5 Chapter 5 Not So Tough After All

With his new gear, Cain is getting quite confident in his chances of making big money today in the second dungeon. He didn't really want to share the loot with anyone, so he plans to try the first run alone. After all, at level 10 he got a third golem from his [Summon Lesser Golem] spell.

With the upgrade the mana cost increased and it takes most of his mana to activate now, but that's alright, they're tough. He won't have to refresh them often. When he arrives at the lineup though, everyone is in groups and the other groups are clearly laughing at him.

"I don't know what's so funny" Cain mumbles as the gate guard waves him through with a smirk. He summons his Golems and waits the ten seconds for his mana to recover. Now he's ready to face the dungeon.

Again the dungeon is a cavern, but this time coated in soot from torches and some unidentified foul smelling ichor that Cain is much happier not having identified. 

The first pull is three goblins, easy. They're waist tall, not much bigger than his clay Golems, and he just upgraded their strength and durability. He sends his Golems in to attack and the little green monsters are quickly occupied, easy targets for his arrows. The goblins drop in only a few hits and he moves on, finding a dire wolf, nearly twice the size of a regular wolf, with silver and black fur, accompanied by two goblins.

The fight has just started when the wolf howls, pulling in matching groups from both sides of Cain, trapping him and forcing him to fight in melee. The Dire Wolves are big, and he needs breathing room, so he tries calling his Golems back, only to find them trapped too.

That's when things start going wrong. A hit to the side knocks him over, forcing him back, firing poison arrows at the Dire Wolves wildly as he retreats. But they don't charge him, they turn on the Golems. All 3 are down quickly with the increased damaged from attacks to the back. Leaving Cain all alone and without the mana to Summon them right away.

"Potion, get my health back and buy time" he thinks retreating.

[Only Available Under Level 10] 

Not Good. The newbie potions don't work anymore. He's below half health, but he's got almost enough mana to bring the Golems back. He just can't fire any arrows until then.

He's retreated almost to the entrance when he can finally bring back the Golems. They stage a valiant effort, dropping all but one Dire Wolf and a few goblins before being destroyed.

A notification informs him of a blue quality item drop just as a Dire wolf claw digs into his upper arm, tearing his shirt, and Cain decides it's best to live to fight another day, jumping back out the portal and knocking over the incoming group to uproarious laughter.

"Get anything good rookie?" The warrior under him asks with a smile and Cain nods.

"New Sword" he grimaces at the pain when he moves, and a large man in shining armor puts a hand on his injured shoulder, healing him.

"You can enter with a full group at level 10 and succeed if you're smart, but the Wolves are level 20, the goblins 15." The Paladin laughs.

"Now that you know, go have breakfast and find a group if you want to hunt here."

That advice sounds good, so Cain stumbles down the twisting streets towards the Cafe in humiliation. Experience drops off hard at level 10 in the first dungeon, but he can't do the second alone. What will he do? Get stuck grinding and languish in the rookie area?

His Meatloaf is almost done when the Healer from the other day, Misha comes in with her party.

"I know we need more crowd control for that last pull" Misha says to her tank "But that's not something I can do. I'm squishy with not a lot of HP. I can't hold them and I'm not fast enough to make them chase me."

This is a good chance for Cain. He knows their Healer, so maybe they'll take him on, despite them all being over level 20 except Misha.

"Did you guys need one more? I can Summon 3 Golems that can hold monsters, at least most of them." Cain asks the party sitting just down the row of vinyl clad booths from him.

"Didn't you just get wiped in there?" The shorter Mage asks.

They're all humans, both Mages teenage boys on the small and slender side, the Warrior that is Tanking doesn't look any older, but a bit wiser and definitely more muscular. Cain has noticed the same of himself ever since he increased his stats, his body has been filling out and becoming more physically imposing. He doesn't have a ruler to measure, but he's sure he's even grown a little in his already impressive height. 

"Well, yeah, but that was alone. With a group to increase the damage they can take the beating." What he didn't mention is that another 4 people will also add another 80 percent experience, making this trip very worthwhile.

"Tell you what, you can be our off tank to the first boss. If you're competent you can finish with us, if not we'll kick you. That work?"

"Yeah, that's fine" Cain shrugs, certain he will be fine with this extra help.

Once everyone has eaten they head back to the dungeon, ready to face danger once again. The first few packs are easy, warriors get [Shield Bash] at level 10, which stuns monsters for a few seconds, preventing the Dire Wolves from calling for help.

Everything is smooth to the first boss, a huge Hobgoblin, with two Goblin commander sidekicks. They're like regular goblins, but with better looking equipment and nearly twice as large. One of them smells horrendous though, and Cain is willing to bet it's the hobgoblin.

"Take the two commanders while we down the boss. Without their assistance we've got this." The tank, Joop42 by his name tag, says.

For a moment Cain gives thanks his first name selection didn't work.

There's something off about the mages though, they've only used flame strike the entire dungeon. Nothing else.

Cain commands his Golems to grab one commander while he himself gets the other, drawing both back towards the edge of the room while the Tank draws the boss back and the mages start their flame strike barrage.

A perfect pull. It takes nearly five minutes for the others to down the boss, and Cain has almost finished with the commanders. His poison arrow does 1 percent of the targets life every second, plus its initial strike, and it has greatly depleted both commanders after he finally got the second one to attack the Golems.

For her part, Misha was perfect on the healing. She only has two spells, a big heal and a single target heal over time effect. The slow regeneration was enough to keep the Golems alive, and Cain only ended up recasting them once after a tag team special by the commanders brought them very low.

[Level Up] [Level 11]

[Level Up] [Level 13]

Cain and Misha both got notices at the same time when the last monster fell. Misha was startled, from experience she knew it should have taken her almost this whole dungeon to level up, but she made it at boss 1 of 3. She gives Cain a questioning look, her blue eyes flashing with curiosity, but he shakes his head and looks at the others to say 'Not now', hoping she understands.

"You've got the skills rookie, even if you are under leveled." the tank congratulates him.

"Thanks. In here I'll Level Up in a hurry, it's all over my Level, so it gives extra." Cain explains, stating the obvious, and the others get ready to head for the second boss.

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