Slowly looking around and noticing Cindarrah the queen cocked her head and coldly said "Please leave. If the others hatch they will imprint on you in stead of me."
Cindarrah scurried back to Zaran and lied down on the most comfortable spot, the top of his head. The Hellweaver queen quickly made a cocoon from spider silk that enveloped the other egg sacs and waited for the eggs to hatch. If Cindarrah had remained, when the other Hellweaver eggs hatched the majority would have imprinted on Cindarrah not only because she was slightly bigger than the newly hatched Hellweaver Queen but also because Cindarrah was currently far more powerful than her! Needless to say if that happened the moment Cindarrah left, all the other Hellweavers would follow after her.
Time swiftly passed and the cocoon started to open up, 500 Hellweavers running out and about followed by their queen. The Hellweavers formed a neat row and bowed in front of the party. The queen went up to Zaran and the others and her voice that was filled with warmth rang out in their minds. "I thank you from the depth of my heart for keeping your promise. If not for you our lineage would have ceased to exist. Even though we cannot ever repay you for the kindness you have already shown I do hope you could be so kind to bestow upon us another favour."
"Feel free to make your request, as long as it is within my power I will surely help you out." Zaran calmly said. "What should I call you now your highness?"
"You may call me Iluminiel."
Zaran nodded. "How may we help you?"
Iluminiel cast an apologetic look and started. "Well... as you might be able to imagine, while the environment seems pretty good, the strength that you have clearly shows that whatever is in these caves is too strong for us to take on. So I was hoping you would help us gain a solid base of strength before moving on. I will make sure that you get an additional reward for this."
"Sure I can help with that. At the same time it could help us getting stronger. How do you want me to go about this?"
"You take half of the colony with you while the other half stays here to protect me. Just hunt any sort of prey and the soldiers will bring it back here to increase our strength. About four loads of food would be enough for us to be strong enough to handle ourselves." Iluminiel mentally sent.
Zaran nodded. "Nuvahn could you stay behind and guard the queen? Contact us immediately if anything happens."
"Leave it to me! As long as I am here not even a hair on their bodies will get hurt!" Nuvahn said with a proud smile on his face.
He took half the colony with them and asked Kru where the security was the lowest. Kru hesitantly answered and the small army set out to the location Kru had told them about it. Arriving at the location they realized that Kru had told the truth and there was very little resistance in this area. There were only ten large beetles who were guarding one of the breeding pits with a rat queen and rat king in it. A smirk appeared on Zaran's face as an idea entered his mind. If the cavern beetles could rear the rats... Why could the Hellweaver's do so either?
With the assistance of the Hellweavers' web shots, the ten beetles were swiftly and easily dealt with. In the pit were five giant rats and the aforementioned rat queen and rat king. The giant rats quickly met their demise and the rat queen and rat king where covered in so much webbing that they could barely move a limb. Taking back the first load of food, Iluminiel was surprised to see the living rat queen and rat king.
"Why is some of the prey still alive?" The queen asked very confused. Normally the prey she was brought was already dead.
"Well the cavern beetles are rearing the rats to serve as a food source so I was thinking you might be able to do the same thing." Zaran said. "They hold the rats in pits and deliver them food on regular bases. As their reproduction capacity is extremely great and they pretty much eat anything so you don't have to worry too much about what you throw at them."
Iluminiel's surprised voice rang out in Zaran's mind. "That is a great idea! And we actually do have a history of rearing food ourselves. However we have never reared rats, so I am quite interested as to how well they work out as a food source. The only problematic part is the pits. We can't create those ourselves as we do not have the ability to dig."
"Leave that part to me and this guy over here. Just point us to the area where you would like for us to dig the pits!" Zaran said as he patted Kru. Iluminiel led Zaran and Kru towards the back of the cavern where most of the floor was solely made of stone. Taking out the soulstone pickaxe and commanding kru to dig a few pits to hold the giant rats in, the two of them swiftly started working on the pits. With the soulstone pickaxe mining was a breeze, the pickaxe digging through the stone as if it was dirt. With every swing, large chunks of stone gave away, which Zaran instantly stored into his storage ring. He did not know if it would ever come in handy but he stored it regardless. In the worst case he could still sell the stone for a measly amount of gold. Seeing Zaran store the stone, Kru brought the stone he had cut loose over and stacked them in a pile next to Zaran.
"Thank you Kru! You are doing a great job!" Zaran praised kru and stored all the stone that had been brought over in his storage ring.
Seeing that his master was happy with the stone, Kru started digging with doubled effort! It knew that it had a cowardly nature when it concerned magic-based attacks and feared that his master would be tremendously disappointed if he found out, thus he had to make up for that by showing how useful he could be in other ways.
While the two of them were digging pits, the others were standing guard at the sole entrance to the cavern. A few cavern beetles had come to investigate the matter concerning the disappeared rat king and rat queen but their numbers were not high enough to be any sort of trouble. All those cavern beetles could do was become nourishment for the Hellweaver. Half of the few prey that they had gotten was given to the Hellweaver queen and ten Hellweavers she had chosen to become her royal guard, causing all of them to pass level 40. The remaining Hellweavers were all between level 10 and 20. The stronger specimens had naturally been able to eat more, causing them to gain levels quicker which in result meant that they would remain stronger than the others. The law of the jungle applied even for a colony of the same species. The strong would grow stronger while the weak remained weak.
A few hours passed and Zaran and Kru had finally dug enough pits for the Hellweavers. Even though they currently only had one rat king and rat queen, in the future they might have more, so Zaran and Kru had prepared twenty large pits for them to be stored in. Kru had done the majority of the work and had been endlessly praised on his effort and speed by Zaran, making Kru very satisfied with himself. Wiping away the sweat, Zaran started to store the stone Kru had dug up that had been piled up and had become a small hill of stone.
While Zaran was storing the rocks, Kru noticed a faint glimmer on one of the rocks and walked up to it. Slightly cocking his head, Kru decided to cut open the rock and see what was inside. He made sure to not apply to much pressure to the rock as he did not want to break whatever was inside of it. With a soft cracking sound the rock split open revealing a translucent red gem. Thinking it definitely had to be something special, Kru carefully picked up the gem with it's mandibles and delivered it to Zaran. Seeing the translucent red gem, Zaran picked it up and inspected it.
An extremely rare stone that grants a soul to a weapon or piece of armour after fusing with it. A weapon or piece or armour that has a soul will continuously grow stronger as long as the owner feeds it with materials that would increase its strength.
Zaran's eyes went wide open and his jaw hit the floor as he read the description. This was an extremely powerful item! If he used it on Gigenkai he would never have to reforge it again! Moreover it would endlessly grow stronger. Still there was one thing he was not certain of... what kind of soul would the piece of equipment get? He swiftly checked the forum but did not find any additional information. Zaran decided it was better to store the awakening stone until he figured out what kind of soul his weapon would get. After praising Kru a little more for finding the gem, Zaran stored the remainder of the stone and went to the entrance of the cave to check up on the others.
When he arrived at the entrance he was met by 11 large Hellweavers and 490 slightly smaller ones. In the hours that had passed more cavern beetles had continuously come to investigate in greater numbers but all had become nourishment for the Hellweaver queen and her minions. Now the weakest Hellweaver was already level 40 and the strongest was level 52! In the last fight, Florance and the others hadn't even had to lift a finger and still the Hellweavers had won against the cavern beetles with ease.
Hearing this, Zaran was very pleased as this meant that the Hellweavers would now be able to sustain themselves in this area.
Iluminiel walked up to Zaran and With a small gesture from Iluminiel the ten royal guards walked over and dropped a large bag made from spider silk in front of Zaran. She mentally sent. "I know this is not enough to repay you for the kindness you have shown our kind but I hope these items prove useful to you. If you ever need our help in the future we will be more than happy to help you."
Zaran skimmed over the items. The bag contained materials from the Hellweavers bodies. Hellweaver leather, Hellweaver exoskeleton, Hellweaver fangs, Hellweaver legs, Hellweaver hair, ...
Most of the materials were not anything special, but with the amount that he was given he could easily advance his crafting skills a few levels. Of the whole bag of materials only two fangs caught his attention. Compared to the other fangs which were dark green coloured at the tip, these ones were light-green at the tip.
Hellweaver queen's fang.
The poison fangs from a Hellweaver queen. The tip of the fang contains an extremely potent poison, which has the ability to adapt itself to another type of poison as long as it comes into contact with it. It is an extremely good material to create daggers with.
Seeing Zaran examine the two fangs, Iluminiel quickly warned him. "Careful! Do not touch the light green area, the poison on that one is very powerful!"
Zaran chuckled. "I know don't worry."
After saying their goodbyes, the party left cavern and headed back to the depths of the sewers. Checking the remaining tunnels they finally found the rat queen and king that were responsible for the infestation of the sewers and killed them. Kru proved especially valuable in the fights as he served as the main tank in the fights and he was barely damaged at all. Killing the reason for the infestation of the sewers, the quest was updated. With everything in the sewers done the party exited the sewers and made their way to the major's house.