Chapter 34 – Ashley’s First Battle
After Ashley casted her Magic chantlessly, smoke bloomed from her hand. The group of the Goblins that appeared from the back of the passage lost their consciousness and fell down on their knees.
Grace dashed at them, and, leaving it to her strength, sent them flying with a kick. The Goblins were lodged into the wall like gumballs and couldn’t move.
Although a Magic Arrow, specifically a beginner spell called Magic Bolt, flew out from the back of the passageway, it was blocked by my Magic Shield. I countered by striking them with lightning.
The Robe-wearing Goblin Shaman let out a short scream before it collapsed.
Hmm. Well, it seems that there are no troubles with combat.
The spell Ashley used was Sleep Cloud, a spell that released sleeping gas. Although it was a low-tier spell, it was rated just below the respected Healing Magic.
Normally, it was a spell that wasn’t taught, since it could be easily abused, but it appeared that Rossetta wasn’t worried about that. Was she also taking the people involved with Ashley and her status in society into consideration?
“When did you learn Chantless Magic?”
Continuing along, when we descended into the Labyrinth with Ashley, I set up battles for her so that I could determine which parts of combat she excelled at. Just as I was trying to ask her what she was capable of doing, she used Sleep Cloud, and her casting this as her first move… meant she considered this to be combat, though I was a little surprised that she could already use Chantless Magic.
“I had heard that Theodore-sama might be going down into the Labyrinth. I was in a hurry, so in order to use several convenient spells chantlessly, I spent my free time training all sorts of Magic. I have also learned the ropes of Chantless Magic due to Life Magic.”
…Or more precisely, Rosetta understood why she said she was ‘Fine’.
“Aren’t you scared, Ashley-sama?”
“I’m fine. Besides, being a Lord who can use Magic, I can’t pass up these types of things. When push comes to shove, I’m using Brave Wind so I don’t get frightened.”
The beginner Spell, Brave Wind. It was said to be a spell that mustered up one’s courage. Maybe it was Rosetta’s suggestion, but it seemed that she expected actual combat.
Grace and I had to make sure not to spill too much blood as we defeated enemies, and because Grace was in her Released State, I made Caduceus be cautious of our surroundings so that Ashley wouldn’t get attacked.
“Besides, I feel reassured since the two of you are with me.”
I couldn’t feel any danger from Ashley’s expression and her tone of voice. Her heart might be stronger now, compared to the impression I felt at the beginning. The problem with her body could also be resolved if she was a user of Healing Magic.
I should prepare some Red Dimension Stones just in case…let’s continue on like this.
Well then, the area we were at right now was the 12th floor of the Labyrinth. It was better to wait here until the situation on the outside calmed down. I felt like we should gather information while being shut-ins to avoid these troubling things.
The 12th floor…was a floor where Monsters like Goblin Shamans, who could use Magic, and Huge Spiders, which wove webs and waited for their prey, would appear.
There was still some doubt as to whether Leveling here was actually still good, but I thought it would be a handy floor to get used to subjugating Monsters while taking measures to ensure our safety.
What appeared were five Wood Puppets. The groups of previously encountered Monsters were gradually increasing in number.
I had gathered those guys together under my control after confirming that there were no other enemies around. This time, Ashley went out in front and brandished a Long Mace.
She had also become used to short distance combat, so I decided to let her experience close combat up front, since I had gotten the Wood Puppets under my control. It wouldn’t cause any trauma to her, no matter how she defeated the enemy, if it was a Wood Puppet.
The Mace equipped in Ashley’s hands splendidly struck the head of a Wood Puppet.
Although it was difficult to say if her Long Mace had gotten used to the activation of Magic…it was quite the fine mace. She seemed to have applied the ‘Weight Reduction’ and ‘Accelerate’ enchantments to it.
While Weight Reduction improved her handling of the Mace, it also increased its power whenever it made an impact by releasing it. Even if it was Ashley, who had not gotten used to muscle strength, it brought out power that made it easier to use.
Anyways, I closed to a comfortable distance. As for the cards I had prepared for a Magician’s close combat, I had gotten some ready so that I wouldn’t lose. However, for her weapon choice to be a Mace, it seemed that she was influenced by Grace and me. It was possible that she felt some sort of responsibility.
Grace was as usual. She cut up a Wood Puppet into round slices with her axe. For her, cutting these Wood Puppets up was similar to chopping firewood. She subjugated the remaining Wood Puppets by swinging her axe left and right, while Ashley defeated them one at a time.
“It’s all thanks to Ashley-sama.”
The two of them looked at each other and smiled. Even though we were exploring the Labyrinth, it was quite calm. Well, the enemies here were weak, after all.
I quickly finished stripping them of their materials with my hands, and we eventually saw a door to the side after proceeding along the passageway.
I opened the door, and after observing the situation, I noticed a wooden chest lying in the center of the room.
Well well, it was getting more enjoyable than the searching and stripping this time around.
Treasure chests respawned after the new moon passed. Although nothing major appeared in the chests on floors of this level, right now we were leveling up Ashley, so I thought I should share basic information about exploring with the two of them, stick to the basics, and continue along carefully.
Although treasure chests appeared in both small and large rooms…there was a need to pay attention when you enter the room if there weren’t any Monsters in it.
It appeared there weren’t any traps in this room nor on the treasure chest. There was a Low Grade Healing Potion in the chest.
It was definitely reassuring to have them on hand, since Potions could heal simple external wounds, but carrying a lot of them would become a burden.
Whether you planned to hold or transfer them, they were items worth worrying about, since their selling price was quite good.
“Although there aren’t any around here, there will be traps at the entrance, on treasure chests, and similar places down on the lower floors, so if we go there, please be careful.”
The two of them nodded.
“Well, I can remove them.”
“Is it fine for us to learn it as well?
“Nah. It’s better if I do it.”
There were many ways to learn how to identify the types of traps and how to disarm them, but it wasn’t something that could be done overnight. To have them learn while getting injured at the actual site of the trap…they didn’t really need to do that. Besides, it was better if Ashley didn’t touch them at all. A party needed to flee as fast as possible if the party’s Healer got injured. It wouldn’t be a problem if I got injured, since Ashley’s healing power was high.
After searching the small room for a long time, we found the stairs that continued downward into the 13th floor. We had yet to gather Dimension Stones though. Perhaps we should immediately move on here.
“Cutter Mantises appear from the 13th floor onwards.”
They were giant mantises with sharp sickles. Their sickles, which were taken during the stripping process, could have magic stones extracted from them, and the sickles could be made into tools due to their sturdiness.
We proceeded downwards, and after searching for a while, a different type of door appeared on the side of the passageway.
“What’s that door? Its design is different from the ones we’ve seen before.”
“It’s a large room. You’ll understand them better in the lower floors. There is a large number of Monsters waiting in the middle of it, so please be careful.”
“I see…What should we do?”
“Naturally, we should rush into it. Watch and have this become your future reference on how one should handle a Monster Room if you see one.”
Although they didn’t understand Levels or the value of EXP…clearing Monster Rooms would let one increase their combat strength.
“…Shall we go then? Try not to go in too deep after you enter the room, Ashley. I’m letting Caduceus protect you, so you’ll be able to keep calm if you chant a spell.”
Ashley nodded, and then the clear sound of chanting resounded through the Labyrinth.
A ball of light revolved around Grace and me.
It was a type of Defense Magic, a Rank 4 Light Magic Spell.
It revolved around its target, which let it become a shield against attack from behind or from your blind spot, and out of the Magic that Ashley could currently use, this was probably the highest grade spell.
Once the spell was completed, I opened the door and rushed into the room with Grace.
Sure enough, it was a Monster Room. It was composed of spiders and mantises. It appeared that there were ants as well, but…I didn’t really like Insect Monsters. Spiders aren’t insects though.
It was a Rank 6 Intermediate Spell that combined water and wind magic. A cold vortex raged inside the room, and the movements of the Monsters visibly worsened.
I left my back to Grace and Ashley’s Defense Magic and jumped towards one of the nearby mantises.
I spun my staff like a windmill and cut off both of the mantis’s arms at the joints before striking its head. It got caught in the rotation of my Magic Staff and flew up into the air as it came apart.
Although a Huge Spider spun its thread at me, it was pushed back by my wind Magic.
The large spider got covered in its own thread and became unable to walk.
Spiders choose non-sticky silk as their footing so that they won’t get caught in their own web. In other words, if I pushed a sticky thread back at it and it got covered, then it would end up like this. I struck it with an Icicle Lance, finishing it off, and then struck at the next enemy.
While evading their scythes, I got up close with one of them. After activating my Circulation, I released a High Kick. When I unleashed the Mana infused kick at the mantis, it was blown away vertically. I then severed its body in half as it fell down.
I looked at the two of them.
What I saw was a mantis that had its scythes destroyed by Grace.
Grace drew their attention by tossing the axe and catching it in her hand over and over, before swinging at the Monsters with ludicrously fast speed, tearing them apart.
As for Ashley, she seemed to be focused on chanting.
Although it was natural for her to be defenseless, the mantis that approached her carelessly got its feet skewered by Caduceus. It was just like the thread of the spider that got blown away. Caduceus precisely blocked it. Its defense was perfect.
Perhaps there weren’t any opponents who could overcome us on these floors.
It was a Rank 3 Water Spell that made one suffocate in a closed water cage. Of course, this effect was plenty against these insects. There were even Cutter Mantises enclosed in the water cube.
Those two didn’t appear to have any problems. Let’s focus here then.
The Rank 6 Thunder Magic caused dark clouds enveloped by purple lightning to expand outwards.
Although this Spell didn’t have the speed of a lightning bullet, you would be electrocuted if you touched that cloud. There wasn’t enough space to run away in this compact Monster Room. I gathered the Monsters in my view together, and they were charred black.
It didn’t take too much time to annihilate them.
Cutter Mantises and Huge Spiders. There were around 30 of them in total, perhaps?
The material extraction area for spiders was its abdomen.
Although we freely fought with them, there were a lot of them that could still be stripped for materials. Even if they were too damaged, it wouldn’t be useless, since we could gather them together and cast Extract Magic. It was troublesome to fight while being concerned about that.
Although the reward per individual spider wasn’t that great…it appeared that I could expect a decent harvest with these numbers.