I didn’t know how long it had been, except it was less than a day. Probably. Certainly not much more. I was tired and hungry and thirsty and low on mana, no matter how much I tried to conserve it. Up ahead I heard movement- voices- and saw light. I carefully stayed back, and they passed across in front of me instead of turning down my corridor. I had been avoiding contact with other adventurers since I was dumped in this dungeon. Even if they could lead me out of the dungeon, I wasn’t sure it was a good idea.
I didn’t know any of them- and I was also equipped like the enemies they were fighting. I couldn’t speak the local language, so it wasn’t sure if they would want to attack me. They probably weren’t so bad, and would be willing to help but… there were some problems with that. I didn’t have a guild card, which was suspicious. More importantly, they would probably talk about it, even if they weren’t trying to let on that I survived. I also couldn’t trust the guild here.
While it was entirely possible the guild wasn’t connected to Enok and his party’s actions, I had reason to believe they were. Kazik’s own suspicions, as well as the deleveling potion. As far as I knew the recipes for that sort of thing were watched over pretty tightly. That didn’t mean it couldn’t be obtained through back channels, but Enok wasn’t exactly prepared for my arrival and still had something like that ready. That meant something for sure.
I waited until I was sure the party was well past the intersection before moving forward and turning toward the way they came from. That was more likely toward the entrance… but so far my luck there hadn’t been perfect. I’d gone down a few dead end corridors and loops. In the dark or even with light it was hard to find my way… especially while tired.
The worst was the thirst. I had been sweating and moving and even bleeding a little bit. My mouth was bone dry. It would be nice if I could use water magic. If I could, I would just conjure some into my mouth. Realistically, I would condense it from the air a few drops at a time, and roll it around on my tongue before swallowing it. I couldn’t help but imagine it so deeply I almost felt it. Then when I did feel it I almost spit it out on accident. I swallowed, then just to make sure I did it again.
In the end, I used half my remaining mana for a mouthful of water… but I didn’t regret it. It wasn’t a particularly amazing amount or even an efficient use of mana, but it was just what I needed. It was surprisingly easy to do as well. Was it because I didn’t have a class?
I checked my character sheet. On it was water magic (0). That was a pretty basic level, but I hadn’t really been able to do anything before. Either I just happened to get enough practice, or the difference from having a martial class really restricted learning magic that much.
As I idly walked along, tapping the butt of my spear in front of me, I didn’t have anything to look at but my character sheet. It was dark anyway. I realized I’d missed something at some point. Two things, in fact.
First was Rage. That was also level 0, but it helped explain where some of that burst of Strength came from. Sgar would have been proud. I hoped I would get to see him and tell him, though I still wasn’t planning to become a Barbarian.
The second thing was more intriguing.
|Blessing of Strength: Blessing of the god of Strength. Strength growth increased and small automatic growth. No limit on increase in Strength through training. Ignore Strength penalties from magic and items.|
Why. Why did I have that? Was there actually a god of Strength? I certainly didn’t need the additional Strength growth, and I already had no limit on training Strength from All In. On the other hand… ignoring penalties was nice. Was that why I could still move around after being poisoned again? A level 0 poison resistance certainly wasn’t enough to explain that. On the other hand, I hadn’t seen any penalties before I got the skill, when I was still trying to break out of the rug. Did the penalty from the poison not show up in the status window? Maybe it wasn’t something numerically qualifiable. My status window also didn’t show any other effects I might have- just attributes and skills.
Well, whatever. On the off hand there was a god of Strength, I prayed to thank him for helping me out. There were still a lot of things I didn’t understand about this world.
I almost stumbled as my spear hit nothing. Fortunately, I wasn’t really leaning on it. I tapped it around in front of me a bit more… until I was sure there really was no floor there. Apparently I should have taken one of the previous turns. I felt around carefully behind me as I walked along. Then I met air once again… but over to the side. I moved to turn down the corridor and bumped into something.
I jumped back and readied my spear, using Light as much as I could… only to find no enemy in front of me. I poked at the darkness with my spear. *Thunk* *thunk* *thunk*. Each spot was slightly differently placed. That meant… stairs?
They clearly weren’t the stairs out of the dungeon- I couldn’t see outside- but stairs up meant I was one step closer. I knew I’d been thrown down at least one level. Hopefully just one level.
I carefully climbed the stairs in the dark and started down the next corridors. I heard another skeleton coming, thudding along with their boots and poorly fitting armor. I readied myself and cast Light… only to have it flicker out the moment I used it, along with giving my a headache. I almost passed out, but fortunately my sense of peril kept me awake. I stabbed out with my spear, hoping to find my target in the dark. I missed. What good was Strength when you couldn’t even hit a target? What good was Luck when you got kidnapped anyway?
I clenched my teeth and prepared to fight the skeleton I couldn’t see… somehow. I couldn’t die yet, because I still needed to save Kantrilla.