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icscib > Ashes of Gods > 57 Masco
Shesmu made his way through the dark corridor. Much like the outside of the castle, it was ruined. Rotting wood, crumbling rocks, Shesmu wondered how the basement didn't collapse under its own weight.

At the end of the corridor was a door to the right. Shesmu's minimap indicated that it was his target. Light shone from within the room, and Shesmu quickly found its source. An altar was positioned in the middle of the chamber with a magical circle drawn on top of it. The circle glowed with a golden hue.

Shesmu walked towards it when a notification appeared in front of him.

Congratulation on completing the second floor's trial

[May you, who has proven wisdom, prudence, and strength of heart, carve your path through the horrors of this world.]

Shesmu teleported from the ruined castle and into a plaza. The sudden light blurred his vision. The plaza's white, marble floor reflected the sun standing high in the sky.

"Oh, you're finally here."

Sakura was making the sleeping Ryan sit down, back on the door of a palace. Shesmu's eyes worked their way up the giant and impressive building, before looking back at Sakura.

"Was he here when you came?"

She looked back at Ryan with a smile before saying, "Yeah. He was unconscious on the floor when I arrived, so thought might as well let him sit on the door."

Shesmu looked at Ryan for a few seconds then said, "Thank you for that."

"Don't sweat it. More importantly, how did the trial go?"

"It went well," Shesmu swiftly responded. "I mean, I'm here, so… The trial couldn't have gone too bad if I'm standing in front of you."

Sakura chuckled at Shesmu's response. "You're right, that was a bit of a dumb question."

"Woohoo! Congratulation esteemed guests of the golden generation. Lester, here to serve you. Woohoo!"

A short talking fluffy panda opened the door of the palace and greeted the party of five.

"Please, follow me inside. Woohoo! We'll shortly prepare the stage for your third challenge. Woohoo!"

"Is this… a panda?" muttered Sakura.

"Yes, a talking panda," responded Shesmu with a straight face. He entered the palace door while Sakura stood shocked for a few seconds. She soon woke up of her reverie and followed after the two.

The first thing that greeted them was a table full of food and drinks, while on the back of the room a team of musicians was playing a calm tune.

"Woohoo! We have prepared for our guests a welcoming party. Your hard work shall be rewarded. Woohoo!"

Lester then made a gesture with his paw, and next to him a roulette appeared with a poof.

"Woohoo! However, before you shall dine on this feast, let us play a little game. Woohoo!"

Oh, this part finally came.

"Woohoo! The roulette is split into 64 different areas. Each area corresponds to a different game. Depending on what comes out, the challenge that you shall face in the third floor shall be determined. Woohoo!"

By this point, both Shesmu and Sakura's attention was on the roulette. With a flick of his paw, Lester spun it.

The disk spun and spun until it finally landed on area 34.

"Woohoo! And the game you will play shall be… The Deadly Cave Challenge! Woohoo!"

Huh, so this will be the final battle.

Lester's announcement didn't receive the hype that was expected. Both Shesmu and Sakura looked at the panda who still had his paws high up in the air in a weird pose with unimpressed eyes.

"Cough, cough. Woohoo! Anyways, the challenge will be set in a cave as indicated by the name. The goal is to go through the cave branches and reach the target that is on the other side. This challenge is fifty men one, which means that you need fifty participants before the game can start. Woohoo!"

The panda then paused for a second before a smirk covered his face. "Woohoo! One more thing, in the deadly cave, there are a lot of lethal traps and cunning monsters, so please proceed with care. That's it for my explanation. Fo

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