The Only Thing I Can Upgrade is Strength chapter 54

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Climbing the stairs didn’t guarantee our safety- monsters sometimes traversed from one floor to another. Fortunately, we had gotten far enough away that they didn’t know to chase us up the stairs. If we were in top form, we probably could have held off dozens and dozens of goblins from the top of the stairs, but thankfully we didn’t have to.

We managed to get through a rest without incident, eating and drinking and otherwise doing nothing so that we could recover our energy somewhat.

I breathed out heavily and slowly. “Are all goblin bosses that hard? I feel like that almost went… very poorly.”

Kantrilla shook her head, “They shouldn’t all be that hard. Normally, they wouldn’t have two magic items… or even one, half of the time.”

Kasner lifted his head up off the floor where he had flopped down face first, “They also happened to counter our party fairly well… lightning resistance. Pfeh.” He tried to spit, but just coughed.

I hadn’t really thought about that… as there hadn’t been much time to think during the battle. “Yeah, I suppose him having two magic items is… rare.” I was going to say unlucky, but there were two ways to look at it. After all, we got two magic items, which could be counted as quite lucky as we might not even have had one. On the other hand, it made it much more dangerous. Maybe our survival in that situation counted as lucky again? Having Luck as an attribute just made things confusing.

After about ten minutes, Alhorn stood up. “While I would love to just laze around for the rest of the day… we still have to get out of the dungeon, don’t we?”

Everyone reluctantly agreed… but we also didn’t want to sit around waiting for more goblins to show up.

We still ran into a group about halfway through the second level. There were a dozen or so goblins… not too many, but we were still tired. They wouldn’t go easy on us just because we were tired… so as usual, I attacked to try to reduce their numbers as quickly as possible.

I was surprised when my weapon felt both heavy and light at the same time. It was heavier than what I was expecting, because I had forgotten I was carrying the heavy mace. The grip was very comfortable, and without swinging it the weight hadn’t seemed much different.

After swinging it, it certainly felt much heavier… but it also seemed to leap forward in the direction I swung it. That threw me off enough that I almost missed my target… but I didn’t, and the momentum behind my attack was sufficient to send the goblin flying into the wall. That wasn’t much different from normal except now he was a little bit icy as he died. Then the normal back and forth of combat took over and I didn’t have time to think about it.

We managed to get out of the dungeon without getting ourselves killed, but every little battle seemed much harder than normal. As soon as we got out all of us went and collapsed in our respective beds.

—–

Although our dungeon excursion netted us two magic items… we didn’t actually make much money. Or rather, Alhorn and I suffered a net financial loss. While we could have sold the equipment for a significant amount of money, it was decided that it was best that Alhorn and I keep the armor and mace respectively. That meant we got a smaller cut of other loot- and would be receiving less for some time. Combined with the fact that we had to get our gear repaired from its heavy damage, we lost some money. Alhorn also had to get the armor refitted to him. Though the goblin boss was approximately the same size as a human- or half-elf- armor wasn’t good if it approximately saved you from getting stabbed.

At least it was possible to repair armor with holes in it. On Earth, dents could be rounded out to be pretty much fixed, but any holes in armor were pretty much permanent weaknesses, unless you replaced a whole piece. Here, though, there was magic for that. Not that it was so convenient as waving your hand and having repaired armor. We still had to take it into a smith and give them a day or two to work on it. The important point was it became possible.

Everyone would have been taking several days off regardless of having to wait for repairs. I was covered in small wounds that I wasn’t sure where they had come from, and I think I had a cracked rib. Kasner wouldn’t be able to recover to full mana for a few days. Kantrilla hadn’t exhausted herself quite as much but she still had to keep treating Alhorn, Socks, and me with healing magic. Halette was in relatively good shape, but she wasn’t completely unscathed from attacks by the goblin mages, and was just as exhausted as the rest of us.

The whole experience left me with one realization. I hadn’t been trained to know what to do against an enemy I couldn’t defeat in a hit or two. That wasn’t really Sgar’s fault… he had been training me out of the good of his heart, and it quite simply hadn’t been necessary. Horned rabbits and wolves didn’t wear armor, and even the toughest hide was different from real armor.

Now that I had a magic weapon, maybe I could defeat a goblin boss who didn’t have magic armor more easily… but that didn’t mean I didn’t need to learn how to fight them better. While I didn’t have trouble picking up the basics of a new weapon… there were only so many I could carry on me at once just because of limitations on physical space. Trading out one weapon for another also took some time. I wondered if there were solutions such as magic bags… but if they existed they would be expensive. We had just started to hit the threshold of lesser magical items, and it was quite a jump up in price from basic magic equipment.

Regardless of what it took, i needed to learn how to fight against significantly armored targets, and could adjust my loadout then. I would probably have to pay a teacher, but at least I could ask through the guild to find a good one. That would save me the effort of finding one and have some guarantee of quality. Once I got some more money, I could do that.

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