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412 Fishing in Murky Waters

 "Is he going to follow us forever?" the Assassin asked as he took another look behind him.

Dave and his one hundred Death Knights were following closely behind the party. The bearded draugr shamelessly waved back after noticing the glance. Their mere presence following them everywhere gave the Devastators needless pressure. They were already suffering from the unexplored Underworld's cruelty.

The Priest answered in annoyance: "I don't know man, he didn't do anything except watch, when we got attacked by that Manticore, so who knows. I think he's just trying to tick us off."

"Yeah, that's a dick move... Anyway boss, what are we going to do next?"

"We'll follow the original plan and go to the Fourth Raid Zone," Warlord declared.

"Isn't it too soon?" Satan Slayer questioned, "We can grind here, the Manticores give out pretty good EXP after all."

"True, but they didn't leave any decent drops. The monsters in the Underworld will only give their best drops if they are killed for the first time, after that it's just pure damn luck. And Skelly here must have grinded this area dry. If we want any worthwhile loot without hoping for Albert to show us some mercy, we need to go someplace Skelly hasn't been to yet."

"What Valentine said is true, we'll have to risk it then," Satan Slayer sighed. He looked back at the relaxed Draugr and groaned.

"It's best we get to the Raid Zone and see what we can do there. Warlord did you check if we can summon more players to the Underworld. You should still have one of Jeffery's Mass Summon Prisms on you right?"

"Yeah, still do, I'll need to use it once we are out of sight. We want Skelly to think that our numbers are too small to take over the zone. Once he is out of sight we should be able to summon the party here."

"Didn't we agree to attack the East tomorrow?" the Assassin wondered.

"That's still happening. We will take both at the same time, we gotta risk it, this is the play that will catapult us to the top. Way out of reach from the other two Super Guilds and as a nice little bonus it'll ruin Skelly forever," Warlord explained with an evil smile on his face.

"Bold move," Valentine stated. But his tone betrayed his words, he was worried. Warlord caught on to it but didn't reply.

More Desert Scorpions and a Manticores appeared on their journey. They fought them hard and managed to beat them back. Grinding EXP in the process. Dave, however, didn't join any of the fights. He didn't even engage them with some small attack, so that he could leech some EXP, keeping his intentions mysterious and unfathomable to the rest of the players.

Soon after, the dark desert began receding, with more greenery appearing. The Fourth Raid Zone was clear and apparent in the distance.

The party picked up the pace, while Dave slowly followed behind. They had yet to experience the difficulty of raiding the Fourth Zone. And the limitation on the number of people that could enter at once.

The Fourth Raid Zone was a wide terrain filled with long rocky pillars. There were bushes and shrubs everywhere and greenery too rare to see in the Underworld.

Dave was somewhat familiar with the area, but the Drow Kingdom had yet to be conquered. Mainly due to the Sage that Dave had met the last time he was there, the powerful Demi-God that was able to fight the most powerful Abyssal Knight of the Undead Legion toe to toe.

Yet, these players had no knowledge of such a fact, as he never shared it. They would probably expect monsters and areas to raid and claim, only to meet utter destruction if they were unlucky enough to meet the sage.

Dave followed behind the players and waited until they decided to enter.

***

Warlord stood a few feet away from the first pillar, his eyes looking ahead. The moment he stepped forward a notification appeared in front of him.

***

You have set foot in the Fourth Raid Zone.

The Drow Kingdom.

*

Debuff applied [Trespasser]

Effects:

Using Teleportation Scrolls is forbidden.

The party entering the Drow Kingdom cannot surpass five members.

As players, Death in the Underworld is punishable by expulsion from the area. Dead players will be sent back to Limbo and once they revive, they will appear at the last Teleportation Gate they accessed.

Every party will be teleported to a different location. Beware, once you are inside the Drow Kingdom, you will have to keep a low profile else you risk exposing your presence.

The inhabitants of the Drow Kingdom are extremely hostile and territorial. If you are spotted trespassing, you will face the wrath of the cursed Elves. Move with caution.

To conquer the Fourth Raid Zone {Drow Kingdom}, one must satisfy the following condition.

Obtaining the three Nodes of Damlacaous from the three guardians of the area.

Node of Durability: Has already been claimed. You must find the person in possession to proceed in conquering the area.

Node of Life: Obtainable by defeating the [Mother Flower]

Node of Power: Has already been claimed. You must find the person in possession to proceed in conquering the area.

***

"What does this even mean?" The Assassin wondered aloud.

"We'll have to split our party, do a five-man party each. I think it's a nerfing condition for this area. So we don't abuse the party advantages."

"Shouldn't be that much of a problem, we could split the party and still go with each other." The Priest suggested.

"Yes, but the general buffs are weaker. We'll also have to be careful not to attack each other by mistake. This is problematic." Satan Slayer argued.

"This might actually turn out to be a good thing. Think about it, if this is applied to us, don't you think the same will happen to Skelly? If he goes inside, he'll only be able to invite four Death Knights instead of his one hundred, we can then take him down if he still insists on annoying us," the Assassin concluded.

"This condition might only be a problem for players. But if it does hinder Skelly, then things might change," Warlord said grimly.

As the Devastators had presumed Dave found himself in a predicament. Unlike the players who could group in small parties, he could only take five Death Knights at most as a company. This, of course, would make him easy prey for the players. But, unlike the rest of the party members, he still had many tricks up his sleeves.

Dave entered the area after the players, keeping most of his Death Knights outside while taking four of the best among them in.

Singund, Spark, the Tengu, and Dog. The Four Death Knights had proven themselves in most of Dave's raids and quests, and they were undoubtedly the best among the best. He could have also summoned Bud, but the Shadow Ghoul Death Knight had a much more important job to take care of at the moment.

Still even with one Ghoul down, with his current entourage, he had nothing to fear.

Dave summoned his Basilisk Grumpy, as did Dog. Singund rode on his war-boar. Spark had may not have had a unique mount, but a Dunlord was perfect for the Mage, while the Tengu took to the skies with his wings.

Once Dave entered and moved away from the notification regarding the disadvantages of the area. He noticed that he had appeared in a location completely different from the last time he was here.

He read through the notification again and realized that the Drow Kingdom seemed to have a setting which would teleport parties of five to different areas, making grouping together harder for raiding parties.

This was a good thing, as Dave now was certain that even if he encountered the Devastators, he would not be ganged up upon. If they decide to try something funny, a five against five was a far better situation to handle than fighting the entire raiding party.

"Singund, can you sniff out any of our friends?" Dave asked.

"I can't find their scent, but there is a strong smell coming from the north, awfully sweet, like blossoming flowers, yuck," the orc spoke disgustedly.

"Oh, that might be the last bosses locations." Dave figured the Flower of Life could be nearby. Dave still remembered the first boss they fought had been extremely durable and hard to kill. If not for the intervention of Dortha, Dave would have had to give up the fight as he didn't have the firepower necessary to take down that creature. Still it was quite the juicy target. After all it was the last boss left, before he could gain the last Node and conquer the Raid Zone. Perhaps he could somehow use Warlord and the rest to at least weaken it for him...

"Let's move north then, stay wary. There are Drows everywhere. Once we are discovered they'll come at us in waves." Dave cautioned the Death Knights and moved ahead.