Loren was at a loss how to convey what he was seeing to others.
Looking up, he also saw countless bright spots of life on the ceiling, where the light of the lanterns couldn’t even reach. These surely weren’t easy opponents. They were human-sized, but could cling to such a high ceiling. To make matters worse, they had already taken them overhead, yet no one except Loren noticed it.
He could feel a chill running down his spine.
There were silver rank adventurers here, together with an Evil G.o.d and a demon – all were very capable, all first-cla.s.s fighters. And they weren’t careless. They were all very cautious, and yet no one noticed the creatures above them. People generally weren’t very attentive about what was above them, but this was different. It was proof that these creatures excelled at stealth.
As Loren opened his mouth to warn the others, he saw Ritz, who was walking ahead of him, touching some spindly thing dangling down from the ceiling. Having no time to say anything, Loren charged at Ritz and pushed him to the ground.
Lapis exclaimed in surprise at Loren’s sudden action, but Ritz was even more surprised. He was the one who suddenly got tackled to the ground after all. Defending against a sudden attack from an ally, and from behind no less, was impossible even to an experienced silver rank adventurer like him.
Ritz was about to shout at Loren to ask what he was doing when he saw Loren unsheathe his sword and slash at where he had been just a moment ago. The blade met something and cut it in half, causing blue fluid to splash around. Ritz’s face stiffened at the scene.
Jack drew back in surprise, and Nim wordlessly kicked him down. Without even sparing him a glance, she immediately took an arrow from her quiver, nocked it and shot it at something that was dropping down from the ceiling.
Another dropped down. Loren shouted while severing in halves:
“Gula! Protect Lapis!”
“Alright. Leave it to me.”
Gula grabbed Lapis’ shoulders, and the two of them crouched down while looking up at the ceiling. Loren saw the lights of lives above them disappear then.
“What was that?!”
Jack shouted while Nim shot another arrow. Her aim was accurate despite the lack of light, and something was killed. Ritz watched it fall down and said in a stiff voice:
“No. This is a spider.”
Nim calmly corrected him. Wondering if it was even worth correcting, Loren sheathed his sword. The thing he killed earlier was lying in halves on the ground, and it surely looked like a spider as Nim had said. But its size was abnormal – Just its huge belly was as big as Lapis or Quartz, the two smallest-built in their party. There was a thread attached to that belly, so thin that it was hard to imagine it came from something that huge. The spider had spat it out and used it to drop down and attack them.
“d.a.m.n! Where do they come from?!”
“They’re clinging to the ceiling!”
As Ritz got up and confirmed the ident.i.ty of their enemies, he slammed his s.h.i.+eld at a spider that was dropping down and sent it flying. The violent blow dented the spider’s body; it smashed against the tunnel’s wall with a squelch and spraying blue fluid.
“Scarlet stones, shoot at our enemies. <>.”
Still in a crouch, Quartz held his staff up and commenced a magic attack. Fire orbs shot out from the staff and flew at the ceiling; they didn’t hit at one specific point but scattered caused a. The fire illuminated part of the ceiling, making it visible to their group, and the scene turned everyone’s insides cold.
The ceiling was packed full with spider-like creatures clinging to it. Not only that, but they could also see the spiders’ preys among them, probably the ones who had entered the tunnel before. They were wrapped in fine spider threads and attached to the ceiling; all looked nothing more than skin and bone.
Gula unthinkingly uttered while the gruesome scene above their head became hidden once more as the fire died down.
“We can’t kill them all!”
Jack shouted as he thrust his dagger into a spider dropping down after the spell ended. It was natural for him to think so, seeing that the ceiling was packed full of spiders.
Loren also felt daunted, and he had considered drawing back for a moment. But the spiders wouldn’t let the preys wandering into their feeding ground go that easily. They crowded to the part of ceiling above Loren’s group retreat path and began cutting the threads that were attaching their previous victims to the ceiling to drop them to the ground.
Even though the victims were only a husk of themselves now, considering the height they were dropping from, their corpses would still cause quite a lot of damage to anyone they hit, not to mention that they still had their armors and weapons on. It was also extremely difficult to dodge the corpses as they were dropped one by one.
The other spiders didn’t waste any time and started dropping down.
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“We can’t retreat. No other choice but to run through them.”
“Be careful! They’re dropping threads to catch prey!”
All of this was started by Ritz touching one of such threads. The vibration from his touch transmitted to the ceiling had alerted the spiders that a prey had entered the area, prompting them to attack. Not only that, but these threads were especially strong and durable, as they were used to capture preys. Anyone got caught by it would be pulling up to the ceiling in an instant, and would be swarmed and attacked by the spiders waiting there; it was just like a trap.
“Be careful, you said, but we can’t even see them.”
In a dark tunnel where they must rely on the light of a lantern to see, it was difficult to notice a thin thread hanging down while running. Even though the threads were strong enough to lift up a person, they were so thin that it was almost impossible to see them if one didn’t look closely.
“I was about to be pulled up just now.”
Still being held in Loren’s arms, Lapis said with a shudder while looking up at the ceiling. As a demon, she might have been alright, but being swarmed by countless spiders wasn’t an experience she wanted to have. Not to mention that in the worst case, these spiders might be poisonous. Just thinking about it made grat.i.tude welled up inside Lapis.
“Thanks a lot, Loren.”
“Don’t worry about it. If you’re pulled up there, I won’t be able to help.”
The ceiling was so high that the lantern’s light couldn’t reach it, and it was vast. There was also no visible path to climb up to it. Rescuing someone pulled to the ceiling was impossible.
“Nim and Quartz, be careful! You’re light and don’t have much physical strength. They’ll pull you up in an instant!”
“I don’t like to spend my final days at spider’s food at all.”
“Me neither. I plan to live for another thousand years.”
Nim declared with a serious face, and Jack reflexively complained:
“But I can’t live for a thousand year.”
“You don’t have enough determination. You should become an undead and continue living. Will you leave me alone?”
“Hm? Can undead be considered still living?”
Jack asked Loren with a serious face while still running. Amazed that they still had so much leisure despite the situation, Loren kept silent while gesturing at the direction to take with chin.
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