System Change

Chapter 58: I Choose You!

Derek stood behind and watched as Bronson inspected the body. He walked a little closer, as if to have a better look. “Oh, are those the storage rings from the dungeon?” Derek quickly swiped one of the rings before Bronson could react. Bronson stared at him. Got to keep you from focusing too hard on the body.

“Thats not too bad, there is definitely a good amount of room in here. If they are all like this, this dungeon will be quite popular.” Derek said as he tossed the ring back onto the body. Derek inspected the body to see how the acid had reacted after he left. Not surprisingly, it had done its job quite well.

The acid had almost completely eaten through the boys neck and was working its way up his face and down towards his chest. It was at the point where it was moving very slowly. The right hand of the corpse, that Derek had placed over the acidic wound before he left, had also been eaten though quite thoroughly. As the acid had done with him, so too did it do to the corpse. Blood was almost nonexistent, as the acid made quick work of liquid.

As Derek viewed the scene, he prided himself on a job well done. Luckily, or not, no monsters or beasts had approached the scene, leaving everything intact. I dont know, maybe it would have been better if a monster would have come around.

Bronson stood up. “So, what do you think?” Derek asked.

“It seems that Wallace was either the only adventurer to make it out of the dungeon, or the others left. Im thinking the former. It looks like he used every recovery item he had in his storage ring trying to resist whatever this…” He pointed at the slow moving acidic effect. “… is.”

Derek looked over the wound and the bottles beside the body. “Hmm… Too bad. I dont know how potent this stuff is, but moving this slowly, it seems that he was almost able to treat it. A couple more recovery items and hed have been okay.” Derek took his hand and ran a finger over the wound, coating his finger in some of the remaining acid.

He held his hand out and both he and Bronson watched as it reacted. A long time passed before it was able to make even the slightest dent in his skin. “At this rate, someone like him could have lasted plenty long enough to get back to the village at least. It must have been much stronger before.” Derek cast Cure Toxin on his hand and the substance disappeared, along with the mark it had created.

Bronson sighed and stored the corpse away in his storage ring. All that remained were the potion bottles and the three rings.

“You mind if I take these bottles?” Derek asked, confusing Bronson. “I mean, you can never have enough storage containers.”

Bronson just shook his head. “Go ahead.”

Derek stored them, then looked at one of the rings. “Is Richards map in there?” Bronson grabbed the ring, then nodded his head. “You should return it once we get back, hes been pretty salty since losing it.”

“Salty?” Bronson asked.

“Oh, upset.” He clarified.

“Fine by me.” Bronson stood after collecting all the rings and putting them in a pouch on his side. “Theres nothing else, you ready?” The man asked.

“In a bit, I want to check something.” Derek said. “This dungeon was in an extreme overflow state when I was here last time. Theres got to be some monsters from inside hanging out around here. I want to look for one. You can go ahead and head back if you want.”

Bronson widened his eyes. “That sounds like a good idea. We can get a sense of whats inside, and maybe what causes Wallaces death. Ill help.”

There is no way that only one monster escaped during this entire process. If they could find another Acidic Ghoul, it would strengthen his frame job.

Derek took off deeper into the forest. The first ghoul he found had come from the direction further into the forest, so he guessed that if there were any more, they would be in that direction too. He looked behind him to see Bronson following.

Their journey continued for half an hour, avoiding aggravating other creatures while looking for an undying type. Their pace was much slower than before because they were looking out for the monster. Finally, Derek spotted a ghoul. It had made it all the way to level 120. Unfortunately, it was not an Acidic Ghoul, being a Toxic Ghoul instead. Derek frowned, but approached it anyway.

“Hmm… A Toxic Ghoul that came from an overflowing dungeon. It looks like it has done well for itself while out here.” Derek said. He rushed forward and appeared in front of the monster. Instead of killing it, he allowed the monster to swipe and cut his forearm. He jumped back to Bronson and held out his forearm for the man to examine.

“Its not the same, but its strong. If you decide to send people in to complete the dungeon, I suggest taking a ton of cure toxin potions. It wouldnt take long for this shit to kill a normal adventurer.” Derek said before casting Cure Toxin. All in all, it took three casts to remove the toxin from his system. “Wow, three casts. You should warn them to take a hell of a healer with them too.” He suggested. “If you dont believe me, you can give it a shot.”

During the entire conversation, Derek and Bronson were dodging attacks from the ghoul. “Ill take your word for it.” Bronson replied, then summoned his greatsword and slashed down. It crushed and cut through the ghoul from its right shoulder all the way to its groin.

“Undying man, you got to go for the head.” Derek said. Bronson walked over to the struggling creature and stepped on its skull, crushing it. “You should take it with you so anyone you send to the dungeon will know what they are getting themselves into.” He motioned to the freshly exterminated ghoul. “The levels of the enemies wont be as strong as this one, but it will be a good example at least. And, we know that there has to be more than just this kind, because that toxin was definitely not what killed that kid.”

Bronson nodded and stored the corpse inside his storage ring. “What now?” He asked.

“I was hoping to maybe find the monster with whatever acid killed the kid, but its getting late and I have a hankering for another shitty ale.” Derek said, and Bronson shuddered. “What, you get used to it.”

Bronson shook his head. “I guess we head back then.”

The two began their short trip back to the village. They held a quick pace, but moved slower than they had on their way so Derek could hold a conversation. “So, Gracefall, eh? What kind of fuck up does it take to get that kind of surname?” Derek asked.

Running beside him, Bronson almost tripped when he heard the question. After steadying himself, he spoke. “That… is not for me to say. You would have to ask Master Gracefall, or access the library in the Capital.”

Derek egged him on. “Oh, come on. Were all friends here. Spill.”

Bronson just shook his head.

“Fine, fine. What about that sword, it seems pretty decent. You know a blacksmith that can craft some good shit? Im tired of using my hands.” Derek was not lying. His body had greatly surpassed his glaive. He hated to say it, but his favorite weapon was beginning to be nothing but a paperweight. Of course, he would never throw it away because of what it had gone through with him.

“I dont know him, he is a friend of the master. My sword was a gift from Master Gracefall.” Bronson replied.

“Hmm… Maybe Ill have to talk to this master of yours. I could bring him some ale from the village, Im sure hed like that.” Derek spoke like it was the best idea he had ever had.

“No! Dont do that.” Bronson interrupted.

“Relax, Im just kidding. That shits almost as toxic as that ghoul.” Derek said, laughing all the while. He was enjoying chatting with Bronson. The man tried to be serious at all times, so Derek did everything he could to try to get him to break. It was fun. He was glad that Bonson seemed to buy into the staged death. He really did not want to kill the man, as was happy that it looked like he would not have to.

“So, are all the noble in your house as… noble as that kid?” Derek asked out of nowhere.

Bronson sighed. “No, Wallace was extra… conceited. The name Gracefall seemed to be too heavy for him. The master always feared that he would be done in by his actions. His older brother is the hope of the family, which caused him to be jealous and act out. Who would have thought that the boy would die doing something noble instead of inciting the wrath of a strong enemy.” Bronson shook his head.

With that, silence reigned between the two.

Nearing the edge of the forest, the two men suddenly stopped. Out of nowhere, a flying grey ball headed straight for Bronson. Surprised, Bronson summoned his sword and made to cut the object in half. Just before his sword made contact, Derek jumped in front and the sword fell on his back, the grey ball hitting him in the chest at the same time.

“Damn, I really liked this shirt.” Derek clicked his tongue as he looked at the bunny in his arms.

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