Dreamweaver Chapter 219
“Stop! Look out!” Sylvie called out.
She pushed me to the floor.
Then it hits. A huge bolt of energy aimed at my head hits Sylvie instead. Thankfully we all have the runic shielding buff up, but she grunted in pain nearly falling on me in the process of trying to block the blow.
Amazing! Foxkin can somehow block spells if they are good enough, and that’s what Sylvie has done. I’m not sure when she got this ability. She hadn’t really used it before becoming ‘mine’. So its very possible that I’d helped her evolve her skills! Her whole arm is smoking though because of the energy discharge hitting her.
“Assassins!” Sunghee cried out. She’s repositioned her shield. Asakura is next to her.
The others are reacting quickly trying to block blows all aimed at me.
I recast runic shielding on Sylvie, who is standing over me looking fierce.
Sylvie then blocked another spell cast energy bolt, which seems to be some kind of harnessed starlight beam. Then she shot back.
“What’s that? I can’t see anything?” Rina said, her cat ears twitching. She’s trying to put up a defensive posture but like her none of us can see past that barrier.
“Field darkness spell,” Sylvie replied.
“What for?” Rina asked.
“Isn’t it obvious? To blind us probably. Who knows what’s on the other side. Shun stay in the middle!” Asakura finished.
“What?” I said.
“She’s right. The best spot for you so we can protect you is in the middle. If you get hurt we all become very vulnerable. But if we get hurt, you can always bring us back from even a near death state. Stay away from the edges,” Sylvie echoed after her. Sylvie pulled me to my feet after I hit her with a heal spell and a regeneration spell on the arm.
“I know…but I don’t like that. I’m supposed to protect you.”
“Chivalry is dead Shun. The only thing that matters is survival. Who cares who is on the front line as long as we survive!” Sylvie argued.
“I know that…” I spat with annoyance.
“She’s right. We’re not made out of glass. We’re not weak Shun,” Asakura told me.
Wow, they just kind of put me in my place.
Until now yes they were weak but now …I’m not so sure. They feel stronger than before. Maybe it’s that their mental state has accepted this world. Or maybe it’s that they have become …angrily proactive about offense. Or maybe they are accepting they are monster girls too.
But the more I try to protect them the more they want to protect me and put me on the back row.
“Yeah, let ‘support mage’ Shun be on the back row,” Sunghee teased. She’d obviously said it this way because she knows it annoys the freak out of me.
“I don’t need the back row,” I didn’t realize I sounded angry about it.
“Deal with it. Both Asakura and I can smell the enemy. So the darkness skills don’t work on us as much as they do you. And even Rina’s catgirl genes take less penalty to blind fighting than you do,” Sylvie told me. Already I can see Sylvie is sniffing the air.
My problem is my heightened smell is only channeled into ero and lust because of daemon genes. Like I can smell that Asakura is dripping milk a bit, and Sylvie is wet…but that interferes with smelling the enemy.
Whoever did this field darkness enchant and ambush was good. They’d hit us right near the dungeon exit where we’d been farming monster cores for the last two days. I can see why a field darkness spell is useful or ambushing people. We can’t see ANYTHING! We don’t know if there’s one enemy, two, or a multitude. All we can see is this huge cloud of inky darkness that starts a certain diameter from where I’m standing in the middle.
All of the girls are freaked out but Sunghee is trying to keep them calm and organized. She barks commands to keep them at even intervals around me. Somehow they managed to listen but aren’t good at keeping calm.
“I can’t cancel the field darkness enchant. What the hell?!” I heard Sylvie exclaim in dismay.
I couldn’t either. But I didn’t panic.
Wave after wave of incoming energy is hitting us. It’s some kind of weird nuke that isn’t quite heat but has a mixture of heat and something else, that makes the ground feel hot and smoky after it bounces off our runic shielding. We’re lucky it’s a single target nuke, not a group target nuke.
And the field darkness also interferes with some of the enemy’s offense.
Each time it hits the runic shielding. I can just recast it when someone tells me they got hit. This happens over and over for like ten minutes. I’m basically spamming runic shielding.
Mana dips to 82%...considering I have a huge mana tank this is unreal to have it dip that low. I never have it dip that low.
Then it dips to 76%...
“Why don’t you use….that?” Sunghee asked at one point.
“If I do then they’ll run and hit us when we’re sleeping at the inn. It’s better to fight them here and now,” I growled.
I keep spamming more runic shielding.
How much time has passed since this engagement started? When you have an absence of light and complete darkness it makes it hard to tell how much time is passed.
“Make sure you warn me if you feel them coming close to melee distance,” I told the others.
“They aren’t…I’d smell it if they were,” Sylvie told me.
“Are you sure? What if they used a silent spell?” I asked
“Then if they did, I’d smell the steel and metal of their weaponry and swords,” she told me.
Sylvie’s sense are a weapon I realized. It’s cool to have a foxkin girl like this. They are amazing.
Fighting darkness and blindness is pretty crazy and very stressful even if you are strong. People hate status effects and debuffs. And actually I think this is the first time someone has really used it as their full ‘campaign’ against us.
We don’t even know the nature of the enemy.
“Look out! Another attack spell incoming!” Sylvie called.
“Really?! Like we didn’t know!” Rina scoffed.
“This one…different,” I heard her say before it hit.
It hit us like a huge wave of energy. This time it’s powerful enough to knock us all to the ground of the massive cavern like dominos. In one hit all of our runic shielding buffs are near zero if not at zero already. The upgrade I’d recently achieved of the knock back mitigation had reduced some of the incoming damage I think, plus the runic shielding spell was just so useful.
“My buffs, gone?!” Rina is shocked.
“NO! I’m open! Shun, get us re-shielded fast!” Sunghee cried out.
“Shun! My shield is gone!” Asakura cried out.
Oh shit…I was wrong. They do have an area effect nuke!
“Follow my voice! Gather towards me!” I cried.
“I’m trying! I …I hurt my ankle!” Rina cried out.
“I’m here! Just…wow…trying to breath…got wind…knocked out,” Sunghee wheezed.
“I’ve got you,” Sylvie had picked up Sunghee literally and carried her towards me.
“Quick gather close for barrier!” I commanded. Already my hands are moving to recast while the girls are scampering closer to me. All of them gather just as I finished casting a barrier sphere around us. The light blue crystal see through shielding of the barrier spell envelopes us just as another barrage of energy hit where they’d all been standing before. Then another two energy shots just like that one went off.
“I knew it! Assassins!” Sunghee cried out.
“I still don’t see them,” Asakura protested.
“She’s right. We don’t need to see them. It’s an assassination attempt,” Sylvie confirmed.
“It’s hard to believe someone would be that stupid,” I said.
“Yeah I know right?” Sunghee said.
“I’m worried that they’ll give up and leave before we can take some of them out,” I expressed my concern.
“Heh…it’s funny that you are worried about them escaping more than worrying about if they hurt us,” Sylvie chuckled.
“Yeah Shun, that’s weird actually,” Sunghee admitted rolling her eyes.
“Nah, I just know we’re going to punish them,” I said logically with a shrug.
One by one, I try to keep them calm and recast the runic shielding and other buffs. At the same time they are staring eerily at the darkness surrounding our barrier sphere globe.
To be safe I leached some mana from Sunghee and Asakura both, but NOT from Sylvie since she can actually use magic in offense.
“Are they still there?” Rina asked.
“Oh yeah they are. I think they’ve used something…to recharge used energy. They probably think they’ve got us weak and trapped,” Sylvie told the others.
But while that’s happening, the enemy is still unseen, and tries to puncture through the barrier though unsuccessfully. It’s amazing that they would think a barrier to be something you can break through. I firmly kept hold of the spell tether that was holding the barrier spell together while finishing my shielding re-buffs. Finally they manage to cancel the barrier just as I’d got Rina’s shielding spell back up, last of all of them.
The fact that they figured out a pre-planned magic skill to deal with a barrier before they’d even met us is seriously a show of how dangerous these guys are, whoever they are.
“Get them!” Sylvie cried out. She wants blood.
“How dare they try to attack us,” Rina said.
The others are livid mad.
“I love shielding,” Asakura snickered aggressively.
“Come to think of it, a protection mage is ideal for survival on another planet huh? You are so lucky,” Rina said.
“Even if you say get them, we don’t know who them is or where,” Sunghee complained. She keeps glancing at different areas of the darkness while staying ready to strike with her weapon.
Sylvie shot off her lightning bolt spell into the darkness. We heard screams and bodies falling in the thick darkness of the cloud that surrounds us but don’t see anything. Still the field darkness stayed in place, however; so whoever had casted it is still alive.
I also shot my own lightning bolt in the same area. But I confess Sylvie can aim through darkness better because of being able to smell them.
We kept this up for a few minutes of bouncing out lightning bolts when our cool timer was up. Then the rest of the time we shot out magic missiles, and starry magic missiles and others.
“Why can’t they run?” Asakura asked.
“Huh? They can’t?” Rina asked.
“The darkness affects them too. They just think they’ve adapted to it,” Sunghee said.
A few minutes later its very silent.
“I want to find out what we hit,” Sylvie said while grinding her teeth.
“Don’t charge, stay close and don’t assume it’s safe yet. That could be a ruse too,” I said.
“But how can they dare attack us? That’s what I don’t get. They should know you are powerful,” Asakura protested. And she’s right. But that won’t change anything right now.
What happened next was we had another brief shooting war of lighting bolts. The quiet turned out to be trying to get us to lower our guard, thinking they were gone.
I begin trying to cancel and push back the darkness cloud that surrounds us, but have to stop often to keep our runic shielding buffs up. I couldn’t cancel it before because it was being fed new energy faster than I could deplete it. And whoever had cast it, is a pretty good caster, so I can’t really push back or cancel much of the darkness though I did make a small opening in it. Less than five minutes later we’re back in a sphere barrier as I get their runic shielding buffs back up.
“This is boring,” Rina said.
“No it isn’t. You are just frustrated that you aren’t as useful as you want to be and that we can’t hit the enemy,” Sunghee retorted.
“This is clearly not boring. It’s the ultimate challenge. Think about it. We have no clue how many of them there are. it could be 5 or 6, or a hundred,” Sylvie told them.
“If you’re trying to scare us its working,” Asakura growled at her.
“Yeah, you’re right. I don’t like this sneaky crap,” Rina spat.
“They are doing it this way because they can’t hit us any other way. They know we’ll win,” I said.
“Who else would know who or where we are? It must be someone we fought previously that sponsored it,” Sylvie argued.
“But that could be anyone,” Asakura said.
“It makes sense though. It would have to be someone that realized we’re a threat,” Sunghee said.
“That’s a possibility. What’s your reasoning?” I asked her.
“I think it’s actually someone that’s targeting the fae and we were targeted by association with them,” Sunghee said.
The others were quiet while she explained.
With her hand on her hip Sunghee regarded me coolly as she talks. “Well think about it. They want to take out the fae prison and you helped stop them recently and acquired a whole bunch of favor and promotion with the fae at the same time. That would attract attention by an enemy closely watching the fae. So of course they would single you out,” She replied.
“I agree with her on that,” Sylvie said.
“It’s possible…but the problem is that we also have so many other enemies,” I bit my lip.
Soon after we began trying to hit back through the field of darkness again; and we still can’t see the exit from here because of the darkness cloud.
Then they tried to separate us. First it was a confusion spell on Rina.
“Stop her!” Sunghee called out. She pointed at Rina who is acting insane.
“Dispel!” I cast on Rina, who then falls to the ground. Then I had to recast runic shielding on her because the dispel also took out some good buffs. That was close though, she was at the edge of the darkness cloud, almost ready to get swallowed up in it. If I’d dispelled her any later, we might have lost her.
“What? Where am I? How’d I get here?” Rina cried out.
“Rina, go back over to Shun fast!” Sunghee urgently beckoned. Rina began scampering over to me on all fours, hearing the edge in her voice.
“The enemy tried to use a confusion spell on you,” Sylvie said.
“I hate sneaky enemies,” Asakura growled. She then rolled her eyes with her hands on her hips.
“This is pathetic. We’re also losing valuable dungeon time,” I said.
Overall I can deal with the mana output somehow. But anyone except me would probably be empty already. Currently I’m still at 80% full mana probably (up from a previous mana leach). And if I use mana leach on someone I could get to 88 or 89% fast.
And this is now a patience game. The enemy is shifting themselves around like a moving turret and then trying to fire. They’ve adopted this strategy because we can’t move, as that would cause our party to get lost from each other…AND because when they shoot we shoot back from where that shot came from.
So they try to circle around us hit and run sporadically and even sometimes with even a full minute or two between shots.
“There! I see something!” Asakura pointed to a spot in the darkness cloud.
“EEEP!” it called out.
BOOM! Sylvie shot her lightning bolt right at the spot in the cloud where Asakura had pointed. Then we heard a death scream.
“I think you got something,” Sunghee signaled.
“Nice. Good hit,” I gave Sylvie fist bumps.
We still don’t think we got the enemy caster but just a minion. When the smoke cleared there was a few monster cores where we’d hit things but nothing major in the form of loot worthy of whatever had been casting darkness and confusion spells at us in the dark. Overall not everything gave loot. We’re pretty sure we’d killed at least 17 of whatever it was…
Its maddening because them hitting us in the dungeon was also to prevent us from identifying even what kind of creatures they were! The dungeon ate the bodies before we could see them! And the leftover gear and clothes were purposely very generic, using gear that was standard popular items on the market that could have been used by anyone or anything.
But yet, we live for another day.
“I’m glad we made it. You saved us!” Asakura gave me a big sloppy wet kiss as we near the dungeon exit. At the same time she’s thrown her arms around me rubbing up and down my back.
“It’s nothing. Don’t worry about it,” I tried to shrug it off but there’s a nice embrace of hugs from the others.
“It’s good to be alive. Protection magic is the best. Do you realize we’re the only group out there that never has to worry about deaths? It’s freaking awesome!” Sunghee cheered.
“It is pretty cool,” I admit.
“I like protection and buffs too,” Rina’s tail is somehow wrapped around my waist.
“Hmm, yeah any other group would have had tons of deaths. I agree,” Sylvie mused. She pats my head. It’s reassuring having her at my back. Lately her default position had been standing over me with her hips right behind my head. I can often feel her musky scent near me and she always stands so close she’s hugging me.
“How much loot did we get that time?” I asked.
“Hmm, not much today I think. It looks like maybe 794 monster cores?” Sunghee counted out what she’d collected in a bag pretty quickly. I’m not sure when she had the time to do that.
So do I risk going out again to farm them or should I take a break? Someone is clearly targeting us for assassination. Even if we stop them, I don’t like someone being able to predict where I go and when. That part of it actually makes me mad because you feel violated in a way that someone is spying on and watching you.
But if I stop farming monster cores then I won’t be able to build up the girls’ abilities.
Facing death just to get a few monster cores isn’t worth it. I wonder if we’ll have to retire at some point. This much isn’t bad but it could theoretically reach a point where we have tons and tons of enemies. Lately I’ve been thinking it’s not worth losing the ones I love and care about to risk them for a few dungeon loots.
We also turn in 4 kobold shaman staffs which are sold for 1 gold each for a total of 4 gold. The pelts and other odd ornaments of the kobolds made our loot pile increase to 23 silver and 89 copper, but is mostly junk that I almost didn’t want to pick up. Still every bit helps.
The longswords and other newbie trash gear taken from the assassins dissolved somehow. So we weren’t able to sell it. I guess it was an enchant to prevent tracking them by looking for fingerprints, or from profiting from looting them.
Gold bag total = 192 gp 27 sp 68 cp + 4 gold 23 silver 89 copper = 196 gold 51 silver 57 copper
“Nice. Can I hold the gold bag pleeeeeease?” Rina said with a feverish look in her eye later on our walk back towards the inn.
“NO!” we all said at once.
“Right…” she sighed.
“You were going to do it again huh?” Asakura told her.
“What? How dare you accuse me?!” Rina said.
“What is it this time?” Asakura sighed.
“Oh come on, I know you saw something,” Asakura said.
“…it was….c-cowgirl enchant potion…” Rina admitted glumgly.
“What?! Those are totally a scam. There’s no way those work,” Sunghee snorted.
“Dude, the side effects on those are bad. You have a 30% chance of getting a thick heavy gross body that balloons up, not just the udders ballooning up. And you can also end up with bony protruding pelvis bones too,” Sylvie said.
“Wh-what are you looking at?” she added.
The others look at her stiff with curiosity.
“You tried one once didn’t you?” Rina giggled.
“Sh- how’d you know?” Sylvie said. She’s beat red with embarrassment.
“Eh? You don’t look like you tried one,” I said.
“W-well it turned out to be a scam. I should have known 10 gold was too cheap. And the vendor was gone the next day when I went to confront him. But then …oh yeah, I forgot to say I was 13 at the time. And my mom spanked me silly. She then showed me what happens to you when those potions are the real thing but go bad on you. You can end up turning into a hunchback mutant,” Sylvie said.
“Sh-shit, I can’t believe I almost risked that!” Rina is now in shock and anguish.
“Cheer up. You already have Asakura’s appearance. When you stole that you got a great set of boobs already. Chin up girl!” Sunghee tried to comfort her.
“I think she’s worried about competition with Asakura,” I said quietly while we were walking back to find a place to eat.
“Th-that’s not my fault!” Asakura insisted.