When I got up in the morning, the first thing I did was to find out Avenger’s circ.u.mstances.
Avenger mentioned that he did meet the 2 people listed in his Psalms 【Radiant Dignity of the Hero that leads the troops】 as sub-cast --【Witch of the Bewitching Flame】 and 【Benevolent Maria】. So I wanted to know ins and outs of what happened.
According to the story he told me, Avenger was traveling around the Kingdom with Rusty Iron Knight and Scarface in order to train himself and they stopped by a certain village that was located near the border between the Kingdom and the Empire.
While they originally didn’t plan to stop by the village, they did because an energetic 【Peddler】 from the Empire were carrying some famous tasty dairy products from the village. Rusty Knight, who wanted to eat it, mentioned 『Since it’s in the neighborhood, let’s get some souvenirs, okay? It’ll be fine. 』 . Since it was an opportunity, they changed their plan.
With that, they should have gone back to their original destination after quickly buying the things they wanted to buy.
But, as they approached the village, Avenger spotted uneasiness and impatience on the faces of the villagers that was distinctly different from a normal person. Countless amount of people were bandaged and you could see from a distance that the fence surrounding the houses and the village were destroyed recently.
Unexpectedly, they were able to easily enter the village. However, when they asked what happened, the villagers ran away in a hurry.
After a glance to look at each other, they could see that it was no good. And with that, avenger's group noticed their blunder.
The thing is; unlike Avenger and Rusty Iron Knight that were drafted during the war, these commoners were not. These members who officially belonged to the country’s army were killed by the battles in the Great Forest.
Because problems would pop up in a lot of different ways if it was known they’re alive, they needed to hide their real ident.i.ties. When outside, they wore basic 【Anger Masks】.
For that reason, the Avengers (Avenger and co.) who dropped by the village naturally had the masks equipped. If looked at objectively, an armed, masked group was coming over. Even if there were no problems in the village, it’s normal to react like that.
While they were used to seeing the masks, the commoners were not and it surprised them. By the looks of it, it was already too late and the damage was done.
When I heard this, I instinctively thought that was stupid. But since it was a sloppy mistake that can be still recovered, as long as they make the best of it after this screw-up.
Therefore, I will pursue it, and give them a lecture.
After taking distance, people only looked at them from cover. n.o.body seems to want to approach.
It’s not that much of a problem.
However, the countless amount of gazes that are coming from cover are filled with fear and anger for the majority. The particularly strong ones seemed to look like they were looking at their sworn enemies for many years.
Additionally, they’re equipped with hoes and clubs in the shade and are positioning themselves in the blind spot of the Avengers. Looks like there was a man who became too tense, and looked to physically attack them.
For a country village that was in an exclusive location, this does seem to be something abnormal indeed. The Avengers were convinced that there was something more.
The way things are going, the situation is not getting anywhere, but on top, since they might get attacked, troublesome things seem to accelerate. That’s why the Avengers dropped their weapons and removed their masks. On top of that, they told their surroundings that they didn’t intend to harm anyone.
He also mentioned he wanted to talk to the village chief in order to explain the situation and sat down on the ground.
After that, he talked with a villager with a lot of wrinkles on his forehead that approached fearfully. After listening to their story, they were able to get invited to the village chief’s house.
Thief troupe ≪ Violent Firestorm Bears ≫.
That’s the name of the group that became the current main worry of the village.
Due to the sudden attack, the village was in a state of confusion.
War Bear, a redhead wielding a huge, double-edged battle axe was the leader of the ≪ Violent Firestorm Bears ≫. Several day ago, they attacked the village while he was riding a “Luminescent Horse” that emitted a red light from its hooves.
Due to the confusion of the sudden. However, the village was a capable of some self-defense and marched out together against them. A lot of thieves were killed.
While this was quite something on its own, unfortunately the defense was breached and several people were able to invade further. Several young village daughters were kidnapped at that time.
Wouldn’t you say the reward for this brute force approach is worth the injuries they sustained? The thief troupe returned after that, leaving the message that if they want to have the village daughters returned, they’ll have to give up ransom. They’ll be returned unhurt if they hand over the money. However, if they call in reinforcements, they can’t guarantee their safety.
After the band of thieves left the village, the dead were buried without distinguis.h.i.+ng between bandits or villagers, in order not to cause any problems. They were talking about the cost of repairing a broken houses in the near future.
In a village as small as this, all the residents are family.
They’ve known each other since childhood and they spend their daily life working with one another.
Therefore they’ll pay if they can gather the ransom, in order to rescue the village daughters.
However, when taking into account to repair the houses on top of the demanded amount, it’s not something they can easily pay.
It might be cold-hearted, but having a hundred villagers becoming dirt-poor for a few village daughters is troubling in its own right.
They were still looking for different ways to do something, but a solution didn’t present itself when the specified pay day came up.
The band of thieves mentioned a specified time in the evening, and that hour was approaching. As time pa.s.sed by, the calmness of the villagers disappeared. The people were getting more and more anxious, and that’s when the avengers visited the village.
Due to the timing, it was as if they were part of the thief troupe. That ultimately led to the reaction of the villagers that tried to force a stand-off and attack.
Wasn’t the mask a big reason as well? That thought crossed my mind.
Oh my, Avenger, who loathes these kind of people because they also annihilated his hometown, took on the subjugation of this bandits for almost no charge because of all this.
However, the other members didn’t partic.i.p.ate in the subjugation.
Concerning this, Avenger follow it through until the end, because it’s personal.
Besides, if Rusty Iron Knight and the others would partic.i.p.ate as well, the reward wouldn’t cover it.
Not knowing his reasoning, the village chief and the villagers, cautious because of the unusual signs Avenger was wearing, bowed deeply.
And with that, he started the subjugation request in the evening. Several dozen goons who nonchalantly came to the village to collect the money were murdered by Avenger without any way to flee.
However, they didn’t bring the village daughters, so some were captured alive in order to find out the place where they are being held. With the ≪ Parabellum ≫ torture methods, everything was confessed.
After every piece of information was collected, they were disposed of. The corpse clean-up was left to Rusty Iron Knight and the others who stayed behind in the village.
The sun already set when he left. The moon and stars that are normally a source of light were hiding behind a countless amount of clouds, so he couldn’t be seen. Though there were lanterns, Avenger launched a surprise attack on his surroundings. Since he became a hidden existence, even a light source like lanterns didn’t spot him
Since Avenger was able to utilize his superior perception ability that he obtained through nighttime training, he was able to maneuver around.
With that, Avenger’s appearance was hiding under the cover of nighttime. It would help in a.s.sa.s.sinating the chief of the bear-men and the rest of the members of the thief troupe who were holding a feast in their base that is located in an open s.p.a.ce in the forest.
With the safety of the village daughters secured, and the band of thieves annihilated, the request would be completed.
But the place where the hideout of the thief troupe was located was burning so furiously, that he could be spot from a far off distance.
Wondering what it was, he erased every trace and rushed over as fast as he could; but it already seemed over before he arrived.
In the red glow during nighttime, Avenger saw, smelled and heard it all.
In the center of the ≪ Violent Firestorm Bears ≫’s base, a tempestuous wildfire was blazing. The bodies of the thieves and several luminescent horses wore an expression of agony.
When rolled over, the bodies had countless amount of bruises and looked as bloated as a frog being beaten time and time again.
Since they were holding a feast just a minute ago, many dishes were scattered around in the neighborhood. Crushed Alcohol barrels lay here and there, their contents being soaked up by the ground. There were broken longswords and a lot of damaged armor, such as breastplates that were heavily dented.
The thick smell of blood filled the scene. Black smoke was rising from the burning, simple, wooden tents. *crackle crackle (sfx)* There was a stink of scattered entrails, feces and urine.
Some were still breathing. However, the thieves were burned so badly that they couldn’t move and were basically living their last moments with the flames crackling around them.
As anyone could see, he understood that these were the left-overs of someone completely annihilating the band of thieves.
After confirming what happened, he looked for the village daughters. They were standing slightly further from the spot where the wildfire occurred. They were roughed up and their clothes were ragged. Aside for the, Avenger discovered two beautiful women that wore armor that was clearly expensive.
It was obvious that these two beautiful women helped the village daughters in this situation, but when he called them out to hear the circ.u.mstances, Avenger was attacked by the two of them.
They were the sub-cast of Avenger. And that’s how he encountered the 【Witch of the Bewitching Flame】 and 【Benevolent Maria】.
He did get suddenly attacked on his first time meeting them though. But the 【Witch of the Bewitching Flame】 and 【Benevolent Maria】 explained to Avenger afterwards that some thieves were sent out to collect the money and they mistook him for one of their companions.
They asked the village daughters before attacking Avenger, but as they didn’t recognize him, they acted. After all, it’s said that he who strikes first, wins.
Because of that misunderstanding, they initiated the fight. Avenger was attacked by two people but won magnificently after a close fight.
If it was the Avenger of before, there might have been the possibility of him losing due to the natural but sophisticated cooperation between the two.
With only wearing common, ma.s.s produced armored, no magic items and with his strong Divine Protection and Arts prohibited in battle; he wasn’t able to brandish the power he could before. However, since he trained himself for these situations, he was able to manage.
In the end, it resulted in a victory for him.
Avenger went easy on them and was able to win with some margin. He stunned the two and took their equipment. After he constricted them with st.u.r.dy rope, he went on to explain the circ.u.mstances from before to the village daughters.
After he managed to settle down the village daughters, who started panicking after the two women were defeated. He told them to carry the two women who fainted and leave this place behind that basically looks like a slaughterhouse.
The village daughters carries out the orders, he went to pick up any loot that’s still usable from the band of thieves and to put out the fire that was still raging.
After everything was finished up, he forcefully woke up the two women and explained the situation to them along with the village daughters.
The two noticed that they were restricted when they got up and started to writhe, but they stopped struggling after hearing the circ.u.mstances.
As said, there was the misunderstanding where they thought Avenger was part of the thief troupe. But now, they understood and due to the flow of things, they ended up working for Avenger for a while as compensation.
And with that, I got the rough picture.
To be honest, it’s quite convenient that it went off without a hitch.
I reckoned it was probably destined through the Psalms.
And like that, he could gain two people to work for him. But since the Avenger couldn’t agree to it without my consent, he put it on hold.
After hearing out the story, I entrusted them to him. Concerning damage, Avenger was hardly injured. And while that was a great thing on its own, the little damage he did have was healed up by magic potions made by Alchemist-san.
In other words, there wasn’t any damage.
And since the amount collected from the thief troupe isn’t insignificant either, you could say quite some profit came out of it.
So there isn’t any reason to object.
The other thing about Avenger’s sub-cast is that they’ll likely be useful in the future as well.
There were some things I didn’t understand yet and I wanted to ask them about that.
While I did think the sub-cast topic will be all right, I couldn’t trust the information given by another person.
I interrogated both of them intensively, but since I didn’t see any problems with it, I gave him permission.
As temporary members for now, they will work under Avenger.
Since they’re competent, I want them to do the best they can.
Aside from this exchange, I worked hard on gaining intelligence throughout the day.
However, since the alcohol in the labyrinth city ≪ Rada Lo Dara ≫ is unrivaled, I can’t help but have some drinks carelessly while gathering intelligence.
Yep, there’s no helping it.
In the Labyrinth city ≪ Rada Lo Dara ≫, there was one area called Stall Street.
As the name suggests, it was a street where carts were lined up in a row. They were selling a variety of dishes such as spit-roast and yakisoba . It felt like a pleasant place to hang around.
After finis.h.i.+ng a light morning training in the free training area, I gave everyone some free time. Together with Kanami-chan, I went for lunch.
In fact, we went to this Stall Street, since the dishes were made out of an abundance of dropped ingredients that were taken back home from the derived dungeon. It was very tasty.
The thick meat is fried on an iron plate that has a high temperature. It was giving of a smell that stimulates the appet.i.te.
Due to the combination of smells and sound, saliva spontaneously began to flow from my mouth.
The meat was wrapped in a fresh vegetable. Eating the meat became even more delicious because of a peculiar sweetness from the vegetable.
Thick meat and fresh vegetables, this combination is the best.
But what surpa.s.sed that, was the alcohol.
I drank a liquor with a high percentage of alcohol which burnt my throat, but it was so good, that I became addicted after drinking just one sip.
Personally, I’d rather it even higher than the Elven Liquor.
Well, while personal tastes differ, there was still a difference.
And as we ate several dishes while walking, I enjoyed it considerably.
Like this, there’s the advantage that I can enjoy the delicious cooking of each stall.
Since the ones that are aiming for the dungeon are diving it as we speak, the main customers here are the ones that come back from the derived dungeon.
Because of their profession, we are trying to gather a lot of information on how to capture the dungeon. And through alcohol, it’s easy for them to become talkative. Including the blood, sweat and carelessness of returning safely from a dungeon, a lot of information leaks out that’s normally not shared.
Even the information that you I’m not able to hear normally, I can divert it from the noise through 【Wiretapping】. While there are a lot of bars, but information gathering here is efficient.
I thoroughly enjoyed the dishes from the stands while collecting information, and I slowly returned to the hotel while looking at the things presented in the various shops.
After doing various things with Kanami-chan at night, we became a bit hungry. So I took out enough “Grief Charybdis”, “Aquarium Golem Ball” and “Red-armed Geminyuvia” for two people.
【Ability learned 【Large Vortex of Flood】】
【Ability learned 【Crying Tears of Grief】】
【Ability learned 【Terrain Effect: Water】】
【Ability learned 【Emergency Withdrawal】】
【Ability learned 【High Pressure】】
【Ability learned 【Hard Sphere】】
【Ability learned 【Boiling Red Arms】】
【Ability learned 【Duplicated Existence】】
【Ability learned 【Existence Restoration】】
Everything was delicious. But if I dare decide, I’d have to say it might be Red-armed Geminyuvia.
Especially the both arms were the best.
The meat was so soft it melted in my mouth, and as it gave a tingling sensation, the taste became even better.
Because Kanami-chan liked it as well, I promised we’d go capture it together.
While the internal organs of the Shark-headed Bolt Wyrm were still remaning, I decided to keep it in order to enjoy it later.
I decided to make a base in labyrinth city.
It could be said that I thoroughly enjoy it here, but it’s not only that.
I’m thinking about integrating it with the original firm ≪ Parabellum ≫ so it can transact with the Kingdom in the future. I’ve been thinking for quite a while about having a base in another country to be able to hide in.
While this is an extreme example, but let’s a.s.sume the countries around the Kingdom are conspiring together in order to crush it.
As their trading partner, we can’t stay silent. But if we run alongside them as trading partner, people will be talking about it from one to another.
Most of our partners will escape after being warned by the nations. The other that remain will yield to the pressure before long.
If the impression is created that we’re being blackballed by two or more countries a lot of fruitless effort is needed to turn it back around.
Even if we’d give the Tomboy Princess some help, the Kingdom still wouldn’t be able to oppose all of their neighboring countries. In the end, the collapse of the Kingdom would be unavoidable.
Even with the Tomboy Princess, even with the First Queen, the power difference between nations is too big.
When that happens, it be obvious for the nations to cut us off.
Some things cannot be forced by military prowess alone, or it would be very hard to do.
Again, that’s a very extreme example.
Most likely never going to happen.
However, there’s still the possibility that something similar occurs, and in case of any emergency, I want to avoid those issues.
That’s why today, I secretly create a subsidiary firm ≪ War Provisions ≫ -- labyrinth company ≪ Cor Hidor ≫ was founded.
However, while ≪ Serpent Heart ≫ was formed, there’s no store that’ll naturally form a base yet.
I did contact a member already to come this way and become a sales clerk, and I’m holding a number of commodities in my item box for a while.
However, there’s no store. There’s no location that can do business as its core function as well as function as a base.
Therefore, I went to a big real estate that buys and sells land and houses in order to buy a store.
However, some negotiation is needed.
I might create a clone as a replacement to hide the connection between ≪ Serpent Heart ≫ and ≪ War Provisions ≫ as much as possible. This time around I decide to use my abilities 【Shapes.h.i.+ft】 and 【Metamorphosis】 to create an entire different persona.
After all, it’s easier to directly engage in business discussion by using the clone. On top, it has the 【30% Purchase Price Decrease】 effect.
Using my abilities, I transform my face into that of a young, sincere businessman with blonde hair and blue eyes.
I choose immaculate, elegant clothes that stood out and I wear some accessories, while making sure it doesn’t become tasteless.
I look into the mirror in order to confirm that no one will know it’s me if they see me.
Then again, Kanami-chan can see through my disguise with just one glance, but that doesn’t man anyone else can see through it, right?
That aside, how about I go outside alone after finis.h.i.+ng my transformation. I decide to make some rounds.
I used 【Intermediate Summoning: Fishman】 promptly, but as expected, it’s unnatural for the fishmen to be on land. I wanted to use the lungfish-type Gillman that are able to live on land, but seeing as they’re quite rare, I stop it for now.
So, as a compromise, I summon a black skeleton with 【Lesser Summoning: Undead】 and coated it with my clone.
Normally the process is finished at this stage, but I added some other small features with 【Metamorphosis】.
And like that, a conspicuous old butler with white hair was born.
He stood immovable, wearing a high-quality butler uniform. Due to his old age, he carries an atmosphere that will reprimand anyone misconducting himself.
I created him in order to follow around my transformed appearance. It looks like that was the correct idea.
After the preparations were complete, I took a normal carriage instead of the skeleton centipede and directly went to the real estate agency.
I arrive at the real estate agency. It was a large building of three stories high. It was made out of many building materials, such as wood and marble, gathered from the labyrinth.
Just from a glance, I could understand that it costed more than anything in the neighborhood. The financial power and authority of the company was clearly shown.
The only thing more overbearing, is the gut of a small merchant?
Meh, I disregarded it and swiftly went inside to tell the clerk what I wanted.
After I had to wait for quite a while, I was guided to a room in the back.
It was quite comfortable. There was a sofa of decent quality and I was served the same tea and cake that the Tomboy Princess has.
I thoroughly enjoyed it without holding back, as the negotiator entered the room.
It was a young person. He was a slender man who wore round gla.s.ses. He put up an everlasting smile.
To be honest, it looked pretty suspicious, so I quickly pushed the talk forward.
The requirements I had for the store this time around:
The location should be equally far from the three derived dungeons that ≪ Rada lo Dara ≫ hosts
The store shouldn't be small.
It’s those two.
If you draw a line between the three derived dungeons, it forms a nearly equilateral triangle.
So the store should be in the middle of that triangle. Everything located in the center makes it a popular place. Lodgings and various facilities are already established there.
You could say that it’s highly unlikely that a good spot is left.
As expected, no normal lot remained, it was impossible to find one.
However, there was one lot left, because there were some problems with it.
When hearing about it in detail, I found out that the building was a huge mansion that held all the loot and prisoners of war during old times.
The mansion was located slightly north of the center of the triangle. It was three stories high with a bas.e.m.e.nt and it had a “工” structure when looking from above.
It was around 5 meters in height and around it was a square-formed wall that was approximately 50 centimeters wide and 80 high. It has a lot of potential to be used as a base.
As for the area it was located in, it looked perfectly located. I would be able to create a store on the spot that functioned similarly to the flags.h.i.+p store in the Royal Capital.
However, currently, a lot of illegal immigrants have been occupying the building for a few months.
It wouldn’t have been a problem if it were simple hooligans or poor people settling in. Regrettably though, the type of people that had settled there didn’t have high morals. They were groups that were very well versed in backroom deals and kidnapping.
While they obviously did try to evict them several times, everything they’ve tried seems to have failed.
Because there was quite a strong person mixed in to the group that was occupying, it became a rather troublesome topic.
Naturally, after hearing the circ.u.mstances, I kept negotiating.
This opportunity is too good to pa.s.s up. All the more since the building has such a history.
It’s a good thing, because I can pick up a property that’s better than expected for a cheap price.
Because of that, I want talk to the person in charge by all means. After the one in charge, who is a middle-aged person, came around, we continued the negotiations. After that, I negotiated directly with an elderly person, who is the agency’s president. I finally decided to buy it.
It didn’t become a lot cheaper compared to the original discussion, but we agreed that I could remodel the store of a bargain price if I can evict the kidnappers.
Man, that’s a really good deal.
By the way, did you think I would keep this appearance when heading back?
A little while later, during the night, dozens of kidnappers that were unlawfully staying in the building mysteriously disappeared.
Oh, actually, it might be that the illegal immigrants were sent by a rival company, but the reason why wasn’t very clear.
While I didn’t gain any abilities, I was quite lucky to get loot that I could use in various ways.
Having gathered almost all the information I wanted, we spent the rest of yesterday preparing for our hunt. We shopped for magic items that reduced the damage from the intense heat that’s a terrain effect. Starting early in the morning, we went on to challenge the dungeon we chose for this trip, 【Flames of the Fire Dragon Mountain】.
【Flames of the Fire Dragon Mountain】 is a dungeon near the labyrinth city ≪ Rada lo Dara ≫. It’s located around 30 minutes away by carriage. Unfortunately, we can’t savor its magnificence today due to the bad weather.
During the night, it gave off a red s.h.i.+ne because of lava that is continuously being spit out. Added to that are thick, black clouds enshrined in the sky with lightning shooting through it frequently. It’s a spectacular sight.
We left labyrinth city ≪ Rada lo Dara ≫ by riding the skeleton centipede. In a rumbling fas.h.i.+on, it advanced by kicking up the snow, creating a ditch.
And after around ten minutes, I’d say?
While I was having a small talk with the other nine demons, we arrive at the Boundary Place that encloses the 【Flames of the Fire Dragon Mountain】.
If anyone went through the information that I collected, they’d understand it at first sight. We didn’t only hear it, but we could actually see it. This certainly was the place.
The world of white we have been in up until now, transformed into one big wasteland filled only with barren rocks.
And as if the world changed, there’s was not a single trace of the snow that kept on falling.
It’s divided so clearly, that if someone ends up here by mistake, he must be quite the fool.
The temperature within the 【Boundary Range】 is also different. Outside, it’s numbingly cold, inside it’s hot and humid.
I’m thoroughly admiring one of the many mysteries in this world, safely outside of the 【Boundary Range】. After that, we officially started to climb the 【Flames of the Fire Dragon Mountain】.
As soon as we started to climb the mountain, the temperature shot up.
It goes past the stage of just being hot and humid, to the stage where feels like you’re totally standing near the flames of h.e.l.l.
Even the saliva inside my mouth has evaporated, making it hard to breathe. I began to feel a pain like my whole body is gradually being roasted.
Surely this is a terrain damage effect.
If you don’t prepare for it, your physical strength is being reduced over time *grinding sound (sfx)*. You might even be dead before you notice it.
The main cause of this can easily be seen; it’s no doubt the lava that gus.h.i.+ng forth everywhere. Even the radiant heat that’s being emitted from the lava is no joke. Because of it, the skeleton centipede that’s covered with my clones is gradually being burnt by the terrestrial heat that’s not insignificant as well. *slowly happening (sfx)*
If it rolls over carelessly, it will certainly be burned.
It really is 【G.o.d】 rank.
While we’re not even close to encountering dungeon monsters, the motivation and physical strength of the challengers is constantly being gnawed at from the moment they entered.
If I didn’t collect the information beforehand, Irofu-chan, who was vulnerable to fire, would have been whining incessantly 『I want to go back, I want to go back, I want to go back, I want to go back!!』.
It’s so unpleasant that the others aside from Asue-chan might have wanted to return as well. Minokichi-kun and I don’t really need any countermeasure against the heat.
At any rate, through 【Fireproof Slime Secretion】 and 【Complete Heat Resistance】, I was able to almost completely nullify the terrain effects.
While I could feel the heat to a certain extent, there don’t seem to be any particular problems.
Minokichi-kun seems to be comfortable as his 【DemiG.o.d of Fire’s Divine Protection】 seems to nullify the terrain damage. His condition looks a lot better.
While Asue-chan is not able to endure it completely, an 【Earth Lord ・Subspecies】 is naturally able to mine in volcanos. Her natural tolerance is the highest of our group.
There don’t seem to be any problems for her as I prepared some heat resistant equipment as well.
For the other six demons that don’t have the same benefits as us, I prepared the magic items 【 Ice-cooled Underwear】 and 【 Cooling Long Coats 】for them to wear. I also had them drink the magic medicine 【Cool Liquid】 that creates an external cooling slime membrane.
The heat seems to have weakened considerably for them.
Though Irufo-chan is still weary, she’ll just have to do her best.
Since all preparations are finished, shall we go on? We got off the skeleton centipede and advanced several meters. We got ambushed immediately.
The dungeon monsters “Male Lava Army Fish” suddenly jumped out of the ground and attacked.
It can swim freely through the lava and magma. It looks like a sh.e.l.l fish of around one meter, wearing a red heavy armor glowing red because of the heat. Its charge has tremendous destructive power. On top, its solid, heavy, lava armor isn’t even dented by an attack.
There are basically dozens of them. With only so many, they are able attack a large crowd of a several hundred people. They’re known as the most difficult dungeon monsters of the upper layer of 【Flames of the Fire Dragon Mountain】.
I’ve heard mentions that around 30% of the deaths in the upper layer are caused by these fellows.
Of course, they all were delicious.
As expected, there was a difference in the amount of experience divided amongst the nine members, but as the “Male Lava Army Fish” are coming in a dozen at a time, it’s quite efficient. They were delicious in a lot of ways for our party.
Grilled fish is naturally still the best.
【Ability learned 【Magma Migration】】
Due to this ability, I can now able to swim in lava.
Looks like I can even use this in a place where lava doesn’t exist. Obtaining this might be a lucky omen.
By the way, for now, we’re currently standing around to see if there are any gaps in my brain map that I need to fill. Let’s go rotate clockwise around the 【Boundary Range】?
One of the main things about 【Flames of the Fire Dragon Mountain】 is that there’s no safety zone.
Of course I don’t need to mention the fact that the dungeon monsters are attacking day and night, and it’s also annoying that the terrain features change from time to time.
If you get careless for a moment at a smooth spot with no lava around, it will suddenly gush out from under your feet. There are also the natural, fatal volcano ga.s.ses that come in out of nowhere.
Actually, the moment you let your guard down and take a rest, you’re dead.
In other words, it’s hard for challengers to rest. In our case, I transform the skeleton centipede into a temporary base. Compared to anyone else, this makes taking a rest possible, which makes our lives considerably easier.
I easily make the base and let Kanami-chan and the others take some rest in the skeleton centipede because she seemed to have become considerably fatigued from yesterday. I took up guard duty for the entire night because I have 【Round-the-clock】.
I slaughtered a lot of dungeon monsters by myself. It would be more beneficial if everyone was there as well, but it can’t be helped.
At any rate, with Seiji-kun and Kugime-chan’s stamina fully refreshed their after taking a rest, we were able to start today’s capture in an almost perfect state.
Since we spent all day yesterday memorizing the map, making it quite favorable.
Though my clones couldn’t go very far ahead because the dungeon monsters were stronger a lot than them, I created as many as I could, and let them carry 【Parasites】. Combined with the wide area search from Kugime-chan. We were already able to map out 40% through this.
In addition, we were able to discover quite a few field bosses because of it. I’d say our conquering attempt is going well so far.
However, 【Flames of the Fire Dragon Mountain】 is even larger than I expected. We were able avoid continuously battling the dungeon heroes as well as the terrain effects. We finished our rotation of the outer edge that we started yesterday by noon today, a little ahead of schedule.
That aside, because it ended up well, we took a break to go for lunch. Judging from our previous fights, I feel that we can continue challenging the dungeon; so I decided to hunt a field boss this time around.
The real conquering starts here.
With 【Job ・ Sentinel】 on top off 【Phased Radar Array】, the rough direction of the field boss that is further off is shown to me. Kugime-chan is able to pinpoint its position with her abilities.
Like this we are able to make a beeline for it without wasting any time.
We’re still facing a large amount of dungeon monsters when going through the area with the field boss, though less because we’re going in a straight line instead of roaming around --
”Cursed Flame Skull Legion”, skulls freely floating in midair, covered in a black curse flame.
”Flying Killer b.u.t.terflies”, carnivorous b.u.t.terflies that’re as big as a man. They hide themselves in the shadow and hunt for prey with sharp tentacles. Their scales hold a high glamor effect that spread around flame illusions.
”Bursting Bom Bats” fly at high speed by using their fire wings. They attack challengers from their blind spot and blow themselves up one after another.
”Great Lava Licking Slimes” have the habit of mimicking lava, waiting to ambush targets pa.s.sing by. They are capable of high speed movement, can generate volcanic ga.s.ses and shoots out acid body fluids.
"Vulcan Crimson Lizard Lords” live in the lava and magma. They have a big frame and burning dorsal fins. They wield a pair of red hot swords
And so on.
-- We’re intercepting them while covering each other, and are progressing smoothly.
While the dungeon monsters we’re are encountering here are surely stronger than outside the dungeon, as long as we can sense their existence beforehand, we can prepare to take them on. No critical situations occurred.
Like that, we trudged on and reached our destination. *thud thud (sfx)*
Countless of lava pillars are standing closely together, each one as thick as the bottom of a big tree trunk.
Because of these lava pillars, there are a lot of blind spots and it’s hard for everyone to cooperate with each other because of how close the pillars are to each other.
In between the lava pillars, there’s a place where the ground is subtly indented. Looks like it’s filled with poisonous fumes because they’re heavier than air. I can spot it leaking from delicate cracks at the bottom of the lava pillars.
The lava pillars seem to retain a high temperature though, they’re hot. If you took measures, you won’t take damage, but it’s still too hot.
At first, I judged that it wasn’t a good battlefield. I spotted the field boss at a distance, albeit a bit late.
The moment the field boss noticed our existence, he came at us at high speed.
Though we could temporarily withdraw for now, but we a.s.sumed that it’d be easier to fight in the pit than in the forest of lava pillars. His subordinates appeared from in between the lava pillars.
Its entire muscular body are covered by red, hard, magic metal spikes. Its four thick, tough, strong arms are tightly gripping a club made out of lava. Six golden eyes are looking at while skittering around restlessly.
Six very long tails are growing from its behind and are skillfully moving back and forth. *zig zag (sfx)* Its big, thick legs are straddling a lava pillar of about 5 meter high with its strong toes creating a foothold with its strong grip.
The name of this first field boss is “Volcanic Ape General”, it’s a large monkey that has made the forest of lava pillars his territory.
The four-armed Volcanic Ape General leads a lot of two-armed Volcanic Apes that are about half its size. Its strong presence is able stop overwhelm and stop anyone in the neighborhood in its track.
Its golden eyes are observing us in detail. If we show any openings in our defense, it’ll probably attack immediately.
The surrounding Volcanic Apes have already standing ready and can spring into action at any time. They’re waiting on the orders of its leader.
It’s indeed a 【G.o.d】 rank boss. It looks to be very tough, not only individually, but as leader of the pack as well.
The battle didn’t start immediately, as we just stared at each other for a while. A strange silence spreads around the area.
You could hear the earth shaking, the lava gus.h.i.+ng out and the cries and screams of the dungeon monsters far away.
Aside from our breathing, there’s only a small sound of metal rustling.
We’re glaring at each other for several dozen seconds. It’s the Volcanic Ape General that becomes impatient and acts first.
The Volcanic Ape General’s first attack is an overwhelming roar that breaks a lot of lava pillars in the area.
Even a wyvern would be frozen for a moment if it was standing in short range, it surely had an effect on us.
Though it’s not like we couldn’t move completely, but our bodies are moving slower than we want.
Not missing a beat, the Volcanic Ape General jumps up high.
Raising the lava club that he holds with all four hands, he aims to attack while falling with full power.
Using 【Gravity Law】 I held him back slightly by holding him in the air for an instant. Right before that, as planned, Minokichi-kun and the others took advantage of that opening to shoot 【Eight Demon Annihilation Formation ・Destructive Shot】.
Combination attack 【Eight Demon Annihilation Formation ・Destructive Shot】 is the attack of all eight demons bundled up by a mysterious power and transformed into something like a black flash. The Volcano Ape General tried to defend against the attack with his club because he couldn’t avoid in midair. However it was to no avail, as everything except for its head fully disintegrated. Right after that it falls down from the sky like a brick. *spinning (sfx)*
The destructive power of the combo attack doesn’t just stop with killing the Volcanic Ape General; a countless amount of lava pillars and unlucky Volcanic Apes were caught up and vanished without a trace. It also opened up a gap in the dark clouds.
Sunlight breaks through the hole that just opened up and illuminated the wake of destruction.
The spectacle petrified the surviving Volcanic Apes that stood in the back.
Of course, we didn’t give the rest of the Volcanic Apes any chance to escape. Shot down from a distance with 【Pressurized Lightning Cannon】, limbs cut off with 【Paralyzing Fiery Adamantine Claws】; they were cleaned up with several abilities.
No time was wasted chasing the dungeon monster as they basically didn’t run away. There was no point as the hunt was finished up in a matter of minutes.
After the battle was over, I threw the corpses of the Volcanic Apes into my 【Item Box】.
【Field Boss ［Volcanic Ape General］ successfully eliminated 】
【Achiever Yatendouji has been Awarded the 【Flame Ape General’s Coffin】 as a first time subjugation bonus】
And like that, the battle against the first field boss ended, though I was a bit disappointed.
However, as a result of using all energy in that opening combo attack, all eight demons were exhausted.
Even Minokichi-kun’s breath was disordered. He lay down on the ground to rest.
Seiji-kun was lying down like a frail child who fainted half a minute ago. Looks like he is not able to move because his body was burnt by the geothermal heat.
Improved from the previous time I tried it, I put everyone in a simple, temporary resting station made from the skeleton centipede. After that, I took the large treasure chest that had appeared. I decided to hang on to it for now and took a slightly long rest.
A little bit later, I decided to eat the head of the Volcanic Ape General that had rolled in front of my feet. It was pleasantly burnt by the geothermal heat and gave off a fragrant smell.
A gulp resounded from my throat.
I gave in to my appet.i.te and swallowed it in one bite.
【Ability learned 【Earthquake Club Smash】】
【Ability learned 【Herculean Strength】】
【Ability learned 【Blazing Body】】
The strength and satisfying feeling that filled my body the moment I ate it, was the best ever.
It probably caused a glow to come out of my mouth and eyes.
We got out of the Volcanic Ape General’s lava pillar forest today -- We decided to hunt a field boss that lived in a huge lava lake.
While checking it out yesterday, I didn’t feel its presence moving around in the center of the lake. It might have been battling with the Volcanic Ape General about claiming it's home territory. Since the later has disappeared now because we hunted it, it might have been easier for him to claim it.
So the lava lake will become the next battlefield, it’s located at the bottom of a steep, depression in the terrain.
It’s a huge, circular lava lake of around 8 kilometers in diameter. Most of the lava on the surface has cooled and became black. A countless amount of red cracks had appeared on the black surface in a fluid pattern.
From afar, it’s an extremely beautiful place. When the sun goes down, it looks like h.e.l.l’s kitchen. I find it a fantastic spectacle.
However, fighting there won’t be something simple.
The lava lake isn’t only a place that has such a high temperature that it’s even difficult to approach it with fire and heat-resistant equipment; but it’s also dangerous because it sometimes blows out lava like a small geyser, making it rain down. On top, it generates fatal volcanic gla.s.ses and high temperature steam everywhere.
If you want to get to the center of the lava lake, you need to travel over a countless amount of floating islands. Because the islands are floating on the lava, they lack stability a little bit. When the balance is one-side too much, it’ll sway in a big way. In a worst case scenario, it would even topple.
On top of these circ.u.mstances, we’ll have to fend off a countless amount of dungeon monsters attacking us relentlessly. It’s not something insignificant.
Did most of the challengers give up when arriving here, or did they already die before that?
Only 3 demons went forward, Minokichi-kun, Asue-chan and I.
Because I judged that fighting in the lava lake is too severe for the others, I have them knock down the dungeon monsters on the edge of the lake. This way, they can do their due diligently by collecting valuable item drops.
In a normal situation, it’d be sheer madness to spread out your battle a.s.sets like that.
However, with Burasato-san acting as the vanguard, Kanami-chan, Irofu-chan in the middle and Seiji-san Supesei-san and Kugime-chan in the back; I’m not worried because they have enough battle potential on their own even if we’re not around.
Each going our own way, we concentrate all our effort to our tasks ahead.
We safely arrived at the center of the lava lake while having a hard time on the floating islands in a lot of different ways. And with that, the battle begins.
The boss here is “Magma Knight ・ Sirpendir”. It’s a huge ammonite that is easily 100 meters in length.
Its main body is usually concealed in the seething lava. It’s basically a coward with a huge overwhelming big frame. It uses a countless of snake-like tentacles to attack troublesome challenger parties that arrive on the floating islands within a 50 meter diameter.
I can distinguish at least 100 snake-like tentacles that are apparently divided in two types. They each dish out different attacks. On one hand, there are long, thick tentacles like trees that aim to wrap around people and apply strong pressure. On the other hand, there are small, thin tentacles around the size of woman’s body that shoot out lava cannonb.a.l.l.s from the snake’s mouth.
It sets off a multilateral, synchronized attack. While it’s aimed at the entire region, we cope by compensating for each other’s flaws.
While Minokichi-kun’s defends most of the attacks with his s.h.i.+eld and counters with a strong attack to cut off the tentacles. Furthermore, Asue-chan and Minokichi-kun join up together and dish out wide area attacks and smash attacks with high maneuverability. While supporting both demons, I also do some damage here and there.
Because we understood each other’s habits, we were able to fight without receiving too much damage.
However, Magma Knight ・ Sirpendir seems to have strong regeneration abilities. New tentacles grew from the ones that were cut off.
With 【Unhealing Cursed Wound】, I was able to delay to regeneration somewhat. It was as tedious as expected.
I want to fell its body in one swoop, because over time we will be gradually weakened. But I’ll have to reluctantly slash and cut off an infinite amount of tentacles because its main body is hidden in the lava at the moment.
We repeated it for a few minutes, but there wasn’t any changes.
I cut and cut, but it keeps on regenerating. And that’s it.
There isn’t a single sign that the main body will come up.
The way things were going, I judged that it would take too much time. So I use 【Equip Exoskeleton】 and take out 【Lightning Shark Dragon Lord’s Placoid Scales】.
On top, I use 【Magma Migration】 in parallel and dive into the lava.
Thanks to that ability, I was able to smoothly swim in the lava.
Swimming in lava feels mysterious. While it’s somewhat stickier than water, but it’s not bad.
After getting accustomed to swimming in lava to some degree, I used 【Illogical Adamantine Strength】 to forcefully pull up the hidden body of Magma Knight ・ Sirpendir.
After being raised for about 20 meters, its real body comes out of the spiral sh.e.l.l like a spiral-shaped snail and starts biting. I took a sip while it’s alive *slurp slurp (sfx)*
Of course, Magma Knight ・ Sirpendir’s body immediately reacted to that simple bite with a jarring shriek and gets into a 【Frenzy】. It starts attacking relentlessly with its tentacles.
It’s a fierce attack that a.s.saults a wide area with no break in between. I apply 【Black Demon King's Laminated Dragon Armor】, 【Endure】, 【Black Undead Knight Cloths】 and 【Physical Attack Tolerance】 on top of the 【Lightning Shark Dragon Lord’s Placoid Scales】 that I’m wearing. I’m not sure what would have happened if I didn’t use all of this.
If the field bosses are like this, what will the dungeon boss be like?
I did expect it, but it still feels a little uneasy.
As I’m eating the main body of Magma Knight ・ Sirpendir I experience a entirely new taste and texture, so I decide to thoroughly enjoy it.
However, as I’m excitedly eating, Minokichi-kun’s jealously stares at me with a painful gaze.
He’s drooling as he’s staring. It was somewhat reminiscent of our lives as goblins.
I’ve eaten more than half of Magma Knight ・ Sirpendir, but I enthusiastically kept on going because I felt that there’s still more than enough to share with the others. One of the tentacles I chopped off was still moving energetically as I roasted it in the lava in order to reluctantly let them have a bit.
Since they’re still staring at me while eating *munch munch (sfx)*, I mentioned 『These tentacles are as delicious as the main body』. They should let it go, as I do intend to let them eat it as well some other time.
【Field Boss ［Magma Knight ・ Sirpendir］ successfully eliminated 】
【Achiever Yatendouji has been Awarded the 【Spiral-sh.e.l.led King’s Gravekeeper】 as a first time subjugation bonus】
【Ability learned 【Shut-in Structure】】
【Ability learned 【Lava Lurker】】
【Ability learned 【Wild Spree of Snake Tentacles 】】
After we stop eating excitedly, only the huge spiral-shaped sh.e.l.l where it hid itself in remained.
Because there are a countless amount of different gems embedded in the spiral-shaped sh.e.l.l, it was very valuable. Since it’s useful as material as well, I stored it in my item box along with the treasure chest that appeared.
With this the subjugation safely ended. We returned with dozens of tentacles that I cut off as souvenirs. Kanami-chan and the others were waiting with a triumphant look on their faces, as they displayed a large amount of loot.
Since they’re all in high spirits, I share the tentacles with them. While its taste and texture is inferior to that of the main body, which is the best, they do still have a particular flavor.
Like that, everyone had a delicious meal.
Today we will be energetically hunting a field boss.
We were halfway climbing a mountain side in high spirits en route to the next field boss when suddenly Asue-chan swung her ice axe down, that she was carrying on her shoulder, on what looked to be a common dark red rock wall.
I was wondering if Asue-chan spotted a brittle area in the rock face, because what should be considerably hard rock was excavated in the blink of an eye.
And after she dug around 50 centimeters deep, minerals that transformed into ingot started to appear and were dug up with each swing of her ice axe.
While I was surprised at first, it looks like Asue-chan was apparently able to identify spots that were a mining point.
She was able to see through something that even I wasn’t able to discern, as expected of Asue-chan. All of us praised her.
Asue-chan was thoroughly embarra.s.sed. I decided to let her keep on mining until the vein was exhausted.
By the way, about the mining point, while they’re very difficult to spot because they’re not a lot different from their neighborhood, they’re different when you dig there. It’s an area where rare minerals can be easily mined in large quant.i.ties.
But why were minerals mined at mining point already transformed into ingots? It peaked my interest. I guess since it can happen, it will happen.
While we’re waiting for the mining to end, we continued to investigate the effect of the battle formation 【Eight Demon Annihilation Formation ・ Formless】 against a dungeon monsters.
Everyone would be able to get a grasp to a certain extent of the raw destructive power of combination attack 【Eight Demon Annihilation Formation ・ Destructive Shot】 after the battle with the Volcanic Ape General, but there are still a lot of question marks.
The effect is invoked the moment two of the eight demons are together end its effect increases and decreases depending on the number that join the battle.
It turns out that the effect of 【Eight Demon Annihilation Formation ・ Formless】 would be different depending on their roles and positions. It could become a form specialized in offence, defense, stealth or detection.
While subtly changing the combinations during the fight, we were able to identify several very useful patterns.
During the investigation, we were able to raise our levels and obtain some drops as well. You could really say it was time well spent.
After Asue-chan was done mining after around one hour.
She would have finished mining after several minutes if it was only in one place, but apparently some other mining spots were located near the one she initially found. While mining one, Asue-chan would find another, and she would mine that one as well. This cycle repeated itself several times.
In the end, while it took more time, all the minerals that were mined, were rare. Both the quality and quant.i.ty were magnificent.
I absorbed some of the mined minerals with my silver arm and took in the sweltering heat of my surroundings which I’m able to compress and emit and used special ability called “Acc.u.mulated Heat Corundum Smelter”. The blacksmith masters will be very pleased with this much. I’m sure it would be able to stimulate their creative impulses and they’d be able to invent a lot of things.
While setting those expectations, we resumed our advance.
The area of the next field boss of the 【Flames of the Fire Dragon Mountain】 was a mountainside, where a countless amount of volcanic rocks in all sorts of shapes and sizes were spread out in a disorderly fas.h.i.+on. It also looks like a place out of h.e.l.l.
The volcanic rock had already solidified, because not a lot of lava gushed out. It’s easy to go ahead though, because it wasn’t hotter than before.
However, the difficulty of traveling up the mountainside was like going through the deepest levels of a 【DemiG.o.d】 rank dungeon. The dungeon monsters that appeared were tougher than before, and since they fought with a high level of intellect, it was quite troublesome to pa.s.s through.
Without exception, they always acted in packs and leveraged the topography that naturally created a lot of blind spots to launch surprise attacks. Occasionally they ambushed us with a pincer attack.
Since we went directly for the field boss, I generally held back on the amount of battles. Still, we fought continuously from one battle to the next, and as expected, the damage taken increased. Kugime-chan and I were somehow able to deal with the surprise pincer attacks, and Seiji-kun continuously healed us. But the fatigue acc.u.mulated through combat and the harsh environment is never negligible.
Because of that, the speed of our progress declined either way, but we were able to gain levels through the huge amount of experience we gained during our climb, so it was ok.
Slowly but steadily, we advanced, and around by the time evening fell, we finally discovered the third field boss.
The third field boss ―― “Large Vulcan Golden Elephant”, a gigantic gold elephant walking on 2 legs, armed with a simple battle-axe.
Its height is about 25 meters, and its body looked like ma.s.sive crag that easily surpa.s.sed Balor.
Overall, it’s amazingly thick, ma.s.sive, humungous. The legs that supported the ma.s.sive figure, looked steady, as if rooted into the earth.
It’s essentially naked, but it did wear a dark silver loincloth that covered his privates and functioned somewhat as armor. I can’t discern any wounds on its golden skin. I a.s.sumed It had some kind of natural protection.
Perhaps you couldn’t cut its skin with a superficial attack. In addition to its ma.s.sive figure, you’d have to be able to cut through its tenacious muscles and crush its bones. I found its difficulty level disgusting.
On top, a huge trunk extended to all the way down to its feet, it was essentially a third arm as well as a club that would mercilessly strike down any adversary.
It swung from left to right every time it moved, and whenever the trunk collided with the surrounding volcanic rocks, they were crushed with ease. How much destructive power will it have if swung seriously?
Four ivory tusks that resembled battering rams grew on both sides of its trunk, curving valiantly. They were majestic appearances that confidently displayed not a single scratch.
It certainly has the highest offensive and defensive power of everything I’ve fought up until now.
From a physical perspective, it certainly felt like a considerably difficult matchup. The fact that it wielded a battle-axe that was bigger than Minokichi-kun’s was troublesome.
The unrefined battle-axe looked to kill the target by crus.h.i.+ng it rather than cutting it. A single blow from the Large Vulcan Golden Elephant had a speed that you wouldn’t expect from that weight. Its ridiculous strength was at such a level that it could only be barely defended by me or Minokichi-kun.
That’s what I thought when I saw the Large Vulcan Golden Elephant chop off the neck of a “Magma Lizard” while I was observing it to gather intelligence.
A Magma Lizard is a kind of drake walking on four feet, a dungeon monster of around 10 meters that infested the mountainside.
While its combat ability was appropriate for a drake, it was killed by a single blow. That’s how strong the offensive abilities of the Large Vulcan Golden Elephant are.
It certainly is a powerful enemy, a moment of carelessness will mean death.
Large Vulcan Golden Elephant was an opponent of that level.
Naturally, one would be intimidated and we run home without any reason, but after observing it, I judged that we’d have a chance of winning. So we challenged it to a fight.
A single blow of the Large Vulcan Golden Elephant is fatal. The speed of the attacks was also very hard to deal with, as he dished a lot of unmixed physical attacks. But because there weren’t a lot of special attacks, I was able to somehow deal with it if I was careful.
I did have some trouble seeing all attacks the acc.u.mulated damage of the continuous, relentless a.s.sault exceeded my overwhelming defensive power.
Probably it would be even more severe if we came here in our state from before, it certainly helped a lot that we had the benefits of raising our levels through the earlier battles.
With our remaining power, we might be able to subjugate the Large Vulcan Golden Elephant.
However, it didn’t go smoothly.
At the worst possible time while we were fighting the field boss, a 【Trespa.s.ser】 was approaching.
If the 【Trespa.s.ser】 was a normal dungeon monster, n.o.body would be concerned.
The ones approaching were somehow several ranks higher than the Magma Lizards that lived on this mountainside.
The one that approached were was the king of the Bull Orcs and Orcs that lived inside the volcano,. He roughly resembled a warrior with the head of a boar, and slaughtered his enemies with two huge butcher knifes that he wielded.
I look up to see a ma.s.sive figure of approximately 6 meters in height, his body covered by bristle while wearing a minimum amount of clothes and decorations. He was overflowing with a wild, barbarous charm.
The name of this warrior was “Vulcan Bull Orc King”.
The top dog of the orcs that went through 【Rank Up】―― Bull Orcs ――Vulcan Bull Orc King was the fourth field boss. In other words, because of this 【Trespa.s.ser】, we had to keep two field bosses company at the same time.
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