I flew outta the Dungeon's entrance and caught the sight of Mira and the others having a fancy lunch underneath the tent... that's unfair! I wanna have a fancy, homemade lunch instead of those preserved goods stored in the Storage!
Hah! I let my anger take over for a sec. That's been happening sometimes after the war for some reason. Gotta focus on the bigger bastard here.
"Hey, Gara... wait! We're sorry for having a party without you, but there's no need to take out a bomb-!" - Mira
I ignored the flustered group and threw the handmade bomb at the rat's supposed location.
A huge chunk of sand flew into the air when the bomb exploded, and along it was a set of dirty bones. A sand-colored skeleton had been blown to bits thanks to the bomb I threw at it.
"Wait, what's that!?" - Mira
"...Garami. Keep the disrespecting of the dead to only when you perform necromancy." - Revi
"Don't look at me with those eyes! And that thing wasn't even dead... in one sense!" - Garami
I dragged the remains of the skeletons to show them.
"Hey, this guy's weapon is made of gold! Mine!" - Mira
I glanced at the scimitar that Mira preyed out of the skeleton's broken hand-
"Ah, pyrite." - Iron
"Definitely pyrite." - Garami
"What's pyrite?" - Revi
"A metal that is also called the fool's gold. The proof to that is-" - Noire
"W-wait, I-I-I knew that. I just wanted the weapon. I always wanted one of these hand-scythes..." - Mira
"...It's a scimitar though?" - Iron
Iron got a critical hit in! The sprite-woman has fainted in shame!
"Jokes aside, this thing's not your everyday skeleton." - Garami
"...You are right. It is an undead monster." - Noire
"Well, after dealing with the clean-up in Tir na Nog and all, we should recognize them on sight by now... did it hide in the sand to escape the sun?" - Mira
"Rather, why did you not notice it until now? Miss 'Perception-Skills-at-max'?" - Noire
"W-what are you expecting of me!? No way I can notice something that was hiding that deep in the sand!?" - Mira
"Ignoring that-" - Garami
"Please do!" - Mira
"This one's called a Desert Skeleton. They hide in the sand and search for prey, then they relay a message to the rest of the horde. Also, they got [Daywalker] from the start-" - Garami
"That's unfair!!" - Revi & Iron
"Not that! What was this about a 'horde'?" - Noire
The fallen angel started to look around before taking to the sky so she could look over the dunes... and came right down as if her wings had stopped working.
"...Garami... how many hundreds of monsters did you summon in the Dungeon again?" she asked, visibly pale.
"Just ten individuals." - Garami
My confession made the fallen angel faint on the spot, only to be caught by Iron before she hit the sand. Mira, suspicious of our conversation, ran up the dunes to see the situation herself.
I followed after her and saw... a desert overflowing with moving, dried-up bones, all wearing withered weapons made of pyrite. And in the distance, we could see a massive Skeleton of the same color scheme. One that's several tens of meters high...
Special effect: [Psuedo-Peace] has expired.
Wait a sec. Can't I use this?
"That hurt! Wait, where am-" - Alf
"The Dungeon. Get ready for battle!" I shouted to Alf, who had been in the coffin that I broke by throwing it at the Dungeon wall.
Alf looked around the entrance-room, which had been renovated for this one battle. I've taken as many boulders as possible and created a corridor with them in the room, meaning the intruders have to either walk through the corridor before they can really say they've entered the room, or climb over the boulders.
"Listen up. The longer we drag this battle, the more monsters are gonna appear on our side." I said, creating a second Cave Scorpion with the last of my CP to prove my point.
"Then, we're going to stall for time?" - Alf
"That's right. Simply entertain the few Desert Skeletons that enter the boulder-corridor. I've made sure that only 24 of them can invade the Dungeon at the same time." - Garami
I had changed the special restrictions of the Dungeon from [Humans: 12] to [Monsters: 24]. There were no extra CP-costs, luckily. The FP-costs for the monster-restriction are the same as the one for humans, so no problems there.
"Then, should we make a Clan then? All six of us have the [Party] skill at disposal, so we can each have 5 monsters as party-members." - Noire
Sorry to say, but it seems that the Dungeon monsters already gain the effects of my various Leadership Skills...
"Okay, we'll go with the Noire's suggestion." - Garami
"!? Did you just say-" - Noire
"In fact, I just got a good idea to take serious advantage of these dry bones' impudence." - Garami
"As in?" - Iron
"First, I need to tell you that this whole Dungeon-thing has a problem in getting high-ranking monsters right off the bat. So, let's use the Clan-system to give those guys a little kick-start," I said while grinning.
Half an hour after the strategy-meeting, or at least 5 CP later, and the first wave of Desert Skeletons entered the Dungeon with the shrill sound of the alarm warning us of their entry.
A group of Desert Skeletons charged in with their weapons raised. Meeting them was team W, led by Alf and manned by Iron, two Cave Scorpions, the Aqua Imp, the undeads spawned from the Dungeon, and two Zombie Trolls I had created with Advance-tier classes.
The Desert Skeletons never reached team W though. As they ran, they failed to notice the trip-threads I had placed in the corridor, which resulted in them falling face-down on the floor. I used [Thread Control] to initiate the [Bind] skill from behind the boulders and wrapped the Desert Skeletons up.
With the invaders now incapacitated, I had team M, who had been hiding behind the boulders that created the make-shift corridor, attack the incapacitated Desert Skeletons with magic attacks. The trick for allowing them to do this is that I had created a row of smaller boulders behind the ones that made up the corridor-walls, so they are basically firing from the top of castle walls at the poor Desert Skeleton.
By the way, team N is led by Noire and manned by Mira, the Zerbreus. and the Dusk Imps, plus the new one I created while we were waiting.
I specifically had them not focus on killing the Desert Skeletons right away. The most important gain here is time, meaning CP, and literal experience for the Dungeon Monsters. Having them get used to the strengths and weaknesses of their spells is extremely important.
One and a half-hour later, or 15 CP later, Noire finished off the Desert Skeletons with a magic arrow infused with Turn Undead Field.
"Damn, what a drag..." said Mira who had jumped down from the boulder-platform.
"Hey, we're winning with this strategy." - Garami
"I was talking about this cave. Couldn't you have some lighting?" - Mira
Oh, that's right. She's that kinda sprite.
"That would dampen the undeads and Alf." - Garami
"Yeah... I'll stick to spells then." - Mira
Magic isn't directly affected by stats, so Mira's placed on the magician team instead of the warrior team.
More Desert Skeletons appeared from the entrance after the first wave had returned to the heavens, so Mira returned to her post alongside the 3 new Dusk Imps I had created. The remaining points were used on 6 Small Lesser Arachinaras, who had the job of spinning the threads I used across the gaps of the boulders.
This strategy worked for a few more hours until team M started to show fatigue. I had them retire for a break, courtesy of Revi and her supply team, granting team W's their time to shine.
Alf stopped the Desert Skeletons by freezing them in place, allowing our monster combatants some safe sparing practice with them. Iron stopped the invader's movements with his [Iron Chain] skill.
I stopped creating Dusk Imps and Small Lesser Arachinaras, focusing rather on the undead types, the Aqua Imps, and the Lesser Demonia Bat. Why the bat? Because their soundwaves have a small effect on the Desert Skeleton, they can fly away from their weapons, and they're cheap.
To be honest, thanks to this shift-method we've developed during this siege, the battle against the Desert Skeletons have turned way easier than expected. And way, WAY, more rewarding. And I'm not even counting when I had to "clean up" the corridor through my necromancy when too much "trash" had accumulated there.
Almost all of the G-ranks had to be excused from the fight due to them reaching their level-limit and escaped further into the Dungeon where Revi have stored tons of preserved food for the monsters that need it after they finish evolving.
Then, a big change happened after the twelfth hour into the siege.
The Dungeon has leveled up. Reached D-Lv.2
The Dungeon's CP-limit has increased by 100.
The Dungeon's FP-limit has increased by 10.
Acquired 5 DP due to level-up.
"Already!?" is what I wanna say, but with this onslaught, from E-ranks with a chance of a D-ranked Desert Skeleton Soldier, Mage, or Rogue being in the mix, that's no surprise.
"D-Lv." must mean Dungeon-Level. That's not so important right now. What is, is that I've gotten more DP! And 5 in one level even!
The CP-limit increasing is also welcomed. This should mean I'll be getting 20 CP per hour now instead of 10. I can stop replacing G-ranks with G-ranks now! Several Imps and Undeads have retreated from the front-line to evolve as well, so it's about time to focus solely on F-ranks. I'm in no need of the increased FP. Can't change the Dungeon while invaders are inside it.
Let's throw one point each at the remaining G-ranked stats and hope I won't be needing to bring out more G-ranked monsters.
Hey there, the CP's filled to the brink! Must be from the level-up. Not sure about that item in the Special-tab, but I've got the feeling that I won't be able to go back to the Dungeon Menu again if I touch it, so I'll do it later.
I created two new Cave Scorpions and two Zerbreuses and had them get a briefing from Revi after giving them a scare with [Evil Lord's Aura]. We got no time for pleasantries!
After sending off the new monsters, I distributed the DP to Mystic, Movement, and Knowledge, one for each, and saved the rest for later. The three stats all reached F without problems. And I got some new monsters from it:
Creation Cost: 10 CP
A scorpion monster of the Sand attribute. They lack the intelligence to accept anything but simple orders. Attacks with venomous stingers.
Creation Cost: 5 CP
A young scorpion monster of the Sand attribute. They are capable of cooperating with other monsters. Attacks with venomous stingers.
Creation Cost: 10 CP
A spider monster that uses threads to capture its prey. Have venom in their fangs.
Creation Cost: 5 CP
A young spider monster that uses threads to capture its prey and to make traps. Have venom in their fangs.
Creation Cost: 10 CP
A demon-monster that takes the appearance of a bat. Disturbs the target with soundwaves. Also uses them for echolocation.
Creation Cost: 15 CP
An undead-monster that is based on an animal. Abilities variates with the animal used as the base.
Creation Cost: 5 CP
An undead-monster that lacks a corporal form. Capable of using some magic.
Creation Cost: 8 CP
A demon-monster of the Darkness attribute that is made of gases and dust. They erode their victims by enveloping them with their bodies.
Creation Cost: 8 CP
A demon-monster of the Darkness attribute that takes the appearance of a spider. They use threads to trap their targets, then finish them off with Darkness attribute skills and venom.
Maybe "upgrades" is a better way of wording it? For the first part, at least. The increase in the Movement-stat had unlocked all the upgraded options on the list. Guess it's a stat I should focus on from now on?
The Lesser Ghost is unlocked due to Mystic reaching F, says the description. They're supposed to look like a floating sheet that one could believe was covering a drone or something that made it float. The higher-tiers are supposed to look more human, but at rank F...
Dark Geists are a demon-species I once had the option of evolving into. The creation-requirements are having Subordinates, Mystic, and Movement, all at F or higher. The demon itself is like a moving fog made of dust. Thanks to its Darkness attribute, its Creation Cost is halved, meaning it could turn out to be better than the literal Ghost of the same racial rank.
Reha Zera is... the species I was back in the Water-Knot. They'll probably overlap Arachinaras, but for variety's sake, I'll go with both until further upgrades are possible. Demonbane weapons are damn scary after all...
And the Knowledge-stat... didn't give any new monsters. Damn...
Ehm, I have 85 CP left... but all 30 party slots are filled with thanks E-ranks I just added... wait! Two Imps retreated to the back just now.
I decided to create one each of the Lesser Ghost and the Dark Geist. The Ghost is already equipped with the ability to use magic, so it's going to team M. The Geist is more physical-based, so it goes to team W.
"Garami! I'm too exhausted to continue!" - Mira
"Me too! There's a limit to how much you can work even a Vampire!" - Alf
...It's been 10 hours since we started...
"Okay, those who want to can take a break. Keep the parties up-and-running." - Garami
Mira, Revi, Alf, and Noire went to the back with the first Zerbreus and the two Cave Scorpions. They've finally reached their own level-limits as well, so it's a good time for them to take a break.
I created a new Zerbreus, a Cave Scorpion, and another Dark Geist to replace the monsters that left just now. Better to take those that need lots of EXP when we can't go and change them as freely as before.
Guess I should start fighting for real instead of just commanding the others. I jumped outta the commander's seat I had fashioned from threads and joined Iron, the only other member of the original group that didn't need sleep like me, and we stood firm as the next wave of undeads came towards us.
They can't do anything but that stupid charge of theirs? What a group of one-trick-Skeletons. Let me show you how one is really supposed to fight!
The large-scale magic circle that the Parallel Wills had been preparing for a little while now appeared. It was large enough to make the Dungeon Monsters step back in fear without me needing to command them to do so.
Alright, the coast is clear. Fire!
"Negative Torrent!" - Garami
One of the best attack-type Darkness spells that one could learn with the skill at Lv.40 assaulted the invaders. A large, raging storm of darkness flew through the boulder-corridor and crashed right into the running invaders. The storm turned the Desert Skeleton into dust so easily, the force of the spell didn't weaken at all and continued through the tunnel leading to the outside.
A large sound was heard from the tunnel when the spell finally stopped. ...What was that overkill about? I think I earned some points with the Dungeon Monsters. Too many of them. Those stares of admiration hurt...
Advanced title: [Skeleton Slaughter] to [Skeleton Genocider]
Acquired skill: [Death Touch Lv.1]
Geh!? Did the spell destroy even the forces outside!?
A-, a-ha-ha-ha... let's not use that spell in a public area. Ever.
Several hours later...
"Garami~. Breakfast~." - Revi
An angel, rather, Revi announced my well-needed break. I left the front-line, which now was filled with various ghosts that blasted any Desert Skeletons that tried to invade with their magic.
Revi had prepared an area where people and monsters could take a break in one of the Dungeon room's corners. Mira was already sitting by the table, drowsily chewing on a sandwich. Alf and Noire had returned to their posts and took the place for me and Iron.
"Hey, get back into it if you're finished resting," I said to the sloth-sprite.
"No can do. Snoozy." - Mira
This girl has turned incredibly listless when she's in areas without light ever since she evolved. Even her attitude has gone sluggish...
"If it's the two of us, we could storm the invaders outside-" - Garami
"Let's do that!" - Mira
Mira jumped at my murmurs I uttered in-between eating my food. Is she the kind that needs to be outside for a certain amount of time?
"...We need to do something about the Desert Skeleton King outside anyway." - Garami
I started to give Mira an explanation of my idea, about how the two of us are gonna take the advantage of the overwhelming firepower in the form of a frontal-blast with spells like the Negative Torrent to run outside and mess with the Desert Skeleton army before fleeing back into the Dungeon.
It's a messy plan, I admit, but it's the only thing we can do now. Even worse, the Dungeon Map revealed that the Desert Skeletons are receiving reinforcements as we speak, all of them drawn here due to the gigantic Skeleton we saw before fleeing into the Dungeon; the Desert Skeleton King.
"You're right about that only the two of us has the movement-capability to do such a feat. And getting rid of that boney majesty sounds like the only possible way for us to survive." - Mira
Yeah. Some of the weaker Dungeon Monsters died despite the tailored-made strategy we had prepared for defeating the Desert Skeletons. Those deaths came from the D-ranked invaders, but even so. Everyone is starting to feel the effect of the death march, so it's better to finish this before we lose anyone else.
After swallowing the food with some Stamina Potion, which is just an energy drink with great effects, we had all the heavy-hitting magic users position themselves at the mouth of the boulder-corridor, all of them preparing their greatest offensive-magic. I dismissed the Zombie Trolls so the others had more space to work with.
The new wave of Desert Skeletons arrived just in time to receive the magical blast of the century, leaving not even dust behind as a turbulent storm passed through them like a force of nature. I and Mira ran through the cleared area, making sure to have a good distance from the blast as it traveled through the straight tunnel leading to the outside.
As we exited the cave, we hid behind the Mercenary, which the Dungeon Map had revealed to be free of Desert Skeletons, using my [Total Presence Concealment] to stay clear of the undead's line of sight.
The magical blast exploded in the middle of a large group of Desert Skeletons, sending them flying in every direction. And then we saw our target.
The Desert Skeleton King was wielding a damn-big sword and was hammering at the Dungeon with it. Good luck with that. A Dungeon is impenetrable to outside forces... unless it's using structures that are not created by the Dungeon's power, like the city of Tir na Nog, or obvious exceptions like the Water-Knot.
"So, the swarms, or the boss?" I asked Mira, while also hinting at my idea of having one of us occupy the smaller Skeletons so the other could go one-on-one with the giant.
"I'll take the swarms. then you can face the boss. That's the set-up we're most used to after all." - Mira
With that, Mira ran towards the survivors of the initial blast with her black katana drawn. The Desert Skeletons noticed her, but before they could do anything, Mira had chopped them into several pieces already.
The other Desert Skeletons tried to catch up to them, but as if laughing at their SPD-specialized build, Mira dodged the scimitars by the millimeter. Then, the Skeletons' attempts were repaid in full by a burst of electricity, originating from a small, sparkling sphere that orbited around Mira, for then be sliced to pieces as they were stunned by the spark.
If I remember right, that just now is a combination of the skills [Spark Ball] and [Discharge]? The Lighting attribute, which Mira has started gaining experience in lately, is extremely powerful, but it lacks directly useful skills. [Spark Ball] only creates a distraction that follows the user, which an unfortunate enemy has to be careful not to touch, and [Discharge] allows other Lightning-skills to discharge its energy as a long-range attack.
Despite the difficulty of the skills, Mira used them with ease as she ran through the undead, destroying them with such ease that one would believe she was lightning itself.
As one could expect, Mira caught the attention of all the Desert Skeletons in the area, including the King. It turned away from the Dungeon and readied its massive sword to strike at Mira, not caring about its allies being caught up in it.
Before it could do so, I moved towards one of its legs and released the next Negative Torrent at it. The king of the desert was knocked down to its knees, losing its sword in the process. I took the opportunity to stuff the big thing into my Storage, preventing the King from using it anymore-!?
I jumped outta the way as the King's arm tried to swipe me up and climbed to the top of the Dungeon thanks to my threads. The King was conscious of me from the second my magic blast and tried to counterattack while I was busy with its weapon.
It's only when I figured out the King's plan that I noticed that my condition was a little unstable. The all-nighter must have strained me more than I thought, despite what my stats are telling me. And perhaps using that big spell all the time could have added to the exhaustion. Of the mind, not the SP.
Better not rely on such a big spell anymore. It drains too much mental strength, Parallel Wills or not.
I drew Carnwennan and faced the kneeling King... hey, he's kneeling, but his face is still at the same height as the Dungeon roof. Just what was this guy when he was alive?
I shot at the King's face with some Glow Bullets, but the King only ignored them and slammed its arm at me. I ran away from the attack, but the King switched to a swiping-motion, trying to brush me off the Dungeon roof. I used [Sky Jump] to get above the arm, slashing at it while above it. I restrained myself from using the Ailment-attacks. They won't work against this guy.
The King, somehow predicting my movements, used a Sand spell towards the spot where I was gonna land. An antlion-like sinkhole appeared in that place, so I had to double-jump away from it, only to see that the next landing-place had also turned into a sinkhole!
Feeling irritated, I activated Carnwennan's darkness-blade and slashed at the sinkhole. It may sound like a stupid move, but thanks to the [Soul Chase] skill, the blade of darkness could cut even the magic formula that created the sinkhole-spell, negating the spell altogether.
The King's arm was trying to sweep at me again, but I used the Light spell, Light Pillar, at the area where the arm was. A bright pillar appeared from the magic circle, which meant the King's arm collided with it and took heavy Light attribute damage. Pillar-spells are something you can learn when the Magic Skill is at Lv.30 or above. Its cost-effectiveness is incredible, but only if you can get the targets to stay still in the area of the spell.
The King retracted its scorched arm while in obvious pain. Gotcha!
I used a Chaotic Zahhak and attacked the neck of the King. All the dragon-heads chomped on the spine that connected the King's head with the rest of its body, small pieces breaking off due to the sheer force of the dragon-heads' jaws. That only lasted until the King grasped the "necks" of the dragon-heads and pried them off.
Right there, I climbed up the King's ribcage through a thread I had thrown while the King struggled with the dragon-heads. The King noticed me right after finishing the last dragon-head and attacked me, who has incredible danger-prediction abilities. Needless to say, I escaped between the gaps of his fingers, resulting in the King only hitting himself in the process.
It was at the same moment that the bombs I had plastered in place with sticky threads inside his ribcage exploded. The explosion made the King fall upon the Dungeon, too exhausted to move anymore.
The reason the bombs had done so much damage was due to the dragon-heads tearing more on the King's resistances than its bones. The Weakening spells that the Parallel Minds had used also played their parts in this job.
Now, with the King in front of me, I held Carnwennan in a reversed grip and used the Assassination Art, Burst Kill. I rushed at the King's cranium and struck it with the pommel of the dagger, which resulted in an explosion-like impact that broke the royal undead's skull.
Burst Kill is the only blunt-based Assassination Arts I have, but its strength also makes it one of my strongest physical attacks. Even more so when I use Mana Burst and other skills to further improve the strength of the attack.
Level has increased. Reached Lv.12
You have earned 0.8 Skill Points
Due to "Champion of Alvatria", an additional 0.8 Skill Points earned.
Advanced title: [Undead Slaughter] to [Undead Genocider]
Acquired skill: [Corpse Cannibalism Lv.1]
Acquired title: [King Slayer].
Advanced title: [Cruel Commander] to [Queen Commander]
Acquired skill: [Full Command Lv.1]
Acquired skill: [Stratagem Lv.1]
Skill: [Full Command Lv.1] is integrated into skill: [Full Command Lv.12]
Skill: [Stratagem Lv.1] is integrated into skill: [Stratagem Lv.8]
As expected of a Skeleton. So fragile to blunt it's actually sad. Still, just one level? I gained more from all of his underlings, but even so... what a fate we high-ranking creatures have to face...
HEY! Who is the smart guy who added that third title to the System!? Do you have a bone to pick with me? Then I'll give you the skull right here!
The Dungeon has leveled up. Reached D-Lv.3
The Dungeon's CP-limit has increased by 100.
The Dungeon's FP-limit has increased by 10.
Acquired 5 DP due to level-up.
ANOTHER DUNGEON LEVEL!? You're not sharing my pain here at all, Dungeon! *Stomp, stomp, stomp*.
In any case, the Dungeon's first battle turned out to be bigger than expected, but worth the pain. I looked down and saw Mira kicking the unmoving corpses of the Desert Skeletons that died alongside their King, just as the Kigal-Note said they would.
I'll have to convert all of that sooner or later... *shiver*. But for now, let's go in and look over the "rewards".
|Race:||Kur Kigal | Gender: Female|
|Karma Value:||-200 <Chaotic>|
|Main Class:||Assassin Lv.23
|Sub Class:||Necromancer Lv.9|
|Sub Class:||Alchemist Lv.17|
|HP: 500/500||MP: 789/789||SP: 491/491|
|STR: 604||VIT: 433||MAG: 606|
|RES: 659||SPD: 800||DEX: 809|
|INT: 120||LUC: 150|