Of course, giving you guys just a edited chapter wouldn't be the most fun thing to do right? So, I'm going to supply some hints to what is coming. I figured out the plot for this second book, so here is a hint to get you guys pumped up.
Slime vs. unknown monster family
The evolution chart has been completed
Now, not everyone is going to peek, so no commenting about in directly. Only hype comments with no spoilers
Since someone, I won't name who, commented on a previous chapter I was on the lines of a dirty slut . . no thats not right, a man coming back from real life . . .it's a funny comment go find it in chapter 9; I'm going to resume two chapters a day. This is the first, second about the same time as yesterdays. Not sure if I can keep it up, but I'll try for your sakes.
"Tell me again, why are we hurrying back into the dungeon after the last dive?" Anhel complained as he ran after his two big brothers, "I thought we'd have at least another day to rest and explore. I was hoping to speak with Mr. Olaf again."
Jare laughed as the wind swept through his fur, "Come on brothers, the scent of adventure is in the air!"
"That and some serious bull-crap." Anhel muttered under his breath, "Did you say something to the guild-master? Is she forcing us back in?"
Jare coughed awkwardly as they reached the dungeon entrance, "Uh, not exactly. The church has sent two delegations into dungeon to secure a path down to the unexplored floors. Ignoring the suspicious nature of two large parties, it would be in our best interest to be ahead of them at all times. Thus, I figured getting through the 10th floor boss would be enough for the day."
William growled and fingered his daggers, "Bad church."
Anhel patted William's arm, "No brother Will, these people aren’t the bad church. They are just on their own side."
William looked down and cocked his head at Anhel, "Not your church?"
Anhel's face turned evil for a moment before he shook his head, "No, this is not the empire's church; considering that group lost the right to call itself that years ago. It’s an evil cult now." He muttered angrily as his hand itched toward his back.
Jare slapped both of them on the back of the heads, "That's enough out of you two. These guys aren't our enemies, they are our rivals. If we meet them, no attacking them unless it's to defend, understood?"
William and Anhel nodded in agreement, faces slightly ashen and ashamed. Also, they rubbed the back of their heads as if they were somehow in pain. Jare smiled and patted both of their heads, "Good, then let’s head down to see how the sixth floor is."
They made their way to the sigil in the central mining room and had William touch it this time. In an instant, the three found themselves down at the staircase room of the fifth floor. There was no one else there.
Jare sniffed the air and nodded his head, "Good, we're the first ones down to this level in quite some time. Anhel, what does the map say about these next 5 floors?."
Anhel peeked down at the map, “These are the last few floors mapped; everything below has yet to be challenged. The next five floors are all maze style floors, with the largest being the 10th floor. Also, there is a lot of new vegetation here, so our sense of smell will be diminished a little."
Jare shrugged, "All we have to do is watch out for traps; our noses can easily lead us through the maze no matter the interference. Can some of the plants be picked?."
Anhel turned the map over, “There are a lot of basic herb plants apparently . . . oh the Moonglow can rarely appear as well.”
William shook his head and pointed, "Nose bad, plants." The two brothers turned to look at where William was pointing. They saw the entrance to the floor, and how the walls and ceiling were covered in plants. William grunted in annoyance.
Jare could only chuckle with irony, “About what I just said, maybe our noses will be kind of hard pressed to find our way through here. Oh well, adventurer awaits."
They nodded in agreement as the trio set off down the tunnel into the first maze.
"Commander Hawkins sir!" A templer knight saluted his superior, "We have eliminated the mass of slimes impeding our path."
Commander Hawkins was one of the top knight officials in Dungeon Town. A sandy-haired, wised, older man, he had seen his share of battles through his long military career. He nodded his head at the knight in front of him.
"Good work men, tell them we shall rest for 5 minutes before heading deeper."
The knight saluted again and left to carry out his orders. Hawkins sighed and took his helm off as he rubbed his head. When orders had come down to explore the dungeon, he had been rather interested. The town was very peaceful with a low crime rate, so there had been very little for him and his men to do besides guarding and training. The templer knights were an organization led by the head templer, who had equal authority with High Father or Mother.
Personally, Hawkins was of the Yore faith, goddess of the forest, but in this country where all faiths worked together he had been assigned to guard the clergy of Duras here at Dungeon Town. It gave him a slight headache though, given that some moral values were slightly antagonistic between the two faiths.
"What I would give for some good forest wine." He muttered under his breath as he cleaned his sword, "I'm very tired of this plains' wine. Who makes booze from grass anyway? Berries are the only proper method of making booze."
His mutterings ceased as a priest approached him. "Commander Hawkins, why are we waiting around and not advancing further into the dungeon?"
Hawkins stopped himself from rolling his eyes at the 'leader' of this expedition, "Then men just finished a fight and need to rest" He explained as evenly as possible.
The priest scoffed and waved his hand dismissively, "That was hardly a stamina draining battle. Surely your men are stronger than that?"
Hawkins took a breath to calm himself, "Brother Leroy, that fight was . . ."
Brother Leroy interrupted him, "I don't care templer; I am the leader of this expedition and the great Father Jonas has tasked me to defeat this floor as soon as possible. All these delays are unacceptable and will not continue, is that understood?"
Hawkins grit his teeth and nodded, "Aye sir, it shall be done."
Brother Leroy nodded and left to return to his group of fellow priests. Hawkins sighed and finished cleaning his sword before he heard someone else approach him.
"I'm truly sorry for Brother Leroy's attitude." A voice came from behind him.
Hawkins turned and grinned at the priest, "Friar Henry, no need to worry. I am used to dealing with types like him. They are in every group."
Friar Henry sighed and rubbed his rope belt, "That is the sad way of the world isn't it? I would do something myself, but I am a mere friar and have no authority for this expedition."
Commander Hawkins truly liked the young friar; he was kind and empathetic. It was unfortunate, then, that the young man lacked the ruthlessness needed to advance in the shadows. He would likely remain a friar for the rest of his days unless he performed a large, public service to the church.
He clasped the friars shoulders and said, "As long as you keep your spirit pure and take advantage of opportunities when they come to you, I'm sure you will grow in the future. It wouldn't matter if you were a government official, a merchant, a soldier, a mage, or a farmer; there would always be an arrogant man over you."
The friar nodded his head and smiled at him before leaving to tend to the priests. Hawkins turned and walked over to his men, who were resting.
"Men, the priests wonder if we are such children we need to rest after playing. Why not show them our fighting spirit!" He bellowed out.
The templer knights shot to attention and cried out, "Sir yes sir!"
Hawkins nodded, "Good. Move out men!"
The group sat out again down the tunnel. As they rounded the bend, they came face to face with a group of 5 grey slimes.
"Advance and destroy the enemy, for DURAS!" Father Leroy bellowed out from behind Hawkins.
Hawkins grimaced at the clear violation of military protocol, but bellowed out, "Forward!"
His squad of 6 templers gave out a battle cry and advance with sword and spear and shield. The 5 grey slimes turned tail and began to flee.
"Brothers, fortify them!" With Brother Leroy's call, the priest began to cast holy magic on the templers, increasing their speed and strength.
As the soldiers chased the slimes farther away, Hawkins frowned and barked out, "Return swiftly!"
"Ignore him, kill those slimes for the glories of Duras!" Leroy counter called. The templers paused and looked at each other awkwardly, not sure what to do in this situation.
A moment later, lesser mimic and armor slimes rained down from the ceiling into the priests. The group instantly turned into a mess of chaos and panic.
Hawkins bellowed for his men to return as he cursed to himself for not inspecting the ceiling for aerial traps. The priests scattered in a panic, none possessing the offensive power to fight the slimes. The templer knights rushed to return, only to find their path impeded by the grey slimes, which attacked with their bodies.
Brother Leroy ran screaming back down the tunnel, only to trip and slam into the floor at full force. Ironically, he fell on top of a rather thick pitfall trap with enough force to fall through the stone and into the waiting slimes down before.
"Brother Leroy, nooooo!" Some of the priests cried out. Hawkins cursed outwardly as he slayed the slimes around the priests. Lacking any offense besides tackling, the slimes were easy prey to his blessed sword. His knights also managed to recover and slaughtered the grey slimes as they returned to the group.
The battle over, everyone took a breather as they stared wide-eyed at the hole in the ground.
"Bro . . Brother Leroy J. Kiln is dead." One of the brothers spluttered out, "What do we do now?"
Commander Hawkins sighed and got up, "We finish the mission. Come on now brothers, will you let his glorious death be in vain?"
This instantly cheered up the priests as both Friar Henry, Commander Hawkins, and the templer knights privately rolled their eyes. Glorious death indeed; now who would care for the temple chickens?
After resting, they resumed their journey down the tunnel. The next bend led to a medium sized room. Strangely enough, the walls here were not purple, but grey instead. Hawkins narrowed his eyes as they entered the room.
"Be wary men, this room is not so simple." He warned.
As they reached the middle of the room, grey slimes began to size up through the floor. At the far side, a large blob exited the tunnel and began to move slowly toward them.
Hawkins curse, "Gray slimes and a gelatinous slime. Be wary men, they are strong against physical attacks!"
With battle-cries flying from their mouths, the group moved into battle.
“So, it looks like the church has finally made their move.” Claire observed from atop Doc’s head. After a closed door explanation from the twins, Claire had forgiven Doc on the condition he serves as her mount for the next few days.
Trapped within Claire’s slime cushion, Doc began to appreciate the ability to float around the dungeon even more. He hated being trapped in a single body that was so slow, especially moving between levels.
“They seem kind of strong Claire, but not in a way I’ve seen before. What kind of spell casters are those?” Doc pointed with his tentacle at the strange men wearing dresses.
“Those are priests; they use magic through faith.” Claire explained, “Unlike other spell-casters who use items of power or the mana within their bodies, priests use the faith they put into their god as a source of power. The stronger the faith, the stronger the spell. Also, the god or goddess they worship gives them a tiny bit of their power to increase their ability and even add an attribute to their magic. Those priests seem to be channeling wind and light magic, so their god or goddess is inclined to both.”
“Is that kind of how I am with my slimes?” Doc asked curiously.
Claire couldn’t hold in her laugh, “You think you are a god? Ha ha, you’re so silly Doc.” She patted his head lovingly, “Gods are the creators of this world; you are one of the creations, like I am and like they are. Now, what do you think of these church people? First impressions?”
Doc mused as he rolled his thoughts around, “Well, they are stronger than most adventurers, but they don’t work really well do they. That old guys with the shiny forehead seems to know what he’s doing though, and the whiny one in the dress died.”
“That’s called a robe Doc.”
“It looks like a dress.”
“Only women wear dresses.”
“They are women; wow, I need to learn more about adventurers, they blend together too much.”
"Men, prepare yourselves." Commander Hawkins commanded, steeling himself, "The boss room is dead ahead."
His templer knights nodded as they raised their weapons for battle. The priests, guided by Friar Henry, began their prayers to the gods as the group entered the room. As discussed before, the priests moved around the outside of the room to form a perimeter while the warriors walked down the middle.
As the two groups entered the middle of the room, a templer let out a cry of warning as a green blob seized his leg. He quickly stabbed it with his blessed weapon, destroying the slime as he moved back swiftly.
When the green blob died, to everyone's surprise the boss rose up in one fluid motion and grabbed the offending templer with it's ant mandible. The soldier screamed as the mandible snapped shut and cut him into two pieces.
"NO!" Hawkins cried out, brandishing his sword, "Avenge our comrade!" The templers moved forward quickly, each wearing faces of rage as they brandished their weapons.
The ant boss screeched in rage as countless blades fell on it’s body. It swung it’s huge head back and forth, sending men flying backwards into the rock formations
Hawkins gnashed his teeth in anger, "Get in formation men! Don't let it grab you!"
Conforming to their training, the templer knights retreated into a turtle shell form; shields out front, beside and above while spears poked out from every opening. As a unit, the formation moved forward toward the boss.
The priests finished their prayers and began to let loss a barrage of holy magic. Golden light landed on the knights, augmenting their speed and strength. At the same time, the golden light hindered the boss, robbing it of it's vitality and agility. As if feeling pain, the boss roared and moved forward toward the formation.
It swung it’s head at the shields. However, the shields held out against the blows and pushed it back with the holy blessings placed upon them. Spears lunged out and stabbed into the unprotected head, dissolving the slime with their light.
The ant quickly jumped back as it turned back into the crystalline green slime. Morphing, it now took on the form of a worm.
“It’s a new form men, watch yourselves!” Hawkins cried out as he took a stance.
The slime boss now bunched itself up, than burst forward with the speed of a cannon. It shot itself through the shield wall as men and weapons went flying. Two unlucky men were eaten as well as the worm slime slithered quickly back into the darkness.
"Formation change, Calvary Charge!" Hawkins bellowed out. Instantly, the shields were retracted as a wall of spears and swords replaced it. The boss, mindless as it was, reappeared and crashed straight into the onslaught of holy blessed weapons. The magic weapons ripped into the slime and inflicted heavy injuries even as it once again sent men flying.
Close to death now, the boss screamed in pain as it swung it’s head violently back and forth, trying to dislodge the weapons stuck in it. Some of the knights dived for cover as stray weapons were sent flying at them by coincidence. Over half were forced to retreat from the boss as their weapons were currently in it. The boss roared again as it began to go into a rampage. Knight and priest alike dived for cover as rocks flew across the room from the boss knocking them into the air.
Hawkins, in the ground as a piece of earth blasted overhead, roared to his men, "It's on it's last legs men, keep up the assault!" Following his own order, the commander raised his sword and shield and charged forward with a valiant battle-cry.
The men with weapon still followed his lead and charged the slime from every side. The priests unleashed blasts of holy light all around the room in order to back the knights up. The boss roared as it's body was ripped to shreds by the holy weapons still inside it. It had no defenses, and was forced to take the numerous holy blasts, followed by the knight's final assault. With a wail, the boss fell over and dissolved completely, disappearing back into the ground.
'Clang', Hawkins dropped his sword and began panting loudly as his breath caught up with him. He took a seat on the ground as he tried to stabilize his breathing.
"Hu, hu, I'm getting too old for this." He muttered out loud. A couple of the knights heard him and chuckled, much to his annoyance.
Friar Henry approached with the loot in his hand, "We lost a priest after a stalactite impaled him. That leaves the total casualties at 3 priests and 5 templers."
Hawkins sighed and nodded sadly, "The boss's weakness was facing a large group, but the risks are always larger the bigger the group gets. I'll have to include that in my report when we get back."
Friar Henry nodded and continued, "The boss dropped its slime core, 2 gold pieces, and a buckler shield enchanted with resistance against physical blows. It seems as though this is the end of today’s journey."
Hawkins sighed as he inclined his head, "Yes, we are too tired to continue any further without more casualties. Perhaps the other group did better than us. We finished out mission for today, so it's time go report our success."
Nodding, the friar helped Hawkins to his feet. After one of the priests touched the sigil, the group disappeared.
“Oh, they got it into the second phase; that’s fairly impressive.” Doc murmured out loud.
Claire poked him, “Hey, what’s with that worm boss? I thought it was only ants and beetles. Are you keeping things from me again?”
“Sorry, I forgot to tell you.” Doc winced as the strange sensation of having part of someone inside of him, “The boss here can take the form of a ladybug, roach, ant, Hercules beetle, rhinoceros beetle, and praying mantis for typical battles. The worm only shows up with large groups, and only for above C level.”
Claire blinked, “Are those forms in order of increasing difficulty?”
“That’s right; I’m smart right? Now, the boss will fight depending on strength and all the battles will be interesting and not boring massacres.” Doc was very pleased with himself.
Claire rubbed her head in exasperation, “Oh Doc, you make some strange decisions some time. I can’t even begin to imagine what they are thinking out there. A boss that adapts to power level . . . oh well what’s done is done I suppose.”
“That’s not exactly something to be happy about. Now come on, you need to take me to the next area so we can watch those beast-men. Mush my servant!”