Under the light of the fairy´s magic, the walls sparkled in a mix of green and copper. They had walked deeper and deeper for several hours. They wanted to reach places no one else had before. That why they used Seth´s to always choose the ways leading down. Fin had taken care of everything and packed rations for several weeks! Which would probably last for a week, if the two were honest about the eating habits. They kept making frequent lunch breaks on the way.

Anyways, copper and copper ore covered the walls of the tunnel they entered. Was this the explanation for this maze of tunnels? Was it all just an ancient copper mine that connected to a natural cave?

No matter how deep they went, undead were spawning very sparsely down here. One would think the mobs would become more numerous or at least stronger the deeper one entered the dungeon, right? On the other hand, they had no idea where the dungeon core or the master would be in this mess of winding passages and rooms.

Seth did not really mind; they had been here long enough for him to gain almost 50% of the experience needed to reach lv.19! As long as the monsters kept spawning at this rate, he would level up even if they turned back right now.

Seth had not brought a pickaxe! But it wasn´t a problem. He summoned the forge on a bigger crossing and made a simple pickaxe, netting him 3% proficiency because it was rated uncommon thanks to the steel he used. He had learned his lesson and had also started to carry a stack of wood with him in case he needed to make a polearm like a spear or now, the handle for the pickaxe.

”No matter how often Fin sees it, it impresses Fin every time! ”, the fairy exclaimed looking at the pickaxe he finished in less than an hour.

Why did he suddenly become a miner you might ask? The better question would be, who would leave free raw materials behind? It was another lesson Seth had learned. Get as much as possible when you still have the chance! All the rebar he missed out on in Deltan because of the rain was a painful reminder.

And so, they spend two hours excavating the copper vein until Seth had 3 stacks of copper ore and small copper ingots. While Seth was fighting the earth for its resources Fin took over the duty of farming the mobs that got lured here by the loud noises of steel biting into stone. Together with the mobs who got lured when he made the pickaxe, he had gained another 10% experience!

After another lunch break, they started traveling again.

”Whoa! ”, he could hear the tiny voice of Fin in the front. Up high on the ceiling shone, like dim stars, luminescent crystals, and moss. Their light unveiled the full expanse of the great cavern they had just entered. Stalactites and stalagmites formed long and thin columns making it look as if the night sky itself was flowing down to the earth below.

Both, the human and the fairy, stood there amazed with their mouths and eyes wide open. For several minutes they just stood there and took in the sight. Seth felt a little relieved when didn´t show anything in here as a crafting material. He would have hated to damage this place.

”Should we stay here? It should be late out and Fin is becoming a little sleepy. ”, the fairy brute said unusually tactful. Seth agreed that this was a great place to take a rest and sleep a little. It reminded the two of the night they met and they talked a lot until they fell asleep, just like back then.

Fin had brought an alarm system; it was an uncostly device that would alarm the user if a hostile presence entered the perimeter. But the night was silent and they slept peacefully below the subterranean firmament.

They slept better than expected and woke up well-rested. They had a small breakfast and packed up their stuff to continue.

The starry cavern was soon crossed and their party entered back into the entrails of the earth. Being this deep below earth might have made others panic, but since they had the strength and to rely on for the way back, they were very calm. Even optimistic. Seth especially, since his copper stack increased to 5.

He had no mining skill, but funny enough leveled up to 6 after hours of swinging the pickaxe!

Past the starry cavern, the mobs also started to become a little stronger. Skeleton Warriors and Archers appeared more often and their tactics also slightly evolved. The ambushes were more elaborate and they used the advantages of the archer ’s range and the warrior ’s melee prowess. Of course, it was a futile struggle in front of the juggernaut fairy. The tiny berserker easily plowed through any opposition, collecting experience for Seth on the go.

If the caves and tunnels didn ’t look so rough and random, Seth would have likened it to a famous movie adaptation he knew, where the heroes travel through the abandoned mines of an extinct dwarven nation. Unfortunately, there were not as many mobs. Just imagine the level he could reach if they could decimate such hordes of low-level scrubs.

A few hours in, after they restarted their journey, the tunnels started changing again. They became more…regular. Not the neat kind of regular, but rather disturbing. They reminded Seth of the paths in an anthill. Would the mobs change from here on? Giant insects?

Fin did not seem troubled at all. It was likely that no other adventurer had reached this far before, at least the Guild had no info about this. His worries seemed unfounded, as they did not even meet a skeleton after entering these tunnels. Maybe the led away from the dungeon core?

It was when they started to relay a little that they reached ”The Reach ”. This area had its own name as a biome on the map. In front of them expanded a wide-open floor. The bottom and ceiling were completely even and parallel. Supporting the ceiling and connecting the two surfaces were almost hourglass-shaped pillars. Pale dim light fell in from the distance illuminating this bizarre scene and turning everything into pitch-black silhouettes.

This was nothing natural. The pillars all looked almost identical and were spaced in regular intervals. The ceiling and floor were completely even and parallel all the way into the distance. This was not natural, but it also didn´t look like human hands did this.

Where did the light come from, this far below the earth? Seth only found out where they were after zooming out from the immediate position. They had actually traveled a big windy circle downwards. Their current position was close to the entrance to the main shaft, just hundreds of meters below. So, the light came from the big hole´s… exit?

This unsettling floor was where the Shaft led to?!

They were still in shock when they heard a shuffling in the dark. Wha stepped out of the dark was a 3-meter-tall knight wearing a black suit of armor completely hiding his features. He dragged a giant sword behind him, almost as big as himself.

”Fuck!, ” Fin cursed without holding back and charged the opponent! Her hit´s easily deformed the knight ’s black armor, but could not instant-kill him like the skeletons before! He used the chance to observe it.

< Death Knight lv-->

He didn´t get more than the name from , but this was more than enough. From what he was told Death Knight were high-tier undead like Dullahans or Liches. This was a big leap compared to the laughable skeletons they had met until now!

Fin was probably able to deal with this guy alone, but it would take a while! More undead could come lured by the sound of fighting, so Seth decided to help.

After finding some of them in the armory, he had made about 50 arrows with bodkin tips. Since Fin had his attention Seth could fire his arrow at pretty much point-blank range. they did not as much damage as Fin ’s holy fists, but the arrows stuck in the armor and joints majorly impeded its movement and soon allowed the fairy to finish it off.

The death knight finally crumbled into a pile of dented armor and bones. Seth collected the armor and even found a tiny magic stone the size of a pea!

The armor was made of iron and nothing special. It was just very thick, which was why it could take the tiny terminator´s punches.

The two stayed alert. Looking and listening into the darkness, but all there was, was silence. No other mob approached They could have just turned around here. Go back to the guild and inform them about this. Who are we kidding? Obviously, they followed their curiosity and approached the circle of light in the distance.

Above them was the circular outline of the shaft´s end. Before them was a giant circular hole covered by a transparent pale white barrier, with erratic veins like a membrane or lightning patterns. Visible in the hole beyond the barrier was a dark fog writhing and pressing against the thin membrane as if trying to break out.

Mystified by what they had found this deep under the foundation of the city, they were surprised by a scuttle in the darkness. Seth knew this sound. Fin knew it, too. It was something they would not forget any time soon.

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