Chapter 22 – The Hero terrorizes 2
When, without lowering my alertness, I quickly looked to confirm Minnalis’ situation, it seemed that she had already more or less finished up.
Having been slashed many times by a sword imbued with magical poison, the Grey Garms lay on the ground groaning in anguish. The only one remaining was the 『Black Garm』, the leader of the pack, and even it was showing a weakened state.
It seemed she wasn’t negligent and didn’t change her way of fighting, prioritizing evasion and wounding the Garms little by little, letting the poison soak in.
「Kufufu, now now, dance, kufu, kufufu!!!」
「…No, so it wasn’t fighting cautiously but rather just torture, huh? Right, and she has been using 『Poison Demon of Phantom Flame』 too much.」
It was probably the result of her fighting style, but it seemed that she became mana drunk from overdoing things.
It would seem that Minnalis had a constitution that made it easy for mana intoxication to occur. If she used 『Poison Demon of Phantom Flame』 too much, she would get completely consumed by the excitement of the battle and let her reason fly off high into the clouds.
Even now she was completely consumed by the excitement of battle and her fighting spirit turned into outright sadism.
「Hey hey, hurry up and sing for me. I’m letting you die with a first-rate poison… Ah! Milord!! Why!?」
「Even if I say it, it’s not likely to help, but cool your head a little.」
Sighing loudly, I stabbed the Black Garm that had pretty much stopped moving by now, nailing it to the ground.
「Theft is unfair! As an apology, I want a kiss, please. A kiss. A KISS!」
「Stop this silly talk, hurry up and cut off its neck already. I haven’t killed it yet but it’s bound to die soon.」
「Uuuhh, I get it.」
I used one hand to hold back Minnalis’ face, as she had jumped over here and I relaxed it when I felt her leaving.
The Grey Garms around us had already stopped breathing due to the poison.
Minnalis brought her sword up and decapitated the Black Garm putting an end to the fight.
「Here, an MP potion.」
「FUGU!! Ngu, Ngu.」
I ignored the strange scenario created by Minnalis teasing me with upturned eyes and forced the potion bottle into her mouth making her drink it.
With this, after a few minutes, she would probably “Job Change” into a standard issue, usual, cool Minnalis. At the same time, she was gradually getting used to the mana intoxication itself, so that when the combat ended she would return to her normal self, once she recovered her MP.
「Puha, aah. It wasn’t mouth-to-mouth but this is fine too.」
「Aaah, yes, yes. You rest, since I’ll be doing the dismantling now.」
Ignoring Minnalis after this, I quickly took out the newly unlocked Soul Sword 【Plump Squirrel’s Pouch Sword】 from my sword belt. This Soul Sword’s appearance and feel didn’t exactly suggest the function of “Cutting”. The weapon didn’t even reach fifty centimeters in length even with the handle included and the part that should be the blade was fully covered in light-brown fur lacking any kind of edge. It seemed to lack any kind of core too, and it might’ve been more accurate to call it a flabby rod made of pelt.
Its effect was the so-called Item Box. Sacrifice 5% of your Maximum MP and storage without a limit became possible.
Most Soul Swords would disappear and reform within me after separating from my hand for a few minutes. However, this one wouldn’t do that, moreover, it could produce several copies of itself. It would even, as long as I allowed it, persist when held by others. And thus, Minnalis also sacrificed 5% of her maximum MP to wield one for personal use.
Once mana was poured into the 【Plump Squirrel’s Pouch Sword】 the cylindrical blade would swell up like a balloon and its furry tip would open like a bell mouth.
I placed the Soul Sword suitably on its side and held the carving knife bought from the Item Shop in one hand, consulting the memories of my first run, I removed the parts proving monster subjugation and other usable materials.
Monsters from a dungeon tended to be taken in by the dungeon shortly after death, so if the dismantling wasn’t done promptly they would end up disappearing.
Given that we had suffered a pincer attack from multiple monster packs and had to expend some of our resources in the fight, it would be too wasteful if that happened.
「I should hold onto this as well, just in case, huh.」
The two pieces of the cursed weapon 『Greatsword of Fervent Grudge』, that was used by the High Sword Goblin before it broke in half, were also thrown inside the bag.
At the time I finished with all the work, the first monsters to be defeated in the fight were subsumed into the ground and sunk completely without a trace.
I returned to Minnalis and noticed she was mostly sobered up from the mana intoxication, her heightened arousal triggered by the very tense situation that blew away her reason had died down.
「Erm… My apologies, Milord. To have troubled you again…」
「I don’t mind, as despite the intoxication, your basic judgment in battle doesn’t seem to be affected. Although, as could be expected, fighting two packs at the same time was quite tiring.」
Saying that, I sat down next to the rock that Minnalis sat on.
Originally, we were fighting the Grey Garms pack that had the Black Garm as their leader. I wanted Minnalis to experience a battle in a place with many obstacles, so I chose an area strewn with large rocks, however, as we were fighting, the Goblins happened to come out from a different entrance at just the right time.
The monsters in the dungeons were unlike the ones outside in that aspect, even if the packs were of completely different races, if there were humans present, then they will move together with the humans as their highest priority target. The monsters with good mutual compatibility would end up working together. And in this case, Goblins and Garms had relatively good compatibility.
Like that, the number of enemies doubled and it became a case of me spitting the two groups with Minnalis and confronting them separately.
「For the time being, shall we have a break to eat something? We’ll be going to the Dungeon Core room after noon to capture this dungeon. I’m starting to miss the sunlight already.」
Having said that I took out some dried meat, hard black bread, and water from the 【Plump Squirrel’s Pouch Sword】. Although the luminous moss kept the place fairly well lit at all times regardless of time of day, the yearning for the warmth of the sunlight was, predictably, becoming stronger.
It seemed that it was something Minnalis had too felt in her brief time of being locked up in the deepest part of a prison and she made a very small nod.
I put the flask made of leather like cowhide to my lips and moistened my throat dry from all the moving around in battle. This water was obtained from my very first Soul Sword 【Water Spirit’s Droplet Blade】 unlocked by experience points saved up after entering the dungeon.
This one didn’t have a blade, it was a Soul Sword that had nothing but a handle. It was a weapon that would conjure a thin blade of water created from either taking in water directly or taking in mana.
My maximum MP was low, so handling the weapon without a place with water would be unreasonable but by infusing mana, it would be possible to create drinking water. Thanks to this, the problem of water supply during travels were resolved easily.
After the two of us finished cleaning up the monsters, even though I didn’t expect any more immediate assaults, there wasn’t time to dawdle. Minnalis who had with her own body experienced the eight days of being inside a dungeon had also quickly finished up with her meal.
「Now then, from here on we’ll head towards the Boss Room. We have meticulously killed all the monsters in the dungeon already.」
The group that had cleared this dungeon in the first run was the Hero Party, with me as the leader, after hardly any time had passed since I had been initially summoned to this world. It was regretful though, that it was a dungeon I had delved in and cleared almost four years ago, so I couldn’t remember the finer details of its structure.
Even so, if I walked around for a week or so then I would more or less remember the layout of this place. But right now, relying on the blurry memories, I chose the shortest route leading to the Boss Room and headed out.
On the way, whilst defeating the Goblins and Garms that showed up sporadically, we advanced further and further into the cave system.
And the place we arrived at, was the one and only with an outer appearance unlike its surroundings, it was dominated by a pair of giant, metal doors.
「Milord, could this be…」
「Yeah, the deepest part of the dungeon, the 『Guardian’s Room』 where the core is.」
Stopping in front of the door, Minnalis gulped at the strange intimidation aura released by the door.
「I’ve heard that the 『Guardian』 that protects the deepest part of the dungeon has strength incomparable to the other monsters that wander inside the dungeon. Will we really challenge it just by ourselves?」
Said Minnalis with a face full of anxiety.
Those nerves were quite natural. In the first place, the conventional theory was that dungeons were places to be challenged by parties of at least four. If the porters for carrying food and water were included in consideration, then two people would look to be severely insufficient.
And also, if it was challenging the 『Guardian』 protecting the Dungeon Core, then, in the first place, there had never been a case of it being done by a single party. Even if around ten parties with considerable strength came together in an alliance, prepared perfectly, repeatedly simulated the encounter and confronted the Boss in rotation, suffering some casualties were still to be expected.
That was what the adventurers who have dived into dungeons considered to be a 『Boss Battle』.
A team challenging the Guardian with only two people would make anyone think they were suicidal or get treated as pitiful loonies with more than a few screws loose.
「Aah, we’ll kill the Guardian, alright. The shards of the Dungeon Core are materials that holds a vast amount of mana. If that was to be used in the creation of an equipment then whatever it was, a super first-class weapon would be made.」
To a country, the dungeons could even become a resource. There were dungeons that, upon discovery, would come under control of a country with the destruction of the core prohibited. That was because once the core was destroyed then the monsters, and the materials associated, would stop spawning.
For the very reason, since this dungeon was yet to be found by a country, while its existence was still unknown I intended to secure its core without fail.
「Is that so… Milord, please rethink this matter!! If we die here, then our revenge will…」
「Oi Oi, who ever said we were challenging it directly?」
I flicked Minnalis’ forehead as she was complaining with a deadly serious expression.
「Calm down. Even I don’t have the least bit of interest in something like crossing swords with it straight on. If it’s the two of us right now. then the chance of winning would be five percent at most. I do want the Core, but if I had to weigh that against our need for revenge, I would never take the latter so lightly.」
「Then, erm, errr…?」
「Enough of this subject. The Guardian will never leave that room while protecting the Dungeon Core. The monster that’s assigned to the role is given powerful equipment from the Core but in exchange it has its agency taken from it, being left only with an order to protect this place. With that being the case, if we just attack from outside their range, then the whole thing will be one-sided and end just like that.」
「From outside? But, I’ve heard before from adventurers that it’ll come out all the way to this hall once the door opens.」
「That’s right. Once the door opens, it is certain to chase to the hall before the Guardian’s Room, in this dungeon it would be here. However, it’s also confirmed that if the door is closed then it won’t chase past the threshold. In that case, it’s fine if we defeat it with the doors closed.」
After saying that, I took out the 【Fire Spider’s Leg Sword】. And then I injected mana into it.
「From outside… aah, I see. As expected of Milord.」
「Well, we are as likely to succeed as not and if we fail, we’ll have to give up. This time we mainly came here to teach your body how to fight, though there was the aim of earning experience points too.」
Not only were we in a midst of a hostile country, we couldn’t be sure when other people would prove to be enemies either.
If one aimed to learn how to withstand a sudden assault and polish combat skills to not die, then repeatedly fighting large numbers of enemies in melee was the best shortcut. Now that we couldn’t do anything that would make us stand out, this was the perfect hunting ground.
「That’s why there’s no need for taking huge gambles to defeat this guy. You’ve learned plenty about how to fight, so it’s fine if we just get experience points from the Boss.」
Having said that I proceeded to melt through a part of the door with the【Fire Spider’s Leg Sword】.
As expected of the door protecting the deepest part of the dungeon its toughness was even higher than the cursed weapon’s.
「Once the hole in the door is completed, you should pour in long duration poison fumes from 『Poison Demon of Phantom Flames』 into the room through it. The Guardian will probably not move without an order even if it notices something, but just in case, make a poison that’s colorless, tasteless and odorless.」
Whilst I was saying that, I poured more mana into the Soul Sword as the door was still resisting strongly, even though it began to melt.
With that, the 【Fire Spider’s Leg Sword】 had somehow penetrated into the door creating an opening the size of five centimeters.
「Ok, that went well, ah, ah?」
And, I started to feel as if the whole world started to sway around me.
The composed part of my mind informed “Ah, I’ve become mana drunk” but somehow made it sound as a different person’s problem.
「Sorry, Minnaris, up to you now… All seems fine, let me rest now.」
Using what little reason I had, I finished without showing a disgraceful drunken display and entrusting my back to the wall I sat on the ground. As long as the door wasn’t opened, the Boss wouldn’t come out, and the monsters spawned by the dungeon wouldn’t come near the hall in front of the Guardian’s Room.
Since the dungeon entrance was deeply camouflaged by rocks, there probably wouldn’t be any other adventurers finding the entrance and making their way all the way down here.
「Please leave the rest to me, Milord. Please rest a little.」
I glanced sideways and saw Minnalis cool down the water and carry it to the melted hole in the door, then use 『Poison Demon of Phantom Flames』 to transform mana into poison before pouring it into the hole.
If Minnalis, a beastkin, used poison magic normal for her kind, then her poison would have spread and acted immediately, however, the one made from her inherent skill 『Poison Demon of Phantom Flames』 didn’t work like that.
The effect of the 『Poison Demon of Phantom Flames』 skill was the ability to create, by using mana, any amount of poison with various traits in the immediate area of the caster. That poison would not naturally disperse no matter how much time passed and was impossible to remove without the user’s permission.
There seemed to be several other facets to the skill, however, that was all that could be utilized currently.
I investigated with Appraisal and there certainly appeared to be other abilities than these two. However, they were only displayed with 【???????】.
This inherent skill was similar to other skills in that it seemed to be the type that developed, although that process wasn’t tied to levels. Some sort of prerequisite and skill proficiency both had to be fulfilled to unlock the additional effects.
Most likely, judging by the name, it’s an illusion type ability and… While I pondered that, I was suddenly overcome by fatigue and drowsiness.
Even though there was a thread of fatigue being connected to the excitement of continuous battles, I was probably weakened by mana intoxication.
Without even a chance to resist, my consciousness was fell into the void like I was sinking to the bottom of a tranquil lake. 5 Best Chinese Romance Books of 2020 So Far