"Do we really have to explore the rest of the tower, M-Master?" the three-tailed Crimson Foxkin of the Deep asked her master. Sophie looked at her with a menacing glare before she grabbed eight of Lone's nine tails. She had been growing a lot lately, not by huge margins, but enough for her to dexterously handle more of her idols than she previously could. It was her duty to safeguard these sacred relics from potential thieves.
"Yes. Yes, we do. As I mentioned earlier, just try your hardest to enter any and all shadows you can see physically. From my understanding, you can gain skills far faster if you believe you can do them. My Sky Walking is a perfect example as is the fact that Soph is on the verge of learning Basic Swordsmanship," Lone told Breena with copious amounts of pride in his voice. He then briefly stopped descending the stairs to the tower's basement to pet Sophie on her head. He truly was proud of her progress.
Sophie blushed at this, and her tensions relaxed a little bit. She knew she was Lone's number one and he had already reassured her several times that Breena was now something akin to a slave but with far more freedom than the norm and that he didn't view her as a woman even in the slightest.
Breena had ultimately decided to reenter the life of a slave. However, she could tell that Lone held no sexual interest in her at all. In fact, she was surprised that he had a romantic relationship with Sophie because, from her viewpoint, Lone judged things on one simple criterion, 'Interesting or useful to me or uninteresting and not useful to me'.
The Crimson Foxkin of the Deep had honestly believed that she had no other choice than to serve Lone for the rest of her life, however long that may be. He had promised always to protect her when possible and to train her in everything that he could since she was still very weak. He had also stated in the contract that he would never lay a finger on her sexually which was the biggest factor that led to Breena's agreement. Besides, she felt that even if she chose to decline and he brought her back to the Crimson Foxkin clan which had done almost nothing for her, then she would live life there as maybe a respected member due to her awakenings before dying mere years later.
"Don't worry so much Breena. I'll kill everything except a few monsters that I'll use to train Soph, so just focus entirely on entering the shadows. That's the skill I need the most from you right now," Lone happily told the girl. He hoped for her to gain such an ability so he could carry her in his shadow when needed and after she had learnt such a skill, he would make her focus her talents in other areas.
"What the... ?" Lone mumbled which forced the two girls at his sides to stop walking. Lone was staring at a sign. The very same sign Breena, Sophie and he had missed during their first exploration of the basement.
"... What does it say?" Sophie asked Lone with ample amounts of curiosity. She knew it must have been fascinating if it had caused such a reaction from Lone.
"Breena. Do know what dungeons are?" Lone asked his servant while his eyes looked like they would turn into stars any moment now. Lone was very excited by what he had read on the sign and also annoyed at himself for not researching the topic more when he was still in the capital.
"E-Eh? D-Dungeons are dangerous zones that naturally form... the old Hero cleared a few D-Rank ones..." Breena replied to the best of her knowledge. "W-Wait! I-Is this a dungeon?!" she frantically continued. All of her previous experiences with dungeons were unsavoury, to say the least.
"Indeed it is. A B-Rank one according to this sign put up by The Adventurer's Guild of Milindo. Apparently, it has never been cleared, and it is at the high end of B-Rank dungeons, so it has very few visitors. Anyway, stick to the plan. Continue trying to merge with the shadows. Soph and I will do all of the work. It's only B-Rank," Lone claimed in a very arrogant fashion.
Sophie sighed in a very charming way when she heard how confident Lone was being. Recently Sophie had been finding Lone's confidence-filled arrogance to be very appealing, and it only helped in bolstering her feelings for him.
Breena was quickly getting filled with fear once more, so she decided to just trust in her new Master and return to focusing on getting the skill he desired.
Lone created several flames out of pure mana since they had reached the bottom of the stairwell before he and the two girls following him went into the very same pathway that Breena had awakened in.
"It really is dark in here. I wonder how typical adventurers would explore this place?" Lone said aloud. Sophie had her mana sensing, while Breena and Lone had their naturally better eyesight not to mention Lone's glasses which helped a small amount and Breena's new affinity for the darkness which helped her as much as Lone's similar affinity did.
"Em, M-Master... I think they'd use torches..." Breena replied before she immediately lowered her head again and continued to focus on the shadows.
"Oh, right, I guess they would," Lone said in an embarrassed manner. It would seem that he had forgotten about his lack of common sense regarding a few things. This caused Sophie to chuckle a little bit which only furthered Lone's embarrassment. In frustration, Lone picked up his pace and continued onwards.
The group of three had soon passed the point where Breena had killed the Minotaurs, and they could hear grunting from ahead of them. Breena was obviously quite shaken, but she continued to do as she was told, focus on merging with the shadows.
"Huh? C'mon Breena, have some confidence in my abilities. You do know that I've killed an A-Ranker before, right? And this dungeon is only B-Rank, so logically speaking I'm stronger than this place," Lone claimed. His logic was very flawed, but it still helped to relieve some of the pressure that Breena was feeling. That was at least until nine Minotaurs came running around a junction roughly fifty feet ahead of the trio.
Breena lost control of her breathing and instantly began to panic. It should be known that Minotaurs were generally labelled as C-Rank monsters. Although, they barely qualified because their only trait was their physical strength.
Lone had obviously noticed Breena's state of panic, so he wasted no time in retrieving Dawn, his sword spear, from within his dimension. He then instantly launched himself in the direction of the foul creatures that were looking at not only Breena and Sophie, but even Lone with lust. Lone could do nothing about this except blame his charm stat.
Lone moved exceptionally quickly and was upon them immediately. Before they had a moment to react, Lone quickly slashed Dawn out horizontally while he strangely moved his Left armoured hand.
"Lightning Wave!" Lone shouted out the name of his experimental magic. Instantly a current of blue lightning expanded from Dawn's spearhead and curved out in a way that enabled it to hit all nine Minotaurs.
Upon hitting them, this wave of magical lightning only managed to go skin deep on the creatures.
"Tch. Not enough power yet to become a skill?" Lone had mumbled before he began flipping around to dodge the blows of the enraged Minotaurs. Although he was confident he could endure their blows, lone wanted to enhance his agility and perhaps earn another movement-based skill or two. After dodging the quick blows from the Minotaurs for maybe a minute or so, Lone decided to kill the nine monsters with several incredible slashes and stabs of Dawn's two blades.
Over the course of the one week he had spent training with Zeek, his Lone Spearmanship Technique had gained some soul to it. Of course, despite Lone's level of talent, there was still only so much Zeek could impart on the absolute newbie regarding spearmanship.
Despite his skill gaining a far more robust foundation to it, it still had yet to get a single additional level, but Lone had acquired a new skill which satisfied him somewhat.
|Due to continuous practice using a sword spear, Gained Skill:|
|Skill: Sword Spear Mastery|
|Effect 1:||All attacks with a sword spear will be faster, will flow better and will deal more damage|
|Mastery:||Beginner Level 8|
|Increased speed, flow control and damage:||16%|
Although this skill was exceedingly similar to his Lone Spearmanship Technique before it's evolution, it was taking Lone far more time and practice to train it than it had taken him to do so with Spear Mastery. Lone chalked this up to the fact that it was a specialisation hence the difficulty added.
After killing all of the Minotaurs, Lone returned to the girls' side and looked into Breena's multi-coloured eyes.
"See? Not an issue at all. They are merely training dummies to me. So continue trying to become one with the shadows. You'll be fine," Lone said before he turned around and began walking ahead again. Of course, he didn't forget to place his tails in Sophie's arms and to store the Minotaurs bodies. He had plans for all of the bodies he was collecting. Plans better left unsaid.
Breena stood still for a moment. She was awestruck by Lone's beautiful movements and how skillfully he had killed the exceedingly intimidating Minotaurs. She soon collected herself and trailed after him and Sophie before she resumed her own training.
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