Dreamweaver Chapter 222
In the fae prison fortress…near the dungeon entrance (the dungeon control center);
While checking in the fae guards are doing security checks up and down the lines of adventurers standing in line. In a way it probably feels like a Roman taxation line, except they are clearly only faking humanity instead.
This is weird.
It’s never been like this with huge lines to get into the dungeon through the warp in entrance. I find it puzzling. But before I can consider that…
“Huh? What is this? Are you kidding me?!” a big armored guy shouted while standing in front of us.
“This is …odd huh?” the cool and stylish Heavy Metal Nun is standing next to him. She’s not bad looking but still not quite near Sunghee or even Rina’s level.
Oh I know her. I don’t know the guy she’s with though. He wasn’t there last time.
And next to her is the beastman, the same one also from the fae’s adventurer ‘help the humans adapt’ class. They stand close together as an obvious team. The beastman seems to be in charge. But the other two are in his inner circle with a bunch of replacement soldiers filling three other spots on their squad.
I didn’t recognize the armored guy from the classroom meeting, but he’s huge and wearing some kind of what looks like medieval plate mail. Oh yeah, and there’s the huge two handed sword too. Perhaps he’s not an Otherworld Syndrome patient like those two. But I wonder if he has parts of ogre genes or something, because while he looks human, he’s too tall and wide to be normal at least.
Did they pick that guy up somewhere along the way? I think he’s also a native too and not someone that was an otherworld transfer. The whole attitude on him is suggested in how he carries himself well, with high strength, but acts unsophisticated and brutish. He acts like he lacks common sense and education in a civilized sense.
Still…you can’t argue with the size.
People are green with envy because of him having armor.
How did he pull that off? He’s someone important to have armor.
The line at the same time is still a bit slow from being backed up so we’re forced to observe longer.
To think there’s this many adventurers here! There really is a lot of people that do this for a career! It’s a reminder that adventuring and adventurers are an established, credible, big time career like carpentry or plumbing in this world.
I think partly people are drawn to the idea that you can harvest things you need from the dungeon similar to farming. Well, if you can survive that is.
These guys have come to the dungeon at nearly the same time as us. I can see this is their party, with a few fodder grunts that they’ve picked up somewhere that look like reject farm boys. One of them even looks cross eyed and they have poor stitched together gear.
“Hey, I know you! Did you guys get the memo?” Heavy Metal Nun said to us, stopping us from going forward as she went in front of us.
“Huh? What memo?” I said.
Sunghee looked to me and shrugged. “She’s talking to us right? Why is she talking to us Shun? You promised me you’d only screw me and Rina and not pick up other girls…” Sunghee gave me a flirty whine.
“I never said that…” I said. I blushed a bit.
Rina and Sunghee are sort of giving me a funny glare.
“This could be a trick,” Rina whispered in my ear. She seems jealous of the Heavy Metal Nun, but that doesn’t make any sense.
Heavy Metal Nun is still trying to get us to look at her and talk to her. Judging by the look of things the guys with her don’t like her talking to me.
“We’ll see,” I grumbled so low that they couldn’t hear.
“Hey you…Sam! I know I recognized you! Hey come here!” HMN is staring me in the eye.
“Pfff…she called you Sam? That’s rich…” Rina is trying to hide a chuckle.
“It’s Shun not Sam,” I corrected.
“Right I knew that. I meant Shun…” HMN is trying to hide her embarrassment.
“Whatever…” I heard Sunghee mumble.
“We’re kind of busy,” I said.
“Yeah, us too. You think we like this? Look… the control center and dungeon control center has mandated today to be a double team day, due to higher risk forecasts and possible ‘surging’. I’m sorry but I was the one designated to tell you,” the Nun girl said to us with her hands on her hips. She looks a bit unhappy about it but isn’t being rude for which I’m grateful.
“They did? What?!” Sunghee is worried.
“How?!” Rina stamped her foot.
“They should have told us directly. They wouldn’t do something like that,” I said.
“Yeah, what Shun said,” Sunghee echoed right after. “I’ve heard of this before. They call it a surge risk scenario precaution. It’s been done in other places.”
“What?!” I accidentally let it slip.
The Heavy Metal Nun’s travelling companions are curious about my party now. I don’t like it when they stare at Sunghee.
“This looks awkward huh,” Rina hid behind my back while saying.
“Well it is what it is. Go ahead and verify it. Don’t take my word for it,” the heavy metal nun said.
Then I hear other people grumbling in line as they hear the bad news too.
We check it out. The guards confirmed it’s real and not some scam. A lot of them are looking at the warp in portal with a lot of anxiety too, which is a symptom of worrying about a surge going through from monsters spilling out.
It turns out they are telling the truth. But I don’t like being around other people. Problems always happen when we duo or bring in outsiders. Plus, the beastman and the armored guy are stealing glances at Sunghee’s busty figure already and we haven’t even been with them five minutes. This is going to be a long day.
Some people take it well, the type that likes a big group. But others are upset that they have to share loot. And others don’t know if they’ll be able to trust others. Some female adventurers didn’t want to take the risk and fled.
“I want to decline,” I said.
Sunghee nodded too but is somehow shy now that we’re around others.
“But this is supposed to be two full parties combining. It’s required by law when they have the forecast rate beyond a certain formula calculation,” the beastman objected.
“He’s right. Sorry folks, if you don’t double team we can’t let you in even if you are ‘special’,” one of the guards said who was handing out forecast pamphlets to people lining up to go in the dungeon. The pamphlets they are handing out are also color coded papyri strips with red, yellow, and green marked on them. The green color represents a ‘safe day’, minimum dungeon risk day, yellow is moderate risk, and red is high risk with surge eminent.
Today has the red circled.
And then the guards are confirming to people they have to do big double teams today. We can see other people groaning about it, mostly people that don’t have good connections or are already stressed in gear. But some are a bit curious about it, but probably for reasons of poaching other team’s members. This is why this kind of thing has a lot of people put off.
“Well this is our full group. We do it like this often,” Sunghee smiled to disarm them.
“Too bad. You don’t have a choice,” the Nun said.
Then a guard said the same, even with Sunghee trying to be charming.
They are currently also pissed off that we’re not a full group of six people but just Sunghee, Rina, and I.
“Why is your group so small? Did they call in sick?” The beastman is looking us over.
Well let’s see…I can’t exactly tell them I’m going to summon a daemon and vampire once we get inside for other team members.
Instead I just frowned and looked standoff-ish.
“Whatever, let’s just get on with it. We can enter; it will help to have another support class. You are a support class right?” the big huge plate armor guy said to me. He’s also looking down on me like I’m some kind of moocher.
Why doesn’t he look at the heavy metal nun girl that same way?
A lot of her group members are looking at me like some kind of shrub. Right, in this world not everyone has a personal appraisal skill that works…
“Yeah Shun is a buffer,” Sunghee confirmed without wanting to.
Normally she'd probably have said I was the best buffer, but she was still eyeing that HMN girl as competition and so it added to the storm.
Somehow we got pushed into joining the beastman and the nun’s group. They gave in easily on equal loot shares, since nobody wants problems here and it’s an orderly stronghold.
“Isn’t it great to have support classes? We like buffs too,” one of the soldiers said. He was ignored however.
I think he was like a stand in rep small fry. But that’s a symptom that their group had losses not too long ago too.
“Hmm but I can already buff. So what’s the gain in that?” the Heavy Metal Nun said.
“I didn’t realize Sam was the same class as me,” I heard HMN whisper to her group. She’s trying to get them to look at an alternative.
“It’s Shun…not Sam,” Sunghee corrected for me. She is shaking her head. “Do you believe these guys?” she whispered to me over the back of her hand.
Now they are all looking serious together as they consider this. And their group looks bigger than ours.
“I thought they didn’t have healing classes in this world besides you cheating the system. So what’s that?” Sunghee whispered to me.
I shrugged, “maybe she’s just a buffer that can’t heal?”
“Yeah that makes sense,” Sunghee countered.
“So, she’s going to be no use to us right?” Rina wondered.
I shrugged, “we’ll see.”
“It’s true that healing is out but that doesn’t mean normal buffs or buffer classes are out,” the nun said to her, leaning in close to get a better look at me.
Sunghee nodded slowly. She’s got her hand on that badass sword that I gave her from the assassin leader we took out awhile ago. “Let’s get this over with.”
“Well we should at least test your guys to make sure you are any good,” another teammate on this other team said.
“Nah, we’re kind of bored. We don’t feel like it. Besides who said we have to prove anything to you? If anything it’s you guys that have to prove yourselves to us,” Sunghee said while looking at her nails. She ignored them entirely and so they are pissed.
Hmm she’s right. I just gave a menacing smile to them.
“Bastards…you think you’re tough?” the beastman challenged.
“Bitch!” another soldier on their side stomped forward until Sunghee threw him to the ground using a leg trip to initiate the throw.
“Ahh, wow that’s a good move. You did that within two seconds,” the big plate armor guy is won over by Sunghee’s beauty and strength.
“I’m Shun’s wife…or mistress. So um please don’t flirt with me sorry,” Sunghee said deliberately to crush his hopes. It gets on my nerves when Sunghee uses that as a first line, but I guess she does it to keep the predators at bay.
“Fuck…she’s taken…” plate armor huge guy is deflated.
The beastman now looks troubled too.
“Hey knock it off,” a nearby guard warned them to calm down.
So they were forced to do so.
“Well we know the girl has skills but we already have a buffer. We don’t need two,” one of the other soldiers said. I think they are trying to separate Sunghee from me actually. I can see some exploitive glances between them.
In a less unified group that kind of tactic might appeal to people with high overhead costs like room rentals and living it large; but not us.
“Deal with it. We only go in with Shun or no deal,” Sunghee said.
The status check on Sunghee’s bustline by the other party males has forced my party acceptance.
“Hmm yeah that complicates things huh?” the beastman said.
“Well let’s test him,” Heavy Metal Nun said.
Sunghee is hiding her snickering, as she whispered to me. “Are they crazy? Your buffs are unbeatable. Besides I won’t separate from Shun. He’s saved me many times too.”
“He can’t be that good,” one of the peon fodder soldiers said.
Heavy Metal Nun is determined to show she’s a better support than me. To be fair, she does have an interesting setup. She has a nun outfit that is clearly concealing some kind of chain mesh mail underneath it. And it also looks stylish. There aren’t many mages that can use armor and still use magic skills too. “Well let’s give him a chance. We can compare. So let me compare our buff strengths. Either way we shouldn’t split up another’s team. Its wrong guys,” she said to her team.
They scowled back at her.
Sunghee is scowling at me for other reasons. “You aren’t using pheromones are you?” she whispered.
“Nope, don’t need to,” I said.
She scowled even more after that answer.
“Defense up!” Nun casts on the big guy.
So this the lower version of my skill buff? I’m curious if its mp usage is more efficient or not. We see the buff take effect with a mild glow that settles away. I love buffs, even though mine are better I can still appreciate seeing a cool skill like this!
“So what’s that, just a defense spell? Isn’t that kind of lousy? How do you still live with only that much strength in the buff?” Sunghee said worriedly. It’s interesting that she’s critical but not trying to be proud. But they don’t see it that way.
Hm, Sunghee really is a high class adventurer to just eye ball it with no appraisal skill and still tell mine is better. I feel grateful for such a high ranking minion. She does have a scan but when she activates it, it's noticable. I guess she has a good feel for things naturally too even without using it.
“Bitch!” Nun countered with her hands on her hips.
“It doesn’t up his movement speed or add any other stats besides defense though…right?” Sunghee raised an eyebrow.
“What? That kind of multiple stats rumor is a sham. I’ve investigated trying to do such things and books that say you can lie. I’ve talked to dozens of buffers that don’t have such things as multiple stat buffs. You can’t do that,” Nun replied angrily.
Sunghee gives me an amused look. “So what do you want to do?”
Hmm, I don’t want to reveal all my trump cards. Even though we’re doing two teams at once to duo, there’s still the chance that a rival party might decide to cannibalize us in the lawlessness of the dungeon.
I decide against showing off. I’ll only let them know about maybe 1 or 2 buffs, probably my weaker ones that are still above her level, but keep Sunghee and I fully buffed in case of trouble.
“Runic shielding,” I cast over the big armor guy.
I can feel the mana settling in over him. And it sticks perfectly enveloping him, which means I’ve overwritten her buff entirely.
Cool…I got to show off a bit.
“Huh? What?!” the big armor guy is looking over himself and his status. “Hey the bubble effect visual changed.”
The Nun is also shocked. “What?! My buff is gone?! You overwrote it? Damn it...”
“Maybe it’s a fluke,” the soldier on that team suggested.
So they tried it again, but the same thing happened.
Their enmity just gained a +1. It seems they’d been hoping Heavy Metal Nun could best me.
“Oh I think Shun’s buff overwrote your defense up. Hmm, that’s odd is it supposed to do that?” Sunghee is covering a smile with her hand and pretending to not understand what happened. She’s obviously playing though.
“Hmm, wait is it supposed to do that? Maybe it’s a fluke,” the beastman said.
“Hmm, it must be a mistake…I’m sure my buff worked,” the Heavy Metal Nun said as an excuse. “Let me just fix it.”
“Magic canceller!” she casts a type of unique dispel magic and my buff is gone from the big guy. Well, I could have resisted it but it was interesting to see what else she knows. So I gave in.
That’s not a bad skill. It’s probably hard to get and not easy to learn. Even with the stat requirements it requires thinking in reverse for mages of what they usually do things like and so a lot of them don’t get it. In theory also, someone could cast ‘magic canceller’ at the same time as an incoming nuke and block huge damage, or area effect damage. So this heavy metal nun girl has my interest.
So she’s not a bad buffer actually though she probably could improve a little bit.
“Defense up! Blood cross sword sharpen!” HMN cast two buffs in a row on the big guy. Then she put it on the others.
Blood Cross Sword Sharpen? Another buff?!
Damn, I want that. I want it, I want it, I want it. I don’t have it. And I think her magic canceller is a better format than mine. The Blood Cross Sword Sharpen; is different from what I have and might not overwrite my attack buff because it looks vastly different. It’s cool to learn there are other skills out there to learn.
But in other things I suspect I can pull ahead of her…at least I hope so.
“Oh that’s nice. I like that one. How come you don’t always use it?” the big guy said to her.
“Sh-shut up. I always use it!” she stammered.
Hmm, was she holding back and not buffing properly. Or maybe it was a mana issue.
“Hmm, that’s a nice buff. It’s almost as good as Shun’s,” Sunghee smiled.
The other team laughed at us. “Show off! Liar!”
Finally HMN has her team all buffed up. “Oh woe is me. I don’t have enough mana to buff you two. My bad,” she said to me and Sunghee. “Guess you should have been nicer to me huh?” she pretended to be cleaning her nail cuticles.
“Well let’s go. We’re out of time,” the beastman guy said. I think he’s their leader.
They still look down on us. But we’ll show them.
“Whatever, we don’t need cheap weak buffs,” Sunghee said to me in whisper.
“What was that?” HMN asked from ahead.
“Don’t pick fights,” I whispered to Sunghee.
“Oh right, one of our team members is going to join us once we’re already inside,” I said. I’d already decided the night before to let Mallory out. I think that she can pass for a human well enough if I keep her blood lust under control and keep her from showing her teeth.
Uh…and keep her clothes on.
“Whatever; just don’t bring anyone that’s weak or pathetic,” the big guy said.
The others mocked us yet again. There are several chuckles.
“Let’s go,” I said.
“So do you want us to take point first or you? It’s your call, we’re up to either way,” Sunghee asked.
“Hmm, they sound pretty confident for being such a small group,” the beastman was overheard saying as they naturally cluster together more with their own people. This is the first time they’d taken us serious. They hadn’t thought we’d offer to take point.
“Well we don’t want to be too rough on you guys. Let us go first,” HMN said. She’s pretty confident about her buffs.
“Sunghee can you compare the strength of her buff with mine for defense if you scan it? You have a scan skill right? I have an idea but I’d prefer to have actual numbers without my own ego getting in the way,” I asked.
Sunghee thought for a moment. “Oh right, that makes sense…I should have thought about that. Let me check it. And yes, I do have a scan skill, but I can’t use it very much because I don’t have good mana efficiency and only a bit of a tank.”
(Sunghee activates this…I can tell that’s what she’s doing because she told me but I only see a minor energy effect and if she hadn’t told me so I wouldn’t know what she’s doing. Her posture held still a few seconds…)
“Hmm so as best I can tell…oh wow. I can’t believe this! She’s at 89% power of her full defense buff strength, meaning NOT 100 + 89 %, but 100 minus 11 percent. But yours is at 177% or 77% above a full strength solid shielding of a full strength mage. Your shielding in other words is almost double the strength of hers. So it’s no wonder you were overwriting her buffs. But damn! Who would have thought you could have buff strength that high! Shun! This is awesome…oh right back to before…She’s probably pissed as hell. And that’s not even counting your other buffs,” Sunghee whispered. She giggled a bit at the end.
Hmm that’s interesting. So my defense element really is superior. And I’d expected mine to be better. But I hadn’t anticipated
“Well, let’s go,” the beastman leader of the other team said.
Soon we’re moving along in the dungeon floor with them leading. The terrain this time looks like red earth in a labyrinth cave system underground. It’s lit with dungeon torches so we can see a bit, without being pitch black.
But is there a way to have an advantage with more than one buffer? This represents a research opportunity also.
Actually I just realized there might be a way of tweaking her buff to add a bonus to mine if mine is put on first. I somehow almost froze in the dungeon path as I realized it. A weak buff cast on first followed by stronger buff will be overwritten. But a strong buff followed by a tweaked weak buff can add a small bonus to the first one!
Well I doubt she would cooperate with me yet. But there might be a way to get her to soften up a bit later and build trust.
I'll have Rina go back to the inn, and Mallory join us...but I'm still trying to find the right timing.
Soldier A POV
Today is supposed to be something good. Me and two friends managed to hook up with this experienced dungeon group led by the Beastman and the Heavy Metal Nun. Both are veterans and have a strong reputation. And the Heavy Metal Nun is famous for being a hot babe. Lots of people have made her a town idol in art recently, and she’s spearheaded a lot of new dungeon discoveries with the beastman guy what’s his name that I forgot.
But it should be a good day to survive also with this bonus of two groups in 1 team instead of 2.
I would feel guilty but most people forget or can’t pronounce his name when he’s next to the shining nun’s aura. Everyone remembers her name though.
“What are we waiting for again?” Soldier B asked me.
“Beats me, the other team is supposed to be meeting a third person to join their three man team. Honestly those guys are so reckless not having a full team. It’s well known that everyone should have 5 of 6 minimum! Why are we putting up with them anyway?” Soldier C asked me.
“They sent the Rina cat girl back to the inn too. That kind of pisses me off for them to be skimping on human resources,” the beastman guy complained.
Although maybe it’s partly complaining because of one beastman wanting to get to know the cat type demi-human girl?
"They still insist that a third party member will join us inside, but I’m not sure how they pulled that off."
“Quiet!” the big armored guy in front said.
“S-sure,” I said nervously clutching my spear.
Since we’re budget warriors that are poor we mostly have crap gear. All three of us have iron spears that took us almost two years to save for working on farms. We also have buckler shields and helmets with heavy boots. Still, with the armor ban on this continent we aren’t able to do much more than that.
But there’s rumors that some people are working together in legislation with different kingdoms to put an effort into having the armor ban overturned. We don’t know if that rumor is true.
“I hear something ahead,” Soldier C said to the Plate Armored big guy that’s sort of ordering us around, but still under the beastman.
“That should be them. Incoming, oh wait it’s the other team coming back from picking up their scout,” the Heavy Metal Nun said.
“Actually sending in a scout ahead of time isn’t a bad idea huh?” the beastman realized.
A scout huh? So that explains why she was already inside.
We hear the steps in the rocky ground of three people approaching. Within a minute the three are identifiable. There’s the brat Shun, who doesn’t deserve all those hot women. Fuck! Curse him! He’s already got that hotty Sunghee, who looks so happy that she’s drunk leaning all over him as they walk. Now there’s a second hotty. And she’s …somehow hotter than the first one.
We can’t resist staring at the new girl with him. She’s kind of short compared to the other two, and young looking but slimmer and thin boned. But her boobs are a lot bigger than Sunghee’s and I didn’t think I’d see a girl built with even better proportions than her. You don’t find girls like that on every street corner. And she has a strange paleness to her skin but with her looks it makes her look like perfect porcelain complexion and a widows peak with dark flowing water like water in a pony tail. The stylish silk shirt her big tits are straining against are having dangerous button stress put on them. And I think there’s some small amount of flesh straining at where the fabric between buttons are being pushed out.
“Hey quit staring,” Nun smacked me in the back of the head.
The others snicker at my embarrassment.
Whatever…they’ll be rebuked for doing the same thing too later on.
Both her and Sunghee have miniskirts that are dangerously short too.
“Maybe whatever job he has we should do that one too?” one of my soldier brothers whispered to me.
“Ahh man, do I have to wear this? I’d rather go…t,” I heard the new girl say to Shun. But he covered her mouth quickly with his hand. “Yes, you have to. What were you thinking? We’re with others right now,” Sunghee said with an annoyed tone.
“These clothes make my skin itch,” the new girl with way too perfect face and skin to be given to that Shun loser said.
Dang that bust is to cry for. Why are the good ones taken?!
“Who the fuck is that?” The beastman said to Shun disrespectfully.
Actually he should yell at him. What’s that idiot thinking bringing girls into a dungeon like this? They should be at home in the kitchen while we men do all the work. Everyone looks cross. And they have a right to be. We thought this Shun joker was going to bring another tank or something useful. Instead he brought some fragile looking girl that looks like she belongs in the Red Light district.
“Yeah what is this? She’s not even armed,” Heavy Metal Nun said.
“Oh right. Don’t worry I have weapons. And, nice to meet you. I’m Mallory,” the girl said. She gave a mock bow, which made our heart beats go up because when a girl showing that much cleavage leans over its dangerous.
“What I don’t see a weapon?” HMN said skeptically.
Sunghee hands her a steel dagger. “Here you go. She’s our um…scout…yeah.”
“Yeah, I’ll play scout this time. You can say that,” Mallory says it like she’s a bit bored.
“Yeah,…she’s a ‘scout’, but not a thief,” Sunghee told the others.
They are giving us weird looks now because of how those two said it.
“What? No shield? And no armor either? You guys are crazy,” HMN said with a stressed out tone of voice and a groan.
“Look you can either go with us or stay behind. We’re moving ahead. I don’t want to stay here just inside the entrance all day. And I’m tired of your group’s whining,” Shun said.
His group turned to advance in the dungeon taking the initiative.
“Um what the frick? They are ditching us? With only three people?!” Soldier C said to me.
“Just be glad they have three…I was worried they had 2 when they sent the cat girl away,” our beastman said.
“This is so confusing. They are balsy though,” Soldier B said.
“I don’t get it either,” I said.
“Quiet, you guys talk too much. Less talk more walking,” The huge Plate armored guy said.
Come to think of it, is he a duke’s son, governor’s son, or something similar? He’s for sure not a prince, but he could be some backwoods leader’s slob for a kid that grew up. That’s the rumor anyway and why there’s no real explanation how he got armor, and plate armor at that…
Slowly we advance into the dungeon following the lead vanguards. But we were a bit slow to catch up. I think some people were curious what would happen if we let them go ahead and learn their lesson the hard way.
“Wait, did they already engage? I hear the sounds of combat,” The beastman said to the others.
“Hurry!” the armored guy is trying to move up quicker.
“No, maybe they just dropped something?” HMN countered with doubts.
“Well we aren’t that far in are we? What level are we on again?” Soldier B asked me.
“You blockhead, this is dungeon level 2. The one with lizardmen on it,” the big plate armored guy said.
“Oh what was the breakdown again?” Soldier C asked.
“Level 1 monsters, imps; Level 2 monsters, Lizard men; Level 3 monsters, Troglodyte dens and egg laying trog farms. And well, its rumored kobold shamans are on the next level but nobody has gone in that far in many years,” I said.
“Lizard men are easy right?” some asked in the back…a guy I think.
“No, you idiot. They are strong,” HMN rebuked him.
“Kobold shamans is a bad thing right? I mean any spellcasters as an enemy the danger goes up, right?” Sunghee whispered to me.
“Just remember that it can change anytime. It’s not a guarantee to be forever like that,” the beastman said.
Soon we caught up with the other three jerks, that Shun monkey and the women we’re going to steal from him if we get a chance.
But when we got to the first room I feel shocked. The whole damn room is a fucking mess. The bodies are still dissolving into the dungeon. And it looks like there must have been a ton of lizardmen in the first room, packed in like sardines. I can see loot drops like crazy.
“Where were you guys? You are slow you know that?” Mallory said with a frustrating tone. She’s bending over picking up loot and giving it to Shun.
“What the heck? You guys are so fast,” HMN is confused.
“You didn’t save us any?” the big plate guy said.
“Well you guys were a bit slow. And I’d been cooped up for awhile so I needed to cut loose,” Mallory looked apologetic.
“Relax there are other rooms,” Shun said to us.
Bastard…how dare he look cool…
“What happened here?” Soldier B whispered to me.
One…two,…seven…nine…wait no…14 bodies all cut down before we’d even got here. Something about this is off. Normally it should take a long time for a group to clear a room with that many. Lizardmen aren’t weak. They can adapt and evolve up too according to the newbie guides.
“Well let’s move on. We still have a lot of rooms to clear. If you guys want you can rest here and wait for us,” Shun said.
“Is he mocking us?” The HMN whispered over the back of her hand to the beastman.
“Obviously. He thinks we’re tired and weak,” came the reply.
“Uh maybe they just think we need help and it’s like service,” someone said.
I don’t know if I buy that…
“This time let’s watch closer when they jump the next room. Something isn’t right,” the beastman added right after.
It didn’t take long of scouring the tunnels to find the next room. This time we moved to stay ready and assist. We even joked about coming from behind and taking their kills. We’re all giggling as we sneak up behind them as they pour into the room.
“Watch out, the center tile has a floor trap,” Mallory called out.
Eh? How’d she know that? I don’t see anythi—
Soldier B POV
“FUCK?! FUCK! FUCK!” I screamed.
Soldier A is like…fucking tomato juiced! G---! *@#@*(@ @*!(!*@(@*#)*Y&#*47#*@(*@!!!!
Breathe in…breathe out…breathe in…
The whole team is staring in panic. Even the big veterans were surprised at how he got ‘juiced’.
“Hey are you OK brother? Just focus on breathing. You’ll get through this trauma. Just don’t look up for a bit,” Soldier C said to me with his hand on my back.
What I’d just seen and couldn’t stop reliving in horror; Soldier A was impaled by a floor spike coming up from the ground so fast and so huge that basically his whole body sprayed into tomato juice all over us. Ug…That thing had tons of pressure going through it. He never had a chance to even see what hit him.
I’d heard some dungeons would spawn traps randomly, but this was my first time seeing one that wasn’t a joke…I mean some traps are actually fucking nightmare class! The adventuring class never told us traps could be freaking S class?! What the fuck?!
All those newbie classes and that secret guide I bought in front of the guild by the guy in the black cloak never even compared to hinting at what a freaking mess this is!
“Actually…um…don’t feel bad if I say this but…a quick death like that is better than going slow,” the beastman guy said.
The others also are in reverence to the fallen.
We’re also stunned by how it happened so fast that we’re like chilled to the bone and wondering what happened. While at the same time I see this blur moving around the room that is almost too fast to be human. We can see it but it’s moving so fast with its attacks that there’s no way to have any credible defense that doesn’t seem like paper ready to be cut up.
I think it’s the one they identified as Mallory.
The other girl…what was her name? The one that called herself Shun’s mistress just lopped the head off a lizard man with what looks like a super expensive long black rich looking bastard sword. She’s not as fast as Mallory but with that super sharp sword she’s trying to compensate but with a lower kill count. While the blur of Mallory is killing lizard men faster than we can intercept to steal the kills, Shun is lazily yawning in one corner like he’s bored. But both of their advances were created by Shun blocking all incoming attacks easily protecting the girls naturally with some weird defense protect technique and yanking them both back when something was about to hit them.
This group is amazing.
And I want that girl’s black sword…that thing’s noble class equipment even.
So a three man team is possible if they are all badasses. Fuck…I feel poor now.
Oh right…where should I step now, since there are floor traps?
“Um, what buffs are they using? Aren’t they a little fast?” the beastman leader whispered to Heavy Metal Nun.
“Hmm, they are faster than us…damn it,” the big guy’s voice echoes in the tunnel.
“…my buffs are as good as theirs…” HMN countered. She sounds a bit sad and unconvinced.
Ah…at least we have a pretty buffer on our team.
And damn that Sam fuck…oh right…its Shun, not Sam. The nun, got us all thinking it wrong.
“I swear they must be using some kind of speed buff,” the beastman whispered.
“Yeah I think so too,” someone whispered.
Ahead of us we can see them still putting us to shame.
“I told you there was a trap,” Mallory sighed, seeing the guts from our splattered former team member.
“Um, should we try to like bring the body back?” Soldier C asked us.
“How? We’d need a giant soup kettle to hold all the parts. And then who would dare to eat soup in it again? The ceiling spike had so much gravitational force his body was almost completely liquefied except for the bones. So unless you have an apron that can hold all that…,” the beastman leader said with a shrug.
“Shit…” I groaned. “He owed me 2 silver which I’ll never get back,” I said sinking to my knees on the ground.
“OK, they are moving up to the next room,” the beastman leader confirmed while we pitied our fallen comrade.
Oh right…focus me, I told myself. I adjusted the grip on my buckler and iron spear to tighten up and put all my strength into a firm resolve position.
We can do this…even without our brother, Soldier A.
“Get up you shits, stay alert. Jeez, you are letting your guard down way too much. There could be more traps!” HMN said.
By the time I get to my knees the next room is cleared again. By Mallory…and well to a lesser extent Sunghee. Shun blocked all the incoming attacks on them easily again like before with his runic shielding spam maneuvers, keeping up with them with every degree of skill somehow.
“Let’s keep moving. If you guys pick up the loot for us we’ll move ahead and clear the next rooms. You can be baggage train roles, and that’s less dangerous. Just be honest about the 50/50 split team to team. And don’t hide anything or we’ll know it,” Shun said. Just like that he and the two other hotties have run ahead down the tunnel.
“Fuck, I don’t want to be a baggage train role. That’s for pussies,” Soldier C spat.
“Yeah I agree with him,” I said.
“Is it really so bad though? Free loot means money,” Nun shrugged.
“Oh so I get it. This Shun guy isn’t that strong. He’s just using these poor slave women somehow and has power over them,” The beastman guy said.
“Shit, he’s a slaver?” my mouth gaped.
I try to remember…
Slavers aren’t talked about much in the adventurer beginner’s classes actually. I’d heard stuff like that existed.
“But how do you know summoner summons from slaves? They look similar when you try to identify them,” one guy in the group said.
“That’s true…” the beastman added.
“Wait, they looked happy to be with him no? There’s no way they are slaves,” Soldier C said.
“I didn’t see any proof of slavery,” the nun frowned.
Actually neither did I.
“I hate slavers. I’m going to kill those fucks,” the beastman said.
“Eh? They do have some nice equipment. It would be profitable,” the big plate guy said.
“We …well I’d love to liberate some hotties but I don’t see any proof yet,” I said.
The nun agreed with me. “You better wait. In the first place there’s something off about that Mallory girl. We better know more,” she whispered.
But the others are getting heated up in temper, because well…they want to believe it I think.
The Shun half group is getting ahead of us.
We managed to catch up as they are moving ahead.
“I don’t know…that Mallory is dangerous as hell. The strength and speed is unnatural even if some of it was a speed up buff. And did you see she was decapitating them with a dagger? That’s not normal. Hell the physics are thrown out the window unless it’s like an A class magic artifact. I recommend against it,” Heavy Metal Nun objected.
“Are there really A class artifacts?” I wondered.
“Yeah just like there’s a ranking of F through S for adventuring classes, the same thing goes for magic items,” the armored guy said.
“Well you are just being skittish as a support class. It’s normal for you guys to need to latch onto people so you are afraid of taking on the risk,” the beastman guy said.
“I can’t ignore him slaving those women,” Soldier C said.
“But they looked happy,” I said again.
We ignored him. He’s annoying. Plus he farts too much. He’s got some allergy to something he ate. And his face looks like only a mother could love it. Jeez, why do we always end up arguing about things?
“So we could liberate them,” the big plate guy said.
“Let’s wait and see. We still have to deal with guarding against some ‘supposed’ assassination attempt and dungeon surging possible today,” HMN said.
“Fine…” the beastman sighed.
“We’re walking too slow hurry up,” the Nun sounded annoyed.
“Hurry, I hear combat. They are already trying to clear the next room. March faster,” Beastman said.
“But I still don’t get why the hell they are so strong?” the big plate guy asked.
“Hmph…that’s easy. Think about how much faster and stronger your growth in stats over time is when you have some badass overpowered protection buffer that won’t let you get hurt or die. You’d never have to hold back and wouldn’t hesitate over fears. That’s why their growth rate is so overpowered! That holding back and stopping from fear is what’s psychologically stopping people from upping their stats and skills. Did you think it was just chance that I’m a buffer! I was taught that point of view early and chose this. That’s why I got into buffing,” the Heavy Metal Nun snorted.
“Oh, now I get it. That makes a lot of sense,” the big plate guy’s eyes lit up.
“Wish you’d told me that sooner,” the beastman said.
“I tried to but you weren’t listening until I proved it. Those guys are proof,” Nun shot back.
We hear several explosions just then. And a huge swath of smoke leaving the room…
“Oh frick, I think they just got nuked. Hurry! I think they are dead!” HMN exclaimed.
We doubled our pace to catch up fearing the worst. But…is it a false alarm? It turns out they are fine. We came into the room just as Mallory lopped another lizard man head off. This one was the last one. And there are nine bodies in the room.
BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM! The ground and the cavern shook. There’s dust and ash and huge blowback wind coming up the tunnel…directly from the direction of the Shun half group part of the temporary two team group.
That’s not good…very clearly an explosion.
“Uh oh. Something happened we better hurry up,” Nun urged.
We ended up coughing up a lot of dust and smoke crossing into the room it’s coming from. Slowly the dust settled.
I caught a scent of heavy carbon in the room on the ground. Wow, like mega carbon more like and there is still smoke all around the room. The walls have new black carbon charring too over the normal gray cut block masonry. I start to read the signs around the room of what happened.
Then I noticed the lizard shaman staves over lizardmen bodies that are fading into the dungeon floor. One, two, three…and that explains the carbon. Somebody had set off a ton of fire magic right before we caught up with them and that’s why all three of them had their magic shielding melted off. If I look at the floor…it looks like two fireballs went off one right after another that probably filled most of the room and were so heavy they feel almost oily in their smoke. And…I think Shun blocked both girls from being killed with some technique because there’s like an unnatural circular area where they are standing that has no smoke and no charring on the ground in a shield bubble shape.
He did something strange with his shielding buff just now I think but I missed part of it too. Plus I’m not a mage so I’d only be confused even if someone explained it.
What technique was that?
Damn, I should have paid more attention on that magic section of the newbie class.
Fuck…I can’t remember.
*bites nails in nervousness*
Maybe I should go back to working the farm with dad…but damn I took out a loan to get adventuring equipment! Maybe being a dairy worker isn’t so bad.
“Thanks for blocking that blow Shun. That was close. If you hadn’t done that I’d be dead,” Sunghee patted him on the back.
He helped her up.
Damn I missed my chance. If I’d gotten in quicker I could have peeked down her cleavage and helped her up before him. There was a lot showing just now before he helped her up.
“No problem. Can’t have you get hurt,” Shun smiled that love sappy sick crap smile that makes me sick. I want to kill that fucker for taking all that’s good in the world from us normal people.
Hmm, so I was right. Their dialogue proved it. They aren’t slaves and that’s worse. Fuck.
“IT’s weird that the shamans are this strong on just a lower level though right?” I asked HMN.
“Nah, the dungeons have are going through what’s called a Gaia mana maximum these last fifty years. It’s like there’s extra mana energy in the Earth seeping into the dungeons giving everything extra tough stats. So it’s like you are on hard core mode even when on level 1 and 2. The normal number of surges of monsters and dungeon activity increases many times beyond the norm. Some say it even resembles how solar minimums affect increasing volcano activity,” the beastman leader said.
“Fuck…that sucks,” Soldier 3 looked scared witless as he heard it.
It does sound grim.
But wtf…a beastman is smart?
I don’t get it…
Dad said beastman were trash and stupid.
Everything here is messed up.
“Wait, that term is weird though. A Gaia mana maximum you say? How’s it work?” The Heavy Metal Nun scoffed. Actually her attitude kind of isn’t as bad as it was before. She’s negative sometimes but I think she’s just nervous and scared.
“It’s an adaption term some mana scientist came up from comparing the same thing to solar minimum and solar maximum terms of measuring the sun’s energy over time. The sun does it just like the dungeons do it and the planet’s mana cycle too. So think like the sun, except for mana over the whole planet in a an energy flow and how that energy flow being up or down would affect things on a global scale,” the beastman said.
“Whatever…” HMN frowned like she usually does.
Yeah what the fuck I didn’t get that.
I wish I’d finished the 5th grade in school, but dad needed help on the farm that year.
Beastman hippie propaganda if you ask me. He’ll probably try to get us to worship voodoo dolls next. But if I say that they’ll accuse me of racism. Dad was right about them though…
I probably can’t share my thoughts with these guys though. They might not like how I grew up, so I’ll just keep this to myself. I honestly don’t get why we have to live with the demi-human races dirtying up our cities…
“You know lizardmen just aren’t much of a challenge,” Mallory said as she’s going around checking for traps again. She acts like everything is no big deal and even is looking at her nails to make sure they are clean.
“Heh, are you sure? Our buffs are completely destroyed. It’s almost like we’re standing out here naked,” Sunghee said while cleaning off her blade. She gave Shun a pleading look.
Ahh, that I can see. All three of them have gaping holes in those glowy magic shield buffs that Shun had put up, each facing the side that had absorbed the massive wide area fireball blasts. While half of the shielding on the back side of each of them is hanging there like a thread the front half of the magic shielding looks like someone took a clear plastic or glass ball and melted the front ends off with tremendous heat.
“Amazing! I can’t believe they are still alive!” HMN shook her head in disbelief.
“Wow,” Beastman leader said. What was his name again?
Ah well who cares about him.
He’s good but he’s just not a hottie I want to have my way with. I only want to know Sunghee and Mallory’s names. The two twin idols of the dungeon! Who cares about those other fucks? They are only hiring us for today anyway. We’ll probably be back on the street corner tomorrow trying to get in another job.
I watched as Shun reset the shield magic on his mistresses. Somehow it’s a bit more dangerous than it looks. He had to reset the shield on both them, and himself this time. And… Strange though but when he casts that buff it’s got such a huge thick transparent bubble for the shielding that makes HMN’s look small. And it has so many runes inside it.
Oh that’s interesting.
Still, it’s odd that they don’t look wounded or burned up.
Can shielding magic really be that powerful?
“Let’s keep going. Are you guys ready? This time let me go first and you hang back. Both of you almost got hit,” Shun said.
“Wait, what? You are taking the lead and tanking?” Mallory looked confused.
“Both of you almost died. And I think I can block their fireballs with a barrier technique. Also I’m better at blocking and resisting than you two are so I have to go first,” Shun said.
“I…don’t like it master. I should be the one clearing the way for you,” Mallory frowned at him.
“Tough luck,” Shun answered.
“What?!” HMN and Beastman leader gaped in shock.
“Support class tanking? What the fuck? The beastman said. “Can he really do that? I’ve never heard of a support class tanking,” he asked HMN.
“I-impossible! Support buffers don’t tank. He must have gotten hit in the head,” she said.
I forgot to ask if we had picked up an insurance chit on Soldier A.