Zero was busily going around the Village doing small errands. After the admittance of the Cat People, the livelihood of the Village grew enormously. Naturally, new problems arise, but they are easily managed. What did bother him the most was the constant threat of invasion by monsters. Zero scanned through the usual day’s paperwork with the paper in hand. The Lunar
Rabbits were moving the trees towards the almost completed fairy ring.
“We must finish the Resurrection ring as quickly as possible,” Zero spoke out loud. He was thrilled to know that the Resurrection ring would be completed today. The possibility of being transferred towards the City of Diadem when he dies was no more. The fairy ring was a large building like the one that he had visited when he first died. It was a specially constructed building that allowed the players to respawn without interference. Right next to the Resurrection
Ring was the Church of Infinity’s building, towering beside the Fairy Ring like twin monoliths.
Zero wondered why Bishop Sanya and Bishop Etran just up and left Bishop Anglo behind. He knew that the two Bishops were going to be watched even more attentively than before for helping them kick off Russ out of the Village. He never understood their extravagant ways, even when building the temporary church.
“Bishop Anglo. I’m glad to see that you are doing well.” Zero gave him a respectful bow. A young boy with a couple of followers followed closely behind him as they were out for a walk.
“Hello, Zero. I’m glad to see you on this joyous occasion. It seems the Resurrection Ring has been almost completed.”
“Yes, thanks to your mentor’s support and help, we were able to get this far.”
“I miss them, but the Lord of Infinity will guide us to a prosperous day.” Bishop Anglo smiled. He stopped to admire the work the new players, baby dragons, Lunar Rabbits, and even the Cat People were doing to help finish the construction. For the New players, the contribution points and rewards from finishing the construction would help them grow. Bishop Anglo continued to walk, enjoying his walk through the Village.
“Not bad.” M2 was next to him, chewing on grain like he was smoking. “This will give new and old players a place where they can set their hometown, especially for people like us who are on the run. Dying and Resurrection at the City of Diadem does not sound pleasing.”
“Very.” Kiyro was pleased with quickly the construction was going. “Even though the new players automatically have their location saved here, the older players can’t. It’s difficult to stay
alive in the wilderness with limited supplies.”
“How long does the village have till the supplies last?”
“Well, depending on the amount of meat I gathered and with the plants that I planted from the seeds I received, it should be another month before the elven seeds that your kind gave me will be able to be harvested. You don’t know how much that helps. However, the problem lies from now till the harvest. Therefore, hunting more monsters for food and scavenging has become a priority.”
“Don’t worry about scavenging for plants; my people are great in that aspect.”
“I noticed. I can’t thank you enough.”
“It’s no problem. With the free transportation we get here, it’s just something we could do to help out till we arrive.”
Zero was glad that the Cat People were here to help defend the place. Work was plenty, but the number of residents didn’t even reach up to three thousand.
“Young Dragon!” Bob was running towards him with heavy breath. Finally, he stopped and kneeled over, exhausted.
“Bob? What’s wrong?” Zero helped him up so he could catch his breath.
“There is a large group of monsters flying towards the village,” Bob spoke so fast that Zero had difficulty catching everything he said.
“Monsters? Damn, again?” How many times had it been since he had to strike down the
unwanted monsters making their way into the Village? He had already had to twice this morning. Unfortunately, the number of monsters invading the Village became more frequent as days passed, especially since a month had passed in the game.
“What the heck is happening? At first, the monster invasion only happened when the Village landed to recuperate its magic. Now, as weeks pass, it’s getting worse?” Zero was not like this at all. By the rate the three-month trip was over, the continual invasion of monsters had a high chance of increasing.
“Show me where it is, Bob,” Zero quickly stated. He was following Bob, who was leading the way.
They ran to the large stone fence slowly built on the outer walls of the Draconis Village. It is toward a good twelve feet. Even a small gate was established to allow people to enter and exit. Zero, M2, and Bob dashed out the gate and into large farmland on the eastern side of the wall.
A large number of Vampire Bats were the size of a goose, attacking the live stocks. Eight small dragons of each color and their partners were combating the Vampire Bats flying around them. Like annoying gnats, they attacked and flew away, angering the dragons.
Even seeing the combat up close, it was not in any way a favorable situation.
“Get down here, you rats!” A black baby dragon was fuming in anger. He blew curtains of a small fire at the bats, but they all dodged it quickly. His partner raised his bow, shot a couple of arrows, and missed.
“We can’t keep this up, or we’re going to die before we can kill them!”
“I know, damn it. I’m too small to catch them,” the black dragon jumped up like a piranha trying to take a chomp out of its body. The other dragons were busily running around chasing them in circles.
“You can’t be serious.” Zero watched, a bit ashamed that these baby dragons had difficulty trying to kill a Vampire Bat. Vampire Bats was considered one of the weakest monsters in the forest.
“Khahaha. Do you see those fools?” The other larger dragons pointed and laughed.
“They can’t even kill a vampire bat!”
“I swear, why did they even choose this race?”
“Hey. Hey, be nice. We all went through that phase.” The larger red dragon slipped in and killed all the Vampire Bats effortlessly in the blink of an eye.
The eight small dragons turned red in embarrassment. The black dragon out of the group ran over and head-butted the one who made fun of them.
“Shut your trap! Just because you’re leveling up faster than us doesn’t mean you get to say rude things.”
“Why, you little!” The large red dragon raised its claws and swiped downwards toward the baby black dragon. Even their partners were neck-to-neck, going against one another, trying to kill each other.
Zero and M2 rushed in. They quickly broke up the fight.
“Stop!” Zero commanded. He picked up the dragons by their neck and dangled them in midair.
“Who?” The red dragon puffed out the fire, but it did not phase Zero at all. When the red dragon noticed who it was, he went silent.
“Have both of you forgotten the rules? That you’re not to harm each other?”
“No.” They both squeaked.
“Good, because I swear, I will throw you both in a dangerous area till you both go back to level 1.”
Both dragons squeaked.
“I swear. I won’t kill him.” The red dragon was the first one to talk. “I was just playing, you know.”
“If you say so, but heed my warning, there are serious consequences to breaking the laws of the Drezo Regalia.”
“Yes, sir,” The red dragon was the first one to be let go. Both the red dragon and his partner left the scene. Other people and dragons that were looking left quietly as well.
Zero examined the small black furball. He couldn’t help but smirk at the black dragon in hand.
“My name is Valiant, and my partner is Reeds.”
A small human girl with black hair stepped out from the group of newbies who were still in their newbie clothes. She tightly clutched a wooden bow in her hands and stared at Zero nervously.
“If I may, may I have Valiant back?” She squeaked.
Zero handed Valiant back to Reeds as if it was some kind of dirty rag. “Well, Valiant, you should ignore those idiots and continue with what you were doing. You fell right into their trap.”
“I know, but they been doing it every day. They pick on Valiant the worst. I finally got fed up with it.”
Zero felt disgusted and anger rising in him. He hated bullying and people like them. They were always one out of the whole group, considered a bad apple in the barrel.
“You’re the Chief Librarian of this place, aren’t you?” Valiant asked in awe. “The first ever Drezo Regalia known in existence?”
Valiant almost jumped out of Reed’s arm in excitement. “I saw you giving the speech to everyone. It was so cool! Not only that, I heard stories about your exploits. So, hey guys, it’s Zero!”
Everyone almost clamored among each other as they surrounded him like bees. Then, finally, they stopped in front of him excitedly like a newborn puppy.
“The first dragon in existence!” A white baby dragon squealed in delight. She was zipping around him like a hurricane.
“Calm down, Den. It’s not the end of the world.” A green dragon rolled his eyes. He was the last one to come over. “Efron has a headache watching you speed around like that. Give your partner a break, will you?”
Efron, a male human who looks more like a young boy, was busily trying to catch Den.
“These are my friends and their partners,” Valiant stated.
“I’m Turnip, and my elf partner is Terry.” A blue male baby dragon spoke up first. Then, a beautiful female elf with short yellow hair bowed in acknowledgment and stood silent.
“Pft. Turnip. You had to choose that name.” A silver dragon burst out laughing.
“What? It’s just a game name for crying out loud.” Turnip squirted water on the silver dragon’s face.
“Excuse the rude dragon over there. I go by Baku, and my partner is Quill.” Baku stomped on Turnip’s feet
“Guys. Guys. Guys.” Quill, a half-human and half-elf, spoke, trying hard to separate the two. Even though she was the smallest in the group, her strength was extraordinary. Her pink hair fluttered around behind her as she ripped them apart.
“Wow. Wow. Wow. Miss extra strength is overdoing it again.” A black-haired human male whistled as he saw Quill push the two around.
“Aren’t you going to stop them, Ponza?” A bronze female dragon spoke. She was curled up around Ponza’s neck like a scarf.
“Nope. I don’t think I want to get in between that superhuman. So why don’t you go instead,
“No. No. No. No. I don’t like to be in between skirmishes.”
“Now? I saw you knock out both Valiant and Tanmint once.” A sliver baby dragon chuckled. She was curled around a male human/troll hybrid.
“I don’t know what you are talking about, Bee.” A young human, a dwarf male, spoke up and grumbled with annoyance. “What you saw was just your imagination.”
“Kahahahaha. Tanmint is giving that same scowling face. Someone take a picture of it!” A gold baby dragon was rolling on the floor laughing. Baku, quarreling with Quill, reached over and accidentally pulled on the gold dragon’s tail. In a matter of seconds, three baby dragons were drawn into the fight. Finally, a male elf with white hair pulled all three apart.
“Seka, enough.” The male elf kept all of them at bay and glared at the gold dragon name Seka.
“You’re a girl. What are you doing squabbling amongst boys.”
“They stomped on my tail.” Seka glowered at both Valiant and Baku. “Leaf, go smack them for me.”
Leaf sighed. “No, be more ladylike, for crying out loud.”
“I am a lady. A dragon lady.”
“A dragon furball is more like it.” Baku chuckled.
“Let’s not get into another squabble please,” said Leaf. He had a headache at the troublesome duo.
“Enough!” The green dragon that came last shouted toward everyone. “Can’t you tell that all of you guys are giving your partner’s a headache?”
“Boooo!” Baku waved him aside. “Greenie over there is angry. Better not to get on his nerves.”
“I have a name, and it’s not Greenie.”
“Yea, yea. Greenie.”
“Enough with your childish rattles, Baku.”
“Tch.” Baku turned around and went back towards Quill. He jumped upwards like and cat and sat on her shoulder. “Greenie is boring~” He sang.
“My name is Kai, not a greenie,” fumed Kai. Then, in annoyance, he snapped towards Baku, and his partner, a female human, scooped him up in her arms.
“You’re starting to turn red, Kai. I suggest you calm down and relax. You remember what I have told you about counting numbers to cool your temper?”
Kai temporarily froze for a moment. “Yes. Yes. Leona.”
“I’m sorry you got to see all this.” Valiant came forward, ashamed and embarrassed. “That became a complete mess. Let me reintroduce them all.” He cleared his throat.
“Turnip is the blue dragon, and his partner is Terry, the female elf. She’s good at using spears. Baku is the silver dragon, and his partner is Quill, with pink hair. Don’t be fooled by Quill’s cute look; she packs a punch. Kai is the green dragon, and his partner is Leona, the female human. They make a great couple. Leona is the only one that can quell Kai’s temper. Plus, both of them are like our healers.”
“I heard that,” Kai spoke out loud from Leona’s arm.
“Next, we got Val, the bronze dragon, and her male human companion Ponza. I suggest you not get on Ponza’s bad side. He has a wicked dagger skill; even I don’t always know where he stashes it sometimes. Bee is the Silver dragon, and Tanmint, her partner, is the only half-dwarf in our group. Strangely they are no full Dwarves as a partner that we know of. For a half-dwarf, he’s pretty tall if you ask me.” Valiant smirked. “He does well with the female dwarves, you know.” He winked toward Zero.
Zero continued to listen to Valiant. “Den is the white dragon with her human male partner Elfon. Seka, our gold dragon, is the most outgoing dragon out of all of us. Leaf has a hard time handling her. Sometimes I feel like she’s more of a White dragon than actual gold if you know what I mean. I swear her speed competes for neck and neck with Den sometimes.”
Zero examined each one of them with interest. They were quite a unique bunch of young dragons and their partners all in one place. Sixteen in total, but what interested Zero the most was that they somehow knew each other very well.
“Do you guys all go to the same school?”
“Yea. How did you know?” Valiant asked. He curiously peered up at him, bewildered by Zero’s words.
“It’s just that you all seem to be close to each other, especially such a large group like you guys.”
“I know, right? We were lucky when all eight of us got to become dragons. We roped our friends to be our partners, and when they heard that we would be flying later on, they all got excited. We are truly grateful that you opened up this species to be playable. No species can fly, and this is the only one.” Valiant dreamily stated. “And it seems you are the closest one to get there.”
“Well, you could say that, but I honestly don’t know when I would be even getting my pair of wings.”
“Really? Hmmm. That is a bit of a problem, but it seems from the videos that the Yami Hikari company put out show wings. So I’m confident that we will be able to fly.”
“I agree as well. But why haven’t you gone to train in the newly made dungeons?”
“Well, it’s so packed there that it’s impossible to level. There are a few other dungeons, but those are much more difficult, especially the Red Dungeon.”
“Yea, didn’t you know? All the dungeons are color coded. The Green, Aqua, and Turquoise Dungeons are for beginners, while the purple and yellow are for levels 100 to 150. The Red Dungeon was the newest underground dungeon that was created. There have already been sightings of monsters over level 150 and up.”
“I didn’t know….” Zero voice went quiet. He honestly didn’t know how many special dungeons were being created. So many things were happening quickly in the Draconis Village that one would have thought it was more of a town than a village. Even the land has tripled in size during the month we’ve been floating toward the City of Elements. For it to grow so quickly where quarantined dungeons are formed was surprising in itself. He was amazed at how quickly this small land was increasing in volume to the point where they were something new every day.
Even the elven seeds he had planted a month ago were sprouting like daisies. The barren land had slowly turned into a forest in a short time. At this rate, he worried that the plants would grow out of control and take over the whole place, though strangely enough, even though he had planted them carefully, they were merging with the building. It was quite a strange sight to see.
“Really? That’s strange. I thought you knew.” Valiant was peering over towards Zero, confused.
“I haven’t been keeping tabs so that I wouldn’t know.” But, honestly, he has been going out into the forest and hunting down monsters daily. Lately, he noticed that the monsters were breaching the barrier more frequently, causing low-level monsters to slip through. He was worried that by the end of the second month, the barrier would slowly become weaker, allowing more higher-level monsters to come through.
“Oh. I see. You are the chief librarian of this place. I was wondering…”
Valiant nervously moves around. “I was wondering if you could help us level or give us some pointers on how to fight.”
“Is this a good idea?” M2 spoke. He was silent the whole time and watching the event unfold.
Zero thought it over for a moment. They were nothing wrong with giving some pointers, plus he did want to check out this new red zone that Valiant brought up.
“What level are all of you guys?”
“Well….” Valiant stuttered that Zero did not catch a single phrase.
“I’m level 30. Everyone is around the level of 35 to 50.” He spoke barely audible for Zero to hear.
“I see. Well then. Let’s go to the red cave.”
“Are you sure about this?” M2 was bewildered at what Zero had just stated. “Weren’t you listening? So that’s a high-level dungeon.”
“I know, but the first level usually has low-level monsters. Plus, if you don’t mind helping me out, I have an idea.”
“I get the feeling I know what you are thinking.”
Zero shrugged as if M2 was just overthinking things. “Lead the way.”
“Really?” Valiant asked excitedly. “Come on, guys! We’ll be learning from Zero himself!”
Everyone who heard that was excited to learn under Zero’s tutelage. Valiant jumped up joyfully; he quickly directed Zero to the Red Dungeon. Everyone followed behind, wondering what they would learn from Zero.
They arrived in front of a small cave-like entrance that led downwards into the ground; the Red Dungeon was further away from the Village itself and was protected by a built-in stone fence that he noticed the Lunar Rabbits were constructing.
“Chief Librarian.” A Lunar Rabbit waved towards Zero. A group of Lunar Rabbits was completing building the stone walls.
“Hi, how’s everything going here?”
“We’re about finished with putting up stone walls. Also, a special barrier is placed around the hole so no monsters can escape. All the other dungeons were done the same way.”
“I appreciate you guys working so hard.”
“No. It’s our honor to help with the progress of the Draconis Village. We are glad to know that the expansion of the Library is progressing well.”
“Has there been anyone who went in yet?”
“Not to our knowledge. We believe you will become the first one to enter, though we do feel something is wrong with the dungeon.”
“Really?” Zero curiously asked. Does that mean the dungeon itself is dangerous or was there something down there that could cause a problem for the Village itself? “Then would you guys help me out on something?”
“It would be our pleasure.” The Lunar Rabbit bowed.
“I was wondering if a group of you will come with me to check this dungeon out.”
“If you order us to, we will not mind.”
“We shall. Give us a moment while we finish building the stone wall. It will only take a
The Lunar Rabbits quickly dispatched themselves and went to finish their work quickly.
“Wise move,” said M2. “We don’t know what’s down there, and you bringing extra protection for the young ones should help us out.”
“Well, honestly, I was going to drag one monster for them to kill while I pin it down. I thought higher-level monster kills will help them level up faster.”
“That is the case, but soloing high-level monsters and trying not to get killed is not an easy feat. Nevertheless, you seem quite confident in your skills.”
“Well, I wouldn’t say I am, but since you are here, it makes everything much easier.”
“Every time I’m with you, you surprise me differently.”
“What do you mean?”
“Nothing. Nothing at all.”
The Lunar Rabbits completing the stone fence, quickly finished their job and came over. All were over twenty-four Lunar Rabbits were present all over level two hundred.
“Okay, listen up; we’re going to split into eight groups. Each dragon and its partner will go with three Lunar Rabbits. Together, you guys will be fighting as a team. I want the Lunar Rabbits to ensure you keep the dragon and their partner safe, but this does not mean sacrificing your life. If you feel like the monster is too dangerous, kill it as quickly as possible, but if it’s not, allow the younger dragons and their partner to finish it. All of you are precious citizens of the Draconis Village, and I would hate to see you die. For the dragon pair, every chance you get, attack the monsters that the Lunar Rabbit in your party is fighting. I know this is leeching off a higher-level group, but this should help you level up faster. So let’s go and see what’s in this new dungeon, shall we?”
Everyone nodded and followed behind M2 and Zero. Zero shifted and changed into his gold and black dragon form that towered over the baby dragons. The baby dragons squealed in delight when they saw the towering form of Zero that gazed down upon them.
As the first Adventures to enter the newly created dungeon, you will gain 2x the normal experience and rare items for the week.
Zero entered in first. Crawling in to enter the tight space wasn’t as large an entrance, but his body still fit through fine. He felt stupid for turning into his dragon form, but he was unsure what was inside. It took a while before he came out of the tight hallway and finally came upon a large open space with seven different tunnels leading in different directions.
M2 came up from behind, followed by the group. On the other hand, they did not have to crawl like Zero and were perfectly fine walking through.
The monsters were called Dirt Worms, in which case they looked like large Earthworm monsters who were lazily chewing on the side of the walls, eating the volcanic dirt, and creating new passageways. None of them turned towards Zero or the group.
“Are those the monsters we’re going to fight? They look so weak.” Valiant spoke up first. He curiously went over to sniff them out.
“Step back!” Zero yelled. He pushed Valiant backward as the Dirt Worm swung over and bit into Zero’s arms.
“Zero!” M2 shouted; he dashed forward and stuck his rapier into the side of the Dirt Eater. The Dirt Worm let go, flailed around, and turned towards M2 with its sharp teeth. With a quick side-step, M2 leaped away and struck like a viper. Seven continuous flurries of attacks were shot forward, cutting the Dirt Worm into seven small pieces. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine. My scales protected me.” Zero was relieved that his skin was turning harder and harder every day and becoming armor.
“Wow, you’re so strong,” Den spoke. She zipped towards M2, lighted a lightning bolt, and stopped in front of him with awe. “Are all cat people like you?”
“Well, not exactly.”
“Really?” Den cocked her head. She jumped up in a blink and was sitting on his shoulder.
“Hmmm…You don’t look so strong, though.”
“Den! Don’t be so rude!” Elfon snatched her out of M2’s shoulder. “I’m so sorry. Unfortunately, she has a knack for speaking rudely.”
“It’s alright. I kind of find it adorable.” M2 smiled. “Speaking honestly from the heart is not bad, you know.”
“Yes, but it always gets her in trouble.”
“Kuhuhuhuh. I can see that.”
“Hey, guys, are the seven pieces of the Dirt Worm moving?” Turnip was poking at it with his claws. “Is that supposed to happen?”
“No.” Zero spoke. “Usually, monsters are supposed to stay dead…..” He leaned forward, wondering what was causing the Dirt Worm to move. After careful examination, he noticed that the Dirt worms were slowly reforming into seven smaller Dirt Worms. “Not good, It’s coming back alive. This is a good time for you guys to learn your fire breath.”
“Fire breath? We don’t have that.” Valiant asked, confused.
“You don’t?” Zero was astonished at their response. “How about Stink Bomb?”
“We have that.” Valiant eyes lite up. “Though it makes me conscious of my breath.”
“That doesn’t matter. You guys have flint, don’t you?”
All the dragon shook their heads. Zero groaned. He should’ve known that he was hoping for too much, but he remembered that he had to find out the hard way to learn how personally.
“What does our bad breath have to do with Fire Breath?”
“It’s a gas that sparks up the fire. You need flint to ignite it to create an explosion skill while eating the flint will help start a fire from your belly and out your mouth. That’s why you must eat
flint daily to store it up in your stomach.”
“Oooooooh. So where do we find them?”
“I-” Zero thought it over for a moment. He didn’t know where he could find flint anywhere on this land. Thinking about flint now was something he rarely kept in mind because he had a horde of them in his storage. So instead, he searched around the cave, looking for any possible flint.
With his claws, he used his nails to strike against different forms of rock till he came upon a rock that sparked. He gently blew a little gas toward the rock and sparked the black rock with his claws. A loud explosion rang throughout the cave, causing the wall to break, and a loud echo rang endlessly throughout the cave.
“You idiot,” M2 hissed. “You just brought attention to every single monster in the cave.”
“Can’t help it, can I? They need flint, or it will be hard fighting these monsters with just their teeth and claw.”
“Everyone, quickly take these flints and eat them. Inhale deeply and blow out fire from your guts. Your stink breath will automatically activate, allowing you to control fire freely, but this does not mean you will endlessly spew the fire. Watch.”
Zero inhaled deeply as his chest enlarged and glowed red. Then, he exhaled a flaming torrent of fire downwards at the seven pieces of the Dirt Worm as they burned alive. “The Lunar Rabbits will slice the Dirt Worms into smaller pieces, while the dragons and their partner will finish it off.”
“Zero! Fifteen Dirt Worms are coming from all seven directions.” M2 rushed forward, attacking the first one that came toward them.
Zero followed pursuit, but instead of using his fire breath, he shredded the Dirt Worms with his claws as many times as possible. While each group handled one Dirt Worm, Zero and M2 took care of the rest. Finally, the dragons darted in, gobbled up the broken flint, and ran back toward their group excitedly.
Lunging forward, Zero grabbed one Dirt Worm slithering over like a snake on his side out from underground. He slams downwards hard onto the floor, causing the monster to become mush. Feeling disgusted at the mushy feeling between his claws, he tried his best to wipe it out.
“What are you doing? You need to watch your back.” M2 spoke; he leaped forward and diced the Dirt worm into pieces. Zero glanced up and noticed that the Dirt Worms would have attacked him from his blind spot if M2 didn’t kill it.
“I got you, don’t I? Plus. I can’t get this awful feeling out of my fingers.” Zero groaned as he slid his hands on the ground, trying his best to get the flesh of the Dirt Worm out.
More and more Dirt Worms continued to come through. Zero picked up his pace in destroying the Dirt Worms using his teeth and claws. He dove towards the side where Turnip and Terry had difficulties keeping two at bay. Turnip spewed out jets of water from his mouth, causing the Dirt Worm to fly a bit backward. Terry brandished her spear and swung it in wide arcs. Every movement she made reminded Zero of a picture-perfect artwork dancing instead of fighting.
Zero was amazed at the small blue dragon sending streams of water jets out of his mouth. He did not expect water to be replaced by fire breathe, though he did not know much about the dragon race. This was the first time I saw the young dragons in combat.
Bam! Zero’s tail curled into a whip smashing the Dirt Worm into the wall. The Dirt Worm split into two. Then, from the corner of his eyes, he saw silver rush past him. Baku jumped towards the split Dirt Worm and pounced on it like a cat. Quill fired arrow after arrow behind Baku as it perfectly landed on open space, inches away from Baku.
“Hey! Are you trying to kill me?” Baku thundered.
“Maybe?” Quill chuckled, and she nocked another arrow and fired. With a zip, the arrow flew and hit squarely at the second half of the Dirt Worm that was itching over to devour Baku in one gulp.
Zero had to snatch the Dirt Worm right after she fired and squashed it completely. He noticed that once he stomped hard enough and it splattered all over the place, the Dirt Worms couldn’t regenerate. On the other hand, cutting it into pieces did nothing.
Picking up the pace, Zero continued to slaughter and smash the Dirt Worms pouring continuously out the passageways. At first, they were many, but the Dirt Worms were easy for Zero and M2. They quickly dispatched two-thirds of the monsters, and the rest of the Lunar Rabbits were jumping around with daggers in hand. They kept close to the baby dragons and made fighting for them easier to kill.
Both green and bronze dragons, Kai and Val, were back-to-back slaying Dirt Worms together like old battle buddies. Even their companions, Leona and Ponza, were in sync. They continuously blew fire in figure eight as they burned the Dirt Worms around them. The wild crackle of fire spread among the group of dragons as the Dirt Worms were burnt alive.
If anyone had come in and seen what was going on, they would’ve thought they had come down to hell because of the burning inferno that surrounded them. The hot air, the black smoke, and the screeches from the dying Dirt Worms almost sound human.
This allowed both the baby dragon and its partners to grow quickly in their level. For the next four hours, Zero’s group continually slayed Dirt Worm while exploring the winding passages of the Red Dungeon.
“This is so cool!” Valiant squealed in delight. “I gain twenty levels!”
“Me too. Me too.”
The other dragons and their companions excitedly chattered among themselves, happy with their increase in levels.
On the other hand, Zero did not receive even 10% experience points from continuously slaughtering the Dirt Worms. Instead, he progressively stepped deeper into the cave and switched to his human form.
The number of Dirt Worms that the dragons and their partner could handle slowly increased from two to three to four. He suspected that these monsters were only level 100. So instead, he used this time to sharpen his skills as a human using his Kamori.
“Are we going to stay here longer?” Valiant asked, thrilled that he was leveling up so quickly.
“No. We’re going to the lower floors.” Zero jumped the open hole downwards and landed on soft, bouncy moss. He glanced up and noticed everyone was peering down worriedly.
M2 followed closely behind and landed perfectly on all floors.
“Come on down. There is a way to scale up on the side, so you’ll not be trapped here.”
“But the monsters are going to be stronger.”
“So?” Zero asked unashamedly at his answer. “There is no point in staying at the first level any longer. You will be taking down five of them faster at this rate. Plus, I will need the Lunar Rabbits’ help for a while.”
The other dragons regrettable grumbled. Then, they each jumped off the giant hole and onto the bouncy floor.
“Your power is at its peak; slaying the monsters in your dragon form is much faster than in your human form.” Zero replied. “Take advantage of this opportunity now; even if you die, you should be able to take the higher-level zones. So we’ll rest here for a moment and head in deeper.”
None of the players wanted to die so quickly or give up the opportunity to trek through the higher levels. They rested up for a moment, eating food and replenishing their magic. Then, zero started mixing, draining, and creating new concoctions using his herbology skill. He had been busy looking around the dimly lit cave for any new plants he could use and catalog into the book he had been secretly creating as a hobby. These were when his scribe skill would come in handy, jotting down new information on his findings.
Everyone stared at Zero worriedly as they saw him create weird concoctions that made him look like a mad scientist. Several small explosions enveloped Zero as he took extra steps that people normally did not do.
You have learned Alchemy skills. You will now be able to brew up a new concoction using herbal skills.
You have learned the Poison creation skill. After countless failures, the majority of the failures are turned into positions.
Your skill in identifying new plants and animals has increased to the point where you intuitively know when a plant or animal’s parts are dangerous to mix.
Zero continually walked forward while everyone followed closely behind, nervously wondering what would happen next.
“You have quite a fascinating skill,” M2 replied. He was staring at Zero’s green glowing juice that look sickly and dangerous. “I didn’t know there were so many different items you could combine such plants. Have you tried out your creations yet?”
“Yes. My friend helps me test them out.” Zero smirked. He couldn’t help contain the different flavorful expressions that Zeraph gave when he handed him new mixes.
“A lot better than the potions sold on the market.”
“Really? Now that’s interesting. If I gave you some ingredients, would you also make some for me?”
“Sure. However, it comes with a price. So what do you want?”
“I don’t mind. I like some health potions that restore up to 50% of my health. But, unfortunately, finding high-level potions around that level is rare. So can you do it?”
“That’s a little difficult. I haven’t been able to create something that high yet with my skill. The highest that I can go right now is 30%.” Zero pulled out a small condensed glass bottle the size of half his pinky.
“You’re saying all your potions are that small in size and it heals 30%?”
“I could carry 100 of those without even weighing me down. So that’s quite an achievement.”
“I do. I carry them in my clothes for easier access. They don’t break as easily, especially these glasses, though a strong impact like a level 200 or higher would break it apart. They are mixed with rainbow turtle shells with normal glass to fortify them. Even if it breaks, the liquid absorbs automatically into the skin and heals you. Though the glass shards can be a problem, they break into a fine dust so far.”
“What ingredients do I need to make 100 of those?”
“Just bring me 100 rainbow turtle shells with fine glass. For the potions, I have enough for it to make quite a bit.”
“Tch. I was hoping you would tell me the ingredients for it.”
“The ingredients are not the only thing you have to worry about. The preparation is another beast in itself.”
M2 sighed. “I believe you. After watching you blow up your concoction a couple of times, I wonder if you are making explosives instead of potions.”
“It does, doesn’t it? Well then, I’m all rested, and everyone should be as well.” Zero quickly put away the items and got up.
“Let’s go. Nap time is over.”
Everyone got up and went forward carefully except M2 and Zero. On the second level, they encountered more Dirt Worms than before. A slightly different Worm monster called Vampire Worm looked like a giant sponge in between the mix of Dirt Worms. Razor-sharp teeth that looked like shark teeth dangerously attacked the group of baby dragons.
Zero had to rush in and chop off the head of the Vampire Worms first to lessen the monster’s difficulty.
“Watch out for its teeth! You get even bitten once you’re going to die!” Zero slashed into a horizontal slash and cut a Vampire Worm in half.
“That’s easier said than done!” Valiant ducked and rolled. He blew out of the torrent of flames scorching the Dirt Worms that lunged toward him.
Reed shot arrow after arrow, pinning the Dirt Worms into the ground, while the Lunar Rabbits jumped around the Den in rapid movements. Finally, they could pin the movements of five Dirt Worms by attacking them from the back.
Zero flew forward with his sword in hand and slew the oncoming groups of Dirt Worms. They wiggled and squirmed, trying to reconnect together. Then, with a flick of his finger, Zero threw small crackling bombs that exploded at the Dirt Worms. The power was not strong enough to cause a devastating attack, but instead, it allowed him a couple of seconds to distract the Dirt Worms. Giving this opportunity, his sword slashed through the Dirt Worm’s skin cutting them into small pieces.
“Pick up your pace!” Zero fought faster and faster. He was keeping a steady tempo of his footwork and his sword skills in synch. Not a single movement was wasted, allowing him to conserve energy to continue to move forward.
The baby dragons and their partners were having difficulty keeping up with Zero’s pace, but their dedication was firm whenever they saw him move forward. Every one of the baby dragons looks up to Zero, wondering when they will become like him or even better than him.
Even the Vampire Worms did not have a chance to touch him in his human form. With every step he took, Zero destroyed the monster instantly. He did not let a single one escape and continued to move forward. From the second, third, fourth, and finally, to the fifth level, Zero’s group mowed through the levels as if they were nothing.
Without the help of the Lunar Rabbits fighting alongside them and Zero is taking the lead, the baby dragon and their partners would’ve gotten wiped out on the second level. Instead, for three days, on and off, the group continued to plow through the dungeon rapidly.
“Someone, please; I need to take a rest.” Turnip wobbled and fell onto the ground. His small dragon body shook with exhaustion. “My stamina just ran out.”
“Someone give him food,” Zero spoke. He was battling a giant fat worm called the Goliath Worm by himself. Its attack was slow, but its power was strong. One hit from the body would cause massive damage and stun them.
Terry ran over with a hot bun in her hand. She twirled her spear in midair, chopping the Vampire Worms in half. “Turnip, I need you to move closer to me!”
“I-I can’t. I’m going to get eaten alive by a damn worm!”
“Ah, quit your complaining,” Baku pranced around both the Vampire Worms and the Dirt Worms as if they were nothing. His silver body glistened with sweat, but he did not stop moving. He made it over towards Turnip and picked him by the back of his neck. Jumping over the Dirt Worms that smashed into each other, his claws tore through their body like butter.
Baku tossed Turnip into the air, and Terry threw the hot bun perfectly into an arch. Then, with the last of his strength, Turnip twisted in midair. His mouth automatically opened, and he snapped the hot bun out of thin air. He chewed and gulped quickly, and had the strength to land on all four of his blue scaly feet.
“Puuuuuuurrrrfect landing. Kuhuhuhuhu.” Turnip chuckled to himself. “Thanks, Terry. I’ll kiss you later!”
“Shut up, pervert and kill that Vampire Worm behind you!” Terry scolded him. She threw her spear impaling the Dirt Worm on the right side of Turnip.
“You’ll like it~” Turnip sang cheerfully and rolled away from the Vampire’s Worm attack. He inhaled and spewed out a powerful jet of water at the Vampire Worm’s open mouth causing it to bloat. He did not stop until the Vampire Worm eventually blew up from taking in too much water.
“Really? You had to kill it like that?” Val gave Turnip a disgusted face. She ducked a bit too late, and the Dirt Worm smacked against her bronze hide. The attack caused her to fly across the dungeon and into three other Dirt Worms.
“Val!” Ponza yelled. Then, he kicked a Vampire Worm roughly against its body, causing his foot to get temporarily stuck in its body.
“What?” Val got up quickly and jumped out of the Dirt Worms way. “You’re okay?” Ponza asked with worry.
“I’m fine. Are you?” Val dodged around them and grabbed each of their ends. Like a pretzel, Val tied them up tightly, making them unable to move. Then, she toasted all three of them alive with a fiery breath.
“I’ll manage.” Ponzo pulled his leg out of the Dirt Worm and dragged his dagger across the whole body. The Dirt Worm was cut in half, with their guts spilling out.
A streak of white and gold scales flew past Ponzo. Den and Seka played tag as they hopped from
one Dirt Worm to the next. Both of them take turns shredding skin or tearing bones in one go. Unfortunately, their crazy stunts left behind large chunks of meat gone from the Dirt Worm’s body. Even though they didn’t kill very many Dirt Worms, it hindered the Dirt Worm’s maneuverability and attack.
“Den! Seka! Take this seriously!” Elfon grunted. His ax swung, causing him temporarily lose his balance. Leaf caught Elfon just in time so he would not fall onto his back. “Thanks, Leaf.”
“No problem.” Leaf nodded. He pushed Elfon’s stocky body back on his feet.
“We are~” Both Den and Seka chorused together. They ran towards Elfon and Leaf and circled them like a hurricane, causing dirt to be picked up. A temporary wind barrier was created just in time before the Vampire Worms could jump in on them. Even though Den’s speed was much faster than Seka’s, he increased and decreased his speed depending on the situation. Being a white dragon gave him a significant advantage in speed, but he was still the smallest out of all the dragon races. This meant that his power was not as strong as either Valiant’s or Den’s, who were considered the powerhouses of the group. What Den lacked, Seka made up for and tore through the vampire’s skin like it was tissue paper.
Valiant, however, was able to summon his first undead skeletal Vampire Worm. Even though it was weak, it did its job of protecting Reed’s back, who was an archer.
“Valiant, I’m pulling in the three Vampire Worms on the side.” Reed nocked an arrow and fired three continuous shots, each hitting the Vampire worm’s blind spot. Then, finally, they turned around and came rushing toward them.
“Got it.” Valiant ran in. He chomped to one end of the Vampire Worm and picked it up. Even though the Vampire Worm was three times the size of Valiant, he easily picked it up as if it was nothing.
His claws latched onto the ground, and he flung the Vampire Worm towards the other two. All three Vampire Worms crashed into each other, temporarily knocking them out.
“Bind!” Val yelled. Green foliage appeared from the ground and wrapped itself around the three Vampire Worms. “Kill it now!”
“I know. Don’t order me around.” Valiant ran forward and blew a black torrent of flames. The fire cackled, and Worms wiggled chaotically. Both the binding and the Worms were destroyed in the black flames.
“Great job, you guys. We can kill them by ourselves now.” Leona happily replied. She held onto her oak staff. “Area Blessing!” She raised her arms to the sky. A white holy light appeared around everyone and gently bathed them. Their power and stamina increased, allowing them to destroy the monsters quickly.
Zero battled furiously with the Goliath Worm with M2. The baby dragons fought the mob worms with their partners and the Lunar Rabbits. They controlled the spawning mobs that the Goliath Worm was continually producing.
“M2! Watch out for its poison spit!” Zero barely ducked under Goliath’s heavy body before he got squashed. His sword sliced through the side, causing a large lesion. Gooey substances dripped out of its side and onto the floor.
From the puddle, two Vampire Worms were created. It wiggled and uncurled itself from the puddle and attacked Zero.
“Trinity Falls!” An explosion of fire followed after the skill searing the Vampire Worms into dust. Zero quickly switched his target back to the Goliath Worm.
“Trinity Falls! Trinity Falls! Trinity Falls!”
A searing fire erupted all over the Goliath worm, causing the skill to turn black, but the monster did not burn up and die. Instead, it wiggled around even more and attacked Zero with its heavy body.
“Damn it, how many times do I need to yell this skill for it to fall!?”
“A lot more.” M2 hopped up onto its black. He dug his sword downwards and ran upwards to the head. Goo spewed out from the cut, and more Worms appeared from its body.
“M2, you’re obnoxiously creating even more! What the hell!” Valiant spat black fire. “We’re going to get overrun!”
“Keep your pretty heads in check. You’re all leveling up perfectly fine now, aren’t you?”
“You’re trying to kill us instead.”
“No, I’m not. Look at Zero, he has twenty on him, and he’s doing fine.”
Zero was swamped with both Vampire Worms and Dirt Worms. His blade slashed quickly all around him, cutting every Worm into mincemeat. He was glad that he had watched Zeraph’s sword practice and had decided to use a similar cutting style. It did not compare to Zeraph’s, but it did the trick he needed it to. All the Worms were cut so small that they couldn’t recuperate.
“You’re kidding me, right?” Valiant stares at Zero, dumbstruck.
“See, what did I tell you? You will be fine.” M2 continually ran around the Goliath worm like it was nothing, creating more monsters, one after another.
Zero could tell that the health of the Goliath was rapidly decreasing and that what M2 was doing was working. They had to chop it up and let it bleed to death continually. Jumping head first, Zero followed in pursuit. He danced around Goliath’s body and slashed.
More and more worms appeared from the ooze. Finally, it shot up to six hundred from one hundred to two. All the baby dragons and their partners were dancing around frantically as if their butts were on fire. They could not even rest a minute, or the worms would devour them. The thought of being worm food did not sit well with any of them.
Even the Lunar Rabbits were jumping around, trying not to get eaten up by the worms, but compared to the baby dragons and their partners, they were doing much better.
“You’re doing great!” M2 happily sang. With a final rapid attack, both M2 and Zero annihilated the Goliath Worm, but in its place, a large swarm of roughly a thousand worms swarmed all around them. It was like they were swimming in it.
“Damn it! Keep firing! Don’t stop!” Valiant choked on his spit and had to jump out of harm’s way. He blew fire in midair, causing the worms to burst into flames.
“We should go fishing with these worms,” M2 replied. “They are quite healthy looking, you know.”
“That might not be bad, though we need a large fishing pole.” Zero replied. He jumped to the side and hacked the Dirt Worm into five pieces.
M2 and Zero leisurely conversed with one another as they continued taking out the Earth Worms and the Vampire Worms. The baby dragons were appalled at the strange sight that they saw. They
didn’t know if they were taking this threat seriously or not.
“We could try fishing over the ocean or a lake one day, though the problem is finding one.”
“There should be one coming up shortly.” But then, M2 hacked at another worm. “I think it’s a couple of days’ ride until we pass one.”
“Really? I’ll see if Garret could help me design a fishing pole.”
“Great idea, make me one as well.”
“I will. Hopefully, we will catch some fish the size of these worms. It could feed the population for a day.”
“Ooooooh, fish. I like that.”
“You guys!” Valiant yelled, catching both Zero’s and M2’s attention.
“Yes?” They both replied at the same time; they destroyed a worm.
A swarm of worms was already in the small group, overwhelming them with their strength.
“I swear, these kids can’t even take care of a few monsters.”
“A few? A few?” Valiant felt his veins ready to pop. He struggled with ten Dirt Worms by himself, hopping around like his feet were on fire.
“Yes, a few.” M2 dashed in and sliced them up in a rapid attack.
Zero dashed forward and did the same with the others. In a matter of moments, the monsters dwindled to a few. Finally, the baby dragons and their partners finished the rest of the worms. With the fight over, they fell flat on their stomach, exhausted.
“I can’t do this anymore.”
“I need water!”
“Someone save me. My feet are aching, and my throat is dry.”
“Wah! I want to go home.”
“Quit your complaining; that was just a warm-up.” M2 shook his head. He put away his rapier and stared down at them in disappointment. “You’re powering leveling as if it’s nothing.”
“Yea, but you’re killing us slowly!”
M2 rolled his eyes. “You’re being helped for free. Unfortunately, there aren’t many people out
there who are willing to help. By now, all of you should be passed one hundred.”
The complaining baby dragons went silent.
“Yea, me too.”
“I’m level 98.”
“Sweet, we’re all probably in the same level range,” spoke Reed. Who was lying on the ground panting?
Everyone nodded. Even their partners were around the same level.
“I can’t believe we leveled so quickly. In just one week,” said Tanmint. “At this rate, we probably passed the other baby dragons by far.”
“That ugly oaf will be surprised when he sees how far we leveled.” Valiant eyes glistened with pleasure. He smirked evilly. “Now, if he tries picking on Reed, I will give him one or two punches.”
“Valiant.” Reed gave him a disapproving look.
“What? He deserved it.”
“Don’t go looking for trouble.”
“I won’t. I’ll just sneak it in a couple of times in our fight.”
“Come on, Reed. This is why you always get bullied. You need to stand up to your foes. If not, they will continue to pick on you.”
“She’s not going to do it, is she?” Turnip sighed.
“Probably not.” Terry shook her head.
“It’s Reed, for sure. We just need to give that bully a couple of wallops, and he’ll leave her
alone.” Baku nodded his head.
“Yea. I like the sound of that.”
Zero wiped his blade and put it away. His level reached 180. He couldn’t help but be pleased that his companion was steadily leveling up. They had made giant leaps and bounds in their stay at the Red Zone, and his goal of helping them reach a hundred was over. Instead, now he focused on what was wrong with the tunnel itself.
They were finally at the Red Dungeon’s last level, and the Goliath Worm was the final Boss. Even though the monster did not give him much experience, the Boss did not give them any treasures. He felt a bit cheated, but they were nothing that he could do.
Instead, he walked around the large room looking for any final clues that could be of use. Finally, a shiny metal hidden in the corner of the room caught his attention. He quickly went over to see what it was.
A small silver beetle was engraved into the wall. Reaching upwards, Zero tried to pull it out. The moment he touched the beetle, the beetle came alive, and thousands of beetles surfaced out of the wall.
“What the hell?” Zero backed up in surprise.
The beetle swarmed and ate away the dirt wall creating an entirely new passage.