Back in Urburg, Nick was fidgeting around his place. Worry was gnawing at the God of Undeath. He was cursing his inability to act for the millionth time. Right now it weighed down on him even more heavily than usual on his shoulders.
What Dave was about to do was going to spell his doom. He knew that the draugr would never drink from that cup, but if he actually were to throw it into the lava as he had just threatened after becoming aware of all eyes being on him, things would play out differently than he might have liked. In the past Dave had once ignored Nick's advise by using Dog to revive the Undead Legion. At the time the damage was limited to the Undead King's memories about Dave not getting restored. Now it was time to see if he had learned from his mistake… otherwise, he would allow the Ash King to directly act and move to Dave's location. Mr. Skeletal's video would then turn out to be about how the most popular undead player failed for once, his actions all for naught.
The Ash King's Blood was in the chalice, and if it was spilt, it gave the demi-god a just excuse to act as it pleased, without being bound by the world's rules.
"Damn it, Kid, just ignore that shit! Get the core first!"
Nick screamed alone in the tavern.
The Ash King, on the other hand, was hopeful. No matter what the draugr did, it would be perfect for him. If he decided to break the cup, it would mean that he was entitled to go and defend his 'property' since it was considered to be a part of him. If he drank from it, even the better, it would mean that the Ash King would obtain a powerful pawn against the Undead King.
The Undead King, on the other hand, was sitting still, watching the happenings of his prtogeé in stoic expressions. Yet if anyone was there to observe him, they would notice that the Undead King's hand was tighly gripping the skull on his throne's armrest.
Dave paused for a moment before he acted as he had just half-jokingly threatened.
After all, this was quite strange. Why would the second message appear?
Why would the system show him that several entities were watching him?
This couldn't be just random. He wouldn't be surprised if Nick watched him most of the time out of boredom. The Undead King might also watch him from time to time, but more out of interest. Yet even if the Ash King, or any other entity for that matter, started paying attention to him, would that normally warrant a notification? Everything had its reason to be. It was a no brainer that Dave was never going to drink from the chalice. Dave placed the chalice back and thought hard about his next course of action.
'Obviously, I would never drink from this. The whole reason I came here was to stop anyone else from doing so after all. The fact that 'several' are watching me means that it is not only Nick, it could possibly be the Ash King, but since we've already met I doubt he would delude himself into thinking that I'll drink and join him. So what's the catch?'
Dave looked around, the only thing that spiked his interest in this place was the lack of monsters. If this place had such great importance to the Ash King, shouldn't it be guarded?
Then he looked back at the chalice. 'This thing is dangerous.'
In hopes of getting something more useful out of it, he did what any reasonable player would do. He inspected it.
Holder of the Son's Blood.
Nature: Golden Chalice
Well, that made throwing this thing down the lava useless, but what about the blood?
Blood of the Son: Indestructible.
By drinking it, one permanently ties his fate to the Ash King by becoming one of his demons. Gaining demonic traits and a new skill tree, but discarding all previous non-demonic legacies.
New Race upgrade: Demon.
Additional Ability: Hidden
"Okay, I get the gist of things now, so I should probably just take the core.��� Dave placed his hand on the core and received a message.
You have obtained the dungeon core for the Ash King's Temple of the West.
Do you wish to change the dungeon's structure?
Be warned, the Temple of the Ash King can be changed to spawn undead, however, the Ash King's Altar shall still remain where it is, giving anyone the chance to accept the Ash King's gifr.
The Chalice of the Son's Blood cannot be physically moved out of the dungeon.
Do you wish to proceed?
Yes or No?
Dave stopped in his tracks. This was yet another annoying mystery. If he changed the dungeon structure, sure it would make it harder for the guildies to get the chalice, but at the same time, it was a matter of time before they get their hands on it. Considering the fact that this dungeon was right underneath the Devastators' capital, it meant that the players could simply swarm it until the dungeon breaks.
'Quite depressing…' Dave thought. He needed this chalice gone, or his entire work would be for naught. Several hours from now, the game community would learn that he had invaded their homeland and was ruining a dungeon for them.
He needed this chalice gone, but it couldn't be destroyed. By now he was sure as hell that if he tried to throw this damned thing into the lava, it would probably just activate whatever defense mechanism this floor had to offer. Without any monsters, it was only natural that once the chalice, as the actual most important thing in the dungeon came in harm's way it had to be protected. Dave was not going to be curious idiot to learn what has been left here.
Dave sat in front of the altar and worked his brain.
It only took him a moment before a vicious, wide, and the evilest smile he ever had crept upon his face.
"Ash King, you're not gonna like this!" Dave announced loudly as he grabbed the chalice. "You're REALLY not gonna like this!"
He held the chalice on top of the Cursed Shield of Ajax and ordered, "Eat up, friend."
The shield opened its mouth wide, and he dropped the chalice in the void of inside the shield.
The world instantly turned black and white. Albert had shown up.
"Paint me surprised, lad. I've never even considered that."
The appearance of Albert scared Dave a little, but he didn't show it.
"What do you mean?" Dave asked.
"The chalice should have remained a permanent part of the dungeon. Players are unable to store it in their inventory and if you had tried to move chalice out of the dungeon or destroy it, it would have simply teleported back to its location as if nothing had happened. Well, you would still have to face the consequences, but I was sure I had all angles covered so that no one would try and take it away. But you just did something completely unexpected. The Shield of Ajax is not as simple as an inventory. It has a space of its own in it, a black hole to be exact."
"And?" Dave questioned.
"The cup was designed to be indestructible. Yet you did not destroy it. The chalice never left the dungeon, as there was only ever one way out… so actually managed to circumvent everything by finding a way to make it unreachable. Unless you willingly hand over the chalice now, it will remain in your care."
"You're not gonna pull an Alfred on me and tell me to hand it back, crying Balance, and what not, are you?" Dave asked defiantly. He had to keep up his tough act, but inside he was sweating bullets.
"Oh, no, no, no. As I stated, I am not like my late brother. I've just come to inform you that you made things even more interesting." Albert smiled.
"How so?" Dave asked.
"You'll see for yourself," and with this Albert fizzled away.
The world regained its colors and an unholy scream blasted through the area.
An infernal demonic face appeared in front of Dave.
He was ready this time. He was no longer the noob who almost pissed his pants after seeing the Ash King. This time things would be different.
He was backed by the Undead Legion, having worked his way to the upper echelon and on his way to become the Abyssal Prince. This simple projection was not enough to do anything but speak.
"ONCE AGAIN, YOU HAVE TAKEN WHAT DOES NOT BELONG TO YOU! ONCE AGAIN YOU STAND IN MY WAY, DRAUGR!"
"Go suck on a lemon for all I care," Dave shrugged, "You got what you deserved. And I'll be damned sure to get the rest of the chalices before anyone else gets to take a sip."
"THAT IS IF YOU ARE STILL ALIVE BY THEN! IT'S TIME FOR YOU TO HEED YOUR SWORN OATH!" The Ash King spoke the last line and disappeared.
Dave frowned for a moment, what oath was he talking about? Sworn? Dave had barely met the guy, so how could he sworn any oaths?
Suddenly, the word 'Sworn' left a terrible feeling in his stomach.
The lava behind him splashed.
"Ah shit," Dave cursed. He didn't even need to turn to know what currently stood behind him. The increase in the room temperature was more than enough of a giveaway.
"I guess it's time for round two." Dave turned. He poised his shield up, and looked defiantly ahead, "Isn't that right, Sworn Stalwart?!"
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