Dungeon Diver: Stealing A Monster's Power - C.250


"Yes, there's a lot to explain. We have a difficult mission ahead of us. Now, I'm feeling much more confident about our odds of success."

The long white hair of the new mysterious Ice-Mage blows back and forth in the weak breeze as she looks off into the city.

It's in the exact same direction I've been probing out ever since I stepped out of that training chamber.

The exact direction where I can feel a dense area of dungeon portals all covered up by dense layers of mana shielding. It's less than a kilometer away and some readings are up to 30 meters underground.

Others are near or closer to the surface, but the majority of the energy readings are clearly coming from beneath the city.

With my All-Seeing Eye on full blast, it's as plain as day where they're located.

I'm the first to reply.

"Alright, let's head off then. I'm sure there's not much time to waste. Explain the details on the way."

She nods, and we're off.

We leave our camels behind and begin walking through the city streets. It's getting too crowded and cluttered in town with everything now in full motion. Bringing them along would be a hassle.

As we get further away from the towers, the streets open up even more into lively markets. Palm trees hand over the bright-colored shops and more towers can be seen off in the distance.

This seems to be a much more casual restaurant and shopping district for locals.

Both Fisher and Lydia walk with their faces fully uncovered, without a care in the world. I'm the first to ask about it.

"Hey- Aren't the people around here not too fond of Association Hunters? Especially Elites. I saw bounty posters with our faces on them, don't you two have prices on your heads too?"

Fisher smirks and turns around to comment on my claim.

"Yeah, yeah. We've had bounties out here for as long as I can remember. It's no big deal. No one's powerful enough to contain hunters like us. If they were, they'd have much better things to do than pick a fight with the Association."

I nod to myself as he continues.

"Most of the smaller towns and settlements deep in the desert tend to keep the anti-hunter traditions alive. There isn't much else to do out there, hating on a government is all they can really do to pass the time."

I open my mouth, but Lydia begins to speak from my left side so I listen.

"In short- don't worry about it. The people here are just people. Like you and me, they have their own lives to worry about. We have a much more important mission to concentrate on."

I nod, then take down my hood.

I'm not fully convinced we're in the clear here. There's always an exception to the rule, especially when money is involved.

It makes sense, but to be honest I'm a bit distracted by a whole lot of other things.

The bounties were never too much of a worry for me. The thought still at the forefront of my mind is the immense power difference between Fisher and Lydia.

More like, the power difference between Lydia and anyone I've ever met before.

Although this is the first time I've truly ever been able to sense mana control levels, hers seems off the charts.

Now that she's less than 3 meters away, and practically leaking out pure ice-imbued energy, it's clear her mana control is definitely at least on par with mine.

I'll have to see her in action to get a full idea of her abilities. Then again, I'll have to test myself in action to comprehend the full extent of my new power as well.

I'm itching to try them out, so, I speak up.

"Is there any important information about this break we need to know? We've all been in labyrinths before, is there something special about that one?"

The white-haired mage nods, replying to me without looking over at any of us.

Her cool blue eyes stare off into the city.

"Yes, this one is... a bit different than most."

Everyone listens, interested in what she has to say as we walk straight toward the mana readings I've been tracking.

"Well, the Labyrinth break has already begun. There are a few teams inside right now."

The moment she says this, a pulse of energy comes from the dungeon zone and ripples through the entire city.

With such a fine-tuned frequency, It's near impossible to see the wave move by, but with any level of mana perception, the grey shockwave is clear as day.

Lydia speaks right on schedule, with a smile.

"Speaking of the break, did you feel that?"

I give a firm nod, and to my surprise, my teammates do too.

Maria replies.

"Yeah, I feel all tingly."

Abby speaks next.

"Is that the break? Or just a coincidence...?"

Arie stares straight ahead, focused, but not saying a word. Fisher does the same. Lydia explains.

"That was another floor collapse. I believe... it's on floor 18 now."

I raise an eyebrow.

"A Floor collapse? So this break collapses floor by floor?"

We come into visible range of what I can only assume is the City of Solara's version of a Dungeon Hub.

Lydia points forward.

"Correct. The break was up to Floor 15 when Fisher and I arrived. Every floor from 1 to 14 has already completely collapsed and disappeared. This is the 3rd pulse I've felt since we explored the Labyrinth ourselves, so it must be the 18th. If we entered the Labyrinth now, that would be considered its 1st floor."

All 6 of us walk toward the far side of the hub. There are large metal contraptions similar to the one I was trapped in near DryRock all over the open cobblestone square.

I count 8 in total.

They each have a solid silver metal door on the front of them and using my perception skill, I can tell that half of them lead underground with the same level of mana shedding built into the walls and stairs.

One in particular, near the far side of the square goes the deepest, has the most armed guards standing by it, and is giving off the most intense mana radiation from the ground below.

I whisper under my breath eyes it.

"That one's the break."

Hunters crowd the square as we walk forward past the large metal crates with large black lettering hung on their front sides. f๐ซe๐šŽ๐˜„eb๐š—o๐ฏ๐ž๐ฅ.๐œ๐š˜m

They're labeled not by class, but by level.





It seems like they have safety regulations out here too. Guards are checking each hunter's status before entering any dungeon.

I watch as certain hunters cover-up information with their hands or gear, and the guards don't seem to mind. All they're looking for is the level, and they aren't asking for any ID or payment either.

As we approach the final break, the sign above it doesn't stay a level at all.

It just reads out [Restricted] in large black lettering, and 8 guards level 300-350 stand outside of it.

Fisher speaks up as we approach.

"Ya know, Lydia and I made it to Floor 19 no problem the other day. The Director just wanted us to stay back and not take on the Floor Bo-"

He almost chokes on his words, then looks over his shoulders to make sure no one's listening in.

The blue-haired swordsman leans in closer to us and talks in a much lower tone.

"He told us not to take on the final Labyrinth Boss alone. We reckon this one goes up over 25 floors. Maybe more! Once we take out the Floor Boss, we'll all be stuck in the Labyrinth until we finish the break."

Lydia interrupts.

"That's true. And the breaks will continue to happen out here even while we climb. Solaran hunters will have to keep the floors at bay, starting with the 18th while we climb and race against the clock to take out the final boss."

I nod.

"So... We have one try, and the Boss has to be defeated before the entire labyrinth collapses."

She responds while looking ahead as a guard waves us down with a friendly expression on his face, looking like he's been expecting us to come.

"That's right. The Final Boss could escape the confines of its prison if we don't defeat it in time. One shot, or else this entire City will succumb to a B-Class Level threat. If we can't stop it, no one here can."