Chapter 8: Business merits~ Part 2.
I was browsing the boards that were set up next to the dungeon entrance. There were all kind of quests for level 1 adventurers like me. But how do I say it …..
Jacky: “This is a joke, right?”
None of these quest seemed really to be a dangerous hunting quest. They were either hunting for herbs, woods, minerals or simple animals. Even one that said 'I need squirrels, for paste. Bring me as many as you can!'. I sighed out aloud while standing before the quest board. I will need to do some of these to get to the good stuff, Level 1 Adventurers are nothing more then errand runners. But what should I chose …. I didn't ask how many quests one could do simultaneously.
Rough voiced Male Adventurer: “Hey you. Are you new here?”
Rough voiced Male Adventurer: “Yes. I am Manfred, would you like to do a Level 3 Party Quest? We're short on one person.”
That Manfred pointed at two other men behind him. Is this a recruiting offer. But Level 3 ….
Jacky: “Sorry, but I just started. So I am just Level 1. Maybe some other time.”
Manfred: “Hee~ You know, that if more then 60% of the requested party size is in the Level range. You still can join a quest~ How about it. It's better then any of these Level 1 grinds.”
Oh, that's new. So one can do something like that. I really want to go now. But with three guys …. more importantly are they even interested in the quest or just messing around.
Jacky: “So it doesn't matter who it is. As long as you get another person you're good to go?”
Manfred: “Yeah, sounds terrible I know. But we three are enough to deal with the fights. It will be safe, as long as you don't straggle off to far.”
Jacky: “ …. about what is that Level 3 quest?”
I might go, if there's a chance to see some higher Level Adventurers doing actual adventuring. Even just observing should prove useful.
Manfred: “It's for collecting 'silver wolf fur'. You know, that kind of 2,5 ~ 4 meter long wolf. With fur, that actually is made of silver~”
Jacky: “ …. 4 m-meters ….”
Manfred: “Yeah, about half my height too~ But it's doable if you know how. And the reward is nice. Ah , yeah. We will split it evenly~”
That sounds good. Fur's in the size of an up to 4 meter wolf …. which is made out of silver. How much money could I get just from one of these ….
Jacky: “H-how much ….”
Manfred: “We were asked to hunt at least 50 of them. They're worth about 20~35 silver. If you would use the meat and the other stuff too, you could get more. But you ain't wanna carry all that~”
Jacky: “ ….”
Enough to life a month per kill. That's hilarious. I would make a farm of these …. and sheer them like sheep. Probably not happening with such big wolfs. They would eat more then they're worth~
Thievish looking Guy: “As he said, we just need someone to hang around. If you can carry some of your own weight in fights, it would make this faster. Is that a mage's staff?”
Jacky: “Ah, yes. I am a mage. I will gladly join you three. Is it possible for me to fight from the back?”
Thievish looking Guy: “Wouldn't expect to see you fighting them on the front. They would rip you apart with that kind of protective gear.”
Thin stature Adventurer: “Don't scare her off, when we finally found a member. …. ah anyways, nice to meet you I am Raffle. I will be with you in the back, using bows and traps.”
Manfred: “I will bash in their furry heads in the front lines. Leave the rough stuff to me.”
Thievish looking Guy: “Spotter and luring them. Just don't attack them before Manfred is able to hold them back. Name is, Ninuro.”
Does sound like a good party make up. I can see how they would do this, regardless of me joining or not. A thief, a warrior and a ranger. They really covered the weaknesses and strengths of the others in the party.
Manfred: “Ninuro, all you ever do is running around. You could learn to hold a real sword!”
Ninuro: “ …. and be such a muscle brain like you. Yes, I would gladly enjoy it.”
Raffle: “Stop it you two. Really, we have more important things to do! It's always this, each time we have a relaxing moment!”
Jacky: “Hehe, you three are really good friends.”
All three: “HOW SO?!”
Men's~ Ah wait, I am male too. I shouldn't use that kind of speech pattern …. Anyways, time to ask.
Jacky: “Do we need to go now?”
Manfred: “We planned to do so.”
Jacky: “I still wanted to buy some things for adventuring. Will it be alright if we just go like this. I don't even know how long we will be gone.”
Manfred: “Uhh ….”
Ninuro: “Let me talk. If you need a sleeping bag and other necessity's. You should hurry to the 'rough henry's shop', you will get that cheaply there. Get yourself some table ware and stuff like that too. As you look, you rather are barely equipped with anything.”
Jacky: “Yeah, sorry about that. I will make it fast. Where should we meet up?”
The three of them looked at each other. Then Raffle spoke up.
Raffle: “I will come with you to the shop. It's faster then explaining and you wont get cheated.”
Jacky: “Thanks, that would really help.”
We left the other two behind. And Raffle leaded the way to that shop, I now was recommended two times too. I am way to exited …. I might need to pet someone out of reflex now. Where's Ari when you
need her …. ha ….
Raffle: “This is it, let's do this fast.”
The outside of the shop, wasn't much too look at. But the inside was some kind of a mix. A bar was there, three tables and half the room was stuffed with shelf’s. Which were filled to the brim with everything one could need. On the walls hung armor and weaponry of all kinds. And a lone waitress that was human was chatting with some guys.
Raffle: “Here follow me. We need these.”
Jacky: “Ah yes.”
Raffle went through the shelf’s with swift hand movements. He pulled out a sleeping bag, tableware, some health utensils like a tooth brush and such. The further we went into the maze of shelf's, the more adventurer themed the warez got. I got myself some potions, antidotes and even an extra bag. That would decrease the weight of anything stored inside. My eyes were already shinning like crazy.
Raffle: “I think this should do. The potions and antidotes wont heal you up in a blink. As they're just the cheap kind. But if you're just slightly wounded or poisoned, these are life savers.”
Jacky: “Yes, thank you for your guidance~”
Raffle: “Don't mention it.”
Moving onto the next step. Everything was looked through by a really brawny looking guy with one eye. That must be Henry … or at least his brother or father …..
Raffle: “How much for it, make it fair Henry. You know me.”
Henry: “Eh, trying to impress some young woman.”
Raffle: “That's not it.”
Henry: “Haha, I know. Can't you get a joke. Anyways, this will cost you 77 silver.”
Pointing at me, I gulped down hard. Oh shit ….
Already sweating like in a steam bath here ….
Jacky: “ …. I just have 47 silver coins.”
Henry: “ ….”
Raffle: “ ….”
Henry: “This won't do. I am not a charity, you know.”
Jacky: “What can I lay back, so that it comes down to 47?”
Raffle: “It's okay, I will lend you the other 30. Pay me back with the money you will get.”
Henry: “Thanks for business as always. I will throw in some extra dried beef.”
Raffle saved my ass, literally there. It felt wrong to get money lend, when I nearly don't know him. But he's right. He will get it back in time. As I will join the party together with him, it's save to say so. After getting out of the shop. I apologized to Raffle on the way back. I really hope I can do some damage with just [fire magic].
Raffle: “Let's get back.”
We hurried back, meet up with the other two. And finally started to climb down the staircase, that would lead us to the dungeon's many levels. On the way I talked about what magic I could use. And it was agreed, that I should try to aim for the heads. As undamaged fur will fetch a higher prize. A rough estimate on the time needed to hunt down 40 of these wolf monsters, was 3 days and nights. After walking down the staircase for about a hour, we reached a Gate room.
Jacky: “Wow ….”
Raffle: “It's always impressive to see these gates.”
Manfred: “It's just like a door. Let's get a move on.”
Ninuro was already moving through the gate in a good speed. We started to catch up to him after a short sprint. The Dungeons 1 Level, was a dense forest. You could see the ceiling, but there was an artificial sun and clouds. It truly was a living forest. After a straight 2 hour walk, we made our way to the gate on the opposite of the one we entered from.
Jacky: “Will we need exactly the same amount of time for the next dungeon level too?”
Ninuro: “It's roughly about 1 hour longer. As we will need to fight some Monsters to get through this time.”
We just moved down the staircase without talking much. I am already getting tired from all this moving around …. But the excitement is stronger then the fatigue. Finally we made it to the next dungeon level. Ninuro was lecturing me onto the kind of Monsters that would attack us regardless of our intention.
Ninuro: “Here the problem is mainly the goblin population. These guys are widely spread out in the dungeon's overall levels. There will be mostly young goblins. Still, you should be wary of arrows. They could be poisoned.”
Jacky: “Ah yes. I will try to keep an eye on the surroundings.”
Ninuro just nodded and we went on. We encountered a group of 6 goblins about 5 minutes after we entered the 2 dungeon level. Raffle was picking of one, before I even could react. Ninuro was swiftly moving around, blocking some arrows with his daggers. While Manfred was holding up his shield to cover Raffle and Me. Finally realizing being in combat. I conjured up some flame stakes and annihilated the remaining goblins in a flash.
Raffle: “ …. what was that ….”
Everyone except Raffle was just speechlessly staring at the goblins. Their heads were pierced by small
red stakes, that gave of a sound like cooking raw meat on a way to high flame. Smoke was rising from them, as the magic charred the impact area.
Jacky: “That was my [flame stake]. It's like a spiky rod, made of flame.”
Raffle: “ ….”
Ninuro: “You can cast magic without chants? That's impressive. I might need to change my evaluation of your usefulness ….”
Manfred: “Still it's only throwing magic. Can't see what's so great in killing a few goblins! Haha~”
Raffle and Ninuro just looked at Manfred, with a sad look. What they felt was impressive. Was the way I killed these goblins. Not the magic itself. After a short talk with Ninuro, we changed to an more aggressive formation. With Ninuro scouting ahead, we ambushed any goblins group that were on our way. Manfred would just stay close to me, while having his small shield readied. For Raffle, he was tasked to pick up anything that would come from behind. Or alarm us if were ambushed.
Jacky: “ …. ha …. it's getting tiresome.”
Raffle: “Yes, I think we should take a small break now.”
Ninuro: “10 Minutes rest. Then we go down to the 3 level.”
Manfred: “Ninuro …. “
After fighting 8 battles with varying amounts of goblins. We finally came to the next gate. The goblins hadn't anything useful on them. But Ninuro cut of their ears …. holding them to me with a explanation.
Ninuro: “Use these, you can give them to the quest exchanger people. A permanent level 2 quest is up, it's just to decrease the amount of goblins. So that non-combatants can farm in the mines here.”
I was free to take them. As the three of them wouldn't gain much in terms of points from it anyways. So I stuffed them into the extra bag I had on me. I now had 82 goblin ears …. the bag already smelled terrible. So as to reduce it, I just put in some freshly plucked grass. It's rather cruel, cutting up goblins and leaving them on the open. But other wild monsters will take care of the body’s for us.
Ninuro: “Let's get going. We do want to at least set up camp on the planned level.”
Jacky: “ …. why is there no traveling magic ….”
Raffle: “ …. I would pay for it even.”
Manfred: “You two just need to get some muscles~”
Hah …. we went down to the gate of the 3 dungeon level in a struggle with ourselves. Raffle and me where out of steam. 5 ½ hours since we set off on our quest, we finally did it.
In the short rest that was granted to us. Ninuro explained how I should fight a silver wolf. Mostly my job was, to try to hit them. While Manfred hindered their movement.
Ninuro: “These ones won't be taken out as easy as some goblins. Stay on your guard.”
With a serious nod I agreed in silence. I didn't have much time to think about up to now. But I probably will need to get some defensive magic. While still resting, I finally noticed. Ninuro didn't have a clock. But he clearly used something to watch the time. He even used units that I knew.
Jacky: “Ninuro, how are you able to tell the time here?”
Ninuro: “It's this.”
What he showed to me. Was a genuine pocket watch. But inside were numbers made out of smoke, that changed in a set rhythm. So there were time telling magic devices …. I will need to get one. Ninuro then announced that rest time was over. We started to move into the 3 dungeon floor. I was really tense from the get go. But nothing happened, till we reached some plain hilly area. Outside of the forest, we were walking through. Now if I think about it. All the dungeons floors up till here, were covered in a dense forest. Isn't that way to monotone?
Ninuro: “ We will camp here.”
Everyone set down their bags and a campfire was made. Without much delay, Ninuro announced the shift's for night watch. I was fast asleep, even while it was still not that dark or late, in mere minutes. At around 3 am it was my turn. I kept training some newly thought out flame magic in the 3 hours of this shift. I managed to improve my flame stakes, they could now be made as thin as a needle. With nearly no [mana] consumption, in regards to the old stakes size. An improvised flame shield was made too, after some trial and error. Manfred complained while half asleep, that I shouldn't play with such a bright light. So I dimmed down the flame's intensity. What gave off a surprising benefit. It was way easier to handle a bigger volume of flames, when they were artificially cooled down. So that they gave off an less intense light. My flame shield now looked more like a kind of energy shield. That was dimly emitting a cold shine. I had tried using the staff to improve my magic, but it didn't quite work out. Nothing changed, the only thing that was visible was a young woman making strange poses. With this crude staff i made pompouse poses. Stretching out my hands while holding the staff. Striking it up to the heaven or swinging it around like a sword. While using magic at the same time. Atleast i had fun making a singer like pose, with the staff being stuck to the ground and soundlessly yelling in it. Flames seemed to pour out of it, but i created these close to my mouth .... I think i will leave clearing up usage of staff's for when i can talk to Olward again.
Jacky: “ Rise and shine guys, it's morning~”
Ninuro: “ ….”
Manfred: “OH is that breakfast?!”
Raffle: “Wow, so that's what it means to have someone with cooking skills in a party ….”
Around half an hour before my shift was over. I began to make some breakfast. I had made some tea with the herbs I gathered while moving around. Some of these looked like mint, which in fact tasted exactly like it. Using some of the provisions from the palace kitchen, I made baked bacon and scrambled eggs. Really nice for them to have egg powder laying around~ Just mixing it with some water, salt,oil and spice. Whola, scrambled eggs~ The breakfast set was completed with some dry bread, which came from the same kitchen too.
Jacky: “Dig in~ There's enough for everyone~”
Without much delay, all four of us ate our fill. Ah, it's taste was way better then it should be. Must be the outdoor feel + still being a bit tired from all that walking and fighting from yesterday. I didn't eat anything at all since we started to go down into the dungeon. The excitement was driving me nuts. Now finally my body was in a good condition again. Happily my stomach was ready to burst open~
Jacky: “Puh~ That was good.”
Raffle: “Yeah. I wish my mother could cook so well.”
Manfred: “Haha, I would marry our new addition anytime~”
Ninuro: “Don't joke around. It's just a really tasty breakfast.”
Jacky: “I won't marry you Manfred. I already have Ari~”
Manfred: “That Ari guy needs some pounding!”
Oh gosh, these guys. I could enjoy going on adventures with them for years. We finished our preparations, fortifying our camp with some makeshifts traps. Mainly Ninuro and Raffle were running around in strange patterns. Making holes and putting up wire traps. Afterward we began our main mission. The quest to gather up silver wolf fur.
Ninuro: “Okay listen. I will lure in Silver Wolf's. Manfred will take their attacks and slow them down. Raffle will attack from afar together with Jacky. Keep in mind, even if they are just low level Monsters. These ones work in packs.”
Ninuro moved away from us in a flash. We weren't exactly at our campsite. We moved a bit away from it, stationing ourselves on a hill. Manfred was downhill. Firing from an elevated position, the basics of ground advantage. Just shortly after Ninuro left he came back. With a pack of 9 of these wolf monsters ….
Ninuro: “Get ready!”
Manfred was running into the enraged pack. Two of them managed to doge, all others were bashed to the ground. Ninuro made a u-turn and used his daggers to skillfully attack one of the stragglers. While Raffle was shooting out arrows at the one that was running towards us.
I shot out the improved version of flame stakes, I dubbed them flame needles. The wolf had dodged the arrow of Raffle, but now couldn't react fast enough to the needles that came flying at him in mid air. About 20 of these needles pierced into it's head. Lifeless the body plumbed to ground with a smacking sound. Raffle nodded in notice of the swift death of our foe, focusing his attacks on the one that was being worked at by Ninuro. I switched my focus to the group of 7, that were being entangled in close quarter combat with Manfred.
Jacky: “Manfred, doge to the left!”
I shoot out flame strings to bind the enemy. I got 4 of them, the flame strings where wrapped around their legs. Gruesome howls were heard from the torture that was happening to them. The burning flame strings, digging into the flesh of it's victims. Manfred used this chance and strikes down one after another in a flash. While I was firing up another batch of flame needles at the remaining 3.
Jacky: “DAMM!! DON'T DODGE THAT!”
I got angry at the silver wolfs swift movements. Being wary about my magic, they started to skillfully evade my attacks. Which were only aimed at their heads, with ease. Luckily, with Ninuro and Raffle finishing of the pack leader, the biggest of them. It now was a 4 versus 3. While the 3 enemy’s, tried their best to escape. Manfred and Ninuro pinned them down one after another. While Raffle and Me, finished them off with shots to the head. In just a few minutes, we had finished of that pack of 9. Heavily breathing from the excitement, deep concentration and the running around at the end. I was smiling at my party members, while they were smiling back at me.
Ninuro: “Good job. That was a good fight. I think we can handle groups of that size. I am sorry, I wanted to get a smaller one. But they saw me first.”
Manfred: “Hehe~ I can take on even more!”
Raffle: “Please don't …. that was scary.”
Jacky: “Puh, please try to get smaller packs. It worked out nicely. But I got scared a bit, when one of them started to suicide attack us. When we chased them ….”
With the first smile on Ninuro since I got to know him. We took a break and discussed what was good and what could be improved. It was determined, that I should work closer together with Manfred. Binding them with flame string, was seen as grand scheme here. If I had the chance to bind them, while they were shortly confused by Manfred's attack. We could have gotten 7 of them without as much as a sweat drop on our foreheads.
Jacky: “Okay, then I will stay close to Manfred. I hope you can take some heat.”
Manfred: “I can take more then some tiny flames!”
Jacky: “Oh, then you wont complain if I entangle you together with the wolfs?”
Manfred: “ …. please don't”
Manfred had seen what the flame strings did close up. So he stopped his boosting right there. Good for you, that I am in a reaaaaaalllllllyyy good mood here. Raffle it's enough. Stop with the laughing, or Manfred will murder you in your sleep.
Ninuro: “Okay, I will go get the next batch. We should be able to do this 7 or 9 times today. So we will likely end up with enough in a short time.”
Ninuro was a good leader and perfect bait. One pack after another was lured into this deathly trap. The change in our formation worked really well. The wolfs didn't knew what hit them, until it was to late. Most of them were knocked down by Manfred, then bonded by my flame strings. Stragglers were eliminated first, then the ones howling in distress were put down with swift attacks to the head. We had already hunted down 47 of these silver wolfs, just 3 more to go~ A Ninuro was coming with the last pack!
Ninuro: “RUN AWAY!!!”
Behind Ninuro was a pack of roughly over 30 Silver Wolfs. But that wasn't the biggest issue. One of these wolfs had a abnormal size of 9 meters length and double the normal height!
Ninruo: “JACKY, FIRE UP SOME FLAME MAGIC! START RUNNING!!”
Jacky: “AH YES!”
I started running into the direction that Raffle was going. He was already shooting arrows at the wolfs. Manfred was cursing and picking up speed, while going around the hill.
I finished forming some compressed flame magic and set it off. It didn't matter if the wolfs fur was damaged or not. That wasn't a issue now. With some loud explosions, the flame magic set off.
Ninuro: “KEEP RUNNING! THE BIG ONE IS UNSCATHED!”
WHAT? I looked back over my shoulder to see just that abnormal silver wolf still chasing Ninuro. Every other enemy, was caught up in the row of explosions I had set off. I could see from afar, that Ninuro's skin had some blisters. The heat from the explosion must have been intense. Gaping in shock I watched what happened next. I stopped my movement. The big one, caught up to Ninuro and with a movement of it's paw. It blew away Ninuro's upper body. Simply like that. As if it was made out of foam. It was gone in a flash.
Manfred reached me and lifted me off the ground. He carried me in an unsightly way. Just flung me over his shoulders and never stooped to run. You can't run! Did you see what it did?! I couldn't speak my thoughts. I just started with empty eyes at the big body, that was fast approaching us.
Raffle: “AHHHHHH!! TAKE THIS!!!!”
Raffle was firing 3 arrows at the same time in rapid succession. These arrows were repelled with an metallic sound by the enemy’s fur. Because Raffle stopped in his movement, Manfred was already running way ahead of him. While standing still Raffle watched me smiling. In the next moment my mind registered that Raffle was gone, exactly the same as Ninuro.
Just drop me already! I already tried attacking that one, shortly after Raffle's death. I shot mindlessly at it with uncountable flame needles, flame stakes and compressed flame magic. But it did only slow it down by a small margin. Most of my attacks were either repelled or just absorbed by the silver fur. The fur was glowing orange-red, like metal being worked in a blacksmiths oven. My barrage of flame magic was kept up, but it was just a waste of [mana]. I noticed the paw flashing to us.
I was thrown by Manfred. While being in air I saw the last one of my teammates being killed in a flash.
I fell hard on the ground, sliding a good bit. I want to kill that bastard! With a determination to take him down, even if I die. I stood up using power magic unconsciously. My bones were breaking under the pressure of new muscle mass forming up. But then being mended as they were just replaced by better, stronger examples of bones. Pulsating veins were visible all over my body, glowing red from the high pressurized blood pumping through them.
I charged mindlessly at the enemy. The paw was moving to kill me, like the others. But this time it's movement seemed slow. Like a slow motion, I could see it's track unfolding. Without much thought, a flame shield formed where the paw would hit me. While big and uneven flame stakes were shooting from my right hand in rapid succession.
Big Silver Wolf: “GRRRR!”
I was hit by the paw attack, but most of the force was absorbed by the flame shield. Which broke under the pressure of the attack. My body was launched at the ground, but before I hit the ground. Flames enveloped me and cushioned the blunt damage by a good amount. The big Silver Wolf, hadn't had that much luck. A greater amount of flame stakes were lodged in one of it's eyes. It was glaring at me with hateful intent. I scored a hit, but it wasn't deep enough to kill it. While regaining my rational thought process. My sworn enemy charged at me once again. This time his mouth was opened wide and he clearly wanted to chew down on me! NOT WITH ME!
Big Silver Wolf: “ARRUUUGG!!!”
HA! Flame string was wrapped around it's mouth and forelegs. It needed to slow down and crouch a bit to reach me with an bite attack. So I had managed to lunch a successful attack. Intensive burning sounds were heard. While the one entangled freed it's legs with shear force.
I began lunching more of the bigger version of flame stakes. Which were dodged by it, with a good margin of movement to spare. Still the flame string around it's mouth and the big flame stakes in it's eye. Were burning into it's flesh!
Rough Voice: “Stop hurting this one! Kill the evil ones!”
While my battle went on with this abomination of an silver wolf. A voice echoed in my mind.
Rough Voice: “I don't wish to fight you! Kill the evil ones!”
What are you saying stupid! You’re the evil one!
Rough Voice: “I'm used to hurt you, against my will! Kill the evil ones, not this one!
Jacky: “Wait! You're speaking in my mind! Stop that! I can't concentrate!”
Aww, that was close. I barely managed to avoid being tackled. Take this, remembering the razor disc, I finally shot out some of these. But they were just scratching the surface of the silver fur. Damn! I need something with more power.
Rough Voice: “The evil ones are hiding close by! Take them out and I will let you go!”
Jacky: “Shut up!”
I fired countless flame magic's at the enemy and it's surrounding.
Rough Voice: “There they are, did this one see them!”
I saw a round sphere flashing up in the rain of fire that poured down on the large area behind the big silver wolfs body. He had dodged it and thereby revealed something hiding there! Doesn't matter if it's true or not, die ASSHOLES!! A concentrated onslaught of flame magic of all kinds, poured down on the spot of the invisible enemy. Two figures were jumping away from it.
Rough Voice: “Finally! I'm freed! Let my mouth free, so that I can eat these bastards!”
Jacky: “SHUT UP! SHUT UP!! SHUT UP!!!”
I jumped over to the two figures that I could make out. Ignoring the other enemy, as it stooped it's attack for the moment. My mind is going crazy! Talking Monsters, sure!
Firing flame stakes at the newly found enemy, while still being in air from an jump of Olympic grade. I could see how one of them was being ripped to pieces from the impact of a bunch of these flame stakes. While the other one, shielded itself with a water barrier. The voice I heard …. was familiar.
Jacky: “MR. STEINSWORTH!”
It was him. I could see him roughly through the steam that was dispersing. He managed to deflect my attack, as this flame magic wasn't hot enough to evaporated all of the water.
Mr. Steinsworth: “ …. die heretic!! By the blessing of the immortal god's, water forming alAUUGGHH!!!”
Jacky: “MR. STEINSWORTH!!!”
Flame strings were wrapped tightly around that fucker, before he could finish his chant. I got closer to him, while he was screaming in agony.
Jacky: “TELL ME WHY!!”
Mr. Steinsworth: “AuuHHAHHAUU!”
I let the flame string disperse and rammed my feet down on the hand, that was still holding a staff up till now. Sounding like a broken record I kept repeating myself.
Jacky: “TELL ME WHY!! TELL ME!!! TELL ME!!!”
Mr. Steinsworth lost consciousness duo the high amount of pain, from all the burnt skin and flesh.
I kept trampling down on his hand. The sound of bones breaking didn't stop my rage one bit. But I could hear someone getting closer to me!
Rough Voice: “Don't attack me! I'm not at fault! That one which is already in pieces, made me attack you! Free this ones mouth, or I will attack you!”
I fired of flame magic at that incompetent idiotic wolf. How could you let yourself being controlled by these. You killed my friends! The ones I just met and respected as my senior adventurers!
Rough Voice: “Stop that!!”
I didn't stop attacking him. And our fight continued for more then 2 hours.
Rough Voice: “Ha …. you can't win. But your skills are impressive! Let me free, I promise to leave you alone!”
We were both on our last breaths. I was bleeding a bit and my left arm was broken. He had a huge amount of flame stakes stuck in his side now. And the silver furs fluffiness decreased a good bit. He looked more like a red glowing fire wolf now, then one that had fur of silver.
I didn't even had enough energy to yell anymore. My voice was rougher then the one in my had. Like a string that kept pressing down, with it's spikes anchored in my throat.
I got it! With a glance at the wolfs mouth. I commanded the flame strings there, too form spikes and penetrate deeper!
Rough Voice: “AH!! STOP! YOU WILL KILL ME!!!”
The flame stakes too melted and got closer to the fur. Putting pressure on it, fine threads of flames were penetrating through the fur deep into the flesh.
Rough Voice: “STOP STOP! THIS ONE GIVES UP! YOUR THE WINNER!”
While rolling on the ground to rub off the flames on it's side. It tried to rub of the flames on it's mouth with violent paw movements.
Rough Voice: “I WILL DO EVERYTHING YOU WANT!! STOP KILLING ME!!! THIS ONE WANTS REVENGE TOO!!!”
I stooped to advance the flames. And retracted them to the level of the fur again.
Jacky: “You want revenge?”
Rough Voice: “Y-yes. This one was used against it's will. Many of my children were killed by myself. I want revenge against the humans behind it!”
Jacky: “I did kill many of your kind too!”
Rough Voice: “In battle head to head! Not cowardly hiding and manipulating this one!!”
…. that monster can't be trusted.
Rough Voice: “This one can be trusted. The small human is stronger than this one. But it's nose is bad.”
Jacky: “Stop reading my mind! And what do you mean with my nose is bad!”
Rough Voice: “Smell of liars and the smell that hangs onto these ones, will lead this one to the responsible!”
Who's responsible …. the queen? Why …. that can't be. I may not be on good terms with her, but still she needs me.
Rough Voice: “I see, the small one already knows the true enemy! Lead us to the fight!”
Jacky: “ ….”
I sat down myself on the now burned ground. While sighing out aloud. That monster before me, wasn't showing any intention of hurting me. I could feel it. It was sincere hate for the one responsible ….
Jacky: “ …. I will lead you to the one who is responsible. But for doing so, you will become my underling forever!”
Rough Voice: “This one isn't the pawn of anyone!!”
Jacky: “You want to die then?!”
From a majestic pose of lifting it's head and showing teeth. It sunk back it's head onto it's forelegs. Dropping it's ears and wagging it's tail in defeat. We stayed like that for quite sometime. I thought about what just had happened. I could have defended them …. no, I barely managed to defend myself and counter attack. I'm going to grill that stupid queen, if she was involved in this.
Rough Voice: “ …. this one will be at your command ….”
Jacky: “Good ….”
I stood up and moved slowly to the camp site. Without some healing potions and bandages, even these wounds could be a serious problem.
Rough Voice: “Let me carry you.”
…. I was being lifted up like a newborn puppy. My leather jacket was etched onto the lips of the big silver wolf. Ah, at least I will reach camp faster this way. He really doesn't mean me any harm …. Putting me down close to the still slightly burning campfire. I again was reminded of what I lost.
Jacky: “ ….”
Rummaging around in my things. I emptied out all the potions I had on me. The bandage was applied to the bleeding wound, with a good pressure to still the bleeding. Still, this isn't helping much. The healing effect was only minor.
Rough Voice: “This one is badly hurt too. The smell of potions are still in some of these bags.”
Jacky: “Yes, because these are the ones …. from my dead friends.”
Rough Voice: “ …. Is it better to die?”
He was right. At least partially. Manfred, Ninuro and Raffle had no use for their stuff. So I started searching the other bags for healing potions. I found a variety of better ones in a flash. After chucking down two, that had a white milky color. I could feel flesh burning …. small cuts and the wound I bleed from slowly started to regenerate.
Jacky: “Here take this.”
I gave the rest of the potions to my new underling. As he couldn't hold them. I poured it into it's mouth. Looking at the sharp fangs, let me have a cold chill down on my spine.
Rough Voice: “This one thanks you. Knowing the fault lays with not resisting the cursed magic of humans.”
Jacky: “ …. what's your name. I'm Jacky, but call me Master.”
Rough Voice: “Ah name? This one doesn't need a name. Name's are just something lesser creatures are making up.”
Jacky: “Watch your mouth, one of these still can kill you.”
Watching him, I came up with a name that fit. He, this will do.
Jacky: “Your name will be Waldy.”
Waldy: “THIS ONE DENYS THAT!!”
Jacky: “Why isn't Waldy fitting?”
Waldy: “In the small ones mind, Waldy is a name for a tiny dog! This one is a mighty being of this forest and plains!!”
Jacky: “Your my lapdog now, so Waldy is fine. Be glad I didn't pick a degrading one like Woof or Mc. Pant.”
Waldy: “ ….”
That name really suits him. In the end, a wolf is just a dog too. After listening to his complains about his name. I gave him the job to collect the remains of my teammates and the dead body’s of the silver wolfs. I skinned 3 of these silver wolfs for the fur, then I burned all the corpses to ashes.
Jacky: “May you rest in peace. Please be guided to a better world next time.”
Waldy was watching me without any comment. I bundled the 50 pieces of silver fur together and collected all the bags with our equipment.
Jacky: “I'm sorry guys.”
Waldy: “ ….”
While looking down on the 3 badges, I couldn't even cry. I put them into my chest pocket and ordered Waldy to carry everything. With some ropes and makeshifts reins, I was now seated atop of Waldy. While the bags and the silver fur stack, were hung on his sides. Mr. Steinsworth was gagged and bound. I fastened him to the ropes, that were holding the bags.
Waldy: “This one isn't a mount ….”
Jacky: “Just shut up and get moving. I'm not in a state to move through the dungeon levels.”
Waldy: “ …. no ….”
Jacky: “Come on will you! Or do I need to make myself some flame string reins for you?!”
Waldy: “ ….”
With some hesitation, Waldy was setting of towards the gate I just entered this dungeon part yesterday. His speed was really fast. In just 15 Minutes we had already reached the second dungeon floor. Moving through this one was done in a flash too. Goblins kept running away from us. From time to time, Waldy just gulped down some stragglers. Making nasty nasal noises in the process.
Jacky: “You're enjoying hunting these way too much ….”
Waldy: “This one is hungry, so there's no problem.”
Jacky: “Just don't eat any adventurers when I am not looking. And add Master, you need to know where you're standing now!”
Waldy: “ ….”
I need to discipline this dogy. To bad for him, that my father was a animal freak. We had 11 husky’s and a bunch of cats. Even eagles, foxes, rabbits and other wild life ended up at our home. He always found some wounded ones, nursed them back to health and freed them after they regained enough strength. So I had learned the body language and the means of taming down wild animals, since I was a kid.
Waldy: “This one is not a pet!”
Jacky: “It's 'This one is not a pet, Master!' get it right.”
I shot out a flame needle in while pressing my hand into his fur. He cried out with a small voice, through his mouth and not his telepathy. I need to be clear on who’s the one in charge. This shouldn't hurt that much.
Waldy: “This one doesn't deserve to be hurt!”
Jacky: “Wrong again.”
Waldy: “Stop it! That is painful and it itches!!”
Jacky: “Wrong again.”
It went on like this, till we reached the gate to the staircase which was leading up to the first dungeon floor. He finally added Master at the end of his sentences. And kept complains to himself. You can't really think of complaining, when there's noting wrong done to you.
While climbing the stairs, Waldy gave me a warning.
Waldy: “This one smells [humans] ahead of us, Master.”
Jacky: “Good work. Don't attack them, let me talk.”
I was rubbing his skin behind the ears. As sign of gratitude for saying it right and telling me important things. Skillfully I used my secret attack move, that I perfected while harassing Ari. Looking over my shoulders I could only grin.
Waldy: “This one isn't a dog!! Master, stop treating this one as a lowly dog!!!”
Jacky: “You like being caressed behind the ears. So just be at ease. Or do you like being skewered by [flame magic] more?”
Waldy: “ …. Master is thinking this one is just a dog! That angers this one!”
Jacky: “Good boy~”
Haha~ Ah, I finally can laugh a bit again. I still feel empty from losing my new found friends. But I can't revive the death, I will mourn them. As soon as I tortured the one responsible to death.
Waldy: “ …. Master can be quite cruel, so this one wont complain ….”
Jacky: “Stop reading my mind. It's weird when you know everything I think of.”
Waldy: “ …. this one wants to finish the enemy …. so don't bake that one over a fireplace …. Master.”
Jacky: “ …. seriously stop with the mind reading. Do you need that to talk to me via telepathy?”
While being engrossed in our conversation. Waldy stopped before a group of adventurers that got into battle stance.
Male Adventurer 1: “WHY IS A MONSTER ABLE TO PASS THE GATE!!”
Female Adventurer 1: “O holy light of life, grant us a barrier to protect us from evil [Light Barrier]!!”
Male Adventurer 2: “Damn Arrows aren't penetrating at all!!”
I moved up to Waldy's head and stood there. While waving my hand to the three Adventurers on the ground.
Jacky: “Hello there, please stop with the attacks. This is my pet dog Waldy, not a Monster.”
Adventurer Party: “!!!”
Jacky: “As you can see he is tame. Please move aside, I need to go through.”
The Adventurer Party was showing looks of disbelief, but the barrier that was blocking the way was lifted. I tapped Waldy's head with my hand and he went on. I could here these three mumbling about something.
Female Adventurer 1: “That can't be …. Monsters can't cross the gates ….”
So normally Monsters aren't able to go to other dungeon floors? That's quite interesting, so how does Waldy manage to go through?
Waldy: “This one doesn't know, Master.”
Jacky: “I didn't ask you. Stop with the mind reading already, it's starting to make me mad!”
Waldy: “ ….”
I trampled down with my feet on his head. That wasn't enough to even be felt by Waldy, but it clearly showed effect. While running through the first dungeon floor, many beginner Adventurers were screaming in panic. As soon as they saw a gigantic wolf with silver fur approaching. These Adventurers scrambled like ants into all direction. I didn't even get a chance to tell them that Waldy isn't going to hunt them down. Even so ….
Jacky: “Stop chasing them mindlessly!”
Waldy: “ ….”
Waldy was not running in a straight line to the next gate. He was mostly going after the Adventurers that screamed the loudest. Like playing with them, he slowed down to match their speed. Running just a bit behind them. Jumping before them in the next moment, changing the Adventurers course of escape. And continuing to play around with them, till they dropped from exhaustion. My voice didn't reach these Adventurers …. they were to scared to listen. But after shooting of some flame needles into his back skin. Waldy stopped with that and we rushed through the first dungeon floor. In just a matter of less then 1 hour, I arrived at the surface again.
Mix of Voices: “GUARDS!!” “MONSTER ATTACK!!” “AHHHH!! RUN!!”
Many unfamilar voices were panicking. While we crossed the first dungeon floor, it became night time. So we didn't encounter that many Adventurers on our way up. But now on the ground level of the Adventurer Guild. A huge mass of people was running around like headless chickens. Some were falling, others were trampling over them while fleeing. Guard like people were just running for their life’s. I tried to calm then down.
Jacky: “HEY LISTEN!! LOOK!! HE's NOT ATTACKING YOU!!”
Didn't matter. Some Adventurers shot up Arrows at Waldy. Daggers and spear came flying too. But these were repelled by the silver fur without leaving a scratch on it. Argh, okay take this!
I shot out some compressed flame magic, with the intent to make a flash and some noise. It worked out pretty well. After the explosion, people started to finally recognize that there's a [human] a top the head of the Monster.
Jacky: “THIS ONE IS MY PET DOG!! STOP WITH THE ATTACKS IDIOTS!!”
The panick continued for a bit, but soon it calmed down. Some heavily decorated guard came closer to Waldy and me, with a bunch of the Adventurer Guild employees.
Gaudy Guard: “What are you doing here?!”
Jacky: “Returning from the dungeon, what else.”
Gaudy Guard: “ …. w-what's up with this Monster ….”
Jacky: “It's my pet dog Waldy. Waldy, paw!”
Waldy: “ ….”
Waldy with some hesitation was doing exactly what I had envisioned. He sat down on his behind and made a movement, like wanting to shake hands with the Gaudy Guard.
Gaudy Guard: “ …. this ….”
Uniformed Woman: “AH! I know you.”
Jacky: “Oh hello, thanks for last time.”
The misunderstanding got cleared in a short discussion. I was given a repair bill for the wooden floor tiles, that Waldy broke. And everything moved onto normal business. Not exactly normal, people were gathering around Waldy. Touching his fur or just observing him from afar. While he laid down close to the stairs leading to the upper level of the Adventurer guild. With an expression of discomfort. I told him to stay still and wait there, so keep it up.
Gaudy Guard: “So …. this man attacked you and your companions. While you were hunting for silver fur.”
Gaudy Guard: “And you managed to tame that Monster ….”
Gaudy Guard: “ …. this is unbelievable …. but the evidence is clear. So you're the [hero] …. that explains why you were able to get through the gates together with a Monster.”
Jacky: “How so?”
Gaudy Guard: “The gates magic, recognizes foes and friends. So that summoners, can move into the dungeon with their summons. So the same applies to that Monster of yours. As the gate felt the bond between Master and Servant.”
I talked a good bit with that Gaudy Guard, I didn't care for his name. So I just ignored the information of his introduction. While waiting for the quest rewards for the goblin extermination and the silver fur gathering. I got some useful information from him. Waldy was a Greater Silver Wolf, a being that was old enough to amount to a few hundredth years. These ones were rare and nearly never sighted. As they would let the smaller ones hunt for them, secluding themselves in some hideout. The Gaudy Guard also send out some people to inform Olward of my return. I explicit asked to not inform anyone else from the palace, as to not needlessly worry them. That at least was the reason I gave to him ….
Took me a good time to write it up. The bad thing i s... i needed to delte 16 pages that i had written up, to avoid a serious plot hole in the original story line.
Don't ask what should have happened.
The three guys would have died anyways .... but with a different feeling. Poor side character that i forgot, now is nearly killed of~ Sacrifices for the plot!!
Aww dammit ..... formating is fucked up again.
I will need to take some time later to fix that.