the top of the rock formations. "They are climbing up the sides!"

"On it!" Kat yelled as she sat down on the floor and used the back of their porter golem as support for her long rifle and she fired upwards, blowing off heads that appeared over the wall formations.

Ciel gathered her elemental powers, and flecks of embers started to cirulate around her body. She raised both her hands as the embers concentrated before her hands and she called out, "Leon!"

Leon hearing her warning, suddenly ducked down and strafed to his right. Ciel seeing that Leon has gotten clear, yelled out, "Fireball!"

She flung the ball of flames in her hand at the beasts before her and conjured up another ball of flames in her hands and repeated her actions. Unlike normal mages, Ciel had the bloodline of the fire elementals in her veins, which allowed her to control fire in a greater and more efficient manner compared to others.

The mana required to cast the fireball spell was a lot lower and also her fireball was twice as powerful as compared to the same level fireball spell cast by other mages. Ciel continued to toss her arcane powered fireballs, which exploded satisfying against the bodies of the twin headed beasts.

With the pressure away from the front, Leon could hacked and cleaved at any beasts within his reach and with Yill constantly throwing a healing spell his way, a heap of carcass soon piled up before him, the blood of the beasts filling the grooves and carvings on the stone floor.

"And... that is the last one!" Leon sighed as he planted his booted foot against the body of the headless owlbear and pulled his sword out. They had held their ground and fought off wave after wave of monsters for the past hour. He stretched his arms and rotated his neck and shoulders and smiled at the rest. "Great work! Now what is left is the Boss of this level!"

Ciel and Justze were both tired as they had burn up most of their mana at the fight and had resorted to their firearms to help kill the monsters. Leon laughed at the expressions of the two youngsters and said, "Don't worry! We will take a break first and recover before we fight the last boss!"

"Kat!" Leon called out, "Call for the retrieval teams to grab the loot!"

"Yes, boss!" Kat hoisted her long rifle over her shoulder and ran back into the entrance of Level 7 and climbed up the stairs to Level 6. After a while, she returned with a group of people dressed mostly in leather aprons.

Ciel and Justze looked over at the newcomers who started to sort the carcasses of the beasts before they proceed with the gory business of dismemberment of their parts. Leon sat down heavily beside them and handed over a bottle. "Fruit soda!"

"Not bad for your first dungeon skirmish," Leon grinned. "Eat up and drink up, once rested enough, we will go for the boss and finish up for the day!"

"Is it always like this?" Ciel asked.

"Not really," Leon replied as he sipped his drink. "It used to be done by the military. Well, unlike the Marines, we have limited resources."

He patted his revolver at his side. "Even if we have the government's support, it still cost money just to fire these!"

"And the government won't sell us Claymore mines," Leon sighed as he gestured to the pile of carcasses being chopped up. "Just lay those sweet babies in a row there, and this fight would have ended at half the time we took."

"That is why," Leon winked his eye at Ciel. "I still use a sword."

"I- I see..." Ciel replied while Justze looked down at his shotgun which he had dismantled to clean.

"Well, we will take an hour break or so," Leon said as he turned his attention to the workers. "They probably need that long at least to finish their tasks."

"Is there no other way down to the deeper levels of the dungeon?" Justze asked. "It seems like we need to keep clearing each level to go deeper..."

Leon nodded," Yes, that is the only we know of. That is why the Teams clear the dungeon levels alternately. This way, the workers and other teams can head down the stairs to the next level without any danger."

"We will clear this level and the next Team will head down to Level 8 tomorrow," Leon added. "The dungeon levels will restore themselves in three days after the defeat of the level Boss, so we still sometime before the upper levels' monsters respawn."

"Our Big Boss wants us to attempt to clear the last level of the dungeon," Leon said. "So you guys need to get as much experience as possible! Once the upper levels restore themselves, we will be clearing them out so that the other teams can go down to the deeper levels without any obstructions!"

With that said, Leon stretched out and leaned back against the rock wall. "Wake me up when they have finished their work, I am gonna take a short nap!"

Ciel and Justze looked on with amazement that Leon could even sleep in such a place. He started snoozing after a while Ciel and Justze finished up on cleaning their weapons. Ciel looked at Justze and said, "Justze, a- are you alright? You have been... very distant lately..."

Justze shook his head, "It's nothing, just thinking of something..."

"You can talk to me!" Ciel smiled. "Don't keep everything inside your heart! I am always here for you!"

Justze nodded and he took out his rations and shared with Ciel, "Don't worry, I was just worried that there was no news of my sister at all..."

"I see..." Ciel replied as she nibbled the honey coated fruit and nuts bar. "Well, don't lose hope! We can go asking around during our rest days!"

Justze nodded again as he found it suspicious that there was totally no word nor even rumours of his sister. Some of the locals here had remembered his sister and some even worked with her before, but soon afterwards, it seemed like she disappeared into thin air, with no one ever hearing or seeing her again.

Is she dead? Killed by this... United Nations once her use and value were gone? Or was it something else... He thought to himself. Yet, the harder he thought, the more unease he felt in his heart, as the thought that his sister was very highly likely dead.

A note from neo Koh

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