"Well then, I will now give an explanation regarding magic beasts spawns. Floor 21 to floor 30 are the so-called middle stratum of this dungeon. The magic beasts present are giant variants of Spotted Spiders. They're about as tall as my waist. You must forget everything you experienced on floor 1 to 20 when you tread on these new floors."
"Forget? What do you mean."
"On floor 11 to 20, we have cavities, with lesser Octoular Great Spiders inside each one. You end up thinking that's how it will also be on successive floors. However, that's a straight path to ruin."
"First of all, the terrain is different. There's no cavities on floor 21, no spiders below. They're above you. There are creases of rocks hanging on the ceilings of these floors, spiders hide between those creases and descend on you."
"The best method to deal with them is by killing them as they descend, but since there is no sign telling where they're coming down, that is hard to achieve. Those spiders will move right away without any prompt the moment they come into contact with their target, at abnormal speed. They're smaller yet incomparably faster than the spiders on floors before this, many parties meet their end on this floor."
"Only one magic beast per encounter?"
"Not necessarily. Once you get close enough to the spot right below one, it will start descending. If there are more than one spider near that spot, they all will go down together."
"On top of that, if you come across other spots with spiders above while trying to run from a spider or going around to attack a spider, those spiders will come down as well."
"So you're saying we can haul up lots of them in one go."
"Okay, I'm a bit worried about your train of thought. Ah, almost forgot, the grounds don't have a good view. There's walls of rocks randomly thrust out of grounds all over the place. You can't just go straight ahead."
"How do the enemies attack?"
"They use their legs. Their claws are far harder and sharper than all spiders before them. They also shoot out <Sleep>. The range of which about 20 steps, I believe. Its effects are so much more immediate and strong than any <Sleep> on all floors before it. Rudimentary <Sleep> resistance cannot block it."
"There's <Flame> as this spider's characteristic written on the catalog."
"I was about to get to that. They spit out small syrupy burning rock-like lumps at you. Its range is about, right..."
Everyone quietly waited as Heles tried to recall.
"I believe it's around ten steps. They can move their head in most directions and swiftly, so there are times when you get hit even when you're taking precautions."
"Is it instant death if you're hit?"
"It is not, but having syrupy flames sticking on your clothes and armor result in a quick and serious scald. And since there's only hard rock-like grounds below you, you cannot rub it away with soil or sand either."
"Sounds like a bother."
"As such, you would want to be ready with equipment with high fire resistant on that floor through floor 25."
Heles was looking at Lecan with a troubled look in her eyes.
"My overcoat highly resists fire. Eda, how about your clothes."
"We bought fire resistant web armor thanks to Heles-san's info. It's got some resistance against dissolving liquid and venom too."
Eda's new equipment is a light brown skin-tight web armor. She's got a fluffy hat-like thing on her head that can be pulled down to protect her head except eye area. Her new light brown boots also look pretty elastic and sturdy.
"Next is of course, their bites. They possess small jaws that's just really swift and nasty."
"How about webs?"
"Since the spiders here use up their thread to go down the tall ceilings, they don't seem to shoot out web from their rear."
"How do they detect things?"
"I'm asking how do these magic beasts here detect intruders."
"Well, err. That'd be with their eyes, ears and instinct, I suppose."
"Is that confirmed?"
"There is no concrete research on it, but they're clearly capable of detecting intruders and grasp their movement."
"Got it. Let's go then."
Their party set foot on floor 21.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
Floor 21 has a hard rocky surface as the ground and walls of rocks thrusting out of the ground all over the place. The walls are as short as one step and as tall as three steps high, obstructing Lecan's vision.
The best part of it is the ceiling. You can't even tell how high up it is. Furthermore, curtains of rocks are hanging down here and there, completely hiding the upper side away. The distance to ground from some of the rock curtains are about four, five steps away for the shorter ones so there should be cases of descending magic beasts appearing out of nowhere in front of you.
"There's two adventurer parties on this floor right now."
"One deeper to the left. Near the exit. Another is along wall to the right. They're engaged in a fight against three magic beasts."
"Lecan-dono. Are you, telling the truth?"
"It's my ability. Lots of magic beasts hiding out in the ceilings. Around here, over there, there, and there. Let's see. Just how close you've got to make them come down. Ah, right. Heles."
"Same weak spots?"
"Indeed. You either crush their head or aim for their heart."
Lecan took <Sword of Agost> out <Storage> drew it out of its scabbard and returned the scabbard into <Storage>.
"That's a really big sword. I can't believe how you just so easily hold it in one hand."
Lecan ignored Heles's murmur and slowly walked forward one big step at a time.
"It's coming down. Everyone, stay put."
He raised his pace as he said that and stopped at a spot.
A huge Spotted Spider suddenly came out without a sound from behind a crease in the rock curtain, but Lecan had anticipated that already and swiftly cut off its head.
"Fumu. Everyone, come here. Heles."
"What's the carve-able mats of this magic beast?"
"The highest priced part of Spotted Spider is their thread. However, unless you can fly, you can't collect that dangling thread. Next is their eyes, I think. The leather on its abdomen can be sold too, but it's cheap considering the place they show up, so most people don't bother with it."
"I guess we're mainly aiming for magic stones and treasure chests for a while then."
"That we are."
Afterward, Lecan killed two more.
(These spiders sense their enemies.)
(Only when you're about five steps away from the spot below them.)
(They don't react until you get within that range.)
"Lecan-dono. The ceiling here is awfully tall and dim, thus it's easy to overlook spiders lurking above. We risk getting our party annihilated if we caught ourselves unaware of drawing multiple spiders toward us. Therefore, I propose we all should be slowly and carefully as we proceed ahead on this floor."
"Fumu. They really don't seem to attack until they get down on the ground. Alright. I'll let it down on next. Everyone, don't move from there."
Lecan walked 20 steps ahead, then a magic beast came down right in front of him. Which then immediately plunged out once it got on ground. Lecan made a mincemeat out of the magic beast's head directly in front of him.
"A spider will come down five step ahead of the spot I'm stopping next. Aim for its heart with your bow."
Lecan walked ahead and stopped, then a magic beast came down after waiting a bit. Eda landed a clean hit on the magic beast's heart with her brand new bow.
"Nicely done. The sensations of pulling that bow should not unlike that of a magic bow, same with the arrow."
"Really? I don't really get it. This bow you picked feels really nice to use, Lecan."
The way you aim with a magic bow is wholly different from a normal bow, and yet Eda has unconsciously adjusted to that difference, it seems.
"That arrow might be usable still. Go fetch it."
"Heles. Arios. Come with me. Eda, follow us once you're done."
Heles and Arios walked with LEcan.
"Alright. A spider will come down here. Heles, kill it."
"Arios, you're next."
"Alright. A spider will come down here."
Eda caught up to them in the meantime.
Behind them, Heles had just beheaded her spider.
"Over here, Eda."
Heles isn't done taking out the magic stone yet.
Arios stabbed through the spider's heart. Since these spiders shows their back as they comes down, their hearts are exposed during that momentary instance. As long as you know where they're coming down and it's a one-on-one fight, these spiders are nothing for swordsmen on the level of Heles and Arios.
As Lecan was waiting for the next spider to come down, his <3D Perceptions> caught the spider that was hit by Eda's arrow getting down the ground and trying to move. Eda has missed its vital.
Lecan blew his target spider's head with the magic, turned around and commanded Eda.
"Dodge to the left!"
The moment Eda jumped to the left, the spider she failed to kill lunged at the spot she was at. Lecan cut down the spider's abdomen and heart as it tried to turn around.
(The spider didn't react at all to my voice.)
Heles and Arios came back.
"Are you all right?"
"Are you hurt anywhere?"
"Ehehe. I made a mistake."
"It's fine. You miss sometimes. Anyway, I found something to test. Arios."
"I'll stand in front of the next spider and attract its attention. You make some noise behind it and try to attract its attention. Do not attack."
"Yes? I understand."
Lecan kept the next spider company without killing it. It spat out lumps of flames at him which he flicked away with the side of his sword.
Arios was making racket behind the spider, but it paid no attention to him at all.
Once Lecan deemed the test enough, he cut down the spider's heart. He can directly aim for its heart frontally thanks to his new sword's length.
"Everyone, listen up. It's been made clear with the test just now. These spiders don't have an aural sense."
"Eh? But earlier, Heles-san said."
"Gathering information is an important part of dungeon explorations. They're worth paying for."
"But don't believe it."
"Mistakes happen even without ill will behind the intent. Sometimes conveyed things can miss a word. Some people believe in misunderstandings or their own prejudice. What others consider safe may not be so to me. You alone are the judge for the significance behind a piece of information."
"But how could you doubt what people say."
"If we die due to wrong information, the ones who gave that information won't atone for their mistake, nor will that bring anything. You only have yourself to protect yourself. So use what people say as a reference. That's important. However, do not swallow them whole."
"I won't swallow them whole."
"Right. Information is just that, information. Keep exploring while making sure yourself whether something is true or not."
"Yes. I understand."
"Lecan-dono. Forgive me. Now I'm reminded of a certain party that would have a shield user luring spiders from the front while another member finish them off from behind with a spear. So this is the reason for that."
"No. Your information serves as a reference. Don't worry about it. Now then, let's get down the floor."