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A note from KyuuSyron

Etymology is one of my... let's call it interests. To call it a hobby would be silly, because I really only google things when I think of them.

Here's one such example.

'Awful'. Today, it means bad. But when it first was used, it was spelled 'aweful' and meant literally 'full of awe', 'awe inspiring', or my personal favorite 'inspiring reverential wonder or fear'. Now, those two definitions aren't necessarily mutually exclusive, but I do find the juxtaposition to be ‘interesting’. I suppose if you’re frequently floored by how bad something is, like Brinly for example, both definitions may prove to be true.

After spending 200 leet on food and lodging, I had 1550 leet remaining. So I gave 1350 of it to Reena and Lola, resulting in going to sleep with 200. When I woke up in the morning, this was my status.

[Name: Kyuu

Class: Level 6 Time Wizard

EXP : 425/550

Age: 15 (30)

HP: 15 MP: 60 STR: 11 AGI: 11 VIT: 11 INT: 15 MND: 15

Spells: Anchor Moment (10 MP), Recall Moment (3000 MP), Summon Slime (Level 1 Guppy, 15 MP + 3 MP/Minute)

Equipment: Chipped Gladius (+4 stabbing/slashing), Slime Battery (428/5000 MP)

Leet: 100

Debt: 1,999,900]

 

I guess he really did get half of my money. More importantly, I’m 125 exp from level up now. Conveniently, that is exactly the amount I’d get for clearing all the monsters and on the first and second floor again. Or if the third floor gives maybe five exp per kill, we could make up that amount in only twenty-five kills. That will really depend on what type of monsters are found there, and in what number though. If they are fire/dagger resistant, we’d never finish one off. The imps are still perhaps too difficult for only Reena to take on alone, but we don’t know how it might go with Lola using the trident. Or maybe the trident won’t work on the imps just like the hatchet didn’t work on slimes? That seems a little unlikely, though the imps are most probably fire resistant if they can shoot fire from their tails when they power up.

<Reena> “Lola and I were talking last night… and we don’t want Brinly to join us again today.”

<Kyuu> “Yeah? What’s up?”

<Lola> “He is really strong… there is no point in even trying to debate that… but he’s going to get us killed. He very nearly already did.”

<Reena> “Yeah, and he stares at us like a ten-year old boy stares at fourteen-year old girls… except he looks like father time.”

<Kyuu> “Ouch! He’s only in his forties! He does not look that old.”

<Lola> “Well… it still makes us uncomfortable.”

<Kyuu> “I’m thirty, do I bother you too?”

<Reena> “Not really. You look at us like a father watching his kids playing sports. Brinly looks at us like a perverted old man watching us change through a key-hole.”

<Kyuu> “Okay, I really didn’t notice him doing that, but if you say it is true, so be it. He doesn’t have to run with us. To be honest, I thought he was a little dangerous to keep around too. Depending on what kind of enemies are on the third floor, we may still need another party member though.”

<Lola> “I heard the monsters on the third floor are called Pill Bugs. They look like armadillos without the head or tail.”

Pill bugs huh? They are called roly polies I think. Or rather, I always called them roly polies but they are actually called pill bugs. Well, hopefully they aren’t too huge. That’ll be gross.

<Reena> “I think that Lola’s new weapon will be super effective against bugs. Let’s go with just the three of us.”

Lola nodded in agreement. Well, if Lola says so, it’s probably right. She’s proven to be pretty reliable, after all. We dump all our excess MP into the Slime battery and head to the bazaar surrounding the Gateway. Our plan was to look for some equipment with all the money Reena and Lola had amassed from yesterday. The combat potential of our group isn’t the best, but because of mapping, I doubt there is a more efficient newbie group running around. Surely, most groups don’t consider buying new equipment after only two days in the labyrinth. Since Lola can’t dodge the way Reena can, we were thinking of getting her some armor… but since the enemies this time are defense heavy bugs, we assumed they didn’t move fast or struck hard. Instead, getting Reena a new weapon seemed like a better idea. Since I had no money, and really didn’t know what kind of weapon she’d want, I just went to the Gateway to wait. They were gone for nearly half an hour, but when they came back Reena was flipping a shiny new curved knife in her hand, and both girls has metal plates tied to their foreheads.

Analyze.

[Hachigane (+5 VIT for blows against the head)]

[Quality Janbiya (+8 stabbing/slicing) x2 critical damage]

Nice! I’m not surprised at their buying the hachigane… given that Lola was recently killed by a blow to the forehead. If I remember right, Reena’s old dagger only had (+3 to stabbing and 2x critical damage) so this is a huge upgrade.

I add them to my party and we went to the second floor. Lola and Reena wanted to try fighting together to take down an imp. With Lola stabbing haphazardly from behind, the imp easily lost its stance and fell to Reena’s stab. Since it turned out so well, the girls insisted we just cleared the whole floor. I didn’t particularly mind getting a little more experience for Lola with the trident, and the exp wasn’t bad. Lola also tried using a fireball, but it just broke against the imp without causing damage. It took us two hours to clear the floor, and other than for mapping, I just dumped all my MP into the Slime Battery. I tried jumping into the melee at first with the gladius, but I just got stabbed again. Lola healed me, but both girls reprimanded me for being so ‘terri-bad’ at fighting. Saying something akin to “If you can’t do it, stop getting in the way!”, I just agreed to their terms and led them around obediently.

<Kyuu> “That makes fifty and the floor is cleared. Want to go back to town, sell off the imp tails, and take a break?”

<Reena> “Sounds good to me! What do you guys think of fighting the floor boss?”

<Lola> “We didn’t get to experience it yesterday, and the exp is really good. We got more exp for the fighting the Imp General than we do for the rest of the floor.”

It’s true. The imp general was 100 exp… but I worry about fighting it without a OP powerleveler with us. The first boss killed Lola, and Reena only has one arm left to give.

<Kyuu> “I think we should try our luck at the third floor first. Since I just leveled again, I’m at 575/800 exp. 100 exp isn’t going to really change anything, and the risk that the boss is actually super tough is there. What about you two?”

<Reena> “We actually just leveled ourselves, now that you mention it. We’re sitting at exactly 800/1050. Okay, I agree that we don’t need to risk the Imp General.”

They must not have gotten the 75 from the first boss. Makes sense, because they abandoned halfway through.

<Lola> “Eh!? Reena, look at your stats! Mine went way up! I got a new skill!”

Analyze.

[Name: Lola of Kyuu’s Party

Class: Level 8 Star Priest

Age: 14

HP: 35 MP: 55 STR: 15 AGI: 15 VIT: 20 INT: 25 MND: 25

Equipment: Imp’s Revenge(+10 Piercing, Imbue: Fireball), Hachigane (+5 VIT for blows against the head)

Skills: Minor Heal (10 MP), Remove Poison(20 MP), Fireball (Imp’s Revenge, 15 MP)]

 

[Name: Reena of Kyuu’s Party

Class: Level 8 Thief

Age: 14

HP: 35 MP: 25 STR: 20 AGI: 35 VIT: 15 INT: 10 MND: 15

Equipment: Quality Janbiya (+8 stabbing/slicing) x2 critical damage, Hachigane (+5 VIT for blows against the head)

Skills: Pilfer (Increase leet dropped, 10 MP), Plunder (Increase items dropped, 25 MP)]

 

Whoa! They weren’t kidding! What caused that increase?

<Lola> “With this much MP, I can cast quite a bit! I had heard every seven level ups in a given class resulted in bonus stats, but this is more than I expected!”

Ah, of course there is a mechanic like that. You can ramp up difficulty on the floors that way. We’re probably pretty over leveled for the third floor anyhow, but that really depends on what kind of game it is. If the Labyrinth is weighted for parties of three, then we’re good. If it is for six people, we’re adults among children. Given how easily Reena dispatches the monsters… I’m led to believe that is the case. If parties really only typically encounter three enemies an hour, MP mileage is fine. Since we encounter closer to 25 an hour... well, no wonder we’re constantly low on MP. If I were a normal sorcerer, this Slime Battery would be useful to the point of being broken. As it stands, if I equipped the Imp’s Revenge, I could charge the battery all one day, and then solo the first floor the next. Or maybe the third floor. We haven’t tried that yet.

<Kyuu> “Let’s go to the third floor. In games I’ve played in the past, fire is super effective against bug types. We’ll give Lola a chance to take out some monsters.”

So we did. When looking at the map, I counted up the number of monsters, and sure enough came to 50. Well, 49, but I assumed 50. For the first time, the red dots were all slightly moving too. On the first two floors the monsters just stood in place for some reason, but on this floor they seem to patrol in a simple pattern. All of them moved around but stayed a fairly fixed distance apart from each other. I noticed that sometimes they would even pass through walls to stay apart from each other. The walls they passed through were a slightly different color on the map, so maybe they were illusions? Watching further, there were two dead-end corridors that the red dots never entered. The one we were standing in with the Gateway, and the other was likely the exit.

<Lola> “Let’s get going.”

<Reena> “Listen to Lola! She’s itching for some fireball action!”

I led them down some hallways, and around some turns, until we came to a spot a patrol was about to pass through. When it appeared, it was exactly how I pictured it. It was a Pill bug alright, and it was a foot tall. It moved slowly, but it zigzagged a bit as it approached us.

<Reena> “Gross. Alright, kill the thing already. It has like ten legs, and all of them are creeping me out.”

<Lola> “Oh don’t be such a baby.”

Lola raised the trident and pointed it in front of the Pill Bug. A ball of fire swirled at the tip of the center prong until it increased in size and stabilized. She released it. The ball flew as fast as a casual throw of a baseball in a backyard game of catch. As soon as the fireball launched, the Pill Bug rolled into a ball and quadrupled its speed. It rolled right past where the fireball was going to hit and sped towards Lola. Reena jumped in the way to intercept, but how do you counter against a rolling ball of hardened shell that is no higher than a foot off the ground? If you kick it, you’ll surely break your foot. If you stab at it, you’ll be doing so from a broken stance, and you’ll likely damage your weapon.

A couple of yards away from Reena, it bounced off the ground and towards her chest. In a panic, she covered her chest with the side of her jambiya and tried to push the bug away as she pulled her chest backwards. It grinded against the metal of the blade and kept flying through the air, knocking Reena flat. Lola, who was right in the line of fire, still had her Imp’s revenge pointed at the bug. It couldn’t change direction in the air and took a direct fireball to the… face? Back? Thorax? It got hit and was knocked flying from the force of the fireball and unraveled in the air, falling hard on it’s back. It squirmed, but couldn’t roll over onto its feet, or back into a ball. Lola strutted forward with a smile on her face and rammed the Trident into the soft underbelly. It immediately turned to light and dropped a fragment of its shell.

<Kyuu> “That didn’t go well… how do you think people normally fight these things?”

<Lola> “Agreed. Two spells for one monster is terrible mileage. If we used the battery to supplement, we’d still empty out the charged MP in an afternoon. As for normal… they’d have to have a method to knock the bugs out of their roll.”

<Reena> “Maybe a shield user? They could shield bash at the flying bug and someone else could follow up with the kill shot.”

*sigh* I’m the only person who can do this. I have to get a shield for this floor. Unless I expect our primary damage dealer to forego using her dagger and just equip a shield instead… yeah, it’s got to be me. But my strength and vitality are total garbage. Maybe Brinly could just get hit by the things and make them fly back in recoil, but none of us can.

<Kyuu> “We can clear the first floor again, or we can quickly move to the exit and move to the fourth floor where me might be more effective. What do you think?”

<Reena> “I say we give Lola the Battery and let her nuke the boss. We’re charging it for just such an emergency, right?”

It’s not a bad plan. If we had a shield user, this floor would be easy. There is no saying that the next floor wouldn’t be easy too. So what if she uses 150 of my saved up MP? If I leveled up, I’d possibly get this seven-level-up bonus to MP anyway. It’s not like I have any particular plan for using it all at the moment anyhow… We don’t have a choice. A balanced and effective party schema here would require a tank, a healer, a melee damage dealer, and a ranged damage dealer. Having something like a ‘thief’ that’s forte’ is increasing drops is a luxury. Instead, we have a five-heal-healer, a one-armed investment collector, and a battle useless cartographer. The fact we aren’t all dead is nothing short of amazing. If the monsters didn’t die with one good hit, this game would be impossibly hard.

<Lola> “I agree. This floor will be too hard for us. But I worry the boss will be much, much worse. The Battery would be beneficial. How about we spend the rest of the afternoon charging it, instead of trying to level. Since each enemy gives 5 exp and 25 leet, the most we’d get is another 245 exp this floor. It’s enough to level Big brother, but what good is that going to do us for a boss fight? I generate 55, and Reena gets 25 MP an hour. That’s 80. How much do you get Kyuu? … 70? Okay, so that’s ten extra shots for every hour of lazing about we do today. I vote for a day on the town.”

Honestly, we’d already earned quite a bit from the second floor, and the 12 or so imp tail drops we’d received. If we were talking about living expenses… we were covered.

So we left the dungeon. We needed to meet up once an hour for charging the battery, but other than that it was fine to do whatever we wanted. Since they could use party sense to track me down, we agreed that we would explore the town for four hours. We’d meet up to charge every hour for a total of 450 additional MP before heading off to the boss again. Lola and Reena wandered off in separate directions, and I was left alone at the Gateway wondering where to go first.

[Name: Kyuu

Class: Level 7 Time Wizard

EXP : 580/800

Age: 15 (30)

HP: 20 MP: 70 STR: 11 AGI: 11 VIT: 11 INT: 16 MND: 16

Spells: Anchor Moment (10 MP), Recall Moment (3000 MP), Summon Slime (Level 1 Guppy, 15 MP + 3 MP/Minute)

Equipment: Chipped Gladius (+4 stabbing/slashing), Slime Battery (793/5000 MP)

Leet: 875

Debt: 1,999,900]

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A note from KyuuSyron

The next chapter or few chapters describes a silence in three parts. Okay, really it is divided up into three hours because that is how long it'll take to tell the story. Or something. I guess what I really mean is this.

Read 'The Name of the Wind', it's a modern masterpiece. You've got time, I haven't posted the next chapter yet.

P.S. To those who are confused by this post-chapter note... don't be. It's paradoxical in nature, since you'd only get the reference if you had already read the book I'm pushing on you.


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KyuuSyron

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