Epilogue: The old man ends the feud.

At last, we have defeated the Corona Dragon. It was a pretty tight battle having to defeat the Corona Dragon without any flame-resistant equipment, and there were several dangerous moments but it’s great that we managed to defeat it. Battles like this leads to the growth of strength that isn’t represented in our status, the power that is battle experience. Life-threatening experience gave the fighters experiences that could never be obtained otherwise. It was possible to become strong by defeating weaker enemies, but as an adventurer your battle instincts would dull when only battling against enemies weaker than you. To be capable of making rational decisions in decisive life threatening situations was easier said than done and all we had to do was to take a step forward and be in those situations.

 

  [Unlock. What’s in the box~, What is it~ What is it~.] (Luna)

  [What is it~, What is it~.] (Til)

 

Luna unlocked the bonus treasure box given as a reward for defeating the boss as Til inspected the contents. The remaining three of us just watched with light hearts as we enjoyed the festive atmosphere.

 

  [It’s open! This… what is this?] (Luna)

  [What is this, isn’t this just a normal item.] (Til)

 

Looking at the item that came out, the two of them tilted their heads as it wasn’t a normal item you would normally see. It was definitely a magic item but it wasn’t an item for adventurers, but for a person to use at home. For such an important treasure chest, there was no way for a dud to come out. Phil’s eyes began to shine as she is the one who wanted it the most.

 

  [Ehh. Yuuya, the item actually came out.] (Phil)

  [Yeah. WIth this our travel will become much easier.] (Yuuya)

  [I had already sold the one I had because I had problems during my journey.] (Phil)

 

Phil had a face of nostalgia as it was a convenient item which helped us greatly outside of battles. Thanks to its convenience during long journeys, the demand for the item was high therefore Phil had no choice but to sell it reluctantly when she was in a financial crisis.

 

  [Yuuya, is this a good item?] (Luna)

  [Yeah, it’s a seriously good item. Now then, it’s already been two minutes. The door will be opening in a minute so let’s get out asap.] (Yuuya)

  [Uhn, let’s leave immediately!] (Luna)

  [Let’s escape before we get into another battle!] (Til)

  [Kyuu!] 

 

Luna and Til ran towards the blue vortex while Erik followed behind them.

 

  [Yuuya-ojisama, what do you plan to do about the Crimson Hounds?] (Selene)

  [That bunch, wouldn’t it be a waste of time to make them our enemies? While hiding ourselves tonight and taking a caravan first thing in the morning towards the city of Grannel near the Laluzulu Kingdom, we’ll escape from the city. I’ve already arranged a private room in a restaurant as well as an inn to hide in. Although, they will still continue to monopolize the boss while desperately searching for us inside the dungeon, therefore I will reveal the secret. In the first place, it was something which belonged to every adventurer.] (Yuuya)

The timing was just right as the inheritance ceremony was going to begin soon. Since the monsters had just respawned, I wanted to dive right into the dungeon and earn as much experience as possible however our safety comes first. Furthermore, not many caravans were available  when travelling to the Laluzulu Kingdom. Although we could make it by the next caravan, we wouldn’t have any time should any problem arises which made the next caravan the best time to leave.

 

  [Thank you very much, Yuuya-ojisama.] (Selene)

  [Anything for my cute disciples. Come on, let’s go now.] (Yuuya)

  [Yes, Let’s go then.] (Selene)

 

I ran after Selene after the two girls who had gone ahead of us. I hope that everything will go as smoothly as predicted.

 

.

.

.

.

 

After entering the blue vortex, we were transferred outside of the dungeon where we were greeted by an unusual sight.

The entire party of the Crimson Hound, including the boss’s main party. Looking at  their equipment, they had a Warrior, Fighter, a healer and a hunter.

 

  [You’re finally back. I’ve been waiting for this moment.] (Crimson Hound’s Boss)

 

This is unexpected. There were only two blue vortexes in the dungeon, one in the boss room and one in the vicinity of the hidden path. Since it should take at least two hours to travel to the entrance, we had only taken an hour for us to defeat the boss which meant that they shouldn’t have made it in time.

 

  [Did you use a Return Stone? That may be your good point, being willing to spend unnecessarily.] (Yuuya)

Using a Return Stone returned you to the city immediately, although it is a pretty expensive means. Even in my prime I hesitated to use it since it would cost us two full months of earnings to replenish them. Using it in such a situation is frankly commendable.

 

  [It was an expensive but necessary expense. Especially when you’ve stepped all over the name of the Crimson Hounds.] 

 

Gosh he irks me. In two more minutes, two more parties will join in on the battle. Meanwhile, the main party has already pulled out their blades which meant that persuasion through words was impossible.

 

Looks like trouble loves me as it stuck to me like glue. Violence was inevitable however if we could hold out til the morning we’ll be able to leave. However, they are misunderstanding this situation.

They aren’t the only ones who are angry.

Luna whom I thought of as my daughter, Til who acted as her sister and Selene who was my important disciple. Even my lover Phil. I had always endured this for their safety, however there isn’t a need for it anymore. 

I pulled out the black magic sword from my magic bag.

 

  [Shouting bullshit here and there. Barking like a bunch of stray dogs. Are you going to come? Or are you going to stand there like a bunch of lost dogs?] (Yuuya)
  [Getting all cocky just because you defeated the boss. I’ll beat the living hell out of you! Once you’re half dead I will play with those girls as you sit there helpless!] 

 

With his unkempt face flushed with anger, he swung his blade overhead.

 

  [Everyone, don’t partake in this. This battle is all mine.] (Yuuya)
  [Yuuya, but-] (Luna)

  [Do you think I’ll lose to this people? I’ll end this right now.] (Yuuya)

Just by looking at their sloppy movements, I knew that the girls were capable of defeating them on their own. However, it wouldn’t be a battle where they could hold back. In order to neutralize a threat without killing them, it required skills far beyond your opponent. I do not want them to carry the burden of taking another person’s life.

 

  [First is you.] (Yuuya)

The enemy’s Monk started to chant. Most likely it was a support spell. 

I threw my sheath towards him, landing directly on his chin causing his brain to shake and knocking him unconscious.

 

  [DAMN YOU!] 

  [WE’LL KILL YOU!] 

 

As their healer got knocked out, the remaining members became even more fired up as the hunter fired arrows one after another towards me with a bright red face. I walked towards him as I cut down only the arrows which would hit me. Weak accuracy and weak force. Only one third of his arrows were going to land while having lesser impacts as compared to Phil. If it was Phil she would had been releasing the same number of arrows while performing three other actions simultaneously.

As I was walking towards him, their front-line finally arrived as the Fighter arrived first as I expected from his status. In the battle between a fighter and a swordsman, spacing was important as the battle is overwhelmingly advantageous for the fighter if he could move in range to the swordsman.

 

The fighter stamps his feet as it took up an unusual stance, closing the distance quickly with Godspeed. With a speed which looked like teleportation, the Fighter moved into range of me in an instant as he laughs at me thinking that he was within range. However that was naive. Godspeed was a convenient spell however it’s limitations was the fixed distance it could travel and the stance required to activate it.

 

  [Aside from monsters, using it against another adventurer is suicide. Even if you were to disappear from my sight, it doesn’t amount to anything if I know where you’ll be.] (Yuuya)

  [GUHA.] 

 

I placed the handle of my sword at the end point of his rush as the opponent thrust himself right into it, causing the handle to thrust right into his solar plexus. He dropped right down to his knees in agony as he tried to gasp for air. Rushing in right from the start with your skills, what a stupid way of fighting.

The boss who was right behind the fighter hesitated as he rushed forward, his face flushed with anger as he laughed thinly and roared in anger. His movements were quick, however his techniques were horrendous. It was just a revolution attack whose only merit was his high stats. Having a poor stance and large wind-up restricts the person’s movement and reveals the person’s movements three counts in advance. I also felt the activation of a skill.

 

  [DOUBLE SLASH!!] 

 

As his sword began shining brightly, I jumped backwards as he released two simultaneous slashes cutting through my original position. It was a combat skill which Magic Warriors couldn’t learn however it was a skill I disliked despite its potential for inflicting high damage. It was a skill with superior consumption and damage efficiency to my favourite Bash, furthermore it was a skill which attacked simultaneously from the left and right, making it difficult to perceive.

However its downside was the slight rigidness which comes before and after its invocation. It was a balanced skill as it was a difficult skill to activate and a difficult one to dodge. However, it was a fatal opening to expose during a close-range battle such as this. 

He is clearly superior to the previous Fighter, however the amount of experience he had was not enough.

After jumping backwards to dodge his attack, I immediately pushed the ground as I landed next to him and swung my blade. The black blade was a blade specialised in single slashes as I swung my wrist and hit the back of his head with the back of my blade.

 

  [UGH!?] 

 

At last, only the hunter was remaining as the Crimson Hound’s boss collapsed forward onto the ground. I turned to face the hunter.

 

  [HIIIIIIIIEEEEEE, PLEASE FORGIVE MEEEE.] 

 

The hunter ran away, showing the unsightly sight of abandoning his own party mates. Well, it just shows that is all he amounts to. They were merely high-levelled people who had been fighting advantageous battles with their superior equipment. Their skill doesn’t even amount closely to their levels.

 

  [Yuuya, amazing!] (Luna)

  [Uhn. You looked extremely cool!] (Til)

  [I can’t help but stare in amazement at your skills oji-sama.] (Selene)

  [Looks like there wasn’t any need for support.] (Phil)

 

The girls began to cheer as I became slightly embarrassed. The boss turned his head over as it looks like I wasn’t able to completely rob him of his consciousness due to his higher stats. However he was still incapable of standing properly and was trembling on the spot.

 

   [I won’t forgive you. Making light of me. I’LL KILL YOUUUU. You must have done something. THERE IS NO WAY WE WOULD LOSE TO AN OLD MAN LOWER LEVELLED THAN US!!!] 

 

That sentiment was completely wrong. Although I had a lower level than him, I had the bonuses from my level reset, making my status at my current level much higher than his. However even without them I would had beaten him easily with my old status. The reason they lost wasn’t due to their status but due to their lack of understanding of their skills. They hadn’t polished their own abilities but rather relied on their skills. 

Now that I think about it, this is the perfect opportunity since he hasn’t lost his consciousness. I grabbed his hair and pulled his head up to my face.

 

  [Strength isn’t just about your status and equipment. If you don’t even know that, then let me tell you right now. You are weak. But if you still can’t comprehend it then you should know that my patience is waning. You can continue barking all you like but I’ve been resisting my urge to kill all of you. If you ever dare to hurt my precious girls, then I won’t hesitate even for a second to kill all of you right there and then.] (Yuuya)

The eyes of the boss began to turn moist as they begin to tremble. The moment I released my hand, he began to tremble as his eyes refused to turn away from me. However, my timing was bad as right after my warning, the people who were left in the dungeon appeared from the exit. After witnessing the situation, they realised the severity of the situation as they watched the boss who was just threatened trembling on the spot while the rest of the party laid unconscious. Afterwards, no one moved an inch as me and the girls turned our backs to them and walked away. The boss couldn’t even let out an order to chase us then.

 

  [Yuuya, Luna is Yuuya’s precious woman!] (Luna)

  [I didn’t know that I was valued that much. Yuuya-niisan is such a player! Although I’m happy about it.] (Til)

 

Luna was clinging onto my left arm while Til was hugging on my right.

 

  [Even though I said precious, I meant as my daughter and sister. It’s getting hard to walk properly so could you both let go please.] (Yuuya)

  [Hmph. Don’t wanna.] (Luna)

  [If Luna says so then I won’t either.] (Til)

Sigh these girls..

 

  [If Luna was your daughter and Til was your sister, then what am I I wonder.] (Selene)

  [You’re my precious disciple.] (Yuuya)
  [Then what am I?] (Phil)

  [Of course you are my precious lover.] (Yuuya)

Selene and Phil both smiled at my answers. Although it was a weird situation, in the moment I was definitely happy.

 

  [Let’s end this conversation here. Let’s celebrate with a bang tonight. It’s our last dinner in Flaregard. Be sure not to leave any regrets!] (Yuuya)

  [Uhn. Let’s eat all the delicious food.] (Luna)

  [I wanna eat all the deserts!] (Til)

 

Many things happened however our trip to Flaregard was fruitful as we obtained many things here. Money, good equipment, powerful materials, a Magic Pet, levels and more than anything, battle experience. And now we’ll finally be heading to the Laluzulu Kingdom, Selene’s home country. In that country we’ll be dragged into all sorts of troubles however I’m sure that we can overcome it. Besides, for me, that place holds a lot of memories for me. There are people I want to meet and things I have to do.

After the inheritance ceremony, there will be a battle to decide the strongest knight in the country and once more, Selene will return to the limelight as Princess Lutra. And I will redeem myself as the absolute strongest knight.

<End of Chapter>

This is the end of volume 3! Hope you guys enjoyed this manslaughter as much as I did. The next chapter will still come out tomorrow!

Chapter 21: The old man activates a new magic.

Once backed into a corner, most bosses change their attacking patterns, usually to a more aggressive pattern. And there were some who even received bonuses to their stats. The Flame Emperor Dragon, Corona Dragon was one of them. It’s flame began to surround its body as if it was wearing the flames itself, it’s muscles further bulged out as its fangs got exposed from its jaw. This was it’s Imperial Wrath state.

 

Suddenly, I felt a blast of hot air blow past our bodies.

 

  [Yuuya, it’s hot.] (Luna)

  [Luna, don’t lose your concentration in this heat. Phil, please use your Icy Veil.] (Yuuya)
  [Leave it to me. From now on, I’ll keep it activated as long as possible.] (Phil)

 

Suddenly, cold air began to envelop our bodies to combat the heat emitted from the boss. It’s transformation wasn’t just for show as the immense heat affected the surroundings, increased the power of his attacks and the power of its fire attribute attacks. Even just by standing here, our stamina and strength were being sapped from the heat. However, due to this its elemental resistance has dropped even further as the dragon relied even further on its fire attributes, causing our attacks to have increased damage together with Icy Veil. 

After completing its transformation, the dragon turned towards us as blue flames began leaking from its exposed mouth. It was the blue explosion breath being used earlier, however this time it is problematic.

 

  [GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA]

 

In one breath, as many as seven blue fireballs were blown towards us, a number that even Phil couldn’t handle on her own.

 

  [Til, begin firing at them from the right, I’ll match the ones on the left.] (Phil)

  [I understand!] (Til)

 

At the beginning of the battle, Til was our dedicated damage dealer while Phil focused on defense and support. However for this phase, both of them will be on defense as the blue fireballs began exploding one after another. Unlike the previous phase, the dragon isn’t fazed by the explosions as it begins to ignore any pain inflicted onto it.  Due to the dust produced by the explosions, I couldn’t even find the figure of the dragon. 

The next moment, I found the dragon as it glided past us overhead towards Phil and Til, our rearguard.

 

  [War Cry!] (Selene)

Selene tried to draw the dragon’s attention towards her, however it was ineffective as the dragon continues to charge towards our rearguard. In it’s Wrath state, it’s aggression is hard to manage. Phil pushed Til to the side as she readied her bow, continuing to fire towards the dragon and drawing the boss’s aggression towards herself. As the boss approached her, Phil jumped away at the last minute causing the boss head to crash against the stone wall while she continued to fire away.

 

  [Phew. It’s been awhile since I’ve had this sort of exhilarating battle.] (Phil)

Phil continued to fire arrows as she jumped backwards, attempting to create distance however the dragon swiftly pulled its head out of the wall and made a quick rush towards her, closing the distance in an instant. However Phil was unfazed as she continued to dodge the flurry of attacks by the dragon while counter attacking in each opening.

 

  [GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!]

 

The dragon used its Roar as Phil stiffened up for a moment while it lashed its tail towards her. At the very last minute, Phil managed to regain her senses and jumped up in response, dodging the tail however the Dragon launches its fist into the air where Phil was unable to move. Phil took the punch by adjusting her body and bending her knees to receive the impact on her two feet, absorbing the impact as she jumped off the dragon’s fist and landing behind us who were rushing over to help.

With this, our party’s formation was restored as Phil and Til were on the rearguard behind me and Selene, the front-line with Luna in the middle. Phil’s expression seemed to be her usual face however I knew that she was exhausted. Not only did she just receive a direct blow from the boss, but with her method of receiving the blow the muscles on her body must be screaming from the fatigue. Furthermore Icy Veil wasn’t capable of negating the flaming aura around the boss and she must had been continuously damaged from the beginning.

 

  [I couldn’t keep him in check. I’m sorry.] (Selene)
  [Don’t worry about it. I’m used to this.] (Phil)

Since I was the one who trained Phil, she was also capable of close-quarter battle. In any circumstances, Phil is capable of battling in a close battle even with a swordsman.

 

  [Oneechan is capable of fighting like this. I wanna fight like that someday too.] (Til)

  [It’s possible you know. If you train properly everyday. Til is much more talented than me.] (Phil)

Although Til was capable of self-defense, watching such a quick exchange was an eye-opener for her. Blue flames began to appear from the Dragon’s mouth as the elven duo continued to knock down the blue fireballs once more. This time, it’s time for me to attack. I began my chant as I rushed forward, closing the distance while I swung my blade. However the boss’s body was much harder than I thought as the effects of Magical Enchantment: Water was nullified by the boss’s flame aura. The dragon swung its hand down as I adjusted my blade and received the blow. At this moment, my chant was completed.

 

  [Ice Age!] (Yuuya)

A blizzard began to form as it put out the flames wrapping the dragon. Since this spell sacrificed its power to increase its range and effective time, it was more of a utility spell rather than a direct attack. So long as it was able to put out the flames around the boss, that was enough.

 

  [This is your chance, Luna.] (Yuuya)

 

Luna rushes towards the boss as she stuck out her dagger.

 

  [Assassinate!] (Luna)

 

As a follow-up, I continued to activate Bash and managed to deal significant damage with its flame aura put out and my Magical Enchantment: Water having effect again. The Coronoa Dragon’s eyes began to glow as flames began to gush out from its body. Me and Luna retreated even though Permafrost’s effect hasn’t ended yet as even the snow itself began to catch fire.

 

  [Everyone, hide behind Selene. This is it’s trump card, it’ll be our opportunity if we survive this!] (Yuuya)

A high-damage, instant kill attack that only comes out in its Imperial Wrath mode. An attack with a large area of effect with high firepower capable of wiping out  everyone in the vicinity. It is an attack which exhausts the dragon, causing it to slow down and expose its weak point. This will be the crucial point. If we survive, we’ll win. However, if we fail to withstand it we will be annihilated on the spot. Selene pierced her spike into the ground as she braced herself.

 

  [I’ll show you that I’m capable of protecting us. I am the party’s tank! Fortress!] (Selene)
  [Let me help you, Icy Veil!] (Phil)

 

A blue wall of light appeared, wrapped in ice, however this isn’t enough to withstand the attack. That is why I’ll be playing my part as well. If God’s strength was a spell used to increase a person’s attacking power, then it is natural that there is a spell to increase a person’s defense. Similarly, it was originally a spell meant to slightly increase a person’s defense for an extended period of time, however it was a flawed spell as in a real battle, a person didn’t need to constantly have their defense increased. Ideally you would only increase your defense when you are getting attacked. That is why I compressed its effect to two seconds and increased the effects.

I stood behind Selene as I looked directly at the Coronoa Dragon. The timing this time is a difference between life and death. I began to breath in tune with the boss as I synchronize my pace with it. Since customized spells couldn’t be reverted, I intend to adjust the cast time of the spell to zero once I have this spell levelled to the max. This meant that right now, there is a delay in cast time and it isn’t intuitive to activate as you would never be able to consciously predict when you would get hit. Although God’s strength has a similar concept, it was easier to use as we controlled when we would attack, however for this spell, it is more difficult to predict the timing when using on myself.

Selene’s shoulders were visibly trembling as the dragon’s magical power continued to rise even further than a normal person has ever seen before. Until now, she has been the one to continuously receive attacks that were otherwise impossible to survive which was why she knew how dangerous this attack was. However, she continued to stand in place without running away and placed her trust in my instructions.

 

  [Selene, are you afraid?] (Yuuya)
  [Yes. However I am the tank, I’ll never run. Yuuya-ojisan, could you give me strength?] (Selene)

  [I understand, I’ll play my part. Let’s get over this with both our power.] (Yuuya)

 

I placed my hand on her shoulder.

 

  [Somehow, I feel like I could do anything now.] (Selene)

The flames spewing out of the dragon condensed together, forming a pillar of flame then into an oriental dragon. This was the Coronoa Dragon’s trump card, Dragon Impulse. This was the moment as I began my chant. A dragon made of fire began flying towards us as Selene placed more strength into her arm while my chant was completed. 

 

  [Absolute Defense!] (Yuuya)

The defensive power of Selene increased several times as her blue wall of light began shining even more brightly as a dragon made of flames collided against a glowing blue wall. The entire chamber was illuminated by blue lights with occasional flames as Selene grit her teeth while I supported her back. Luna hid herself at my back while Til began to scream as the surroundings and even the ground turned to ash as the blue wall began to crack and its light dimming. Simultaneously, the fire dragon became weaker as both the wall and the dragon disappeared, the wall shattering while the flames died out.

 

  [I.. Protected us..] (Selene)

Selene managed to defend against the ultimate attack by the Coronoa dragon. Once the storm is over, comes the rainbow as our opportunity appeared.

 

  [End the battle right here! Aim for its heart!] (Yuuya)

The flaming aura covering the Coronoa Dragon disappeared as it’s body turned from crimson red to black while a single point in its chest was glowing red. In this state, only damage dealt to its heart, its weak point would cause damage. Meanwhile, the dragon which had its power depleted moved extremely slowly.

 

  [I won’t let this chance go away!] (Til)

  [Yes, I’ll continue firing with all my strength!] (Phil)

 

Phil and Til began firing arrows coated in ice towards its heart. I was running as well however I could never reach its heart. Hence, I was going to be supporting this time.

I stopped right before the dragon as I turned around and placed my hands on my knee while Luna ran towards me. The moment Luna’s right foot landed on my hand, I threw my hands upwards as Luna’s body flew through the air. She twisted her body while holding Baserato coated in ice in her hand. Meanwhile I activated God’s Strength onto Luna as I was confident, Luna was going to end this battle.

 

  [Assassinate!] (Luna)

 

Luna’s blade penetrated cleanly into the dragon’s heart as I thought that her form was beautiful. From a difficult position and posture while flying through the air, Luna managed to get a clean hit with the strength of her entire body. In its weakened state, having its weak point attacked by Luna with Assassinate enhanced with Magical Enchantment: Water and God’s Strength. It doesn’t matter if the dragon is a boss or not. 

 

  [GYUUAAAAAAAAAAA]

 

The Coronoa Dragon screamed in pain as it’s body turned to blue particles and an item landed on the ground. A surge of power flowed into my body as I felt my power increased. We all levelled up, however, that wasn’t all. This was the main reason why killing the dragons was my goal.

 

  [Yuuya, my level increased.] (Luna)

  [Ah! Me too!] (Til)
  [As expected of a boss. Strangely, I can feel some magical power flowing out.] (Selene)

The massive amount of experience points from the boss increased all of our levels, however, only Selene seemed to notice the power we gained besides our levels increasing.

 

  [That’s the title of Dragon Slayer: Fire. Fire, Wind, Water. Each element has their corresponding dragon and you can get the title by defeating each of them once. This title gives us a bonus to each element and even some status bonuses which is why I plan to defeat all of them.] (Yuuya)

 

The only bosses which provided a title by defeating them were the three dragons, the boss of the Tower of Trials, and the Sacred Beast. This was why I wanted to defeat the dragon. Without dampening the mood, I decided to hide the fact that the Coronoa dragon was the weakest among the three dragons. The Coronoa Dragon had a recommended level of 35, however the Wind Dragon had a recommended level of 40 and the Water dragon, level 45. Then, unlike the Coronoa Dragon, the other two dragon were capable of attacking in multiple elements which meant that the battle wouldn’t be as easy with elemental resistant equipment.

 

  [Then, Yuuya-niisan let’s hurry up and beat the Wind Dragon. My specialty is Lightning magic so we can strengthen it with the title!] (Til)

  [That’s impossible. That’s suicide.] (Yuuya)
  [I guess that’s true. Then, let’s train at Selene’s country then head over there one day and challenge it!] (Til)
  [I’ll think about it.] (Yuuya)

 

We’ll battle it eventually, however it’ll be better for us to head to other dungeons until we’re level 40.

 

  [Nee, Yuuya look. It’s a beautiful jewel!] (Luna)
  [That too was my goal. It’s the Crimson Dragon’s jewel. It’s an item that will only be dropped when every member of the party defeats the dragon for the first time. On its own, it’s just a beautiful jewel. However once all three jewels are collected, something amazing happens.] (Yuuya)

 

These jewels were special items which were guaranteed to drop unless someone has already defeated the boss before. However, since it was still considered more rare than a typical boss item, it still sold for a decent price in the market.

 

  [Something amazing? I want to know! Yuuya, tell us!] (Luna)

  [I am interested in that as well. However, in the first place, I thought that the Wind Dragon and Water Dragon was just a fairy tale. There shouldn’t be anyone who knows where they lived in.] (Phil)
  [About that. Look forward to it when we collected all three jewels. The Wind and Water dragons are located in a somewhat strange place so it isn’t unexpected no one has found them. It would be difficult for a normal person to find them.] (Yuuya)
  [Yuuya-niisan, I am in agreement!] (Til)

  [Uhn! Let’s hurry up and collect the jewels!] (Luna)

 

The two girls began running towards the treasure chest without performing their usual shaman dance this time since we were in a hurry. I smiled bitterly looking at this behind them. I’m glad that we won it helped us climb a huge hurden in our objectives. Obtaining the Crimson Dragon’s Jewel, the Dragon Slayer title and the large experience boost. Looks like the sake tonight’s gonna taste much better than usual. Let’s be sure to return and celebrate this achievement.

Oh, and let’s be sure to take measures against the Crimson Hounds.

Chapter 20: The old man battles against the Flame Emperor Dragon

While traversing the labyrinth, the three participating parties from the Crimson Hounds had caught up and taken the lead while the other parties were busy blocking off the entrance. It seemed that it was impossible to overtake the people who were experienced with the dungeon. However, this was still within my expectations as I had another plan for our current situation. 

 

Although it was possible for us to overtake them while handling monsters up ahead, they had three parties consisting of 12 members. It was a simple task to handle the monsters in the dungeon, however, while we are preoccupied with the battle it was possible for them to lure monsters into our battle without us noticing. Thus we will be preserving our stamina while stalking behind them as I hadn’t expected the girls to accumulate this much fatigue experiencing multiple consecutive battles.

 

  [Yuuya, I can see our goal. I feel an extremely powerful presence behind the door.] (Luna)

 

As Luna had mentioned, the end of the labyrinth appeared. A door similar to the one at the entrance had appeared however the main difference was its material as it was made of a red metal with magical properties as mana could be felt radiating from it.

 

  [In front of that door is a magma river about 20 metres wide. The road leading to the door extends to the east for about a kilometre before one can actually enter the door.] (Yuuya)

 

From this point on, there won’t be any monsters appearing making this our first and last chance to pull out ahead. On the road at the east, two parties from the Crimson Hounds were grinning as they held their weapons guarding the path. Their third party must be well on their way to the entrance since there weren’t any monsters guarding this area.

 

  [Just give up old man. This is the end of your little play session.] 

  [You did a great job, for a nobody anyway. On the other hand, we are certainly interested in how an old man like you managed to enter the dungeon, If you don’t want to experience a world of pain, you know what to do.] 

 

They were laughing mockingly at us although they probably resorted to this plan as they were cautious of our actions. If they were to continue on as a large group, there was a possibility of them pulling a huge blunder and allowing us to grab the lead. However, even so, they still made a crucial mistake. If they were to interfere with us, they should have done it right from the start instead of dragging it to the end and preserving their parties’ stamina.

 

  [Yuuya, what should we do? Luna has come too far to give up now.] (Luna)
  [No matter how, eight people is too much. It is hopeless for us to catch up right now.] (Til)

  [I guess there’s no other choice. It’s frustrating to be stopped right here without a fight.] (Selene)

 

Luna, Til and Selene entered their battle stances as they muttered out their thoughts.

 

  [Calm down. You should remember how we got here in the first place. The geography of this area is similar to the entrance. Look carefully and its painfully obvious how shallow the river is. This is why I decided to lay low until the end. Once the path is open, we’ll break right through!] (Yuuya)

 

Luna’s fox ears twitched as Til and Selene smiled towards me. It was child’s play for us to enter the labyrinth, and it’s that same gimmick which is giving us the comeback at the end. Thank you very much, for the leeway to reverse the situation.

 

  [Ice Age] (Yuuya)

 

A snowstorm began to form as the lava solidifies, forming a road towards the other side of the river. This is the comeback.

 

  [Let’s go!] (Yuuya)

  [Uhn!] (Luna)

  [Hurry!] (Til)

  [As expected of Yuuya-ojisan.] (Selene)

  [Even I am surprised.] (Phil)

 

The moment I cast my spell and we began to run, the two parties who were guarding the path began running towards us. However, the distance was too great as they were unable to catch up to us. After crossing to the other shore I turned back to see the crying look on the acting leader of the party who had continued ahead.

 

  [What in the world. What is going on! Wait right there, the boss is ours!] 

 

Now that I think about it, he dropped a bombshell on me earlier. It’s about time to return the favour.

 

  [You tried your best. Regretfully, it seems your head was just a little lacking.] (Yuuya)

 

His face turned red as Luna stuck out her tongue gleefully. I placed my hands on the door as I prepared to push it open.

 

  [Everyone, get ready. It’s finally time.] (Yuuya)

 

The girls nodded as I pushed open the door and entered the room. The moment we stepped into the room, the door began to close as only one party could be in the room at any given moment until either the party or the boss ceases to exist.

 

Based on the guide back in the game, each boss was rated based on their difficulty when challenged at the recommended levels. For this boss, it was given a C grade when challenged by a party with Water (Ice) types of equipment as the boss was heavily biased towards the fire element. However, there was a second grading given based on the boss battle without possessing the corresponding weakness to the boss, and this boss was considered the second most difficult, an A grade battle. This was a boss with a variety of flame-attribute attacks and overwhelming attacks and health.

 

Since we hadn’t the time nor the money to obtain a set of Water (Ice) equipment, we’ll have to obtain the victory somehow. This is a special boss who must be defeated no matter what.

 

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.

.

 

The other side of the door was a dim cave lit by a faint light with a ceiling at least 20 metres high. I instructed the girls to drink a mana recovery and stamina recovery potion before we proceeded deeper into the cave. The sounds of our breathing became louder and louder until we appeared in an open area and it could be seen.

A pure red dragon, at least twice the size of the Flare Wyvern with menacing red eyes and a pair of wings which grew independently from its limbs. Their difference in authenticity could be seen just by looking. As compared to its inferior counterpart,  this was a true dragon in every sense, the Fire Emperor Dragon, Corona Dragon which had the rating of A-class when challenged without any flame-resistant equipment. It wasn’t a monster we could take lightly as I looked towards everyone for affirmation. I had devoted the entirety of yesterday not just to take a break, but to confirm the battle plan against this foe. Normally I would have never given the girls any information beforehand about our enemies, however, that wasn’t a luxury we had against this enemy. This is a battle that I had to take measures beforehand to have a chance at victory. 

I stepped forward past a small cliff at the front of the entrance, signaling the start of the battle.

 

  [GRRRRRRRRRRYYYYYYYYYYYY] (Corona Dragon)

 

I felt my body stiffen at the volume of its roar as my entire body refused to move. Nevertheless, I forced my body forward against its will.

 

  [KYYUUU] (Erik)

 

Erik bestowed his Blessings of the Dragon increasing our entire party’s flame resistance albeit slightly. Normally, Phil and Til would begin pouring down their rain of arrows however this time, only Til’s arrows and her spell Lightning Arrows were being fired.

 

The dragon doesn’t flinch to her attacks as an ominous blue flame leaks from its mouth. It was an indication of a breath attack capable of ending the battle right there. However, if its colour was blue, then there wasn’t a need to worry as the blue fireballs fired from its mouth exploded before even leaving its jaw.

 

  [GYUUUAA?] (Corona Dragon)

  [So long as I’m here, that skill won’t work!] (Phil)

 

The blue fireballs fired from the dragon were set to explode upon impact and Phil made use of that knowledge, exploding them as it came out of the dragon’s mouth. That powerful attack which dealt both direct damage from its flame and indirect damage from the subsequent explosion both had an extremely high attacking power capable of mortally wounding a person at worst was also difficult to dodge due to its explosive radius, was rendered ineffective by Phil. On the other hand, it was advantageous for us as it was actually damaging the dragon instead.

 

In this battle, such a feat could only be done by Phil as she had completely taken a back seat to this battle, focusing on supporting the party with her Magical Enchantment: Water and Icy Veil while shutting down the dragon’s explosive breath. This battle is made that much easier just by crushing that one skill.

 

As the dragon recoiled from the explosion, me and Selene formed the front-line as we both rushed towards the dragon while Luna stuck behind me. After recovering from the recoil, the dragon began its breath attack once more as red flames began leaking from its jaw. I began running towards Selene as she stuck her spike towards the ground and widened her stance.

 

  [Fortress!] (Selene)

 

As the blue light formed around her buckler, a torrent of fire collided against her shield spreading all around us as Selene grit her teeth. This breath attack was the breath attack meant to spread and eliminate nearby targets. Although it isn’t as deadly as the other explosive breath, it was still capable of killing me and Luna in a single breath or render us unable to battle even if we had Icy Veil in effect. The only defense we had against that was Selene’s Fortress, and lucky for us this breath attack had a cooldown as well.

Just as the torrent of flames disappeared, me and Luna jumped out from behind Selene to decrease the distance by even a step.

The battle against this boss was a matter of fighting around its breath attacks and with its long cooldown and Phil’s ability to stop the blue breath attack, we have a chance. Although it would have been much easier with flame-resistant equipment, there isn’t a reason for us to think about it as just one mistake will cost us the battle.

 

As I ran towards the dragon, it rotated its body swinging its tail directly past my position. Looking ahead in time, I jumped up as I saw it wind up its body. As its tail flew under me, the wind pressure produced from its sheer power pushed my body further into the air while I shudder thinking about what would happen from a direct hit. After dodging its attack, I continued forcing myself forward until the dragon was in my range and swung down my sword as ice began to form around my sword.

 

  [It’s our first hit. Bash!] (Yuuya)

 

My sword cut through its soft stomach, producing a large gash.

 

  [GYYAOOOOOOOOOOOOOO]

 

Attacking the dragon’s soft belly with its elemental disadvantage seemed to inflict a large amount of damage as Luna immediately popped up next to me. Luna’s instructions were to always stick close to me as a gap would always be formed whenever I landed an attack. Naturally, Bazerato was also cladded in ice.

 

  [Assassinate!] (Luna)

 

Ringing sounds began to play as the dragon began thrashing wildly around it, trying to shake whatever that was under it. Shockwaves began to form as the gravel under the dragon began to crumble, blowing me and Luna away as we fall to the ground.

 

  [Che. Phil!] (Yuuya)
  [Please leave it to me.] (Phil)

 

As me and Luna were defenseless on the ground, blue flames began leaking from the dragon’s jaw as it tried to fire its blue breath onto us but to no avail. He continued to fire a second and a third, but Phil countered all of them flawlessly, exploding it right after each of them left its mouth.

 

  [UGAAAAAAAAAAAA]

 

Its irritation rose through the roof as it looks towards Phil who shot down every single one of its breath and flapped its wings. Suddenly, the dragon’s body which was facing a different direction twisted and flew towards Phil. Selene who managed to catch it’s movements activated her skill.

 

  [War Cry!] (Selene)

 

The dragon despite its irritation towards Phil was forced to channel its aggression towards Selene as it turned once again to rush towards Selene, crashing against her shield with its entire body while Selene received it by piercing her spikes into the ground. However, it was impossible as expected the ground was gouged out, throwing Selene into the wall. 

 

  [Bash!] (Yuuya)

  [Assassinate!] (Luna)

 

However, that created a gap for us as me and Luna both landed our attacks onto its weak point, causing the Corona Dragon to lose its balance and fall onto the ground.

 

  [Selene, are you okay?] (Yuuya)
  [Yes but I’ll have to recover for a while.] (Selene)

 

Selene spat out blood as she activated her healing magic onto herself. Without using Fortress, it isn’t possible to defend against the boss without taking a large amount of damage. 

 

  [GYUAAAAAAAAAA]

  [Fortress!] (Selene)

 

Luna and I jumped behind Selene as she immediately activated her skill, holding off the torrents of flames. Her Fortress was our only defense against the dragon’s red breath and we had to avoid using it for its basic attacks. If we were ever forced to use it against a basic attack, then that would be the end of us. This was a somewhat tight situation as expected of a boss rated this high. It was recommended to challenge this boss once you were above the recommended level. It was ridiculous of us to challenge it with our current levels. However, this was the fastest way for Selene to gain experience before her inheritance ceremony and the best way for the girls to gain battle experience. I hope this much wasn’t too unreasonable for us to handle.

 

  [Everyone, it may be difficult but we’re succeeding so far! Keep this pattern up and we’ll win this!] (Yuuya)

  [Uhn. I will continue to assassin until it falls!] (Luna)

  [And I will continue to shoot!] (Til)

 

Luna and Til raised their energetic voices in response as I thought that the rest of the battle should go smoothly for this phase.

 

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.

.

 

It has been twenty-five minutes since the battle against the Corona Dragon began. Although it was stronger than the Magmarock Golem we fought, we seemed to have an easier time as everyone had became significantly conditioned to this sort of battle condition. And the one who showed the most growth was surprisingly Selene as she defended against another attack from the dragon. Just by looking, I could see that the number of attacks she was defending while reducing the number of spikes needed was increasing. Thanks to the effectiveness of the spikes, Selene became capable of defending ridiculous attacks which weren’t supposed to be defended against. This, in turn, caused her to rely too much on her spikes even against a weaker monster.

This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing as she was definitely nullifying the attacks, however by using the spikes unnecessarily you make it difficult to transit into your next movement, making counter-attacks impossible. Ideally, the spikes should only be used against attacks which required it. Now that we were in a situation where Fortress could only be used against the red breath, we have begun to see the benefits of utilizing a small rounded buckler as Selene began defending against the boss’s smaller attacks. Furthermore, the skills and knowledge that I have been trying to teach her have finally begun to surface in this battle.

 

  [Selene, there’s an opening, go for it!] (Yuuya)

 

Selene nods her head as she immediately counterattacked after receiving an attack from the dragon’s hand.

 

  [Shield Bash!] (Selene)

  [GYAAAAAAAAAAAAA] (Corona Dragon)

 

After her attack, the dragon retreats and roars as its whole body became cladded in flames. It became even redder than its usual crimson red as if it was cladded in flames of blood. Its scales were standing upright, its muscles became bulkier and its nails became longer and sharper.

 

At long last, after thirty minutes it has finally bared its fangs. I thought as I felt my entire body shivering, letting out cold sweat from all over my body.

 

  [Everyone, it’s finally getting serious. It’s in its Wrath mode now. Be sure not to die.] (Yuuya)

  [Uhn. We’ve heard the pattern from Yuuya numerous times.] (Luna)

  [Yes. If Yuuya-ojisama said that we can win this, then we’ll definitely do it.] (Selene)

  [From now on, please be sure to defend me and my sister okay~.] (Til)

  [Til. Basic cooperation is expected…. But do whatever you like. I’ll be sure to support you.] (Phil)

 

The moment its health drops to 20%, the Corona Dragon enters a state called the Imperial Wrath state where everything, its attack power, speed, defense, resistances, and skills become stronger. Everything becomes improved. 

This is where the real battle starts.

Chapter 19: The old man challenges the labyrinth of fire.

 

After completing our preparations and rested our bodies, we began heading towards the Crimson Volcano. We had to arrive at the back door before the monsters respawned. There were also many adventurers who were aiming for the marble room at the front of the dungeon as everyone wanted the honor and rare items from defeating the boss. At the same time, there were also rare and important items that could be obtained from the boss. This is a boss that I want to defeat no matter what.

 

  [Let’s speed up the pace. We have plenty of time but that doesn’t mean that we won’t run into any trouble.] (Yuuya)
  [Uhn. Let’s do our best!] (Luna)
  [Yuuya-niisan worries too much. We’ve been here so often but we hadn’t run into any trouble yet.] (TIl)

  [Til is too carefree. Cautiousness is needed as an adventurer.] (Phil)

 

Since the monsters which appeared beyond the marble room were stronger than the monsters before that, I was hoping that we could avoid expending unnecessary energy before then. Hence we had already designated and cleared a path that we would be using later. We continued to walk through the volcano cautiously as we finally arrived at the marbled room. Then, I let out a sigh as a loud voice echoed throughout the dungeon.

 

  [ORAA. The first attempt belongs to us Crimson Hounds!] 

  [We have already reserved this spot several days ago. Hurry up and scram!] 

 

The two men who had camped in tents for the past few days were threatening the other adventurers present as more and more of their men begin to arrive. They had a total of seven parties of four, a total of 28 people. Among them were the familiar faces we had encountered before, but they decided to leave us be as our destination was further ahead. There was no need for us to enter a skirmish here.

 

  [Take a good look guys. This pitiful old man plans to beat us to the boss before it respawns.] 

  [He’s probably just being a hyena. While us first-rate are preoccupied with the boss, he’ll be busy chasing after the monsters and chests which spawn in the dungeon.] 

  [Ahh so pathetic. Is pride even a word now?]

  [Their just too weak for that. That doesn’t exist. Hey girls, dump that trash and come over here. Hey boss, those are the girls I’m talking about.]

 

A man who seems to be their party leader steps out as i tried to read their levels. However, I couldn’t read a single one of their levels. At the very least, none of them were level 35. As expected of the clan who has been monopolising the large amount of boss experience.

 

  [Gahahahhahahahaa. Not bad. I thought that you were just being desperate for a woman. But they are some fine women. This is special… One is a noble with a distinctive elegance.. There are two elves and a demihuman.. Regardless, all of them are fine women. We’re sure to make them cry out loud in bed. Us Crimson Hounds will always be open to you, I’m sure the three of you aren’t satisfied with such a pathetic old man.]

 

  The members of the Crimson Hound burst out laughing as our legs continued forward without stopping, until their voices could no longer be heard.

 

  [Everyone, let’s show them not with our words but with our actions. We will definitely get the boss.] (Yuuya)
  [Uhn. We’ll win,] (Luna)

  [Uhn uhn. Otherwise I won’t have the patience not to shoot arrows through their heads.] (Til)

I’m glad that they think of us as mere hyenas. Let’s be sure to bite a huge chunk into the boss.

 

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.

 

We finally arrived at the hidden back door. We hadn’t entered a battle even once due to our preparations in the days before. After confirming the time with my watch, it was fifteen minutes until the monsters respawn. Everyone began to sweat from the pressure as we listened to the ticking of the watch. And then, the respawn finally happened. The entire dungeon trembled as monsters began to roar, the terrain began to shift as new treasure chests began to form. The most visible change was happening in front of our eyes as the door with the face of a dragon, the dragon’s eyes began to glow red as the door opened.

 

  [Let’s go! From now on it’s a race!] (Yuuya)

  [Race!] (Luna)

  [Those kind of people, we will never lose to them! Let’s go all out from the get-go!] (Til)

  [So this is the labyrinth which leads to the boss.] (Phil)

  [This.. Is pretty dangerous. We’ll have to be cautious.] (Selene)

The labyrinth which led to the boss room appeared in front of us. Although it was a labyrinth, it wasn’t an enclosed area surrounded by monsters, but rather a wide room with magma as far as the eye can see. Above the magma surface was a narrow path capable of fitting two or three people max, spreading into different branches and continuing into the distance. If you were to fall off the path, you’ll be diving straight into the magma. Meanwhile, monsters can be seen wandering around the path.

 

  [Luna, once the path splits I’ll need you to sound off which path leads to more monsters.] (Yuuya)
  [Uhn. Understood. To avoid the monsters right?] (Luna)

  [The opposite. We’ll be heading directly towards them. The correct path will lead to the monsters whereas the other leads to a dead end.] (Yuuya)

 

It was a labyrinth made to prey on the idea that it’ll be better to avoid monsters to save your energy before the boss battle. However, this made it much easier to break through the maze once you knew the answer.

 

  [Yuuya, there is a monster on the right, a Lizardman.] (Luna)

  [I understand. In order to save our resources, I’ll do a special way of battle. Everyone avoid doing anything and watch.] (Yuuya)

 

Our foothold was small making it easy to fall into the magma, however it was an effective weapon at the same time. I began running towards my target who had a similar height with a one handed sword and shield in each hand. Compared to the normal Lizardman we encountered in the dungeon, this was a Crimson Lizardman who had improved stats and battle sense. Looking at the situation, there could be a more effective way to preserve my strength, but we lack the time to worry about it. 

 

  [Bash!] (Yuuya)


The Lizardman swung down its blade to intercept the blow, however rather than recoiling from the attack I continued to rush into its stomach and placed my palm onto its side, pushing it off the walkway. The Lizardman continued to fall into the magma and turned into blue particles.

 

  [Just like this, the battle ends in a heartbeat. For the lighter monsters, we do not have to waste any arrows, or mana using our skills.] (Yuuya)

After confirming our surroundings, we continued to proceed deeper into the labyrinth.

 

  [It’s become so much easier. Yuuya is smart.] (Luna)

  [Yuuya-niisan. We could had done this so much earlier so why didn’t we?] (Til)

Til had asked a sensible question as it was a method which saved us quite a bit of energy.

 

  [We wouldn’t be able to retrieve and item drops like this. This is a method we only resorted to if necessary.] (Yuuya)

 

Item drops was a precious source of income and we couldn’t afford to leave our battles without any reward. However, this was an exception as time is of the essence. Phil who was supposed to be in the back ran up next to me.

 

  [Although that only depends on what was dropped. There are items that we can retrieve this way too.] (Phil)

 

In Phil’s hands was the leather of the Crimson Lizardman tied by Phil’s homemade magic thread. At the same time, there was also a special arrow with a thread pulling mechanism rather than an arrowhead. She must had fired the arrow as the Lizardman turned to blue particles and collected the item before it came in contact with the magma.

 

  [I’ve forgotten that Phil was capable of such a thing. That was my bad.] (Yuuya)

  [We have to be sure to earn as much as we can in this dungeon, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to live luxuriously and enjoy the delicious meat. Especially when you said that you wanted us to enjoy our journey to the fullest.] (Phil)

 

As expected of Phil, she was truly reliable in every way. Like this, we can easily push anything we encounter right into the magma without hesitation.

 

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.

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A gigantic golem appeared as it blocked the narrow walkway. It was a Grand Golem. Unlike the Magma Golem, it’s movements were dull. However, it’s large body was a nuisance as we couldn’t just knock it into the magma. Phil and Til concentrated their arrows into its lower abdomen where its core was as per my instructions. After being pierced by numerous arrows, it was time for our heavy hitter to finish it.

 

  [Selene, it’s up to you.] (Yuuya)

  [I will end it.] (Selene)

 

Selene began running towards the golem. Currently she was told by me to avoid using her Fortress which consumed a large amount of mana. However even without her skills she was a foe to be reckoned with. She blocked the attack from the golem’s large arm with her skill and continued running towards its core.

 

  [Shield Bash!] (Selene)

 

Twisting her hip, Selene stuck out her shield as she simultaneously released her spike, piercing through the core and shattering it. As the golem collapsed, we quickly picked up the item drop, the Crimson stone and continued ahead.

 

  [Yuuya-ojisama. Just how much further do we have to go? I’m beginning to get tired.] (Selene)

 

Just based on her voice, I could tell that fatigue was starting to build up. However, it wasn’t just Selene. Luna and Til were the same as it has already been an hour and a half since we entered the labyrinth. Furthermore there were starting to be more demons which couldn’t be pushed just like the golem.

 

  [We’re about two thirds of the way through. The end can already be seen.] (Yuuya)

  [That’s a relief.] (Selene)

Although we only had a third of the way left, I didn’t mention that it would be tougher here on out as even more powerful monsters were about to appear. I’ll have to be more active in the battles to lighten the load on the girls.

 

And then, it finally appeared. The converging point for the two entrances as two paths were meeting, forming a single long and wide line. The front entrance began on the southeast side of the labyrinth while the back door was on the south west. From here on, there is the possibility of meeting up with the Crimson Hounds.

 

  [Luna, are there any enemies up ahead?] (Yuuya)

  [Uhn. There is a target barely in range up ahead.] (Luna)

 

Depending on the monsters up ahead, it is unknown whether our lead in this race could be maintained. As we progress further ahead of the path, this wide road will once again return back to the narrow path once again.

 

  [Yuuya. An enemy. Above us.] (Luna)

  [Everyone be on your guard. It’s flame breath is dangerous.] (Yuuya)

 

Finally, the most dangerous monster in the labyrinth appeared, the Flame Wyvern. It was a small dragon which flew in the sky, however it was irritating to deal with as it often fired powerful fireballs from the sky.

Selene jumped in front of us, blocking a fireball with her shield. However, the wyvern immediately flew away as it fired a fireball. This was its main attack pattern making it difficult for an average magician or archer to land their attacks. Unfortunately for it, my party’s archers weren’t exactly average as Phil and Til shot their arrow sthrough its wings.

Against it’s will, the wyvern began falling towards us as a shadow interrupted its descend towards us.

 

  [Assassinate!] (Luna)

 

Luna’s dagger, Bazerator pierced through its soft abdomen as the critical indicator rang through out the dungeon. The monster turned into blue particles as we immediately picked up its scale which dropped as an item. Although we managed to defeat it, it cost us some time. 

Running ahead, we ran into a trio of Crimson Lizardmen which were difficult to deal with. Without missing a beat, I immediately ran into battle as I pushed one of them into the magma However, I felt a strong bloodlust as I felt a dull impact.

 

  [Damn.. My~bad. I was trying to help you but wound up injuring you instead. Forgive me.] 

  [If that’s how you feel, then leave.] (Yuuya)

 

Turning back, it was the leader of the Crimson Hounds as they had managed to catch up while we were caught up in the battle.

 

  [Gahahahaha. My bad. Now then, answer me. How did you get ahead of us when we should had blocked off the path here.] 

  [There isn’t a single adventurer who would give away his food for free.] (Yuuya)

  [You’re mistaken. Even if you refuse, I will make you say it… You’re outmatched here however I won’t afford any troublesome things before the boss battle. You’re the ones that will be playing with them.] 

 

The other members of the Crimson Hound began to lure the remaining two Lizardman towards us.

 

  [You may have tried your best, however you were just a little short. At the end of the day, it was all for naught.]

 

Then, they continued forward as there were three parties, twelve of them travelling deeper into the dungeon. The remaining four pairs must have remained at the door, obstructing the other adventurers.

 

Phil and TIl fired their arrows towards the Lizardmens’ hearts as Luna rushed over.

 

  [Yuuya, let’s hurry up and catch up!] (Luna)

  [It’ll all be for naught if we were to catch up to them. The difference in numbers is too high. Furthermore, the other two party will just interfere with us once we arrive at the boss room. And if we overtake them, we’ll just be held up by the monsters again.] (Yuuya)

  [What are you saying! Yuuya-niisan are you giving up?] (Til)

 

I began to smile as I whispered.

 

  [You already know the answer to that. It’s impossible to overtake them at this point. However, at the end of the path there is a small chance to overtake them. Until them, let’s stay slightly further back away from there. Wouldn’t it be nice to have them deal with the monsters for us?] (Yuuya)

 

Being overtaken at this point is not necessarily a bad thing as there was only one clear answer to clearing this labyrinth safely. And that was by letting other people clear the path ahead. We continued to travel slightly behind them. For their battle movements, they had an effective plan as the two parties accompanying them cleared the monsters while the main party preserved their strength. Furthermore, the main party was equipped with the strongest possible equipment of the Water (Ice) element, raising their flame resistance to the maximum possible with money. That was likely the reason why they could defeat the boss as that many equipment isn’t readily available for anyone, not even an advanced level party. Although they were wary of us, it seems that they hadn’t noticed us yet.

 

And at the end of the day, when they are least expecting it, we will definitely overtake them and rush ahead of them. And from that point on, we will challenge the boss. Now, continue to fight for the boss as much as you wish however foolish it is. At the end of the day, we will emerge as the victor.

Chapter 18: The old man heads to the decisive battle.

Yesterday, we somehow managed to defeat the mid-boss, the Magmarock Golem which had a similar power level to the actual boss of the Crimson Volcano. However, the battle was still too close for comfort and ever since the battle I’ve had this sense of unease that our current strength might not be enough. We’ll have to get stronger as soon as possible. 

Currently, we were wandering around the dungeon searching for a different path towards the hidden path  as there was still several days until the boss respawned. No matter the methods, we have to raise our levels even by one somehow.

 

  [Yuuya, I’m hungry.] (Luna)
 

Luna whined as I was met with the figure of Luna who was holding desperately onto her stomach as she pulled my clothes. Looking over to my watch, it was already past noon as we had been wandering for quite awhile.

 

  [Perfect, it’s already noon. Let’s take a break for now.] (Yuuya)

  [Yuuya-niisan, I approve of that notion!] (Til)

  [The view is nice and it’s spacious as well, making it easier to observe our surroundings. This is a nice spot for a break.] (Selene)
  [Then, let me begin the preparations.] (Phil)

Phil pulled out a sheet from her magic bag and laid it on the ground before pulling out a basket filled with sandwiches. Ever since she joined our party, everyone felt more enthusiastic about our daily adventurers as we were able to have fresh handmade food prepared for us in the dungeon rather than the usual preserved food.

 

  [Thank you as always. Your handmade lunch never fails to lift our spirits up.] (Yuuya)
  [You’re welcome. Everyone, please don’t be reserved and eat to your heart’s content.] (Phil)
  [Uhn. Luna loves Phil lunches very much!] (Luna)
  [Then without restraint, I’ll eat a whole bunch!] (TIl)

The two girls as always were quick to act as they already has a sandwich in their hands and begun their meal. I was surprised as I too picked up a sandwich and began to eat. The sandwiches tasted exquisite.

 

  [Phil. The sandwiches are delicious!] (Luna)
  [Oneechan, This is Beef (Excellent) isn’t it!] (Til)
  [That is right. Right before I made the steak and roasted beef, I decided to leave some meat and preserved them for sandwiches. Their strong tastes and texture made it perfect for sandwiches.] (Phil)
 

The delicious combination of the sweet bread and beef was amazing. I wouldn’t mind drinking a delicious cup of sake right now.

 

   [I really admire Phil-san who is capable at everything.] (Selene)

   [That is a huge praise Selene-chan. I just had much more experience than everyone in this sort of thing.] (Phil)

 

Phil replied with a seemingly embarrassed look as I thought that Selene was right. Phil was amazing at so many things that it was difficult to find anything she wasn’t good at. Ever since I met her, I’ve always thought that the person she’ll marry was the luckiest man on earth. However, even more amazing was the Beef (Excellent). It taste was still this impactful despite being preserved, lingering in my mouth. This made me regret my decisions in the past when I sold them without hesitation whenever I came across one.

Although, I didn’t have much of a choice back then. As you climb higher up the adventuring ladder, the funds necessary to sustain your equipment rose exponentially. The stronger opponents you faced, the better the equipment required. Even luxurious items such as high-recovery potions and Return Stones had to be used generously as your life was often pushed to the brink. There were also high quality of life items dropped in dungeons which was also required, such as Magic Tents. Regardless of how prepared you are, the amount of money would never be enough.

To further exacerbate the problem, even if you were to travel to a dungeon with a higher difficulty, it didn’t mean that the amount of rewards you obtained would be larger than the previous dungoen.At the end of the day, the market value all depended on the individual item’s supply and demand. It didn’t matter to the buyer whether the item was dropped from a powerful monster or dropped luckily from a lower ranked monster. Hence, it was possible to earn more money from an intermediate dungeon by explicitly targeting the high value targets inside the dungeon. Just like the Magic Egg we obtained from Greenwood, hopefully we will be able to obtain another valuable item from the Flaregard’s boss for us to sell.

On the other hand, Excellent-tier meat stuff such as Beef (Excellent) was much more obtainable from advanced dungeons which were also valuable in their own right making them one of the main source of incomes for adventurers. Since they were items that couldn’t be produced artificially, they will always be in demand. Although the thought of eating them had never crossed my mind as I always sold them as soon as possible.

 

However, if Beef (Excellent) had already possessed this level of taste. Just how delicious could Beef (Special) taste like when dropped from a monster level 40 and above? It was even said by veteran adventurers that mean stuff of that level was equivalent to a drug. Once you start to understand their taste, you would never have the discipline to sell them on the marketplace causing you to lose a source of income. Hence it was much more beneficial to sell them if you were aiming to become a top adventurer. Although I have already decided to eat it. The next time I come across another Beef (Excellent) I will still be eating it while aiming for the top.

 

  [Yuuya, I wanna eat more beef!] (Luna)

  [Uhn uhn, The next time we meet our dear cow-sans, we’ll be disgraced if we let them get away!] (Til)

 

Luna seemed to have a blissful face as her face soften up and her drool dripping from her mouth while Til had a sadistic look while brandishing her bow. I felt the same way as the two of them but sadly I’ll have to put the nail in the coffin.

  

  [If you want to eat it again, then we’ll have no choice but to search for a treasure chest. Even if we were to obtain another stack, I doubt we’ll have the funds to avoid selling that stack.] (Yuuya)

  [Uhn. I’ll do my best! Until it is fine for us to eat meat, I will find us every chest!] (Luna)

 

Luna gesture was lovely as always as she pumped her fist into the air and her fox ears twitching as she activated her Treasure Sense.

 

  [Now then, our break is over. Let’s continue forward.] (Yuuya)
  [Uhn. Understood. For the sake of meat, let’s find more treasure!] (Luna)

  [Ah! Wait a moment! I see the last piece!!] (Til)

 

As usual, these girls were always bustling about.

 

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Today’s hunt was fruitful as we had several encounters with monsters including the Red Horn. However, the two girls were disappointed as they had dropped Beef (Average) contrary to their expectations.

 

  [Yuuya-niisan. The boss battle should be easy right. We even managed to defeat that difficult Magma Golem] (Til)

 

Note: I’ll be changing the name of the golem to Magma Golem since it just sounds much better. I’ll be changing it at the end of this volume.

 

Til seemed to be reflecting on the battle as she rubbed her nose while misunderstanding something.

 

  [It won’t be easy in the slightest. Even at our current levels we barely scratched out the victory. You are also misunderstanding something. The boss is much stronger than the Magma Golem. The golem is just at a level of a boss monster. In the end it is still just the Mid-boss of the dungeon. Their difficulties are worlds apart.] (Yuuya)

 

  [Ugg.. But even so..] (Til)

  [Plus, are you forgetting about the Crimson Hounds?](Yuuya)
  [Aren’t they just weaklings who compensate their weakness with numbers? Weaklings like them can easily be defeated if they can’t even survive the hidden passage!] (Til)

  [Think about it rationally. Their main party is strong enough to defeat the dungeon boss which is stronger than the Magma Golem. And if that isn’t enough. They were taking turns to decide which party gets to battle the boss. Which means that their parties were all first-class adventurers capable of defeating the boss. Each of their party is on a different level as compared to us.] (Yuuya)

 

Til drew her head in shock at my words. The Crimson Hounds were definitely cowardly, however weak isn’t a word we could use to describe them. This was why they were difficult for us to deal with.

 

  [Then does that mean, they are stronger than us?] (Til)

  [Well.. Our levels are lower than the recommended level for the dungeon so yes, the possibility is there. This is why I would like to push forward to raise our levels even just by one as soon as possible.] (Yuuya)

Once the race begins, there will definitely be a point where we’ll be convenening with the competing party of the Crimson Hounds. My worry right now would be even if we were to progress quicker than their main party, we would still be slowed down by the hordes of monsters, allowing them to catch up. That was something inevitable.

 

  [I guess lowering our guards towards them is a mistake. Alright! I’ll work hard and train my secret technique even harder!] (Til)

 

I may had accidentally dampened Til’s confidence, however truth be told we do have a chance against them at our current levels despite our level difference. The part about each of their parties being capable of defeating the boss was just a speculation on my part though. I’ll have to think of a strategy before the decisive day arrives.’

 

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Luna’s fox ears began to twitch as her Treasure sense seems to be acting up.

 

  [Yuuya, treasure!] (Luna)

  [Nice find.] (Yuuya)

The chest Luna discovered was hidden behind a wall as I checked our surroundings to discover a fake wall. After taking out my blade and slashing onto the wall, the wall began to crumble as the treasure chest became visible. After Luna deactivated the hidden traps with her Lockpick, we opened the chest to discover several pieces of clothing inside the chest. Although they appeared like ordinary clothing, they were still clothing we found inside a level thirty dungeon and had a decent bonus to our defense. Furthermore flame resistance was also something to consider as it was useful in our battle against the boss.

 

   [We should have Til equip these to compensate for the Spirit Archer’s low defensive stats.] (Yuuya)
  [I agree with that sentiment. We won’t be able to get clothes with defensive properties from anywhere besides the dungeon.] (Phil)

Although armour with high defensive capabilities were manufactured in cities and sold, clothing with defense enhancing properties were only found in dungeons such as this. Thus, we decided to have Til equip the clothing to supplement her low defense.

 

  [Yuuya-niisan, Onee-chan. I think we should sell this clothing for money. They should be quite valuable no? Like this, we’ll be able to eat more delicious meat without selling them for money. Luna thinks so too right?] (Til)

  [Uh-nuh! These clothes will keep Til safe so we should keep them! Meat is important but Til’s safety is even more important.] (Luna)

Surprisingly, although Luna was faithful to her desires, she was much more considerate of Til’s safety.

 

  [I love you Luna!] (Til)

  [Luna too!] (Luna)

 

The two girls began their usual weird shaman-like dance as their friendship appears to have deepened. I felt a little fuzzy inside looking at the heartwarming scene.

 

  [Yuuya-niisan. Thank you very much, I’ll cherish these clothes.] (Til)

 

Following her words, Til began to strip down into her underwear. In contrast to her slender body, her attractive breasts were exposed as I tried to stop myself from staring by covering my eyes.

 

  [The size is perfect! Take a look, the clothes looks so cute!] (Til)

  [The size is perfect because of the special property of dungeon-produced clothing, adjusting to the user’s size. Also Til, you’re already fourteen, there are limits to what you should and shouldn’t do.] (Yuuya)
  [But you’re just Yuuya-niisan. You’re harmless you know, harmless. Or could it be, were you aroused looking at me? Oh no, am I going to steal my own sister’s boyfriend’s heart!? It’s so difficult being this cute.] (Til)

Phil walked up in front of Til and began pulling on her cheek.

 

  [Til, Don’t get too caught up in your jokes or I’ll punish you. I’ll have to reflect on myself for now on since I’ve been spoiling you too much.] (Phil)

  [Yesh Yesh Oneechyan, I gibe yup I gibe yup.] (TIl)

 

Til began tapping on the Phil shoulders as tears flowed out of her eyes.

 

  [Phil, at the very least we’ll have to reflect. Although Til is just a child she’s still pretty for her age. She’ll definitely be in danger if she was alone.] (Yuuya)
  [Ugh. I understand that.] (Phil)
  [Til is pretty? Nee Yuuya. What about Luna?] (Luna)

  [Luna is also very cute.] (Yuuya)

Both Luna and Til were beautiful girls far better looking than an average person. Now that I think about it, they are both fourteen which means that it was about time for us to educate them about marriage. On the other hand, it was weird for me to still be treating them as children. However, their minds are still of a child so it should be fine to make them happy for now. They were like my daughters and I still can’t help but worry for them.

 

  [Now let’s keep this attitude up and continue forward. There is still much time left for us to hunt more monsters![ (Yuuya)
  [Uhn. Understood!] (Luna)
  [I’ll show you the power of the powered-up Til!] (Til)

They were good children who were motivated. Let’s make it a perfect day today!

 

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Since then, we’ve spent the passing days hunting in the dungeon until the long-awaited date for the boss’s respawn. Once the time reaches midnight, the boss will spawn, hence we are going to depart the night before it respawns. With some struggling, we continued to train while relying on my knowledge we barely managed to hit level 35 except for Phil who was at level upper twenties. However, with her bonuses from resetting her levels and excellent equipment, she was still a force to be reckoned with.

 

Currently, I was on a shopping trip to replenish our consumables, specifically our recovery potions as it wasn’t common for us to consume high performance potions which were expensive. It was important to replenish our stock of potions for a battle as important as the boss battle. Our party were split up into two squads. Me and Selene were to obtain our potions while the other girls focused on improving our equipment. 

We had finished purchasing all our potions and arrived at a cafe in our rendezvous spot as Phil and the girls hadn’t arrived yet. It was a perfect time for me to talk to Selene about some private matters.

 

  [Selene, the inheritance ceremony is slowly approaching. For the upcoming boss battle, we’ll gain at most two full levels from defeating the boss. And if we were to lose the chance to defeat it, then it’ll only be one instead. No matter what, I want for us to defeat the boss.] (Yuuya)

It was already about time for us to prepare our arrangements to travel towards the Laluzulu Kingdom as time was running short. Since it was difficult to level up in our current level range, it would be ideal for us to obtain the experience points from the boss.

 

  [I too wish to defeat the boss, however I want to do it for the party’s sake and not for my own,] (Selene)

  [Of course the battle will be for the party. However, you should also begin to think for yourself. So long as there is anything you want, I’ll do my best to be your strength,] (Yuuya)

  [You’re showing this much consideration as usual. I’m so happy that I can’t think of the right words to say. I can’t thank you enough for everything you have done. THanks to you, I’ve grown so much in terms of level, workmanship and spirit that I wouldn’t have done in the castle.] (Selene)

Selene wasn’t going back to the castle to obtain the throne for herself, but to deny her incompetent elder brother from becoming drunk with power by giving the throne over to her elder sister whom she felt was more fitting to become the queen. And in order to do that, she had to train and become stronger. She was a person who loved her people from the bottom of her heart and couldn’t afford to leave her people to die by allowing someone ill-fitting to become king. This was why I supported her and agreed to train her as much as possible until the ceremony.

 

  [What I want aren’t words from you, but your victory. That is why, it is fine to be a little more selfish.] (Yuuya)
  [Yuuya-ojisan is too gentle. There isn’t any need for me to be selfish since there is nothing I could ask for. You have taught me that so long as the will is there, I will always be able to grow. You were always showing me the way. Once everything is over, I will definitely be able to grant whatever you desire. When the time comes, Yuuya-ojisan too can be selfish. I will definitely do it.] (Selene)

 

Selene brought a cup of black tea to her through. Somehow her gesture seemed more feverish than usual.

 

  [Selene, I won’t need anything. After all, you have already given us plenty by being the strongest shield we could ever hope for. It is because we have you, that we managed to come this far. Thank you.] (Yuuya)

There aren’t many parties who could make it this far without a dedicated tank. In fact, I wouldn’t have even thought of attempting Flaregard’s boss this early if we hadn’t had Selene in our party. Selene let out a beautiful smile towards me.

 

  [It is difficult to put my happiness into words right now. Yuuya-ojisama. Our party is the strongest right now isn’t it. I wish to continue travelling like this, forever and ever.] (Selene)

  [I feel the same way. Losing you will be a huge blow to us too.] (Yuuya)

Although I knew that it would happen eventually, I let out my true feelings. 

 

  [With everyone.. I want to continue adventuring forever. I wonder how happy I would feel if that could happen.] (Selene)

 

Luna. Til. Selene. Phil.

No matter how far and wide I search this world, I’ll probably never find any better members than this. Looking outside the window, I saw a bunch of familiar faces.

 

  [Yuuya, our shopping is completed!] (Luna)
  [We managed to get a good deal. We got a nice set of heat resistant equipment for Yuuya-niisan!] (Til)

 

The other girls were waving their hands at us as they walked towards us. I turned towards Selene as our conversation ended there.

 

  [Hey everyone. This shop has several specialties that are pretty delicious. Let’s be sure to eat plenty of them to prepare ourselves for the boss battle.] (Yuuya)

  [Uhn. Be sure to order plenty! The meat in the store smells good!] (Luna)

  [Yuuya-niisan. I want to order the pasta! Then I want that parfait too!] (Til)

  [Luna-chan. Til. If you overeat your movements will become sluggish.] (Phil)

 

The long-awaited boss battle will begin at last. For tonight’s battle, for our party’s sake and Selene, I will win.

Once we win, we’ll aim for the Laluzulu Kingdom.