Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 92: Cerberus

A horde of Ghouls, humanoid creatures with hunched backs and long sharp claws, was banging onto the thin light membrane Puffles had summoned on the door. While the barrier was still holding Seth decided to chuck his throwing knives into the crowd. It was simply faster than using his bow to shoot them in close range. But the ghoul ’s reactions were unbelievably fast and while some evaded his attack one even caught the throwing knife with its mouth and bit it into pieces!

His attacks did some damage when he hit. Many among the group of ghouls were bleeding in several places when the barrier started giving in.

He readied his spear as the barrier started to get covered in cracks and Puffles positioned himself in the rear, to support Seth with attack magic.

The barrier finally broke and the horde tried to rush into the room. Seth did not shy away from the entrance but used it as a bottleneck. With Puffles shoot light arrows at the ghouls in the back, Seth was able to fight the creatures one by one and kept aiming at their heads, as this had worked on the last one. Under Seth´s relentless thrusts and the Ivicers cover fire the undead fell one by one. He used the soul fire sparingly to drive back the ghouls if they threatened to overwhelm them.

It was an unprecedented struggle Seth had not expected. Once 15 ghoul corpses covered the floor, silence finally returned to the dungeon. Fatigued he sat on the ground with his back against a destroyed stone casket. Just a little more, Seth was really close to level up. It made this struggle worth it! Not really. Even if he could revive at the guild, being ripped apart by ghouls was not his number one choice of death. He stayed put until his breathing returned to normal and his HP had more or less recovered. The increased health regeneration of his pendant was a great help.

Seth had been really surprised by the strength of these undead. The young man realized that he couldn´t be careless just because his stats and items were overpowered. After feeling better, he got up and started looting the corpses. They only dropped , some eyeballs and a weird crystal shard Seth could not appraise? The claws were a common rated crafting material, the rest were probably stuff for alchemy. As he was walking looting the corpses, he found only 3 small souls on them. 16 ghouls dropped just 3 souls…

He sighed and started to pick up the throwing knives that had missed. But when Seth picked up the knife the ghoul had broken, he felt something different! Holding the metal shard in his hand he used and was able to extract the small soul from the broken throwing knife!

So, breaking a weapon was the way to get back an infused soul? It felt a little wasteful. But now, together with those he had collected earlier with the party he now had 23 souls.

Many stone caskets in the following rooms were completely broken after the ghouls had burst out from within them. Except for the traps, the corridor was now completely safe and without any monsters. There was also no loot.

The dungeon itself was rather barren with such little monsters and loot. Although it felt weird how strong the monsters were. Maybe there were not many people visiting or dying here? Seth had heard that dying people were nutrition to the dungeons. That was after his little adventure in the basement dungeon. It could be a sign that the dungeon was starving.

Well, Seth didn´t have any plans to feed it. At the end of the narrow passage was a wider room with a high vaulted ceiling and five sarcophagi with reliefs of the people they contain on the top. Now, this looked more like a crypt or maybe a burial chamber. But something didn´t really fit in with the creepy atmosphere of the dungeon. Two burnt down candles spending a dim light on a shabby table in the corner of the room. It did not fit the rest of the dungeon at all.

As Seth got close to the table, he heard a scraping from the sarcophagi behind him. It was not the violent bursting like before, but desiccated hands slowly moving the heavy stone plates.

What rose from the sarcophagi at the corners looked almost like skeletons. Four tall naked figures not much more than skin and bones. The faces had no eyes or lips and looked like a skull with skin tightly pulled over the bone with sharp long fangs. All their head turned towards him when he used .

The difficulty had suddenly made a massive jump! Weren´t there only supposed to be monsters around lv.20? Seth, with Puffles behind him, backed away to the entrance of the passageway. If these things were as bad as the ghouls, they might turn out to be a real threat.

They were still slowly climbing out of their eternal resting place and suddenly Seth did not feel like waiting politely. He equipped the hunter bow and started shooting the closest bloodslave. Puffle took the cue and also started shooting. The strengthened effect showed its power when the arrows homed in on the heart.

Under the united fire of Seth ’s arrows and the Ivicers light magic, the monster stood no chance to leave its casket!

It gave him enough experience to level up. He only gained 6 free attribute points, but that was not important as he had finally 5 skill points to level !

This was all he wanted from this dungeon, as such Seth decided on a strategic retreat. Something was not right with this dungeon and he didn´t feel like investigating it after the other three came for him. And there was still whatever was in the center sarcophagus. Based on all his knowledge about this kind of room, there would be something a lot worse in there.

~Are we really going to leave these things alone? ~

He only nodded at Puffles ’ question and instructed him to put a barrier on the exit of that room. There was something going on in this dungeon, but he would not risk his life to find out what. Puffles was called back to the pet space and Seth printed out of the dungeon.

Halfway down the corridor, he heard the barrier exploding behind him. That ’s was not the slow crumbling, but an explosive shattering! How strong were these things?

Seth soon found out when his lead war slowly shrinking and he saw the things sprinting along the walls and ceiling of the passageway. Seth swallowed the bitter pill and consumed a speed potion. It was a very expensive potion he had bought for 2 gold during their journey. With the boost, he could barely keep his remaining lead. Now he only needed to reach the exit, before the effect of the potion wore off.

He reached the end of the corridor, but now came the worst: Running up the stairs! This burned as he rushed up the old staircase towards the exit. Behind him, the monsters cheated! They simply stayed on the walls and evaded the tedious ascent. Taking several steps at once Seth still lost the lead and the monsters started swiping at him with their claws cutting deep into his armor and leaving gashed in his flesh.

He didn´t dare to give them any attention as he rushed for the exit and left the dungeon with a dive. With a big sigh of relief, he looked back at the bloodslaves who could not leave the dungeon behind him. He got away and it only cost him half of his armor ’s durability…

Anyway. It was night and he was alone in the graveyard. He got his level up and didn´t want to wait. He used his 5 SP to level his and the perk list displayed a new perk.

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