Chapter 23: Emergency Situation

An alarm wakes me up, and I quickly jump from my bed.

Intruders have entered the dungeon

Nobody has ever entered in the middle of the night before… I quickly open the screens, and see something highly unexpected. Belinda is making her way through the cave, wearing her normal town clothes with no armor or weapon.

What is she planning now…

Belinda makes her way into the square cave room stepping over the trip wire then calls out to the kobold.

Belinda: “Please I must speak to the intelligence behind this dungeon!” –She then raises her arms.-

The kobold leads her to the stairwell, and then a crimson kobold leads her to one of the new cells. Once inside she pleads again.

Belinda: “I am begging you! It is very important! I need to speak with whoever, or whatever is in charge.”

I instruct one of the crimson kobolds to open the jail cell, cross his arms, and grunt a few times.

Belinda: “You’re in charge? Well it doesn’t matter, even if you’re not I beg you relay a message. The dungeon is in serious trouble.”

After the kobold just stands there for a few seconds she continues.

Belinda: “There is a C rank group heading here first thing in the morning to destroy the dungeon crystal. I can’t stop them, and kobold won’t be enough to stand up to a C rank group…”

I transfer myself down to the prison, and stand just out of sight. Belinda probably doesn’t know my voice, but since I have been to the village a few times I will try masking my voice just in case.

“What can you tell me about this group?” –I say while masking my voice the best I can.-

Belinda: “Who’s there?”

“You wanted to speak with me, now speak.”

Belinda: “I have so many questions… But first I came to warn you. When my sister married a lord from another kingdom part of the arrangement was that he be allowed to destroy a dungeon to become a hero, and he has chosen this dungeon.”

“I don’t see what telling me will help me much, unless you can give me some information that might be useful.”

Belinda: “All I know his group contains all C rank adventurers, and even with the increased intelligence of the kobold, they don’t stand a chance against his group.”

“What about class, formation, skills, spells, anything like that might be helpful.”

Belinda: “I am sorry… He has only recently arrived, and I only met him a few times.”

“I appreciate the heads up, but if you can’t give me any solid Intel on the group there is not much you are good for.”

Belinda: “Please I want to know more about your dungeon, like why is it so different than the others. There must be something I can do in exchange…”

I left Belinda in the prison cell, and returned to the dungeon core room, if what she said was true I can’t really hold back, I need to do as much as I can to defend this place.

For 1300xp I add three crimson kobold brutes, and 1 crimson kobold elder giving them Belinda’s groups gear, and for now place them in the large room on the second floor.

I also release Belinda, much to her objection she finally accepts and leaves. Watching from the screen I watch her head down to the lake, but she doesn’t return to the village. Instead she finds a spot out of view from the path and waits.

I just shake my head and wait for morning. Once the sun starts to rise into the sky a group of 6 people start making their way up from the village.

The two in front both wear a heavy armor similar to Belinda’s old armor just not as flashy, both also have shields that are just as tall as they are, one also carries a small axe and the other a sword. Right behind them is a woman in a well-crafted chainmail she has two swords on either side of her. In the back of the group there are 2 mages and an archer wearing pitch black leather armor.

Once they reach the cave entrance they prep their gear then move in. They quickly make their way into the square cave room stepping over the tripwire. The kobold attack but the two with shields create a wall letting though neither arrow nor spell.

The kobold start to move around the shield bearers, but are swiftly killed by the rest of the group. After pushing the mage and archer kobold into a corner they clear the first room with none even taking any damage.

I quickly move in all the kobold from the first floor to the central room now 25 kobold sit waiting for the intruders.

The intruders slowly move forward though the room using the two shields as a portable wall, as they pass kobold, the dual-sword wielding girl takes care of a melee kobold, and the archer and mages take out the ranged enemies.

Even with 25 kobold the intruders suffer minor damage, but after the first floor is cleared the mages heal the wounds of their teammates, and after they short rest they check the remaining rooms before moving on to the second floor.

They reach the second floor to only find two crimson kobolds at the far end of the long large room. They slowly move though the room behind the two shields toward the two kobold. The archer points out the traps so they can bypass them.

Once the group gets to the middle of the room more crimson kobold come from the crystal room, and the prison room. Once the intruders are surrounded the two shield wielding guys split up covering both sides of the group.

The kobolds at either end of the group launch arrows and spells at the two shield wielders to keep them busy while the rest move in. A crimson kobold with chainmail and a spear and one of the prison guards moves in on one side while, and the other prison guard and a sword and shield crimson kobold move in on the other.

Woman dual-wielder: “They are already learning our tactics and finding weaknesses. They were not kidding about these kobold’s intelligence.”

Mage 1: “It doesn’t matter what tactics they use they are just kobold.”

The mage swings a staff that resembles the one Amy used to have and creates an ice wall blocking off one side of the groups leaving only one way for them to come. The other mage doesn’t cast a spell instead swinging his battle-staff at one of the kobold.

The kobold with the spear parries the battle-staff stabbing the mage, but only causing a minor wound due to the dual-sword wielding woman’s quick reaction knocking the spear back. The prison guard swings his sword in on the same mage however the dual-wielding woman deflects his blow with her other sword.

The human archer fires an arrow at the prison guard, but the well-made leather armor absorbs most of the impact. The first mage now begins casting another spell, but it seems to be a long incantation. The kobold on the edge still fire at the shields keeping them occupied.

The kobolds blocked off by the ice now move around the group as well. The spear kobold changes targets attacking the mage casting the long incantation. The dual-wielder cuts him off completely blocking his spear but it takes all of her attention as the prison guard attacks that mage as well.

The mage curses as he loses his concentration causing a back blow exploding in his face knocking him back, he now looks badly wounded. The other mage was about to swing down his staff on the prison guard, but quickly side-steps, and chants a spell healing most of the other mages wounds.

Mage 1: “Damnit Chloe, you are supposed to protect me.”

Duel-wielding woman: “What do you expect you idiot, we just said these kobold are smart of course they are going to focus all their attention on a mage casting a big spell.”

She says as she manages to finally push back the spear kobold, and the archer hits it with an arrow. The spear kobold quickly pulls out the arrow and dives back in attacking the second mage now. Chloe again attempts to block the spear leaving the prison guard another free shot at the first mage again. This time the wound is not serious, and the second mage brings his battle-staff across the back of the head of the prison guard causing quite a bit of damage.

The other kobold now manage to enter the battle, and they as well focusing on the mages. The other prison guard pairs up with the other one attacking the first mage causing another wound on the mage. The sword and shield kobold attacks the second mage blocking off his attacks from the less armored prison guards.

Chloe finally drops the spear wielding kobold, then turns to help out the mages slashing at the wounded prison guard leaving it barely standing.

Guy 1 with shield: “I am sorry we are doing everything just to hold off the others.”

Mage 1: “I thought you were supposed to be the best? You can’t even manage to hold off a couple kobold!”

Chloe: “Just shut your mouth and do something.”

Mage 2: “Sir Korvasta, use that fire spell I taught you.”

Korvasta, the first mage now casts a spell targeting the prison guard in front of him that is almost dead. His spell looks like a more powerful fireball spell it hits the prison guard burning him to death.

The four tougher crimson kobold now enter the room moving forward towards the group.

Chloe: “What the hell is that?! Isn’t that the Gowen royal crest on that armor?”

Korvasta: “That has to be the armor that was reported to be stolen from Belinda…”

Mage 2: “The quality of the gear… It has to be the gear from her entire group… This may get difficult.”

Chloe attacks the other prison guard slashing at its back with both swords causing massive damage, with an arrow from the archer the second guard is now dead as well.

The sword and shield kobold now blocks a blow from the second mage and slashes him across chest causing moderate damage. Korvasta casts the improved fireball spell again at the sword and shield kobold.

The fireball crashes into the kobold’s shield but the impact alone is enough to cause quite a bit of damage to the kobold.

Chloe now finishes him off as an arrow pierces her chest she gasps looking down then falls to her knees. The second mage moves over quickly ripping the arrow from her chest casting a healing spell on her.

Mage 2: “Hold them off! This is going to take some time.”

The human archer fires another arrow, but the crimson kobold brute with the two swords just swats it out of the air. A [Fireball] is launched by the crimson kobold elder trying to hit the mage casting the healing spell.

One of the men with the large shield turns blocking the fireball blast, but leaves the smaller crimson kobold to launch a spell at the group. He can however only target Korvasta, his robes absorb most of the blast but he still takes a little damage.

Korvasta: “What are you doing, you are supposed to protect me!”

Shield guy 1: “The power of that spell is far worse then what I have seen from that other kobold it was the right move.”

Korvasta: “You are not allowed to make such decisions.”

Shield guy 2: “We only get paid if we live, now use that big mouth to cast spells.”

Mage 2: “Sir Korvasta, they are right we need to focus.”

The second mage finishes his spell on Chloe, but she still doesn’t get up. The stronger crimson kobold now move in for the attack, the full-plate wearing kobold plunges Belinda’s halberd into the archer lifting him from the ground and smashing him down.

The dual-wielding kobold plunges both of his swords into the downed Chloe killing her.

Mage 2: “What the hell was that? I have never seen monsters act like this.”

The kobold using Leo’s gear fires an arrow at the shield human blocking the other archer. He however sees the arrow, and manages to turn just in time to block the arrow.

The other archer takes his chance firing another arrow while the shield user is turned, but he doesn’t seem to injure him very badly.

Korvasta casts a spell across the room hitting the mage that attacked him dealing a serious wound, but the mage can still fight.

The spear kobold with Belinda’s halberd thrashes it around still lodged in the archer and he finally quits moving. The dual-wielding kobold dives in both swords at the second mage he takes a bad wound in one shoulder from one sword but is able to block the other blow with his battle-staff.

The shield wielding humans completely give up protecting the group, and now focus on their own defense as they try to retreat back towards the door.

Korvasta: “Where are you idiots going?”

Shield guy 1: “This is more then we signed up for, we are out of here.”

Korvasta: “We had a deal, you can’t run now!”

Shield guy 2: “The money is not worth my life, I am out too.”

With everything going on for some reason known only to him, Korvasta targets one of the shield guys with his next spell causing him to take major damage, and fall forward to the floor.

Shield guy 2: “Have you lost what little brains you had?!”

Shield guy 1: “Help me!”

The crimson kobolds are relentless in their attacks however slaying the second mage and now closing in on Korvasta. Only one of the shield guys manages to escape to the stairwell leading up.

The kobold move in to strike Korvasta when he throws his staff at them and pleads with them.

Korvasta: “Don’t you know who I am?! You can’t do this to me!”

I have the kobold only knock Korvasta out throwing him in one of the cells. Then watch as the one shield guy retreats from the dungeon.

Belinda stops the retreating man as he reaches the lake but I can’t tell what is said from this distance. I turn my attention to the battle results screen

Battle results:

Acquired: 821xp, 1 Top Quality Battle-staff, 1 Top Quality Magician’s Robes, 2 Minor Ring of Mana, 1 Top Quality Wooden Bow, 1 Superior Quality Black Leather Armor, 3 Top Quality Steel Swords, 1 Superior Steel Tower Shield, 1 Top Quality Full-plate Armor, 1 Superior Quality Leather Gambeson, 1 Top Quality Chainmail, 1 Master Quality Gem Studded Steel Rod, 1 Master Quality Magician’s Robes,

I quickly scan the rest of the page then close the window. Using most of the xp I just acquired I replace the 5 dead crimson kobold. After tending to the rest of the dungeon I then turn my attention to the near naked man huddled in the corner of one of the jail rooms.

Korvasta is huddled in the room mumbling to himself, his wounds now look pretty serious but it looks like he will make it. Not long later Belinda returns to the dungeon unarmed yet again.

She practically leads herself to the prison room, but when she stops at the first door the kobold nudge her on to the next she looks puzzled, but she does as instructed. I head down to speak with her again hiding out of sight, and masking my voice.

“You are a rather curious human, to keep returning to a dungeon unarmed.”

Belinda: “Human? Well what kind of creature are you then?”

When I don’t respond she decides to continue.

Belinda: “The guy that ran out of the dungeon said he was the last survivor, but yet it seems at least one more made it if you put me here. I have to ask is it Korvasta?”

“Will it change anything if it is?”

Belinda: “The man that fled said that Korvasta attacked his own group in the end. I am sure rumor will spread quickly about his misdeeds, so I doubt anyone will kick up any fuss about him. Besides he served his purpose to the kingdom with the marriage, but has been a thorn in Gowen’s side every sense.”

“You don’t stake your own brother-in-law’s life very highly. I guess the rumors about humans are not unfounded.”

Belinda: “I truly am curious now. You seem to not have much knowledge of humans, but  the mention of rumors means you had to hear what you know from someone.”

“What exactly is your reason for returning if not the fate of your brother-in-law?”

Belinda: “Still not going to tell me anything about yourself? It’s a shame, but I guess it can’t be helped. Dungeons are still such a mystery for a reason I guess. If I may, can I at least ask one question?”

“Asking the question, and receiving an answer are two different things, but go ahead. Ask your question.”

Belinda: “Oh…There are so many though…There has always been the legend that dungeons themselves are alive, but is that really true?”

“I don’t see how answering questions like that benefit you. Why risk your very life on legends and conjecture?”

Belinda: “You intrigue me. Anything I learn to better understand dungeons I could teach to others, and truly help everyone. Like why some dungeons do everything in their power to try to kill until destroyed, yet others seem to provide for humans, and to even go as far to say help their villages with resources they would otherwise be unable to obtain…”

“You say you want to help others, but feel nothing for those who lose their lives within my dungeon. You even warned me of your own brother-in-law’s attack with no remorse.”

Belinda: “Well as far as Korvasta is concerned, I would say you actually you did humanity a service by disposing of him, but as far as the others. I could honestly throw the question back at you. Humans enter your dungeon on a daily basis killing the monsters within yet no matter how many are killed you still put an effort into capturing prisoners and even releasing them.”

“I can’t speak for other dungeons, but as far as I am concerned it all falls down to basic instinct for survival.”

Belinda: “I don’t understand.”

“If I killed the entire group that entered my dungeon when it was first discovered, then who knows what the villagers might have done, and when your group entered, and I learned of your status. Entire armies have been sent to dungeons that take the lives of nobles, princes, and princesses I didn’t want retaliation brought down on me.”

Belinda: “But then why even make yourself known to humans then? This cave has been here for hundreds of years, and nobody knew you were here why now?”

“I believe you humans call it nourishment?”

Belinda: “You eat humans? Then why let the normal adventurers go once you capture them?”

“Nothing as disgusting as what you humans call eating. I gain xp similar to the manner you humans gain xp while fighting. Although I may receive more when a human dies in my dungeon, I still receive a small amount from living creatures as well.”

Belinda: “You live off of xp? I guess that leads me back to my original question. What are you?”

“If I told you that you might never leave the dungeon again if you found out, would you still want to know?”

Belinda: “Still want to know? Of course, but be able to live the rest of my life in this small room? I think I will just remain unknowing, at least for now…”

“Then I believe our conversation is complete.”

Belinda: “Very well, but don’t think I have given up. If you want humans to continue coming here, then I will continue to gather information.”

Without another word I head back into the dungeon core room, and have Belinda escorted out of the cave. She however turns right before leaving, saying one last thing to her kobold escort.

Belinda: “Oh, and tell him if Korvasta is still alive, let him rot in the dungeon, and I will consider it a personal favor.”

She then actually bows to the kobold then leaves the cave. I watch her as she heads down the mountain seeming rather excited, and with that I have survived my first C rank group.

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