[Vol. 2 pt. 14]
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[Rooted Shadowvine slain!]

[You have reached Hellfire Pup Level 21! Body and spirit restored!

+2 INT

+2 WIS

+2 DEX]

[Title Acquired!

Dark Treant Slayer

Awarded for slaying any variation of a Dark Treant.

+1 Proof

Grants usage of the Shadow Vine skill when used as Primary Title.]

[Title Acquired!

Conqueror of Magnurr’s Twentieth Floor

Awarded for slaying a boss on the twentieth subterranean floor of the Magnurr World Tower.

+1 Proof

Deal bonus damage and gain extra resources when gathering within the first twenty floors of the Magnurr World Tower.]

[Underdog increased to rank 8!]

[Venom Attack increased to rank 9!]

[Severing Attack increased to rank 10!]

Nothing particularly special there. I leveled up, I got a couple of new titles, I ranked up a few more skills…

But there is something that stands out more than everything else.

Something that I have heard about but have never experienced before.

A title-unique skill.

The titles acquired from the rat queen and hobgoblin chieftain both gave bonuses against fighting monsters of the same type. The rat queen title does more damage against rats. The hobgoblin chieftain titles does more damage against goblins.

But the Dark Treant Slayer title doesn’t give me more damage against treants.

Instead, using it will, apparently, give me a special skill that I can use.

Which…

Is really fucking exciting.

I swear that no matter how old I get, I am always going to learn more about the tower. Just like how I learned about the hybrid boss, now I’m learning that defeating it comes with a free skill!

But there is something else to do before I can experiment with that.

There is also a problem.

I have to eat a part of this dead boss’s corpse…

While that wasn’t a problem before, it is now because this bastard is covered in bark. The cracked sections of its arms aren’t wide enough for me to get my head into, either. Even if I could, I doubt that there is anything much softer and easier to eat in there.

Maybe eating one of the tentacles will work. They count as a part of its body, right?

But that involves eating a tentacle.

Well, they’re technically supposed to be like roots and vines that act like tentacles, but still.

I stare at one of the limp tentacles attached to the back of its head.

Just thinking about putting that thing into my mouth makes me shiver.

No, why am I so grossed out by that?

Come on! I’ve eaten rotting rats before when starving on the streets! I’ve dug through trash in search of food!

There’s nothing wrong with eating a raw tentacle. It should be like nothing compared to my past experiences.

But the closer I bring my snout to it… the more I want to turn away.

Am I seriously going to eat this?

Yeah, I seriously am.

There’s no way that I’m not going to eat this.

But with how flawlessly that battle just went, I think I’m allowed to bitch and whine a little about how I don’t want to eat a raw monster tentacle.

Especially after I’ve been spoiled and fed nothing but high-quality food thanks to Zurie and that creepy butler of hers.

Even the food we’ve brought with us and have found on the way down here has been good.

I have an idea.

I’ll just go ahead and—

“Fire Bite.”

—sear the tentacle a little bit first.

A crispy tentacle sounds better than a soft one.

And I’m only searing the chunk of tentacle that I’ve torn off and am holding between my fangs, so there’s no risk of the fire spreading to the rest of the body.

There’s no risk of traumatizing Snow again. Then again, forcing her to deal with that trauma is the only way she’s going to get over it, so maybe I should stop being so careful around her with fire.

I feel like an asshole just for thinking of that.

But if it’s what needs to be done…

She’s already staring at me with wider-than-usual eyes despite only being able to see a few embers and smoke coming out from my mouth.

I’m trying my best here to hide the flames, so she’s going to have to deal with it.

Good thing that the inside of my mouth isn’t bothered by fire anymore.

And now… to chew and swallow.

[The Curse of the Blood Queen’s Kiss increased to rank 4!]

Searing it helped with the texture… but not the taste.

I need to hurry up and evolve. I could have tried swallowing it whole to avoid having to taste it at all if I was bigger, but there’s no way that would have fit in my throat whole.

That sounds wrong.

That makes me hate it even more.

At least I got the fucking rank increase.

Information.

Information
Name
Woofen
Skills
54
Primary Title
Talented
Titles
11
Race
Hellfire Pup
Proof
7 (12)
Level
21 (23%)
Rank
E (Elite)
Life Attributes
Body Attributes
Name
Value
Regen Per Second
Name
Value
Name
Value
HP
236 / 236
.0015
STR
59
DEX
47
MP
177 / 207
.003
VIT
66
DET
39
SP
221 / 221
.010
INT
38
CHA
15
EP
254 / 254
.014
WIS
54
LCK
5
Average Combat Stats
Important Notes
Physical Attack
76
·
Physical Defense
80
Magic Attack
66
Magic Defense
72
Speed & Evasion
43
Critical Chance
24

My life attributes are officially all over two hundred now. Not bad for only being level twenty-one. Not bad at all.

But they’re still nowhere near the thousands that they used to be.

So many years of experience. All gone.

At least… at least I should be several times stronger than I ever was within the same amount of time. If I keep on progressing this fast, the thirty-three-year-old human that I was wouldn’t even be able to scratch the thirty-three-year-old cerberus that I might become.

Too bad having to evolve is a pain.

As a human, I never needed to worry about evolving. I just had to survive and continue growing stronger.

As a monster… if I don’t evolve then I get stuck.

I wonder if Elanah will be able to evolve. She’s only half abyssal elf, so maybe not.

At least their evolutions are optional instead of forced. They don’t get stuck if they don’t want to or can’t evolve.

When considering what they can evolve into… it’s no wonder that people treat them like shit.

And it’s no wonder that so few of those abyssals actually choose to evolve.

I might be a puppy now but I still wouldn’t want to turn into some sort of creepy elf-spider hybrid thing.

At least women like puppies.

The same can’t be said for whatever it is that abyssals evolve into.

Well, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some people out there who are into that sort of thing.

There are damn degenerates into anything.

But I should be thankful for that. If it weren’t for degenerates being degenerates, I wouldn’t have Elanah and Zurie desiring me.

Yeah. I seriously need to evolve.

But before we can go back to descending the tower and growing stronger, it seems like Elanah has already opened up the chest in the center of the room.

“What’s in it?” I bark after walking up to Elanah.

Elanah pulls out the first reward.

It is a shield that looks like it is made out of a root coiling around itself like a snake. It’s got smaller than the shields Vysan and Snow have, and it’s made out of wood or whatever tree roots are made out of, but it looks sturdy. Real damn sturdy.

Elanah is even struggling a bit to hold it.

“I know that I didn’t get to do much during that fight… but can I have that? I mean, if nobody else wants it,” Vysan asks.

Elanah looks down at me.

I nod.

Reluctantly, she hands the shield over to him.

Vysan straps his previous shield to his back and slides his arm into the new shield’s straps.

The straps, which are just like vines, automatically wrap and tighten around his arm.

Vysan’s eyes grow full of panic.

He waves his arm around for just a few seconds until the vines loosen.

He sighs and wipes the sweat off of his forehead.

The fuck was up with that reaction?

“I’m uh – what’s that word I heard to describe this? Claustrophobic, I think? Yeah. That. It’s why the rest of my armor is kind of loose. I can’t stand feeling cramped or stuck. You didn’t see it during the fight, but when my ankles got wrapped around, I was panicking,” Vysan explains since it’s obvious we’re all curious about that reaction of his.

He sounds way less useful now.

Damn. I was starting to like this bastard.

If he’s claustrophobic… he’s not going to have a good time in the twenty-fifth through thirtieth floors.

Back to the chest, Elanah pulls out a second item.

It’s just a large bag of coins.

That’s kind of useless considering that we’ve got Zurie financially supporting us now.

And it’s always been weird to me that the tower has UPCs in its chests. Do we use UPCs as currency because that’s what the tower gives out, or did the tower decide to start handing them out because it’s what we use?

Who fucking knows.

As for the next item…

A hat.

It’s a hat that kind of looks like a box with a visor sticking out at its front.

It looks way too big for Elanah, but she tries it on anyways.

I have to admit that it does look kind of good on her. It’s… kind of cute since it looks too big for her head. She’s like a kid trying on an adult’s hat, except she is an adult, so the hat would have to be a pretty damn big adult’s hat.

Whatever the case, she looks happy about it.

And now she’s looking down at me.

“How’s it look, Woofen?” Elanah asks with a big smile.

I… can’t help but to compare her to that woman when she’s smiling at me like this.

They look just like each other.

Though, Elanah smiles way more than she ever did. Elanah is also way more desperate.

And she never tries to hit me. Or, as I used to call it, she never tries to “love punch” me.

Those were fun times.

“Tell her she looks good,” I bark at Snow.

Might as well be honest.

And now she’s leaning over to pick me up.

“You were so cool during the fight, Woofen. You made it so easy,” Elanah says, her mouth right against the back of my head.

She uses her lips to kiss my fur whenever she’s not speaking with them.

And how the fuck was I cool during the fight? If anything, this board did more than I did. Elanah was actually really damn useful during it.

“By the way,” Vysan says, “why’d you want us to clear the ground over there?”

I look at Snow and bark, “Because if we couldn’t take the bastard down, I was going to light the room on fire and we were going to lie down over there.”

Snow struggles in translating that, hesitating when it comes to the part about fire, but she manages.

“You’re so smart, Woofen,” Elanah whispers, her voice becoming less playful and more… lustful.

Her right hand – the hand that is supporting my rear while holding me, the tips of those fingers are starting to slip up along my underside.

Vysan is behind her, so he can’t see where her fingers are going, but Snow… Snow can see and isn’t even bothering to look away.

She’s just blushing despite how she sounded when translating my plan.

Seriously, what is with these women?

“You deserve a reward for being so strong and smart, Woofen,” Elanah coos, her lips pressing right against my left ear. “A-and… it would be a reward for me, too…”

Her fingers continue sliding up.

I can feel her heart pounding through her flat chest, her breathing is heavy, and her face is red when I turn to look at her.

Snow has officially turned her back to us and is pretending that she doesn’t see anything.

“Man, this shield is small but feels way heavier. Just need to find some monsters to test it out against,” Vysan talks to himself, completely unaware of what’s about to happen.

“Woooofennnn,” Elanah practically moans into my ear.

Did killing the boss turn her on that much or something?!

This is bad.

No, this is good.

No, bad.

Good!

Bad!

It’s bad because I don’t want to do anything while stuck in this pathetic, tiny body!

It’s good because I really fucking want to do everything and more without caring about what body I’m in!

Damn it! I need to evolve!

But, no matter how much I want to do something or let something be done to me, I can’t bring myself to let it happen while Vysan and Snow are here.

I’ve never been the type of bastard who likes being watched.

Now, if Snow wanted to join in, that’d be fine.

But I’m not one for sharing with another man. Vysan would either be watching or joining, and I’m not down for either of those.

I’m so damn conflicted.

I really want—

A yelp forces itself out of me.

What the fuck was that cutesy, surprised sound I just made?!

And wait, what’s that – Elanah’s fingers are…

She’s tracing her fingers up and down it, softly rubbing along it.

Stroking it and teasing it.

She’s…

Fuck me, I forgot how good belly rubs feel.

I feel like I could just melt into her nonexistent chest right now.

“Ehehe… that noise you made was really cute,” Elanah whispers.

Yeah, yeah. Say whatever you want as long as you don’t stop rubbing.

“You okay over there, Woofen?” Vysan asks.

I’m too busy to say anything, but he does say, “S-sorry,” a moment later.

I’m guessing that Elanah glared at him or something to make him shut up.

“Your belly is so soft and warm,” Elanah whispers some more. “I love rubbing it…”

Yeah, I love when you rub it, too.

“I wish that I could rub it forever. And kiss it. And play with it.”

How about some more of that second thing? Fuck me, at this point, I don’t care what you do to me. Belly rubs make everything better.

Just go and literally fuck me for all I care. Who gives a shit about who might be watching?

To think that using belly rubs would be so effective against me…

I know that I can’t let her discover that she could make me do anything she wants so long as she rubs my belly, but I really don’t want to stop her at this point.

I just want to enjoy this pleasure.

“Woofen, I – I was… I know that you’re so strong and smart, but it always scares me to see you in danger,” Elanah whispers, her fingers slowing down. “I know that I can’t ask you not to fight, but… I wish that we could live by ourselves and never have to fight. That’s why I’m trying so hard. The stronger I am, the less you have to fight. I – I did good, right? Was I useful? I seriously tried my best in that fight. I don’t think I’ve ever fought that good before, but… I feel like it’s still not enough to catch up to you and Snow. Maybe I really won’t be able to keep up with you two. Maybe—”

I turn around and lick her face.

“Shut up. You’re being annoying. Seriously annoying,” I bark at her. “You were damn incredible in that fight and did most of the work. So, shut up, have some confidence in yourself, and go back to rubbing my fucking belly.”

Snow hasn’t even translated for her yet but Elanah seems to have more or less understood what I had to say.

I’m guessing so, anyways, seeing as how she’s tearing up and smiling. She’s about fifty percent crying, fifty percent smiling.

I think.

She’s also gone back to rubbing my belly and kissing my head.

The emotions of abyssals are so annoying.

One minute, she was looking like she needed to fuck now. The next minute, she was crying and opening up about her feelings and worries.

Actually, I can’t tell if that’s more of an abyssal thing or a woman thing.

This is why abyssal women are the most difficult people in existence to deal with. When combined, they’re just way too damn emotional.

Dealing with a mute girl traumatized by fire and a vampire who killed me is way easier than dealing with Elanah.

At least she just cries instead of giving me “love punches.”

Some of those punches really fucking hurt.

“Shadow Vine,” Vysan says.

Elanah turns around with me to look at him.

Shadowy tentacles – vines, whatever, are sticking up out of the ground in front of him. There are eight of them and they each look just like roots waving around in the air.

That’s all there is to them.

“This is awesome. It could make crowd control even easier for me, but I’d be missing out on my Tank title if I want to use this. Having that title is better than being able to immobilize my enemies in front of me. Probably,” Vysan theorizes out loud.

“Shadow Vine,” Snow says.

Surely enough, eight roots made out of shadows pop up from the ground and wave around in front of her.

She goes to poke one and, despite its transparency and looking like it’s made out of mist, she actually pushes on it when she pokes it.

Snow has got a pretty amused smile on her face.

I guess if this is what she wants to get entertainment out of, she can.

And I guess that I don’t have to try out the skill myself now since they’ve both tried it out. Me and Elanah have got access to the exact same thing.

Actually, thinking about it…

If all four of us were to use the title and skill on a monster, we could probably immobilize something pretty strong.

If we each target a different limb, we could even stop something like a high-tier orc in its tracks.

It really depends on just how strong these tentacles are.

Might as well test them out.

“Snow, have the guy there,” I bark, not feeling like using his actual name, “wrap his tentacles around your arms. Try to break free from them.”

Snow nods and repeats the orders to Vysan.

Me and Elanah watch as Vysan’s shadow roots wrap around Snow’s wrists.

She looks at me, I nod, and she starts tugging on them.

Snow breaks out from their binds without any issues.

Alright, so maybe they’re not that strong.

“Now try it the other way around. Wrap yours around—”

Wait, that bastard is claustrophobic and doesn’t like things restricting him.

Ah, damn it. I knew that he’d be annoying.

“Never mind. Try it on Elanah,” I bark.

Elanah sets me down and gets her wrists wrapped up by Snow’s vines.

No matter how hard Elanah tries to pull on the vines, she’s not able to break free from them.

It must be dependent on level. It can restrict lower-level targets but not higher-level targets.

So, using it on a monster stronger than us might be out of the question, but it would still be damn useful against anything of an equal or lower level.

Actually…

There might be an even more useful way for me to use these vines.

Set Primary Title to Dark Treant Slayer.

[Primary Title Changed to:

Dark Treant Slayer

Awarded for slaying any variation of a Dark Treant.

+1 Proof

Grants usage of the Shadow Vine skill when used as Primary Title.]

Information: Shadow Vine.

[Shadow Vine

Constantly drains MP while in use. The amount of MP drained is affected by how you are using the skill.

Summon shadowy vines from the ground.]

Yeah, that description isn’t helpful at all. I don’t think it even counts as a real skill that will show up on my list since it doesn’t have a rank.

Oh well.

“Guy, stand still,” I bark at Vysan.

Vysan looks at Snow for an explanation.

Snow translates my words exactly.

“Guy, stand still,” she says.

“Forget my name? That’s alright, I know that it’s not a common name and we haven’t been around each other for long. It’s Vy—”

“Shadow Vine,” I bark.

Using my own vines, as much as I hate the idea of this, I wrap them around my torso.

And now…

I use them to swing me toward Vysan’s head!

Vysan’s eyes grow wider and more concerned the closer I get to his face with my bared fangs.

Fortunately for him, I stop just an inch before his nose, chomping down on the air in front of him.

Alright. This skill works pretty damn well for this. It would be great if the tentacles were coming from me instead of the ground, though. That way, I could swing around with them and use them to “pull” me instead of using them to swing and throw me.

But this skill still has serious potential to help me out against any bastards who are annoying tall.

The only problem now… is that I have to choose between titles.

The Reborn gives me five hundred percent extra experience overall. Anything I do that would normally give me experience gives me five times the normal amount. This would help me level up the fastest. That means I could evolve sooner.

Skilled makes it easier to rank up my skills and Talented decreases the effect of it being harder to learn new skills the more skills I know.

Rat Queen Slayer and Hobgoblin Chieftain Slayer make non-boss rats and goblins flees respectively while dealing bonus damage against all rats and goblins, but I don’t really need either of those.

Resistant increases the effectiveness of all my resistance skills and Tank reduces all damage I suffer by ten percent. Both useful, but neither are necessary given that we’ve got Vysan and Snow to take all the damage for us.

Conqueror of Magnurr’s Tenth Floor and Conqueror of Magnurr’s Twentieth Floor would be great if I planned on gathering or grinding in the first twenty floors… but I don’t plan on doing either of those.

Survivor gives me a one-time last-minute save by preventing my death without first being at one HP. Even if something deals fifty damage while I only have two HP left, it will only take me to one HP. Though, it won’t save me against any instant-kill attacks. No title can save me from having my head lopped off or heart torn out.

And now there is Dark Treant Slayer.

So, it really comes down to choosing between Dark Treant SlayerTalented, or The Reborn.

I don’t think there are going to be any enemies that Shadow Vine would really be useful against on the upcoming floors… so I can probably rule that out. I will, however, switch to it if it looks like we’ll be fighting against a really tall boss or abnormal or something.

Talented helps me learn new skills which is going to become more and more of a pain in the ass the more skills I learn, so I would normally prefer this skill, but The Reborn is going to help me hit twenty-five faster.

The sooner I hit twenty-five, the sooner I can level up.

Having The Reborn set as my primary title probably would have given me an extra level or two from this boss…

Damn it, I should really just stick with The Reborn until I reach the level cap.

Even after hitting the level cap, it’s still a useful title since all experience gained gets stockpiled for after I evolve.

But I’ve got a whole life ahead of me.

Long-term, it would be better to learn as many skills as I can as fast as I can so that there is more time to rank them up and specialize with them.

But levels and evolving…

Evolving unlocks new powers, would make me big enough to actually have some fun, and it increases how many attributes I get per level.

Fuck, it’s hard to decide.

I think… I’m going to have to go with The Reborn. I might be able to evolve again before we hit the thirtieth floor if I use it and if we take just a little bit of time to kill extra monsters here and there.

Plus, I can’t really think of any skills worth acquiring between here and there.

Alright.

Set Primary Title to The Reborn.

[Primary Title changed to:

The Reborn

Awarded for being reincarnated into a new body. Make this life better than your last.

+1 Proof

+500% experience gained when used as Primary Title.]

Alright!

There are ten more floors before we’ve satisfied Zurie’s request.

That’s ten floors to level up four more times and evolve.

That should definitely be possible.

Then, between an evolution and a four-strong party, handling the thirtieth floor’s boss should be easy. Maybe not as easy as this last boss was, but it should still be easier than me and Elanah trying to handle the tenth floor’s boss on our own.

Though, I still have no idea why Zurie really wants us to reach the thirtieth floor other than to get stronger on the way there.

With the time limit she gave us, we can’t even spend that much time training on monsters to level ourselves up.

Maybe there’s another reason?

I don’t know, but I do know that I seriously need to evolve.

We’ll take a short break before continuing our descent into the tower.

During the break, I’ll come up with a strategy to try and maximize the number of monsters we can kill while still descending quickly enough to make it to the thirtieth floor in the time that Zurie wanted.

If Vysan and Snow stay in the front and serve as walking shields for the party, me and Elanah can easily take out the monsters while they’re busy trying to break through our “shields.” It’ll be even easier if they both keep those titles set as their primary titles. While they block the monsters with their shields, their vines can wrap around the monsters’ limbs to keep them still for me and Elanah.

And then—

“Hey, uh, Woofen? How… how long do you plan on staying in the air?” Vysan asks.

Huh.

I didn’t even notice that these tentacles are holding me up still.

Wait, how are they still out if I switched titles?

Maybe they’ll stay until I cancel the skill.

Too bad I can’t switch titles during combat. Being able to use the skill and then switch titles would be perfect.

I have the vines set me down before cancelling the skill.

Now, how much mana did it use keeping them out for that long?

Information
Name
Woofen
Skills
54
Primary Title
Talented
Titles
11
Race
Hellfire Pup
Proof
7 (12)
Level
21 (23%)
Rank
E (Elite)
Life Attributes
Body Attributes
Name
Value
Regen Per Second
Name
Value
Name
Value
HP
236 / 236
.0015
STR
59
DEX
47
MP
58 / 207
.003
VIT
66
DET
39
SP
221 / 221
.010
INT
38
CHA
15
EP
254 / 254
.014
WIS
54
LCK
5
Average Combat Stats
Important Notes
Physical Attack
76
·
Physical Defense
80
Magic Attack
66
Magic Defense
72
Speed & Evasion
43
Critical Chance
24

Only…

Only fifty-eight mana left…

I only had them holding me up for a few minutes…

Well, I guess that makes sense. Fights rarely last more than a minute and those are long fights. When most enemies can be killed in a few seconds with good strategies, a few minutes of restricting them is overkill.

I guess that much mana is worth it.

I also guess that I won’t be training Fire Bite for a while.

Patreon Harem Members: Kyoma, Emojiman, Alex R., Batty, Caleb, Casey L., Eric B., Isaac H., Jeremy D., Koors, Matt, Meatshield, Monk, Nacho, Red Viking, Somedude, William, Zach W.

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