There was an aura of gray around Reed. It was a fog that wouldn’t rise or fade. A single tear rolled down his cheek, as he stood by and watch Rone’s body get impaled. By a knight who happened to be standing there emotionless like a stone statue.
In the meantime, a giant crack appear in front of them the crack become larger and larger until it shattered. He was met with a rotten entity of flames and blood. It was the giant beast from before. Everyone stood still and made eye contact with the beast, the beast opened its mouth largely. Its mouth was like a dark cave not long after a light began to form at the back of its mouth.
Reed screamed as he hurriedly stands up, his body aches but Rei was there to support him they hurriedly ran away from the blast by running to the side. He tried his best to ignore the pain as he ran they were slow as Reed was weighing them down. He looked at the beast as the light becomes brighter and brighter. With no other choice, he forced himself to run and carried Rei. His wounds began to open up as he take each step. The beast lets out a fiery breath without hesitation Reed tossed Rei out of the way. Reed stumbled, and his left foot was caught by the flame.
“RAGH!!!!” Reed screamed in pure agony as he saw his left foot burning. Rei quickly dragged Reed out and saw his foot was badly burned. His skin turned red with a leathery appearance.
Without hesitation, she focuses the rest of her energy on healing Reed’s leg. Reed looked at Rei her complexion was rather pale after expending too much of her magical energy.
Because she had worked so hard, she managed to patch some of his wounds, and Reed’s blood loss had been temporarily halted. But his foot was now badly burned, to his surprise, he didn’t even feel the pain when the flame hit him, in fact, his foot went numb upon impact.
The beast halted and looks at them like a hungry predator. Reed saw the throne behind the creature there he saw the coffin shape-like rock from before but this time it was different, there is a dent in it. It must be Rone who did that.
The current condition of Rei, three of the best hunters of the party, his injuries, and the frightened hunters- he didn’t have a lot of time here.
Before he can circulate a plan the beast's eyes shifted their gaze on him. His eyes widen as he saw the beast slowly creep on them looking at them like they were food.
He sweated bucket-loads as the beast crept on the two. He can’t stand or else his wounds will open up. The pain took over for a moment as thoughts of endless pain crept up in his mind. What if this agonizing stabbing pain would never stop shooting through his leg? Trouble after trouble kept coming. He wanted to stop everything they were doing and run like hell, but he knew it’d only make things worse if he tried. It’d probably take a simple and obvious decision to either give up or keep going at this point, but that decision just didn’t seem to come.
He is exhausted and unable to focus. While it would potentially be possible to block out the pain, there was no way to block out his exhaustion.
‘I gotta hurry up.’
He knew his current condition he can barely move, he looks at Rei mainly focusing on treating the burn as best as she can, he knew she has a better survival chance than him. He knew what to do.
“I’m sorry… Miss Rei.”
Rei looked at Reed, his eyes were full of regret, sadness, and anger at the same time. Reed took the opportunity and shoved the confused Rei out of the way. Rei stumbled backward as she saw the beast closing on the position she was in. The beast turned its gaze onto Rei.
Reed screamed to get the beast's attention.
It worked, now the beast turned around and saw Reed barely standing up with his sword on pointed out.
The beast turned its full attention onto him as it gets closer and closer to him, Reed gripped his sword tightly as he can his body was shaking, and his eyes began to tear up. The beast picks up the pace making the dungeon shake a lot because of its weight.
Reed gritted his teeth and screamed at the beast.
The beast roar as it comes charging at him.
He can only close his eyes preparing for his death.
With a space-rending sound, a single flash of light appeared on top of the beast, the lights suddenly turned into a spear. The light scattered damaging the beast. The lights suddenly turned into a spear
Reed looked up and saw the beast raining down with light spears. The beast moved sideways attempting to lose the raining spears but the lights were like heat-seeking missiles, it follows the beast.
Suddenly, the two big doors forcefully opened making the room shook a bit.
The beast snarls towards the now broken doors.
A man emerges out of the smoke, he walked in a relaxing manner.
“You can relax now, now that we are here.”
He plays around with his spear by spinning it in a playful manner. He looked at the beast and smiled.
The beast growls at the man.
The man's eyes show no fear, his eyes show great enlightenment.
He pointed his weapon at the beast.
“Time to test this bad boy out.”
In a blink of an eye, the man manages to close the gap with the beast. The beast was startled and quickly raises its arm over the man and violently brings its arm down.
The dungeon shakes upon impact.
A brief silence engulfs the surrounding.
“Ehhhh…. that was close, phew.”
The man was seen at top of the beast's head sitting cross-legged.
The beast quickly looked up but was stopped mid-way, the man plunged its spear onto its head. The beast's head bounce like a ball, and the man then appeared in front of the beast kicking it, it sent shock waves throughout the area. The gigantic beast was sent flying through the area.
Reed stared at the man’s back as he landed softly on the ground.
“Oi! Are you done?”
Reed was surprised as he saw a beautiful woman standing beside him, he didn’t see or sense her at all.
“Just finishing things up!”
The woman put her arms on her hips.
“Well, hurry up so that I can go back and watch the art museum’s grand opening!”
“You and your art museum, I mean who else wants that? You just stand there and look at stupid paintings.”
The man whispered under his breath.
The woman looked at the man annoyed.
“What was that!?”
“Shit! I forgot she has keen ears.”
The man quickly followed up.
The woman sighs and looks at the injured Reed. She kneels down to his level and cast healing spells on his wounds.
“Don’t move or else your wounds will open again.”
Reed nodded shyly. His eyes drifted on a specific body part of the woman, her outfit was quite revealing. The woman looked up at Reed, Reed was quick enough to avoid her gaze.
“Hm? You okay there?”
Reed nodded slowly. His gaze shifted to the scowling Rei. He averts his eyes elsewhere.
Meanwhile, the man approaches the unconscious beast.
He squatted in front of it, poking it with his spear.
“Hey, wake up I doubt you're dead…”
He continues poking it. The beast raises its tail silently and slammed its tail onto the man. All eyes were shifted to the source of the sound.
“What was that!?”
The man quickly leaped back.
“Woah, a sneak attack!! now your talking”.
The man dusted away the dust on his clothes.
The woman sighs and carries on healing the injured Reed.
The man pulled his spear back. His spear glowed in a bright color. The man snickered a little. The beast opened its mouth but this time was different the beast release its fiery breath slightly faster than before. The man stood his ground and fired out a light beam at the beast. The beam and the fiery breath collided in the middle blowing strong gusts of wind blow into their faces.
Not long after the man’s beam outpowered the breath of the beast. The breath and the beam hit the beast. A cloud of dust blocks out their views. A brief silence engulfs the area the survivor nervously waited for the dust to clear up.
Then a silhouette of the man began to emerge out of the dust, he raised his spear and began to spin it violently making all of the dust in the area disperse more quickly.
The survivors were shocked as they saw a big gaping hole in the beast's body.
Reed was astounded by the sheer strength of the man.
‘H-He killed it!?’
“That man…who is he,” Reed asked the woman.
“Hm? Oh, that’s Zou, the lighting Zou.”
Reed’s eyes widen as he heard his name.
“Zou I heard of him, he is one of the fastest S-ranked hunters. He is currently in the black brawlers guild one of the strongest guilds in the country. He was scouted by the leader himself, Dagen.
“There, your all patch up for now.”
The woman spoke and stands up dusting away the dust in her skirt.
Reed was shocked as he saw most of his wounds are healed and his burnt foot.
“Sorry, I can’t do more about your foot….”
The woman looked at Reed apologetically.
“e-eh, no need to be sorry about it, most of my wounds were healed, thanks to you.”
The woman smiled at him.
To his surprise, her healing ability almost healed his brunt foot. though his left foot was a different color, he can still manage to move it.
“Can you take a look at that girl?”
Reed pointed the pale-face Rei
The woman nodded and headed in the direction where Rei was.
“All units retrieve the hunters!!!”
Then, there was a group of armed hunters and military forces who rushed into the dungeon.
“Took you guys long enough.”
The man rests his spear on both of his shoulders as he walks toward the armed hunters.
“I-I’m sorry sir, but we got lost on the way here.”
“How?” The man asked.
“The structure of this abyss seems to shift a lot, sir.”
“Yes, sir after you hit the giant door our surroundings shift into a different room.”
Zou put his finger close to his mouth, thinking.
“A Shifting type of abyss, that’s the first time I heard that.”
“Alright, we just gotta report it to the boss and-”
“There’s no need.”
Zou was interrupted mid-sentence by the man behind him walking toward the two hunters.
The hunter nervously salutes as he saw the man.
Zou smiled and look at the man.
“There you are, boss.”
The man smiled upon seeing Zou relaxed posture.
He gestured at the hunter, the hunter relaxed his posture and bowed to him, and walked away.
“Seeing you here, it’s probably serious.”
Dagen nodded his head.
“Yeah, the higher-ups notice something strange about the flow of the energy of the abyss.”
“What kind of strange are we talking about.”
Dagen crossed his arms.
“One of the admins of this operation notice a big spike of energy shortly as these hunters walked into the abyss.
He looked at all of the remaining survivors, then he quickly followed up.
“At first they thought it was a bug in the system but after waiting around they noticed that with each minute passed, their system was giving them notifications about the abyss’s flow of energy it kept on moving up and down. Resulting in the abyssal gate staying open for a long period of time.”
“So that’s why they quickly dispatch us, to investigate what causes this strange fluctuation of energy right?”
“Lieutenant Wilkins is outside on standby, just in case, if any monsters managed to escape the gate.”
You put one of his fingers close to his lips. As he ponders something clicks in his mind.
“Now that you mention that, there was one strange thing about our men’s report.”
Dagen raised his eyebrow.
“I heard you guys got lost on the way here.”
“Yeah… the abyss shifts rooms to rooms.”
“Have you experienced a shifting abyss before?”
Dagen closed his eyes, falling into deep contemplation.
“No… this is my first time experiencing one.”
Zou’s eyes widen slightly, shocked at what he heard through Dagen’s mouth.
A veteran hunter who hunted all types of the abyss. Saying this is his first time experiencing this type of abyss.
“Anyway, let’s finish things about so that we can report this to the higher-ups.”
“Aye aye, captain”
Dagen gives a nod to Zou before he walked away.
Meanwhile, a couple of soldiers who were scouting the perimeter stopped as they saw something flashing through the inner parts of the room. They pay no mind to it until….
They heard a low-pitched voice calling them.
They wanted to ignore it but they were curious and inspected what or who was calling them. All of them raised their guns as they all walked towards the dead beast. One of the soldiers saw something flash at the corner of his eye.
He nudged one of his teammates gesturing him to follow him. The soldier agreed. They both separate from the group to investigate the glowing light, as they walk slowly and cautiously.
They saw a gem that was blinking bright red, and they carefully observe it. As they were observing it, they felt the gem pulling them it tempting them to pick it up.
Without hesitation of one the soldier reached his hand to grab the gem until… black claw-shaped hands engulfed the soldier with great haste.
The soldier stumbled back in panic as he hear his companion screaming inside the claw-shaped hands. He fired his rifle at the claw-shaped hands hoping to free his companion but there was no effect. Knowing his companion was done for the soldier turned around and run as quickly as possible abandoning his comrade.
He stumbled on the way out and saw his comrade.
He screamed out as loud as he can.
Luckily he managed to catch some of his comrades' attention. They all jogged towards him. The scared soldier stands up and jogged towards them.
“There’s still a-”
He was cut mid-sentence as the claw-shaped hands managed to hold one of his legs. the hands sink in its claws to his leg.
The hands drag the soldier where his first victim was killed. He fell face first as the hand drag him to the darkness. In an attempt of escaping, he scanned around to look for something to grab on.
Fortunately, there was a giant rock. Without hesitation, he grabs the rock as tightly as he can. He brought out his knife and stab the hands repeatedly hoping of letting him go.
The soldier quickly help the grabbed soldier. One of the soldiers radioed his companion letting them know they are in need of help. Then the other held both of the grabbed soldier’s arms and pulled him up as hard as he can.
They managed to alert the nearby soldiers.
One of the soldiers jogged towards Zou who was sitting staring at the ceiling.
“Sir, there’s an emergency.”
Those words bought him out of boredom.
“Near the beast’s body, sir.”
He stands up and grabs kicked up his spear into his hand.
His eyes blazed with great anticipation. He dashes forward toward the beast’s deceased body.
As the soldier watched him dash with great haste Dagen called out for him.
The soldier salutes the man.
“There was an emergency near the beast’s body, sir Zou is handling it, sir.”
Knowing that Zou is already on the case. He nodded and gave orders to the soldier.
“If ever Zou requests a backup. Immediately comply with his request.”
Dagen closed his eyes and nods at the soldier.
The soldier rests at ease and walks away.
Zou manages to arrive at the scene and saw the soldiers trying their best on helping the grabbed soldier.
The soldier saw Zou, he was relieved upon seeing the hunter.
Zou hops down and stabs the arm down, but the arm shows no sign of letting the soldier go instead it tightens its grip on the soldier's legs.
The soldier screams pain as it tightens its grip.
Zou clicked his tongue.
His eyes gleamed as he slice off the hand. It was like paper he managed to slice it easily.
The claw was still on the soldier's leg still griping. But the rest of the arm retreated back to the darkness. Zou chases after the arm leaving the soldiers behind.
The claw was still intact on the soldier's leg.
His comrade looked around to find something of use to help him.
“Let’s take him to Miss Lea.”
The soldiers nodded and quickly lent their assistance. They carefully searched around for the hunter named “Lea.”
“There.” one of the soldiers spotted her.
They carefully make their way to her.
The soldier screams.
Lea turned her head around and saw the two soldiers carrying the injured one.
She looked at the injured soldier and saw the claw intact to his leg.
“Lay him down.”
The soldiers followed her commands and gently lay the soldier down.
She kneeled down and proceed on casting magic onto the leg. The claw slightly loosen its grip as the healer continued casting magic into it.
The soldier’s breath became calm as he felt the claw slowly loosen its grip.
His comrade weave a breath of relief as they saw his body relaxes.
While being escorted, Reed watches Lea heal the injured soldier. He was amazed at how well her healing spell is.
“So…. Lea was her name.”
At the time he was distracted by Zou’s destructive power, he forgot to ask what her name was.
Reed look to his side and saw Rei intently staring at him.
She stared at him for a moment then looked at the ceiling.
“Don’t forget, you still owe me dinner.”
He nodded. Reed lied as he breathes, he forgot that he still owe her dinner. mainly because he was focused on how to get out of the domain alive.
The corners of his mouth turned up. He felt relief that they managed to stay alive until help arrived. He suddenly shifts moody, as he thinks about Rone and Rashef. He felt weak and that was frustrating. His hands tightened into a fist.
Rei saw sadness clouding his features. She knew what his feeling and a frown fell upon her lips.
“If I was a bit stronger, they wouldn’t have been dead…” Reed whispered to himself.
As Rei opened up her mouth, they were interrupted by a loud explosion.
Their eyes panned over and saw Zou flying across the room. His body hit one of the walls of the dungeon. Zou shakes his head as he stands up, he wipes the blood out of his mouth.
Dagen quickly heads towards Zou.
Zou pointed. Dagen turned his head and saw a humanoid figure starting to emerge out of the smoke.
Reed’s eyes widen as he saw the familiar figure, Rei’s expression went paled as she saw the figure.
Zou spat out a tooth.
“It seems, we awoken the beast, boss.”
Dagen’s forehead creased as the humanoid figure coldly glared at them.
Dagen and the figure exchanges glance at each other. The atmosphere of the area becomes more dangerous. The whole area suddenly turned quiet.
Zou turned his head to see what is going on and saw one of the hunters fending off a shadow knight, not long after shadow knights began to emerge out of the ground surrounding them.
They had no choice but to fight back.
Dagen stares at the figure as it spawns a few shadow knights beside it. He glared at the figure and shouted.
“All units, prepare for combat!!!”
Soldiers began firing out their rifles, meanwhile, hunters began to swing their weapons with precision.
The shadow knights charge toward Dagen they raised their weapons. The shadows hastily close the distance, their weapons sliced down the air and strike Dagen. The strike was powerful it shook the area a little bit.
The knights leaped back.
The knights were shocked as they saw Dagen unscathed.
“Is that all…”
The knight grip their weapons and charged yet again but this time one of them emerges down on the ground. They yet again come to a close Dagen.
The shadow re-emerges behind Dagen.
“A coordinated attack, not bad but.”
Dagen turned around with great swift as he deliver a devastating uppercut to the shadow behind him. It landed leaving no trace of the shadow. He turned around a deliver an air-roaring right hook obliterating the two shadows in front of him.
He turned his eyes onto the figure coldly glaring at him.
The figure saw Dagen as a threat, same goes for Dagen.
Both of them stepped forward, with the intention to kill.
End of Chapter 6.