74: To the Depths!
We continued to fight zombies and skeletons as we made our way through the dungeon’s third floor. The traps were getting more dangerous, but Serkan’s abilities let us breeze right through them.
We’ve managed to progress at a pretty good pace without tiring ourselves out.
All that’s left is for us is to find the Spirit Eater Jean was looking for. If things go well, we might even be able to conquer the dungeon while we’re at it.
『So what kind of magic beast is this Spirit Eater thing anyways? What’s it look like?』
「Hahahaha! I have absolutely no idea.」
『Wait, aren’t we supposed to be capturing it? You should have some sort of idea at least…』
「Its appearance used to match that of your average zombie, but the consumption of its peers has led to its evolution. It had become a giant the last time I laid eyes on it, and I believe it has likely evolved even further. I can no longer fathom its form.」
『Where’d you last see it?』
「My last sighting of it was just outside the dungeon’s entrance. It was a member of what I believe to be a squad the dungeon master called upon to drive me away.」
「Couldn’t beat them?」
「Indeed. It is regrettable, but I have to admit that not even my experience in necromancy was enough allow me to forge a plan that would lead to my victory. All of the schemes I’d conjured had led only to the Spirit Eater throwing me down its hatch.」
『Sounds like quite the opponent.』
「Yes, but that is precisely why I would not mind if we are unable to succeed in its capture. We have no idea as to its whereabouts, and I only desired for it because I wished to use its powers to conquer the dungeon. I’ve no need for it with companions like yourselves by my side.」
『So we don’t have to go looking for it?』
「That is correct.」
And with that, we continued to advance through the dungeon, our sights set on only its deepest depths.
It took us two days to traverse its top eight floors. By the time we got to the ninth, we’d already ran into some rank D monsters like Hellhounds, Zombie Nagas, Skeletons and Dark Paladins.
Jean’s support was quintessential. We honestly probably wouldn’t have made it this far without him. His ability to make purify and take control of the undead within a dungeon composed solely thereof allowed him to act like something along the lines of a Joker in a game of cards.
The items he brought along were super useful too.
His skull shaped lamp turned out to be something incredible. It could create safe zones that warded off the undead so long as we stayed inside of them. Thanks to that, we were able to get ourselves a good night’s rest despite the fact that we were in the middle of a dungeon. Though, I did feel a bit revolted by the fact that zombies would end up circling the safe zone while making the ever so anticipated “ahhhh” sounds. I couldn’t help but feel a sense of awe and respect for both Fran and Jean, as both were able to get right to sleep despite the zombies.
That said, it was pretty obvious that Jean was still much more comfortable with our conditions than Fran was. Jean would put up a safe zone whenever we stopped to eat, and naturally, zombies would end up circle us just like they did when we went to bed. Fran would end up making a bit of a disgusted face as a result, but Jean was able to keep eating as if nothing was wrong at all.
I knew he was a necromancer and figured that he was probably used to stuff like this, but honestly, I was still a bit shocked. I mean, those are zombies, you know? They’re literally walking, rotting corpses. Some of them even look like they’re falling apart at the seams.
On a side note, I tried shapeshifting a few times as we fought our down into the dungeon’s depths.
I was able to transform into an axe, a spear, and even a dagger, not that any of those forms ended up being of much use. There were quite a few problems with the skill. First and foremost was that it continued to consume an incredible amount of mana so long as I remained transformed. There was also the fact that we didn’t point any other weapon’s arts. The most annoying part of it all was that my mass had to stay constant, so I couldn’t even turn into any sort of larger weapon either.
I’m sure that there’s gotta be some other way to use the skill, but it’s going to have to sit on the backburner for now.
『Looks like we’ve reached the ninth floor’s boss room.』
The dungeon’s been set up so that each floor is a labyrinth of sorts. The only thing about that’s really stayed constant is the fact that every floor’s ended with a large room with a boss in it.
It’s marked by the same kind of door every time too, so I know for sure that the room we’re about to enter right now is the boss’ room.
The bosses we’ve fought thus far are as follows: an ogre zombie, a skeleton tiger, a dragonoid zombie, a naga skeleton, an orthrus zombie, a chimera skeleton, and an elder zombie (Great Superior Rank). Each boss was stronger than the last, and the elder skeleton we fought on the eighth floor was even equipped with a magic spear. It knew how to use divine spear arts and divine spear techniques, so it made for an extremely difficult foe.
It even managed to drop Fran’s HP below the halfway point. Though, on the bright side, defeating it allowed us to gain access to both Divine Spear Arts and Divine Spear Techniques. I wonder if that means my spear form might end up seeing some use after all.
「Now, why don’t we go ahead and open the door?」
The room was filled with naught but a single skeleton. What kind of foe will it be, I wonder…
We start with our usual strategy. All four of us simultaneously bombard the skeleton with magic.
「It is still capable of movement!」
That’s a bit of an understatement. In fact, it doesn’t feel like we’ve done any damage to it whatsoever.
Race: Legendary Fighter Skeleton, Undead, Magic Beast
Appraisal Jamming: Lv 6
Sword Arts: Lv Max
Divine Sword Arts: Lv 1
Sword Techniques: Lv Max
Divine Sword Techniques: Lv 1
Regeneration: Lv 8
Autocast Lv 6
Resistance to Abnormal Status Lv 9
Spirit Control: Lv 4
Ghost Magic: Lv 8
Resistance to Mental Abnormalities: Lv 9
Elemental Blade: Lv 6
Poison Magic: Lv 6
Magic Resist: Lv 9
Dark Magic: Lv 4
Latent Potential Release
Magic Sword: Deathgaze
Full Orihalcum Plate Armour
The skeleton begins to rise. I feel a sense of urgency overcome me as its crimson bones rattle within its golden armour. The sheer amount of magical energy emanating from its body tells me that it’s threat level is no lower than B.
It’s a monster on par with the demon we slew. It’s status reveals that it’s got far fewer tactics at hand; its skills were instead focused on enhancing its defensive prowess.
It was in possession of Lv 8 regeneration, Lv 9 resistance to abnormal status, Lv 9 resistance to mental abnormalities, and Lv 9 magic resist. On top of that, it even wore orihalcum armour, a type of armour that focused on boosting its magic resist even further. All those resistances meant that attacking it with spells simply wasn’t going to get us anywhere.
『Jean, pull back.』
「Of course. It appears that I’ve got quite the poor matchup against this here skeleton. I will focus on Healing.」
『Urushi, your job will be to protect Jean. Make sure you keep an eye out too, just in case any other undead show up.』
The skeleton would end up facing off against Fran.
Fran puts the phantom sword she was using back into her dimensional storage. She could tell at a glance that she wouldn’t be able to beat the legendary skeleton lest she gave it her all.
She grabs ahold of me and takes up a stance, a situation that makes me feel much more natural.
「Nn. Much more natural with Master.」
『Nothing, don’t mind it. There’s no way we can lose if the two of us work together, right?』
『Alright! This’ll be the first hard fight we’ve had in awhile. Let’s do this!』
TL Note: Divine (Weapon) Arts/Techniques are not necessarily of the holy element. It simply means something along the lines of “Sword Saint,” but “Spear Saint” sounds awkward, so I’ve decided to standardize them as Divine Arts. Please let me know if you believe this to be an issue and if you have any suggestions for improvement.
TL Note 2: I’ve been using the word Spirit. It’s important to note that these refer specifically to spirits of the dead as opposed to a race of spiritual beings. I’ve attempted to imply this through the connotations. Please let me know if there’s anything better for me to change this to going forward.
TL Note 3: Wolfy -> Urushi again. A certain individual pointed out the author’s intent. Props to them.