John then used the time gained from the resting of the team to utilize the energy he had gathered. Wanting to find the possibility of purifying the attained life fore and mana into another form of power. This was a key part of his plan, if successful, the event of taking over this facility would be much smoother. If this experiment failed, he would need to use catalysts to perform such actions, much similar to the dungeon master. However, this investigation would require an extended period of time and the use of some sacrificial lambs!
John started utilizing his resources, pouring most of the processing power into the task at hand. The goal was to understand the purification process completely so that he could increase his cultivation while enabling comparison to take place. In other words, he would be able to quantify his spirit and form a status window for himself as well. Due to the sensitivity of this dungeon, he had to understand such parts as fast as possible or being caught by the system would be a certainty.
John had assessed the root of the problem to be insufficient data about himself. As he could not precisely measure his strength for future planning, which brought many uncertainty and undesired variables. Estimating the general outcome was not by any means acceptable, where any slight misstep could be catastrophic. How would he be able to control his force, when he did not fully understand about it?
Meanwhile, the group was prepared to continue their journey, they were now more hopeful than before. Light of determination sparkled in their eyes, showcasing their high level of enthusiasm. They knew the possible outcome of going higher; more dangers followed. They would soon be sandwiched between the strong monsters and kingdom's investigators, with nowhere to run. However, the greed had blinded them, thinking of themselves as chosen ones, they wanted to keep going, to attain even more loot. How knew, by the time danger arrived, they might have become much stronger than their enemies. But life rarely played nice with characters, even the fated child had to pay a certain price for what they attained, let alone them.
In actuality, the child of destiny simply had more opportunities than the rest but the price rarely differed. Similar to a store; the public could buy goods at a certain cost, yet for those with VIP access card, the store manager would present unique goods with higher pay. A chosen one would receive better treatment, but the cost of such hospitalization usually came heavily, after all, profit was the only important factor. When the bill arrived, they would find the price to be breathtaking, and life would cruelly take it away. The heroes rarely had a happy ending, yet the storytellers purposely told the story to the point the rode into the sunset hand in hand with their loved ones. However, after sun sets, the night that follows is indeed dark and treacherous; the unwilling sorrowful scream of heroes echoed throughout history.
Some distance ahead the adventurers saw yet another village of goblins, before having the chance to discuss the future course of action, some foreign shouts came. They had been discovered by a group of patrolling goblins, who angrily screamed what sounded like curses. If they understood the language of these monsters, perhaps their ears would turn hot, red and they would feel deeply embarrassed by such profanity.
The battle formation was immediately formed, this had been a new strategy devised by their mage, Link and agreed unanimously. The process was very smooth, no objections were raised, and every member learned their role easily; the unproblematic procedure was rather suspicious as if an external hidden hand was at play. Yet, none of the experienced daredevils noticed anything unusual. If a third person with prior knowledge of this group saw this outcome, the hair on their body would stand in fright, they would question if the team had been possessed!
Besides the new formation, they also failed to notice the disciple the goblins were showing as well. As they were primitive beasts, no civilization was expected from them, yet these ones somehow showed signs of being trained by a superior. No advanced strategy, but no more mob behavior either; they attacked in pairs and had better tools than previous villages.
Few seconds after the clash with 10 green humanoid monsters, Alvin noticed the strange circumstances. He yelled:
"These ones have better tools than the ones we found before,"
"We have to finish them fast or the sound of battle will attract the true elites of their community" Betsy used her newly attained mental power to draw a conclusion.
Dahlia snapped out of her bloodthirst, thinking to herself about this strange new frame of mind. Then started to command her team:
"Link perform support but preserve your mana too. Betsy, if you notice any runners, shoot them down immediately. Beryl protect Betsy and Link but also use your skill to attack from time to time. Alvin, it is time to show off your new gains, I will do the same"
Alvin acknowledged the command by using Warrior's shout skill, confusing the enemies within a 20-meter radius, followed by activating charge.
THUMB, THUMB, THUMB,
By the time he was done, three headless corpses were on the ground, they did not have any time to understand their deaths. Alvin had used the dazed state of the enemy to knock the trio onto the ground where he used precise slashes to decapacitate them.
Dahlia did not stick around to admire her teammate, rather she had already taken down one target with a flying dagger and was running behind a second one. When an arrow flew past her, but she did not pay any attention to it, this feat was the result of intense training. Members of a team had each other's backs so each one had to fulfill their duties diligently, so the life of others would not be endangered.
Behind the running thief, a goblin using a wooden spear fell to the ground with an arrow lounged in its eye. This was Betsy's handy work, attained from her recent improvements, she was very proud of herself. Yet, strangely the more strength she gained, the more she forgot about her crush on the burly honest warrior of their group.
Meanwhile, Beryl used few mighty slashes to tear wooden shields the enemies carried to tear them into two pieces.
Once she was done, 3 new bodies littered the ground.
A short scream followed, then one with slashed throat fell as well, Dahlia had found her prey.
The last one tried to run, only to be impaled by two arrows shot consecutively towards its green back.
Throughout this battle, Link was using Basic cove and shield spell on his team, helping them on a support role.
Once the fight was over, the bunch looted the bodies for any valuables but did not find anything. So, they wanted to mutilate the bodies, taking their parts for future profits, when they heard footsteps approaching.
THUMP, THUMP, THUMP
THUMP, THUMP, THUMP
THUMP, THUMP, THUMP
Dahlia neared her ear to the ground and said: "There are at least 2 dozen, running this way. I think we attracted their attention; these ones are somehow organized. Prepare for another round of fight"
Once they got close enough for proper visibility, they saw an unusual scene; amongst the short green beasts, was a grey-skinned heavy built monster with a ferocious look in the eyes.
Link mentioned: "That must be the hobgoblin I have read about in the academy; be careful they are smarter and stronger than the others. This one seems to be leading them"
Soon the two sides clashed, yet the adventurers did not have the same vigor, as they had just finished one fight, before being tossed into another.
The two warriors this time both charged into the enemy in the first encounter; taking advantage of the close proximity of the foes.
THUMP, THUMP, THUMP
THUMP, THUMP, THUMP
CRASH, CRASH, CRASH, CRASH