Chapter 66 - Chapter 10: Breakthrough #4
Many things were necessary to break into a dungeon.
There needed to be a sufficient amount of food, water, weapons, trap detection and the combat power to defeat the dungeon guardians and monsters.
Additionally, there was one thing that was easy to overlook, even though it was very important.
Securing the right lighting.
The dungeons were dark. Most dungeons were underground and of course, they didn’t even have windows for sunlight to come through. Many dungeons had lighting devices or torches installed, but there were large gaps between the installed devices.
Thunderdoom Fortress was dark. It had been hundreds of years since the dwarves lived in the fortress, so having magic lights pour from the ceiling... that was already in the past.
As a specialist in ruins exploration, Felicia had prepared quite a few lighting fixtures. There were shining rods that could be called small flashlights while Delia at the front and Carack at the end were given glowing fist-sized stones. It emitted a very strong light that was able to stretch out 10 meters in every direction.
Currently, the only thing missing for the party was a sufficient amount of food and water. They hadn’t brought a lot of food because they were going to come back after getting a glimpse of the fortress.
"My stomach hurts.”
Carack caressed his belly as he sat down. In-gong was paying attention to Green Wind and replied vaguely,
“Aren’t you just hungry?”
"Uhh, I am also hungry.”
It had been three hours since they broke into Thunderdoom Fortress. They had been walking around for two hours despite being exhausted by the awakening potion.
Thunderdoom Fortress was big. It was a fortified city, not a mere fortress like the place where the Thunder Light Anvil was hidden, so the scale was really great.
‘But it is a range that can be explored in a day.’
Thunderdoom Fortress was a place built by digging into the mountains. There were various traps, monsters and dungeon guardians, but they should be able to explore from beginning to end in a few hours.
For the past two hours, In-gong’s party had encountered two trap rooms and two groups of dungeon monsters. If there was one attribute about it being a fortified city, it was the fact that the traps were less meaningful.
After all, this was a place where people lived. The more traps that were laid, the harder it was to live.
‘Fortunately, we haven’t met anyone else.’
He wondered about the questionable people in the fortress.
In-gong checked the minimized mini-map once again. In-gong’s group was currently located at the back of the Thunderdoom Fortress.
He hadn’t memorized all the dungeon maps that appeared in Knight Saga.
However, if he remembered the important points, the story would be different.
'If I go straight, there will be a turning point.’
Indeed, there were two paths leading to the control room of Thunderdoom Fortress. One way was short but was a literal trap field, while the other path took a long time because it passed through the settlements but had few traps.
"Your Highness, do you really not need to draw a map?”
Daphne asked carefully from a corner where she was drinking a mana potion. She had no experience in dungeon exploration, but she was well aware of the important of cartography when exploring a dungeon.
However, nobody was making a map despite the fact that they were exploring a strange dungeon. She was forced to feel uneasy.
However, unlike Daphne, everyone else had relaxed expressions. In-gong nodded and said,
"Yes, don't worry because everything is in my head.”
She became more uneasy after hearing him speak so confidently.
Felicia said with a smile,
"It might seem ridiculous, but it is the truth. I don’t know about other things, but you can trust him regarding maps.”
"You don’t know about other things?”
Felicia shrugged and giggled at In-gong’s incredulous question.
“Anyway, it is a waste. I wanted to investigate properly.”
Right now, the party was just advancing unconditionally. They walked passed the everyday products of dwarf life as well as the art and architectural style. Felicia was interested in ruins, so it was very regrettable for her.
"Well, you can come back later.”
“Even so. I didn’t think that it would be like this.”
She had expected some difficulties, but she had never imagined that they would be attacked and trapped inside the fortress.
"Well, that’s right. Things turned out like this. Prince always ends up getting caught up in something unexpected.”
It really seemed like it.
The swamp mammoths had shown up unexpectedly with the Red Lightning tribe while monsters with purple aura had appeared in the casios subjugation. It was also true for their reconnaissance of the northern part of the Enger Plains. They had been surrounded by monsters unexpectedly and had been almost killed.
It wasn’t just the missions that were unexpected. Both of his court gatherings weren’t common.
In-gong recalled everything that had happened in the past. The translucent Green Wind appeared above White Eagle and asked,
'Master, is it really like that?’
In-gong laughed bitterly instead of answering. Even though it was true, he didn’t like it being brought up like this.
‘Are these things due to Protagonist Correction?’
In-gong unwittingly opened the skill window to check.
“But... we were able to handle the unexpected events thanks to Your Highness. I would already be dead if it wasn’t for Your Highness.”
In-gong wasn’t just the cause. They were able to resolve the unexpected situations thanks to In-gong.
Delia said so with a smile and Felicia nodded in agreement, with Daphne and Karma following suit.
In-gong looked at Delia with a touched expression before turning his gaze towards Carack and Green Wind.
"My stomach hurts.”
'I am always on Master’s side.’
In-gong couldn’t help laughing at the both of them. It was at that moment...
The darkness vanished in an instant. Bright light poured from the ceiling, not only the room where In-gong’s party was but all over the fortress. This was followed by sharp sirens.
Carack, Daphne and Kama sprang up at the sudden change. In-gong, Felicia and Delia were also astonished but the three people thought of something else.
Lights turned on and emergency sirens started ringing. It was a situation that would happen in a fortress or a city, not a small dungeon. Additionally, this situation didn’t happen very often.
It occurred when the most important facility in the ruin was attacked or when a guardian, with a rank that could affect the entire ruin, was attacked.
In-gong and Felicia looked at each other. It was obvious that they both had the same thoughts.
Someone was attacking the dungeon.
They had just arrived at the most important facility or had started a battle with the highest ranked dungeon guardian.
It must be the people who attacked In-gong’s party.
‘The purpose of those guys was to capture Thunderdoom Fortress?'
Did they ambush General Kashubal and In-gong’s party so that their fortress attack wouldn’t be hindered?
It was plausible, although he wasn’t certain.
General Kashubal had died a fortnight ago. If so, they had at least a fortnight to attack Thunderdoom Fortress.
Then why did they wait until now?
It wouldn’t have taken so long unless they were looking in every room and exploring the fortress like Felicia wanted to do.
There was something more. It was clear there was something that In-gong didn’t know about.
'And that is their purpose.’
What if their goal wasn’t to capture the fortress but to find something? Perhaps they were after the dragon slayer series of weapons, like In-gong?
It was the most powerful dragon slayer weapon sleeping in Thunderdoom Fortress. In-gong absolutely had to get his hands on it in this mission.
In-gong finished organizing his thoughts. He couldn’t sit still while those people were acting.
Felicia looked at In-gong. Once again, it was clear that she was thinking the same thing as In-gong.
“Breaking through with force.”
Felicia nodded at In-gong’s words. Delia was also prepared to fight as she put away all the lighting devices.
In-gong glanced around the party and quickly commanded,
"Carack, raise your shield and lead the way. Just keep running forward. Karma will bring Daphne. Felicia noona and Delia will defend the sides.”
Until now, they had dismantled the traps one by one, but it would be different now.
Breaking through the traps. They had to do this despite the risks to their bodies.
Carack couldn’t help but laugh as he grasped his shield tightly with both hands. Delia and Felicia stood right behind Carack, followed by Karma who was holding Daphne.
In-gong raised his left arm and White Eagle flew to it. It would fly around the party and bridge all the gaps in their defense.
“I will try it.”
Felicia grinned and called her wind spirit. She gave up on all her other magic and only focused on the wind spirit. The wind spirit became a powerful gust of air as it responded to Felicia.
Carack’s side was defending the front. Felicia’s wind was defending the sides. White Eagle flew above their heads and filled in for any gaps.
Daphne added various support magic, while In-gong was armed with the dwarf dagger in order to trigger Below the King’s Flag.
"This is the first time I am targeting a dungeon in this way.”
It was an ignorant and reckless manner, but Felicia couldn’t help smiling at the new challenge.
In-gong cried out and Carack breathed in deeply. He released a long breath and moved.
Carack rushed forward. Like a train, the party followed suit. In-gong kept an eye on the mini-map and directed Carack.
Not long after, arrows poured in from the front. Carack didn’t stop moving and the arrows rained down on his shield.
There were also arrows from the side, but the wind spirit didn’t allow this. Almost all the arrows were swept away by the wind while the ones still headed towards the party were blocked by White Eagle.
Carack went down the short path with a lot of traps. At that moment, flames poured down from the ceiling.
In-gong shouted as a green light came from White Eagle...
The shield that guarded the heads of the party. The range that wasn’t covered by White Eagle was once again protected by the wind spirit. The strong winds twisted the course of the flames and even redirected the path of acids pouring down.
Carack ran as hard as he could. He was slightly of breath but In-gong had no thoughts about stopping him.
Daphne cast a strong stamina regeneration spell from Karma’s back. Rather than restoring wounds, it was a stamina recovery magic that stabilized Carack’s breathing and gave new power to his legs.
Carack moaned as he looked in front of his shield. This time, flames were pouring from the front.
Carack cursed and gave a battle cry at the same time. He tackled the wave of flames head on and opened the path.
Arrows, fire, javelins and so on poured towards the party. Daphne used the spell Full Charge whenever they were exhausted.
They couldn’t become tired while rushing through the traps.
Not just Carack, but everyone in the party had the same determination. However, in the midst of this, In-gong thought of something else.
'The traps are still active!’
This meant the 3rd party didn’t take this path.
“Run! Carack! Run!”
Daphne used her fifth Full Charge. The magic shield from the Demon King’s Palace was a mess. Daphne was becoming exhausted despite being on Karma’s back and Felicia was strained as she kept operating the wind spirit. Regardless, the party was able to maintain the momentum of a runaway train. They weren’t far from their goal.
The advantage of the traps was that there weren’t many dungeon monsters. The monsters that they did see didn’t think about rushing into the traps to fight them.
In fact, this was the nice thing about rushing recklessly. However, it would be the end if there was a trap on the ground. Fortunately, In-gong knew that there were no ground traps on this path and Felicia also disregarded it. It was because ground traps weren’t common for dwarves.
Some time passed.
As Daphne used her final Full Charge and fainted from the lack of magic power, the party reached a big door.
"Kuha, heo... ker.”
Carack gave a bizarre moan and removed his shield. Thanks to Full Charge, his breathing was stable, but his heart felt like it was going to burst due to the psychological problems.
Karma was barely able to stand on her two legs while Felicia’s arms were trembling. Delia looked back at In-gong.
"Yes, it is probably here.”
He was sure of it. He had seen the entrance to the control room a few times in Knight Saga.
'Did the dungeon guardian go to support the battle?’
There was supposed to be a gargoyle protecting the entrance to the control room. In-gong gritted his teeth. He guessed where the gargoyle had gone.
In Thunderdoom Fortress, Ascalon was embedded in the chest of the black dragon Partizan.
Partizan’s body was located in the central plaza. The highest ranked guardian was also there.
‘Master, it is too hard.’
In-gong gentle touched White Eagle on his left arm in order to soothe the whining Green Wind and opened the door to the control room.
He felt dizzy in the very large room. The last day of Thunderdoom Fortress had been very confusing, so everything was a mess.
In the centre of the room was a large sphere on a desk along with a dwarf helmet on top of some bones. It was Sarabal, the last captain of Thunderdoom Fortress.
Sarabal was seriously injured in the battle with the dragons, so he remained in the control room while the other dwarves escaped. It was clear that he had controlled Thunderdoom Fortress until his very last breath.
After a short moment of silence, Felicia withdrew the control key from Sarabal’s hand. It was the first time she had been to Thunderdoom Fortress, but she had explored dwarf ruins several times and knew what to do.
The small metal rod shaped controlled was inserted into a hole beneath the large sphere and she inserted magic power. A large blue light emerged from the sphere and spread out in front of the party.
"There is a fight.”
The window of light showed the dungeon guardians of Thunderdoom Fortress confronting the people that he saw in the tunnel. Beyond that was the body of a giant black dragon.
The number of people fighting was roughly 100.
Felicia gazed at In-gong and he nodded.
It was a chance they could take advantage of.