Monster Dungeon Mission (Start)
A week passed by without any troubles. The Chand family welcomed Ondine into their family, who had recently become a Slave Spirit toLakshman. Although she was a Slave Spirit given away by the water spirit tribe, they treated her like a family.Lakshmanwas happy about the arrangement, especially the good treatment she received from everyone in the family.
This day he, Indra and Ondine were travelling on horseback. Earlier that day, Indra packedhis gear and gotLakshmanto go along with him.
“We will be going to a dungeon for a mission,” Indra had said during preparation.
They were actually going out-of-town to fight some demons. Indra decided to bringLakshmanfinally on one of his missions. Ondine, curious, tagged along.
“Now remember, we’re to kill them, but not destroy them,” Indra said. “Our client won’t be happy if we return with nothing by the end of the day.”
Yesterday Indra had gone into the Adventure’s building to update his recent activity. Then he decided to check the counter for any new missions. He walked up to a free counter and asked the lady behind it for any missions. He even specified the range of the reward money.
The lady told him to wait and left her seat. After a few minutes, she returned with a request paper. She read out the details of the request:
To the Adventurer/s,
I have arequestfor you.It is to collect 15 Twin-Horned Rabbit bodies. Please return the bodies to the Alchemy Warehouse.
The lady also stated the reward which was within the range he was after. The mission seemed easy enough and the reward was reasonable. So, Indra took the mission off the notice board and walked out of the building.
“Why would he need 15 Twin-Horned Rabbit bodies?”Lakshmanasked out of curiosity.
“Beats me,” Indra said with a shrunk of his shoulders. “Alchemists are strange people who experiment with potions and stuff.”
“I hear they spend most of their time inventing new things,” Ondine said thoughtfully.
“They do?”Lakshmanasked, sounding surprised.
“Yes but I have never met one before,” Ondine said, sounding disappointed.
“Well, you’ll be meeting one once the mission is finished,” Indra said with a smile.
Ever since their argument about their choices of using a different type of Weapon Style, they got along well. Now they are conversing without sparking tensions or straining anything.Lakshmanwas somehow jealous as he listened to their conversation.
For several minutesLakshmanstayed silent and continued listening to them. Finally, having had enough of staying silent, he decided to pose a question to his father.
“Dad, where exactly are we going?”
“We’re going to the Monster Dungeon,” Indra said.
“Monster Dungeon?”Lakshmanasked in a wondering voice.
“That’s correct,” Indra said. “Monster Dungeons are places where most monsters appear, although there are monsters that live outside the dungeons. Take that Twin-Headed Cerberus for instance. It lives in caves and doesn’t stray too far from its home unless it’s desperate for food.”
“Is that why the demon dog attacked ustwo years ago?”Lakshmanasked. “It became desperate for food?”
“Possibly, but it was also for another reason.”
“There was another reason?”
“Yes. The reason could be other adventurers going around and killing them at their lair.”
Lakshmanmade a puzzled expression as he spoke. Indra smiled and answered for him.
“Which means, they no longer had a home to go back to,” Indra said. “Not a good thing since they become downright desperate once that happens.”
After a while of trekking, they finally reached a dungeon. Written in bold letters was a name plate that reads “Monster Dungeon”.
“How many dungeons are there in the world dad?”Lakshmanasked.
“I’m uncertain about the count,” Indra said uncertainly. “There are countless monster dungeons around the world with their own monsters.”
“You mean, the dungeons are different from each other?”
“Yes, they are. That also includes the monsters varying from dungeon to dungeon.”
“Wow…!”Lakshmansaid in awe.
They got off their horses and tied them up to the trees loosely. Their horses were well-bred by Indra and knew when to run away if strangers, and when to return at the call of their master. Indra loved them very much; they were his and Lakshmi’s companions for a long time.
“Now, put on this armour, Lucky,” Indra said.
He gaveLakshmana set of armour while he put on his own. Compared to Indra’s heavily armoured body, Lakshman’s was plain and simple. It was obvious to keep him from getting injured.
“Good, it fits you perfectly,” Indra said in a satisfied tone.
“Did you buy this dad?”Lakshmanasked as he patted himself experimentally.
“No. These are from when I was a kid.”
Indra smiled when Lakshman’s eyes widened in surprise. Then he pulled out another set of armour intending to give it to Ondine. Before leaving, he asked her if she had any armour and she denied it. So, he rummaged through the storeroom and found a set that fit her perfectly. That armour was Lakshmi’s old set when she was an adventurer.
“Ondine, here’s your armour… Ondine? What’s the matter?”
At Indra’s questioning,Lakshmanturned around. Ondine was looking at the dungeon curiously. First she would touch the walls, tap them with her hands and rub them to feel them. Then she walked several paces away and stared at the dungeon as if she saw something unusual.
“What’s up Ondine?”Lakshmanasked as he joined her in staring at the dungeon.
From his point of view, he could see nothing strange about the dungeon. It was simply the building into the entrance to the dungeon. He doubted there was anything special about it.
“Oh! Nothing…” she said, finally realised they were staring at her. “This is my first time being at a dungeon, I was curious.”
Lakshmanwasn’t sure what to make of this, but he guessed she never ventured far from her tribe.
“I take it this is your first time outside your water spirit tribe?” Indra asked.
Ondine clenched her fists and nodded.
“Yes, this is my first time venturing so far away from home,” she said and looked down at the ground.
Indra smiled and looked atLakshman. For some reason he winked at his son before turning back to Ondine.
“No need to look so glum,” he said, “but it does seem you are rather… sheltered.”
“I’m sorry,” she said and she looked upset.
“Ah, not that there’s anything wrong with it,” Indra said, realising his words had the opposite effect. “I just thought it made sense to why you don’t have armour.”
“Oh!” Ondine said and she looked up. “There was no need for us to wear one since we lived within the forest.”
“I see,” Indra said and smiled. Then he turned away and muttered so none of them could hear “Not like that makes it any better.”
Once all of them suited up with their gear, they stood, ready to enter the dungeon. Indra did his last check on their gear and found no faults.
“Alright gang! Let’s begin our adventure!” he said brightly.
Together they walked into the dungeon. When they entered, they noticed a plate nailed to the wall to the side that read “F0”
“What’s ‘F0’?”Lakshmanasked curiously.
“F0 also stands for Floor 0,” Indra explained. “Each floor that we visit will have these name plates hammered into the walls. Gives us an indication aboutthe floor we are on.”
“Who put them there?”
They ventured further into the dungeon. Soon, they arrived at a dead-end and on the floor was one circle with strange designs drawn all over it. Lakshman took a glance at the circle and then started looking around for a door.
“A dead end?” he asked, looking puzzled.
”There are no doors inside monster dungeons silly,” Indra said, smiling.
“But… How do you go to other floors without a door?”
“You use the Magic Circle.”
“The… What now?”
Lakshman blinked in confusion when he looked at Indra. Indra closed his eyes and began to explain.
“Magic Circle. In dungeons, they are the things that teleport a person from Location A to Location B. They work both ways; taking someone from Location A to B or returning them from Location B to A.”
“I… see…” Lakshman said. “What would happen if the Magic Circle failed to teleport you? What happens then?”
Indra blinked a few times at Lakshman’s question. Then he turned away and said “if that happens… well… how should I put it? In simple words: you’re screwed.”
“What?!” Lakshman exclaimed and stared at Indra’s back in horror.
“But you shouldn’t think the un-pleasantries!” Indra said, turning back and clapping his son on the back. “Nothing happened in the history of adventuring. So, let’s stop it at that, ok!”
“O-ok!” Lakshman said.
From the fierce glare Indra put him inLakshmanhad no choice but to agree.
“Alright, now that that’s settled… let’s get on the Magic Circle and go to F1!”
“Sure, but… where is it?”
Lakshman was looking all over the place and, for some strange reason, ignoring the circle with strange designs on it before him.
“Silly. Look over there.”
Indra turned Lakshman’s head in the direction he indicated. Lakshman finally saw what he had at first thought it was simply a drawing carved into the ground. Looking closer, it didn’t look that special. Suddenly, the circle started to glow faintly in bluish.
“That’s… a magic circle?” Lakshman said in surprise.
“Indeed,” Indra nodded and smiled. “Now, go into it.”
Lakshman nervously walked up to the circle. It began to glow brighter once he neared. He suddenly stopped and looked over his shoulder. Indra was smiling widely while Ondine was wearing a sceptical expression on her face. He turned back and, closing his eyes, put one foot into the circle.
Nothing happened. He tentatively opened his eyes and saw his right leg standing set inside the circle. Feeling braver, he completely stepped on the circle. For a moment, nothing happened. He looked up and smiled in relief.
“I did it!”
Lakshman was seriously relieved that nothing happened. The Magic Circle shined brightly but there wasn’ta problem. Indra gave him a thumps-up while Ondine had a surprised expression on her face.
“Well done!” Indra said, grinning broadly.
“Now listen, Lucky!” Indra said, and he suddenly had a wicked grin on his face. “Keep your arms and legs inside the rideat all times!Otherwise… well… you might end up with missing limbs.”
“Ok… eh? what?!”
Lakshmansaid. A second later, he blinked and then his eyes widened in shock at realising what Indra had said.
“Hold on a second! That sounds like a terrible—!”
Just then, the light engulfed him and he disappeared in a veil of blue light. Then the blue light vanished and Lakshman was gone.
“You’re nasty,” Ondine said, looking sternly up at Indra.
“I like doing that. It’s fun,” Indra said, half laughing.
Then they also stepped into the Magic Circle and were transported away in a veil of blue light.