The dungeon was actually the city’s actual “dungeons,” where the city’s prisoners were kept. Players had to fight through corridors full of prisoners that had escaped, aiding the city prison guards in quelling the riot. Towards the end of the dungeon they would reach a coliseum where normally, prisoners were forced to battle each other for the amusement of some of SunYin’s wealthier residents. Once there, the players would meet the “mastermind” behind the riots, FenYi. Upon destroying the prisoners fighting guards in the center of the coliseum, FenYi would descend down to the coliseum and they would have to kill him in waves. Once his health bar reached 90%, 70% and 25%, he would call prisoners to protect him – FenYi would recover his health until all of the prisoners were dealt with.
Luna, Liolac and Raza felt confident in the new armor and weapons they had gotten from running the dungeon the night before. They had even been able to get a pet accessory for Momocha, who was sporting the pink ribbon with joy. Chi was scared but excited – he had never thought that he would be able to participate in dungeons like this that were exclusively for heroes. Raza had been worried that Chi wouldn’t be able to even enter the dungeon and let out a sigh of relief when he stumbled out of the portal next to them.
“I’ll go out in front of you guys and tank the mobs, Raza and Liolac dps like you did last night – except Liolac, go a bit slower since we’re not a full party. Chi, stay behind everyone and save your mana for healing, okay?”
They all nodded, although Liolac looked disappointed. Luna pointed her sword at him. “I swear, Liolac, if you go around aggroing a bunch of mobs like last night, I will take the penalty for a same faction PK and make you spawn in the graveyard. Got it?”
Liolac pouted. “Okaaaaay, fiiiine.”
Luna lead the way to the first dungeon corridor and leapt into the first group of prisoners being fought by NPC guards.
“Hey! Hey!! You guys right there!!” The party turned to look into the cell the voice was coming from. There stood a tall man with white tiger ears and tail, waving his arms out of the jail doors.
“Yes?” Raza stepped forward as the rest of the party looked uncertain about approaching this stranger.
“Let me out of here, please? I wouldn’t help the others with their stupid riot so they left me in here. I was falsely imprisoned and I just want to go home to my family!”
“And how do we know you’re telling the truth? For all we know, you could actually be a crazy serial killer they didn’t let out because you would have killed them. I mean… you are in prison. We don’t know if you were falsely or rightly imprisoned and I’m more inclined to not let you out since it’s more likely that you’re lying to us.”
“My name’s Curtis and I swear to you, on the life of my children, that I am innocent! Please! I wasn’t able to call out to the other heroes who came into this dungeon, I just want to go home!”
Chi tapped Raza’s shoulder. “Maybe he’s telling the truth? We haven’t really met any bad people so far who have been able to talk to us like this…”
Raza frowned and turned to face Chi. “Just because you haven’t run into bad people yet doesn’t mean that this guy’s a good person. I mean, we don’t know exactly what’s going on with you and why you’re… different. What if he’s some crazy deranged murderer and he’s just tricking us? What if he tries to kill me? Or you? We still don’t know what would happen if you died.”
“I feel like he’s not a bad person, Raza. Let’s let him free! Maybe he’s a quest.” Liolac hopped in place, eager to keep moving. “I mean, if he really tries to kill us, we can just fight him. And there’s the whole… he doesn’t have weapons thing. What if he’s a really good person and he’s stuck here forever?”
The three of them turned to Luna, who had remained silent the entire time. She stared at Curtis, trying to figure out from his expression whether she felt safe letting him out or not. She found it odd that he hadn’t called out to them the night before, but thought that maybe the only reason he was able to call out to them was because of Chi’s presence. She was wary, especially after hearing Raza’s words calling him a possible murderer. He looked at her with pleading eyes, his white and black tail swishing from side to side behind him.
“Chi, what do you think?” Chi was scared but lost. He knew what it was like to be away from family but how could he know if this man was lying or not? He looked at the man standing behind bars and felt a tug on his heart. He didn’t want him to be stuck here forever, the way he had thought he was stuck when he had been a normal NPC.
“Let’s… let him out. I don’t want him to be stuck here forever… I wasn’t behind bars but I know what it felt like to be stuck in one place for months with no control over myself. It’s worse than hell. We should let him be with his family.”
Luna nodded. “Okay, I agree. Let’s let him out. But how do we find the key?”
Curtis’s eyes lit up and he pointed to a guard’s corpse in front of the cell across from his. “That guy was in charge of this corridor! He has the keys! Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
Raza frowned. Something didn’t feel right about this guy to her, but since Luna, Chi and Liolac seemed to want to set him free, she didn’t say anything. She felt accepted by them but was still scared of chasing them off. She glanced at Curtis, who saw her looking and gave her a grin. He winked at her and she lunged towards Liolac, who had pushed the key into the cell door.
“Wait, don’t – “ The door swung open.
Curtis leapt out and Raza pulled her spear from her back holster about to attack him when she realized that Curtis was just hugging Liolac. His ears were twitching and his tail swished around as he hugged the shorter boy with a big smile on his face.
“Thank you soooooooooo much!!” He let go to give Luna and Chi hugs. Luna held up her hand to stop him but Chi accepted the hug. Raza coughed, embarrassed, and put away her spear. Curtis gave both Liolac and Chi pats on their head and left the way they had come with another word of thanks.
“He seems like a nice guy!” Raza nodded, her cheeks pink from embarrassment. No one but Luna had even noticed Raza pulling out her spear and Luna chose not to say anything after seeing her blush. They pushed forward in the dungeon until they reached the coliseum.
“Everyone have enough potions? Chi, give us fresh buffs. Do you remember what we told you about this fight? Move close to Liolac when he calls the prisoners at 90, 70 and 25 percent since they’ll be coming in from all around us.”
“I’m ready!” Chi held his staff nervously, excited to be in his first “real” battle. He stayed a bit behind Liolac as Luna and Raza charged forward, attacking the prisoners who were fighting more guards. FenYi jumped down to the center of the coliseum from where he had been sitting high above them – a balcony seating area usually reserved for the higher echelons of SunYin’s wealthy.
Luna jumped in first, slamming her shield into his chest with her body adding weight to the attack. Raza dashed behind FenYi to get more damage by attacking his back.
“Shit!” Luna flew back as she failed to block one of his attacks. Raza quickly cast three stunning attacks in succession so that Luna could jump back to her feet. “Sorry, sorry!”
“I got you, Luna! Don’t worry about it!” Raza pinned FenYi’s pants down into the ground with her spear as Luna ran back to them. Chi found himself enjoying the battle as he healed Luna and Raza, jumping this way and that to evade FenYi’s periodic ranged attacks with his extending sword.
FenYi’s health bar ticked down to 90% and he shouted, “Prisoners, come to my aid!” and five prisoners came running into the coliseum wielding various weapons. Luna stayed fighting FenYi, evading attacks and blocking when she could while Raza ran straight to Liolac and Chi. Liolac cast a spell that put a circle of blue fire around the three of them and Chi cast a shielding spell that appeared as a shimmering, transparent dome around them. Raza and Liolac countered the prisoners attacking them without worry of injury until the shield ran out. It cracked like glass around them, the pieces floating down like snow.
“Guys! You missed one!” Luna hacked away at the recovering FenYi in order to generate more threat and to attempt to mitigate some of his recovery. She was finding it difficult to both tank FenYi and the prisoner attacking her and leapt back to do cast a flying stun. Before FenYi and the prisoner could run after her, she jumped into the air, raising her sword above her head. She slammed it down into the ground and lightning shot out from her sword, surrounding both FenYi and the prisoner, stunning them in place.
Raza ran to her to help kill the stray prisoner they had missed and yelped when FenYi suddenly broke free of the stun with a roar that threw all of them towards the walls of the coliseum. Dazed, they stood up to find that the prisoners were dead and FenYi was still at the center. Liolac and Chi had been thrown in the same direction while Raza and Luna were further apart.
Liolac shouted, “What the hell was that?!”
FenYi had not used a spell like this the night before and confused, they tried to regroup. To their shock and horror, FenYi dashed straight towards Liolac and Chi. Chi hastily cast the shield spell again and healed both himself and Liolac. He attempted to heal Luna and Raza but found that they were too far away. FenYi brought his fists down over the two boys and the shield held as Liolac attempted to cast his more powerful spells in a panicked attempt to defeat FenYi before he attacked them again.
“Lio, Chi! Run towards me!” Luna scrambled up, grabbing the sword she had dropped as she ran towards her lightly armored comrades. “Momocha! Summon cloudberry!”
They hadn’t used Momocha’s battle skills earlier in the dungeon. They had wanted to save her for the boss fight and Luna was thankful that the group had talked about it beforehand so that Liolac wouln’t use Momocha’s skills for fun. Momocha ate the cloudberry and transformed into the white-haired form they had encountered at the Hesiod’s lair. Momocha ran ahead of Luna, flying into FenYi’s back with a kick.
Liolac and Chi scrambled to get away before FenYi brought his fists down one more time. The boys separated, running around FenYi to run towards Luna. FenYi turned around and ran after Chi, thrusting his sword towards Chi. It extended and stabbed him in the back. With a flick, Chi was dragged back towards FenYi. Momocha roared in anger and her feet glowed as she jumped onto the sword’s extension, breaking it in half. Chi fell to the floor, groaning.
Liolac ducked FenYi’s sword and grabbed Chi’s arm. He pulled him towards Luna, who ran past them towards FenYi. “Heal yourself! Hurry, I’m going to try to get aggro again!”
Chi threw a healing spell that would heal her slowly over time towards Luna and put his hand on himself to heal his wound. Liolac and Chi were horrified to find that the sword was stuck in his back no matter what spells Chi cast. Liolac attempted to pull the broken sword from Chi’s back but it refused to budge. Raza ran to them to try to help but Liolac waved her away.
“I’ll try to do something about this, go help Luna!” Raza threw a potion on the ground before them before running off. She had bought a potion that lessened threat from the cash shop just in case and she was hoping this would deter FenYi. Unfortunately, as Raza ran towards Luna and Momocha, FenYi stomped his foot on the ground, creating cracks in the ground that made them all lose their footing. Liolac and Chi were still trying to figure out how to pull out the sword when FenYi reached them. The man stood above them, smiling.
“Chi, I am glad you came here. You cannot live and I will be rewarded for bringing about your end.”
Chi pushed Liolac out of the way as FenYi brought down his broken sword down upon him. Chi’s quick movement made FenYi miss his target – Chi’s heart. He stabbed Chi in the leg, angrily pulling it out as Chi screamed in pain. Luna, Raza, Momocha and Liolac all screamed as FenYi raised his sword again, this time driving it straight into Chi’s heart.