Chapter 48 – Into the dungeon

“Hello everyone” Luke spoke while his eyes scanned them, one by one, lingering on Sarah the longest, before returning his sight on Ariel, who was at the front of the group. He then smiled and stood there waiting for their response.

Ariel idled for a moment before finally replying. “Greetings, if I recall this should be our first meeting, so there shouldn’t be a need to act so familiarly.” With his words he tried giving the cold shoulder to Luke, in hopes of quickly ending this random encounter, but unfortunately Luke had other plans.

Right after hearing Ariel’s reply, he simply smiled again and spoke. “I may not be familiar with you, but I do know Sarah quite well so being unfriendly with her friends would be a bit awkward.” After finishing his sentence he casted another look at Sarah.

His words unfortunately had some truth in them, so Ariel could only slightly furrow his eyebrows and lightly nod. After a moment his expression returned to normal and he decide to quickly ask the more important question that he had in mind. “Well, since you came up to us, then you should have something to speak about, shouldn’t you?”

Luke didn’t beat around the bush and answered accordingly. “Well honestly, the one I wanted to speak with, was Sarah if you don’t mind.”  As he spoke Sarah’s name his voice seemed to soften a bit.

However as he finished talking Sarah’s cold voice suddenly rang out from the back. “There is nothing to speak about between us. If you are thinking about the marriage proposal, you should already know that although our parents want our marriage, I do not approve of it.” At her words Luke let out a helpless smile as he seemed to want to withdraw back a bit in helplessness, but he still continued his words.

“I have already heard that from you before, and I acknowledge that this love of mine might be only one sided, but you do know that time is running out and even though your father wants you to choose yourself, simply because he deeply cares about you you, soon he won’t be able to appease the angry suitors anymore.”
Sarah’s expression slightly changed, but only for a split moment, after which she responded. “When the time comes I will deal with it myself, it is honestly not your business.” Luke sighed while unable to understanding why was she so against him and after a couple seconds of blankly staring at her he turned to the rest of the group.

“Sorry for all this drama everyone, also prince Brendon I hope in the future we can have a longer conversation about your sister, she seems to be extremely against me for some reason.” Brendon merely sneered at Luke, who was already walking away, almost as if trying to run away.

When he was finally gone, Sarah suddenly turned to Ariel with a slightly panicked look. “The-There is nothing between us you know, he is simply some annoying person who keeps chasing after me…” In the middle of what she was saying Ariel simply raised his hand, as if telling her that he understood, which seemed to calm her down slightly.

When she had fully regained her bearing again, someone finally broke the long silence. “That was a bit awkward, but anyways, it seems like everyone has already gathered and the event is about to begin.” Just as Brendon finished, everyone else of the group had also noticed that teacher Mithra had walked out into a bit of a more spacious place and was beginning to speak. They quickly forgot about Luke ands began keenly listening.

“Looks like everyone have already gathered, which means that I can begin my speech now, so shut up and listen!” Teacher Mithra’s voice echoed through the whole clearing and soon the ruckus which was happening, died down. “Ok, so as I have said before, you will be going into this dungeon right here and staying in there for a week” While she spoke, she pointed at the cavern with an old looking entrance behind her, which had an unnaturally dark atmosphere about it.

“Of course you won’t be going into there for a picnic. This will be a fighting exercise for everyone. Your merit will be counted the same way adventurers do it, and since some of you probably don’t know about it I will explain.” Stopping mid conversation, the teacher took out something from her bag, and showed it to everyone. “This is an ear of a goblin, the most basic of monsters, to get points you will have to bring some kind of proof for defeating a monster and depending on the quantity and strength of the defeated creatures you will be rated.”

While putting away the ear she continued. “Naturally there will be some safety measures. You probably have already noticed that there are some teachers and senior students around, they will patrol the dungeon and will try to save anyone in desperate danger, but don’t let your guard down, they might not always be there to help, and if you do die, we won’t be taking responsibility.”

Teacher Mithra’s words were hard as iron and didn’t give any room for disagreements so the students could only accept their fate. Seeing that none of the students had any important questions, the teacher immediately shouted at them. “What are you waiting for?! Do you think by standing here you will get any stronger?! Get a move on!”

Her shouts frightened the students as they began to quickly head towards the dungeon entrance. In the mean time Ariel and his group were moving a bit more relaxed, although there were still some people who felt uncomfortable about this dungeon raid. “Will everything be fine?”

Sarah was quite meek, but it wasn’t unexpected, even tough she had fought monsters before, going into a dark dungeon for the first time, still had some impact, not to mention that the last event had unexpected danger in it. However now it was already too late for regretting and the rest of the group could only nod as their silhouettes merged into the darkness.