(Patreon) Strength Chapter 51

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We entered the third level of the dungeon. On the way, we fought several groups of goblins, but they only functioned as a warm up. On the third level, the smallest group of goblins would be about a dozen. That was still a quite manageable number, even if they were a bit stronger. Killing goblins was quick, as they weren’t the sturdiest fellows. Even in armor, I could kill them in a single hit… or at least break something important in that hit. That was the advantage given by my superior equipment. Goblins just had terrible iron, so I could be less cautious with my swings- and then they would be dead.

Alhorn was less quick in killing armored enemies, but I wasn’t going to blame him for it. It wasn’t like he could have chosen to get a large number of free attribute points and sink them all in Strength. He could still kill the unarmored ones in a stab or slash, and he also fulfilled the important role of keeping them from swarming me- or the rest of the party.

Kantrilla contributed the least visibly to the party. We only really needed her when we messed up and things were going poorly. However, she was always there with a barrier, a well timed attribute increase… or occasionally a mace to a goblin’s head.

The others were quite visible in their contributions, with Kasner’s lightning and Halette finding all of the traps. She and Socks also became better at detecting ambushes, allowing us to get the drop on parties of goblins sometimes. Choosing where we fought could be very helpful.

—–

Nothing particularly slowed us down on the third floor. Our fundamentals and teamwork improved much faster than the difficulty of goblins did. Even when we ran into large groups of goblins, we defeated them quickly.

We continued to explore the third floor with the purpose of fighting a boss. There wouldn’t always be one, and sometimes there would be more than one. If there were multiple, though, they wouldn’t generally remain near each other. Bosses in dungeons would spawn on the lowest floor of a dungeon, or the lowest handful of floors if dungeons were big enough. Defeating them on the final floor of a dungeon was seen as a sign of ‘conquering’ the dungeon. Though this was only a B rank dungeon, it was still an accomplishment.

Of course, other than the honor from defeating them, there was the loot. Boss monsters had a higher chance of having magical equipment and larger magical stones. Even their non-magical equipment was of higher quality. This also made them more unpredictable and dangerous, depending on the sort of magical equipment they had.

Like the previous floors of the dungeon, the third floor shifted around over time, including areas where finding a boss was likely. They would more often than not show up in large rooms, rather than corridors. Thus, we patrolled around and checked the ones we had on our maps.

For a few days, we only found empty rooms or just normal goblins… but we eventually found one.

The enemy was an enormous armored goblin. Well… enormous for a goblin. That put him at about the same size as a normal human. Around him there were around twenty more goblins, mostly armored ones and mages.

I watched the boss from the entrance to the room. The goblins also saw us standing there, but didn’t move to attack. With their numbers, it was advantageous if we entered the room so they could surround us. There was also the possibility that there were traps for us to step on.

I tried using Analyze Strength on the boss… but since he wasn’t doing much I couldn’t be as accurate as normal. If I saw him moving or attacking I could judge better… but just standing there I guessed around 300-400. In addition to wearing full plate, he had a giant mace that seemed like it would take two hands to swing. I saw traces of ice on the floor where the mace rested. “It looks like a magic mace.”

“Probably the armor too…” Alhorn stroked his chin, “It is especially ornate.”

Two magic items would make it a harder fight… but also more worth doing.

We moved away to around a corner. Then, Kantrilla started casting buff spells. Barriers and attribute blessings would help us out in the battle significantly. She just had to save enough for some healing or other spells during or after the battle. If we had started buffing in front of the goblins, we could have bet the archers and mages would have attacked with arrows and spells… and then we would have been fighting with no more time to finish buffs.

Since we couldn’t be sure if there were traps in the room, we started off with ranged attacks. Not that Halette usually fought in melee, and Kasner never did, but we stayed near the entrance of the room.

My first arrow was shot at one of the mages, but they were readying spells of their own as soon as I started pulling back the string. Halette and I took down one goblin each and Kasner took down a few more before we had to face their attacks.

I didn’t have to worry much about the arrows, but I needed to dodge the spells. Alhorn blocked for Kasner and Kantrilla, wheras Halette dodged on her own. I got hit by a lightning spell, but fortunately my bow was out of the way. If it hadn’t been, I could have lost it.

The electricity flowed through my armor… and a little bit through me. It was many times worse than static electricity, even with most of the energy being converted into heat. With just one spell getting through the barrier I was on the verge of being burned from the heat and I was sweating like I’d run a handful of miles in armor.

Then the goblin boss and the armored goblins were running toward us. That said there probably weren’t traps between us and them.

Kasner cast a lightning spell right at the boss… only for it to arc around him and not even touch his armor “Dammit. It had to be lightning resistance.”

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