Chapter 105. Those That Climb the Dungeon (4)
When I went to the Floor Shop the next day, I saw a beautiful elf. Long, black hair that flowed down, and golden pupils that shone brilliantly. Voluptuous chest and contrasting slender arms, legs, and waist. Without a doubt, it was Loretta, the real Loretta. The moment she saw me, she flapped her long ears excitedly. I wondered if elves could fly using their ears.
"My, what a coincidence seeing you here, Shin-nim."
"How shameless, Loretta. Lin already told me everything."
Loretta narrowed her eyes and glared at me.
"Even if it's the same meaning, can't you use the expression 'cute'?"
"If I say cute, you'll get startled and be noticeably happy, so I won't."
Loretta clicked her tongue and turned away. It was much cuter than her shameless words from before, but I didn't say it out loud. If I did, she would be happy and blush, and I would be even more flustered. Loretta let out a dry cough and continued.
"40th floor, the Grim Reaper. Since you got the first achievement, are you in the middle of completely conquering him?"
"Yep. I memorized all of his patterns, so killing him is pretty easy now."
"This is the first time I heard anyone say that it's easy to kill the reaper. You could've done it after hitting level 45..."
"No, I won't do that anymore."
At Loretta's words, I answered her with such speed that even I was surprised.
"I want to grow my abilities. Not just my stats, but the overall abilities. Because I want to get stronger."
"... If that's what you want, I will, of course, support you from behind. From now, I will be directly supporting you, so do your best, Shin-nim."
"With Loretta helping me, I feel assured. I'll be sure not to let Loretta down."
At my words, Loretta puffed out her chest and grinned. Then, I waved my hand at Loretta wishing me victory, and walked to hunt the reaper again. Of course, I wasn't afraid of him anymore.
Three weeks later, I finished consuming Soul Strengthening Elixirs and finished collecting the Grim Reaper Set. The Grim Reaper's Deathscythe was given to the Gluttony Spear, raising its growth by 1%. With that, it was now at 3%. Since I've been told the spear would not grow from eating the same weapon more than once, I did not give it another one.
[Your soul becomes clear and strengthened to the peak. Your magic and charm increase by 3. Additionally, your luck increases by 5.]
[You equipped the Grim reaper Set. Your strength and magic increase by 20. When the Grim Reaper Set is equipped, you can use 'Shadow Blink' once per day. Shadow Blink teleports you behind a target and delivers a sudden strike. This attack will always be a critical hit.]
The Grim Reaper Set was made out of tattered cloth resembling the one the Grim Reaper was wearing. In fact, I looked so much like the Grim Reaper, I almost took my weapon out. However, its defense was incredibly sad compared to Crimson Dragon Scale Armor and even the Dullahan Set, so I extracted the skill and stored it in the 8 o'clock position, then stored the Grim Reaper Set for next year's Halloween party.
While I was grinding on the 40th floor, Ren had begun grinding on the 35th floor. Surprisingly, Palludia's party joined Ellos' party, and had reached the 33rd floor in a short period of time. They both didn't want to party with explorers from other continents, so I wondered what had gotten into them. However, I somewhat suspected that I had an influence on their alliance.
What was more surprising was that Shina had contacted me.
[Oppa, I broke through the 30th floor!]
"Oooh, that's was fast. Congratulations."
[I already heard from unni that oppa broke through the 40th floor.]
"Unni? Oh, right, Palludia. You should have told me when we first met."
[But I wanted to surprise oppa by telling oppa later. But I didn't think unni would charge forward so quickly...]
"I can hear you."
[Of course, I was trying to let you hear! It was a roundabout declaration of war. I don't have a residence yet, but my breasts are a lot bigger than unni's! I have the competitive edge. Not to mention, I'm honest unlike unni. So? Charming, right?]
"I already knew you were charming. But you're not a good match for me."
[I... can I cry, oppa? If I'm not charming to oppa, there's no point in being charming at all.]
I made a bitter smile and replied.
"There are many better men than me. Something must have been wrong with your eyes."
[I trust my eye's ability, but I like oppa regardless!]
Just like Palludia said, Shina was claiming that she liked me. Although Palludia told me not to believe Shina, as I couldn't look into Shina's heart, I couldn't make a judgement thoughtlessly. As such, this was what I said.
"Yeah, then do your best to catch up to where I am. We have to be face to face if we want to talk. You didn't forget how I looked like, right?"
[I didn't! I think about you every night, really! Prepare yourself, the party member I recruited this time is extremely strong, so we'll catch up to you quickly!]
I suddenly felt uneasy again.
[Huhu, oppa might know her already. An explorer from Earth has been famous in the lower floors lately. She's called the Shadow Witch! She got her fame by helping beginner explorers advance to the 6th floor for about two weeks, but she appeared in the Residential Area just a few days ago! I've never heard of an explorer with such quick growth! I didn't miss this opportunity and recruited her into my party.]
[You see, this person is really, really strong! She might not even need party members. She's that strong! We challenged the 30th Floor Master together, but while we barely held the skeletons back, she practically toyed with the Skeleton Knight. She then said it was slightly easier than when she defeated it alone.]
"... If she's that strong, why did she enter your party?"
[I don't know. She said she's going to enter the party of the guy she likes, and said she'd party with us as practice.]
"Ah, I see. Good luck together."
Ye-Eun, she already broke through the 30th floor! If I didn't hurry, she might really catch up to me. I was burning with fighting spirit. I cheered her on a bit, then walked to the staircase to the 41st floor, thinking I was going to have to take Ye-Eun out for fries soon. After all, she had already passed the 25th floor. Father had also passed level 50 and was bragging about becoming Gold rank, but I didn't care.
From the 41st floor, I was free from the undead. Zombies, ghouls, skeletons, and ghosts. I was happy to be finally freed from the rotting smell of flesh, but this happiness did not last long.
The 41st floor's monsters were wolves. They emitted the smell of wild animals and pounced at me from all directions. I was almost starting to miss the zombies. Plus, the 41st through 45th floor were all filled with wolves, just with different fur color and species. There were the direwolves, large wolves that easily passed 2.3 meters in size. Then, there were the werewolves, which were wolves standing on their hind legs. Other than the werewolves, all of the wolves were bigger and stronger than the materialized Ruyue. However, she was still faster, making them a good match.
Although Ruyue fought well, I wasn't used to fighting beast-type monsters, so it took a while for me to get used to them. In the end, it wasn't so different in that I had to dodge their attacks and attack when they had openings.
As a result, I reached the 45th Floor Master in just four days.
Loretta said that 45th and 50th Floor Master battles will be a pure fight of strength against strength. I believed her, but I didn't think that strength was referring to size.
"He's over 10 meters long..."
Although the Giant Iron Boar I met in Guangzhou was much bigger in comparison, I could still barely look at its face when I tilted my head up to the limit. In terms of spirit, the black furred wolf well overwhelmed the Giant Iron Boar.
The 45th Field was a wasteland. The black wolf was sitting in the middle of the wasteland with his legs folded and his eyes closed. When I approached him and raised my Gluttony Spear, his eyes shot open. The presence emanating out from him at that moment was incredibly overwhelming, making me burst into smiles.
"Good, I'll have to fight large monsters like this often on Earth. I'll train myself using you."
The wolf moved its front leg forward and lowered its body. He seemed to be preparing to charge at me. With his weight and speed, the force of impact would be enormous. I also lowered my body on Ruyue's back and prepared to charge forward. I whispered to Ruyue.
"I'm trusting you, Ruyue. Let's do this."
At that moment, Ruyue charged forward before the giant wolf.
The giant wolf also charged towards us. When he stepped forward, a sandstorm brewed in the wasteland, blocking my sight. I left Ruyue in charge of our movement and focused on pinpointing his location and his method of attack.
"Ruyue, jump diagonally."
I held my Gluttony Spear horizontally and activated Elemental Blade. I held the spear with both my hands like a baseball bat, and when Ruyue had leapt past giant wolf's thigh, I swung the spear with full force.
A stream of blood shot out into the air and the giant wolf screamed. What I didn't expect was that it would somehow detect where we were and swing his tail at us like a whip! Ruyue hastily poured out her Ice Breath and threw her body to the side. However, his tail, which seemed like it would get stuck at Ruyue's Ice Breath, became bigger and swept over us. It had made its already huge tail even bigger! I gritted my teeth and shouted.
Ruyue and I were instantly teleported behind the giant wolf's neck.
The giant wolf made a stupefied sound and turned its head to face us. In the process, his body turned to the other direction, and he turned his head again. His body then turned the other direction again. He slowly began to spin in circles. Thankfully, it seemed he still had the intelligence of a beast.
Meanwhile, I was focusing my energy on the spear tip for the critical damage that Shadow Blink guaranteed. Just like always, I raised my spear that had turned into a white bolt of lightning from Peika's power and my white-colored aura, striking down at the giant wolf's neck.
Blood spurted out from the area the spear struck, splashing onto me and Ruyue. It seemed to have felt immense pain from the attack, as it began to jump wildly to shake me off of him. With my face half-covered in blood, I gritted my teeth and raised my spear again, shouting, "Ruyue, hold on!"
Ruyue stretched out her claws and stuck onto the giant wolf, and I wrapped my legs around Ruyue. Now that we were in a favorable position, I had no intention of getting off!
"Ruyue, hold on just a little bit longer!"
Something seemed to be wrong with Ruyue, so I decided to take care of the giant wolf swiftly.
"White Lightning Consecutive Strike!"
A barrage of spear attacks struck the hole created by my Heroic Strike, expanding it. Red blood continued to splash onto me, but it wasn't enough to interrupt my concentration. The only thing in my sight was the hole I had to dig deeper.
Although I would have liked to attack him like this until he died, it was, of course, not so easy. Before my White Lightning Consecutive Strike could even end, the giant wolf let out a loud howl, then began to roll to the side. Shoot! I quickly canceled the skill and stuck to Ruyue.
"Ruyue, let's jump off!'
Before Ruyue and I became crushed paste, Ruyue leapt off his back and landed on the ground. Noticing that Ruyue and I had left, the giant wolf stopped rolling and raised its body. Then, it gave me a deathly glare.
[Giant Wolf uses Blood Howling! All of Giant Wolf's defense is converted to attack power!]
It was actually called Giant Wolf!? No, now was not the time. Its fur dyed red. At the same time, its front paws expanded to an unnatural size. Right, a fight of pure strength against strength... I was glad that it was so simple. I curled the corners of my mouth up and strengthened the grip on my Gluttony Spear.
"Fight me, you fat wolf bastard!"