The veil of blue light vanished and they found themselves somewhere else. They opened their eyes and looked around. The kids let out a chorus of surprise and amazement as they looked around. The walls around them and the narrow page before them made it seem they were underground.
Suddenly, a familiar voice from the back loudly said “Um… c-could you please move forward a little? I’m having trouble breathing…”
They turned around and saw Lakshman being squashed against the wall with his face to it.
“Ah!” Ondine and the rest of the kids said in alarm.
They moved forward and he pushed himself away from the wall. He bent over and began to take great lung full of air as he breathed quickly. A few seconds later, he straightened up and turned around with a smile on his face.
“That’s so much better now!” he said and winked at them.
“W-We’re really sorry!” they said apologetically and bowed their heads in shame.
Lakshman simply laughed and said “Forget it. Anyway, we’re falling behind. Look! Dad and his group are way ahead of us!”
Turning around, they did see group one way ahead of them. From this distance, they could see that group engaged in fighting the floor monsters. Sweat began to form on the kids as they gulped nervously.
“No need for fear or worries!” Lakshman said from behind them encouragingly. “There’s only one thing ahead of us; victory!”
“That’s right!” Ondine said from the front when she turned to face them. “It’s exactly as master said! Now, let’s go!”
“Yeah!” they shouted excitedly, with their weapons at the ready, and began to walk.
They began to fight with the monsters while assisting the other group. At first, it proved to be difficult for them, so Indra, Lakshman and Ondine took them out. However, the kids began to start fighting seriously and they grew confident after each fight and victory.
“We can do this!” they shouted to each other happily while jumping around.
“They are so childish,” Indra muttered while he watched them, but he was smiling. Then he turned to Lakshman and asked “You’re a kid too, Lucky. Go and jump around like them.”
“Ah… I don’t want to,” Lakshman said hastily and laughed while he watched them.
“Indra, master is master. Don’t try to change him!” Ondine said indignantly.
After that, they continued onto the next floor and fought the monsters on that floor. Once they defeated the monsters, Indra decided to switch groups.
“Let’s rotate the groups around to give everyone an opportunity to fight the monsters,” he said when they question his idea.
Understanding the intent, they nodded and agreed to follow. After that, each group fought in different floor; Group one fought in the even floors and group two the odd floors.
However, the kids were showing their tiredness. Indra, Lakshman and Ondine noticed this and decided to fight on a bit longer. It was not until they defeated all the monsters on floor eight that they took a break.
“Ah… So tired…” the kids said with a sigh of contentment as they relaxed while sitting on the ground.
While they were resting and Ondine excitedly talking to them about her adventures, Lakshman walked over to speak to his father.
“I was wondering… will the monster appear here again?” he asked and looked worried.
“They will, but that’s not for another twenty minutes,” Indra said casually as he leisurely sat down.
“Twenty minutes? It takes that long?” Lakshman asked with a puzzled expression as he sat down next to him.
“Well… It depends on the floor you are on or the dungeon that you are in,” Indra said with a shrug of the shoulders.
“Sometimes, that delay of time can increase or decrease. I’ve even heard they change according to the number of adventurers present within the floor.”
“Wow, but wouldn’t that make it unpredictable and dangerous?”
“That’s why we’re always constantly vigilant,” Indra said as he smiled at his son. “It’s never a good reason to let your guard down just because you’ve defeated them.”
“I see,” Lakshman said and nodded in understanding.
Then they remained silent, in which Lakshman was looking worriedly around them. It was almost like he was expecting monster attack to occur at any time. Looking at him, Indra burst into laughter.
“Dad! Why are you laughing?” Lakshman asked nervously.
“Oh, come on! Look at yourself! You’re so nervous!”
“B-But you said to stay vigilant…”
“That doesn’t mean you constantly look around with a worried expression on your face. You might as well announce ‘Hey! World! I’m worried monsters will attack me! So, give me a good scare!’”
At Indra’s words, Lakshman began to laugh. Indra smiled as his son laughed until all the stress was wiped from his face.
Once he stopped laughing, he asked “You feel better now?”
“Ah… Oh… Yeah, I feel much better!” Lakshman said as he suddenly realised about his released stress. “My shoulders don’t hurt anymore.”
“Good,” Indra said with a nod. Then he smiled and said “Relax. We’ll be gone in ten minutes. If we relax too long, everyone’ll get sloppy with their fighting.”
“Ah. That’s true,” Lakshman said and nodded as he understood Indra’s assessment.
Then they remained in silent for the next ten minutes. After that, Indra got them all up and moving once more. Standing up and getting back into their groups, they moved onto the next floor.
That was when they made their first discovery of the Monster Magic Circles. While they were walking toward the location with all the monsters, Indra suddenly stopped them to point them out.
“Look at those Violet Magic Circles around the monsters? Those are the Monster Magic Circles,” he said while pointing them out.
Just like he said, they noticed three Violet Magic Circles enclosing the ten monsters. There was some distance between the circles and the monsters. It was obviously to give room for the monsters to spawn.
Together, they laughed their attack on the monsters. Indra got the first group to focus on the monsters, while the second group focuses on the monsters coming out of the magic circles.
In less than a few seconds, the two groups were engaging the monsters. At first, there was confusion as the groups got split into smaller groups of twos and threes. They quickly formed up once more when Lakshman went around and instructed them
For his part, he was going around and assisting the kids whenever they found trouble. Ondine, on the other hand, was fighting her way through the bodies of humans and monsters to deactivate the Violet Magic Circles.
It was another twenty minutes later they finally successfully succeeded in defeating all the monsters.
“Okay, everyone!” Lakshman said loudly to get their attention. “If we all gather together, I’ll heal you all!”
Once they were gathered around, he said “Spirits of light, head my call and flow through nature to restore the wounded ones. Healing Wind!”
There was a breeze which passed through them and they felt their injuries getting healed. They checked themselves and noticed all the injured were healed. Becoming happy, they thanked Lakshman and formed back into groups at Indra’s call.
It was floor eleven when they arrived and saw the numerous boars in the distance.
“There’s so many of them!”
“And they’re so big!”
“Can adults really eat all of it?”
“Adults must be fat!”
At the last comment, everyone laughed and Indra indignantly said “Oh, come on! We just love meat!”
“Right, right,” the kids said as they joked with him.
Then they became quiet as they assessed the situation. After observing them for some time, Indra told them the plan he came up with. It was simple, but required a large part of the kids.
His plan involved the kids luring the monsters out so that he can kill them quickly. He told them how difficult it is to defeat them, especially when they are bunched like that. Then he told them to avoid direct contact as it would knock them out for hours.
He volunteered to do the job of killing them because he possesses the strongest might with comparison to Lakshman. Lakshman offered to use his Phoenix Blade, but Indra said he might accidently incinerate them by mistake. And so, the plan was put into motion.
It took them extremely long to defeat all twenty boars. They were only D Ranked monsters, but they had bodies that were hard to strike easily. It was only with the help of Lakshman and Ondine, the kids succeeded in luring the monsters out and Indra was able to take them out.
A few minutes after defeating them, Ondine breathed a sigh of relief and said “That went without a hitch.”
“What are you talking about, Ondine? I thought some of us was going to definitely get seriously hurt!” Lakshman said in a concerned voice. “I mean… those things charged at us like a ram, I sometimes panicked I might get hit by them!”
“But, master, we didn’t get a single scratch,” she said as she placed a hand on his shoulders while smiling sweetly at him.
“This time, but I’m not so sure about next time,” he said before looking away.
Indra was through checking all the monsters for any signs of life. When he was done, he looked at them and declared victory. Everyone was happy, but Lakshman ordered them to gather over to him so he can heal them.
Once they were healed, Indra requested them to help him carry the bodies of the boars back. Putting their weapons away, the kids each carried a boar with their arms. Indra, on the other hand, was carrying two boars with his hands while hosting two over his shoulders.
“Dad… You’re so defenceless,” Lakshman commented when Indra walked over to him. Then he asked “Are we going to carry these things out of here?”
“Only part of the way,” Indra said with a smile.
When Lakshman looked confused, he walked over to the Green Magic Circle at the end of the path He dropped the bodies of boars on top of it. There was a green light and the bodies vanished.
Turning back to face them, he said with a smile “That’s how we get them out of here. After all, it’s painful to carry a heavy thing like a boar’s body through a magic teleportation.”
“But… won’t something bad happen to them if we send them off like this?” Lakshman asked nervously.
Indra looked at him with a surprised look. Then he said “That would regardless of whether we’re carrying them or not, right?”
“Oh yeah… I see what you mean,” Lakshman said understood Indra’s choice.
One by one, each of them dropped the boar’s body into the Green Magic Circle and they teleported it away. It was finally his turn. He lifted the boar’s body so easily he actually did not feel the weight. That was when he remembered about his weighted training clothes.
“Guess I’m much stronger than before,” he thought happily as he moved forward.
In the next few seconds, something happened that was both unbelievable and shocking.
As Lakshman was coming back, Ondine was carrying the boar she was holding to the magic circle. At first, he did not think much of it. However, it all changed when he suddenly felt a change in the flow of energy.
A few months ago, when Indra first brought them into the Monster Dungeon, he had told them it was hard to locate the Trip Magic Circles.
He did not know how or when he became capable of feeling the force so strongly, but he felt it. Turning around quickly and saw something that shocked him; a Yellow Magic Circle. It was dim, but it was visible just a few meters away from the Green Magic Circle.
“Keep a constant watch on what or where you’re stepping on,” Indra had said at that time.
Thinking back to that, Lakshman was shocked. He did not understand how any of them missed it, but he knew Ondine was headed right for it. She, however, did not seem to have noticed that she was about to walk onto it.
“Ondine, wait a second,” he said hurriedly, but it was too late as she placed stepped into the Yellow Magic Circle.
In an instant, a bright glow of yellow light began to glow around her feet. She looked down at her feet in surprise and so did everyone as they turned to look at her. It was Indra who reacted first at seeing what she was standing on.
“Oh no!” he shouted in alarm with wide eyes. “Ondine, get out of there!”
Near her, Lakshman shouted “Hurry up, Ondine!”
Ondine quickly looked up at him with a panicked look and she opened her mouth to speak. However, the magic circle was not going to wait for her finish. Instantly, she was enveloped in a bright yellow glow of light.
“No, you don’t!” Lakshman shouted as he reached her.
With strong Energy Force at his hand, he thrust his hand into the veil of light and grabbed her. But, before he could do anything, the light also surrounded him. There was a wave of wind as the yellow light glowed brightly before it vanished along with the two people that were encased by it.
Everyone was shocked, but Indra was especially horrified by the sudden disappearance of his son and Ondine. Then the kids began to move towards it, forgetting about what it was. Indra, reacting in a heartbeat, got ahead and stopped them in their tracks.
“We’re not going into there!” he said firmly.
“B-But… Lakshman and Ondine disappeared into it! We need to bring them back!” the kids said as they looked worriedly at him.
“If we go in, we’ll also be trapped!” Indra said in frustration. Then he indicated the Green Magic Circle with his thumb and said “We’ll leave and I’ll go for help.”
The kids were not convinced. So, he softened his expression and smiled as he said “Listen, kids. This is Lakshman and Ondine we’re talking about. They’ll be perfectly fine for a while without us. Besides, those two are so strong, I’m sure they’d bust the walls down to get out if they have to.”
As he finished speaking, he begins to laugh. Mercifully, the kids also joined in as they thought that breaking walls was funny. Then, carefully avoided the Yellow Magic Circle and lined up with their hands connecting with Indra at the back.
As the kids vanished in a bright glow of green light, he took one glance at the Yellow Magic Circle. His face suddenly contorted in anger and he punched the wall so hard, he put a dent in it.
“I’m sorry…! I’m truly… sorry…!” he muttered through gritted teeth. Then he stepped into the Green Magic Circle and disappeared like the rest, determined to save Lakshman and Ondine at all costs.