Chapter 8 - Dungeon with Death (4)
The fact that the Skeletons were running at incredible speed meant that the effect of the collision was that much more powerful. The Skeletons impacted against each other as they became tangled. The ones that were impacted hard died. Artpe had come up with this idea in the spur of the moment, yet his plan had been incredibly effective!
“Of course, it is much more efficient in terms of Mana and time to use a magic spell that produces the same result.”
“Artpe is amazing.!”
“Yes, yes. I am amazing.”
The two of them had effectively blocked the rush attempt by the Skeletons, and they were able to arrive at the 1st floor. Of course, he had destroyed the stairway leading to the 1st floor in spectacular fashion. The regular Skeletons had to be made into stepping stones for the Skeleton Warrior to reach the 1st floor. In the end, only four Skeleton including the Elite Skeleton Warrior made it up to the 1st floor.
“The zombies aren’t back yet.”
“We killed them all. Other adventurers have to enter and die here for there to be new zombies.”
“I don’t want to know about such truths…..”
“Hey, hurry. Hurry.”
“Leave it to me!”
She carried a boy, who weighed more than her, through the Dungeon. She ran from the 6th floor to the 1st floor. It was as if his weight was negligible to her. Then there was the boy, who kept impeding the progress of the monsters using his Mana Control and magic spells. If others saw this sight, they would have been in disbelief.
Even if their levels were high, their actual bodies, which used these abilities, were immature. Artpe spoke as if what they had done was nothing special, but he was looking at it through the standard of the Demon race, not humans!
“We are almost there. We are almost at the entrance!”
“Hurry up! They are just around the corner!”
[I’ll kill humans! I’ll kill humans!]
It seemed the Hyper Rubbing from before had caused a lot of damage. The Skeleton Warrior’s shield had a fairly large crack. He could see small thread-like fissures on its skull. If someone had told him the Skeleton Warrior had been in a battle before coming here, he would have believed it.
However, it hadn’t been a true fight. It had been damaged this much by simply slipping and falling hard on the floor. This fact probably probably fueling its anger. There actually was a red energy blanketing its body. Artpe was sure it was a Buff type skill that allowed it to temporarily raise its abilities. It was triggered by its heightened emotional state. It was only an Undead, yet it had an Emotion type skill!
“Eeek. I’m falling behind. We aren’t going to make it… Artpe~”
“Tsk. It can’t be helped.”
He replied in a relaxed manner, but his Mana was close to being depleted. It would be impossible for him to once again make the entire length of the hallway slippery to stop the Skeletons. If so…..
Artpe unfurled his hand as he manifested his magic. At that moment, Maetel slid down the hallway with Artpe on her back. To be precise, the path in front of them had turned smooth. It was as if the dirt hallway was pulling them forward!
Maetel realized Artpe was using his magic in front of them, so she was cautious as she tried her best not to fall over. Then she used the slick floor to propel herself forward. This girl’s talent was really endless.
“We are going to die. We are going to d…...”
When he ran out of magic, the two of them were suddenly thrown forward towards the entrance of the Dungeon. Afterwards, the Skeleton Warrior’s bastard sword passed through the location where Artpe’s head used to be. Several strands of his hair was cut as it flew into the air.
“How dare you cut Artpe’s hair! I won’t forgive you!”
Maetel had taken out her club, and she was about to charge the Skeleton Warrior. Artpe desperately tried to hold her back. Afterwards, Maetel realized something weird had occurred.
“...what is it doing?”
“What does it look like it is doing?”
There was a boundary that separated the Dungeon’s entrance from the 1st room. The Skeleton Warrior grinded its teeth as it swung its sword, but it stood beyond the boundary. Of course, the party had already entered into the Dungeon’s entrance, so the bastard sword couldn’t reach them.
“We are right in front of them, so why aren’t they coming….?”
“The Dungeon’s monsters can’t come out to the Dungeon’s entrance.”
“Ah. I’m sure Artpe explained this to me before! So that is why they can’t come out even though they are right in front of us?”
The Skeleton underling had already fallen to the floor in exhaustion. Only the Skeleton Warrior kept swinging its sword as if it held lingering resentment towards them. Still, it looked less spirited compared to when it first showed up. It looked a bit lacking…
“So what is the reason behind it? I really don’t know, Artpe! How come? Huh?”
“Those are some very good questions.”
Artpe laughed in a kind manner as he answered her question. Of course, as he spoke, he was gathering Mana into his dagger to attack the silly Skeleton Warrior.
“I don’t know either!”
“Ah-ha. I see!”
This was why it was convenient to have a dummy next to you!
[Kill! Kill! Kill!]
“Yes. I want you to keep talking like that!”
Artpe replied in a friendly manner towards the Skeleton Warrior, whose words were filled with resentment and anger. He continued to gather his Mana. He had consumed an incredible amount of Mana, but he was recovering a fair amount by standing still.
This was something to be expected during his time as a Demon, but now he was a human child. This was atypical. He had the body of a human, yet his affinity with Mana was off the chart. Even if he used his Read All Creation ability, he couldn’t figure out why he was like this. He just decided to think of this as a boon.
[I’ll kill humans! Kill! I’ll kill…. I give up.]
“Hey hey. Don’t give up now!”
The Skeleton Warrior had swung his bastard sword for a long time, but in the end, it came to a realization that it wouldn’t be able to cross into the Dungeon’s entrance. In front of this reality, it had been about to give up. This was when Artpe threw a Mana infused dagger toward it as he spoke words of encouragement.
Artpe was able to see the flight path of the dagger, since it was letting out a blue Mana that could only be seen by Artpe. The Mana flooded forward as the dagger embedded itself on top of the Skeleton Warrior’s head. When the Skeleton Warrior had fallen from the Hyper Rubbing spell, the other Skeletons had crashed into it. It caused a thread-like fissure to form on its skull. The dagger had accurately burrowed into the fissure.
[Koo-ahhhhhhhhh! I’ll kill you!]
“Yes! That’s the right idea!”
“Artpe. You are so bad…..”
The fire, which had been dimming, with the Skeleton Warrior started to burn white hot again. It had felt impotent before, but now it renewed its resolve. It diligently swung its sword. Artpe kept nodding his head as if to cheer on the Skeleton Warrior. He continued to recover his Mana. Maetel finally realized Artpe’s tactic, so she asked with a dumbfounded look in her eyes.
“Artpe. I’m not talented at attacking from a distance. What should I do?”
“You can’t do anything here. You should just eat the dry ration.”
Maetel busily ate the rations and water. As expected, she had consumed a lot of Stamina by running from the 6th floor to the 1st floor, while carrying Artpe. While she ate, he diligently gathered Mana, and he infused it into another dagger.
In the process of traversing the 6 floors, they had found articles left behind by the deceased adventurers, who had died over countless years. They had also found the treasure chests. This was why Artpe had an ample supply of throwing weapons. He didn’t have to worry about running out of weapons.
[Human! Humaaaaaaaaan! I give up!]
“No, you can do this!”
[I can’t do this!]
“Don’t believe yourself! I want you to believe in me, who believes in you!”
The Skeleton Warrior kept swinging its sword, but it was mired in the feeling of hopelessness. Artpe had to keep attacking it. He had to keep it distracted. Maetel was watching a human and an Undead converse. She decided not to think too deeply about this. The important point right now was the fact that Artpe had brilliantly embedded four daggers into its body..
“All right. This is going smoothly.”
[Goo-ahhhhhhhh! I give up!]
“You suffered at the hands of children, who haven’t even reached half your level. Are you really going to run away now?”
If the Skeleton Warrior simply stayed here, Artpe would play around with it until it died. Unfortunately, the Skeleton Warrior’s intelligence wasn’t that high. Above all else, the Skeleton Warrior was in the grip of the Rage Buff.
The Buff was triggered by an emotion. The pros of a Buff skill was the fact that it didn’t consume a lot of magical energy, yet it increased one’s level significantly. If there was a downside, it was the fact that it was hard to break out of the emotion that had activated the Buff. This was why the Skeleton Warrior was unable to give up on the battle. It kept following the lead of Artpe for no particular reason than that.
“Take more of this! More! I’m sure you can do this longer, right?”
[Humannnnnnn! I’ll kill you! I’ll kill you!]
“Hmm. Its aggro is still fixed on us…...”
There were eight daggers stuck inside the body of the Skeleton Warrior. Artpe still had plenty of throwing weapons left, but he stopped throwing them.
“If we use this method to kill it, it’ll take us around four days.”
“Then are we going to give up? I think we can go out now! I’m not afraid of the soldiers or the goblins!”
After filling her stomach, she had recovered her energy. Maetel spoke in a valiant manner. In reality, it had only been a week, but their growth could almost be called an evolution. They could evade the soldiers, and it wouldn’t be too difficult to fight couple dozen of them and win! However, Artpe shook his head in a decisive manner.
“The probability of us running into an Elite monster is very low. Of course, this bastard is a strong and difficult opponent. However, when we kill it, the reward will be enormous. We can’t give up. This is too good of an opportunity to miss.”
In his previous life, Artpe would have snorted in disdain towards a reward given by a level 60 Elite monster. However, he was a level 24 beginner hero right now, and the only magic spell he knew was Hyper Rubbing. It was stupid to retreat when they had the chance to kill their enemy.
‘Moreover, this Dungeon itself keeps weighing on my mind….’
This place started with level 5 beginner monsters, yet a level 60 Elite monster had appeared on the 6th floor. This beginner’s Dungeon was hard to pin down. What was at the end of this Dungeon? What caused it to be so strange? These thoughts troubled him, so he couldn’t ignore it.
He possessed the Read All Creation ability, so Artpe had always known most of the answers before he could formulate a question The was no end in sight to this Dungeon, and it interested him. Of course, he couldn’t deny the fact that there was danger here. However, if Artpe and Maetel were able to successfully conquer the Dungeon, they would gain a reward equal to the difficulty of the Dungeon. At the very least, it would be much better than being fattened up like pigs in the castle. It was better than rotting away there.
“So let’s just change our method.”
“Is it finally my time to step forward!?”
“No, you still can’t do anything against it. Just sit there and cheer for me.”
In the end, Artpe’s thoughts led him towards an unexpected destination. It ended at his Hyper Rubbing magic. When he acquired it, he had thought it was a useless magic that could only cause friction. However, the magic had somehow saved them twice in their time of need. He had rubbed to cause changes to the terrain, and he rubbed to increase Maetel’s speed.
Unlike his initial assessment of this magic, this spell wasn’t simple. The most important aspect to pay attention to was the fact that it was able to cause a very large change to the environment compared to the amount of Mana being consumed.
“This is why…. Maybe....”
Artpe looked at the eight daggers embedded deeply into the Skeleton Warrior’s skull and other joints. When he checked the Mana within the daggers, his eyes shone.
He wondered if this this plan would really work. Still, they couldn’t keep playing games in front of the Dungeon’s entrance. He went about this with a devil-may-care attitude. He chanted his spell.
“My will shall manifest focused on the edge of the blade! Hyper Rubbing!”