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We arrive at the castle deepest in.
There’s a castle, so does that mean the area around is a castle town? The residents are bones and illegal residents though.
We arrived at the castle in a few tens of minutes. We barely used any time fighting monsters, so it was mostly just the time we were moving to the location.
“Every single one of them only ran away -despite being undead.” (Jeanne)
Jeanne looked displeased at having only hunted running monsters even though she wished for battle.
“Isn’t it because you are too strong, Jeanne?” (Hikaru)
“There’s no way I am. I have only been here for 1 month, you know?” (Jeanne)
“Well, that’s true.” (Hikaru)
Just from the fact that we have obtained the Gifts from God, we are getting favorable treatment compared to the people of this world in terms of power, so in that sense, there’s no doubt we are strong, but Jeanne’s strength probably doesn’t refer to that.
It is true that Jeanne and I are relying on the Gifts from God quite a bit when we fight.
The castle is made in a simple manner and the 2 spires are what stand out, but the building itself is most likely 3 floors.
There’s no doors at the entrance and it is in a state where they more than welcome intruders.
Even so, there’s no beginner explorers swinging clubs around or funerary merchants.
The moment we entered, we immediately encountered a monster.
“Is that the Bone Knight?” (Jeanne)
“That’s right-nyan! They are apparently more of a pain than an Ogre, so be careful!” (Full)
The moment we entered the castle and there was a Bone Knight right there at the hall. A skeleton with 4 arms holding a sword, short spear, axe, and shield in each respective hand.
Different from a Skeleton Soldier, it is equipped with armor and helmet, and it looks visibly strong.
It is also big; around 2 meters.
It is written in the beginner guide of the guild that this is a monster that beginners shouldn’t face alone but, in terms of matchups, I feel like I would lose if I were to fight it.
“Ain’t that nice. I have been waiting for an opponent like this…!” (Jeanne)
Jeanne looks at her opponent happily, takes a battle stance, and advances.
“Bone Knights appear only one at a time. They are apparently easy to defeat if you fight them with everyone, but what will you do-nyan?” (Full)
“No need for help! Just watch.” (Jeanne)
I don’t know on what criteria the monsters encountered run away from Hated Ones, but the Bone Knight didn’t run away from Jeanne.
A monster that’s strong to a certain degree probably doesn’t run away. Or maybe it is like in games where they run away when there’s a certain level difference?
The rattling noises of metal and bone making contact with each other rang as the Bone Knight took a battle stance.
The hollow eye sockets had blue light in them burning as it attacked Jeanne who was standing at ready with her shield.
It is a speed that’s hard to believe from bones.
With smooth movements as if invisible muscles were present, it swung its sword and stabbed using its spear.
Jeanne was deflecting each and every attack with her shield, looking for opportunities to deal her own.
(Jeanne has a strong defense. It is a battle that lacks danger.) (Hikaru)
My battle style is almost all surprise attacks, and Rifreya’s battle style is attacking without leaving any room to fight back.
In that sense, the battle style of Jeanne that creates openings within exchanges to crumble its opponent is the normal style and, at the same time, it looked fresh in my eyes.
She doesn’t have Spirit Abilities, so it really is a battle of strength.
After who knows how many tens of times they clashed blades, Jeanne’s broadsword found its way to the neckbone of the opponent. The Bone Knight changes into a Black Spirit Stone.
Jeanne was unscathed. It is a complete victory in an upfront battle.
“Fuuh, managed somehow.” (Jeanne)
“It looked as if it had been easy for you though.” (Hikaru)
“Not really. Also, we can’t just fight sluggishly like this, right? If we are seriously going to be conquering the dungeon.” (Jeanne)
It is true that the faster the better when it comes to battles in the dungeon.
That’s because the chances of losing increase greatly when you meet another monster while in battle.
“So, how was it?” (Hikaru)
“Yeah, it was strong. It was, but…how to say it, it was within bounds of common sense.” (Jeanne)
“What do you mean by that?” (Hikaru)
“Imaginable power; imaginable speed; it takes a lot of moves, but that’s all there is to it; however, because of that, it can serve for training. The Skeleton Soldiers on the way were way too weak, but this guy wasn’t bad.” (Jeanne)
“It doesn’t run away after all.” (Hikaru)
I don’t know how it will be in the 2nd Floor and onwards, but I think the Goblins and Orcs would run away from her. Those 2 are weak and their strength itself isn’t that different from a Skeleton Soldier.
In that case, the next opponents would be the Ogres or the Mantis, huh.
“It helps out greatly that a monster for training appears alone in a big open space. I don’t get why such a good place is open.” (Jeanne)
“Everyone is doing exploration as a job, so they probably don’t have any business with a place where they can’t earn money.” (Hikaru)
Or more like, this place isn’t really for training.
“It works the best to increase your player skill in a stable manner though… Well, fine. Today, for the whole day, I will fight these guys to train and hone my battle instincts. It is not like I have a lot of battle experience after all.” (Jeanne)
“Got it.” (Hikaru)
After that, we went around the castle as if exploring it in an uniform manner as we subjugated the Bone Knights.
Jeanne’s fighting style is steady. She would protect herself with a shield, crumble the stance of her opponent with a shield bash, and get a hit in.
It is plain compared to Rifreya who specialized in attack and was flashy, but I feel like that’s the absolute correct way to fight as an explorer.
So I say, but maybe because Jeanne has outstanding physical strength, each and every one of her attacks is incredible.
Shield, spear, axe, and sword.
Each shout she lets out, an arm of a Bone Knight gets cut off with a slash from Jeanne, disarming it.
It then ends with cutting off its head.
“Isn’t this too easy? Shouldn’t we go to the 2nd Floor?” (Hikaru)
“No, I still am lacking any leeway. Before going down to the lower floors, I would like to be able to defeat them in one hit.” (Jeanne)
“I see.” (Hikaru)
A decent amount of humanoid monsters appear.
The 2nd Floor is almost all humanoids, and there’s also in the 3rd Floor and 4th Floor.
Jeanne has properly studied in the guild, so she must want to properly get the feel of fighting a humanoid.
She continued fighting consecutively with barely any breaks.
“…Alright. I am getting the hang of it. Kuro, I will be repeating this the whole day. You can do something else separately for today. It would be boring to just watch the whole time, right? I will have no issues here with Grapefull-chan to find the enemies.” (Jeanne)
“Then, I will go to the 2nd Floor to get myself back in shape too.” (Hikaru)
Seeing the stoicness of Jeanne, I feel like I also have to work hard or I will just end up pulling her leg.
She has a Barrier Stone and Full is also with her, so she should be okay.
We decide at least the time we will be going out, and I head to the 2nd Floor.
I try running without Darkness Fog casted, and it certainly does feel as if monsters come to me. They didn’t do so when Jeanne was with me, so there must be a distinct difference.
“[Darkness Fog].” (Hikaru)
I wrap myself in darkness and run till the 2nd Floor stairs.
(It really has been a while.) (Hikaru)
Now that I think about it, when Rifreya was around, I was mostly diving with her. Meaning that it would be quite a while since I have fought the monsters of the 2nd Floor alone.
It is not like I was trying to act cool there, but if I were to go alone to the 2nd Floor and were to die there from that, it wouldn’t even serve as a funny story.
I should be careful.
Also, I think I have some Spirit Abilities that are pretty close to going up a Tier.
- Chapter 151: Hungry Beast Underground Prison and New Dark Summon
The 2nd Floor is as dark as ever, but with my Night Vision, this is the perfect hunting ground.
There’s no monster that’s really strong aside from the Mantis.
I take out my shortsword and walk while maintaining the Darkness Fog.
(Figures there would be a decent amount of people today.) (Hikaru)
The 2nd Floor is an unpopular floor, but there’s a lot of explorers most likely because the dungeon was closed for a good while.
Being hidden in the darkness, they won’t be finding me. I don’t mind being seen, but I avoid them as I walk close to the wall.
“Does it get this crowded after it opens again? I am not that confident in my skills in the 2nd Floor, you know.”
“If you get used to it, it can be easier than the 3rd Floor -as long as you don’t encounter a Mantis.”
“I have not met one even once, but are Mantis that strong?”
“It is strong. So strong that we wouldn’t be able to win. Well, we can run away from it if we use a smoke bomb though.”
I listen in to the conversation of the explorers that fell in my line of sight, and it seems like the 3rd Floor is so full that they have switched to exploring the 2nd Floor.
Even 3rd Floor explorers can’t win against the Mantis, huh…
I pass by the side of the explorers, and after a while of walking in areas with a low amount of people, I encounter a group of Goblins and Orcs.
4 Goblins and 3 Orcs.
“[Summon: Night Bug].” (Hikaru)
The dark rhinoceros beetles rush to the Goblins and devour their meat and into their bones.
I went out within that confusion and defeated them one by one methodically.
The monsters in the 2nd Floor should be able to see well enough in the darkness, but inside the perfect darkness of Darkness Fog, the best they can do is swing their weapons blindly.
(Alright, next.) (Hikaru)
I collect the Spirit Stones and search for the next monsters.
2 Ogres show up at the other side of the pathway.
“[Shadow Bind]!” (Hikaru)
I can now use the higher tier ability Dark Coffin, but I can also use Shadow Bind as it is.
It seems like its power has increased slightly. I feel like it can immobilize 2 Ogres at the same time for a few seconds.
At the same time as dark tentacles bind the Ogres from the darkness, I spring at them from the very front and go for the throat with my shortsword.
As someone who doesn’t have the defense of Jeanne or the power of Rifreya, the best method for me is to go all in on a one-hit kill.
I walk around the dungeon on my own convenience as I defeat monsters I encounter.
I have the map of the 2nd Floor completely memorized in my head. Even if I walk around randomly, I won’t get lost.
My body moved well as if it were a lie that it has been a while I haven’t been in the dungeon, and I could also see the movements of the enemies well. My Tier must have gone up.
(Even so, if we want to conquer this dungeon, I am far from an acceptable level though. I have to get stronger.) (Hikaru)
I think this while I use a Phantom Warrior as bait, get close to the back of an Ogre and defeat it in one hit.
Getting a more powerful weapon is also an option.
I could also put Points in Physical Strength and Endurance.
I do think it is important to use Spirit Abilities a whole ton to increase the Tier of my Abilities.
But I have already seen people who are beyond humans.
(Even though Garnet-san from the Crimson Vials doesn’t have any enhancements from Points, she was that strong.) (Hikaru)
That figure of hers swinging around an axe that I could even call an iron pillar was something that was so out of human bounds it wouldn’t be strange to call her a monster.
If we are talking about the source of that physical strength, it would be the Spirit Energy enhancement you get when defeating monsters.
In other words, Tiers.
Putting it simply, the most effective way is to defeat monsters and more monsters and more monsters in order to raise your level.
For example; Jeanne has apparently already put her Points in Physical Strength to the max. However, it is not like she has strength that surpasses human boundaries.
If I remember correctly, the Physical Strength Up amplifies the base power. For example; if the base grip strength of Jeanne is 30kg, a Physical Strength Up Level 5 would raise it to 10 times which would be 300kg. Truly a gorilla, but also just a mere gorilla.
You can’t win against an elephant with that, and would most likely lose to a brown bear too.
Of course, she is far stronger than I am, but if she seriously wants to conquer the dungeon, being satisfied with just that realm of power would be unacceptable.
(If only you could see the level in the Status Board.) (Hikaru)
There were a number of version upgrades, but the level is not being shown.
I open the Status Board and confirm the time.
There’s still 3 more hours before the agreed time to meet up outside the dungeon.
(360 million viewers, huh…) (Hikaru)
After I began acting together with Jeanne, I have been able to keep a pretty high number of viewers.
I don’t have any means to confirm whether Nanami has proven my innocence or hasn’t seen the face of the culprit. Just like Jeanne says, I am way too worried about my original world, and if she has come back to life, forgetting about that side and living here is one answer.
I understand that in my mind.
When I see the numbers, I can feel the gazes and antagonism of the viewers in my back.
Even when I understand it by logic, I can’t do anything about it.
My heart refuses it. I can only describe it as that.
(…But there’s no need to grow impatient because of it.) (Hikaru)
By obtaining the objective of helping Jeanne in her dungeon conquest, I can avert my gaze from the uncomfortable fact that I am being watched by the viewers.
Alone, my mind would wander to that point.
The reason why I didn’t get bothered by the gazes when Rifreya was with me wasn’t simply because I sealed my heart for the Viewer Count Race.
Being with someone.
The fact that someone worries about me and I was comforted must have played a role in this.
I have had to face my weaknesses the whole time since coming to this world.
I confirmed the part of the Spirit Abilities in the Status Board, and I noticed.
The Call of Darkness has gone up to 3rd Tier.
(A new Ability…!) (Hikaru)
With a Spirit Ability going up to Tier 3, you learn a higher Ability.
The latest Status is as follows:
[Dark Spirit Ability]
Tier 2 Ability
・Falsehood of Darkness [Shade Shift] Proficiency 34
Tier 3 Ability
・View of Darkness [Dark Sense] Proficiency 29
・Transformation of Darkness [Phantom Warrior] Proficiency 37
・Deposition of Darkness [Shadow Storage] Proficiency 20
・Casket of Darkness [Dark Coffin] Proficiency 2
・Call of Darkness [Summon: Dark Knight] Proficiency 0
Tier 4 Ability
・Revelation of Darkness [Darkness Fog] Proficiency 95
・Return of Darkness [Create: Undead] Proficiency 5
Darkness Fog is also going to be increasing in Tier soon, but what’s most important right now is…Call of Darkness.
“Dark Knight…!” (Hikaru)
Finally, I feel as if I will finally be able to use an Ability that has actual attack power.
Assuming from the name, it should be a knight of darkness?
Anyways, I should be able to tell if I use it.
“[Summon: Dark Knight]!” (Hikaru)
I cast the Ability and the darkness in the space condenses and shapes into a knight.
A warrior with full armor and a splendid physique of around 190cm tall.
It holds both a longsword and a shield. A figure I have seen before somewhere…
“Is it the same as the Phantom Warrior?” (Hikaru)
It looks the same as the Phantom Warrior that shows up with Transformation of Darkness. A spitting image.
However, one is a phantom, and this one is the real deal with mass. Meaning that I can use them for different purposes.
There’s no doubt they can become a terrifying combo against monsters that learn and against people.
Of course, that’s if the opponent has no prior knowledge about it.
I try having the Dark Knight fight the 2nd Floor monsters just like that.
Its fighting style of drawing attention to its surroundings by making loud noises hitting its sword to its shield is the same as the Phantom Warrior, but different from the slow movements of the Phantom whose main purpose is diversion, the Dark Knight is fast and strong.
Goblins and Orcs are no match for it.
It might be getting hit, but it doesn’t feel as if it is receiving damage. Well, it is darkness taken form, so I don’t really get it though.
I tried making it fight against an Ogre too, but it crushed it completely there too.
A team of 2 Ogres unfortunately didn’t show up, but it would most likely have no problem against 2 either.
I thought we would be lacking in hands with just me and Jeanne, so this is quite the increase in fighting force.
…Just that one use of this summon consumes quite a lot of Spirit Energy. It is equal to 5 uses of Darkness Fog. As a Loved One, I can get Spirit Energy from outside, but if I use Abilities consecutively too much, I eventually run dry.
Looks like I won’t be able to use it without any limitations.
(My hunting in the 2nd Floor really has stabilized quite a bit.) (Hikaru)
I have given myself the objective of leveling up, and I was defeating monsters at quite the high pace.
I most likely already went over 100.
Is it because the dungeon was closed until now? There were a lot of monsters. I went around defeating every single one of the monsters I encountered.
I must have earned close to 1 gold in Spirit Stones.
I have also finished checking out the Dark Knight. Just when I was thinking about going back to where Jeanne is, an explorer party ran past me with desperate looks.
A little bit after, a Mantis that seemed to be chasing after them appeared.
(How unlucky…) (Hikaru)
The ones being chased were the explorer party that were talking about the Mantis just before with their novice comrade -most likely a porter that just got promoted.
Mantises rarely show up. They are so rare that I have only seen them 10 times.
They are running away from it, so I don’t think they need it.
Doesn’t look like there will be any problems with me taking it.
I come out from the darkness and summon Night Bugs.
The Mantis that got prickling attacks from the Night Bugs stopped moving and turned this way.
(Now, the last check.) (Hikaru)
“[Summon: Dark Knight]!” (Hikaru)
I undo the summon of the Night Bugs and call the Dark Knight.
“Alright! Defeat it one on one!” (Hikaru)
At my order, the Dark Knight answered by raising its sword, and began advancing towards the Mantis.
The Mantis is strong enough to defeat Rifreya alone.
In the 2nd Floor, it is a strong monster by miles and, even if compared to the 3rd Floor monsters, it could only be comparable to the Garden Panther falling a bit short. It is slightly weaker than a Lizardman from the 4th Floor.
Anyways, I want to learn the true value of the Dark Knight here.
From there on, the battle was a bit different from what I expected.
Speaking of only the results, the Dark Knight won against the Mantis.
Moreover, in just an exchange of a few tens of seconds.
In other words, this Dark Knight that I can summon is stronger than Rifreya.
This also means I myself have gotten stronger, but I feel a bit conflicted by this.
I pick up the Chaotic Spirit Stone that came from the Mantis, hide in the darkness again, and head to the 1st Floor to meet up with Jeanne.