Dave rolled away from the charging stone hunchback. The creature was like the Juggernaut as it smashed into the altar, destroying it completely.
It took it a few seconds to extract itself from the truck-sized hole it created in the wall. But Dave didn't have time to pay him any attention, the second hulking coral beast was charging at him.
Dave moved away from the two creatures, creating distance. He didn't know what he was fighting against so he inspected one of them.
Base damage: 85,000-90,000
Danger Level: ☠
[Unstoppable Force] Charges at a target location dealing 1000% base damage. The attack cannot be stopped and the user will find itself exhausted for 3 seconds after the Skill ends.
[Stone Skin] Increase the defense of the Coralotit by 200% for 30 seconds. Loses 30% movement speed.
[Back Breaker] Slams down with both its fists dealing 200% base damage and creating a cone of spikes that deal 100% base damage, decreasing by 10% for every one (1) meter the spikes travel.
Lore: Coralotit, were created to protect the temple of the Sea Goddess. They do not tolerate trespassers and will fight to the grimmest of outcomes.
'Okay, nothing too threatening,' Dave thought to himself. He rolled away from another charge of one of the closest Coralotit and sent an uppercut to the creature's jugular from his position. The creature screeched in pain, Dave's flames proved to be extremely dangerous to the coral creature.
The second monster jumped at Dave and came down like a meteor.
Dave backflipped into [Vertical Slash] dodging the attack, but the monster's fists slammed into the ground the moment it landed, creating a wave of moving stones that formed into spikes.
The spikes came at Dave, their pointy ends promising a world of pain if he got skewered on them.
Dave hopped back and ran away, exhausting the skill's range. These creatures were clearly not dangerous to Dave, but he felt like he was missing something. Something was not right; the Dungeon's defense was pretty much just these two guardians. This place could hardly be called a Dungeon, it was nothing but a room with two monsters.
Dave waved a hand, eight Spectral Skulls materialized, then the eight became sixteen Infernal Spectral Skulls. Dave's strongest combo, the fusion of [Spectral Skull], [Dragon Ball] and [Twin Strike].
The Infernal Skulls moved at a rapid pace splitting into two groups. Each of the Coralotit was facing eight blazing skulls coming their way.
The creatures braced for impact, but the magic and power behind Dave's Skill rattled them. Cracking their coral made bodies and burning them black.
While the creatures were howling in pain, Dave dashed toward one of them activating [Stampede] luckily, when he slammed into the creature, the monster was sent flying and it crashed into its brethren.
The two monsters fumbled on top of each other for balance, but Dave gave them no chance at regaining their footing. He moved rapidly, spinning like a top into [Infernal Tornado]. His fists slammed into the monsters, rattling and shaking them with every punch, and finally draining them to their last drop of HP.
Dave didn't gain any EXP after defeating the two creatures. They were way too low level for him to get anything from them. But just because the fight was over, he didn't let his guard down.
The two monsters literally popped out of nowhere and he didn't want to risk being surrounded by more monsters while he was unprepared to deal with them.
Dave looked around the temple carefully. The whole thing was a mess. The walls were stained with brown substance, which he strongly suspected were old bloodstains. Whatever happened here must have been a deadly battle or a horrific slaughter. The situation at the entrance of the temple suggested the second option.
And forever what it was worth, the box Dave was looking for must have fallen to the hands of the invaders.
Dave scrutinized the temple more closely. He didn't find anything of interest besides the body of the dead woman, or the skeleton of it. There was nothing out of the ordinary. Ordinary being, old blood, and bleached bones.
Dave crouched next to the the skeleton in a white dress. The dress was torn in many places, suggesting sword wounds by the amount of dried frozen blood next to the cuts on the dress.
"Sorry," Dave apologized to the corpse and moved it away. The hilt of a sword lay under the corpse. The sword hilt was in better shape than the one that went through Azusa's body.
Dave knew this sword, he had seen something like it before. He didn't recognize the one that ran through Azusa's body, because rust has eroded most of it. Yet this one was somewhat intact. This sword belonged to the elite forces of the Qin Army.
Whoever attacked this temple for the box must have belonged to the Eastern Kingdom.
Dave had more clues on the box. His eyes wandered for a bit and it landed on the hand of the lady. She was clutching something tightly with her hand. Even after death, her fist remained closed. Dave opened the hand and saw a small golden starfish inside it.
Dave sighed and stood up. Azusa was in for some bad news. Dave turned to leave the dungeon but the corner of his eyes spotted a small floating orb floating above the hand of a statue.
Dave approached the orb and touched it. A nostalgic notification appeared in front of him.
You are in control of the Dungeon Core. Would you like to modify the structure of the Dungeon?
Dave smiled and pressed Yes.
As a Doom Knight, you have access to special options to modify the current Dungeon.
Dungeon of the Sea-Goddess. - One Level limited-
What would you like to change?
"Show me my options," Dave said.
Change Dungeon structure, (Limited to caves, caverns and mines)
Change monsters spawning in the Dungeon. (Limited to Undead Race, the maximum level of the Boss cannot exceed the level of the Dungeon Administrator)
Change the levels of the Dungeon. (As a Doom Knight, you can make a Dungeon with four levels)
Dave smiled and began tweaking the Dungeon settings.
A holographic screen appeared in front of him showing the Dungeon he was currently in. The Dungeon was situated inside a mountain. There was a lot of 'free space' for him to use. So he started with increasing the amount of levels.
He increased the levels from one to five on the holographic screen. He was offered some exemple Dungeon layouts. He found one that was basically composed of five stacked labyrinths. He liked it and chose it as a base sitting.
He still changed some of the paths in the labyrinth making access easy but getting out an extremely hazardous option.
"Still feels a bit too easy," Dave thought.
"Dungeon creating is never easy, what are you talking about?" Dave heard a voice right next to his ears.
Somehow, he didn't yelp in fright or jump from his place. He was too surprised to even feel fear. Turning slowly Dave saw the grinning face of ALBERT staring intently at him.
"What are you doing here?" Dave asked.
"Well, you're trying to restructure a Dungeon, I was interested so I came to see. Though I could have done this from all the way in my favorite tropical island." ALBERT said with a friendly smile.
Dave shook his head and said, "The basic design is a bit too easy. Player-friendly, not a big fan," Dave said.
"How do you suggest to change it?" ALBERT asked.
"Hmm...walls, moving walls, walls that go up and down. Throw the players off, create new sections every few seconds. Rotate the floor, mess up their sense of direction. Basic stuff."
"Nothing too hard to do. But I doubt that will change the Dungeon much," ALBERT said.
"Yeah, if that's all we do. Then we add monsters, random ones. Monsters that come in and force players to go off their base direction. Make the walls separate the party, heck even make the Dungeon disable teleportation or communication. A real Dungeon, something that will make everyone think carefully about everything, make them sweat." Dave said while grinning evilly.
"Hmm, let me help you then," ALBERT said and several tools appeared in Dave's holographic design.
"These are Advanced Dungeon Creation Tools, you can find most of the stuff you talked about using them. But you have to respect the number one rule of Dungeon creation," ALBERT said. But Dave didn't wait for him to say the rule Dave replied on his own," The Dungeon has to be fair, it has to be solvable."
"Don't worry about it, gimme them tools, sit back and relax and let me work some magic here," Dave said and began expanding and elongating walls, he shifted the cells in the holographic design. Created new routes, dead ends, ways that lead to more ways, sections that led to nowhere and sections that ended in pitfalls or numerous death traps.
ALBERT frowned at the deadliness of the dungeon, he was about to speak but when he saw Dave's next moves he smiled. "Truly, an evil Dungeon. I admire the human mind, it could make such a monstrous creation yet still, in all that danger you still leave a ray of hope."
"Only for the smartest of people to notice, otherwise all will die. So, what do you think about this dungeon?" Dave asked.
"Quite lethal, you didn't even add the Boss Monster of this place. Do you think the players can pick up on the bread crumb hints you dropped?" ALBERT asked.
"From my own experience, it will take them a bit of time. There are some really smart humans ALBERT. One of them will figure it out, but figuring out how to traverse the Dungeon is only one step."
"What kind of monsters do you want in your Dungeon?" ALBERT asked.
"Basic ones, Death Knights and a Doom Knight class Boss. The monsters themselves aren't the real danger," Dave said.
"Right, it's the path and journey, but you forgot an important thing. What will be the reward for clearing this Dungeon?" ALBERT asked.
"Hmm, I don't know. Do I have to pay out of my own pockets? If not, meh, I don't think I'll change this place at all." Dave shrugged.
"No, that will be my own design, just tell me what do you think will be worth the trouble of the players who finish this Dungeon."
"Gold is not that valuable. For this place, perhaps a Title, something to prove their bravery, bragging rights sorta. Heck, anything symbolic. Material gain isn't worth as much as honor for these players."
"Right. Then very well, would you like me to announce this Dungeon to the players of the world?" ALBERT asked.
"Hmm, yeah, do it. It should be fun to see them sweat." Dave said.
Just as Dave finished speaking, a notification appeared in front of him.
Player Kis'Shtiengbrah invites you all to conquer his Dungeon!
The Dungeon is situated at the top of Ulmir's Rest, in the Mountains of Glory, Northern Kingdom.
By defeating the Dungeon, you shall claim the Title, Grand Endeavor!
Furthermore, besides the loot gained through the Dungeon, the first party to complete the Dungeon will be granted temporary access to the Underworld for 30 days!
"Oh, that's a tempting offer," Dave smiled.
"Yeah, I suppose it is." ALBERT said, "Now let me finish do some touch-ups," ALBERT added.
ALBERT added cosmetic effects, statues, symbols and many other things. This only made Dave's subtle hints even harder to spot. Soon, the mountain began shaking as the structure of it began changing completely.
In less than a few seconds the mountain was ready for the visitors.
"The news has spread, and now many players are taking Ulmir's Rest's teleportation gate to come here. To make it fair, I have disabled the traveling fees for all the players as not to empower the Northern Kingdom by proxy of your Dungeon," ALBERT said.
Dave shrugged saying, "The players will still buy items from here, with the mass increase in the population that will come through the gate the Northern Kingdom will be empowered anyway," Dave said.
"Probably, but you should look at the grand picture. Now that the players know you can alter Dungeons, I believe they might invite you to alter their own Dungeons. The mass immigration of players can enrich the kingdoms of the world of Conquest and you are the axis of such an event."
"Yeah, I can get a good amount of money from that. Thanks ALBERT I didn't think about i like that."
"Consider it thanks for showing me what the human mind can do."
Dave nodded at ALBERT and tore a teleportation scroll for Urburg. He needed to meet with the old man. Only he could tell him more about the Kingdom of Qin, and about the ones who attacked the Temple of the Sea Goddess.
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