Chapter 58 Resisting
“Perfect, follow me please.” she said and walked with the man towards the second door to the right, leading to the teleportation gate. The man followed until she stopped in the first trap room. A couple adventurers were in that room as well, meditating or training as well while two were making out in the hallway beyond. Ilea saw them with her sphere only.
“So please use your weakest ice magic on me. If I don’t stop you just keep using stronger magic until you hit something you can sustain for a while.” she explained, activating her auras but not her shroud of ash.
“You want me to attack you?” he asked and she nodded. The man looked at her for five full seconds before shrugging. A weak ice spell hit her soon after and then a stronger one. Ilea didn’t chose to use her second stage of pain tolerance as the pain was reduced quite a bit already anyway. She healed the damage as it was done and simply took the mage’s attacks for twenty five minutes straight.
Afterwards the man meditated for five minutes until he could continue. People came and went but Ilea noticed more and more adventurers stayed in the room and watched her training. “Does she not feel pain?” someone asked.
“Demons don’t feel pain didn’t you know?” another adventurer joked, getting some chuckles from around them.
“Hey iceman...can you use a really strong attack? Like a lance or something to pierce me? You think you can do that?” Ilea whispered to the man in front of her. He raised his eyebrows but nodded.
“There’s a weak spot in my armor here...” she showed him the part where the centurion had pierced her. The repairs were well done but the armor’s integrity had certainly been lessened, at least at that specific point.
A much bigger amount of mana gathered near the mage’s hand before he unleashed a massive spear of ice right at the spot in her armor, piercing it and then her flesh. The spear was blocked by one of her ribs and was stuck inside her. Ilea didn’t immediately heal the wound but simply cocked her head towards the joking adventurer. Her buffs were put to the max as the inside of her horned helmet glowed slightly red.
The man’s smile turned to a flat line as he excused himself from the premises. Ilea watched him go and removed the spear, splattering a lot of blood onto the ground in the process. Healing up, she gave the ice mage a thumbs up. “Worth it.” she said and smiled from under her helmet.
‘bing’ ‘You have learned the General skill Ice Resistance – lvl 1
You have endured the biting cold of ice and lived to tell the tale. One of the deadliest climates and magics will now be less dangerous to you with this skill.’
“You’re sure you’re alright?” the mage asked, seemingly worried at the damage he did. He was level 170 after all and a pure mage.
“Yea, surprised you actually managed to punch through...although my buffs weren’t at their highest.” she said and held out her hand. “Can you try that again with my hand?” she said and removed the armored glove, putting her buffs to the maximum but not using her shroud of ash.
The ice lance still managed to punch through her hand to Ilea’s annoyance. ‘Maybe if I level ice resistance...I mean it’s not like I’d get hit by that but still...’ she thought and looked at the man with angry eyes.
“I’m sorry I didn’t...” she stopped him immediately.
“Again...” she said as a mist of ash started swirling around her.
This time the lance was deflected to the side by the ash even though it would’ve been a direct hit. Ilea nodded and motioned for the man to continue. The thirty minutes she had left with the man passed quickly as she adjusted her skills to take just enough damage not to lose time healing. Her ice resistance leveled to three and she already noticed that less and less of her defensive skills were necessary to block the attacks.
“That’s it I guess. Thanks for the hour. Let’s go see who’s next...” Ilea walked back with the man until they reached the other mages. “What’s your specialty?” she asked one of them.
“Fire mage.” was his short answer. Ilea shook her head and looked at the next one.
“Crystal magic, dunno if that might be of use to you Miss Lilith.”
“Why does everybody call me miss Lilith. Just Lilith or Demon is quite fine, thank you.” she motioned for the mage to follow her and went to the same place. There were more people watching this time, apparently there was only so much time you could kill with card games. Or perhaps there weren’t just quite enough cards to go around.
“She’s back guys!” someone said and cheered.
“I should sell merchandise at this point...do you guys have popcorn?” she asked the female mage that came with her. The woman shrugged, either not knowing popcorn or completely apathetic to her obviously joking questions.
“Let’s get started then. You’re aware of what I’m doing at the moment right?” Ilea prepared her buffs and stood a couple meters away from the woman in plated leather armor.
“You’re raising resistances the painful way. Yea I know. I’ve done this to others before, at least you can heal yourself and don’t need the services of another. Quite the expensive and...well painful way to gain strength….”
“Perfect, then let us get started.” she punched her fists together and got into a defensive stance. “Low first and then stronger, I’ll stop you once it’s too much.”
The woman nodded and a thin crystal spear shot from the ground, punching at her armor. Ilea motioned for the destroyed part near her chest so that the woman could hit her directly. The next spike scratched against her skin. Soon after blood was drawn.
Ilea was sure that being hit in an actually dangerous spot would fasten the learning of a resistance. “Are general skills limited by the way? Getting quite a bunch at this point.” she asked the mage.
“You do not seem to be very informed. Well seeing your strength I do not fault you. They shouldn’t be limited. At least I have never heard of something like that.” the woman explained helpfully before more spikes pierced Ilea’s chest.
‘bing’ ‘You have learned the General skill Crystal Resistance – lvl 1
Crystals aren’t just shiny decorations to old ruins and caves. You have learned that the arcane scholars have found ways to turn the beautiful natural phenomenon into something quite more deadly. Less deadly to you with this skill.’
“Oh got it, continue lovely.”
“Did you just call me lovely?” the woman said and closed her eyes for a second before more crystal spears formed and pierced Ilea. The hour passed and Ilea managed to level her resistance to 5.
“Thank you for the assistance.” Ilea said and nodded to the woman.
“That’s it?! Come on show us something better.” one of the watching adventurers said. One of the cooks had joined them and served food while the last surviving bard was playing some music. The stairs and destroyed mechanisms in the trap room gave it a little more charm than the hall above.
“Alright alright. Hit me with something heavy love...” Ilea said and the shroud of ash formed around her.
“What’s your resistance at?” the mage asked and Ilea held up five fingers. The woman nodded and walked back a couple more meters. The healer saw a massive amount of mana manifest around the mage, a grayish mana in the eyes of her magic perception.
The head of a dragon formed before Ilea and quickly closed in, closing its maw around her. The crystal teeth bit deep into her ash, then flesh and finally bone. “AAAAAHHHH!” her scream was accompanied by a burst of all her skills and her healing trying to keep the damage at bay.
As quickly as the attack had come it vanished again. Ilea stood, her armor pierced by dozens of holes, blood leaking from some of them while a part of her helmet was missing, revealing a smile and one blue eye.
‘ding’ ‘Crystal Resistance reaches lvl 6.’
“You wanna go another round mage?” Ilea asked as her wings spread behind her, red lines of ember formed on the exposed parts of her body and the blue runes shined on. The mage in front of her collapsed though, no magic remained around the woman as told by her magic perception.
‘What the hell was that...cool attack but it seems a little overkill to make a fun show off move at the end...cost me only twenty percent of my life, heh.’ she thought as she walked up to the mage and lifted her up with one hand to bring her back to the table with the others.
‘Maybe the person responsible for the poison is paying people...’ she thought and shrugged. ‘What better way to tell them to fuck off than use their mightiest attacks as a source for more strength...still remembering Aliana I’ll have to be careful.’
Dropping the mage next to the others Ilea asked who’d be next. An earth mage and another ice mage followed, granting and raising her earth magic resistance to level four and raising her ice resistance to level five subsequently.
Earth Magic Resistance – lvl 4
The earth trembles as arcane beings bend its nature to their will. You have found stone and earth to be a worthwhile opponent yet stood unmoving in its destructive path. This skill will help you negate more of its damage.
Ilea made sure to let the people use their finishers on the stone walls before hitting her with them. Although she did let them meditate before doing so. The attendees loved the last blows and went to get more people to watch whenever it happened. A rather big part of the expedition forces was currently looking at Ilea’s training. Some people even got inspired and asked some of the mages to do the same to them. There were two healers and a paladin present as well who could mend their wounds for free. At least one healer and the paladin agreed to that.
Even Ilea herself chipped in and healed some of the people present. Without being able to regenerate themselves though the ordeal was a little more complicated though but some managed to gain a resistance or even two.
The last one of the five was a level 192 mage that told her he uses the arcane powers themselves. Pure magic so to speak. ‘So apparently pure magic is a red laser beam...a bit chaotic though, more like red electricity...’ Ilea thought as the magic flowed into her. It was more painful than anything else that day yet she powered through. A part of it certainly was the high level of the mage as well.
The man continued for a while and Ilea prompted him to get more serious. Her magic worked against the spell and she soon had to activate her shroud to retain the ability to cancel out the damage done to her. People watched on as she screamed through the magical assault that seemed to tear at her mind as well.
‘ding’ ‘You have learned the General skill Arcane Magic Resistance – lvl 1
Wielding the true arcane is a rare and powerful talent only accessible to few. The raw energies tear at not just flesh and bone but at the magical structure and minds of whomever faces them. Its red glow turns purple the more refined it is. This skill shall help you counter masters of the arcane.’
The man continued for a while, raising her resistance to level five. Her Pain Tolerance finally leveled up too, as did her Mental Resistance. “Quite impressive...well let’s give the audience a nice finisher then. Can you use it on the stone first though?” she said to the mage.
“No. Either you take it or you don’t.” the man said, smirking at her.
‘Fuck they found my weakness...’ she thought and nodded, all her buffs flaring up.
A great amount of reddish mana left the man and formed a ring in front of him and then another and another until the last and smallest ring was just a meter in front of Ilea. “Zhul rakuul!!” the man shouted and nearly all of his remaining mana left him. Purple runes formed on his forehead and his eyes glowed red before a beam of pure magic flowed through the rings and through Ilea.
She screamed and shut off the pain, using meditation and Reconstruction to keep her body from falling apart. Her wings formed and extended to the front yet burning away immediately. Her arms folded in front of her as she was pushed back a meter then two, before suddenly the surge of mana stopped and the mage dropped to one knee. Blood dripped from his mouth to the ground, the room quiet except for the mechanical noises from the dwarven architecture.
Ilea’s armor was molten in the front and her skin was burnt to the bone at points. Her bones, muscles and skin reformed quickly as the healing magic flowed through the damaged parts. A smile formed on her face as soon as her jaw and muscles were restored. ‘Only forty percent of my health...’ she thought and laughed loudly as people watched on, horrified and astonished. A smile was on the female healer from the Corinth order, the rest of her face shrouded in the brown hood.
The mage looked at the healer who was now naked on her front, all the molten metal had dropped to the ground as her healing commenced. “You have my respect demon...” he said, still on one knee but now looking at her and grinning.
“And so do you. Arcane wizard.” the man collapsed at that and Ilea quickly checked if he was alright. ‘Completely spent...’ she thought and looked around. Her Resistance had grown another level from that last attack. “Anybody got a spare leather armor. I can pay.” she smiled at them as one woman quickly got up and ran to the hall.
Decked out in new comfortable leather gear, Ilea looked for the last one to owe her a free taste of their magic, nodding to the woman that had gotten her the armor. ‘Inström...’ she found the man with the other leaders of the expedition standing over the map arguing.
“The centurions are too numerous even if we use the whole expedition. And it’s too much of a risk.” Jasper said.
“So let’s just quickly go in, use ranged magic and leave again after doing some damage. They likely can’t repair themselves.” Inström suggested. They were obviously talking about the centurions before the treasure room.
“What if they follow, Lilith told us they wouldn’t and some of our scouts have reported the same but what if they reach their third stage?” Jasper said.
“Then we first face the last door and deal with the centurions as a last effort before leaving. After all the equipment has been safely brought back and the rest of the dungeon is cleared.” Agor said and the other two nodded.
“Sorry to interrupt. Mr Inström I’ll need an hour of your time. You may of course continue to plan while you use your lightning magic on me.” Ilea interrupted the discussion at what she considered a good point.
“Oh yes, that was a debt promised. Well then stand over there. I’ll start lowest and continue from there.” the man was surprisingly uncomplicated and started using his lightning as soon as Ilea was in position, a couple meters away from the table.
Some of the other adventurers saw and came to watch while others who had been annoyed already moved to other places in the great hall to avoid the spectacle. Ilea felt bad for annoying some of the grieving people in the expedition but most of them had found a secluded space where they could mourn or drink themselves away from the sorrow of losing someone. It wasn’t the first time for any of them, and likely not the last.
The intensity of the lightning increased until the shroud of ash came to her help. The pain was surprisingly manageable, although Ilea was glad she wasn’t a man for her thoughts again and again slipped to a night not long past.
The hour passed and Inström stopped his magic, having given Ilea another four levels of lightning resistance. He refused to use anything stronger on her and Ilea was sure there’d be no way for her to convince the old man. Even if she would’ve brought up the fact that she had healed him in the dungeons of the great hall.
People seemed disappointed and hearing that she had access to five mages’ magic they slowly dispersed until someone shouted. “DEMON! I dare you to stand against my strongest spells!” the man was clothed in a dark robe with a stereotypical wizard hat.
“What do you have to offer then grand wizard?” she asked, grinning at the man.
“Well I bet that my mightiest spell can push you away over ten meters!” he said and some people interjected and others called his statement a bluff.
“Well then bet against me fellas but you’ll see.”
‘I like where this is going...free resistances and I become a race horse to bet on...maybe..’
“You may use magic or other skills on me to see if they have the desired reaction. Remember though that for every single attempt you owe me a favor...” Ilea said and smiled brightly.
“Shall we then?” she said and walked back to the destroyed trap room that more and more looked like a wild magical beast had been let loose. Or an army of them.
“When do we continue Agor?” she asked in passing and he just shook his head.
“A lot to organize with all the stuff we found. Gonna take a while. Reinforcements and workers will be brought from Dawntree as we secure a route through the residential area.” he explained and started walking back to the other leaders.
“Oh hey Agor before you go back, quick question. I kinda want to get some of my skills higher quickly, you think I could just use them against sword guardians, should still be effective right? Seems reasonable before we face the last room.”
“If you kill them in reasonable time, yes. Just like you did before. Though just dancing around them won’t do you much good at how easy you already deal with them. After a while the skill bonus will be quite similar to simply using it on your own.” He said “Anything else Miss Demon?”
She shook her head. ‘Not gonna shoot around smoke for three months again…oh wait, no grass so what, three years? Or ten? Guess they’ll level as they level…’ she thought and continued onwards. ‘Man if that worked they could just cage a strong monster and let some low level class attack from a safe distance...’ she shrugged and motioned for the mage to begin.
The wizard had unluckily been a wind mage and his spell didn’t even make Ilea move more than one meter. Although she did ask him to continue for a while and managed to level her Wind Resistance another level. Even though the man was only twenty levels or so lower than Felicia had been, considering she was likely a lower level than Edwin, the man’s power was surprisingly low.
‘Although I haven’t faced Felicia with this new body of mine.’ Ilea thought and formed a fist with her hand. ‘Edwin did have some trouble with the centurion...no..no I’m not ready. I have to be able to crush him...fair and completely.’ she smiled as the next contender stepped up.