Chapter 93. Crimson Roar (5)
Although it was bit embarrassing to say myself, I was a genius when it came to fighting. Simply put, I never fell for the same attack again.
No matter how accomplished a martial artist was, there would be a limit to the techniques he used. All humans had set patterns to their movements, and once I saw them with my eyes and experienced them with my body, it wasn’t too difficult to comprehend the movements and counterattack. However, it seemed other people didn’t think like me. Even father made a surprised expression when I told him about it.
Just like how smart students could solve application problems with one equation, once I saw and experienced a technique, I could understand and counterattack, no matter how the technique was utilized. My body was remembering it.
It was a different story if I was too slow to dodge the enemy’s attack even after reading its trajectory, but otherwise, I could deal with it easily. This was the same for Floor Master battles. Their skills had a pattern to them that was much clearer than human movements. Once I experienced it a single time, it would be weird if it hit me the second time.
That said, it wasn’t always possible to dodge them. Floor Masters’ skills were all difficult, if not impossible, to avoid.
I used Dragon Skin, shouting at the top of my voice. Ignoring the black hands that shot up from the ground, I shot my Elemental Blade at the Grim Reaper. Before he was hit by the Elemental Blade, Grim Reaper teleported behind me. I, of course, read his movements.
I grabbed him and threw him on the ground, as if I was waiting for him to appear behind me. Peika and Ruyue floated in the air and focused on the reaper with their elemental magic without me having to order them. Meanwhile, the black hands flailed and tried to pull me underground. However, because my body was strengthened by Dragon Skin, the hands snapped while trying to pull on me. Seeing it, a thought flashed across my mind.
“Ruyue, come into my armor!”
Ruyue, who was attacking the reaper with Peika, came into my armor. At the same time, I imbued mana into my armor and strengthened it. Then, as I thought, the black hands that touched the armor froze and began to snap. I had found a way to stop the black hands without using Dragon Skin! A gleam of success had flashed in my Grim Reaper fight strategy.
“Whew, you’re screwed now, reaper.”
The moment I declared confidently, a large shadow dropped down from above my head. As my body was bent from throwing the reaper on the ground, I dodged the attack by rolling. However, I was unable to fully dodge his attack and the shadow still struck my helmet, cutting it up perfectly. I was even under Dragon Skin’s effect! With my bare face showing, I gritted my teeth.
“You son of a bitch, just how many skills do you have hidden!?”
Since using his skills one by one didn’t seem to work, the Reaper seemed to have decided to use all his skills at once. The black hands pulled on me, the large shadow scythe dropped from sky, and a blade wave came flying my way. As I threw him down once, the reaper didn’t teleport behind me again and only threw out long-ranged attacks from a distance. He really was shrewd. I felt like I was fighting a cunning human.
If that’s your plan, I’ll take on that challenge for a battle of attrition! I put another Mana Potion in my mouth and glared at the Grim Reaper swinging his scythe from a distance. You don’t have Mana Potions anymore, but I do!
First, I ignored the black hands, which could not affect me by much, and focused on dodging the shadow scythes and blade waves. At the same time, I left Peika, who was free, to attack the reaper.
I could stick close to the 35th Floor Master, Dullahan, and have a fierce close-range fight, but the 40th Floor Master, Grim Reaper, was completely different than Dullahan. They were polar opposites. One thing I could be sure of was that everyone would choose to fight Dullahan over the Grim Reaper. Without my Elementalist abilities, it would really be impossible to defeat the Grim Reaper alone.
[You won’t be able to defeat me, Hero!]
“If you’re so confident, why don’t you come fight me up close?”
‘Hey, don’t attack just because you don’t know what to say!’ I frantically dodged his attack. Peika also attacked him whenever there was an opening.
Before I noticed it, the black hands were gone. The shadow scythes were also coming less frequently. Although the reaper was flying around quickly, swinging his scythe at me, I realized he had run out of mana.
“Ruyue, go help Peika now.”
Once I deactivated Spirit Aura and Ruyue joined Peika to attack, it became more difficult for the reaper to dodge their attacks. Using the gap where the shadow scythe wasn’t dropping down on me, I let the reaper’s blade wave fly past my shoulder and charged toward him. My Silver Spear shone with a light full of vengeance.
The reaper teleported backwards consecutively. However, the moment his teleportation stopped, Ruyue restrained the reaper’s movements with her ice shackles. He could have normally broken Ruyue’s shackles easily, but he was currently out of mana. He didn’t have the strength to escape a mid-rank elemental’s restraint.
As he was about to swing his scythe, Ruyue’s shackles crept up to his arms and bound them in place. Although they wouldn’t be able to hold him for long, they were doing their job for now.
While I was running toward him, Peika naturally flew toward me and infused herself in my spear. I poured the momentum from my charge into the tip of my spear and thrust forward.
The reaper coughed out what looked like a black shadow from his mouth. It seemed similar to blood, but I dodged it just in case. When the shadow hit the ground, it dissolved the ground. Although I had expected it somewhat, his insides were full of poison.
When I looked away thinking I really couldn’t let my guard down until the end, a black shadow scythe shot out from inside the reaper’s hood. He still had mana left over!
[This is the end!]
‘Sorry, but I knew you were hiding mana the moment you let the shackles capture you so easily!’ Confirming that he had used his final move, I dodged the black scythe swinging down at me, and ran behind him. At the same time Divine Speed ran out, I saw the shadow scythe disappearing into the air.
[Kuk, you slippery worm!]
“Be happy, reaper.”
I said as I considered which area in his back he would receive the most pain from.
“Today, you’ll be the first reaper to be killed by a slippery worm.”
[You became level 41. You obtained the qualification to advance to the 41st floor.]
[You obtained 5 bonus stats.]
[You became Silver Rank 3.]
[You can now visit the Residential Area’s recreational area! Ask the Residential Area administrators for more info!]
[Amazing! You are the first in First Dungeon’s history to succeed in soloing the Grim Reaper on the first try! The dungeon will remember you as a Great Explorer. You obtained 2 skill points as a reward. You obtained a life-time free voucher for ‘Resting Place of Angels!’ Current skill points: 14]
[Quest Success! You succeeded in completing draconian Lin’s conditions within three months. Even while he grits his teeth, Lin will grant you the promised equipment. You obtained 1 skill point as reward. Current skill points: 15]
[You obtained the title, ‘Grim Reaper Master.’ All stats increase by 2. This effect will apply even if the title is not equipped.]
[You defeated the Grim Reaper alone. You obtained the special reward, ‘Grim Reaper’s Robe.’]
[You obtained 150,000 gold.]
[You received the only reward left hidden for the First Explorer. Congratulations! Your luck stat increases by 1.]
[Secret. Soul Guard Magic Book]
I murmured in an unexcited voice. I had no energy left in me. My helmet had been cut in half and my Black Earthen Spear broke. My armor was in tatters from the reaper’s black hands and his blade waves, and blood was flowing through its gaps. My hair was a mess and I was muddy from rolling on the ground.
I hadn’t been in such a mess since the days when I fought the Orc Lord. Although I wanted to collapse on the ground, it was muddy. I prevented myself from fainting using my extraordinary willpower and picked up my Black Earthen Spear from the ground. It was quite cleanly broken.
[Shin was cool! Super cool!]
[Master is amazing.]
“Come here. You guys worked hard too.”
My elementals flew toward me like puppies. Hugging both of them in my embrace, I asked message noona to bring up the message log. When I read the part about recreational area, I tilted my head.
“I haven’t heard about this before… I can get there from the Residential Area? Is it an upgraded version of the Residential Area?”
Although I wasn’t sure, I felt it had something to do with the Resting Place of Angels life-time free voucher I got as a reward for completing the achievement. I would find out once I got there.
I had successfully obtained the Grim Reaper Master title and the secret reward: Soul Guard. When I chose it from the reward list, a magic book appeared and flew inside me.
[You learned the skill Soul Guard (Passive). Through deep spiritual meditation, you grow your soul’s strength, defending against mental status effects and advancing the league of your existence. The effect will increase along with skill level.]
“It’s like Lin said.”
I really got a skill that protected against mental status effects. I instinctively felt that there was more that this skill was hiding. I would find out as I advanced. For now, I wanted to get my quest reward and go to sleep.
Lin was smoking with his feet on the Floor Shop desk. After seeing me, he smirked.
“You’re a mess.”
“I thought I’d die. It was hard.”
“But you managed to succeed. On your first try, alone.”
Lin puffed out a cloud of smoke. He then set the entire cigarette on fire, making it disappear without even leaving behind ashes. Then, he threw something at me. When I received it hurriedly, it was a thin bracelet made out of reddish metal. Although it looked simple, its beautiful texture was captivating.
I asked Lin.
“Your reward. I made it while you weren’t here.”
“… I didn’t think Lin would make do with just a bracelet.”
“I’ll teach you how to activate it.”
Lin got up from his seat and made a serious expression. It was like the expression of a great sage passing on his knowledge of ancient magic to his successor.
“First, wear it.”
“Alright, put the arm without the bracelet forward, then make it touch your collar bone. Then, raise the arm with the bracelet up into the sky—”
Ignoring Lin’s obvious bait, I poured mana into the bracelet. In an instant, the bracelet radiated a strong light. The armor I was wearing disappeared and something else wrapped around my body.
In less than 0.1 second, I was wearing a different set of armor than before. Red, sharp, and metallic scales that looked like a red dragon’s scales were covering my body. The gauntlet was easy to move in, and the armor and boots were incredibly light. The helmet fit perfectly as well. When I glanced behind me, a red leather cape was fluttering without any wind blowing. It was super cool!
“So, Lin. I’m not sure how this works, so can you demonstrate what you said?”
“You little… Just take the spear.”
Lin spoke with bitterness and threw a red metallic spear at me. Catching the spear, I thought Lin was quite funny.
[You unequipped Dullahan Set. Your strength and constitution decrease by 17.]
[You unequipped Black Earthen Spear. Your strength decreases by 5 and your dexterity decreases by 10.]
[You equipped Crimson Dragon Scale Armor Set. It becomes bound to you. All stats increase by 10. Your strength and constitution increase by an additional 10 points. The chances of receiving a critical hit decreases greatly, and you return a portion of the damage you receive to your enemy. The effects of all charge type skills are increased by 60%.]
[You equipped Red Dragon Felixes’ Cape. It becomes bound to you. Your dexterity, magic, and charm increase by 15. You become immune to all temperature-based status effects. Three times per day, it protects its master from unforeseen attacks.]
[You equipped Crimson Gluttony Spear. It becomes bound to you. Your strength increases by 30. Fire damage is added to all basic attacks and you have a high chance to burn the enemy. It evolves by consuming weapon-type items.]
[While equipping Crimson Dragon Scale Armor Set, you can use ‘Crimson Roar’ once per day. Crimson Roar turns the air it reaches into blazing flames that attacks the enemies. As it burns everything other than its user, it must be used with precaution.]
Just by changing my equipment, I felt a sense of omnipotence, like nothing was impossible. The stat bonuses I gained from Black Earthen Spear and Dullahan Set was 49 points. Even if I excluded the charm and luck stat bonuses, thef stat bonuses I gained now was 130! The effect was worth over 15 levels of growth! Of course, with this much stat increase, the ‘update’ time would also be incredibly long.
Even knowing that, my body was itching from the excitement! My body that was exhausted and ready to faint seemed to want to go on a rampage. Reaper? With this much stat increase, the amount of damage I could do to the reaper would need to be counted with a different unit!
“Once it’s bound to you, you’ll receive the stat bonuses just by having the bracelet equipped. Ah, but you can’t use Crimson Roar with the armor unequipped, so keep that in mind.”
“If you thank me now… my insides are going to flip, so don’t…!”
The equipment I received were all breathtaking. Although I knew I shouldn’t just rely on my equipment, a warrior couldn’t help but be happy when he received such good equipment.
“Also, that spear can absorb weapons.”
“Absorb? What happens when it absorbs them?”
“You’ll find out once you absorb enough. Why don’t you try it out?”
I immediately thought about my halved Black Earthen Spear. When I brought it up to the Gluttony Spear, the Black Earthen Spear disappeared surprisingly. At the same time, a message rang out.
[Crimson Gluttony Spear absorbed Black Earthen Spear. Growth: 1%]
“1 percent!? It has to eat a hundred more?”
“That’s a lot. It must have been a pretty good weapon.”
I learned a valuable lesson. That I should not worry about the weapon’s growth for a while.
In any case, since I now had new equipment and a weapon, I had to take them out for a test. Forgetting all about sleep, I shouted.
“Lin, I’ll come back after doing another boss fight!”
“Yeah, yeah, go die.”
Taking Lin’s words as a joke, I went to fight the boss again.
I died. Just like that, I became unable to grind the boss for a week.
Once I was chased out to the Residential Area, I calmly assessed what had happened. The stat update had only just begun, and I hadn’t gotten strong enough to overwhelm the Grim Reaper. Although I said I felt energetic, my body was undoubtedly exhausted. Without being able to draw out my full ability, I got killed. Although I normally would have been able to think this far, I had lost my reason as the equipment I earned were too good. I learned the lesson that I shouldn’t act based on excitement. One week was the price I would have to pay.
Life really was a rollercoaster.
Haa, I’m really crazy..!
Five thousand words! I! Wanted! To! Finish! But! Why! I can hear the sound of my work increasing later…
While I’m despairing, I hope everyone enjoyed today’s chapter. It’s been a while since Shin died! That’s what happens if you let your guard down, thinking you got strong. ^^ No matter how high his intelligence gets, it won’t update so…