(No luck trying to recruit more people.)
(Guess I'll pay another visit once the heat cooled down a notch.)
(Gotta push on with just us two for now.)
To begin with, exploring dungeons up to floor 80s and going up against nine hostiles with just the two of them is insane, but fortunately Arios is unfamiliar with common sense in dungeoneering. He should believe this is to be taken for granted so long as Lecan acts natural. In that sense, bringing Arios along to the Mediation Office was a misstep. But they've come this far for real. They should be able to get on a bit further down if they devise up new ways to fight and raise their offensive a bit more. They can start coming up with plans when they actually hit a roadblock. Besides, Lecan's ultimate goal in exploring this dungeon has always been getting a sword he can keep using extensively without worry. It's not like they've got to conquer this dungeon or anything.
Lecan took <Guardian Jewel of Zana> from <Storage>, put it in the hidden pocket of his light armor and closed the pocket tightly.
(Yeah guess I'll use this after all.)
(Dying or stopping this expedition.)
(Because you're too cheap to use what you have is just backward thinking.)
If he can defeat foes that got 10 in power value without <Guardian Jewel of Zana>, using it will enable him to defeat 12-value foes. Even if he's had <Guardian Jewel of Zana> equipped right from the beginning to defeat 10-value foes, his original strength capable of vanquishing them hasn't gone anywhere.
And yet, it would be absurd if he had <Guardian Jewel of Zana> equipped to progress through the next few floors only to unequip it later. Balancing this is the hard part.
Arios was watching Lecan curiously. Arios has no idea about <Guardian Jewel of Zana>. Lecan may have used it at Dungeon Ninae, but he never bothered explaining what it was.
"Now then. First, let's give this room a try. I'm going in ahead but I'm not gonna cast <Lightning> this time. Instead, I'm gonna shoot out a <Flame Spear> to demolish one hostile. Let's go."
Lecan drew <Sword of Rusk>, kneaded his mana to ready <Flame Spear>, then he breathed in greatly before charging in the room.
The instance he was in, nine magic beasts turned their gazes at him all at once.
He drove his magic to an enemy second to the front, and stabbed <Sword of Rusk> at the leading enemy with both his hands firmly on the sword's handle.
Arios got in the room.
The second enemy got blown away, crashing into two <Black Body> behind it.
Arios slipped past them and cut off a <Black Body> in the back to the right.
The four <Red Body> are standing behind the line. These magic beasts would sometimes come out on the front until floor 70s, but their formation seems to have been rearranged starting from floor 80s.
Lecan rushed forward and chopped off the ankle of a <Black Body> that was trying to get up. <Guardian Jewel of Zana> truly has tremendous effects. Just yesterday he never managed to cut off their wrists or ankles even once.
A <Red Body> has finished growling, unleashing a spear of light. Lecan used the black body in front of him as a cover. The spear of light hit the <Black Body>'s back.
In the meantime, Arios has felled two <Red Body>.
Lecan cut off the ankle of the <Black Body> right in front of him, and went around the right side. He could feel a slash by the middle <Black Body> hitting the base of his left arm, but Lecan paid it no heed as he kept going to the right side, beheading a <Red Body> in the back while dealing with two wounded <Black Body> and another unharmed one in the back.
Meanwhile, Arios felled the last <Red Body>.
Three <Black Body> left.
Lecan and Arios easily annihilated the remaining hostiles.
"We managed to finish it while only shooting magic once. This strategy appears to be working."
"Yea. We've been relying on <Lightning> as a diversion thus far, but it's not working well lately. Got two additional <Black Body> by blowing the second one with a <Flame Spear> this time around. The rest was a piece of cake."
"Is that equipment something that raises offensive power?"
"Does that work on any kind of weapon?"
Lecan thought of falsifying the info for a second, but now that he's shown how it works, there's no point in even trying.
"Yeah it does. Won't work on throwing weapons though."
"That sounds like a dream comes true."
"Let's get a move on."
The next room had a magic beast carrying a Grace Gear.
A better version of <Power Sword (Domascylla)>.
They had lunch afterward.
"Lecan-dono. Didn't you have that item equipped on the last floor of Dungeon Ninae too?"
"I knew it. But the power you displayed back then was on another level. Can you adjust the output of that equipment?"
"It can dish out an explosive burst of power with some preps. Can't do that again for a while after."
Afterward, they conquered floor 82's boss room.
They fought in four rooms in the afternoon, had dinner, conquered floor 83's boss room and slept on floor 84. Four Grace Gear got dropped, and although they were curious weapons, none tickled Lecan's fancy to wield it.
The day after they were done with the exploration on floor 86.
They had a meal at the inn, then as Lecan was back in his room, Arios visited.
"You need something?"
"Please have a look at this."
He submitted a memo saying that.
<3D Perceptions> can't read words. Lecan produced a light.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
9th 10 dungeon stay
10th 15 (floor 10s, floor 20s)
11st 12 (floor 30s) dungeon stay
12th 13 (floor 40s)
13th 4 (floor 50s) dungeon stay
14th 6 (floor 60s)
15th 5 dungeon stay
16th 5 (floor 70s)
17th rest day
18th 3 dungeon stay
20th 3 dungeon stay
21st 2 (floor 80s)
22nd rest day
23th 2 dungeon stay
"What's these numbers after dates? Ah, I see. They're numbers of floors we conquered that day huh."
"That's right. What are your thoughts from reading this memo?"
"There's even two rest days eh."
"That's definitely the wrong way to take it. I mean no, aren't we moving too fast?"
"Listen to me now. It took us 33 days to conquer 45 floors of Dungeon Ninae. And even that speed was shocking to Jade-san."
"Did it really."
"It did really. But here we broke through floor 50 in just five days. It's just ridiculous. Besides, we should have been fighting with more people on our side from middle floors down, shouldn't we? You can't really blame the Mediation Office for not believing us."
(He figured it out.)
"Did you just click your tongue or am I hearing things?"
"Well, it is true that this dungeon is far more compatible with both Lecan-dono and me. But even considering that, fighting eight or nine hostiles at once is just too much. We have to be more prudent. Let's drop our pace from tomorrow on."
Lecan saw the dungeon expedition record from a different perspective than Arios.
It's the low frequency of them staying in the dungeon.
In Lecan's mind, they should have stayed for four to five days at the very least in the dungeon every time they get in. Because you start to slacken up whenever you go outside. Not leaving the dungeon is better if you want to maintain a high density of battle.
However, due to the huge numbers of floors they conquered early on, and the rapid fluctuations of enemy difficulty, going outside ended up being beneficial for them this time.
And on deeper floors, the exhaustion from fighting many foes at once took a huge toll on them. Even if <Recovery> helps restore physical fatigue to a degree, you just can't get back to prime conditions for the next batch of fights until you rejuvenate yourself outside.
On top of that, you can freely go to any floor as long as you have <Marks> in this world's dungeons, so going and leaving doesn't take long.
Then how about going out every day?
No, that's no good.
Arios still hasn't got used to what dungeons are. They've got to keep staying once every two days in the dungeon and get dungeon conquering tempo etched on Arios's body.
Besides, Lecan himself would have a tough time in other dungeons if he ever got used to dungeon commuting. They need to stay at least overnight in the dungeon with every visit.
"Will you slow down the pace of us exploring this dungeon?"
"Right, we should."
"Let's take it a bit slower. We'll get in a few other rooms and adapt to fighting on a particular floor before challenging the boss room. What's wrong. You've got this funny look on your face."
"Oh it's just. I wasn't expecting you to give your consent even though I made the suggestion myself."
"You're such a pain, you know that?"
Henceforth, they should not rush things.
They just have to proceed the best they can.
Even if the last floor might be unattainable, Lecan intends to get beyond floor 100 at least.
It's probably going to take months. Things have gone too well so far.
Just gotta see it as they can afford taking it easy now because they rushed things early on.