Having a 24h gap, that was 8 hours in real life, I logged out to get some sleep.
My face had a wide grin plastered all over it.
‘Fufufu, soon I’ll be able to earn a living without lifting a finger!’
With this joyous mood, I drifted off into a world of dreams.
Connecting to Loiterous, I saw an entire army of undead under Lord Nimbe’s command.
‘There are a lot of them… Who are these guys?’
Checking out the undead, I noticed ones I haven’t seen before.
There were zombies, specters, vampires, mummies and necromancer apprentices.
‘Could it be that I skipped a lot of floors during my 30 minute walk underground?’
Realizing that this necromancer can be a lot more useful than I originally thought, the wicked grin I had before heading to bed appeared on my face.
Lord Nimbe: Oi kid, stop smiling like a psycho. Tell us why we’re here.
Oh right, they’re still completely in the dark.
Icicle: To get you stronger of course, why else?
Lord Nimbe: Huh?
Icicle: I want to make you stronger, evolve even. However, to pull it off, there’s one significant question that all of you must answer first.
Lord Nimbe: What is it? Don’t keep us waiting, spill it out.
Icicle: Are you prepared to die?
Hearing the bones creaking and some kind of a cheery laughter, Dufraine seemed to be ridiculing me.
Lord Nimbe: Kid, we’re dead for so long and yet you’re asking us this. It’s really hilarious. *laugh*
Icicle: You don’t seem to understand. I’m asking if you’re willing to die right here, right now. Even though this is the dungeon and you will respawn, I’m not sure if you feel any pain. I don’t know what it’s like to die either. If it’s painful or you simply don’t want to participate in my plan, then you can leave this room now. For those that will stay, I can promise you one thing. You’ll get stronger, much stronger. In the long run, you should be powerful enough to stand against those who have wronged you. That’s all.
Lord Nimbe: Wait, you’re saying that even if we die right here and now, we’ll simply revive? As if nothing happened?
Icicle: Yes, you will. This happens because you’re a part of this dungeon. It may seem weird, because you’re a part of my house now, which makes you citizens of sorts, but you’ll respawn if you die nonetheless. For us, adventurers from the other world, this world is like a game, we can respawn whenever we die. Dungeons, like this Zaryoux Temple, are a treasure trove for us adventurers. If you, monsters as we call you, die, then you simply respawn after a set period of time. You probably don’t even remember what happened. This is how the system in this world works. At least in other “worlds” I have been in. For that reason this dungeon is a perfect training ground, as long as you’re prepared to die a few times of course…
Lord Nimbe: I see. You probably don’t know if we can retain our memories… How fast can we come back to life?
Icicle: From what I checked, it’s 30 seconds. As for the memories thing, we’ll need to check it. I think that now, that you’re a part of my house, you should be able to keep it. You may not remember the exact moment you died at, but apart from it, everything else should be there.
Lord Nimbe: That fast? Alright. Whatever that plan of yours is, I’m in. I can’t just sit still. Your companion is several times stronger than me, yet you said that you’re no match for a deity. *sigh* This will be a long road ahead of us, won’t it?
Icicle: Yes it will, that’s why the sooner we start, the better. How about the rest of you?
Rapid Fire: You can count on me and my men.
To think this overgrown archer would kneel before me… I won’t get used to it, no matter how many times I see it…
‘Good, we have a ranged team already.’
Magnix: I’m Magnix, leader of the necromancer apprentices. We are willing to join your cause.
Black robed figures with dark oak staves in their hands kneeled before me. I won’t ask them to show me how they look like, that would be a breach of privacy…
I wonder if they joined because of Lord Nimbe…
‘Blights, epidemies and all sorts of curses. Adding to that the ability to raise undead from the fallen enemies’s bodies… fufufu, great, we have “summoners” in our midst’
Aspena: My name is Aspena, I’m the representative of the specter group. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Icicle Whitesnow. Thanks to you, we, specters, are now able to touch things. We deeply missed that feeling. For that, we will be eternally grateful. As for your cause, whatever it is, we’re in.
Transparent specters, looking just like ghosts, bowed deeply, almost reaching their waists.
It’s good that they did that, it would be weird if they knelt…
Seeing Rapid Fire kneeling is one thing, but specters and to add to that, women?
These womens’ nether parts and bust area were covered by their white dresses.
At least I assume they were white, as they blended in with their transparent appearance.
Nonetheless, it was a pleasant sight seeing these wraiths happy like that..
‘Specters, huh… maybe they will acquire mind-controlling abilities later? They’ll do great as an assassin team. Flying through the walls and ambushing the unaware adventurers, yeah, that will be great, fufufufu.’
Valter: Valter Tyrix, noble leader of the vampires. My clan has been persecuted for a long time, until we finally found this temple to settle in. We, noble vampires, would like to get strong enough to once again have our own place in the world! Guide us well, leader!
Pale faces, fangs, human eyes with red irises, black capes and that noble aura… yeah, these are definitely vampires.
From what Valter said, it seems they settled in here, so they’re a juicy bonus race, fufufu.
‘They’ll be of great use. After the specter team creates chaos, the vampires will simply drain the blood of the adventurers, killing them in the process. Second ambush team, checked.’
I still wonder, how can they look so young? Weren’t they supposed to sustain off human blood? I can’t see them getting any, unless they traveled to the first floor from time to time…
Moving on, the next one was the zombie’s captain.
Kalish: My name’s Kalish, captain of the zombies gathered here. We’re ready to serve you, lord Icicle Whitesnow.
Seeing these zombies wasn’t exactly pleasant, their flesh was rotting, I’m glad I couldn’t smell it, these 95% reality really comes in handy. If I could smell them, I would probably be crying right now…
Their flesh was green, some had grey and others were completely yellow… dark yellow.
I don’t know why they differ so much, but who cares, I’ll make a great use out of them.
‘Meat shields checked… I wonder if I can turn them into “these guys” though… Well, we’ll see.’
Numarak: The name’s Numarak. My comrades, ancient beings, and I were revived in this cursed state. These bandaged mummies and I, are willing to serve you. Do not betray our trust in you, great leader.
‘Great leader, huh? This 2500 charisma is doing work.’
Seeing these bandaged walking undead, I was wondering, how could they even exist here…I mean, these priests, paladins and other guarding soldiers were turned into undead, that’s understandable, but mummies? Did they have a crypt here? If so, these guys can turn out to be real monsters!
Their eyes are full of ominous light, they will definitely come in handy!
‘Control type monsters, probably even able to cast some curses, checked.’
Badian: Badian, Skeleton Warriors’ leader. We’re ready to serve you, lord.
‘So they have a leader too, huh.’
Badian bowed curtly, then returned to his original position amongst the other [Skeleton Warriors]. There were even ones that I defeated.
You may ask how do I know… well, they were shaking a little, which made their bones creak.
‘Hmm, what will I do with them? Turn them into proper swordsmen? Maybe they’ll fare better than before after some training.’
Clinging with both of his hands to his oak staff, one of the [Dark Undead Priests] kneeled before me.
‘Now that I think about it, they didn’t have a description… Weird, I wonder who they really are…’
Varaag: People call me Varaag. It is a great pleasure to finally meet you, lord Icicle Whitesnow. I heard that my comrades have fallen by your hand, that’s why, I deem you worthy of commanding us. We’ll be in your care.
I saw an ominous glint in his eyes.
‘Is he scheming something? Or is it just his character as an undead?’ Doesn’t matter. They’ll definitely play a big role as healers and buffers, I need to give them protection, or make them more mobile though…’
Finally, the last one who came to greet me, was the leader of the former Paladins
Ganis: It’s a pleasure to meet you, lord Icicle Whitesnow. My name’s Ganis, leader of the [Undead Elite Guardians]. As much as we would like to join you, when choosing a leader, we believe only in his strength. As such, I challenge you to a duel. If you manage to defeat me, me and my underlings will be at your command.
‘A challenge huh? I wonder how will I fare against this heavy armored guy.’
[Ganis] [Lvl 125**]
Health: 5 000 000
Skills: [Leader’s aura] [???]
Description: 10000 years ago, Ganis was commanding one of the strongest paladin units in the whole continent. His name was well known throughout the world. No one has heard anything about him since his disappearance…
‘Hidden skills, huh… That’s new.’
Ganis: What are you so surprised for? You can’t see my skills? Hahaha, you adventurers are all the same. Always relying on that [Observe] skill of yours. You can’t know of my skills unless someone actually saw it, and lived to tell the tale, can you?
Enough of the talking, come on!
‘So that’s why, huh. He has been gone for 10000 years, that makes sense.’
Charding at him with Eshel in my right hand, I tried breaking through his defense.
Ganis didn’t even try too much, he was blocking my attacks with ease.
His enormous black shield soaked up all the damage.
‘Fucking tanks, I hate all of you.’
When I made a careless slash, I was grabbed by my neck with strength that was simply inhuman.
Ganis: What, is this all you’ve got? How did you manage to convince old man Dufraine to join your side, huh, weakling?
He threw me like a piece of trash afterwards.
Ganis: Hmph, such a weakling, worse than an insect and you’re trying to be our leader? I wonder why these old fools decided to follow you. You’re such a useless piece of trash, what could you possibly do to make us stronger, huh?
Come on, stand up, you maggot. What, you want me to call your mommy? She probably fights better than you! Judging from your pretty face, she’s quite a beauty. Say, do you want to have another brother or sister?
I heard bones creaking mixed with mocking laughter.
There were even gasps and worried voices that reached my ears.
“Will he really be able to lead us?”
“He’s losing in such a way… can he be the leader we wished for?”
“Lord Nimbe doesn’t seem concerned though…”
“Should we just believe in him?”
“Do we even have a choice?”
Lord Nimbe: ‘This is your test kid. You can’t rely on your companion now. I wonder what will you show us. Will it be a thorough defeat or a miraculous comeback victory…?’
Ganis: Come on, kid. Your underlings are doubting you, some are even openly laughing at you. So, how about it, will you let me fuck your moth-
Hearing all of these insults, especially ones about my mother, enraged me. I was bathing in a boundless sea of rage.
[Bloodlust] activated, stronger and fiercer than ever.
All the insults I heard were echoing in my mind.
“WEAKLING. WORSE THAN INSECT. USELESS PIECE OF TRASH. MAGGOT. DO YOU WANT ANOTHER BROTHER OR SISTER? WILL YOU LET ME FUCK YOUR MOTHER?”
It was as if someone made them reverberate. Was it my consciousness? I don’t know.
I have no idea how was I even able to retain consciousness…
Guess I have to thank my grandfather’s anger management training…
‘Rest in peace, grandpa.’
Icicle: I was trying to go easy on you, and yet such an overgrown bag of bones like you, dares to insult not only me, but even my mother? To make it all worse, you think I blackmailed that necromancer to serve under me. Hahahaha, that’s really funny.
I’ll show you, why he bowed to me. I’m not going to be your leader because you owe me something. I’m not going to be your savior, nor have you serve under me because you feel some kind of a gratitude. You will obey my every command because you’ll FEAR ME. Fear me so much ,that you’ll stay loyal. no matter what happens. That’s what I’m about drive into your numb skull.
Ganis: You sure can talk big, kid. Let me see that power you’re speaking of.
Gathering all of my mana in my hands, I imagined a giant Water Hammer.
What came out was boiling water in a shape of one such hammer.
Instantly freezing it, I saw the bloodlust leaving my body, enveloping the giant weapon above me.
I swinged the Ice Hammer, as I called it, with as much strength as I could muster.
Instead of dodging it, Ganis took it head on, trying to show off.
I think he believed that his shield will mitigate the damage.
Powered up by both my ice magic and [Bloodlust], the giant Ice Hammer squashed Ganis.
All I could see was smoke rising.
‘Hmm, is he dead? I did 250k damage, but that’s only a sliver, merely 5% of his maximum health… Why is he not standing up?’
Realizing that it’s the holy water that I unconcsiously froze, Ganis was burned to death by the light element constantly permeating his entire body.
From the constant fighting in this dungeon, I leveled up to 41.
[Skeleton Warriors] and [Dark Undead Priests] gave less and less experience after each level..
Their experience didn’t decrease, as they were many levels above me, it’s just that my experience bar required more and more experience.
Seeing the blue window popping up, I was pleasantly surprised.
You have leveled up!
You have leveled up!
You have leveled up!
You have leveled up!
Four levels in one go… Muahahaha, these multipliers for solo killing are ridiculous!
‘Thank you Likaan, you loquacious bitch. Thanks to you, I was able to gain 4 levels for free!’
Hmm, there’s something else…
Your title [Fearless combatant] has upgraded into [Indomitable].
[Indomitable] [Legendary] [Unequippable]
Description: The gods reward your courage and bravery in the face of an enemy that was tens of times stronger than you.
Even such powerful beings can’t fathom how did you manage to defeat it. To reward you, you are granted with the following perks:
Your intimidation and pressure related skills gain +100% effectiveness.
Enemy’s pressure and intimidation decreased by 90%.
Your [Willpower] skill allows you to use 110% of your capabilities.
‘Holy shit, that’s an awesome title. I can go head to head with almost anyone now… Well, it’s not like it matters if I can’t kill them…’
It’s a shame that there’s no loot.
I don’t know whether it’s caused by them being a part of my house and counted as a “friendly fire” of sorts, or because I’m the owner of the dungeon, but that’s pretty sad.
It’s probably the former, otherwise owning a dungeon wouldn’t be as profiting as one may think.
As I was having all these thoughts, I realized that there’s complete silence in the room.
Icicle: What? Anyone else wants to have a go?
None of them has uttered a word, so I assumed they didn’t.
Suddenly feeling bone piercing pain, I realized that both of my arms were broken.
Even though I swinged this hammer without feeling anything, it weighed at least a few tons.
‘No wonder my arms are in this state…’
If not for my [Willpower] and [Bloodlust] I wouldn’t even be able to swing it.
I didn’t want my newly acquired underling to perceive me as weak, so I used a pretext to patch myself up.
Icicle: Hmph, that filthy trash dared to touch me, I need to clean myself. *snort*
With that, I cast [Purified water] on myself, when its effect ended I was completely healed.
‘I wonder if I went overboard with that last sentence…’
30 seconds passed, marking Ganis’s respawn.
Icicle: Are you happy now?
Ganis: I am content, however, with only that much power, you couldn’t beat Lord Nimbe. How did you manage to convince him?
Nudging Nyu a little, she seemed to instantly understand. All she said was…
Nyu: More sweets?
Ice energy appeared above Ganis, forming into a fist and then completely squashing him.
The crater that was left in the floor was at least 3m in diameter
Poor soul, even his bones turned into dust… yeah right, fuck you Ganis.
‘I guess Nyu doesn’t need holy element to kill such opponents… Well, she’s on a completely different level…’
I didn’t get any experience, as I simply didn’t contribute.
Guess I wouldn’t get any even if I did.
Nyu’s level was marked with four question marks, she’s at least level 1000, there’s no way I would get any experience if she herself didn’t get a speck.
Icicle: Do you understand now, Ganis? Or should I show you again, just to make sure you comprehended what has transpired?
He was kneeling on one knee, visibly respectful now.
Ganis: I-I’m fine, my lord. There’s no need for additional lessons, me and my followers will gladly obey you.
Icicle: Hmph, should’ve done so in the first place. You better prepare, Ganis, I’ll drill you myself.
If these undead could go pale, after what has happened, they probably would…