Virul's graveyard was placed in a large grasfield, surrounded by high stone walls. The tombs were laid out in neat rows and you could see that great care had been taken of this graveyard as not even a single speck of dust covered the tombs. A few gardeners were running around pruning leaves, trimming bushes and hedges, removing death flowers from the flower beds, mowing the lawn, and watering the plants. A large statue of Lisenne, the goddess of the afterlife, adorned the middle of the graveyard. The statue was twenty meters high and made out of flawless marble. Beneath Lisenne's statue a continuous stream of lights descended as users where constantly respawning. Not even a few seconds passed before another light descended near the statue. A bearman with a dark expression appeared, cursing loudly while low growls escaped his throat.
"That darned bastard! Just you wait! This is not over yet!" Nekorath cursed. Near him other recently spawned users were likewise cursing at everything under the sun. Nekorath stampeded to the exit as he kept muttering curses and threats. Before he was able to leave the graveyard a dark cloud gathered in front of him. The dark cloud was dyed in different shades of black with black lightning bolts coiling through it. Nekorath's face immediately showed signs of great fear and didn't waste a second to drop to the ground and start kowtowing in front the cloud. The cloud shifted and while the cloud masked any details, a human shape could still be seen.
"A million apologies, oh great god! This one has been negligent and had not been able to kill the one you marked as a target! However if you give me the chance to level up, I am certain i will succeed the next time!" Nekorath pleaded to the cloud.
"Get up. Your pleas for mercy is not what we are here for. We wish to know if Zaran knows." the human shape in the cloud said with a toneless voice.
"Of-Of course my lord! I am certain Zaran does not know! He even asked me what my lord wanted with him!" Nekorath hastily replied. He knew that if his answers did not please Akhuath, his life might not be lasting for another breath.
"Good. Now get out of my sight. If you fail to kill anyone I mark as your target again. Death will be the least of your worries."
Nekorath ran of with the speed of light once Akhuath finished his sentence, leaving the dark cloud behind.
"Isis... You won't be let off lightly for meddling with me this time!" Akhuath said in a angry tone. The cloud shifted again and disappeared with a flash.
After walking for a good half hour, Zaran finally arrived at the exit of the caverns and arrived in the mines again. He quickly made his way to the exit. Once arriving there he found that the doors were still solidly locked. After shouting for a full minute, the heavy iron doors were finally opened.
"Fresh air!" Zaran exclaimed as he took in a few deep breaths.
Zaran heard someone shouting at him and turned to his side. The old dwarven miner had come running instantly as he had heard that Zaran came up again. "Hey! How is the situation down there? And where's yer friend?"
"My friend?" Zaran asked with a surprised expression.
"Yeah the bearman, didn't ya see the guy? We sent him after ya. He told us ya two had been split up earlier and that he had been looking for ya. "
So that's how he got inside... I better clear things up so they don't let him in here again.
"That guy is not my friend, he wanted to kill me and put the blame on the Hellweavers!"
"Oh crap... well ... My sincerest apologies." the old dwarven miner said in an apologetic tone. "But is it clear down there now?"
"Yeah, I cleared the place now, you can safely start mining again. They're all dead, safe the one on my head." Zaran said as he pointed towards the red-black Hellweaver queen on his head.
"Did ya tame that one?"
"Yeah." Zaran said. He didn't really want to explain circumstances and hoped that he wouldn't ask any more questions.
"So ya really didn't lie when ya said ya were Henry's disciple. Well boy, thanks for clearing the mine for us!" The dwarven miner said while laughing. After quickly shouting some instructions to the nearby miners to start mining again, he turned towards Zaran again. "So, for yer reward... While we cannot give ya a monetary reward we will no longer charge a fee to use the mine. But I guess clearing the mine is not the thing ya came here for is it?"
"I came here to learn about mining." Zaran replied.
"Ya came to the right person then, follow me over here!" the old dwarven miner said as he took Zaran to the training area. The training area was a small cave in the side of the mountain with five rocky outcrops clearly mined out from the rest of the cave. These five rocky outcrops were being studied by a few apprentice miners while an older miner was instructing them on the various intricacies they hold.
"Normally we'd have more people here and it would be too crowded to learn quickly, but with the situation in the mine we couldn't let any outsiders in. Which makes it the perfect time to learn. Now let's come to this first outcrop." The old dwarven miner said as he pointed to the smallest outcrop which was brown-black. "This outcrop is a prime example of coal. It's the largest source of energy so the demand is really high. In this mine the primary deposits ya will find are coal deposits like this and thus it is our largest source of income. Due to the high demand there are simply not enough miners to mine an adequate amount. That is why we allow adventurers such as yerself inside. All we ask is half of what ya bring back to the surface." After letting Zaran take the time to study the outcrop the old dwarven miner moved to the next one.
"But that is enough about coal! Next up is a Cassiterite deposit. Cassiterite can have a large variety of colours but you can recognize it because it forms in prisms or pyramids and is usually opaque although it can be translucent as well. Then we have a chalcopyrite deposit. This one can be recognized by it's brass yellow colour and sometimes may have an iridescent purplish tarnish. These ores are used to create bronze."
The old dwarven miner walked over to the fourth outcrop and continued explaining. "Now this outcrop holds yer average iron ore. It varies in colour in other places but in this mine it's generally dark grey with some being rusty red. As for the last outcrop, it holds black and red iron ore... It only serves to give armour a specific colour which could be gained through other means but the advantage to it is that paint can still be taken off one way or another but the colour of this will stay."
After studying the rocky outcrops for a little longer, the old dwarven miner gave him a quick summary on how to mine the ores.
|Mining lvl 1 (beginner)|
|The old dwarven miner has given you tips and tricks on how to mine.|
|Geology lvl 1 (beginner)|
|You are able to recognize low level ore deposits.|
"Boy, for listening to this old man and as my personal reward for clearing the mine, I want ya to have this pickaxe of mine. It's an old little relic of mine, but I could never be bothered to get rid of it."
|Worn soul-stone pickaxe (unique)|
|A pickaxe made out of the extremely rare soul-stone. While it is worn out and time has not been kind to it, it still boasts the strength to mine every type of ore.|
Zaran gratefully took the pickaxe, bade his farewell to the old dwarven miner and went back to the mines.
Entering the mine shaft again, Zaran was surprised how much it changed compared to the first time he entered. While it was desolate just a few hours ago, now it was already filled with miners who were excavating ore or starting new mine shafts. A constant stream of mine carts rolled up and down filled with either ore, crystals or stone. The entrance had too many people for Zaran's liking and he walked back towards the entrance to the cavern. As the cavern hadn't been inspected yet, the large clearing he fought the hellweaver king in earlier would most likely hold some quality ore.
While he hadn't seen any ore when he was there before, he didn't have the detection skill at the time so things might be different now. On his way to the cavern he found a few small tin, copper and iron ore deposits which he quickly mined. He had also seen a large amount of coal deposits, but they were so plentiful that he didn't have to worry about picking any coal up straight away. Soon enough he found the tunnel that hid the entrance to the cavern again, and started looking for ore. The first section right before the intersection alone had 50 different deposits, but all of them were on the ceiling or upper part of the walls and he didn't dare touch those. Zaran sighed and grabbed a few bread buns out of his storage ring and quickly ate them. After drinking a bit from one of the field flask he decided that his next course of action should be to check the tunnel that would lead to a dead end.
Noticing some small deposits at the sides of the tunnel he quickly mined them and investigated further. Upon reaching the dead end he found a few more small deposits. By this point he had spent an hour inside the mine and had barely gotten enough ore for a bronze and iron dagger. Zaran sighed and went towards the other way that lead to the big cavern. Even the tunnel that lead to the cavern barely had any ore deposits making Zaran wonder if he wasted his time by coming here.
Zaran inspected the first part of the cavern and almost immediately found a large iron vein. He smiled and started excavating it. After half an hour he had finally dug up the whole vein and a large hole now filled the flour of the cavern. After taking just a few steps to his left he found another large iron vein. "Jackpot!" Zaran exclaimed as he started to mine again, another half hour quickly passing before he dug it all up again.
"So how much kilograms of ore do I have now?" Zaran muttered as he checked his inventory. "Only 5 kilograms worth of iron ore? But 30 kilograms of stone?" Zaran's shoulders dropped as he took the stone out of his inventory and dropped it to the side of the holes where no veins were present. Walking forward again he noticed another large vein and on a second note it was humongous. It spanned a full thirty square meters and it was full of black iron ore. Zaran smiled and mined with renewed vigor for two hours before the vein was finally fully depleted. Zaran wiped the sweat from his forehead after he finished. "Wew... this is rough work. But it's good for my stats though... I got 6 strength and 3 stamina during the last two hours." Zaran muttered to himself.
A few other users had made it to the cavern in the last two hours and all of them were happily mining away. The cavern seemed to boast a tremendously large amount of veins, making Zaran happy that he found it first. He spent the next in game day mining in the cavern and ended up with 5 more points to strength and 4 more points to stamina. As for his inventory it barely had any cassiterite and chalcopyrite but he had 20 kilograms of normal iron ore, 50 kilograms of black iron ore and 20 kolograms of red iron ore.
He had taken a few long breaks in between mining as it had been very taxing on his body. His longest break had been a full three hours. At that point his arms were giving away and he had felt like throwing up, his body signaling that it was completely drained of energy.
Time to go to the city again! Zaran thought as he made his way out of the cavern.