Dreamweaver Chapter 218
Lars POV, a half-ogre’s sufferings and being wronged by the humans…
It’s been a week since that fucker Shun stole my leadership of the platoon. This whole week he’s been drilling the troops relentlessly. And since then also there’s no sign of those salamander kin coming back. The whole fortress prison city had been worried about that but we don’t see them returning.
My teeth are grinding in jealousy. I’ll show him. I can’t harm him directly because the fae have a murder police magic sensor running active in the town. They implemented it after assassination attempts started happening, obviously being sponsored from the daemon fortresses surrounding ours. But I can look for a chance to beat him and take what’s rightfully mine. That was my platoon and my opportunity.
“Boss? Can’t we do the dungeon now?” I said.
“Hmm, I think it’s’ still too early. If you do, you guys will die you know. You still aren’t that strong,” he frowned.
Next to him that hot chick Sunghee is standing there in a short black leather skirt, and a dress blouse of such quality only nobles could have such objects. She seems to be happy to just be with him. That twerpy love drivel makes me sick.
When I finally kill Shun, I’ll bend that girl over my knee and teach her who the real master is. I’ll make her scream my name over and over…
Damn you Shun!
You wronged me in stealing Sunghee before I could take her for myself.
But I can’t end your life near the fae…it has to be in the dungeon somewhere, as an ‘accident’.
“Please boss! Lead us!” one of the recruits said.
“Yes, take us to the dungeons!” another cried.
Soon all of them are begging. The traitors cry out to Shun to save them like they used to cry out to me. It’s depressing. Their loyalty to me is nothing.
“Shut up you cunts,” I growled.
“Well there’s too many for me to take you all in at once. It will have to be something like putting you in groups of six to train up. Six is the party limit for this dungeon. Also if I do everything for you then you won’t learn skills. You need to do your part if you want a skill,” Shun reminded us.
“What? Is that true?!” one of the recruits said.
“I just want skills, let’s skip the dungeon,” one of them whined.
“The dungeon is how you get skills. You can’t skip it,” I retorted with annoyance.
They are quiet for a few seconds after hearing that.
“Wait, before I was taken to this world, there was this thing called power leveling. Won’t we get super strong if you lead us?” the new trainee from Earth said.
“Not really. You see, for you to get a skill comes from exerting your own power. If you are dependent or act co-dependent living on others then you are weak and don’t get skills,” Sunghee said.
I then listened to a few more training comments Sunghee was giving them.
No way…she actually knows her stuff. That Shun guy doesn’t deserve her.
“Oh you said it in an interesting way. I thought that was right but you clearly helped me understand it better too,” Shun said to her.
Their love drivel made me sick…finally they shut up on it, as some other guy made a question.
“Hmm, so games have it all wrong huh?” the same guy who just came from Earth was scratching his head.
What’s a game mean? Is he talking about gambling, I wondered. It’s some kind of Otherworld Syndrome jargon.
Another guy shrugged at me too. And that guy coming from the same previous planet as Shun didn’t get him any free stuff either.
“So how are we doing the teams then?” I asked Shun, with my arms folded.
“So I’ll let you be in charge. You will have three teams of six each. You will also be in one of the teams. And just have them go in on the first level and try to level up. Then try to get them to survive too,” Shun said.
“Err, which team are you and Sunghee going to be in?” I asked.
“Shun and I are soloing!” Sunghee said excitedly happy.
The others looked at her like she’s insane. In this world, nobody wants a solo or duo team.
“Um, what the frick?!” someone said.
“Isn’t that dangerous?” another said.
“Yeah, pretty much. But Shun will be bored if we don’t. We should probably start like deeper in too right?” Sunghee asked Shun while holding his hand.
I almost popped a vein in jealousy. That fuck is showing off I just know it. There’s no way he’d go in with only the two of them. Anything less than six people in here would be suicide. But if they did go in alone with just two of them, hopefully they will die.
“Yeah let’s do that,” Shun confirmed to her.
The rest of us stare in shock. I can’t believe it. Nobody does that!
Also this wrecks my plans. If I’m not near them I can’t ‘save’ Sunghee when Shun dies.
I peered at the information brochure that is on the stands next to where the guards are posted. On it, the dungeon levels are explained. But it also looks like from how the brochures and signs are printed that they could change at any time and have changed in the past.
Level 1 monsters; imps
Level 2 monsters; Lizard men
Level 3 monsters; Troglodyte dens
Level 4 monsters; kobold shaman level (all kobolds on this level are casters! You have been warned!)
Level 5 monsters; unknown (no one has reached this level in over a hundred years )
It seems also that a lot of people don’t even know if there’s a level 6 or past that.
That bastard is clearly lying. There’s no way they could get to level 5. I will expose his lies and follow them in. Then I can use a magic device to prove their deception and turn it into the guards. They should then call him and outlaw and give me my team back.
I suddenly feel excited.
“Are you OK Lars?” Shun asked suddenly.
Oh oops, he’s noticing something’s up. I hurriedly calmed myself down.
“Oh yeah, right sorry I was distracted,” I forced a fake smile.
“Well I’m sorry this is kind of a big load but I can only depend on you,” he said.
“Ahh, thanks. You guys are too nice,” I said back to them.
That barrier magic is cheaty too, but I know its weakness. I know the truth!
Barrier magic, uses tons and tons of mana, and that’s why few use it. I can find an opening to take his women if I force him to bleed all his mana out on a dungeon floor or enemy attack, then…friendly fire accident. He must have gotten lucky last time and had tons of mana potions. That’s the only way he could have done what he did. He could have covered that up with illusion tricks too in order to make us think he is cunning with his devices and cunning arts.
There’s no possible way to really run barrier magic on a scale like he did when we were in the illusion barrier siege pocket area! We were tricked. I just don’t know how he did it. Maybe he stole a lot of mana potions from someone. Those things are rare and not cheap either. This time I’ll get him, when he tries it again.
“Well then, we’re going to start off. I’ll leave the platoon to you Lars,” Shun put a hand on my shoulder. I resisted the temptation to smack it down.
“Right. We’ll…see you after…”
“Eh? So he isn’t bringing us?” another recruit said.
“Will they really let him go to level 5? That sounds pretty hard,” another said.
“Paahh, it’s a trick! A trick! They are trying to make it look like getting to level 5 is a big deal! It’s fake!” I bawked.
The recruits gathered while I explained the lies to them and how Shun was a fraud. One by one they start to look teary eyed from my sincerity over him leading them astray. Some of them look like they are seeing someone off that’s going to do a kamikaze attack.
Finally we decided to get started.
“So, if he’s lying then shouldn’t we also start at level 5?” a newbie said.
“Are you fucking insane?” I snorted out.
Others also look shocked.
“Well, I don’t get it, there must be something he’s exploiting to get to level 5,” the same guy defended.
“No way dude, nobody even goes to level 3 anymore, and even level 2 is pushing your luck,” another said.
Several others confirmed their agreement with this comment. They are nodding their heads and murmuring while trying to look tough.
“Well it wouldn’t hurt to ramp up slowly. Maybe we can just start at level 2?” another recruit said.
“Oh that’s genius,” I said. I couldn’t help but rub my greedy hands together.
“Let’s do that,” I said.
We should be able to handle a few lowbie kobold shaman scumbags easy.
“Onward teams! To level 2! Those kobold shamans won’t ever know what hit them!” I shouted as we ran into the gate.
Something about kobolds is fun.
They make good training. Of all the goblinoid races, they are the weakest in terms of strength and constitution. They are also very small, so you can get a big advantage in size and reach over them. They are the preferred training monster to fight and ‘level up’ on in many worlds, supposedly.
Actually kobolds are barely in the goblinoid racial tree. They are kind of at the edge, farthest away from the core racial groups of goblins, hobgoblins, cave trolls, deep goblins, sea goblins, and ogres. Within those trees you can also further break them down into hill, jungle, mountain, and cave types of each race.
Although a small detail is that some of them can be very cunning, and they often lay snares and traps. But the counter to that is that because they are so down trodden and poor from being bullied and small by other goblinoid races that they barely ever have resources to do traps. Plus, for a creature less than half the height and weight of a human to make a trap of sufficient strength for something twice the size and weight of the ones making it is really tough for them to overcome. So their traps are usually few in number and not deadly.
The guards look worried and tried to convince us to do level 1 instead but I exposed their racial discrimination for what it was until they let us through.
Men! The dungeon awaits!
As we went through the warp portal immediately we found two kobold shaman scouts.
“Lightning Bolt!” Shun said while casting the offensive lightning bolt spell.
“Eh?! Isn’t that Sylvie’s spell?” I gaped in shock.
The rebounding lightning energy rocked back and forth between the sides of the tunnel passing over both shamans two or three times. The kobold shaman scouts screamed to death and then died nearly instantly. They smell like burned animals and wet dog, even though they are part fur and part lizard.
“Wow, I never get accustomed to the smell of burnt flesh,” I said.
“Yeah it is a skill I got from Sylvie, our link has gotten strong enough that I can use her lightning bolt spell,” Shun said with a smile.
“Wow. That move is really overpowered. For you to get that skill from her is a major game changer. It’s not fair. Do you have her other abilities?” I asked, tucking a bit of hair behind my ear.
“Hmm, not yet. Wait, hang on. Let me summon some of the others to join us,” Shun said.
I bit my lip. Crap.
I was hoping he wouldn’t do that. I wanted to stay alone with him but I didn’t complain vocally, since any decision we make is life or death down here even if we do have good skill sets. That’s the trouble with dungeoneering and adventuring; no matter how strong you are, trying to overcome the limits of being a human is very hard. And at any given time even strong skilled humans are always at a disadvantage.
I also recalled what we’d gone over in training.
We now have 3 team configurations for the girls that Shun can summon. Doppel-chan is one team with Shun and no one else. No one else can play safely with her except Shun, and even with effort to try to change that it’s useless. Another team configuration is Mallory, Asakura, Shun, and Ayumi; who can all be together without problems. (I wish I could be in Mallory’s team actually since she’s quite interesting, but after a few training accidents it seems that high humans and vampires don’t mix without biting incidents.) And the last team configuration is Sunghee (me of course!), Rina, Asakura, Sylvie, Shun, and possibly in the future Haruka(?) to be added.
That’s assuming that Haruka isn’t a dark race. Some dark races just can’t mix with humans even if they want to like Doppel-chan and Mallory. We still don’t know yet what Haruka will be. But she would be a human right?
I keep hoping Shun can fix and help Haruka but we’d been afraid to mention it because of the dangers that can happen when unlocking her. Ever since Ayumi almost died when he tried to transition her, we’d been playing it safe. I guess that’s good since one more girl to worry about is less time for attention to me…but it gets lonely in this world since there’s no civilization in this world that is like back home in Korea.
Since I’m here then I guess Shun will use the last team configuration. Then a few seconds later it was confirmed.
I hear him casting the summoning spells as I stand guard in the tunnel.
My alone time with Shun is ruined but we will be safer, especially if Sylvie is here.
In a few moments I hear Asakura, Rina, talking to Shun all excitedly. Sylvie is standing nearby but silent. It takes some time to get them focused because they annoy me with wanting to make out with Shun. But Sylvie is used to this type of environment but uncomfortable with how low the ceiling is compared to her height so she has to bend over while acting as rear guard. It’s still hard getting used to seeing Rina looking like a cat-girl now, but it sort of is a good change.
Hmm, come to think of it Sylvie looks really cramped huh? It’s not easy for her tall height in this cave system, so she has to bend over. And as a side effect, her wide scooped shirt sometimes exposes more of her breasts from bending over.
“We don’t have time for that!” I said to stop the others from wanting to make out.
Seriously that pheromone soup is a mess to deal with sometimes.
“Oh come on,” Rina said with a whine.
“Do your job or I’ll have to put you away. We have to be responsible and make a life on this world,” Shun said.
“That’s so unfair! I just want to be loved,” Rina protested.
“Well we all want to be loved to be truthful,” Sylvie said after that.
“Do we have to talk about this now?” Asakura sighed.
“Gear up, check your gear. Don’t assume everything is all set to go,” Shun ordered.
“F-fine. Please don’t put me away!” Rina said.
“So what’s the plan?” Asakura asked.
“…..” Sylvie is silent right now, and trying to stay bent over so she won’t hit the roof.
Then Shun and I explained it.
“So…I hate to ask this but why hunt kobolds? Don’t you get tired of them?” Asakura mused. I resist the annoying fact that her giant boobs are enticing Shun too much…I can’t do anything about that. Ever since she became a kyoonyuu girl she is the biggest threat to my control over Shun.
“That’s the beauty of this see. Because this level they are all shamans only it means we can farm monster cores down here pretty much non-stop and rake them in like crazy! And kobolds are weaker health and easier to kill, well except for the shaman magic part. That we’ll have to be careful of. We’ll be able to level people up like crazy!” Shun said excitedly.
“Eh?! So it’s like a cheat?” Asakura’s mouth gaped open. I ignored that she’s leaning her boob against Shun, as I realize the beauty of Shun’s plan.
“Hey no boob touching while in the dungeon,” Sylvie reprimanded her before I could.
“W-wait will that really work? Shamans are dangerous right?” Rina asked in surprise.
“Usually shamans are dangerous. People often think they are a second class caster job, but in reality some of them are more powerful than normal magic users because they aren’t tied up by trying to farm resources to gain and create skills like normal mages,” Sylvie said.
“Oh, it’s like that? That’s interesting,” Asakura mused.
“Hmm I don’t like it,” Rina pouted.
“We could do it; think about it. Shun can nullify the danger of the shamans with all of his buffing skills,” I gushed.
“So it’s realistic then?” Asakura wondered.
“Oh wow, that is really interesting,” Rina said while realizing it.
“So we can just do this level non-stop?” Asakura asked to confirm.
“Yeah pretty much. With my mana leach spell too I can use you guys as mana batteries and we’re really only limited by fatigue. I can also mana leach the shamans but I won’t be able to do that every time because I have to focus on countering their dangers,” Shun said finally.
“Let’s go then,” I encouraged.
<Active buffs on each team member; Circle of protection (defense field), Runic shielding, Elemental and Magic Resistance, Movement speed buff, Weapon Enhancement, ESP Resistance>
In addition to above there are the equipment buffs from the Summon Box’s temporary summoned equipment. Then Shun is also equipping some of the others’ in their slave crystal form from his Demon Prince ability to do so, for bonus stat gains.
<Shun equipped crystals on himself for bonus stat gains; Mallory crystal, Ayumi crystal>
That crystal equip thing is really cool. I should probably ask him to get more of those…each one is basically a 10% gain in stats. If I had a few of those I could really overcome the weakness of being considered human or high human huh?
I’ll ask him later how much it would cost to make those.
We move forward carefully in the tunnels with Asakura using her nose and sharp senses to tell what’s going on.
“Kobolds incoming,” Asakura confirmed acting as the signaler and first response call out role. It’s her job to let us know who and whats coming. For that her dark ghoul race is indispensable.
“Got it,” I confirmed acting as the squad leader.
We waited in ambush with Rina and I on one said of an alcove and Asakura on the other with Shun standing in the middle.
We heard the kobold shamans charging up magic as soon as they saw Shun. There are five of them in number, all dressed in leathers and skins with fur headdresses with deer antlers on top. We got lucky though. Both this time and the time before that we’d gotten first cast off, or rather Shun did, before the enemy kobold casters could.
“Lightning bolt!” Shun cast the lightning spell on them.
The screams light up the cavern. Then it’s all silence.
“Wow that was close. Two of them almost got their spells out in time,” Asakura gasped.
“Wow, he one shot all of them?” Rina asked.
“Seriously?! That’s more damage than I expected Shun. Good job,” Sylvie said.
“Thanks. I guess that’s the benefit of equipping two soul crystals,” Shun said thoughtfully.
“Stick to basics, be ready to cast. All of the rest of you be ready to evade. Fireballs are bad,” Sylvie coached.
“Yeah but that’s why we’re all full loads of buffs. Most parties have nowhere near this many buffs on their teams,” Asakura explained.
“Ahh, that’s true huh?” Rina responded.
“Dude, that’s so unfair. You didn’t leave us anything to train on. We have to work up skills too,” I complained to Shun.
“What you want action?” Asakura said.
“Well not action so much as I want to help Shun,” I said with a blush. I avoid Shun’s gaze, but I know he’s looking at me as I say it.
“Oh I hadn’t thought of that,” Rina said. “She’s smooth,” she added under her breath to Asakura, who nodded back.
“I’m going to have a back ache later Shun. You owe me a massage later,” Asakura then said.
“Yeah, hey can you guys gather up the monster cores? I want to cut down on the down time more for the danger of not being alert when we ‘think’ there are no more enemies but some might still be close by in wait,” Shun asked.
“You’re right to think of it this way. Most people would be worried about kills but it’s really about being caught off guard and being ambushed,” I said.
That makes sense. Shun has to always be spell ready. So if he’s looting then he can’t be ready to cast at the same time. It would be problematic if something snuck up on us. The dangers in dungeons of an ambush are basically the worst thing that could happen. Ambushes are almost always a guaranteed party member death in real life, yet few consider it.
Before joining Shun, I’d seen this happen many times to former colleagues.
“Of course!” Rina confirmed happily.
Where their bodies are dissolving the loot has appeared on the ground.
“It looks like each kill is 10 monster cores each, give or take a few,” Rina confirmed.
“Holy crap! If we do this non-stop we’ll get rich in monster cores!” I said.
“Yeah, of course! I told you I had a plan,” Shun said.
“Is that really a lot?” Asakura wondered.
“It is. But skills cost a lot too,” I frowned as Shun is quiet staying on guard.
“This is so cheaty,” Asakura laughed as she helped Rina gather up the cores.
Of course I had to step in between Shun and Asakura because with Asakura bending over to pick up cores the seduction factor of her kyounyuu boobs hanging down goes up tenfold.
The next intersection goes like this one, with six kobold shamans fallen in one hit from Shun and Sylvie’s lightning bolts.
And just like this we went through the whole dungeon.
“Whew that was hard work,” Rina complained, arching her stiff back.
“What?! As if! You didn’t do anything! All you did was bend over trying to get Shun to look at your ass,” Asakura shot verbally.
“Well I had to bend over to pick up all the loot, as the loot collector for the party. That’s a lot of bending over,” Rina explained. She blushed.
“Oh I see…I guess that is kind of a pain in the ass huh?” I admitted.
“Fine…I guess she did help a little,” Asakura said.
Still that left us unprepared for what came next.
“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGHHHHHH!” Asakura screamed as the trap went off at the next intersection.
All of us hit the dirt, but I’m scared. The trap went off with flames exploding all around us. Further, the massive explosion in the tunnel system caused a partial cave in.
“RUN!” Rina screamed.
“No we’ll get separated! Whatever you do, don’t get separated,” Shun said.
I’m surprised he was calm and quick enough to counter the confusion like that. I would have been jealous if not for worrying about the cavern rumbling.
Earth and rubble are falling.
Several minutes later I came too when Shun is digging me out of earth up to my neck. I was lucky it was loose earth I had poured on me instead of solid rock. The only reason I’m not crushed is that this is loose earth and not rock and I barely avoided suffocation. I cough up a ton of stuff while he’s digging.
I wonder how much time has passed.
“Wait, if you’re digging me out then who is guarding?” I said.
“Sylvie is,” he said.
I heard a lightning bolt blast go off and kobolds screaming in the distance.
“Is she OK?” I asked.
“She’s fine but I’m worried about you and Asakura. We’re currently separated from her.
“Ahh, that’s easy to fix, just de-summon her and resummon her,” I said.
“…damn it. I should have thought of that,” Shun said.
Carefully he goes through the desummon spell. But when he checks the slave crystal he can see Asakura’s status isn’t good.
“She’s wounded. Possibly broken leg, but she is alive,” he frowned.
“You can fix that,” I said.
“Yeah but let’s regroup first.”
“Can your heal fix the broken bone if that’s what it is?” I asked.
“Well I’m not sure its broken but yes it can heal broken bones but only through a ton of recasting over and over which will use tons of mana over a few days. But that’s still better than nothing,” he shrugged.
In moments we’d also gotten Rina back.
“Oh shit! I almost got grabbed by kobolds. It was so scary!” Rina is bawling while crying into Shun’s sleeves. Because she’s in panic mode and crying so hard he can’t peel her off himself.
And she’s more of a threat with the sex appeal of being a catgirl, plus having Asakura’s appearance.
We’re lucky Shun has that daemon summoner skill set or…wait actually it was a daemon prince summoner ability huh? At any rate because of that we’re all saved and regrouped. If not for that Rina would have been kidnapped and possibly Asakura too.
Actually I should be wary of that daemon summoner thing more. I shouldn’t encourage it. Who knows what hidden detriments it has.
“Well the cavern is in bad shape here but we can backtrack for a few miles of tunnel,” Sylvie announced after killing off several kobolds.
“So the tunnel is blocked off? So then, shouldn’t we just leave and come back in?” I said. I feel a bit nervous now but Shun and Sylvie both look solidly stoic and amazingly calm.
“Don’t worry,” Shun said with a hand on my shoulder.
“We can’t go back the way I came from. Part of the blocked off sections include the exit section,” Sylvie said.
I’m suddenly really glad Shun is with us and not some other guy or team. We have a chance this way but it won’t be easy.
“We can still get home,” I muttered under my breath.
“Huh, what was that?” Rina asked.
“Don’t worry, the runic shielding will stop enemy attacks,” Shun said.
Still he had to rebuff us. The buffs had been lost and absorbed tons of damage from stuff hitting us when we had the cave in. Because of that I just realized most of our runic shields are in tatters.
Sylvie – currently at 23%
Rina – 0% with bloodied back, shoulder, and leg. Shun healed this.
Sunghee (me); 11% shielding still holding
Shun; 31% shielding still holding.
Asakura -0%, unknown but wounded status(?) and now stored in the demon inventory system or whatever the setup is that Shun uses…I still have trouble wrapping my head around this since I’m not a mage.
“Let’s get going we need to get home. Time to evac,” Shun said after rebuffing and healing us.
“You know a dungeon escape ability would be super useful,” Sylvie said.
I noticed that Sylvie hasn’t been talking much to focus her super foxkin senses. She’s part of why none of us got grabbed and there’s a few kobold bodies near where she was, but I’d missed it when I was knocked prone.
The next room goes smoothly with both Shun and Sylvie timing lightning bolts into a group of 7 kobold shamans that die quickly.
But still we had to go slow.
“Trap!” Sylvie shouted suddenly.
We all dodged and got out of the way as many rolling boulders rolled down the hallway easily nearly getting us. Somehow Sylvie helped Rina avoid becoming an Indiana Jones pancake.
“Damn it. Let’s go home!” Rina sobbed.
3 hours later;
Monster cores total - 576
Shun won’t tell us yet who or what he’ll use them on because he knows we’ll probably fight over it. He’s right. Only Asakura probably would be calm enough to not get riled up. Sylvie won’t technically argue but will still get to the point of ‘heated debate’ on hot issues like this. Rina and I would fight over it. And Mallory wouldn't fight but would insist on vampire race superiority guaranteeing she should be strengthened first, still causing things to get heated up in a roundabout way.