The Only Thing I Can Upgrade is Strength chapter 208

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It turned out the dungeons in Ekralas weren’t in a unique situation. Dungeons in Escait- specifically the ones in Inassas- had also merged. There was no word from Fepresil but they didn’t have several dungeons next to each other in their capital. I couldn’t confirm with Khyrmin, but I would have bet they destroyed any extra ones. Whether it was because they knew of this possibility or not it couldn’t be said. Fepresil as a whole wasn’t exactly communicative about much of anything. To the south in Astrurg, the mainly dwarven country, their capital also had several dungeons conveniently accessible- but they were more spread out around it and not all contained inside of it.

The Guild didn’t seem to have any information on merged dungeons- but even if they had been around for hundreds of years that wasn’t as long as even just the elven capital. Presumably they would have elven members who would know about the destruction of dungeons, but it was entirely possible the reason why had been lost to time. Sometimes, a secret might be kept too well. Either way, Thrandath wasn’t around to ask, though we could pose the question through Sage Norwood. It was possible someone knew and hadn’t even thought it worth mentioning.

For the current time, Sage Norwood was our contact with The Guild. He didn’t do any active work like Thrandath, but he served as a source of information. He informed us that The Guild had authorized the destruction of the combined dungeon, even though we hadn’t figured out what was wrong with the core yet- whether it was one or two. Timmy had also approved destroying the dungeon, though obviously that wasn’t public information. Information about dungeons being destroyed would certainly come out to the public once it happened in the capital… but it could be explained as a natural result of dungeons fusing. With such special circumstances, who could really say how things would work? Sage Norwood did say that if there were still two cores or they were only partly fused, destroying just one would likely be sufficient. If they could keep the other dungeon more or less intact, it would be better for the city. The loss of a dungeon would be a significant detriment- and even losing both was better than the situation getting worse and possibly combining with the third dungeon. Fortunately, that one was further away, across the city, so it was deemed safe.

Since dungeons reacted weirdly for groups outside a vaguely appropriate level range, we would be working with some other groups that were already exploring the dungeon. Because of the situation they would be informed of the possibility of destroying dungeons and cores. One of those groups included Sera’s party, which was something we were happy with. We would be exploring with them directly, since we couldn’t count on being able to contact them and dungeon cores were especially defensive of their territory. There would be other pairs of parties, but if there were too many people all together a dungeon would cause problems. Nine people and two animals was a bit much, but against a combined dungeon it might be just about right. 

Working together with Sera’s party made most of the battles easy- but there was nothing wrong with that. Less risk to ourselves was good, and we still didn’t get careless. Having two scouts was good as well, because they could back each other up or check down two passageways at once. With Varragra, Socks, Alhorn and I we were a little bit heavy on the melee department, so Alhorn took up a defensive position in front of the casters and I took up the rear with Carlos. Not that he was considered for fighting force- maybe if he wasn’t loaded down with loot, but that wasn’t his job. Most of the time, my position didn’t matter- I would shoot some arrows and then move up once combat started. However, we once got into a situation with ambushing goblins moving in from behind. Carlos actually noticed them before me, but his snort and movements made me look behind in time to block a fire bolt with my shield. It was easy enough to bash in a few goblin heads, but if we had missed them I could have easily gotten injured- or killed, if I wasn’t Lucky. Of course, I was Lucky now, not so much as Kantrilla- and she said to never count on it- but I could feel how much it helped. I could dodge things I really shouldn’t have been able to or get hits the enemy should really have dodged. Not even every battle, but it added up… if I saved one little wound every battle, by the end of the day I could avoid being covered in bandages.

I leveled up some more as we entered the third and presumably the lowest level of the dungeon. However, even at level 7 I still had no class yet. That was hopefully because I was still undecided. Classes did mostly tailor themselves to what the adventurer wanted or how they acted. It usually took some active effort to get a class anyway. I’d pretty much made up my mind, but maybe the sort of class I wanted didn’t exist or my deleveling had made me unable to get a class. Preferably, I would find out sooner rather than later. As it was, I was taking every moment I could to train things I would have trouble with in a warrior profession. That included magic, and in fights with fewer enemies I even threw out a few magic attacks. It was… pretty pointless. Kasner was much better, and even Yalgreck who didn’t specialize in attack type magic did more than me. However, there were ways to temporarily enchant weapons with elemental magic. My initial experiments with a lightning enchantment had resulted in my hair standing up and going to find Kasner for some advice- because I certainly hadn’t done it right. It was a good thing Kantrilla was always somewhere nearby because my heart had nearly stopped- I wasn’t sure if it was literally true but it sure felt like it. After some talking to Kasner he showed me how to do it right… but he mentioned I might want to try to get Lightning Resistance anyway. I had been hit by various spells- ice, fire, lightning- but hadn’t gotten any resistance skills yet. As for why… that was probably because it was just that- a hit or two here and there. It might have also been class related, but Kasner mentioned he hadn’t gotten Cold Resistance until he had a leg made half of ice all the time… and when he primarily used lightning his hair was always standing on end. It seemed like more sustained training was necessary… and it wouldn’t be fun. I wondered if we should offer resistance training at the academy… the answer was obviously yes, but it was certainly not going to be mandatory.

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