He Has a Reason – Chapter 64
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It is a new month so time to tell you about my Patreon again. Early access chapters go all the way to chapter 92 so thats a thing.

 

Besides that I can report I have started work on building a new computer. My current one is starting to freeze up on occasion. Fair enough, it is getting on a decade old. Using Christmas money and that sweet sweet gov money they handed out earlier in the year. Maybe I will be able to play games from the last few years. Though even if my computer goes down I should be able to keep writing because I have a junk netbook to bang at. I've picked out the parts for my new computer and I am just waiting on any sales that the holiday season may bring my way.

With all the attention turned towards Jim, Og Pwner, and Susan the others get another chance to play with the battlefield. Kelly and Kellinger nod to one another and smirk. With the kobold ice mage flailing around on the floor, it freed them up from counterspell duty so they whispered to Sammy their plan.

Kelly starts it off with a cloud of fiery motes that descend on the enemies. Normally not too damaging of a spell there are certain conditions currently that change that. Specifically the fact that not only is the floor covered in oil but all the enemies that have fallen down there have kindly smeared themselves in it as well.

Those motes of fire set the entire area ablaze. This fire doesn’t last long as there really isn’t that much oil but the damage is done. While all the room’s original inhabitants have suffered some damage the mage in particular has been well and truly burnt.

The kobold leader is a mite bit distracted by the flash fire and in shock drops her club. At least that is what it looks like. In actuality, Kellinger had used a more targeted version of the grease spell to coat the club. As she wasn’t paying attention at the time even the leaders gauntlet weren’t able to keep a hold of it. The club just slid right out of her hand.

This version of the spell does have a downside. If he wants to keep the weapon slippery he has to concentrate on the spell. Else the oil wouldn’t stay on thick enough to prevent someone from picking the weapon up again.

The leader crouches down to pick up her club but only manages to fumble with it once before Sammy slams her shield into the kobold. Unprepared for this she is flung into the wall behind her. With a smirk, Sammy takes the time to kick the club back towards the two casters.

This gives the leader enough time to gather herself and lift her shield up, but Sammy isn’t here to play fair. Despite motioning with her sword, what Sammy actually does is swipe her front leg out in a low kick, knocking her over. At this point she isn’t even able to react as Sammy drops the shield and with both hands on the sword drives it home through her skull.

Off to the side the other kobolds and the goats aren’t doing much better. Despite the fire clearing away the oil, they don’t have time to recover. Susan dodges past the standing goat and scissors her two daggers through the healer’s throat, beheading him.

That standing goat? Being the only target not flailing around it doesn’t even get a chance to turn towards Susan before Jim puts it down with an arrow to the eye just like his first kill. All the while Og is pelting the enemies on the floor. One particularly sizeable piece of stone even manages to take out one of the other goats. Suppressed and without magic support, the remaining kobolds and goats are soon dead to a combination of spells thrown from afar by Kelly and Kellinger.

Room cleared, they all settled in to recover. The fight wasn’t the toughest, but with all the fighting the first floor had taken it out of them. Even more so than the first group as their lack of melee fighters once again shows a flaw. Without enough people up front to defend they end up having to nuke heavily populated rooms quickly or they would get overrun. This worries Jim, but he still believes they aren’t in danger of anyone dying.

Once all the olives are harvested, the group heads on through the leader’s room where they find what Jim had feared. A change that Ace’s group hadn’t reported. The big heavy stone door is just gone now. They can just enter right into the old core room and on through the portal to the second floor. The changes don’t stop there though. When they go to enter said portal the system pops up a box that asks if they want to go on to the second floor or just exit the dungeon.

Everyone else is meh about it. More convenient, and this isn’t the first time the dungeon has changed on them. The only two who are at all perturbed by the change are Jim and a certain fairy off in the core room. Jim is just worried about what changes might have happened to the second floor. On the other hand, a certain fairy in that far off room smacks a certain crystal while complaining about not being kept in the loop. The only response she gets is a bobble equivalent of a shrug and an offhand remark about it being more convenient for everyone.

No one else in the group cares too much about this change. They had expected new things in the first place so Jim can only select to go to the second floor as everyone else has already done so. Through the portal he again dodges to the side with his bow at ready only to be met with a room empty of anyone besides his own teammates. With a sigh, he relaxed. The report wasn’t completely invalidated.

“Okay everyone, I have a plan to deal with the next room. We know already that there should be two stealthy kobolds in there who are playing at being assassins. Instead of just going through the room, all we have to do is sweep along the outer edge.”

Kellinger nods at Jim’s suggestion but has a plan of his own. “I could just cast grease again.”

Jim opens his mouth but then closes it again as he furrows his brow. “Hmm, that could work. Is there any limit on how often you can do that? I know the little firebug, Ruby, can keep casting her ribbon but your grease spell creates a lot more stuff.”

Kellinger shrugs, “I can get two in relatively rapid fire before I need to rest. If I use one in the next room, then I should be good for the birds as well as the last room after that.”

Jim shrugs, “well it is worth a try. If no one else has any other ideas, we can go and give it a try.”

None of the others can think of a better plan, so they go through the vines and into the next room. Everything looks like they expected, so Kellinger throws down a grease spell to the right of the group as Sammy sweeps out along the wall to her left.

One of the kobolds was over there and outside the grease spells radius but Sammy had expected an attack so her shield easily blocks the kobold’s daggers. To her right in the area covered in grease, the second kobold tries to jump out attack from the side. The grease over there isn’t quite as effective as it was on the stone floor, but the kobold still does a faceplant. Now without the element of surprise, not that they really had it anyway, the two kobolds are finished off.

Everyone is technically ready to head on but Jim stops them and he turns to Kellinger. “So it looks like your grease spell isn’t quite as effective on greenery?”

Kellinger shrugs, “literally just coating something in oil. If they were standing on a sponge or some similar nonsense, I can’t really do much about it. Some clover? That still gets a layer of oil and because there is more surface to cover there is more of it. I just can’t wait to use the spell on something like a saddle so I can make some valiant knight slide right off their horse!”

Jim rubs his eyes, “I think I liked you better when you kept up that stoic look.”

Kellinger shrugs again, “eh, don’t expect me to be like this all the time. I am just tickled pink to be able to test out my favorite spell from when I played pen and paper roleplaying games. Grease is just such a versatile spell and I can cast it so much more now than any of my characters could.”

Jim sighs, “whatever. The next room should have an assassin vine hidden up in the corner right as we enter. Anyone have a good idea on dealing with that mess? While I am sure Ace handheld his group through this floor, I want to give you all a chance to do some planning. With how the town is developing, you’re all going to be leaders of some color.”

The rest of them are silent. Well Kellinger was going to suggest using grease again but Jim stared him down from it. Jim is about to give up and tell them what to do when Susan beats him to it. “Despite being called an assassin vine it isn’t really all that deadly, at least not for a party. Og”, he grimaces as she pronounces it oog, “your arms should be quite strong. I say we send you in first with your arms up like a boxer. That way when the plant wraps you up your neck is protected and we can then take it on with ease.”

Head down, Og uses his thumbs to rub his temples, “well yes, I could do that. In return could you please pronounce my name right?”

Susan shrugs, “you can’t name yourself that and expect me not to have a little fun with it.”

Og looks up at her, “I have a reason for my name. Please respect my choices just as much as you respect Ruby or Ace and their choices.”

Susan looks like she is going to say more but Jim interrupts. “Everyone has some tragic personal story right now. Maybe after the world settles down, we can go back to the more normal drama. Respect his choice or you’re going to soon lose everyone else’s respect. Ace has basically made all of us promise not to dig into you and your husband’s past, so I thought of all the people you would understand.”

As he says that to her, Susan’s face drops and she can only nod in agreement by the end. With this the group has taken on a more sullen mood so Jim puts his fingers in his mouth and lets out one of those ear piercing whistles. Before the others can cover their ears, he stops and nods. “Well, the dungeon isn’t going to clear itself. Og, lead us into the next room and show us what all your training has done for you.”

With a more confident look on his face, Og nods. He enters the next room with his fists up and the plan works like a charm. The assassin vine focuses on him but despite his slight build Og’s arms are solid like a rock, not budging an inch. Everyone is impressed with this while Og smiles at the praise they give him. Sure most of this comes from one of his completed paths giving his arms a percentage increase to how effective strength is for them. But that was why he traveled the path he did in the first place. He might not have completed as many paths as others, but he already knew his goal and quality over quantity was going to get him there.

After the last couple rooms, the goatherd and her flock is almost a disappointment. Unlike Ace’s group, everyone stayed back in the tunnel with Sammy blocking the way. Though the kobold is out of sight so they can’t remove it and the buff, that doesn’t matter when they can pick off the goats at range. Even when they all charge at once Sammy is able to hold the line while Susan cripples the goats that try to get around the shield.

Once the goats are cleared, the kobold is easier still. Without its herd and all alone, she stands no chance against the six adventurers that have invaded her pasture.

Thank you for reading the chapter, I hope you enjoyed it! Please rate, favorite and share the novel. That will help me a lot.

Also if you want to read more, my Patreon ( https://www.patreon.com/dragonheartednovels ) has two free chapters, two more chapters for only a dollar, and even more beyond that for the early access tiers.

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