The scout briefly stepped up to the door, looking it over. “Doesn’t seem trapped anywhere. No hidden mechanisms or set spells, so it should be safe.” After saying that, he stepped back, allowing me to push open the door.
The room behind was much wider that I had expected, roughly thirty meters across, and fifty deep. The dim light of the dungeon cast flickering glares off of moving forms along the walls and floors. Red, viscous slimes slowly crawling along.
“Slimes? Is that it? My daughter’s got one of these as a pet.” One of our mages, a woman named Jeren, spoke up in disappointment.
“Does hers shoot fire?” I asked, glancing at the information of the slime.
Level 38 Fire Slime
“Wait, what?” She asked, confused, before quickly erecting a barrier in front of us, just in time to block two small fireballs. “Since when can slimes do that?!”
It wasn’t anything to really worry about, since the slimes were still weak compared to our group. However, it appeared that Jeren had been caught off guard by the new breed of slime. Meanwhile, my eyes focused on a rather discrete slime slowly shifting among the others, this one with a somewhat deeper red than the others.
Level 112 Fire Ki Slime
Well, that explains it… I gave a low sigh, remembering the two slimes that I had once given to Aurivy after practicing my elemental ki. It would seem that they had multiplied… considerably.
Aurivy, please tell me that there is a secret room to keep a few slimes safe? Don’t want to destroy everything in the dungeon and leave it with nothing…
Oh, it’s fine! Aurivy called back to my prayer with a happy tone. Population preservation is the first lesson we teach dungeons nowadays. They all have a breeding ground hidden somewhere to make sure that they don’t easily run out. Though, it may take a little while to repopulate, but the dungeons just don’t offer treasure during that time as an incentive to let them grow up.
I nodded my head, glad that the lightning and ice spells being cast at the slimes wouldn’t result in the total extinction of the species. “Shouldn’t we take one in for study?” Jeren asked, doing her best to stop the other mage from killing them all before she had her chance.
“If you brought a jar big enough to contain one, sure.” He said casually, though obviously didn’t believe that she did, seeing how he continued firing off spells.
“Umm… but…” She turned to look at the slimes sadly. “True… We can at least bring their cores back, though!” After saying that, she joined in the assault. The slimes had no way to resist the spells of the powerful mages, save for one.
Hidden amidst the destruction, the single fire ki slime kept creeping closer. When a stray ice spell hit it, its health bar appeared above its head, showing that it had taken only a tenth of its health as damage. Before the two mages could notice the ineffectiveness of their spell, it shot up off the ground, impacting against the mana barrier that they had erected.
“What the?!” Jeren shouted out as she felt her shield being quickly burnt away by the fire mana.
“This is where I step in. Hya!” Kelly took a step forward with a grin, an orange flame wrapping around her fist as she lowered her stance. Her fists came together, knuckle to knuckle, and she punched forward. There was an orange flash as the slime practically exploded, bits of goo flying in all directions.
Once the room was cleared, a section of the wall opened up, revealing a shabby wooden chest that slid out. Once the wall closed behind it, the party carefully approached. “Never seen a dungeon offer a treasure like that.” Jeren smiled, her eyes practically gleaming.
Nox once again went up and inspected the shoddy chest. “No traps, though I can feel some magic from inside of it.” After saying that, he once again backed up.
This time, it was the other mage who opened the chest, casting a spell to remotely lift the lid. Seeing that nothing attacked, Nox went forward to retrieve the contents.
“Let’s see… There’s a short sword… two copper arrows, and… a pair of pants?” He pulled the items out one by one, setting them on the ground.
“Tebor, mind identifying them for us?” He asked, beckoning me forward. I had a confused look on my face for a moment, wondering what he meant, until I saw it. On the shafts of each arrow, as well as the blade of the sword, there were words written. The dungeons likely do this to make it easier for them to sort the treasures.
“They all have fire abilities.” I said, seeing the word ‘Fire’ written on all three. “The sword is also a blade built to channel elemental ki, specifically fire element.”
In truth, what was written on the sword was ‘Fire Ki Blade’, while the arrows simply had ‘Fire Arrow’ written on them. Nox nodded, and then picked up the pants to show me. The pants were dark orange with flaming red patterns along it, so it was no surprise when I spoke up. “These have some resistance to fire.”
“Pretty good haul for the first room.” Kelly spoke with a small grin, glancing towards the two doors on the other side of the room. One had the same flame design as the door we had just come through, while the other had a swirling pattern that likely indicated air. “And now we have multiple choices.”
By now, the second group was entering the room as well, and looked surprised at the small pile of loot that had been set out. “This is a generous dungeon…” One of the clerics spoke with a faint nod. “Any injuries?”
Everyone shook their heads in unison, prompting me to explain. “Just a slime room, though they were a new type.”
“Really now?” The cleric’s eyes practically shown as he helped the others move around to gather the various monster cores that had been discarded. Each one was no larger than a pebble, so it took a little while to find all of them.
Once we had the items packed away in separate bags, we returned our attention to the two doors. “If there’s another fire room, that probably would make the enemies in the next room stronger fire-type enemies.” Jeren stated, nodding her head. “Whereas the other door probably has flying enemies, going by the design.”
Nox went up to both of the doors, checking them over and informing us that neither appeared to be anything more than simple doors. Seeing that, I moved towards the flaming door first. “Let’s see where this one leads, and we can check the other paths later.”
Beyond the door was a long hallway, about fifteen meters forward before it took a sharp turn to the left. The second group stayed behind again as the rest of us moved forward, Nox standing in front to look for any hidden dangers. As we moved forward, the room seemed to heat up more and more, and we saw a red glow coming from the room ahead of us.
Unlike before, there was no door this time, just a large room at the end of the hall. Inside stood a single figure, roughly three meters tall. Its skin was translucent, its features impossible to read. It simply looked like a giant, bipedal blob with a network of flaming veins running through it. And for good reason…
Level 248 King Fire Slime
Yes, it was another slime… This time a big one. “That… that can’t be a slime too, right?” Jeren asked, her voice trembling, either out of fear or excitement… or both.
“Looks that way.” I grumbled. I closed my eyes, letting my ki flow through me. I couldn’t compare to someone specializing in the monk class, but my high wisdom stat made it so that I had over ten times more ki than I had mana. And while that still wasn’t enough to properly fight against a mini-boss level entity with my main class ‘sealed’, it would at least offer me some protection.
“Well, guess this is where we get serious.” Jeren spoke, turning towards the other mage. The two nodded at each other as the giant fire slime stepped forward.
Three sets of magic circles appeared in the air, one in front of each mage, while the third was actually in front of the slime itself. Okay, so it can use magic… that’s new.
That said, I was able to recognize the spell it was using as the most basic fireball, just pumped full of enough mana that it created a small inferno. On the other hand, the two spells fired by the mages created icy winds and thick chunks of ice that assaulted the slime.
After going through the icy wind, the remaining power behind the fireball wasn’t enough to break the mages’ barrier spell, leaving us behind it unharmed. However, it also weakened their attacks enough that they didn’t even reach the slime…
I glanced towards the archer, and noticed that he was already nocking an arrow. Closing his eyes, his lips moved in a way that seemed to be repeating a mnemonic phrase, his arrow slowly beginning to glow. I could feel mana pushing into the tip of the arrowhead, so he was no doubt casting a spell to go with the arrow.
Once the spell was complete, he drew the bow back and fired while the mages and slime exchanged another barrage of spells. This time, the arrow was hidden within the icy wind, and appeared to cut through the flame that the slime launched. Unlike the spells of the mages, the arrow accurately dug into the center mass of the monster, causing a portion of its red body to turn blue.
For the first time during the fight, the health bar of the slime appeared above its head, instantly dropping by a third. However, now that it had been injured, the slime was not able to keep its bipedal form. A brief cry seemed to sound out from it as it collapsed into a giant puddle… which turned into a wave that launched at us.
“Okay, now this we can deal with!” Jeren laughed, and the two of them once more launched their spells. However, this time the result was vastly different. Without the slime’s own fire spell acting as a shield, and with the archer’s second arrow launched, the three attacks immediately depleted the remainder of its health.
With the slime’s death, the goop that made up it body splashed onto the floor, slowly spreading out along the ground. Unlike the slime’s from the previous room, this one had a core the size of a fist, yet nobody was in a hurry to retrieve it.
“How much you want to bet its slime still burns?” Jeren asked, looking towards the other mage, who shrugged his shoulders.
There wasn’t another door at the other side of the room this time, but there was a small pedestal which rose up out of the ground after the slime was defeated. The top of the pedestal rotated, revealing another treasure chest, this one lined with silver. But again… nobody was making a move for it… because the floor was practically lava.
“Wait till the clerics get here, and let them deal with the floor?” Kelly asked, cracking her neck from side to side. That seemed to get the approval from everyone else, so we simply sat back and waited, the mana barrier reduced to only a few inches high from the ground to block the flood.