As soon as Marvin and Lola appeared at the entrance of the large cave, one of the silhouettes by the lakeside noticed their existence.
The large cave was a naturally formed hole which faintly glimmered. Those were some precious stones, probably night pearls.
There was a house by the lakeside with two braziers on fire, illuminating the surroundings.
The other side’s perception must be quite high to be able to spot them arriving from so far away.
But Marvin also didn’t bother to hide.
He confidently walked in.
The two figures by the lakeside met the newcomer with vigilance. They were each holding onto two daggers.
They were both Thieves.
Only when they were rather close did Lola suddenly cry out in alarm.
Marvin frowned and turned to glare at her. Lola immediately didn’t dare to say anything else.
But her eyes were still curiously sizing up these two Halflings living in seclusion in this place.
‘Didn’t Sir Marvin say he was going to meet an old friend? Why didn’t these two Halflings recognize him?"
The girl’s thoughts were filled with doubts.
"Hello, Mister Tucker, please allow me to introduce myself. I am White River Valley’s current Overlord, Marvin."
"Your neighbor, that is."
Marvin displayed a sincere smile, and extended a hand toward the older Halfling.
The latter hesitated before forcing himself to shake hands with Marvin.
"You know my name?"
Marvin explained, "A scholar told me about this tunnel. My territory urgently needs food, and I need to go to Jewel Bay to buy it. There would definitely not be enough time if I went through the main road. I could only take the risk and fight. The scholar told me you might give me some guidance."
"Scholar?" Old Tucker coldly snorted, "Which senseless Wizard?"
"Only those Wizards able to use Divination and Inspection spells could check this place."
"Even hiding under this mountain isn’t peaceful."
The old Halfling muttered to himself for a while before looking at Marvin and saying,"You seem somewhat familiar."
"Oh that’s right, you said you were some place’s Overlord?"
Marvin froze for a moment. He knew from his past life that there was a secluded Halfling expert living in seclusion in the Spider Crypt that could help with the most difficult part of the mountain pass. Thus he came here to try his luck.
Marvin had run a few instances of the Spider Crypt in the past, and thus was very familiar with Old Tucker. Saying he was an old friend wasn’t pushing it.
But he hadn’t expected that him being the Overlord of White River City would lead to some unexpected matter.
He quickly answered very sincerely, "White River Valley…"
"Ah. I know!" The old Halfling displayed an expression of realization. "Last time there was a group of Gnolls who came down the hill that coincidentally bumped into me. They yammered about wanting to attack a territory, wasn’t it your territory?"
"Looks like those Gnolls failed?"
Marvin nodded, displaying a helpless expression, "Unfortunately, our granary was burnt by that bunch of Gnolls."
"My people are suffering from hunger."
"I have to bring enough food back to the territory within a week. This shortcut is the quickest way I could find."
The old Halfling looked at Marvin, apparently verifying whether Marvin’s words were true or not.
A long time later, he nodded, "Well, watching so many people starve to death isn’t in my nature."
"I can help you a bit, but after you succeed, you have to tell me which loathsome Wizard told you about the place I was living in seclusion."
Marvin agreed with a smile.
This was a lot simpler.
The Spider Crypt was a lower difficulty instance, but it still required several players to group up to clear it.
One of the reasons was the Black Spiders’ special properties, but the most important part was that in addition to the twelve Black Spiders, a Red Spider with a Hero-like build was living here.
This spider had at least the strength of the 3rd rank, and moreover, she had gained wisdom and given herself a name, [Elizabeth].
This monster was not only strong, but also very cunning. She usually pretended to be an ordinary Black Spider to lower the vigilance of approaching adventurers, thanks to her skin being able to freely change color.
She could also speak the Common Language, enticing some simple adventurers by saying she was a young lady who had been cursed into a spider, asking them to lend a hand and save her.
Of these simple minded adventurers, most ended up in Elizabeth’s stomach.
The reason Marvin seeked out Old Tucker’s help was the existence of this Red Spider.
To bring back food from Jewel Bay, he had to thoroughly clear out the tunnel.
Twelve Black Spiders and one Red Spider Elizabeth.
The Black Spiders were nothing much, but compared to the Red Spider’s strength, Marvin’s strength was a bit weak.
Of course, if he could use the Beast-shape Shapeshift, Marvin could simply slap all those monsters into bits and pieces.
But unfortunately, the Beast-shape option was still grayed out, and he didn’t know when he could activate it again.
This reflected the drawbacks of his subclass.
The biggest shortcoming of Sorcerers was the uncertainty, and Shapeshift Sorcerers took that shortcoming to the extreme!
If he could turn his body into the Asuran Bear, Marvin simply wouldn’t need Old Tucker’s help.
But he wouldn’t lose much by seeking Old Tucker’s help, as that Halfling usually had a very good heart.
The reasons this guy lived in seclusion here were that firstly, he wanted to be peaceful, and secondly, it was considered as a self imprisonment. Old Tucker had made a great mistake when he was young. Even though he got redemption in the end, he still couldn’t forgive himself, so he came the Shrieking Mountain Range alone, found this crypt, and kept hiding under the Mountain Range, living a life in seclusion.
Old Tucker was a 3rd rank Thief. If Marvin remembered correctly, he was a level 9 Thief, and a level 4 Tracker for a total level of 13.
His fighting abilities were weaker than that of most 3rd ranks, but his Stealth and Hide were very powerful. Coupled with the Innate Halfling Stealth bonus, he could move as he pleased in the Spider Crypt.
That young Halfling at his side was an orphan he had picked up in Jewel Bay. Very rarely would an Halfling child be abandoned by his parents. Old Tucker adopted him. As was their wont, the name was inherited following the Halflings’ simple tradition.
In Marvin’s memories, Little Tucker would give a side-quest. But right now he was busy settling his territory’s food issue, so he couldn’t waste energy being side-tracked and also didn’t have much to say.
Little Tucker was also a Thief and was currently at peak 1st rank. The small guy’s talent was pretty good. He would be regarded as very outstanding among Feinan’s inhabitants.
If he could, Marvin would even think about kidnapping Little Tucker.
But unfortunately, he knew about Halflings’ stubbornness. Although this race was enthusiastic, they would never be easily convinced by an outsider.
Before he had a good enough impression on Old Tucker, he wouldn’t be able to abduct that small Halfling.
The party immediately left the lakeside to return to the main road and continue forward.
With the two Halflings joining the ranks, the team speed suddenly accelerated a lot.
Old Tucker took the lead, and he was really too familiar with this tunnel. He would have to take this path every time he went out to purchase necessary items.
Whenever a Black Spider appeared, Old Tucker wouldn’t make a move, letting Marvin soloing it.
And Marvin also wouldn’t avoid doing it. After slaughtering the third Black Spider, let alone Little Tucker having an admiring gaze, even the old Halfling had a whole new level of respect for Marvin.
"Very exquisite moves and blade techniques, very rarely seen at your age. You definitely must have had a great master," Old Tucker said.
Marvin smiled, not expressing his opinion.
His skills were honed after countless battles. And a Master teaching him how to use skills? No way.
Marvin and Tucker were in front, followed by Little Tucker and Lola who felt quite safe.
The bored Lola, due to her curiosity towards Halflings, kept asking questions to Little Tucker.
Little Tucker was very shy. He kept his mouth shut while being constantly questioned by Lola. If not for the darkness, his red face might have been exposed.
As the four people continued onwards, the number of Black Spiders killed by Marvin already reached nine.
But that Red Spider Elizabeth had yet to appear.
"Should be close by," Old Tucker said in a heavy voice.
"Everyone be careful. The Red Spider can shoot flames, the poisonous kind of flames. I don’t have the suitable antidote on me." After saying this, he nodded toward Little Tucker.
The latter immediately entered Stealth.
Little Tucker’s stealth was still quite strong. At least he wouldn’t be found by the Red Spider and become a liability.
The old Halfling stuck his ear to the ground and listened for a bit. He suddenly made a gesture to Marvin before also entering Stealth!
Marvin understood Old Tucker’s meaning and immediately leaned his body to the side.
In an instant, only Lola was left in the tunnel, holding a burning torch.
The girl somewhat reacted. "What are you doing?"
"Why are you all hiding?"
The next instant, her expression changed!
That damned Marvin, couldn’t he be the bait himself?
"Hey! Quickly come out!"
She lifted her torch and dagger, and yelled out in fear, "Damn Marvin! I helped you…"
Her voice abruptly stopped.
Because at this time, a thumping sound started echoing from the tunnel!
A huge silhouette unhurriedly crawled over.
She supported a huge abdomen as she stuck to the tunnel wall.
Lola lifted her torch, already filled with fear.
She suddenly raised her dagger toward the spider and bluffed, "Don’t approach!"
"One more step and I’ll kill you!"
That spider ignored her and kept slowly moving forward. Lola wanted to move back, but how could she have thought that another spider would appear behind her!
"Finished, screwed!" Lola shivered from fear, falling on her butt and yelling while sobbing, "It’s like the Jiska said!"
"[Swimming Fish]’s men are unreliable!"
But at that time, a calm voice echoed beside her ear, "Shut up!"
A flash of light suddenly appear on her left side, as Marvin rolled and arrived at the back legs of the spider!
And on the other side, Old Tucker suddenly acted!
His dagger was as fast as lightning, and the anguished wailing of a spider could be heard!
Marvin was just as ruthless. After a simple combo, this spider’s life was over!
But when he turned to look at Old Turker, the latter had also killed a spider.
Both of their expressions immediately turned grave!
Those two were ordinary Black Spiders...
‘Fuck! This Red Spider is craftier than in the game! It’s actually able to see through our bait! Using two Black Spiders as probes!’
Marvin’s heart turned cold, immediately checking his surroundings.
Suddenly, a ball of fire was shot out from a distant location, flying toward everyone!
This ball of fire was very wide, taking up almost half the tunnel!
Marvin squinted and unhesitantly dragged Lola to the ground and covered her!
The fire whistled past his ear, almost setting his clothes on fire.
On the other side, Old Tucker also protected Little Tucker.
But they had already lost their advantage.
The Red Spider already knew they were there. She didn’t directly appear, instead disappearing at the end of the tunnel!
She would use every means to kill them. And this place was her home!
"Fuck! This is troublesome!" Marvin angrily pushed the ground.
But he hadn’t expected the ground to be so soft.
Author’s Note: Lore – Feinan’s Astrological Signs
07.12-07.27: Bright Crab
07.28-08.13: Swimming Fish
08.14-08.26: Sea King
08.27-09.14: Fire Dragon
09.31-10.12: Copper Mirror
10.28-11.11: Magic Vase
11.12-11.25: Sky Wolf
11.26-12.09: Wizard Ruler
12.10-12.25: Dragon Hawk
12.26-01.10: Windy Cliff
01.11-01.15: Snow Woman
01.16-02.01: Ash Cloud
02.01-02.17: Silver Fox
03.18-04.06: Gold Bell
04.22-05.11: Sky Dog
05.12-05.26: Flying Snake
05.26-06.13: Great Bear
06.13-06.26: Small Bear
These are the astrological signs in Feinan, and each sign has a relevant story. The specific lore will slowly be added bit by bit. Everyone can check what astrological sign they are in Feinan.