(Patreon) Strength Chapter 46

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“Oh, excellent showing. You didn’t even need me.” I turned, then looked down slightly to see Kasner. He ran his hand through his hair, causing tiny little bolts of electricity to arc between his head and hand, and between pieces of his hair.

“Doesn’t that hurt?” I asked.

“Ha, of course not! I even survived a direct lightning strike, you know?” Contrary to what he said, his face was twitching.

Alhorn took the chance to whisper in my ear, “He’d never admit it. He thinks he’s immune to lightning or something, but he’s not. He does need to reabsorb the mana somehow though. He’ll probably be much happier once we’ve determined what number of enemies he needs to use spells at.”

“Oh.” I nodded. I hadn’t really learned much about magic. It seemed he had to convert the mana into the electricity and then launch it as a spell? Since he didn’t need to use the spell, he had to reconvert it to mana. I thought there must be a more pleasant way to do so, but apparently Kasner’s method worked. I had no idea what sort of weird skill that would take.

—–

Over the rest of the day, we fought a number of groups of goblins. Not all of the battles went as smoothly as the first one, as their numbers varied. Socks was the first to get hurt, since she rushed forward to tackle goblins… it was inevitable that she would get hurt by their daggers at some point. Apparently her hide was tough, so it wasn’t a serious wound. Kantrilla quickly healed it so that it stopped bleeding, but small wounds could easily add up.

Everyone had taken at least one hit by the end of the day, but not all of those led to injuries. Though goblins were strong for their size, they were still only around 80 strength, not even a strong as a normal human. Compared to Kasner’s 50, they were very strong. Even so, they still weren’t able to easily stab through Socks’ hide or the padded armor I wore.

Alhorn was almost completely safe in his metal armor, as long as he kept his stance proper. Theoretically they could stab him in some of the joints of his armor, but he didn’t just let them… and their daggers couldn’t pierce his armor. They could also stab him in the eye, but they would have to jump or knock him down before they could do that. If they jumped, it would be easy to see and avoid… and knocking him down wouldn’t be easy either. His strength was a respectable 160, which was reasonable at level 5… and the weight from his armor would make it harder to topple him over if he was paying attention.

Most of the loot we got wasn’t very exiting. Tiny little daggers and a few bows that would probably be used for firewood. Still, we put them all in a large sack, and I had no trouble carrying them. The interesting thing was the small gem that one of the goblins in the first group dropped. It was filled with magic- but also miniscule. It could be sold for about a silver coin, which wasn’t insignificant. They weren’t very common, however. It would be expected to find perhaps one per twenty or thirty goblins. In total, we found… about one per ten. It could have been a coincidence, but I would rather have bet that Kantrilla’s Luck was the cause. We would know for sure as days went on.

—–

We spent the rest of the week hunting on the first floor. It was probably safe to go to the second floor, but we wanted to continue practicing our teamwork. There was no need to rush ahead. That was the sort of thing that got people killed.

We were continuing to move around the first floor, as usual, when we turned a corner and came face-to-face with a dead end.

“Ah, crap.” Halette looked down at the map, “This is new.”

Socks sniffed the air, then turned and growled.

Alhorn peeked back around the corner, then quickly ducked back. A few arrows flew into the wall. “Get ready!”

We were deep enough into the first floor that the goblins used decent tactics, and somehow the monsters all knew the layout of the floors and traps. They didn’t necessarily know where people were, but they still knew to use any changes in the dungeon to set up ambushes.

I moved up next to Alhorn, though I didn’t step around the corner. I wasn’t interested in being filled full of arrows, or wasting energy trying to not have that happen. “What should we do?” I held my club ready in case goblins came, but I didn’t hear any sounds of movement.

“There are… maybe twenty of them?” Alhorn shook his head. He hadn’t had long to look. “Maybe five or six with bows.”

Fortunately they didn’t come closer, which gave us some time to strategize. Kantrilla cast a barrier spell on each of us. It wouldn’t absorb more than a hit or two, and would only last a bit more than a minute otherwise… but every bit was important.

Then Alhorn stepped out, with his shield raised. Arrows flew at him, but instead of dodging he merely blocked. Even if they hit somewhere besides his shield, the only place they really stood a chance of hurting him was the openings in his helmet- and he was prepared to block those.

As the arrows clattered to the floor, Kasner had been readying a spell, and his hair was arcing a small amount of electricity between the straight strands. He only took a half step out from behind our corner, but lightning arced from his hand to one of the goblins. From there, it went through the archers one at a time. Though it was impressive, he could only choose the first and final target. The lightning would move almost directly between those two, and it may or may not actually hit any of those in between. In this case, some of the archers were lucky and didn’t get affected- but at least half of them fell to the ground.

Next was my move.

 

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