Light overflows from the Spirit Stone.
The Chaotic Spirit Stone, that was as if stars were scattered inside of it, pulsed and life burned in it.
The radiance burns ever so brighter, and melts.
Lights of many colors overflow from the stone, and with a mysterious pulsation, the heat emanating from the stone increases as if it were alive.
“This is my second time using it, but…it is like I am giving life to a stone…” (Hikaru)
It truly is as if life is being poured into the stone, and the Spirit Energy that’s being sucked out from my body can’t even compare to what I use with a normal Spirit Ability.
The hot and overflowing light gathered, and swelled densely.
I let go of the stone.
The stone began to knit a green statue, and shaped into the single form of a monster.
The Mantis Zombie stood silently there.
The swaying of Spirit Energy rising up must be because of the ability.
When I undo Darkness Fog, the Mantis begins to walk slowly to the Lizardman.
The Lizardman soon takes a battle stance.
I don’t know what logic works behind it, but it seems like it understands that the Mantis Zombie is an enemy. Looks like I can’t use this as a way to fake that they are both comrades, and then ‘bam!’ get them by surprise.
The two monsters begin close range combat, and in that instant…
“[Shadow Bind]!” (Hikaru)
The Lizardman had its body restrained from the shadow tentacles, and with a combo attack from the Mantis’s sickles, it collapsed in a second, and changed into a Spirit Stone.
It was so anti-climatic that I ended up a bit surprised by the result, but the Mantis has higher individual battle power than Rifreya.
Turning it around, that would mean that if the team of me and the Mantis doesn’t bring a result like this, it would be impossible to come down to the 4th Floor with Rifreya. It is as simple as that.
The battle ended, but the Mantis Zombie was still there.
At the time with the Flame Orangutan, it disappeared really fast, but maybe because my Spirit Abilities themselves have gone up, or because the dungeon is a special environment, the Ability has been strengthened.
Whichever the case, they are reliable comrades.
I pick up my shortsword and the Spirit Stone of the Lizardman, and check my surroundings with Dark Sense.
“There’s a Giant Crab over there. Let’s go.” (Hikaru)
The Mantis is super silent, but it looks like my words are getting through, it is silently following.
And then, even though we haven’t practiced in battle at all, our coordination was perfect. We easily defeat a Giant Crab.
“Hmm, is it because I created this undead?” (Hikaru)
Most likely, even if I don’t say it out loud, my intentions are transmitted to it.
You could say that’s quite the big advantage in a battle where there’s changes at every second.
After that, we defeated a number of Lizardmen and Giant Crabs, but it seems like there’s only those guys and Slimes close to the stairs.
The remaining monsters that show up in this floor are: Sahagin, Mantis, Lamia, and Scylla. I wanted to fight a bit with the Sahagin, but they are half-fish, so they probably hide inside the water.
Also, I was scared to encounter a Scylla if I were to go too deep.
Scyllas are the strongest monsters in the 4th Floor.
I wouldn’t be able to win against it even if it were to be doing a handstand.
“Well…I am already pushing myself to the brim though.” (Hikaru)
Even when I mutter this, the Mantis Zombie doesn’t respond. A loyal warrior that exists only for my sake. The Dark Element is honestly pretty plain, but I once again confirmed that the 8th Ability really is a special one.
The Mantis Zombie disappeared on the 6th battle against a monster.
It has been around 1 hour I suppose. You could say that was quite the valuable support for 1 Chaotic Spirit Stone. It isn’t the 8th hidden ability for nothing.
By the way, I got one Chaotic Spirit Stone from the Lizardman I defeated together with the Mantis. When things get bad, I can call it.
An ability that can call a proper warrior (moreover, disposable!); the value of it is unmeasureable.
“It has begun getting cold… I kind of understand what Rifreya said. There’s the temperature as well, but it is mostly the water spraying from the waterfall, raining around and dampening my clothes.” (Hikaru)
Since coming to the 4th Floor, I have only been exploring the vicinity of the stairs, and yet, my clothes are completely wet, and combined with the low temperature of the surroundings, my body has gotten pretty cold.
I relied on the Mantis Zombie when it came to the battle itself, so there’s also the fact that I haven’t moved my body much.
I might catch a cold like this. Going down from a fever in the Viewer Count Race wouldn’t even serve as a good joke.
Well, I do have Disease Resistance, and I could buy some type of potion if something happens, but I should change clothes just in case.
I use Dark Sense to confirm if there’s any monsters around, and change into my spare clothes.
Rifreya said Fire or Water Spirit Abilities were necessary here. They can’t just go changing every instance they get wet, so they must be dealing with the water with Fire or Water Spirit Abilities.
I don’t know if there’s such abilities in the fire and water elements though.
When I checked in the Status Board, only 1 and a half hours had passed since I came to the 4th Floor.
I want to continue hunting for at least 4 hours more.
“I am fine with hunting alone, but I am thinking of using Create Undead once more in order to get accustomed to the 4th Floor.” (Hikaru)
I bring out the Chaotic Spirit Stone of the Lizardman.
“[Create: Undead]!” (Hikaru)
The sparkling chaotic light brings back the Lizardman.
A muscular warrior. It is mysterious how it is equipped with a sword and shield, but that must be how monsters work.
“Now then, there’s a time limit with undead, so I will keep going.” (Hikaru)
I don’t think I will be able to maintain the Lizardman Zombie for long.
It would be handy for short decisive battles, but using it while moving on fields would be wasteful. Chaotic Spirit Stones rarely show up, but judging from the probabilities, the chances of strong ‘mixed’ monsters like Lizardmen and Mantises dropping them are decently high.
I utilize Dark Sense as I go deeper and deeper.
“Lizardmen… 2…no, 3. That does look dangerous.” (Hikaru)
With 2, that doesn’t really mean it is 2 times stronger.
It normally gets several times more troublesome.
Make that 3 and the chances of losing shoot up.
Even Ogres and Trolls had at most 2, and yet, to think 3 would pop up with Lizardmen…
(…I will defeat 1 and the other one…the Undead Lizardman will defeat it. Can we defeat the last one with the momentum?) (Hikaru)
I formed that plan.
No, it isn’t such a cool thing like a ‘plan’. You could even say this is super rough on the edges and riddled with holes.
“[Darkness Fog]…!” (Hikaru)
There’s no choice of not fighting.
If I were alone, I would avoid it, but I have the Undead Lizardman with me. If I run here, there would be no point of using the Chaotic Spirit Stone.
I advance through the darkness together with the Lizardman.
It was the same with the Undead Mantis, but it looks like even the undead that I create can see inside the darkness. They are properly following me, so some sort of Spirit Energy path might be linking us.
A warrior that can see in the darkness is practically invincible, but there’s the chance that it is simply following me closeby. Having it fight inside the darkness would be a bit too risky. I should have tested it out on weak monsters.
“One of them is slightly separated from the others, so I will aim for that one.” (Hikaru)
It is only distanced from the others by around 10 meters, but that difference is big.
The sounds of the waterfall echoing in the cave were hiding the sounds of our footsteps and breathing. The 4th Floor is overall dark; there’s a mysterious light source close to the waterfall, so it is as bright as the 1st Floor, but if we go into the side tunnels, it is as dark as the 2nd Floor.
In other words, I can almost perfectly hide my figure with Darkness Fog.
A single mistake in judgment here won’t be forgiven.
My opponent is superior here. I have to bring out the most advantage of a preemptive strike here.
“[Summon: Night Bug].” (Hikaru)
I create bugs, and when the 3 Lizardmen were confused, I sink the 3 into the Darkness Fog. The Lizardmen are the type that can’t deal with darkness, so this will at least buy a few seconds.
“[Shadow Bind]!” (Hikaru)
At the same time as I bring out one from the darkness, Bind.
The undead doesn’t miss a single beat in cutting the Spirit Vein center.
Bind can’t be used in the time the effects of Bind still remain, but the story is different if the enemy dies -it can be used immediately after. Approaching the Lizardmen without Bind is -honestly speaking- too scary.
However, with this, it is now 2 vs 2.
The 2 Lizardmen were swinging their swords around at the Night Bugs, so it is dangerous to carelessly approach them.
I control the darkness even more, and bring one close by out of the darkness.
The battle against the undead began immediately.
They are both Lizardmen, but it can still instantly identify it as an ‘enemy’. Just what logic is at work here? Does it smell rotten or something?
“[Shadow Bind].” (Hikaru)
The instant it made the motion of attacking, the tentacles jumping out from the darkness bind the limbs of the Lizardman.
No matter how robust of a monster it is, as long as a weak point exists, show one single second of an opening and you will get hit by a deadly attack.
With the stab of the undead, the second one perished, and a Spirit Stone dropped.
“I will deal with the remaining one.” (Hikaru)
I have the undead stay in place, hide in the darkness, and observe the Lizardman.
It still can’t grasp the situation, and continues attacking the Night Bugs that are flying around.
The speed of its sword is sharp, and if I were to be hit directly by that, I would be split in half in an instant.
I am in the category of ‘if I get hit, I will die’ on this floor.
But that goes the same for them. If I get a good hit in their weak point, I can defeat them in one hit as well.
There’s no reason I can’t do this. The risk is the same for the other monsters.
A hit from an Ogre, a hit from a Troll, a hit from a Crab; if I were to get hit in full by any of them, I would die instantly too.
“[Shade Shift] [Phantom Warrior].” (Hikaru)
Shade Shift is just for comfort, but I use it just in case.
I control the darkness so only the Phantom Warrior can be seen, and I circle it slowly to its back.
The Lizardman stops swinging its sword to prepare for battle against the Lizardman, and takes a stance to fight back.
I silently approach it from the back, use Shadow Bind, and take away the freedom of the Lizardman.
And then, right at the spine, I stab with all my might onto where the Spirit Veins gather.
Silently, in a way that my presence doesn’t get detected; every single action performed in complete silence.
The Lizardman also changed into a Spirit Stone without making a sound and fell flatly onto the ground.
“…It is a Chaotic Spirit Stone. With this, I have regained what I spent.” (Hikaru)
I am trying to speak calmly here, but my heart is drumming out of my chest.
The Bind is not absolute. There’s always the chance of breaking out of them and getting hit. The only way of knowing if the Lizardman noticed or not, or if they truly can’t move from the binding…is to defeat the opponent… If that doesn’t happen, then I pay with my own life.
From the 3 Lizardmen, I got 1 Chaotic Spirit Stone and 2 Water Spirit Stones.
The 4th Floor is a waterfall stage, so there might be a lot of monsters that drop Water Spirit Stones.
After that, without going too deep, I would battle alone and would sometimes call a Lizardman with Create Undead.
Slime, Giant Crab, Lizardman, Sahagin.
For Lizardmen, if it is 1 on 1, I have gotten good enough that I can defeat them with certainty, so I would say this is plenty good enough as a preview of the new floor.
Sahagins jump out from the water, but thanks to Dark Sense, I can tell where they are, so it was easy to deal with them. Their strength is on the same level as a Hobgoblin, but they hold tridents, so they are probably somewhat problematic.
Because of the consecutive hard battles, I couldn’t bother about how the others looked at me, but my viewers have increased quite a bit.
Getting hit the first time by that Lizardman must have gotten a good reception.
I can’t go dying, so acting in a way that I won’t die is the priority here, but I don’t have the leeway to begin with.
Even so, I got to 1st place in the Real Time Rankings.
My Total Ranking is still far from 1st, and there’s not that many days left. I need one more explosive element here.
Or maybe I should rush through the 4th Floor using the darkness and go down the 5th Floor?
Or is there another method?
I don’t have much time left…
[Dark Spirit Ability]
Tier 2 Ability
・Falsehood of Darkness [Shade Shift] Proficiency 12
・Casket of Darkness [Shadow Bind] Proficiency 93
・Call of Darkness [Summon: Night Bug] Proficiency 77
Tier 3 Ability
・View of Darkness [Dark Sense] Proficiency 8
・Transformation of Darkness [Phantom Warrior] Proficiency 14
・Deposition of Darkness [Shadow Storage] Proficiency 6
Tier 4 Ability
・Revelation of Darkness [Darkness Fog] Proficiency 92
・Return of Darkness [Create: Undead] Proficiency 4
[Progress of all the Chosen in the Viewer Count Race]
Chosen Number 1,000: Kurose Hikaru.
○ Real Time Rank: 1/714
○ Total Rank: 4/714