The Only Thing I Can Upgrade is Strength chapter 188

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Somehow, a full six months of us running the academy had passed. Everyone was settling into their roles, including the extra people we had hired to help run things. We needed people to cook and clean and otherwise keep the facilities intact. There was just enough money for that. There was only a small income besides the budget but we’d spent most of the initial costs for facilities and equipment and now just had to deal with upkeep… which was still a lot for a hundred people.

There were several parties that went at least once a week to the goblin dungeon. The academy took half of their profits, which was more than fair because we provided healing and their equipment and room and board for them. Each party was eight people, more than strictly necessary but having more people was for safety. So far, they only hunted on the first floor of the dungeon. They still had more attribute training they could do and we didn’t want to rush people into things. As they were earning some money, they were saving up for their own equipment… after which they could strike out on their own or make some other arrangement with us, like keeping all their hunting profits but paying room and board. 

Other groups were still hunting horned rabbits or wolves or other dangerous creatures nearby the city. One might think that a hundred people doing so might significantly change the scene… but they weren’t hunting every day and Ekralas was a big city. There were already many people doing such hunting… though they cycled out fairly quickly as well. Nobody wanted to stay at that level forever. 

All of the trainees who had come in the first two months had classes now- they’d gotten enough experience to reach fifth level, if they weren’t already there. Even the younger ones had at least been level 2 when they joined the academy, just from experience floating about freely in the air or possibly having some rub off on them as people who had been hunting monsters moved throughout the city. Even starting from no experience, it only took about fifty horned rabbits to get to that level… so if each person killed two per week, that was enough. It wouldn’t be fast leveling… but we were more concerned about the basics. If someone could get three points of Strength, two points of Dexterity, and a couple other points here or there in a week… even going to get half a level wouldn’t be as beneficial to their growth. Good basics would make it easier to get levels later.

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As the main instructors of the academy, our party tried to provide the best information possible about hunting monsters. This included the little details, as much as we were capable. For some of that… it required going out to find the information ourselves. That included going into the goblin dungeon again. Goblins were much weaker than us… but that let us gather better information. Besides, just because I could kill a half dozen goblins in one swing didn’t mean I could ignore them. If I got stabbed in the neck… well, we could probably fix that since it wouldn’t be too deep most likely. However, if there was even a one percent risk of death it was unpleasantly high. Adventuring full time… that would equate to someone dying within a year.

Our party was fine- and because of that, it was our job to make sure the people in our tutelage were as safe as they could be as well. We had to keep track of everything. 

How many goblins could show up in a group on the first floor? Anywhere between one and a dozen- though five was normally the maximum sometimes groups joined together. What kind of equipment could they have? Mostly crappy iron, but that could include armor to some extent and weapons made out of crappy iron could still kill people. Bows also mattered. 

What were the bosses like? Bosses did show up on the first floor, if rarely, and while we didn’t always fight them ourselves we talked to other adventuring groups to get their information. Mostly warriors, occasionally archers or sneaky types… no mages, at least not on the first floor. They also weren’t that tough- maybe a bit harder than the larger armored goblins that appeared later. Likewise, their ‘boss’ abilities were somewhat limited. They could call other goblins but not from very far… though that could still mean fighting more than a dozen goblins at the same time as the boss if the party was too slow. 

Traps? Things like pressure plates or just ambushes… though very rarely there were pits down to the second level of the dungeon. I’d never heard of such a trap spanning multiple floors… but I thought to mention it as a possibility. If something like that happened, just the fall could be a real danger let alone getting back out of the dungeon. Unless some others were up top to pull them back out- which is why we started recommending bringing rope. It could be used for setting off traps that people didn’t want to go around as well, by tying a rock or something else heavy onto the rope. The rope was there to pull the rock back in case you missed.

During that time we did just one series of trips to the third floor of the goblin dungeon… where we neglected to mention that we noticed a secret door that probably lead to the core. We did make sure to note that some areas were especially dangerous and if monsters continually attacked it was better to leave the area instead of trying to take a defensive position. While we couldn’t be sure because the dungeon shifted around, we had probably stumbled across the core when we fought the two bosses together in the ringed corridor. That was probably why everything had come to kill us at once.

Even fighting on the third floor wasn’t that profitable for us- though that was if we wanted to get better equipment. It was good enough for me to replace some of my missing stuff… and since we could afford to actually take our pay from the academy, things were working out. We at least managed to save up for some things we really needed…

Most importantly, Kantrilla and I saved up enough to get married. We didn’t actually need that much, though we did buy magical rings- they were both symbolic and practical. The magic made it so we could find the other person… useful if we accidentally got separated. We also had to pay for the event itself but fortunately a party wasn’t that expensive. Well, comparatively. We’d already sent out the letters to everyone we wanted to invite- or gone personally. I didn’t know that many people that weren’t in Ekralas except a few people in Trona. The only exception was Khyrmin… and I wasn’t sure if the letter would reach her or not- or if she would come.

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