Dave teleported to the Drow Kingdom, the closest raid zone to the Ash King's domain, then summoned Grumpy. Once the big lizard appeared, it growled at Dave in discontent.
"Sorry buddy, I know I haven't been summoning you in a while, but we're going on a mission right now," Dave said.
The lizard snarled but still let Dave ride on. The two tread their way through the vegetation and rocky area of the Drow kingdom heading deeper toward the east, and what Dave firmly believed to be the Ash King's keep, his stronghold and where he was mightiest.
Dave opted to take the Basilisk rather than Onixya, first due to her size and how much attention she could draw to them if they were spotted. And secondly, because she was moving around the Wilds, clearing the area of any hostile monsters that wanted to take her crown for themselves.
Dave needed to have his dragon cement her dominion over the Wilds and rule it as her own, as did her parent before her. Dragons needed their space he thought.
Grumpy wasn't much of a stealthy mount, but he was the best when it came to the rugged and rough terrain leading to the Ash King. The area was barren, rocky, and hot. The more Dave moved closer to the east, the hotter it became, he was even surprised to see a glowing pillar of fire in the distance.
"Shit, this looks like Barad-Dur," Dave commented as the pillar of fire was shaped to a tower of flames that rose above a great cathedral-like building, only this cathedral looked demonic.
He was actually intimidated, as even if the distance was still great, the cathedral was apparent to him from far away, it was as if the Ash King had the mountain's top carved into the shape of this building that emitted a fire pillar from its midst.
The closer he got to the pillar, the darker the land became. Even the light coming from the moon gradually faded until it disappeared at one point. Hidden by orange clouds, though these clouds weren't orange in origin, the light from the Ash King's stronghold was powerful enough it painted them the color of fire.
The ground became more jagged, small bridged of stone extended from section to another of the area, where rivers and rivulets of lava seeped from the depth of the ground and under these bridges clashing in flaming fury against the rocks, and splashing droplets of magma to the heights of heaven.
If one was not careful, they would die under a fiery rain from these continuous explosions of fire. Grumpy crossed the bridges with confidence, his massive size and weight proved little to no hindrance to bridges that were heated continuously, reinforced and strengthened due to the flames underneath them.
Once Dave finished crossing the bridge, a notification appeared in front of him.
You have set foot in the Underworld's Fifth and final Raid Zone, [Ash King's Keep]
Debuff Applied, [Trespasser Level 2]
Effects: You cannot use Teleportation scrolls to leave the area.
You cannot summon any type of undead to your aid, the summoning of mounts and support creatures is limited to one.
You have entered the area with [Grumpy] you cannot summon any other mount to your aid, including [Dunlord Stinger], [Forest Pronged Fiend Spike], [Grave Lord Tiny], [Black Terror Dragon Onixya].
Undead, you have walked into the domain of the Ash-King.
All creatures within the area will be hostile toward you, and treat you with extreme prejudice, as should Demons to Undead.
The Ash King has asked for your immediate death upon encounter, and having come to his area is the same as serving yourself to him on a golden platter. Be wise, finish your business as fast as you can before any of the Demonic beings of the Underworld notice you trespassing.
"Grumpy, you'll have to stay here," Dave said as he dismounted, the basilisk, however, snorted, clearly dissatisfied from being left out of the upcoming 'fun'.
"I know what you're thinking, but I can't, this area needs us to move stealthily, we can't risk being exposed so early on, it's going to be difficult with just me moving around, if the two of us are spotted, we'll have a hard time surviving, and I would rather die and respawn in the Undead Realm than have you go through that experience buddy," Dave said to the basilisk.
His care and worry for Grumpy were apparent, and the basilisk didn't argue anymore, however, he still slumped down, giving Dave a clear indication, that he wasn't going to follow, nor was he going to leave, "We came together, we leave together," that's what Dave understood from Grumpy's attitude.
Dave patted the onyx basilisk on the head and said, "Don't worry, I won't take long."
He then moved and ran forward.
A few minutes of full sprint covered a great deal of distance from where Grumpy was sitting to where Dave was. And he had to thank the great work of Andre for his armored masterpiece.
The Undead War King set was amazingly powerful and heavy, yet it didn't clank, squeak or make any sound that a heavy armor set was supposed to do when running, even his boots made silent kisses to the ground as he walked on them, the ingenuity of the making of the boots made sure every step was muffled.
Dave had to stop after five minutes of sprint, first of all, he didn't notice a single demon along the path he crossed. And secondly, there was a gaping rift separating the area where he was standing to the cathedral building.
Dave took a good look at the view. The place looked like a carved mountain at first. But in reality, it was a gigantic volcano, encircling the standing building in the middle.
The building sat atop an enormous pillar that rose through the volcano's magma.
The whole thing was like a building built atop a pillar in the middle of a volcano, while the lava worked like a moat suppressing anyone who wanted access to the main keep.
From where he stood, Dave couldn't see anyway to the middle building. There were no bridges and no crossways. Anyone who wanted to cross to the main building needed to have wings.
Dave hopped off the edge of the volcano and toward the lava, then used [Demonic Ascension] gaining raven wings that gave him the ability to fly. The demonic energy encircling him matched the surroundings perfectly that he didn't even feel the heat coming from the volcano anymore, and felt like a fish in the sea.
Dave flew across the lava lake and toward the main building, landing on its top floor and began observing the area.
The building roof was tiled with marble and had hundreds of gargoyle statues sitting squarely around the building's edges. Dave didn't have a doubt in his heart that these gargoyle statues were not 'alive,' the only thing that made him think of why they haven't attacked him yet was his current form. He was in a demonic form, so if the gargoyles noticed Dave, they would have most likely though of him as one of their own, thus they didn't attack.
But that was not going to last for a long time, the timer of the skill was limited, and he didn't have much time before he will be discovered.
Dave darted his eyes around, trying to locate an entry point to the building. He found nothing of the sort on the rooftop, so he jumped off and flew around the building. Which took a great deal of time due to the sheer size of the whole thing.
The building was decorated with large demonic statues, and every statue was of a different carved demon, some were giant worms, some were gargoyles like the ones on the roof, others were demonic rams and some were imps and Demon Knights. Between every two statues was a colored glass window, and while Dave was roaming around the building he noticed that one of the colored windows was broken.
He flew toward the broken window and discovered that it could easily fit him in. The timer on his skill had less than ten seconds. Dave folded his wings and perched atop the broken window, peering to the inside of the building.
Large study shelves and books were neatly positioned atop each other, making one of the largest libraries Dave had ever seen before. Dave could swear, that just this room was larger than the Stephen A. Schwarzman library, both in size and the sheer number of books.
Large shelves in the middle of the hall intertwined between each other in a maze of books, if one didn't know their way around they would definitely be lost, Dave included. Thankfully, he was able to see the only path leading out of the library from his current position. He memorized it and flew down.
He landed on the floor a second before Demonic Ascension ended and went to a long cooldown.
He moved around the library, eyes moving, inspecting, locating, and prying upon any unfortunate soul that would dare expose or fight him. Yet nothing but the occasional Imp, dusting the books every now and then showed up. These Imps were working tirelessly at making the whole library look clean and organized.
He even noticed a few of the imps pouring a yellow liquid on some of the books after checking their condition, the liquid seeped into the books and dissipated leaving nothing. This made Dave curious as to why these creatures were doing so, so he waited until one of the Imps left the area and he went to inspect the book.
History of the Mage-Lands XI
Dave wasn't interested in the book but the coating it had on it, he inspected it again this time focusing on the substance that covered the books.
A powerful flame repellant extract, made by combining sulfur and [Unknown] to create a thin coating to preserve items from fire and heat.
"Hmm, that could come in handy," Dave said as he turned toward the Imp that just moved away.
Dave was about to take the path leading out before a section of books drew his attention.
those were the words written on top of one of the shelves, and on the shelves were many books of different colors, designs, and age, with a rare few empty slots.
Dave picked up one and began reading.
God Slaying Chariot
A golden lighting beast chariot that was used to chase gods and slaughter them in the days of old. It was made by a man who despised the lord for having made his life a miserable heap of sadness, defying them to slay the divine was his purpose, and creating the God Slaying Chariot brought nothing but carnage upon the divine realm…
Dave stopped reading as there was a note written on the bottom half of the book.
The God Slaying Chariot was destroyed by the God of War [Unknown] in year 212.
Dave didn't need to read further and switched to another book.
An arrow, once aimed and fired shall never miss its target. It belonged to the god of the heroic Diva Brahma to fight against the Evil Asura Ravana…
more of the book was written describing the battle and what happened but another notification at the end made clear of what happened to such a tool.
The Arrow of Brahma was used as a sacrificial ingredient in year 450 by the Pharaoh to create the Forbidden Tome.
Dave read more and more of these books, each detailing a weapon or a method to kill gods, but most of them were lost, destroyed, or simply legends with no truth behind them.
Dave didn't need to continue reading, he knew that this is how the Ash King got his hand on the God Slaying bolt that brought down the Undead God to an almost death. And now this thing was in the hand of the Ash King and he needed to get it back.
"Alright, let's get out of here first, we need to find the Chosen One and kill him without notifying anyone else, sounds easy," Dave said and moved according to his memory, to the only way out of this library.
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