Chapter 167. Double Crisis (3)
Because it’s been so long since I entered the dungeon, I’ve almost forgotten what monsters appeared in the 50th floor range. Regardless, I met the giant humanoid monsters of the 54th floor head on and broke through in just one hour.
This was the first time I had broken through a dungeon floor in one hour. When I reached the Floor Shop and saw that Loretta wasn’t back, I realized just how quickly I had broken through the 54th floor. Flustered, I looked back.
[Huhu, this is my power, Master!]
“Yeah, Peika is really amazing.”
[It’s a good thing my seal was released!]
It seemed like the biggest reason was that I charged through the floor by riding on a materialized Peika. When I materialized Peika, I didn’t have the spare power to summon Ruyue or Sharana. I simply drank Mana Potions whenever they were off cooldown and scorched monsters in our way with chaos flame. It was fine to use Peika’s ability from time to time, but I was still lacking in mana to ride her and rush forward for dozens of minutes.
This method would not work in Beyond. Just five stacks of Orc Lords’ Warcries would turn our quick charge into a shortcut to death.
“Regardless, I need to clear the First Dungeon as quickly as possible. After all, Beyond inadvertently takes up more time.”
I first dematerialized Peika and circulated Peruta Circuit to restore mana and relieve fatigue. Now, climbing the First Dungeon wasn’t so difficult. If it was, I would be troubled. I only had 2 years left. The less time I spent in the First Dungeon, the better. I needed to focus my time on conquering Beyond.
“Alright, let’s go once I’m fully revitalized! My goal is to break through in 4 days!”
[Master can do it if Master is with me! Master doesn’t need the others!]
I smiled at Peika’s declaration and patted her head. ‘Sorry Peika, but I’m going to need Ruyue and Sharana’s power too for Beyond.’
On Beyond’s 4th floor, both Orc Lords and Wraith Queens were waiting for me. I already knew how fierce Orc Lords were, but the Wraith Queens’ mental attacks couldn’t really affect me. Since the only physical attack they could do was shooting ectoplasms arrows, I felt that I could just ignore them. Of course, things didn’t go as I expected.
The Orc Lords’ warcries affected all allies. In other words, the Wraith Queens were also strengthened. Their mental attacks weren’t strengthened by much, but their ectoplasm arrows were extremely scary. Just a single one of them could break through my armor and shake my soul. If that wasn’t enough, they were shooting hundreds of them at once, which bounced around and got strengthened further. It was like I was in hell.
[Human! A human with a shining soul!]
[Kuoooooo! Eat him!]
[Handsome men are all enemies!]
“You bastards… including personal enmities…! Have a taste of my crossbow bolt!”
My Spear Technique couldn’t do much on Beyond 4th floor. Since the Wraith Queens shot hundreds of ectoplasm arrows at me whenever they saw me, I didn’t have the chance to run into them and create whirlpools or whatnot. What I relied on was the Epic-grade crossbow, Perfect Hunter.
[Perfect Hunter (Epic)
Durability – 351/360
Attack – 3,750
Equipment Requirement – Strength, Dexterity, Magic +150. Mid-rank Crossbow Marksmanship
Option – Strength +15, Dexterity +15, Magic +15. Adds wind attribute to bolt-based attacks. Attack speed +20%. Automatic reloading. Uses 10 mana to create mana bolts when the user is out of bolts.
Skill – Invisible Shooter: Makes the bolts invisible and removes sound and presence from bolts. Adds 30% bonus to speed and attack power.]
Thankfully, Perfect Hunter already had a wind attribute bonus. When Sharana was infused into it, the wind attribute was strengthened even more, maximizing the speed and piercing power of the bolts. In addition, one couldn’t see the bolts Perfect Hunter shot out. As a result, it was hard to dodge them and many only recognized the bolts once they were hit.
[Kuaaaaa! Kill that human!]
No matter how much they struggled and tried to kill me, they couldn’t catch up to me in speed. The only thing they could do was to use Warcries and shoot out the strengthened ectoplasm arrows. But since ectoplasm arrows exploded upon contact, it was possible to shoot them down. I left Ruyue to this task. The countless ice crystals Ruyue created was perfect for blocking the ectoplasm arrows.
[Elemental! Kill the elemental!]
[Girls prettier than me should all die!]
[Kill all the girls hanging around guys!]
… And the important thing was to purposefully let a few ectoplasm arrows go through.
After I dodged them with acrobatic maneuvers, they would bounce around the walls and kill Wraith Queens or Orc Lords. It was similar to how I was dealing with them before.
[My soul is being purified…!]
“How are you being purified by your own arrows… You’re going to put exorcists out of business. Haat!”
I busily maneuvered around, dodging their attacks and shooting out bolts. With my stats increased over the last month, I felt much lighter. It was why clearing the 4th floor was quicker than the 2nd floor. If I could control the ectoplasm arrows with Ruyue, the 4th floor was a piece of cake. That said, I couldn’t continue this hit-and-run tactic forever. As I had to continue onward to find the pathway, it was possible that I had reached a dead-end.
As expected, when I found myself in a dead-end, the Orc Lords shouted and charged at me, as if they were waiting for this moment. The Wraith Queens also shot out a countless number of ectoplasm arrows as they flew toward me. I ordered Ruyue to create a whirlpool of ice and used it to strike away the ectoplasm arrows. Then, I shouted.
A black dragon appeared in the air. A thick bolt of lightning flashed through the crowd of monsters. When the powerful lightning joined the ice crystals, it became stronger and spread out in all directions. The monsters all screamed in unison.
I hung the crossbow on my waist and took out the Chaotic Spear from my back. Because the monsters were super-armored, they continued to run at me even as they screamed in pain. If I didn’t kill them now, I would be trampled to death by them.
Elementals gathered in my spear while chatting noisily. Peruta Circuit spun vehemently and covered my entire body in a whirlpool. I tamed the whirlpool of mana that seemed to want to explode and trapped it at the tip of my spear. As more elementals gathered, the spear shone with more and more brilliant light.
“Sorry, but I can’t die even once…!”
The moment they arrived in front of me, I released the storm of elementals. Almost as if I shot a cannon, a giant back blast pushed me backward and made me hit the wall behind me. I groaned and checked my surroundings. If any of them were alive, I had to get them before they got me.
However, after the storm passed, the pathway was still. Just like always, the monsters all disappeared without leaving a trace. Although they would respawn soon, there were currently no monsters within my detection range.
After confirming that no monsters survived, I put my spear away on my back. Then, with a deep sigh, I took out and drank a new Mana Potion. The highest-grade Mana Potion was delicious no matter how many times I drank it!
“Peika, I’ll call you again.”
[But I want to stay with Master.]
“Sorry. It’s okay during battle, but it’s hard to keep three elementals out at all times.”
I sent Peika back and quickly moved on. When I wasn’t in battle, I infused Sharana into my body instead of the crossbow, so I could maximize my movement speed. If I used more mana, I could even fly. Talaria’s usefulness had somewhat disappeared. Though, if I summoned Talaria, my speed would increase even more!
[It looks like Master is very used to flying. Most elementalists have trouble when they fly for the first time.]
“I have something called Talaria. It lets me fly for a fixed period of time every day. I was using it when I was fighting Pesina, too.”
[Wow! Now that you mention it, you really were flying back then! You really are special, like having three elementals isn’t enough…]
While listening to Sharana and flying through the pathway, I shot a bolt toward the ground. The bolt then bounced around from the ground to the ceiling multiple times like a bouncy ball, then struck a corner of the wall with a mountain-crumbling force. Immediately afterward, a boom rang out along with a scream.
“Good. This zone is taken care of.”
Using Mana Detection, I had detonated a trap I discovered and even killed an Orc Lord that was waiting around the corner. It was truly a satisfying feeling.
The Wraith Queens that were outside of the trap’s range came out and began to shoot ectoplasm arrows. However, if they weren’t strengthened by Warcries, I didn’t even need to dodge them.
I took out my spear and charged at the crowd of Wraith Queens. At the same time, Ruyue’s ice crystals enveloped me like a cloud. I circulated Peruta Circuit and activated Mad Typhoon. The whirlpool of mana mixed with the ice crystals disintegrated all ectoplasms arrows it touched.
[Kill that human!]
“Haaaaaaap! Blade Rush!”
Before I reached them, I activated Blade Rush. Blades then immediately protruded out from my mouth. I bumped into a Wraith Queen, tearing her to shreds. Then, the blades shout out and tore apart the rest of them. Chaos flames swept over those that survived.
“Huu, how long do I have to listen to your screams?”
I muttered and erased all traces of the Wraith Queens. The moment the monsters disappeared, complete silence once again arrived. I had gotten used to it by now. In Beyond, it suddenly became loud, then suddenly became silent. It was truly a capricious space.
However, even though everything was proceeding smoothly, I couldn’t be happy. Two days had passed since I entered Beyond’s 4th floor. I was confident that I was advancing quickly, but I still hadn’t seen a straight pathway. Though, I knew I was rushing things compared to my last Beyond explorations.
It seemed Ruyue had seen through my impatience, as she cheered me up.
[Don’t worry! Shin is very strong!]
I wasn’t sure what being strong had to do with it, but I knew she was trying to console me. I patted Ruyue, who materialized on her own accord and hugged me. Sharana, who was infused in my body, also added.
[Even if Master doesn’t hurry, Master is already very fast!]
Her words were much more meaningful than Ruyue’s. I made a bitter smile and nodded.
“You’re right. If I rush too much and die, it would be a true disaster. Thanks. Let’s keep going at this pace.”
The two year time limit was extremely stifling. I could no longer climb the dungeon solely based on my desire to improve myself. The fact that I had to save my friends and family continued to push me.
Perhaps, it was acting as a poison. When the spear held up to protect freedom was weighed down by responsibility, it would lose its sharpness and swiftness. That would be truly foolish.
“Alright… Snap out of it and go!”
I slapped my cheeks with spirit and flew up again. I even summoned Talaria. I wanted to push away some of this stifling feeling.
20 minutes after that, the straight pathway opened, and I broke through the corridor filled with Orc Lords and Wraith Queen using Crimson Roar and Elemental Tempest. I had broken through Beyond’s 4th floor in two days. It was a pleasant surprise.
Damn, I should’ve waited a bit more! I wasted Talaria!