There is no Chapter 694.
When the bright light faded, I realized I was lying in the middle of a field. I had just leaped into the dungeon that Lord Reign had prepared for us. What was the name of the dungeon again? The Twilight Dungeon? It probably had its own story and its lore, but if it had disconnected from our world, then the story was probably something so old or distant that I hadn’t even heard of it.
I had heard of dungeons that had grown so vast that they had ceased to be a dungeon, but became worlds onto themselves. Some even believed that the world we lived on was only a curse that had somehow become a world. If that was the case, I wondered what story did that world possess? It was sort of like how people in my world talked about us all living in the matrix, or some kind of dream. I wasn’t sure if I believed any of it, but I was certainly in a world that was named a dungeon.
These were only rumors, but supposedly in the deepest parts of Great Labyrinth, each floor might be a world onto itself, with villages, kingdoms, sentient creatures, and monsters of their own. I had to stress they were rumors though because no one in Aberis could even get that deep into a Great Labyrinth. The greatest depth varied depending on who you asked, but it definitely wasn’t over 100 floors, and some even said no more than fifty floors.
Yet, this was a dungeon that had no floors. I stood up, and I could see a vast field in front of me. However, my vantage point was immediately blocked by some rather tall trees. I needed something better if I wanted to figure out where the center of this place was. That was the goal, after all. I needed to make my way to the center. Hopefully, I’d meet up with Carmine along the way. The one advantage I had was that Lord Reign didn’t know Carmine was my slave. Therefore, he didn’t know that I had help on the inside.
I also considered my girls on the outside. Supposedly, this world I was in moved differently. Three months in here would be equal to three days out there. I hoped they didn’t do anything stupid in those three days like come to rescue me. That was the extent of it. I thought I’d be worried about them, but I had a feeling like it’d all work out. They’d act smartly out there. They may not know it was Lord Aberis, but they should know his strength was abnormal.
I only realized when my stomach growled that I had been waiting for nearly an hour considering my next course of action. You could never be too cautious though, especially in an unknown environment. I survived the same way I got by while in the dungeon.
I wished I had some means of escape. A bolt cutter, a lockpick, or some kind of bomb. Regrettably, I had no access to inventory. All of my food, armor, some potion ingredients, and my weapon were in there. Still, I was far better off than Lord Aberis thought.
Of all the people, I was the one who was truly being sent to my death. Not only did I have a ward on my neck that kept me from using external skills, or should I say skills that affected things outside of myself, but I was also sent without food, weapons, or clothing. However, I still had my skills and my dungeon points.
In some ways, I was better off than the other contestants. Remaining positive, I prepared myself, pulled up my Map, and then began to advance slowly.
My first goal was to reach some high ground. If I could get a visual on the castle, and thus the center of the world, that would be best. After that, I’d be looking to secure transportation. I had a feeling that the castle was deceptively distant, and that three months wouldn’t be enough unless I had a faster way to travel.
I couldn’t open Portals, as that was considered an external ability, so my biggest time-saver was no longer an option. I still had my multiple jobs, my experience bonuses, and my weapon proficiency. However, I lost Slave Communication, Fire Control, and most spellcasting. Unless it was something that only worked for me, like Map, I couldn’t cast it.
I used the Map which extended out as far as I could see, making sense of things at the edge of my vision. A distant lake may look like a blue line in my vision, but can be completely clear when examined on the map. It was that kind of thing. I moved through the forest for a bit, and it was then that I suddenly got a Sense Danger alarm. I leaped to the side, and just then a tiger-like monster leaped out from the trees. It had long tusks, and my immediate thought was that it was a sabertooth.
Normally, I would have cast some kind of spell to damage it, but I didn’t have access to a spell. I only had my sword, and it wasn’t a nice one like Lydia’s growth sword, but a cheap steel thing.
Rooooar! The tiger let out a rumbling roar before leaping at me again. I didn’t know what level it was, so I quickly used Monster Identify while dodging it again. When I finally saw its status, I calmed down immediately. The Monster Identify called it a Sabertooth Feral, it was only level 35. I didn’t know how strong I was, but I had multiple jobs that exceeded that level by quite a lot at this point.
“Oh, is that all you got?” I was a bit surprised, but I supposed this was the outer rim of the dungeon.
If this dungeon worked like other dungeons I had been in, then it stood to reason that the closer I got to the center, the harder the enemies would be. That left me feeling somewhat interested in how hard things would get. However, at the moment, this monster wasn’t much more challenging than things I offered in my dungeon in Chalm.
I shuffled my jobs around, re-equipping the long-abandoned Hero. With Moderate Swordsmanship and Basic Weapon proficiency, I felt much more at ease battling the monster using my sword. Just as I was about to strike its neck, a thought came to me. Instead, I struck it with the back of my hilt and then backed away. I readjusted my jobs again and then advanced on the monster.
It lunged at me again, and I dodged and struck it again. Each time, I did so, it’s movements became weaker.
“Come on…” I said, willing the creature to give up.
It took another fifteen minutes of careful movements, but the monster finally lowered its head submissively. I let out a breath of relief.
“So, I can do that much.”
I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to Tame an animal. It seemed like I couldn’t use things like Submission or Weaken to make it easier. However, this animal was already a lot weaker than me, so it didn’t take too much to beat him down and ultimately control him. Stroking the creature’s fur for a bit, I finally jumped onto his back.
“Come on, let’s go!”
I ended up getting a quicker mount sooner than I expected.
True Hero, Hero, True Dungeon Diver, and Demon Knight were the four jobs I went with. After getting the tiger to behave, I didn’t see any reason to keep the Monster Tamer job equipped. Thankfully, the tiger remained tamed even without the job. The first Demon Knight skill was Darkness Control, which was the same as Dark Priest. Nothing was surprising there. I’d need to level it up before it gave me anything interesting.
As we ran through the forest, the tiger moved a lot quicker than I could, weaving through trees and jumping across crevices with apparent ease. He seemed to move at a speed or gave off an atmosphere that kept other monsters from bothering us. As a result, we moved forward in what I would have considered good time, and finally reached a big hill, which he also climbed up. At the top, I was finally able to get a lookout over the dungeon. It left me feeling a bit surprised.
I could see the castle at the center in the distance. Thankfully, we had more or less been heading in the right direction. It would have been irritating if I had been going the wrong way for the last hour.
This world seemed to be surrounded by a swirling fog. It wasn’t black like miasma, but a grey color. There were numerous environments in this world and also weather patterns. That’s right, I could see a distinct snowy region to the north, and there was an active thunderstorm to the east. It was odd to see multiple weather patterns within the same horizon, but that appeared to be how this dungeon worked.
There was a mountainous area up north and a desert down south. I couldn’t make out too many details, but I started to try to map out the easiest trip there. I saw a few methods of potentially travelling. As I sat and considered things, the sun slowly began to lower in the sky. The tiger nudged my arm, causing me to snap out of my pondering. I still hadn’t decided! Had it always been this difficult to make a decision? I didn’t feel like that was the case.
It was just that I was on my own, and I had to be careful. Well, I had the tiger, but he wasn’t going to help me very much as I got farther into the dungeon, especially if I was right and the difficulty started to increase. Just when I was thinking of sleeping on my decision, my eyes landed on a light. I hadn’t noticed it in the daylight, but there appeared to be some kind of ruin that glowed with a green light. Now that it was starting to grow dark, it shone out of the forest brightly.
Looking around, I reckoned that sleeping on a hill at night wasn’t the safest decision. I’d check out those ruins and decide if they were a good place to stay the night.