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Chapter 2: Labyrinth
Date Published: May 3rd, 2015
Chapter 2: Labyrinth
“Darkness, the deep sea of nothingness
“Hmm…it truly meant to say that the Dark Fire is needed huh? How about this ring? Do you have it?” (Aschlad)
Currently, the Argot brothers, together with Bane’s party, were looking at what looked like a scripture on a boulder just east of [Morburn].
Behind the boulder was a huge mountain as if saying that there is a hidden door behind the boulder and will lead to a cave of sorts inside the mountain.
Getting to this location was easy for their levels, though they met plenty of [Kobolds], and [Goblins], they were already no match for their party.
There were 3 other members in Bane’s party.
May, a blonde girl that looks around 20 years old, ample breast, and a nice curve on her waist, was a Priest/Bard that is mainly the party’s healer and support. As well as the eye candy of the group.
Miles, a black haired Scout/Marksman who always puts on his black hood and face mask that covers his nose and mouth, also around 20 years old, was in charge of finding traps and hidden enemies as well as supporting the party either in close range and long rage, in which, he uses a dagger and a short bow.
Blake, a red head with a sturdy body which makes you think he’s a good fit to be a tanker but is actually a Magician/Cook and has a surprisingly shy personality unfit of his appearance. He is the party’s chef and long range supporter in battle.
Then there was Bane, a Warrior/Swordsman, a complete close ranger only fit for battle, he has a short buzz cut black hair and a normal face that you seem to see everywhere, all in all, he was the most normal person in the group. He is in charge of tanking and the main attacker of the group.
At first, these 4 were surprised to hear about Ashclad’s and Blood’s job since they only have one. With the system, they are free to choose up to 2 jobs so most had taken this for granted and choose 2.
But of course, there were players that only sticks to one or players that sticks to only one type of job like Bane who is purely on close range fighting.
The two simply answered that they were still hesitating on choosing a second job.
In any case, these two brothers were assigned to attack from a distance like Blake as they are magicians.
“Yeah, at first, we were only passing by here to rest but then Miles saw there was something carved on the boulder so we removed the moss covering it. After seeing what was written, we frantically searched for the ring the scripture told but…” (Bane)
“Hey, hey, if we don’t have the ring, even if you have us, we will still be unable to open it you know?” (Ashclad)
“Ah, no, no. We found it. It’s just that it took us a long time to find it. See?”
Bane showed a ring that colored silver.
There were no decorations in it, just a plain looking ring which doesn’t seem to hold any value.
“We found it in an antique shop, it has the power to store a spell and fires it off once, just that.” (Bane)
“What do you mean ‘just that’? If you placed a healing spell on it in advance, it could save your life you know? And you can even dodge an enemy’s spell with that.” (Ashclad)
“Yeah, only temporarily anyway. And if you place a powerful spell, it would brake so it’s not really that helpful once you get stronger. At most, it can only serve as distraction to high level monsters.” (Bane)
Ashclad took the ring and examined it.
A ring that can store a spell below C rank and has the ability to fire it off once.
“Hmmm…are you sure this is the right ring?” (Ashclad)
“Well, only one way to find out right?” (Bane)
Bane cocked his head towards the scripture seemingly telling them to do their thing.
Shrugging his shoulders, he gave the ring back to Bane and placed some distance between them.
“Hold that for me will you, let’s do this Blood!” (Ashclad)
Seemingly guessing Ashclad’s intent, Blood nodded while Bane panicked. After all, he will be made into their target.
“W-wait! Why does it have to be m-” (Bane)
“[Black Shot]!” (Blood)
“[Flame Shot]” (Ashclad)
Though it was different than their usual [Dark Wall] and [Flame Shot], it won’t matter anyway what spell they use as long as the two spells came in contact with each other at some point.
Immediately after they chanted their spells, a fire and a black mass the size of a basketball combined and turned into what looked like a black flame twice as large as before.
Since they only used E ranked spells, even combined, it will still be an E rank and thus, below C.
Bane blocked his face with his hand with the ring so as to avoid his health going down.
Sure enough, the black flame was sucked into the ring like a vacuum and was stored inside.
“Now, all that’s left is to place it there?” (Blood)
Bellow the scripture, there is a symbol resembling a triangle with a ring on the topmost corner as well as a flame on the bottom left and a black circle on the bottom right.
When Bane placed the ring on the ring symbol, the ring stuck onto the boulder as if attracted like magnet. But that’s that.
Nothing else happened.
“Hmm…did we do something wrong?” (Ashclad)
“…Don’t tell me we actually need to find this flame and black circle too? Maybe it’s a figurine?” (Miles)
“Eeeeh, just looking for the ring was hard enough, we were lucky to have found it in the antique store but I doubt they have these two as well…” (May)
“U-umm, please don’t get downhearted leader…” (Blake)
Ashclad and Blood were still not used to Blake’s character so they can only frown at the weird spectacle in front of them.
“Haah, sorry about that you two. It seems that there were still more that we need.” (Bane)
“Nah, it’s fine. Rather…hmmm…Blood, what do you think?” (Ashclad)
“Well…maybe we don’t need an item? After all, there was never a word in the scripture that a sculpture is needed, just Dark, Fire, and a ring so…” (Blood)
The two looked at each other as if confirming the other’s thoughts and nodded.
Like that, Ashclad moved forward and placed his palm on the flame symbol while Blood did the same in the black circle symbol.
The two’s hands were engulfed with a flame and darkness respectively and had their hands stuck in the boulder like the ring.
“N-nggg!!! I-its draining….my…..mana…..” (Ashclad)
“Nggggggg!!! I-I can’t remove my hand!” (Blood)
Soon enough, the boulder shook and from within the triangle, a key was formed.
The key has a base color of black with red fiery outlines as well as a triangle mark on the handle.
“Y-you did it!” (Bane)
“Yaaaah! We don’t have to waste time to look anymore!” (May)
“I-I’m glad…” (Blake)
The two brothers were overwhelmed by May who suddenly hugged them and Bane slamming their backs with his STR powered palms.
“I-it’s not a big deal but…” (Ashclad)
“What do we do with this key?” (Blood)
Ashclad held the key and showed it to the party, the boulder didn’t move as they expected and they have no idea where the key is used for so they were at a dead end.
“Hmmm, first, let’s see what it is.” (Bane)
The key Daedalus made for entering his labyrinth. With this key, you will be able to open the door to his labyrinth located everywhere in the world!
“…I feel like I’ve heard that name somewhere…” (Miles)
Everyone seemed confused except for Blake who seems to be fidgeting and hesitating whether to talk or not.
“...You know something, Blake?” (Bane)
“Y-yes! Actually…the name Daedalus, as well as what the scripture said about an ‘endless path’, the labyrinth, and that Delta mark…they are from the Greek mythology’s Daedalus. The creator of the Labyrinth designed to trap the Minotaur.” (Blake)
“…Now that you mentioned it…” (Ashclad)
It was certainly true. The triangle, rather, the Delta mark is Daedalus’ symbol after all.
And if this is the entrance of ‘that’ Labyrinth then…
“O-oi, I don’t think we are equipped to enter this dungeon yet…” (Ashclad)
“That’s certainly true…according to the myth, Daedalus’ labyrinth was a hard place to escape once you went inside…but we at least know what we will need!” (Bane)
“A string, right?” (Blood)
“Exactly, if we have a string like in the myth, we will also be able to safely get out!” (Bane)
Though there was still that chance that the Labyrinth in this world is enchanted or magical and had gimmicks that changes the labyrinth’s order, since they got this far, they wanted to see what was inside.
“Alright, since the dungeon seems to be a lot harder than expected, let’s gather everything that we’ll need first before entering, we’ll all meet up tomorrow, same time in real, at the east gate.” (Bane)
“Nn, then, who will keep the key?” (Ashclad)
Even though Bane’s party seemed to already have absolute trust with each other, it does not change the fact that Ashclad and Blood are outsiders and naturally, will have a hard time trusting the other team.
“Hmm…it would be nice if we all each have one…but before that, we don’t even know where that key goes.” (Bane)
As if noticing something, Ashclad suggest doing the same thing again.
As expected, another key was born when they placed the three requirements again. Though they were constantly drained out of mana, the other members gave them mana potions so it wasn’t a problem.
In no time, they now have 6 [Daedalus’ Keys]. Now the only problem is to where to put it.
“Geez, if we can’t find where to place this key, then regrouping later will be useless. I mean, it’s not like a keyhole will appear if we constantly poke on this boulder right?” (May)
By some stroke of luck, or maybe an accident, or some kind of miracle, the moment May’s key hovered above the center of the Delta mark, a keyhole appeared which sucked her key and turned automatically.
“W-wha-!? I can’t let go!?” (May)
May’s hand seemed to be stuck on the key as it turned, in the next instant, the boulder rotated so fast that they weren’t able to follow and before they knew it, May was gone.
“O-oi! You’re joking right!?” (Ashclad)
They were about to follow May inside since she might be trapped but at the next moment, the boulder rotated again and May reappeared.
“May! Are you alright!?” (Bane)
Bane was holding May up who seemed to have collapsed and was visibly shaking.
Her face drained in color and one can only see fear, despair, and darkness in her face.
“What happened!?” (Ashclad)
“A monster? You saw a monster? What kind!?” (Ashclad)
“A-a monster…with a face of a bull…and a body of a man….holding…a huge axe….” (May)
To have seen the Minotaur from the legends so fast! But that still didn’t explain why she looked so scared.
As if turning a switch, May’s consciousness slipped out and she fell into deep slumber.
This left the party in silence.
For a level 600 monster to exist so near them…and this early in game…
Obviously, this world’s Minotaur is different from [Senerth’s] Minotaur which Lucas defeated countless times but they didn’t know that and thought of all Minotaurs as this powerful.
“…There should only be one Minotaur in this vast dungeon. It might’ve been just roaming around and by coincidence, saw May enter…if we enter in a different time, I doubt it will be there again.” (Bane)
Bane was thinking optimistically again.
“It could be waiting. Rather, can’t it destroy this boulder? This isn’t a game that you cannot destroy the Demon King’s door because the codes said so.” (Ashclad)
“We tried destroying it as well but…we can’t even leave a scratch. Seeing as the Minotaur is not destroying the boulder, then we’re safe…for now.” (Bane)
They fell silent once again.
This time, the one who broke the silence was Blood.
“At least we now know that one key can only transfer one person.” (Blood)
“How does that help us?” (Bane)
“It’s simple. But first, I want to know if you guys are still up for this.” (Ashclad)
Bane’s party minus May looked at each other first to confirm their thoughts then nodded.
“We already got this far, next time we see that monster, he will pay the consequences for scaring May.” (Bane)
Satisfied with his answer, Ashclad and Blood nodded.
“Then we form a raid.” (Ashclad)
+ + +
Gavin: The Labyrinth!? THE LABYRNTH!!!???
After their discussion with Bane’s party, Zeal and Lowy logged out and talked to their friends online if they can help come up with a plan.
Lucas: Raid huh? Well, it certainly is better than by yourself…
“What do you think, Zeal?” (Lowy)
Lowy, who was also logged in the chatbox beside Zeal, asked his brother if he will agree or not.
“Hmmm….No, like I said, we can’t let ourselves be outdone by Lucas and the others…” (Zeal)
“Even though it looks like he’s too far to catch on already?” (Lowy)
“Are you giving up?” (Zeal)
“Then we find another way. Inside that Labyrinth may be our only way of catching up to Lucas. Even if we can’t be his equal, then let us be someone he can rely on in the future.” (Zeal)
Zeal: No, like you said, you still have a city to run right? We’ll do this our way.
“Alright! Let’s do what we can, Blood!” (Zeal)
“Ou! Ashclad!” (Lowy)
+ + +“Everyone ready?” (Bane)
A large number of players had gathered in front of the boulder towards the Labyrinth.
With the ring which can only be used 100 times due to its durability, only 98 keys were made, but thankfully, a high leveled blacksmith was present and was able to keep on fixing the ring so there are now around 200 massed produced keys present.
News of the Labyrinth traveled fast and high leveled players immediately gathered in [Morburn] to get the key. Of course, it wasn’t for free and was sold for 10G per key.
Though the low leveled players can only grit their teeth and spout insulting words to them, they don’t really have a choice since even if they do enter, they will immediately die.
Even Bane’s party is low leveled players which are why they lured the high leveled ones.
Bane knows they cannot lead such players so they served a different purpose. They will be the bait for the Minotaur.
If there are more parties inside the Labyrinth, then there are less chances of being the targets.
Ashclad had told them that winning is impossible despite the numbers if they aren’t united so they abandoned their original idea of forming a raid and this was all they can come up with for now.
Each had earned around 320G just by selling the keys so there is no problem. As for the blacksmith that fixed the ring, he said that payment isn’t needed, just that 100 ores found inside the Labyrinth will be his.
For a blacksmith, ores are more important than money. With a single ore, they can make a good weapon. And with a good weapon, they can get more money. Hence, he asked for 100 ores of whichever kind instead of money.
Many players had already gotten inside the Labyrinth since a few minutes ago when they started selling the keys but it was still Bane’s party that had the first discoverer bonus because of May, though they were only left with 2 more days but still better than nothing.
May had also calmed down somewhat and was ready to enter the Labyrinth again even if it meant facing the Minotaur once more.
Merchants had also erected their stalls by the entrance so the place was more lively than normal.
“Well then, let’s enter.” (Bane)
Seeing as every member had gathered, Bane and the rest entered the Labyrinth.
What awaited them was a dusty old room.
Old bookshelves, desks, books, papers, piled up around the room like some research room.
“What…is this place?” (Blood)
“There…that’s where I saw the Minotaur.” (May)
When everyone else was looking around the room, May pointed at the room’s other end which is the actual entrance to the Labyrinth.
The corridor was dark, damp, and eerie. Like something will pop up anytime.
“He just stared at me in that corridor…not entering…not attacking…he just stared at me with those beady eyes of his…” (May)
As May continued to recall the incident, everyone can only listen in quiet.
Even though she was not harmed physically, it must’ve been mentally tiring to be stared at by a monster 20 times more powerful than you. Waiting for you to get out of the room.
“It’s alright, look, as we thought, since there is only one Minotaur in this Labyrinth, it was only a coincidence that you saw it immediately. We’re safe for now so there’s no need to worry.” (Bane)
“Let’s survey this room first, we may find some clues here.” (Ashclad)
Seeing as May has calmed down, Ashclad suggested their first mode of action.
“You’re right, if we’re lucky, then there may be a map somewhere here…though if there is and the other players already got them then…well, let’s just look around” (Bane)
First of all, the bookshelf, Ashclad and Blood skimmed through the books in the bookshelves, trying hard to read the letters and careful not to damage the old pages.
The result, they were mostly contained of references and studies about machines and alchemy so they weren’t important.
Though it did pique an interest to the two, they ignored it for now to search for a way to travel inside the Labyrinth as well as counter measures for defeating the Minotaur.
Next, Bane and May looked through the papers spread at the old desks but only found scribbles and weird sentences that don’t make any sense so they were also ignored.
Miles and Blake looked inside the drawers but there were also nothing of importance.
There are also vials containing something on top of the desks, tables, and shelves but none of them knows its use so they were also ignored.
Though picking them up now and having other people appraise it outside is also an idea, in the end, it’s a waste of time and space in the [Inventory] so the high leveled players also ignored it and focused on the monster drops instead.
“There’s nothing here but these scraps! Forget it, let’s just hunt inside before the other players kill too many.” (Bane)
Bane slammed the papers on his hands in frustration and suggested to stop searching for clues here.
That’s when Ashclad noticed something from the papers.
“Wait…these are…” (Ashclad)
“…This too…” (Blood)
Where others saw only scribbles and weird sentences, these two saw something different.
“A robot? No……an automaton! It’s a blueprint for an automaton!” (Ashclad)
“Homonculus! These are formulas and theories for creating a homunculus!” (Blood)
The two exclaimed as they found the true meaning of the papers.
“This ahhhhh! Where are the rest of the blueprints!?” (Ashclad)
“Arrgghh! Why did you have to throw them, Bane!? Ah ahhh, there, there and…where is the rest!?” (Blood)
“Wh-what’s wrong with you guys?” (Bane)
Bane cannot understand why these two are now crawling on all fours frantically searching for the missing parts.
“Oi, look at those two.”
“Haha, what are they crawling for?”
“They look like animals haha!”
The other players that also went in was ridiculing the two which made Bane and the other three to divert their eyes as if saying they don’t know who these two are.
“Damn! It’s still not complete even after we searched through everything!” (Ashclad)
“Don’t tell me that the other parts are scattered throughout the Labyrinth!? If so…” (Blood)
““We will definitely conquer this Labyrinth!!!”” (Ashclad & Blood)
With the newfound goal, the two began their new goal.
“Now I know what my second job is, I need to be a Blacksmith!” (Ashclad)
“And I, an Alchemist!” (Blood)
Bane and the rest was only able to stay silent and watch the two be drowned in their laughter, still unable to understand what had happened to have changed the two into like this.
“To the Labyrinth!” (Blood)
“O-oohhhh….” (Bane, May, Miles, Blake)
Overwhelmed by the two’s over energeticness, Bane and the rest can only answer like so.
And thus, begins Ashclad’s dream in creating an automaton and Blood’s desire of making a homunculus.
Later on, these two will be known throughout the world as the two people with the weirdest personal army but that will be another story.
First of all, I just discovered that my novel has been placed/mentioned in:
SO thank you Novel Translation Reblog and reddit user xPurplexAnarchyx for spreading my novel :3 Also to Megacrazy44 and Ashclad's counterpart in real life (haha yes, I used somebody as reference to most of Ashclad's personality) for informing me about it :p
Oh, and if any of you finds my novel somewhere or plans to put it somewhere, please tell me, it's not like I'll refuse anyway, I just want to know :3
There, finished the Ashclad/Blood chapters!
I didn't place their statuses at the end cause there isn't really that much change anyway sooo...yeah, too lazy to place it all over again. Though I might place it later on if I feel like it but....meh.
I really regret giving too many details in Bane's party because that made their importance in the story...elevate(?) somewhat from the usual mob characters in the background...which is annoying since I might neglect them later on...well, I guess I'll just place them on Ashclad's and Blood's group...
Anyway, sorry if the scripture quote is too lacking since I'm really not good with those things...that's the best I can come up with.
Why Fire and Dark? Why was the ring found so easily? Why was the scripture so easy to guess despite the architect being Daedalus (super genius) that's because there is a reason and it will be tackled someday in the story.
The original story was supposed to be that Ashclad and Blood will only tag along with a bunch of other players, see worth in the papers that others regard as trash, end. I seriously have no idea how it suddenly became a labyrinth...it just happened as I typed...which was irritating because I already told that the ending of their story will be in this chapter and that adding the Labyrinth thingy will lengthen it but at the same time, it also added more explanations to their story so yeah...I did it anyway and came up with this.
As you guys might've noticed, Ashclad's and Blood's story will focus more on the Labyrinth and Geeves' and Rice's story will focus on...well, you'll find out in 2 chapters. And Lucas' story will be the one that will connect them all.
It's also annoying that I made only one female in the group so romance will be...hmmm.......well, I just thought of something so never mind haha, too lazy to erase this paragraph anyway.
Lucas also appeared here and if you wanna know when this happened, then it can be the night after Lucas was summoned and sent back. This was after his talk with Trask and a few minutes before Ashclad and Blood logs in to enter the Labyrinth.
BTW, the [Bookworm]/[Seeker of Tales] Merah has not been forgotten. Currently, he is doing something behind the scenes and will appear in the next volume most likely.
As for the meaning of IDEA...I've thought of half of it. Inter Dimensional..........no idea haha. maybe Ethreal?(has no idea what that means) Emergence? Extraterrestrial? Association? Alliance? haha I dunnoooooo
So! How will Ashclad's and Blood's adventure in the Labyrinth go? How strong will they become when they meet up with Lucas? Will they be able to complete the automaton and homonculus? What is the secret behind the scripture left on the entrance of the Labyrinth? Will they find something else inside the Labyrinth? And finally, how will Geeves and Rice 'change'?
Till the next chapter!
P.S.: New Illustration at [V3] Chapter 3 :3 Not really good with armors and monsters yet so I hope it satisfies most of you :3