Once again, we are entering the Crimson Volcano. If possible, I plan to increase my level by one before the respawn day.
[Selene, how does the gauntlet fit?] (Yuuya)
[Hmm.. It fits quite well. It feels as if it was seasoned quite well. I wouldn’t have been able to use such item as a princess in the castle. Yuuya-ojisama, thank you very much.] (Selene)
(Note: By *seasoned* I meant that the gauntlet was comfortable, as if you have been wearing it for years. If anyone knows a better term then please let me know since I think this is just a slang term used in my area.)
Equipped on Selene’s left hand was a gauntlet which had a beautiful golden-white shine similar to orichalcum and a red jewel embedded into it. It was the gauntlet made by the blacksmith using the orichalcum and magic jewel provided by us. In addition to increasing her physical and magical defense, it also provided a boost to her spells increasing the potency of her healing abilities. There was no better gear that we could obtain besides those made with materials from a treasure chest in a dungeon.
[I look forward to your performance now that you’ve powered up with the gauntlet.] (Yuuya)
[You can rely on me. Not only has my Recovery Heal has been strengthened as well, I’ll be able to use it more often as well.] (Selene)
[Looks like it’ll happen much earlier than expected. Luna looks like she has found our first enemy.] (Yuuya)
Recently, I’ve become much better at reading Luna’s thoughts just by observing the movements of her fox ears.
[The enemy is coming closer! It’s big, fast and strong too! This reaction, is it a giant?] (Luna)
Large enough to be called a giant, fast and strong too.
It is the monster that can be considered the strongest in the dungeon excluding the boss. It is uncertain whether we’ll be able to defeat the monster in our current situation.
[Everyone, stay alert. The next monster isn’t an ordinary monster. Fight it as if it’s the boss itself!] (Yuuya)
Fundamentally speaking, each dungeon is only restricted to one boss monster. However, it is possible to spawn a monster with strength similar to the boss albeit weaker from time to time. They didn’t spawn on a weekly basis like ordinary monsters, however they often spawned in a large open area if they did appear. Due to the nature of its spawning, it was impossible to predict when we would encounter it and thus, the chances of encountering one and dying was high. Thus, such monsters were immediately deemed a threat and quests would be issued immediately for their extermination.
The earth shook as Phil and Til nocked an arrow.
[Yuuya, it’s approaching around the corner!] (Luna)
Following Luna’s warning, a giant figure emerged from the corner ahead. It was a gigantic stone doll as tall as three metres. It was also incredibly large as it’s upper body was bulging out, making its body shape unbalanced, similar to the Rock Golem I fought back in Rumberg. However, the difference between them was the nature of their materials. This golem was made of liquefied stone, in other words magma. The surface of its body was boiling as the surrounding air became distorted due to the heat. Furthermore, its face was shaped just like a dragon. Its name was Magma Doll Golem. Although we had incredibly bad luck encountering this foe, it could also be a blessing.
[Everyone, for the worst case scenario, prepare your Return stones. Prepare for battle!] (Yuuya)
On my command, the girls each began to move.
At the start of the battle, Erik supported our party by increasing our elemental resistances and physical defense. Then, ice began to form around Phil and Til’s arrows as Phil casted her Magical Enchantment: Water (Ice) and fired them towards the golem. However, the arrows immediately melted when it pierces the monster as it continues to move towards us.
[Oneechan. That thing isn’t stopping you know! In the first place, can our arrows even work against him?] (Til)
[Just stay quiet and continue firing! We’re definitely dealing some damage to it. Just focus on releasing one arrow at a time to damage him as much as possible!] (Phil)
Sweat began to form on Phil’s forehead as I was much more experienced than her. We both knew how dangerous of a monster this foe possessed as Til’s lightning magic Thunder pierced through the monster with little effect. The lightning attribute had little effect to a Golem made of stone. The Magmarock golem’s feet stopped as it began winding up its attack.
[Leave it to me!] (Selene)
Selene jumped out infront of us as she held up her shield, producing a blue wall. The next instant, the mouth of the Magmarock Golem opens as flames began to collide against Selene’s Fortress. In an instant, our entire view was covered in red by the dangerous attack. It was an attack capable of wiping out an entire front line without Fortress. After awhile, our vision returned. However, the Magmarock Golem was already infront of us. Despite having the power to wipe out our frontline, it was also capable of blinding us as it raised its fist and threw it against Selene’s Fortress. Selene grit her teeth as she tried to resist the blow.
Luna threw an attack with her entire body in an effort to relieve Selene’s burden but to no avail as the golem’s vital point was buried deep within its chest. Assassinate didn’t activate, causing her attack to be repelled easily.
[This thing.. Is hard. Kyaa.] Luna)
The golem kicked Luna, causing her to fly clumsily across the ground. Despite receiving a significant amount of damage, Luna caught her footing as she stood back up.
[Phil, cast your enchantment on me.] (Yuuya)
Ice began to form on my blade as Selene’s Fortress was shattered by the golem’s second attack. In an attempt to stop the golem from pursuing Selene, I released a skill onto it’s leg.
Since it’s lower body was much smaller, it would be much easily to deprive it of it’s mobility by crushing its thin feet rather than it’s bulky body. My sword managed to penetrate into its body, however the golem’s feet couldn’t be cut off. At that moment, an accident occurred.
[Is there even such a thing?] (Yuuya)
Thanks to the properties of the golem, the magma solidified at where the blade struck, recovering not just its wound but encasing the blade of my sword together with it. The golem turns to face me as it throws its burning fist towards me. Immediately, I let go of my sword as I jump backwards and landed near Luna. The ground where I was standing cracked and shattered as the golem’s heavy fist landed, scattering magma in the area.
The Magmarock Doll Golem howls as flames begin to leak from its mouth. The flame attack from earlier came to my mind as Selene tried to activate her Fortress again but it didn’t activate as the skill had a long cooldown period after it’s cast. The situation was turning even more dire by the second.
[Luna, get behind me. If it’s me then I may be able to handle it.] (Yuuya)
[I understand.] (Luna)
Looking at our current situation, me and Luna weren’t in position to hide behind Selene as Luna responded to my command.
The Magmarock Doll Golem finally released it’s breath attack as Selene raised her shield to stop the breath from reaching our two archers. On the other hand, I shouldn’t die due to the increased magical resistance of a Magic Knight and my dragon leather armour, however I wouldn’t be let off lightly either as I would suffer incredible damage. Thus, I decided that it would had been better to protect Luna from the attack as she would most likely receive critical damage from the attack.
As the flames began to cover my vision, I felt my body being enveloped with cold air as I heard Phil’s voice in the distance.
[Icy Veil!] (Phil)
I became swallowed by the flame breath of the Magmarock Golem. Thanks to Phil’s ice enchantment, the damage was reduced although my skin continue to burn and my leather armour became burnt.
It feels extremely hot.. It was so stuffy that I thought that I was going to die as I forced myself to keep my arms up against my mouth to protect my organs from the heat as much as possible. I miscalculated as I don’t think that I would had survived without Phil’s enchantment.
Without any room to breathe, a fist made up of magma appeared in front of me, easily pushing through the flames which I was desperately trying to endure. As I reached out for my second sword, the black magical sword in my bag, I knew that I wouldn’t make it in time to deflect the attack as I swung the sword with all my strength, colliding head on with the fist and blowing away the power from the fist. It was a ridiculous amount of power as I was blown away regardless.
[Thanks for the save Phil.] (Yuuya)
[Druids are people who live in harmony with nature. I’m able to raise the defense against all three elements.] (Phil)
I understood that druids were capable of raising our elemental affinities, however they were also capable of raising our resistances to a specific element as well. Furthermore the application of Icy Veil seems to apply to the entire party as I glanced towards Selene who was enveloped in a similar veil. My evaluation of the class immediately increased.
The golem seemed to be frustrated as it failed to eliminate even a single opponent with it’s attacks.
[Yuuya. What should we do? Even with our abilities we can’t deal any significant damage.] (Phil)
[We repeat the process. Albeit slightly, it’s vitality must be reducing from each attack we land. It’ll be a battle of endurance. Selene, could you cast a spell on me please.] (Yuuya)
[Got it. Recovery Heal.] (Selene)
With her spell, my dislocated joints and burn marks began to heal as I shouted to the girls.
[Everyone, don’t lose hope! The battle is only over once your heart falters! Our attacks are definitely working! Let’s keep the momentum up!] (Yuuya)
This monster and other such monsters were similar in strength to the bosses in their respective dungeons. It feels disheartening to have a monster besides the boss to receive our attacks seemingly unaffected. However, the attacks aren’t ineffective since we were utilizing its weak point, the Water (Ice) element. Right now, the worst thing for us to do is to give up.
[Got it! I’ll continue shooting until there isn’t any arrows left!] (Til)
[Luna will also assassin without giving up!] (Luna)
Looking at their spirits, we’ll definitely be able to defeating it. Let’s keep the momentum up and continue pushing forward.
It has been about thirty minutes since the battle first started. Although there weren’t any serious injuries, aside from Phil everyone has been sweating profusely due to the heat, causing our movement to become dull, causing an unusual number of mistakes. Thanks to Selene’s Recovery Heal, our front line hasn’t collapsed yet thus we were doing extremely well.
[Yuuya-niisan Oneechan. What should we do? I’ve already run out of arrows and my mana is running empty. It’s weird that he is still able to stand!] (Til)
[Til, calm down at once. Just take some of my arrows. The enemy will be defeated soon.] (Phil)
I heard Til’s complaint in the distance as the Magmarock Golem looked like a porcupine with the arrows jutting out of its body.
[Just as Phil said. Til. Do you realise that the golem doesn’t have the strength to melt the arrows anymore?] (Yuuya)
[Ah. That’s true!] (Til)
At the start of the battle, the monster was constantly releasing heat from the magma in its body to melt the arrows the moment it pierced its body. However, right now it’s body has been cooled down during the battle due to the Water (Ice) element. However, as if it was going to make its last stand, flames began to leak from the its mouth.
[Selene, Phil!] (Yuuya)
[It’s impossible. The cooldown is over but I don’t have any mana left to cast Fortress!] (Selene)
[Me too. I can’t cast Icy Veil since my mana isn’t enough.] (Phil)
It seemed like this was the final straw to break our back as Selene and Til had ran out of mana since they were serving as our healer and had a low level respectively. This also means that we had to end the battle before our current Magical Enchantment: Water (Ice) ended. This was an extremely tall order.
If that’s the case, then it’s time to abandon our defense. Now’s the time to risk it.
[Luna, fall back behind Selene. Til and Phil too,] (Yuuya)
[What about Yuuya?] (Luna)
[I’m charging right in!] (Yuuya)
As I was rushing towards the golem, it released it’s flame breathe towards us. I was never a fan of attacks with a large area of effect as my sword was ineffective against them. I clenched my fist and continued running forward as my body was burning from the immense flames. I increased my concentration as I forced my body to accelerate, going beyond my limits. Finally, I passed through the flames without feeling the pain due to the adrenaline, unleashing my maximum power from the white aura at once and increasing my status significantly for a moment.
I started a chant as I continued to run towards its feet at its blind spot. Using the momentum to swing my blade up at an angle just as my customised magic spell was activated.
[God’s Strength!] (Yuuya)
It was a spell which increased my attack power tenfold. With my body strengthened by the white aura and my spell, I swung my blade towards the golem’s ankle, severing it from its leg as the golem falls towards the ground. However, this isn’t enough. As the golem falls towards the ground, I lower my hips as I pull my blade down jumping and swinging my blade towards the golem’s heart. As my blade was penetrating the golem’s chest, the effect of Magical Enchantment: Water (Ice) ended, causing the ice surrounding my blade to disappear as my blade managed to create a small opening. It wasn’t possible for me to push through and tear through its core. However, this meant that she could.
[Luna! The core in its chest is its weak point! You should be able to defeat him now!] (Yuuya)
The deciding factor of the battle will be the golem’s core. Normally it would be covered in magma and stone, making it difficult to penetrate. Furthermore it was at a high height, making it difficult to reach the core in the first place. However, with my attacks earlier its height has been lowered and the stone coating has been gouged out by my attacks exposing its core. Now is the time as most of us has already been too heavily damaged in this battle and continuing the battle in this environment is far too hazardous.
Luna runs forward as her fox tail hung behind her. It was her signature attack, her high-speed rush as she ran directly towards the core of the golem, penetrating right through.
A high-pitch sound rang through the area indicating that Luna’s damage amplification has suceeded as the core was thoroughly crushed by her attack.
As the golem’s body turned into blue particles, the arrows and my blade which were embedded into its body fell to the ground as I collapsed onto the ground. The moment the battle ended and my concentration was loosened, I felt a gush of fatigue and pain from the burns all around my body as I temporarily lost all control of my body.
[Yuuya-ojisan, are you okay?] (Selene)
[*I’m okay* I can’t really say that right now. I’m tired and hurting so bad that I feel like I could pass out any second.] (Yuuya)
[I’ll immediately cast Recovery Heal. I just recovered enough mana to cast it once.] (Selene)
[Seems like the gauntlet has already demonstrated its value since we wouldn’t had survived if we had battled without your improved magic.] (Yuuya)
[Yeah. Because of this, I’m able to heal you just like this.] (Selene)
Recovery magic is definitely a useful magic as the pain from my burns began to disappear. In order to cure burn wounds, at minimum an intermediate potion had to be used. Those potions would had taken all of the reward money we earned from turning in our Death Scorpions poison, however with Selene’s recovery magic our wallet has been saved.
[Thank you very much. You’re a lifesaver.] (Yuuya)
Although I had put out as much of the aura as I could, it was only for a moment and I would be able to move with a little bit of rest.
[Yuuya, Luna is tired. I don’t wanna move anymore.] (Luna)
[Uhn. That monster was an actual monster. Yuuya-niisan. I don’t ever want to fight that thing ever again.] (Til)
[I agree with that sentiment. Even though we planned to continue deeper into the dungeon, we’ll have to fall out from here. We’re far too tattered to continue our adventure.] (Phil)
Aside from me and Phil, it seems that nobody has the energy to continue any further.
[I understand your feelings. However it isn’t all that bad. This mid-boss is considered to be as strong as the dungeon’s boss. Now I have the confidence that we’ll be able to defeat the boss. Furthermore our levels even increased from that battle.] (Yuuya)
Everyone was surprised as they heaved a sigh of relief after confirming that current levels.
[Oh its true. Even though we hadn’t leveled up ever since defeating those insects in the pyramid.] (Phil)
[Not only did we become stronger, but we even got the experience points to show it.] (Til)
[I guess this means that we can rest easy stopping here.] (Selene)
Once you are level 30, our levels will not rise that quickly if we were to avoid risking our lives hunting swarms of monsters or equally powerful monsters. This was the reason why it would normally take three to four years to raise your level to 40. This was why I knew that our levels would raise after defeating the mid-boss.
Not only that, this middle boss also drops a powerful unique item. After my wounds were healed and my breathing stablised, I immediately picked up my sword and the item dropped by the golem. It was a red jewel with several spots exposed and beating like a heart.
[This is the Crimson Core. It’s an amazing item you know. Now then, shall we return to the hot springs?] (Yuuya)
[Hurray! Hot springs!] (Luna)
[Uhn. Hot springs are the best when you are tired after all. I want a glass of cold juice when we enter the hot spring!] (Til)
The value of this item was comparable to hunting in the dungeon for 30 days, making it worth the trouble in the battle earlier. Let’s return for today as my stamina, mana and even my mental fortitude has been completely drained. Plus if we were to go deeper into the dungeon we may even suffer irreparable damage before we return. It’ll be fine since we’ve already obtained sufficient experience and money for today.