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Chapter 30

Choices and Grinding

I head over to the platform and gingerly step up. A voice once again booms into my head, “Would you like to head back to the entrance or take the FINAL CHALLENGE of the dungeon?” Um, I would like to go back to the entrance I think very hard. The world shimmers and I find myself back at the beginning corridor of the dungeon. Man I am glad that worked. Finding my way back through the maze of caverns would have taken forever. I decided that with as close as I came to dying with the Fire Drake I am definitely NOT ready to take on some final challenge. I think I will set it as my final goal before moving on. I try casting teleport to go back to my cave house and find out that it does not work.

Don’t panic Mark, there must be a logical explanation. I look around and realize that I am still technically inside the dungeon. Maybe I have to be outside of its influence to teleport. I quickly walk outside and try teleporting once again. It worked, I am back in my cave house. I am going to eat and then get some rest. I can review everything in the morning and then make some decisions.

After a good night’s rest, I have some breakfast and mull over what I want to accomplish. I need to continue to get stronger, I need to make contact with a sapient species soon to gather information and perhaps equip myself better, and finally I would like to learn a second profession. My second profession needs to be helpful, but not necessarily in a way that makes me stronger as a fighter or sorcerer. A supplemental class like alchemist or enchanter would be great. Those would both definitely help me inside and outside of combat.

I want to avoid fighter professions as I do not think they would compliment the current profession of sorcerer that I already have. The only exception to that I think would be some type of ranger or scout. I think that would give me some basic skills I need to survive and thrive in this world and compliment my loner lifestyle and sorcerer profession quite well. Long term payoff professions like farmer I would need to skip. I do not think that I will actually be in an area long enough for professions like that to work with me. However, tanning, woodworking, or blacksmithing have potential as good crafting secondary professions.

That is for the future though. I need to concentrate on the now. Now is about grinding this dungeon for experience and loot. After I feel confident in my growth I can head to the final challenge to see if I have improved. I teleport to outside the dungeon. Hmm, I just had a thought. On the off chance someone else visits this dungeon I should probably not teleport straight to the entrance in the future. I search around for about ten minutes and find a nice hidden spot that overlooks the dungeon entrance. This will be my future teleport area. I should be able to teleport here safely and check and see if anyone else is at the dungeon. Each day when I come out of the dungeon I can leave something around the entrance like fresh dirt so I can look for footprints or other signs that someone else has arrived.

Liking this idea a lot, I go ahead and enter the dungeon once again. Many twists and turns, a few heal spells and a few new methods tried out and I find myself in the treasure room once again. As I approach them I once again hear a voice in my head, but the message has changed slightly. “Dungeon Cleared, 1 chest rewarded. Solo clear, 1 chest rewarded. Please choose you chests.” I did not get the first time clearing third chest bonus. The same three chests are present and I choose the wealth and strength chests time. I open the wealth chest and see the same amount of coinage and gems as yesterday. Okay that did not change, good to know. I open up the strength chest and see not another hammer, but rather a dagger and a red potion. Curious I inspect both.

Dagger of Flame Magic Weapon

Inspect Dagger of Flame.

Dagger of Flame: This dagger does an extra 25% damage to all creatures with a resistance to fire of 50% or less.

Potion of Fire Resistance Potion

Inspect Potion of Fire Resistance.

Potion of Fire Resistance: This potion temporarily raises a person’s fire resistance by 25%. This resistance can only be stacked twice.

So the strength chest changes its reward. The dagger is not bad, just not useful in this dungeon. The potion would be immediately useful, especially since I could use two of them and have 50% resistance to fire. I am not going to just because I believe that not getting hit is more important than being able to take a hit. However, it could prove useful in the future, either to myself or as something to trade with. I think that tomorrow I will pick the same two chests until either the weapon repeats or I have a huge collection of different weapons. At that time I can experiment with the knowledge chest and see if the books inside change.

I wonder what would happen if I actually tried to open the third chest? Would it just be empty? Now that I have thought about it I can no longer contain my curiosity. I try and open the third chest knowledge and receive a large shock that knock me down. Alright, there is a system in place to punish those that are greedy. Not going to do that again, it really hurt. I step onto the platform and choose once again to be teleported back to the start of the dungeon. I head out of the dungeon and remember to use elemental shaping to make a nice smooth dusty are in front of the dungeon so I can check for footprints in the morning. Then it was a quick teleport back to the home cave, dinner, and then I was ready to turn in for the night.

This pattern repeated for the next week. The strength chest held only five different weapons and two different potions. I either got a dagger and a potion, a bundle of arrows and a potion, or a hammer, sword, or bow. The arrows added 10% damage to creatures with less than 50% resistance, the sword was a repeat of the hammers enchantment, just on a different weapon. The bow was a repeat of the daggers enchantment. That did mean if I used the bow of flame with the arrows of flame, I could potentially add 35% fire damage to the target as they seemed to be stackable. I decided that tomorrow I would take the wealth and knowledge chest and then check on my status. I had been holding back on checking so I could accumulate my rewards and see a good change instead of seeing miniscule amounts.

The next day after finishing up my dungeon run I took my coins and gems and then looked at the knowledge chest. I went over and opened it up. Three books again. I pick them up and check the titles, the first is still “Five Common Fire Spells”, the next “Three Advanced Fire Spells” again, but the final book is different. The title of the third book this time is “Beginner’s Fire Resistance” not “Profession Reset”. Well this is different. I open up the “Beginner’s Fire Resistance” and find a short notebook with a variety of methods to gain fire resistance and how to level it up through the beginning stage.

I read through it, quite quickly as it was not very thick and it was fascinating reading. It seems that fire resistance can be gained in three primary ways. First is to be born with it. It seems that there are some being that are naturally blessed with a variety of resistances. Second is to survive a master level fire attack. If you are damaged by a master level fire spell or above and survive, then your body naturally starts to develop a resistance to the element. The last and the one that I could use is to repeatedly survive lower level fire spells. It seems that 10 advanced level fire spells will accomplish the same as one master level spell. It takes surviving 100 beginner level spells of fire to gain the same resistance.

I do not know what level my fire spells are at, but I would guess my weaker spike is beginner and stronger spike is advanced. The key to getting the resistance is that you cannot be healed within 12 hours of receiving the damage. You truly have to survive to earn the resistance. I step on the platform while thinking about all this and once again select the beginning of the dungeon instead of the challenge. I am still thinking about the implications when I step outside. I am about to teleport back to the home cave when I realize that something is different. The dirt I leave outside the cave is disturbed by footprints. I quickly look around and see nothing so I cast teleport and return to my cave as quick as possible.

Somebody else is at the dungeon, what am I going to do? Why am I panicking? I have done nothing wrong. It seems that I am more out of touch than I thought if the mere idea of meeting someone else gets me this anxious. Alright I can think of this after, first I need to deal with this resistance information. If I damage myself each day after doing the dungeon and then don’t heal until after my first battle the next day I should reach the 12 hour condition easily. It may take a while but resistance to fire would be worth it. Come to think of it, if this is a way to get fire resistance than gaining the other resistances should be similar. I could probably handle the damage from each of my elemental spells each night and then heal up the next day if I time it right. Then it would only be 100 days to earn all the resistances. That is much better than doing one at a time.

Alright I am going to do it. I need to get this done quick and bear with the pain. My weakest fire spike, aim at leg and release, and dang it that hurt. Quick use a weak ice spike and then target the same area and more pain, but at least the area is numb now. Before the pain gets worse, weak stone spike, OUCH, then lastly a quick lightning spike. With the lightning spike I start twitching and actually wet myself just a little bit. Oh man I am going to have to do this for 99 more days. I hobble to my bench bed and just start resting. I hope this gets easier as time goes on. I am in too much pain to make a decision about the tracks tonight, I will deal with it in the morning.

Morning comes quicker than I like. I thankfully remember everything from yesterday before I try to move. I gingerly put some weight on my spell abused leg. No pain. Good my natural healing took care of everything. I was hoping this would happen. Now all I have to remember is to not heal myself for 2-3 more hours and I should be good. Next up is to check my status so I can see my progress and then I will deal with the visitors. Status without Bonuses.

Name: Mark Stefanopolis Race: Magic Chimera Mimic Virus (Elemental Thri-Keen Form)

Level: 76

Primary Profession: Sorcerer +10% exp Secondary Profession: Not Assigned

Unassigned Stat Points: 46

Strength: 52 (60) Agility: 50 (60) Intelligence: 55 (75)

Wisdom: 50 (60) Constitution: 50 (75) Perception: 47 (55)

MP: 7500 out of 7500 HP: 750 out of 750

MP/Regen: 600% per hour HP/Regen: 75% per hour

Skills:

1. Inspect Level 7 – 18%

2. Direction Sense Level 9 – 14%

3. Multicast Level 9 – 66%

Great I have improved more than I thought. I assume though that from now on I will see diminishing returns as my level has reached the lowest level of Fire Bats. I should still get some gains out of the dungeon, just not as much. It seems that each of my three skills have gone up significantly also. It makes sense, I use inspect often along with multicast. Direction sense has probably gone up from my explorations and just getting through the maze of the dungeon. Now to place my stat points. That should be a good distribution. Go ahead and check it once more and make sure of my changes. Status without Bonuses.

Name: Mark Stefanopolis Race: Magic Chimera Mimic Virus (Elemental Thri-Keen Form)

Level: 76 (Transcendent)

Primary Profession: Sorcerer +10% exp Secondary Profession: Not Assigned

Unassigned Stat Points: 6

Strength: 57 (65) Agility: 60 (70) Intelligence: 65 (85)

Wisdom: 55 (65) Constitution: 60 (85) Perception: 52 (60)

MP: 8500 out of 8500 HP: 850 out of 850

MP/Regen: 650% per hour HP/Regen: 85% per hour

Skills:

1. Inspect Level 7 – 18%

2. Direction Sense Level 9 – 14%

3. Multicast Level 9 – 66%

All of the sudden a voice very similar to the one that I hear in the dungeon talks to me in my mind. “You have reached 50 in each stat. You have reached the Transcendent level. As a reward you are granted 5 bonus stat points.” I check and yep I now have 6 unassigned points instead of the one I had saved. I think I will save all six until the next time I check and assign points. Now that all of this is taken care of, what am I going to do about the tracks I saw at the dungeon.

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About the author

tenqui

Bio: Older Science Teacher who after years of hearing, "You read so much maybe you should write a book.", decided to do just that.
Just having fun and learning how to put my ideas into a format that others can understand and enjoy.

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