Chapter 63: An outrageous dungeon dive
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Chapter 63: An outrageous dungeon dive

The first twenty-nine dungeon floors were easy to pass. None of the monsters could bring us a challenge at all. Thessa would lazily send out ice attacks to kill some, Az was just casually swinging her mace. Scarlet would use her threads to control the monsters and cut their throats with her daggers. Every corpse ended up going into Thessa’s inventory which had ample space at level six. Az has the appraisal skill which she used to identify the various items we found along the way.

Each night we would get a good night’s rest within my wards and managed to clear three floors per day. I would set up a tent and the sound isolation tool that Sofy and I had commonly used at night so we could have some semblance of privacy. After the first couple nights, the other two were finally confident in my wards to set up their own tent. One tent for the both of them and they didn’t have the luxury of using a tool like ours. Looking at the two of them, you would think that Az would end up getting bullied, but Thessa was the one crying out the most at night, probably due to Az’s ridiculous strength.

Somewhere in the mid thirties of floors, my soul points finally reached two hundred and I got rid of another curse.

[Curse removed: Glass Cannon]

We had made it all the way to the end of the thirty-ninth floor by the thirteen day. It was only when we got to the thirtieth floor that Scarlet started getting serious. She fights like she’s in a game of pinball and she’s the ball. Her lightweight enchantment gives her some ridiculous airtime and she uses her various kicks to strike the monsters and propel herself towards the next, barely even using her daggers anymore. To hinder their movement and guide herself to them, she would shoot out her threads and wrap them around their limbs.

Az would block the more robust monsters with her shield. Her only shortfall would probably be that she is just too small to really intimidate anything or be able to stop multiple monsters at the same time. Then there’s my issue. Monster bait’s effect is probably enhanced due to the closed environment of the dungeon. Not only did we have to clean up several dozen monsters each morning around our camping site, but monsters would also prioritize attacking me.

Thessa and I offered our support from the rear with her casting various spells and me using my crossbow. I only had to start getting serious when we had reached the fortieth floor. At which point, I switched positions with Scarlet. She started to support in a control capacity and I would dance among the monsters to deliver killing strikes with my daggers. Scarlet had equipped me with a second dagger when I asked. The new dagger came with some nice effects which enhanced my combat capability and reduced my energy concerns.

[Dagger of Seizing]
{restricted user: Lilia}
Effects: energy heist, interrupt

Interrupt will cause skills or abilities to fail if the target is hit precisely when it is about to unleash it and energy heist robs a little energy for me from the monsters I strike with it. The energy taken is insignificant however unless interrupt activates at the same time. Energy from the dispersed skill or spell would be absorbed at those times which is enough for one or two uses of my own skills. The dagger’s demerits are that it deals a pitiful amount of damage and I have to be close to the monsters when they are about to use big attacks. Fortunately, I can use dragon’s perception to accurately determine the right timing after seeing a skill or ability used once.

Getting from the beginning of floor forty through floor forty-nine took us an average time of one floor per day. My divine skills started to get utilized during combat with buffs for everyone and occasional heals. We would have to wake up periodically throughout the night in order to clear out the monsters around our camp. If we let them gather up for an entire night, they might become too large of a group by morning for us to handle or they might even overwhelm my wards.

We finally reached the entrance to the fiftieth floor about halfway through the day and stopped for a quick break and to discuss.

“Perhaps we should just head back now. No one has made it past the fiftieth for good reason. The entire floor is filled with water and water type monsters. There are some occasional small bits of land scattered throughout, but monsters easily surrounded and nearly killed any who have previously tried to get through by using them. And it’s almost certain that the entrance for the fifty-first floor will be at the bottom.”~Thessa

“I agree, we may have picked up a few water breathing potions, but they have limited time of use and Thessa is the only one truly at the right stage to be challenging the floor.”~Az

“Please, let’s at least just go to the entrance and see if we can kill one stage five monster. I really, REALLY need it’s core.”~me(note)

“Why so?”~Az

“I’d rather not say.”~me(note)

“It’s because she got into some trouble with trolls. They forced her to drink some sort of slurry that contained lots of crushed monster cores and ended up having to swallow a…”~Thessa

“Order: you’re not allowed to talk about that.”~me(note)

I had just shut Thessa up, but Scarlet took over the story and completely divulged my disgraceful secret to Az. Az of course, unceremoniously broke down into a fit of hysterical laughter.

“Mistress, aren’t you supposed to be on my side here?”~me

“I’m sure Az won’t tell anyone else and you also realize that it’s a funny story. Sure, it starts out tragic, but you managed to get through it, bringing about some hilarious results. I mean, you even decided that the slime was definitely female and named it Tish. We both know that name has only one letter of difference from the word tush.”~Scarlet

“It’s just a fitting name considering the circumstances.”~me

“Uh-huh.”~Scarlet

When Az finished laughing, we made our way down to the fiftieth floor. A freshwater lake appeared before us. Water as far as I could see with little bits of land just like we were told, no bigger than a few meters in diameter. It’s actually really pretty in the depths of the water. There are various colored aquatic monsters, fluorescent vegetation and glowing freshwater corals.

I had pushed my perception skills to the max in order to search the area for a stage five monster. It’s important to note that while there can not be higher stage monsters on a lower stage floor, the opposite is not true. There’s perhaps a few hundred stage four and below monsters within my perception and only one stage five.

“I can detect one stage five monster within my perception range. It’s a large reptile creature about ten meters in length, big teeth, stubby legs and its hide is probably just as tough as the wyvern armor you're wearing. Can we kill it?”~me(note)

“We can try, but be ready to immediately retreat if I’m unable to hold it back. Lily, you need to interrupt it every time. I don’t want to be killed by its strong attacks. If we accidentally attract the various other monsters, Scarlet and Thessa will need to finish them off quickly before joining us.”~Az

“Sounds good. Scarlet will speak for me when I sense it gathering energy. Through her, I will let you know if it’s something I can definitely interrupt or if you need to dodge. I’m going to need one of those water breathing potions.”~me(note)

“Just have far out is it?”~Thessa

“Just short of two hundred meters, near the very edge of my perception skills. I’ll use shadowmeld to approach it and lead it back by attacking it with my crossbow on the return trip. If I happen to attract too many of the various other monsters on the way there, I’ll lead those back first so we can clear them out and try again.”~me(note)

This ended up being a horrible experience. First off, the water breathing potion just creates a layer in your lungs that allows you to perform gas exchange with the water. You still end up feeling like you’re drowning yourself. Second, shadowmeld feels weird in the water. The moment I initiate the skill, water rushes into the place my body dissipates at and it feels as though the cold water had actually just penetrated into my body.

It took me six trips of leading the numerous monsters that noticed me back to be slaughtered before I finally reached the target. The good point is that most of them couldn’t leave the water. I pissed the target off with my attack and it was fast. As it woke up to chase me, I noticed a small chest in the dirt where it had been laying. I led it away a distance, then rushed back quickly to grab the chest. The monster roared in fury at that moment. Only then did I notice the eggs poking out of the dirt. Keeping its attention was not an issue anymore.

“Mistress, this thing is pissed!”~me

“We heard it from here. What did you do?”~Scarlet

“I may have disturbed its nest. That happened to be full of eggs!”~me

“Yikes! Why would you do something so stupid?!”~Scarlet

“I didn’t notice them. And there was a treasure chest there! I’m just about there and coming in fast!”~me

“That was quick!”~Scarlet

I jumped out of the water and ran toward the rear, just in time for its massive jaws to breach the surface and slam shut behind me. Az couldn’t tank it head on, the thing just tried to swallow her whole. She ended up having to focus her attacks on its flank while constantly moving around to keep away from its teeth and tail.

Thessa was trying her best, but it seemed to be resistant to her ice magic and she was barely wounding it with earth spikes that she wasn’t skilled with.

Scarlet’s threads couldn’t impede it at all. They would just snap when she tried. She ended up being almost completely useless during this fight.

I managed to consistently interrupt it and even jab out its eyes. It thrashed around a bit when I did that and Az was sent flying away. Scarlet managed to safely bring her back by using her threads in a timely manner.

The fact that monsters don’t try to run away when injured is a sort of good news. The bad news however was that now that its sight was gone, it was using its nose and apparently I smelled the most delicious of our group. I ended up playing keep away with its very large and very sharp teeth.

Finally, after about two hours, the thing finally died from blood loss. We hauled our tired butts back up to the forty-ninth floor and set up camp. As Scarlet was rested, she took the first watch while the rest of us passed out.

I am not doing something as insane as that again. At least not any time too soon!

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