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A note from MelasD

Part 2 of 2.


30.2. Screech

I distributed my Stat and Skill Points as I had last decided to do it. 2 to [Agility], 2 to [Vitality], 1 to [Strength], and my Skill Points split between Basic Fire Creation], [Fire Blast], and [Flame Coat]. Satisfied, I looked up and found Edithe glancing over at me.

“You leveled?”

I grinned.

“I did. I’m Level 26 now.”

“I can see that.”

The Human woman hesitated, looking me once over; she glanced down for a moment, noting the still-tied [Howre] squirming on the ground. Then she shook her head.

“Salvos, why didn’t you say anything? No— why did you say something, but not alert us that there was a monster ahead.”

“What do you mean?”

I cocked my head, confused.

“That monster— you made a noise. Made it aware that we were there without telling us that there was something there. If it had been higher leveled— or more dangerous— that could have gone badly for us. You’re our [Rogue]... well, a stand-in for one. You should have warned us. We weren’t ready for that at all.”

“But it hadn’t attacked us yet. Why would I have to say anything?”

She sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose. Then she paused, her eyes widening before she turned to me.

“You said something about wild Demons before, didn’t you? What… what exactly are they?”

“They’re these stupid Demons that attack me for no reason. They just want to level and evolve— which I do too— but they want nothing else. I don’t like them.”

I folded my arms as a hint of a smile appeared on Edithe’s face.

“Then these monsters are the same. They’re like wild Demons. Just think of them as that. Every single monster you see in a Dungeon is out to kill you, got it?”

“Huh.”

I considered this for a moment, glancing down at the [Howre] as she thrashed more and more violently. I looked back up and nodded slowly.

“I… that makes sense. I think I got it.”

“Good. Now—”

“Guys, we have company!”

Daniel called out to us as he raised his sword. The [Howre] was practically screeching now, but it wasn’t alone in making the noise.

Dozens of four legged creatures rushed up the stone hallway, rushing at us as they nipped at the air. They made odd-pitched sounds— ones that made me grasp at my ear. I wasn’t alone in doing so as Daniel, Edithe, and even Mistshard recoiled. The only one that didn’t react was Druma. He stepped forward once again, intercepting the monsters before they reached us.

“Damnit, Ground Cravers! A whole pack of them! We need to take out their [Howres]. Their sound magic is weak when only a few of them do it!”

She lifted up her staff and a ball of blue energy shot out into the middle of the pack. It splashed over a group of them, knocking them over and stopping their screeches. It alleviated the noise and pain in my ears. I pulled my hands back, seeing a smudge of black blood on the palm of my hands before I looked at the charging monsters.

“You guys are loud! Shut up!”

I ran into the pack, slashing and clawing at them with and without Skills. Daniel joined in after me, his longsword swinging in wide arcs and slicing up the creatures faster than even me. Apparently he had a high damage output for his level— he was strong, after all.

One of the [Howres] leapt for me. I was about to strike him midair, but then I had a thought. I focused my [Basic Fire Creation], trying to form a piece of string. It worked— it wasn’t as hard to create as a sword or even a dagger. The fire thread extended across my shoulder as I held it over my head, ducking under the monster and catching it. I tried to wrap up the [Howre] as the Giant Spider did, but had difficulty keeping it in place. Eventually I gave up and just kicked him with a few [Fire Strikes] until he died.

When I was finished, all the screeching but one stopped; the entire pack was dead.

 

Defeated [Howre - Lvl. 20]!

Less experience is awarded for defeating an enemy with the help of others!

 

 

Defeated [Howre - Lvl. 26]!

Experience is awarded for defeating an enemy!

 

Around my level or lower, so not good for experience, I thought. I shook my head, glad that I was at least getting some experience. I hadn’t gotten any during the few days we spent in Hazelbury; I had been looking forward to this, especially since it played into getting me back to the Netherworld. It’s like… killing two wild Demons with one Spear of Flames! I made that up on the spot, feeling proud of how appropriate it was.

The screeching of a [Howre] continued for a moment. I turned around, seeing Edithe loom over the tied up female monster.

“She’s still shouting.”

I commented casually. The Human woman nodded.

“That’s how the female calls out to the males for help. Silence it, else more will come.”

I eagerly stepped forward, but Edithe stopped me. She pointed to Daniel.

“I was talking about him.”

“Wait, why can’t I do it?”

“He’s lower leveled than you. So he gets first priority when it comes to these kinds of free kills.”

I scowled.

“That makes no sense! Whoever gets the kill should get the kill! And if I get it first, then I should get the kill!”

“That’s just how us Humans do it, Salvos. You’re in a party with us now. If you really want to work with us, you can’t just do whatever you want.”

I stared defiantly at the Human woman. I did not want to listen to her— and I wasn’t going to. But Daniel stepped in between us.

“I’ll finish off this [Howre] before it calls any more of its kind to us. But we don’t really have to do it that way, right? Come on, we can alternate between Salvos and I. I’m pretty close to her level anyways.”

I looked over at him, thinking it over for a moment. Then I nodded before relenting.

“Sounds good to me.”

Edithe however, did not exactly seem pleased to hear that; she glared at Daniel, making sure to make her dissatisfaction known before she agreed.

“Fine.”

With that settled, we resumed traversing through the tunnel as it branched out once again to three different routes. We decided to stick with the path bringing us further down into the Dungeon, since it was the one we would least likely get lost in.

Edithe made sure to mark the walls with her magic every so often, just in case that happened.

We encountered a few more groups of monsters. They were mostly [Howres] or [Crimson Bats], both of which were rather low leveled. We only found five more Giant Spiders— two of them were by themselves, while the other three were actually grouped together for once. We defeated them all, although it took us some time to take out all three Giant Spiders.

 

Defeated [Drop Spider - Lvl. 40]!

More experience is awarded for defeating an enemy at least 10 levels above you!

Less experience is awarded for defeating an enemy with the help of others!

 

 

Defeated [Crimson Bat - Lvl. 24]!

Experience is awarded for defeating an enemy!

 

Subspecies [Zelus Imp] Level Up!

[Zelus Imp – Lvl. 26] -> [Zelus Imp – Lvl. 27]

Gained 5 Stat Points and 3 Skill Points!

 

“That’s odd.”

Daniel commented, lifting his bloodied sword from the body of the dead Shade Swarmer. We had been setting up camp in a small alcove alongside the stone wall when they attacked. They were taken care of easily as usual, having numbered in only a dozen.

“What is?”

I turned to him, not fully paying attention to what he was saying as I evaluated my Status and distributed my points as usual. Edithe lowered her staff, facing him with more attention than me.

“These monsters. They’re all so… weak.”

“Weak? These monsters are around both your levels, aren’t they?”

The Human woman raised a brow dubiously. He nodded.

“Yeah, they are. But we’re supposed to be in a Gold Ranked Dungeon, aren’t we? So far, the only monsters above Level 40 have been those Giant Spiders. And even then, they were barely above 40.”

“You’re right. This is high Silver at most.”

She agreed as she returned to the small alcove and sat down. Daniel and I followed after her as I still was focused on my Status.

“But why the complaint? If this was a full-blown Gold Ranked Dungeon, you and Salvos would be struggling a lot more.”

“We’d have leveled more too.”

“And one of you would probably have died. Be grateful, Daniel. Didn’t you say this was your first time going into a Dungeon?”

“It is. And I am grateful. I leveled twice today, which is more than what most people get to say about a month.”

He sat down on the ground, setting down his sheathed sword with a sigh. He rubbed at his temples as he spoke slowly.

“I just have a bad feeling about this. We should be prepared. There might be higher leveled and stronger monsters than just the ones we’ve seen.”

The two exchanged serious looks. A foreboding silence hung in the air for a moment, before I perked up, finally tuning into the conversation.

“Stronger monsters? That means more experience! Where can I find them?”

 

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A note from MelasD

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MelasD

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