Chapter 15: ‘Tank Killer’ 64th Floor – The Beginning
With this great energizing shout, the black spear that was partially red came swinging down.
The attack had all of his strength behind it, willing its target to be crushed into nothing.
He would not give you time to chant.
Regardless of power or talent. He would strike down anyone, head on.
That was Ornest Reyne’s ‘genius.’
Power, skill, speed, intuition and reflexes.
He had all of these elements, necessary in combat, in spades.
And even after four years had passed, nothing had shaken this fact.
“He’s like a demon with a club.”
Amidst the thundering sounds, I could see a crack appear through dust that rose in the air from the impact.
I muttered as I imagined the monster that let out its death cry, as I could not see anything.
“…The ‘Thrusting Black Spear.’ I didn’t realize that Ornest had acquired an Artifact as well.”
The Fezel Dungeon… 64th Floor of the Tank Killer.
It was a floor with a foreboding atmosphere, which was fitting, since it had an Undead boss.
And it was on this floor that instinctively filled you with dread, that Ornest swung his spear while making as much noise as possible.
‘This time, we are just here on a rescue mission. Not any other reason. And so in order to help them, we need them to notice our presence.’
It was such a huge dungeon, and we wanted to avoid passing them by accident. And so we had to continue to make our presence known. This was what Yorha had explained, mainly to Ornest, hours before we entered the dungeon.
As long as you have the Core of the floor boss, when teleporting to the next floor, you will automatically teleport to one of the multiple paths that are connected to that floor.
And so getting to the 64th floor was not really the problem.
The problem was what you did after arriving.
The dungeons were so vast that you could explore them for a week and still not be able to grasp them in their entirety.
There were multiple paths that led to the 65th floor. How likely was it that we could find the right one, and meet the people we were searching for?
And then there were the monsters.
We had to deal with the powerful enemies as they continued their search.
…Some of them could be even harder to fight than a floor boss, depending on the situation.
“It’s durable and sharp. That’s all that really makes that Artifact special. But it’s perfect for that idiot, isn’t it?”
The black eyes watched as Ornest swung his spear.
…He was perhaps too excited. It was no wonder that Clashia looked exasperated.
“You’re right about that.”
“Still, was this the right decision? I mean, about what Ornest said. That we should save our energy.”
He wanted to take care of all the weak monsters.
In order to avoid a situation where we lacked energy when it really mattered.
Yorha had nodded at this suggestion, and here we were.
The enemy were Undead.
They did not want the person who used magic to get tired.
“It’s fine. Besides, you don’t have to worry. Our turn will come soon enough.”
Clashia’s face seemed a little tense as she said this.
“After all, this is a place where an S-Rank party is on the verge of destruction. And so…”
Without warning… Suddenly, a large shadow that covered my whole body fell over us.
Or so I thought.
And it was there that Clashia’s voice suddenly cut off in an unnatural way.
My consciousness seemed to be stretched out to the limit, as if I was in a dangerous situation.
That sense of impending dread seemed to envelope the entire area. I could feel the sweat dripping down my back. And then…
My reflexes kicked in and I spun around. But before I could gather my thoughts, the words flew out of my mouth.
Next, I summoned a magic sword in my right hand without saying a word, just as I felt the currents of malice flowing out.
Then I turned my attention away from the magic circle, which I had activated so that it didn’t hit Yorha, who was behind me, and Clashia, to my side. And in spite of knowing that there was nothing there, I raised the sword and swung at the nothingness above my head.
…Standing on the border of life and death.
The thought came to me as I swung without mercy. And then the blade hit something, even though there should be nothing there.
A moment later, there was the ringing of metal against metal. I felt the impact through the sword, which was more powerful than anything I had felt before.
“…What the hell is this…”
I could not see it.
However, without a doubt, there was an enemy there.
The rattling sounds of fighting hit my eardrums.
Eventually, the true identity of the invisible enemy becomes known.
Considering the sensation of hitting it with my sword, it was a…
“Huh, I see. It is a ‘Grim Reaper’!!”
It wielded a great scythe.
All my experience up until now led me to the conclusion, and I shouted its name.
However, only one voice reacted to my shout. And it was the voice of someone laughing.
It was Ornest.
“Will you look at that? You’re not rusty at all! Eh? Alec Ugritte!”
I heard Ornest shouting behind my back. And then the meaning of his words came to me.
Without a doubt, Ornest knew that unlike the upper floors, there were Grim Reapers who could turn invisible on this 64th floor. And he had deliberately hidden the information from me.
And the reason was to use this surprise to determine my ability. I understood the need for that. I did. But at this exact moment…!?
“Hey, hey!? Don’t get me wrong!! I had heard that there were invisible enemies here, but I hadn’t heard anything about how to defeat them! That meathead gorilla just told me to use my intuition!!”
Obviously, he was talking about Clista, from the S-Rank party.
And so as he continued to strike down the waves of monsters, Ornest yelled repeatedly that he hadn’t withheld information out of spite.
“Besides, Alec Ugritte. It would be very bad if you couldn’t stop such attacks with ease!!”
He assumed that someone who was considered to be a ‘genius’ magician should not have any trouble with such enemies. If anything, giving away such vague information might just hinder me.
Ornest insisted, trying to end the conversation in an advantageous way.
In other words, this was a sign of his trust and expectations. That was why he had acted in this way.
Yes, in that case, it is perfectly…
“…As if I would be satisfied by such an explanation!!!”
With the welling rage within me, I swung my sword with all of my strength, as if to put an immediate end to the stalemate.
Even if he wanted to test my power, it would have been proper to give me the minimum required information in advance. I shouted this at him.
And then, I saw in the corner of my vision that Yorha was about to activate some magic.
I saw a magic circle rise next to her.
…Judging by the incredibly apologetic expression on her face, she had been against it, but Ornest had his way.
“…We’re going to talk about this when we get back, Ornest.”
“Haha! In other words, we have no choice but to make it back alive, eh?”
He did not think for a moment that I would die from such a thing.
And so there wasn’t a shred of remorse in his voice.
“…This 64th floor is more dangerous than I thought.”
“On the other hand, the sense of accomplishment will be all the more greater!”
“…Look here, Ornest. I’ve told you this many times before, but we aren’t here on some adventure to complete the dungeon.”
“There is no point in trying to reason with an idiot.”
“Hey, Clashia. Did you just call me an idiot!?”
In spite of there still being enemies around us, they seemed to care more about arguing.
…I’ll remember this…!!
Ornest shouted, much like I had done a moment earlier. He was one to talk.
But in spite of my exasperation, I had better feel for my enemy now, who was still alive and well.
And it was amidst this air of friendly banter that I had almost forgotten, that I really felt that I had returned to their party.
…Not that I had forgiven Ornest or anything.
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