Ultimate Level 1

Chapter 150: A Magical 50
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Chapter 150: A Magical 50

The last two days had been a non-stop grind fest.

After clearing the troll dungeon, they made their way to the northwest corner of town, entering the level forty-five dungeon, the dungeon of goatmen. The goatmen were slightly more challenging than the trolls, as they had no elemental weakness, so Tanila couldn't one-shot them with her standard spells. Still, Max and Fowl quickly discovered how to combine everyone's abilities for one massive dungeon clear.

The goatmen were quick, but Max outpaced them, easily staying ahead as he ran across the open plains of the dungeon, luring a massive horde toward Fowl.

"There's got to be at least forty of them!" Fowl shouted, banging the two shields against each other. I'm glad he thinks so highly of me."

Tanila shook her head at the sight before her. Max's idea came when a second group aggroed on them during a fight the day before. A bleat from one of the first packs had brought a nearby group to them. Even with ten goatmen, Fowl withstood their blows and kicks, his constitution and armor providing the protection needed. Max and Tanila had worked together, killing the now larger group in a dazzling explosion of magical power.

"Are you sure about this?" Batrire asked. I have my new spell, but it's only good for ten seconds and has a two-day cooldown."

"We'll be fine," Tanila replied. The worst thing that could happen is that Fowl could die and not get to go to his birthday party."

Fowl scoffed, not taking his eyes off the pack of monsters approaching them as Max finished one last lap to pick up stragglers. "We'll be done here and can then go pick up our clothes!" shouted Fowl. Besides, we are all level forty-seven now. At this rate, we should hit forty-eight after the next floor."

The two women nodded and watched as Max approached. Even from this distance, they could see his smile.

Max ran by Fowl, moving to stand just a few yards behind his dwarven friend.

"Be ready!" Max shouted, even though he didn't need to. The groups he had been gathering the past twenty minutes would arrive in less than ten seconds.

There were so many goatmen it almost looked funny. A horde of eight-foot-tall monsters all bunched together, shoulder to shoulder, carrying swords, hammers, and clubs. Their bottom halves looked exactly like a goats would if it stood on its back legs, dark black fur covering their lower extremities. The top half was a muscular and chiseled man with a hairy chest.

"Fifteen seconds!" Tanila cried out.

Max nodded, counting down until it was time for his spell to join her.

The sound of hooves pounding into the green grass of the dungeon floor rumbled in their ears, and Max wondered what their new partner, whom they were supposed to meet at the party, would think if she saw this. Tom still had yet to tell them her name.

"Casting!" Max shouted, taking a few steps back as the creatures raced past Fowl, their eyes all focused on him.


Dirt, grass, and chunks of stone sprayed Max as the goatmen targeting him immediately tried to stop and kill the dwarf holding two shields around himself like a cocoon. The sound of swords and hammers pounding against Fowl was only overshadowed by the bleating cries of frustration as they couldn't all reach the tiny dwarf.

Max's fire nova went off first. His spell washed over the collective group of monsters, slightly burning their flesh and scorching the grass beneath their feet.

Tanilas spell came next as she stood a few yards further away. The waves of fire rolled away from her, each one dissolving more of the group of goatmen and filling the air with the sweet aroma of roasted goat.

As bleats of pain filled the air, Max was already swinging with his halberd, cutting through the charred and burnt corpses, not waiting to see If they were dead or not.

A fireball blasted past him, slamming into the area that he had cleared and sending another explosion of fire that blew chunks out of the burnt husks.

Max couldn't see through the carnage, but his sonar skill told him a few were still alive. Only three enemies remained on the far side from where Max was, barely moving as their flesh continued to burn.

Running through the burnt bodies, Max approached the three, struggling to move as their bodies still burned. He cut them down in moments, ending their lives and accomplishing something he hadn't been sure would work when he planned it.

"That's all of them!"

"Gods!" exclaimed Fowl. "Why didn't we do this sooner? Look at your experience bar!"

Max could only smile, wondering how much experience they had received.

"That was... three-quarters of a level," Tanila muttered. Had Max not had the Sonar skill, he would never have heard those softly spoken words.

"Ockrim be praised!" Batrire shouted. "He does love us!"

"Bah, woman, stop pestering the gods, and someone help me get out of this mess!" Fowl shouted, slamming his shield into the charred remains. "And get me some ale and a snack! This smell is amazing!"

Max laughed as he cut through the bodies, watching them crumble from a solid hit. "I found the portal to the next floor. Are we up for trying one more?"

"Hell ya!" Fowl exclaimed. "We're hitting level forty-eight tonight!"

Batrire nodded, and Tanila sighed as both moved in the direction Max pointed.

"What have we gotten ourselves into?" Tanila asked. Surely those two realize we can't do dungeon runs like this forever."

Scoffing, Batrire shrugged. "Those two are impossible to figure out. The fact that they thought this whole thing up and Seth decided to try what he did scares me. Who thinks of that kind of stuff?"

Tanila nodded, watching as their warriors laughed and chatted about how everything had gone. "We're in trouble with those two, but I wouldn't have it any other way."

Max slashed the last four goatmen still alive, each so burnt it couldn't move.

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"I'm halfway to level forty-nine," Fowl said. "Someone pinch me, please... this isn't possible."

"Happy Birthday, Max said as he cut a path through the bodies so Fowl could get out. I dont want to make a big deal about this, but your party isnt till tomorrow night. We could get up a little earlier, head here first, and easily clear these two dungeon floors. Then, if needed and time permitting, we could hit the troll dungeon.

Fowl glanced at the other two members of his party, having put away both shields and removed his helmet. He tried to give them a cute gaze, but instead, he looked constipated, with his eyes squinted and his lips pursed together. Both women started to laugh.

It looks like you got gas! Tanila finally managed to say between her fits of laughter.

I thought the same thing, Batrire howled. Like he was trying to push out a turd or something.

Fowl rolled his eyes and grumbled. This is what I have to put up with. Now, what do you two say? Go pick up our stuff for the party and an early morning dungeon clearing? Just think, we could all be level fifty by tomorrow night if Ockrim is kind!

Nodding as one, Tanila and Batrire agreed that Fowl was correct.

Im up for it, Batrire said. I still have my shield, which makes me feel much better about you two being stupid.

Well then, lets get our clothes and rest up, Fowl said. Im still wondering if I can get Alexander to share any of the details about tomorrow. That mans lips are tighter than some dwarven women I know.

Oh really? Batrire asked, putting her hands on her hips and glaring at him. How would you know this?

Fowl began to stutter, and Max laughed, pushing his friend toward the portal to leave.

Leave him be, Batrire. I dont want him in trouble just yet. We have a party tomorrow and need him to be able to stand on his own.

Fowl was dancing in the nasty, murky water of the troll dungeon.

FIFTY!! IM FIFTY! he shouted as he kicked water up in excitement.

We know, Batrire said with a wink. I already told you happy birthday this morning.

Bah, woman! You know what Im talking about! But can you believe it? I turned fifty and managed to get level fifty on the same day! I cant think of a better gift than this!

Max smiled, shaking his halberd in the water to remove the blood. Two trolls were dead, one by fire and the other by his weapon. How much for the rest of you? Max asked. I cant let this one have all the fun, and we still have enough time for a few more.

Do we have to? Fowl asked, winking at Max.

Only if you want the real gift Batrire has for you tonight.

Fowl turned and looked at their dwarven healer, trying to see what Max was talking about. Batrire looked confused, unsure if Max knew about what she had gotten Fowl.

Uh yeah, Seth is right, she replied. No present if you dont get us level fifty also.

Well, lets go! Fowl roared, pointing in a direction of the swamp they hadnt gone yet.

Fifty! Batrire exclaimed, her smile almost as large as Fowls. Finally!

Tanila came close and hugged her, both giddy even though they were standing in knee-deep water.

Fowl came running over, ignoring the corpse at his feet, and picked up Batrire, hugging her and spinning her around, sending murky water in a circle. Congratulations, my love! Weve done it!

Max stood a few yards away, watching his family celebrating. They were laughing and dancing, excited for each other.

What are you doing grinning like that? Fowl asked, looking back at Max. Get your sorry human arse over here and join the group hug!

Nodding, Max moved to join them, laughing and celebrating the impossible actually happening.

You look amazing, Max said, helping Tanila out from the carriage first. His heart was pounding, and he silently prayed that his palms wouldnt sweat.

Behind him was a massive warehouse that was lit up, with noise coming from the two large open doors. A throng of dwarves flowed in, as did the occasional human and elf.

So do you, Tanila replied with a wink. That red shirt really pops.

Max chuckled and shrugged. Just trying to match your hair.

Stop flirting and move! Fowl howled from inside the carriage. He had a blindfold on and was being directed by Batrire toward the exit. I can hear the music and dwarven laughter! Even better, I can smell the ale!

Thats your breath, Batrire muttered. You had two tankards before we left.

So? What does Woaahhhh!

Max grabbed Fowl under his arms, lifted him from the carriage, and deposited him onto the ground, ensuring his feet were set before removing his hands.

I swear, if you werent family, Id cut your balls off, Fowl growled.

Theyd just grow back bigger and better, Max replied, earning a laugh from all three.

He turned and helped Batrire out of the carriage, admiring her blue dress. Her hair was done up, and small blue teardrops were scattered perfectly within it. Her beard was braided and bound together by blue and silver rings.

You look beautiful as well, Max informed her.

Bah, stop that, Fowl hissed. I havent seen her yet!

Both women laughed, and Max moved to Tanilas side, offering her his arm.

Shall we?

As they approached the two warehouse doors, Alexander saw them coming. Suddenly, the building went silent. The music and laughter stopped, and only the sound of a donkey baying could be heard from the warehouse.

Max and the others tried to not stop as they admired the inside of the warehouse, larger than most, with a line of casks thirty yards long on one side. There was a pen that had a donkey with a saddle on it and hay lining the hard floor. A booth with a seat over water sat nearby while a wet dwarf was climbing back into the chair, trying not to laugh. Tables and chairs were scattered around, and huge tables full of food lined one of the walls. At the far end was a stage with a band on it, all waiting for Fowl to take his place so they could start playing again.

Everywhere, dwarves smiled. All wearing brown suits like Fowl, they grinned at the foursome as they walked toward the stage.

I can smell ale! Fowl shouted. And drunk dwarves!

The almost silent room broke into a loud roar of laughter, and a few dwarves clapped and stomped their feet.

Fowl was grinning, every tooth showing as he reached the first step to the stage, letting Batrire guide him up. After he was in the middle of the stage, Max moved to stand to one side of Fowl while Batrire stood on the other.

Dwarves, friends, and faction members! Max shouted, raising a hand to silence those chatting quietly. Tonight, we honor Fowl Hammerfall on his fiftieth birthday!

Applause and whistling came as Fowl fidgeted, wanting to take off the blindfold more than anything.

Tonight, may we celebrate his first stage of adulthood, and may his cup never run dry!

Cheers, and here heres came from the dwarves.

In a moment, the love of his life will take off the blindfold, letting him see life as a dwarf should. Surrounded by his kin and his family. Tonight, you are his family, as all dwarves celebrate together as one! May Fowls shield always be unbroken, may his hammer always strike true, and may his children make him praise Ockrim for the joy that they bring!

At those last words, the room was silent, tears flowing down the faces of many of the hardened dwarves who knew the truth of the words Max had spoken. He knew the oaths and the bond they shared.


She smiled and removed Fowls blindfold, causing the dwarf to squint for a moment as the multi-colored lights in the room revealed how full it was.

Happy birthday, Fowl Hammerfall! Batrire shouted, lifting her mans hand into the air.


The room echoed with the shout as over two hundred dwarves raised their hands or tankards into the air.

Fowl wiped away a tear and kissed Batrire, smiling as the band behind them began to play.

He then turned and grabbed Max, hugging him as tight as possible. I can never repay you, he declared, wiping tears from his face.

Sure you can. Just promise me youll harvest all the balls from now on, Max replied, grinning from ear to ear.

Fowl laughed and shook his head.

The party had just begun.

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