Enter the Dungeon
Three days later they were standing outside the Monster Dungeon. Indra was standing at the front and counting the number of people that came.
“Looks like a total of sixteen came, including me, Lucky and Ondine,” he said once he was done counting.
“Seven less… The number dropped for some reason,” Lakshman said, looking puzzled.
“Oh! I can answer to that!” Stuart said as he raised his hand into the air.
“What do you think the reason is, Stuart?”
“Well… Some of the parents became a little concerned and didn’t want their kids to come today.”
“Huh?” Lakshman said in a confused voice.
Indra, however, was nodding as “Makes sense.”
“What do you mean, dad?”
“Parents get worried about it when they are told their children will be facing monsters. I think they are okay for normal training to get stronger. However, they will be reluctant to send their children into battle.”
Lakshman looked at him with a puzzled expression at the end of his explanation. Then he asked “Isn’t that the whole point of training?”
Indra shook his head and said “You’re mistaken there, Lucky.”
When Lakshman looked surprised, he continued to explain in detail.
“Parents differ from each other. Take for instance; our family. We don’t force our ideals onto you or tell you to do this and that. We let you choose yourself.”
“I guess so,” Lakshman said with a nod.
“On the other hand, it’s different for other parents. They have goals and dreams about their children. Some of those dreams could be their children being very important or very successful after growing up.”
Lakshman, and kids listening, looked amazed at his speech. Even Ondine was eying him in amazement.
“That’s so complicated,” Lakshman said and Indra chuckled. Then he curiously asked “Dad, do you want me to grow up to be something?”
India’s eyes widened and he looked at his son in surprise. Then he smiled and said “No. I and your mother will tell you to be what you want to be, okay?”
“Ah,” Lakshman said as he blinked and looked a little confused.
Then, Indra laughed and said “You’re much too young to think about those things anyway.”
“Besides, what did we come here to do and what are we talking about?”
“Yeah… The conversation somehow ended up headed in a serious direction for some reason,” Ondine said after a while of silently listening.
Indra laughed and said “You’re right.” Then he turned to look at everyone and addressed them.
“Okay everyone! I think you know why you’re here, but I’ll go through it anyway, just in case. So, I apologise beforehand to anyone who’ll get bored with listening.”
He took a deep breath and said “Today, we’re on a mission to enter the Monster Dungeon. Our mission is to acquire boar bodies. However, we will face monsters on the way, so be ready to take them out!”
“Yes,” they said together.
“Now, let me tell we will in a formation,” he said and he began to move the kids around.
While moving around at his instructions, some of the kids muttered to each other “Formation?”
Going between them, Ondine explained “It’s like how you’ll be working together as a team.”
Several seconds later, Indra nodded in satisfaction and said “Alright! Now we’re set!”
The kids were split into two groups. The first was led by Indra, followed by two rows of three kids and a kid, named Martin, at the rear. The second group was arranged similarly to the first, except with Ondine leading and Lakshman bringing up the rear.
“Now I will explain what your roles will be,” he said and explained.
The leading person will act the role of a sweeper, clearing away monsters from the front.
The person at the back supports by protecting their backs from monster attacks from the rear.
The people on either side of the groups will fight monsters attacking them.
The people in the middle will act as backup to support their teammates.
Once he finished explaining, he asked “Is everyone clear on what they’ll be doing?”
In response, they all nodded their heads. He nodded back at them in acknowledgment. Then, a sudden thought occurred to him.
Looking at them with a smile, he said “I don’t mean to annoy you with all of explanations, but it’s for your own benefit.”
When they nodded, he said “Okay. I’ll now explain about the different types of Magic circles we’ll be encountering.”
As they nodded at him once more, he began to explain.
Blue Magic Circle, also known as the Two-Way Magic Circle, transports them to the next or previous floor.
Green Magic Circle, also known as the Return Magic Circle, is used to return to the base of the Monster Dungeon.
Red Magic Circle, also known as the Boss Magic Circle, will take them directly to the boss room.
Yellow Magic Circle, also known as the Trip Magic Circle, is a trap and will dump them in a remote part of the dungeon.
“Do you understand?” he asked and they nodded in reply.
It seemed only Ondine was unhappy as she complained “Why am I leading instead of master?”
Indra sighed and said “You are fit for the role and I need Lakshman keeping watch at the back to make sure we aren’t being attacked.”
“Huh? Why would that be?”
“It’s not just the Trip Magic Circles that we need to watch out. There is also the Monster Magic Circles.”
“Monster Magic Circles? I don’t remember you telling us about them.”
“That time, we weren’t going that deep, so it didn’t matter whether I told you or not,” he said with a shrug.
She opened her mouth to speak, but he beat her to it.
“Monster Magic Circles are like summoning circles, but happen randomly. They summon monsters after each interval. We don’t know how long that interval length of time is.”
“Then, dad, how do we stop them from continuously being summoned?” Lakshman asked with concern.
Indra nodded at him and said “Good question. You simply stab you sword into the magic circle and it will automatically get deactivated.”
“I see,” Lakshman said and nodded in understanding.
Ondine, however, looked puzzled as she asked “Wouldn’t that be the case for all the other magic circles?”
“No, they don’t have any effect,” he said with a shake of his head.
“Eh? Really?” she said as she blinked at him in surprise. Then she wistfully said “It would’ve been so useful if the same method was used to destroy the Trip Magic Circles.”
Indra laughed and said “Wouldn’t that be nice? But then, it’d be too easy.”
Ondine stared him for a moment in silence before coldly saying “You adventurers are strange.”
Again, he only laughed and she looked unhappy as she turned away. Then he turned around to address everyone.
“Once we go inside, be on high alert. Follow what the person in front of you is doing and act accordingly. Remember, you are now a team and anything you do will affect the team as a whole. You got that?”
At his question, he received a resounding “Yes!”
Grinning broadly, he turned around and said “Alright then, troops! Let’s get this mission underway!”
With that, he walked through the entrance. They looked at each other and smiled a little and followed him into the Monster Dungeon.
Once they entered the dungeon’s base room, Lakshman looked around and said “It’s been a while.”
“Yes, master,” Ondine said in agreement.
“What did you do the last time you came here?” a kid asked from them.
“Last time we came here, we fought some monsters to get the Two-Horned Rabbits. Isn’t that right, master?”
“Yeah, but dad originally planned to take us here anyway to train us in actual combat,” Lakshman said as he followed them from behind.
“Oh yeah. He did say something about lacking experience in live combat,” Ondine said as she remembered his words.
“Settle down back there,” Indra said from the front group.
They came to a stop and Ondine also stopped which caused her to stop as well. Indra then turned around and addressed everyone.
“From here on out, we’ll be diving into the dungeon. You see this Blue Magic Circle?” he said and gestured towards the magic circle glowing a bright blue light a few meters from them. “That’s what we’ll step on and it’ll take us to the next floor.”
“Question!” a kid said from the front as she raised his hand into the air.
“Yes?” Indra responded as he gestured at her.
“How are we supposed to go in if we’re a group?”
“Ah! That’s a nice question,” he said and winked at her and which made her smile proudly. “One or more people can pass through the magic circles. All you have to do is grab the person stepping into it. If there are more than a few, create a chain of people and it will also work.”
“Wow!” the kids said in amazement. Then a kid said “You’re very knowledgeable, sir.”
“Of-course!” Indra said as he puffed his chest out proudly. “I’ve been entering and fighting in monster dungeons for many years now! Naturally I’d have the skills and experience for it!”
The kids looked at him in awe. Their opinion of him greatly increased much to Ondine’s displeasure. She was looking at him from the back of many kids’ heads with a raised eyebrow. Then she shook her head wearily and turned away before she said something unfortunate.
“Anyway, let’s get going, shall we?”
When they nodded, he nodded back. Then he made his way through the groups in making a link between them and the person in front. Once he was sure of the people are linked, he walked back to his own group and got them to link up with him.
“Okay, group one is going to go first. Group two. You wait a few seconds before stepped into the magic circle. The last thing we need is a mix up between the groups as accidents can happen.”
“What accidents?” Ondine asked in a worried voice.
“Nothing too major… Just that, we’d tend to teleport on top of each other and get injured that way,” Indra said in a tired voice. “It happened to me so many times over the years I make sure it won’t repeat.”
Then he looked back and asked “You got it? Wait a few seconds. Probably around ten seconds before walking in. Okay?”
“We got it!” Ondine and her group of kids, including Lakshman, replied.
“Alright! Group one! Let’s go!” he said and he stepped into the magic circle.
In an instant, the group got enveloped in a bright blue light. The next instant, the light vanished and they were gone. Once they were gone, Ondine began speaking in an irritated voice.
“Indra is being so bossy!”
“Ah, come now, Ondine,” Lakshman said with a smile on his face. “He’s just making sure no mistakes happen.”
She remained silent for a few seconds. Then, she agreed by saying “I suppose that’s true.”
“Right,” Lakshman said and nodded at her. Then he looked at the magic circle and said “I think ten seconds are up. Ondine, take the lead.”
“I’m on it, master!” she said and stepped into the magic circle with her group attached to her by their hands.
For a moment, nothing happened. Then, a blue light covered them and they shut their eyes tightly. Only Lakshman kept his eyes open as he looked back at the base room one last time.
“My only hope is nothing bad happens,” he muttered and looked worried just as he and everyone vanished in a veil of blue light.