A note from Mr Alex666

Part 3/3

Falling against the wall, Prof washed his hands and face, rinsed his mouth, and swallowed the remaining water. He was very hopeful that the symptoms would go away quickly.

It was around two hours before he felt strong enough to continue the run. He was forced to down one of his 20 HP potions, then looked back into the rat’s room and found he had staggered out from the right hand corridor. There were two more exits, plus the tunnel he initially came from. If he was already there, he set out to explore the corridor he was in. Contrary to his previous experience, the corridor began to meander and reached an intersection after roughly twenty meters.

Using the ancient wisdom of the maze-goers he chose the path on the right after carving an arrow into the wall. After a while, he discovered another intersection, where he chose the tunnel on the right again. He spent the next three or four hours wandering through a lovely little maze, sometimes hunched over, on all fours or crawling and climbing. On a section that could only be crawled along, rats attacked him, and he had to use his hunting knife because there was not enough room to swing his axes.

As he wandered, he stumbled into two smaller chambers, in the first he was able to wash and replenish his water supply from an underground stream, and in the second he found some beautiful crystals, valued at a total of thirty silvers.

He had not yet explored all the tributaries when he discovered another larger room. There were no ferns or moss in the room this time, but roots were hanging from the ceiling, limiting the observable area. Based on the previous rooms, Prof was sure that the tendrils acted as some kind of trap so that the currently invisible enemy could more easily defeat the intruders.

For a start, he threw the torch into the middle of the room and entered, keeping his weapons ready. Although he tried to move so as not to touch the tendrils (maybe there was live current in them or they were toxic), he was largely unable to avoid contact. There was no problem at first, but the deeper he got into the room, the more and more he felt that the tendrils were groping after him, their touch lasting longer than it should, and there being more of them anyway. Near the middle of the room he couldn’t move without touching at least a few tendrils, and by then they were sticking to him, he couldn't shake them off.

To get some room to move, he started threshing the tendrils and found that his smaller, left-handed axe was more efficient, unable to swing the longer one normally. Driven by a sudden idea, he picked up his torch from the ground and tried to give the aggressive houseplant another target - unfortunately without success. Obviously the roots were too moist to ignite, and came to life even more from the fire.

Prof finally gave up the fight and headed for the exit. After only a step, however, he realized that he would not be able to leave the room while the vegetation was present: there were too many that were too clingy, and they were trying to grab his limbs. He dropped the torch again and took the hunting knife looted in his previous dungeon into his left hand – he could wield it even better in the tight space than his shorter axe.

He took a deep breath and started weeding. Although the tendrils could hardly have had any HP, and it wasn't too hard to hit them, but in return they swung out from the hits, slipped off the blade, and other roots tried to wrap around his neck and arm, swinging in the way when he tried to attack. A hedge trimmer would have been ideal.

Or at least pruning shears.

Prof finally realized that if he wrapped the roots around his axe and stretched it, he could easily cut it with the knife. This made gardening easier, but not faster. A few times, Prof also had to cut off the roots wrapped around his limbs. After more than half an hour of cutting, the tendrils finally ran out, and Prof was filled from head to toe with the sticky sap of the plant, and where he was not covered by his clothes, with traces of the tiny hooks of the tendrils.

Looking around the room, Prof found a chamber with an artistically placed, withered corpse with a severed root on its neck at least the dungeons clung to their theme, and they also had some artistic veins. Prof quickly searched the corpse: five silver and a handful of pocket change, a well-made spiked knuckles, an ornate silver-plated belt buckle, and a half-dozen special, armour-piercing arrowheads was his loot. Next to the corpse, he also found four small clay pots with stoppers.

After finishing the looting, he walked through the exit, wondering what a ridiculous near-death experience awaited him in the next room. Weasels? Kittens? As it turned out, the new hallway led him back to the mossy room. After some deliberation, he carefully filled two pots with the intoxicating moss, taking care not to touch it with his skin or even inhale anything by accident.

Another hallway opened from the hall, which he had not tried before, and since he had not yet met the Boss or the mushrooms and herbs mentioned by Shinead, he assumed the end of the dungeon was over there.

The next room was indeed full of mushrooms, Prof could differentiate four or five different varieties at first glance. The mushrooms covered everything: the floor, the walls, the ceiling, and even the wild boar in the middle of the room. Prof hoped that he would finally have a normal fight ahead of him, and he would not have to deal with traps, poisonous plants, aggressive tentacles, and whatnot. Just an adult, mushroom-covered, ticked wild boar. For some strange reason, the situation reminded him of something. Why was he thinking about the Greek Alphabet, and what came after Gamma?

He propped his torch at the entrance and entered the room. The boar immediately turned to him, shaking himself - causing the air to fill with flying spores - and charged. Prof had already learned in this dungeon that pollen and spores were bad and equal to danger, but he could not do too much against it: even if he took a deep breath before reaching the spore cloud, it was hopeless to hold it back until he defeated the pig. He successfully avoided the first attack of the raw material for stew, but after a successful counterattack, another cloud of spores was released it was as if all his skin had been scalded with hot water, his eyes were also in tears.

He concluded that he had to end the boar as fast as possible, with as few hits as possible, if he didn’t want to look like a scalded chicken. Knowing the rules, the obvious solution seemed to be critical hits against the eyes, those did the most damage, but were the hardest to achieve. He hoped that in this way he would be able to get rid of the boar with two, three hits at most.

The problem was that the boar didn't stay in melee, but charged Prof, ran to the other side of the room and started a new attack - Prof either had to run after the boar (and couldn’t attack the eyes from behind) or wait standing still, but then he could only attack once per charge. He chose the latter option.

In the second charge Prof couldn’t land a hit, in the third he managed to get the boar's right eye, but he almost choked on the escaping spore cloud.

In the fourth, he didn't even try to attack because he tried to get some air into his lungs.

At the fifth charge, he cleverly held his breath and managed to achieve a normal hit.

The sixth charge was the last, with Prof holding his breath, he successfully smashed the boar's head and basically cut it in half. He was prepared for the cloud of spores, but not for the whole boar to explode, spewing spores everywhere! He lost fifteen HP from the blast - and the flying pieces of pig - and was just under fifty, including his other adventures in the dungeon up to now. He drank his 40 HP-potions with a heavy heart and looked at himself.

The several layers of dirt that covered him he might be able to scrub away with hard work, but his pants were too far gone: his knees were torn from crawling around, his legs were chewed out by the giant rat, and it could almost stand on its own. Luckily, he had a spare pair of pants, plus his peasant ones if everything went south. Prof was determined to go to his next dungeon in clothes that were cheap enough, it was unnecessary to ruin his good stuff. Interestingly, most games dont take into account that expensive ball gowns weren’t designed to be torn apart in random caves

Although Shinead warned that a particular mushroom was growing in the room that could be sold for good money, it turned out that there were six different kinds, and Prof's Skills weren’t high enough to figure out which might be the right one. For one he was sure it was just plain food, another he suspected that poison could be made from it, but for the other four he had no idea what they could be used for. Eventually, he collected a larger quantity of the two known and a few pieces of the others. Even in the worst case, he could take them to someone competent to find out the uses and values.

Since there was nothing other of value in the room, Prof continued on the only possible path. The hallway meandered a little, and finally Prof saw the last room with the promised bear.

Seriously?!? What kind of moronic idiot put together this fucking place?!?! A fucking raccoon is the Boss?!?!

Frustration erupted from Prof. At the far end of the room, next to a tiny stone tub, a cute raccoon was cleaning something, the rest of the room was grassy, with some ferns and some weeds here and there, which could have been the herb mentioned by Shinead. Prof put his torch down as usual and entered the room with a deep sigh.

A note from Mr Alex666

Hope, you enjoyed!

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Read you next week.

About the author

Mr Alex666


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