A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 102
Blue Moon Party quickly moved away from the fight that kept the Desir party occupied . The sound of fighting gradually faded away, until just the footsteps of their party of six could be heard in the now silent cave . Argeria finally broke the silence .
“Did we make it?”
His excited voice echoed in the labyrinth . Other voices agreed with the assertion in agitation .
“Did you see how embarrassed they looked? It was truly a spectacle . ”
“It looked like they were struggling to survive . ”
It was a simple plan . Killing that many Great Worms would take a lot of time, no matter which party was confronted with such a situation, regardless of whether it was Desir’s party or their own .
The Blue Moon party used this situation to increase their lead over Desir’s party .
“You look unhappy, Kelt . ”
Kelt turned to look at Argeria .
“I don’t know if this will come back to bite us or not . ”
“Think of it as a mock skirmish . Can you defeat an enemy while taking care of them? Think of the enemy party as virtual beings in a mock Shadow World . There really is no big difference between those two concepts here anyway . Even if you die in here, you don’t really die . ”
“Of course, that is… ”
“If your mind wanders during practice, how will you stay focused in a real dungeon? It’s your responsibility to prioritise the party and your own wellbeing over the enemy’s . Unless you take this seriously, one day you’ll get both yourself and your party killed . ”
After sharing his advice, Argeria focussed back on the cave in front of himself and increased his pace .
Kelt, however, looked over his shoulder to confirm whether he had any regrets .
‘I can’t believe that defeating other parties in this way is acceptable . ’
Even though he thought that this was an inevitable situation, he still felt guilty in some small part of his heart .
They had not defeated them with their ability but through their own cowardice .
‘I guess the ends justify the means . ’
Kelt remembered what his brother had told him and reluctantly turned his head forward and focused on the path in front of him .
Not long afterwards, they broke through the last zone within the second stage .
“I found it! There’s an exit just up ahead . ”
Indeed, in just a short moment, the narrow labyrinth had widened and a huge space was revealed . A spacious hall was nestled in the middle of this open area . It was large enough to accommodate hundreds of people simultaneously . What would have normally been a dark and foreboding chamber was instead brightly lit . The walls were composed of some kind of luminous stone, which emanated a bright light more than capable of lighting up a room .
“We’ve finally arrived . ”
The hall was so silent that a pin drop could be heard . Argeria’s murmur was hence loud enough to fill the hall with its echo . There was a door opposite to the side they had entered from . It was probably the passage to the third stage . Once they passed through it, they would be the first ones to enter the third stage .
Argeria confidently stepped forward and his party members followed him .
Without any warning, a sound loud enough to tear eardrums reverberated throughout the hall .
The Blue Moon party came to an abrupt stop .
“It’s a Great Worm . ”
Great Worms made a unique, but loud, noise due to the way they ate and displaced the ground as they moved . Unless they had heard wrong, this was obviously the sound of a Great Worm .
‘Have some of them been chased off by Desir’s party?’
Kelt felt that this was possible .
The number of Great Worms that the Blue Moon party had led to Desir’s party was about a thousand . It was plausible for some of them to have chased the Blue Moon party instead of staying to fight Desir .
The noise of digging coming from the walls was exceptionally loud . The walls soon began to show signs of cracking while the noise assaulting their ear drums increased . As the cracks continued to grow, the luminous stone illuminating the area began to dim and soon the light disappeared completely .
One by one, the luminous stone walls faded to dark . Before they knew it, the surroundings had become pitch black .
“Secure vision of the area . ”
On Argeria’s command, the wizards of the Blue Moon party arranged and invoked various illumination spells .
They continually unleashed light spells . Before too long, there were a dozen light sources that formed a huge central source of light as well as many periphery smaller light sources that spread out to cover the area . One might think that the luminous stone had turned back on, if not for the massive shadow that loomed over the Blue Moon party .
Kelt doubted his own eyes .
It moved in like a massive wall, preventing all escape . This was an area that could afford space to hundreds of people simultaneously, which made the size of this being all the more frightening .
A party member shouted in alarm .
“… is this the work of a Great Worm?”
“No, this is too much… Then it must be… !”
It was too big to call it a Great Worm, based on what they had seen before . No, this was something that stimulated the fear of man due to its sheer size .
The surface of its exoskeleton reflected the light . The giant which had not yet left the wall had already filled the hall with its enormity . Its legs, as if made up of dozens of broken knives somehow glued end to end, made a grating noise as they moved in-sync with its constant cycle of breathing .
As they began to recognize exactly what exactly they were up against, the party who had thought that they were the strongest began to feel embarrassed .
At the same time, a notification sounded .
-‘Great Mother Worm’ has appeared in response to the massive amount of Great Worm blood that has been spilled .
The Great Mother Worm who oversees the Great Worms feels threatened by the death of so many Great Worms and will now kill all intruders that it finds .
-A hidden quest has appeared .
Defeat the Great Mother Worm in order to advance to the next stage .
Stone fragments scattered everywhere . A Great Worm protruded from a wall . Almost instantaneously, Pram’s rapier penetrated the Great Worm’s head . Pram then took one step forward while spinning his rapier round and round, piercing the Great Worm in many different places . Bodily fluids burst out, splattering over a wide area .
The Great Worm twisted and fell to the floor, intermittently spasming .
Pram stabbed his rapier a few more times into its body to ensure it was dead .
He then turned around to identify any other nearby threats . A short distance away, he saw a Great Worm wriggling backwards, attempting to dig a path to escape .
‘I have to handle that before it’s too late . ’
Pram flitted forward .
Pram glanced backwards at the source of the sudden explosion behind him . Half of a Great Worm was roasted black while the other half of it was flying away as Desir reached out to Pram .
“Don’t go too deep on your own, Pram! We must maintain formation . ”
Pram realized he had acted too hastily, and hurriedly returned to his position .
“I understand that this is a hassle, but we cannot relax until this battle is over . ”
Pram replied in embarrassment .
“I’ll keep that in mind . ”
Meanwhile, wind magic poured out from the center of the party formation and mutilated the Great Worm trying to escape back into the ground .
Their tactic for this battle was dead simple .
The swordsmen, Pram and Takiran, confronted the Great Worms in front of them to halt their advance and protect the party . In the meantime, Adjest and Desir dealt massive damage with their magic while Fritzel flexed to assist the party where required . Finally, when Great Worms attempt to escape, Romantica deals with them via sniper magic to prevent more reinforcements from coming .
The battle was nearing its end . There were not many Great Worms left that could still move . Adjest took out the last Great Worm, signaling that the battle had ended .
“It’s finally over . ”
Innumerable slices and chunks of Great Worm littered the ground that was flooded with bodily fluids . It was as if they had defeated all of the Great Worms in this dungeon .
As the party’s adrenaline wore off, they finally took in their surroundings . The odor wafting from the body fluids and Great Worm viscera was nauseating, and quickly became the source of the party’s anguish .
Romantica frowned at the unpleasant environment .
“Really, that was just too many . They’re really pushing their luck . Those Blue Moon party guys, no matter how much they hate us, how could they do something so shameful? ”
Pram also spoke up while shaking off fluid that had accumulated on his rapier . He did not sound like his usual self, sounding far more upset than Desir had ever heard him before .
“That Blue Moon party is so dirty . ”
Adjest looked the same as usual on the surface, but it was clear that she was also angry . Even though the battle was now over, the way she carried herself remained the same .
Everyone was filled with anger at the Blue Moon party and annoyed at the senseless fight they had to undertake .
In the meantime, Desir focused more on other things than his seething rage at the Blue Moon party . He looked at the carcasses of the Great Worms scattered everywhere .
“Mm… there were too many . This was too dangerous . ”
Pram chirped in response next to him .
“We’ve already handled everything, Desir . ”
Desir silently collected and burned the bodies of the Great Worms . His party members were curious at what he had been doing, acting completely normal, instead of joining them in expressing their rage .
As he continued working, he started talking to the party members .
“In order to control the Great Worms in an artificial environment like this, there is a need for an entity to lead and manipulate them . A being that represents the will of all colonies . Of course, this entity usually doesn’t get involved and instead remains in the colony that they spawn in…”
Sensing how seriously Desir was treating the situation, the party members all quietly listened to him .
“However, when it comes to situations where the entire colony is threatened, this all changes . When so many Great Worms all die at once… it might make a move . ”
“I see, so… ”
“We definitely need to get rid of all traces of this battle . It absolutely can’t know how many we slaughtered . This entity is really tricky to deal with . Very annoying . ”
Desir looked at the burning flames . In the flames, the body of a Great Worm crumbled and scattered to ash .
“Desir . ”
Adjest was looking far away into the dark .
“I think we are already too late . ”