I re-enter the dungeon and sneak back towards the first cavern. I quickly count the bats fluttering around or resting and come up with 15. 15 level 75 bats, either this new spell is going to work brilliantly or I am going to get killed. I suddenly moved forward and gathered one scattershot spell in each hand. Here goes nothing. I decide to use ice as the choice, because I was sure that the opposite of the Fire Bat would be ice. I take aim at the flying horrors and let loose.
I have never been so happy to hear screams of pain before. I am not psychotic by any means, but the sounds of pain mean that those flying demons were hurt. I can see several of them have crashed in to the ground and the rest have now spotted me. I call up another scattershot in each hand and wait for them to get just a little closer as I want to maximize damage. I let fly with this second round and now 12 out of the 15 bats are on the floor stunned. I run forward to escape from their diving attack and turn around as quick as possible. Two more spells, this time split between the last three flying bats and the ones on the ground.
After I had grounded all of the bats the rest was just clean up. They had a very hard time maneuvering on the ground. Once I had taken away their flight ability through tearing up their wings with scattershot the threat they posed to me was minimal. Instead of level 75 flying horrors they became level 75 crawling experience. I have to say this new spell worked great. I am also starting to really like the use of spears. I don’t have to get as close to finish off enemies as I do with my personal scythes and that is a good thing. I need to remember to see if I can pick up a skill related to spears when I finally discover and travel into a group of people.
Ten minutes later it was all over except for any gamers favorite part checking for loot. I carefully search through the bodies and am stumped. Nothing, I found nothing. No dropped weapons, no coins, no potions. What the heck is going on? I am in my first dungeon and there is no loot. Maybe the bodies are actually what is valuable? How would I even find out though? I do not want to lug around a ton of carcasses in my inventory just on the off chance I may be able to sell them someday.
I am not proud of what I did next, but since at the end it worked out in my favor I am okay with it. I may have gotten a little upset and started chopping up one of the fire bats while muttering bad things about its mother and how stupid it was. This only lasted a few seconds though, because when I slashed open its chest I saw a glow from the area I would associate with the heart. What is that? I now carefully finish cutting open the carcass of the fire bat and pull out a round crystal about the size of a large grape.
Fire Core from a level 75 Giant Fire Bat.
Well that doesn’t help much. Inspect Fire Core.
Fire Cores are concentrated forms of fire mana that can be used to power enchantments or used to increase mana recovery time for fire mages.
There it is. I have found my loot. These cores are not present in regular monsters outside of dungeons. I would have seen them before if they were. That means this must be why there is a dungeon guild. You wouldn’t form an organization if there was no benefit from it. So these cores, and I assume that there is a type of core for each type of mana, must be valuable. That might also explain why no one is here at this dungeon. There could be a better source of fire cores closer to whatever the nearest town is. Well this dungeon is where I am, and is perfect for my needs.
I can stay at my cave hideout and farm this dungeon for fire cores and level up at the same time. When I am done I can then decide if I am ready to go and meet the locals. I can pretend to be a wandering adventurer who wants to join the guild and then boom, instant legitimacy when I start sell cores. I like this plan. Before I implement it, I should probably finish off this dungeon. I quickly cut open the rest of the Fire Bats and retrieve their cores for future use and or selling. Now to move on.
After searching around I find that there are two different exits besides the one I came in from that leave this cavern. I decide to go left and cautiously make my way down another corridor. Soon enough I come to another cavern that looks very similar to the first. I scan it and see a new creature. Inspect.
Fire Salamander Level 80 Magic: Fire Breath
Ok, I think I will set up ten landmines for 1 hour with a thousand mana. I will then stop and rest for 45 minutes to recover some of that mana then start the show. I do just that and after around 45 minutes I throw the ten pebbles into a group of Fire Salamanders. As soon as they get within a meter of one of the salamanders they accelerate and punch bloody holes into their hides. I lob two ice orbs to further confuse the salamanders and then start approaching. When I get nearer I use ice scattershot repeatedly. The salamanders are finally recognizing that the pain they are experiencing is my fault and start to charge in my direction. Or at least some of them are. Others are just writhing in pain and snapping at anything that gets close including other salamanders.
The confusion is just working towards me being able to defeat them faster. The first one to arrive near me impales itself on my spear. The second is far enough behind that I can call up two more scattershots and I aim one at the almost dead impaled salamander and the approaching one. The nearest salamander drops dead when hit and the still charging one veers off to the side. It looks like I may have damaged its sight with that last scattershot. I take a quick moment to scan the battlefield now that I am temporarily clear of anything trying to kill me. There are only five living salamanders left.
Three salamanders are heavily wounded including the one I just scattershot. The other two have been seriously wounded by other salamanders in the fighting frenzy and the final two are only slightly injured. I pull my spear out of the dead salamander close to me and throw it with my full strength at the closest injured salamander. That should keep that one out of the fight if not killing it all together. I then toss two more ice orbs into the remaining 4 salamanders and manage to hit three of them. The two heavily wounded ones charge me, but are not moving very fast. What is worrying is that the other two are also approaching, but they are not charging. It seems they are being cautious which implies that the fight against them will be much harder.
I am able to launch two scattershots at each incoming wounded salamander and they drop down dead before reaching me. Now how to deal with the last two? They are maintaining a greater distance and starting to circle me. Probably hoping to see an opening so they can charge in. I decide to provoke them, or at least one of them, and fire off two Improved Ice Spikes at the one on the right. The hit and explosion finally force it to lose its sense of hesitancy and it starts to charge. I turn to focus on it and see out of the corner of my eye the second salamander start to charge as soon as I stop focusing on it. So they can use basic tactics, interesting.
I call up two more ice spikes and launch one towards each target. I then countercharge the salamander that has been hit with three spells. It is furious and mad foes are foes that are distracted. I dodge to the left and rake my arm scythe down the side of charging salamander causing it more pain and damage. I spin around quick and use the body of the salamander I just attacked to block the other charging salamander. These salamanders do not seem to care about cooperation or helping each other. The incoming one just knocks into the now heavily wounded one almost as if it was trying to knock it over on top of me.
I backpedal and launch another ice spike at the wounded one and a second spike at the one who crashed into it. It looks like the victim of the charging attack is stunned or dying so I can wright it off the list. I focus on my last foe and bring out the Mace of Force I got from the goblin chief and wield it in my right hand while keeping my scythe out on my left. Next I cast lightning steps on myself and the rest is history. With the spell I was so much faster and agile than the salamander that its attacks never came close. I did not even have to trigger the special ability of the Mace of Force.
Once this final salamander goes down for the count I retrieve my spear and cautiously go around stabbing the bodies to make sure nobody is faking death. Nope they are all dead. I quickly get down to the business of cutting the salamanders open and retrieving their fire mana cores. There were only 11 salamanders so my grand total is 26 fire cores once I am done. I sit down and rest to recover my MP and get ready to move on. Only when I have recovered to my maximum will I continue. I take out some meat and start to roast it. After a quick little lunch, it is time to move on.
I spent the next four hours basically repeating what I had done before. Each cavern I came to had two exits. On exit led to fire bats and one exit led to fire salamanders. It was a copy repeat kind of operation. The only thing that was different was the number of each creature in the cavern. There was no mixing of the two. It seemed the set up was truly random. I could go left four times and get 3 caverns of bats and 1 salamander, or 2 salamanders and 2 bats. It was a giant maze that seemed without end. I even went back several caverns and took different routes to check.
The space that I was traversing did not match the size of the mountain either. I should have long ago run into the other side of the volcano. Dungeons must have some sort of spatial magic or exist in a separate dimension or something. I really did not have time to investigate this at the moment. After a really long time I saw what was perhaps the first difference in a cavern after several hours. This cavern had three exits. After harvesting the bats in this cavern I decided to go left, more salamanders. I killed them and back tracked. Next I tried right, fire bats. A short battle later I backed up again and finally took the center exit. This time I saw something new. Inspect.
Fire Drake Level 120 Magic: Fire Breath/Boost
Only one creature in this cavern, and it is a minor dragon called a fire drake. I can see a large door behind it. It seems to be guarding that door. Interesting, I wonder if I can use that against it. I have spells that can reach it from the entrance to the cavern. Could I just pepper it with ice spells from far away until it dies, or will it leave its protective posture and chase after me. I think I am about to find out.