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The origins of the Deep Legion are though lost to history. What is known is thought to have more basis in myth than in reality. Partially this is due to the lack of records that survived the great Cataclysm, particularly here in the Tiberial Confederation.

 

What is agreed is that at some point during that world shattering event, where monsters from the deepest reaches of the Dungeon roamed free on the surface, causing destruction everywhere they went, a group of individuals gathered to found the Deep Legion.

 

The organisation grew rapidly, recruiting from the populace and was able to strike effectively and well against the monsters on the surface as well as counter attack into the Dungeon. Nobody can explain why they were so successful where other human forces were not.

 

To this day, some three thousand years later the Legion persists as independent military organisation that regularly monitor and explore the Dungeon, in some places they are still trusted with a regulatory role, overseeing access to the Dungeon in their customary strict fashion.

 

'On the origins of post Rending powers, Chapter 4 The Deep Legion' by Resselan the scholar.

 

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Tribune Aurillia stared hard at the captive Mercenaries, bound hand and foot sitting on the ground before her. Two Legionaries stood guard on either side of the ragtag group, hands resting on blades, ready to execute their duty at any moment.

 

"So you are trying to tell me that a small acid spraying monster ambushed you, destroying your shield as you raided the lake and then followed you back to your camp, stealing a number of monster cores by digging under your wards".

 

Nystina, the mage, nodded vigorously.

 

"That's right, I never even managed to see the little bastard."

 

Aurillia massaged her temples. "For some reason I'm not even that surprised to hear about mercs getting outsmarted by a monster".

 

"Hey, screw you!" one of the larger men in the group shouted, "who ever heard of a monster that smart here in the first expanse?"

 

He did have a point, usually monsters in this area had exceptionally low cunning. There were a few evolutions that made for large and relatively dangerous foes but almost all of those sacrificed other stats to enable that size and strength.

 

"Putting that aside, you should have received the notification to vacate the Dungeon we sent days ago, why is your party still operating in the Forest Expanse against Legion instructions?"

 

The group immediately started shifting their posture and avoiding looking the domineering Tribune in the eye.

 

Aurillia cursed at them internally, what you guys children?

 

"Uh, I think our communication crystal malfunctioned" the mage finally offered, "we didn't receive any message".

 

"And when you noticed that every other hunting party had vacated the area you didn't find that strange? Or were you too distracted by the profits you could make having the entire expanse to yourselves?" Aurillia said sarcastically.

 

She turned to one of the Legionaries standing guard and nodded curtly.

 

The soldier immediately stepped forward, crouched and punched the mage viciously across the face before turning to the largest of the fighters and kicking him directly in the chest. The man fell backwards, gasping for air as he lay in the in the dirt.

 

"You can't treat us this way" another of the fighters protested, "we're registered members of the Mercenary Union".

 

"Noooo" Aurillia drawled, "you're idiot Merc scum who got greedy and are going to pay the price".

 

She turned to a Centurion awaiting instructions behind her. "Seize any materials from the Dungeon in their possession and confiscate their licences. Children who can't play the rules don't get to play at all."

 

Having passed her judgement she stared at each of the mercenaries in turn. "If they complain too much feel free to give them a little more Legion 'hospitality'".

 

Shaking her head the Tribune walked away. The mercenaries had been found a few hours earlier, retreating to their camp after farming cores at the lake. It wasn't unusual for the local mercs to try and push the Legions authority to the limit, in recent years the Legion had been making a special point of pushing back.

 

Of course, as soon as they did the Mercenary Union started crying foul to the Queen about the Legion abusing its authority. Just another thing for the commander to have to worry about.

 

She found Titus yelling at the trainees and directing them to the makeshift training yard they had established as part of their camp. The exhausted trainees began pairing up and sparring whilst the commander watched them sternly, barking out instructions when he noticed a mistake.

 

Aurillia joined him and explained the strange testimony she had received from the mercenaries.

 

"Doesn't this sound weird to you? Why would there be such an intelligent member of this species so high up in the Dungeon? Do you think this might be the same one the trainees saw close to the surface?"

 

Titus stood silent for a moment, chewing over the facts in his own slow and methodical way.

 

"I think it is" he said finally, "it seems like too much of a coincidence that there would be two of them. If we agree it's the same one, then how in the hells did this one ant survive our sweep of the tunnels to make its way here and then survive the monsters once it arrived. This monster has shown almost human levels of intelligence".

 

The Tribune nodded in agreement, "for a creature as unevolved as this to show such a high level of Cunning is unheard of. Should we consult Alberton on this?"

 

The commander grunted, "he'd love to study a specimen like this but we don't have the time to waste. We need to clear out as much of the Expanse as we can and then locate the nest of these creatures. If our little smart ant has made it this far then there is a chance we'll find him there and we can exterminate him at the same time as the rest".

 

He paused to bellow further criticism at his trainees before continuing. "We've seen monsters with close to human intelligence before. Judging by the number of offspring in the area we should surmise that old prick Garralosh has been around here at some point recently. Make sure the hunting parties are on alert, he shouldn't be able to show his fat face this high up in the Dungeon but some his higher level offspring might".

 

Garralosh and the commander had run into each other a few times deep under the ground, the titanic and ancient creature was known to be the oldest and most powerful monster under Liria. Monsters that old and strong were unable to come this high up in the Dungeon due the mana up here being too thin to support their incredibly dense and powerful cores. Creatures like that were so old and had evolved so many times they had effectively received a name from the system itself.

 

There were a number of scars on the beasts thick hide from the very axe resting on Titus' shoulder at that moment. The old croc was clever though, and extremely cautious, slipping out of the traps they prepared for him without taking fatal damage.

 

"Something feels wrong" Titus disrupted his tribunes' wandering thoughts.

 

"Wrong, commander?"

 

He turned and nodded towards the forest below them. "I don't think I've ever seen the forest look this bright. Spawn points are spitting out monsters almost as fast as we kill them and the wave still hasn't broken. It doesn't feel like it usually does".

 

Aurillia reluctantly agreed, "it does seem to be building in intensity faster than usual. What do you think it means?"

 

Titus shook his head. "I'm not sure. I just know I don't like it. This wave is going to be a big one. We'd best be prepared for the worst".

 

 

 

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RinoZ

Bio: Working older person with family who really likes webnovels and decided to write one. Here we are!

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