~ Chapter 48: The horde of zombies… and skeletons ~
The imp squirmed and tried to get away, but it couldn’t flee from my grasp. The other one was furious and tried to scratch me, but I had him pinned down. Meanwhile, the girls were giving me a strange stare.
“What?” I asked them, squinting my eyes at them.
“Why are you try to make the imps kiss?” Nanya asked with a raised eyebrow.
“I’m not… This guy is Peter, and he’s trying to steal the keys from Grog, the jail guard.” I replied with a serious tone of voice.
Hearing me, Ayuseya giggled, Shanteya sighed, and Nanya was at a loss of words.
“You are Godlike Dungeon that plays with dolls?” the demoness asked.
“Technically, they aren’t dolls… they are… erm… imps.” I looked between her and the two squirming little devils in my hands. “I’m really bored, aren’t I?” I came to a realization.
“Yes.” they all nodded in agreement, even the imps the nodded.
I squinted my eyes at the two and then let out a long sigh.
“How’s the search for the exit going?” I asked Nanya as I looked up.
“Between being annoyed and going crazy.” was her descriptive answer.
“I see… Bust the walls then?”
“Bust the walls.” she nodded in agreement.
After the 60th floor, we landed in what could only be described as a seemingly endless maze. It wasn’t filled with traps or anything like that, but it had monsters, and it was really complex. Thing was that I really really wanted to test it out and see how difficult it was. That was the reason why Nanya didn’t break through the walls or floor already. As for the imps… I got bored at one point.
Using pure brute strength, Nanya punched the nearby wall, making a hole in it. The girls walked through, and I followed, but before that, I made sure to release the two imps. After the torture I put them through, I considered their freedom a just reward.
Wall after wall crumbled down under the demoness’ might until we finally found the stairs leading to the next floor. As expected though, none of the damage was repaired by the core, and I was starting to wonder if it wasn’t better for me to simply release my Dungeon Territory and crush this one. It would make things a thousand times easier, however, the strange behavior of the Dungeon made me a bit hesitant. I wanted to know why it didn’t repair everything, so I bet on the possibility of actually being able to communicate with it before I destroyed it or tortured the answer out of it.
As we continued to go deeper and deeper, the difficulty of each floor became a bit strange. Some of them were incredibly easy, while others were a bit harder, but still required at least an Emperor Rank to clear them. Of course, this was only true for the design and complexity of the floor, the monster all scaled up the deeper we went, becoming stronger and stronger.
All this time, Ayuseya was our vanguard, Shanteya cleared out the strays, and Nanya punched holes in the walls or picked up any noteworthy loot. With all the job slots being taken, it can be clearly seen how I ended up getting bored. I was just walking around, yawning, and picking up skulls to try out my juggling skills. At one point, I was juggling imps. Surprisingly, they had many uses. Now if only I could get them to stand still and take the role of bowling pins.
“Should we let Illsy fight something?” asked Ayuseya after she cut in half one of the Minotaurs.
The draconian didn’t even look at the monster when she did it.
Hearing this, I looked at them with gleaming eyes and a struggling imp in my hands.
“No!” she declared with a wide smirk.
“YOU DEMON!” I screamed.
“Demon-ness.” she corrected me and poked her tongue out.
Defeated, I let out a long sigh.
“Gabu! Biii!” the imp screamed.
I tossed the critter back, splatting him on a wall behind us.
“This is no fun…” I grumbled.
“Illsy, dungeon crawling isn’t fun… It’s dangerous.” Ayuseya said and turned around after cutting a Dayuk in half.
I squinted my eyes at her.
“Indeed… With my immortal body, I might catch a cold.” I said sarcastically.
On another note, we managed to find the bodies of the other three adventurers. The mage had its head and heart chopped off with a dagger. That was clearly the work of the black mages. The last two were an el’doraw warrior and a nekatar hunter. We found them as the food of a bunch of hungry imps. Ayuseya took care of the funeral details with a big [Fireball] that incinerated the whole place.
As for the slaves, we only found remains of them. The demons didn’t leave even a single scrap left, meaning the reason why most of the adventurers, although dead, weren’t eaten yet was because the monster filled up their stomachs with the flesh of slaves. Thinking about it, that meant 23 souls had been used as bait and food for these things. It was such a cruel way to go, it simply made my blood boil with anger, but all the adventurers were now dead. I had no one to kill.
When we reached the 73rd floor, things changed in the way the dungeon looked like. The walls weren’t symmetrical. The rooms were half filled with dirt or were inclined at weird angles. Not even drunk would I build something like that. It was simply so messed up that not even monsters lived there. Actually, we found no traces of them, and the traps were too bad to actually work in any way or manner.
“This is weird…” I said as I poked a wall made out of wood.
Only one third of it was wood, the rest was granite.
“Yes.” said Ayuseya as she looked around, holding her sword up in case of any surprise attack.
“What do you make of this?” I asked Nanya and looked back at her.
“Something is definitely wrong with the Dungeon Core…” she squinted her eyes at a three legged chair made out of stone and stuck halfway into the wall.
“Let’s go deeper, maybe we’ll find something, eventually…” said Shanteya.
“If this dungeons has the flu, I’m getting out of here!” I expressed my concern.
“Dungeon Core don’t catch diseases.” Nanya squinted her eyes at me.
“I knew that…” I crossed my arms and looked away.
They can’t? But if this isn’t done by a disease, then what? I asked myself as I looked back at the wood wall.
As we moved deeper, the geometry of the floors became more or less chaotic. There were rooms merged together, steep hall-ways, flooded rooms with water or lava, spike rooms. Everything looked like the result of a glitched random level generator.
Without any monsters or traps actually working, we only had to make sure on what we stepped, in case the floor was there or not. I managed to get myself stuck in a sandpit this way. Luckily it was only waist deep, making it simply pointless.
“So, are we there yet?” I asked at one point.
“Yes.” Nanya said with a smile.
“Huh? Really?” I blinked surprised.
“No.” she glared at me.
“Meanie…” I told her and when she turned around, I slapped her bottom.
“Hey!” she shouted.
“She did it!” I pointed at the wall that was actually a semi-mirror. Squinting my eyes at it, I said “Traitor.”
The demoness merely sighed.
“We should get Master some toys next time.” giggled Shanteya.
“Nah, he’s just exaggerating. Besides, he slapped my ass a bit harder when we did it at the inn.” she grinned.
I refused to comment, while the girls merely giggled.
These floors were incredibly small when compared to the others, but we didn’t know how numerous. Either way, since they were degrading the deeper we went into the dungeon, we could only suspect that we weren’t that far away from the last one, where we were most likely going to find the group of mages hiding here.
Although it was clear that the dungeon cooperated with them, my only question was: why?
After another ten or so floor, we finally reached the last one, however, the moment we jumped down through the hole in the floor made by Nanya, we were met with a shock.
“By the gods!” Ayuseya said and quickly covered her mouth with her hand.
Shanteya tightened her grip around the hilt of her dagger, while I clenched my fists.
“Zombies… and Skeletons…” Nanya said.
Indeed, what awaited us down here were the remains of the countless unfortunate adventurers who ventured in this accursed place. They were all killed one way or another, however, seeing the sheer number of them, I couldn’t help but feel as if this Dungeon should have had a higher level, not stop at 94.
This floor was quite big when compared to the previous one. It had a height of almost five, maybe six meters. The area we were in was quite spacious and the entrance to this floor was sealed off with a steel gate. It was there to keep these monsters from fleeing to the upper floors. At the same time, on the other side of this huge room with an area of more than 100 m2, there was another steel door, but to get there, we had to go through more than 200 of these things.
“What do we do?” I asked with a gulp.
“GRAAH!” one of the zombies moved closer to us.
Nanya sighed and stepped in front of the zombie. With a flick, she tossed it into the others behind it.
“Seriously? You are a Godlike Dungeon with stats higher than a Supreme, and you are afraid of these things?” she asked pointing back at the horde of zombies.
“Erm, aren’t they strong?” I asked.
She raised an eyebrow and then explained how powerful these creatures actually were.
“Zombies in general have about 75% of the strength of when they were alive, while Skeletons boost at over 125%. They can’t use skills, they are dumber than Dankyun and have low mobility. Even if this was a horde of Supreme Ranked Zombies and Skeletons, we still wouldn’t have much to worry about, but these guys are barely around Master Rank.” she then walked up one of them and grabbing his foot, she smashed it into the ground, practically breaking it apart.
“So, they aren’t dangerous?” I asked surprised.
“For us? Gods, no!” Nanya shook her head. “For the idiots before us, they are downright deadly.” she nodded.
“What would happen if these guys reached Petro?” I asked and walked over to one of the Skeletons.
The creature rattled its bones and lifted a sword up. Out of curiosity, I flicked the bone on his arm before he had a chance to strike me. The arm went flying with the sword still in its grasp. I blinked surprised and then gave its skull a flick. The cranium went flying into the mouth of a zombie draconian, getting stuck there.
“These guys are weak.” I noted.
“Even for me?” asked Ayuseya a bit fearful.
“Illsy is more of a danger to us than these zombies.” shrugged Nanya.
“How is Master a danger to us?” Shanteya asked dumbfounded.
“Get naked, and the wolf shall howl!” she smirked.
“I will not confirm or not deny anything until I see the actual thing!” I declared proudly while a zombie on the ground tried to gnaw my foot. “Annoying little thing.” I said and stomped on its head, squashing it.
“If Master wishes me to, I do not mind. There is nothing we need to hide from Master anyway.” Shanteya replied nonchalantly.
“What?” asked Ayuseya surprised.
“Since he’s a pervert… yup!” Nanya nodded an affirmative.
“You girls are… ugh… OK! FINE! I’m a pervert! I like big BOOBS! There! I said it!” I crossed my hands at my chest while more zombies gathered around me, trying to eat me.
Ayuseya blushed and turned to the side, trying to hide her chest from me. Shanteya and Nanya only giggled to themselves. That wasn’t a secret for them.
“But to be clear, I’m not touching any woman other than you three!” I pointed at them.
“Even me?” asked Ayuseya surprised.
“You are my wife. Give me a reason not to drool over you naked?” I asked her raising an eyebrow.
“Pervert…” she blushed and turned away, but at this point I made her aware that although having the body of a man, I also had one’s needs.
“Illsy?” Nanya asked.
“What? If you want me to massage your chest, I know a good technique!” I looked at her with a smirk.
“Jokes aside, you are covered in zombies.” she pointed out.
“Huh?” I blinked surprised and then looked around.
I didn’t notice, but more than twenty of these hungry fellows were trying to get past my Magic Armor and eat my flesh. Fortunately for me, they were far too weak for me to even feel anything from their attempts.
“GYA!” I jumped up on the ceiling like a big scaredy-cat.
My reaction was apparently so comical that it made the girls laugh.
I let out a sigh and dropped down, smashing a few heads while doing so. After I walked out of the pile of zombies and shoved the rest back, causing a massive stumble for the horde, I looked back at the three giggling women.
“I admit, I did not expect to jump like that.” I said like a gentleman while shaking the jaws of a zombie’s head off of my foot.
“Illsy, you really are funny sometimes.” Nanya said while wiping away a tear.
“Strange that I didn’t sense them…” I noted.
“That’s why they are so dangerous. They basically emanate no life-force or Magic Energy, so you can’t really tell how many or where they are when they attack. Hearing and sight are usually the best senses to use when tracking down these monsters.” explained Shanteya.
“I see… Can I re-kill them now?” I asked.
“Re-kill?” Ayuseya asked a bit confused.
“Go ahead.” Nanya waved me off.
With a smirk, I focused Magic Energy in the crystals in my hands and pointed my palms at the horde in front of me.
“Stay behind me!” I told them.
After I was sure they were out of the way, I let it rip.
Two bright red beams cut through the pack in front of me until they reached the far-off wall, doing some damage to it as well. Keeping the beams at the same intensity, I moved my arms apart, forming an arc. The beams followed and cut in half anything on the way. In a matter of moments, the entire horde was destroyed, but now, we had a room full of crawlers, and something else.
The only ones untouched by the beams were children and dwarfs. They were too small, but at the very least, the taller ones were decapitated and thus had their suffering end. After I was done, Ayuseya and Nanya stepped in front of me. They released a powerful [Fireball] each, sending it blasting to the middle of the room and burned off their corpses. I used my beams to headshot any remaining crawlers, dwarfs, of zombie children.
About five minutes later, the entire horde was destroyed.
“Let’s stack and burn the rest…” I said as I approached the body of a child.
It was so painful to look at all this death, but while I felt nothing in general for the adults, the children were something else. They were innocent, they had no reason to perish like this. Who knew how many mothers cried after them and how much they asked the gods above why weren’t they allowed to play in this life…
Who would send children in a Dungeon? I thought.
“I think the salves are among them as well…” said Nanya and lifted a body with a slave collar up.
“Then the dungeon or monsters killed them or ate them, then they waited for them to turn into these things?” I asked.
“That’s most likely the reason why the bodies we saw before weren’t dragged away or absorbed.” remembered Ayuseya.
“Some dungeons, indeed, prefer these types of monsters instead of the usual, but this still doesn’t explain why the previous floors looked so twisted…” she told me.
“I dunno…” I shrugged.
“After we are done here, let’s kill those black mages and then find the ‘master’ of the slave children. I feel like destroying someone’s business.” I told them with a bit of a growl in the tone of my voice.
“Slavery is a big business, Illsy. Crushing one or two slavers won’t remove either its need or users.” said Shanteya.
“Yeah… I would have to teach generation after generation that slavery is a bad thing, or at least when applied for children or under certain rules.” I let out a heavy sigh. “I’m still going to go and smash that guy’s business… just to feel a bit better.” I nodded as I made my decision.
“Or if you don’t like the sight, we could go to a country that doesn’t have slavery.” Nanya shrugged.
Looking down at the body of the child I was carrying, I wondered if that was the best solution. Thinking about it, I forgot how exactly slavery was abolished in my previous world. I remembered something about an Abraham Lycan doing something like ending a Civil War… or was it Lincoln? History was never my forte, but that was in the USA, for Europe it died out sometime before the year 1000 and after 300 or something. Actually, I wasn’t really sure if there ever was slavery in Europe or if there was how exactly it was removed. Either way, it was a rather complicated matter from many points of view, but one thing was certain… child slavery was an absolute and categorical ‘NO’ against which I would always fight with all of my might.
But how do you tell and convince someone that something’s not right or normal when they lived their entire lives believing it is something normal and natural? I thought as I placed the body on the pile.
Looking back, I saw that there were many slaves who died in this dungeon. Probably they never wished to come here, but they were forced to by their masters only to be discarded as bait for the monsters. Shoraya didn’t had slavery, but there were many other kingdoms that did.
Why do they see a benefit in this? I asked myself, but then I cast my gaze on Shanteya. She’s not my slave, but the spell makes her my slave… However, what about Nanya and Ayuseya, doesn’t this marriage contract with me act as a more powerful slave collar? I then shook my head.
They weren’t my slaves, none of them… I had wives. I had friends. I had allies free to say and and do as they pleased. Those contracts were mere ways for them to offer them some of my might, nothing else… or so I thought.
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