Forming a Party
As they exited the Adventurers Guild, Lakshman saw Ondine and Tetra running over to them. Lakshman had initially wanted to wait for them, but Darian was impatient.
“Y-You could’ve waited for us…!” Ondine said when he got to them.
Seeing those scowling expressions, Lakshman instantly raised his hands up and said “Not my fault! Darian wanted to show me around before you got here! Ask him if you want proof.”
When they turned to look at him, Darian sighed and said “You girls were taking your sweet time getting ready! That’s why I brought Lakshman out alone to show him around before meeting with everyone at the guild.”
“Still! What if we had gotten lost or something?”
“Marilia was with you before separating, right? She would’ve told you how to find the building with the flag to indicate the Adventurers Guild, right? Otherwise, you would’ve be here in the first place!”
Ondine did not look impressed, but she sighed anyway. She understood that arguing more will only waste their time and energy.
“Well then! Rumble, help them out first and then you can come over. I’ll be going now,” Darian told them before setting off.
“Where are you going?” Ondine asked him, but he did not reply as he walked into the crowd.
“He seems to be in a bad mood today,” Tetra commented as she watched him disappear amongst the crowd.
“Not really. He’s going over to meet some people and it’s a serious matter. So he’s preparing for some serious shouting battle he will have to face,” Rumble told them with a shrug of his shoulders.
Then he began walking away and they followed him. On the way, Rumble pointed out where they can eat food and stuff. This caused them to wonder if he will be doing his job as escort properly.
“Rumble, my Adventurer Card says I’m D-Ranked. How do I go up?” Lakshman asked because he did not fully understand how the card worked.
“Basically, it automatically detects how strong you get by the number of points you acquire. You earn points by defeating monsters and such. The higher ranked the monster is, the more points you will acquire. You can do these in certain places.”
“Monster Dungeons are mainly for gathering materials and getting stronger. What you’ll be entering is different. It’s called a Labyrinth and it’s pretty much similar to a Monster Dungeon.”
“Um…” Lakshman said and he looked confused.
“Monster Dungeons have floors that each Magic Circle teleports you to. Labyrinths, on the other hand, have levels instead of floors.”
“Levels? So it’s like… ground level, second level?”
“Yes and most Labyrinths have only four levels. It’s only for the Labyrinth Towers there are more than four levels and the danger levels is high. You don’t have to worry about them since they only appear rarely in like very hundred to thousand years.”
“Ah. I think it’s probably because those Labyrinth Towers contain treasures that could make you the king of the world!” Ondine said with a snort.
Rumble laughed and said “I don’t think risking one’s life to obtain that ‘King’s Gold’ is worthwhile. Besides, one can live a simple and easy life just by doing missions and quests given out at the Adventurers Guild.”
“Maybe…” Lakshman said as he pondered about it.
Lakshman understood the Labyrinths are similar, but slightly to the Monster Dungeons. Monster Dungeons have the Floor System which they enter by stepping into the Magic Circles. He understood it to mean that going to the next level requiresLAkshman und the use of stairs.
He suddenly wondered whether the Labyrinth changes. He knew the Monster Dungeons do not change, but he wondered if Labyrinths would since they ae basically like a maze.
Curious, he asked Rumble “Rumble, do the Labyrinths change? You know…? Changing their routes, walls and where the staircases are?”
Rumble nodded and said “They do change so be careful. The path that one adventurer took won’t be the same for someone else. There is the rumour that they change depending on the time of day, but no one’s confirmed it yet.”
“I see,” Lakshman said and he nodded his head.
A few minutes later, they reached a well away place from the capital. There were only a few shops here and even less people roaming the streets. Lakshman wondered why, but it somehow felt depressing to be there.
“Here we are!” Rumble said cheerfully.
They reached what looked like the end of road. In front of them was a brick wall with no entrance. It looked like it was just a stone located to indicate that it was the end of the road. He looked around and saw no sign indicating anything about it though.
“What? Is the Labyrinth here?” Ondine asked curiously.
“You’re staring at it!” Rumble said with a grin on his face.
They looked at the stone wall and said “Huh?!”
“T-That’s the entrance to the Labyrinth? That stone statue?” Lakshman asked with a puzzled expression on his face.”
“Yup! That stone statue is the entrance,” Rumble said cheerfully.
Lakshman moved forward and touched it. He felt the solid structure, but that was it. There was nothing there to indicate that it was a Labyrinth.
Rumble noticed his actions and explained that the Labyrinth is a magical thing that can only be accessed through the use of Magic Force.
“How do I do that? Am I supposed to chant a spell or something?” Lakshman asked
Rumble laughed and said “It’s not that difficult. Just place your hand on the stone wall and say Enter. You’ll automatically get warped into the Labyrinth’s Base Level.”
“Ah! Okay, but… what do I do to get out?”
“Just focus on your Magic Force and say Exit. It’ll warp you out of the Labyrinth.”
“I see…” Lakshman said and he nodded in understanding.
It sounded simple and easy to do. He had been imagining to do some really complex things like changing a difficult spell to enter. He felt relieved since it saved him a load of pain and annoyance.
Just then, Ondine nervously asked “W-What if we want to escape?”
“Escape? Do you mean, running away from monsters that might be too much for you to handle?”
When Ondine nodded, he raised an eyebrow in exasperation and said “Just say Escape and you’ll be warped to a safe location on that level you’re currently in.”
“Oh! That’s good!” Ondine said and she sounded relieved.
“Yes, it is, but you shouldn’t have to considering you’ve been training under us for over a month!” Rumble said sternly and Ondine nodded in acceptance.
“Alright then! Let’s go!” Lakshman said and he made to move forward.
“Ah, ah, ah! Before you go, you need to form an Adventurers Party!” Rumble told him.
“Adventurers Party? You mean like a group, right?” Lakshman asked when he turned around to face him.
Rumble nodded and he smiled darkly as he said “If you aren’t in a group, bad things can happen. After that, you’re the one responsible!”
“O-Okay…” Lakshman said nervously when he saw Rumble’s dark expression on his face.
Lakshman then asked Rumble who pointed out the “Create Party” on his card. When Lakshman pressed his finger on it, a magical display appeared right below the card. The space was big enough to insert their hands.
“Place your hand on the screen and it’ll scan you before adding you to the party,” Rumble told them.
“Why scan us?” Ondine asked curiously.
“So the card can identify you as the person and not let a random strange who might masquerade as you! Pretty nifty stuff since that Adventurer Card is a Magic Item can be used for various things,” Rumble said and he grinned at them.
So Ondine proceeded to place her hand on the display screen. For a moment, it glowed and returned to normal. Thinking it meant the scan was done, she removed her hand and Tetra was the next to get her hand scanned.
Lakshman then pressed the “Done Adding” which caused the screen to disappear. Then a new label by the name “Party List” appeared. He pressed it and a screen appeared to the right of the card. On it, he saw his name and listed below were the names of Ondine and Tetra.
“Wow…! It got our names, but how did it know that?” Lakshman asked curiously.
“What can I say? It’s just magical how such things happen,” Rumble said and his tail wagged behind him energetically.
Lakshman took that to mean that he did not know. He sighed inwardly and wondered whether it was controlled by the Elemental Spirits in how the magic works.
“Anyway! I’ll leave you to it! Good luck defeating monsters, earning points and money!” Rumble said and he winked at them before leaving.
They watched him walking away with his tail moving around restlessly. It seemed that he wanted to go back to Darian rather than stay and help them.
Ondine sighed and said “He really is a muscle head! Can’t he come along and help us?”
Lakshman chuckled and said “Well…! They’ve been looking after us and all while we trained. I think it’s our turn to do some real life exercising!”
Tetra nodded and said “I agree, master. We can’t always be babied by the adults! One day, you’ll be adults and you need to learn to make those choses on your own! No one will be there to make those choices for you!”
“I know! Don’t treat me like a child, Tetra!” Ondine said severely.
“Why not? You’re a bigger child than me!” Tetra said.
They began glaring at each other, but Lakshman sighed. He knew this was going to happen, but he knew what to do. The two of them half listen when he spoke to them softly, but they really listen to him when he speaks to them firmly.
He took a deep breath and firmly said “Girls! Stop it! We don’t have all day to argue! Come on! Let’s do this!”
Both Ondine and Tetra winced at his powerful tone and said “Y-Yes, master. Sorry!”
Being firm with them really makes a differences. He turned around sighed so they did not hear him. He did not like having to be firm to those close to him, but he had no choice.
So they moved forward and placed their hands on the stone wall. They looked at each other and nodded wordlessly and said “Enter!”
In an instant, they were surrounded by light. The next instance, they and the light vanished and left the area empty once again.