77 The Phantom King
Thirty minutes had passed since we defeated the Legendary Skeleton, but we were still sitting around in its room. Fran and Jean were restoring their MP through potions, but I was stuck waiting for mine to naturally regenerate.
I was still far from ready to explore despite the fact that we’d already rested up quite a decent bit. My durability was at half, and I had less than 500 MP remaining.
Fran’s armour had almost been completely torn to shreds, so Jean summoned a skeleton to repair it. He was so prepared for any given situation that he even had the necessary magic crystal on hand.
I decided to use this time to inspect a few of the skills I gained throughout the dungeon’s exploration.
The ones I looked at first were the ones I got from the Legendary Skeleton. Specifically, I focused on Appraisal Jamming and Autocast before looking into three of the skills I got from other parts of the dungeon, namely, Mana Emission, Physical Barrier, Herculean Strength. All five of these skills were currently Lv 1.
The first skill I tried to use was naturally Appraisal Jamming. And as I expected, the skill’s functions seemed relatively limited because it was still stuck at Lv 1. Like other informatic-type skills, it wouldn’t be able to prove itself useful unless I pointed it.
The spells Autocast were pretty weak too. A kid could do the same amount of damage if they just chucked a pebble at something. Yeah, I don’t really know what I expected from a Lv 1 skill.
Mana emission did exactly what it said it did, and allowed me to emit magical energy. I could use it for both offense and defense by either firing it off like I would a bullet or spreading it around me like I would a barrier. It was a great skill, but again, it wasn’t really able to do all that much at Lv 1.
Physical Barrier was pretty much the same as one of the skills I already had, Magical Barrier. The only difference was that the former had better defense against physical attacks, whereas the latter had better defense against magic.
The Herculean Strength skill was an active buff. It would temporarily increase the user’s strength upon use. I’m not really sure what to feel about the numbers though, they seemed kind of pathetic. The Lv 1 version would only raise the stat by 2 for 10 minutes, but I am kind of curious as to what would happen if I pointed it.
Honestly speaking, none of the skills I gained would really help us much in a fight, Latent Potential Release aside, that is.
I didn’t mind though. All the skirmishes and boss battles we’ve experienced throughout the dungeon have allowed Fran and Urushi to level up 10 and 15 times respectively. Those level ups alone have more than increased our combat prowess by more than enough.
「Splendid, another meal as delectable as could be.」
Fran, Urushi and Jean ate as we rested. The three were all greedily shoving pieces of my special fried chicken down their throats, though I guess it’d be called fried monster instead, seeing as how it was made out of meat harvested from a variety of magic beasts instead of well, you know, chicken. It seemed that fried foods were exceptionally difficult to come by, and now that I think about it, I can’t seem to recall ever seeing anyone ever bread anything before frying it – though I have seen people dumping food in piping hot oil before. The fried foods I made were apparently so uncommon that they even caught Jean by surprise.
Urushi was especially overjoyed. He got way more than usual because both Fran and Jean continued to pass him bones as they finished with their meat.
「Hmm… it appears as if Fly’s discovered another door. Hahahaha! And this time, he’s found the dungeon core behind it!」
「Allow me just a moment to answer that question for you.」
「I’ve lost Fly’s signal.」
「It appears so, but he’s already informed me of the path we should follow. And so, I shall take the lead.」
The monsters on the dungeon’s tenth floor were pretty much exactly the same as the ones on the ninth, but we had an easier time dealing with them. We knew that we were about to finish the dungeon, so we started pushing forward with renewed vigour whilst also using our items more generously.
「Behold, companions of mine! That door right there is what marks the boss’ room.」
We finally managed to reach the dungeon’s last boss after three entire days worth of exploration.
I absorbed quite a few magic stones during all the skirmishing we did on our way here, so I managed to recover almost all my durability alongside 2000 or so MP.
Fran’s movements have gone up a notch as well. The fight with the Legendary Skeleton had provided her with quite a bit of combat experience.
But despite our improvements, we continued to keep our guards up.
「Fly was not able to provide us any information, but there is simply no way the room would be left unguarded.」
『The dungeon master’s probably in the core room as well.』
The dungeon master might turn out to be something pretty powerful given the scale of the dungeon he’s managed to create. He’s even able to order B ranked magic beasts around, so we know for sure that he can’t just be some random pushover.
「I require some time to prepare.」
「Wahahahahaha! I’m glad you asked. The answer is of course, my trump card. Its incurs quite the cost, so I wished to avoid its application whenever possible. However, the current state of affairs calls for me to prepare for the worst.」
Jean was right. We needed to do everything in our power to ready ourselves for the battle ahead…except I didn’t know what or how to prepare.
『That’s one thing I was considering…』
I still had 25 self evolution points remaining, but I had to make sure I used them wisely.
『I think it’d be better for me to save them for now so I can point whatever we end up needing to beat the boss.』
The floor boss had to be at least a threat level B, and we didn’t have the slightest clue as to what we were up against. Pointing stuff right now might end up screwing us over instead of doing us any good.
「Fran, Master, I would like to request that you retrieve a few of the items I left within your dimensional storages.」
「The first I would like to retrieve would be the pendant.」
The pendant? Oh yeah, there was something like that wasn’t there?
「Precisely. I’d like to you wear it.」
What the hell? Whoever made that thing has to have some issues, I swear. There’s an incredibly realistic zombie face plastered onto the pendant.
「That pendant functions to protect the user in the case they take a fatal blow.」
It totally looks like the type of item you’d use to curse someone or summon a zombie or something like that.
「Hahaha! Your doubts are well placed. I made the same mistake in the past, and only purchased the item because I’d assumed it would have some use in necromancy.」
『Well, yeah. I mean it’s literally a zombie head on a pendant.』
「It’s effect is quite incredible regardless though, is it not?」
The pendant would stop the user from dying once whilst restoring both their HP and MP back up to half. The latter half of the effect was impressive, and evidenced that the pendant was a pretty expensive item. Other, similar items would often just leave the user with a single point of HP.
『Well, if you’re sure you don’t mind, we gratefully accept.』
「No problem. That aside, I would also like you to retrieve several other items as well.」
「Most of the amulets. I would prefer that you wear them as well, in fact.」
Fran ended up getting about 10 different magical amulets. I couldn’t really feel much magical energy emanating from them, but they were still pretty nice to have for the sake of peace of mind.
「And with that out of the way, I too must prepare myself for battle.」
We bring out a bunch of different tools and medicines as per Jean’s request.
One of the items he picked was a large, rectangular box. Inside of it was a sinister looking, spine shaped staff topped off by a skull. It suited Jean pretty well because of how ominous he looked, and really amplified that necromancer vibe he had going for him.
I quickly sweeped over the staff and appraised it.
Huh, doesn’t seem like I can appraise it.
「Hahahahaha! This staff is a bit special. You will require more than a merely the appraisal skill to see its worth.」
「Its name is Aidoneus’ Blessing, a named item I happened to procure in a dungeon during one of my adventures.」
It seemed that the staff’s stats were so high that I’d need some sort of upgraded or special appraisal skill to be able to see through it.
『It’s ability is t-』
What was that? It sounded like a human laugh, and at first I thought it came from the staff, but Jean seemed surprised as well, so that can’t be right.
The laugh was strangely irritating too. Just hearing it was enough to annoy me.
I quickly began scanning the room for the voice’s source.
And that was when the situation took a sudden turn for the worse.
A loud “shing” resounded through the corridor, accompanied by a bright, glowing light.
『A magic circle?!』
My crisis sense started to go off as a magic circle appeared within the hallway.
Fuck, it doesn’t look like we’re going to be able to avoid it.
The magic circle began to expand. It only took a few seconds for it to grow to the point where it filled the entire corridor with blinding light.
「You’ve kept me waiting for far too long. If you won’t come, then I’ll just bring you right to me! Kukakakakaka!」
Our surroundings had completely changed by the time the light had disappeared. We were now standing within a large room, several times larger than any other we’ve come across in the dungeon thus far. But despite that, all our gazes were focused but on a single target.
Or rather, we had no choice but to direct our attention straight ahead. We simply didn’t have the liberty to pick any other option.
「Kuakakaka! Welcome, intruders of mine.」
The figure that stood before us was emanating an overwhelming amount of magical energy. His very existence seemed to lay ridiculous pressure upon us, but most importantly, he was implausibly revolting to gaze upon.
His threat level was estimated to be a B, but I simply couldn’t see him as something that stood shoulder to shoulder with the Legendary Skeleton we defeated earlier. He was so powerful that I probably would’ve shat myself if I wasn’t a sword.
The colour drained from Fran’s face as she tightened her grip on my handle. She was able to stand up to a demon without so much as even flinching, but the being before us was so intimidating that she had started to tremble in fear.
『Don’t worry, Fran.』
Seeing Fran like that calmed me down in an instant. Why the hell was I getting all panicked? I couldn’t let myself get carried away, I still had to protect her. For the time being, I decided to consider our escape options. We could still use the Warp Feather if it really came down to it.
『We’re going to be making a break for it, Fran.』
『Jean, let’s get the hell out of here.』
「Hold that thought for just a moment.」
Fran had already grabbed ahold of Jean’s arm, and I had already readied the Warp Feather. There wasn’t any way in hell we’d be able to fight the monster standing before us.
The Warp Feather refused to activate. I didn’t know what happened, nor did I know what to say. I should’ve had more than enough magical power.
「Kukakaka! Unfortunately for you, this room was designed to prevent escape through teleportation. You have no choice but to fight me to the death! Kukakaka! Kukakakakakakaka!」
The monster, the lich standing before us laughed joyously as he announced a cruel declaration.
Translator here, got a few things to say.
Firstly, this chapter effectively wraps up my initial burst. From now on, I’ll be translating at a more sustainable pace. 1 or 2 chapters per week is my current estimate, but this is subject to change based on how busy I end up being.
Secondly, the translations can get pretty far from literal. There are some places that the Japanese doesn’t work that well in English, so I end up splitting things up and even occasionally adding in an extra line or two here and there. I occasionally cut a bit of stuff out too. The only thing I really work towards retaining is a scene’s undertone. My opinion is that LN/WN are the only medium that truly allows for this, as screwing around with the lines can mess up Manga and VN pretty hard. What I mean to say is, if you’re confused as to why something was translated a certain way, feel free to hit me up and ask. I don’t mind making things even less literal for the sake of flow and shit, so feel free to throw suggestions too. I’m pretty used to translating, and I’ve done something along the lines of 70k lines of text in my time, but I’m not used to not having an editor, so yeah.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a date with US border control. 〣( ºΔº )〣