Claire made it back to the forest tunnel before the fighting began. When she was inside, Doc closed the entrance and hid it back into the ground. Claire flew down to the heart room and dropped off her goodies.
"Doc, what's going on up there?" Claire asked in a panic.
"Here, see for yourself." Doc's crystal turned reflective and Claire was greeted with the images of the fighting and the dungeon."
She gasped and put her hands up to her mouth, "Oh no, that's a dungeon!"
Doc nodded, "I thought so. It appeared out of no where and rose up from the ground. It's weird though; I can feel my influence increasing beyond my dungeon. What you are seeing here is what I can see from actually being there."
"That makes it positive that it's an invading dungeon." Claire nodded in confirmation, "I told you about this weeks ago, but when two dungeons meet, their areas of influence overlap. In these places, both dungeons can create their monsters to fight each other."
Doc narrowed his gaze at the fighting, "Claire, that's not your mother right? You said she was an undead dungeon pixie partner . . ."
"Oh no," Claire waved her hand dismissively, "My mother's dungeon can't teleport with the phantom ability, and she's a lot stronger then that. No, this is a new dungeon for me, but if you can listen in and figure out the name I might be able to remember some things."
"I think the furry one called it 'The Tomb of the Forgotten King'." Doc remarked after a moment's inflection.
"Hmm," Claire hummed as she folded her arms and thought. She drifted around as she watched the adventurers beat back the skeletons within the town.
"Oh yeah!" She plopped her fist into her open palm, "That is a popular dungeon in pixie society. It has quite a few accomplishments and has lived for many years. It's quite infamous."
"How so?" Doc asked.
"Because that dungeon is one of the few dungeons that killed their pixie partner." Claire replied evenly, but Doc could sense a dark feeling coming from her, "The dungeon severed the connection and while the pixie reeled, it devoured it."
"But why would it do that?" Doc asked confused, "You pixies are the only allies we dungeons have right?"
Claire frowned deeply, "That has never been asked because the dungeon is hostile to everyone. However, it actively hunts humans in large enough groups."
"You mean, it wants to wipe out my town." Doc's tone was incredibly hostile now.
Claire smiled privately to herself as she picked on Doc's use of 'my', "That's right; all the adventurers will leave, the animals will flee, and this place will be a small wasteland for many years even if the dungeon ignores us."
"I don't like that." Doc's tone was so quiet now Claire had to strain to listen.
She grinned evilly, "Then let's show our new guest exactly what we think about trespassers."
(Alright, you guys know the drill. Music is coming up)
Jare groaned as he tried to push himself up onto his feet. Falcon rolled his eyes and smashed his cane onto his head, knocking him back down.
"Boy, it's worthless for you to move now. I'm reluctantly impressed you even managed to wake up after that show of magic."
Jare chuckled, then coughed hard, "Well, I can't be everywhere at once you know?"
"Don't give me excuses, that's quite an easy spell you know."
"You're a magus you old jerk. You've mastered at least three schools of magic right?"
"4 now, I finished studying enchantments a few weeks ago." Falcon said evenly.
Jare rolled his eyes, "Combined with the elemental magic of mages, witch craft, and wizardry, you have the nerve to tell me splitting into multiple forms is easy?"
"It's just an illusion after, nothing but . . . oh never mind. Looks like their coming." Falcon raised his staff, and it transformed into a long wand with 4 crystals of elemental energy on the end. Raising it, he cried out in a loud voice.
"I call upon DARKNESS RESISTANCE!"
A golden light shot out of the staff and struck all the adventurers, covering them in a golden light.
"You lot, I've increased you resistance to darkness for the next hour, but don't think you're in the clear. If you have a bottle of fairy light from the mother tree, I advise you to prepare to use it." Falcon called out to the crowd.
"Now, prepare yourselves." He transformed his staff into a smaller wand of white wood and ran forward. The crowd gawked for a moment at the old man leading the way, running with a limp.
Falcon rolled his eyes, "Oh really? Stare at the old man who can run? Tarnation you STUPID YOUNG FOLK!"
He roared as the and let off a burst of light, and he rose up into the sky. Bathed in white light, the magus pointed the wand at the approaching horde and launched blast after blast into the monsters. The beams destroyed monster after monster, but now the horde began running forward, bones rattling and teeth chattering as the ghastly army made it's move.
Seeing the army move, the adventurers let out a cry of defiance as they too ran forward. Mages and healers in the back, the warriors and swift fighters led the charge as the two groups smashed into each other.
Screams shook the nights as swords fell and magic blazed. Jare, managing to get up on his own, chugged a fairy light as he beasted-out and swung his hammer blow after mighty blow. William's sleek form blurred as he assassinated enemy mages and healers. Anhel chanted support spirit after support spirit as he boosted his allies while his nose began to bleed. He wiped it off, his eyes blazing with determined furor.
Fiora and Nat smashed into the front lines, their swords knocking the skeletal swordsman aside and smashing the shields of the shield bearer.
"You know Fiora, I'm really glad you got me out of that training hall." Nat cried out, "This is the best night I've ever had!"
Fiora laughed as her magic sword set blaze to another enemy, "Ha ha, this is the life! We don't know what tomorrow will bring, so live life to the fullest today! THAT IS THE ADVENTURER WAY!" She screamed out the last sentence, raising the spirits of those around her with her magic battle cry. The men and women roared and fell upon the horde with renewed vigor.
As they destroyed the enemy, a skeleton ranger appeared and launched an arrow at Nat. Grinning, she blocked it with her broadsword and ran at the ranger. It backed up slowly, releasing shot after shot at the female adventurer, but everything was blocked.
Roaring in delight, she jumped up and sank her giant blade into the ranger. As she did so, however, a shield came out of nowhere and basked her to the ground, making her cough up blood.
"Dammit, it was a trap." She muttered as she got up shakily to her feet. She was surrounded by three shield wielders and four swordsman. They chattered their teeth as they advanced on her.
"Nat, hold on I'm coming!" She heard Fiora cry out, but she was too far away. Gran was struggling against the swordsmen as he himself had no real skills in swordplay. Jonas had disappeared during the initial assault, so she was all alone.
She grinned lazily, "Shoot, this is what I get for leaving my group. Dammit, I am out of practice aren't I." She picked up her broad sword and pointed to the skeleton in front of her, "Well, if I'm going down you all are coming with me!"
She yelled and swung her broad sword around in a huge arc with one hand, knocked the shield wielders into the air.
"BERSERKER ART, FINAL ASSAULT!" Nat felt her muscles bulk up as her body went into overdrive. This was a skill she learned after practicing the broadsword, an art typically used by berserkers in battle as a last resort. Her strength would rise for a few minutes, but she would be defenseless afterwords.
"DIE!" A second broadsword appeared in her other hand from her adventurer bag, and she swung the swords in an insane flurry of blows, demolishing the group around her. She ran forward, her sword carving a path of destruction through the horde. She eyed a group of mage skeletons that was launching magic and made a bee-line for them.
As she ran forward, her body was cut, pierced, smashed, and hurt with magic, but she was relentless. In a final cry, she jumped upon the mages and smashed them to bits, the last of her energy burned away.
"Che, dammit Jonas you waited too long." She muttered as the skeletons closed in on her, "Well, looks like I'm joining you soon Nic. Wait for me will ya." She close her eyes and waited for the blows to fall.
"I can't let you do that Natalie Cloud."
An explosion of heat burst around her, and Nat opened her eyes in shock to find Jonas standing of front of her, his body ablaze in fiery armor as he wielded swords of flame.
Jonas turned his head to look at her with a lop-sided grin, "You can't go before me Nat. I won't let you."
Turning back to the skeletons, Jonas thrust his hand forward as his sword extended on a fiery chain. He whipped it around his head, sending the flame flying into every skeleton around them. They chattered as they fell, burning to the ground.
Dispelling the flame, he turned and held out his hand to Nat, who took it as he helped her to her feet.
"Jonas, you became a battle-mage." Nat had tears in her eyes as she held her hands to her mouth, "But. . ."
Jonas chuckled as he reached up and pulled a grey hair out of his hair. He stared at it for a moment, "The more I use it, the less I have to live, and I will not live longer than 20 more years. Such is the cost of power." He looked back at Nat and pulled her close, "It's worth it if I can save your ass now."
She sobbed and chuckled at the same time, "You idiot, you big idiot."
He smiled down at her, "Let's save it for after the night okay? Lot of work . . ."
His eyes widened as he grabbed Nat and dived out of the way. Shards of ice struck the ground where they had just been.
"Damn, I can't fight against ice magic." He muttered as he watched a group of ice mages protected by swordsman approach.
"They aren't simple skeletons; one led me into a trap." Nat spoke up.
Jonas cursed, "We forgot, this sin't a mindless horde of undead. This a dungeon hive mind, and it's learning."
All around them, adventurers suddenly found themselves in precarious positions. Swordsmen were out flanked by skeletal rogues, who attacked the mages and healers. Without the assault from the back-line, adventurers were becoming increasingly cut off from their allies and were soon surrounded on all sides.
Even Falcon was becoming increasingly pressed as he was assaulted by an increasing number of spells.
"Damn, I used too much magic escaping the guards." He muttered to himself as he blasted a group of mages.
However, this time a single skeleton raised it's hand and summoned a black shield that deflected his attack into another groups of skeletons.
"Three heavens and nine hells." Falcon cursed, "A tier three necromancer, already? This does not bode well."
Fiora and Gran joined Nat and Jonas, and the four stood back to back as the skeletons closed in.
"I'm glad we all got to meet up again." Gran said simply.
The other three nodded and grinned at the elf. Fiora clapped him on the back, "You brought us back together Gran, don't forget that. Whatever mistakes you think you made, you did good here."
An honest, simple smile grew on Gran's face, "I never thought I'd say this to a bunch of humans, but you are all not so bad."
"Screw off." All three said to him, inciting a chuckle.
They raised their swords and pointed them at the approaching horde, death not scaring them in the slightest.
All of a sudden, a giggle echoed out in the mind of every adventurer in the field.
"What?" Fiora said in shock. She remembered that giggle.
In her moment of distraction, a skeleton was already swinging it's sword down on her head. The world seemed to slow down as she watched the blade come closer and closer. She didn't close her eyes, instead choosing to watch death come her way.
The sword froze an inch from her face, a slimy tentacle wrapped around it's hilt.
More battle music
"A tentacle?" Fiora said in wonder.
In front of every adventurer, slimes began to rise up from the ground. As soon as they were up, they launched themselves into the skeletons with astonishing force.
"THE SLIMES ARE HERE, THE SLIMES ARE TO SAVE US!" A cheer rose up and spread through the crowd as the adventurers felt their spirits rise up.
"OH ho," Falcon raised an eyebrow from the sky as he exchanged magic with the necromancer, "It seems that all the players are now."
On the ground, armor slimes and earth slimes charged the skeletons, using their force to blast their way through bone and armor. Grey slimes and gelatinous slimes devoured skeleton after skeleton and even the few reanimated corpses that spawned from the fallen adventurers. Plant slimes and herb slimes controlled the grass and wrapped around the feet of the skeletons, knocking them to the ground. The new poison slimes corroded the skeletons with acidic blasts, and the magic slimes launched magic spells at their elemental counterparts.
Jonas laughed as two flame slimes jumped onto his shoulders, their nature augmenting his magical power.
"I can do this all night now!" He roared as his armor multiplied into a clone that charged the horde, "These things are filling me with magic power!"
Fiora also ignited her sword, and a flame slime wrapped itself around her hand. It was surprisingly comfortable, and her sword's fiery aura doubled. She looked down in amazement.
"Oh yeah, I can get used to this." With a a happy cry, she also jumped into the battle again.
Gran stood next to Nat, who had collapsed from weakness. Two heal slimes moved over her body, filling her with healing energy.
"This, this is impossible." Nat said in wonder, "These slimes, theses monsters are helping us."
"They are helping themselves." Gran observed, "If we fall here, then it will be left alone without any prey."
Nat looked into the distance, wondering. "Is that really the only reason? Because, I think it would become quite lonely." She thought to herself.
With the help of the slimes, the horde of undead was beaten back. The slimes were just too strong against the skeletons, and the mages were countered by the resistant elemental slimes. Soon, the adventurers and slimes were up to the entrance to the dungeon.
Anhel laughed out loud, "We might as well try to conquer this dungeon now; it's way to easy."
However, the dungeon began to shake in front of them. It was almost as if it was laughing at them.
All of a sudden, moans and screams began to rise up around them. The ground erupted as zombies began to appear, and spirits appeared in all their tormented glory.
Falcon paled, "Not good!" He smashed his staff into the earth, and a dome of white energy surrounded everyone. The zombies, spirits, and skeletons smashed against the barrier, sending ripples out.
"Oy! This is really bad!" Falcon yelled at everyone as his face paled and sweat dripped down his face, "I can't hold them off for long. The zombies are walking damage takers and the spirits will try to posses your body. Spirits are like slimes and can only be beaten by magic, but only light magic! We can't win this fight, so when the barrier falls I'll make a path. RUN WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT AND MAKE IT BACK TO TOWN. ONLY THE CHURCH CAN STOP THIS!"
Having said that, the barrier collapsed around them. Falcon twirled his staff as his hair began floating around him, an icy fire glowing in his eye.
"Unique magic, ICE BORNE ROAD!"
The staff flew out of his hand and shot out a terrifyingly cold magic. Instantly, an entire section of the horde froze and shattered into pieces. Falcon coughed and fainted as blood poured from his nose, eyes, mouth, and ears from over using his magic. William grabbed the magus before he fell.
"RUN!" He roared out.
As a unit, the adventurers ran like the forces of hell were behind them. which was kind of true in this case. The warriors carried the mages, who used their magic to beat back the spirits who swooped in. The zombies were quite slow, so it was only the immaterial specters that they worried about. The slimes stayed behind and acted as a barrier against the zombies and skeletons, further slowing them down.
The adventurer made it back to the wall, where an entire platoon of priests waited with Father Jonas at the lead.
"Everyone, together!" He called out. As one, the priests raised their icons, wands, and talismans and chanted. In the night sky, a beam of light shot down and slammed against the plains. Undead and slime alike were vaporized as the land shook for a moment.
When everything settled, the town was covered in a glowing shield of holy magic and the plains were littered with fallen loot.
For that night, the town was finally safe.