Chapter 32. From Today, I'm an Official Explorer (2)
Trusting Loretta's words, I stood in front of the door to the 20th Floor Master and ignored the recommendation to find a party. I put my hand on the door, but soon took it off again. No matter how easy Loretta said the Lizard Knight would be, if I went in blindly, I might face the same situation as I had with Orc Lord 4 years ago.
Instead, I sent somebody a message. Thankfully, he was in the dungeon.
[Oh, Shin. What's up?]
"I want to ask you about the Lizard Knight."
[Wow, you're already on the 20th floor? Amazing. You might really end up meeting us on the 25th floor.]
"Of course I will. More importantly, tell me about Lizard Knight's fighting style or skills."
Normally, I learned these things through experiencing them directly. But now, I was in a situation where I had to defeat it on my first try. Since Loretta guaranteed a hefty reward, I had to defeat it even if I had to break my usual style.
[You usually don't ask these things. I wonder what happened. Well, I'll tell you anyways. Lizard Knight appears alone unlike the other Floor Masters, and wears a set of scaled armor made from its own scales. With it, he has a truly formidable defensive power. He uses an incredibly swift and powerful spear. If anyone who's not a tank is hit by it, they will most likely be half killed.]
"Hm, fast and powerful..."
[And if a lot of people jump at him at once, he suddenly swipes with his tail. This attack has a bigger range that you'd think. Not to mention, it hurts incredibly. Watch out for it.]
"Actually, that seems like something I can exploit. What else?"
[Oh, yeah. When he feels like he's at a disadvantage, he strikes down on the ground with his spear. The ground then rumbles and a huge damage is dealt to all explorers touching the ground. You need to dodge this one for sure.]
"He strikes down on the ground with his spear? So I can just dodge it by jumping?"
[Yep. But if you do, he immediately attacks you with a spear thrust, so be careful.]
"Alright. What else?"
[After that attack, he uses a skill called Dragon Skin. His body becomes red and incredibly tough. For the next 5 minutes, no attack will work on it. The worst part is that he continuously strikes down on the ground in that state.]
"That does sound bad. Wait, his armor gets harder too?"
[Yep. That's what makes it so troublesome. Neither physical nor magical attacks work when he's in that state. But if you last long enough for Dragon Skin to end, your victory is mostly secured. Because when Dragon Skin runs out, he's exhausted. All the party members can just throw out their attacks and kill it.]
"How many tries did it take you?"
[... 7 tries. For the record, that's considered outstanding. It's even considered good if you defeat him in 20 or 30 tries.]
"Haha, thanks. I'll contact you again once it ends."
[Kuk, you mean you have the confidence to beat him on your first try. Alright, we'll see.]
I ended my conversation with Ellos and grinned. It tooks Ellos 7 tries with a party of 10 to defeat the Lizard Knight. He would never expect that I'd try to defeat the lizard alone.
[Master can do it! Because I'm here!]
"Yeah, I can do it. Because Peika is here."
I formed a plan based on what Ellos told me. After checking over it multiple times, I nodded my head and boldly opened the door.
"Fight me, Lizard Knight!"
"... A human."
The Lizard Knight was standing alone in the spacious room. He was about 2.3 meters tall, and as Ellos said, on top of his scaled body was a set of full body armor made from its own scales. In its hand was a 5 meter long spear with a razor sharp head.
"You are challenging me alone? This is a first."
"Yeah, I am."
I smiled at him. He was trying to look cool unlike the other Floor Masters, but to me, he was no different.
When I first heard Ellos's description of him, I was nervous. I had once imagined what would happen when monsters, who were born strong, took the time to train in martial arts. However, that wasn't the case for the Lizard Knight.
In fact, he fell below my expectations. I could tell from the fact that he had not taken even the most basic stance. It was likely the result of easy growth from his natural-borne strength. How foolish.
'I'll show you what a true spearman is.'
I held my spear up and took my stance.
"Peika, can you go inside?"
[I like the way you asked!]
At the same time Peika nodded her head looking pleased, I activated Spirit Aura. She was sucked into my spear in an instant, and my Orc Lord's Glaive began to flicker with sparks. 'You worked hard too. I'll let you rest soon.'
"You, you're a spearman. Great."
"Yes, it's great. Great indeed."
I was father's one and only disciple. No matter how busy I was as a dungeon explorer, as father's son, I often had friendly matches with rising stars in Korean martial arts. Father ran a dojang that was in name only, and one of the only times we actually used it was when we held friendly competitions.
I didn't know anything about the validity of father's claims as being undefeated or strongest on Earth.
However, I knew that I had never lost in a formal match.
When I charged at the Lizard Knight, he opened his vertically slit pupils wide and thrust out with his spear fiercely. However, the spear Ellos described as swift was lackluster, almost like the swing of a baby. I easily dodged his attack and stabbed the center of his armor.
"Kuk! For a human, you aren't so bad!"
"This is the 5th time I've heard that since I came to the dungeon, Lizardman!"
Even as I retorted, I continued to attack. Repeatedly stabbing his armor with my spear, I made sure that the shock damaged him. Realizing what situation he was in, the Lizard Knight tried to step aside, but I followed his movements tightly and continued to attack.
Although I knew my attacks would not pierce his skin, I knew Peika's lightning was effective. Electric sparks flickered on his armor, slowly breaking it.
"Kuk! Human, you were an Elementalist! You tricked me!"
"I said I was a spearman, I never said I wasn't an Elementalist!"
He let out a rough shout as it swung forward with his spear. Of course, that was within my expectations. I ducked in a hurry, and ran forward into him. At the same time, my spear was shining out with white light.
Parts of his armor broke off and flew into the air. The Lizard Knight himself also flew back and hit the wall. When I was about to run after him, he seemingly ignored the shock from hitting the wall as he stood tall and spit out blood. At least he knew how to look cool.
"Kukuku, not bad. To think you could drive me into a corner like this..."
"Stop blabbering and come! I'll show you my strength!"
[You used Orc Lord's Warcry! All party members are cleansed of negative status effects. All party members' attack power increases by 50 percent for the duration. All party members become super-armored, unfazed by enemy attacks.]
"Kuk, what is this loud noise!?"
As I approached him, I shouted.
"Dark Thunder Explosion!"
Black lightning shot out from my body and struck the Lizard Knight. Although it tried to jump back in surprise, having taken the initial hit, it could no longer dodge the attack.
Although I did not think it would die with just this, I shouted out in hopes that it would. Immediately afterwards, countless bolts of lightning shot out from my body enough to block out my vision. Even with Floor Master's sturdiness, it seemed impossible to endure an attack of such scale as the Lizard Knight screamed out in pain.
"Kuaaak! W-What's this!?"
"It's my skill. Eat up!"
Even though I had never lost a formal match, this was the dungeon. It was natural to fight the explorer's way!
Dark Thunder Explosion was truly powerful. Perhaps it was because of the 50 percent boost from Orc Lord's Warcry, but when the Lizard Knight emerged after being swept by the flood of lightning, its armor was almost entirely worn out. In addition, I could see blood spurting out from parts of its body.
"Kuk, Human! I won't forgive you!"
'Eh? He's already using it?'
The Lizard Knight raised his spear up high and struck down. It was the earthquake attack. What followed would be Dragon Skin. Ellos said I just had to endure for 5 minutes.
'You're wrong, Ellos.'
I shot out Tempest, aiming at its spear. Almost in an anticlimactic way, Tempest forced Lizard Knight to drop his spear. In an instant, the Lizard Knight made a panicked expression.
This was a chance. A chance to beat it to death.
I did not need to use any skills. While he stood blankly in place, I stabbed forward with my lightning clad spear. First, I destroyed the armor that barely hung on his body. Then, before he could snap out of his daze, I crushed his knees and his right arm.
As I swung my spear at his left arm, he cried out in pain and used Dragon Skin, blocking my attack. However, it was too late. Three of his four limbs were no longer in a state to fight.
'See, Ellos, it's as I thought.'
If he knew the Lizard Knight would use Dragon Skin after the earthquake attack, why would he just leave it to use it freely? I knew from my own experience with using skills that they had clear openings.
As such, before I used any of my skills, I made sure to put myself in the super-armor state with Orc Lord's Warcry, or to immobilize the enemies with Vengeful Spirit's Wail, or to be at a good distance away from the enemies. If I could not do any of the above, I made sure to mix in my skill with my normal attacks as well as possible to ensure I was safe from counterattacks. Of course, even with all that, I could not say I was 100 percent safe. That was the nature of skills.
Although the skills Floor Masters used were extremely powerful, they had their moment of weakness. And as long as there was even a single weakness, I could exploit it. In truth, it was shocking that someone like Ellos failed to see through it. It seemed I needed to tell him about it later.
"Kuk, you! I will kill you! Try attacking me!"
After activating Dragon Skin, the Lizard Knight flashed his crooked teeth and provoked me. With a snort, I picked up its spear and threw it far away. Then, I deactivated Spirit Aura and threw my spear down.
"I'm a martial artist. I don't just know spearmanship."
Of course, I didn't tell it that I learned martial arts because I liked the feeling of beating people up with my bare hands!