After they looked around the room for a bit they picked the path furthest to the left that led to the next section. Thomas looked over to Selena and asked, "You've been here before right? Do you know the correct path to take?"
Selena looked over at Thomas as she answered, "I have been here before, but the pathways change every couple of weeks so I don't know the proper path to take to get to the next floor anymore."
Thomas found that both weird and interesting. It was weird because dungeons were usually fixed in their pathways and the monsters in them in most games. It was interesting because it made the dungeons infinitely replayable and would make it impossible for any real guides to the dungeon to exist for very long. As they made their way down their chosen path they could hear the sounds of combat coming from the room they were approaching.
When they left the pathway and entered the room they saw a four-on-four fight between humans and kobolds. Seeing the kobold for the first time surprised Thomas. They weren't little dog-like or lizard-like creatures as he had expected. Instead, they were skinny creatures about a meter high sporting the heads and paws of bears. All of them wore little loin cloths that barely covered their dignity while they moved around and quickly attacked with their claws. As far as he was concerned these things were not real kobolds and someone had just stolen the name and put it on a new creature.
On the other hand, it was nice to have his expectations turn out to be completely incorrect. The only similarity between these creatures and the kobolds he knew of was their size. As he watched the fight unfold he kept an eye on the kobolds to see what their traits were like. They were a tad slow, but hit hard and could take a hit as well. They were quite a bit tougher than their size would imply. After watching a bit he turned and picked the left-most pathway again leading to the next room with Selena.
As they moved closer, neither of them heard the sounds of combat so they slowed down and took their time to approach so they wouldn't alert any potential monsters in the next area. As they approached the entrance they both crouched down and looked at the group of five monsters waiting for them. Thomas frowned because the monsters in this room looked nothing like the ones in the previous room. Aside from their one meter-ish height they all had heads that resembled snakes with hands that were long, thin, and covered in sharp claws. He decided to ask Selena about that after the fight, talking now could alert the snake-like kobolds in the room.
Thomas held up a hand and gestured for Selena to wait as he lifted his hand and pointed a finger at one of the kobolds. He made his hand into the shape of a gun and stopped. Why did he insist on using it this way? For that matter did he even need to use his hand at all? Did the metal projectile need to even be in the shape of a bullet? There were much better shapes he could be using for the projectile. He decided to go with a sharp cone at the tip and at the end of a short shaft he added some fins that were slightly angled to give the projectile spin during its flight.
This gave him other ideas, such as using thick needles or even projectiles with wide flat fronts to deal significant damage. He really needed to experiment with things more. Fulin had made the right decision to send him and the other students out to fight as only combat could show the real potential of magic. He reformed his hand into a fist and summoned his mana. He quickly converted it to metal in his desired shape before he fired it at an unsuspecting kobold that was just standing still.
The new projectile flew through the air with the fins stabilizing it's flight until it slammed into the head of the kobold with enough force to knock it off its feet and kill it instantly. The light popping sound from firing the projectile didn't travel very far, but the kobolds in the room still all turned to look at Thomas and Selena. Without him needing to say anything, Selena lifted her crossbow and fired a powerful bolt at one of the now charging kobolds. The bolt slammed into the chest of a kobold and knocked it off of its feet.
Thomas raised his wrist crossbow and fired his own bolt at a different charging kobold. His bolt hit one of the kobolds in the head and killed it instantly. His smaller crossbow couldn't compete with Selena's in power despite the decent quality of the materials it was made from. With both of their bolts fired and three of the five kobolds turning into dust on the floor, Thomas drew his kukri and charged at the remaining two.
The only weapons the kobolds had, that he had noticed, seemed to be the claws. At least until they started to get close to him and hissed loudly while revealing a mouthful of sharp teeth and a pair of dripping fangs that he was one hundred percent convinced were venomous. Not wanting to risk getting bit made him change his approach to the situation. The kobolds were almost a match for him in speed so he was forced to pay close attention and remain cautious of their movements.
While he charged at the kobolds and drew their attention, Selena lifted her hand and began to channel her mana. She prepared to cast her spell as she watched Thomas closely. Thomas dodged one of the kobolds as it swiped its claws at him. As he dodged the one kobold he attacked the other. The kukri in his hand began to glow as he channeled mana into it while chopping at the kobolds head. As he chopped a blast of fire flew past his back and hit the kobold he'd dodged.
The kobold hit with Selena's fire spell screamed in agony while Thomas's kukri chopped into the somewhat fragile skull of the other kobold. After dispatching his target, he turned to face the burnt kobold as it continued to scream. Selena's spell hadn't killed it but it had definitely taken the kobold out of the fight for a while. Thomas chopped at its undefended neck with the intent to decapitate it, something he'd enjoyed doing to the goblins. The kukri only managed to cut about halfway through the kobold's neck, showing it had a significantly higher endurance than the goblins had. Despite not decapitating it, the blow still killed the kobold.
Thomas stepped back and looked around to confirm there were no further monsters that needed to be dispatched. By the time he was sure it was safe all of the kobolds had turned to dust and left behind their mana crystals. Selena walked into the room and smiled at Thomas, "Not bad."
He turned to look at her and gave her a broad grin, "Not too bad yourself."
Selena pointed a finger at him, "You need to use the four primary elements though! The whole point of this training is to increase our proficiency with them. Not with the metal element!"
Thomas sighed but accepted that. He just liked the metal element more. If he could increase its rank enough to start summoning things like adamantine or orichalcum bullets and spikes it could be really deadly! Not to mention the defensive benefits if he could make shields and walls out of it. Sadly the dream he came up with, just now, of being able to summon a full suit of adamantine armor was just going to have to wait.
Thomas thought about it and said, "Alright. I have an idea. For the next group, let's try working together to take them all out at once. If one of us sends out a large blast of fire into the center of them the other can cast wind magic into the fire to create an inferno. Would you prefer casting the fire or the wind, if we do that?"
Selena cocked and reloaded her crossbow as she thought, "I don't have an affinity for either so I think I should take the fire magic so I have the time needed to cast the spell. I'll cast the flamethrower spell in a fan shape and you can cast your wind magic to enhance it." She eyes Thomas, "You know you really shouldn't be experimenting with magic right?"
Thomas rolled his eyes, "I'm already half demon, how much worse could being a devil be? For that matter, can Nephilim even become devils?"
Selena blinked a few times before she replied in an uncertain tone, "I... don't know. I've never heard or read about any devils that weren't human before becoming a devil. So... probably not?"
Thomas looked a little smug as he said, "See? Problem solved! Now I can experiment all I want and you don't have to worry about me becoming a devil."
Selena let out a deep sigh, "Fiiiiiiine. But if you do become a devil there's nothing I can do to protect you. Everyone will be able to tell you are one."
Thomas shrugged his shoulders again and added more to his argument, "Don't I also need a Magic attribute of one hundred or more? You're closer to that than me so I'll be fine regardless."
Selena glared at him as she huffed, "You already won the argument so stop pushing."
He accepted his victory and looked at the mana crystals still laying on the ground, "So how should we split the spoils?"
Selena looked at the mana crystals as well as she replied, "We'll collect them all and at the end of the day we'll split them evenly. As the weakest, you can have the extra if we collect an odd number."
Thomas liked, and hated, being the 'weakest'. It was nice to get the extra mana crystal but it meant accepting that he was weaker. It was rather annoying to him. He didn't argue with her and went about collecting the five crystals into his inventory before they picked the next pathway.
They walked for a bit before seeing the entrance to the next room. Because of the labyrinthine construction of the dungeon, there were a fair number of twists and turns on any given path making it impossible for them to just look from one end to the other. When they walked around the last corner of the pathway they looked into the room to gauge their opponents. There were six kobolds within the room and they were, once again, different looking. Thomas remembered what he'd meant to ask before so he asked it now since they were a fair distance from the kobolds, "Why do all the groups look different?"
Without looking at him she replied, "Kobolds are a strange race that will mate with just about anything they can, similar to unevolved goblins. However, their offspring always take on traits from the animal or monster they mate with. Specifically, their heads and hands change to match the non-kobold parent. Goblins always produce goblins, but kobolds always produce hybrids." She pointed to the kobolds in the room, "Clearly these kobolds had a cow for at least one of their parents."
After listening to her explanation, he was forced to agree. The kobolds in the room looked like tiny minotaurs with the heads of bulls and hands that looked like hooves. Their hands would be useless at even attempting to hold anything, but would likely be good at dealing damage. Selena added, "Kobolds require a bit of guessing to understand their attributes. Unlike most other monsters their attributes change a lot based on what they are a half-breed of. For these cow kobolds, I would guess they have a higher Power and Endurance."
Thomas thought that made sense so he didn't argue, instead, he said, "Alright. Start prepping your spell. When you're ready we'll charge in. Once you fire the spell I'll add the wind element to it to increase its temperature and power."
After he stopped speaking they both summoned their mana and began to convert it into the respective elements for their combination attack. Once she had a good flame going and he had a good bit of wind gathered, they charged out together. The kobolds all saw both of them at the same time and began to give out bull-like screams as they charged. Selena came to a stop and aimed her hand at the kobolds before a wide fan of flames launched in their direction. As soon as he saw the flames, Thomas aimed his wind at them and fired it in the same way he would fire a cone of flames.
His mana blasted through the bundle of wind element and was quickly converted to match. The two elements collided in the air. Since their spells weren't perfectly matched in shape his wind magic only hit the majority of her flames but where the wind did hit there was a definite reaction. When the fire and wind magic combined the flames became larger, hotter, and flew out even further with a loud roar. The fire went from a simple flame to a roaring blast furnace in an instant. The kobolds barely had time to scream before the scent of cooking beef permeated the air and they died horrible deaths.