Sorry for the delay guys. I’ve had some things to take care of, and this past week has been a little stressful. It’s calmed down some, so I finished off BSDS 14. Thanks for your patience!!
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After I finished enchanting everyone and we ended our introductions, we formed up with Grace leading, followed by Clive, Sylvia, then myself, and headed into the dungeon.
The self-introductions informed me that Sylvia and Clive were childhood friends. Clive had been active in a different party, and Sylvia had always acted solo, but yesterday Sylvia had happened across Clive at the adventurer’s guild, and they had decided to form their own party. That meant this was the first time Sylvia and Clive would be fighting together as well.
This meant that I wouldn’t be able to count on effective teamwork from them. If things started to fall apart in the middle of a fight, then I’d probably be forced to rely on Grace.
Actually, the reason I had set Grace in the lead was because of my reliance on her level 5 scouting skill. Maybe I was relying on her too much already——
Ten minutes passed like this, and Grace stopped short before the entrance to a particular room. She glanced back over her shoulder at me.
“——There’s something in there.”
“More than one?”
“More than one. Maybe five, could be six.” Our first encounter would be with a group larger than ourselves. If so, then things would come down to how well we worked together as a team, but——
“It hasn’t been that long since we descended into the dungeon here, so maybe they aren’t that strong?” Sylvia’s expression as she spoke to Grace showed just how overly cautious she thought Grace was being.
“Alright then. We’ll have to fight anyway, so let’s have Grace charge in first, followed by Clive. I’ll cover you. Sylvia, don’t get too close to the front.”
These were the orders I gave, as I tried to keep Sylvia, who seemed like she wanted to charge in herself, under control.
Clive, as he was more heavily armored, spearheaded the charge. As the last of us entered the room, the enemies turned, noticing us.
“Aww c’mon! It’s just Goblins!” Sylvia said, sounding disappointed. I examined them right away. They were Goblins, yes, but…
“Be careful. There are two Goblins, two Hobgoblins, a Goblin Mage and a Goblin Leader.” At hearing my remark, Sylvia turned around.
“——You’ve got some good eyes there.”
“Don’t joke around. Look, they’re coming.”
The Goblins had paused for a moment at our sudden appearance, but following the orders given by the Goblin Leader, they formed up. Then, the Hobgoblins and Goblins attacked.
But as I had feared, Sylvia landed the first strike, with total disregard for her opponent’s level or abilities.
“I’ll blast them away all at once!”
The Flame Ball Sylvia released closed in on the Goblins. Perhaps it was because her magic was buffed with the Area of Effect skill, but her spell completely enveloped two Goblins whole, blasting them away in an instant.
Cursing, I switched my focus to trying to support Sylvia, who had taken down the targets. She was only lightly armored, and at this rate the enemies would be focusing on her.
Just then, the sound of Clive’s voice rang out, followed by a wave of pressure that filled the room. All at once, the remaining Goblins changed the target of their next attack from Sylvia, to Clive.
“——That’s Taunt.” It was Grace who spoke, informing me of the skill. Apparently, it was an ability used for refocusing the enemies attention on yourself.
Using his shield to block just the attack from the Goblin leader, who had the strongest striking force, he let the attacks from the Hobgoblins crash against his armor. The sound of metal clanging on metal resounded throughout the room, as Clive received a focused attack from three enemies.
The remaining Goblin Mage began casting a spell from the back. Apparently, their magic wasn’t of the instant-cast variety; with a mantra being necessary for the spell.
“Grace, the mage!”
Grace replied curtly, letting me know she understood.
With the enemies so close to Clive, Sylvia was unable to burn them with her fire, so she watched instead. At the same time, Grace closed on the Goblin Mage, using Secret Step to appear behind it, finishing the creature off with her ability, Back Stab. But, the activation of the spell the Mage had been casting, was faster. A Fire Ball went soaring towards Clive. Using Magic Wall, I managed to intercept the attack.
“——Clive! How long are you planning on playing around!” Sylvia shouted insultingly at Clive, who was still engrossed with the three Goblins. Clive responded by attacking the Goblin leader with his earth-attribute magic. The magic was called Drake Gun, and worked by causing a section of earth to ripple before jutting upwards, damaging an enemy.
Drake Gun was very similar to a surprise attack, and as such had managed to slam into the the Goblin leader, taking away a large chunk of its HP.
As the Goblin leader wavered and fell back, Grace moved in with Secret Step, chopping the creature in half with a single blow. The Goblin leader vanished, defeated.
With three consecutive Magic Ball – Medium attacks, I managed to take out one of the two remaining Hobgoblins. The last Hobgoblin was defeated by a final blow from Clive.
——Our teamwork had been atrocious, but still, we had managed to annihilate all the enemies. I moved around collecting the fallen soultokens, tucking them away into my pouch.
“We weren’t too bad now, were we?” Sylvia said, grinning widely.
The words were spoken with, how to put it——air-headed positivity.
“Clive, you okay?”
I kept myself from responding to Sylvia, instead turning to see if Clive was alright. After all, he had been acting as a punching bag.
“I’m good. My shield kept the brunt of it off me.” Examining Clive’s status, I saw his HP had only dropped about 300 points or so. With Breath of the Body, Clive’s HP was around 4,500, so it wasn’t something to be overly worried about. As expected of a tanker, he was tough.
After casing heal on Clive, I spoke to Sylvia.
“Sylvia, don’t take the targets before Clive. I’ll ignore the other things, so just promise me that, okay?” At those words, Sylvia pouted a little, but responded with an “Okay.” It was just as Grace had feared. I was a little worried about the rest of the dungeon, but there was nothing to be done except prepare as best I could. Grace’s expression seemed to say ‘boy oh boy’.
We didn’t encounter any other strong enemies from then until we reached the second level. As promised, Sylvia let Clive take the first move in battle, and things calmed down during fights. To a degree, Sylvia was, while still strong-willed, a girl who was diligent at heart.
We decided to take a reprieve in the first room of the second level. Clive sat down on a decorative stone close to himself, pulling out a canteen and taking a long drink of water.
“——Kei, over here please.” Grace called me over, and I sat down beside her. She pulled out a tea-set from within her pouch, and poured me a cup of what resembled English tea.
Drinking tea nonchalantly in a dungeon felt really, really awkward.
“What’s this? Oh, now isn’t that elegant!” Sylvia exploded with laughter after seeing what Grace was doing. Grace just ignored her.
“I’d like some too.” Sylvia said, moving closer. She reached out, taking the cup I was holding, and drank the rest of the tea. At that, Grace’s eyes narrowed, and she stared coldly at Sylvia. “Oh my, this is quite good. ——Grace, were you some kind of maid for a prestigious house or something?”
Their gazes met, but Grace didn’t seem like she was going to respond.
“So, you come from someplace well-off yourself, Sylvia? I mean, since you seem to know all about tea and stuff.” I asked, covering for Grace.
“I guess you could say that. I won’t deny it. ——Right now though, I’ve got nothing to do with my family.” Sylvia said, smiling, a hint of loneliness in her voice.
After a short break, we began our investigation of the second level. Grace still led the way. But after approaching the second room, Grace stopped, examining the doorway.
“——A monster?” I asked, after watching her actions. Grace shook her head in negation.
“No. This door appears to be locked. I don’t see any traps, but there’s no keyhole. It might be locked with magic.”
“Let me have a look.” Sylvia and Grace exchanged places, and Sylvia examined the door. “——It’s a level 3 lock. There’s a high chance of some really nice stuff hidden away inside.”
“——We could just keep going, what do you think?” Grace asked me. We could go back and inform the Guild workman about this. But if we did so, and there was treasure inside, it was highly likely another party would beat us to it…
“I can unlock something of this level. We’re going in, right?” Sylvia said, looking at me.
“——Let me re-enchant everyone, then we’ll open the door.” With those words hanging in the air, I began re-enchanting the four of us.
Sylvia opened the door using the magic of her mace. She seemed to be wary herself though, as she moved behind Clive as soon as the door was open. The room inside was dark. No light from the hallway made it’s way in.
“Let me get us some light.”
I cast Light on each of our weapons. This lit up the inside of the room, and I could see it consisted of a single, spacious area, with a number of boxes in the corners, against which rested various weapons. But around these, were a number of stone statues which resembled monsters.
“Honestly, I can’t see this as anything other than a trap…”
“I think they’re Gargoyles. Magic and enchanted weapons are pretty effective against them, but they attack from the air, so you need to be careful.” Grace warned, looking around at the statues.
“It looks like they’ll start moving if we stand in the room’s center, or try and touch any of the treasure here.” Sylvia said, apparently agreeing with me that this was a trap.
I examined the twenty or so stone statues, trying to identify the monsters’ stats. Even if they were turned to stone, I could still see their status. There wasn’t any trap.
Continuing my observation, they all seemed to be enemies around level 10, with one oddity mixed in among them.
“——There’s one called a Hunter Gargoyle mixed in among the group.”
“I’ll draw its attention.” Clive proposed.
“Alright, I’ll leave it to you. There’s only one with a larger body, so I’m sure you know which one.”
“Kei, what should we do?” Perhaps because she was cautious about having to fight twenty enemies at once, but Sylvia actually asked me for instructions.
“Grace, Sylvia…Use your magic to take down as many Gargoyles as you can. But try to keep the range in check, so you don’t get Clive caught up in anything, and take them out one at a time.”
“I’ll watch out for Clive. ——Let’s go!”
The four of us made our way, carefully, to the room’s center.
Can’t wait for the next chapter! Hope you guys enjoyed this one. Things are starting to kick up again.
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