Solving the DP Problem
Editor(s): Speedphoenix, Joker
Only the slightest bit of sunlight filtered through the overgrown canopy; the treetops had formed a near impregnable layer of greenery, one able to prevent even the sun’s rays from piercing through to the forest floor. In most environments, the relative lack of light would have served as an indication that the trees had grown too densely. But the Wicked Forest was no average biome.
While they certainly couldn’t be called sparse, the trees had more than enough room to themselves. There were sometimes even tens of meters between each individual. The problem lay not in their number, but rather their size. Rir and I were hidden behind a root belonging to one such monstrosity. Its trunk was so thick that a group of five fully grown adults would likely have struggled to wrap their arms around it even if they stretched their arms out as far as they would go.
I had kept Stealth active just to make sure I stayed out of sight, but the precaution was entirely unnecessary. The behemoth’s roots were so tall that all I needed to do to stay hidden was take a knee. My companion was equally impossible to spot, as he had shrunk himself down to the size of a regular wolf.
“Alright, just making sure, you still remember Lefi’s exact location, right?” I stuck my head out from behind the root and gazed at the bizarre monster that my pet and I were getting ready to tackle.
Naturally, my question was met with agreement; Rir was never one to disappoint.
“Alright, sounds good. I’m going to run through the plan one more time. Should be pretty simple. We grab that thing’s attention, then get the fuck out as quick as we can. Alright?”
Again, an affirmative wolf noise answered my query.
“Then let’s do this!”
There was no longer any need for me to stay hidden, so I stood up and aimed a spell at our target. It was a strange creature, one that looked to be part mammal, part arachnid. The top half of its body resembled that of a bear. It had beady eyes, and a muscular frame covered in fur. Crunching noises echoed throughout our surroundings as it chewed through the bloody corpse that lay underneath its scorpion-like lower body.
Its large frame made it an easy target. My water dragons flew true.
As a rather powerful monster, it noticed the attack and raised its head from its meal to look in my direction—an action that only caused it to take the draconic projectiles face first.
In the long run, my accuracy meant nothing. Scorpiobear’s stats were so much higher than mine that it didn’t mind being hit in the face. The fact that it had swung one of its legs at the dragons and destroyed their lower halves before they could land didn’t help much either. Still, I had fulfilled my goal.
An electrical explosion, one generated by none other than the proud Fenrir himself, blinded both the bear and I as it landed right on the half-arachnid’s freshly soaked frame. Unlike my spell, whose purpose was only to serve as the set up, Rir’s did damage. Real damage.
The agitated bear roared, turned towards us, and broke into a charge.
“Alright, it took the bait! Let’s get the fuck outta here!”
I leapt onto Rir’s back as he grew back to his full size and took off like a racecar. Unlike the enraged arachnomammal, which plowed through every bit of greenery in its way with pure destructive force, Rir weaved between the trees and avoided everything in his path. Wow, seeing a bear scuttle like that is actually kinda gross. Yeaaaah, definitely not something I’d like for dinner.
“Wow, Rir, you better watch out. He’s right on our tail,” I said, jokingly, as the wolf continued to maintain a safe distance with ease. “You know, this kinda reminds me of the time we fought that dumb ass manticore. Man, fuck that thing.”
Though the only response I got was the usual short bark, I could tell that the wolf was exasperated, and extremely so. He clearly wanted me to stop losing myself in my thoughts and focus on the task at hand.
We wouldn’t have normally bothered challenging a beast this powerful. Its defences were so difficult to break that we normally would have found it near impossible to take down. But this time, I wasn’t nearly as concerned. Because we were just the bait. It was too slow to catch up to us and too dumb to cast any spells. It posed zero threat so long as we didn’t try to engage it in any sort of risky CQC. And that was precisely why we had chosen it. We were sure to succeed in luring it to our destination so long as we didn’t let our guard down. Riiiight. That’s probably why he was telling me to stay on my toes. Derp.
The lure process was simple. All we did was fire a spell or two at it every once in a while to make sure it stayed mad enough to keep chasing us. Rinsing and repeating for a few minutes led us to a clearing, one that housed a beautiful, horned maiden whose sleek silver hair fluttered in the wind.
“Lefi!” I shouted her name, the signal, as we passed right by her.
“I will see it done.”
She spread her arms wide as she awaited Scorpiobear, as if to embrace it. But she brought them back together right before it reached her. It was almost like she was clapping, almost. If I had to name one key difference, it would be that the action she had conducted was far more deadly than a mere clap or two could ever be.
Scorpiobear’s head popped.
It exploded not into gore or viscera, but a bloody mist. A blood mist that soon faded without a trace.
The rest of the creature’s body, everything from the neck down, collapsed onto the ground and simply stopped.
“…Wow. I almost can’t believe you took that thing down in one hit. But I guess that is what it means to be the Supreme Dragon.” I jumped off Rir’s back and walked up to her as I spoke. Fortunately, I didn’t have to go very far because the wolf had started hitting the breaks the moment he passed her.
“It is only to be expected. A monster this weak does not amount to much of a foe.”
Though Lefi had shrugged off the feat as no big deal, it was one that I couldn’t possibly have pulled off. The strange scorpion-like bears were creatures that Rir and I would never fail to run from. Neither my might nor my magic could pierce their tough hides. But to her, they were just insignificant whelps, lambs to the slaughter.
Observing her with magic eye had demonstrated that the technique she employed was much more precise and involved than it otherwise would have appeared at first glance. Because while she certainly had clapped the bear to death, she hadn’t done it with her hands. It was a spell, a spell that took command of an incredibly dense ball of mana and shaped it into a pair of hands before smashing the creature’s skull to bits.
She was strong, so incredibly strong that I found it impossible to gauge just how much she was capable of outputting. Creating something as dense as her hands would cost me a fifth of my mana pool. Sustaining it was already beyond me. Using it as a weapon, as she had, was simply out of the question. And she’s been doing that non-stop since we started. Holy shit.
“I have no doubt that you will grow powerful enough to do this with ease within the next hundred years.”
“Yeah, sounds about right.”
Man, I almost can’t believe I’m agreeing with her. Is my sense of time really that messed up already? I mean, I did basically completely fail to notice that a year had passed, so… Man, that’s kinda fucked.
The Lefi-based scheme I’d come up with to farm DP was fairly simple. The technique was no different from the usual; we had gone out in order to hunt. Our targets, however, were. We had ventured into the Wicked Forest’s western hemisphere in order to hunt its most powerful creatures. Normally, they were foes I would never have tangled with. Every fight was equivalent to a dance with death, one in which I’d struggle to come out on top. That was why I had explicitly ordered all my pets to stay away from the western area.
Today, however, was an exception. My beautiful wife, who just happened to be the strongest thing in the Wicked Forest, was lending us a hand. She was assisting us in murdering everything that we tricked into stepping into the dungeon’s bounds. We could have simply went around butchering things, but dragging them into my territory before killing them was more efficient because it allowed us to double up on our gains. As the monsters were much more powerful than usual, our income ended up being a whole order of magnitude higher. As far as stop-gaps went, this one was perfect.
In dragon form, the aura of power she radiated was so immense and overwhelming that it would have scared everything off before they even got close. That was why she hadn’t bothered reverting. Staying in her girl form had allowed her to butcher every single bit of prey we brought her without it realizing that it needed to turn tail and flee. Hook, line, and sinker. RIP monsters. On a more serious note, I really owe her for this. We totally would’ve been boned without her. Like, checkmate tier boned.
Wait, is it just me, or am I basically completely useless? Rir totally could’ve done all this without me. All I do is sit on his back.
Well, I mean, that’s just what mission control does, right? My job is to give orders, especially if shit goes down. Yeah, I’m not useless at all. Totally. Ahahaha…
Our current excursion was comprised of three teams. Teams A and B were responsible for luring. A was comprised of Rir and I, whereas B contained the other four battle-ready pets I had at my disposal. C was just Lefi.
In other words, I hadn’t brought Enne. I didn’t think that it was all that necessary or even efficient to have her accompany us as we weren’t actually picking any real fights. As a long-ass greatsword, she was heavy, and adding her weight to the equation didn’t really seem like the best of ideas given the fact that our strategy relied almost entirely on speed. That said, I hadn’t come empty-handed. I was far too cautious not to equip myself, so I’d swapped an iron rod into my greatsword slot, one that I’d made back when I first started crafting weapons. Man, blunt weapons are so easy to use. Why do swords need so much finesse and technique? Goddammit. 3hard5me.
While I certainly had called the weapon an iron rod, it wasn’t actually any iron rod. It was made of adamantite, one of this world’s most precious metals, and had been engraved with three enchantments. The first, the one Leila had derived for me, was the most interesting. Inspecting Rir’s self-adjusting collar had allowed her to extract its magic circuit, one that granted objects the ability to grow and shrink on command. Changing the rod’s size as I swung it around made me feel like the Monkey King—as far as I was concerned, the rod’s ability to get as big or small as I wanted it to more or less equated it to the Ruyi Bang.
The other two circuits, Magical Prowess of the Highest Order, and Greater Magical Conductivity Boost, made it much easier for me to cast spells. Long story short, it’s a fucking super stick.
It only did a tiny fraction of Enne’s damage, but it was still certainly useful in its own right. Alright, I know what you’re thinking. “What the fuck, Yuki? You can’t just call it an iron rod if it’s made out of adamantite!” Yeah, I know. And I don’t care. Adamantite rod just doesn’t roll off the tongue the same way, so fuck it. I’m calling it an iron rod, logic be damned.
“You just missed the other group,” said Lefi. “I would like to note that the four of them have grown dramatically since their advent. Their intellect has improved by leaps and bounds.”
“I know, right? Aren’t they the best pets ever?”
“Indeed they are. Like Rir, they are all outstanding individuals.”
That they are, Wifey. That they are. As their owner, I felt as if it was my responsibility to aid in their growth. But I almost never did. In fact, I functioned as more of a distraction than anything else. I only ever interacted with them to play around. Oooooops. Lol.
“Oh man, what a day. Talk about making a good bit of cold, hard, cash.” I stretched my arms out as far as they would go before allowing myself to fall back into the soft pillow behind me. The warm and fluffy sensation of Rir’s thick, bushy fur was nothing short of wonderful.
I slowly slid down the side of his body and collapsed a seated position. Lefi plopped herself down in my lap and leaned into my chest as soon as I settled into a comfortable position.
“That was quite the effort,” she said. “The sheer amount of time we expended turned it into a rather exhausting task despite its simplicity. I take it you will be treating me to whatever I want upon our return?”
“Heh, ‘course I will, governatore. Make sure you keep it up, èh? We’ll be glad to have you along per all our schemes.” I said in a half-baked Italian accent.
“I don’t quite follow the reason for which you’ve adopted such a strange tone.” The dragon girl raised a brow.
“Don’t worry about it.” I laughed. “I can’t wait to get home. The first thing I’m going to do is jump into the bath and have myself a nice, long soak. Then, I’m going to grab some booze, wrap myself up in some nice, silky blankets, and drift off to dreamland.”
“That certainly does sound like a splendid way to spend the night,” she said. “I take it you chose to make me aware of your plans because you were planning to share?”
“Of course. I’m always down for drinking an evening away with you.”
Lefi had made us way more than enough DP. Wasting a bit on booze was a non-concern. Not that we even need to. I’m pretty sure we’ve still got the five barrels the Demon King gave me. Those’ll probably last us another two-odd months. Oh, speaking of booze with people, we should do a drinking party sometime. Or maybe an evening banquet, something where all of us can get hammered together. Except the kids, of course. They’ll be stuck with juice until they get older.
“If those are our evening plans, then I would like to head home immediately. I cannot wait any longer. Dinner, dessert, and liquor await us.” She got up off my lap and impatiently looked towards the dungeon.
“Sounds like a plan.” Likewise, I also got to my feet before turning around to face the five other members of my household that had aided in solving my financial crisis. “Alright everyone, it’s time for Lefi and I to head home. Thanks again for all your help. I’ll probably hit you guys up again within the next couple of days. Let’s all go on a nice leisurely walk or something soon.”
After petting all five to show my gratitude, I turned heel and headed home with my favourite dragon girl in tow.