A note from zaifyr

The Writathon is over today. I blew past my expectations and wrote ~83K words in these five weeks. It has been crazy fun but also just crazy. Some of you have expressed concern about burnout, and I share those concerns (even if I feel like I'm still going strong right now). So to make sure that I can keep this story going until it's done, I'm adjusting the schedule to make sure I can keep posting. Starting today, it will move to a Tu, Th, and Sat schedule. So the next post is tomorrow!

I know many of you will feel sad and left out going for a single day with no word of Spot and his adventures. But never fear! There is relief on the way. Maybe? I am announcing our second Patreon goal. At 100 patrons (regardless of tier), I will increase the posting schedule to 4 days a week. So never again will you need to go two days in a row without a Spot update. Hopefully, this will take long enough that I have a couple of weeks to add a chapter or two to my personal backlog, like an ordinary story that was not a Writathon project would have. Then I will see about increasing the backlog for patrons.

I want to assure you all that I will bring this story to the best conclusion my meager abilities can. In the meantime, I hope you stick around to see how it goes.

Anyways 64 out of 100 on the way to the goal!

Bee was fascinated by the wall carvings. It felt like she could keep staring at them for ages and still find things to be in awe at. In fact, she wasn't entirely sure how long she had been staring at them. Void hadn't interrupted her. It must have been only a few minutes, then. Still, she felt something. Some connection to these stories they were telling. After getting so wrapped up in the first one, she improved at inspecting them while walking by. Still, each was a masterpiece, and they grew progressively more detailed.

It depicted a story that any child knew well. One where humanity was scattered and broken, warring amongst themselves with primitive weapons and living in mud huts. One that began with their remnants being taunted and toyed with by demons.

However, as the story progressed, it began to diverge from what she knew. Instead of being struck down by the gods at the height of their power, the demons were challenged by humanity. Bee saw as the carvings depicted her ancient predecessors banding together and becoming hardened warriors. Under constant assault from their demonic oppressors, the people strengthened themselves and went to war. The battles progressed from minor, individual incidents to beautiful, intricately detailed carvings depicting rows upon rows of soldiers marching in step.

The demons were far fewer in number than the humans. In each battle, there was perhaps one demon depicted for every ten humans. However, the sides appeared to be equally matched. She continued walking, holding her light up to a massive battle scene. On the left, it showed 13 legions of demons, each headed by one of the lieutenants. Beatrice's eyes picked out Nazareth'gak easily, his arms alight with flames and curved horns adorned with bodies. Above them floated what appeared to be an ordinary man wearing a sharp black suit. On the right were armies of humans armed with swords and spears. However, the figure above the humans stood out to her most. A counterpart to the well-dressed man on the demon side.

A hero rode on a griffin at the head of the human armies, leading them into battle. A faceless hero wearing a blindingly white mask. The man pointed a shining lance towards the demonic forces, challenging them as his mount screeched a challenge.

The background seemed to be a mix of many different settings - grassy plains, snowy mountains, barren wasteland, and other scenes that seemed to blend into each other. Subsequent murals focused on one set at a time, seemingly showing the results of many battles. Humanity always had the best numerical advantage yet almost always ended up running, if the end of the fight was shown at all. There were a few apparent victories, but the humans were left grossly depleted. The last battle mural depicted a large sun hanging between the armies. Still, it was partially eclipsed by an equally sizeable black disk.

A black disk…. No, it couldn't be….

Bee was jolted from her musings by the sound of metal chains on stone. They had found something. She had expected to encounter undead here - counted on it, actually. Even she could feel how thick the air was with death down here. But she still felt an odd mix of relief and nervousness now that it actually happened. Her first test. They were still on the very, very outskirts of the catacombs. So hopefully, anything undead would be weak around here, further away from the most concentrated areas of death.

As Bee tensed in preparation for a fight, something slowly shambled around the corner ahead. The glow from her light source just barely illuminated the figure. Its bones yellowed with age and flaking. As it approached Bee, she saw pinpricks of red recessed within dark eye sockets and a chipped, grinning jaw.

It was something she would have run from last week. However, now she saw this as an opportunity. It was a simple skeleton that didn't even have any weapons. This was precisely what she was hoping for when she came down to the catacombs: simple opponents that she could stand a chance against. From her research, it was typically recommended to be level 10 or higher to fight a skeleton. However, she was very close to that, so hopefully, it would be good enough. Plus, she had backup.

She glanced back at Void. Having faith in her "backup" was a core requirement of her class at this point. However, she didn't want to rely on her master's mercy more than she had to. This was her chance to get stronger and prove herself. After all, who knew if Void would always be close enough to intervene next time she was in real trouble? So she drew the cleaver with her good hand and held the light with her off-hand. Void gave her a screech of encouragement as she stepped forward.

Pausing for a second, she remembered to activate scan.

Name: Skelly, Type: Undead Skeleton, Level: 7, Class type: Fighter.

Now that the skeleton had come closer, Bee saw it was wearing a single pitted metal boot. In fact, calling it a boot was pretty generous, considering the number of holes it had. She wasn't entirely sure how the plates were still holding together. Aside from that, it had no equipment. She was lucky there were no ancient swords or fancy armor on it. That would have made it harder to deal with. Still, the skeleton was probably more dangerous than the lesser demon she had fought. Seeing that she had only killed three other monsters, she might be slightly over her head.

Before it got too close, she shrugged out of her pack, placing it down next to Void. This would allow her to move more freely. Swinging her arms around to loosen up her shoulders, she popped her neck side to side, the same way she had seen knights do before fights. The skeletons' red eyes locked on her. It came toward her, shuffling forward faster. It dragged itself along as quickly as possible, which was saying little. The boot was making a considerable racket.

The noise made Bee flinch. She wasn't sure if the undead could hear, but if they could, then this would definitely alert them. Still, her research had suggested that undead primarily sensed life force and weren't motivated by much else. So as long as she wasn't near enough for them to feel that, she should be ok. And if she was close enough for them to sense her, well, no amount of tiptoeing would help. Still, listening to the metal plates rattle against each other and echo throughout the catacombs was quite terrifying. Holding the cleaver high and ready, she stepped forward to meet her foe.

"I'll handle this, master." Bee's voice quivered slightly. "Please allow me to use this opportunity as practice." She wanted to make sure Void didn't save her at the first sign of trouble.

The skeleton hissed, clumsily grasping for her. As it did, she sprang into action. She swung the cleaver blindly, not particularly aiming for anything; that had mostly worked for her with the demons. However, this time, the cleaver just skidded off of its arm. Instead of slicing through the skeleton, the blade didn't seem to do much damage. She hacked at it again, this time putting a lot more force into it. The knife hit its forearm, chipping it slightly, but the skeleton wasn't phased. Beatrice had to stumble back to avoid its clasping fingers. She felt her dropped pack behind her heel. If she retreated too far, she would be separated from her supplies. Also, Void might have to step up, which would be unacceptable. She had barely done anything yet. To fail now would be embarrassing. One more time, Bee swung, this time with all her might. Putting her whole body into the swing, she stumbled through a downward blow aimed at the skeleton's face. While it still only scratched the bone, the undead was at least knocked back.

It was as if the razor edge she had put on the cleaver did absolutely nothing. Well, maybe not nothing, but it didn't seem to have any effect that she could tell. She looked at the cleaver in her hand. It really wasn't an effective weapon for this situation. It seemed that sharp edges didn't work well against something that couldn't bleed. But also, the reach was awful. To hit it, she had to get inside the reach of its arms, which was not a situation she wanted to chance. It's a good thing that the skeleton was weak. Otherwise, she might have already been captured by its grasping hands. As the skeleton stumbled backward, she dropped the cleaver and pulled out her mallet. The reach wasn't much better, but maybe some blunt force would do.

This time as she reached out and swung at its hand. The mallet smashed into its fingers. She could feel the metacarpals give; small finger bones splintered and sprayed everywhere. Bee's heart soared for a moment at her success. Yet the skeleton didn't react. The splintered bones stopped moving, but the rest of the skeleton was still whole and coming for her. Instead of grasping for her with its newly shattered hand, it swung its arm at her like a club.

She ducked underneath but could not avoid the grasp of its other hand. Bony fingers grabbed onto her coat and pulled her forward with surprising strength. She swung at its elbow joint with her mallet. She could feel the impact of her blow, but it didn't do enough to break or dislocate it. The skeleton struck at her with its club-like arm as it continued pulling her towards a gaping jaw. After a few more frantic swings, desperately struggling against the skeleton's grip, she managed to dislocate the joint. Its grip loosened for a moment, and she tumbled backward onto her pack.

The blows she had taken weren't honestly that painful, nothing worse than a switch blow. Something she was relatively familiar with. Still, she wanted to avoid its face as much as possible. A bite sounded like a much bigger problem, and it had almost gotten her.

Despite the elbow damage, the skeleton still seemed to have control of one hand. In fact, it seemed to be popping bones back into place as it advanced further. Rolling off the pack, Bee was face to face with Void, who gave her a concerned beep.

She shook her head at it. Things might not look good, but she did not need help, not yet, at least. The skeleton came at her, still hungry for her life force. She looked down at the mallet in her hand, then at her pack. She had an idea for how to keep her distance from the skeleton while fighting it. She didn't like it, but it made sense. In fact, somehow, she had a feeling it would come to this.

Sighing, she got back to her feet, drawing the broom from her pack.


Patricia was still on the wall, waiting when she heard the roars. Matthew had been discovered. She wrestled with herself; she knew the smart thing was to stay on the wall. Hell, her body and mind screamed at her to do it. But she wasn't sure if she could live with herself if she didn't go after him. She didn't have any more intel than Arnold, and he was already on his way back. She wasn't putting anyone else in danger by risking her life and going back for a friend. No one depended on her, and she wouldn't leave anyone behind. Well, no one she really cared about. Her life was her own to risk.

It might be suicide, but Matthew was worth the risk. He meant too much to her. Before she lost her nerve and gave into fear, she took hold of the rope and lowered herself. Even if she had managed to save Matthew somehow, he still wouldn't have approved of her decision. And that attitude was precisely why she had to go back.

She remembered which entrance Matthew had used to get in and made a beeline for it. The door was still unlocked. She crept quietly inside, eyes darting around for any threats. When she had made it in, she listened. The clamor seemed to be coming from her left. Following the noises, Patricia quickly made her way down the hallways.

When the sounds ceased, she had just passed the front entranceway leading into the grand hall. She cursed herself and hurried along faster. The quiet wasn't a good sign. That meant that whatever conflict she had heard was over - meaning one side was likely dead. She had a bad feeling. Patricia kicked herself for waiting so long. Now she might be too late. As she rushed stealthily through the halls, her ears picked up on a new set of sounds. This set was quieter, only now revealed in the comparative quiet of the castle. It was the sound of hooves on stone, rocks scraping against walls, and claws skittering over surfaces they couldn't bite into. They were coming around the corner fast.

She looked back at the long hallway behind her. She might be able to make it to the corner in time, but it would be a close call. Even then, she would have to run out the front door in view of everything to escape.

As the sounds quickly became louder, she realized she wasn't going to make it. Running was out of the question. And if it had brought down Matthew so quickly, she didn't think she could fight her way out alone. Then, realizing that she had failed her friend, she knew it was too late. It really had been a stupid decision to come here. All she could do was look for a place to hide.

Patricia darted to the side of the hall. There was a small service stairwell right next to her. She dropped into the alcove and noticed a closet hidden in the wall. Pulling the door open as stealthily as she could manage, she slipped inside and shut it behind her. The room was tiny and stuffed full of mops and brooms. There was barely enough room for her to crouch near the door. Huddling up in a ball, she held her breath as the noises neared her hiding spot. She prayed the demons wouldn't find her.

A note from zaifyr

64/100 to posting 4 days a week!

Support "All the Dust that Falls: A Roomba Isekai Adventure"

About the author


Bio: After reading pretty much everything I could I figured I would try making some of the stories that I wanted to read.

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