Ultimate Level 1

Chapter 158: Valuable Information
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Chapter 158: Valuable Information

“I’m sorry to see you four are back so soon,” the guard stated, frowning slightly. “Still, I am glad you didn’t die inside.”

Max looked at the other three, who were all nodding slowly.

“It was a lot scarier than we had imagined,” Talina said.

The female guard chuckled and nodded, pulling out her notes and writing something down.

“Still, thirty minutes is longer than most. The reports say that in the past, the few who have attempted are back within a minute. It seems you were at least braver than them.”

Nodding slowly, Max realized that time was obviously different in this dungeon than in the others.

“Well, at least we tried,” Max said, motioning to Fowl, who looked perplexed.

As they walked down the hallway, Fowl started to ask a question when Batrire gave him a gentle hip check. “Wait till the carriage, my love. Then we’ll talk.”

“So you’re telling me it was only thirty minutes outside the dungeon?” Fowl asked. “How is that possible?”

“Dimensional magic,” Tanila muttered, still flipping through a book she had pulled from a backpack in her storage. “I’m certain I read something about that in one of these books.”

“These books,” Max mocked as he leaned over, trying to read some of the elvish language written on the pages. “How many of these books do you have?”

“Enough,” Talina replied. “Now, give me a moment. I think I’m near where I remember it being mentioned.”

“But we did complete it,” Fowl said. “I have the boon listed on my status screen.”

“We all do,” Batrire added, “but I really want to know how you knew the gem when it was red was trapped. Was it your…”

Max nodded. “It’s been different lately. It's not as demanding… like it knows I won’t give in to the power, so it has changed since it evolved. I still need to figure out a lot, but it helped us in that fight.”

“And skills?” Fowl whispered.

Nodding, Max held up his hand while glancing at Tanila, who was still flipping through her book.

[Skill Description - Demonic Magic]


Demonic Magic—Rare Skill: The caster may activate magic from a different realm, unleashing unholy effects and damage. Curses persist for thirty minutes, and a random effect is determined when cast. Damaging bolts of power can be summoned, imparting weakening and other random effects. More information will be given as the ability is used. Requires two demonic essences per spell.


[Skill Description - Demonic Summing]


Demonic Summoning - Rare Skill: The caster may start a ritual to summon a demonic familiar. A successful summoning will result in a bound demon for one hour per fifty base intelligence. The caster must use blood for the summoning. Their own blood will result in a stronger demon, and the more given will also increase the strength of the familiar. Requires twenty demonic essences per summon. Cooldown of two days between summoning.


[Skill Description - Demonic Teleportation]


Demonic Teleportation- Epic Skill: The caster can move through the demonic plane, teleporting within fifteen meters of them. While moving through the plane, all momentum is kept. Some magical barriers will prevent teleportation from going through. Requires one demonic essence per cast. The cooldown is twenty seconds.


Fowl and Batrire sat silently as they watched Max’s face contort and change when he first started reading the descriptions only he could see. Suddenly, his eyes widened, and his mouth opened slightly.

“This is broken,” Max said quietly.

“What is?” Fowl asked, leaning across the small gap in the carriage to get closer to Max.

Talina put a finger where she was reading and turned to see what Max was talking about.

“Two skills I probably won’t use, though they are interesting. Demonic Magic and Summoning.”

“What?” hissed Talina. “You have those?”

He saw the look of shock and horror on her face and nodded.

“But how… oh wait, you said you consumed demonic essences, didn’t you?”

Chuckling, Max nodded and leaned over, kissing her on the cheek as she sat there still in disbelief. “You’re smarter than you let on. How you know all this and keep it secret is beyond my imagination.”

“Try growing up in a castle for as long as I did. You’ll be forced to spend many years reading because your parents won’t let you interact with others,” Talina groaned. “Books were my friend, and my parents' private library is massive.”

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“Yeah, I can’t imagine that life,” Fowl said. “Being waited on hand and foot, having whatever I want…”

“Never getting love or affection, being pitted against your siblings, being told you need to be strong and willing to use the power given to you by Thuyja. Yup, it's great,” she replied, leveling a glare at the dwarf across the carriage.

Batrire snickered as Fowl held his hands up and leaned back.

“Anyway,” Max continued, trying to help Fowl remove the foot from his mouth, “there is one spell that sounds really interesting: Demonic Teleportation.”

“That’s what the demon used!”

Max nodded at Fowl.

“It has a fifteen-yard range, which isn’t bad. The cost is low—only one essence per cast. The cooldown is pretty low, too—only twenty seconds.”

Tanila was biting her bottom lip as she squinted at him. “That’s a dangerous game, though. It’s a huge ability, but we can’t really show our hand with that. Imagine if someone learns you have that ability along with all your others…”

Groaning, Max nodded as he leaned his head back against the cart wall. “I had forgotten that… a fifth member…”

“We certain this is still the best idea?” Batrire asked. “I mean, is that kind of exposure and risk worth a fifth person?”

Everyone looked at each other, and Max nodded as they stared at him.

“We agreed that the risk could be greater than we anticipate. If we make one mistake, it could result in someone's death. I won’t risk your life when having a person who knows the tower and can help us survive and advance. Has our goal changed from trying to complete the tower?”

Their healer frowned and shook her head slowly. “No… it hasn’t…”

A moment of silence where they all dealt with the truth that they needed help and it would cost them to share their secrets.

“Forget the elf archer we’re getting,” Fowl said. “Do you think you could use that skill to teleport into the bank and steal a bunch of…”

Fowl saw the glare Batrire and Talina were giving him and slowly stopped talking.

“I doubt it,” Max said with a chuckle. “It won’t let me go through certain magical barriers, so I don’t think the demon could get through Batrire’s dome.” 𝑓𝑟𝑒𝑒𝔀𝓮𝘣𝘯𝘰𝘷𝑒𝓵.𝒸𝑜𝘮

“That would be too easy, I guess,” Fowl muttered.

“And wrong,” Batrire replied.

“I’m a dwarf. When has taking gold not nailed down or locked up been wrong?”

Sighing, Batrire nodded slowly.

“Anyways,” Max interjected, “when we get to Tom and Everett, we need to tell them what we learned. I’m guessing most keep this stuff secret, which will help with the Faction’s growth. Besides, we need to give back the rings and take a few days for our stuff to come off cooldown.”

“And a bath!” Talina exclaimed as she continued scanning words in her book. “I need a bath badly.”

Everett was writing as quickly as possible while Max and the others shared what they had experienced and the fight. Tom’s mouth never fully closed as he listened, standing again as he continually sat and stood.

“The demon at the end tried to cheat us, a red gem at the end, but something felt off, and when I challenged him, he gave in, admitted he was breaking some rule or contract, and then fixed it,” Max said. “I’m not certain what has been ordained or set up like it was talked about, but I have so many questions regarding everything I once thought I knew.”

A single grunt came from Tom as he shook his head, peering down at the book Everett was still writing in. It took a few minutes before their Faction leader finished, and he leaned back in his chair, cracking his knuckles and frowning.

“So much of this… I have even more questions now… Like you, there is much about our world I don’t know, and what I do has come with costs I don’t want to discuss.” Everett crossed his arms, and as he shook his head, he took a moment to look at the four of them. “The idea of climbing a dungeon wall, that was brilliant… I mean, I’ve heard of some amazing ways to get past a problem on a dungeon floor, but that…”

“Do you think it will work again?” Tom asked.

“I’m not certain. Still, good use of the spikes, driving them into the wall while Talina waited for her spells to come off cooldown. That kind of thinking is what I like to hear.”

Max nodded, grinning as he felt Talina elbow him.

“We’re going to take two days off and then attempt the last dungeon. Anything else we need to know or prepare?” their mage asked.

Tom and Everett shared a look, and both shook their heads.

“With what you just told us, I’m not certain anything we know would be applicable,” Tom informed them. “I’m just glad that those rings and potion worked.”

“And you’re certain it will be almost impossible for most groups of five even?” Everett asked.

“You want me to be truthful, right?”

Snorting, the older man nodded.

“Don’t send people in. It might be easier the next time, but something tells me that the demon in charge of the dungeon has been playing games and trying to skirt some agreement he is under. It might not be as bad in the coming months, but there were a few moments when I wondered if we had made the right choice.”

Grimacing, Tom looked at Everett and shook his head.

“That’s good to know,” Tom replied. “We were considering a team that may be joining our Faction, who are pretty solid. They're only level forty and not leveling as fast as you all did, but we considered it an option.”

“What about our new teammate?” Fowl asked, “Ignoring the current discussion. We were wondering when we would finally meet her.”

“After you get back from the dragon dungeon, we sent in a team to help them, and they will be returning. Word is that they lost a warrior, and things got grim, so… when you all do meet, remember to be gentle. Even though her team had made it past the fourth floor, let their loss serve as a reminder. Death is always around the corner in the tower.”

Batrire grimaced, recalling Max's words an hour or so ago.

“Anything else?”

Talina rose and nodded at Everett. “Actually, the four of us would like to use the skill stone to select our new skill, if that is okay.”

“You already decided on which ones you’re going to take?” Tom asked. “No need for advice on them?”

Everett chuckled as he watched his friend stammer, realizing they would not take up his offer to help with those choices.

“We’re good, but thank you,” Talina replied with a kind smile and a slight nod of her head. “As a team, we have done well so far and feel we know what’s best for us.”

Sighing, Tom motioned to the door. “I’ll take them. You can stay here and study your notes.”

Everett nodded and opened the book on his lap. “Be safe, you four. Come see us for anything we can do, and by anything, I mean it.”

Max and the others nodded, moving to follow Tom, who was already halfway to the door.

“I’ll leave you four in here,” Tom said as he opened the thick metal door with two guards standing outside it. “When you're done, just ring that bell on the other side, and they will open the door.”

As they walked into the room, Max felt a twinge of a memory from what felt so long ago.

“You ok?” Talina asked after the door was shut. “You look… scared.”

Frowning, Max nodded. “The last time I saw one of these, my whole life changed… and I ended up getting knocked unconscious by a woman, hogtied, and thrown into a cart.”

“Well, no cart in here,” Fowl teased, “but perhaps Batrire still has some rope.”

Groaning, Max rolled his eyes and stayed back along the wall, watching the clear crystal from afar. “You three can go ahead, I’m fine right here.”

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