The Only Thing I Can Upgrade is Strength chapter 163

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Upon entering the second floor, we were almost immediately beset by three more spiders. They weren’t significantly more trouble than the ones on the first floor, maybe slightly bigger. One of them I killed with my knife going right through it’s head. This knife made me want adamantine everything, with it being so sharp- and able to maintain that edge.

Halette killed one of them, but one of her arrows snapped in the process. That was a problem, since we weren’t near a city to buy more arrows. She still had a few quivers full, but we couldn’t afford to have them run out. However, we also couldn’t afford to have her not shoot, especially since she was likely to panic if she wasn’t shooting them. We also needed both her and Socks to help us spot them coming in the dark.

The second group of spiders appeared, skittering on the walls and ceiling. Right when I threw my dagger at one on a wall, one of the ones on the ceiling suddenly shot out a web. I barely saw it coming, flickering in the magical light, but I raised my shield to block it. That worked just fine, but then the spider pulled on the strand of web, destabilizing me as another spider sprang forward. Its fangs sunk into my thigh as my spear stabbed over and behind it. 

I yanked my shield arm as hard as I could, and the spider on the ceiling was almost pulled off- but the web gave first, detaching from it. With the same motion, my shield came down and smashed the head of the spider that had bitten me.

Kasner fried the one on the ceiling with a lightning bolt, and just like that there were another half dozen spiders dead- with Alhorn, Socks, and Halette all killing at least one.

“Let’s return to the surface!” Khyrmin called as Kantrilla came over to cure the venom in me. “We need to consider this new development.”

As the venom’s pain started to fade from Kantrilla’s Cure, I thought about how most of the people in the party had gotten the Poison Resistance skill now. Of course, it worked against venom as well- it didn’t care about the semantic differences between poisons and venoms, but only the way they functioned. It also seemed to help against the few different types of venoms the spiders had- so far we’d run into a paralyzing type as well as others that seemed to try to kill more directly. If we hadn’t had someone to help cure us or been very lucky, we would have never survived to get the skill. Even as it was, however, we only had level 1 Poison Resistance at most which just reduced the effects of the poison by about ten percent.

We ran into one more spider on the way out, but that just meant we didn’t have to kill that particular one later. The group gathered around to talk about the new ability the spiders had, “I didn’t know anything actually shot webs…” I started. I mean, sure, they did in fiction, but real spiders didn’t do that, right?

Alhorn shook his head, “It’s a troublesome ability.”

Halette sighed, “I hate it… but I have heard about it before. It’s not effective at very long ranges- for spiders of that size, it just barely can reach from floor to ceiling. It’s only a couple strands, as well. It’s used to throw off their opponents.” She took a deep breath in and out, “If you are stronger than them you can use it against them as well, but it’s also possible to get a weapon tangled up.” She looked over at Kasner and Kantrilla, “It also is a problem if you aren’t particularly strong… you’d need what, two to three hundred Strength?” she looked at me for confirmation.

“That should be about good enough for matching them, but you’ll need more if you want to keep perfectly steady or throw them off instead.” I thought back to the encounter, “Wearing heavy armor also helps keep your balance in that case.”

Kasner hung his shoulders, “So basically if I get caught I’ll die.”

Halette rolled her eyes, “Oh, come on. You’re not helpless. You could shock them or freeze the web, but it’s still very dangerous. Not all of them will be able to do it- they have a different body type, though it’s not that easy to pick out. They still all have… too many eyes…”

Khyrmin nodded, “I saw the slight differences, now that you mention it. I can point them out to the rest next time… tomorrow maybe. We’ll practice dealing with webs and such for the rest of today.”

That meant that I was yanking people around, mostly. Sometimes Alhorn and Halette worked together against me, and I was the one tossed around- though I could hold my own against Kantrilla, Kasner, and one of those two together. Since we’d been killing so many monsters… and a few people… I levelled down again. However, my Strength growth had still managed to keep up. Soon enough I would be back to 500 Strength total… or at any time, if I raged.

I still wasn’t used to using Rage. It tired me out quickly, but I got a nice burst of Strength and increased Toughness. Unfortunately that made it pretty much useless in small battles, but it also gave me a good way to train Constitution since it made me tired so much more quickly. I wished I’d had a chance to ask Sgar for help with it, but I hadn’t been back to Trona since I learned it by accident in Escait. There were so many other things happening that it had slipped my mind. 

We trained with pulling roped and trying to avoid getting hit by them, but we couldn’t perfectly replicate spiders. We didn’t have sticky webs, we could only toss the ropes instead of shooting them… they were the wrong thickness and of course we couldn’t exactly replicate pulling from the ceiling, though we tried some with someone standing up in a tree. One important thing was that the web would be able to go slack if we moved closer to the webspinner, so that was something to take into account- though for the most part I could just pull against them. The next day, we got ready to take on the dungeon again, ready for dealing with a new trick.

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