Our first dungeon in the beautiful town of Greenwood is the dungeon where the Magic Egg can be obtained, the forest of God Trees.
There are two reasons why we came to this dungeon.
First would be to collect Pork (Average) for a quest that we accepted. Pork (Average) can be obtained by defeating the Horned Boars that can be commonly found in this forest.
Second, we have to look for any hints or information about the spawn location of the Magic Egg. Sometime this month, out of the numerous God Trees present in this forest, only one of them will spawn the Magic Egg. Back in the game era, we had to battle against a party of 5 non player characters (NPCs) in order to obtain the hint, but it was still possible to obtain the egg without a hint.
However, the scale this time is much different. There are at least 50 other parties competing for the egg, with over 200 opponents. We won’t be able to guarantee our victory without having any advantage over that number of opponents, at least not without knowing which tree out of the hundreds that will spawn an egg. Especially when there are adventurers who have been here numerous times to obtain the egg. Those adventurers are likely able to grasp when the egg will spawn based on their past experiences. We could obtain information from them by eavesdropping on their conversations, however that information could be unreliable to throw off any other potential competitors that they are expecting to be listening.
Thus, it is more reliable to obtain information on our own. From the beginning, if you are capable enough, you will be able to obtain information about the spawn without leaking any information. In the location where you can obtain this information, the monsters provide a decent amount of experience points and have valuable drop items and equipment as well, making it an extremely efficient place to train and hunt.
[Youya, there are so many people here.] (Luna)
[Ugh, at this rate there won’t be any prey for us.] (Til)
There were many people in the forest of God Trees who were frantically looking around for the Magic Egg. Only a handful of adventurers can estimate the day when the Magic Egg will spawn, however other clueless adventurers are desperately searching and investigating each God Tree hoping to find some signs that could lead them to the egg. In addition, many of these adventurers are hunting monsters while searching for the egg. As a result, the number monsters in the dungeon were rapidly dwindling. The quest was probably issued around this period knowing that drop items would be easily available due to the large number of adventurers hunting.
[It’s alright. There is a place where a lot of monsters are still around.] (Youya)
If you were a perfectly sane person, it is a place where you will never enter. Unless you are attempting suicide, that place is a perfect location to hunt monsters in the current season. It is also the place where it is possible to get information about the magic egg spawn. We would be able to raise our level, complete the quest while obtaining information about the egg. We would be able to kill three birds with one stone.
[Amazing, Youya. Let’s hurry up and head there!] (Luna)
[That’s right. We won’t be able to make a decent hunt in this kind of place.] (Til)
[Ah, you’re right.] (Youya)
I smiled bitterly at their responses. If the two of them knew what the entrance to the location was, the two of them would definitely be filled with terror.
At that moment, we could hear whispering among the other adventurers, and the chance for our hunt to start had appeared. The surrounding adventurers began to scream.
[Uwaaaaaaaaa, It’s here, the devourer of the forest.]
[It’s a God Tree! Run to the God Trees! It’s the only thing that it will not eat!]
The ground began to tremor as it appeared. A giant caterpillar with a body length of about 30 metres. It’s main body is divided into around ten segments covered with a green-coloured shell resembling the larva of a citrus swallowtail butterfly. It’s body was covered with a pattern resembling a large eye that looks poisonous and inflicts fear into anyone that looks into it.
It’s legs aren’t visible so it’s uncertain how it is moving, but based on the vibrations of the ground, it is likely that there are multiple small legs carrying it’s large body. However, what makes it even more terrifying is it’s large mouth. Its mouth was capable of reaching from one God Tree to another, swallowing everything in its path. Whether it was the earth, monsters or mere stone, nothing was spared. It was the monster unique to the Forest of God Trees, the Starfish Larvae. It is a symbiote of the God Trees that devours everything around the God Trees.
Note: I don’t understand it’s name nor can I find out through the dictionary so I’m going with google translate on this one.
In this world, it was thought that nothing couldn’t be defeated. There were twenty pairs of level 50 adventurers who attempted to defeat the Starfish Larvae and after a close battle, with only 5 survivors, they managed to defeat it. Normally, defeating powerful monsters would yield strong materials and amazing drop items. I can understand their sentiments of wanting to defeat the monster as it isn’t easy to encounter this level of monster often. After they defeated the monster, apparently there were many drop items that could had fetched a high price. There were materials made of its outer shell and eye that could be used to make powerful equipment. In addition, there were rare magic swords and magic armors that were dropped. It isn’t an understatement to say that the quality of drop items was very high.
However, the rewards for defeating the monster wasn’t worth the effort to defeat it. The price for defeating the monster was the lives of 35 first-class adventurers. There isn’t any treasure that could be worth that sacrifice. Furthermore, the battle didn’t end there.
After the Starfish Larvae was defeated, it’s green shell began turning red, it’s eyes shifted upwards, appearing to grow larger and more violent. As if it was enraged, the monster began rampaging throughout the dungeon for an entire week. The dungeon became uninhabitable until it’s rampage was over and no one could enter the dungeon. Surprisingly, at the end of the week it returned to the typical Starfish Larvae and it became possible to return to the forest of God Trees.
If the normal Starfish Larvae could drop such high-quality items, there is the possibility that the enraged Starfish Larvae would drop even better items. There are even rumors spreading that there are special benefits that can be obtained for the Tower of Trials by defeating the enraged Starfish Larvae. However, the rumor was never confirmed as no one was willing to test it. There were no adventurers insane enough to attempt to defeat the enraged Starfish Larvae.
Since I possessed the knowledge of the game in my previous life, I can remember clearly what were the rewards gained by defeating the enraged Starfish Larvae. The rewards were as amazing as the rumors put it out to be, however just like the first battle, the compensation for defeating the monster was massive as well. Back then, the entire party could easily be revived so there were no actual casualties. However, attempting it now would merely be suicide. It was common to revive and retry the battle multiple times until it was defeated. That was how powerful the enraged Starfish Larvae was.
It is a simple task to escape from the normal Starfish Larvae. So long as they aren’t coerced into their enraged state, they have the characteristic of never harming the God Trees, making it easy for people to stick to the trees in order to escape from the monster.
[Uwaaa, it looks disgusting.] (Til)
[Youya. Can’t stop trembling.. It’s too strong,] (Luna)
Although their responses are slightly different, both of them feared the Starfish Larvae albeit for different reasons. That is troubling as it is the key for us to enter the hunting ground.
[Both of you follow closely behind me.] (Youya)
[Youya, wait a moment. You are walking in the direction of the bug.] (Luna)
[You’ll get eaten!] (Til)
Although the two of them often followed my instructions silently, the two of them voiced out their opinions this time, telling me to stop.
[Of course I’ll get eaten. The reason I came here was to be eaten by that thing. Truth is, it’s stomach is the best hunting ground in this entire dungeon. Plus there are many treasures as well. I understand that both of you are scared, but if you don’t want to enter then the two of you can head back to the inn.] (Youya)
I laughed as I stood in front of the insect. After a few moments, Luna came up to my side.
[Luna will always be with Youya. That is why Luna believes in Youya.] (Luna)
Although she said some brave words, her tail was trembling to the maximum. I guess it’s that terrifying for her.
[It can’t be help. I’ll come too. Because Youya said so, then even if I think it’s impossible I’ll follow you.] (Til)
Til walked to my side. Although she laughed and appeared to be brave, both her voice and her legs were trembling.
[Both of you, thank you for believing in me. Tonight’s dinner will be on me, so you two can order whatever you like.] (Youya)
Normally the two of them would be jumping in joy to my words, however the two of them don’t have the strength to do so right now. The tremors became stronger as the Starfish Larvae approached closer and closer until it was directly in front of us. Looking at it up close, a monster 30 metres in length is impressive. Luna and my right and Til on my left, I could feel their entire bodies trembling as they clung tightly onto my arms. Its mouth was open as it moved forward, eating everything in its path. It was large enough to be capable of swallowing the three of us whole. And finally, it ate us.
[uhn!? AAAAAAAAAA] (Luna)
Luna and Til who were holding tightly onto me closed their eyes and began screaming as we got swallowed by the Starfish Larvae. And our surroundings faded to darkness.
I opened my eyes and my surroundings were covered in darkness.
[Where is this place? Is this heaven? Youya, I can’t see anything.] (Luna)
[Uggg, are we dead? I wish I could had the courage to experience my first time before dying.] (Til)
Luna and Til were clinging onto me while saying ridiculous things. I took out a light crystal from the hidden room out of my magic bag and tied it onto my forehead with a string. Unlike a normal torch, it doesn’t run out. It was very bright and lit up quite a large area around us plus it was safe to touch. Back then, I thought that it would be very useful when traversing in dungeons underground and only took five of them. It wasn’t possible to take the light crystals back in the game, but I’m glad that it was possible to be used this way so I’ll show my appreciation.
[It isn’t anything like heaven. This is the Starfish Larvae’s stomach. It’s stomach is actually in a different dimension. Take a look at our surroundings.] (Youya)
With the light crystal illuminating our surroundings, we were inside a labyrinth with stone walls all around us. The road was about 5 metres wide and the end could not be seen. Although the Starfish Larvae is a large monster about 30 metres long, it is impossible for the labyrinth to fit within its body.
The entrance to the hidden dungeon was the mouth of the Starfish Larvae. As a matter of fact, the Starfish Larvae isn’t considered a monster but a biological weapon created by God. Passing through its mouth transfers you to a different dimension. This fact wouldn’t be discovered by any ordinary adventurer in the first place. Anyway, there isn’t any reason for anyone to risk their life and it was easy to avoid getting eaten by the Starfish Larvae by sticking onto the God Tree. If there was anything that is considered a trap in this dungeon, it would be getting eaten by the Starfish Larvae when it is enraged as you wouldn’t be transported into this dungeon and will be sent directly to it’s stomach instead.
Luna and Til looked around the surroundings illuminated by the light crystal.
[Uwa, a gigantic maze.] (Luna)
[This is the place Youya is talking about right?] (Til)
[Youya, there are many signs of monsters around us. Goblins, wild boars and insects.] (Luna)
[Any monsters that are eaten by him will also be sent to this dungeon. We will hunt the monsters here as he eats every monster in the dungeon.] (Youya)
For adventurers in the forest of God Trees, it is a competition to see who will be able to hunt the most prey in a short amount of time. However, if you are able to enter this hidden dungeon, you will be able to hunt to your heart’s content.
[But Youya, how are we supposed to get out of here?] (Luna)
[There are two ways. First is to use a return stone, although that is a waste of a return stone. Second is to conquer this labyrinth. At the end of the maze, there is a magical vortex that brings us to the exit of the dungeon.] (Youya)
[In that case, there is only one answer! We will defeat the monsters here and get a ton of materials while searching for the exit!] (Til)
[That is so. Although we have the light crystal, the visibility in this area is still terrible so let’s progress with caution.] (Youya)
[Uhn. I understand!] (Luna)
[Fufufu. Don’t underestimate the power of an elf’s jade eyes! My jade eyes can see even in complete darkness!] (Til)
[Oh thats right. Phil was the same way as well. That is enviable] (Youya)
The jade eyes that have the ability to see long distances, night vision and clairvoyance that every adventurer envies.
[Let’s hurry up and clear the labyrinth. There is a curse placed onto this maze where our bodies will steadily become heavier the longer we stay here. The curse will only activate after half a day and walking will become difficult after a day. Eventually, we won’t be able to move and we will likely die after three days. This is the reason why the information present here is hidden from the public as many people often lose their lives before they managed to escape the maze.] (Youya)
Their bodies froze up after listening to my warning.
Not only is it difficult for adventurers to discover that the entrance of the dungeon was the Starfish Larvae’s mouth, but it is difficult for them to even escape the dungeon to let this information be known. Many adventurers who have entered this dungeon have not lived to tell the tale. A labyrinth within complete darkness with a complex maze to conquer. In the first place, it is difficult to even walk around in this darkness. Above that, there are many monsters present in this dungeon that are capable of detecting our location through sound and their sense of smell, making it difficult for normal adventurers to fight an unfavourable battle where they are robbed of their sight.
To sum everything up, people who have been “eaten” by the Starfish Larvae will find themselves teleported into complete darkness, while those who somehow have a light source with them will have a higher chance of surviving the dungeon. However, only those who are lucky enough to have the rare and expensive Return Stone will be able to live. Other than them, the others are likely to perish in this dungeon due to the curse. In our case, we came prepared knowing the mechanics of the dungeon and how to enter the dungeon. For us who know about the curse and environment of the dungeon, and are able to prepare for it, this dungeon will turn into a delicious dungeon with plenty of monsters for us to hunt. Aside from monsters, there are also many treasure chests as well as the gear from dead adventurers present, making it a very profitable dungeon. As a reward for clearing this difficult dungeon, there will always be a stone monument before the exit which provides information about where and when the egg will spawn.
[Luna, Til. There isn’t a dungeon that gets any better than this! Let’s enjoy the hunt to the fullest and enjoy a feast tonight!] (Youya)
Now, let’s raise our spirits and break through this difficult dungeon. Let’s aim to cover enough distance before we become too immobile to exit. Otherwise, we’ll have to use our Return Stones.