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"WHAT?" I ask, turning violently towards Octavo and momentarily losing sight of the giant double-bladed ax of the minotaur coming in my direction from the side. I hurriedly drop to the ground to dodge the attack, which passes by, making a hissing sound over my head. "Has it released monsters again more times other than the first time?"
"Yes, yes. Every month, this labyrinth releases monsters. Why did you think they had to build a wall around it and that the guild building had to be further away from it?" Dedan says, looking at me with derision as he impales from behind with his sword the minotaur that was attacking me, while Azur is holding the ax back with his paws "That's old news, kid, where have you been living all this time?" he asks.
"So, does that mean you already checked the floors before this one?" I ask Octavo, ignoring the man's provocation and standing up.
"yes, I completed the previous floors with a group of veteran rank adventurers," says the boy panting, while dodging another projectile from the harpy "But I knew that from this floor onwards it would be all much more dangerous, and that's why I had to hire you guys and say goodbye to the previous group."
"Did you discover anything on the previous floors?" I ask, eager to get information that may be related to the reason for my parents' death.
"No. Everyone in the church is anxious about it because this would mean we offended the gods," says Octavo, and the harpy falls pierced by an arrow from Radovid.
"Nah. I think they're just testing us," says Radovid, as he reloads his massive crossbow "in my opinion, everyone who died by the monsters can only blame themselves for being so weak."
"I'd rather you kept your opinions to yourself," says Octavo, after a glance at the look of hatred I'm giving Radovid.
"have it your way..." says Radovid laughing, as he turns to look toward Dedan and Roran. "you're the boss"
"less talking and more fighting!" exclaims Roran, who is facing off with Dedan against 6 kobolds, while a centaur shoots at the men with its bow at an incredible speed.
As they grapple with the kobolds, they deflect as best they can the arrows fired at them by the centaur. Roran with his shield and hammer, and Dedan with his gigantic sword.
Centaurs are creatures with the body of a horse, except for their head. That is replaced by the upper half of a person's body.
However, despite their human appearance, they do not seem to have the slightest intention of communicating. And attack anyone they see walking through the corridors of the labyrinths with bows they carry on their backs.
Embarrassed for having allowed me to be so distracted during combat, I rush to their aid with Azur at my side.
I go forward to engage one kobold while Rufus and Radovid try to shoot the centaur.
But the equine-like monster easily dodges the arrows thanks to its great speed.
Kobolds and gnolls are small monsters, slightly smaller than goblins, about 1.3 meters tall. But with greater strength, speed, and intelligence.
The former has reptilian characteristics, while the latter have dense fur covering their bodies. The small monsters use a variety of short-range weapons.
A moment after I join the combat, I watch as Roran moves a little away from the kobolds, taking advantage of my intervention.
He then pulls some stone balls the size of apples from the pouch at his waist and, striking them with the hammer empowered with earth magic to increase the speed of the projectiles, hurls them in the centaur's direction.
The monster is hit by the stones in its legs. This forces it to stop and fall to its knees, which Radovid and Rufus take advantage of to finish it.
"They can't do anything without us," says Rufus, high-fiving Radovid, who is next to him, when they see how the centaur falls to the ground.
"sure," says Roran, closing his bag and helping us finish the kobolds.
In a few minutes, Dedan, Azur, Roran, and I dispose of the kobolds with no trouble, now that we don't have to worry about arrows being shot at us.
Radovid and Rufus can't help us as they might hit us because of the frantic combat, since the little monsters are incredibly elusive.
We have been in the labyrinth for two weeks now, and are currently on the 79th floor.
At night, we camp if we can in a safe room, and if not, we camp in the corridors.
But, as we go up in the number of floors, we are finding it harder and harder to find safe or challenging rooms.
We can leave Azur standing guard, so we will never be surprised.
However, when sleeping in the corridors, we can't really rest, as we have to constantly wake up from enemy attacks.
The enemies on these floors are strange, nightmarish-looking creatures.
Each of them can perform magic and seem to specialize in inflicting and taking advantage of the mental weakness of their opponents.
There are creatures with the form of giant eyes with tentacles ending in smaller-sized eyes that float through the corridors, that attack all who approach with beams of light.
They are called 'Beholders', and the beams of light they throw can do a lot of damage.
Even through armor.
So, we can only rely on our evasion skills when we have to face them.
There are also some creatures with humanoid bodies that have what looks like an octopus for a head.
They are called 'Mind Flayers', and attack their victims with psychological attacks.
Weakening people's minds by making them see and feel falsehoods. And making their victims lock themselves in their minds.
This allows the creatures to attack with their extremely sharp claws without hurry.
Their mental attacks are formidable, but they can only affect one target.
On which they have to maintain visual contact at all times.
So, it is essential to have companions who can force the creature to lose sight of its target.
But the most terrifying are the 'Wraiths'. For, although the other types of monsters can do a lot of damage, they are physically quite slow.
This is not the case with Wraiths.
They are beings with invisible and intangible forms most of the time that only become visible to attack their victims at blinding speed.
Their form, when visible, is like a gigantic fang-covered slug that levitates and spins at high speed on itself several meters above ground level.
The only defense against these creatures is to listen carefully.
Because, before attacking, they emit a hissing sound from their bodies that allows us to find the direction of the attack.
As we make camp in one of the few safe rooms we find, I ask Octavo about a doubt that has been gnawing at me for the last few days.
"Is it normal for so many red-eyed monsters to appear on the upper floors?"
Red-eyed monsters are powered-up versions that rarely appear in the labyrinth corridors. Or so I thought because, on these last few floors, we have encountered them frequently.
"Yeah, that's normal" Octavo replies and, as he speaks, I hear Radovid mutter in a perfectly audible tone to Rufus 'tsk, this is why I can't stand newbies. They have to ask about everything.'
I must be patient...
A few more days and I'll be promoted.
Once that happens, I'll never have to see these bastards' faces again.
Besides, it can't be said that I have gotten nothing out of it during these weeks.
Thanks to the high difficulty of the monsters on these last floors, I went up 6 levels in all my classes.
Since, although my skill only allows me to level equally 3 classes at most, I only need to swap them every so often to keep them all at similar levels.
The 24 points I gained were added to Intelligence, bringing my stats to 39 points.
During these weeks, I didn't use magic once, and Azur didn't change shape or size.
We did this so as not to reveal all our abilities to people we don't know.
I don't think Octavo and Roran are bad people, but Radovid and Rufus seem to detest me and Dedan takes every opportunity to compete with me.
It's better to be a little suspicious.