Hero of Edea

by

pandapao

Chapter 3: Clearing the Dungeon of the First Blade

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A note from pandapao

So, talking to a couple of my friends about this story inspired me to get started on the next chapter sooner rather than later. At least it hasn’t been months yet right? Have fun, dear readers.

The first thing I notice upon reaching a state of wakefulness is the soft and warm body wrapped in my arms. I remember clearly defeating that Goblin Paladin before going to sleep so, I don’t wake up with a start or anything like that. But yeah, Sara. She hasn’t woken up yet. Maybe she feels too comfortable sleeping as she is? I can’t be too sure really.

It is a rather nice bed though, that we’re using at the moment. We’re in one of the many rooms in the well furnished tent that’s bigger on the inside and well, it’s pretty extravagant on the inside. If I had to describe how it looked on the inside of the tent without giving too much detail I’d have to say it was like a typical high class hotel. Like, 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, a living area with 3 large and comfy looking couches and so on. If I had to guess, all the different areas and furnishings were of top quality, maybe five star class at most going by Earth standards which they probably also follow here on Edea.

As I was pondering about the high quality of this magical tent, Sara begins to stir to wakefulness in my arms. Whelp, if she’s going to react violently there’s not really any turning back for me now.

“Hm? John?” Sara looks up at me with upturned eyes as she comes back to the land of the living as it were. In the next moment she realizes that I have her wrapped in my arms in a large bed. Her face darkens soon after.

“KYYYAAAAAAHHHHH!” It was a possibility I suspected of happening. The slap she gave me that echoed around the room that is. Oh, it didn’t hurt much though due to our level and stat disparity but I’m sure Sara really needed to do that. So, I let her. For the sake of her sanity and whatnot. Considerate of me, right?

After giving Sara a few moments to calm down, we both proceeded to sit in the lotus position on opposite sides of the king sized bed, facing each other of course.

“Hey. Sorry about being presumptuous and lying down on bed with you like that. I was just too exhausted after fixing your clothes and healing myself that I couldn’t really move to another room. Much less somewhere other than this bed here…” I explain myself to Sara while scratching the back of my head for a bit.

“W-well, since you’ve apologized and explained yourself, it’s alright…” Sara begins while fidgeting with her fingers and she doesn’t seem to be able to focus on my face at the moment. And her face is still a rather deep scarlet color. “B-but, in the future John...please don’t do something like that without my express permission.”

“Alright, Sara. I promise whenever the time comes I shall ask for your permission before doing something intimate like that.” I feel silly for saying something like this out loud, or at all but whatever sets the catgirl’s mind at ease I guess.

Ah yes, there’s something of great importance I need to bring up with Sara. “Hey, so when I was fixing your clothes with my mana I noticed something alarming...you don’t have to explain if you don’t feel comfortable but, you’re cursed aren’t you?”

Sara has a dumbfounded look on her face that gets rid of the blush at last and soon after it morphs into a look of, resignation I guess you could call it? Or like, reluctant acceptance?

She gives me an explanation regarding her family line’s curse. There are a lot of details that have been lost to history it seems but, somehow her bloodline was cursed give or take 1000 years ago by a powerful wizard. The curse itself is simple in design, making it so that anyone of the SIlvermoon bloodline needs a hell of a lot of experience in order to level up. This certainly explains why she hasn’t leveled up at all since I’ve met her, despite all of the fighting we’ve been doing together.

Judging from the fact that the curse affects a whole bloodline and has lasted for over 1000 years, that wizard must have been really high level. If I had to guess his level it must have been at least 100, with really remarkable values for intelligence and wisdom. He probably also made use of some sort of high quality catalyst, although I’m not sure what that could have been at this point.

I just noticed now but it seems that as I sat here thinking to myself again, Sara slowly began to tear up and is full blown crying now. She’s not bawling or anything but it’s a kind of quiet, painful crying with the occasional hiccup.

“J-John, *hic*, now that you know how useless I am, will you throw me aside?”

Oh. In a world where being high leveled really means something her family must have suffered a lot for not getting strong fast enough huh? The insults and whatnot would have been doubly worse coming from anyone racist towards demi-humans as well. There must have been a lot of people like that over the years for her and her family.

At any rate, I should really respond to her now. And make her worries go away. “No. I would never do something horrible like that. And besides, I think I may be able to get rid of your curse. Somehow.” I give her the best smile I can and chuckle a bit after saying this much.

Sara proceeds to cry even harder, although this time judging from the look in her eyes she’s crying because she’s happy this time. I think. With a wail she dives toward me and engulfs me in a tight embrace and cries into the crook of my neck.

I’m not sure but, I think she keeps shouting out thank you over and over again. It sounds a little weird because she’s still crying but, I am sure enough that that’s what she’s saying.

I hug her back and hold onto her. At this point there’s only one proper response I can give her. “You’re welcome, Sara…”

We stay like that for about half an hour. I didn’t mind, she seemed like she really needed it.

Sara and I decided if we’re going to try and break her curse, it is best we do it outside of the tent so that nothing gets damage in case something unfortunate happens.

So now, we’re standing a few meters away from the magical tent out in the safe zone. As I suspected, after defeating the guardian monster the safe zone won’t be spawning anything else and finally acts as it should.

“Are you ready?” I ask Sara as I stand right in front of her. “I’m going to use my mana to directly interact with the curse placed on you, most likely you’ll just feel the warm sensation of mana suffusing your body although it may feel different from usual since it will be coming from me and…” I trail of as I notice Sara is just staring at me with a fond expression on her face. As in smiling, she’s smiling at me and I can’t help but feel like she’s amused by something?

“You’re worried about me, huh?” The catgirl teased. “For some reason, knowing that you care so much like this, makes me really happy!” And her smile gets even brighter somehow.

For a moment or two I’m rather stunned by what she just declared. That, was pretty cute of her to say. Hm? Now she’s blushing up a storm all of a sudden!

Wait. Don’t tell me… “I, called you cute out loud just now didn’t I?”

Sara nods as her cheeks darken even further. “W-well, anyway let’s get started on the curse breaking before we get distracted any further. Okay?”

“Sure, that would be good.” So she says but Sara can’t seem to look me at the eyes just yet. Was calling her cute, although by accident, really that big a deal for her? That in and of itself brings us full circle and just reinforces the fact that she’s cute, doesn’t it?

Enough about the obvious fact that Sara’s cute for now though, there’s work to be done.

“Alright, just try to relax. I’ll be trying to reach out to the curse now with my mana.”

“Un!” Sara nods with determination in her eyes as she curls her hands into fists under her chin.

I reach out with one hand and place it on top of Sara’s head, from there I close my eyes and pull on my magic core and instruct my mana to flow out. From my magic core I feel the mana shifting and moving from the center of my torso towards the shoulder and down through the arm I have extended. It continues onward out through my hand and safely passes into Sara’s body through her head. I cycle the mana as carefully and as unobtrusively as I can. One wrong move and I can cause great damage to Sara’s inner workings, so my caution is warranted.

It was when I was cycling my mana upon her magic core that I found the point of origin of the curse. It was revolving around the core like some sort of air barrier. It was pitch black in color, and it gave of such a strong sense of malevolence that I could only call it something that must have been made from the darkest of arts. It really gave of the feel of something evil. Tendrils of darkness were spreading out from this barrier into the pathways of Sara’s body.

I then focused all my remaining mana into this endeavor, it covered every inch of this curse. From the barrier surrounding the magic core in Sara to the various tendrils affecting her pathways I covered it all with my mana.

The next step was to purify this curse from Sara’s body and with that intent in mind I concentrated and said out loud the words that would bring about the effect that I wanted. “Anti-Curse!”

Almost immediately the mana I encased the curse with shines with a white light that was truly of the holy attribute. For a moment I think that this could work, that with this I have broken Sara’s curse.

Oh, how naive I was to think it would be that easy.

In my mind’s eye which I have been using so far whenever I need to track the progress of mana, the curse started to release what I could only describe as dark lightning throughout all of its areas. This dark lightning proceeded to eradicate my mana which had the holy attribute and as a result it gave feedback towards me and Sara’s body as if in retribution to my actions.

Screaming in pain I am blown away a few meters by dark lightning that seeped outside of Sara’s body. As my ascent reaches its peak close to the ceiling of the safe zone I realize that Sara started shrieking in pain before I was blown away. I was falling down when I caught a glimpse of Sara’s condition, she had burst of dark lightning covering her entire form and it seemed to be shocking her to no end.

The sight of her in so much pain really pained my heart. I can’t just leave her like that! I have to do something!

With sheer force of will I right myself in midair and land unsteadily on my feet. I quickly down a couple of mana potions and run towards my catgirl companion.

With my mana back on full I work as fast as I can and place one hand on Sara’s head again and focus on the dark lightning flowing through and about her body. And then I pull with all my magical might and have the lightning pass through Sara’s body into my hand through the length of my arm, going through my stomach and then further along my other arm and out the hand, the palm of which I had facing one of the walls of the room.

A veritable lightning storm of dark energy shoots out of my hand and explodes upon contact with the dungeon wall. I keep up this trick I picked up from the first series of Avatar until I no longer feel Sara’s curse generating lightning. With a quick burst of wind I blow away all of the smoke that has built up from the lightning colliding with the far wall. The wall has some scorch marks on it but is otherwise undamaged from the lightning attack. The dungeon’s magic must keep the structure in top shape.

A quick look at my own status reveals I have contracted a debuff from being shocked so much by that dark lightning. All stats have been reduced by half and my health is in the last ten percent or so. Seems my redirecting of the lightning was imperfect, I was taking constant damage.

When I turn to Sara she’s kneeling on the ground panting. She did well to stay awake after dealing with something like that.

I promptly hand her some health potions. She no doubt needs them. “I’m sorry, Sara. Looks like I am unable to break the curse with just my ability alone…”

Sara downs the potions I gave her before she replies in a soft voice. “It’s okay… It means so much to me that you tried. A-and, it’s not like what you did was completely meaningless! I can tell because I can now feel the curse so clearly after what you did, but now for sure the curse has been weakened greatly!”

“Oh? What makes you say that?”

“When you first enveloped you mana onto the curse I started to get a feel for it, how powerful a thing it was. And now, the feeling I get is greatly diminished compared to before! Also, I just checked my status. My experience bar is still rather high from what I know of the average but it’s no longer an insane amount!” So she says with a look that seems to be pleading me not to feel so down and also shows how happy she has become with regards to recent events.

“That’s great!” I help her up to her feet after I shout this out. Ah, it seems her clothes got ruined again and so did mine from all that dark lightning. I better act quick before she loses her cool from her state of dress.

Before she knows it we’re both covered in my mana which has regenerated a fair bit and I fix all of our clothes in record timing, at least it sure feels like I did it in record time.

“Hm? Ah, thank you, John. Anyway, don’t feel bad about not breaking the curse completely! This is more than enough for right now!” Sara looks to her clothes before she thanks me once again for what I have done for her.

I let go of her hands in the next moment before she gets embarrassed again and slaps me or something. “I see. Yeah, with this you should level up quite a few times on the next several floors. We still have another ten floors to beat if what we saw of the 20 stories outside is any indication. Let’s do our best!” I give her a thumbs up as I finish saying this.

“Yes, John!” She closes her eyes as she gives me her best smile, even better than any smile she has shown me before. That curse… it must have really made her life a hard one to live for so long huh?

And of course the curse wouldn’t be broken that easily. This is not some fairy tale and I’m not an all powerful god or something. I can’t solve every problem with a load of mana just like that. The curse has lasted more than a thousand years, it would probably take some sort of special ritual to break it completely. But I won’t give up. I will find a way.

“Sara, I know I couldn’t break the curse completely using my own power as it is now but… we shall find a way! Together!” I grasp onto her shoulders as I boldly declare this.

Sara has a surprised look on her face before she’s back to smiling, with a slightly reddened face at that. “Yes!” And that’s all she really needed to say at this point I suppose.

It was at that moment that both of our stomachs growl as if two great beasts had approached us from within the depths of this high level dungeon.

Sara and I stare at each other with wry smiles before we burst out laughing at having lost ourselves in this quest to clear a dungeon.

In all of our excitement in the past day or so, we forgot to have a meal upon waking up.

***

That’s right, I haven’t taken a good look at my current level yet with all the excitement from waking up in the tent to trying to break Sara’s curse. I probably should have been surprised but I wasn’t, considering I beat a level 100 monster that seemed rather special and unique it makes sense that I jumped so many levels after that one fight.

I believe I was only level 28 when I faced the Goblin Paladin? Yeah, that seems about right. As of now I’ll be spending my attribute points on what I think is for the best considering my fighting style. It appears that I jumped 52 levels after that fight and now am a solid level 80. I have 520 points saved up as a result and I’ll be spending them all. I guess a more balanced distribution shall work like last time. 100 points shall go into Strength, Vitality, Dexterity, Intelligence and 120 points shall go into Wisdom since I do believe this one deals with mana regen. While Intelligence deals with the overall mana capacity. So now, my status is currently this:

John Sparks

Level 80 Arcane Master

Exp to next level: 160,000

Health - 8,500

Mana - 9,300

Strength - 520

Vitality - 380

Dexterity - 450

Intelligence - 600

Wisdom - 540

Luck - 120

I just realized because I started to think about due to studying my status like this but, this world lacks other features that you typically see in games and stories like this. There are no notification windows for stat gains through other actions, experience rewarded after a fight and so on. Basically, no notification system is in place. No voice that pops up and informs you of these things neither. Which means the only way to know your progress is to check it manually like this. Weird.

Another feature that seems to be missing from this RPG-like world is the restoration of health and mana upon leveling up. Whatever damage you sustain needs to be healed with a potion or spell. Or some other form of health restoration like an ointment or whatever I guess. Oh well, it’s not like it’s a big deal or anything. It just means that people need to be more mindful of the damage they take on a day to day basis.

I also wonder if experience is only gained through killing? What about winning matches in a duel or in an arena or whatever? Is ending another life truly the only way? I guess I should ask Sara, she should know as being an original resident of Edea.

“Hey, Sara.” I call her attention as we’re at the dining area of the tent having a much needed dinner, although we skipped like a day and 2 meals from sleeping after the last fight with the safe zone guardian monster and then the curse shenanigans. This is our first meal in quite some time. Sara made it, a steak meal with vegetable soup. We bought several liters of various juices from that general store as well as food ingredients by the way. “I have a question about experience gains. Is killing another being the only way to gain experience? Or are there other ways?”

Sara takes some time to think before she answers me. She places one pointer finger under her chin as she ponders. “Well, there are various ways one can get experience besides killing another being. Besides killing someone or something with a level, winning formal duels, winning in any kind of arena battle, being the first to discover a new location, being the first to clear a dungeon, doing things that relate to your class like making potions or forging weapons and armor and so on. The highest leveled people across history have always been the type to accomplish many great deeds and these accomplishments reward you with experience greatly. Ah yes, and handing in completed quests works as well, the request is always placed on a specially enchanted parchment.”

“Ah, I see. That’s rather reassuring then.” I say with a nod of my head. “At least if the system works like that then people will be less inclined to commit murder for the sake of becoming stronger…”

“W-well, there are still people like that in the world though…”

“Sorry, sorry! I brought up such an unpleasant notion. Lets just enjoy our first meal in a while okay? And thank you so much, for answering my question so thoroughly.”

“Okay, John. And you’re most welcome!”

With that, we continue eating our well prepared meal. Washing it down with some juice and then some water as well to balance things out. Together we put in the work to wash the dishes, utensils and cooking instruments.

Since there are two bathrooms we don’t have to take turns washing up. Sara goes into one while I go to the other one. It’s while I am shampooing my hair that I begin to think on things yet again.

Since my class is an Arcane Master, does that mean I have experience gains from simply doing magic? I guess with that contributing to my experience pool it makes sense that I have been leveling up so quickly. But for sure, it’s also because I’m a Summoned Hero and have a lower experience requirement for every level compared to regular residents of Edea. For the most part, I’ve been using my mana manipulation skill for things that I got from reading or watching various works before on Earth. But, will that be enough?

Will I always have something to rely on from the various stories and shows I have watched in my life? I suppose I will. And if ever a situation arrives that I am not able to deal with so easily, I will just cross that bridge when I get there.

And just like that, it was time to dry off and get dressed. I brought a change of clothes with me to the bathroom for expedience. I have a new shirt, pants, socks and shoes but I brought with me my currently trademark green leather jacket from Earth. I made sure to clean the jacket with magic before putting it on again.

So long as I don’t come across a really spectacular jacket with awesome stats, I will not stop wearing this green jacket of mine. Although, if ever I come across a good replacement jacket and it doesn’t happen to have green as the main color… I’ll be storing the apparel I came into this world in inside a display case like in Arrow or Batman, because it’d be a really cool way to commemorate such an outfit.

Once I am dressed and ready with my sword tied at my left hip I take a look at the gloves I received from the Queen of Estriel. They seem pretty worn. The metal plates are cracked and the leather is torn in several places. I analyzed them as best as I could and well, the enchantment no longer works. And I won’t even pretend to understand how such an enchantment would work. Oh well, guess I’ll store them away.

I walk into the room I claimed as my own. I set the gloves down on the desk beside the bed, I made sure to repair the physical damage on the gloves and they are looking as good as new now.

Hmmm, I guess I’ll preserve them. I tap into my magic power and form a transparent case and place the gloves inside them. Once I learn how to enchant equipment the gloves probably won’t be good enough to handle such high level work, and I do imagine my enchantments will be high quality once I properly learn how to do it. I could brute force it and use word magic or something, but I’d like to learn how to do runes like what was done on the gloves. Oh, and on my katana as well. The runes glow on the length of the blade whenever I draw the katana out of its scabbard. The markings are distinctive even when I cast Magic Clad.

With the gloves safely kept away in the transparent case, I proceed to head out of the magical tent.

Sara meets me outside within a few minutes of my arriving outside. She’s still wearing her leather jacket and the green bandana that I gave her. The rest of her outfit is different from what she wore before however. She’s wearing a shirt and pants this time.

“My bodysuit is in the wash.” Ah, it appears that my expression was easy to read.

“I see. Before we get going, there’s something I need to do for you.”

WIth that said I proceed to cast Magic Clad on all of Sara’s ammunition. She should have an easy time shooting down monsters even if they are armored or something.

I also make sure to reinforce all of her clothes to the utmost limit and I cast a times 5 body enhancement on her to increase her stats accordingly for a limited time.

And soon enough we’re off, after I downed one mana potion that is to bring me back up to full.

***

Giant spiders. Why did the next five floors have to be giant spiders. This dungeon must be messing with me somehow. Dungeons are sentient aren’t they? Because I’m fairly sure this Dungeon of the First Blade tapped into my memories or something and hooked onto my fear of spiders.

This dungeon really wants me, us, dead I think. Sara seems to be greatly disturbed by these monsters as well. She seems to be shooting and reloading faster than I’ve ever seen her before.

Anyway, now was a good time as any to use an elemental spell while thinking clearly. I kept casting fireball against these 8 legged freaks. And when I started casting fireball, which always resulted in a fairly large ball that exploded splendidly, I thought to check my Affinity page and it seems that my abilities are truly broken. Unfair. A cheat. Not that I’m complaining, but I’m sure people would say those types of things if they ever found out.

Because my affinity was set at 100%, and there was just one category. It read All Elements. I’m sure for others it would have at least 1 kind of element to maybe 6 or more if you were especially blessed but for me it was special. Just one category to cover every possible element. The major elements of light, darkness, fire, wind, water and earth. More obscure elements like steel, wood, lightning, whatever I can think of. They are all within my reach.

I guess it makes sense. No other skill shows up in my Skill page beyond a maxed out Mana Manipulation because it covers anything I can think up so long as I use mana. Of course the strength of my belief and my own imagination are constraints but still, I’m pretty overpowered. With this kind of power...could I possibly transcend someday? Maybe?

Anyway, I make sure to keep an eye on Sara’s line of fire and I burn down any giant spiders that get too close but soon enough we’ve cleared the entire floor. They would shoot out webs at us but my liberal use of fire would instantly take care of those.

The giant spiders had a level cap of 60 so Sara would take quite a few shots before she could kill one but with my help along with the Magic Clad spell on her bullets and her stats buffed, killing the monsters was quite manageable. I didn’t bother using my katana because I did not want to get close and personal with those things. And with that we cleared floors 11-15.

I did play around with fire quite a bit on those floors. Okay, I know how that sounds but hear me out. I tried making the fireballs spin for more damage, I changed the shape of the flames into dragons, tried shooting out fire like a firebender, and so on. It was quite satisfying.

Sara got a lot of experience from those floors by the way. We fought dozens upon dozens of giant spiders on each of those floors. She is now level 30. Those monsters gave her all the experience she could possibly get even if I damaged them as well.

I on the other hand received no experience from killing the monsters, it turns out that you only gain experience through killing someone or something within a 5 level difference. Any more than 5 levels and you get no experience from the kill.

I suppose that balances things out in the grander scheme of things.

The next four floors are teeming with kobolds, humanoid wolves. They wear crude leather armor, either wield a variety of weapons or simply use their claws to attack. The level cap is now 80, I won’t even pretend nor try to understand the level system in this dungeon. The one thing I do understand for sure is that it’s going to be level 160 on the last floor, the 20th.

I made sure to recast body enhancement on Sara since it ran out sometime during our time in the 15th floor.

I wanted to get some weapon practice in on the next four floors so, I drew my katana and cast Magic Clad on it. I slice through weapons and armor on every kobold I hit with my katana.

I was fast and strong enough to grab the weapons out of the hands of the hands of the kobolds and throw them with enough accuracy to impale them either in the heart or the head.

Sara is a blur of motion as she dances around the kobolds, shooting headshots to and fro. Looks like she’s focusing on a Dex build. I can easily follow her movements since I could move much faster than her but, I’m sure to the kobolds she seems like something out of a nightmare.

Soon enough, Sara and I have cleared floors 16-19. I didn’t gain any level still even after fighting all those kobolds. I guess my experience bar is rather high now considering my level. At least when it comes to fighting monsters of the same level.

My catgirl partner on the other hand has gained another ten levels and is now level 40. If she specced most of her points into Dex again she should be fine even though we’re going to encounter a really high level boss on the final floor of this dungeon.

Still, isn’t Sara’s level gain rather fast now? Too fast even? Does my aura as a Hero or something affect her growth rate? Especially since she has a curse that raises her experience requirement shouldn’t she be a little slower in gaining a level? Or maybe monsters give out a lot of experience depending on the level disparity? Yeah, that could be it.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention this earlier but the walls, ceiling and even the floor of each room has been getting darker and darker with every floor since the 11th. By the time we reached the 20th and final floor of this dungeon the room is the color of midnight. And it’s just in this last room but there are some creepy writings on the wall glowing red in an ancient language neither of us can read.

In the center of the room is what can only be the boss monster of this dungeon. I stare at the information above his head in slight trepidation.

Cain

Level 160 Ancient Assassin

He has scars running across the sides of his lips giving off the look of a really too wide smile, dressed in dark clothes with glowing red runes and he wields a jagged dagger made of what can only be adamantite given it’s shiny black appearance. His left eye has turned white for some reason.

Cain smiles wickedly at us as he plays with the dagger in his hand. I focus mana onto my eyes and cast an overpowered appraisal spell to analyze his weapon. The results shock me even more than this “monster” being named Cain.

The First Blade. Rank SSS. Base Damage: 3000. Cursed weapon - houses the soul of a demon. Its power grants wishes for the price of taking the life of a loved one. User will be afflicted with an uncontrollable urge to keep on killing once the first kill with this weapon has been made.

Okay, this is clearly no normal monster. “You, you used to be alive right?”

“Hoh? You can tell? Ah, and that concentration of magic power I felt, you analyzed my weapon huh?”

“Yeah, that’s right.”

“Well,” Cain regards me with an interested look. “If you want to know the whole story then you simply have to defeat me.”

Cain then turns to Sara and immediately he gets surprised by something. “Hoh, that’s interesting. I didn’t think that I’d see that curse in this day and age. You know, the nature of your curse and mine are similar. They are from the same time period as well.”

Sara steels her resolve and looks on unflinchingly at Cain. “If we defeat you, we’ll get more information right?”

Cain smiles so wide that his eyes end up crinkling closed. “Yes, that’s exactly right. If. And that’s a big if.”

He moved quickly, several leagues faster than that Goblin Paladin could. Well, of course he’d be quick on his feet, he’s a type of Assassin after all.

His blade almost plunges directly into Sara’s heart but right before it reaches her shirt I block it with my katana. Magic Clad still in effect naturally.

Cain is surprised I was able to keep up with him and block his strike. It was at that moment that I open my left hand and blast him with mana chains, locking him into place.

“Sara, shoot him now! Just keep shooting!” And so she does, she rapidly fires bullets from her revolver but Cain keeps shifting his body with minute motions that dodge every single bullet.

The amount of control he has over his body is insane and he keeps ramping up his speed. Looks like he was holding back earlier, thinking that he’d be able to outpace us with the speed he initially use.

While he is chained up I stab into one of his feet. He howls in pain and kicks me aside but that is when Sara finally scores one hit on him. She hits him right on the chest. It doesn’t penetrate through his clothes but a hit is a hit. There we go, she’ll be able to gain a lot of experience from this fight now.

My feet skid on the floor from being kicked away with such tremendous strength despite Cain’s bad posture and footing. “Sara, stand back! He’s going to keep trying to kill you in a flash with his superior speed!”

Sara follows my command and dashes to a far off corner. Cain yells out and releases a black aura tinged with red, it blows apart my mana chains.

“Try and keep up with me, then!” Cain bellows with the black and red aura radiating off of him constantly. I answer back with a blue aura of my own. Body enhancement times 5!

In this world of speed Cain and I trade blows using our blades. He goes low, I come in high. I slash horizontally he cuts down vertically. On and on we keep hacking and slashing at each other as much as we can and as fast as we can but it’s always our blades that tear into each other. We were dashing around the room as well as we traded blows. It was when our blades interlocked in the middle of the room that it occurred to me. I don’t have to rely solely on swordsmanship at all.

And so, as we are still interlocking blades in the middle of the room, our strength values mostly equal but I feel he is slightly above me even in my enhanced state, I point my left palm at his face. “Fireball!”

The explosion that gets set off blows us apart from each other. I make sure to land on my feet. Cain twirls in the air and artfully lands on his feet as well. He is stoic as he looks back at me with slight scorch marks here and there. He crouches down into an odd stance with his blade to one side. “I guess I should take you seriously now. Try not to die too quickly okay?”

Cain disappeared. He simply vanished one moment and then appears before me in the next. His right arm is extended and as I follow where it leads I see that he has stabbed into my chest with The First Blade. Pain erupts everywhere as I scream.

I end up dropping my katana amidst this world of agony. Some way, somehow I have the concentration to grab onto his outstretched arm with my left hand and I grip it tight enough to crush his bones. I tap into the anger I feel to drown out the pain. The anger is a simple one. This guy caused me so much pain. That pisses me off. And so, I crushed his right arm.

I pool all my remaining mana into my right fist. I remember clearly the pain the dark lightning caused me and Sara not too long ago. Choke on it Cain!

With that in mind I change the nature of the mana pooled into my right fist, turning it into the dark lighting from before. I pull back my fist and punch right at Cain’s face.

The punch sends him flying right into the far off wall. He let go of his dagger when I crushed his arm. I pull it out of my chest after downing several healing potions.

As Cain slides down the wall, I catch my breath through the rapid healing. The black and red aura is gone and there is dark lightning coursing through his form.

In mere moments however he stands back up. “Hah!” With another burst of his black and red aura he disperses the dark lightning. “Interesting idea, using cursed lightning to deal great damage against me. Still, if this is all you can do, you won’t win.”

And just like before he vanishes and appears before me using that unbelievable speed of his. He takes back his dagger and punches me in the gut. I double over from the strength that he used and spit out a ton of saliva.

Did his broken arm heal already? This guy has a health regen or something? At any rate he kicks me away and I end up rolling on the ground. I hear some shots ring out. Ah, Sara must be trying to help me out.

That won’t do, she’ll be killed in a hit or two! With great effort I push myself up. I glare challengingly at Cain. I down some mana potions. “Infinite Spinning Magic Arrows!”

I fire a barrage of mana arrows at Cain, he dashes between most of them. He avoids headshots and the ones that do hit him barely make a dent in his armor. I have to time this just right…

I’m on the brink of death her and I somehow surpass myself. Body enhancement, times ten!

I can follow his movements now! The moment when he stabs forward aiming for my chest again I shift to the side and trap his arm between my torso and my left arm.

I summon my katana to me and channel all of my remaining mana into the Magic Clad blade. With a fierce yell I stab directly into Cain’s heart!

And then he just smiles. Cain smiles as if a great weight has been lifted off his shoulders. “Thank you, with this I am finally free of my curse. Make sure to check your inventory after this. The answers you seek shall be in there.”

And then he begins to disintegrate into mana. But his dagger seems to just disappear? I think it got looted?

I feel so mentally and physically exhausted from that fight but I can’t rest just yet. The shining dungeon core reveals itself from the wall. “Sara, get the core! We have to get out of here!” I say this because the walls and ceiling begin to crumble and some sort of countdown has started from the writings glowing in red.

Just when I’m thinking of blowing a hole through one of the walls a warp field, for it could only be a warp field from the looks of it, appears at one of the walls. “Is any of this normal when clearing a dungeon?!” I couldn’t help but ask about the absurdity of a self-destruct sequence after defeating the final boss.

“No, John, this is not normal for clearing a dungeon at all!” We both dash for the warp field and as soon as we pass through we are teleported to just directly outside the entrance of the dungeon.

It just occurs to me now but I can teleport us back to the guild! I focus as much as I can on where I want to go and choose to use the chant from Overlord. “Greater teleportation!”

Grabbing onto Sara I teleport us directly into the guild master’s office in the Adventurers Guild in Estriel. Surprising Willhelm who happens to be writing at his desk at this time. “Sara, I leave the rest to you…” From casting so much magic, from a death battle, and from going beyond increasing my stats by multiplying them by ten… Turns out boosting yourself so much can cause physical strain if your level isn’t high enough to deal with the increase in stats. Or something. I just feel so tired now. And I’m in great pain too. But more tired really.

Before I black out I notice the guild master rushing towards us and I realize Sara is talking rapidly. And then I’m off to the land of dreams. Oh well, at least Sara and I are safely back in the guild.

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A note from pandapao

I did some editing on the older chapters. Mostly spelling errors but I did change the number of stories John estimates the dungeon has upon seeing it. From 100 stories I decreased it to 20 for the sake of completing the first quest asap. I hope this was fun to read. Next chapter will be out as early as August 26 (previous date was wrong, this has been edited) in the Philippines, if not then another week after that. More or less.


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