Rumble, Lakshman, Ondine and Tetra entered an inn to get breakfast since Darian and Marilia went off to shop for supplies. Rumble ordered the food while the others went looking for a seat in the big building. Once the order was made, he joined the others.
A few minutes later, their food arrived. The smell from it made Lakshman and Tetra’s mouths water. The waiter carefully placed the plates on the table they were sitting at. No sooner did he leave that Lakshman and Tetra started piling their plates with food.
“Delicious!” Lakshman exclaimed happily and Tetra nodded with a very happy expression on her face.
“Just calm down and eat properly,” Rumble said with a small chuckle while also eating the same.
Out of the four of them, only Ondine did not eat the food. She was a Water Spirit and preferred to drink water. So she was sipping at the water bottle the water delivered while smiling at them.
“You’d think you guys have been starving for hours!” she said and grinned at them.
“That could possibly be the case!” Lakshman said happily as he continued to eat more and more.
“I… don’t particularly care, but… I guess a change in routine makes… these kinds of things look good!” Tetra commented through a mouthful food and swallowed it whole.
“You two, be careful! We don’t need the two stuffing yourself and then getting sick later!” Rumble said sternly, but he was smiling all the same.
“Yeah, but it’ll be a while before I can get to eat food like this again!” Lakshman said cheerfully.
“It’s good anyway so why not eat it?! I only feel sorry for Ondine because she drinks water all the time!” Tetra said while glancing at Ondine.
Ondine sniffed and said “I don’t need to eat the kind of food that gets taken from the earth.”
“Ondine, you have no room to talk! You constantly drink water to satisfy your hunger. Doesn’t that mean you’re taking away what is part of nature?” Tetra asked curiously.
“It’s nothing like that. Water is a natural source that will always be around. It’s like air, always there so that we can breathe and continue living. If it’s underwater, you humans will struggle to survive for more than a few minutes!”
“Yes, yes, but I’m not a human! I’m a Sacred Spirit if you keep forgetting about it.”
“I know, but don’t forget that I’m a Water Spirit! Just because you are a Sacred Spirit gives you the right to talk down on others!”
“I’m not talking down on others for crying out loud!”
“Are you sure? It looked like you were trying to look down on me!”
“That’s because you’re a Water Spirit, but knows nothing about how to use Water Magic!”
“Are you picking a fight with me? Is that it, hah?!”
Ondine and Tetra rose to their feet and glared at each other. Their expressions were extremely serious and it almost looked like sparks were erupting between them.
Lakshman sighed and sternly said “You two, sit down already! You’re drawing too much attention and you’ll embarrass us all!”
Hearing his words, the two of them suddenly realised. They looked around and saw the occupants of other tables staring at them. Some had curious expressions on their faces while others quickly took their leave in-case there was trouble. The girls quickly sat back down and became quiet from then on.
A while later, they finished their meals and had Lakshman pay the money which he did not like doing at first. Rumble had to convince him that it was his duty, as the master of two spirits, to pay for their meals as well. Lakshman understood his reasoning, but he did not know why he had to pay for Rumble as well.
After leaving the inn, they made their way through the crowded village. They were speculating what kind of meals Marilia would be making them. Tetra was loudly speculating about the meals being highly healthy and tasty food and felt sorry for Ondine again.
While she and Ondine argued about it, Lakshman and Rumble laughed. When Marilia told him about their rivalry, Lakshman did not understand. However, watching them arguing suddenly made him realise it. They were friends and strong rivals, but why they settle it with arguments was a mystery to him.
Just then, they heard loud shouting of someone. The voice of the shouter sounded panicked and a sense of danger ran through Lakshman. He knew, from past experience, such voices full of danger are never good.
As they ran towards the source of the shouting, they heard the following sentences being shouted.
“Help! My friends are trapped in a boss room in the Monster Dungeon! Please, adventures! I’m begging you to help me and my friends! Please!!”
The person was literally walking around wildly while shouting for people to listen. The people, however, only watched him shout like it was a spectacle.
When they reached the space the man was shouting and Lakshman was shocked to see the man bleeding. He was covered with burn marks and was bleeding from several areas of his body. He continued to shout, but his body suddenly gave way and he fell to the ground.
“Oh no!” Lakshman exclaimed and they quickly moved to his side.
“Hey! Warrior! What’s the matter? What happened?” Rumble demanded the man while him up.
The man stared at them weakly and said “Please… My friends are trapped in the Monster Dungeon in the boss room. Help them… I… beg you…!”
Then the man suddenly closed his eyes and went limp. Lakshman widened his eyes in horror at seeing the limp body of the man with his eyes closed and blood covering him.
“N-No way…! I-Is he…?” he asked slowly.
Rumble shook his head and said “He’s alive, just unconscious from loss of blood…!”
At that moment, they heard a familiar voice “Oh my goodness? What happened?”
They looked up and saw Darian and Marilia standing there. At seeing the man in Rumble’s arms, Marilia’s mouth fell open and she covered her mouth quickly. Darian moved forward and checked if the man had a pulse.
“Phew… He’s alive…” he said in a relieved voice. Then he quickly turned to Marilia and said “Hurry and get him to the medics! He lost a lot of blood!”
Marilia did not move for a moment and continued to stare at the body of the man. Then Darian firmly said “Marilia!”
She snapped out of her suspended shock and quickly moved forward. Then a few people wearing red crossed hats arrived and began assisting with moving the man to the hospital. They watched the man being taken away in a stretcher.
Once they left, Darian turned to Rumble and demanded “What the hell happened here?!”
Rumble told him what happened and the request the man left with them. Darian thought about it for a moment, but Marilia looked seriously at him.
“Go! Help them out already! If he was desperate enough to run around shouting for help, I think his friends are in real danger! You need to go quickly and that’s right now!”
“Yes, yes! I know!” Darian said and nodded at her. He looked at them and asked “Looks like we’ll be here for a while, but that’s okay. Are you all going to follow us?”
Although he addressed everyone, it was mainly intended for Lakshman, Ondine and Tetra. Understanding his intentions, they nodded and their next goal was decided.
A few minutes later, they were outside the Monster Dungeon with their armour, weapons and equipment ready for us. Then Darian moved to the front and addressed his small group.
“Okay. We’re going straight to the boss room. Since that man’s friends are already engaging the boss, the Boss Magic Circle will be active on the first dungeon we’ll land on. Also remember that the floors will no longer be F1 from the start. We will most likely teleport to a floor with really strong monsters! Are you ready for this challenge?”
When they nodded, he continued by saying “Okay. Then here’s the plan. I will lead ahead and will sweet the front. Rumble will be on my right and Ondine will be on my left to take care of monsters that come in that direction. Lakshman, you provide support fire from the back and Marilia will heal the group. Tetra, you bring up the rear and protect us if monsters spawn behind us.”
When he paused to take a breather, Lakshman asked “What about Trip Magic Circles? How are we doing to avoid them?”
Darian looked at him and said “No need to worry about the Trip Magic Circles. When the Boss Mode is activated within a Monster Dungeon, all traps get deactivated. This allows for reinforcements to go to the rescue of their comrades and kill the boss monster.”
“Oh!” Lakshman said in surprise.
Lakshman only knew about the functions of each of the Magic Circles within the dungeon. The traps being deactivated during a Boss Mode helped.
At that moment, Darian finished explaining and asked “That’s all to it. Although the Boss Magic Circle will be at the end of whichever floor we land on, the monsters will be much stronger than they normally would be. So you better be in top form or you’ll drag us all down! You got that?”
“Yes!” they said in unison and he nodded at them.
With preparations made and all set, they were ready. So, together they entered the Monster Dungeon with determined expressions on their faces.