[Arc 3] Chapter 13: Temple Tour
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*DOOOON!*

"What is going on!?" 

The large explosion that happened at the entrance of the temple could be heard even down in the Dungeon Master's private locals, down on the fourth and last floor.

"? What are you talking about, master?"

"Argh, forget it!!"

...Or, it was only the Dungeon Master who had good ears.

The Dungeon Master, a Birdkin with sickly yellow feathers and the head of an ostrich, turned away from the Jackalman with irritation showing on his face.

Wanting to know the source of the noise, the Birdkin walked to a pedestal with a vessel filled with water on top, the Terminal of the Desert Temple-type Dungeon. With his command, pictures started to show on the water surface and revealed the intruders to the Birdkin.

It was a group of fiendish-looking creatures, including humanoids with blue skin and demonic wings, bulky, purple-skinned demons, and elves with dark skin.

Leading them was a pale human with grey hair and wearing a military uniform, a winged woman in clothing that looked equally part dress, part ranger-outfit, a woman clad in black from top to bottom and didn't leave any decent impression. And finally, there was a small lady, dressed as a witch from the fairy tales. 

"...I got it! That witch-girl is the leader!" 

"How so, master?" asked the Jackalman.

"No one with their right mind would enter the battlefield dressed like they were going to a costume party. In other words, this group must consist of an ignorant lady who dragged her peerage with her. That explains how they got a Dungeon Core. They must have bought an even more expensive one from the seller!"

"The same one that master Forocas obtained his Core from?" 

"That guy, yes. Damn that bastard, he must have given a more high-quality Core just 'cause the girl looked cute. Hah! Let them come! My Dungeon will fall for no one! To all troops: center your attacks against the girl in the witch costume!"

...The Temple-Dungeon Master made a choice so foolish, that it would have no equal even if one searched three thousand different worlds. Even more so since he forgot to inspect the status values of the invaders with [Knowledge: D]'s Identification-like ability.

---

"Damn, they noticed us." - Alf

"That's why I said we shouldn't try to sneak in like that!" - Revi

"Do not blame me for that. Say it to the idiot who thought their stealth-skills would work on 24 people just by connecting them with a thin thread." - Noire

"Yes, yes, it's all my fault. Get busy defeating those Mummies already!" - Garami

"I will, as they are easy prey for me." - Noire

"No, don't give up just because of that!" - Alf

"And don't act so overconfident! All the storybooks Marc gave me always showed that the overconfident one would be the first one to die!" - Revi (in tears)

"Namu." - Garami

"Why you-!!" - Noire

---

"They broke through the Mummy guard!?"

The Dungeon Master could not believe what he was seeing, but the Terminal couldn't lie. The invaders had relied on the skull-shaped magic from the witch, the silver light released by the combo of the Therianthrope and the black-clad woman, pulverizing the trustworthy Mummies that had defended the outer region of the Temple.

"Tch, they must have prepared beforehand thanks to the Mummies being in plain sight." 

So said the Birdkin Dungeon Master, completely failing to see the invaders' true strength being greater than even his prided Mummy forces.

'Oh well. Losing the Mummies was a slap to the face, but that doesn't mean I'm checked just yet.'

The Dungeon Master thought so while opening his Dungeon Menu through the Terminal to see the stats of his Dungeon.

Dungeon Menu:
Dungeon Name: none 
Dungeon Level: 4
Creation Points: 441/500
Dungeon Points: 0
Dungeon Status:
  • Strength: E
  • Mystic: D
  • Movement: E
  • Knowledge: D
  • Facility: E
  • Subordinates: D
  • Treasures: F
Creation:
  • Dungeon Customization
  • Subordinate Creation
  • Treasure Creation
Special:
  • Blessing of Daywalker
  • Sand Attribute Reinforcement

'Ku-ku-ku. My Dungeon is foolproof. I paid much of my FP for the Blessing to allow my undead to walk outside, plus improving their basic abilities thanks to them all being of the Sand attribute. I may have ended up short of setting traps, but with my enormous army of undead, I will conquer this whole desert!'

The Dungeon Master started to laugh with a voice that could make windows twist themselves in dismay.

"Let's sick the Desert Ghosts at them." 

With a few touches on the Terminal, and the order to attack was given to the Desert Ghosts, D-ranked Ghosts that were also of the Sand attribute. 

Soon after, the Terminal showed the invaders being surrounded by over a hundred ghosts that looked like floating, dried-up Skeletons without a lower half. The Dungeon Master looked at the screen with glee...

Until the black-clad woman suddenly created several silver-colored magic circles at the same time, exorcising the ghost army within seconds.

"......Eh? EEEEEHHH!?"

The Dungeon Master is confused.

'I thought that woman was a scout that could use some exorcism items... but she was really a Priestess that had disguised herself!? Of all the lowly, dirty-'

He is wrong.

"Tch, the undead are useless then. Beast-squad, move out!"

With the Dungeon Master's order, a group of Jackalmen, Camelorian Priests, Arcane Antelopes, and Trickster Sandfoxes came charging at the invaders. 

'He-he-he. This time, your exorcising items will not be of any help. The Jackalmen are experts with the spear, the Camelorian are excellent healers, something that is even more improved thanks to them evolving into the Priest-line, the Arcane Antelopes have both speed and magic at their disposal, and the Trickster Sandfoxes will disturb your teamwork with their trickery. And finally, thanks to the unparalleled teamwork of beast-types... of beast-types...'

The Dungeon Master's inner monologue started to fall apart as he watched some of the beasts tripping over something, then an angry brawl started to unravel before his eyes. The invaders took the chance to walk around the angry mess of animals and continued towards the second floor.

"A-all troops! Focus on the invaders! Don't you hear me!?"

Alas, as if any method of commanding the beasts had been cut off, the Dungeon Master could do nothing to prevent the invaders from brazenly walking through the "Subordinate-based first floor".

---

"The entrance to the next floor is this way, master Garami." - Dark High Elf

"Good work." - Garami

"Man, Wind Magic is damn useful in a labyrinth. You can find the exit in no time!" - Alf

"It's an entrance this time around though." - Garami

"Why did the monsters suddenly start fighting each other?" - Revi

"That was strange, yes. Beast-types have Leadership Skills to allow even greater cooperation with each other." - Noire

"Alright, what did you do? Don't come and say that tripping some of them with threads was all that was needed." - Alf

"First, they're relying too much on those skills. And the second reason is the Skill: [Chaos Theory]." - Garami

"...That fits you all too well!!" - Everyone

---

The invaders had reached the second floor in less than an hour after they had bypassed the beast-squad, which were still fighting each other even now. 

'Damn those bastards... We-well, there is no way they can break through the second floor. Even with my limited FP, I've created a foolproof plan to keep them trapped on that floor.'

Unlike the first floor, which relied on the number of high-ranked subordinates, the second floor was a massive labyrinth, designed to keep the intruders trapped for several hours while Ghost-type subordinates harassed them until they collapsed from exhaustion.

"The ghosts will be useless unless they get too tired to react to sudden developments..."

The Dungeon Master had learned from his mistake from the first floor and ordered the Ghost-type subordinates on the second floor to stay clear of the invaders-

"M-Master! They have discovered the hidden door!"  

"WHAAAT?!"

The Dungeon Master looked at the record and saw that the Wind Magic trick the Dark Elves had used on the first floor had failed. However, the pale man in the military uniform had summoned a large number of rats from his shadows, which started to crawl on the floors and walls. Due to that, they found the hidden door that the Dungeon Master had placed pretty close to the entrance in the hope of the invaders would start looking for it after they reached the deepest parts of the labyrinth. 

"...! Dungeon Boss! Be ready to intercept the intruders!!" 

The Dungeon Master had to put his faith in the creature he had placed as a guard on the third floor, his last line of defense.

---

"That was easy." - Revi

"No, the owner of this place is stupid, that's all." - Noire

"Easy-peasy." - Alf

"By the way, when did your Shadow Familiars grow to such numbers?" - Noire

"EH!? Well, that's-" - Alf

"He prolly used them so he could skip his own work while watching over the defense of the Dungeons." - Garami

"Ah, I see." - Revi & Noire

"Don't look so content with that answer! It's true, but even so..." - Alf

---

On the screen of the Terminal, the Dungeon Master watched as the invaders entered the third floor, which was one enormous room with nothing special inside it... except for a large mound of fur.

Reacting to the footsteps of the invaders, the mound of fur stood up and revealed its identity:

Name: Mertrien  | Dungeon Boss
Race: Sphinx  | Gender: Female
Level: 1
Karma Value: 112
Skills: 72
HP: 1,002/1,002 MP: 1,255/1,255 + 500 SP: 892/892
STR: 600 VIT: 865 MAG: 880
RES: 901 SPD: 613 DEX: 598
INT: 155 LUC: 100

"...He-he... Mwa-ha-ha-ha! What was I so worried about? No one can stop my Mertrien!" 

The Dungeon Master's confidence got a boost when he checked the stats of the Sphinx that stood as the last line of defense against the invaders. A rank-C Divine Beast that would never be beaten! According to him.

The invaders on the screen paused in front of the Sphinx. The Sphinx started to speak to the invaders, which threw them into confusion. That is because they are challenged by the Sphinx with the special skill that only the Sphinx-race owns; [Trial of Knowledge]. 

While in use, the World System will prevent any form of violence towards each party, and the Sphinx challenges the knowledge of the opposing party in the form of a test. The more points the opposing party gets from the test, the weaker the Sphinx's stats will become afterward, but the more mistakes they make on the test, the stronger the Sphinx will become. 

The Dungeon Master had created one heck of a quiz alongside the Sphinx. It was only a single question, but the less detailed the answer, the stronger the Sphinx would become due to the nature of the question. And the question is:

[Name and describe all the noble families in the kingdom of Solomar.]

The question requires the invaders to explain about all the nobles in Solomar. Every. Single. One. Most people could list the 72 Main Families of the noble families, but the question also asks about the branch families, which makes the total exceeding 300! No one would be able to answer them all correctly! Even the 72 Main Families is the limit for the locals of Solomar.

...However, the Dungeon Master couldn't do anything but to lament as he watched the raven Therianthrope naming all the families without pause, with no mistakes and even adding extra information to each answer, scoring her 158% on the test and weakening the Sphinx to the point where a single arrow was enough to fell the proud (lol) Dungeon Boss.

---

Garami's PoV

...What a poor excuse of a boss. We left the Boss Room (or rather, the Boss Floor) and walked to the last floor. I mean, there's nothing else after the Boss, right? Except for the Dungeon Master, perhaps.

"Noire, that was amazing just now!" - Revi

"Hm-hm~. That's right~. But something like that is child play for me~." - Noire

Noire's gotten into a good mood thanks to Revi and the Dungeon Monsters piling praises upon praises on her. She's too weak against those. If it wasn't for that loyalty she has for Filyn, she would have betrayed the organization if she was glorified enough.

Well, that's an impossible task. The test just now proves how much work and dedication she has towards the big boss. On that note, don't waste three hours on the Belial family alone! 

As we entered the fourth floor, we were met with... quite the luxurious floor. Lots of decorations and arts were placed along the open floor, mostly statues of musicians and bards. These decorations can be bought with CP, but it's mostly useless spending if you ask me.

"About time you bitches came!!" - ???

A frantic figure came outta the large temple in the middle of the room. Having a temple inside a Temple-based floor sounds stupid for me...

The guy looks like an ostrich that's gotten a humanoid body and whose feathers have turned into a sickly yellow color. He's dressed like a bard, not that different from the ones pictured with the statues. They could be items that you can buy with CP, but the quality looks poorer than the stuff I'm making on my own. The clothes that Alf, Noire, and Revi are currently wearing are leagues away from those rags.

"You're the Dungeon Master, right? Surrender obediently, and-" - Alf

"AS IF! You all are going down!!" - Dungeon Master

Ehm, mister Dungeon Master? You kinda forgot your army. Alf and the Fiends/Lesser Fiends are already in position on the front line, Noire and the Dark Elves/Dark High Elves have gotten into long-range possible positions, and the Maphelruses are ready to unleash their magic while protecting Revi.

I for my part used the distraction Alf created by calling out to the Dungeon Master and went into hiding in the shadows of the many statues, ready to strike whenever possible. My build is that of an Assassin, even if people tend to forget it.

The Dungeon Master took a deep breath with a large motion... hey, don't come and say he's gonna do a dragon-!?!?!?

M-my ears!! What's up with that noise!? It's so horrible that written words can't describe it!!

I looked around while holding my hands on my ears, and I saw that the Dungeon Master was... doing something that resembles "shouting", but my brain refuses to believe it's something that a living creature is capable of doing. And are those soundwaves? Those curse-black rings that come from his mouth. Why're even they looking like they're wriggling in pain!?

Where are they... ahh, much better. Good thing I had started keeping some earplugs close by ever since that failed sound-bomb experiment. 

As for the others... down for the count. Some have started to bleed from their ears, while others have started to spasm from the pain. Their eyes looked more dead than a fish, as if their souls had left them, then returned after being through a meat processor, and they were foaming from their mouths. Some even had a bathroom accident, but I'll refrain from looking too closely there. Rather, the whole sight's scaring me to death! It's like watching the Exc*rsist in real life!

Alf and Noire's...... not that important. But what about Rev-!?!!

"WHY YOU-!!" - Garami

I fired a [Chaotic Bullet] at the ******1Refusing to call that singing. bastard... eh!? The bullet of Light and Darkness was blocked by the soundwaves! Where's the logic in that!? 

Then taste my trustworthy Zahhak... EEEHHH!? The Zahhak stopped midway and started to squirm in pain!! You're not even a living being!! Does anyone have earplugs for dragon-heads made out of pure Darkness? No? Damn...

...The guy stopped singing and started to shout at me for something. Sorry, but I'm using the earplugs now. Can seriously hear nothing. Ah, he started to throw out magic. Let's run!

I dodged the blasts of wind that came from the magic circles surrounding the Birdkin Dungeon Master while throwing some Poison Needles back at him, but a wall of wind blew them away. Tch, the Wind attribute is more troublesome than I had expected. And those air blasts are damn powerful! The floor's littered with broken sculpture parts now!

The good thing is that I was able to lead him away from the others. They're knocked out cold by that... whatever you can call it. 

Since I had lured the damn bird a good distance from the others, I started to blast him with some more powerful spells, but he started to sing again!! Oops, I admitted it... I'm so gonna kill you!!

But how? We're stuck in a long-range battle due to the walls of wind and... cursed soundwaves(?), and even my threads are shugged off by them. And close-range/mid-range is my forte...

"You overgrown chicken! Don't you dare to face me head-on? Is that why you never appeared on the upper floors?" - Garami

Let's try some provoking. It's not gonna... it worked. The walls of wind stopped as the Birdkin began shouting at me while looking angry. Not that I can hear him...

Uh-oh. Is that enhancement magic? I'm bad with those. Even if I perform the spell after learning it with the Kigal-Note, the effects expire before I can make use of them for some reason. 

Name: Rufus Rifiror
Race: Birdkin (Cursesinger)  | Gender: Male
Level: 54
Karma Value: -33
Main Class: Cursed Bard Lv.31
Sub Class: Spell Conductor Lv.7
Sub Class: Wind Mage Lv.45
Skills: 65
Condition:
  • Blessing of the Cursed Song: [Increased Wind-based Damage: [Normal], [Increased Curse-based Damage: [Normal]], [Extra Damage to intellectual life: [Normal]], [Constant MP Loss: [1%/3s]]
  • Magical Enhancements: [Increased STR: [Normal]], [Increased MAG: [Huge]], [Increased SPD: [Huge]], [Increased DEX: [Huge]]
  • Attribute Addition: [Wind Attribute to attacks: [Normal]], [Curse Attribute to attacks: [Normal]
  • Dungeon Master Privileges: [All Magic Stats Increased: [Normal]], [Automatic MP Regeneration: [2%/3s]]
HP: 464/464 MP: 875/1,202 SP: 453/468
STR: 220 VIT: 256 MAG: 1,041
RES: 841 SPD: 655 DEX: 612
INT: 89 LUC: 99

...Crap. This isn't good. I can beat him if I get a good shot in, but I have to do it so fast that he won't have a chance to set up those Wind barriers again.

...I've got no other choice. I used the new [Fartalk] skill, a lower variant of [Telepathy], and gave orders to the five Possession Ghosts currently inhabiting my Accessories. 

From the Nightmare Drop earring came several Darkness-attributed Support spells, courtesy of the Possession Ghost with the Darkness Mage and Enchanter classes.

Several Fire-attributed enhancement spells appeared from the Wolf's Fang earpiece.

From the Bracelet of Strength came Earth-attributed spells by that Possession Ghost.

The ghost residing in the Anklet of Fleefoot enhanced me with Wind-attributed spells.

And finally, Light-attributed spells added the finishing touches, thanks to the ghost possessing the Unholy Rosary.

In addition to the enhancement spells, there's also the Warfare-skills, [Dragon Power], and, thanks to the ghosts on the first floor...

"[Genocide Drive: Speed!]" - Garami

I felt a huge rush of power through my whole body. It's as if pure energy is flowing through my veins!

Name: Garami
Race: Kur Kigal  | Gender: Female
Level: 15 
Karma Value: -200 <Chaotic>
Main Class: Assassin Lv.26
Sub Class: Necromancer Lv.20
Sub Class: Alchemist Lv.31 
Sub Class: Weaver Lv.44 
Skills: 168
Titles: 48
Blessings: 4
Skill Points: 17.6
Condition:
  • Warfare Enhancements: [All stats up: [31%]], [Constant MP Loss: [1%/2s]], [Constant SP Loss: [1%/2s]]
  • Dragon Power: [All stats up: [10%]], [Racial Status Limitations released: [5%]], [Constant MP/SP Loss: [2%/1s]]
  • Genocide Drive: [Increased SPD: [Gigantic]], [Constant HP/MP/SP Loss: [3%/1s]]
  • Magical Enchantments: [Increased STR: [Small]], [Increased VIT: [Small]], [Increased SPD: [Normal]], [Increased DEX: [Small]]
  • Attribute Addition: [Fire Attribute to attacks: [Small]], [Wind Attribute to attacks: [Small]], [Earth Attribute to attacks: [Small]], [Light Attribute to attacks: [Small]], [Darkness Attribute to attacks: [Normal]]
HP: 491/509 MP: 803/814 SP: 454/500
STR: 616 VIT: 442 MAG: 625
RES: 668 SPD: 815 DEX: 847
INT: 120 LUC: 150

This should do. Or, won't this be an overkill? Nah, this guy deserves it.

The Birdkin looked at me with open surprise, but I've got honestly zero time for your reactions! Time is HP, MP, and even SP!!

I jumped at the Birdkin with enough speed to create a Doppel-effect and slashed at his throat while kicking him in the stomach with my knees, forcing him down to the ground. There, I forced a large batch of poison generated from [Poison Synthesis] into his mouth. After swallowing the poison, the Birdkin's body started to spasm while harking up foam and blood. There's even blood coming outta his eyes, ears, and nose. Did the poison also get a boost?

SYSTEM MESSAGE:

Level has increased. Reached Lv.16

You have earned 0.4 Skill Points

Due to "Champion of Alvatria", an additional 0.4 Skill Points earned.

DUNGEON MESSAGE:

You have subjugated Dungeon Master: Rufus Rifiror.

Acquired 1 DP.

To perform [Separated Formation] on the Dungeon, locate the Dungeon Core.

[Unificate] the conquered Dungeon right away?

Y/N

...What can I say. I swore to overkill him, and I did just that. Let's fix the others. Noire should have resisted that voice best, so I'll have her help with the healing. And before I forget...

DUNGEON MESSAGE:

Taking control over Rufus Rifiror's Dungeon...

Unification Complete.

Pseudo-Peace has been granted for 24 hours.

Objective cleared~. Definitely not in the way I had expected...

Kigal-Note/Undead/Ghost: Possession Ghost

Name: Possession Ghost
Rank: D-
Type: Ghost
Lifespan: Uncalculatable
Attribute: Undead
Traits: Undead, Spectral Possessor

Description:

Possession Ghosts are a type of ghosts that are the pre-evolved form of Poltergeists. They can possess almost any type of item, but they are lacking any means to interfere with the physical plane without doing so. 

Appearance:

The appearance of a Possession Ghost is determined by the accessory they possess. There are no visible differences between a possessed item and those who are not.

Abilities:

Average HP: E- Average MP: D+ Average SP: E-
Average STR: E- Average VIT: E- Average MAG: D+
Average RES: D+ Average SPD: E- Average DEX: E-
Average INT: C Rarity: D+ Danger Rank: F~E+

The abilities of Possession Ghosts are limited based on what item they are possessing. If they possess a magician's staff, they will be limited to use magic, but if they possess a sword, they will be limited to Sword Arts. 

Except for this, Possession Ghosts also have the chance to learn skills that lets them levitate the item they possess. The Ghosts that do not learn this skill will have some problems regarding how to move around.

Garami's comment: A Poison Mage, and a Death Mage, maybe some healer-class as well...

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