Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 43: 43.Cheese for Everyone!

The book was half filled with the personal logs of the guild master, with the last written pages in the middle smeared with blood.

”Try starting a few pages before the last ones. ”, Seth suggested the obvious.

23rd day of Snowfire, Yr. 564, Namia Calendar.

Guild operations are nominal. Our request for the deployment of a A-Rank party, and a high-level scribe, for the further exploration of the Ancient Temple has been granted…

Monster activities of the temple ruins are becoming abnormally high, especially on the lower floors. Once we find the dungeon core, I will request the guild for permission to close this dungeon. The artifacts and materials don´t warrant the risk taken by the adventurers to cull the hordes.

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30th day of Snowfire, Yr. 564, Namia Calendar.

Guild operations are nominal. The A-Rank party ”Crypt Raiders ”, specialized in the exploration of old ruins and tombs have arrived. They will start their dive into the dungeon tomorrow…

Reports of Temple Guardians and Tomb Priests from the lower floors appearing on the shallow levels have come in. Something is happening on the lower floors.

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The next few entries were short and without much content. Dungeon dives had been paused until the return of the A-Rank party.

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8th day of Green Ice, Yr. 564, Namia Calendar

Guild operations are partly paused. It has been over a week now and there are no signs of the ”Crypt Raiders ” return. They have also not re-spawned. I will send a scout party to look for them…

The Mansion dungeon shows signs of change, too. The creatures in the depth seem to get stronger and started roaming all floors unconditionally. 2 Parties have already been vanquished and taken huge losses.

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12th day of Green Ice, Yr. 564, Namia Calendar

Guild operations are on lock down. Three parties have not returned from the Mansion dungeon. I have decided to stop all regular operations….

I will ask for the permission to close the Mansion dungeon.

No sign from the scout party sent into the Ancient Temple, either. At this point I hold no hope for ”Crypt Raiders ” return.

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13th day of Green Ice, Yr. 564, Namia Calendar

Guild operations are on lock down. After reporting the uncommon events, permission to shut down the Mansion dungeon was granted.

I have sent our strongest B-Rank party ”Dune Hawks ” to destroy the Mansions dungeon core.

No signs of activity from the Ancient Temple. Should I send another scout party?

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20th day of Green Ice, Yr. 564, Namia Calendar

The ”Dune Hawks ” party did not return. Scouts report that the Mansion dungeon has ceased activity. I´m sending a rescue party in to look for them.

The second scout party I sent to the Ancient Temple have fortunately returned. Their reports are unsettling. They met beasts from the lower floors right after entering. The beasts had the unknown status ”Corrupted ” and showed heightened aggression and increase in overall stats. The D-Rank party fled the scene without exploring any further.

Ancient Temple might be close to a dungeon break.

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21th day of Green Ice, Yr. 564, Namia Calendar

…. I convened with the headquarters in Zhiqe. We will pack up and evacuate the ruins tomorrow. The guild will send several high-rank parties to subjugate the temple and shut down the ruins once and for all.

This is the last entry of guild master Kano Mede of the Ivicer branch.

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It was the last formal entry on the blood smeared page in the middle of the book. Until here everything was written in a fine and orderly handwriting, even Seth could see this.

The next lines were messily spread over the opposing page, ugly and written in a hurry. Fin had a tough time deciphering the scribbles.

”To whoever may find this book. I pray you can read these lines in time and be fortunate enough to leave with your life. Take this book and leave these cursed ruins as fast as your feet may carry you!

Please bring this book to the headquarters in Zhiqe and report your findings. The code of the safe behind me is 234548. May the funds be your reward of this quest. ”

< Quest: Guild Masters last request Difficulty: D You have encountered he remnants of the Ivicer Guild Branch and found the guild master ’s last request. Take the guild log with you and bring it to the guild branch in Zhiqe to make the fate of Ivicer known. Requirement: Bring the book to Zhiqe and give it to the current guild master Rewards: Contents of the guild masters safe (up-front payment), experience >

Seth talked about it with Fin. They did not see any problem with the quest, since Zhiqe was revealed to be their destination from the start. The label had appeared on the town, they were aiming for after reading the name in the journal. They accepted the quest readily. But the guild masters note did not end here, so Fin kept reading after the short interruption by the system. What followed was a report on what happened here.

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This is Kano Mede, guild master. The Ivicer Branch has been wiped out. We had planned to evacuate tomorrow, but it was too late. They came right after nightfall. It was an ambush in absolute silence.

The guild staff hurriedly prepared and confronted them in front of the guild when we heard the screams of the adventures across the ruins. We were barely able to see our attackers in the shadows.

They resembled the creatures of the ancient temple, but only in shape. They were so strong and so fast. They merged into the darkness of the night, with their skin looking as if they were bathed in tar.

Creatures that resembled those we knew already gave us a hard time. Then came abominations we never saw before. I only saw my subordinates die randomly in the flickering light of torches and magic lanterns as if the night itself cut them to pieces.

I´m writing this after escaping with my life like a coward and hiding like a rat in my personal cabinet.

I was wounded by a giant claw piercing my abdomen. I can hear their scuttling on the floors below. The crunching as they feast on my colleagues. I do not think I will ever leave my hiding spot again.

If these lines reach any of the guild ’s higher ups, even if they are not helpful, please take them as a warning. Do not underestimate this place. Do not come here at night. They fear the light so travel by day!

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Seth and Fin looked at each other and suddenly rushed to the window. It was already evening and the sky was colored in the red hue of dusk. They swore in unison. There was no time to leave the ruins before night fell.

”Maybe we can hide? The guild master wasn´t eaten in his cabinet. ”, Fin suggested.

”Yeah… but that was in a night where everything here was oozing with blood, right? If anything out there can smell us, especially you, we are done for in this little room. ”

Seth´s argument made sense to the smelly little fairy so they decided to leave after looting the safe.

The safe contained a few bags of coins totaling to 150 Gold, 210 Silver and 500 Copper. There were also two promissory stones over 50 Gold. And a tiny red gem.

Another rare crafting material? he was in this world for less than week and already found a bunch of good stuff!

Having looted the place and stored away the book, they left the guild. Seth´s keen gamer instincts told him, that they had only one chance to survive. Cheese it.

It was time to prepare some things.

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