1 Daily life in a Dungeon

"You! Give me some water!" One of Arnold's employers barked at him.

"Yes sir," Arnold replied rummaging through the gigantic brown bag he was carrying on his back.

"Oye! Give me one too!" The Tank from the Employer's guild shouted.

"Yes, Sir!" Arnold replied finally getting hold of two water bottles from his backpack and running over to the guild's tank and warrior, but he didn't immediately back off after giving them the water bottles.

He was thirsty as well but he wasn't allowed to use the resources of the guild without the leader's permission, so he just stood there and stared at the tank hoping he would be kind enough to give him some water without cutting his payoff. But till he was allowed to do so, he could only gulp down his saliva to quench his thirst.

"You want something?" EL, the warrior asked him in an arrogant tone.

"Kind sir, we have been roaming in the dungeon for a really long time, and my supplies have been drained. Could you offer me some water, sir?" Arnold replied in the humblest voice he could muster, bowing before the blonde warrior who was clad in expensive glowing white armour.

"Is that so?" The warrior scratched his chin, "Here, take this."

Arnold was shocked that his request was approved and quickly looked up at the warrior, but instead of giving him water, the warrior spat on his face and everyone around him started laughing at him.

"Oh, kind sir! Oh great, sir... haha, this guy is too funny! He actually thought I was going to give him anything! Hilarious... oh god my stomach is hurting from laughing so much!" The warrior roared with laughter.

This was a daily occurrence for Arnold, but it didn't make him feel any better. Day after day he had endured these humiliations and hope that one day everything would be better. Even though porters were official members of various guilds, their position was even worse than that of stray dogs.

It had been the same ever since these mysterious dungeons started popping up out of nowhere. The strong grew stronger, and the weak got weaker. There was no justice in this world, only power, and only the ones with power had the right to decide what was right and what was wrong.

Arnold didn't utter a word, he simply wiped his face on the tattered and oversized robe he was wearing and silently went to stand in the back. He couldn't do anything to them with his skinny frame, so he did what he had learned, to curse his fate and cry on the inside.

"Why are you just standing there, you moron! Start gathering the beast crystals!" A female mage, who was wearing top-tier armour shouted at him.

"Yes, ma'am!" Arnold shouted back and started hacking the dead monster's bodies apart, one could say he was taking his frustration out on the dead beasts.

You might be wondering, if his job is so miserable then why is he working as a porter? It was because of his sister, Nicole, who was in the government hospital, and even though doing this job he didn't earn much, there was a benefit from joining a first-tier guild and it was: free treatment of Nicole. For the sake of his sister, he had to endure it all, the low pay, the humiliation, everything. But it wasn't always like this...

Five years ago, before the dungeons started appearing out of nowhere, his family was really rich, his father was one of the most successful businesspeople in Asia and to say he was filthy rich wouldn't be an overstatement at all.

His family was a big happy family back then. But then one of the first dungeons appeared in the city of Shanghai, the city was destroyed, and both his mother and father died during 'The Great Shanghai Disaster'.

All of his father's money, company, and everything were taken away from him by his uncle, who refused to give them a single penny and kicked them out of their own home. Knowing that they don't have a way to survive in the city anymore, the 17 years old, Arnold withdrew whatever little money he had in his bank account and left China to go to America, the land of his mother, Alessa.

Initially, everything was fine, and Arnold was working as a receptionist in an MNC (Multinational corporation/company). But then the tragedy of Shanghai followed Arnold to Florida, and everything changed. Even though the American military was able to suppress the monsters, an unexpected epidemic spread throughout the continent, and Nicole got infected with the virus.

The epidemic brought various reforms with itself, those who survived the epidemic got mysterious powers, powers that made the military useless. Some individuals got extraordinary abilities like shape-shifting, two lives, superhuman healing abilities, inhumane strength and agility, foresight and so much more.

As a result, the military was let go of, and various private and governmental guilds took its place. Everyone who wasn't infected was scanned for abilities using PRSDs (Power registering systems and devices). No one knew How they worked as the government was tight-lipped about it all, but they could rank a person's ability into various classes ranging from 'E' to 'S', but a few extraordinary individuals were known for surpassing these limits and achieving a grade of S+ and SS.

While there were a dozen superhumans of S+ ability, so far, there were only 3 individuals ranked as SS superhumans. One was America's John Miller, China's Yu Zhung, and lastly Brazil's Nicholas Fernandez.

They were considered weapons deadlier than a dozen nuclear missiles. But when Arnold was called for the scan, his abilities barely registered as E level, and that's when his life got even worse. No private guild would have hired him so he had to join a governmental guild which forced him to work as a porter. The only good thing that came out of this ordeal was the free treatment of his sister, and that was the most important thing, much more important than his pride.

"Yo Porter, we're going deeper inside the dungeon. Light the way." Lance, the African American mage said and dragged Arnold in front of the team, shoving him against a wall.

"What are you doing?" The team's healer said, spiriting towards Arnold.

"Don't worry, Alice... I mean, ma'am, I'm used to this treatment." Arnold replied.

He then took out half a dozen glow sticks and threw them one by one deeper into the dungeon. The path was covered with broken stone, moss, and animal remains. The torches allowed Arnold to see remnants of sacks, crates, and caskets, worn down and ravaged by time itself, scattered around the corridor.

What happened in this place? Arnold thought.

He pressed onwards, and the rest of the guild walked behind him, deeper into the dungeon's darkness. There were various passages, some led to dead ends, while others seemed to have no end at all.

They eventually made it to what looked like the final boss room however a huge metal door blocked their path, preventing them from going further into the dungeon. There were countless odd symbols engraved all over it and were somehow untouched by time and the elements as if they had just been manufactured. The group leader stepped closer to inspect it and...

"Wait.. did the door just change its appearance?"

"You mean this dungeon is one of those dungeons which awards enchanted gears?" EL said, his eyes shining with greed. He was almost drooling.

Enchanted gears were extremely rare, with a drop rate of about 0.005%! It goes without saying they were highly valued by both the government as well as the private guilds, you could ask for any absurd price, and they would happily pay it like a bunch of kids who had more money than they could count. Most of these dungeons didn't have a dungeon boss, but the few which did were deadly, and everyone knew that.

"I think we should inform the guild leader and form a bigger party and then carry on with the raid, just in case there is a monster there." Arnold expressed his thoughts, hoping that at least a few among the 12-person raid team would agree with him.

"What for? Looking at the level of monsters and beasts dungeon, there shouldn't be any boss there. And why should we bother about what a useless porter says?" Lance snapped back.

"He's right! All the monsters here were low levelled. That said, I don't think even if there is a boss, it wouldn't be highly levelled." Ashley, one of the tanks, replied.

"Mages, undo the enchantment, and open the door." Ricardo, the party leader said after pondering about the situation.

The mages moved forward and started chanting their spells to open up the door. After continuously chanting spells for more than ten minutes, the doors finally opened, and everyone entered the chamber one after another.

A dim bluish light suffused the square-shaped chamber, its source of light obvious at a glance. Blue-glowing lichen and violet-glowing moss clung to the ceiling and spread across the floor. It even creped up and down the walls, as if the colonies on the floor and ceiling are growing to meet each other.

Arnold immediately took out a glass jar and scraped the different coloured moss and lichen, Nicole loved bright things, and since he didn't have money to buy her presents, he usually made some on his own. The air in the room was fresh and moist, but there was no other way to enter or exit the chamber.

"Damn it, where is the enchanted gear!" EL shouted like a spoiled brat.

"There must be a special hidden room or something. Check carefully," Lance replied.

Just then a sound echoed inside the chamber as if someone was dragging something. Everyone was on their toes now, preparing to attack whatever was making that sound. Suddenly the wall in front of them opened, and a minotaur walked out of it.

"It's just one minotaur, we can handle it. Tanks take position! Warriors get ready; mages cast attribute-increasing spells. Healer, be ready!" The party leader Ricardo instructed his team. Arnold simply walked out of the chamber like he usually did. As a porter, he had nothing to do once the fight began.

As he walked out, Arnold noticed a second door next to the main door.

"What if the enchanted gear is inside this room!" Arnold's eyes lit up.

If he was able to get the enchanted gear and sell it... all of his problems would be solved! He would finally be able to leave this crappy job and live a better life! Thinking about his plans after he got the gear as he entered the tiny room.

Arnold could barely see what was inside the room as it was very dark. Although he wasn't allowed to use the guild's resources, turned on a glow stick, and walked inside the room. There was only one small cabinet inside the room, the cabinet was subdivided into five sections, and each section had a couple of books and scrolls inside them. Arnold took one out and...

"Tomes! And ability books!"

Even though it wasn't what he wanted, Arnold was on cloud nine! One tome went anywhere from 200 to 600 modern dollars, depending on the rarity of the skill they contained, and the starting price for ability books was at least 500 modern dollars and went up to 2500 modern dollars! 25 times his wage!

Arnold counted and there were 7 tomes and 9 ability books! He could earn a fortune from these. He then took every book and tome and put them in his backpack's secret pocket so that no one would discover them.

He had to do this because the guilds always checked the porter's backpacks to retrieve their goods and check if something was missing. This was done solely to cut their pay, even if nothing was missing. The life of a Porter has always been hellish.

"Lady luck is on my side!" He murmured as he closed the backpack and waited for the raid to get over with.

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