A bolt from the lightning field shot towards the rock devourer, temporarily stunning it. Zaran instantly placed his left hand on it and tried to establish a mental connection to the rock devourer. Sensing the invader in its mind the rock devourer angrily cried out. "Who!!!!!!"
"Calm down! I want to propose a deal!" Zaran calmly sent the rock devourer.
The rock devourer's replied with a hoarse voice. "What deal?"
Zaran coldly stated his conditions. "We help you deal with the rats, we both go our separate ways afterwards. If you do not agree me and my allies will step out of the fight between you and the rats and we both know what your fate will be if we do so."
"Hrumph. FINE." The rock devourer said. "Now leave my mind! As long as you are not rats I will not hurt you nor your allies!"
A popup appeared before Zaran telling him that his beast mastery had reached advanced level 2 but he quickly closed it. He terminated the connection with the rock devourer and dashed towards the nearest group of rats. With the spear his moves were severely limited as he had no skills for the spear. Still the spear had an additional skill added to it which could prove to be quite handy when there were this many enemies near him. The spear was both flexible and strong, which was exactly what Zaran required of his spears.
He used a simple trust and a few small rats fell to the ground. With a large sweep around him a myriad of small rats fell down dead and multiple Giant rats where pushed back. All though a large amount of rats had been killed with two moves, double the amount of rats that he had slain immediately swarmed in upon him.
A small roar rang out as the rock devourer chomped down upon the rats near Zaran. The rock devourer's tail swept around his other side and more rats were instantly killed or swept away. Zaran's spear flashed out a few times and a few of the small and giant rats that had climbed their way up to the rock devourer were poked away from the its body.
Flashing all around him, Zaran's Hellweaver lance struck down rat after rat. Spear strike after spear strike flashed out from him, his handling of the spear becoming better with every single one he sent out! The flexible spear began to bend during his strikes and with each strike the tip of the spear would seek out a weak point on the rats. Even though the rats tried their best to dodge and evade, the spear seemed as if it was homing in on them and struck them regardless of their efforts of avoiding the hit.
With aid in dealing with the rats, the rock devourer hp finally stopped decreasing at a rapid hp and stabilized. With the pressure on it reduced just a tiny amount it once again started to bring a calamity upon the rats and advanced upon the rat queen again. Florance and Cindarrah immediately restrained the majority of the nearby rats, allowing the rock devourer to have a clear path to the rat queen.
The rock devourer's speed increased as there were few rats to stop it. Every rat that dared to step in its way was quickly devoured and the way to the rat queen was practically open for it. With a loud chomp it bit down on the rat queen... and then it chomped down again and again and again. With each chomp a large amount of the rat queen's health was disappearing and it continuously squeaked out in pain. The nearby rats wanted to help but Zaran and the others quickly stopped the majority of the rats that wanted to swarm the rock devourer and thus the rat queen's health swiftly disappeared. With a last mournful squeak the rat queen died and disappeared in the rock devourer's stomach. A second later the rock devourer regained five percent of its lost health.
With their queen gone, the rats' morale completely disappeared. With their leader and morale gone, the rats did no longer have any intention to fight and retreated back from where they came from. Absolutely terrified expressions on their faces as they ran back to the tunnel they came from.
With its enemies gone, the rock devourer who had been fighting for a tremendously long time felt exhaustion overcome it and so it called out to Zaran. "I hope you honour your promise!" Totally exhausted the rock devourer curled up its body and instantly went to rest. Quickly snoring sounds filled the cavern and the wounds on the rock devourer started to recover slowly but surely. With the rock devourer totally defenceless at this instant, if the party ganged up on it they would swiftly be able to kill it. However Zaran told the others to not bother it. As long as they honoured the agreement the rock devourer would most likely never harm them in future encounters... if there would be any at all.
"Let's check out why the rats were so terrified to go back through the tunnel they came from. I saw them coming here with terrified expressions, which became even more gruesome to behold once they had to retreat to that tunnel. What do the rats fear more than this rock devourer? There should not be anything that powerful in this area." Zaran said to the group. While it was a dungeon the recommended level was only 55. With the rat queen being at level 60 and the other rats at 50 there should be very little opponents that are higher than that level. Thus the rats' behaviour caused Zaran to be very curious to the source of their fear.
"I will follow you wherever you go!" Florance said with a lovely smile.
"Same." Nuvahn said while raising his greatsword and letting it rest on his shoulder.
"I did not expect anything less!" Zaran said as he headed towards the tunnel. A few meters into the tunnel the moisture disappeared, greatly increasing the
travel speed of the party. On the way they had fought a few rats, but all of them were far too terrified to put up a good fight. A few minutes later the party arrived at the end of the tunnel and were met with an enormous cavern. The cavern was at least as large as Virul! Insect were busily flying about with rats caught in their mandibles, constantly transporting them back and from a vast amount of pits where rat queens and rat kings sat together and were constantly giving life to new giant rats who were transported out of those pits and transported elsewhere.
The insects were extremely large, about 3 meters long and 60 centimetres high, light-brown in colour and closely resembled stag beetles. A large nearby pit was surrounded by a myriad of beetles, within the pit ten giant rats were fighting a single beetle that was about one and a half times the size of the others! Yet as much as it fought, the rats's fangs did not seem to be able to break through the armour of the beetle. Within a minute most of the rats died a gruesome death as they were cut in two by the beetle's mandibles.
A nearby beetle noticed the group and came over to fight the intruders but Florance swiftly cast paralyse, a low level lightning spell which had a guaranteed chance to stun the target. With the beetle stunned Zaran instantly placed his hands on it and made a connection with its mind. A few seconds later the party had another member!
The beetle's stats and name were as follows:
Level 53 Cavern beetle
Cavern beetles prey upon rats and large communities of cavern beetles usually rear their own rats and giant rats as livestock. As the male cavern beetle's mandibles are too large, it befalls upon the females of the community to rear the rats. Through their extremely though exoskeleton they are nearly completely invulnerable to the rat's fangs, which is also the reason why they have the ability to rear them. However although their physical defence is extremely high, they are very vulnerable to magic attacks.
"I shall call you Kru!" Zaran said as the full name was a little hard for him to pronounce. He kept up the mental connection with the beetle and got the information he was looking for. There was a large nearby cavern that was empty and that the cavern beetles couldn't live in because one there were magic rocks that heavily decreased the growth speed of their offspring and two there was a small colony of bats further back in that cavern that had a strong magic attack. If the community of beetles moved over there, they would only bring themselves closer to natural predators which wasn't something they wanted.
With all the information gathered that he needed, Zaran explained to the group that they needed to go to that nearby cavern, exterminate the colony of bats, hatch one batch of the Hellweaver eggs plus the Hellweaver queen and then help them establish themselves in this area.
After laying down the plan, the group swiftly moved toward the nearby cavern and extremely quickly exterminated the colony of bats. Even though the bats were level 55, both Lightning field and Hellweaver's land caused the bats to be unable to fly and with their flying ability gone they absolutely had no way to deal with the party.
Kru had stayed back the whole time during the fight as he was utterly terrified of the bats and did not want anything to do with them!
After the fight Zaran placed down five sacks of Hellweaver eggs and the golden Hellweaver queen egg and patiently waited for the eggs to hatch.