After beating the twin bosses, the trio of beast-men used their escape charm to return to the surface. The spoils of the last boss fight: a dagger of shadow that held the essence of humiliation. When they appeared at the entrance to the dungeon, they were met with cheers and celebration.
Anhel and William stayed with the growing crowd of admirers while Jare went into the Adventurer Guild office. There, he found a healthier Mary at her desk working. He raised an eyebrow at her.
"I thought you had a few more weeks fo healing?" he asked her.
"Work came up; I'm using healing charms to keep me stable." she explained, "Not that I'm allowed to move around at all. Don't be fooled; this desk is as bad as the bed."
Ally and Bella nodded as they kept watch of their guild-master from across the room.
Jare chuckled, "Well, whatever works for you my lady. I'm here to report the successful dive and conquer of the slime dungeon. Here are the reports." he handed over a small stack of paper to Mary.
Mary glanced at the top few sheets, "Anhel's hand-writing is getting better I see." She ignored Jare's coughing as she continued, "I'll look over this in better detail later. For now, let's get the award ceremony prepared for you and your brothers."
Jare shook his head, "Actually, we brothers need to be heading off soon. Our mission was to verify the dungeon wasn't a threat and to report its conditions. Fighting and undead dungeon and completing the advancement test were nice distractions, but we really need to be returning to the war front. That old coot Falcon left quite awhile ago, after the party I believe, and it won't do to be here having fun when our brothers are still in the fight."
Mary smiled sadly as she nodded in understanding, "Your troop is in Groatland right? The reports state war just started a few days ago."
"All the more reason to go." Jare turned worried as he heard the news, "I think Polaris is leaving today back to border. We'll hitch a ride with him. Thank you for all your help Master Mary."
"No, thank you and your brothers for helping to save our town." Mary bowed her head to him, "Without your strength, we would all have died to the tomb. I wish you safe travels."
She waved at Ally, who brought forth a parchment and three new badges. "Here is the certificate of advancement and new adventurer identities for you three. I wish you well in the war effort."
Jare smiled at Mary and shook her hand, "It's been a pleasure." With that, he got up and left the room, nodding at Ally and Bella.
"Master Mary, are you sure you can't convince them to stay?" Bella asked sadly as the door shut. She had been the recpetionist closest to the beast-man trio and would miss them the most.
Mary shook her head, "No, they were always meant to be temporary adventurers. Our little town may be growing, but we lack the challenge they need to advance their skills. The dungeon may have provided some, but once they knew the bosses it would have become easier to win everytime. Besides, they are part of the beast-man tribes war delegation against the empire. Thet would never leave their brothers in arms to fight without them if they could help at all."
"For all greetings, there will always be a good-bye."
~~~Later that Day~~~
Jare sat on the back of the wagon as Polaris rolled his caravan away from the dungeon town. Polaris glanced back at the beast-man.
"I'll be returning here eventually, so I'll keep you informed as best I can about their well-being."
"Thanks," Jare nodded in gratitude.
They waited as the horses began to pick up speed before continuing the talk; one out of concentration and the other out of patience.
"Do you regret leaving?" Polaris asked.
"They were nice people, for humans and elves anyway." Jare admitted, "One of the few towns that didn't throw stones at us for having fur."
"It's a big world out there; even in all my travels as a merchant I've never seen it all." Polaris admitted, "All it takes is one idea to take root, and a tree of cultures will spawn out."
"Stop quoting your merchansice," Jare scolded, "I thought Philosopher scrolls were expensive."
Polaris shrugged, "Expensive out here, but in the country of philosophy they are a copper a dozen. A story for another time though." He looked back at the fading town, "I guess with you leaving, the dungeon is out of secrets then. Looks like the town will slow down soon."
"You think so?" Jar wondered, "Actually, I think . . ."
They balanced themselves as the earth rumbled. Polaris and the other horse drivers took a moment to calm the horses.
Jare grinned as he looked back to the town, the forest, and the little hill in the plains where an entrance stood, "I think the dungeon is just getting started showing us what it has in store."