“Can you stand back, I will break those seals” Cleamon says.
“You can break these?” Andrea asks him.
Cleamon grabs a smooth orb from his bracelet, it’s the orb he bought from the auction two weeks ago. It’s translucent and shows a fog inside that swirls in random patterns. He uses his Magic Soul to reach out to it and targets the seals that are covering the gate.
The many patterns light up, with a bright flash they are released from the portal. They float towards the orb Cleamon is holding and get absorbed. The empty fog inside now shows small patterns that represent that ones that got absorbed. Once they’re all absorbed the patterns disappear and the orb looks empty again.
With loud cracking and banging noises the gate starts to open by itself, the two doors that were shut close, now are letting streaks of light come through. Slowly, with a lot of noise, the doors finally open completely.
“What’s that item you have there? How can it just absorb seals like that?” Andrea says staring closely at it. “Can I hold it?” she asks with sparkling eyes.
“No” Cleamon says instantly hiding the gem in bracelet.
Andrea looks disappointed and quite cross at Cleamon, she walk off through the gate murmuring to herself.
“Let’s move as well” Cleamon says to Metztli who is still clinging to Cleamon.
“I don’t know if I can trust her, she seems only interested in your items…” she whispers in his ear. “I know, even tough the headmaster recommended her to us, I’m not sure about her yet” he whispers back.
They both follow Andrea through the gate.
On the other side there is a hallway, there are multiple routes to take. In his previous life Cleamon could not beat this maze, back then he was still young and inexperienced compared to his later years. He had forgotten all about it though and never revisited it.
“We have to be careful, this maze is full of traps” Cleamon says walking towards Andrea who was inspecting the walls.
“How do you know this is a maze?” Andrea asks.
“Well it’s easy to see, it was written on the door we opened, this place is called “Nordom’s Maze” Cleamon says pointing back at the door.
Meanwhile at the Myrtics family.
“Sir, Sylas has become ill, his Magic Soul is shrinking and his mana is not recovering. We have tried all the medicine we know, but we can’t find a solution. If this continues he won’t be able to use magic ever again” a man with panic in his voice reports to Adam Myrtics.
“I don’t care how you do it, but you fix my son! He probable overdid it on those damned mana pills! I should’ve known that good for nothing couldn’t handle one simple task” Adam says slamming his table.
At the castle.
Cecily and Lilia are instructing the rest on the training regime. Cleamon left them enough knowledge to think of a good way to train themselves. They spend time training their new spell and learning more about Intent.
Their Magic Soul keeps expanding and the MS keeps rising, thanks to a steady supply of potions and pills they all reach the 2000 mark in no-time. Lilia however is hiding her true strength, since Cleamon and her did the demon blood pact, her score had already been over 2500. Now with the extra training she is close to reaching 4000.
They had all reached the Novice rank a while back, upon reaching 10000 you would be a Medior rank.
The system to determine what rank you are is quite simple.
Grand Master: 250.000-500.000
Amongst these ranks are several sub ranks to keep closer track on how far you are.
Back at the maze.
They make good progress, every once in a while they stop to gather mana they spend on scanning the maze and looking for traps. So far every trap has been found and dismantled or avoided altogether. Andrea showed a great understanding of trap locations and their intentions, while also remembering the layout in great detail.
‘I guess she acted a bit stupid, before to test me..’ Cleamon thinks to himself.
The next three hours go by slowly, the further they go the harder the traps become. Many illusion traps are places all over the maze, several traps that are triggered by walking within a space have to be dismantled by use of hidden trigger that disable them.
Eventually they reach the end of the maze, tired and mentally exhausted to take rest at the exit. The exit is just a continuation of a cave, but down the cave moving lights can be seen.
“I hope we don’t have to take that way back, although I remember the layout, there is a high chance all the traps will be activated again” Andrea says with a deep sigh.
“I have no idea, usually you wouldn’t have just one entrance to a dungeon” Cleamon answers.
After a quick five minute break they head off to the lights.
Before them is a huge open space, at least the size of the city. The ceiling seems to be a hundred meters high and they can’t even seen all the way to the other size because of the darkness.
“Wow what an amazing sight!” Andrea says “who knew that there was such a place underground!”
The buildings look very old and it looks like there is no living creature to be found. They go down the large stairs that lead to the city’s gates. The closer they go the more impressive the size of the city becomes.
“There are scorch marks all over the place, it seems this city was in a fight once” Cleamon says when he comes close “also there seem to be a lot of skeletons scattered all around. There must’ve have been a huge war or attack from something”.
Once they reach the gates, the whole place smells of burning and death. At the wall there are more than a thousand different skeletons. Most of them have broken bones and their bones seem blacker than usual.
“What are these? They don’t look human to me, it must be some other kind of race” Cleamon says looking closely at the bones.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before, they look a bit elvish, but the skull and spine are different. The skull looks more animal like and the spine has stubs on it. It looks like whatever this species was they could fly. Let me check if one of my books has anything on this” Andrea says grabbing some of the bones.
While Andrea is searching through her books, Cleamon looks around for other clues. He sends out his aura to try and find something living. It stretches about 500 meters and then meets something that violently rejects his mana and tries to lock on to it.
Stricken with surprise, Cleamon quickly cancels it. “We have to move now!” he says with urgency in his voice.
“There is something here, it just noticed my aura when I searched the area” Cleamon says as they run towards a cave located nearby. Inside the cave there are more piles of bones, but these don’t seems to have been burned. Instead there are four big egg shell remains.
“Something was hatched here, it looks like these people were once keeping creatures, but ended up being eaten by them” Cleamon says.
Outside the cave many noises can now be heard, it sounds like speech but is unintelligible to them. A huge wave of aura sweeps the area and finds them. They hear a loud bang and the earth vibrates.
“We have to move outside, inside here we’re much more vulnerable” Cleamon hastily says. They quickly hurry outside and are greeted by a sight which sends chills down their spines.
Three enormous winged creatures of fire are circling around the city, as if on guard for something. A fourth creature had landed not far from the cave entrance and was looking around in the area for the aura it sensed.
“Are these Efreets?” Cleamon whispers to Andrea.
“What are Efreets?” she asks back.
“Legend says that these creatures look like huge fiery demons, they are supposed to be extinct. They are also highly intelligent and are capable of speech and used to have societies hidden away underground” he explains.
“Wow legendary creatures, did the book say anything about them being violent towards outsiders?” she says with a trembling voice.
“No, nothing on that, but they did specify the language they speak. I couldn’t understand it before, but if they really speak that language I know enough to have a conversation. It’s worth a shot, I don’t think we can escape from them anyway even if we rush back up the stairs. Metztli can probable make it, but even if I use my spells, their aura is so huge they can feel the spell being cast instantly”
“Looks like I have no option. I’ll prepare an escape spell, you two remain hidden while I try reasoning with it”
Cleamon comes out of hiding and walks up to the giant creature. At first it doesn’t notice him, but as he comes close it turns around and faces him.