After the hob goblin boss lost his last traces of life, all of the party members let out a breath of relief and tiredness as their bodies went a little limp. Some of them, like Erna and Ariel immediately found some place to sit down and rest a bit, to regain their usual state.
Others, who didn’t have to tire themselves physically, did a short search for any other hostiles, and after finding none also got back to rest. Those who were injured were naturally resting right from the beginning. No one even started looting the corpses for a good hour, until everyone’s bodies became completely relaxed and rested.
Only then did some people stand up to go search for things, that including Erna, Tera and Sarah. The first body they looked at was of course the boss who had given them so much trouble, but on their faces pride and excitement still couldn’t be hidden. It is a huge achievement to hunt down a boss of their level, be it for the adventurers, members of the military or any other organization.
As they began searching the hob goblin leader’s corpse, the first thing they looked at was his weapon and shield. The tower shield was a bit damaged and dented from all the attacks, but if they were to fix it at a blacksmith it would be as good as new, and much better than the one Henry uses.
His great sword on the hand was something even more precious. All of the people here saw that it was magical, and also how powerful its effect was. Unfortunately only one member of their group uses great swords and such, so it is probably going to go to him.
When these two items were put away, the search continued. The mail armor was unfortunately almost completely destroyed, but the boss had some other things that put a smile on the search group’s faces. Apart from a decent amount of gold, there was a little, shinning, yellow – brown object that looked to be a mix between a gem and a crystal.
All of the people here knew from first sight that this was a magic crystal, an upgraded counterpart of a magic stone. It had a much denser condensation of Mana and was overall more pure. Unfortunately they were even more difficult to get a hold of than magic stones, so there isn’t a lot of supply for it. Most of them come from dungeons, and sometimes it can also crystallize in some strong monsters, but something like mines are rarer than rare.
From the color, the type of magic crystal they acquired was of the earth element, it would be very beneficial for an earth mage, but it is useful even for those who aren’t. They can either sell it for a lot of money, gift it to a powerful person to get into their good graces, or ask a crafter to make a magic item for them, although the last one would need more than simply the magic crystal.
The party didn’t stop at finding these, and continued to search. Unfortunately, other hob goblins weren’t exactly rich, and besides their weapons and trophies, they only found some gold pieces. However they weren’t really upset since what they got from the boss was definitely worth the risk, so after they were done searching they returned to where the others were and sat down to wait for the wounded people to get better.
Some time passed and everyone was pretty much rested and healed. Henry, Vor and Camila each drank a health potion for good measure right after getting up, since they didn’t want to take chances in a dungeon.
Soon after, when the rest of them were also done with their things and were ready to continue their travel, a discussion started after a long while of not talking.
“I never expected for that hob goblin to be so nuts, if I didn’t slightly let down my guard, maybe I could have noticed that something was wrong.” Henry spoke while sighing and massaging his left shoulder. In response, the one who spoke out was Vor. “You are not to blame, the guy let himself get slash with a two handed sword to simply try and finish us off faster, no one sane would do that while being outnumbered like that.”
Ariel, who was usually quiet, also responded. “What Vor says is true, although your reaction to this event wasn’t the best, it also can’t be blamed on you. Thankfully we won so instead of sulking about what might have happened we should continue down the road further, while learning from our mistakes.”
The words Ariel said slightly comforted Henry and the next moment he was already laughing while talking about a different topic. “Alright, maybe I will do what you say. The boss is dead and that is that, but we still need to split the loot.” He then quickly glanced at Ariel’s groups. “And this time, once again, all of you were the reason we stayed alive, so you can choose first.”
Everyone of the group let out small smiles. Sarah looked at Ariel and seeing that he didn’t have the intention to speak anymore, stepped out. “There is no point is talking about who will choose first, it is better to divide it by utility. Both the shield and the magic great sword do not suit any of us, so it should belong to Henry and Vor. Of course since there is nothing that we actually need here, we can take the money and the magic crystal, similar to before.”
All four of the adventurers nodded. Even tough the magic crystal was precious, the other side’s contribution was even bigger, they wouldn’t mind even if they took more. However since they left such wonderful items for them, the gratefulness they felt only increased even further.
Henry, after a couple seconds of thought, spoke. “Okay, then we won’t decline your offer.” With that, everything was split amongst the group and they were ready to leave. After half an hour they did just that, since even if they were tired from the battle it still actually only took a couple of minutes and they have the entire day ahead of themselves. They can’t simply sit there doing nothing all day, can they?
After setting off towards the tunnels behind the hob goblin boss room, Henry spoke while walking. “Unfortunately I don’t know much of what is further, but I am certain that it will be more difficult and dangerous, so everyone, be on your guard.”
All the party members nodded showing that they understand, and proceeded forwards. It is unknown for how long they were walking, but after some time they relaxed a little due to only encountering one or two straggler goblins or hob goblins once in a while.
Brendon started cracking jokes on the road, with Sarah besides him, who sometimes spoke in between Brendon’s words. Erna was constantly chattering with Camila about all kinds of thing, from fighting to social life, not forgetting to sometimes speak with the others.
The adventurers also contributed and chatted with everyone, making quite a casual atmosphere. Only Ariel still seemed to be quite tense. Others noticed this and tried to ease him up, but he replied. “Something feels wrong you shouldn’t let down your guard.”
All of the adventurers didn’t know what to make of it, but then Erna intruded into the conversation. “Ariel is usually able to notice some things that others can not, so his words are quite credible.” From Erna’s words, the other’s gained some understanding and heeded Ariel side’s warning.”
They were a bit more alert, but that didn’t stop them from continuing to converse. Seeing this, Ariel let out a helpless sigh and turned back to look at what was making him worry. His eye that was useless until now started to get better the more they moved inward, but it was not because of him getting used to it, but because something was going on with the dungeon.
The further they went, the more structurally sound the Mana in the walls, ceiling and the floor, looked. This didn’t bode well for the groups, since some kind of warnings were flashing in Ariel’s mind, warning him that something bad might happen, very soon, but he didn’t have any proof, so he could only continue forward.
Like this they travelled for quite a long time and everyone’s guard besides Ariel, soon relaxed. No one can blame them tough. Watching the same grey walls for so long won’t make you feel tense, or excited. However very soon something changed.
After many turns and corners, the party came to a very defining line, where the usual grey stone changed into grey brick. Obviously this was something different, which they had not encountered before. The problem was that the warning signs in Ariel’s head were flashing more than ever before.
Due to that, he quickly warned. “Something is not right her we should head back.” His friends seemed to notice his anxiousness, and their expression changed as they started taking this more seriously. Henry unfortunately, after seeing that nothing happened after Ariel’s previous warning, thought that he was only over reacting.
“Don’t worry it is just some bricks, watch.” As he spoke, he began heading further into the brick tunnel. Ariel’s face slightly paled and he stretched out his hand while starting to speak. “Do no…“ Just when he wanted to stop Henry a brick tile underneath his foot sank in and a flash of light whizzed by.
Everyone stood there watching in horror, as Henry’s now headless body, slumped to the ground and his head, still with that smiling expression flew through the air. That day, only a high pitch shriek of shock and terror, with many pale from fear faces, were there to witness this scene.