Here now at the end of the world, what do we have to say to those that we destroyed? I'm sure it's not something that would cross the mind of most on my side of the divide. Would we even say anything, if given the chance? I don't believe so.
We saw this path as inevitable. The moment the truth was learned, our feet were marching on this road. Others would not, could not accept this reality. It is no fault of theirs. They are not built as we are. Perhaps they cursed us, wailed against us in their palaces and war councils. It matters not.
We did what had to be done.
- Author unknown
We settled back into the mini-Dungeon chamber we had excavated to allow us monsters a chance to regain our mana and rest. Morrelia kept an eye out from up top. She barely seemed to need to sleep, catching a few hours here and there seemed to be enough to sustain her almost superhuman levels of effort over an extended period of time. It's been a sharp reminder to me that in this world a person is not limited as they were back on earth. Acts of physical or mental prowess that would be impossible to a human on earth can be made trivial here with levels and training.
So who am I to say that being able to run and fight against horrific beasts for an entire day, sleep for three hours and then do it all again the next is remarkable in this world? Obviously not every person can do that, according to Beyn, most people level twenty to forty times across their entire lives. That isn't enough to amount to much for most classes, the stat growth is simply too low. For the elites though, the privileged who are able to, via wealth or ability, farm the Dungeon and raise their levels fast, who knows what kind of incredible feats they are capable of.
Liria was apparently a young, backwater kingdom, founded by pioneering farmers who wanted to open up more land for agriculture. The real powerhouses are further north and east across the lake, so I'm told. I don't think that'll matter much to us though, being a small colony in the middle of the wilds, neighbouring a tiny village, we shouldn't be of any consequence to anyone for a long time.
[Are we ready to head to Liria?] I asked Morrelia as she kept an eye out above us.
[Yes] she answered, [I can't think of anywhere else in this area where I might find survivors.]
[I'm surprised you found as many as you did. Makes me think there may be quite a few more hidden away in remote places, perhaps even in the towns if people were smart enough to hide.]
It was true. Including the folks from Midum, we'd found hundreds of survivors and sent them packing to the village. I hope Enid has it all under control down there, finding beds and meals for the villagers was tricky as is, it's going to be even harder now.
For now, it isn't my problem. The colony has sent me out to act as their scout and determine the nature of the threat on the surface and that is what I'm going to do. We've managed to do some damage, killed a heap of monsters and rescued some people, that's all good and noble, but not the main reason why I'm here.
Although the Biomass and skill levels have been nice. My constant practice of external mana manipulation has continued to yield results, taking Greater External Mana Manipulation to level 3. Enhanced mind magic affinity levelled once, Advanced Cerebral Endurance went to level ten and I ranked it up to Expert Cerebral Endurance. I also managed to gain a level! It was something of a shock to level up by cleaning up weaker monsters from the upper levels of the Dungeon but I think it was mostly due to the Garralosh Commander putting me close to the edge.
We've also been making sure to keep eating as much Biomass as we can when we get a chance. I've gotten my supply back to thirty five, which isn't much but every little bit helps! My incomplete mutations and my impending evolution are weighing on my mind more heavily with every passing day. Something inside is saying that this evolution is going to be different and I want to make sure I'm as prepared as I can be. That feeling could also just be my oversized core causing me pain, who knows.
[We need to be careful as we approach the city] Morrelia brought me back to our conversation, [I'm still not sure how it's possible for Garralosh to be up here, but if we run into that beast then I don't think either of us could make it out alive.]
[I thought you said she wasn't as evolved as I thought?] I protested, [now your saying we couldn't even run away?]
Morrelia growled in frustration, but it wasn't directed at me. I could almost feel her glare through the dirt above my head.
[I suppose it doesn't matter if I tell you, it might even help keep us alive. The truth is that Garralosh has been prevented from descending to the lower layers in order to starve her out. My father, and the Legion, didn't want to allow Garralosh to grow. I'm not sure exactly why they singled out the beast in this way, but they did it, they boxed her in. The thin mana was supposed to kill the creature eventually, without anyone having to hunt the filthy thing down.]
[But it hasn't worked] I pointed out the obvious, [Garralosh seems to be fine and dandy, better than ever in fact, she's doing the crocodile rock all over the surface for goodness sake!]
[I know!] Morrelia ground out, [something hasn't worked and I have no idea what. Garralosh was defeated by my father decades ago and was supposed to have scurried off to slowly die from a lack of mana. Something about this situation is very wrong!]
[Wait a second, your Dad defeated Garralosh? Like, by himself?!]
Holy HECK?! No wonder Morrelia is so freakishly strong! Thems is some crazy genes!
[So, uh. If your Dad comes back up to the surface … could you, uh, put in a good word for the colony? We aren't so bad… certainly aren't crocodilic in any way.]
[Ha!] Morrelia barked out a short laugh across our mental connection before she managed to stifle it. [Commander Titus isn't a big fan of Dungeon monsters. If he finds you I can't think of anything would prevent him from attempting to destroy you utterly.]
Well, that brought the mood down.
[Okay, putting your murderous, immensely powerful sire to one side, how do you plan to approach the city? I won't let you go in alone, the colony has requested that I scout and I'm not going back without clapping my eyes on the big Croc at least once.]
Morrelia laid out her plan and we finessed the details for an hour before we felt confident enough to proceed. I roused Tiny and Crinis from their rest, climbed out of the Dungeon and we were off.