After Reilei accepted the party invitation, everyone formally introduced themselves. The warrior tank of the party called himself Two Tons. Along with the healer Phoenix and one of the rogues Hidden Pulse, the three of them formed a party a few days ago and had been playing together ever since.
As for the fighter Broken Fists and the other rogue Shuyi, the two of them ran into the party of three at the nearby village and joined them in order to clear the dungeon. The group was questioning whether or not they should try to search for a magic caster to join them or just enter into the dungeon with just the five of them. This was when they spotted Reilei in the distance.
Once everyone confirmed that they were ready, the party entered into the dungeon with Two Tons leading the way.
〈System Alert: You have entered the dungeon «Lair of Serpents».〉
At first, it was total darkness. However, after they received the system alert, a strange light green hue appeared that allowed them to view their surroundings. The first thing that caught the party's attention was the strange carvings on the damp cave walls. Some were in the shape of serpents and others were in the shapes of half serpent half-human. The most reoccurring symbol was a pair of snake fangs.
"Ugh, I hate snakes! Plus, this place is already creeping me out. Still, I'm really glad that we could find a magic caster. Realistic, we'll be counting on you." Phoenix said.
Reilei gave a small nod in response and replied, "I'll do my best." It felt strange to hear others call her Realistic and for her to respond to the name, however, there was nothing she could do about it but regret.
"Whatever you do just try not to get in our way, got it, newbie? I'm going to search ahead for traps." Shuyi stated as he glared over in Reilei's direction. He then activated his stealth skill and went off ahead of the party.
"So rude!" Phoenix scoffed.
Xiao Liang was about to launch towards Shuyi, but he was quickly calmed down by Reilei. A helpless smile formed on Reilei's lips as she rubbed the top of Xiao Liang's head. She had no idea what she did to invoke the ire of Shuyi since they had only just met, however, she knew that it would only complicate things if Xiao Liang actually attacked him.
Two Tons shook his head and said, "Don't mind him, newbie. Everyone, we'll move slowly down the passageway until we make it to the clearing. Even though Shuyi is checking and clearing the traps ahead, there may be some that have a short reset time so use caution as we proceed. Let's go."
It was clear that Two Tons was the leader of the party from his level of confidence and commanding behavior. He was also the highest level member in the party having reached level 30.
As the party walked cautiously down the passageway, Phoenix moved closer to Reilei.
"Hey, Realistic, why are your summons always out? Doesn't it consume a lot of mana to constantly have two of them out all the time? Isn't it tiring?" Phoenix questioned with a look of curiosity on her face.
"Tiring? I don't feel any different. Is it a bad thing?" Reilei said.
Phoenix shook her head and replied, "Not necessarily. It's just a bit uncommon that's all. However, I've never seen such cute summons before. Where did you-"
"Shhh...!" Two Tons held his hand up in front of the group and halted his steps just as they approached near the end of the pathway. This caused everyone to fall silent and go on high alert.
A few seconds later, Shuyi exited his stealth and reappeared before the party.
"I didn't detect any traps. There's a corridor ahead that's located on the other side of the room. In total, there are three normal monsters and 1 elite monster. They're spaced out so we can fight one at a time. However, there's something odd that I think we should check out." Shuyi stated.
"Hm? What else did you find?" Two Tons asked.
"There's a hidden lever behind the snake nest located in the right corner of the room. However, I'm unable to tell if it's a trap or not." Shuyi said.
"Then, I'll go check and see for myself." Hidden Pulse, the other rogue-type class, said.
"Hmph, you should know that my Trap Detection skill is already maxed out. Do you still dare doubt my words?" Shuyi scoffed. He felt that Hidden Pulse was claiming that he was someone incompetent and unreliable with his words.
Hidden Pulse furrowed his brows. He wanted to retort, however, his Trap Detection skill was only a bit more than halfway to being maxed out. But, Shuyi's attitude left him with a bad taste in his mouth.
"We're all friends here. We don't know what we don't know. We'll deal with the lever after we clear out this room. Until then, there's no point in overthinking things." Two Tons said. He tried to ease the tension between Shuyi and Hidden Pulse before it spiraled out of control. He could tell that Shuyi was the type to not hold back his thoughts.
While being honest was never a bad thing, it could often leave one isolated in social situations where too much honesty was frowned upon.
"Hmph!" Hidden Pulse glared at Shuyi, but he did not cause any trouble as a way of showing Two Tons face.
"We'll take out all the normal monsters first and then deal with the elite monster last. Once I secure aggro, you guys can begin your assault. Phoenix, we'll be counting on you for heals. Newbie, just keep a safe distance, send your summons forward, and launch ranged attacks. I'm going." Two Tons stated.
"W-" However, before Reilei could say anything, Two Tons had already charged forward towards the first monster. It was a large snake that was around 2.5 meters long. But, unlike normal snakes that slithered on the ground and possessed no limbs, this snake had a pair of small arms at its side and slithered in an upright position.
Name: Servant Serpent(Normal)
Almost right after Two Tons made his move, the others followed suit and began their assault.
"He said to launch ranged attacks, but..." Reilei stood there in a confused manner as she was unsure of what she should do. Ranged attacks? Send her summons forward? How could she place Xiao Liang and Ayanellia in danger by sending them to fight? The way she usually fought was not at a distance. However, she did not want to distract everyone who seemed to be focused on taking down the Servant Serpent.
Not to mention, this was Reilei's first time joining a party. Therefore, even though most players understood the basics of what it meant to be in a party and the task of each class, the same could not be said for Reilei.
Shuyi frowned when he noticed that Reilei just stood there. She did not even send her summons to attack or cast a basic ranged magic skill!
"What does that newbie think she's doing?" Shuyi muttered to himself.
In the end, since it was just a normal monster, it did not take long for the party to defeat the first Servant Serpent.
"Next!" Two Tons said without taking any time to rest as he engaged the next Servant Serpent.
The most troublesome thing about the Servant Serpents was their poison that dealt damage over time. However, this issue was easily managed by Phoenix.
In less than one minute, the party eliminated all the normal monsters in the room. Now, all that remained was the single elite monster, the Serpent Guard.
Name: Serpent Guard(Elite)
The appearance of the Serpent Guard was similar to that of the Servant Serpent, however, the Serpent Guard wore some type of leather armor around where its chest area would be if it were a human. It also wielded a spear in its hand which the Servant Serpents lacked. Its frame was bulkier and more muscular than that of the Servant Serpent and it was slightly taller.
The Serpent Guard protected the area where Shuyi discovered the hidden lever. In other words, if they wanted access to the lever then they would first have to deal with the Serpent Guard.
"Alright, we'll-" Two Tons was about to give his next command, however, he was quickly interrupted by Shuyi who did not seem to be in a good mood.
"Hold on a sec. Before we go any further, I have something to say." Shuyi said as he turned and walked towards Reilei.
"What kind of joke are you pulling? Do you plan to sit back and watch us fight while reaping some benefits? Don't think that just because you're a woman that you can freeload as you please in this party." Shuyi said with a cold expression on his face.
Reilei was taken aback by Shuyi's attitude. All she did was follow what Two Tons said and stayed at a range. However, every time she wanted to explain her situation, they would already have moved on to the next fight.
"I-" Reilei tried to explain, but before she could even utter a single word, Phoenix stepped in front of her and faced towards Shuyi with her arms folded.
Phoenix had a visible frown on her face as she scoffed, "This is Realistic's first time in a dungeon and party. Do you intend to bully her the entire time?! You call yourself a man?!"
"You-! I'm simply stating the truth! You can defend that newbie all you want, but the truth of the matter is that the only thing she'll be useful for is being a meat shield to absorb damage if we run into any trouble." Shuyi stated without backing down.
"There are already women here and yet you're the one acting like a diva! How about you try saying something constructive from that foul mouth of yours?" Phoenix said.
"Constructive? You want constructive? Fine, then I think that you should just-"
"Enough!" Two Tons roared at the top of his lungs. He was beginning to get a headache dealing with all the excessive bickering. He wanted everyone to get along so that he did not have to take any extreme course of action.
Two Tons did not want to get rid of Shuyi due to his useful max Trap Detection skill, as well as his high DPS performance. As for Phoenix, he had known her longer than Shuyi and she was a healer. One had to know that it was much easier finding a DPS like Shuyi to join a party than it was to find a healer like Phoenix.
However, the cause of all this was the summoner he invited along. He started to think that maybe it was a mistake to invite them along even if they would have lacked any real magic damage. But, Phoenix seemed to be defending her and so he could not simply kick her to the curb. Needless to say, it was a troublesome situation. The best he could do for now was to try and soothe things over smoothly so that it would not end in a falling out.
Two Tons sighed as he looked towards Reilei and said, "While I don't agree with the way Shuyi went about things, he does have a point. Is there any reason you aren't fighting?"
Everyone remained silent and turned their attention towards Reilei when Two Tons asked that question.
"I can't hit them from that far away." Reilei stated in a slightly embarrassed manner.
Everyone was speechless and dumbfounded when they heard Reilei's words. She could not hit them from that far away? What about her summons? What about her magic skills?
"Hey, isn't this summoner kinda useless?" Broken Fists was the first to break the silence and voice his opinion.