Soldier Chapter 1
Abyth dungeon is a dark cave dungeon that has been in Veronia’s control for centuries.
It’s a dungeon that the city maintains for being the leveling spot for beginners.
It has 3 levels.
The first level which is called the surface level has really weak monsters in it, from Evolution Level 1 to Evolution Level 2.
The second level which is called the lower level has Evolution Level: 2 to Evolution Level: 3 Monsters. The guardian that protects the city from the strong monsters from the lowest level resides in this area.
The third level which is called the lowest level has Evolution Level: 4 and Evolution Level: 5 monsters. The population of Evolution Level: 5 monsters are trimmed by Elite soldiers or adventurers from Veronia yearly.
Recently, there have been reports of weird activities happening in the lowest level. There are also reports that the guardian that resides on the second level is missing.
In order to analyze the situation, the military sent a group of soldiers down to the third level.
The party consists of soldiers above Class Level: 4 except for one person.
The party consists of an offensive mage, a support mage, an archer, two tanks, and one scout.
I’m the one of the scout class, and the leader of the party. My name is Soldier.
“Why did they send Class Level: 4s down to this level. We can take on a single Evolution Level: 5 with our numbers, but fighting against two or more will result in deaths… do they want us to die?”
Seriously. I don’t see the reason of sending us here instead of sending the Royal Knights or the S Class adventurers.
“What are you saying, Soldier? Isn’t it because they trust you very much? I can’t say I’m not nervous, but with you on our side… I feel really confident!” the female mage named Leia said.
She’s 21 years old, has short red hair and green eyes. She’s a year older than me. We live together.
“Hahaha! Being with the genius mage and the wise soldier, I can’t feel but feel relieved!” the big guy wearing heavy armor with brown hair walking in front named Mark said with a confident face.
Leia is a genius having reached Class Level: 4 only at age 21.
As for me, I’m only Class Level: 3 and is the lowest in the party. But for some reason, they had made me their leader.
I’m a Class Level: 3 from the scout class tree. I specialize in sneaking and detection. My weapon of choice is the crossbow, but I don’t really use it for anything aside for self-defense.
“We’ve been through situations like this in the past, I’m sure we’ll be able to overcome it!” the male archer with green hair whose name was Kyle said with a cheerful face.
“The guild chose our party because they know we can handle it. They know our party can handle even those monsters above our Class Levels.” The male support mage with blue hair named Evans said with a calm face.
“Soldier, we’re about to reach the lowest level.” The female tank with waist length black hair and a serious expression named Akasha said with a serious tone.
“Everyone, focus and get in formation.”
So far, we had avoided battle.
Our mission is not to hunt monsters. It’s to find the guardian.
That means as long as we find it, it will be mission complete.
Our group is quiet as possible when moving around. This is because there’s a monster here named [Abyth Manticore]. That monster is able to sense further than most monsters.
The reason we’re safe now is due to my <Skill Sharing, <Sneak>, and <Night Vision>.
I see something laying on the ground a few meters away. It doesn’t seem to be alive.
I signaled to my party to move forward and we headed to the direction.
It’s a corpse. I know it’s a monster corpse, but I cannot see what kind of monster it is.
“Evans, use light magic. Leia, use dark magic to stop the light from being seen by monsters.”
Leia used dark magic to surround us with dark magic. Evans used light magic to illuminate the area within the dark magic.
“What? An [Abyth Manticore]? Shouldn’t it be the strongest one in this level? Why is it dead?” Kyle asked with a curious expression.
“Look at its back. It’s been pierced by something. It looks like a lance wound…” Akasha said while investigating the body.
“A lance wound? I remember that the guardian is an armor monster using a lance. This might be done by it.” Leia said.
“This confirms that the guardian is down here…” said Mark.
“Something is wrong in this dungeon…”
I looked around the area.
“If I remember clearly, there should be many Evolution Level: 4 called “Stinger Ant” on the lowest level. I haven’t seen one yet.”
“Now that you mention it…”
There’s not even a single speck of monster in this area, only this corpse.
I have a bad feeling about this.
“…Let’s get moving.”
We moved around the area as careful as possible. For a while, we have not seen even one monster.
We heard footsteps that sounded like metal.
It was an armor monster.
There was no need to use night vision to see it. Inside the full body armor, a blue light shone.
The armor was colored white. It’s holding a lance on its left hand and a shield on its right arm.
No matter how you look at it, it’s the guardian.
“It really is here… what is it doing?” Leia wondered.
“It’s just roaming around… should we try and approach it!?” Kyle said with an excited look.
No, I’ve got a bad feeling about this…
“Our mission has been completed, we shouldn’t approach it. Let’s just go back.”
While we were going back, I felt the presence of a Abyth Manticore. It’s sleeping next to the pathway to the second level.
I signaled to everybody that it’s an emergency, and nobody should make a sound. Talk once, and it will detect us.
Since it’s sleeping on the pathway, we have no choice but to wait until it wakes up and leave.
Staying down here is dangerous, but there is a place to wait safely.
There is a different second level on this dungeon. That second level doesn’t have a path to the surface and only leads to a dead end. We can rest there and camp safely until that manticore goes out of the way.
We slowly moved away from the Manticore and headed for the different second level.
It’s an area of a dungeon no one goes to that much.
We reached the slope heading towards the second level. We walked up the slope.
After walking up…
“It’s okay now everyone, this is the second level. It doesn’t have a path to the surface, but we’re safe here. We’ll camp here until that manticore leaves.”
When the tension lessned, everyone breathed out in relief.
“I can’t believe just staying down there made me this tired…” Leia said while slouching.
“It was a good experience…” Akasha said with a motivated face.
“It’s only good for you!” Kyle shouted.
“Hahaha! I’ll make some dinner, is it okay to make a campfire, soldier?” Mark asked while taking out our supplies.
“It’s fine…” I said as I looked around the area…
I noticed something with my <Night Vision>…
“Hey, do you see that?”
“Evans, can you illuminate that wall?”
Evans used light magic to illuminate the wall.
“What the heck?”
“Fruits!? Looks delicious!”
There are fruits laying on the ground, and some are sticking to the wall.
Looking closely at it, there are vines on walls around us.
“Was this dungeon always like this?”
“No, there were no reports like this… what are these fruits?”
“I’ll take a bite!” Mark said with confidence.
Well, he’s used to getting poisoned. I guess he’s okay…
Mark took a fruit and chewed on it.
“What does it taste like?”
“…There’s no taste.”
“There really is no taste. Its juice taste like water and the fruit itself has no taste. The texture is similar to an apple.”
“Let me try.”
I picked up a fruit and tasted it. It really did taste like nothing.
“What kind of fruit is this…”
I looked at the vines and it goes in deeper into the area.
“Soldier, what should we do? Should we go deeper inside?” Akasha asked with as serious look.
There were no reports of plants or plant monsters residing inside this dungeon. The monsters around this area are just Evolution Level 2 and Evolution Level 3…
“Let’s do it. But if we see something unknown, we’ll leave.”
We entered deeper into the auxiliary second level.
We noticed that there are almost no monsters here. Not even corpses. As we go in, I get more nervous.
While walking, I saw someone…
I didn’t even feel her presences.
“Who is that?”
There is someone who has her hands on one of the vines.
It’s a female. She looks like a teenager.
She has neck-length straight green neck length bobbed hair. The irises on her eyes are green. She’s wearing a green knee length long coat opened from the hip downwards. For her lower body, she’s wearing a dark green skirt. For footwear, she’s wearing dark green boots.
The girl noticed us and looked at us. Upon changing her position, the hand that was holding the vines were revealed.
She was not holding the vines. The vines are growing from her arm!
“What the, a dryad!?”
“No, dryads are less human. She looks like a human.”
The vine stopped growing from her hands. The edges of her hand turned from vines to normal human fingers.
“…Is it one of them?”
The girl was talking to herself?
“…Forgot that your body’s not here.”
She talked in a monotone voice void of emotions.
Body? Is she talking to something?
She nodded then looked at us.
“Sorry, we can’t do that. What are you doing in this place? And what are you?”
She spaced out for a second, then continued talking.
“…Don’t show them everything.”
Show? Show us what?
A panel suddenly appeared in front of me…
Being Category: [Person]
Racial Classification: [Plant]
Title: ‡Empress of Greed‡
Class: True Horizon Magus
Class Level: 10
“C-Class level: 10!?!?” Leia shouted in surprise.
It seems that I’m not the only one who can see this absurdity…
How can she just show us panels like that!?
The girl pointed her hand then threatened us.
“…Leave or die.”
Everyone’s faces paled.
We don’t have a chance here, we should run!
“O-Okay, we’re going to leave! everyone. Retreat!”
We ran as fast as we could.
We ran away until we got to the slope heading down to the third level.
Everyone breathed out heavily.
W-What the heck was that!? How can there be a class level 10!? And she’s also our enemy!?
Not only that, this is the first time I saw someone else’s panel without the evaluation crystals.
Her race said that she was human but his racial classification is plant, not beast.... Is that how she was she able to make branches out of her hands?
She also has that ‡Empress of Greed‡ title. This is the first time I saw something like that.
“S-Soldier, I think we need to report this as fast as possible.” Akasha said with a voice that’s trying hard to retain composure.
Her uneasiness is understandable. We have a class level 7 back in the capital, and she’s already out of this world. A monster that cannot be compared to anyone.
Now we have an enemy with class level 10.
Level might not be everything, but you cannot compare a class level 7 to a class level 10.
There have rumors that long living elves from the elven continent have reached class level 8. But in theory, it was said to take more than 300 years to achieve, but level 10 is outright impossible. There are no records of someone reaching class level 10.
That person didn’t look old at all, she’s human, and she’s class level 10.
Such a being… no one will be able to stand up to it.
The best course of action is to report it immediately, for the military to be prepared.
We had fought monsters with higher evolution levels than our class levels, but we had succeeded by using our numbers and using strategies.
There is a possibility of winning if we use the military of the whole country.
“Everyone, our next mission is to go back to the surface level. Our next objective is to get through the manticore blocking the entrance.”
After regaining composure, we headed for the manticore…
…And this decision was the greatest regret of my life...