Lecan went in floor 53's boss room, followed by Arios.
"Lecan-dono. That <Black Body> ahead bears a Grace Gear!"
The said <Black Body> is holding a plain unassuming short sword.
(Let's see how a strike feels).
Lecan had barely clashed swords with the enemy they came across so far.
That's how he's always done it even against human. Clashing weapons would just nick his sword. He won't hesitate if the need truly calls for it, but even then he would adjust his timing and angle to minimize the blade chipping.
But this is a rare chance to have a taste of a grace gear's strength.
So Lecan thought as he attempted to parry the down swung sword sideway.
In that exact moment, there was an explosion.
Lecan reflexively shielded his eyes with his left arm, but his whole body took a huge blow, his face got injured.
Then he passed out on the spot.
"Lecan-dono. Please wake up."
Lecan opened his eyes as he lay in a passageway. No magic beast anywhere in sight.
He got up and spoke to Arios.
"Where are we?"
There's something inside his mouth. It's Stamina Restorative.
"We're somewhere close by the stairway to floor 54."
He's right. This place is right outside the boss room.
"Did you carry me out. My bad."
"Please don't mention it."
"Did you beat all the magic beasts?"
"Yes. It was pretty tough facing off against six on my lonesome, you know."
Arios had barely been ever got hit in this dungeon, his light armor made of Octocular Giant Spider's mats from Dungeon Ninae was pretty much brand new until earlier. Yet it's gotten damaged and dirtied all over now. Signifying just how intense the battle was.
Lecan could only count his luck having Arios as a companion.
Anyone else would never be able to beat six magic beasts while protecting Lecan. Or worse, they would leave Lecan behind which is understandable.
Nevertheless, he's quite something to beat those beasts while keeping Lecan safe.
(This guy is hiding his trump cards.)
(Though well that's no surprise.)
"Sorry. I'm in your debt. Did you get me take the Stamina Restorative too?"
"Yes. I sprinkled a Red Potion on Lecan-dono's face and also make you take the Stamina Restorative you gave me."
His face did get damaged when that sword exploded. Felt like his lips got shredded to pieces too. The guy administered red potion and restorative right away, nothing less to expect from Arios.
The Stamina Restorative is something Lecan made himself. He gave ten pills to Arios, telling him to use it when the needs arise.
Lecan touched along his face and found nothing wrong with it. <3D Perceptions> showed no oddity either. No pain either.
"Just what was that anyway?"
"Oh it's this thing."
Arios took a familiar short sword from his <Box>. The same sword the magic beast earlier carried.
"<Appraisal>. Fumu. It's called, <Exploding Sword (Gopsuscylla)>. Grace is <Explosion> Small. The sword produces a forward facing explosion when it receives an impact of certain intensity. Use rate is 100. It's got limited use huh, what a letdown."
It didn't feel magical when the sword exploded. Meaning Grace Sword's explosions are caused by some sort of non-magic means. This was not unusual even in his previous world. Though it's weird how the <Exploding Sword> itself is completely undamaged from the explosion.
"I have heard stories about this grace. But if small can produces that much explosion, medium and large must be tremendous."
"This Grace Gear doesn't sound really usable."
"Oh not at all. Please think about it. Even a small fry managed to deal such damage to Lecan-dono."
He speaks the truth here. The user's skill doesn't matter to the scale of the explosion. If anyone can produce that much firepower just by equipping one, even a not-so-strong adventurer can defeat powerful magic beasts in one shot, and ten of this thing can form a group with a very high breakthrough potential.
"Let's do a little experiment. For now we go down. <Concealment><Concealment>."
The two ran down the stairs. There was no other adventurer along the way.
Once they were on floor 54, Lecan went in a nearby vacant room.
Then he struck the wall with the <Exploding Sword>. A loud booming sound echoed, the wall's splinters flew off everywhere. Some of which hit Lecan's face.
"Arios. Throw a pebble at me."
Lecan hit the thrown pebble with the <Exploding Sword> horizontally. An explosion occurred, the pebble got blown away while disintegrating.
"Do it again."
This time Lecan hit it with the side of the blade. The explosion faced not the pebble, but toward the edge of the blade out, to the ground.
"Arios. Try slashing at its back."
Lecan turned the <Exploding Sword>'s edge to the left. It's a double edged sword, but that edge is obviously the front considering its blade and handle's constructions. Lecan told Arios to slash at the blade's back, meaning the impact will hit the right side from Lecan's point of view.
Arios slashed at the sword as instructed, and the explosion didn't occur at the side where it was hit, but at the other side.
Next Lecan put the <Exploding Sword> on the ground and hit its side with <Sword of Rusk>. An explosion occurred and while the <Exploding Sword> got blown away to back, it didn't fly far.
This time he put the sword in its scabbard and hit the wall with it.
He hit even harder but still no explosion.
He drew the <Exploding Sword> out of its scabbard and weakly hit the wall.
He hit a bit harder.
Still no explosion.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
He hit even harder.
He hit really really hard.
Thus how they tested out all kinds of things. By the end, Lecan even tried throwing it which caused an explosion and throwing it at Arios who flung it away.
The use rate eventually went over 100, stopping the sword from exploding any more.
"<Appraisal>. Hm. Its use rate got down to zero."
Afterward, Lecan put the <Exploding Sword> in its scabbard and left it on the ground.
"The explosion only manifests a certain distance away from the sword, or more like, right in front of it. The strength of explosion does not vary regardless of how strong or weak it's hit. It explodes regardless of whether someone holds it or not. It even explodes when you throw the sword. Weirdly enough, the explosion does not push the sword back. Which indicates all the force generated by the explosion is concentrated forward. It doesn't explode in its scabbard. That's about all of it."
"For the time being, avoid facing the sword's front when we're fighting White Spectres bearing unknown swords. Especially when you're clashing swords."
"That sounds like a really high hurdle to vault over."
"The explosion is only lethal around a step away at most. There is no danger when you're two steps away. Even at one step, you can still defend against it if you let your body armor take it. Only a tiny portion of the explosion possesses high firepower, so you should avoid fatal injury if you can dodge the core."
"Ah, I see. Then there's nothing to worry about. As expected of Lecan-dono."
It seems like he was knocked out for quite some time. Lecan's inner clock told him that it's evening already.
"No one's in the boss room right now. We're going."
As they walked, Lecan murmured.
"I'm really fortunate."
"Is it because I'm with you?"
"That too, but had I was up against more powerful foes in deeper floor, or had the <Explosion> not Small, I could have died. "
"I see. You've got a point."
They got to floor 55 that day. Besides potions, they also got a sword with <Sleep> and a dagger with <Weaken>. Both inflicts their respective effect when they're used to deal wounds. Testing them on White Spectres, it worked. However, <Sleep> only has 30% success rate and is also affected by the target's resistance. Useless. <Weaken> is a Grace that debilitate the target's speed and strength, and the effect seems to be guaranteed as far as their testing goes. It might come in handy against formidable foes.
They slept in the dungeon that day.