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“They are more dangerous than the info foretold. Even though the Lamias themselves are not weak at all, there’s droves of them.” (Hikaru)
“Water…packs…curse of the basilisk…ugh, my head…” (Jeanne)
“Jeanne-san, those are not Basilisks, you know? Basilisks are 5th Floor monsters.” (Rifreya)
“I know. I simply…got reminded of a past trauma.” (Jeanne)
The basilisks in that game really were annoying monsters…
By the way, the Basilisks in the 5th Floor are apparently like small dragons, or like, big lizards. I saw that on the wall drawings of the guild.
“Leaving aside the joking, what should we do? There’s as much as 8, and that’s just the ones we can see. There should be a whole lot more deeper in, so if we are going to retreat, now is the time.” (Jeanne)
I can tell you are a bit excited despite saying that, Jeanne.
The Lamia Nest is a place where there’s a whole lot of Lamias, and prides itself by being the most vast location in this 4th Floor, located at the cave in the center of the waterfall.
It is apparently not an actual nest, just a name for it. It is not like there’s eggs.
There’s puddles here and there, but it is more suitable for battle than cramped passages, and holds the name of the unluckiest hunting spot of the 4th Floor.
If this were a game, it would be the best hunting spot for leveling up, but this is reality.
The upper half of a Lamia (despite being covered in scales) is that of a woman, so it is a hard opponent to deal with mentally speaking, but I have been fighting countless humanoid monsters until now, so it is not to the point that I would hesitate.
It might be because, inside the dungeon where death means becoming a Spirit Stone, the death of monsters…no, the death of living beings doesn’t have a sense of reality to it.
“If there were other explorer parties, we could have seen how they cleared this. The recommendation of the guild is apparently to have ‘at the very least 2 frontliners that can defeat a Lamia in one hit’.” (Rifreya)
“So level up and hit them with plain force, huh. Leaving me aside, I think you two can defeat them in one hit. Each one of them is apparently weaker than a Mantis individually.” (Hikaru)
“I wonder about that. I am mostly concentrated on a defensive build, so even if I manage to defeat them in one hit, the fight in itself will be decently long, you know? Defeating them fast is your specialty, right, Kuro?” (Jeanne)
It is true that, if Darkness Fog is effective on them, I can defeat them in one hit.
The problem is that there’s a lot of them. The 2nd Floor is a floor where Goblins and Orcs come out in droves from anywhere, so if the Lamias were to come out in that same fashion, it would be difficult to deal with.
The Lamias are so strong you can’t even compare them to the 2nd Floor monsters.
We are watching the entrance, hidden in the shadow of a rock, but the Lamias have not noticed us yet. It doesn’t seem like they are that good at detecting presences, but according to the information we gathered beforehand, it has the tendency to ‘call for comrades’, so the battles normally won’t be ending until one side is wiped out.
In other words, it will turn into a death match.
We have come all the way here to do exactly that.
While we were looking for a moment to jump out, a Lamia came close.
It works just fine to gauge their strength.
“I will try pulling it. Just watch.” (Hikaru)
I make the Shadow Runner run as if crossing the entrance of the open space.
I said close…but it is 30 meters apart. The Lamia noticed this and let out a threatening snake ‘Shaaa’, slithering its lower half snake body towards us.
Fortunately, it seems like the other Lamias haven’t noticed.
“[Darkness Fog].” (Hikaru)
I cover the whole entrance with darkness and jump out.
When fighting a new monster, there’s the need to confirm whether the opponent can see inside the darkness. Darkness worked on Lizardmen, but what about the Lamias?
Even inside the darkness, her slitted eyes were shining mysteriously.
She was making an unpleasant noise as if chattering her teeth. She seems to be wary of her surroundings.
(…Doesn’t look like she can see.) (Hikaru)
She is holding a three pronged spear while waving her upper body front, back, left and right.
Her long split tongue was flickering in and out, as if she were searching for her prey…
The Lamia suddenly jumped using her lower snake half like a spring -towards me.
“Heat detection?! [Shadow Bind]!” (Hikaru)
I lept to the side, avoiding the attack, and used Shadow Bind in the landing spot of the Lamia.
I immediately unsheathe my weapon and stab her throat.
The Hellfire Steel sword cuts her Spirit Vein Center.
I pick up the Water Spirit Stone that fell on the floor, return to the shadow of the rock, and undo Darkness Fog.
“How was it? It seemed like you were having trouble there.” (Jeanne)
“Darkness Fog didn’t work. It seems like they aren’t seeing with their eyes, but detecting heat.” (Hikaru)
“Hooh, the natural enemy of Kuro. Interesting.” (Jeanne)
“It is not interesting… With just the fact that the fog doesn’t work, our leeway has lessened.” (Hikaru)
It doesn’t seem like it can see as clearly as the Garden Panther, but just the fact that my location is spotted is already quite the disadvantage. With Shadow Bind, it seems like I can at least defeat them one-on-one, but that’s also a risky strategy.
At the times when there’s the need to fight many monsters at once like now, I am a bit scared of fighting while relying on Shadow Bind.
“It doesn’t look like we can afford to be saying that. The noise of the battle just now was too loud.” (Jeanne)
Jeanne points with her chin.
When I looked, there were Lamias letting out noises to alert their surroundings while heading here.
“What will you do? We can still run away.” (Hikaru)
The pathway to get here was decently narrow.
On top of that, Sahagins and Crabs jump out from the basin, so it will take a decent amount of time to get out. There’s a decent degree of risk in running away too.
“We will fight. If something happens, use a Barrier Stone without hesitation. Just let your Dark Knight protect Full-chan, Kuro. Make sure to break a Barrier Stone when in trouble.” (Jeanne)
“So we are doing this, then?” (Rifreya)
Rifreya grabbed the handle of her sword tightly and did the last confirmation.
Saying that sight of Rifreya, Jeanne grinned.
“We came here to do that exactly! Everyone, put on your game face! It is an all-out battle! Hyahoo!!” (Jeanne)
Jeanne made a strange cry while jumping out by herself.
How incredibly reckless.
“Rifreya, watch Jeanne’s back! I will head there myself in a second too.” (Hikaru)
“Jeanne-san is an idiot, isn’t she?!” (Rifreya)
“She is indeed!” (Hikaru)
With Jeanne, who is taking position as if she were going to take on all of the Lamias by herself, at the corner of my vision, I summon the Dark Knight.
“Hide here, Grapefull. If it gets dangerous, break this stone immediately and you will be safe. I think the Dark Knight will be protecting you mostly, but this guy disappears once the time runs out, so keep that in mind.” (Hikaru)
“G-Got it-nyan. Hikaru-shan and the others, do your best too.” (Full)
“Well, if anything happens, we will also be using Barrier Stones to take refuge.” (Hikaru)
According to the information we got in the guild about the 4th Floor, the vicinity of the Lamia Nest’s entrance is a safe zone, so it should be okay.
It is apparently customary for high level parties that fight in the Lamia Nest to leave the porters here.
“Alright. Next is…[Create Undead].” (Hikaru)
I use a Chaotic Spirit Stone of a Lizardman and increase our allies further.
“You, defeat the ones that seem like they would slip past us.” (Hikaru)
The Lizardman zombie nodded without saying a word.
With this, the worries of monsters getting our backs lowers greatly.
At any rate, now that it has come to this, we have to fight them until we wipe them out.
“Let’s go! [Shadow Bind]!” (Hikaru)
I seal the movements of one of the Lamias who was going to rush Rifreya.
She used that opening to swing her greatsword and defeat 2.
One other jumped at her soon after, but Jeanne used a shield bash to stop her, and I took off her head from the side.
The Lamia Nest is vast, and the Lamias mostly head towards us, but there’s also Lamias who would take the long route maybe to get our backs, and the Lizardman zombie was methodically dealing with them.
“Our killing pace is a bit faster than their appearance rate?!” (Hikaru)
“No, they are still coming. According to what I heard at the guild, there have been cases where you end up fighting 200 Lamias at most.” (Jeanne)
The Lamias were appearing one after the other.
There were those carrying spears, or swords, or even barehanded.
Fortunately, Lamias don’t use Spirit Abilities, so that’s good, but their numbers are overwhelming.
“Pierce, [Photon Ray]!” (Rifreya)
“[Shade Shift]!” (Hikaru)
The Light Spirit Ability of Rifreya, Photon Ray, is a piercing beam.
The shining beam flew and pierced the body of 3 Lamias at the same time.
2 died instantly, and the remaining one was injured. That’s some impressive firepower.
I used Shade Shift to lower the accuracy of the opponents, and kill the Lamias rushing at us one by one.
Jeanne is also hunting the Lamias at quite the pace, but the Lamias are coming in droves as if they really were spawning infinitely.
“They are faster than expected! Fight while protecting each other’s backs!” (Hikaru)
I am the one who has to pay attention to the whole battlefield.
I must not allow them to get our backs.
Because I am not using Darkness Fog, I have leeway in Spirit Energy, but there’s the chance that I will be running out of power at some point in time. Waves of enemies you don’t know when they will be stopping is something that gnaws at your mental strength even more than I thought.
“[Phantom Warrior]! [Shadow Bind]!” (Hikaru)
It is times like this when decoy abilities are effective.
Diverting the attention of the enemies; creating that moment will provide one favorable tempo to us at a time. Stacking those moments one by one is big.
They have the numbers, and their individual strength isn’t that different from each other. If we get a direct hit from a Lamia, we could die.
In principle, we should be maintaining a 1-vs-1.
It is important that, if possible, we continue fighting in situations where we are the ones with the higher numbers.
The situation we have to avoid at all costs is to be pushed back by their numbers in a spacious place like this.
“[Dark Coffin]!” (Hikaru)
Confirming that there’s still more Lamias coming from deep inside, I channel my Spirit Energy.
At just barely the effective range, I cast the High Tier Binding Ability deep in the nest.
The coffin is an ability that takes time before it completes its cast, and it gets avoided most of the time if shot blindly, but it is not bad to hinder them. The mysterious ability that suddenly appeared made the Lamias stop in their tracks.
On top of that, I called the Phantom Warrior and had it charge deep in.
I managed to divert the attention of a good amount of them.
“Let’s take distance for now! If possible, please defeat all the ones that are here!” (Hikaru)
I confirm that the Lizardman zombie disappeared because time ran out, took out a Spirit Stone from the storage, and once again called a Lizardman zombie.
Dark Coffin is to buy time for that.
(…This might be bad.) (Hikaru)
I take out a Stamina Potion and Spirit Energy potion and drink them.
The wave of Lamias isn’t showing signs of ending.
It is not called the most dangerous place in the 4th Floor for nothing. It is like this even when we know the information beforehand. Who knows how many explorer parties perished before this place was understood properly.
We were fighting at a decently deeper part from the entrance.
In the case we use a Barrier Stone, a barrier will of course be deployed at this place.
This situation where we are in the very middle of the Lamia Nest is not a good location to be deploying the barrier. In a situation where there’s always monsters, we would have to fight again in order to run away, and there’s a high chance we will fall into the same situation.
“[Shade Shift]! [Shadow Bind]! I will take over for now, so drink your potions!” (Hikaru)
I switched with Rifreya who has been swinging her sword this whole time.
I have also given a Stamina Potion to her.
The Lamias push on.
There’s as much as 8 in vision.
They are making unpleasant *gichi gichi* sounds while approaching to kill.
“[Darkness Fog]!” (Hikaru)
I spread darkness and ran.
They probably use their eyes more often than their heat detection, it seems like they can’t deal with the darkness immediately, and the attacks were hitting easily.
But the opponent is desperate.
The blindly swung greatswords grazed places like my legs and arms, and blood flew.
I had no choice but to deal with 2 enemies at once, and even if I managed to defeat one in one hit, I have to approach them almost to the point of our bodies sticking together, so I always end up getting hit by the attacks of enemies bit by bit no matter what.
Maybe because of the rush of adrenaline, I can’t feel the pain.
“Damn it! So persistent…!” (Hikaru)
“Hikaru, switch! Please help out Jeanne-san!” (Rifreya)
When I looked, there were 3 Lamias crowding around Jeanne.
She is skilfully changing her position and maintaining distance with her shield while fighting, but it is dangerous.
“[Shadow Bind]! [Shade Shift]!” (Hikaru)
Shade Shift is almost just for consolation, but the simple fact that it looks as if there’s two blurry images of you does plenty enough to create advantages in defense and attack. It increases the chances of the opponent hitting nothing. It is an ability suitable for melees.
“You saved me there, Kuro. How many did you defeat?” (Jeanne)
“I am not counting! I don’t think I have defeated 100 in total though.” (Hikaru)
“Hahaha! This is fun! If this were a game, this would be the best grind spot!” (Jeanne)
“If it were a game, yeah!” (Hikaru)
Jeanne is laughing innocently, but we are actually already in a situation where we are side by side with death.
As if just one thing changing would make this situation tilt into our defeat…
And then, it suddenly appeared…