As a mineral city, the Deep Stone City had many different kinds of mines. Part of them were located in the Deep Stone City's lower area. It was dark there and without light; even the soldiers who maintained law and order in the city rarely went there. Only miners and those who didn't have the money to buy a house above lived there. They had no choice but to live in this endless darkness, rely on the sewage water that flowed from the top area, and inhabit the same place as both animals and plants.
In this other world, there was no light.
"Are you sure it's here?" After going down, Rhode could feel unfriendly gazes from the surrounding darkness. He ignored the eyes of those people, pulling up his cloak to hide his appearance.
"I'm sure, kid." Old Walker rubbed his nose with a serious expression.
"According to the information I got from the Mercenary Association, these two days, the Jade Tears mercenary group often went here. Not only that, but guess what? Every time those people came here, their strength suddenly increased! In the tavern, I encountered a kid. He was just trash in his previous mercenary group, but now he actually has strength equivalent to an ordinary mercenary! It's simply a joke!"
"Was it him who told you this?" Hearing until here, Rhode frowned.
"Of course not." Old Walker shook his head.
"This kid came to the tavern to show off his strength. I asked him how he did, but he didn't tell me. Even if I bought five bottles of rum to make that kid drunk and tell me the answer, I still don't think he would have told me. Walker, me, I'm no idiot. Since I couldn't get the answer from him, I directly asked my old buddy in the tavern. Guess what? After that woman got my 2 gold coins, she secretly told me where did he got it. That's why I've always said that women were troublesome, and it would be better not to offend any of them. But since it's not us, I don't really care. After I got this clue, I asked my old friend to help me find information regarding this matter. After that, I found out that a lot of Jade Tears mercenary group members came to the mine below. Every time, they always came secretively. No one knew what they were going to do, but the people here have their own rules. Since the Jade Tears didn't bother them, they also wouldn't trouble the Jade Tears. Everyone acts like nothing happened.
"Did Mercenary Association know about this matter?"
"There's no way those old folks would know about it."
Hearing Rhode's question, Old Walker twitched his mouth. "Kid, you have to know that we are mercenaries and not miners. Even if we were given the money, we still wouldn't come to this dark and eerie place."
"What about mercenaries? Are they amazing or what? You old thing!"
At this time, a loud sound echoed.
Rhode turned around and saw a dwarf wearing armor walk forward. His hand was holding a torch while he glared at Old Walker while straightening his beard.
"It seems that you have forgotten about the things that happened before. The stone is up there; I don't mind giving you one more lesson about the underground rules."
"Enough, Barf. I didn't come here to hear you complain." Old Walker walked forward and smiled. He patted the dwarf's shoulder, then slipped a gold coin into his hand.
"If I had time, I'd treat you a glass of wine, but I am quite busy now, you see..."
Hearing this, the dwarf angrily glared at Old Walker for a moment. After that, he held his beard as if he were moved by this suggestion, but in the end, he still shook his head hesitantly.
"Just forget about it. I'm not used to living above. The sturdy cave here is my home. The stone is above; if I didn't tie the iron ball to my leg, I'm afraid I would also go up there some day! Enough! Enough blabber, aren't you guys in hurry? Follow me!"
Saying until here, after the dwarf received the gold goin, he turned around and walked toward the direction where he came from. Rhode and Old Walker glanced at each other, then followed behind him, ready to enter the cave.
"Be careful here. Here isn't a place where people like you can come and go easily." While walking, the dwarf didn't forget to remind the both of them.
"Have to know, the caves here have been dug since the time of my great great great great grandfather. No one knows how many caves are here! Even us, the people who are born, live, and die here only knew the mostly used caves. As for the others, we are also unclear. That's why, without anyone leading, it's best not to wander around carelessly. There are many people who have died here because they lost their way!"
This time, Rhode didn't ignore the dwarf's words. In fact, he also clearly knew this matter.
In the game, the Deep Stone City cave was considered a death end for many players. Before, there were a lot of players who lost their way and couldn't return. Just how complex was this place? There was a player who wanted to find out the truth. He brought hundreds of directional signs called magic symbols and food supplies when he entered the underground. In the end, he couldn't find the dead end even after walking for three whole days and nights. Have to know, three days and nights in real life was about ten or more days in the game.
There were only two choice for players who lost their way here: the first one was to use the teleportation crystal to go back to town, and the second one was to die in the hand of an underground monster, and respawn.
However, in reality, there was no crystal teleportation and Rhode also didn't want to try to respawn here since it seemed impossible.
This was one of the reasons why Rhode rejected Anne and Lize's request to tag along. He was quite familiar with this place, so even if he lost his way, he still could find a way back if he didn't wander too far. But if he brought two people who were completely unfamiliar with this place, if he ever lost one of them, Rhode couldn't guarantee that he would be able to find her.
In addition, Rhode thought that they weren't suitable to do this kind of thing. The reason Rhode came here was to "knock down the enemy as much as possible," according to the players' saying.
What did it mean to knock down the enemy as much as possible?
Of course, it meant to completely killing all of the enemy.
In the game, killing a player would lead to EXP points and equipment being deducted. If it was accumulated, then the damage resulted would heavily affect even a big guild. However, here, Rhode didn't have to bother killing them until they reached the starting level. Just one death and everything would be finished.
The Jade Tears mercenary group lost half of its members in the Twilight Forest. Right now, it hasn't recovered yet, but if he didn't grasp this opportunity to completely destroy them, he would feel really sorry for himself.
He didn't have the hobby of feeding a tiger that would later harm him. He didn't want to keep guard against an enemy when his mercenary group was still developing. Especially mercenary groups like the Jade Tears, who had publicity become his enemy.
Even if Rhode could do it, Lize definitely couldn't. Anne also didn't look like that kind of person, and Marlene was still resting. It wasn't just because she was feeling unwell; even if she wasn't injured, Rhode still wouldn't ask for her help. Such a proud girl definitely wouldn't like this kind of method.
That's why it was better for him to do it himself.
The dwarf kept mumbling while bringing them deep inside the cave. Soon, they reached the end. Then, the dwarf pointed toward the cave beside them, made a prohibition gesture, and extinguished the torch in his hand.
"Alright, I think those guys will come here after a while. From here, you guys can already see them. However, I hope the two of you won't make any ruckus. We aren't like the people up there who love to fight."
Rhode didn't care about the dwarf's words. He only walked to the corner and hid himself in the dark. With the help of the dim light in the cave, he looked at the deserted mines.
As expected, in about ten minutes, people wearing black robes appeared before him.
From their equipment, it could be seen that they were indeed mercenaries. An ordinary miner wouldn't brought that much equipment to this kind of place. These people were wearing black cloaks to hide their appearance. Under the lead of the person who walked in front of them, they slowly entered the cave while vigilantly looking at their surroundings.
What made Rhode feel weird was that they didn't make any sound while walking. It was really too strange; they brought that much equipment, but their footsteps were still as light as a cat's. It was clearly not normal.
Thinking until here, Rhode carefully observed these people. At this moment, one of them seemed to have noticed Rhode's gaze and looked toward Rhode's direction.
However, he couldn't find anything. After curiously looking at his direction, that person only coldly snorted and walked forward to follow his comrades.
Only Rhode noticed that when that black-robed man turned around, there was a trace of red light in his eyes.
The three of them silently hid behind the cave. After a while, the dwarf once again lit the torch.
"Alright, as you both have seen, it's these guys."
"Do you know where they went?"
"It's not difficult to find out." Hearing Rhode's question, the dwarf proudly answered.
"To the people underground, the footprints that you surface people leave are as obvious as camel poop. However, the place they went is extremely weird. They seemed to have found a passage that leads deep inside the cave. Frankly, that place has been deserted for decades; even I have never gone there. However, these people easily come and go from that place. It's indeed really strange."
Hearing until here, Rhode only stayed silent. After that, he took a deep breath, turned around, and said, "I will check the situation; you guys can go back now."
"Hey, kid, are you sure you're okay going alone?" Hearing until here, Old Walker showed a worried expression. "Do you want Barf to accompany you? Or maybe I can be some help for you."
"It's okay; there's no need."
Rhode politely declined Old Walker's request. As player who once fought the guild who tried to kill him in this underground cave, he was experienced in tracking footsteps and could be compared to the dwarf who was born here and lived here.
"Just leave it to me, Old Walker. You have something more important to do... I hope you can go back to the stronghold and tell Shauna to increase the security and send somebody else to keep an eye on the Jade Tears mercenary group's movement. I think those guys will most likely do something out of desperation. If they attack us, you must immediately asked for Sereck's help. I help them so many times; it's time for them to repay us."
"Alright, I got it." After hearing Rhode's words, Old Walked hesitated for a while. After that, he nodded and agreed. "But, kid, you must be careful, it's not safe here."
"Just rest assured."
Perhaps because it was dark here, Old Walker couldn't clearly see that Rhode was smiling, but he could hear the coldness in Rhode's tone.
"I guarantee that I won't leave any trouble behind."