I was about to approach the adventurer stealthily and strike him his stomach. At that moment, the adventurer suddenly moved.
He threw himself to the back and tossed something toward me with the hand that he was using to search his bag.
What he brought out from the bag was not a lantern.
It was a round marble. He threw it toward me.
Apparently, the adventurer was not bothered by the darkness either. The marble’s trajectory made haste to my face.
It looks like he was feigning ignorance and waiting for me to come closer to him.
I swung my hand and swiped the marble.
Instead of being bounced off, the marble shattered.
After that, the contents inside the marble got spread on my face and body.
“That’s right. It’s poison, you demon bastard! Now, show your true self! If you stay hidden under human skin, you will die from the poison!”
The adventurer shouted with confidence.
I licked the poison with my tongue. It was jolting my tongue.
And that was that.
Ever since I obtained the great poison resistance skill, I was fine even when I tried drinking the bottle of poison sold at the store.
I won’t sustain much harm unless it is an extremely powerful poison.
I am not resistant to all poisons, but I am resistant to quite many.
It was not the poison’s effect that bothered me. I just found it unpleasant to have a wet face.
Having noticed that I was relatively indifferent to the poison, the adventurer panicked. He quickly approached me.
He was trying to quickly pull out something from his pocket. I tightly twisted his shoulder with my left hand and channeled my annoyance into my right fist.
My angry punch, plummeted into the adventurer’s stomach.
I punched him hard. Super hard.
I threw my punch while being affected by strength boost from the Talaria's Wings. I thought the adventurer’s body might burst a little. However, it seemed the man was pretty tough. His body didn’t burst open from the shock.
He is coughing blood from the mouth though.
The adventurer curled his body like a shrimp and fell down. He was twitching. It appeared that he was in shock.
From somewhere, a sound could be heard. It sounded like the lightsaber effect from the St*r W*rs when it was activated. I turned around, and the knight’s sword was exuding blue mana.
He was pouring so much mana into the sword that the steady blue light from the sword was bright enough to see people’s faces.
You are pouring in mana too inefficiently.
If it was the darkness that was the problem, then he should have engulfed the sword with the thinnest layer of mana he could create and spread the rest of the mana to the surrounding or focused it on his eyes. Doing either of those would have been more efficient.
Now, there are just the knight, holy knight and the mercenary; so three small hurdles.
“Uuuuuaaaa! For the Emperor!”
I knew you would say that.
I brought out the Transmutable Thousand Arms from the inventory, formed a long sword and parried the bluish sword.
The loud sound echoed throughout the dungeon.
The collision of mana pushed the knight far back.
Oh. His attack was more powerful than I thought.
It looks like he is the strongest among the group.
The knight shouted again and charged in.
With flashy sword swings, he threw fierce and sharp attacks at me.
His moves were… quite cool.
Honestly, this is the first time I’ve seen proper swordsmanship.
Until now, I had only been watching monsters swinging stone axes day after day. Now, I was witnessing flashy yet disciplined moves by a knight. It was intriguing.
His swordsmanship was different from how Idy’s spear techniques aimed for the gap in the opponent with precise moves. As I said earlier, the knight’s moves were flashy.
Not only were his individual moves extremely clean, the stances between the moves were also graceful and majestic.
On top of this, he had blue light surrounding his sword, and the light was illuminating the entire room. He really looked like a hero from a fiction story.
His swordsmanship was super cool. However, I noticed that he did have a few moves here and there that were added for the sole purpose of looking cool.
For instance, after attacking once, he always took a step back to calm his breathing.
After that, before he started the next attack, he always took a ceremonial stance.
It looks majestic. However, his moves are appropriate only in a duel with a rule that promises a break after each attack to catch breath.
In normal circumstances, like this…
It is only natural that the weakness in his ways would be exploited by experienced warriors.
I kicked the knight away from my foot. He rolled to the back from the impact. The knight huffed and puffed and got up right away.
The knight took a stance and intensified his concentration.
Oh, what’s this? A super move?
The blue light in his sword became even brighter.
You are in middle of a battle. Using such a time-consuming technique is not wise.
Who is going to wait for you to finish that?
It seemed that this knight was lacking in real combat experience.
Is he a Young Master from a high nobility?
Still, to show my gratitude for his demonstration of amazing swordsmanship, I decided to wait for him to prepare his super move.
I was curious about its power as well.
I also brought out the Transmutable Thousand Arms and formed a long sword.
The knight peeked a smile and said,
“Try withstanding my attack! It is an ability of my total strength and the ability of Alamas, the treasured sword bestowed by the Emperor! Nobody has ever survived this attack!”
By the way, after you recite a line like that to the opponents, won’t they try to dodge it instead of taking it head-on?
I wonder how many of his foes actually sat tight and waited for the attack to be ready and graciously received it?
Watching the knight rambling on about the power of the attack, I questioned the effectiveness of this strategy.
Regardless, it seemed the knight was quite confident about this attack.
Even I could feel considerable power concentrated in his sword.
I could feel waves of mana emanating from the sword itself. It seemed the sword really did have a special ability.
I gathered more mana onto my body and prepared to step up my strength.
Ever since I had been handling mana through the mana circuit at the Sixth Floor, I occasionally layered weapons with mana and fought with them.
Doing so strengthened the weapon to a whole another level.
This was different from the aura sword or aura blade; it’s not the same old crap that gets tossed around too often in fantasy novels.
By layering a weapon with mana, its destructive power is exponentially increased, and the weapon got to have a sharper edge. On top of this, the weapon doesn’t break as fast.
Also, ever since I obtained the energy sensory and heightened my mana operation ability at the 13th Floor, the power of my layering technique increased substantially.
After a moment, the knight shouted in loud voice. It seemed he was ready.
“Here I come!”
After that, the knight quickly charged toward me.
It would have been all right if you charged at me without telling me.
In response, I also swung the mana-layered long sword to parry the knight’s sword.
It didn’t sound like a clash between swords. It sounded more like a firework explosion. As soon as the swords clashed, the knight was pushed backwards again.
Oh, as I thought, this knight is pretty strong.
I swung my sword with intention of making him fall immediately. Instead, the knight withstood the impact and only got pushed back.
He did falter a little, but he didn’t fall.
He is incredible.
One disappointing thing about this exchange was that the knight’s attack was his super move and mine was a regular move.
The knight was having hard time standing. He was also having difficulty catching his breath as I slowly walked toward the knight.
His legs were buckling.
Just like the adventurer, I finished him with the fist.
The knight let go of the sword and raised his two arms to defend himself, but he was thrown to the back from the impact and collided with the wall.
Now, there’s just the holy knight and the mercenary?
“Uuhahaha! This is the end, you demon bastard!”
It was an annoyingly screeching voice. It was torturing my eardrums.
I looked at the mercenary, and noticed that the mage was doing something.
There were strange symbols drawn on the floor.
A semi-transparent layer was cast to block the path between me and the symbols, which were at the center of the circular barrier.
Is it a mana shield?
Inside the layer, there were the holy knight, mercenary and the mage.
Looking at them together, I figured out what happened.
The holy knight healed the mage. While the knight was buying them time, the mage established the barrier.
Earlier, that holy knight almost died as a collateral from the mage’s spell. I am surprised that he promptly decided to heal the mage.
“Is that really worth celebrating?”
I can just shatter the barrier.
Actually, even if the barrier is sturdy, it can only guarantee their safety for a brief moment. They won’t be able to turn the tables against me.
“Of course…! Cuulok… Cuulok!”
The knight who was stuck at a corner was going to say something, but he coughed violently.
Does he actually want to explain the situation, even in his current state?
“T… that mage is the master of the Maruathen Magic Tower! Also, the Maruathen Magic Tower is famous for surekill AoE magic. It could be said that their abilities are best suited for a large-scale war than a small skirmish. Long casting time is a drawback, but it is a different story if he can patiently prepare the magic inside the barrier. From what I can hear, he is preparing his most powerful magic! It will take an hour to cast, but its power is incredible! You may be a high demon, but you won’t be able to survive its destructive power.”
That rascal sure loves to explain stuff.
Anyway, it takes an hour to cast the magic?
Honestly, I was underestimating the spell that the mage was preparing.
I didn’t detect much mana from him, so I was intending on blocking it with the Talaria's Wings. However, it is a magic spell that takes one hour to prepare.
I had never experienced this kind of magic, so it was hard to estimate its power.
It looks like the other factor is the power of that barrier.
The battle will depend on my ability to break through the barrier within the hour.
Fortunately, there’s plenty of time.
“Hey, you dumbass! Please shut that mouth of yours! Why are you handing him information on a silver platter!”
The mercenary yelled at the knight.
You are so right.
“By the way, if a magic of such power is used, won’t you be killed as well? You are outside of the barrier.”
“… Probably. However, I am not afraid! I have taken an oath that day to become a sword who protects the Emperor and the people of the kingdom! I…”
The knight started to go on and on, blathering about himself. I ignored him and observed the barrier instead.
It sure is tough, but it does not look like it will be able to withstand many of my attacks.
Of course, I won’t be certain unless I tried striking it first.
“… So! I am not afraid! Of course, I am still a human being, so I cannot be completely indifferent about death. However, with Roben, a childhood friend of mine…”
This guy has a really thorough and solid concept for his character.
The knight was rambling on about the promise and the dream he shared with his childhood friend who he had not seen in a very long time. I interrupted him and questioned him,
“By any chance, does this barrier have a weakness?”
“Of course there is! The special characteristic of the barrier magic circle by the Maruathen Magic Tower is…”
“Hey! You numbskull bastard! Are you really not going to shut your pie hole! Are you trying to get all of us killed!?”
From beyond the barrier, the mercenary shouted with anxious and red-faced.
That’s too bad.
With just a little bit more time, the knight with a compulsive explanatory disorder would have slipped and told me about the barrier’s weakness.
Although the knight was not acting like one, he and I were on the same boat.
We could both survive only if that barrier was shattered.
He said he was not afraid to die. However, he appeared to be a Young Master from a high nobility. He probably would not want a pathetic death under a ruin like this.
“Sir Aruhan, I’ll definitely tell the Empire of your great sacrifice, so please, wait quietly.”
Even the holy knight, who had been quiet all this time, stepped in and stopped the knight.
“Thank you! In that case, I will be able to close my eyes without any regrets!”
Are you being serious? Aren’t you overflowing with regrets and desire to live?
“Now, I’ll quietly face my final moment. Hey, you demon! Your final moment is also nigh, so I guess my journey to hell won’t be lonely. That magic by the Master of Maruathen Magic Tower is a high difficulty spell that requires extreme focus for one hour, but its power is…”
It requires extreme focus for one hour?
I am quite proud of my ability to maintain focus, so I know how difficult that is.
Focus can be broken easily by trivial annoyance.
The mage inside the barrier collapsed after coughing blood.
“Hey! You son of a bitch!!”
The mercenary’s infuriated voice echoed through the dungeon.