Damn... that's the last time I sleep on the floor... I'm glad I didn't get a cold...
I walked through the forest in the hopes of easing the pain in my muscles after the bad event yesterday... what was that?
Backstepping, I saw that a portion of the forest had been made into a primitive school, with General Damrung being the teacher. Zerbreuses, Dark Elves, even Skeletons are noting down the stuff on the makeshift blackboard.
...Nope. No clue. I'm not getting it at all. I know that it's talking about runes and such, but the contents are making zilch sense to me. H-hmph. I have Necromancy, so bleah!
I left the "classroom" and focused on the invaders with my portable terminal. They're breaking through the first floor as we speak... tch, so I did oversleep after all. I already gave an order not to send the more talented troops at them, so they're getting through easy enough.
Compared to the second Dungeon, this first one's more of a musclehead. The other is depending on the tiresome trap-floors and the Gate of Puzzles, while this one relies more on talented subordinates. No wonder they've come so far.
I ignored the drop-outs and came to the cafeteria area for breakfast. Everyone else's already eaten, so the place is nice and quiet.
"Garami~! What do you want today?" asked the chef, a certain former-undead Dragonoid.
"The chef's recommendation." - Garami
"Riri's recommendation, right away~!" - Riri
Geez, she sure loves her official job. Wonder how well she's doing?
|Race:||Netzach Dracoria | Gender: Female|
|Main Class:||Witch Apprentice Lv.18|
|Sub Class:||Gravekeeper Lv.18|
|Sub Class:||Cook Lv.24|
|STR: 163||VIT: 250||MAG: 407|
|RES: 356||SPD: 282||DEX: 317|
|INT: 107||LUC: 97|
...What's up with all those Resistance Skills? Not that she has them. I suggested some of them as anti-Envy measures. but they're all got some amount of proficiency... except for Light and Dark... ah. That first week... wonder if Mark managed to fix the kitchen after that? Detoxing and rebuilding the place ain't easy... or cheap. That first lesson-week turned into a damn-big money pit for us...
"Here you go~!" - Revi
The training is bearing fruits~. A delicious-looking vegetable stew with fresh bread is placed in front of me. These... aren't from the farm. Even in a fantasy world, you can't expect to get crops that fast, so they must be using the provisions I gave them through Treasure Creation.
...That it's Revi's partner, the Skeleton of some desert lynx we encountered on the way here, is putting me off a little, but it's delish anyway ~.
The partner is something that moves around through [Undead Partner], a skill unique to Gravekeepers. You use the skill on a corpse, then you have an undead guarding you all days a week. It's essentially a weaker Necromancy-skill. The trade-off is that she can only have one partner active at a time, but she can replace them whenever she wants. A corpse is needed everything though.
Having Riri watch over the Graveyard areas, as she did when we cleaned up Tir na Nog, turned out to be a great idea. We need to have her gain more class levels. The goal is to make it possible for her to even add dragons as her partner!
"Ga~ra~mi~. Random Creation, now." - Mira
...There she appeared. The incarnation of greed and perviness. Stop clinging to me. The exhaustion from yesterday is returning...
"Hmm? Are you a little pale today?" - Mira
"I'm always that. Here." - Garami
I gave her the smartphone-sized portable terminal after charging the Random Creation function with 500 CP. This is the only way to make it possible for Mira to be the one who... pulls the... gatcha...
"*Staaaare*..." - Revi
"...What?" - Garami
"...Nothing." - Revi
...That was the green-eyed monster right now. The shivers won't stop. *Brrrr*...
"DAMN IT ALL!" - Mira
And the source of all my troubles is making a ruckus. What is it... A-ha-ha-ha-ha!! What the heck? Three Lesser Skeleton Cows? That's a new bad luck-record!
"Garamiiii..." - Mira
"No refunds. Stuff those crocodile tears awa-" - Garami
"The two last ones..." - Mira
"...Fine, fine, I'll give a hand. My luck's supposed to be great after all." - Garami
Damn, I'm too much of a softie sometimes. Wonder why... Maybe I was starving for companionship more than I thought? Back when I first met Mira and the others. Gust needed to get back home after all...
"G-G-G-G-Garami!" - Mira
Whoa-!? I must have pushed the button while I was lost in thoughts. The magic circle of Random Creation had appeared, but this time, the color was golden instead of the normal purple-red. After the magic circle disappeared, a single treasure box was left. And inside it was...
|Item Type: Accessory (Necklace)||Rarity: Ep||Quality: A||Durability: 700/700
A Wakoku necklace that is decorated with seven magatamas made of pure jade. These sacred pieces of jewelry will protect their owner's life at the cost of themselves.
"J-j-j-j-j-JACKPOT!! FINALLY!!" - Mira
And the Sprite started to dance a happy dance.
The necklace ain't that fancy. Just a string of golden-colored threads with seven magatamas, those teardrop-like rocks that were popular in old Japan, attached to it.
Simple, but pretty. Not to mention useful. Well, it's an item, and it looks useful for someone who fights on the front line, and it did come from Mira's obsession with Random Creation...
I calmed down the over-hyped Sprite and helped her wear her new necklace... don't look so happy for it! It's making me regret my decision.
"Garami, thank you, thank you, thank you soooo much!" - Mira
Don't glomp people all of a sudden! Okay, you can glomp me, but no one else!!
"...*Staaaaare*..." - Revi
I sensed a threat to my life, so I pushed Mira away. Sorry about that, so don't look so pouty... and why did you turn Chesire right now?
"Garami, get another jackpot for the final one as well!" - Mira
"It's not like I'm the one who decides it," I answered back, but I still pushed the button for the last Random Creation.
This time, it was a regular purple-red circle. Mira and Revi let out a sigh of disappointment. Even the Skeletons and the chefs working in the kitchen joined them... hey! Get back to work!
Acquired title: [Caller of the Unspeakable].
Acquired skill: [Corruption Resistance Lv.1]
Acquired skill: [Lesser Heretic Element Lv.1]
Huh? Wait, why?
I looked at the creature that appeared. A black spider... but its tongue is freakingly long. Longer than what I had when I was a Grey Demon. And it's got ten eyes. Finally, its legs all have five claws.
The monster spider turned around to get a look at its surroundings before it bowed down to me... or so I think. It's not that easy for a spider to bow, but this one's doing a good imitation of the act.
|Race:||Minimum-Nacha | Gender: Female|
|HP: 106/106||MP: 125/145||SP: 88/88|
|STR: 67||VIT: 45||MAG: 101|
|RES: 88||SPD: 102||DEX: 125|
|INT: 88||LUC: 102|
...Hey, hey..., it's got the [Utility Thread] skill that I'm aiming for. And [Self-Delusion]? Is she a chuuni?
"Garami, what's that?" - Mira
"...An Outer One. It's safe, so play nice with it. I've got somewhere else to be, so bye." - Garami
I escaped before the news could sink in for them. I mean, an Outer One's always bad news. I quickly Identified the new title, and it seems it's granted to those who manage to summon an Outer One under one's own command. And I'm referring to the "loyal to death"-kinda command. Just hope that it stays that way.
A small, electronic sound came from the phone-, the portable terminal... you get what I mean.
Hmm, so the invaders reached that Safe Area. They've cleared three-quarters of the first floor then. In any case, they're incapable of breaking through the Undead House on the second floor, so that amount of effort won't help them in the end... but if someone else gave them hand...
F-finally, the second floor!
Luckily for us, there weren't as many traps as in the Dungeon from yesterday. Instead, lots of monsters of various kinds came to greet us. Well, more various than in the first place. Zombies, scorpions, spiders, bats, and imps even.
The first room we entered was a massive forest in the middle of the night, despite it being just past breakfast! The woods were filled with lots of fruits and even a water source. Finding the Dungeon Stall in the middle of it all was kinda surreal though...
After that, the Dungeon went back to the cave-style like we expected it to be. And that's where the monsters attacked us. They were all weak though, and there weren't that many attacks, so we weren't delayed so much either. The monsters that attacked were too weak to be of any problems... except for the zombies. My poor nose...
As for the second floor... huh?
"Hey, where's the party?"
"No monsters for miles away."
No, no, you guys can't see that far. The torches aren't that effective either.
"Let's move with caution. Trap-team, please let us avert yesterday's fiasco," says the team leader.
The three combatants that have trap-detection and disarming abilities went forward, followed by the warriors that act as the tanks who are walking while making sure there's enough space so the scouts can slip by in case we encounter monsters.
...But we didn't. The second floor is as good as deserted!
Having learned our lesson yesterday, nobody tried to act cocky or overconfident by this event. Rather, our caution sky-rocketed even further due to the strangeness of it all. We then reached a junction that contained a Return Terminal. And we understood the reason for why.
'Cause one of the roads led right into a large graveyard.
"...Did the undead from the previous floor originate from here?"
"No way! It's too far for the staircase! ...Speaking of the non-living, where are they?"
*Sniff, sniff*, he's right. There's the unpleasant smell that comes with the graveyard, but the smell of the undead is weak. It's as if they've left their graves for good. Some of the magicians used an undead-detection spell, something they learned so we wouldn't encounter one of the desert's worst pests, the Desert Skeleton, but like on the trip to this place, there was no reaction. Is the spell broken? I hope it isn't.
"...Everyone, this may be our chance. Even an idiot can understand that this room's normally a Monster House. However, now that it's empty, this is a great chance in clearing one of the hardest hurdles we've yet to face. Even if this is a trap, if they fill that room with the undead, we have no chance in hell to clear this place without sacrificing more than a few of us. So, what will it be? Risking ourselves against the unknown further down this path? Or having to challenge the trap-hell that is the first Dungeon we explored?"
"Onward!" - Lily
I don't wanna go to that place again! No, no, no, no!!
As no one opposed, we braved through the graveyard... and it was as anti-climatic as watching grass grow.
"Are the monsters on a sick leave?"
"Does the undead even have sick leaves?"
We kept on forcing ourselves through the graveyard, then we reached the third floor after a small break in the Safe Area before we found the staircase to the third floor.
And the place is beautiful. The whole floor is one gigantic underground lake, with crystals on the roof that emits light, so we don't need to use the torches anymore. The water is deep blue due to the lighting, and there are islands and rocks made of black bedrock in the lake. It seems one must walk over these rocky islands to get to the other shore.
It's probably possible to swim... forget I just said that. I saw a shadow in the water. A BIG shadow! And there are no Return Terminals here either... how are we supposed to get back!?
With no other choice left, we walked onward, aiming for the fourth floor.
Still, this floor is much more hospitable than those claustrophobic cave tunnels. The "bridges" are wide enough that three and a half carriages could pass with some space left, the lighting is so nice, and the lake is so clear that it affects even the air! *Breathe*, ahh... I love this floor.
We passed several islands, took a quick break in the Safe Area on one of them, wandered through a cave-like island, and soon...
"I can see the shore!"
I can see it too! It's still a few kilometers left...
"What the heck's this!?"
I knew it was too good to be true!
The trap-specialists are stuck in... something, further down the road. There... is something there, right? The light's too weak to see clearly...
"T-threads! These are threads! Just like on that damn arachnid floor-*Smack!*-ugh!?"
Gyaaa! The trap-members got knocked out cold by some black ball! Who did-
Gyaaa!! The priestess-lady was drop-kicked by something!! Then, the druid... they're both knocked out!? We don't have any healers left!!
Who did this!? Who... who is that girl? She's dressed in black- and red-purple clothes, complete with a hood and a mask, as if to hide her identity. The mask is especially disturbing, with those blue lights where the eyes should be.
...It's so cooool!!
And there went the healers. Gotta aim for those first after all. The scouts were the first that the gong rang for though.
Let's see, the remaining invaders are; the spear-user who acts as the commander of the group, the sword-and-shield guy that acts as one of the tanks, the ax-using ox-Beastkin that's the other tank, the archer, the two magicians, one specializing in Fire spells, the other using Water spells, and the Living Chimera that Damrung mentioned.
The three scouts and the two healers are all knocked out with the Drowsiness spell from [Enfeeblement Magic] and won't get up by the first. I just need to clear these seven, and the game's mine.
...It's gonna be a massacre if I use all my power, won't it? Their average status values are around 200 or less. And with both the Fire-magician and the fire-spitting Chimera, it's gonna end in an accident if I use my threads too much? The goal here's to defeat them without killing them...
Alright, let's fight without using threads or the Darkness attribute. That should be a nice handicap for these guys. Not gonna brag, but facing me at full force is too difficult to be considered an exam to see if they're good enough for being combatants. That would instead be a fight to see if they're capable of being high-class commanders!
Of course, when I'm saying "full force", I'm also counting all of the Dungeon's personal.
Even now, the undead-type Sea Serpents are lurking in the lake, ready to strike when I give the signal. That having floors with different Dungeon-types could lead to unlocking new monsters to create... then why didn't I get anything for the Dark Forest!? Prolly an undead thing. No reason to mope about that.
Oh? They've regrouped themselves now. They took their sweet time... no, that's because of [Thought Super-Acceleration]. That one's practically a habit of mine now. It's gonna suck if it's ever turned if we're ever faced against some skill-sealer like Springwood.
"Alright, ladies... lady and jerks! Look alive and stay alive!"
And the battle began!
The ox ran towards me, ready to strike. Such a big swing, he's practically telling me where he's gonna strike. I could slip through his attack and use the Sleep Blow Art on him, but that would end the exam too fast. So, I instead dodged the blow and then... the ox stopped in front of the fallen healers.
Oh-ho? Did they plan to separate me from the sleeping guys from the start? A good move, even if I had no plans to take them hostage.
Whoops, too close. The archer had been hiding behind the shield-user and tried to snipe at me. Sorry pal, but your stealth-skills need training. I deflected the arrow with Carnwennan.
"No way!?" - Archer
I threw a Poison Needle, one of my hand-made throwing weapons made through Alchemy, at the archer, but the shield-user deflected it. I didn't invest any MP into that throw, but it's still faster than what regular people, or adventurers, could hope to follow with their eyes. That guy's good.
I wanted to send that guy to dreamland, but the magicians had prepared their spells. Water Bullet and Fireball, huh. Not gonna die from them, but they're bound to hurt. Especially the Fireball. Back in Velantas, all of us took an attribute-affinity test, and I was in the minus with the Fire attribute. Supposedly, it's so bad that it's become a personal, elemental weakness for me. Even with the Fire Ultimate Goddess' approval to support me...
Therefore, I dodged the spells while rushing at the magicians. Especially the fire-type. He's going down!! ...Except that the leader and the Chimera noticed my killing intent and attacked from each side.
I back-stepped as to dodge the spear and the glowing fist and threw a Poison Needle at them both. The leader deflected his portion with his spear, but the Chimera... caught it in her mouth!? Don't eat that, you hear me. Even if it's only a sleeping poison.
"UAAARGH!" - Ox-man
Don't shout out if you're doing a surprise attack, seriously... that's gonna subtract some points there.
I closed in to dodge the ox-man's attack, used his arm as a ladder, and kicked his neck with [Sleep Attack] and [Paralyze Attack] added to the kick. The force of the kick, plus the effect of the skills, knocked him unconscious. Attacking at places where important blood veins are located seems to increase the probability for the ailment-attacks to work, so I've been training in methods to reach spots like that. The neck's an especially good spot to aim, as the victim takes great amounts of damage no matter what Attack-skill's used. Heck, even without them...
As the ox-man fell, the archer tried to snipe at me again, but this time, I caught his arrow and threw it back to him. It was blocked by the shield-user, but the force of the [Shooting]-enhanced arrow knocked the shield-user off-balance, so I head-shot him with a Drowsiness spell. If you're gonna be a tank, then use a helmet or something!
The magicians must've been pretty disturbed over the sight of me felling their two heavy-weights in a matter of seconds, as they hastily prepared more powerful spells than those before. They're something to have learned such high-leveled spells, but the construction of the magic formula is sloppy. Most likely due to them hasting the work due to their fear towards me.
I slipped past the Chimera that tried to attack again and threw a Smoke Bomb, another Alchemy-creation, at the magician-combi. A loud "Boom!" was heard, and the two magicians were covered in the smoke... and fell asleep in just a few seconds. The noise is too high, tch. A failure... but the sleeping-smoke part is a success. I gotta note that down later.
The archer fired several arrows in a row, but I dodged them with ease thanks to the trajectory of the arrows going all over the place. Some of them didn't even need me to dodge... oh? He stopped... I see.
I pretended to take out a new item from my pocket... and instead caught the Chimera-girl that tried to attack me from my blind spot. Not that I have one. At least, not when facing opponents of this level.
As the Chimera-girl's fist closed into me, I grabbed her wrist, and since it's a pain in getting a new item by now, let's use her instead. Hey, archer! Catch!
Ouch, that looked like it hurt. Chimera-girl collided with the archer in a headbutt. The Chimera-missile hit a weak point! It's super effective! Both the archer and your Chimera-missile is defeated! Not like I care.
I turned to the spear-leader, who looked at the battlefield with disbelief in his eyes. What? You thought you guys were some hot-shots just 'cause I let you pass through all those floors?
And here he comes. A final charge to save your comrades? No, looks more like he's fallen to despair.
I blocked the sloppy-swung spear and gave a strong right to his solar plexus, knocking him out.
Zero left. That's it.
...Well, there are some parts that they need to work on, but they got some potential... not that I would give them greater positions than "grunt".
I created some Skeletons on the spot and had them carry the K.O.-ed combatants to the fourth floor.
Still, that Chimera... she actually managed to hide herself that good without the use of skills. The attacks had a lot of power behind them, despite her stats not being that much. Is she the same kinda "genius" as Noire is with craftsmanship? Her class level was pretty high compared to her racial one...
Alright, I've decided. I'm gonna ask Damrung about letting that kid into our group. Having another attacker with Mira is useful, and she's one of those Growth Chimeras. Who knows what she will be capable of in the future.
Though, there's stuff we gotta take care of now in the present. Like the Dungeons that Noire found in the latest scouting trip. Damn, doesn't this region have a little too many Dungeons?