"Is that all this time?"
"Yea. No. Uumu."
"What is it. Look at you being all hesitant."
"You've sworn to never going into a dungeon again, have you."
"Yep, I sure do."
"I'd like to conquer Dungeon Palcimo, any chance we could get your help?"
"Nope, no can do. Go ask somebody else."
Lecan drank down the rest of his cold tea.
Shira muttered a word.
"There's my oath, and besides the me now don't have the stamina to fight in a dungeon."
Lecan couldn't imagine Shira lacking stamina when he recalled how dynamic she moved around in the form she took as Nike when they went on an adventure together.
As Lecan was thinking that, Shira took a thin wand and recited a spell in a language foreign to Lecan, casting the spell on herself.
Then her hazy form reflected in <3D Perceptions> suddenly became vivid.
Lecan spoke out without thinking.
Shira's form shown in <3D Perceptions> was that of an old woman.
This was not how it was previously.
Despite her elderly exterior, her real body was that of a young 18 year old woman. Hence, the form shown in <3D Perceptions> was her true form. Or in other word, the young adventurer known as <Nike the Comet Cutter> was Shira's real identity.
Yet, the Shira displayed in <3D Perceptions> is that of an awfully elderly woman.
(This must be the price she paid for having <Purification> cast on her.)
When <Herb Saint> Skalabel visited Vouka and cast <Purification> on Shira, she took it head-on. It was most definitely the highest level of <Purification> you could find in Zaka Kingdom.
Yet, Shira who was supposed to be an undead monster looked completely unfazed sitting on her seat despite taking a <Purification>. It didn't seem like she suffered damage in the least. Thus Lecan was also relieved.
But that wasn't the case. There's no way an undead like Shira would be fine taking <Purification>. Yet, she willingly accepted Skalabel's <Purification>. That was her way of accepting Skalabel's sincere feelings.
Shira paid that by having her life force as an undead greatly diminished, losing her youth.
This put the conversation between Shira and Skalabel back then to light.
To Shira who spoke to Skalabel that any more <Purification> would be unnecessary, he replied back, 'Yes, master. I understand well.' Skalabel immediately perceived and correctly analyzed the effects his <Purification> had on Shira and figured out her true nature.
Lecan was agape.
Then Shira might have risked getting erased that time. If only Skalabel had continued his <Purification>, not even Shira could withstand it. That's how much resolve Shira had when she yielded herself to Skalabel's <Purification> back then.
You could say that was foolish of her. But Lecan is deeply moved. He doesn't get what is it that makes him feel that himself. He doesn't, but he's in awe with the choice Shira took.
It was probably the same with Skalabel. He must have been in marvel of the sheer conviction Shira showed as she willingly took on his <Purification>. She pretty much declared, 'I don't mind dying by your hands.' It was the reason why Skalabel's respect towards Shira didn't shift in the slightest even after realizing her nature as an non-human monster. At the same time, he realized that he almost got his master to whom he owed a great deal of debts of killed. Hence why he was awfully shaken and got in a daze. Looking back, things fell into place now.
"So, as you can see. I can't get around that well right now. Dungeons are no go."
"Y-yeah. That's fine. I get it. But is there no way for you to regain your strength?"
"Well, about that. There might be just a way."
"It's thanks to you."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"Yep. To that end, I need to ask you something."
"Do you have a magic stone equaling or perhaps even surpassing Vurs's?"
After a period of silence, Lecan replied back with a low and deep voice.
"Yeah, I have one."
He's still got several more dragon magic stones on him, but there's only one that could be said to surpass Vurs's. A special treasure.
However, Lecan has no qualms in giving it to Shira if it could be of use to her. No matter how enormous a dragon magic stone is, it's nothing more than a huge mana reserve to Lecan anyway. It's nothing compared to all the favors he owe Shira in this world.
He's prepared to part way with the stone if needed so.
However, Lecan is an adventurer. He won't let go of a treasure he acquired after great pains simply for free.
Lecan spoke as a suspicious light gleamed in his right eye.
"I've got this magic stone of an otherworld dragon called Barifoa. By the way Shira. You've got a <Genesiac Grace Gear> on you, yeah?"
Shira made an indescribable expression. That expression didn't change even after a long silence, but she finally spoke.
"Dear me, I just knew you'd notice. Yes. I do."
Okami wa Nemuranai 44.4
Okami wa Nemuranai 44.3
Lecan agreed with Eda's 'Oh, no', but not in that sense.
The tremendous power he felt from this Yurika magic beast was her true nature. It has been concealed by some means now but the spine chilling force Lecan felt earlier is this magic beast's real face.
Which means, that applies to Jericho as well.
But his power has been concealed. By some sort of means.
Of course it's Shira's handiwork. She must have cast some kind of spell to hide Jericho's true nature. She did the same with Yurika.
It's questionable if Lecan could even win against one, and now there's two of them.
This is exactly a situation that calls for an 'oh no' reaction.
But when he thinks about it again calmly, Shira herself is a threat. If she ended up opposing Lecan, he'd probably have no hope of victory. Lecan had spent not an insignificant amount of time near that mage, and she never showed any sign of ever harming Lecan and Eda except for the short while during their first encounter. He still doesn't fully get what she's thinking at times and he's got a feeling that he'd be in a world of pain if he let his guard around her, but she's undoubtedly one of the few people in this world Lecan can fully confide in.
As for Jericho, considering how he's been thus far, there's probably no worries of him ever turning against Lecan. No point to act alarmed around him.
Jericho peered in Lecan's face, like he was asking, 'What's on your mind?'
Jericho tapped Lecan's shoulder twice.
As if he's saying, 'Don't worry about it.'
Then he pointed at the sword Lecan was gripping in his right hand.
Right, he still got his sword out. Lecan put it away.
Afterward, Shira chatted with Eda for a while before leaving. Lecan tried to stop her from leaving since he still had business with her, but Shira's glance silenced him.
Lecan, Eda, Jericho and Yurika went to Goncourt Mansion.
The gatekeepers were shocked to see an additional Longarm Ape.
The construction of the detached building is finished. It's not too big but looks comfy. The second floor has Lecan's, Norma's, Eda's and a guest rooms. Though Norma is usually sleeping in her own room at the main building. A small hut next to the building is where Jericho lives. Although it seems Jericho is quite fond of looking over the pond from the guest room, so he might stay there.
There's a passage connecting to an outhouse for the medicine making.
After taking baths, Lecan, Norma, Eda, and Jinga had a meal together. They had fun chatting. Lecan enjoyed a restful sleep as gentle breeze blew over him.
The following day, Lecan harvested Shiagi Sprouts at Shira's garden. Jericho lent a hand too. Yurika came with them, with Jericho giving her instructions on how to do the harvesting. Even Lecan learned something new from watching them. Thanks to Jericho and Yurika, he gathered all the sprouts he could from the garden that day. Though the amount was still not enough for Lecan's needs. He started going out of town to collect more the day after.
As for Eda, she went to clean their old house after giving souvenirs to the neighbors. They likely won't stay in that house any longer, but they've paid out this whole year's rent already. What comes next year will be for later.
That day, Lecan got up in the middle of the night.
He sensed Shira's mana.
Lecan cast <Concealment> on himself, jumped off his room's window, ran through he garden and jumped over the wall, heading toward Shira's dwelling at District Rikonen.
As usual, Shira was at the terrace over her house's inner garden waiting with tea ready.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"Shira. I need to ask you something."
"Same as ever with you, isn't it. Well, come have a sip first."
As Lecan sipped the warm tea, and got wrapped in the gentle fragrance, his mind was soothed.
"So? What do you need to know this time?"
"When <Ring of Undying King> and <Talisman of Dakness Demon> get activated at the same time, both of them lose their effects. Does this apply to all other <Genesiac Grace Gear>?"
"What did you say? Explain to me in detail."
Lecan gave a rundown on his testings.
Shira got lost in thought with a serious expression. That went on for quite some time.
"This reminds me of something I heard from a certain researcher. 'Ancient Grace Gear will likely cancel out each other's effects.'"
"So you're saying they will lose their effects when two are activated together no matter which Genesiac Grace Gear."
"How would I know about that. To begin with, there's no one who's ever owned more than one <Genesiac Grace Gear> at once. Well no, I've had suspected a few individuals who were exactly that before, but I can't be certain. Never heard anyone using both at the same time either. I also don't know whether two wielders of <Genesiac Grace Gear> ever fought each other."
"I see. How'd you reckon that researcher got to that conclusion."
"Who can say? There's no way to confirm that now. Sorry, I'm not helping."
"No, it's a big help already. There's a possibility of having my <Ring> and <Talisman> get canceled out. And I can potentially cancel out my opponent's <Genesiac Grace Gear>. That alone is a major intel."
Okami wa Nemuranai 44.2
The monster who turned around and stared at Lecan with a look of wonder in its eyes was none other than Jericho.
Lecan stood in blank amazement.
He's known Jericho for several years now. An extremely gentle and attentive ape. He's also highly intelligent.
He's looking at Lecan with innocent eyes nary of any malice, not a hint of madness, ferocity nor hostility either.
However, the overwhelming power emanating from him is still completely out in the open.
Even the boss on the last floor of Dungeon Tsubolt seemed less terrifying than the Jericho now.
Lecan has carelessly stepped within the other party's range. He could have been killed instantly if he made a wrong move here. Hence he couldn't even draw his sword. And without a sword, there's no way to win now that's he too close to afford time nor range to shoot magic.
(Is this Jericho's true nature?!)
He had always suspected the form Jericho assumed to spend his leisurely days was a camouflage.
But never in Lecan's wildest dream that Jericho held such tremendous power in reality.
It appears he was sweetly asking Lecan something.
Lecan swallowed his saliva, then he slowly took a step back starting with his right leg.
Jericho still isn't making any sign of attacking.
Lecan took another step back with his left leg.
He slowly, slowly retreated back all while keeping his sight locked on Jericho and trying to keep himself from carelessly showing any aggression.
Then he sighed out greatly.
(With this much distance, I can draw my sword even if it comes to it.)
Sweat overflowed out of his body.
How could he have failed to notice Jericho's monstrous strength until this point.
Of course, that's due to Shira's concealment.
Once he had put some distance away from Jericho, he turned around toward Shira's house.
The front door was still open from Eda entering.
Lecan stepped inside.
"Shira! I've got something to..."
The word 'Ask you' never left his mouth.
Jericho is inside the house, receiving souvenir from Eda.
Eda turned around and looked at Lecan. Jericho turned his sight at him as well.
"What's up, Lecan?"
Why's Jericho inside the house.
When he just met him in the garden.
That was when an enormous presence of magic erupted behind him.
Lecan swiftly turned around and drew his sword.
The magic presence vanished in the next instance. But Lecan's honed senses managed to detect the event that occurred in that split second.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
Shira showed up and cast some sort of spell.
Shira's presence vanished when Lecan turned around.
"W-what, was that, just now?"
Leaving Eda's question unanswered, Lecan silently advanced forward with his sword still drawn.
Jericho was walking up toward the house. With Shira behind him. Of course Shira isn't displayed in <Life Detection>. Not even <Mana Detection> showed her. <3D Perceptions> only showed her figure hazily.
Eda ran out of the house while yelling out in surprise like a kid.
"Baachan, you're alive. Have you been well?"
"Long time no see, Eda. Oh I'm well all right. You've grown a lot, haven't you."
"You're back. You're back home. Are you staying here from now on?"
"No. I'm supposed to be missing after all, see. I took a little walk outside for a business today."
"By business, you mean about that ape-san? Is she maybe, Jericho's wife?"
Lecan turned to look at Jericho behind him and then at the approaching ape.
Looking closely, it's not the same.
Jericho's got slightly shorter arms compared to ordinary Longarm Apes, and his face resembles human somewhat. Ordinary Longarm Apes have light brown fur, while Jericho's is bluish black.
But this something resembling Jericho has reddish fur despite its shorter arms relative to ordinary Longarm Apes and human-like face. And it's got a meek expression on its face.
But they look alike. This new ape looks very much alike Jericho. And the monstrous power Lecan sensed earlier has vanished. Just what's going on here.
Jericho left the house and walked up to the ape in the garden. Then he gently hugged the ape. The other ape also softly hugged Jericho back.
When they're side by side like this, it's clear Jericho is slightly taller.
Jericho and the other ape tenderly locked eyes.
With Shira grinning and laughing behind them.
"Hey, hey, Shira-baachan. Is this girl, Jericho's wife?"
"She sure is. She's called Yurika."
"Waa, what a lovely name. Did you find her in a mountain somewhere?"
"Ah yep, some mountain nearby."
(Like hell a magic beast this hazardous lurks around some random mountain.)
"Jericho! Yurika! Congrats! You two look really good together."
The two apes were looking happily bashful together.
"Oh no, Lecan."
"We gotta ask Norma-san to make another room for Yurika too."
"Eh? You sure? Ah, right. You two are newlyweds after all. Guess sharing a room is a-okay then."
Okami wa Nemuranai 44.1
On their way to Vouka from Mashajain, Lecan and Eda caught sight of something unusual.
A Stout Dragon (Nevtozam).
It's pulling a giant cart.
These dragons can be deployed as workhorses when tamed, capable of pulling heavy load way beyond the limit of horses.
But since keeping them requires an enormous amount of food, and they can't move that fast, they're not always the best choice in all cases. There's also the issue of the lack of dragon tamers around. Thus only lords that own stone quarries and big merchants employ these dragons. As it's faster and cheaper to just split the load for load that can be split.
Stout Dragons found above ground are about as large as the Petitfire Dragon in Dungeon Rotor while being heavier. But they're completely harmless in term of battle force from the viewpoints of expert adventurers like Lecan. Earth Dragons are not well suited for battle to begin with.
Lecan saw several Stout Dragons at Mashajain and on the highways south of the capital before, but this is the first he's seen one in the route between Vantaroy and Vouka.
Ahead of it is six horse drawn carriages. Four escorts are on horseback.
Lecan went around and outran the caravan. Then Eda who had been running behind him spoke.
"Ah, it's Vandam-san and Zeki-san."
True enough, the one riding on the leading horse was Vandam. With Zeki riding on the carriage right behind him. The two were looking at Lecan and Eda's direction. Seeing these two here, this entire caravan must belong to Chaney Company.
Eda slowed down her running pace and approached Vandam.
"Hi there, Vandam-san! Zeki-san!"
"Oh, if it ain't Eda! And Lecan too! You two gave me a shock."
Two people running on foot suddenly appearing from the horizon, outstripping the caravan before approaching them, can't blame him for being alarmed.
"Still, wow. Did Chaney Company buy a Stout Dragon?"
"Nah, we're just renting one. The townlord's rebuilding his mansion, so we gotta buy up lotsa huge granite rocks y'see."
"Oh, I see."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"Eda, we're going."
"Un! We'll be going on ahead!"
"Yea, take care! See ya around!"
Lecan and Eda raised their running speed once again.
They arrived at Vouka on the 13th of month four.
The two got in through the west gate and headed for Goncourt Mansion.
Yet, Lecan could not find Jericho's blue dot there.
He had a business with Jericho, but if he's not at Goncourt Mansion, then he's probably at Shira's house, cleaning or tending the garden.
Lecan went to Shira's house. Eda followed along too.
<Life Detection> displays two blue dots at Shira's house.
(Are those Shira's and Jericho's?)
But neither of the blue dot possesses a large mana pool.
(Looks like Shira's developed yet another new technique.)
Lecan's <Life Detection> could originally display Shira's vast amount of mana. But then it suddenly lost its ability to display Shira during a period right before Herb Saint came visiting. It's the reason why Lecan could no longer look for Shira.
But Shira would let herself be displayed in <Life Detection> whenever she had business with Lecan. And only for a short burst in most cases.
Not sure how, but that extraordinary mage figured out how Lecan's <Life Detection> worked and developed a way to escape from it.
And not just <Life Detection>. Shira is able to hide herself from <Mana Detection> as well. <3D Perceptions> can still capture her when Lecan is close by, but it only shows a hazy outline of her figure.
As such, even <Life Detection> which gives Lecan an enormous advantage in this world is meaningless before Shira. However, she could never hide her mana pool up until this point. It would either be there or not at all, no inbetween. But it appears she's even found a way to hide her mana pool now.
As Lecan approached while jumping between walls, Jericho was at the garden. It seems he's tending the plants there. Which means the blue dot inside the house must be Shira.
This time Lecan has brought souvenir for Jericho. Dragon's meat. Wonder how will he look when he get this.
Lecan and Eda jumped off a wall and landed on the garden. Eda went into the house.
As Eda doesn't possess search ability like Lecan, she must have missed Jericho in the garden.
Just as Lecan came close to Jericho to give him the souvenir, he instinctively leaped back.
What stood there looked like Jericho. A Longarm Ape. Its back is turned at Lecan and it's standing behind a tree, but its form is definitely that of a Longarm Ape.
However, its presence is completely unlike Jericho's.
It's utterly overwhelming.
Lecan can detect targets with strong mana even from afar with <Life Detection>. And generally, those with abnormal amounts of mana are also strong in battle.
However, there are beings with high battle power even with little mana.
Lecan cannot perceive the strength of such beings until he's close enough to sense them. As it's not by way of skills, but something his senses forged over time.
He feels a tremendous sense of dread from this something resembling Jericho in front of him.
His spine feels like it's crackling and burning hot.
Chills swell up from inside out.
There was only one other time he came across a threat of this caliber outside dungeons.
The encounter with Earth Dragon Toron.
The monster resembling Jericho before his eyes now possesses a powerful presence not unlike Earth Dragon Toron.
However, Earth Dragon Toron was an owner of gigantic body as befitted of its strength, not so with this thing.
A monster with the form similar to Jericho with strength you could mistake for Earth Dragon Toron.
That monster turned around.
Okami wa Nemuranai 43.15
They reached Floor 70 where there was a dearth of adventurers around.
Up to this point, Lecan only acted as a support for Eda and Julius in the battle, but the roles had been reversed here.
There were enemies who shoot magic so Lecan decided to give <Shield of Latto> a try. It's an item he got from defeating Dungeon Rakash's boss, a gigantic centipede, it possessed the <Magic Reflection> Grace.
Yet its effect betrayed Lecan's expectations.
It did reflect offensive magic, but the reflected magic got its firepower halved and there was no way to control its direction. And since it got a smooth surface, it was harder to employ than ordinary shields.
Lecan decided to sell the thing off.
They defeated the boss on the last floor on the 33rd of month three.
Dungeon Rotor's boss was a Petitfire Dragon (Palbeizam). It may be a lesser dragon, but being spawned on floor 80, it still proved to be a terrifying force.
Yet Lecan chopped off its head in a single stroke of <Myriad Dragon Cutter (Alzamscyll)>. As you'd expect from a Grace Gear he got on floor 149 of Dungeon Tsubolt, its destructive force was simply extraordinary.
As a matter of fact, Lecan had actually intended to use <Sword of Agost> in that fight. From the story he heard from Agost's wife at Town of Riplin, <Sword of Agost> is also known as <Dragon Destroying Blade>, it's a sword that was originally created to eliminate a dragon. However, that dragon was neither an Earth Dragon, a Flying Dragon, nor a Flame Dragon. Which means it's either a unique dragon, or a Divine Beast. He wanted to find out if the sword had an effect on the Petitfire Dragon, a type of Flame Dragon, but that would be for another time it seemed.
But still, the first dungeon he challenged in this world was Dungeon Golbul, and his match against the last floor's boss, a Greatarm Ogre was pretty much a draw. And now, he so easily demolished an 80-floor dungeon boss. Difficulty of a dungeon can't simply be estimated with numbers of floors they have, but as befitting of a floor 80's boss, the dragon was still quite a force to be reckoned with.
Lecan was overcome with a deep emotion as he offered his gratitude to the defeated dragon.
(I'm glad I came to this world.)
(I've gotten stronger.)
(And will get even stronger.)
The three went back to town and had a toast in a diner. The town had erupted into a huge commotion since the dungeon went dormant. Apparently, this dungeon rarely ever got conquered, though despite all the roaring yells and screams, no one noticed the three to be the heroic perpetrators.
"Julius. You said you want to go back home in spring."
"Come pay Vouka a visit before that. We're making armor from the materials we got. Go home once they've got your size."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
He looks happy.
Of course. There's no one who doesn't yearn to go into battle donning dragon armor. It's got naturally high physical and magical defensive property.
"Eda. We're making new armor for you and me too."
"Thank you. But, you know, I really like this light armor."
"Just put that away as a reserve armor."
"Oh, that'll do."
The dragon materials and its magic stone are inside Lecan's <Storage>. His Storage has evolved enough to store something as big as a cut-up dragon. No change with <Life Detection>, <Mana Detection>, and <3D Perceptions>. They've probably hit the upper cap. The townspeople are looking for adventurers that carry around dragon materials. Of course they won't find such adventurers. Some even yelled 'they must be still in the dungeon'. Dismantling a dragon the ordinary way would definitely take quite some time after all. And there's no adventurers who would just leave dragon materials to rot in the dungeon.
"Now then, let's all go back to Vouka. Gotta get ourselves sized up for the armor. As Julius is going home, Eda and I will go collect Shiagi grass. Then I'll make a mountain heap of Mana Restorative. We'll decide when to meet up again when we part ways."
Thus they made their way back, but then they had a change of plan during their stop at Wazrof. Manfrey said this when Lecan mentioned he wanted to ask his merchant acquaintance, Chaney, to make them dragon material armor.
"Lecan. Pardon me for asking, but do you think Vouka's craftsmen are even capable of making armor from dragon materials."
Now that he mentioned it, Chaney had to seek Vantaroy craftsmen's help even with Queen Armor's light armor back then.
"I'm saying this for your own good. Leave the creation of that armor to the craftsmen at Mashajain. You could sell the dragon's scales, eyes, horns, core, fangs and meat to that Chaney merchant instead."
"Sounds good. It's in your hands."
"Umu. I shall have the best craftsmen assembled."
Lecan presented the Petitfire Dragon's magic stone to Manfrey as a sign of much gratitude.
Dungeon Rotor has an extremely low rate of Treasure Chest drops, but in exchange one can get all the materials they could get there. Lecan had sold off all other materials they got on floor 1-50, but not the rest. He planned to sell them all off to Chaney.
He was asked if the cooks would be allowed to use the dragon's meat for dinner.
In Lecan's world, dragon's meat was highly valued as medicine materials, but none of them was edible. It was common sense among adventurers that dragon's meat tastes awful.
Thus, he said back 'yea, sure' despite thinking 'the heck they're asking'.
Manfrey was present during dinner that day, and Lecan found himself at a loss at the exquisiteness of dragon meat's flavor.
'I'm in another world all right'. Even 'common sense' is not at all common here.
According to Manfrey, dragon's meat in itself rots very slowly, but wrapping them in herbs and preservative cloth will make them last an entire year.
Flame Dragon's meat not only tastes good, it also has the effects of relieving fatigue and boosting stamina, it can help with the healing of illness and wounds, some even theorized that it also extends your life span. Apparently, there are even cases of children awakening to their latent magic potential after eating dragon's meat. In short, it's an extremely valuable thing.
"Manfrey. You can have half of the dragon's meat."
"Can you process the remaining half. I'm not selling that. Gonna keep it for myself."
After they were done sizing up, they parted ways with Julius. He had some dragon's meat with him as gift for Arios. They would meet again on the last day of month six, to finally challenge Dungeon Palcimo once again.
Thus Lecan and Eda went back to Vouka, where Lecan had a shocking encounter.
[Episode 43 Multishaft Dungeon] End/Next [Episode 44 Mate]
Okami wa Nemuranai 43.14
Lecan went on to gather a lot of Nichia grass. And as he worked on processing it while occasionally showing himself up at Goncourt Mansion to see Norma, he only got back at Rakash by the 24th of month two.
Dungeon Rakash's dormant period was ten days. Eda and Julius both challenged Dungeon Rakash after Lecan's departure, and by the time he got back to Rakash, the two had reached floor 34.
The three of them explored together on the 25th. But Lecan stayed in the back as a support this time around. Eda and Julius were nicely in sync. They easily got through many battles and defeated the dungeon boss, putting the dungeon dormant once again.
The three headed for Dungeon Rotor.
Dungeon Rotor is located right in the middle of the route between the capital and Palcimo, an 80 floor medium sized dungeon. The types of spawned magic beasts change every few floors. Structurally wise, it's similar to Dungeon Golbul. The majority of magic beasts don't group together, but every individual is powerful.
The battles are 3-on-1. They had been working together for quite some time, and Julius didn't have any bad habit, thus their formation quickly solidified. He's not as adaptable as Arios, and he tends to waver during critical junctures, however, considering his age, he's quite a potent force already. And it's clear he's been growing stronger with every battle.
Eda's growth was startling. By making use of her plentiful mana, she would unleash barrages of five magic arrows from <Bow of Yelvitz>, capable of even defeating gigantic foes.
Lecan went to try Grace Swords such as <Demon Ape Cutter>, <Demon Wolf Cutter>, <Magic Vacuum Cutter>, he got from Tsubolt in this dungeon. Grace Swords that specialize in dealing with specific magic beasts demonstrated astonishing offensive power against those beasts. It even got other effects like inhibiting the target's evasion and raising the user's accuracy.
<Magic Vacuum Cutter> possesses an effect that shave away parts of target's body while ignoring their defense, it's especially effective against sturdy enemies. It's got the downside of being incapable of dealing grave damage in one hit, but it's still a highly useful sword depending on usage.
Julius would likely exhibit terrifying destructive power had Lecan lent him such Grace Swords on specific floors. However, Lecan refrained from doing so. Letting Julius to rely on Grace Gear might distort his growth. That's concerning.
But then, Julius began struggling as they reached floor 50. The enemies on floor 50 are Odd Wood type beasts. He appeared to find it hard dealing with trees. They could have easily got through this floor if only Lecan employed either <Flame Spears>, <Withering Sword> or <Odd Wood Cutter>, but he chose not to use any of them.
"Julius! Behind you!"
Eda shot with her magic bow as she warned Julius. Julius who had launched an offensive at a Smallarm Tree (Balbaruan) could not properly dodge the root attack coming from the ground behind him despite having noticed it, and got himself coiled up in the root.
Eda immediately rained a barrage at the main body, killing the magic beast, stopping its root attack.
The sharp tip of the root had pierced through the gaps on Julius's armor. He would be languishing in pain from the venom right about now had he not got <Ring of Colshak> equipped.
"Julius. Come over here for a bit."
"You're capable of sensing magic beasts' attacks."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"You were trying to figure out the angle of that root attack earlier."
"I kept telling you, magic beasts aren't humans. Humans are limited by the joints in their limbs, but roots don't have such limitations. You gotta dodge those by sight. Your father fights like he's got a third eye on his back, but that's not something you can mimic right away. You must train your eyes for now."
"Keep on that and you will eventually see through that magic beast's attack pattern. It's nothing like fighting humans. Keep trying to analyze them as you fight and you're dead meat sooner or later."
He seemed disheartened. But there's no helping that.
Afterward, they fought a few more battles, but Julius was still faltering.
Lecan who couldn't put up with it anymore lent Julius the <Odd Wood Cutter>.
Once he got the sword in his hand, Julius's moves improved significantly. Even Lecan who did the lending was surprised to see how much the boy improved just by having a sword that cut up every enemies in his path.
As he kept doing that, Julius completely acclimated himself with the way to fight Smallarm Trees. That was when Lecan took back the <Odd Wood Cutter> and gave Julius's original <Gale Sword> back, and he actually fought better with it than with the <Odd Wood Cutter>.
(I see now.)
(Trying out Grace Swords may be one way to overcome a wall.)
As enemies on later half of floor 60s were magic wolf type, Lecan fully used this chance as a rehearsal for Palcimo and let Julius dealt with all of them. But anyway, even Lecan alone could have razed through floors this easy by himself. Shows how much stronger Lecan has become.
He used <Talisman of Darkness Demon> and <Ring of Undying King> every single day. These mighty Grace Gear have fallen on his lap, he gotta make sure to know their quirks inside out. Also, making use of both these Grace Gear to completely dominate strong foes was quite exhilarating in itself.
Then one day, something odd happened. When he tried to use <Ring of Undying King> while <Talisman of Darkness Demon> was still active, both of their effects were suddenly gone. He tried again the following day. Then he shifted around the order of usage the day after. And sure enough, once he activated the second Grace, both the Graces' effects ended up getting canceled out. Looks like he cannot activate both of them at the same time.
(Is this something peculiar to only <Talisman of Darkness Demon> and <Ring of Undying King>.)
(Or does this occur with all <Genesiac Grace Gear>.)
(Gotta ask Shira once I'm back at Vouka.)
(At any rate, I need to keep in mind that even <Genesiac Grace Gear> can suddenly lose their effects without warning.)
Okami wa Nemuranai 43.13
"Mu, mu. So many shocking revelations my brain can't catch up."
"Is that all you wanna ask me."
"Right. Ah, no hang on. Could you write down what kind of Graces each of these things have on this list."
Lecan handed back the list.
There's a chance Shira doesn't know all Graces the <Genesiac Grace Gear> have or perhaps she won't write them even if she does, nevertheless, Lecan would like to know. Shira wrote on the list and handed it back to Lecan.
Ring of Undying King <Invincible> Dungeon Daina Floor 100
Talisman of Darkness Demon <Stasis> Dungeon Waad Floor 120
Necklace of Wind Princess <Silence> Dungeon Tsubolt Floor 150
Diadem of Divine Rotwood <Emptiness> Dungeon Palcimo Floor 151
Orb of Dark Emperor <Resurrection> Dungeon Yufu Floor 1
Amulet of Annihilation Spirit Bug <Reign> Dungeon Finkel Floor 180
Leg Band of White Devil <Teleportation> Dungeon Egis Floor 140
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"It's not like I've confirmed them all myself, so just regard it as a reference, okay."
Lecan's eye is sparkling brightly. <Invincible> and <Stasis> have proven themselves to be terrifying Graces. These other Graces must be just as powerful. He'd like to get his hands on them if he could.
"Mind telling me where are all these now besides the ring and the talisman."
"<Amulet of Annihilation Spirit Bug> is likely being kept by the royal family. I have absolutely no clue on the whereabouts of <Necklace of Wind Princess>, <Orb of Dark Emperor>, and <Leg Band of White Devil>. Rather, I've never even seen them in person."
Then where is the <Diadem of Divine Rotwood>, Lecan almost asked but stopped himself.
Shira expressly did not mention <Diadem of Divine Rotwood>. She wouldn't even say whether she knew or not. There must be a reason for that.
It's not like Shira will tell him everything she knows. She won't do that until after Lecan has found out the things he needed to know first, and satisfied conditions that needed to be fulfilled. She's done feigning ignorance or even outright lying before. She might even decide to never tell him if he offended her. Lecan's instinct told him to cease prying further here.
(I'd like to know what these Graces mean.)
(But I shouldn't get greedy here and pull back for now.)
"I take it that's all the questions you have for me."
"Okay then, it's my turn. You have an ability that can be used to detect humans, animals, magic beasts and apparitions, don't you."
"This detection of yours shows humans as red dots, humans with strong mana as bright red dots, animals as green dots and magic beasts as well as apparitons as blue dots, right?"
That was something Lecan himself divulged to Shira before. He's got nothing to hide regarding this ability now.
But to think she would precisely remember that one exchange they did so long ago.
"And you said that ability displayed me as a bright blue dot to the point you mistook me for a dragon. Didn't you."
"Which means, even the same kind of magic beasts could be shown as bright or faint blue dots depending on their strength."
"Are humans with mana also shown as faint and bright red dots relative to their strength?"
"Yea. The bigger their mana pool, the brighter their red dot."
"You weren't able to detect life forces, were you."
"I can't seem to see these life forces you speak of. I could make a solid guess on someone's strength and presence when they're right in front of me, but I can't do that to those in distant locations."
"It seems like you are able to observe mana itself, that must be a different ability than the one you use to detect humans and magic beasts from afar, no?"
Lecan hesitated to reply this only for an instance. He dislikes telling others his abilities.
However, Shira has already shown herself capable of invalidating <Life Detection>, <Mana Detection> and <3D Perceptions>. There's no point in hiding them. Besides, Lecan still wants to fish out more useful knowledge from Shira in the future. Hence he should answer her questions here. He simply won't tell her more than what she wants.
"Yeah, I detect lives with a skill called <Life Detection> while to see mana amounts and its flows, I use this skill called <Mana Detection>."
"So the red, blue and green dots are by way of <Life Detection> then."
"No. <Mana Detection> also shows humans as red, magic beasts as blue."
"Eh? Then, do you see mana itself in red color?"
"No, that's not it. Not sure how to go about this, but I see the color of red and blue from the core parts of humans and magic beasts. Mana itself is colorless. It looks like sparkling shining water."
"Does that apply to mana emitted by humans and magic beasts?"
"Of course. Emitted mana is still mana, doesn't matter whether it comes out of humans or magic beasts, there's no distinction. Though when mana is cast as magic, that mana gets to be in the color of that particular magic sometimes. Wait, don't think you need me to tell you that."
Shira got lost in thought for a little while. Then she spoke.
"Let me confirm it once again since this is important. When you use <Life Detection> to display humans, the difference in strength is shown as brighter or fainter lights, no?"
"Yea, that's right."
"The more their mana the brighter, the less the fainter, no?"
"Then humans without mana can't be displayed in your abilities."
"That can't happen. Mana is the source of life. Mana dwells in all living beings. Even to the smallest insect. Hence, <Life Detection> will definitely display humans. Ah, but that one time."
"That one time, what?"
"There was this one time where humans I met were completely missing in <Life Detection> when I first fell to this world."
It feels as if Shira's eyes glimmered there.
(Today Shira seems odd somehow.)
(There's this strong pressure emanating from her.)
"So. So what happened after that?"
"At first I thought they were some unliving monsters, but they turned out to be humans when I saw them in person. Yet <Life Detection> didn't display them, and <Mana Detection> wouldn't show them as red dots even when I was close by. However, those guys couldn't possibly be unliving monsters no matter how you look. So then I activated <Mana Detection> at maximum accuracy right next to them. Then very weak red dots did get displayed. Then I found out that <Life Detection> would also show even humans with little mana if I raised its accuracy."
"Were those humans you met back then weak humans who could not fight?"
"No. They were knights and soldiers. The knights were plenty strong."
"Yet neither <Life Detection> nor <Mana Detection> displayed them."
"They got displayed after you willed them to get displayed and the accuracy raised."
Shira went silently deep in thought for quite a long time. Then she muttered.
"Thank you. That was really helpful."
"What's the point in probing my abilities now."
"It's not because I'm thinking of going with you or anything. I just grasped a key clue for a problem I have been researching all these years."
"I should have realized it sooner. I'm such a big dunce."
The pressure-like something emanating from Shira since earlier has dissipated. What was that all about anyway.
"Just to be sure, the blue dots are not only true for beast type magic beasts but also apparitions and dragons, right?"
"Yea. Hollow Shriek (Gworas) in Dungeon Golbul, White Specters (Zaags) in Dungeon Tsubolt, and Zaags out in the wild were all blue colored."
"Hee. So even Hollow Shrieks are blue huh. Interesting. Thank you. That's all I wanted to ask you."
Lecan himself felt like he still had some stuff to ask Shira, but due to many shocking information he just got, he couldn't think up an intriguing one.
Shira handed him a Solid Sacred Silver sword as he was leaving.
She made a new sword from the two broken pieces Lecan gave her.
The blade part looked nearly identical to the original sword's, but the grip and sheath had different styles.
There should be quite a bit left of Solid Sacred Silver remnants, but since he had promised to give the leftover to her, Lecan didn't bring it up.
Okami wa Nemuranai 43.12
"Now then, Lecan. Let's hear your questions first."
"Yea. Take a look at this."
Lecan took the <Talisman of Dark Demon> out and showed it to Shira.
"Oh my. Did you plunder that?"
"My duel opponent suggested a rule for the winner to take one thing off the loser."
"You won big."
"Yea. It's thanks to your advice. But that begs a question."
"You said this when I told you I was gonna duel a proxy of Fotos's heir. Be wary of Grace Gear."
"Did I really now."
"You told me that I could have died if they somehow brought out a Grace Gear on the level of <Ring of Undying King>. So you advised me to end the duel quickly."
"I've been wondering, you sure have good memories at times."
"But there's no way this kind of Grace Gear are commonplace."
"Of course not."
"Yet you warned me to be careful of <Ring of Undying King>-like Gear."
"You. You knew House of Fotos had this thing all along didn't you?"
After sounding like she was impressed, Shira quietly sipped her tea for a while.
Lecan waited for Shira's reply in silence.
"Think it was about 200 years ago. House of Fotos raided a noble household that had <Talisman of Dark Demon> and plundered everything they had. Hence I had an inkling the talisman was probably still in Fotos's possession even then."
"I see. So that's why. By the way, this talisman's activation spell's apparently in ancient language."
"What's the activation spell again."
Lecan put away the talisman in <Storage> before replying.
"Ah, indeed. That is an ancient language for sure."
"According to Norma, it means <O Time, stop moving>."
"Oh, that's a good translation. It's limited to living beings however."
"These things are unlike any other Grace Gear. The pattern engraved on <Ring of Undying King> looks quite similar to the one on <Talisman of Dark Demon>. And that's not all, both of those items have the same smell to them. Not sure how to describe it, just that these two items are cut from the same cloth. Are there other items like this in the world?"
"Hmm. I'd like to tell you go find that out yourself here, but I still owe you a debt after all."
(What's she talking about.)
(Ah, I see. Vurs magic stone huh.)
Lecan handed over Otherworld Dragon, Vurs's magic stone in exchange for her repairing his broken <Shield of Wolkan>. However, Shira said that the magic stone was worth so much more than that. To that end, Shira regards it as a debt she owes Lecan.
Shira wrote down something on a piece of paper and handed it to Lecan.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
Ring of Undying King - Dungeon Daina Floor 100
Talisman of Dark Demon - Dungeon Waad Floor 120
Necklace of Wind Princess - Dungeon Tsubolt Floor 150
Diadem of Divine Rotwood - Dungeon Palcimo Floor 151
Orb of Dark Emperor - Dungeon Yufu Floor 1
Amulet of Annihilation Spirit Bug - Dungeon Finkel Floor 180
Leg Band of White Devil - Dungeon Egis Floor 140
"These are all Grand Dungeons. Hm? I don't see <Dungeon of Ocean> though."
"I don't know what's in there. It probably still hasn't been dropped yet."
"Hou. So, what are these anyway."
"Researchers at Wapud Kingdom call them <Ancient Grace Gear>. However, subsequently I don't think that's an appropriate name for those Gear."
"What do you call them then."
"<Genesiac Grace Gear>. Although it's not like I've told anybody else about it. You're the second person who knows that name after me."
"What does this <Genesiac> mean."
"It means genesis, the beginning. These Grace Gear are items that can only be obtained by defeating the very first Grand Dungeon bosses."
"Hou. Why do <Ring of Undying King> and <Talisman of Dark Demon>'s activation spells in ancient language."
"That's because those Grace Gear initially manifested in this world during the age of ancient language."
"Where do you think treasure chests come from?"
"The thought never even crossed my mind."
"They come from another plane not of this world, a plane I call <Domain of Gods>. <Domain of Gods> has the powers but not the shapes. Those powers take shape when they fall into this world, shapes appropriate in the world they've fallen into. Thus how they assume the forms of treasure chests, armors, jewels, and activation spells in the language of that world."
"Way too complicated for me to swallow."
"The activation spells were in ancient language because those gear fell during ancient times. Had they fallen today, those spells would be in modern language."
"Ah, I see. So that means other countries also got these <Genesiac Grace Gear> too then."
"Dungeons whose floors exceed 100 exist in other countries. But they are not Grand Dungeons. Therefore, you cannot get <Genesiac Grace Gear> in those dungeons."
"Hm? Aren't all dungeons that got more than 100 floors Grand Dungeons."
"That classification is just for the sake of convenience. Say, Dungeon Yufu would fall out of Grand Dungeon title if we go by that classification."
"I don't get that too. Are you saying Dungeon Yufu only has one floor in total?"
"Oh, didn't you know. There's only one floor in the entirety of Dungeon Yufu. It goes on from the entrance to the deepest part."
"Hou. But why do Grand Dungeons only exist in this country."
"In ancient times, when the numbers of humans were far fewer than today, there was only one country. That country was located in what became of Zaka Kingdom today. Grand Dungeons were created by the mages of ancient times. Hence the reason why they only exist in Zaka Kingdom."
"What the. Grand Dungeons were created?"
"That they were. The method as to how has been lost to the passage of time however."
Okami wa Nemuranai 43.11
The three enjoyed a three day break to the fullest.
Being a town near the capital, Kozuin was simply far more bustling and flourishing than Ninae. There's a lot of entertainment venues to be found, from high class establishments in the heart of the town, to drama plays and live music.
As proclaimed, Eda energetically went around looking for good food, with Lecan and Julius in tow.
(Even when we're eating like now.)
(Eda's mannerism looks like it's gotten refined, or am I just imagining things?)
"What are you staring at, Lecan."
Gwislan could also be found occasionally having meals in the same establishments, Lecan acted like he never saw him.
Then on the 13th of month one, they resumed their expedition.
"Julius. Put this on."
"Yes. Oh, it's a ring."
"Yeah. It's got a strong poison resistance."
You can't blame him for being shocked.
Julius has suffered through many instances of Fanged Rabbit's venom up to this point. Had it not for Eda's boundless mana and <Purification>, their expedition might have been cut short even.
"Good job enduring all the venom thus far. I'm sure you are now aware just how dreadful poison could be. I didn't let you have this right away so you wouldn't end up relying solely on equipment. But this thing is necessary from here on."
It's a Grace Gear called <Ring of Colshak>, its only Grace is <Poison Resistance>, but a very effective one.
From floor 36 down, there aren't many adventurers around.
After all, the Fanged Rabbits here are larger than Lecan, armed with powerful curses and abnormal status, they flock together in groups of up to 20 rabbits at times. Fighting them means risking your life. And yet, the only loot from them are slightly bigger magic stones, the risk reward ratio is simply not there.
But Lecan's group isn't here for rewards. Hence they got down this floor without any hesitation.
As a matter of fact, Lecan could have exterminated them all with simple barrages of <Flame Spears>. It would be even simpler with Eda's support using her <Bow of Yelvitz>.
However, Lecan opted to not deploy <Flame Spear> and fought with just <Sword of Rusk>. As it would make for a good training regime for Julius, and improve their coordination.
Lecan is charging at a swarm of 18 rabbits now.
A rabbit head would go flying whenever he came in contact with one. He would occasionally just cut the limbs before proceeding to his next target. Eda and Julius would take care of the leftover.
This coordination was giving very good results. Julius would skillfully deal with all the leftover rabbits as he followed Lecan from behind.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
(To think he could coordinate this well with me.)
(Kid is quite adaptable.)
They got to floor 39 that day before setting up a camp.
The following day would be the day they took on the dungeon boss. It was one Fanged Rabbit. It would hide itself lurking somewhere in the vast grassy plain of the last floor and ambush adventurers.
However, Lecan has the ability to detect his foes. He went straight to its hiding spot and flung a <Fire Arrow> at it.
And the fight began.
Despite facing off against a beast twice as big as him, Lecan did not falter in the slightest. Same with Eda and Julius.
The magic beast growled menacingly.
Trembling Lecan's body, and making him feel a slight sense of discomfort. It was a mind magic attack. The magic beast roared angrily when it saw that its attack had no effect at all and charged at Lecan.
Lecan faced it head-on.
And just when the beast was about to strike down both its forearms from overhead position, Lecan cut off its right hind leg. The rabbit tumbled down from its charging momentum.
A huge tremor erupted as its gigantic body fell and rolled on the ground, but then it used its forearms to lift itself up and charged at Lecan with its terrifyingly large bared fangs, that was when Julius rushed in and deeply slashed its neck.
(Superb sword handling.)
(In terms of techniques, he's better than me.)
The giant beast fell down and ceased moving.
After conquering Dungeon Kozuin, the three headed for Dungeon Rakash.
This dungeon mainly has insect-type magic beasts, with a high probability of potions of all kinds dropping.
At first Lecan intended to train Julius here as well, but then he tried out the <Mis-Insect Cutter> he got in Dungeon Tsubolt, and ended up enthralled to its extreme effectiveness in the dungeon. It cut tough and sturdy insect shells like butter. And it apparently even had some sort of suction ability, it would slice and dice all the small and swiftly flying insects like nothing.
Eda and Julius frantically went and opened all the dropped treasure chests and grabbed the potions inside, but even they couldn't keep up with Lecan's insect massacre pace.
In the end, they defeated the dungeon boss in two days. The last floor's boss had hundreds of familiars under its command, but Lecan killed them all with a barrage of <Lightning> and turned the boss into a treasure chest with a slash of <Mis-Insect Cutter>.
"Lecan. I didn't get to do anything at all though."
"Master defeated all the enemies I was going to take on. Master, you're incredible."
"Sorry. It's my bad."
Afterward, Lecan split up with the two and left for Vouka alone for the time being. He wants to collect Nichia Grass, an ingredient of Mana Restorative.
He sensed Shira's presence the instance he arrived at Vouka.
(She's finally back huh.)
Lecan went straight to Shira's house that night.
"What? You were waiting for me?"
"Yeah. There's something I want to ask you."
"Same for me."
"Hee? Well, sure thing. I'll go brew our tea."
He felt like he saw a glimmer of an eerie flame in Shira's eyes.
Okami wa Nemuranai 43.10
Five arrows let loose from Eda's <Bow of Yelvitz> landed on the path ahead of the three sprinting Fanged Rabbits, successfully diverting them away to the right, toward Julius.
Julius slashed at the center rabbit's throat with an upward diagonal slash.
The left rabbit kicked with its right foreleg.
Julius dodged the attack nicely.
He came into contact with the right rabbit yet he didn't panic and readjusted his posture calmly.
Then he finished off the center rabbit with a slashing attack.
He dodged the right rabbit's forelegs kick, brushing his sword against the base of the legs.
Then he went around and mowed the left rabbit's neck.
Then as he pulled back his sword, he used the momentum to deeply slash the right rabbit's throat.
Thus Julius took care of three rabbits bigger than him without trouble.
"Good. Well done."
"Thank you. Eda-neesan, thanks for your help too."
When you can't deal with complex matters, take a step back and dismantle them into simple things first before taking them down. By repeating simple process and linking them together, the sum of the whole will unravel the complexity.
Thankfully, Julius has a very honest disposition, thus he followed Lecan's instructions without questions. And that resulted in good things.
"Alright. You will take on a bit more enemies next. The routine stays the same however."
Fanged Rabbits' curses don't work on Julius. Poison and abnormal status do but they get taken care of by Eda. Although he had to endure them until the fight is over before Eda could cure him, but that's also a form of training.
They got to floor 20 on day two.
And then on day three, they encountered a huge group of rabbits nearby just as they stepped onto floor 21.
(I should give <Talisman of Dark Demon> a whirl.)
"Eda. Julius. Don't move from there."
Lecan approached the swarm and recited a spell.
11 Fanged Rabbits got bound.
Eda got bound.
Julius also got bound.
Lecan had gotten more than 20 steps away from Eda and Julius to prevent them getting in the range. Yet the two of them got bound all the same.
(I guess one step by this talisman's standard is larger than your regular step.)
"Sorry for getting you bound. It's gonna wear off soon, don't worry. Julius. The magic beasts should start moving once you do. Fight. Eda, kill the three-four enemies to the left and then cover for Julius. I'll take care of three-four to the right."
Once the binding came undone, Eda killed two rabbits with the first shot, and then another with the second shot from <Bow of Yelvitz>. Lecan killed one rabbit with three combined <Fire Arrows>, then another three set for the second, third and fourth rabbits.
The remaining four were left to Julius. Julius complied with Lecan's order and focused on one rabbit while keeping track of other two.
He smoothly dodged his target rabbit when it leaped at him and counterattacked. He then twisted his body to dodge the other two rabbits he was keeping track of.
Then the fourth rabbit ran around behind him and jumped. Julius slashed at the base of the rabbit's leg to stop it, and then lopped off another rabbit's head next to it.
(That target switch was well executed.)
The rest was an easy victory. Julius cut off the remaining three rabbits' heads one by one.
"Master! I did it."
"Yep. Good job. So. Dealing with three rabbits in close proximity turned out surprisingly simple in reality, no."
"Yes. I could move around so freely!"
"With your agility, switching targets around should prove no issue whatsoever. However, do understand that you cannot avoid getting hurt when you're up against many at once, do not fear that."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"Lecan. Just what's up with that thing that stopped us in our tracks earlier?"
"Ah. Sorry about that. It's a Grace Gear that binds everybody around its user."
"Hee. Didn't know you had a Grace Gear like that."
"Got it from the duel at Tsubolt back then."
"Oh, I see."
"I knew it'd stop magic beasts. Didn't expect it'd affect allies too, but guess it only make senses that this talisman can't distinguish between allies and enemies."
As he was saying that, Lecan felt like he caught onto something.
However, he couldn't figure out just what that was.
They got to floor 26 on the third day.
Floor 31 on the fourth day.
Floor 35 on the fifth day.
By this point, the Fanged Rabbits would always form a group of ten or more, and they're all as large as Lecan.
One rabbit at the very end of the swarm didn't get affected by the <Stasis>.
(So that's the boundary line.)
<One Step> in this world covers a larger distance than ordinary man's one step to begin with. And this talisman's standard is about 40% larger than even that. Seeing as the activation spell is in ancient language, perhaps those ancient people had bigger bodies than humans today.
Lecan, Eda and Julius annihilated the ten bound rabbit and the free one before the Stasis effect wore off.
"Alright. We're taking a three day break from tomorrow."
"Yay. We're gonna go look for delicious food."
"Un? What is it?"
"Hasn't your speech pattern changed a bit?"
"Eh? W-what are you talking about."
Previously, she would said, 'Delish' there. Yet it's delicious now. Her tone is turning elegant, or tender.
"Hmph. Guess it doesn't matter."
Okami wa Nemuranai 43.9
"Pardon us. We're also in the middle of a giant variant hunt ourselves. Do you mind if we wait here?"
"No, feel free to."
"Thank you so much. We will take care of it if it spawns near us."
"Do as you like."
By defeating the Giant Variant twice and creating the <Mark>, one can then get down to the floor below. Everyone near the spot when a Giant Variant is defeated also get the <Mark>. As there is a limited amount of Giant Variant, taking advantage of another party defeating the Giant Variant is permitted here. Different from Dungeon Tsubolt which is a room-type dungeon, other parties cannot get in the Giant Variant room when a party is already inside. But since this dungeon is an open space-type, there's no need for that here.
"It seems the Giant Variants in this dungeon don't have fixed spots where they spawn, do they."
"Yea. Seems so."
"It was such a hassle looking everywhere for them."
The youth party consists of two swordsmen, one spearsman and two mages. Lecan feels like one of the mages is a <Recovery> user. He can't explain why he knows, he just does.
"Hey so, how old are you?"
The spearsman who looked comparatively older than the rest of the group asked Julius.
"Ah, same age as Chiris then."
The girl Lecan suspected being a <Recovery> user turned around, looking surprised. She must be Chiris.
"He's my age? I'm, Chiris."
"My name is Julius."
With that as the impetus, the five youths, Eda and Julius engaged in a conversation for a while.
The swordsmen are 16 and 17. The spearsman is 19. The mages are 21 and 14.
The five of them were instructed by their mentor to dive in a 20 floor dungeon near the capital. They worked their way to decent equipment there before coming here to challenge this dungeon.
They had a hard time finding the giant variant even though they dived in early in the morning. 'You guys are so lucky', thus they spoke.
Lecan who was standing in silence called out to Julius in a low yet firm volume.
Julius who was chatting with the spearsman suddenly turned around and drew his sword before breaking into run past Lecan, he arrived behind a tree and decapitated the magic beast that just spawned there.
The blissfully chatting youth group fell into silence.
"H-how did you know?"
"Hm? What do you mean."
"You were looking in our direction. Then a magic beast spawned behind you. It was even hidden behind a big tree. And yet you managed to notice it. Even before the magic beast had fully spawned. How did you know?"
"It's not that I knew before it spawned. Just sensed the magic beast's presence as it was spawning."
"You won't survive long in dungeons if you don't grasp that. Julius, Eda, we're moving out."
The three got near a big tree, recited <Floor> and <Warp> to get down to the floor below. This dungeon has no stairways, instead you can warp to another floor by being near a big tree.
They searched and destroyed solely the giant variants on floor 2.
The giant variant Lecan detected on floor 3 was already fighting another group, they were allowed to watch nearby. There were other parties already watching besides Lecan's. Once the combat was over, they greeted the fighting party and got the permission to watch their second battle.
They took it easy and reached floor 14 that day.
Each floor in Dungeon Kozuin is awfully vast with a great number of adventurers exploring those floors. There's a tacit understanding on how the exploration is done here, when a party is fighting a giant variant, another party is expected to watch from a safe distance to get the <Mark>, while for battles that do not involve giant variants, that party is to go past the other party. This manner of doing things has been established here.
As someone who has gone through many brutal dungeon explorations, Lecan would love nothing more than to drive away other adventurer parties watching them from behind in the middle of a combat, but he can't exactly do that here.
The majority of adventurers would leave the dungeon at night to rest at the surface like in other dungeons, by the time Lecan's party were preparing for their overnight camp, floor 14 was pretty much deserted.
The three sat down and had meals together around a campfire. Of course they had put the Magic Beast Wards in the four corners already.
The Fanged Rabbits on floor 15 are bigger than Eda. And they tend to flock together in a group of four-five rabbits.
As a matter of fact, five of these rabbits are no match to Eda armed with <Bow of Yelvitz>. But Eda is acting as a support player this time around. It's Julius's turn to fight these Fanged Rabbits.
Julius could not handle one-on-many fight well. Apparently he's never been trained in that.
But compared to his pitiful state in Dungeon Palcimo, he's gotten much more better at fighting non-humanoid beasts now. He should be able to deal with a relatively tough beast if it's a one-on-one fight.
Looking back, Arios was strong even in a scuffle. His field of vision covered extensive areas, and he was capable of exceptional foresight even when up against multiple opponents. However, that was something he must have gotten hold of after a long and arduous training. You cannot expect that from the current Julius.
"Even when you're up against many foes, not all of their attacks can reach you at once."
"Decide which is which, and fight only one of them at a time."
"Eh? But those beasts are taking turns attacking me."
"Regardless of that. Listen here. Five enemies are coming at you. Say your power is ten. If you focus your power equally among five, you only exert two power on each one. Add another five enemies behind those five alternating with the ones in the front to attack you and your power gets split to one for each of those foes. Fighting like that is a no go."
"Even when you're facing ten foes, you must pour all ten of your power into dealing with each one of them. Doing so should let you beat them one after another."
"That does make sense."
"With that in mind, concentrate on one foe at a time. However, you must still keep track of other enemies in your vision. Right. Put eight of your ten power into one enemy, while leaving one on each foe in either sides. Swap around those eight and one power depending on the state of affairs."
"Yes. I will give it a try."
Okami wa Nemuranai 43.8
Both Eda and Julius were already Wazrof mansion.
They spent day one of month one at the mansion, after which, the three of them left Mashajain on the 2nd of month one, arriving at Town of Kozuin in four days. From Mashajain to Palcimo, the route that goes through Kozuin is not the shortest, but taking this route means they can visit four medium sized dungeons along the way.
Dungeon Kozuin is a 40 floor long, medium sized dungeon, yet, so many more people are congregating here than Ninae, the town is flourishing.
Dungeon Kozuin has a low rate of treasure chest spawns. Meaning you can instead acquire a lot of magic stones here. Magic stones from Dungeon Kozuin are of good quality and on the bigger side, a huge quantity of magic stones harvested here are being sold in the capital. Hence, there's a constant flow of adventurers diving in the dungeons hunting for magic stones.
There's only one type of magic beasts that spawn here.
<Fanged Rabbit (Egifurul)>.
There is little to no natural habitat of <Fanged Rabbits> in Zaka Kingdom besides insides dungeons, Lecan has never seen one out in the wild himself.
He's caught sights <Rabbits (Furul)> occasionally. Among pictures of animals lady Rubianafale drew for him, <Furuls> looked similar to <Rabbits> found in his original world, thus he thought they were one and the same, but the real things turned out to be much bigger and slower, they weren't really like rabbits. Though in that sense these <Fanged Rabbits> probably don't look like ordinary rabbits either.
Besides possessing venom in their fangs, <Fanged Rabbits> also have another ability that varies by individuals.
Either <Confusion>, <Sleep>, <Paralysis>, <Blind> magic, or <Petrification>, <Torpor>, <Corrosion>, <Despair> curses.
<Petrification> can be blocked by equipment with <Abnormal Status Resistance> in Lecan's original world. However, it appears this world doesn't have an equipment that universally resists all abnormal status, instead needing particular resistive equipment for particular status like <Confusion> resistance, <Sleep> resistance, <Paralysis> resistance or <Blind> resistance. He saw necklaces with either <Confusion>, <Sleep> and <Paralysis> resistances being sold in Tsubolt for astounding amounts of money. As most abnormal statuses are inflicted by magic, equipment with magic defense can block them but Lecan has never seen equipment that can erect magic barriers like the ones he and Julius have being sold in stores. He's seen accessories and armors that raise or have strong magic resistance however, so most adventurers probably got them instead.
And in this world <Curse Resistance> can block <Petrification>. Apparently, <Petrification> is only known as Curse in this world. Despite the fact that Lecan's world had <Petrification Poison> and <Petrification Magic>.
At any rate, there's equipment to resist them.
Lecan has <Dagger of Harut> and <Ring of Rozan> equipped. <Dagger of Harut> was from Dungeon Golbul, with <Curse Void> and <Undo Curse> Graces. <Ring of Rozan> is the silver ring he brought from his world, it's got <Abnormal Status Resistance (Large)>, <Poison Resistance (Large)>, and <Curse Resistance (Small)>.
As <Confusion>, <Sleep>, <Paralysis>, and <Blind> are mind magic, Eda should have a high resistance against them being a user of mind magic herself. Eda also got <Bracelet of Jip> on her. It's an equipment they got from Dungeon Ninae floor 15 with a <Curse Resistance (Small)> Grace.
Lecan gave Eda <Barrette of Giena>. It's a Grace Gear one of <Gwyntir Era Slupiner>'s members he beat at Dungeon Tsubolt carried with them, possessing <Curse Resistance (Large)> Grace.
He also got <Amulet of Iruent> equipped on Eda. This one's an item the swordsman Vangard had, it's got <Poison Void> and <Stamina Recovery Boost>.
Julius had <Amulet of Zain> from Arios. It's got <Curse Void> Grace of all things.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
(Guess this was the thing Arios dropped at Ninae back then.)
Julius also has <Jewel of Shandona>. The white jewel with <Magic Defense> Grace. This should suffice to block mind magic.
In reality, Lecan also has a ring with poison resistance among the loot he got from <Gwyntir Era Slupiner>, but he purposely kept it away from Julius. For the sake of instilling the boy the dreadfulness of poison.
Once the group was done with their preparations, they stepped inside Dungeon Kozuin.
Floor 1 of Dungeon Kozuin is a vast meadow.
(So this world's got this kind of dungeons too huh.)
However, above them is not a sprawling blue sky, but a white mist-like matter that floats about ten step tall. You could also find big trees here and there in the meadow, but those trees' surface areas are covered by white mist-like matter.
Fanged Rabbits are lurking in several spots here. Some are alone, some are grouped in two, three and even ten rabbits. Many adventurers are hunting them down.
(Giant variant... there it is.)
Thankfully, there's no one nearby the giant variant. Lecan's group swiftly moved out toward it.
Then the giant variant showed itself up from behind a big tree.
It's rotund with evil-looking eyes. It's also bipedal for some reason.
As it's a magic beast found on the first floor, this giant variant is quite a bit smaller than Eda. And yet it's clad with this dangerous aura peculiar to magic beasts, nothing to scoff at.
The giant variant made a hiccup-like noise, 'gubi', then a magic barrier got generated in front of Lecan. Apparently it just shot out a mind magic.
Julius rushed out breaking through the meadow tall grass and reaped the giant variant's head.
Once the magic beast fell down, Julius drew his dagger, fetched the magic stone, wiped it clean and handed it over to Lecan. Then he looked in the direction behind Eda.
A party of five stood there. All of them young.
Okami wa Nemuranai 43.7
The following morning as Lecan and Julius were about to depart, Toru handed them a letter of recommendation. It's got the seal of approval from the Guide of Palcimo Magic Research Institute, Jiza Morfes, the letter will make it easier for Lecan to find companions the next time he's delving in Dungeon Palcimo.
Lecan accepted the letter, said his thanks and left Palcimo with Julius.
They arrived at Mashajain on th 14th of month nine.
Eda is still in the capital. Norma and Jinga have gone back to Vouka.
Manfrey was busy that day, thus Lecan waited all day.
They had dinner together on the 15th where Lecan reported what they did at Palcimo.
"We got to experience a worthwhile trial thanks to your arrangement. You have my gratitude."
"I'm delighted to hear that. I take it this won't be the last time you are heading for Palcimo."
"Yeah. But first I've got to get Julius used to fighting animal-type magic beasts first while we're out collecting herbs. There were also some interesting dungeons along the way from here to Palcimo, might take a look at them."
"I could write you letters of introduction if you wish. They will surely prove advantageous for you."
"Thanks. But no thanks."
"Will you contact Eda."
"Then tell her I've gone ahead to Vouka with Julius. She should come back to Mashajain once she's done there."
"Very well. It shall be done. Would that take place within this year?"
"Hm? What's the matter."
"I would like to go back home by spring next year once."
"Hou. You're free to go home anytime but are you coming back?"
"Yes. I will definitely return. But, I won't know after that until after I ask father first."
They left Mashajain on the 16th and arrived at Vouka on the 25th.
Lecan notified Norma before going back to his home. Norma asked him to stay at Goncourt, but Lecan didn't find it comfortable so he went home. His house was well maintained courtesy of Chaney Company.
He took it easy the following day and went shopping the day after that.
Then on the 28th, Lecan and Julius went out of town to collect herbs.
Lecan gathered a mountain heap of Tago Grass.
They also went around looking for ape and wolf-type magic beasts as they went, letting Julius to take on those beasts.
Julius had been taught fighting styles and concepts that are highly specialized on dealing with humans, he seemed bewildered even when he was up against very weak magic beasts.
Lecan showed him the basics of magic beast combat once, then he lured swarms of magic beasts for Julius to fight off.
Julius braved through Lecan's teachings. The boost in his basic strength must have also helped a lot. Of course, this kind of reckless training would not have been possible if not for Lecan's <Recovery>.
One time, Lecan made him fight off 30 Spider Monkeys at once.
Julius appeared to have grasped something in that fight despite getting all worn out in the process.
From then on, his progress was simply remarkable.
It was 10th of month 10 by the time they got back at Vouka.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"I'm gonna get busy processing the herbs now. You go back ahead to Mashajain by yourself."
"I'll write a letter to Manfrey. To have you trained by Wazrof Knights."
"I'll be heading to Mashajain as well once I'm done with the herbs. Should be there within this month."
"Eda should be at Wazrof too soon. Once all three of us get back together, we'll take on Dungeon Kozuin."
Lecan saw Julius off before focusing on Tago Grass's processing.
The basement in Shira's house was still completely untouched. When Lecan went there for the first time in a while, Jericho was already there, cleaning the place.
"How the heck did you get down here."
Jericho pointed at a wall that goes up the hole to the surface. There are small rocky bumps here and there that are utterly unsuited as footholds. But then Jericho showed off how he could dexterously grabbed and climbed up those bumps.
Lecan shut himself in Shira's house for several days, processing the Tago Grass. Jericho also stayed there all the while. He must have left Goncourt Mansion when Eda left the town and opted to live here. What a free ape. He even bought some booze for Lecan. What a considerate ape.
Once all the grass has been processed they must be hung and aired to dry next. As there wasn't enough space even when he hung them in Shira's house, Lecan's home ended up being full of hung herbs.
Afterward, he boiled them down and mixed them with Pure Magic Water into a solid mass.
As he gathered a lot of them, the whole process also took quite a long time. But with this, he should be able to make enough Mana Restoratives to last several years.
Norma had messaged him to come and see her every once in a while, thus Lecan had been occasionally turning up at Goncourt Mansion for dinners together. Norma is still swamped with her work to finish her father's posthumous books. Apparently Findin has been making himself useful.
The pond's construction was already underway. Lecan got asked to give his opinion on the room arrangement, thus he asked her to make a detached hut to air medicinal plants slightly further away.
"Anything's fine so long it's protected from rain and wind."
"Don't you need a furnace and mixing shelves too?"
Those two ended up getting built as well. Norma was amazed when she found out the size of pot Lecan used in medicine making. Norma would also use the place to make medicine in the future. The herb garden in her clinic is left as is for now, but she's brought her medicine making apparatus to Goncourt Mansion already.
"Ah, and also, Lecan. Regarding the words <Gaspario Raaf>."
"Oh, did you find anything."
"Wazrof Mansion had some documents regarding ancient language, see. So I did some digging there. I can't say it's 100% correct, but I believe <Gaspario Raaf> means, <O everchanging ones. Let your vicissitudes be fleetingly split asunder from the law of nature.>"
"I have no idea what that explanation means."
"Hmm. Simply put, it should sound like this. <Stop the time of living beings.>"
"Ah, I see then."
"Mind if you tell me where you saw or read those words?"
As he's not trying to hide it or anything, Lecan told Norma about the <Talisman of Dark Demon>.
"I see. So you too obtained something in that duel."
"Huge things. I'll take on a duel like that anytime."
Norma had a complex look on her face.
Lecan had been repeatedly going to Shira's house all this time since he needed to ask her something as well, but she was always absent.
Once he was done with his business, Lecan cast <Acceleration> to run to Mashajain, yet it was already the last day of the year by the time he arrived there.
Okami wa Nemuranai 43.6
(Ah, I see.)
(So that's the reason behind their request for Tsubolt Knights' deployment.)
Palcimo appears to house many powerful mages. However, on very deep floors, sometimes <Magic Wolves> that are completely immune to magic spawn. Hence, why they're rearing magic knights. However, <Magic Wolves> that spawn on truly deep floors, floor 100 and below, are probably too much for their magic knights to handle.
This dungeon hasn't been conquered in 60 years. And the last conquest before that is said to trace back to before the founding of Zaka Kingdom. They must be very eager to conquer the dungeon even if it means borrowing knights from another territory.
The last floor of Dungeon Palcimo is floor 151. However, the destination of warps performed on floor 100 and below is randomized. You won't know whether you get warped to floor 101 or floor 150 until you did. There were cases of people suddenly getting warped to floor 150 from floor 100. Or people who never reached floor 150 no matter how many times they warped. Once you've conquered floor 150, the stairway leading to floor 151 will manifest itself, but even a party that can easily conquer floor 100 would face total destruction were they suddenly got thrust into floor 150.
In other word, by attempting to challenge floor 100 and below, you must be fully prepared to fight floor 150's boss. Magic knights capable of prevailing against pure white <Magic Wolves> on floor 151 are extremely rare. Hence, they went to Marquis of Tsubolt and entreated to borrow knights from the <Dungeon of Swords>. Naturally they believed those knights would be fully equipped with powerful Grace Swords if they did get dispatched here.
"Obaba, this wand's for you."
"Lecan-chan, didn't you Appraise it earlier?"
"It's a <Wand of Ordas>."
"I could tell that by looking. Does it have other Grace besides <Mana Control Up>?"
"Yeah, <Magic Power Up>."
"What. That's a jackpot. That thing's gonna fetch handsomely."
"Yeah? It's only a Small up though."
"<Magic Power Up> is effective on offensive and <Recovery> spells, they're sought after by both explorers and the temples."
"Good to hear. Gotta be some decent pocket money for you."
"Ah well. Suppose I'll take it off you if you insist. This wand's only gonna be a fetter on you with the amount of mana you got after all."
Lecan walked up to the dead white <Magic Wolf>, and made a quick stab at a spot near its heart with <Sword of Rusk>.
A magic stone flew out of the magic beast's body, stopping inside Lecan's left palm grasp. Lecan put away the magic stone after wiping it clean.
"Hee. Nicely done."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"We've been in your care for the past three days. This is your reward."
"Much appreciated. Here, Ui. Split them among the girls. So, Lecan-chan. What's the plan tomorrow. I don't mind lending you a hand from tomorrow on as well."
"No, I've got a good grasp of this dungeon thanks to you folks. We're not ready yet right now. Gonna give it another try later."
"Hou. Not ready yet, is it? Fumu."
That night, Jiza, Ui and the other three mages were invited to a banquet with Lecan and Julius at the townlord's mansion.
It's a banquet to entertain a relative of Marquis of Wazrof, Lecan, sponsored by the nephew of Palcimo's townlord, lord Toru Ciel. It's full of good food and good booze, and the topics of conversation were limited to dungeon related matters.
Dungeon stuff is Lecan's favorite. He would go on to narrate brief summaries of his expeditions in other dungeons when asked. They were especially interested in Dungeon Tsubolt, thus he explained the mechanisms behind floor 100 and below. However, he said nothing about Grace Void on the last floor. Lecan himself acquired plenty of information regarding mechanisms of Dungeon Palcimo depths from Jiza and the others.
For some reason Ui has a low opinion of Lecan. She's also weirdly confrontational toward him.
"Thirty one floors in three days huh. Depth-going explorers can cover that many floors in one day."
"Hou, I see."
"Well, I guess it pays to be careful. Lecan-dono too would discover the true nature of Dungeon Palcimo once you get to floor 81. That is if you could get there."
"How far down have you got to?"
"I personally have arrived at the depths."
The depths here mean floor 101 and below. Ui is a depth-walker.
(Someone as good as her.)
(Should notice my strength to a degree at least.)
In a clash of swords, Ui is likely far below Lecan.
Hard to say what the result would be like in a match of strictly magic, but Lecan's mana pool is far above Ui's at least. Lecan would hold the advantage in a protracted battle inside the dungeon. And yet, it's weird how Ui speaks as if she's above Lecan even now.
"Today there's left only a few people who were present on that day Dungeon Palcimo was conquered."
"Heard it was 60 years ago."
"It was 62 years ago."
"Lecan-dono. Chief Minister Jiza's grandmother was one among the group of heroes who conquered Dungeon Palcimo."
"Hou. Obaba, you didn't get to the last floor huh."
"I have conquered floor 150 thrice."
"But in two of those three instances, the stairway to floor 151 did not show itself up because we lost our party members. As for the one exception, our party had exhausted all our strength on floor 150 despite the stairway's emergence, thus we did not take it further down."
"That's too bad."
"I should have gone then. Even by myself. Then I could have witnessed floor 151 with these eyes before my last breath."
"Lecan-chan. Do you think I'm an idiot for having such thoughts?"
"Who knows. I'm not gonna nitpick on what others put value on."
"Hyo, hyo, hyo. You're really an interesting man, aren't you."
"But if it were me, I wouldn't be appeased with just seeing."
"Yes, I could see you being that."
"I won't fight an opponent I can't beat. I'll retreat. No matter how beaten up I get retreating, by surviving I have another shoot at conquering it one day."
"That's a dream already beyond reach for this old decrepit body of mine."
"You haven't given up on trying to conquer this dungeon."
"What makes you say that."
"Your fighting spirit is still at its height even now. Your presence's got no gaps. Your mana is still being honed even this instance. I'm convinced your fangs are yet broken."
Jiza stared wide at Lecan.
The small withered branch-like elderly woman looked like a gigantic monster in that moment.
A second later, Jiza's face loosened up before she broke into laughter.
"Hyo, hyo. Hyo, hyo."
Jiza kept laughing for quite some time.
Okami wa Nemuranai 43.5
From floor 7 onward, the spawned magic beasts got comparatively bigger, which in turn made Julius fight better.
The enemy wolves started using magic on floor 9. One shot a fireball out of its mouth.
A magic barrier was generated and protected Julius.
Magic beasts on these floors would stop moving for a moment after they shoot magic. Julius swiftly ran up to the beast and cut off its neck with a graceful sword slash.
"Julius. Good work."
"Thank you very much!"
"Put that magic barrier-producing jewel away for now."
"That level of magic won't kill the you now even if it hit. Practice dodging magic without relying on a barrier and how to take a hit on your most protected spot."
"Yes. I understand."
Julius put the jewel into <Free Box>.
Jiza's gaze was poured onto that jewel.
They got to floor 10 that day. One small blue potion got dropped and no treasure chest drop.
They rode on a wagon back to the townlord's mansion, had meals, took bath and went to bed. Julius woke up early in the morning to practice swing in the courtyard. An upward slash. It was clear to Lecan that the boy was visualizing cutting a small wolf with all his might.
They got to floor 20 on the second day. By this point, the magic wolves would often shoot fireballs from a distance. Julius had learned how to skillfully dodge those fireballs. However he was having a hard time figuring out the magic beasts' mobility and tendency, he couldn't hit them well. Naturally, he ended up getting wounded a lot. Lecan healed the wounds with <Recovery> but the magic knight and mages noticed Julius's damaged leather armor and made a huge fuss worrying over him, they all turned a reproachful gaze at Lecan.
Ui brought her own pot with soup, warmed it up over the campfire Lecan lit up and shared it with everyone.
"It's really tasty, Ui-oneesan."
"Is it? I'm glad you like it."
A really gentle smile.
"Did Ui-oneesan made it yourself?"
"No. Our house cook made this one. They're really good at cooking, you know. Oh, would you like to have dinner at my house tonight?"
Julius looked at Lecan.
"Ah. Lecan-dono, you may come as well."
"I'm not going."
"Then I won't go either. Thank you so much for inviting me."
"I see. That's a shame."
Despite saying that, her gaze directed at Lecan was as if she was looking at garbage.
The mages also brought their own snacks and offered them to Julius. They were overjoyed when Julius delightfully ate every single snack.
By day three, they got to floor 31. Starting from this floor, the number of magic beasts and their types change.
"Julius. I'll fight this time around. You watch from the back."
Multiple magic beasts would spawn at once starting on floor 31. However in most cases, there would be two on floor 30s, three on floor 40s, four on floor 50s, and five on floor 60s to 70s. And the colors of the beasts also became whiter and blacker on floor 30 onward.
Their magic attacks which were akin to slow <Fire Arrows> on shallow floors also gradually became faster and powerful, more resembling <Flame Spear> by now.
Lecan intended to suspend their expedition here.
By floor 30, the magic beasts tower over Julius, with great strength and sharp fangs and claws. They moved far more nimbly than humanoid magic beasts, Julius was struggling to face them, unable to exert his full potential.
From Lecan's viewpoint, the <Magic Wolves> on this dungeon floor 30s are far weaker than the <Armored White Specters> on Dungeon Tsubolt's Floor 120s. Julius who managed to prevail against those specters should not be struggling against these wolves. Yet in reality, he is.
It might be a good idea to do a fresh start once he's learned a bit more on how to fight animal-type magic beasts.
Hence, Lecan's decision to suspend the expedition for now, but he would like to take a look at floor 31 before that.
The magic beasts didn't exist when Lecan, Julius and Jiza got in their shaft on floor 31. After a bit while, black mist-like matter manifested deep in the shaft before two magic beasts spawned from it.
(So they only spawn once we're inside starting from this floor huh.)
(That'll give us time to fortify our formation after entering.)
One is white, the other is black.
Lecan held out his left hand and shot an offensive magic that flew more than 100 step ahead to land on and completely blow away the white <Magic Wolf>'s head.
Lecan had already charged forward by that point.
The black <Magic Wolf> wasn't moving for some time after it spawned, but then it growled menacingly at Lecan before lunging out. It appears there's a slight lag between their spawning and start of action.
When he got within 20 step from it, Lecan drew his sword overhead and swung it down right in the middle of the wolf's head.
The black <Magic Wolf>'s head got split in two before disappearing. A treasure chest remained in its place.
Opening it revealed a wand. About a half step long thick wand.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
<Name: Wand of Ordas>
<Mana Consumption: Small>
<Mana Convergence Rate: Small>
<Mana Discharge Volume: Small>
<Grace: Mana Control Up (Small), Magic Power Up (Small)>
"Master, you're amazing!"
Julius ran up to Lecan and looked up at him with sparkles in his eyes.
Jiza followed after him.
"Jiza. Weren't white <Magic Wolves> immune to magic."
"Just call me Obaba, Lecan-chan. <Magic Wolves> that spawn on this floor may look white, but it's not pure. They still have pretty high magic resistances however. And yet you blew its entire head away. So much destructive power and without preliminary casting, astounding really. And it hit a target more than 100 step ahead. Ordinary <Flame Spear> only has an effective range of 50 steps at most though."
"So that means the black one wasn't completely black either."
"Yup, you got it. But really, Lecan-chan you're quite interesting, aren't you. You went out of your way to defeat the white one with magic and the black one with a sword."
Lecan's magic worked on nearly pure white <Magic Wolves>, his sword slashes also worked on nearly pure black <Magic Wolves>.
"Obaba. On which floor do pure black <Magic Wolves> start showing up."
"Pure white <Magic Wolves> start spawning on floor 81 down. Very rarely though. Pure black <Magic Wolves> only spawn on floor 100 down. And with an extremely low rate at that."