Well, let’s get going.
The paths we couldn’t pass through in every second room were probably, actually definitely, interconnected.
I wonder how this whole place would look if you mapped it.
Walking down a dark path, we ran into a group of three mushrooms.
But one of them looked a little strange.
Rush Fungus Lv.2
Monster Enemy Target Active
The two other Fungi were at level 3 and level 4. It was going to be a tough fight.
We had never encountered a mushroom above level 3 before.
And now we had to deal with this new monster too.
It might not really make a difference, but the Rush Fungus was the obscenest out of all the mushrooms so far.
The sex shop called, they want their merchandise back.
Leaving that aside, I still had to be careful. I didn’t know what tricks the Rush Fungus had up its sleeve.
I decided to take out the normal mushrooms first. They were pretty simple and only had one method of attack: A head-butt.
I increased my DEF using【Physical Enchant: Earth】and went in to fight them up close and personal.
I left the first mushroom to Mii-chan and took on the second mushroom on my own.
For the time being, I had to focus on rolling it.
Volff and Jean pounced on it the moment it lost its balance and hit the ground.
Now, the guy I was really looking forward to.
The cap of the Rush Fungus was closed, and the tip was somewhat sharp.
Not something you would want to get hit by.
When it ran at me, I slipped to its side and delivered a firm kick.
When it stopped for a while to turn around, I followed up with an elbow strike to the head.
Its cap was pretty hard.
This is bad.
Its cap had a really dangerous feel to it.
I selected and got ready to use a magic spell.
At the same time, the monster started moving.
It was moving in the same way all the other mushrooms did so far, but it was going at a different speed.
It was actually going slower. I effortlessly dodged it.
After it passed me, the mushroom kept going until it hit the green-and-brown-coloured wall. The mushroom seemed to fuse with the foliage, until it completely disappeared.
Was that it?
It wasn’t it.
I could hear strange noises from the other side of the wall.
The monster shot out of the wall at me with amazing speed.
I dodged it by a hair.
I thought it was going to hit the opposite wall, but it stopped just in time.
「Physical Enchant: Fire!」
I raised my STR stat and paid attention to the monster’s movements.
In a sideways glance, I saw that Volff and Mii-chan were taking care of the other two mushrooms.
They were having some trouble, but the mushrooms’ HP bars were slowly going down.
Hang in there.
Looked like the monster in front of me had its target set on me again.
It started charging at me.
I stood ready and watched it close the distance between us.
I was going to use its own speed against it.
Well, at least that was my intention.
Right before it passed me, I ducked right in front of its path.
I felt a strong impact.
Keeping my feet on the ground, I lifted it up on my shoulders.
They key here was to not use my own strength to lift it up, but to simply change its direction of motion upwards.
The monster drew an arc in the air as it flew up with the same speed it was charging at me with.
Even after it crashed onto the ground, its momentum kept it rolling.
I saw its HP bar go down by quite a bit.
Naturally, I ran after it to follow up with more attacks.
I knocked it down as it was trying to get back up again, and pounded it on the inside of its cap.
It didn’t feel any different from the other mushrooms.
It was just its cap that was especially tough.
I opened my fist, and took on a “spear hand” shape with both hands. It let me deliver more force into the area under its cap.
It felt a lot better.
I pinned it down with my legs, while consecutively delivering spear hand strikes with both hands.
When the tips of my fingers started to hurt, I put my hands on opposite edges of its cap.
I shifted my legs so I was kneeling on its torso, before putting all my strength into pulling off its cap.
A strange sound invaded my ears, but I tried my best to ignore it.
I saw a crack form at where the cap was attached to the body.
I put more force into my arms. The crack grew larger.
At last, I managed to separate the cap from the body.
I looked like a criminal.
I looked like the bad guy from a horror movie.
The monster’s HP bar was at a little over half.
With its cap gone, it didn’t look so obscene anymore.
But I still felt like killing it.
I put my left hand on the left side of its head, on top of the bit where its cap used to be.
I put my right hand on the right side of its head. I dug my fingers into the mushroom for more grip.
A large rupture ran down the middle of its head.
I may have pulled a little too hard. I meant to only split its head.
I looked at the crack, which ran all the way down to half its torso.
Looking at its HP bar, I realised it was still at around 25%.
When I knelt down to look at it, its arms suddenly started moving. It delivered several punches to my chest with fresh vigour. I saw my HP bar go down.
It’s OK if I don’t show any mercy, right?
I stuck my right foot into the crack to push it away, and used both my hands to widen the crack.
The crack travelled further down its body, until the mushroom was completely split in two.
Its HP bar finally dropped to zero.
The whole room went back to silence.
There were two other mushrooms.
I moved to the others to join the fight, but it looked like I wasn’t needed. One mushroom was laying on the ground, defeated, and the other was being attacked by both Volff and Mii-chan.
The Summon Monsters were doing more work than me.
「It was a new kind of mushroom, huh?」
「Yeah, I guess so」
「Keith! I got this new item! Look!」
Adele showed me the item she took from the Rush Fungus.
【Material】Rock Mushroom Raw Material Grade C Rarity 3 Weight 0+
Rock tripe lichen. Commonly found at high altitudes, they’re a type of fungi that take a very long time to mature.
「I found a new one too」
【Material】Wood Ear Raw Material Grade C Rarity 3 Weight 0+
Wood ear mushrooms. They have very flexible bodies and may therefore be tough to chew for some.
I couldn’t complain. The developers were being really thorough, if not niche.
We’ll have a mushroom festival when we get back.
We kept walking down the path.
I used【Flashlight】to light most of the way but after a while, we could see a light at the end of the corridor.
Looked like we were about to arrive.
We stepped out into another hall.
But this one had eight exits, including the one we just came out of.
There were four spirits, floating in the centre of the hall.
《These art the Lost Woods》
《If thy wish is to escape, thou must leave this room for last》
The four spirits scattered in opposite directions.
They went above four of the eight exits, lighting up their surroundings.
「Looks like this is the last room」
「But nothing’s happening…」
「Must mean we missed a room somewhere」
「I guess so…」
I thought we had already passed through all the rooms.
We should’ve already cleared all the requirements…
And I didn’t want to go through all the trouble of visiting all the rooms again.
We decided to just go home for now and check again tomorrow. Maybe we just had to give the game some time to register that we had already visited all the rooms.
We would have more time to prepare that way anyway. Retreat for now.
「I think I kind of get what’s going on. Are you guys going to be alright tomorrow, time-wise?」
「I’ll be alright」
「Well, tomorrow it is. After we log in tomorrow, let’s eat breakfast together, we’ll finish whatever this place has got for us after that」
We left the central hall from the path to the right.
The blue spirit was shaking above the exit.
The very first hall, and the corridor that led us into this maze should be in that direction.
Even though we were heading back, we weren’t completely out of the woods yet.
I was reminded of that again.
We were stopped by another group of mushrooms.
Another Rush Fungus, along with two normal mushrooms.
While I had a consistent strategy, the fact that they were tough enemies didn’t change.
This Rush Fungus was stronger than the one earlier.
Its description said it was Lvl.4, but it really felt much stronger than that.
How did I defeat it?
Same as earlier.
Tearing off its cap wasn’t just like tearing off a wig.
The cap was really tough, and the mushroom was resisting me all the while.
Getting it on the ground in the first place was pretty difficult too. It only grazed me once, but even then, I saw my HP bar drop by quite a bit.
But by ripping off its cap and then tearing it in two, I could defeat them relatively quickly. I didn’t have to rely on critical hits either.
It was a lot more effective.
But that didn’t mean that the fights became completely painless.
I would still love some help.
After defeating all of them, a long-awaited info screen popped up, along with a pleasant ringing noise.
《【Summon Magic】Level Up!》
《You may now summon a maximum of 3 monsters at once.》
《Job Level Up!》
《You may learn the following Support Skill(s):【Shout】》
And right as we were about to go home too, the timing was perfect.
I was really happy, but I’d be even happier if these level-ups were more frequent.
I already knew what my next Summon Monster would be.
I decided to summon it right away.
I was in a position where I desperately needed it anyway, especially for tomorrow.
I got Adele and Irina to wait for a while, while I did the preparations to summon my next Summon Monster.
In the magic circle on the ground, a new Summon Monster appeared.
A Wood Golem.
I needed a tank, so a golem was the obvious choice.
Although it was made out of wood, you could tell how tough it was just from looking at it.
It looked pretty heavy too.
I had already decided on its name a long time ago, so I quickly named it and looked at its stats.
Jericho Wood Golem Lv.1
Punch Kick Magic Resistance [Slight] Self-Repair [Slight] Block
What a refreshing skillset!
It was a picture-perfect example of a tank.
「Hey Keith, could it be…」
「I leveled up. I hope whatever happens tomorrow gets easier because of this」
「A Wood Golem, right?」
The Wood Golem had, compared to the Branch Golems, more of a human-like appearance.
But it still looked scary nonetheless.
I gave it a firm prod. I had no complaints about its toughness either.
Looking at its skills, I noticed that it had a skill that increased its resistance to magic.
Apparently, it was a skill that let it regenerate HP when it wasn’t fighting.
It was pretty much a moving wall.
Looked like all stats other than STR and VIT got sacrificed. The stats were really imbalanced, but I wasn’t complaining.
We were walking down the path, when we were suddenly ambushed by a group of monsters.
As expected, the wood golem Jericho was pretty slow, but that weakness didn’t matter too much in the cramped corridor.
Jericho finally got into fighting position.
Jericho’s first opponent would be a Branch Golem.
At first, I thought Jericho would have some issues since he was facing a group of five of them, but…
It was effortless.
With three punch attacks, Jericho sent a Branch Golem flying.
He grabbed one Branch Golem using each hand, and smashed them against each other.
The strength was incredible.
Surrounded by Branch Golems lying on the floor, Jericho calmed down.
Of course, having taken on five Branch Golems on his own, Jericho’s HP bar had gone down a bit.
But it decreased by a lot less than the amount mine would have, had I fought the battle myself.
Its defence was incredible too.
The only thing I could complain about was its speed, but looking at it from another perspective, it gave Jericho a kind of “gentle giant” aura.
I won’t complain.
I took care of one Branch Golem, and the last one was being ganged up on by Volff and Mii-chan.
Or should I say, “fanged up on”.
I’ll see myself out now. I’m sure they could take care of it anyway.
As before, I used mainly throws to defeat the Branch Golem.
The ground was a deadly weapon.
When I slammed it against the ground for the third time, a loud, dry sound resounded around me.
Its HP bar went down by a lot more that time.
A critical hit?
I didn’t have any time to think about it.
Grabbing it as soon as it got up again, I followed up with another throw. It didn’t get back up.
We kept going.
When we passed the Branch Golem that Jericho sent flying earlier, Jericho grabbed it and threw it behind us.
I selected my next spell and got ready to use it.
Jericho’s HP bar was at about 70%.
I tried the light elemental recovery magic spell on Jericho.
It didn’t heal him fully, but it raised his HP bar to around 90%.
It would do fine.
Just looking at a tank regenerate HP would probably be enough to destroy anyone’s morale.
Although we weren’t the enemy here.
From our side, it was a very nice sight.
The Branch Golem that Jericho threw was almost down anyway, but Volff and Mii-chan finished it off.
I could really leave everything to my Summon Monsters.
Jericho let go of the two Branch Golems he was holding in his hands. As one of them was trying to get back up, I grabbed it and did a back throw.
I didn’t let go of its arm after the back throw. That way I could repeat the whole process again.
Jericho was pinning down the other Branch Golem, so I could have as much fun as I wanted to.
After a few more throws, the Branch Golem collapsed.
The last Branch Golem was beaten to a pulp by Jericho.
Looked like it hurt.
The Branch Golems were made out of pretty tough wood, but once Jericho was done with it, it didn’t look so tough anymore.
Its joints were bent at weird angles, and some parts were reduced to a sort of powder.
As expected from a Summon Monster with a STR stat of over 30.
It was only when I was collecting the item drops that I realised that that was the first fight where we won without using【Fire Magic】.
I meant that in all the good ways. 【Pyrokinesis】had its own pretty demanding MP cost.
And with Jericho, I had a way of dealing with them using physical attacks too.
The only unfortunate part was that since it was so slow, it didn’t have very many opportunities to attack in the first place.
「I think that’s all of the item drops」
「The logs are really piling up now」
「I’m running out of space」
「I’ll take some off your hands」
Well, that was one way to go about it.
Since all the logs were Weight 2, they could fill up an《Item Box》pretty quickly.
All of our inventories were about to overflow.
Luckily, our next opponents were a group of six mushrooms.
Two of them were Rush Fungi.
They looked as obscene as ever.
At least I didn’t have to worry about long battles anymore.
I took on one Rush Fungus, and left the other to Jericho.
I had a solid method for defeating them, but the fights were still pretty difficult nonetheless.
I was a bit worried for Jericho at first, but I figured he’d be alright.
I focused on the monsters in front of me.
When the mushroom was about to hit me, I picked it up on my shoulders, before dropping them head first onto the ground.
A piledriver move from shoulder height.
If I were dealing with a human here I bet it would result in instant death.
But unfortunately, I was dealing with a monster, a monster that had what was essentially a hard helmet stuck to its head at all times.
As expected, the attack didn’t take that much out of its HP bar, but after a few seconds I realised something very unexpected had just happened.
The monster’s head was stuck in the ground.
The situation was pretty serious, but I instinctively burst out laughing.
I left it alone.
Even after we managed to slaughter all the other mushrooms, the Rush Fungus remained stuck in that upside-down position.
I tried to keep from laughing.
It was impossible.
Looked like I made myself vulnerable when I started laughing.
Another mushroom was charging at me from my side, but when I noticed it, it suddenly tripped and fell over.
The snake Toggle had wrapped its tail around the mushroom’s feet.
We easily defeated the last Rush Fungi.
We went to collect the item drops.
【Material】Brown Shimeji Raw Material Grade C Rarity 3 Weight 0+
Brown shimeji mushrooms. Very well known for their excellent flavour.
【Material】Porcini Raw Material Grade C Rarity 3 Weight 0+
Porcini mushrooms. They have a very distinctive flavour, and a pleasant aroma.
I wasn’t even surprised anymore.
There were definitely Matsutake mushrooms out there.
「I leveled up」
「Yeah! We can summon another Summon Monster now!」
The two of them looked genuinely happy
Looked like they both leveled up their【Summon Magic】to level 3 at the same time.
「How’s your MP bar doing?」
「It’s doing alright」
「Not so good! But I’m still summoning another one anyway!」
Well, when I thought about it, having another Summon Monster on the team was definitely worth the MP.
The more the merrier, after all.
「Have you guys decided on your next Summon Monster?」
「Well what are you waiting for? Go and summon them」
Our little group increased by two members.
Wolf / U-chan Lv.1
Summon Monster On Standby
Tiger / Calico
Summon Monster On Standby
Ah… This is bad.
The power of the fluffy empire was growing.
I watched the pair of wolves and tigers in front of me.
Well, that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Race Human Male Racial Lv6
Job Summoner Lv5（↑1）
Bonus Points Remaining: 22
Staff Lv4 Punch Lv3 Kick Lv3 Joint Lock Lv3 Throw Lv3 Evade Lv3 Block Lv2 Summon Magic Lv6（↑1）
Light Magic Lv3 Wind Magic Lv3 Earth Magic Lv3 Water Magic Lv3 Fire Magic Lv2 Dark Magic Lv1
Alchemy Lv3 Pharmacy Lv3 Glassmaking Lv3
Cooperation Lv5 Appraise Lv5 Identify Lv5 Cold Resistance Lv2 Grab Lv4 Horsemanship Lv4 Precise Manipulation Lv3 Jump Lv1 Heat Resistance Lv3
Kaya Wood Rod Wild Rabbit Breastplate+ Series Snow Ape Armguard Wild Horse Boots+ Snow Ape Leather Helmet Rucksack Item Box x2
Old Summoner’s Temporary Pupil
Man of the Middle Path
Volff Wolf Lv4
Zangetsu Horse Lv3（Asleep）
Helix Hawk Lv3（Asleep）
Obsidian Owl Lv3（Asleep）
Jean Bat Lv2
Jericho Wood Golem Lv1（New!）
Punch Kick Magic Resistance [Slight] Self-Repair [Slight] Block
Adele, Mii-chan and U-chan
Irina, Toggle and Calico