The Only Thing I Can Upgrade is Strength chapter 210

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Translating practicing wind magic outside of stressful situations into mid combat was difficult. I also hadn’t particularly had any reasons to do exactly what I was currently doing- circulating air down from above and pushing the rest away. I knew I wasn’t doing it perfectly, and that meant some poison would get to me. I needed to work fast, because I really didn’t want to test that Poison Resistance skill.

Fortunately, there was nothing between me and the wall. However, I couldn’t run and keep the magic centered on me. Instead, I settled for a quick walk. One thing I did have a good amount of mana, so at least I didn’t have to worry about that- though I doubted I was being extremely efficient.

Mauls were so much better for breaking walls than maces. It wasn’t exactly a sledgehammer, but it was close enough- it was just a bit heavier and differently balanced. The brick that made up dungeons was a bit tougher than typical brick. Thus, I didn’t hold back at all as I swung, including rage. I would tire more quickly, but now I needed speed. If Yalgreck didn’t need to keep up the wind spell, he could join the fight and we could all stop worrying about that factor. Halette would be able to shoot her arrows without hindrance, and I could return to the fight in a few moments.

The hammer smashed into the brick wall that had formed behind us- breaking through not one but two layers of dungeon brick. That was about a half foot of material- but it wasn’t entirely solid… and I had over nine hundred Strength at the moment. Outside of this world, that was something a human couldn’t even dream of. Of course, the first swing just made a little hole. I had to swing again and again to start really opening it up. I could see where I had broken from the little bits of light tricking into the openings and beyond, but then I saw them fade out. I had to conjure my own light to get exactly what I wanted- Alhorn was a bit busy fighting to fulfill specific lighting requests way over here. Doing that at the same time as the wind was difficult, but I determined that the wall was repairing itself. Was the dungeon just going to trap us in here with the gas? No… if it could do that, it wouldn’t have bothered with minotaurs. It had to have a limit on what it could do in a short time.

I took a serious stance. I’d never fought a wall with all my might before, and it sounded silly… but this is what we needed me to do at the moment. Fortunately Bash was just the right skill here, and I started knocking pieces of dungeon brick away in wide swaths. The faster I did it the less the healing could keep up. I could feel that my wind magic was blowing some of the air through the opening now, but it needed to be more. I swung underhanded, knocking out an entire section. Now the hole was large enough for me to climb through. 

I saw that only one layer of bricks was reforming at once, and that gave me confidence. The sounds of battle behind me faded as I concentrated on the thudding of hammer on brick. I kept swinging and swinging. I was breathing heavy and sweating… but suddenly I ran out of things to swing at. I couldn’t reach any higher- not feasibly, anyway- and it was open for the normal width of the hallway. I didn’t see it recovering anymore either. 

My mana was a lot more drained than I had expected. My lungs were burning with more than just exertion, but I pushed as much air as I could down the corridor. I couldn’t see whatever the gas was, but with a new place for it to go it should be spreading out. I took a few deep breaths- still bringing air down from above just in case- and was ready to turn back towards the party. Then I saw a few goblins out in the corridor I’d opened up. Great. One thing led to another… but before he could reach me, the lead goblin warrior collapsed, coughing. Well, that showed whatever gas was out there… and at least head high for a goblin. That meant Kasner wouldn’t be quite safe yet, but the taller people among us might… though I was about the same height as Yalgrek, approximately five feet tall. As long as we’d gotten the gas level to lower by a quarter we would be fine… because it had been somewhere under the minotaur’s heads, and they were only seven and a half to nine feet tall for the most part.

After seeing the other couple of goblins collapse and glancing at the wall one more time, I turned and hurried back towards the group. “I broke down the wall, but the gas isn’t all gone yet. At least, it’s still at goblin-height.”

Yalgreck frowned, “I’m not sure how long I can keep this up…” he looked over to where the other minotaurs and the boss were, “If you could provide air for Kasner, a few quick illusions could mess those fellows right up.”

I was beginning to run out of mana. “I’m not sure if I can hold… ah. Kasner. May I pick you up?”

“Sure!” he said between bouts of ice and lightning. “Just make sure I can see them!” Hoisting Kasner to stand on my shoulders was easy. He didn’t weigh any more than my armor. It took a moment for us to find our balance, but then Kasner laughed, “We should do this all the time! I don’t have to lean past people to see!” I later pointed out that he also was able to duck behind people to avoid arrows normally- but fortunately we weren’t fighting any goblins at the moment. I checked behind us and found there were still no goblins- and the wall was still broken open.

Yalgreck dropped his wind spell and took a breath, and I did as well. I sensed a bit of something, but it felt… alright. Halette was finally able to shoot her arrows without interference, and Yalgreck did… something I couldn’t see. All that I knew for sure was that the minotaur boss suddenly swung way over Alhorn’s head instead of towards him, giving an opening for him and Varragra to attack. 

I didn’t want to throw Kasner off balance, but I grabbed his thigh with my left hand to hold him steady- I had already strapped my shield to my back for using the maul- and threw my dagger with my right, right into the neck of one of the few minotaurs. Sera used Socks as a springboard to jump up on the back of the minotaur boss and stab her daggers into its neck- right under the armor of course. It was then I noticed the slight glow from the minotaur boss’ eyes- the glow of illusion magic. It was basically light magic… but more complex. Yalgreck must have been very good at perspective to be able to make a convincing illusion directly in front of the eyes… it would save on mana, but be much more difficult to control. Not that he had to do it long, because even minotaurs bled to death pretty quickly after being stabbed in the neck twice- and that wasn’t its only injury. Even so, it was still swinging blindly at empty space for a handful of swings while all of the party backed way. Then it finally fell, and started fading.

“Let’s load up Carlos and get moving!” Halette got us back on track, “We need to find what we’re here for as quick as we can!”

I wasn’t really my job to search for where the dungeon core might be, but I could at least help look. Since it seemed to be able to put up real walls, it might be difficult… but we had to look. At least we had two scouts- and Socks.

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