A note from Kuropon

I'll be taking a 3-day break during Easter, so the next chapter will be delayed by 3 days. 

Happy Easter everyone. 

“Go for the neck.”

Roland shouted while trying to cheer. Both he and Bernir were a bit to the side while two monsters were battling. One of them looked like a red-colored salamander while the other one was a ferocious wolf puppy.

The reptilian monster was a bit bigger than the puppy but the wolf didn’t seem to care. It danced around its foe while biting into its flesh. The moment the salamander tried to retaliate the small wolf was gone and to the other side. With time these small nibbles added up and the final blow was delivered.

Agni jumped on top of the half-dead salamander and pressed its fangs into his opponent's neck. The moment the teeth sunk into its flesh a surge of flame was injected into it. The Ruby Wolf activated its special skill to deliver the final blow. The opponent went down, dead and unmoving.


“Great job, he really is improving really fast, Boss.”

Bernir called out while moving over to the dead monster.

“That he is, there is a small mana stone close to the lungs.”

Roland also moved closer, his little monster had been training up his skills. It had been about a month since they all ventured inside of this dungeon now. At first, Agni was barely able to contend with a L1 rat but after he started leveling the progress picked up.

The little guy was quite smart and his forte was speed and agility. With the increase of his stats, he started to get smarter. With this intelligence also came wisdom as Agni was able to learn from all of his fights. Sometimes he won, sometimes he lost and Roland had to assist him. Now he was able to safely combat monsters at his own level and even ones a few levels above.

“Good boy.”

Roland leaned down to give his puppy a pat on the head. He was on the fence about this whole predicament but now he was glad that the egg hatched. The puppy wasn’t hard to bring up as it only required food and shelter. After two weeks he also stopped peeing in the house and now even had his own dog hose outside. Though that didn’t keep him from trying to sleep inside.

“You are improving at a high pace, luckily we can somewhat share our experience.”

Roland glanced at his own and Agni’s status screens.

Name :

Roland Arden L 77


T2 Runesmith Lord L2 [ Primary ]

T1 Mage L25 [ Secondary ]

T1 Runic Mana Scribe L 25 [ X ]

T1 Runic Blacksmith L 25 [ Tertiary ]


























Name :

Ruby Wolf Puppy [ L 10 ] [ Ex 67% ]

Type :


























Both the little beast and master had leveled up during this month. Roland only gained 1 level but he noticed that he was gaining about twice the amount of stat points that he previously did. This with his lord class perk made his 1 level at tier 2 count for 4 levels at tier 1. With this, he felt like he could finally become stronger.

The wolf pup was leveling up faster than his owner. This was because there was some experience shared between monster and master. When Roland defeated high level foes a small part of the experience was given to his wolf.

Agni did have to be close to him for that to go through. If the distance was more than twenty meters nothing would happen. He would also gain a bit more the closer he was during combat. This was something that he had tested out at his old training spot with the Troglodytes.

He used his bombing method this time around and found his little puppy gaining a big chunk of experience. Those monsters were quite a low level for someone like him so he wasn’t receiving much but with the help of his new assistant, he would at least be gaining the money back for his runic bombs.

This day they have come here to descend into the lower levels. Roland had given Agni some time to level up but he himself had remained stagnant. After defeating the Ruby Golem he had almost gained a level already. Now after a month his experience points haven’t increased by much and his skills were also not growing.

For this day he had prepared to go down below the 10th level to the fabled lava area of this dungeon. That area was still getting mapped out as it was swarming with tier 2 creatures. No tier 3 monsters had been spotted yet but the adventurers were apparently having a hard time traversing through the hotter areas.

This dungeon wasn’t suited for beings that didn’t have fire resistance. He as a Runesmith Lord had heat resistance and his armor. His wolf puppy was naturally resistant to a degree to flames that left his assistant.

Bernir had his own set of armor prepared with some chilling runes. The half-dwarf didn’t have much mana to speak off so the armor he was wearing could only defend him against the flames.

At first, Roland wanted to just buy some cheap iron or steel armor for his new assistant. But he on the other hand begged him for something else. He wanted to make his own armor and then have runes inscribed later.

This was a good opportunity to see if he made the good choice in hiring him. Bernir did have the class and levels but this didn’t mean that he would be great at crafting. This depended on his aptitude and willingness to work long hours.

Luckily the young half-dwarf didn’t disappoint him. He worked tirelessly for days at the basic workshop without any runic power tools involved. Even without the fancy equipment, his new worker had managed to push through.

What Bernir required wasn’t a full plate mail armor like Roland did. He needed some defense to be there but the more important thing was speed and agility. Bernir wasn’t there to fight, he was only there to carry Roland’s weapons and then take care of the monster corpses.

Thus he was fitted out in a lighter set of leather armor. His legs and arms would have metal plates in the form of greaves and vambraces. Roland had also instructed him to place openings for the mana stones that he would insert later. With Bernir’s lack of mana and any runic skills, he would need all the help he could get for the magic to work.

There was a limit of how many mana stones a steel armor could take. The runic structures would break quite fast but it would be enough for them to do a couple of dungeon runs before it needed repairing.

Runic structures that only utilized buffing type spells and small effect spells like the lesser chilling rune were able to last longer than active spells. Something like a fire arrow spell would eat away at the armor after each activation due to the high amount of mana being burned.

On the other hand, when there was a very small yet constant charge they lasted for a lot longer. This was also why Roland's own armor that was made of deep steel would barely suffer anything when he just activated his mana stones to give him a stat buff. Only when he actually activated a more drastic spell would the armor start to deteriorate.

After everything was finished the gear came out to be on the intermediate level, quite satisfactory. Roland himself could only achieve this level and this half-dwarf was already on his level. He wasn’t sure if it was talent or just the dwarf racial trait that let them become better blacksmiths than other races.

With that out of the way, he was ready to imbue everything with mana stones and runes. Bernir was a bit afraid that he would be charged for something like this. The man was someone that grew up with other dwarves so he knew that runesmithing was a costly profession.

The two had a conversation and Roland told him to count it as an investment that he could just work down in the future. Using mana stones from the dungeon on an armor like this didn’t really hurt his bottom line. The dwarves cherished their Runesmiths though so from that day on, Bernir started calling him ‘Boss’ and he finally learned to remember his assistant's name.

Now they were down at the 10th level where it all started. This time around the boss chamber was wide open and they could move through it. It also seemed that someone had already cleared out this area some time ago.

“The monsters haven’t respawned yet but there are no bodies either. Anyone that was here previously, is probably gone.”

Roland said while moving inside of the boss chamber.

“It looks that way…”

Bernir stopped before the large door and gave out a sigh. He stood there for a moment till Agni barked at him while sitting on Roland’s shoulder.

“W-wait for me, I’m coming.”

After the harrowing experience that Bernir went through in this room it was natural for him to take a moment. Roland didn’t say anything as he understood his pain. It was already quite a show of character that his new assistant was willing to go down here so soon.

“Looks the same as last time…”


Both of them continued through the area, Agni was held in place as his new owner was afraid that the happy puppy could fall into the lava lake below. He was somewhat resistant to flames and heat but he would still die if he fell into lava.

Roland was taking a risk by bringing this puppy here. After watching over him for a month the ruby wolf started growing on him. Agni would even try to climb into his bed and sleep with him. This caused Roland to finally create a fitting dog house for him that Bernir with his better building skills was happy to create.

His new canine companion had started to listen to his commands. He decided that he could at least try descending to the lower levels to fight some monsters. His own tamed monster would get a lot more experience from tier 2 enemies than what they were fighting on the upper levels.

“Bernir, here.”

Agni was passed over to Bernir for safekeeping. Being a similar monster to a dog, Agni would be accepting to more people than just his master. From what Roland could tell he was seeing Bernir as part of the pack with his master as the Alpha.

“Stay in the back, the monsters below shouldn’t be able to go above the stairs.”

After leaving the boss chamber there was another flight of stairs leading to the next section. The moment the small group reached it they were greeted by hot air. Roland was wearing a full helmet with a closed visor so he didn’t feel it. Bernir on the other hand who was only wearing a simple metal headgear with his face exposed was taken aback.

“You can activate the rune now, it should alleviate the heat.”

Following Roland’s instruction, the blue mana stones that were inserted into Bernir’s armor started to glow. A thin veil of blue ice energy covered the half dwarf’s whole body and made the whole thing bearable. Agni didn’t look too happy about the change in temperature though as he gave out a rather cute sneeze.

“Well then... “

With sword and shield in hand, Roland moved down from the stairs and set foot in the new area. What he saw was a wide-open cavern with stalactites and stalagmites everywhere. There were flowing rivers and small lakes of fire present as well. The lava seemed to be pouring from the walls and into those streams and lakes alike.

There were many pathways leading in various directions. Some were wide while others could barely fit one person. This was a large open area that stretched for many kilometers in all directions. There was only one known exit to the top, which made traversing the whole area difficult without anyone with directional skills like a tracker.

“Be careful boss.”

“Yeah, I know… there could be monsters in those lava pools…”

The sector where he was in now had a larger piece of land on it with some smaller lava pools spread around. In those sizzling hot pots, there could be monsters hiding, ones that were resistant to flames.

He came prepared, knowing the weaknesses of the foes an adventurer was facing was the basics. With the degree of fire protection that he was wearing he felt rather content at venturing forward.


There it was, his first opponent that was crawling out of one of those smaller pools of lava. Some of them were connected to the larger lakes and rivers that were flowing in the back. Luckily none of the larger monsters would be able to fit through the smaller openings.


Volcanic Salamander L 54

It was an evolved variant of the salamander monster he saw in the labyrinth. This one was quite larger, more the size of a smaller horse but with shorter legs. Its scales looked more robust and had a more brownish tint to it that let it blend in with the darker volcanic soil here.

The monster slammed its elongated tail into the ground causing it to crack in a few places as it noticed Roland looking at it. The large salamander started hissing while looking at its target. Roland at this moment was hiding behind his shield while getting closer. He was sure to keep watch if there weren’t any other enemies nearby. Without a seasoned tracker to detect enemies, he needed to be extra careful.

Soon the battle started with a bark coming from the back. Bernir was sure to hold Agni in his hands while peeking from around the corner. What he saw was the monster moving its head upwards, the lower part of its neck started bulging out and glowing in a red color as it prepared an attack.

Roland didn’t need much time to figure out what it was doing. There were a few possibilities of defending against this type of attack. He chose to dodge instead of using his shield to block as this attack was somewhat slow.

The monster opened up its mouth and a ball of heated magma was flung from it. It connected with the ground where Roland was previously standing on and caused an explosion. He on the other hand was glowing in green after activating his runic structure.

This type of attack that the monster performed was quite powerful.

Even he that was wearing magical armor wouldn’t come out unscathed if he just received it. It did have one glaring weakness as it left the person or monster using it open for a quick counter. Normally something like this would be better used for a finishing move on an opponent that couldn’t move.

“Got you.”

He called out while pointing his hand at the creature. Roland had gotten in range for a magical attack. This came in the form of a ‘cone of cold’ spell that was inscribed on his gauntlet.

The surge of icy air and ice crystals descended on the Volcanic Salamander. Due to this monster living in a warm climate it couldn’t take low temperatures very well. It suffered massive damage while also losing most of its mobility. A critical hit that rendered his opponent immobile was just the thing he needed. With a nice slice from his blade the head was off and the battle was won.

You have gained 358 experience

‘Not bad, using magic against these fire monster feels like cheating’

He looked at the dead monster while putting his sword away. It didn’t take much for him to kill it, using the creature's weakness made everything quite easy. He didn’t feel like he would lose to it without the spell either, he would just need to take a bit more time.

“Okay… don’t see any other monsters, the party that cleared out the boss chamber must have killed most of them at the entrance. Bernir, we will wait here for now, more should respawn soon.”

Roland decided to wait at the safe spot for now. This was the first time that he was here so he needed to get used to the stronger tier 2 monsters. He liked to do things slow and steady without rushing too much into danger. With the puppy and his assistant he also needed to keep the two safe.

“On it boss!”

Bernir moved in and Agni was quick to jump on the dead salamander. He looked like a proud warrior that had slain this monster himself. Roland just smirked a bit and gave the puppy’s head a ruffling. After the monster was done being processed it was time to do some grinding.

A note from Kuropon

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