Chapter 42 Sushi
‘diiiing’ ‘You have been poisoned by the coco fruit. -25 HP/s for 30 seconds.’
‘Quite potent eh.’ she thought and continued eating. The damage was nothing compared to Reconstruction. ‘Maybe some light poison resistance leveling the next days?’
Thinking about it, she walked up to Edwin and asked her question. “What do you think of resistances, worth going through the pain to get them and level them up?”
He looked at her, seemingly a bit distracted but then focused again. “Oh, I mean most people wouldn’t want to go through the pain. You gain some through class changes. Pain resistance would help a lot in getting them but as I said, generally people wouldn’t do it.”
“I have pain tolerance in the 2nd stage.” Ilea simply said and continued eating her fruit.
He took a while to comprehend her words. “What?” he said but then shook his head. “I know like ten people who even have the skill and only two that might have the second stage. They never confirmed though. What does it do?”
“You can turn off pain.” she said and smiled.
He stared at her and then started laughing. “Hahahahahahahaha!” Edwin was caught in a fit and only stopped after a solid minute of laughing.
Wishing away a tear that formed in his eye, he slowly calmed down into chuckles. “Oh that...that is. Thank you for that Ilea. So you’re basically perfectly equipped for getting resistances then. With what should we start?” he asked, still smiling.
“What do we have?” Ilea answered, matching his smile.
There was sadly nothing that could be gained by Edwin’s swords. He also mentioned that no other skills he had would contribute towards any possible resistances. The obvious ones that could be gained were Aliana’s water and Felicia’s wind magic.
Sadly neither of them could be convinced to spar or use their time to shoot spells her way. Ilea simply decided to join Felicia in a nice bath. It wasn’t a warm bathhouse yet but as soon as Aliana was done cooking, that would be changed in a heartbeat.
It took around half an hour and the group followed up the swimming with a proper portion of meat. Ilea was actually craving some potatoes and vegetables but she felt her life was in danger enough as it was and thus refrained from mentioning anything to Aliana.
‘Edwin is open enough about murdering me but that woman has something about her...’ Ilea thought and looked away quickly when their eyes met.
“So Ilea wants to train some resistances, she can apparently turn off her perception of pain...which by the way is the second stage of pain resistance.” Edwin said to the others once everyone had their fill.
“Well let’s get started then.” Aliana stated in a matter of fact way and boiling water formed around Ilea.
As soon as the water touched Ilea, she received a notification.
‘blang’ ‘Heat Resistance reaches lvl 10’
‘Guess that one was close to leveling...not surprising considering my bath from before.’ Ilea of course didn’t think of the nice lake but more the doors of hell that Aliana had opened on their round of sparring.
She had gotten better and better at keeping up her sphere skill and magic perception skill in the past couple days. Magic perception sometimes got in the way a little but with conscious effort she could dim the light a little and it would help a lot with noticing magical attacks before they actually happened. This had allowed her to disable her pain before the water had hit her.
So in the next couple of hours there was a constant pour of boiling water, only interrupted by cuts of wind. Felicia actually turned away to not look at the constantly melting and reforming flesh of Ilea. Aliana on the other hand had an incredibly unsettling expression on her face that Ilea only saw glimpses off between healing and losing her eyes.
‘Not feeling pain is very weird...’ she thought, getting a bit bored of the whole process. There was a difference in grinding something like this and actually fighting against something that tried to kill you. Edwin seemingly thought something similar and motioned for them to stop and finally continue on their way.
Ilea checked her messages and was rather happy at the results. ‘Although fighting Guardians is certainly more effective…’ she thought.
‘clang’ ‘Heat Resistance reaches lvl 11’
‘blang’ ‘Heat Resistance reaches lvl 12’
‘bing’ ‘You have learned the General skill Water Resistance – lvl 1
In your days you have learned many things. One of them is that water pressure is not a joke. This Resistance helps a little with reducing the damage.’
‘bing’ ‘You have learned the General skill Wind Resistance – lvl 1
The ever elusive magic of Wind can cut from any side. You have learned that it might’ve been a good idea to become a Void mage. This skill helps you resist the power of wind a little more.
‘kong’ ‘Heat Resistance reaches lvl 13’
‘bazinga’ ‘Water Resistance reaches lvl 2’
‘beng’ ‘Wind Resistance reaches lvl 2’
‘bazinga’ ‘Water Resistance reaches lvl 3’
‘bazinga’ ‘Water Resistance reaches lvl 4’
‘beng’ ‘Wind Resistance reaches lvl 3’
‘bazinga’ ‘Water Resistance reaches lvl 5’
“Yea, let’s move on actually. As much as this is beneficial to me it’s boring as fuck...” Ilea commented to which Felicia let out a big breath and opened her eyes after a long while.
They packed their things together, most of it going into Aliana’s ring and walked towards the door. The room behind the door had runes on each wall quite similar to most interiors they had seen so far in the dwarven ruin. Of course it was also carved in the white stone that seemed to be the norm inside what Edwin had called the great hall.
The room was rather spacious and in the middle was a rectangular stone platform with a pressure plate in the center of it. “A lift?” Ilea asked to which Edwin nodded. He then motioned for her to go activate the elevator.
Ilea nodded solemnly and stepped onto the platform. Mechanisms came to life and the stone floor dropped downwards quickly with a noise that indicated no use in quite some time. Ilea braced herself against an impact that never came. Suddenly the tight walls were replaced by a beautiful view spanning several hundred meters in all directions, filled with water and white light.
‘Filled with water...’ Ilea repeated in her head and started to blink upwards to the opening in the roof where the elevator had come from. She reached it in four blinks and dug her hand into the white stone to keep herself there.
The platform kept falling for another five seconds before finally impacting upon the still water. Waves were created and Ilea watched on as a set of massive tentacles suddenly shot out of the water and dragged the platform downwards. She was too far away to identify the creature and couldn’t see through the dark water to make out its shape.
“I’ve got the right girl for the job...” she said and blinked upwards until finally reaching the top again. The others were already busy with their own things. Edwin was sketching the trap rooms when he lifted his head to look at Ilea.
“Already back? No trap down there then?” he asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Not exactly...” she went on to explain what she had seen down below and suggested her idea. Edwin was against it at first, saying that she could certainly blink close to the creature and use her reverse healing spell to drain it. The other two in the room overheard the conversation though and Aliana accepted Ilea’s proposal immediately, putting a stop to Edwin’s arguing.
“If I can control the water, I’ll be able to cook it just perfectly.” she said while licking her lips. “It’s been long enough since we ate some fish...Ilea, a hand?” Aliana extended her hand before Ilea grabbed it and they started to climb downwards.
Edwin and Felicia followed close behind. “Do you need to touch the water to use it?” Ilea asked.
“No, I just have to be close enough to send some of my own magic into it...the heat will soon enough spread through it all. Depending on how much water there is though, it’s gonna be difficult to get a perfect cooked monster in the end. Do you have an idea of how big it is exactly?” Aliana replied to which she didn’t receive any further info from Ilea.
They reached the point where the healer had hung while clinging to the wall and Ilea saw with her perception how Aliana’s power flowed downwards before touching the water. Bubbles instantly started to form at the points where her magic touched and started to spread quickly just like she had described.
More and more of the massive hall filled with water started to boil in the unnatural way Aliana’s powers worked. It reminded Ilea more of an infection than simply boiling up water. Three minutes later in one of the corners of the room a tentacle lifted itself out of the water, soon followed by two more.
First the monster seemed to be confused and testing the changing environment but quite quickly it started panicking and thrashing around. More and more of it became visible as horrifying screams filled the room with noise. The heat in the room rose and steam soon filled their vision. Ilea’s heat perception turned into a blinding light and only her magic perception let her determine where the beast was.
Ten minutes passed and then twenty but the monster was still screaming. Ilea looked at Aliana’s concentrated face, sweat dropping downwards from the nearly spent woman. She didn’t interrupt the cook in her hobby and simply waited it out.
Aliana had changed into a meditative state, only moving slowly while recharging mana. “Is it dead already?” Felicia asked finally, quite bored of the process.
“Oh, it’s been dead for ten minutes already...but its so big it’ll need another three hours for the perfect cooking stage.” Aliana answered. Felicia groaned and started to fly back upwards, Edwin stayed back.
‘dong’ ‘Your group has defeated [Caller of the deep]. For killing an adversary 200 or more levels above your own you receive bonus experience.’
‘200...well I’m glad I didn’t go down there...no level ups hmm? Guess it was mostly Aliana….although I did hold her up!’ Ilea thought towards the gods.
“You can’t hold yourself?” Ilea asked and didn’t receive an answer. ‘Oh well, guess I’ll meditate too then...’ she thought. Edwin watched on from the side and shook his head, standing on one of his swords he had inserted into the wall.
“It’s done.” Ilea immediately opened her eyes at the sudden exclamation and looked on as Aliana let herself fall downwards, a wave of water formed to embrace her and carry the powerful mage safely towards her destination. Ilea followed behind, Edwin going upwards to get Felicia.
Quite a lot of the water had evaporated in the cooking process and they were left with only around four meters of water remaining, the monster that had owned the hall was towering above even that. Although it might’ve been more impressive when it wasn’t simply an animal corpse. One that to Ilea smelled surprisingly nice.
“Want some squid?” Aliana asked with a smile on her face. Ilea had blinked to the closest wall near the dead monster and clung to it by smashing her hand into the rock.
“I mean it’s been hours since our last meal, so why not.” she answered and smiled back. Although she gulped when she looked at the creature from close up. It looked straight out of an Eldritch story with spikes, tentacles and likely more teeth than the whole body of a college had in its entirety.
Although Ilea didn’t even think of comparing the beast to something like sushi, in the end she didn’t dislike the notion of adding some rice to her plate. ‘Soy sauce would be glorious...and wasabi...’
Aliana kept serving the three people, Felicia and Edwin had joined them in the meantime. The three were sitting on top of the stone platform Ilea had descended on beforehand. It now protruded above the water and was the flattest surface that did so in the room.
Upon Edwin’s request, Aliana kept boiling the water until nearly all of it was gone. More and more of the room became visible as time went on. Ilea decided to simply stick her feet into the boiling water while leveling her resistances. She got a nice message in between the resistances leveling up.
‘ding’ ‘Reconstruction reaches 2nd lvl 16.’
‘I just keep on growing...’ she smiled to herself at the thought and simply enjoyed being in that very moment. Half an hour later nearly none of the water was remaining and Ilea had leveled up Heat Resistance one more time.
“Ilea please check the whole room for any mechanisms that look a little like traps to you. At least compared to the rooms before.” Edwin said while sitting up. “Although I believe with so much water and that monster here for so long they might not work anymore anyway.”
“How did that thing even get here?” Ilea asked but Edwin just shrugged.
“We’re both in a Taleen ruin and once city but it’s also marked as a dungeon now so the rules are a little bent.” Edwin answered and started to sketch the room they were standing in.
Ilea shrugged and walked into the still boiling hot water with her Sphere skill active. There was indeed machinery down below the ground but it seemed the monster or something else had already worked hard to destroy most of it. There were cracks and gashes in the ground, rendering the exit points of whatever unholy hell the dwarves would’ve unleashed here unusable.
“I’m done, most of it seems destroyed and if we steer clear from the edges of the room we’re fine.” Ilea said after checking the hall carefully for around twenty minutes. Edwin answered by getting up and giving his notebook to Aliana for storage.
“So we have three exits from here. I do believe we’re getting closer to the armory though.” Edwin said as he walked closer to the biggest door. “This should be it...” Ilea heard him mumble with her enhanced senses.
‘Should be what?’ she thought but didn’t ask him. They were completely silent about why they were here up until now and never answered questions about it. Edwin had intensely looked at the rune above the door before motioning Ilea to continue on.
She nodded ‘Like the good dog I am….man as soon as I get stronger than Edwin I’ll really crush those balls...into powder...then heal them and do it again...’ thinking of that made Ilea smile. Although she did profit from the arrangement incredibly, it irked her a little to be used.
‘Not really the being used part, I am using them just as much...but them having the ability to use me...to threaten my life so lightly.’ she clenched her fist at her weakness but let go of the feeling quickly. ‘I’ve grown stronger than most people I’ve seen so far in just a year of being here. I really can’t complain...likely there will be entities able to threaten my life forever, I can’t become the strongest on Elos. This isn’t an actual role playing game...’
She thought about her situation for a while, continuing to walk down the corridor that led further downwards from the hall that had been filled with water. ‘What is my goal then? I thought simply fighting monsters and in the process helping the people around here was enough but now...’
‘If I simply continue to wander and explore I’ll come across a being stronger than me that will want to use or eat me at some point in my travels. Maybe the goal is just to see and fight as much as possible until that day comes?’
‘Or maybe I can find a way to at least escape creatures or people hundreds or even thousands of levels above my own. This really is a strange world to live in.’
She soon reached another opening that led into a spacious room with stone chairs and even some tables. Checking through the whole thing there was no indication of a trap. On one side of the room were several gates that were blocked by a grid of silvery green metal rods.
“I think we’re in the clear here!” she shouted back to the others who soon joined her. A smile formed on Edwin’s face as he entered the room but it vanished as quickly as it came. ‘So whatever they’re looking for it’s probably here.’ Ilea thought.
Edwin walked towards the grids and simply cut them apart. Ilea was sure that he wasn’t using his full speed as she could follow his swings completely for the first time.
What surprised her more than that was that Edwin walked through the grid and continued on alone. The three women in the room followed after a couple of seconds. ‘No more traps then?’ Ilea thought while walking through the tight corridor.
After a five minute walk they came out in an artificial cave bigger than even the one with the pond in it. The same white crystal was growing above and lit the room in a bright light. In the middle of the room was a platform with stone arches above it that Ilea could only describe as art.
Compared to anything else she had seen of the dwarves architecture and machinery, the thing before her seemed the most unnecessarily decorated one. ‘Could be part of the tech but it seems weird to me...’ she thought. There were dozens of Guardians kneeling near the walls of the cave, even one centurion. All of them weren’t active though.