“I don’t think this is a good idea,” Jack replied. He was not too keen on being separated and trapped.
“We have no choice. This is the best clue that we ever had in a while.” Zero replied. He was jogging towards the moving walls. Zero had already shifted into his Origin form when they ran towards the moving walls. Whatever was before them could be dangerous, and he did not know what was there.
Bob was once again leading them. “This way!” Bob called out and made a sharp turn to the right. It was an endless sharp turn right and left; for a moment, Zero thought they were going in circles. The sound of the rumbling walls got louder and louder as they moved. He felt the walls would collapse any moment and crush them in one go.
“We’re almost there!”
“I can barely hear you!” Zero yelled back towards Bob. But unfortunately, the sound was so loud that it muffled his voice.
“EEEEEK!” Bob stopped at a sudden halt when he made a sharp turn once again. Zero almost ran him over but luckily stopped himself. His hands wildly flailed, trying to catch his balance. Again, the sound of the moving walls halted.
“What’s going on?” Jack almost ran into Zero’s back. He was inches away from his nose, slamming into Zero.
“Is everything okay?” Agnis asked. She came right behind him, with the others trailing a couple seconds behind. They stopped and gasped.
Zero gulped. What was before they were a large council of Sphinx sitting on their pedestal. Zero counted a total of twelve, the size of a large bus. Their golden skin cracked dry sandpaper, and their faces were of a beautiful woman with an Egyptian-looking headdress and the body of a lion. Each turned their head towards Zero’s group and gave them a blood-chilling smile.
A pearly, white greek building lay before them a good distance away. Zero knew that what they were looking for was up ahead.
“I don’t know about you, but I think this is a bad idea.” Jack squeaked. He was not too keen on being eaten and swarmed anytime soon.
Zero scanned the Sphinx in front of him as he read the Sphinx’s information.
A mythical guardian creature with a human’s head, the haunches of a lion, and the wings of a bird. They have a nasty temper, and those who cannot answer its riddle suffer a fate typical in mythological stories, as they are killed and eaten by this ravenous monster. They are the twelve guardians that protect and watch over the Minotaur that walks the Labyrinth.
“This is it, guys. We go through them, and we are literally at our destination. It’s just that we got to answer some riddles.”
“You’re kidding me, right?”
“No. It’s better than fighting.”
“Zero’s got the point,” Agnis chipped in on their conversation. “Twelve of that giant Sphinx on you simultaneously sounds like a bad idea.”
“They’re also level 175 each.”
“You gotta be kidding me.”
“Well, I’ll stay in the back,” said Alan. “I don’t think a merchant like myself will do much to help.”
“You’re helping,” Jack growled. “One extra hand is better than none.”
“Why aren’t they moving, though?” Zeraph was peering towards the Sphinx. He took the first step toward the Sphinx without any fear.
“Woah. Woah. Woah. Are you nuts?” Jack cried out. “Don’t go towards danger without a plan!”
“Leave him be. He’ll be eaten first.” Alan shrugged his shoulders without care.
“Zeraph!” Agnis called out. She ran after him trying to stop him, but it was too late.
The first Sphinx spoke. “Why? Look here. Our meals.”
The other Sphinx voiced their opinion toward the first.
“Don’t eat them before we have a taste.”
“Come on. I saw them first. Be nice and share.”
“They look so delicious.”
“How long has it been since I had a meal? Six months?”
“Three days, you fool.”
“Their savory, chewy flesh. I can taste it already.”
“Enough!” The first Sphinx spat with a hiss. Then, her demeanor changed into a scowl. “I am the first one here. You’ll have to wait your turn.”
“Booo, you always get the first dibs. So why not allow any of us to go first?”
“Because all of you forget that we are given the task to test our guests, not eat them.”
“Fine. If you say so.”
The first Sphinx shook her head with disgust. “These idiot sisters of mine. Sometimes I wonder if they only think with their belly rather than their brain.”
“Sphinx, state your question!” Zeraph bellowed out loud. Agnis was amazed at Zeraph’s bravery.
“Oh? Look at this sister. We got a brave one.”
“Really? We haven’t had a fool for ages. The rest ran away like cowards.”
“True. True. This sounds fun.”
“You must answer twelve riddles given to you to pass through us. Each successful riddle will allow you to pass through one of us. If one fails to answer, whoever is left will eat you alive.”
“That’s a fair deal, right, sisters?”
“Fair and square.”
“What are you?”
“An elf. You have stated your question. That is one out of twelve.”
The Sphinx went silent and was amazed at Zeraph’s words. Even Agnis was caught off guard.
The first Sphinx glared at her fellow Sphinx. “Who asked that question!” All the other Sphinx went silent. “Speak up!”
“I-I did.” The third Sphinx softly spoke up. The other groaned. “The lame one.”
“Don’t ask out of turn!” The first Sphinx rumbled. She then turned toward Zeraph; her whole demeanor changed into a calm sphinx. “An elf? I have never seen one before. I did ask you a question, but it is not a riddle.”
“A riddle is asking a question. You have asked us a question, and I have answered. Would it not be fair that you would not keep the end of your bargain, or would you go against your words?”
The first Sphinx eyes sheened dangerously wild. Zeraph was not phased by their killer instinct. She smiled when Zeraph did not budge or waiver from the first Sphinx’s killer stare. “Fine. You have your first success.”
Zero and his group carefully walked toward Zeraph and Agnis. Zero had to persuade them to walk forward, especially the antsy soldiers, when they saw many ferocious-looking Sphinx. “Is everything alright?” He walked up next to Zeraph.
“No problem at all.”
Once again, the voices of the Sphinx chattered wildly when they saw Zero’s group walk up.
“Look. Look. More humans!”
“There is enough for everybody!”
“Quiet!” The first Sphinx yelled. “We got a Drezo Regalia in our presence.”
“Drezo Regalia? The Drezo Regalia.” The Sphinx squeaked. Their voice became smaller and smaller. For a moment, Zero thought he had sensed fear in their voice. Then, their whole demeanor changed into serious mode.
“Young dragon. Why have you come here?”
“To bring back the Golden Eye.”
“The Golden Eye. Ah yes. The ancient contract between man and dragon. Are these humans, elves, and dwarfs your companions?”
“Then the rule has changed.”
“What really?” The other Sphinx groaned. “Not that rule. It’s not fair. Why can’t we just ask each of them a question like we usually do.”
“Not fair. Not fair. Not fair.”
“Silence!” Once again, the chattering Sphinx went quiet. “Your elven friend here has answered the first question. Now you have even more.”
“Please go ahead.”
The first Sphinx couldn’t help but grin from Zero’s politeness. “What starts with BR, with the addition of the letter E, and becomes another word that sounds the same as the first?”
“Braking becomes Breaking.” Zero replied without much thought.
“Pass. There are 20 people in an empty, square room. Each person has full sight of the entire room and everyone in it without turning their head or body or moving in any way (other than their eyes). Where can you place an apple so that everyone can see it?”
“Place the apple on one person’s head.”
“Correct. A sign on the barber’s door says, “I shave only those who do not shave.” Does the barber shave himself?”
“There is no answer; it’s a paradox. It cannot be made to work.”
“Once again, you are correct. A pregnant lady named her children: Dominique, Regis, Michelle, Fawn, Sophie, and Lara. What will she name her next child? Jessica, Katie, Abby, or Tilly?”
“Tilly. She follows the scale Do, Re, Me, Fa, So, La, and Ti.”
“A clock chimes 5 times in 4 seconds. How many times will it chime in 10 seconds?”
“11 times. It chimes at zero and then once every second for 10 seconds.”
“What is black when you buy it, red when you use it, and gray when you throw it away?”
“I killed one-fourth of all mankind. Who am I?”
“Cain who killed Abel.”
“I am not alive, but I grow; I don’t have lungs, but I need air; I don’t have a mouth, but water kills me. What am I?”
The rest of the Sphinx was dumbstruck by how quickly Zero was answering. They thought he would take longer to think over each question, but they were wrong.
“Is this what a Drezo Regalia can do?”
“I never met one till now.”
“Only the first ever to wear a Drezo Regalia.”
“I only heard rumors. He already answered ten as if it’s nothing. At this rate, we have to let him pass.”
“I have a heart that never beats, I have a home, but I never sleep. I can take a man’s house and build others, And I love to play games with my many brothers. I am a king among fools. Who am I?”
“The King of Hearts in a deck of cards.”
The silence between the Sphinx and Zero’s group was straining. Even Zero felt a bit uncomfortable with everyone being so quiet. However, he thought these were just simple brain teasers.
“You’re good. I expected no less from a Drezo Regalia. This is my last riddle. What has two legs in the morning, four legs in the afternoon, and three legs in the evening?”
“You’re kidding me, right?” Zero was immensely disappointed. The last question was the simplest of them all. A famous riddle that has been continuously used throughout time. “Man walks on 4 legs in the morning, 2 legs in the afternoon, and 3 legs in the evening.”
“Very well. I expected no less from a Drezo Regalia. It is a shame that still to this day, I have never had a taste of a Drezo Regalia’s flesh.”
“Aw, Come on. You’re going to let go of all those humans? Our food.” The other Sphinx wailed. They were itching to have a bite of Zero’s group.
“You promised Sphinx. I answered all your questions. Let us pass through.”
“Yes. I did. You may go.” The first Sphinx did not budge from her pedestal and began to shapeshift into a hard stone. The other Sphinx followed after her and became stone.
“Wow.” Agnis was speechless at Zero’s quick answers. “I thought we would have fought them all head-on.”
“Kind of strange the Sphinx knew what you were. It was as if they expected you somehow,” said Alan. “I expect there is more to this than meets the eye.”
“I wouldn’t be so surprised if there were some strange things that pop up anytime soon. Just being around Zero is interesting enough.” Zeraph smirked. “It’s a normal thing now.”
“You’re enjoying this way too much.”
Zeraph shrugged it off and went ahead. Zero and the rest followed after him. They walked towards the giant building and passed the thick columns perfectly spread out with unique patterns engraved into the stone. Finally, they entered one large, almost empty room.
Zero glanced around and looked up. Even the ceiling had some ancient paintings that he’d never seen before. The painting reminded him of the famous Michelangelo ceiling mural, the Sistine Chapel Ceiling. Drawn on the walls was the bright blue sky with different colored dragons flying overhead.
“Oh wow. Look.” Agnis whispered as she held in her gasp. “I wonder who painted those.”
Their colors were many, from red, black, gold, green, blue, white, silver, and bronze. Each with a different glamor to them. To Zero, for a moment, he thought a couple of them would come to life and breathe fire. Every single one of them had beautiful wings that he envied. To fly freely in the sky with no limit.
Out of all the dragons, there was one large white dragon with golden markings that radiated with light. A halo formed around this specific dragon that had six large white wings. Zero thought that this special dragon was the creator of all the dragons. In the middle of its chest, a large circular opening was present. Bright golden light filtered through the top, cascading down to the floor. Zero followed the stream of light, and he saw a White Minotaur hunched over in a ball sleeping peacefully.
“Is that what I think it is?” Jack whispered. He took out his weapon, ready to go into battle.
“It’s so pretty. I have never seen a white-colored Minotaur before,” said Agnis. She curiously peered towards the White Minotaur like a visitor going through a zoo.
“Careful.” Zeraph held his hands back so Agnis would not carelessly move forward and start something unexpected.
“Do we go ahead and kill it or what?” Alan was stumped. He did not know what exactly to do. The Minotaur did not attack but was sleeping peacefully.
“Spread out and look for the Golden Eye. If we could find what we need without fighting, that would be great,” said Zero. He was already slinking around the outskirts towards the wall, looking for clues to the Golden eye.
Everyone split into small groups and began searching for the Golden Eye. Zero walked with Agnis. He would go by himself, but she tagged along with him.
“You know many things happened in the short time we’ve known each other.” Agnis started the conversation.
“Yea. It has been about two months.”
“Do you remember the first time we met?”
“How could I ever forget.”
“I’m sorry I was rude. I thought you were like all the other arrogant pricks that fly around me like an annoying gnat.”
“It was quite an unforgettable memory.”
“Then we met again where we bumped into each other when you broke my phone.”
“Wait, you still believe that I broke it? You weren’t paying attention when you were walking.”
Agnis scowled but let out a sigh. “Fine. I was wrong. Happy?”
Zero couldn’t help but chuckle. She was so cute at times. She rarely gave off such rare emotions. There were always two types of faces that she would give: angry and fake smiles. What she was hiding in her heart, he did not know, nor did he try to pry for any answer.
“Yes. Yes. Princess. This servant has been blessed with your forgiveness.”
“Pft.” Agnis laughed. “You sound so weird.”
“So, am I free of my debt?”
“What are you talking about, free? I don’t know such words.” Agnis haughtily replied. Zero’s face fell in disappointment, and he saw Agnis smirk. Then, she burst out laughing at Zero. “That face. My side hurts. I never knew dragons could make such faces. I need to capture this moment perfectly in my head forever.”
“Hey. Quit laughing. You’re going to wake up that White Minotaur.” Zero hissed, but he couldn’t help grinning. He noticed that whenever Agnis laughed, her eyes smiled at her.
“I’m sorry. It’s just. Pft.”
“Okay. Okay. You got your fill. Let’s focus on what we need to find.”
Agnis wiped her tears. They continued walking near the walls, feeling for anything suspicious. “Nothing. I don’t think there is anything to find except to beat the White Minotaur sleeping in the middle of the room.”
Zero sighed. He, too, expected that this would not be as easy as he thought. Sneaking around like a thief was not helping them in their case.
“Look. There is a grandfather clock over there.” Agnis pointed. At the opposite end of the Minotaur against the wall was a giant grandfather clock embedded in the walls.
“4:59 pm? Is that going by real-time or game time?”
“It’s game time.”
“What’s a grandfather clock doing here of all places? It’s so out of place.”
“I don’t know, but it could be a clue for something.”
Zero walked towards it and stretched as far as his body could to look for clues. “I can’t reach any further.”
“How about reaching for the knob and opening it?” Agnis tried her best not to shout but was loud enough for Zero to hear.
“Trying.” Zero reached the point he was on his toes, till finally, he could pull open the glass door.
“Ding! Dang! Dong! Dang! Ding!” The grandfather rang its usual hourly song striking its hourly time.
“Gah!” Zero fell backward; his ears were ringing from the loud noise.
“Damn it!” Agnis cursed. Her ears rang loudly, and her hands were against her ears, trying to cover the loud sound. She turned to look over her shoulder and noticed the Minotaur stirring awake. “Zero. The Minotaur is awake!”
The Minotaur pushed himself up onto his knees and roared. Smoke escaped his nose as he snarled in anger. With a continuous click of its hoof, the Minotaur’s horns lowered to the ground; it shook its head wildly like a horse. A loud crackle of stone could be heard as the Minotaur pounded heavily into the ground.
“The target is angry!” Jack replied. He was the first to rush in with his battle hammer and the first to land a hit. At that moment, Jack’s hammer and the Minotaur’s horn made contact. Jack was halted from advancing forward. “He’s too strong!” The White Minotaur’s body mass tripled in size.
Zeraph and Agnis both pulled out their bows and knocked an arrow. Each firing has different elemental energy. Agnis doused her arrow with fire while Zeraph with ice. Zeraph’s arrow struck first, and the ice around the arrow expanded, covering a large chunk of the Minotaur’s shoulder. While Agnis’ arrow embedded itself onto the Minotaur’s rear. A burst of flames erupted for a split moment covering half of the Minotaur in flames.
Once again, the Minotaur roared himself hoarse and instead reached over to the arrows. He forcibly yanked it out without much difficulty. Each time he roared, a Red Minotaur appeared from the thick black clouds. Each one ran towards the people that attacked the Boss.
“Tom. Eron. Evan! Split up into three teams and take care of the Red Minotaurs!” Zero roared. He rushed forward to make contact with the Minotaur before Jack would be thrown back. “Everyone attack!”
Jack grunted as he was slowly pushed back with every step. The blood eyes stared at Jack with anger. “Damn cow.”
With a fury of anger, the Minotaur gave a sudden burst of energy. Jack flew backward and slammed into the wall.
“Jack!” Agnis called out. She continued to fire her arrows. Most of them flew past the Minotaur, missing its mark, while a small portion made an impact. The speed of the Minotaur increased by threefolds. Agnes’ and Zeraph’s arrows were piercing the Minotaur’s skin less and less. Zero missed his chance to slam into the Minotaur; instead, his clairvoyant skill activated.
The boss monster of the Labyrinth. Legends state that the White Minotaur had never been defeated in history. Its speed and strength are considered inhuman. The story goes that the Minotaur had once been human, but because he had angered a god, he was changed into his hideous form.
“Hideous form? It’s completely far from hideous.” Zero hissed, but when the White Minotaur stepped out of the golden light, the Minotaur form changed. The fur of the Minotaur turned pitch black, and large boils and muscles bulged all over its body. Horns curled backward, and sharp teeth protruding from its mouth were shown. It was a complete makeover when the Minotaur stepped out of the light.
“No way.” Agnis gaped. She did not expect the whole changeover from a pure-looking creature to the complete opposite. But instead, what stood before her was now a monster that looked like a demon.
Zeraph ran forward and was head-to-head with the Minotaur. But instead, he used his swords to combat the Minotaur without fear. The swing of his sword was instantaneous to the point of being difficult to follow. With each cut, blood oozed out of the Minotaur’s skin.
“What are you doing, Zero? Are you going to sit back and let someone else finish your job?”
“No!” Zero slashed down with his claws, tearing pieces of flesh from the Minotaur. The Minotaur jumped backward, and at that moment, Zero whipped his tail from turning in a full circle. His tail struck like a whip causing an explosive snap that tore through skin. The Minotaur was thrown back in one hit, slamming into the wall.
“That’s more like it.”
“Let’s see who can get the last blow. The winner buys food for a week.”
“You’re on. It’s got to be a three-star food with buffs.”
Like two children, they excitedly played together, trying to outdo each other. Zero used his claws, teeth, and tail to create damage. He would blow streams of blazing, hot fire into the Minotaur when he had an opening. Zero and Zeraph were exchanging blows at the Minotaur, and the Minotaur was also dealing hits to both of them. Zeraph used his lightning-fast sword techniques to slowly whittle away the Minotaur’s health. The Minotaur’s health was halfway down to red.
“Watch out!” Agnis cried out from the back. This whole time, she was making the Minotaur into a porcupine. “It’s going for a large-scale attack!”
As if the Minotaur heard Agnis’ voice, a powerful swing of his arm came crashing down. A shockwave of energy burst forth, causing everyone in the immediate vicinity to fly backward. The Minotaur ran towards the golden light. Its black skin transferred back to pure white, and its health rapidly went back to full.
“You’ve got to be kidding me.” Zeraph spat. He was bloodied from the last shockwave. Zeraph and Zero’s health was down by a third.
“We need to keep him away from the golden light.”
“We can see that, sherlock.”
“Hey. No fighting against each other,” Agnis retorted. This time she was the first one to dart forward. Her blades were blazing blue with fire. Then, with a swing of her blade like a bat, she knocked the Minotaur unexpectedly a few feet away from the golden light. “Holy Wrath!”
Agnis’ dual sword attacked in rapid succession like a whirlwind. Her crooked smile erupted from the corner of her lips. For a moment, Zero couldn’t help that she looked beautiful. She was an avenging valkyrie that flew down from the sky with her white hair blowing behind her. But then, the Minotaur returned to its ugly form and got up.
Zeraph ran around from the outside in an arch; he held his swords in his sheath, ready to pull out. When he came into the vicinity, he yelled, “Black Storm!” Matching Agnis’ battle power with his, they synchronize each other’s attack again, chipping down upon the Minotaur.
“Hey. Hey. Let me get in a couple of hits.” Jack came bounding forward. Even though he was slower than Agnis and Zeraph, his power made up for it. The whole time, his swing did not connect until this moment. The Minotaur was momentarily held in place; furthermore, Jack could put in his attack. “Hammer Falls!”
The three yelled in continuously spamming skills one after the other. Their overpowering skills and abilities were pushing the Minotaur back. The health of the Minotaur was drastically going towards half. Magic flew at the Minotaur from every direction. At times, the soldiers fighting the Red Minotaurs had the chance to slip in their attacks. Especially the mages that stayed close together near the healers.
From left to right, the sound of clashing horns against metal, the burning smell of flesh, and the sweat mixed with blood could be seen on the marble floor. Tom, Eron, and Evan’s group was doing well keeping the Red Minotaur minions at bay. Even though every time they killed a few, more replaced it in a matter of seconds. Zero weaved in and out, taking out the Red Minotaurs that came too close to him. He easily shredded them with his claws, teeth, and fire.
This was the moment the Zero was waiting for. He had let Jack, Agnis, and Zeraph attack continuously, keeping the Minotaur busy. Finally, the Minotaur again raised his arms and slammed down, creating a shockwave. All three flew backward from the impact and lost a large amount of health. Each one of them guzzled down a health potion trying to stay alive.
Zero was out of the vicinity of the attack and did not get harmed. He ran towards the Minotaur, who was running towards the Golden light. The Minotaur could make it to the golden light and change into his usual white color.
Take this! He thought. Zero blew Dark Fire onto the Minotaur with a sharp intake of his breath. The flames completely encompassed the Minotaur in black, burning away the pure white skin.
A hallowed scream erupted from the mouth of the Minotaur as if in complete pain. With a couple of steps back, the Minotaur flailed around, trying to get rid of the Dark Fire. Every time the Minotaur tried to get back into the golden light, a hissing-like sound could be heard burning the skin of the Minotaur. The golden light that cast healing magic affected the dark elemental fire, creating a chain reaction on the Minotaur. Rage filled the Minotaur; this time, its sight was set on Zero. Zero dashed away before he could be bulldozed by the Minotaur’s attack.
Each stomp, each roar, more and more Red Minotaur appeared. There was over twenty Red Minotaur’s present in the large room. The attacks were more vicious and chaotic. Sometimes the Red Minotaur’s would surround the soldiers in large groups. Tom, Eron, and Evan’s group had difficulty defeating multiple Red Minotaurs in one area. Alan was busily moving from one group fending for his life and taking out the strays as best as possible.
“Zero! I need some help here!” Alan called out. He was face to face with a Red Minotaur by himself with just his dagger. The gaping mouth of the Red Minotaur was aiming to bite off a chunk of Alan’s neck.
“I’m busy!” Zero was dodging each horned attack from the Minotaur. Finally, he had to jump to the left and blow Dark Fire on the Minotaur again.
“Help!” Alan called out.
While fighting with his group, Evan finished the three Red Minotaur and rushed toward Alan. With a broadsword swing, the Red Minotaur was cut in half.
“Are you okay?” Evan called out. He pulled Alan back to his feet.
“You don’t know how glad I am right now.”
“No time to be lying around.” Evan kicked hard at the Red Minotaur that came from the side. Alan dove head first with his dagger into another Red Minotaur behind Evan.
“We’re equal now.”
Evan laughed. “Yes, we are.”
Alan joined in with Evan’s group. They slowly defeated the surrounding Red Minotaur as they moved toward the other group.
Agnis and Zeraph ran closely behind the Minotaur and fired a volley of arrows. Jack took his time to attack at the right moment. However, he could not keep up with the speed of the battle. Zero knew this and drew the Minotaur near the surrounding vicinity of Jack, allowing Jack to take a couple more hits.
The health of the Minotaur dipped into the yellow, while Agnis, Zeraph, Zero, and Jacks were half full. However, their health was not rapidly decreasing, similar to the first. Instead, Zero drew the Minotaur with his Dark flames. While Agnis and Zeraph fired volleys of elemental arrows. At times, they would jump in and send out a flurry of attacks, with Jack coming in at the right time to deal heavy damage.
When the Minotaur tries to rush towards the bright golden light, Zero will rush in and blow Dark Fire. He then would slam into its body, pushing the Minotaur further away. They knew the golden light was trouble, even though it did nothing for Zero. He thought that the golden light would also heal him, but it did nothing but give him a warm, tingling feeling.
“We’re almost there! I can see that it’s about to die!” Agnis breathed heavily. Her stamina was draining quickly from the continuous running and fighting. “A couple more heavy hits, and it will fall!”
“Easier said than done,” Jack exclaimed. He held his hammer to the side and swung as hard as possible. The impact of his battle hammer made a sickening thud of breaking bones.
Zero waltzed in and took a chunk out of the Minotaur’s shoulder. His claws wrapped around the body, digging claws into its skin. Zero coiled around the Minotaur as tight as he could.
“Zero! What are you doing?” Zeraph carefully aimed at the Minotaur without hitting Zero.
“Give me a moment!” Zero struggled with the Minotaur in a battle of strength. How long Zero could last was going to be short. His aim was to defang the Minotaur weapon. Its horn.
With a burst of strength, Zero viciously tore one of the horns off the head of the Minotaur. Hot blood sprayed on Zero, drenching him. The Minotaur tethered on its legs and fell forward. Zero slipped away at that moment, but a vicious bite tore into his scales. Even though no flesh was taken, a large amount of Zero’s black scales fell from his mouth. A large bald spot was shown on Zero’s side. The Minotaur’s health was dangerously in the red.
Zero couldn’t help but yell out in pain. His side was burning from the loss of scales, and he knew his side was vulnerable to an attack. “Shoot!”
Zeraph rushed in with his sword. With a vicious yell, he chopped downwards towards the Minotaur’s head. Then, in one fell swoop, the head was chopped off.
You have leveled up!
You have leveled up!
You have leveled up!
You have gained +250 in fame for defeating a mythical creature that lived in the Labyrinth.
The clear sound of the game bell rang in everyone’s ears. Even the remaining Red Minotaurs vanished without a trace leaving behind a small amount of treasure. Zero laid on his back, relieved at the end of their long battle. He sighed with relief with the clearing of the boss battle. Rolling over, he saw a couple of items on the floor.
“It’s all yours.” Agnis picked it up and handed it to him.
The Horns of the Minotaur
The horns of the Minotaur that lived in the Labyrinth. It is endowed with special properties that amplify the strength of any weapon or armors combined.
Nose Ring Bracelet
A nose ring from the mythical Minotaur creature has the power to amplify one’s strength. However, females do not like wearing this bracelet.
Keeping it for himself, Zero was satisfied with the rewards that he was given.
“You owe me a full week of food.” Zeraph grinned mischievously.
“Damn, I forgot. I was so busy staying alive that I gave you the last kill.” Zero groaned. The thought of him losing money scarred his heart.
“A promise is a promise.”
“Ding! Ding! Ding!” The grandfather clock struck continuously. Everyone was on edge, wondering if another boss fight would start.
“What’s going on?” Agnis called out. She kept her weapons ready.
The door that Zero opened from the grandfather clock flashed pure white. Zero covered his eyes, trying to shield himself. However, the bright light was gone in a matter of seconds. What stood before them was the entrance to a secret room.
“Is everyone okay?” Zero called out. He blinked his eyes a couple of times to see straight.
“Is that a room?”
Everyone started walking towards the room. The soldiers that came with Zero were halted by a magical barrier. Only Agnis, Zeraph, Alana, Jack, and Bob could go through. Zero stopped and turned towards the soldiers.
“Wait here. We’ll be right back.”
“Yes, Sir,” Eron called out. “We’ll make sure to keep this place safe.”
“I know you will.” Zero stepped through the magical barrier.
A message popped up in front of all the players visiting the Draconis Library.
The magma magic for the Draconis Library has used up all its magic. A cool-down time of a day will be in effect to recuperate its magic before continuing. The land around Draconis Library is now habitable for living. The new piece of land is named Draconis Village.
Days went by as more and more groups of players visited the flying Draconis Village daily around the time the building’s six-hour rest was over. They all heard about the beautiful scenic view of the evening sunset and the morning sunrise.
The Lunar Rabbit race took the initiative to ask for a small fee to enter the Draconis Village grounds and bring revenue income to build new attractions for the touring guest. Players waited in line to pay a small fee to enter and tour the Draconis Village daily. As a result, a large portion of the land was converted into a small attraction. Even though the Lunar Rabbit race was once maids that took care of the Library, they had high intelligence levels rivaled wizards.
Since their task has now included helping out renovations, they took it a step further and helped direct progress by building buildings that brought revenue. In addition, they brought back old ideas from books they had read before. For example, there was a large bathhouse where they used the magma energy to create hot springs, an amphitheater, and a bazaar to test their experiments.
The bathhouse was a hit, especially the hot springs. Players and NPC alike came to visit to rejuvenate their aching bones. Old and young alike came in day and night to dip in something that was never heard about till now.
Garrett’s voice could be heard resounding loudly, directing the Lunar Rabbits and players.
“Use your legs to pick up the woods. Don’t use your back, or you’re going to sprain it!” exclaimed Garrett. He was pointing toward the novice players that took part in the construction.
“Watch it! You’re going to run an old rabbit over.” Grumbled Garrett as the log swung towards his head. He had to duck to avoid getting hit. “I don’t know if this young’un has common sense these days.” He tutted in disappointment. “They must learn to watch where they’re going and care for themselves. It’s a simple living requirement. He shook his head and folded his arms.
“Our Leader is a person who enjoys history. This amphitheater is just one of the many things he would set up to teach you young’uns about your past histories these days.” Garrett was mixing in his own ideals and using what he knew about Zero. Zero was the Recordkeeper of Historia; it would not make sense if he did not have ties to such thoughts. This was Garrett’s idea of the young Zero. He saw potential to become a great Historian.
As the amphitheater was finally completed construction, Garrett personally took the time and hosted new and old plays that he had found in the Draconis Library. First, he would gather volunteers, and later, when revenue started picking up, he would hire Adventurers to participate in plays. Every week a new play would be played for the visiting tourist.
Finally, the bazaar was a hotspot to buy new and old magick potions on which the lunar rabbits had been experimenting. From fire magic to levitation magic, they even made potions that changed one’s hair color. They were trendy in selling cosmetic magick to the locals and female nobles. Their trade secrets were closely guarded. So far, no one could beat their quality.
Tino and Tyrell even built a large pet store where they brought many eggs to sell to visitors. They even bought up land so they could bring in exotic monsters to showcase their store. They would allow players and residents to feed the exotic animals or even take a ride on a couple of them.
Small carriage rides gave the visitors a tour around the whole village from one end to another, showing them the different stores, the buildings, the scenic view, and the Draconis Library.
Players and people were even on a waiting list to buy the land to set up their shop or possibly live in the flying village. About three hundred players and around a thousand NPC were living in the flying Draconis Village and more waited for the expansion of the Draconis Land.
A new quest popped up by the dozens in the new village, asking players to help build exotic buildings, hunt, gather, and especially bring rare books to the Library. There were a lot of easy quests for Novice players to take and grow. As a growing village, it was a hot spot for new players. From constructions to errands to feeding the workers, different professions were needed to complete the renovation of the village.
The village was thriving with life and noise as merchants shouted out the prices of their wares, the banging sound of construction, and the smell of food were all jumbled up together. To the new and old players that visited, it was a festival that went on twenty-four hours a day.
New and old players took the initiative to hunt for rare books to access the Draconis Library’s secret files. They knew that having closer intimacy with the Lunar Rabbits also helped gain their favor by giving them information about future quests, hints, and access to level two of the Draconis Library.
There were three levels of access in the Draconis Library. The first were usually common knowledge, maps, and simple magic books that anyone could get and read. The second level was for privileged players who had met certain requirements, and a pass was needed to access more uncommon files. The final level was only for the rare few who had hit the level requirements and power and had some kind of connections to level A and up quests. Even then, the magic books gathered from different parts of the world didn’t let go of their secrets so easily.
The Draconis Library had an extensive amount of knowledge that had been collected over centuries or possibly even longer. It was considered a jewel of knowledge. Players worldwide of Noriene personally sought out the Library at least once to access its information. No other library could compare with the Draconis Library.
Even small buildings popped up where the Lunar Rabbit race taught the locals basic knowledge. As a result, the proficiency of the residents’ intelligence slowly increased.
As the sun finally began to set, couples rushed in to get the best spot to view the setting sun. During those times, there were large peaks of couples sitting around huddled together in a loving embrace.
New things popped up as players and residents competed to bring in customers from the town square and the Draconis Village. Quite a large group of merchants already moved to the Draconis Village because they saw potential in the market. Draconis Village quickly became the number one attraction spot for new and old.