Let’s leave the Magic Mushrooms for later.
I wanted to heal my Summon Monsters first.
Jean got out with almost no damage at all.
But everyone else wasn’t looking so good.
I used a potion on Volff and myself, and I used【Earth Heal】on Jericho.
Jericho’s HP bar went up to a little under 90%.
I used strengthening magic, and even healed him halfway through, but it still managed to bring Jericho down to that state.
I checked Jericho’s stats.
Jericho Wood Golem Lv2
Punch Kick Magic Resistance [Slight] Self-Repair [Slight] Block
Thanks to all the physical enchant spells I casted on Jericho, his stats were looking very good.
I was really grateful for the extra strength, it was like he had six temporary level-ups.
Strengthening magic was pretty nice.
I looked around the central hall. The place was calm, like nothing had happened.
I remembered the three paths we couldn’t pass through. Could we finally enter them now?
「I managed to defeat the event monster」
「Nice, should we move on?」
「I guess so… It’s still a little early, but I’d love to have lunch in one of the safe rooms before we move on」
I wanted some time to calm down after all that’s happened.
I wanted to think about what to do with all the items we’ve picked up so far too.
From the central hall we headed to the north-eastern path.
Most of all, I just wanted some rest.
The three Branch Golems we encountered on the way were beaten to a pulp by the buffed Jericho.
Let me rephrase what I said earlier.
Strengthening magic was amazing.
The next group of five mushrooms weren’t an issue either.
I didn’t have to lift a finger.
As soon as we arrived in the room, Adele and Irina sat down and took a breather.
My body, no, my soul, felt the same way.
I pulled out my potion-creation/cooking pot and used【Liquid: Water】to fill it with water.
Although I left the actual cooking to Adele and Irina.
「Hey Adele, Irina, could I talk to you guys about something? It’s alright if you do it while you’re cooking」
「What is it?」
「It’s about the event boss. Its name was Plant Golem. It was a very powerful enemy」
I kept going, recounting the details of our fight.
At the end of my little story, I showed them the item I got from the boss.
「Magic Mushroom, huh. I wonder what you use this for」
「Maybe as a sort of poison?」
「Maybe I should just leave it to Fiona and the others. I do feel like this is more production job territory」
While I was waiting for Adele and Irina to finish, I wrote down my discoveries in the forums, trying my best to keep things spoiler-free.
Now all that was left was to relax and eat lunch.
I looked at my new title again.
『Guardian of the Forest』
Looking closer, I realised my『Livestock Protector』title was missing.
Was my new title some sort of upgrade?
The meal consisted of sandwiches, along with a hearty shiitake mushroom soup.
I felt like more solid, portable food would suit this kind of adventure better, but I was glad we could sit down and have a proper meal.
Even after finishing my meal and cleaning up, I still didn’t feel like moving.
Jericho maintained his standby position without moving a muscle.
Jericho had the skill【Self-Repair [Slight]】, so I think he was staying still to regenerate HP.
I laid down on the grass, watching his HP bar slowly crawl back up.
It was definitely moving, but only at about half the rate of humans and other organic Summon Monsters.
But it was good enough.
Keeping in mind its defence and total HP, I shouldn’t underestimate it.
Adele took a long break, surrounded in a fluffy paradise.
I stood there for a while, watching her enjoy herself.
Even with her eyes closed, she had a look of ecstasy on her face.
She was completely still except for her arms, which moved here and there, taking turns petting everyone.
She looked like she was having the time of her life.
After a while, her arm movements started slowing down, and her face relaxed.
Ah, this is bad.
「Irina, could you help me out?」
「I think we should get going」
「Ah! Alright, I get Adele now」
I left waking up Adele to Irina and checked on my remaining potions.
There were still about half of them left. We should be alright for a while.
From the room we were in, we headed towards the western exit.
My MP bar wasn’t doing so good.
I switched from using the dark magic spell【Night Vision】to the light magic spell【Flashlight】.
It was an improvement, but I would kill for some MP potions.
We arrived in the next room.
We called it, “the black hall”, after the colour of the spirit guarding the corridor-like exit to the north.
I didn’t learn from my mistake. As soon as I tried to walk through, the『Union』connection was automatically broken.
I was the only one who passed through.
Just like when we first got into this maze.
I was a little annoyed, but there was nothing I could do about it. I recalled Jean.
A party could only have a maximum of six members after all, I had to do it.
I first formed a party with Irina and walked through.
I disbanded our party and went back to form a party with Adele.
While Adele and Irina reformed their party, I resummoned Jean.
What a waste of MP.
「Well, should we get going?」
A familiar green corridor stretched out before us. It didn’t look too out of the ordinary, but…
I wonder if something was waiting for us.
I felt a bit uneasy, but we kept going anyway.
After a while, we reached a dead end. Our way was blocked by a solid, earthen wall. The sun shone through a gap in the ceiling
No, it looked more like the corridor led right to the side of a mountain
Thick ivy the likes of which I had never seen before was crawling along the walls of the corridor, seemingly coming from the wall blocking our path and from above the corridor.
I looked up at the sizeable gap in the ceiling. If we could climb the ivy, we could possibly escape the corridor, but there was one big problem with that.
There’s no way Jericho could climb that.
At least I wouldn’t have to worry about Jean.
I stood on tiptoes and tried to see what was outside the gap. I saw the ivy go up quite a long way.
It looked thick and sturdy, strong enough to support wolves, tigers, and a snake.
Now for the important part, the people.
It looked like it would be just like climbing a tree.
In some of the thick parts, it seemed sturdy enough for you to just walk on the ivy.
Tree climbing, huh.
Honestly speaking, I wasn’t really a fan of the idea.
I couldn’t bring Jericho with me either.
I had to keep in mind the possibility of getting attacked while climbing too.
「Keith, Toggle is sensing something」
「Looks like it’s monsters」
Volff also felt the presence, he lowered his body and took on a ready stance.
Something was definitely there.
Maybe hiding between the thick ivies?
After waiting for a while, something jumped out at us.
Ivy Frog Lv.3
Monster Enemy Target Active
I used【Identify】on it. Looked like Toggle and Volff were right.
A frog, huh.
I got ready to swing at it, but it quickly turned passive and ran away.
Well, looking at our numbers, anyone would get scared.
I honestly wanted to try fighting it, just once.
But I didn’t have the spare MP for that.
With a deep sigh, I ignored it.
「Let’s leave this place for later, it’s too much of a hassle to keep going」
「I suppose we could explore the other paths too」
「I’m not that good at tree climbing」
Looked like the geography ahead was going to make it difficult for us to fight.
It looked like a really tough environment, the forest near Master’s house was nothing compared to this.
I bet it would take quite a while before we could tackle what was waiting for us up there.
We reached the gate back to the forest maze. I was having worries as to if we could all pass through, but it looked like those worries were unnecessary.
Good game design on the developer’s part for once.
If they couldn’t pass through without me, they’d really have no way of getting back if I decided to just leave them here. Well, except death I suppose.
We left the black hall and headed towards the white hall.
While defeating any mushrooms and Branch Golems in our way, we kept moving.
On the way, I realised something important.
I would have to repeat the whole party change process again.
It was annoying, but I had to do it.
I recalled Volff, and formed a party with Adele, then Irina, and passed through.
The green corridor quickly ended, leading us to a field under a bright blue sky. In front of us was a road, winding downhill in a zig-zag, no, a hairpin turn pattern.
The road had a somewhat mysterious atmosphere. It had signs of aging, but it was still well-maintained.
It was wide enough for Jericho to walk on without any problems.
We kept walking down the path. When we first started, it was still bright out, but the sky soon turned a shade of orange.
After a long walk, the path ended next to a cave.
The inside of the cave was pitch black.
I used【Flashlight】and walked inside. As the light illuminated the walls, I noticed the walls were intricately decorated. Definitely the work of human hands.
Looking down, I saw it was the same for the floor.
The designs felt ancient, and the air smelled damp.
No, it wasn’t just the smell, the whole place had a really unpleasant feel to it.
Looked like the wolf U-chan could feel it too.
The tigers Mii-chan and Calico were walking carefully, with their eyes perking straight up.
Even the snake Toggle coiled up, ready to pounce at anything that moved.
The bat on my shoulder, Jean, was showing me signs of danger.
Something was coming.
An unpleasant sound invaded my ears.
A rattling sound reverberated around us in an eerie rhythm.
The source of the sound appeared.
Monster Enemy Target Active
It was a skeleton. In its hand was a roughly made sword.
Looking closer, there was another skeleton behind it.
I directed the light in their direction, and within the spotlight alone I could see six of them.
They had all kinds of things in their hands, anything that could qualify as a weapon was game.
Swords, shields, maces, bows and arrows, spears, hatchets, you name it.
I pulled out my Kaya Wood Rod for the first time in a long time and dove into the group.
The cave was getting a little cramped.
The skeletons with the bows and arrows were at the very back too, making things more difficult for me. I wanted to take those out first.
I managed to slip past a skeleton with a sword, and another one with a hatchet, but I ran straight into a skeleton with a spear.
I dodged the spearhead by a hair and stabbed it in its eye socket.
The skull was surprisingly light.
The skull separated from the rest of the skeleton’s body and went flying.
Could it be I was actually dealing with a really weak monster here?
I ignored a mace skeleton and ran straight at the bow skeletons at the back.
It quickly took aim at me.
I swept its bow away using my rod and delivered a high kick to its jaw.
The skull flew away at lightning speed.
The rest of the skeleton crumbled on the spot. I turned around and looked at the rest of the skeletons.
That’s when I realised the skeleton I attacked earlier still had an HP bar of around 60%.
The two headless skeletons I attacked earlier were still moving.
But it didn’t look like they were trying to attack me.
They scrambled around, almost like they were looking for something.
Looks like the first skeleton found what it was looking for.
Its very own head.
It casually put it back to where it belonged.
What a nice skill, for some common small fry.
Looked like knocking their heads off wasn’t going to be enough.
I tried another strategy.
If I broke their bones they shouldn’t be able to move anymore.
Crush them, was the name of the game.
The skull the bow skeleton was looking for was still on the ground.
I stomped on it with all my might.
A crack appeared, but it didn’t break.
I looked at the skeleton’s HP bar.
It went down by quite a bit.
I stepped on its head again, crushing it this time.
When I broke the skull, a spirit-like fireball popped out.
It was shining a bright blue.
I tried to hit it with my rod, but it simply turned into a blue mist.
I looked at the skeleton’s HP bar again.
It was still at around half.
Looking closely at the skeleton, I noticed there was a similar blue light coming out of its chest.
Could it be…?
The headless skeleton pulled out its bow and took aim at me.
I had no idea what was going on anymore.
I wasn’t that far away from the skeleton, but it missed by a mile.
Was it because of the bow?
It did look very rusty.
I rushed at the skeleton again.
Letting go of the rod, I grabbed a rib bone with my right hand.
I held it straight and rammed my left elbow into its chest.
A solid feeling spread through my left arm. The satisfying sound of breaking bones reached my ears.
I reached around it with my left arm and took hold of another rib bone.
While using my right arm to keep it in place, I started pulling off the rib bones one by one.
I used a sweeping kick to knock it to the ground, where I could use both my hands to peel away the rib bones protecting its chest.
A blue spirit came into sight.
I kicked it and it scattered into a blue mist, before completely disappearing.
The monster’s HP bar finally fell to zero.
『There are spirits inside their skulls and inside their chests, expose and attack those!』
I used the whisper function to talk to Adele and Irina.
The other skeletons continued to shamble towards me like nothing happened.
Their numbers were overwhelming, and I had to crush each and every one of them.
The individual fights were pretty easy, and even when I got surrounded, I could easily clear them with a single sweeping kick.
Jericho had no issues trampling them, so having him here made things a lot easier.
I paused for a moment, looking at U-chan try to crush a skull.
He looked like a dog sucking on a bone.
The two tigers Mii-chan and Calico didn’t just crush the skeletons’ chests, they opted to just destroy the whole body instead.
I got the same vibe from Jericho.
He nonchalantly walked around the cave, stepping on every bone he could see.
I didn’t know which one was scarier.
The last skeleton was taken care of by Toggle. It managed to attack the skeleton’s soul without breaking open its skull, just by sticking its tail through the skeleton’s eye socket.
The sight of Toggle worming through the skeleton sent shivers up my spine.
No, not just Toggle, the skeletons in general were pretty scary.
Combined with the rough way Summon Monsters went about doing things…
I felt another shiver.
I was just glad to have the Summon Monsters on my side.
「I didn’t get to participate」
We easily won.
But there were no item drops to collect.
Well, there was something I guess.
The skeletons’ remains.
And their weapons scattered around the cave floor.
But they weren’t anything worth taking.
The best one was Grade D+.
Most of them were rusty, sorry excuses for swords with a Grade E.
They weren’t things you would want to carry around. Even if they were free.
The fights were pretty easy.
Honestly speaking, a lot easier than the mushrooms and the Branch Golems we met in the forest maze.
The only difficult part about the fight was the geography.
The cave got a little too cramped for Jericho at times.
Oh well, I guess we were done.
「Should we keep going?」
「We’ve already seen all we need to see. Let’s go back」
「I don’t like this place…」
The skeletons were weak, and they didn’t give a lot of experience points when we defeated them.
There was only one route left to explore.
We decided to go back and try out the red hall.
Race Human Male Racial Lv6
Job Summoner Lv5
Bonus Points Remaining: 22
Staff Lv4 Punch Lv3 Kick Lv3 Joint Lock Lv3 Throw Lv3 Evade Lv3 Block Lv3 Summon Magic Lv6
Light Magic Lv3 Wind Magic Lv4 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 Lv4 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
Guardian of the Forest
Man of the Middle Path
Volff Wolf Lv5（Asleep）
Zangetsu Horse Lv3（Asleep）
Helix Hawk Lv3（Asleep）
Obsidian Owl Lv3（Asleep）
Jean Bat Lv3
Jericho Wood Golem Lv2
Adele, Mii-chan and U-chan
Irina, Calico and Toggle