The Only Thing I Can Upgrade is Strength chapter 203

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I wasn’t sure how injured Socks was, but she was able to judge that for herself. Either way, I was glad to have her moving with me as I rushed the minotaur boss. As it turned out, the axe didn’t get stuck in the wall at all- but in the time it took the boss to swing the axe back towards us, Socks was already in the air. Now, I was aware the minotaur boss had tremendous Strength… but it wasn’t enough to resist a ton of wolf pushing him over. That might not have been an exaggeration either- she was as tall as a horse but also fairly bulky… though the mass of fur made that estimation difficult. Either way, it sent the minotaur boss tumbling onto his back and Socks was tearing at his throat. There was armor there, but no armor was perfect. 

The minotaur boss kept a grip on his axe, but as he fell I changed my target from his knee to his closest hand, which he was pushing against Socks with. I might not be able to break his arm or do any real damage to his ribs… but fingers were easy targets. My mace came down with my full power on his left hand- and there was a loud crunching and the sound of metal bending as well. Each finger was nearly as thick as my wrist, so I only got one… and then the minotaur boss twisted, throwing Socks into the wall- though the momentum there wasn’t that great. Since she was still moving around after taking a hit from the axe… she would be fine. I took the opportunity to hit the back of his head, near the bottom of his helmet. If I could distort it, it would hinder his movements and maybe leave his neck vulnerable. After that, I immediately had to move back.

The minotaur boss got to his knees and then to his feet, swinging his axe with one arm- towards me, the only target nearby. Fortunately, it was a much slower attack without both arms involved and with the awkward angle. That way, I completely dodged it… but it did throw chunks of brick out of the wall. Socks had run forward out away from the wall, but the minotaur king seemed to have targeted her. He charged forwards and Socks turned to face him- instead of running ahead into the boss room, where many archers awaited. One disadvantage of Socks’ size was that she was a big target… and that made it harder for her to dodge in a small space. The minotaur boss had terrifying reach, and could easily cover the whole hallway. Actually, outside of the hallway we might have been even worse off, because he couldn’t swing with his arms fully extended. Even so, his attacks were terrifying, and I saw Socks take an attack head on… or almost. Kasner wasn’t just sitting around doing nothing, and the minotaur boss had unsure footing because of sudden ice. In addition to that, Kasner froze some of the boss’ joints. The minotaur boss still used both hands, even with a broken finger… but even with all that, Socks hit the wall and I saw bloody bits of fur fly around. Socks yelped and went still… but I wasn’t going to sit around and do nothing- and neither was Alhorn.

With his arm healed- or at least slightly fixed up- Alhorn joined me in attacking the minotaur. I struck the back of its legs- on its ankle, which stuck out like a bull’s. Though I had used full power on its finger, I hadn’t yet used rage… but I needed everything I could get at this moment. Indeed, I couldn’t have done any more… because my mace broke as I did so… but so did the minotaur’s heel. The force of the blow sent its balance backwards, and it fell… right where Alhorn was waiting to drive his sword into its eye. The helmet provided a bit of trouble, but Alhorn leaned with all of his weight to give more force. It was a good thing his sword was made of elven steel, or it might have snapped.

Of course, Alhorn’s sword was still stuck in the helmet… but we could immediately see the minotaur begin to fade as it died. Before he could get his sword free, Halette shouted, “Archer!” At the same time, she pointed them out with an arrow of her own. I was just barely able to pick out the arrow flying towards me and hold up my shield. The arrow nearly knocked me off my feet, but fortunately the arrow following that was shot with haste as the goblin boss dodged Halette’s own arrow. I just barely managed to deflect that one and keep my footing. “Reinforcements are inbound! Should we retreat?” I couldn’t afford to look at her, but her voice fluctuated as she said that. Socks was still lying against the wall and quite bloody.

“Of course not!” Alhorn shouted, “I’ll cover you, Kantrilla! The rest of you, handle the goblins!”

Kantrilla moved forward with healing magic already gathering as she reached Socks. I was delayed for a moment because I had a problem. My weapon was broken. I had my dagger still- but that wasn’t good for melee. As for other weapons… I didn’t carry that many into the dungeon. I had some spares and we’d picked up some, but they were all on Carlos. Then I saw the axe… after reaching down to pick it up, I realized something. It was way too big. It wasn’t whether or not I could carry it… but the handle was completely the wrong size. I rushed back to Carlos. I didn’t want to leave Kasner and Halette without a frontline, but I also wasn’t going to go in without something. I grabbed a spear and rushed back out. I didn’t need to worry about them much- they knew how to handle arrows. Kasner was a small target and could even explode arrows with a quick lightning bolt… though the boss’s arrows were a big bigger and more dangerous. That said, the rest of the room had gathered together in the middle platforms where they could see us, so there were a dozen people attacking them. They barely had time to get off much in the way of attacks… but then Kasner shot an arc of lightning. He was better at ice magic, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t still good with lightning. As it connected to one goblin archer, it arced between that goblin and another three next to it, and all of them burst into flames. I arrived back beside them just in time to block and ball of fire coming towards Halette. It exploded off of my shield and armor, about half of it scattering back away from me and the rest just making me uncomfortably hot. We couldn’t afford to be slow… with more goblins and possibly minotaurs on the way we had to kill the boss quickly… or heal Socks, but killing the goblins quickly would let Kantrilla work safely. I knew the others had my back as I started moving forward, trying to get within range to attack the boss.

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