291 Plains Of The Colossus 2
Eva didn't bother to put up her hood this time. She was with her sisters under Draco, so there was no need for it. Besides, little Rila seemed to really enjoy admiring Eva's face, as it really was nice and wholesome to look at.
Not that Loki and Rosella were any different. Whenever their attention wasn't on their mothers, they would ogle their step-mother.
Eva even tried to smile brightly for Rila, but Rila blanched. It was clear that Eva was better off frowning like she always did rather than trying to force a smile.
｢Plains of the Colossus – Divine Dungeon
Description: The people of the Leikarthi Village have opened the pathway from the material realm to their secret realm in order for outsiders to assist them in killing the Colossi that are invading their small world.
Rewards: Legendary Item, Platinum｣
Once in the Divine Dungeon, they appeared in a large town. It was a nice municipality with stone cottages as well as a stately town hall in the center. The roads were the typical medieval fare, which essentially meant pure dirt.
There was an open area shop district with many patrons doing their daily shopping. However, something that could make one feel strange was the fact that there was no noise from the shoppers.
Everyone was were very muted and if they spoke it was barely louder than a whisper. Their style of dressing was also strange, as almost everyone - from child to elderly - wore clothing mixed with armor.
Matching their outfit each one had either a sword, spear, bow or some other weapon at their hips or back. They wore solemn expressions, as if a battle was incoming, despite going about daily activities.
When the four women appeared with the children, all eyes landed on them. Immediately, one man and one woman approached them neutrally and asked: "Are you the ones hired to help us with our problem?"
Eva had already seen the details of the Divine Dungeon, so she nodded. The ones who approached her then said: "Please follow us to the Lady for briefing."
Eva and her group were led through the town quickly. Despite the residents seeming calm, many could not help but ogle these four beauties. Eva especially made many lose their composure, while Zaine caused many unfortunate physiological reactions.
Roma patted Zaine on the shoulder. "Looks like you've become an erm… what did Draco call it…? A MILF, hehe."
Zaine rolled her eyes and held Loki closer. "None of them can even hope to match his grandeur, hmph."
Hikari also giggled. "Yep! Draco is the best. Besides, apart from Sister Zaine's allure, look at how they're responding to Big Sis Eva!"
Roma and Zaine also tittered meanly, making black lines appear on Eva's forehead. "You lot…"
She gave up and allowed them to tease her as they went, though Eva marked them all down for ... 'punishment' later.
Eventually, they arrived at the town hall and were admitted into its administrative halls. At the end of the corridor was an open office where an old woman sat while listening to the report of her secretary.
Upon seeing the arrival of Eva and co, she waved her secretary silent. Seeing that the Lady had guests, the secretary bowed and walked out of the room, along with the people who led Eva and co here.
Once the room was devoid of everyone but these four and the children, the Lady silently observed each of them quietly. Her sharp eyes were hawkish in nature, despite reflecting a light grey color.
Roma and Zaine were unbothered by the scrutiny, rather choosing to focus on the babies in their arms. Hikari shook her head and tried to avoid Rila's troublesome hands that kept wanting to pull her horn now that they had stopped.
As for Eva, she directly stared at the Lady with such an intense gaze that the old woman felt a bit apprehensive. Eva's pitch-black eyes seemed to want to pull her soul into its depths.
For a second there, the Lady could have sworn that she saw a swirl in Eva's eyes, but when she blinked it was gone. After experiencing this, she decided to end her little test early.
"Welcome to Leikarthi Village. My name is Portia, and I am the leader of our small tribe. May I know your names and your designations please?"
"Roma Morningstar, Gypsy."
"Zaine Morningstar, Succubus."
"Hikari Morningstar, White Dragoness."
"Eva Morningstar, Immortal Adventurer."
Portia nodded with a surprised expression. "What a potent lineup. I can sense that each of you should be quite a talented young lady, and your futures are certainly bright."
Portia then frowned. "However, your power is far too low to assist in our matter easily. What we need are people at or above Rank 5, not Rank 1."
This wasn't too surprising as Divine Dungeons were worlds of their own, not instances. Anyone of any Rank could enter, but what they'd be able to do would be limited.
For example, if they came at Rank 2, they would enter a questline which would have them deal with Rank 2 enemies, the same went for Rank 3 or 4. Essentially, a Divine Dungeon was an experience and item drop farm for all Ranks.
Nevertheless, one shouldn't forget that you would have to have the qualifications to actually be allowed to enter one, which in most cases wouldn't be before Rank 4 or 5.
This was only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what it could bring as well, which was why its value had been so high during the Divine Auction.
"Please tell us more about the issue plaguing Leikarthi Village." Eva asked.
Portia nodded and explained. "We are all people that were born into this small world through evolution. As such, we cannot leave this realm, but others can enter. This has not been a problem for the most part as we control all entrances to the realm."
"However, 20 years ago, a hole appeared in the opposite end of this small world, in a barren area where no one ever went due to the ambient dangers there."
"From this strange hole came gigantic beasts of stone and earth that could flatten a whole town with one stomp. Around them were various members of their race that were far smaller, but even the smallest was twice the size of a humanoid species like us."
"We are a peaceful race, and the lack of enemies in our small world over centuries had made us weak and unprepared to deal with such an assault. The colossi do not seem interested in the resources or animals located in our world, but rather in what lies in the center of the small world… its source."
"If they acquire it, they will be able to do anything to this small world. Naturally, as the indigenes of this land, we cannot allow this to happen. So, we learned to fight, and achieved some small success here and there."
Portia's fists clenched and her expression contorted into a grimace. "However, it was only enough to deal with the weaker colossi. The larger ones eradicated cities by casually walking over them, destroying many of our towns, cities, and killing almost all our people."
"Leikarthi Village is all that's left now, after years of conflict. We are only alive because of the foresight of our predecessors to set up a small town right next to an exit to the material realm. The colossi are largely unable to find up because of this, as well as the fact that - as you have seen - no one makes enough noise to alert anything."
"So, we decided to open up a pathway. My mother, the Lady before me, took the risk to enter the material realm to inform the powers there of our plight. I don't know what the response was since my mother - or any one of my people for that matter - cannot survive after leaving this realm."
Portia grunted. "But since we have you, it seems like someone has found our request. I suppose you'll have to do for now."
"Sure. What will you have us do then?" Eva asked calmly.
Portia hesitated and pondered for a bit. "Go to the gates of the village and tell the guards to show you how to discreetly exit. Tell them your task is to clear 5 scout encampments of the basic colossi soldiers."
｢Probing Strike – Divine Quest
Description: Destroy 5 colossi scout encampments that are close to discovering the existence of Leikarthi Village.
Stage 1: Exit the village using their special method.
Rewards: Legendary item, 10,000 platinum｣
Eva naturally accepted the quest. She then nodded to Portia. "Leave it to us."
After that, she left with her group. What made Portia scratch her head in confusion though, was that all of them were going.
'It can't be that they want to carry children into combat with colossi… can it?'
Eva and co reached the gates of the town. There was an outpost there that seemed to be active 24/7. The guards were on constant alert for the slightest sign of colossi activity, as they would be finished if they got discovered.
When the four women appeared, a guard came down to intercept them. After inquiring upon their purpose, he was left speechless when he heard that they were meant to fight five scout encampments while having children.
Still, it was not his issue, so he directed them to the exit squad. Those were a group of people with a group blink ability, and that was how they got their members out of the town without anyone detecting.
Footpaths and roads would always leave a trail, no matter how hard they tried. Using magic to move people to a different location was hard to track unless you were a species attuned to space, or someone adept in it.
A female was assigned to be their exit squad handler and she was also shocked that these mothers would actually be willing to risk their children like this.
Unlike the other dude who didn't care, she couldn't watch this occur as a fellow woman, so she tried to convince them to at least leave the children behind in safety.
However, these women chuckled as if she was the world's biggest idiot. They then assured her that the children were more likely to be safe than they themselves.
Hearing this, the exit squad woman could only let go. Maybe they truly had some means to ensure their children's safety, as - after all - they were outsiders, so some special means might be available to them.
Deciding not to butt into the matters of others in the future, the exit squad woman blinked the group away from the gates and into a clean and inconspicuous clearing.
The trees here were thick and very close to each other, similar to the Dryad's area from the Four Point Valley. The exit squad woman then explained how Eva and co were supposed to return upon mission completion.
She would be present in this specific clearing at a certain time each day, so they had to reach here first and wait for her. If they were being pursued, they absolutely had to lose their pursuers before meeting up with her as she would not risk revealing their secret means of movement to the enemy.
After all, if the colossi were able to find that they used blink skills, even if they had no one to track spatial movement, they could certainly employ other specific means to triangulate their position.
Eva and co affirmed that they understood. Then, they asked for the specific locations of their targets and the exit squad woman handed them a map of the area with their targets marked.
What was convenient was that these encampments were rather close by, so they wouldn't have to spend days going up and down. Depending on how strong these colossi were, they might take some time to fell them all.
Immediately, Eva led her group away to trek onto their first encampment. Zaine and Roma whispered to Loki and Rosella to behave, as they were about to beat up some bad guys.
Rosella was intelligent enough to immediately understand what to do, but Loki was a little less so, not to mention he was a born troublemaker.
He only behaved when Draco, Eva, or any of his mothers were around to watch over him, but when they weren't, he was a little monster who explored every nook and cranny of the Aether Hall.
However, he was still able to understand his mother's intent at this time, so he went quiet. Rila obviously didn't need to be told anything, and she reached out for Loki.
Zaine patted little Rila on the head and handed Loki over, while Rosella remained with Roma, as Roma was not a melee fighter.