The Runesmith



Chapter 85 – Going down to the 10th floor.


“Haha, did a group of mole rats have their way with you?”

“Screw off!”

A large burly man with no hair was laughing at Armand the instructor that just faced off against Roland. The Pugilist was in a sorry state, he was holding his hands that were slowly healing after some of his fingers were broken.

This wasn’t the actual cause of him looking pale though. The skill that he activated took quite a bit out of him. It wasn’t something that could be used for a prolonged amount of time, it was mostly there for a short burst of power to finish off an enemy.

“He didn’t win! It was all because of that armor, if he didn’t have it on I’d crush him with one hit!”

The older man walked over closer, he was really tall, not something that a human could achieve. There was a total lack of hair on his head and his body looked like it was carved out from stone. This man was clearly from the goliath race which was quite the rarity in this warm climate. This race of smaller giants preferred mountain regions and more secluded areas.

“Is that so? I wouldn’t be so sure about that, it felt like he was holding something back…”


Armand looked quite pissed, his fingers were still numb and the potion would need some time to heal his bones. Things like cuts could be mended faster but when getting down to the bone the quality of the potion had to increase for it to work faster.

“Why are you even here, don’t you have a guild to run or something?”

“Can’t a kind old man check up on one of his best prospects? One that lost so beautiful, wait till the others hear about it at the pub. Maybe now you can start taking things more seriously.”

A wooden chair flew towards the large old man. It connected with the wall next to him which caused him to laugh more before walking out of the room.

“You shouldn’t tease him so much, Guild Master.”

“He’ll be fine, he needs to be taken down a peg. Good that we have some promising young warriors coming in! What do you think? You watched the entire fight right, Solana?”

The man that was called the guild master asked the elven receptionist that was responsible for Roland’s test. Both of them walked through one of the guild's corridors after Armand had to be brought in for some healing.

“That youth…how should I put it… normally someone of his level shouldn’t be able to use runic armor like that…”

“You noticed it too?”

“Yes sir, the mana that the armor was emitting was staggering. I’m not sure how he did it but even a high level tier 2 mage would have problems using that many runes and mana stones at once.”

The old man rubbed his chin that was covered by a short beard.

“Must be some special class, those weren’t the movements of a scrawny mage. Well, keep an eye on him and report anything unusual.”

“Should I update his card or?”

The old man turned to the smaller elf and shook his head.

“No… have him get us some monsters that live below the 10th level. Otherwise, he might also grow a big head like our little Armand. Let’s see how he handles unjust setbacks.”

The elven lady nodded while the two parted ways, the man that was the guild master had quite the grin on his face as he left. She returned to inform Roland of the second mission that he needed to fulfill. Solana couldn’t see how well he took that decision but she could have sworn that she heard a grunt behind that visor.

The moment the armored man left the guild went abuzz. The people that bet on a tie were laughing out crazily as they made quite the coin. Most of them were cursing though as not many believed that Armand could lose in any way or that this fight would take this long to finish. Through this Roland had made some hidden enemies along with increasing his fame.

“Didn’t the receptionist call that person Wayland? Do we have someone like that living in the city?”

Some people that were interested in the crimson armored man's identity were quick to gather information. It was always good to know who you were dealing with and this was clearly a strong individual.

“Please everyone quiet down!”

The second receptionist that looked like a business woman with glasses shouted out. The whole fight was causing too much of a commotion and no work was being done. Soon everyone straightened out and everything returned to normal.

While this was happening Roland was walking towards the dungeon. Killing tier 2 monsters would be quite easy to him at this point. This was something he was able to do even before reaching this class.

He couldn’t really cheat this quest, bringing over mana stones was one thing but monster parts was another. They would know if he did it himself by the creature’s freshness. It would probably be better to just bring over the whole body as proof instead of disassembling it. He didn’t want them to look for some other loopholes.

While walking towards the dungeon Roland thought back to how the fight went. After working on himself for a year by battling monsters alone he was slowly developing as a fighter. With the help of his gear, he was now somewhat able to contend with higher tier opponents.

‘Though, if that guy took me seriously from the start he would have probably won…’

He wasn’t foolish enough to believe that he would have come out on top in a proper fight. Even though he didn’t have his shield or sword the other guy was the same. It was lucky that that martial artist was easy to anger and was constantly on the attack. If he took some time to assess the situation the outcome could have been different.

‘But I also didn’t use any attack spells… one good attack could have decided the battle.’

This was also why he wasn’t willing to demonstrate his full capabilities during the test. Anyone that would try to battle him now would expect the sudden speed and strength boosts. They wouldn’t expect a flamethrower coming from his hand though. He had managed to squeeze in a few attacking spells here and there but also onto his shield or sword to not strain his armor too much.

‘I should probably increase my pace…’

He looked at the road ahead, there weren’t many people around as most of the adventurers would be already at the dungeon. There wasn’t a set time for people to be there but most went there in the morning and came back before sundown. It was similar to a full time job, but you had the flexibility of taking a break whenever you pleased.

Roland left his larger spatial bag that could actually hold his bike in it back at home. Though he would probably look strange riding it around with his armor on so it was fine to just walk there this time around.

With a small jolt of his energy, the crimson armor’s runes started flashing in green. His agility stat was boosted instantly and he felt light on his feet. So he ran, his speed was higher than a pro sprinter from his old world would be capable of and this was only a steady jog towards his destination.

It was a strange sight to see a man at about 190 cm of height in a full set of armor just running. His strides were large and it looked like instead of sprinting he was jumping small distances forward. This was the type of enchantment that lowered the user’s mana by a set number without burning through it. Thanks to this he would only need to keep watch over his stamina.

The way he constructed this armor allowed him to switch between these buffing spells. Thanks to this his mana wouldn’t go below a certain point. These buffing spells only activated the corresponding mana stones that increased his stats while taking a small number of magic points to activate.

Most of the time he had it running where all the stats were equally distributed. With an emphasis on physical stats as his willpower and intelligence were already high enough.

He put on the breaks before arriving at the usual dungeon entrance. People gave him some glances here and there due to the new armor. There was some danger in wearing such costly looking gear, mostly from the thief guild types.

This establishment was slowly creeping into this new city along with others as it expanded. He wasn’t hit hard yet, only some small-time burglary attempts by lower level thieves. It was unknown to him if they would ever try to rob him blind. There was that one time in Edelgard so he was prepared. He didn’t feel like he would lose to normal thieves now even without traps.

While on the inside he pulled out his shield and sword. The enchantment was switched to a more all-around stat boost. After spending close to a month playing around in this forge and procuring new materials he felt like going wild. His first opponent was a little flaming skeleton that went down with one quick slice of the sword.

There wasn’t really anything left for him to do on these upper levels. Nothing up here could survive even one slice from his sword. Roland even decided to check out his favorite grinding spot with the Troglodytes. He wouldn’t be tossing any magical grenades or wide area spells into their tiny room. Instead, he used the old-fashioned way by walking into the large wide-open room where they would descend.

This time around there were no other adventurers here so he had free reign. The passages slammed shut and the ugly lizard monsters started crawling out. This reminded him about the trial area where the monsters came at him in the arena. These lizardmen looking monsters were a lot weaker at most at the levels of the imps that he faced during his class change.

They charged at him with their claws and teeth but found themselves unable to hit their target. Each time a clawed hand descended to slice him apart he stepped out of the way. What followed after was a quick slice through the neck which decapitated the creature in one quick move. His sword was also made from deep steel and shining in a blue light.

The sword that he used also had some advanced runes on it. The default was the strengthening rune along with a sharpness rune. One would help him cleave through his enemies while the other would allow a minimum amount of damage to occur. From what he could tell, the strengthening rune worked in increasing the blade's density and structural integrity while the spell was activated.

Roland went with this as he didn’t think that an elemental spell of any kind would be that worthwhile. Even if these creatures were mostly fire-based it didn’t mean that they wouldn’t be also resistant to other magical elements. Putting a non-elemental enchantment on it was more than enough.

He ran out of materials for now but he was also planning to create a multi-functional spell staff later on. In the future, he might put everything into his armor but external casting weapons still had their uses. They also would lower the deterioration factor of his armor if he saved up the charges for tougher enemies.

“Was that the last one?”

After looking around he could only see dead lizards without heads. It took him almost no time to take care of them even in an open field battle. He was clearly far stronger than he was before but it would be unwise of him if this fact made him arrogant.

It was a common thing amongst adventurers and people in this world. The boost from a tier 1 to tier 2 class was quite large. Some people allowed something like this to cloud their judgment. Thinking that they could take on monsters far stronger than they were actually capable of. This was also why Roland was slowly measuring his strength against enemies that he previously faced off.

“Should I try fighting the boss alone?”

While going through the monster's remains and removing their mana stones he started thinking. On the 10th level, there was the chamber with the boss inside. The monster would respawn after getting killed after two days. After being defeated anyone could venture through the room it was in and go into the next dungeon area.

The monster that appeared was also random. Most of the time it was a tier 2 evolved form of one of the many monsters that could be found in the upper levels. Sometimes it would be some kind of rare variant that could prove deadly for anyone that wasn’t prepared.

Due to this, it was always risky to venture in alone, the door would close behind anyone venturing inside. The only way out would be to defeat the monster inside, running away was not an option.

Though there was no way out it didn’t mean that it was a hard foe to battle. Everyone already knew what to expect inside so it was rare for any casualties to occur. Though there was always a risk of a rare variant appearing. Some monsters were harder to kill than others while still being at the same level.

His target wasn’t really the boss monster this time around as he needed to get to the area below the 10th level. The boss of that level was also considered stronger than a regular tier 2 monster so it would be better to just evade it for now.

He descended further below from the 7th level. The monster bodies without the mana stones were left alone as he continued. Enemies that were further down didn’t pose a threat to him at this point. Before ranking up to his new class, he had already ventured all the way to the boss chambers, so he knew the way.

‘The boss room is around the corner, someone should have cleared it out by now…’

Roland was walking down the stairs from the 9th level now, the area below it was a lot smaller than the maze above. There weren’t that many monsters on it and the boss room was its focal point.

When he arrived he noticed the lack of these close to level 50 enemies. It was clear that some kind of party had just gone through here. There were even some monster remains and blood splatter on the walls.

The monster that was guarding this level was something worthwhile to farm. It was actually quite hard to be able to take it on by yourself before other adventurer parties got to it. Sometimes people would camp out in front of the room in hopes of getting the kill. With this fights between adventurers broke out, even resulting in deaths from time to time.

This was the reality of this work, it was a rat race for resources. The boss monster would drop a better mana stone than a regular tier 2 beast. There would also be a small treasure chest with free items that appeared as a bonus. This was what people were mostly aiming for as sometimes deep steel or deep iron weapons with enchantments appeared.

“Closed huh?”

He arrived at the large gate that was the entrance to the boss chambers. This brought a bit of a smile to Roland’s face as for some reason every big monster was apparently locked away behind some kind of large gate.

“Must have gone in recently, the monster remains here are still fresh.”

There were a few large monster bodies cut up in the corner. There was a set of monsters that always guarded this room even when the boss didn’t respawn yet. Without having anything to do he decided to sit down on a nearby rock. He needed to wait till the people inside were done with their run, only then would he be free to venture past this chamber.

So he waited but something was off, ten minutes passed then another ten. This wasn’t an amount of time that would be required to clear out that room.

“What is taking them so long… was it really some kind of rare variant?”

He moved closer to the closed gate and tried to listen in but there was no sound coming through. When he tried to pull on the large chain that was attached to the gate it didn’t budge even with his increased strength.

“If it’s taking them this long… they might die…”

This wasn’t normal, a battle with a monster in there shouldn’t take more than ten to twenty minutes. The chamber wasn’t that large and there wasn’t really any place to run away so there was something off about this. While thinking he activated his improved sight along with his debugging skill. While going around the side he noticed something, there was some kind of enchantment on the side.

“Could be a way inside, a trap, or a shortcut to the levels below…”

He didn’t consider himself much of a hero but he wouldn’t just let people die in front of him if he could do something about it. Though he also needed to consider his safety first, it might have not been that wise to go inside. After a moment of contemplation, he remembered the time where his old party members saved him from certain doom. If it weren’t for them risking their lives, he would probably not be there.

“I think I watched too many superhero movies… There might be something good inside though...”

Roland gave out a sigh before going over the runic component on the wall. With some time he got through it and a small human-sized opening appeared. There was a narrow tunnel leading inside and it looked like it was going towards the boss chamber. He placed his kite shield in front of his body and moved forward into the unknown. This wasn’t the first secret room that he ventured into so this wasn’t his first rodeo.


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