[Vol. 1 pt. 47]
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The eighth floor.

It is a unique floor unlike any other.

Whereas the seventh floor had more of a labyrinth feeling with purple bricks for walls and floors, this floor… has green bricks.

“We might see some more dogs here,” Elanah says. “They won’t be as friendly as you, so I’m sorry if you have to see me kill any.”

“I really don’t care,” I bark. “They’re just tower hounds. I’ve killed some myself.”

Though, if I do have to kill another dog, I don’t know if I’ll want a bone from it to add to my collection. Swinging around a bone from a dog while being a dog… seems kind of fucked up even by my standards.

It also sounds pretty badass.

We’ll see.

For now, it’s time to hunt.

“Ready, Woofen?” Elanah asks.

There are some dead bodies in the paths directly ahead of us and to the left, but I can see a couple of orc-sized silhouettes in the distance down the path to the right.

I hope that going to the right counts as an answer to her question.

Three orcs, six goblins, and three more oversized lizards later, and I’ve got a new bone to add to my collection from the goblins and Felhuman Slaying has reached rank seven. Venom Attack, Bleed Attack, and Severing Attack all managed to increase in rank as well.

At one point, I let a goblin live after we were done killing its friends just to train parrying on it.

Elanah realized what I was doing pretty quickly when I was just standing there parrying every swing of the goblin’s shitty sword.

I did that until the sword broke against the dagger, and then I had no more use for the goblin.

Parrying increased, too.

And now, we might be in just a bit of trouble.

It seems like all of our hunting has attracted a pack… of hounds.

There are five of them in total.

Three of them look just like larger versions of me, so I’m guessing that they’re cursedhounds.

The other two are sticking closer to the sides of the tunnel where it’s darker, and their fur is almost pitch black as if they’re trying to blend into the shadows.

I’m guessing that they’re the evolved forms of dark pups – what I was originally considering going for.

More importantly… their fangs and claws are way bigger than mine.

“We… we got ahead of ourselves,” Elanah says.

I haven’t heard her sound this intimidated since when she ran away from the queen rat.

And she’s right.

We were easily killing any monsters that we came across.

Now, the tower has sent a patrol after us. I can’t think of any other reason for a group of five monsters to find us.

It’s either one fucking coincidence or the tower is targeting us.

And it’s never just a coincidence.

This might be bad.

Seriously bad.

No, we can handle this.

That jar she was using to extract venom is going to have to be sacrificed, but this situation is easily survivable.

“Throw the jar and shoot it with some of your magic!” I bark at her.

That should splash the venom onto all of them. Five hounds aren’t a threat if they can’t move.

“It’s okay, Woofen. I’ll protect you,” she says.

Fuck.

She can’t understand a damn word I’m saying.

Think, think… how can I hurry up and explain the situation?

Damn it, I can’t think of any easy way to—

“I’ll use the venom,” she says.

Wait, did this girl actually figure it out?

“I’ll splash it on them when they get close.”

Well, she didn’t get it exactly, but this should work. It’s going to be riskier, but we should be fine.

Really, I’m the one in the most danger.

They could fit me in their mouths and bite right through me.

“Stay behind me,” Elanah says.

This girl always wanting to protect me despite saying how strong and smart I am and all that shit is starting to get annoying.

“I can handle myself,” I bark, staying right next to her.

“You’re such a good boy, Woofen. I want to protect you, but… if you want to fight next to me, that makes me happy.”

“It’s about not letting ya take away all my pride as a man and nothing else.”

The hounds charge at us.

“Wait,” she says.

I look up at her just in time to see her toss the jar of venom.

“Void Missile!”

Her spell hits the falling jar right as it’s in front of the hounds.

That piss-colored venom splashes onto the first three hounds, but dark hounds on the sides look like they weren’t hit.

Still, the three who did get the venom splashed onto them fall over before they can reach us.

“I just thought of that,” she admits. “I have to try my best to keep up with you.”

She seriously overestimates me.

But, I’m proud of her for not being an idiot and using her head.

It’s two-versus-two now. All we have to do is kill the others before—

The two remaining hounds vanish.

Not good.

Seriously not good.

Wait, average stealth skills don’t work against abyssal elves, so it should be fine. She should still be able to… see them.

She’s looking all over the hall.

Right. She’s only a half, so I’m guessing she doesn’t get all the perks of abyssal elves.

This means that they can see us and we can’t see them.

The hounds aren’t dumb, either.

They’re not attacking us. If they do, they reveal themselves.

If we try to run, they can stalk us and ambush us.

If we try to deal with the three hounds that are paralyzed, they can attack us while we’re distracted.

If we swing wildly to try and find where they are, that will leave us open to attacks.

If we wait for them to make a move, the three hounds will recover from their paralysis and then we’re fucked.

“It’s okay, Woofen,” Elanah says.

“Not fucking really,” I bark.

“I just thought of something.”

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