“I might have gotten lost. I don’t know where I am at all.” (Hikaru)
I muttered this to the viewers in this big garden that was covered in dense mist.
After that, I defeated two zombie-like monsters.
Their movements are slow, and I managed to defeat them easily by using Shadow Bind, but I lost my way in this big garden that has similar structures all around.
Being called Straying Big Mist Garden is no joke. There’s no such thing as walls you can see from afar, or peculiar buildings. Even if I try to be really careful and check the position of the structures here, it would be hard to accurately tell the exact location you are in.
“I don’t have Points, so I can’t exchange them for a map of the surroundings. I am thinking about heading to the entrance somehow.” (Hikaru)
I mutter this, but I am actually calm internally.
That’s because I already knew beforehand from Rifreya that the 3rd Floor is a place that one can easily get lost in.
In other words, I aimed for this -to increase my viewers.
“If I can reach the outer wall, I could just trace the wall all the way till I find the stairs. For now, I will make finding this my objective. On this floor, even when I use Darkness Fog, the monsters notice me, so I can’t avoid battles. I have fallen into a pretty dangerous situation, but I will do my best.” (Hikaru)
Getting lost in the dungeon all alone when you don’t even know what monsters can be showing up is without doubt a suicidal act.
It is a situation that wouldn’t be by any means strange if I were to be dead after 30 minutes.
I understand this, but seeing the viewers increase drastically, I felt certain that this is the correct choice.
This is the price to obtain the life of Nanami, so of course the thing I should be betting with is my life.
The sky was maintaining faint light, and was the complete opposite of the 2nd Floor. Your normal explorer would understand that this floor is an easier place to fight in.
While I was walking to the stairs, I heard a voice somewhere.
The next instant, a powerful impact came from my side.
“Ugh?! W-What…?!” (Hikaru)
I fortunately managed to guard it with my gauntlet, so I avoided a direct hit, but I rolled and bounced on the ground, and my clothes and skin were mercilessly scraping against the stone pavement.
A strong pain ran through my left arm. A bone might have broken there.
When I raised my head, what was there was a tree.
No, it is a tree monster.
Looks like I didn’t notice its camouflage and approached it to the point that I was right by its side.
Its branches rustled as it moved, and from how slowly it advanced, I honestly don’t think it is that strong, but it has size and hits hard.
And the reality is that I suffered quite the damage with one single attack.
“…I didn’t expect there to be a tree monster like that. I have almost no armor, so I might have broken a bone there.” (Hikaru)
Even so, I still had the leeway to talk.
My left arm was pulsating in intense pain even while talking, and blood was flowing out from the scrapes.
Contrary to the alarm bells my body is ringing, a part of my heart was saying ‘this is fine’ ‘this is a good happening’.
I take a stance with the dagger using my already wasted left arm too.
I am against a giant tree monster.
I don’t know where the joints are, but it is moving its branches like arms, and the tips of those branches are sharp, and it would be bad news if I were to get stabbed by those.
Did it come out from the earth, or maybe it was originally like that to begin with? The roots were moving like an octopus, and was slowly approaching me.
“This is the first time I have encountered an enemy that Darkness Fog doesn’t work against. I think it is detecting me with something other than eyesight.” (Hikaru)
I may be talking as if I am calm, but cold sweat is covering my whole body.
“[Shade Shift]!” (Hikaru)
A dark clone of myself appears.
It is just a means to distract for a moment, and I don’t know how effective it will be against an enemy that doesn’t rely on eyesight, but it is better than nothing.
“Phantom Warrior!” (Hikaru)
A dark warrior appears, and it attracts the surroundings by loudly hitting its shield with its sword.
It fortunately seems to be sensitive to sounds, its attention was slightly diverted there.
I circle it and take the back of the monster.
And immediately activate an ability.
“[Shadow Bind]!” (Hikaru)
The moment the tentacles of darkness tied up the branches, I stabbed with my dagger.
It is different from a monster that has a humanoid body. This one is a literal tree.
Stabbing a shortsword there is most difficult. In the first place, I lack the physical strength.
I greedily attack it again, but it is not showing any signs of reaching its weak point.
While I was doing that, the binding was losing its effect.
“[Summon: Night Bug]!” (Hikaru)
I summon Night Bugs and take distance.
It is impossible with one arm.
I take out a Mid Potion that I bought in the guild from the Shadow Storage and splash it on my wound.
Maybe because of the adrenaline from battle, I couldn’t feel the pain anymore. I can feel the numbness going away.
I thought my left arm wouldn’t heal unless I used a Mid Scroll, but the sensation was slowly returning to me.
Maybe this is the blessing amidst the misfortune, it isn’t broken.
The monster that was having its branches and trunk whittled away by the many insects raised a roar and shook its branches.
“Wa…What’s going on…?” (Hikaru)
A new presence from the surroundings…no, more precisely, I am hearing what seems like the cries of something.
“Could it be that…it has called its comrades…?” (Hikaru)
That feeling of mine turned out to be correct, and 2 big men holding giant clubs were heading this way from the other side of the mist.
I knew plenty well that a development like this could happen if I were to get stuck too long in battle.
(Should I run? But…) (Hikaru)
Fortunately, they are monsters that are not too fast.
If I were to run away while shooting around abilities, I should be able to escape without any issues.
Running away; that option is naturally available.
But…what would it achieve?
I came here alone prepared for death.
I decided to get 1st place.
That resolve shouldn’t be so frail that I would turn tail and run away from this.
I came here alone. I even got lost on purpose.
It was definitely not for the sake of running away when I fell into peril.
I came all the way here seeking a situation like this.
“I can somehow move my left arm now. 3 is a lot, but…I will do it.” (Hikaru)
After reaching that decision, it felt as if a switch flipped inside my head.
I ignore the tree monster for now and run towards the giant men.
(Darkness Fog works on them.) (Hikaru)
I spread the range of the darkness at once, jump the instant their movements were sealed by Shadow Bind, and stab into their weak points.
I did that twice in a row and finished the giant men.
My body moved so well it surprised even me.
My concentration might have increased by being conscious of death.
I leave the fallen Spirit Stones that fell from the giant men just like that, and head to the tree monster.
No matter how hard the monster, in the end, it is a tree.
I had the Phantom Warrior attract its attention, I myself moved to the back, and attacked after sealing its movements with Shadow Bind.
Using 3 abilities for 1 attack is pretty rough, but I don’t know any other method.
If Rifreya were here, I could have been able to fight with only Darkness Fog, so doing this alone really is pushing it a bit.
But that’s what I signed up for.
It is because of the danger that I am doing it.
It is because it is dangerous that it is good.
On the 3rd exchange of attacks, my shortsword finally managed to penetrate.
The tree monster turned into a Spirit Stone.
It was a monster I had terrible affinity against, but thanks to that, I managed to get over 400 million viewers.
“I have been wounded a little bit, but this has been good battle experience. Now, let’s go to the next one.” (Hikaru)
I make a face of being fine even if I have to force it out.
My body is beginning to heat up because of using Spirit Energy too much.
It is impossible to do more strenuous fights like this one.
After that, I walked around searching for the exit, and defeated: 15 goblins (big), 8 zombies, 5 small fiends, and 5 giant men.
It seems like tree monsters don’t show up that often, so none have shown up after that.
For the other monsters aside from that, Darkness Fog was effective, and if that’s effective, it is possible to reduce their battle power greatly. I just have to calmly take their lives.
Of course, there’s the need for quite the effort, but that is giving me a good amount of experience.
By defeating monsters, I take in Spirit Energy bit by bit, and I could feel that the power in my body is increasing.
“I think I am getting the hang of how to fight with Dark Spirit Abilities. Don’t know what would happen if even stronger monsters were to show up, but I am beginning to understand why Rifreya asserted that it would work in the 3rd Floor.” (Hikaru)
I talk as I go up the 10 step stairs that I remember seeing before.
I walk straight ahead just like that, and see the opening where the stairs leading to the 2nd Floor were.
It is true that I got lost, but I actually have a lot of confidence in my sense of direction.
If I know the whole time in what direction I came from, you basically can’t get lost for real.
But from the perspective of the viewers, it should have looked like I luckily got back to the stairs.
“It is the exit! What a relief… I was close to my limit, but it looks like I can go back alive.” (Hikaru)
Even while commenting, I myself felt that was shameless.
Calling me an actor would be an insult to the trade. I am sure that I will be found out by the sharp viewers, but well, commenting in itself is basically just an extra.
In the end, I just have to show by action.
“Now then, today’s solo exploration ends with this. I will be exploring with a party from tomorrow on, so please look forward to it.” (Hikaru)
I ended the commentary with this. I cover myself with darkness, and run through the dungeon.
Honestly speaking, getting lost and wandering an unknown floor was taxing in both body and mind.
The fact that I managed to despite that might have been because I felt ‘death right by my side’ the whole time in that forest.
Anyways, let’s splurge today and eat something tasty.
Today’s exploration was done mostly in the darkness while commenting, so it might not have been that fun to watch, but I managed to get over 500 million viewers in the end.
I am now in spot 14 on the tentative rankings.
As expected, I wasn’t wrong.
Me putting my life in danger becomes an explosive, and it allows me to rise in the rankings greatly.
And…this result is also proof that my death is desired.