Ultimate Level 1

Chapter 128: Checking In
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Chapter 128: Checking In

Everyone celebrated. They only had to hold off the horde of ogres for another ten minutes before two factions came to assist.

The Red Horde and the Enlightened Souls had arrived, their higher-tier adventurers cutting down the creatures like wheat with a threshing blade.

Max stood stunned, watching two dwarves and a human from the Red Horde plow through ogres without stopping at all. The female human was a damage-based attacker, and with both dwarves supporting her, every strike of her two swords cut a creature in half. Even the higher-level elite ogre, like the one that almost killed Fowl, was taken down by her with a single strike.

Makes me feel a little less of a man, Fowl sighed.

Thats just because youre small, Batrire teased as everyone got a moment to recover from the last few hours. I love you even if you are half a man.

The others they had fought with chuckled, and Fowl smiled as he gave his better half a gesture with his middle finger.

What are you all going to do? Huethea asked as Max moved toward the corpses to start looting.

As in right now or later? Max replied as he picked up two swords and stored them.

Its obvious your group works well together. Im certain some of those who lost their friends might be interested in filling that fifth spot you seem to have open.

Max turned and looked at the people she was talking about. They had fought well, and it was evident they had talent, but trusting someone with their secrets wouldnt be easy.

Is this your way of asking if we have room? Max teased before moving toward his real target.

Huethea chuckled and shook her head. Are you kidding me? If I left, Asher would take over, and soon he would find another female and try to make a harem or something.

Coughing, Max snorted and looked at Asher, seeing that the man was talking it up with a few female adventurers from the other parties.

Wouldnt Owen get upset? Max asked as he finally reached the elite ogre, took both of its swords and stored them.

Owen? No he has a crush on Asher. Besides, I dont think your mage would want me in your party. I can tell how she looks at you, and you look at her.

Max felt his cheeks turn a little warmer. He could see that Tanila was watching him and Huethea talk, smiling when she saw him looking at her.

Yeah I think that would probably be best, too. I dont think we are looking for another right now. After we hit the tower, I know it will have to happen, but for now, well just keep fighting as a foursome.

Smiling, Huethea offered her hand to Max. Thank you again for keeping us alive. Its obvious youre stronger than the rest of us, but you never once treated us as weaker people.

Shaking her hand, Max nodded. You and your crew handled everything without problems too. That Nuala is a pretty good tank. As someone without an archer, I can see the perk of having one.

Huethea hesitated, and Max could see she wanted to ask something.

What is it?

Biting her lip, Huethea sighed and nodded. The rumors with what you did in the Colosseum and what people say you defeated in the streets I wouldnt have believed any of that, but after watching you she hesitated, grimacing for a moment. Be safe. I know some of our kind dont like humans, but youre obviously not like most, from how your mage treats you to how you hold yourself. If you have a problem with a certain group, just keep an eye out. I owe you for helping my team stay alive. If I hear something, where can I send a message?

Max stared at Huethea and realized that the enemies he had made must be even more dangerous than he believed if she was this bold. We are staying at the Heavenly Pineapple. Hopefully, youll only need to come by to celebrate something. Id rather not have any more run-ins with the group youre talking about.

Huethea grunted.

You all not going to loot? Max asked as he grabbed another weapon and put it in his storage.

We will, but in case you havent noticed, everyone is giving you first dibs.

Max realized she was right, rubbed his bald head with his gloved hand, and groaned.

Stop standing around and come get some loot, you fools! We all did this! It's time to gather enough to afford all the drinks well be enjoying tonight!

Laughter came as the pack of adventures descended upon the dead ogres, stuffing weapons and armor into their storage.

Good talk? Tanila asked, winking as she moved next to Max.

It was. She wanted to know if we needed another female elf in our party but I said no. There is only one female elf I need.

If you spot this tale on Amazon, know that it has been stolen. Report the violation.

Max saw Tanilas face turn bright red, and her eyes widened as she stared at him. That is good to hear, she finally replied, smiling at him.

Nodding his head once, Max winked and moved to join the others still looting. He laughed as he removed items from the dead and offered them to those nearby.

What are you going to do? Batrire asked, having snuck up behind Tanila. When are you going to tell him?

Tanila bit her lip and sucked in some air, creating small noises as she watched Max encouraging the people they had just fought with. I have no idea I mean how would he respond?

Batrire snorted as she put her hand on her friend's arm and squeezed. You and I both know how that man responds. No matter how bad things get, he is committed to us. He is committed to you.

Batrire felt her friend tremble slightly at those last words and gave her one last squeeze before putting her hand against Tanilas back and giving her a slight shove. Now get in there and loot something. We need to raise some money.

At least we arent having to collect ogre balls this time, Tanila declared, smiling as she let Batrire move her forward. Im not sure I can handle that task anytime soon, though.

Thats what we got Fowl for, Batrire replied. Besides, hes closer to the ground than you and I.

Both women laughed as they moved through the carnage on the streets. No one mentioned the number of houses burning and knocked down or how that would impact the lives of those who lived there.

Soon, every corpse would be gone in twenty or thirty minutes, and the people who had escaped because of their actions could begin to rebuild.

Max and the others waited at the counter, watching the attendant review the information they had provided. The adventurer hall was not as full as they had hoped, and word was coming back about the number of men and women who had died defending the city.

It seems pretty quiet in here compared to usual, Fowl muttered. Just how bad was it?

Their female elf attendant raised her head from the papers she was looking at and frowned at his question.

You were there and saw firsthand how bad it got, she replied, her voice steady but on edge. The news was that all four dungeons were worse than usual. We have not seen a breakout like this in a very long time. If what we know already holds true she paused, looking around at who might be close enough to hear. Ten percent of all the adventurers in the city who went out perished.

Fowl let out a low whistle for a moment before Batrire elbowed him.

We owe you and the other adventurers who defended the city more than just points for one's rank. We wont know the actual contribution points towards your next rank, but know it will be one of the highest rewards given in ages, their attendant said. I should be good with what you have here. In a few days, expect an announcement from the guild regarding rewards.

She turned and took three steps before stopping and returning to the as they were about to leave. I meant to ask, and I know we normally do not inquire about such a thing, but what level are you at now? Reports indicate that the experience given was also higher than usual.

Gods, it was! exclaimed Fowl. Were all almost forty-one now!

Her eyes squinted, and she looked at all of them, who nodded. Are you certain the number you listed as total slain is correct?

Max could see the thoughts going through the attendant's head. Honestly, we dont know. For over three hours, we fought nonstop. Taking a count wasnt really on our minds. Our biggest concern was staying alive while protecting the others with us and those who hadnt escaped the town. Once the wave came with those elite ogres, we had no choice but to fall back and try to defend inside the city.

She nodded, and Max could see and sense her making a checkmark on her clipboard. That does make more sense. Thank you again, adventurers. Now, dont forget to stop by the potion counter. Each of you has four potions waiting for you.

Rubbing his hands together, Fowl smiled as the others groaned. What? Free potions!

I cant take him anywhere, Batrire muttered as they made their way toward the small line waiting at the counter giving away potions.

Nope, but at least we know the way to his heart, teased Max. Potions and ale.

And food! chimed in Fowl. A dwarves gotta eat.

They all laughed as they moved toward the line, glad that today's event was finally over.

I must admit, what Everett told me about you four left me a bit surprised, but after hearing what happened outside those walls and seeing everything you brought back, it has to be true.

Max nodded as he tried to get a read on Tom, their liaison and soon-to-be trainer with the Golden Axe faction. The man had an air around him that seemed to vibrate with power. His hair was salt and pepper, and his body was brimming with muscles that defied his age. The man had to be at least fifty, but he stood over six feet tall, and Max could tell a fight with him wouldn't be easy.

Now, I have been told an insane amount of money has been put in a fund for you four within our factions bank. If there is something specific you all need to be bought or crafted, I will be the one to work with. Even though you cannot officially take place in the tower climbs, Everett has informed me that you can get training and use the shard we have upon reaching level fifty.

Maxs head almost snapped from the speed at which it moved when the other three members of his party all began to cough and react to Toms last statement.

The alliance has a training shard?! Tanila asked her face not hiding her disbelief at such a statement.

Tom smiled, his lips pulling back and displaying a set of teeth that looked impossibly straight and white. We do. Seven of the twelve factions in the city have one. Some of the rest are in the process of getting one, but the cost well, lets just say it doesnt come cheap. That is why faction wars have been called off for a while. In the past, factions were not against backstabbing and betrayal to get their hands on one. After many higher-tier adventurers died in those pointless skirmishes, the kings and queens used their influence to stop them.

How much cheaper are they compared to the adventurer hall? Fowl asked as he leaned against the counter, which held a massive collection of weapons and armor they had looted from the ogres.

Tom grunted as he shook his head slowly. For you four, apparently, a lot. If one of you is prepared to raise a skill to epic, I was told you can do it for free. The rest would have to pay half price.

And for legendary? Fowl asked, his eyes almost twinkling with excitement.

Laughing so loud, it echoed off every wall in the decently sized room they were in. Tom shook his head and put one hand on his chest. After settling down, Tom leaned forward and held Fowls gaze.

You and your friends will need to accomplish a lot in order to raise a skill to that level. As you know, the power required to grant that is massive and does not come cheap.

Sighing, Fowl nodded and moved back from the counter. Cant blame a dwarf for asking, can you?

Snorting, Tom shook his head. Yes yes, I can.

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