I slowly approach the Giant Crabs with Darkness Fog around me.
Looks like they are not the perceptive type. Even when I approach them to a distance of 20 meters, there’s no sign of them noticing.
“[Phantom Warrior].” (Hikaru)
I hide in the shadows, and have a Phantom Warrior appear.
Using this guy is difficult in a sense. There’s a side of it that invalidates the chance of a surprise attack.
However, in terms of certainty, this one is around the top.
The Phantom Warrior hits its shield with its sword while slowly walking towards them.
The Giant Crabs immediately notice it, stand up, and get ready for battle.
(They are unexpectedly fast.) (Hikaru)
They make *saka saka* noises as they move, and the crab attacks the Phantom Warrior in a way so that it can grab it in between its pincers.
On top of being pretty aggressive, the speed of its attacks are far more than I imagined.
Honestly speaking, I thought Giant Crabs were ranked as weak amongst the monsters in the 4th Floor, but it looks like I will have to adjust my information.
The 4th Floor really isn’t being hated just for show.
I approach the crab, who is fighting with the Phantom Warrior, while in the darkness.
I am so nervous I can hear my own heartbeat.
My hands holding the shortsword are trembling, and it felt as if I would drop it at any moment.
I get at a distance of 3 meters, spread the range of Darkness Fog, and swallow the 2 Giant Crabs in it.
At the same time, I seal their movements with Shadow Bind.
Dark tentacles wrap around the limbs of the crabs and I dash towards the monsters while it happens.
(One! Two!) (Hikaru)
I stab in between the eyes of the Giant Crab.
At the same time as I felt as if I broke through a part with a thin shell, my shortsword sunk, and I cut the Spirit Vein.
After defeating one, I bring down the other one with that same move.
The sound of somewhat big Spirit Stones falling announced the end of the battle.
“Haaah…Haaah… [Dark Sense].” (Hikaru)
I checked the surroundings with my Spirit Ability, and after confirming that no monsters were approaching, I picked up the stones, and stabilized my breathing.
I defeated them.
In terms of result, I managed to defeat them the same way as the monsters in the 3rd Floor.
But it was draining to another degree.
It was the first time I fought those monsters, so you could say that’s a given though.
According to my experience until now, once a strategy works the first time, it will almost always work well on the monsters of the same type.
It might be a different story once monsters with more intelligence come out though, but that will be for when that happens.
Fighting alone is really risky, but the returns when it goes well are high.
“One transparent and one water Spirit Stone. I am sure this size would sell for pretty high. The 4th Floor is difficult, but the earnings might just be proportionally as good.” (Hikaru)
I return to the stairs for now, and begin exploring a different direction.
There’s a giant waterfall at the front of the stairs, so I can’t proceed in that direction.
No, I might be able to, but I want to avoid slipping and dropping head first into the basin of the waterfall. It would be better to not get close to it.
There’s paths left and right, so I am going to check those directions first.
I advance while getting rid of the Slimes with my summon ability, and I detect a new monster.
I can confirm it with eyesight too.
“There’s a Lizardman. There’s only one, but…it looks crazy strong.” (Hikaru)
How to say it…it is big.
It is as big as a Troll; 2 meters tall.
Moreover, different from the Troll, this one has an armor of muscle in its whole body. I can even feel its strength just from how it walks.
On top of that, it has a sword and shield.
“Lizardmen might have sensory glands that are different from ours. Snakes have pit organs that allow them infrared detection. If it is the same as that, there’s a chance it will detect my heat and attack me. However, from what I can see, it is more similar to a lizard, so I don’t think I have to worry about that…” (Hikaru)
If it is the type that attacks after detecting heat, it could become my natural enemy.
There’s a need to investigate it.
I bring out the Phantom Warrior at a pretty faraway location.
This Phantom Warrior can also move in a way that doesn’t make a sound.
I take even more distance, in a way so that I can take shelter at once close to the stairs.
The Phantom Warrior is silently approaching the Lizardman.
“The Lizardman has noticed the Phantom Warrior. The battle has begun. Looks like there aren’t only pit organ types.” (Hikaru)
If the Lizardman hadn’t noticed the Phantom Warrior, it would have been bad. If it didn’t notice it, that would mean it detects others through heat (or some other sense).
There’s the possibility of having both, but at least I have a bit of hope here.
“Fuuu…Haaah… Now then, I am going.” (Hikaru)
I take a deep breath, and steel myself.
There’s the chance of this becoming a life or death battle against a monster I have fought for the first time, so I am preparing myself for that.
Without a steady heart, I won’t be able to move when irregularities happen.
I will always imagine the worst as I move.
We are inside a dungeon like this, so this is natural.
That monster is stronger than a Giant Crab.
And it is obviously stronger than me.
That’s the feeling I get.
I hide in the darkness and approach the Lizardman that is still fighting the Phantom Warrior.
I have long taken out my shortsword.
“[Summon: Night Bug].” (Hikaru)
I bring out the Night Bugs to distract it as much as possible.
It won’t have much effect against an enemy of this level though.
The Night Bugs were flying around and were pretty annoying.
It is also dealing with the Phantom Warrior, so it also has to pay attention there as well.
I don’t see it directing its attention at me who is slowly approaching it inside the darkness.
But I felt intense pressure from this enemy that I haven’t felt from any opponent until now.
It is covered in hard-looking scales, and I am feeling anxious as to whether my shortsword can go through those.
(But I have to do it! I have come this far!) (Hikaru)
If I can’t even defeat a single Lizardman, exploring the 4th Floor is impossible.
There’s even the chance of encountering a Scylla after all.
“[Shadow Bind]!” (Hikaru)
I spread the darkness and bolt out.
At the same time, the dark tentacles tie up the limbs of the Lizardman.
(I can do this!) (Hikaru)
An attack from the back.
I will defeat it in one hit just like the time with the Troll —it was supposed to go like that.
However, the Lizardman moved with brute strength even with the binds, and spun its body slightly.
With just that alone, the trajectory of my sword was diverted, and ended up stabbing into the left shoulder covered in scales.
(This is bad!) (Hikaru)
The hope within the misfortune is that the effect of bind isn’t zero yet.
However, the strongest effective time of bind must have passed, the Lizardman makes a side-sweep with its sword.
I let go of the shortsword that’s still stabbed into its shoulder, and reflexively take the hit with the gauntlet.
An impact strong enough to feel as if my arm broke.
Jumping back by reflex helped me mitigate the damage, but it looks like my paralyzed left arm won’t be able to bring out strength for a while.
Even though the effect of bind should still be present, it still managed to bring out such speed into its swing.
If that had been in perfect shape…and if I didn’t have the Dark Night Gauntlet, I would have been cut down for sure.
I give my thanks from the bottom of my heart to the Divine Beast, Lilimuph, who gave me this wonderful present.
The Lizardman is blindly swinging its sword.
Looks like it can’t see inside the darkness. Knowing that alone is a relief.
I can run away just like this, but my shortsword is still stabbed into its left shoulder. I want to get that back.
(Guess I’m using it.) (Hikaru)
I bring out the Chaotic Spirit Stone from the Shadow Storage.
The stone of the Mantis.
It is weaker than the Lizardman, but it should serve as a temporal comrade.
I hold the stone and chant the ability.
“[Create: Undead].” (Hikaru)