Advertisement
Remove


212. Stonefort Labyrinth Dungeon

“The Stonefort Labyrinth Dungeon is located about a hundred and fifty miles to the west of our commune. I’m not sure whether it has any [Lux Golmi]’s within it— not that I want to run into those annoying monsters with their mind magic— but I know that there are multiple Subspecies of Golems located within.”

“Huh.”

I cocked my head as Mngrph grunted, leaning against the dark bark of a tree. I frowned.

“I could’ve sworn I went somewhere in that direction…”

“You flew, didn’t you?”

He snorted, and I blinked.

“You can’t possibly see it when flying from above, because it’s covered by the trees. No, it’s not an actual fort. It’s a deep pit on the ground. It used to be a mud-lake, but the water eroded the earth and collapsed into a cavern. Now, well, it’s a Dungeon.”

“I see. That wasn’t so hard, right?”

Nodding, I patted the Gremlin on the shoulder. He winced, his wound still exposed.

“Gah, don’t touch me. What are you doing?”

“Oops, sorry.”

I drew back, scratching the back of my head. He cursed and swore just like a drunken sailor at a tavern— I didn’t know how much that was, but Edithe once told me I should never do that.

“You got what you want, now shoo.”

Mngrph waved a hand off, ushering me to leave the commune. I rolled my eyes— he really was a selfish person. It wasn’t like I didn’t understand him. I totally could empathize with what it felt like, trying to do something on your own, but others kept on bothering you.

But his dismissive attitude was quite odd. At first, I assumed he was like me; the Rainforest of Monsters and the way things worked here truly reminded me of the Netherworld. However, I must have forgotten how, just because two individuals lived in a similar environment, it didn’t make them the same person.

He was nothing like me: he didn’t thrive in being around others, and he absolutely took no pride in their recognition of his actions. I guess Mngrph wasn’t a fan of gratitude. He just wanted to be left alone. Shrugging, I acquiesced to his demands, as a sign of my thanks to him, even if I had threatened to kill him just earlier.

The rest of the monster commune seemed quite wary of me. It was raining again now, and a small deluge was pouring down into the mud-lake from the opening in the treetops above. I could hear the crashing of the temporary waterfall growing louder as I approached the mud-lake.

I spotted the [Mountain Troll] sitting right at the fringes of the basin, his arms wrapped around its knees as he stared blankly at the falling water. I approached him, poking him on the side.

“Hey.”

He turned his head fractionally to face me. I gave him a morose smile.

“I’ll be going now.”

His facial expression didn’t change, but I noticed how his gaze bore deeply into me for a brief moment.

“It was nice meeting you. I’m sorry that I can’t stay longer. But I didn’t come to stay. I have classes and school. It’s… I’m sorry.”

Then he turned away. I pursed my lips, walking around him so I could see his face. I placed a hand on his knees, before frowning. Etched on his skin was the faded gray scars of a slave mark. The very same one Mngrph had. A sword in a desert dune.

I narrowed my eyes.

“Were you a slave too? Did you grow up in the Human lands?”

There was a brief moment where he hesitated. But eventually, he nodded. I tapped a finger on my chin.

“I see.”

The [Mountain Troll] shifted uncomfortably, almost not wanting to meet my gaze. I didn’t force him to look at me.

“Do you have a name?”

He shook his head.

“That’s a shame. Names make everything better, you know? I’d rather not just call you by your Subspecies forever.”

He did not move. I beamed, spreading my arms wide.

“What about this, how about I give you a name?”

Now, the [Mountain Troll] reacted. He glanced over at me, a slightly worried look on his face. I grinned, speaking placatingly.

“It’ll be fine! Names are great. Come on— how about… something like Mngrph or Crkrs… Shtrk?”

He gave me a flat stare. I cocked my head.

“Not good? Alright. How about Hrgnmr? No? Or Pllmmrw? Aw, why don’t you like any of these names?”

It was very obvious that he hated every single one of them. I kicked a pebble into the mud-lake, scowling.

“Oh, come on. Why do you hate all of them? Isn’t this similar to what Mngrph calls you guys?”

The [Mountain Troll] shook his head. I blinked as he gestured up at the Gremlin’s hut before shrugging.

“Wait, you’re saying he makes up random names for you guys?”

He nodded.

“That’s stupid! That’s rude of him. Hm. Alright, I’ll give you a proper name, how about that?”

There was a pause. Once again, he nodded. I smiled.

“What about—”

I heard a lot of odd names ever since I came to the Mortal Realm. Humans and Kobolds and Elves and Cyclopes all came up with their own distinctive names, even if they spoke the same language. But I had scarcely heard a Demon-like name since coming here.

I clapped my hands together, making a decision.

“Mons. How about that?”

The [Mountain Troll] tilted his head back. Then his face relaxed. He didn’t smile, but he seemed to be a little happier as he faced me.

“Really? You like it?”

Mons nodded, and I jumped into the air.

“Yay! I knew you’d like it— it just felt right.”

I hugged his arms before hopping back. I backed away from him, hands behind my back.

“I’ll go now, Mons. But I promise, I’ll visit you, alright?”

Mons stood up, waving at me in small motion. I waved back at him, even as I started off. I passed by Crkrs… or rather, the Orc woman, since that wasn’t her name. I bade her farewell too.

“Thanks for your help!”

My wings spread out— and she barked. I blinked, turning to her with a confused expression. She growled as my wings began to flap. Then I glanced at my wings.

“I shouldn’t use my wings?”

Now that she mentioned it, I encountered her when I was flying. A Goblin tried attacking me, and she pulled him back. I wondered why that was.

The Orc woman continued her growling, so I slowly let my wings recede.

“Alright, alright. But why is that the case?”

She stopped growling. I furrowed my brows. Then I snapped my clawed fingers together.

“Oh. It’s because I attract a lot of attention when flying? Or no—”

I tapped a finger on my chin. She barked once, and my eyes widened.

“I’m disturbing the peace of the forest!”

It was just like the Netherworld. A large battle would draw the attention of other Demons. ANd my flight would draw the attention of monsters. It made them upset, which was why I kept getting attacked.

“That really helps. Thank you—”

I reached out to hug her, but she backed away. She wasn’t so receptive to hugs. Which was fine. I just nodded at her as I ran off. I left the commune of monsters far behind me, making sure to leave a few markings on the trees, even if just a little. So, if I ever wanted to find this place again, I could possibly find it.

It wasn’t easy. Everything here looked the same. But even in the expanse of the Netherworld, where everything was a white expanse, I would end up searching for and finding my companion, Haec. I wasn’t one to give up easily.

I’d return some day.

 

—--

 

I knew where I was going. West. It wasn’t that hard to navigate with the sun up in the sky to guide me. And, just as the Gremlin said, the Stonefort Labyrinth Dungeon was a hole in the ground. But what he didn’t say was just how massive of a hole it was.

I stared at the expansive pit, whistling.

“Well, how did I not spot you?”

I glanced up at the single small opening in the treetops. The massive trees of the Rainforest of Monsters rose up to hundreds of feet— some maybe to even a thousand. And their branches were reaching far and wide, with their trunks bending to cover most of the Stonefort Labyrinth Dungeon.

But from beneath the canopy, I could see just how harrowingly large the hole was.

“Now, I wonder what’s down there?”

With a shrug, I spread my wings wide and leapt down into the Dungeon. Flames burst to life, covering my body with their fiery protection.

 

Now entering [Dungeon: Stonefort Labyrinth].

 

My fire illuminated the darkness with a bright blue glow. I flew lower and lower, seeing the shadow retreat from my peripheral vision, exposing the overgrowth of vines crawling their way down the vertical sides of the walls. Hidden within the dark green were bug-like monsters, just waiting to pounce.

The first leapt out at me. It had a narrow stick-like body with two scything arms. Its slash missed me as I flew to the side, raising a brow.

“You’re not a Golem.”

[Leafblade Mantis - Lvl. 79]

“And you’re not even that high-leveled.”

It spun around as it seemed to glide its way down, facing me with a snarl. I rolled my eyes as a spark came to life around my shoulder. It burst out, a cone of flames that incinerated the monster.

“Leave me alone if you’re not a Golem please. Thanks.”

Just as I spoke, a dozen different [Leafblade Mantis] appeared from behind the vines. I sighed.

“Seriously? Well, I may as well get some experience from you guys, right?”

They lashed out, and my flames burned them. A few got close, but I didn’t even bother to dodge their attacks. Not at this level. I kept them away using [Mystical Projection], pushing them back slightly, not even for a full shove, but enough to redirect them from hitting me. It gave me enough experience to level a few times by the time I was done killing them all.

 

Defeated [Leafblade Mantis - Lvl. 84]

Experience is awarded for defeating an enemy.

 

 

Defeated [Leafblade Mantis - Lvl. 95]

Experience is awarded for defeating an enemy.

 

Class [Worldly Mystic of the Nexeus] Level Up!

[Worldly Mystic of the Nexeus - Lvl. 44] -> [Worldly Mystic of the Nexeus - Lvl. 45]

Gained 2 Secondary Skill Points!

 

Class [Worldly Mystic of the Nexeus] Level Up!

[Worldly Mystic of the Nexeus - Lvl. 45] -> [Worldly Mystic of the Nexeus - Lvl. 46]

Gained 2 Secondary Skill Points!

 

I finally reached the bottom of the pit, and the monsters gave up their chase. I shook an angry fist at them.

“That’s right! You guys suck!”

Scoffing, I took a step forward— crunch. There was something hard beneath my feet. I looked down to see white bones littering the floor as far as I could see. I cocked my head.

“Huh. A lot of people must not know how to land.”

I walked over the corpses, all of them long dead, nothing more than a bunch of skeletons. I looked around, trying to find any of the monsters that could be hidden here.

“Hello? If you’re here, don’t come out. I will kill you if you try to attack me.”

It was a warning. One that I was wholly capable of carrying out. I was still carrying my Nebular Scythe from earlier. I had no reason to let it dissipate, since it’d be annoyingly difficult to recreate. An unnecessary expenditure of my mana.

The Stonefort Labyrinth was buried deep underground, with a thin mist blanketing over it so it was difficult to see even with my blue flames. I walked forward, kicking aside the dusty bones as I spoke, and my voice echoed.

“Are there any Golems here? Don’t tell me that stupid Gremlin lied to me.”

It seemed empty. There were dozens of different passageways— tunnels that led to various different places— but I didn’t enter any of them. I waited for something to come for me, because that was normally how Dungeons worked. However… nothing.

I stood before the entrance of one of the passages, conjuring a ball of flame, ready to burn everything that was within.

“Look, I’m not going to search every bit of this Dungeon to find a [Lux Golmi]. If you’re a monster, you better show yourself or I’ll burn—”

I stopped. I heard a soft giggling. That of a girl. It came from all around me. It rose out of every single one of the various tunnels that surrounded me, asking me a question.

“You’re here for me, aren’t you?”

The whispered voice spoke like it came from within my head. Almost like my voice now. Mind magic. I narrowed my eyes.

“Who are you? Where are you?”

My eyes flickered. I heard a bit of rock moving. Something shifted to the side. But when I looked there, I saw nothing.

The voice echoed once more.

“They always come for me. They always come after my heart. But don’t they know? I don’t want them. I won’t give anything to them.”

“For your heart…?”

I cocked my head. I nearly tripped on a broken skull. I looked down, and a smile cracked through my lips.

“You’re the [Lux Golmi], aren’t you?”

There was a laugh. It sounded almost twisted— bitter. Then it became more cheery as it sang its way to me.

“Come and find me if you can~”

It faded away, leaving me alone, surrounded by rock and bone and time.

 

Advertisement
A note from MelasD

Read up to 20 Salvos chapters ahead on my patreon

Join my discord or subreddit.

Follow me on twitter or instagram.


Support "Salvos [A Monster Evolution LitRPG]"

About the author

MelasD

  • Self-proclaimed most Successful Young Author on RoyalRoad based off the overly specific criteria he set. Became the 21st novel to hit 10,000 followers on the 21st of September, 2021, at the age of 21.
  • http://melaswebserial.com/

Bio: For business enquiries contact me on via PMs.

Achievements
Comments(42)
Log in to comment
Log In

Log in to comment
Log In