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TLN: Two chapters today. Make sure you didn’t miss the previous one~. Thanks to the sponsor and patreons! 😀
“S-So this is the Shining Darkness Cave, huh…”
The next day after the Sazan barrier incident…
I was asked by Ina to help her in her training.
The location is a level 108 dungeon: the Shining Darkness Cave.
It is the place that was named by Sazan, but it is 30 levels higher than the level of Ina.
There should be no issues with the effect of the Mutual Love Ring, but Ina seems to be nervous here.
“It will be okay. Ringo and Mitsuki are watching too this time around.” (Souma)
The members this time around are Ina, Ringo, and Mitsuki.
Leila is watching over the house.
Maki came this morning to check on us for a bit, but it seems like she is busy dealing with the aftermath of the Mage Guild.
“Well, I will have to graduate from my parents when I have the chance.” (Maki)
Is what she said, but I wonder what brought that?
Sazan, who remained there, wasn’t coming out no matter how long we waited, so I went to his room and called out to him, but there was no answer at all.
Looks like he is still grieving.
Oh well, I have left the rest to the Bear, so there should be no need to worry on that front.
“B-But there’s something I have investigated together with Thiel-san.
The monster called Light Root here is apparently a dangerous monster that magic doesn’t work against and blows itself up if you get close to it!” (Ina)
I was a bit impressed by what she said.
It seems like she doesn’t just blindly fight enemies, but properly investigates her enemies beforehand.
It is a prudent approach that I find it hard to believe came from Ina, but it must have been a mindset provided by Thiel.
But that worry is unnecessary.
“What. If you know about it, that makes it faster. I am thinking of having you fight that Light Root.” (Souma)
“A-Against the Light Root?!” (Ina)
“Yeah. But as I said before, there’s no need to worry that much.
It might certainly be scary at first, but a handy surefire method has been created for that guy.” (Souma)
“It is to the point where this monster was famous as a level up monster.” (Souma)
Being told that much, Ina finally sighed in relief.
“What surprised me most was that you made a request like this from me, Ina.” (Souma)
There was a conversation like that right after defeating the Demon Lord, but we agreed that it isn’t good to powerlevel each other.
My party members might be able to level up quickly if we use the surefire methods and the cooperation of our strong comrades, but there’s a lot of cases where the important player skill, the techniques to fight, won’t grow because of it.
“Ah, that’s…” (Ina)
Ina faced down a bit at my words.
“I at first also thought about slowly getting stronger. But…” (Ina)
When I urged her on, Ina waved her hand vigorously.
“I-It is nothing! I-I just thought strong people are admirable!” (Ina)
I feel like that wasn’t an answer at all, but Ina approached me as if to play it off.
“M-More importantly, what is this about a surefire method?
Could it be something like readying your armor so that you don’t take light element damage…?” (Ina)
“Unfortunately, the Light Root’s self-destruct spell, Shiny Rain, is non-elemental damage.” (Souma)
“Even though it is called Light Root and Shining Rain?!” (Ina)
“That’s just how the world works.” (Souma)
Or more like, Nekomimi Neko works like that, but that’s basically the same here.
“In that case, uhm…is it something like ‘it has a specific elemental weakness, so you can defeat them with magic’?” (Ina)
“Nope. Not only is it non-elemental, it has the special trait of suffering only 1 damage no matter the element, so that would be difficult.” (Souma)
“T-Then, shoot it down from afar with bow and arrow…” (Ina)
“It is an effective method, but it self-destructs with a single hit, so you have to defeat it in one hit with that.” (Souma)
“Mumuuuuh. T-Then…” (Ina)
Ina began to ponder cutely, but she is unfortunately out of time.
“Well, let’s just leave that enjoyment for later.
It wouldn’t be training if it were easy from the very beginning, so we have to begin from laying the groundwork first.” (Souma)
“Laying the groundwork…?” (Ina)
Ina asked this question and I looked at Mitsuki.
Mitsuki came close to me without me having to say anything.
That was pretty reassuring as I looked around the cave.
There’s fortunately no Light Roots spawning just yet.
“Alright, we are cleaning up the cave first! We are throwing all the monsters over there aside from the Light Roots!” (Souma)
Saying this, I pointed at a hollow spot at a corner of the cave.
That was the first task that day.
A great cleaning of the cave began.
“T-There really is nothing now…”
A few minutes after that, Mitsuki and I managed to get rid of all monsters aside from the Light Roots.
The monsters here can’t get over a certain degree of elevation, so you can isolate them by throwing them into a specific location.
Of course, a certain degree of ability is required to capture them and throw them in without killing them, so it is knowledge that doesn’t help in conquering the place.
However, because of how Nekomimi Neko works, only one group of monsters can show up in one spawn point.
In other words, if you can isolate the monsters without killing them, you can incapacitate the related spawn points.
With this, only two spawn points are operational in this dungeon: the spawn points where only Light Roots show up.
We now have readied an environment where we can continue defeating only Light Roots.
“Get ready, Ina. It is time for the real deal.” (Souma)
“Then, first…” (Souma)
I found a Light Root that appeared just in time, and I deliberately made noise as I approached it.
When I did, the Light Root found me and made a turn.
It directed its plant face at me, began to shine white and…
It began to emit a light shower from its whole body.
The light lines that are being emitted in all directions was a sight to behold in a way, but it is pretty unbearable for the people who are hit with this without prior knowledge.
It is impossible to avoid the light shower that has no openings by sight.
This doesn’t only apply to the player, but to Mitsuki who has god-like reflexes and physical abilities.
Of course, I escaped from the range before the light reached critical point, but the chances of you getting baptized by the light if this is your first time are high.
And then, after 10 seconds of continuous showering of light, the spell ended and its body disappeared into particles of light.
By the way, in the case when the Light Root self-destructs and dies, you don’t get EXP and Element.
Also, the monsters showing up in this dungeon provide very little EXP aside from the Light Root, so there’s barely any benefit in having the monsters get caught up in it.
It is a really well-made arrangement that really shows the nasty side of Nekomimi Neko that doesn’t want the players to have a good experience.
Well, that’s fine and all.
I explained what we will be doing today to Ina who was completely befuddled by the self-destruct spell and was standing completely still.
“What I want you to learn today is a technique to avoid that Shiny Rain and attack the enemy.” (Souma)
“T-That can be avoided?!” (Ina)
“Yeah, peel your eyes and watch.” (Souma)
Saying this, I carefreely approach the Light Root that showed up from the other spawn point.
It turned to me and emitted white light.
I retreated last time, but that won’t be the same this time.
After confirming that the Light Root had set the direction, I take a step.
The rough estimate is close to the edge of the Shiny Rain’s AoE, 3 steps to the front, and 2 steps to the right.
The Light Root shone powerfully right after.
The light shower was released in all directions.
That obviously showered onto my body too and…
“Watch out!” (Ina)
Ina shouted, but I waved my hand telling her I was okay.
That’s how carefree I was here.
I don’t know what she thought when she saw me like this, but she let out a dubious sound.
This Shiny Rain may look like it has no blind spots at a glance, but that’s only the visual effect.
There’s no way the Nekomimi Neko developers would go out of their way to place a hitbox on every single line of light from the thousands coming out.
There’s practically no relation between the visual effect and the hitbox of it, and this spell only has sparse hitboxes here and there, so it is possible to get through it unscathed if you know of them.
“The first few seconds are basically free. If you stand here, you won’t get hit. The first light will serve as your point of reference. Just take one step to the right from where that one hit.” (Souma)
“No no no no no! You are getting hit! You are getting hit, Souma-san!” (Ina)
“Ah, no, as I said…” (Souma)
I scratched my head as I looked down at the light bundles that were piercing my body.
It seems Ina still doesn’t understand well the difference between visual effects and hitboxes.
“Anyways, just get close as if you were drawing an S and…” (Souma)
This spell changes its hitbox as time passes.
I matched that by taking the first 2 steps quickly, and after 5 seconds, I bent my body slightly and walked forward around 5 steps, squated there and waited 2 seconds, and then, dash as if roused forward!
I quickly take only 3 steps forward and turn around as if I were moving away from the Light Root, move to the side as if going through a thin opening, avoid the last hitbox that came at me from below by jumping, and use that very jump to stand in front of the monster.
Once I got a good look at the face of the Light Root that is endearing but also hateful at a close range, I swung down Shiranui onto that head that’s its weakness.
“…If you hit the weak point like this, you will most likely be able to defeat it in one hit, too.” (Souma)
Having all of its HP taken in one hit, the Light Root slowly changes into light particles.
Ina was letting out a sigh of admiration as if she witnessed something out of this world, but it is still not over yet.
I kicked down the Light Root that had begun to disappear and moved to the place where it was standing until just now.
“Don’t lower your guard just because you defeated it.
Even if the monster dies, the spell will still be in effect, so quickly move to the safe zone, in other words, where the Light Root was.
It is only after you manage to do this that you can call it a success.” (Souma)
The spell ended and I explained this to Ina as I slowly returned to her, and Ina directed a complicated gaze mixed with fear and admiration.
“Souma-san, you really are amazing!
B-But I feel like this is a bit too advanced for me.
Wouldn’t it be better to begin from an easier to defeat monster—” (Ina)
“It may be hard to learn this, but dungeon bosses will use techniques with the same area of effect as this one.
At those times, there’s a big difference between knowing how to evade this and not knowing.
The most efficient way to earn EXP around here is to defeat these guys before they self-destruct.” (Souma)
“I see…” (Ina)
My words must be resonating in her mind, Ina fell into thought.
A person stood at the back of her while she was still hesitating.
“…I will do it too.”
It was Ringo.
She gently placed a hand on Ina’s shoulder as if saying she is not alone.
“…I also think that dance…is creepy.
But…I will do it.
Even if it is difficult…until I can do it.” (Ringo)
Ina spoke with deep emotion at the unexpected appearance of a comrade.
But what’s that about a dance?
“It is true that it would be one hell of a task to copy those eccentric movements.
However, no matter how much of a deviant you look, his battle techniques are reliable.
I wasn’t thinking of learning from others at this point in time, but it looks like today I will be able to achieve fruitful training.”
The one who said this and appeared from the other side was Mitsuki.
She has already unsheathed Tsukikage and has taken a battle stance.
“…We are still…weak. But I am sure…we can become strong.” (Ringo)
“Everyone… I-I will do i—” (Ina)
The words of the two moved the heart of Ina, and just when Ina was about to voice her resolve…
“Dual spawn?!” (Souma)
Unrefined intruders cut her off.
Light Roots spawned almost at the same time from the two spawn points we left at both sides.
Sorry to say after she has finally gotten into it, but I still haven’t fully explained the moves to her yet.
It wouldn’t be practice even if they were to show up now.
“Damn it! For now, I will—” (Souma)
I was going to deal with them while clicking my tongue, but there was someone who moved faster than me.
Mitsuki and Ringo.
“Bad timing. Come back later.” (Mitsuki)
Mitsuki sliced the Light Root in a single dash.
The remaining Light Root got a direct hit from the Lightning Strike of Ringo and immediately perished.
Didn’t even leave them time to use Shiny Rain.
The two returned and offered their hands to Ina who was showing a stupified look on her face.
“Now, let’s do our best together.” (Mitsuki)
“…Let’s…work hard…together.” (Ringo)
Ina saw that and…
“…Yes, let’s work hard together.” (Ina)
Grabbed the hand of the two with a strangely sooty face.
The scream of Ina echoed for who knows how many times today.
Ina failed in the movement and was hit by the self-destruct of the Light Root.
“Are you okay?!” (Souma)
I ran to where Ina had landed after being blown away, and she was already up and using a potion on herself.
“Ahahaha…I failed again.” (Ina)
She forced a smile as she said this, but her face is a painful one.
After that, Mitsuki succeeded in getting in front of the Light Root in her first try with her outstanding battle sense.
Ringo struggled more than that, but was unexpectedly quick at getting the trick and safely succeeded in her 4th try.
But even after Ina tried it 10 times…20 times, she couldn’t succeed, was hit countless times by the self-destruct spell, and rolled around the floor just as many times.
This technique that was ridiculed as Shiny Rain (physical) was a non-elemental physical attack and there’s no effective way to mitigate it when it hits you.
No matter how much you strengthen your defense with rings, even if the Shiny Rain doesn’t kill you, the pain of it should be quite big.
I learned to avoid Shiny Rain because I couldn’t feel the pain inside the game. If I were Ina, my heart would have broken a long time ago.
“H-Hey, Ina, this isn’t something you must absolutely do, and if you are a bad fit for it, you can just give up and—” (Souma)
That painful look of Ina made me try to stop the training, but she shook her head.
“I-I am okay! N-Next time for sure, I will do it!” (Ina)
“N-No, but…” (Souma)
Why is she trying so hard here?
But before I could get those words out, Ina stood up once again with dagger in hand after healing up.
“E-Ehehe, just watch, Souma-san. I will master the evasion method of that light, defeat a whole ton of those monsters, and level up a whole lot.
And once I get strong like that, once I do…you will be able to return with no worries…” (Ina)
I think Ina was trying to say something important there, but a new Light Root spawned before that.
“This time for sure…!” (Ina)
Seeing this, Ina changed her expression, and began what might be several dozens of tries already…or she might already be in her hundreds at this point.
I ended up calling to that back of hers.
I shouted just before she entered the effective range of the Shiny Rain, and Ina looked back just for a moment.
“Go get ‘em!” (Souma)
Simple words with no flare to them.
But the moment Ina heard those words, she made a clear smile…a smile that seemed like it came from the bottom of her heart.
“…It is here.” (Ringo)
The voice of Ringo.
The Shiny Rain begins.
The first step went without issues.
She has properly gone to the safe spot.
And then, after a short while, Ina began moving.
She moved 3 steps quickly to the front.
You normally go 2 steps here, but that one extra step was beneficial.
The difference in the distance of our steps created errors, but Ina adjusted those herself bit by bit.
And then, after stopping for a second, she bent and went forward.
You must not get impatient here.
“Nice, nice.” (Souma)
Ina moved forward with our gazes of expectation on her back.
After finishing her 2 steps, she waited there while crouching.
She wiped off the cold sweat from her face and jumped!
“Watch out!” (Souma)
I reflexively shout.
The angle was too soft.
But Ina instinctively caught that and adjusted it in the middle of it.
She changed directions properly as she ran, and after charging up for a moment, she turned around!
“! Did she do it?!” (Souma)
The timing that she messed up countless times.
But it was perfect this time around.
I was surprised that the attack that always hit her body here didn’t happen, but Ina was not stopping.
The monster that has been close yet far is just one straight line away.
After confirming countless and countless times that the last obstacle had appeared, she avoided it with the jump that she practiced and…
She finally jumped right in front of the Light Root.
There’s no leeway in time.
She stabbed the face of the Light Root without a moment’s hesitation, body slammed the Light Root to enter the space of the Light Root, and…
Once the light shower had calmed down, the one standing there was an unharmed Ina.
I approached Ina who was standing there dumbfounded as if she didn’t understand what she did just now, and called to her straight away.
“Congratulations, Ina.” (Souma)
The moment I said this…the face of Ina crumbled into a mess and…
Ina jumped onto my chest with the same intensity as what she had performed just now.
“Yay, I did it! I have finally done it!” (Ina)
“Yeah, you did well, Ina. You really did.” (Souma)
“With this, as long as I master it, I can defeat them and level—” (Ina)
Ina was about to say something, but she didn’t say anything more as if it was caught in her throat.
I gently watched Ina and told her what I have been thinking this whole time.
“Then, shall I give you a reward for your hard work?” (Souma)
Ina asked this with expectation while trying to hide her eyes filled with tears in embarrassment.
I found that endearing as I continued speaking.
“Well, calling it a reward is an overstatement though.
I was thinking about answering what you wanted to know the whole time today.” (Souma)
“Me? Uhm…what was it?” (Ina)
Looks like she has already forgotten after everything that has happened.
I chuckled and answered her.
“Of course, the easy way to defeat the Light Root.” (Souma)
Right after that.
“Knowing how to avoid the Shiny Rain is useful, but if we are talking about efficiency, it really gotta be this…right, Ina?” (Souma)
The handy surefire method since the game days (if you hit the Light Root with a knockback effect spell from afar while in the middle of the activation of the self-destruct spell, not only does it get caught in its own attack, but you get EXP too because you dealt 1 damage) of using Petitplosion, and the tension must have gone out from Ina, she fell in place and began crying.
I was wondering what to say to her from that unexpected reaction, but Mitsuki and Ringo went to her side before that.
“…Cheer up. You must not…lose.” (Ringo)
“Give up. That guy is just like that.” (Mitsuki)
The two cheer up Ina as if they were friends for decades.
Having felt that their bonds strengthened there, I nodded over and over.
—And in this way, the training that day lowered its curtains with great success.
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