[Vol. 1 pt. 18] Conquering the Tunnels
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My aurbold was within the centipede’s sight once more, and I was set down on the ground to watch from behind all of my monsters.

Now, all the centipede could see at the time was my aurbold, golem, and construct.

The centipede rushed forward, passing over the steam-spewing trap and the second pitfall trap over it, and crashed head-first into my golem.

It finally found something that it couldn’t just walk through and ignore, so it closed its pincer-like jaws around the golem. While it might have failed to do any damage with only that, we did notice yellow liquid seeping out from the tips of its deadly fangs which dripped down the sides of the golem.

The centipede let go of the golem and knocked it to the side instead of trying to kill it. It knew that there was nothing it could do against something made out of pure stone, but it also knew that the golem wasn’t a legitimate threat to it.

Two monsters were left in front of it after that: my construct and my aurbold.

My aurbold shook more and more the closer that the centipede came. Even so, she held her ground.

I wasn’t the only one who could tell just how afraid my aurbold was.

My construct turned, looked at her, and… stuck its thumb up. It was my first time ever seeing a thumbs-up and I still have no idea how my construct learned how to do that or what it even was, but it did it nonetheless.

The moment my construct returned its attention to the centipede, the enemy was already crashing into it. Only, this time, my construct could do much more than the golem. It grabbed the centipede’s fangs within its blocky hands, dug its heels in, and held its ground as the centipede put all of its power into pushing past my construct.

But my construct refused to move.

They were evenly matched in terms of raw power, and that meant the centipede was unable to move past or pull back away from my construct. All it could do was shake its head to try and break free as its fangs started cracking underneath the pressure of my construct’s grip.

Everything was proceeding exactly as I hoped it would.

The golem that was previously shoved aside positioned itself next to the middle of the centipede’s length and then fell forward onto it one of its legs there. While the golem wasn’t large enough to fall onto the top of the centipede, it could still fall onto one of its legs and break it underneath its weight.

And as long as my construct held the centipede in place, there was no escaping the golem as it broke the centipede’s legs one by one.

My slime and snake were finally invited to join in on the action, too.

The centipede was in the process of swinging its backend around to attack my golem breaking its legs when its softer underside was bitten into by my fire snake. My snake pumped its flames into a section of the centipede’s backend until it exploded. The fiery pressure inside of the centipede’s body ended up bursting out and severing the end of the centipede’s body from the rest of its length.

It thrashed around even harder to try and break free but my construct still refused to let it go.

My construct did give the centipede one thing, though.

It gave the centipede a headbutt powerful enough to crack the exoskeleton between its eyes.

My fire slime was up next.

Both the slime and snake were hiding in the second pitfall trap that the centipede passed over without checking first, and now the slime was spreading itself out over the bleeding, new end of the centipede’s body. Any blood and guts that were pouring out from where it exploded were being immediately dissolved by my slime, and that’s not all.

Normal slimes dissolve their opponents with an acid-like substance mixed into their slime. Fire slimes do that, too. However, when it comes to fire slimes, they burn their enemies as they melt them away. Having your flesh dissolved is one thing. Having your flesh dissolved while feeling like you’re on fire is a much worse thing.

And the more my slime dissolved of the centipede, the larger its slime grew resulting in being able to capture even more of the centipede’s body at once within it.

Almost all of the legs on the centipede’s right side were broken thanks to my golem, the centipede’s dangerous backend was severed from its body thanks to my snake, my slime was dissolving and eating more and more of the centipede’s body starting at its back, and my construct held the centipede in place while occasionally slamming their heads together.

All but one of my monsters, useless skeletons excluded, had a job to perform in taking down the giant centipede.

Then I saw something interesting.

Thanks to my construct’s repeated headbutts, the hard exoskeleton that could have easily resisted my aurbold’s sword was cracked enough to expose the fleshy bits underneath it.

My aurbold’s increased bravery deserved to be rewarded.

She deserved to fight alongside the rest of my monsters.

And so, I gave her the order.

The order to drive her sword through the centipede’s exposed head.

My construct, having been given the order to assist my aurbold, delivered one final headbutt to the centipede’s head before leaning over.

Up next was my aurbold. With the sword gripped tightly in her hands, she mustered together her new courage, her experience, her desire to fight – she brought everything together and put it all in one attack. She charged forward, jumped over my construct’s back, and drove the sword right through the center of the centipede’s face.

Yellow and red liquid gushed out from around the sword as the centipede’s body convulsed. Its black eyes all stared up at my aurbold up until she twisted the embedded sword, finishing the monstrous enemy off.

I ordered my monsters to get off from the centipede. Even though the window had already popped up asking me if I wanted to convert the slain monster, it still curled up onto its side and twisted its legs underneath it.

My monsters defeated their first major enemy and I couldn’t have been prouder of them. Literally. I felt as proud as it was possible for a not-that-emotional rock dungeon core to feel.

And then, while my aurbold was panting with shaky hands, my construct hugged her.

I didn’t understand the concept of a hug at the time, but my aurbold seemed pleased to receive the physical touch of my construct. Well, she seemed pleased until the construct hugged too hard. That was when she looked at me with desperate eyes asking for me to order the construct to stop.

I ordered my construct to stop and, to surprise me even more, sensed disappointment come from it.

Was it disappointed that I made it stop or disappointed that it didn’t get to squeeze my aurbold until she popped?

I’ll let you be the judge of that for now.

For now, the tunnels biggest threat had been conquered and expansion could safely resume. Rest assured, though, for that was only the first of many dangerous monsters and threats needing conquered, and even the centipede still had a surprise for us.