Dreamweaver Chapter 173
At the inn bathhouse the next morning.
“Eeto…what’s the plan today boss?” Sunghee asked while I’m scrubbing her back vigorously. Right now it’s her turn for all the hard work and loyalty she’s given me. I’ll get my turn in a minute. Plus its fun to reward her, and there’s a feeling of really positive energy and something like an ethereal unity between us now because of how happy and united we both are regardless of her battle stats.
Is…Sunghee winning the girls' rivalry for affection now?
Rina is next to us also being scrubbed, but in cat form. Sorry Rina, I’m not into cats, I thought. All of us are in birthday suits and enjoying the soap suds and heated water, though it did cost us extra.
Somehow it’s become like these two are a duo still, even with the cat polymorph. But that’s a good sign, though Rina can’t talk in cat form she still shows signs of her personality like chasing both of us in circles.
I use plenty of soap that the inn has provided while scrubbing them. It’s fun to make lots of soap suds while feeling Sunghee’s soft skin. We’re trying to keep it down though.
Lately there have been too many complaints about the wild bunch in our room number. The inn employees are starting to hate us. We get complaints about noise at night and threats of extra charges. Luckily the inn has other rooms.
“Hmm, I wonder…” I said playfully while still scrubbing them both.
“As long as we make money it’s cool right? And don’t we want more fun?” Sunghee asked cheerfully.
She playfully is trying to tempt me while swinging side ways to make her boobs jiggle in my direction. I fall into watching the hypnotic orbs swaying. This is almost like a hypnotism magic spell actually, when Sunghee does this.
“Shun, did you know you are like a cat following a mouse when we play this game?” Sunghee giggled.
“Meowwww,” came a sound from Rina growling at Sunghee probably from jealousy.
“Eh? That’s not fair!” I protested.
“We need to hurry though. We have a time limit on this and need to try to work quickly,” I said.
“Ahh, so something is going on today huh?” Sunghee guessed.
“Well…something like that. You’ll see,” I said mischievously.
We cut our morning ‘play time’ short but it’s made both Rina and Sunghee mat at me, I think. They wanted to keep going for some time. The cat form Rina showed it through nonverbal means however.
First it took us some time but we rounded up three dwarven kids to act as interpreters for us in written dwarven.
It can’t be helped because that punk Gyle is still being a whiny bitch and avoiding us.
Maybe I just can’t mix with normal people when surrounded by women?
The dwarven kids are tested though with their written dwarven. We are wary of scams you know?
To test them we had them read random signs around town and then rat each other out on translation mistakes. But they all teamed up to negotiate 40 copper each for services for a twelve hour run.
“That’s too high! Why should I pay that much?” I said.
“Because we’re underage and could say you are exploiting children,” the smart one said.
Screw him, he thinks I’ll cave to black mail?
I could get a switch and flay his little ass if I wanted to.
“You really shouldn’t swear at children, even if they deserve it,” Sunghee chided me.
“I didn’t,” I said.
“Yeah but you were about too,” she giggled.
Because of that I wasn’t able to fight back much against their overcharging us. I know for a fact 40 copper is overcharging but at least we got it to 20 copper each.
Man dwarven towns suck. All these greedy types are everywhere.
So far there’s no sign of Akira or Saiya either or anyone else though I suspect they are around somewhere.
It takes us a good half hour to walk across town to find the arena.
But then one of the kids protested. “EH?! My pops won’t let me go in adult brothels!” He tried to look innocent.
“Hey you little asshole, that isn’t a brothel!” Sunghee protested with a red face.
“We can’t go in brothels either!” another kid joined in.
Nearby suddenly other adults are turning their heads at the misunderstanding.
“This isn’t a brothel for the last time, you idiots. Do you think I’d bring kids to an adult place!” I said angrily and hurriedly before others act on their misinformation. Any sane adult would see it’s a misunderstanding but sometimes people act without thinking.
This is rebellion! They are trying to get out of work and keep the wage. I’m sure he did the misunderstanding on purpose. And he did it next to other adults to try to get us to cave in through shaming us.
Because Sunghee is wonderful and beautiful she easily explained it as a misunderstanding to witnesses but it took a minute.
This is the last time I pay anything up front. I’d given them 10 copper up front but I guess they don’t want to work for it. They haven’t even been on the job for an hour jeez.
“I guess I’ll tell your dad you took money and ran out on a job. Wonder what he’ll say about that,” Sunghee finally said the right thing.
The kids faces pale and one of them rubs his but remembering the last time he cheated someone.
“No wait please!”
“No don’t tell!”
“We’ll be good I promise!”
They are now begging to not get beaten by their pops I think. At least I’m pretty sure dwarven parents don’t have a hands off approach when it comes to discipline. Plus dwarves are sturdier even as kids compared to humans.
They have pained looks.
Finally we start to go to the arena. Strangely it’s OK to have kids over 12 years old at an arena though I think that’s weird too. You would think it would have similar rules as a casino right? It doesn’t and is even more lapse than one.
It’s a huge area surrounded by tons of people. There are people selling stuff like medicine, herbs, bandages, elixirs that are probably mostly fake, and food stands with a ton of foot traffic, and warriors of all types going in and out. There are as many non-dwarves as there are dwarves to a place like this. Some of them even claim their items give special powers but I can’t feel any magic coming from them so I’m sure it’s a few con artists and hoax people.
For some reason Sunghee looks terribly excited about the arena.
“Oh Shun! This place is amazing!” she cried out.
She isn’t into bloodshed much, but she is into crafting skills and protecting herself. She’s been working hard to be able to protect me so this much should be expected for a reaction.
It has a huge tall rounded roof and a sort of oval shape to the very long coliseum style building with a pavilion outer ring that covers the shops with magic light globes everywhere. It also has checkpoints with a shit ton of city guards here since technically this is a place where gamblers and mercenaries fight in exchange for money.
In other words because tons of money goes through here, it gains extra guards even though there are armies camped outside the dwarven fortress. Even dwarves are weak to greed after all.
“So what do you want us to do here again?” One of the kids is scratching his head.
“My dad doesn’t want me pickpocketing people anymore. I think I need to go home,” one kid said. He tried to walk off but Rina grabbed the back of his shirt collar.
Wait, what? He thinks we are trying to pimp him out to pick pocket? I need to discipline him.
“Hey you little fucker, did you think we’d let you steal our money without doing the job?” she asked.
Everyone is looking at this little guy. And speaking of which, it raises questions about what activities his parents were having him do for them too.
“We don’t want you to steal,” I said.
They look confused.
“We need to figure out how they pick who matches up with who in the arena for bets,” Sunghee explained while smiling really big at them.
They are instantly infatuated with her pretty face, glorious smile, and of course the huge boobs. I should have had her be the spokesperson from the very beginning huh?
It’s almost like their eyes sparkle watching her. “Oh the pretty elder sister will you marry me?”
What the fuck? Even this young, he’s trying to cock block me?!
He’s like ten or twelve I think. Some ten or twelve year old kid just tried to NTR ME?! I resist the chance to murder him. His parents would notice if he disappeared. All gloves are off now from here forward if he tries it again.
She crushes his dream with rejection instantly. I can still hear his sniffling fake ass crying from depression a good ten minutes later. Actually I relished in it.
We study the board for awhile while we get our bearings. We also have the three kids are sent to look after each other and look up close on the betting boards but still stay in sight of me and scout out information of any kind that’s useful for us. With more eyes and ears listening we hope to gain more advantage on all of our goals really. We also have a cover too of Sunghee covering and watching them and each other while I keep all of them in sight. This way no one can grab the kids and take off, which was a worry I’d had.
I have catform Rina stored in her slave crystal however, since it would be easy for something bad to happen to what appears to be a strange stray cat here in public.
All three of those little dwarven boys is trying to not get stepped on while observing.
Slowly my feet start to hurt as the day moves on from walking around on that hard stone floor. We also need to try to figure out how to not end up fighting some guy that is too strong if we go ahead with the arena idea.
After another hour the kids confirm it. There’s not a good system of spotting who you will end up fighting other than watching for who recognizes who. It’s a poor system and unpredictable, but some would call that fairness.
“I wonder if match fixing also happens here? They must have a way right?” Sunghee says while leaning next to me with both of us against a massive ceiling pillar.
“It could,” I shrug.
Occasionally she’ll panic when she loses sight of one of the boys. Despite being roudy and annoying we don’t want anything to happen to them. Then we hear her muttering stuff while moving back and forth. Somehow she’s able to keep track of them.
Then a few minutes later we’re comparing notes with them.
At length one of the boys comes up to me. “OK, so its like this I think there is a system to it,” he said.
“There is?!” Sunghee and I gasped.
“Yeah, it seems that most of the tough fighters avoid paying the high betting fees. So if you put down a lot of money you are more likely to attract a really tough opponent. But it’s cleverly done and made to look as if its purely lottery. The pattern is there though,” he said.
“Is that true?” I asked Sunghee.
She scratches her head. “I’m not sure?!”
“Isn’t that just supply and demand?” another kid suggested.
“Dude people use supply and demand to justify anything,” one of the other kids said.
“I agree with you on that,” Sunghee said to him.
“So kid, how’d you figure that out?” I asked, bending down on one knee to the one in particular that figured this out.
He looks michevious. Also unlike the other kids, this guy is somehow in threadbare clothes and no shoes, but his eyes and face suggest a bit of intelligence and keen mind. I kind of feel bad for him, because he’s obviously smarter than the other two.
One of the others is only watching fights but not working.
And it doesn’t seem like the city guards have any truancy system in this world for making them go to school if their parents can’t afford it. It’s kind of sad. I guess its partly related to public school doesn’t really exist here in many of the human countries, or are confined to elementary school only for dwarves and others, depending on which country you live in. After that from what I can tell they are pushed into doing family trades and family businesses pretty early on. Plus dwarves age and grow up more slowly than humans do so they finish schools early on while still youngsters.
Occasionally the guards do chase off kids that they think are noisy. It’s a messed up system.
The arena is big enough that at any given time there are at least two fights going on at once in what looks like medieval boxing rings except that instead of ropes they have wooden fences around a square. That and the rings are much bigger, like a hundred feet across at least. Each ring has different types of officials moving about, with guards.
Supposedly we have to prove our worth by doing this in order to meet the demonologist. The goal is to win three times in the arena. But this is way more dangerous than I thought it would be. I might only do one match or non at all today, rather than trying to do all three in one shot. All around me I can feel magic auras and see veteran top class fighters from all around waiting for their turns. Some of them even have pretty expensive equipment.
I don’t like it.
The fights are sometimes fatal, and that’s putting it nicely.
Between rounds there are dwarven maids that mop up the gore with brooms that are stained with blood both fresh and old.
The kid continued to explain it to us. “OK, so the top ring there, that one you put 5 gold down. But everyone that goes in that ring is pretty much scarred up. Notice how they also all have really good armor and weapons? That was the first clue that they were the really tough guys. Normal people can’t afford armor and every kid knows that, but those guys somehow still got it despite regulations. So those are obviously the guys to avoid.”
We nodded as we listened. “And that first ring you can put down any amount. As long as it matches up with what the other side asks for then you can fight them and winner keeps all.”
“That sounds unpredictable,” Sunghee said quickly to me nervously.
“So there’s no restrictions on that one?” I asked.
The kid shook his head, “you can’t purposefully maim or kill in any of the matches but that happens anyway. The problem is that there’s no way to prove it wasn’t an accident, and if you just say it was an accident they don’t care as long as they are making money.”
“That’s…wow,” I said.
“I don’t like this,” Sunghee said to me.
“So one of them is a no minimum fee except for matching the other guy, and the other is 5 gold. What about the other one, the one in the middle?” I asked.
He pointed to it. “That one costs 1 gold for both sides and is a team fight system.”
“Ahh crap. I didn’t think it might be something like that,” I said grinding my teeth.
“Is that really so bad?” Sunghee wondered.
“If we’re both wounded, we’re vulnerable if someone tries to capture or kidnap Sunghee while we’re trying to recover or rest. Then also no one can keep an eye on the rug rats,” I countered.
“How do you know someone won’t purposefully be a strong guy and go to the lowest tier fighting ring just to make sure he had a 100% investment payout?” I asked him.
“Oh man, this is seriously risky,” Sunghee said as she thought about it.
The kid scratched his head. “I don’t know let me check.”
He ran off and then I can see him asking some old guys at various places around the arena about it. Somehow the old guys open up more to the little kids that look innocent. In about fifteen minutes of gathering opinions he comes back. It was also noticeable that a lot of old guys were willing to talk to him since he was a kid and even patted his head.
He’s out of breath and pants for a few minutes after running around.
We let him rest a bit until he’s ready to talk.
“Well the first old guy said it didn’t matter,” he shrugged.
“Hmm,” Sunghee looked skeptical.
But the kid continued, “but the second, and fourth old uncles said that a lot of strong guys actually purposefully hurt people in the lowest level ring so that they can come here a lot and get easy money. The sixth uncle said it’s better to bet on the monster versus warrior fights if you want to be sure it’s a fair fight.”
“Eh?” both of us are surprised.
Rina is still running around keeping the other two out of mischief while we talk.
“I don’t see any monster fights,” I said.
“I don’t either,” Sunghee said.
Admittedly it’s hard to see though because of how crowded it is. There are literally hundreds of spectators all around. Some of them are people that are bettering. Others are just supporting friends, and some are coaches. But others are soldiers trying to learn techniques from watching others I find out. In short, the place almost looks like the medieval version of an Olympic sports arena.
“Um Shun, there’s a small problem,” Sunghee said.
“What’s that?” I said.
“Do you even know they’ll let mages participate?” she asked.
That’s another variable to consider.
So we had to send two of the boys to go find that out. It took another half hour of them gathering information because they kept getting conflicting opinions. In the end 7 guys said mages couldn’t participate, but 8 people said they could. Then we had to have them go ask people again why there was such a difference.
It turns out that mages can fight but aren’t allowed to fight to the death since a lot of a nation’s military is based on being able to field mages.
There’s another rule that we also discover.
You are only allowed one fight per day, no matter which ring you go to. They do this to supposedly have time for more money to pile up and increase the anticipation, and advertise the major fights with good sponsors. It would also mean managing the deaths easier.
By only allowing one fight per day they are cutting down on people being able to monopolize the system and just kill competitors with other people having the chance to win.
Then we also spotted that they have life leach healers standing by each rink to prevent deaths whenever possible. We were puzzled by how it worked but watched it closely so we could figure it out. The life leach healers use goblin slaves to transfer the wounds from the competitors onto the goblins that often are killed in the process and are obviously slave fodder with their hands and legs tied up so they can’t run away, some of them crying but unable to even make a sound while gagged. In this way the goblin population is also culled in the surrounding area too. Part of the reason why it was done this way was that the life leach healers trying to heal a dozen people in a day meant that they would be exhausted and overcome without goblin slaves to leach the wounds to transfer over to, since traditional healing magic appears to be gone from most of the world if not extinct.
It’s kind of an effective but painful system of a work around heal…
Then we discover there are actually five fighting rinks, not just the three everyone else sees. The other two are hidden from the public view.
There are stairs that go underground, on the long ends of the arena, to an additional basement. When you go down a level one of the rings is for betting on goblin pup fights of goblin versus goblin with their young pups. This surprised me the most. But because goblins are vile demonic creatures nobody really cares about their civil rights. So somebody pays adventurers to go out and kidnap baby goblins that are freshly born. Then they are brought here in cages and people bet on them killing each other.
It’s kind of pathetic in a way, but they are goblins which have no capacity for good or doing right. Their spiritual nature is made from within the womb to be killers, thieves, and murderers and you can still see it in the pups sometimes. Yet again we see that goblins are children of evil with no redeeming qualities.
I suppose it’s the dwarves’ way of recovering from goblin wars economically? It’s a bit weird to see, but the way it works is there are two cages in the rink opposite each other in the rink, each with a baby goblin pup. At the same time the other corners kitty corner to those in the squares each have a club in them. When the fight starts a bell will ring and the cages will open. Then the goblins will run out to each try to grab a cheap weapon on the ground and kill each other. They could also try to intercept one another at any point in the process while trying to get the cheap weapons if they wanted. The runner ups on deck for the next fight are also forced to watch the fight going on before them so they know how it works, and that if they won’t win they die. There’s a lot of urine stains obviously in the runner up cages from goblin pups that discovered their fate.
The dwarven kids had an eerie fascination in goblin pup fights for some reason that is a bit strange and hard to describe. I had to drag all three of them away from it. But yet somehow they are begging to watch this particular ring with enthusiasm on a level that’s way more than all of the others combined.
When we got to the fifth rink it wasn’t technically a rink at all but a set of massive illusion machines.
This one is the weirdest of all. But strangely the most popular because it’s non-lethal…
How come nobody mentioned this one?
It’s a sign that other worlders have been here and that not only that they are the ones that created this place. In the first place it looks like two big linked video game machines linked to each other, though their architecture looks a bit more steampunk in some ways than digital. The two machines do have blue screens on them but have virtually all of their other parts made from steel caging with odd iron, steel, and copper pipes and tubes mixed and matched together with coils and wiring all over in a tall pedestal like design. Still there is what looks like video game controls in front of the screen that betrays what this is, in a way. When we finally see it in action we see that there are actually four sets of two video game machines linked to each other powered by massive mana crystals which are guarded by soldiers.
At the moment one set of them is closed and says out of order, but the other three are going non-stop with mages being paid to periodically inject mana through their hands into the giant mana crystals powering each set of machines.
These are also popular enough that there’s a line for each machine setup that is at least a dozen people long. And even more interesting, it’s not just mages that like these machines but there are plenty of non-mages here as well.
We watch closely while waiting in line. This one also seems the least risky.
Could it be the dwarves didn’t tell us about this one because with less risk there is less payout and they were afraid of not getting rich quick?
If we get to the front of the line and don’t yet get how it works then we can let someone in front of us. Others are also doing that, but for the reason of trying to end up with someone weak.
Basically the so called big ‘arcade style video game boxes’ are illusion machines powered by the man crystals and using the real life stats and abilities of the person on each console that duel each other using the boxes we find out from a few people we questioned. They first insert a certain amount of money, which from the look of it, appears to be 1 gold coin and then the illusion machine reads produces a realistic illusion of the person that put his hand on the magic square where the contestants place their hands.
On the screen observers can see the fight on a type of display. But the person playing feels like they are sucked into the machine and as if its real even though to others it looks like they are sitting at the video game controls.
It’s very obvious this came from some otherworlder that was put in this world because there’s no way an illusion box this complex could possibly resemble a video game system from Earth so closely.
It’s made us very curious.
Who came up with this? Maybe if I find the owner or designer I can find out something to survive and level up in this world more?
And using real money does that mean that you can make money full time on these machines?
Sunghee is probably thinking the same thing but she has a funny look on her face.
“What is it?” I asked.
“I don’t like video games,” she whispered.
I shrugged. “It only matters if we get stronger.”
“Ahh that’s true,” she admitted.
We also periodically check to make sure Rina and the three dwarven brats are OK. Somehow she’d gotten them to sit on a bench with her while they are watching things.
But we were watching so close that I didn’t notice until it was too late that it was our turn.
The staff employee gestures to me. “Hey, it’s your turn.”
I almost panicked.
“OK, this is my first time. How does it work?” I said.
Some of them made negative comments about not betting on the newbie. I’ll show them.
Around me all kinds of soldiers and dirty mercenary types that look like they haven’t bathed in weeks are now laughing at me while he explained it.
“Just keep your hands on the magic pad. When you do that after inserting money it will feel like you are fainting, but you will find yourself in like a mini dimension. There you will basically use your abilities just like normal and it will feel like a real fight. It will for all intents be and feel real. You can use any of your normal abilities in their as if you were really swinging your sword or casting magic, except that it will be in your mind and the contender’s mind, so it’s not usually fatal,” he smiled.
“Not usually?” Sunghee gives me a scared look.
“Well nothing is perfect,” he explained apologetically. “But it’s less mess to clean up than the rings upstairs,” he added.
“OK,” I said.
“No don’t do it!” Sunghee panicked.
She’s hugging me while crying. But not hugging me to hug, but to try to pull me away. “Please lets find another way!” somehow she got really spooked about this, even though I’ve proven myself so many times.
It takes a good ten minutes of calming her down before we can continue, during which we had to let a couple of people go ahead of us. It makes the others laugh at me even more while they think I’m someone that’s trying to be dragged away by a relative or ruled over by his wife.
Finally I order Sunghee to stop.
If we don’t do this, I’ll never meet the demonologist. And there’s too much that we don’t know yet. I need to get stronger anyway, even without the demonologist option. If this is an illusion fight there still should be some gain in battle experience even if its diminished too. I suspect its at an unknown percentage of a whole rate.
Sunghee bites her lip but stays right next to me to assist me. But she’s still spooked and wiping away tears. What got into her?
The guards are making sure she won’t interfere however. They are really big on non-interference in the arenas.
Finally I step up to the pad of the giant arcade box with the magic pad. I put in 1 gold.
As I do I find myself fading out of consciousness.
In no time I find myself in a brightly lit room, and it’s almost even like a real fighting ring with everyone in the surrounding area even the spectators. I hear Sunghee in the background there shouting for me to be careful while city guards are keeping order. Strangely its as if the real people in the arena are still around us outside of the ring observing and shouting stuff at us or throwing stuff, though they look a bit pixel like almost.
This is really vividly made!
I don’t have time for that. I have to concentrate. I see my opponent looking at me hungrily.
Not a dwarf. Not a dwarf at all.
It’s some kind of lizard man with a spear.
Ready appears in the air.
Weird how it’s in my mind’s language and not in the hieroglyphics…
Fight! Appears written in the air…
OK, that’s kind of cliché resembling a certain other system.
With no warning I was forced to dodge as the huge lizard man suddenly pointed his tail at me and started shooting barbs.
Can a lizard man do that? I didn’t know they could do that!
Isn’t that cheating?! Not fair!
I dodged right then left as he keeps shooting while people are laughing at us. I keep rolling and moving as barb after barb are shot at me. It’s not easy to keep up. I roll to the right and finally get my runic shielding up.
His eyes widen. He said something but it’s not dwarven so I’m not sure what he’s saying. I think he’s surprised that I’m a mage. I can’t even understand his language but he looks cunning and smart despite being a lizard man. He looks like the ultimate bipedal predator.
The runic shielding takes a few hits while I then cast protection from missiles to strengthen it, with holes punctured in places with sounds of glass breaking as it shudders but holds.
Then he shoots more barbs. I dodge and then reset my shielding so that it’s fresh and undamaged.
But I was unprepared for what happened next.
Suddenly he opens his mouth and a huge gout of flame shoots out at me like a fiery lance. I did roll to the right but my shield is melting like plastic. He’d adapted quickly after seeing that his barbs were doing less damage after my second spell.
I recasted my shielding to strengthen and reset it.
He counters and does the gout of flame again.
Then I realized I was in trouble. This guy is strong! He’s possibly one of the strongest people I’ve encountered yet on this world.
This guy is a flame mage of some kind or a lizard shaman. I’m not sure which but I’m already sweating from effort to keep up with keeping my shield up, so I’m not covered in third degree burns. I suspect the video game machine also doesn’t completely mask all pain too, since this is based off real physics emulation.
The tail barbs and his flame were all offensive magic that resembled creature abilities to put me off guard thinking he was just some small fry lizardman, and I’d underestimated him.
I had to recast my runic shielding again and again barely keeping up, after the next flame bout which had made my clear transparent shielding dripping like melted plastic full of holes.
The next round he tries both shooting barbs and the fiery lance at the same time, forcing me to dodge. I was lucky he missed. But it’s also true he’d gotten one of the little barbs to shoot inside of my shielding using the lance’s opening he’d created with the other spell. Its true that I’m not damaged, but I’m not able to get to offensive mode yet either because he’s so good.
After I get the shielding up again we’re circling each other while I put up all my other buffs including the elemental resistance and my movement buff. Then I dodged some more.
The sweat is pouring down my face.
This guy is ridiculously strong! I can’t even a step forward in.
After like twenty rounds straight I’m still only casting runic shielding while both of us are getting tired. I’ll probably have to reset my protection from missiles and resistance buffs again.
Finally by round thirty I’m getting tired again.
His eyes are really wide that I’m still up and facing him. He’s even gotten a bit more intense seeing that I’m not a normal opponent either. But he respects me more now that he sees I’m not some small fry.
But the spectators are totally quiet now. They’re really into this and watching to see what happens while bookies are trying to cash in on it. They’d been jeering and throwing stuff before but now they are on the edge of their seats and the bookie betting line just got three times longer than it had been as people are in a mad rush to get something in before the fight is decided.
He tried to do the double cast thing with the tail barbs and the lance of fire several times but it seems like he can’t just do it non-stop and has limits to how soon he can do that almost like a ‘cool down time’. He needs a rest between doing them both at the same time. My shielding has like a couple hundred tiny needles all stuck in it too but somehow I am afraid the needles are poisoned too.
I’m afraid to let anything get through and this guy’s offense is so tight that I’m not even able to get my stun ray on him. If I could the fight would probably end but every time I try to go forward I just end up having to heal my shield.
What the heck is this guy?
This is a lesson on humility…
I’ve been too cocky and arrogant. This guy is really humbling me to fight. I’m not the top dog after all.
I thought I was unbeatable but I’m just trying to avoid dying and getting wounded on this guy. To be fair, he hasn’t scratched me yet or hurt me but poisoned barbs and a fiery lance would probably suck. And just because it’s an illusion doesn’t mean it wouldn’t hurt like hell.
Finally the lizard man guy is breathing hard.
The crowd starts to get excited again.
I think I’m like half mana by now. Even though its illusion powered, it’s powered by our own mana tanks. So I can feel what my real mana is at while it’s being eaten up.
We keep going about six more rounds and the lizard man is looking sloppy like he might faint from exertion because I’m starting to wear him down.
Finally he stops and says something to one of the referees or judges or whatever they are dressed in funny armored leather clothes.
Simulation freezes. Then somehow I’m not in the alternate reality bubble anymore, but back at the video game like controls.
I can read text on the screen.
Enemy has conceded defeat through surrender.
Because enemy has surrendered fatality mode is disabled.
Its good he gave up because that was one of the hardest fights of my life. And I found out too that lizard guy is a shaman. And he has a whole troop of angry older brothers on the sidelines that are all staring at me with red angered eyes.
And I couldn’t also help but notice the words, ‘fatality mode is disabled’.
Even if it’s an illusion box this is some serious shit.
I received 1 gold for my trouble. But I wonder if it’s worth it. I wouldn’t be surprised if all his brothers try to get his gold back and then some if I stick around. And lizards…oops it’s racist to call them that; lizard men have a lot of brothers according to Sunghee.
But I can already see his brothers, all of them taller than he is, glaring at me and sizing me up. And lizards have lots of siblings because they are hatched from eggs rather than grown in a womb like people are.
Umm, yeah it’s probably a good time to leave.
Like right now, now…
1 gold isn’t worth getting killed in an alley over. I’ll need to rest too. I’m drenched in sweat and look like I just ran a ten mile marathon after I step off the pad. I still took the gold, but bowed to the angry lizard man shaman.
I’m still weak.
Is this because I’m basically a support class?
I might have been able to do something if I could get an edge in casting faster than that guy, but he was really good too. He also must have a mana tank about half the size of mine, which is extremely, very impressive.
If my mana tank is size times the size of a normal mages, then that guy’s is about three times the size of a normal mage’s would be. And his brothers being taller than he is by several feet mean his whole family are all really good genes.
I sure hope none of them are shamans either. That would really suck.
I better not come back here for a few days until I can be sure those lizard men types are gone.
As we slip out the back I try to make sure we don’t get followed home. And with those noisy dwarven kids I think that plan isn’t going to be very easy to do.
-1 silver for mail, supplies, lunches for six people counting dwarven kids, and to pay the dwarven runners that helped us decipher written dwarven today. Plus also the cost of factoring a few days worth of the renewal of my dwarven language enchant.
I’d also forgotten to tally up the 50 silver that I’d paid the underground market contact gnome, I mean dwarf guy that we’d met the other day, (10 silver for the bribe to meet, plus additionally 40 silver for the cost of bribes to initiate spying on Lotti) Thus, -50 silver…
+2 silver for giving Sunghee a dwarven translation job (+1 silver) which she did plus handing in the one that Fox did last night (additional +1).
-40 copper for hiring a dwarven girl on the street to transcribe the notes of Sunghee and Sylvie’s translation job from my language into written dwarven. (We could translate to our language and using the dwarven enchant we can tell the girl what it’s suppose to say in dwarven, but we can’t actually write in dwarven.)
My gold bag = 196 gold 28 silver 47 copper+ 1 gold - 51 silver (approximately) +1 silver 60 copper = 196 gold 79 silver 07 copper
I wanted to go back and do another one of those non-lethal video game fights but the truth is I’ve used too much mana. And that’s not counting the 1 fight per day rule still holds with the steampunk video game machines. It’s scary that you can die in them though.
Also I’d tried to get that one dwarven girl runner / translator to teach me to write dwarven but she’s scared of men, and I don’t have enough clout with dwarves yet. But since Sunghee is a war hero I did manage to get her to teach Sunghee some letters but it’s not enough yet. There’s no effect. If I paid her every day for a year, we’d be lucky if Sunghee learned something because it’s that hard of a language to learn and master and its very complex to learn.
But I’m considering it.
And Gyle is still AWOL somewhere so we can’t really count on him if he’ll still be disappeared somewhere.
For me, if I put in the time to learn dwarven it would be useful but with the same amount of time it would be easier to have a tutor for Sunghee to learn it while I focus instead on magic and strengthening my skills. I could then use a small remnant of time for what I can though it would be slower. But if I use all my time for only acquiring dwarven language skill then my magic skills will also stagnate.
And I need my magic skills to keep going up.
The fight with the lizard man shaman proved I’m not yet strong enough to hold my own yet. My power in team battles is unrivaled because the buff stacking efficiency on others brings up everyone’s survivability considerably, but on a solo versus single enemy battle I realize I have a long way to go because my offensive power is lacking.
Another thing we planned out back in the inn room was the need for being able to do a normal real life skill to earn money in case the government shuts down the adventurer’s guild for some reason, or if I get maimed or decide adventuring is too dangerous. There’s the possibility that if my identity is discovered we may have to go underground too and that means stuff like living under the radar while being disguised as a normal villager type and this type of escape plan does actually have a good chance of being used if things continue as they are. It was for that reason that I’d tried to experiment with Sunghee and Fox doing language interpreting in writing, even though it was basically so small of cash that I questioned if it was worth it. And the small amount of increase, even if it was only about 2 silver there will offset what we’d used for the blackmailing payment that Lottie is charging us of 40 silver per day.
Plus it gave Sunghee and Rina something to do while I was resting in our room, so they wouldn’t attack me in my sleep, which is becoming a problem lately. It’s weird seeing a cat laying down on the bed like a human would though, since Rina is still in cat form.
I kind of want to find out how much it would take for me to start up a demon milk farm full of girls like Asakura to milk and sell on the black market. That might be less dangerous than risking my neck every day. And if I risk my neck everyday then wouldn’t I sooner or later die because of the risk piling up?
That would be heaven right to have a cow girl farm? But maybe I’m not being serious. I’d need like at least five girls that were producing breast milk to do that probably. That would take a lot of money right? I already know cowgirls are ridiculously expensive that even rich people can’t afford.
Later after a nap we trained harder than ever.
I’m having Sunghee teach me aikido throws back and forth. That went on for an hour while Sunghee is trying to secretly flash her boobs at me when she throws me on the ground. Then she switched with me to teach her about mana, since she has a little for small adventurer skills; but I had to keep buffing her and even use a regeneration spell on her because she’s weaker.
She’s currently confined to an adventurer version of a ‘cleanup’ spell, which I love since we’re in a medieval setting. And her party system magic that lets her see party members health status, though it still doesn’t look the same as a video game’s.
If Rina weren’t in cat form I’d be having her learn range skills like dagger throwing, bow or crossbow archery too, and basic close combat self defense.
We also worked on Sunghee trying to score hits on my shielding while I dodged while she’s swinging her sword at me, which is freaking scary even though I have magic shielding to protect me.
Then we practice going through virtually every skill possible to work things up.
I hope it works.
But different than a game this is real life.
We don’t train until we’re out of stamina and power because only an idiot would do that.
For starters several times little gangster twerps tried to follow Sunghee and cat form Rina around. I discovered that they’d become interested in our training and showed up late to to it, in the last few minutes. There was risk there; others use children as innocent looking spies too, often orphan kids or those whose parents aren’t around very often. There was also risk of people ambushing us or following us around for robbery, or night attacks. We didn’t know if those assassin guys would be back, or if that lizard man shaman’s brothers would come today to kick my ass either.
Thus we stopped to rest while I still had mana.
Still there is no word from the underground contact on some weak points or information on Lottie.
Also the dwarves are being really quiet about what’s going on with the siege going on outside the mountain. The fact that they are keeping this hush, hush makes me more worried than if we did hear something. Shouldn’t they want us to know? And why aren’t they mobilizing more people?
I still haven’t forgotten about that demon prince candidate thing that we’d discovered but I can’t do anything about it yet. I can’t worry about it till I have some clues to investigate it. That’s another headache.
Still didn't see any options for revenge against Lottie when we were checking out shops today.