The following day was another break, then on the 16th they broke through floor 103.
Another break on the 17th.
Then on the 18th, when they initially entered a normal variant room on floor 104.
Lecan was going to shoot <Flame Spear> a moment after he stepped inside. They had gone back to employing this tactic since floor 101.
Yet this particular <Armored> shot magic faster than Lecan.
Of course the magic got nullified by <Necklace of Intuador>. Lecan shot a <Flame Spear> afterward, but the magic beast easily dodged it.
Meanwhile, Arios had run past Lecan and closed in on his target. A different beast from the one shooting magic.
Lecan also broke out running after a slight lag, but he got shot by magic again midway through his running. The second shot got blocked by <Necklace of Intuador> once again, Lecan went to eliminate his target.
"These <Armored> shoot magic so quick now."
"Yes they really do."
Lecan usually kneaded his mana before entering a room and shot immediately after he got in.
These <Armored> must have done their eerie groan before Lecan and Arios entered the room.
Both sides are pretty much equal in this regard.
However, Lecan's <Flame Spear> requires a recitation of activation spell to be shot. Then he's got to discharge his mana along with the spell recitation.
On the other hand, these <Armored> can shoot out magic right away without activation spell.
Lecan was still faster than them up until floor 104 where the <Armored> shoot their magic earlier than Lecan.
Lecan and Arios might be able to close the distance by adopting the tactic they used on floor 100, immediately walking toward the enemies without attacking first.
But there's no guarantee the enemies will stay still in the process. That tactic is like handing the opponent an opportunity to attack first.
It already takes Lecan all he's got just to maintain <Flame Spear> in a pre-release state as he walks in a room, he can't even afford to walk ahead afterward.
"Arios. We're done with <Flame Spear> first strike starting with the next one."
"Yes. I understand."
They got in a normal variant room on floor 104 once again.
That was when something unexpected occurred.
The entrance to the room from the inner passage is about as big as two adventurers standing side by side, when Lecan was attempting to go in the room, Arios slipped past him into the room.
Lecan ran after him into the room. But Arios was already three steps ahead.
Arios is a faster short-distance runner. Lecan can't possibly catch up to him.
(He's gonna get hit by their magic at this rate.)
(What was this guy thinking?)
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
The mana rich <Armored> cast some kind of magic.
Then some kind of silver snow like matter manifested, enclosing Arios. It's got enough range to even reach Lecan.
A moment later, all the snowflakes vanished while emitting dazzling lights, summoning an intense storm of destruction.
His eye couldn't see anything. But Lecan's sharp senses managed to grasp it. How a magical barrier produced around Arios deflected the magic. Lecan's <3D Perception> itself displayed Arios rushing ahead without slowing down, reaching an <Armored> and lopping its head off with a quick draw.
Lecan who was safe thanks to <Necklace of Intuador> also got to the magic casting <Armored> a bit later and reaped its neck.
<3D Perceptions> can only detect physical objects. Hence, neither magical barrier nor magic itself get shown. However, Lecan's got a relatively sharp honed sense on magic even without <Mana Detection>. Arios undoubtedly blocked the magic earlier through some kind of means.
(Some sort of magic was in the work around his chest area.)
(Must be that jewel.)
Starting on the first day of fighting on floor 100, Arios had put on a jewel infused with mana around his chest under his light armor. He must have had it with him even before that point, but he only started having it on him on floor 100 down.
(That jewel likely possesses similar functions as <Necklace of Intuador>.)
(But back when we challenged Dungeon Ninae.)
(I'm sure he didn't have that thing.)
"Arios. Did you bring that jewel from your family home?"
"Yes. That is correct. I have also brought a number of other items that may come in handy in dungeon diving."
"I see. That's reassuring."
Despite his refreshing smile, this baby-faced swordsman is much older than Lecan.
Arios's sword techniques are truly formidable. And matching that is his sword that could easily slice and dice these <Armored> beasts.
While Lecan could barely end his match with the help <Power Sword>'s Grace.
He understands that this can't go on as is, but he plans to keep press on until they hit a roadblock for now.
"What's gonna happen if that jewel uses up its mana?"
"It will recharge itself with mana if you put it in a bag alongside magic stones. It takes time however."
"The heck. I'd have given you magic stones if you said something."
"You don't have to. I've stocked up on some myself."
"Here, keep these with you."
Lecan gave a handful of Large Magic Stones to Arios.
"Thank you very much."
The battle got easier now that Lecan didn't need to cover Arios against magic. Perhaps he rushed out on purpose in order to tell Lecan that.
Since then, they continued with dungeon diving, taking a break every other day, conquering floor 112 on the 32nd, arriving on floor 113.
They went on floor 80 one day to check on something that was bothering Lecan.
As a result, Lecan found out that <Power Sword> and <Guardian Jewel of Zana> power boosting Graces don't work with each other. <Power Boost> and <Offense Boost> Graces cannot coexist. But <Guardian Jewel of Zana> worked on <Sword of Odo>, and when Lecan tried another sword from his world that had a <Power Boost> Grace, they both worked. In short, this is a limitation on how this world's Graces work.
Lecan detected another party in the midst of battle on floor 108, but they didn't encounter each other. They still never saw anyone else in the stairway either.
Lecan has mastered the art of flying in the stairway by <Float> and <Wind> combo. Arios is managing to catch up with him even while gasping for breath.
They had a seven day break starting from the 33rd.