9 Monster Varian
Rayfield shouted, "Men, hold your ground! Don't give them time to regroup!"
He dashed toward a minotaur cutting off its head with a single slash of his broadsword.
"Transmute!" Arnold said, slamming his hand toward the ground.
Earth spikes appeared and impaled three minotaurs at the same time.
The two leaders gave each other a glance. They knew what the floor boss were thinking. The boss is sending cannon fodders to tire them out while saving the strength of his elite army.
Rayfield spat on the ground, "Tch, what a smart-ass."
"I hate it when Ethan's prediction is spot on." Arnold said.
The members of the Harkon Brigade and the Terra Riders were fighting courageously against the horde of minotaurs. Their teamwork allowed them to confront the first wave of monsters with ease.
Nick led the elites of the Harkon Brigade and headed toward the minotaur captain at the back of the monster army.
Nick roared, "Everyone use [True Men Formation!]"
The Elites of the the Harkon Brigade spread out in a straight line and hacked everything in their path.
The Minotaur captain raised his giant axe. The Elite minotaurs that were guarding him stepped forward to stop the advance of Nick's party.
Nick took the lead, "[Use Striking Arrow Formation!]".
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The adventurers formed an arrowhead with Nick at the tip. The front-runners blocked the attack of the Elite Minotaurs, while the other members advanced ahead.
Nick lunged at the minotaur captain, "You're Mine!"
The minotaur captain snorted. There were a hint of mockery on its monstrous face as if telling him that all his efforts were futile.
Men and minotaur clashed. Nick were pushed back due to the difference in strength. The minotaur captain didn't waste the opportunity and unleashed furious blows meant to cut him in half.
Nick side stepped and dodged the repeated assault of the minotaur captain. He knew that he won't win in a contest of strength so he decided to wait for an opportunity.
Finally an opening appeared. Nick stabbed with everything he had towards the chest of his adversary.
"Chink!" The sound of his sword bouncing off the minotaurs chest brought Nick back to his senses. He barely dodged the swing of the Minotaur Captain by rolling to the side.
Nick cursed at the monster, "F*cking variant!"
[A monster variant is a monster that is stronger than the monsters of its own kind. Some of them have unique skills that gives them an edge from the rest]
He backed away to put distance between the two of them. The minotaur stood still and snorted at him. The disdain in its eyes were evident.
'This monster probably has the skill [Steel Body] or [Physical Deflection], this is bad.'
Nick were contemplating his next move when a loud shout were heard behind him.
"Nick! Lie on the ground!"
Nick recognized the owner of the voice, and immediately lied down on the ground.
A barrage of spells soared over his back and hit the minotaur captain in front of him. The minotaur were blown away and slammed to the wall of the dungeon.
"Are you alright?"Arnold said.
Nick stood up and brushed the dirt on his leather armor, "I'm fine."
The two of them glanced at the minotaur captain and were surprised to see that it were still alive. The minotaur captain stood up slowly. Its eyes turned blood red and it released a blood curling roar.
Arnold felt something were off and immediately grabbed Nick. He dragged him toward the center of their formation.
The minotaur captain glared at the two of them while the injuries in its body regenerated at an alarming rate.
"I was wrong in my assumptions. That variant has [Greater Elemental and Physical Resistance]," Nick said.
Arnold scoffed from the side, "You forgot [Greater Regeneration]"
"Why did you drag me back?"
"Because sh*t is about to happen."
A man wearing red armor appeared beside the two of them. Rayfield, the Captain of the Terra Riders had a worried look on his face.
"Arnold, did you feel it too?"
"Yes, powerful presences are ascending from the lower floors."
Nick gulped, "Don't tell me…"
"That monster variant is just a captain of their main force, but that is the least of our worries," Rayfield said.
Rayfield, and Arnold froze for a moment. The two of them glanced at each other and their faces turned grim.
Rayfield shouted, "Retreat!"
"Men fall back to the fifth floor!" Arnold said. "We need to get out of here now!"
The members of the Harkon Brigade and Terra Riders didn't question the order of their captains. They entered the passageway leading to the fifth floor while keeping their battle formations.
"Nick, you go to the front and act as vanguard," Rayfield said. "Arnold and I will cover the rear."
Nick nodded his head, "Understood."
The two captains spoke in low voices to prevent others from listening to their conversation.
"Arnold, how many strong presences did you sense?"
"It was only brief, but I managed to feel at least six of them."
"This is a disaster."
Arnold wiped his forehead with the back of his hand, "If we can get back to the surface and rally our guilds, then we will stand a chance. But…"
"But, if this is a full dungeon outbreak with all the boss of the lower floors rallying their monster army…" Rayfield said, frowning.
"Then the city of Amaranth will cease to exist," Arnold said.
The two of them decided not to tell anyone about their conclusion. They were afraid that the news will be too much for their men to handle, and cause mass panic and hysteria.
They can only pray that they will be able to reach the exit of the dungeon, and send the news to their guildmasters before it's too late.