Chapter 10 - [Goblin King’s Abode]
The layouts of high ranking dungeons gradually became more extravagant. In [Goblin King's Abode], the first floor you were transported into had overgrowths and trees all around. Goblins traveled in groups of 5 and paroled the entire floor. The moment you attacked one, they would alert others with a loud signal and have them all rush to where you were
Parties created to dive into this dungeon had to make sure they had enough damage dealers to take care of at least one of the groups before the other two groups rushed in. If your party ever found themselves surrounded by 3 groups of goblins, you had to say your prayers
I looked to the group of goblins that was just alerted in front of me. The goblins had a layer of green scales on them, with their heights reaching up to 3 meters. Four of them held clubs and maces with one holding a wooden staff
I began by testing the effectiveness of the rank F [Fireball] that had its proficiency almost reach a hundred, making it on par with E rank skills. The swirling fireball that was even further condensed rushed towards one of the goblins and exploded
The goblin was pushed back a few feet but quickly got back up like nothing was wrong. Its green scales were only slightly dented. Damn, here I was thinking [Fireball] might still have some uses in the future. Its fast casting and moving speed would actually be good if I was ever going against things that didn't have such high defenses like monsters, but that wasn't something I was looking forward to
The dashing goblins were almost here though, so I initiated my most offensive skill on hand, [Flames of Torment]. A line of fire quickly appeared in front of me, moving forward to hit the foremost goblin. There was a second of pause after the impact before a scream rang out as the line of fire pierced from the front to its back
I made a grasping motion to the pillar of flames and moved my hand to the right. The skill followed my command, acting like a thick rope that moved horizontally and bisected the heads of the two goblins on the right
The remaining two goblins were immediately frightened to see such quick deaths of their friends and they began dashing back. I wouldn't give them a chance though, so I moved forward and kept the distance, quickly commanding the skill to coil around the two goblins, burning them to a crisp
Haha! This was a method I had begun using after becoming familiar with this skill. I didn't have to just allow the skill to shoot flames in front of me, as my proficiency rose I could more easily control the pillar of flames to not just move forward, diagonally, or horizontally. With enough concentration, I could command the skill to act as agile as a rope to suffocate my enemies in flames
As soon as I finished them off, rustling sounds could be heard as another 5 goblins dashed in. I didn't sit still this time around, giving them a cold grin and running towards them, a pillar of flames eerily squirming in front of me.
I practiced controlling and moving [Flames of Torment] as I liked, resulting in dying screams from the goblins. Soon enough, there were another 5 burnt monsters on their ground, their bodies still bubbling from the extreme heat
I had already taken two groups, there should be one more remaining. I didn't wait for them to come and went towards the screams and sounds to the side, taking the last 5 down just as easy as their previous friends.
From then on, it was just me rushing down the floors, increasing the proficiency of my now favorite skill. On a few of the floors, I tested the effectiveness of [Camouflage] against monsters and the results were spectacular. I could sneak in a few meters around them without them noticing a single thing, but If I stayed at that location for just a few seconds or went in any closer to them then eyes would shift to where I was at.
I wasn't sure if it was just sharper senses or a stronger nose that alerted them as you neared, but it was fun running around without being seen
From the 10th floor onward, more goblin archers and mages began appearing, shooting arrows, fireballs, lightning, and frost bolts towards me. I had [Arctic Armor] and [Arcanist's Sphere of Protection] always active though, causing the arrows to be bounced away from my body and the spells to simply disappear the moment they came in contact with the transparent sphere around me
All they could see was a small being deflecting and absorbing their attacks while he lashed out with a thick pillar of fire that either tightened their bodies to death or blasted their heads apart. Surprising the goblin mages and archers with [Camouflage] was even deadlier, as they can't even cast a single spell before they become lifeless
Adrenaline was coursing through me as I watched these D rank 3-meter tall monsters easily fall, but I reminded myself this wasn't what I was aiming for. They were D rank, they were weak, just like me. I cannot think too highly of myself. Any random millionaire could buy skills just as strong and enough [Core]s to easily make someone just as powerful.
The change I wanted to make inside of me was to not feel that feeling of cowardice, that feeling of helplessness that I wallowed in for so long. Whatever stood in my way, whether it be human or monster, whether it be the largest Titans I will eventually be facing, I wanted to face it head-on without fear
I reigned in my emotions and rushed down the floors even faster.
Within an hour and a half, I had rushed down all 29 floors of the dungeon and stood near the last steps of stairs that would take me to the BOSS room.
I realized the pain of normal hunters and why most of them only dived into dungeons once or twice at most a day. Me rushing down while mowing enemies left and right still required me to spend a few minutes on each floor. There being so many floors and monsters, the hunters in a party had to put their lives on the line to kill monsters on each floor while resting to recover their energy and heal up right after
Just going through one dungeon could take them 5 hours or more. Me being able to endlessly cast my skills was such a huge thing that even now I found myself questioning if it was still real.
I went down the steps while making sure all defensive skills and even [Camouflage] was active, and I was soon in a huge clearing with a small mountain in the middle. Scratch that, not a mountain, just a very savage looking goblin that was about 6 meters in size. Its skin was shining a dark black that made it very prominent in this clearing. Holy shit. It held no weapons on its hands, and yet its hands alone seemed enough to smash anything coming near it
This BOSS was the killer of many Hunters, its large size and strength quickly weeding out inexperienced hunters from knowledgeable ones. At Least 2 rank D Knights or 1 rank C with the heaviest of armors were required in order to withstand even one of its strikes. You also better hope your team's Mages and Berserkers were saving up their energy to unleash multiple spells and attacks on this beast to take it down in as little time as possible, or deaths would follow
I was a distance away from it, so I thought I wouldn't be found out with [Camouflage] active, but it's huge eyes honed in on me the instant I arrived in the clearing. So blending into your surroundings is not enough to evade the senses of this type of monster? And I wasn't sure if this rank D boss could be classified as a Titan yet, but its size made me feel like an ant as I had to raise my head just to meet its gaze
I felt my blood pumping as I found myself in this staredown against something more than 3 times my size. I was not scared. I looked at this huge beast and I saw my goals. I saw my future!
I slowly began walking, and my walk gradually changed into a run. The beast stood still, not making a single sound. A smile broke out on my face as unrestrained laughter could be heard. A few meters long thick line of flames quickly appeared beside me as I charged towards this humongous beast
As soon as I got near it, a huge black fist covered the entirety of my sight. My laughter didn't stop as the line of flames also shot out and wrapped around that fist. Then...a huge impact was felt
The fist felt like the whole world was dropped on me. I had seen it smash into the sphere that was protecting me, and instantly felt myself fly back at a speed I've never been exposed to before
I was smashed into the wall behind me a second later, a spherical dent created as I dropped down to my feet. Not a single hair on my body was harmed, the rank C skill, [Arcanist's Sphere of Protection], was not for show!
The beast in front of me didn't stay silent anymore as a mournful howl rang throughout the huge clearing. Its right fist had fallen to the ground, forever removed from its arms. The calmness in its eyes was completely gone as its feet smacked the ground and jumped towards me
One of its remaining good hands reached out towards me as if trying to snuff out a candle. I commanded the cable of flames to twist and form into a circular shape while watching this palm crushing down on me. The circular line of flames then began spinning at high speeds when the palm landed
A horrible sound could be heard as flesh and bones were cut apart. The Goblin's King's remaining arm was grotesquely bisected in the middle, dark red blood gushing out. We were only a meter apart, and I stared at its furious face as I commanded the spinning line of flames to rush at this giant's neck
A second passed, and then the head of the 6-meter tall monster crashed to the ground.