Chapter 194: Edgars Dilemma
Edgar clapped his hands and let lightning fall on all the surrounding beasts. He hated this. This was the one thing he never dreamed of doing. Every time he used a skill, it felt dirty. Oh, how he resented his brother and father for making him do something he was so against.
Why did Elouise have to go and get herself betrothed? She would have been perfect for this task. She didnt care about how she got her power. She was more than happy to be given the strength without earning it, without learning how to use it. But, no. She had found love… at least, thats what she told everyone.
If only Edgar could have stopped Jake from answering his communication crystal three days ago. He tried. He just wasnt fast enough. He never thought his brother would go so far as to contact his squad and find Jake.
Still, Edgar agreed to it. He understood thewhy. It still didnt change the fact that he hated everything about what he was doing.
So, here he was… in the dungeon that made his entire Royal Family hypocrites. The dungeon that the Royal Castle was built around. It was the easiest level 250 dungeon in the Kingdom, and maybe even the continent. Thats not to say that the dungeon was easy. No, it was just the easiest of the bunch.
No level 250 dungeon was easy. One mistake, and almost anyone could die… even in a dungeon such as this. It was a beast dungeon with a maximum of three party members and extremely paltry rewards. All the beasts in the dungeon were small. Creatures that would be found in low-level forests and plains. Horned Rabbits, Squirrels, Felines, Canines… the works.
Yet every beast in the dungeon was level 250. While any common, uncommon, rare, or even some epic classes would struggle in such a populated dungeon, the Royal Familys… his Royal Familys lightning classes were perfect for it.
Now, why did all this make his Royal Family hypocrites? Well, one of the most well enforced laws in the entire Kingdom of Cydaria is the division of dungeons. No one is allowed to keep a dungeon for themselves. Everyone gets their fair share. Many popular dungeons have waiting lists. There is no cutting in line or buying positions. If a person is caught doing so, there is hell to pay.
But that doesnt apply to the dungeon Edgar was currently in. The dungeon he never wanted to step into. No, the Royal Family kept the dungeon to themselves, using it to bolster their own family, and a few loyal knights. It wasnt a secret. Everyone knew, and they just… accepted it.
But those who used it came out weak. Their high level and stat points made it forever harder to level their unleveled skills. They didnt have the time to hone their skills and get better classes and upgrades. They took one path, the path of the weak. The same path his sister took.
Luckily, Edgar spent more time than anyone working on his skill leveling. Even when he came out of this at max level, he would still be well rounded with his skills. In fact, some of his skills were close to max. One skill even hit level 20 and became an upgraded version of itself. Of course, he never told anyone, not even his brother, about any of that.
Most people, his brother and father included, think that he spends his time goofing off in dungeons with his handpicked adventurer team. But they couldnt be farther from the truth. If anyone looked closely, they would see that he and his team always go to dungeons and areas with monsters that are typically more trouble than theyre worth.
They go to the perfect places to train. Edgar learned long ago from his father that skills level was easier during fights. So, he and his group fight. They dont kill… well, they do, but not until they are finished. Fighting and training against monsters that are at or above your level is the best training for skills.
Recently, Edgar had taken a liking to Jake. The young man had wanted to be strong, and had a personality that just fit. Jake would always roll his eyes and complain when they were doing anything except for training or whatever military task his brother had him doing.
Edgar would be the first to admit his reputation was well deserved. When anyone seen him or his team in a city, they were always relaxing or goofing around. But nobody knew, really knew, that all that lazing around came after days or weeks of fighting near equal opponents who never held back, while not killing them.
Still, everyone on his team was like him. Thats why he picked them. They also kept their mouths shut. Though he never asked, they all reached a mutual agreement that what happens in dungeons, stays in dungeons.
Edgar sighed. He wouldnt be taking any of his team into the new dungeon with him. He couldnt do that to them. He wouldnt risk their lives unless they were at least close to Diamond Ranked, and he wouldnt cripple them with power leveling.
Most of them still had at least 40 levels to work with. Jake wasnt even level 200 yet. He was still at an optimal level for increasing his skills. So, he would put Akeem in charge and have him lead their training until he got back. Actually, since his level was going to be max soon, it may even be better if Akeem would take control full time. He knew what he was doing and would lead well.
Edgar broke free from his thoughts and watched his brother.
With the paralysis caused by the lightning and their reinforced speed, the small beasts of the dungeon were all basically sitting ducks. Even Edgars Thunderclap skill was enough to disorient the creatures long enough for his brother to clear the wave, and Edgar was only level 207.
Edgar sighed as Edward zipped through the level 250 beasts, decapitating them in one slice. Edgar winced as level-up notifications appeared in the corner of his vision. It hurt, but he agreed to it… for the sake of the Kingdom.
Edward walked back to Edgar, holding a half dead rodent of some sort. “So, hows the first wave?” He asked.
Edgar spat. “Three levels…”
“Dont be that way. Youre our only choice right now. Hell, dont think I didnt see the power of your Thunderclap skill. Youre in the low 200s and your skill paralyzed them almost as long as mine would have. And I know I have much more invest into Intelligence than you.” Edward said.
“Forty levels wasted…” Edgar muttered.
Edward squinted his eyes. “Dont think I dont know what you and your little team get up to. I have a pretty good idea. Im not so stupid to not follow the pattern. I wouldnt be surprised if you had maxed out skills at this point.”
Edgars eyes widened. “You knew?”
“Of course I know. Youre my brother. I keep track of my family, ALL my family. Im to take over once pops steps down, I have to know everything.” Edward said.
It made Edgar feel a bit better that Edward wasnt just power leveling him without knowing hed be able to take it. Wait… if Edward knows… “Does dad know?”
Edward smiled and shook his head. “I think he has an idea, but I dont think he really knows. I think hes of the mind that you just like to fight and party. He knows that you must have good experience because of all the dungeons you complete, but you also take longer rests than most adventurers. He… ignores you for the most part because while you may kick up some commotions here and there, you never actually cause any problems.”
Edgar snorted. “Youre lucky you didnt have to come here to level. It makes me sick that were doing this.”
“I know… you keep telling me that. Still, when you reach my level, I know I wont be able to hold a candle to you. Hell, you could probably clear this dungeon yourself.” Edward said.
Edgar shrugged. “Maybe… but it would take some time. Time that we apparently dont have. Besides, using Thunderclap on so many creatures should be great training for it. Dont think Im just sitting here letting you kill everything. If Im going to be here, Im going to get the most out of it.”
Edward nodded. “Thank you…”
Edgar rolled his eyes. “Like I had a choice. I still think El should be here instead of me. I dont even think shes going to go through with that stupid wedding.”
“She wont.” Edward said, getting his attention.
“She doesnt like him, and he doesnt like her… at least not like that. But both of them are tired of everything. Neither one of them wants marriage, so, why not have a fake engagement and put the wedding off indefinitely? It gets rid of all the people asking for their hands. Once one of them finds someone or decides its time to get married, theyll call everything off.” Edward explained.
“That little shit! Then why am I here?”
Edward looked at Edgar sternly. “Brother… I have a bad feeling about this dungeon. I… I dont think Elouise can handle it. Im not even sure if I can handle it. Its a raid. Its going to take months on the inside, but outside… years are going to pass. You know how hard non-specific enemy dungeons can be. I really do believe youre the best choice.”
Edgar stared at his older brother, stunned. Finally, he sighed. “Fine… but Im handpicking everyone whos going with me. I wont leave my back to anyone I cant trust, and since none of my team is coming with me, I need to make sure whoever goes is strong enough.”
Edward nodded. “I agree. I already have a list of those I recommend. Nobody is below Onyx Ranked, and youre going to need to take a few Diamond Ranks as well. Do you have anyone else in mind?”
Edgar smiled. “I do… but Im not sure how strong he really is.”
“Oh?” Edward said. “Well, I guess we should hurry up and get you leveled so you can go see.” Edward took a dagger and pierced the rodent he was holding with it. The beast died and a new wave of enemies appeared.
Edgar sighed and clapped his hands. Oh… I guess this really is good for Thunderclap. He mused as his skill hit level 19.
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