Chapter 19 – Dream Pit
Luce and I left Rondalm and headed for the Dungeon that will be the first I visit in this world.
Getting there took quite a while, so we stayed a night at a village inn on the outskirts of the forest before moving on towards our destination.
In [Magic World] Dungeons were called Dream Pits, since they were nightmares seen by the sleeping god Alzaros.
Originally, Alzaros was the God of Imagination, with the power to make his imagination real.
In a span of time unimaginable by mere humans, he created the world by filling the emptiness with various gods.
However, during that nigh eternity, the omnipotent god Alzaros went mad and was ultimately sealed by the gods of his own creation.
Yet, even now, the nightmares seen by Alzaros have an effect on the real world.
These nightmares of Alzaros create gates in the real world that bring forth strange phantasms, better known as monsters.
These Dream Pits are colloquially known as Dungeons.
Monsters are unstable existences, so when they die their bodies fall apart into particles.
That process leaves behind the magic stone that serves as the core of the monster, and sometimes an item changed by a small fragment of Alzaros’s mana.
Once a Dungeon emerges you need to defeat its Master called the Dream Lord, a boss monster that serves as the heart of the Dungeon, to get rid of it.
The longer you leave it be, the longer it keeps sending out monsters into the world.
However, Dungeons that emerge near a town usually get conquered by adventurers right away.
That is why adventurers usually have to first stop at a remote village after leaving the city before visiting the Dungeon.
The countries and general state of affairs were different from what I knew from [Magic World], but it seems the gods were the same.
I thought that maybe this was just a different place or era, but even after searching for information, there were no signs of the countries I knew from the game, so I was unable to find out anything more.
Well, that’s just how this world is, civilizations falling into ruin aren’t that unheard of.
Even if it’s tragic.
“As I explained before, the Dungeon we will be exploring this time is called the Angel’s Toybox.”
“….it’s not like I don’t believe you, but will we be really alright? Wasn’t the recommended level 【Lv：50】 or above for this?”
Luce asked me, looking anxious.
“No problem, that’s the recommended level for conquering the Dungeon. I know everything there is to know about the monsters that appear in Angel’s Toybox.”
I pointed at my head.
In [Magic World] distinct Dungeons did not exist.
During spawn, the Dungeon’s type was chosen randomly from about a hundred possibilities.
The topography was randomized each time, but the types of monsters and drop items remained the same.
Just a short investigation and I can still use the information I have on these Dungeons too.
“We will be keeping this to hunting monsters that are best for increasing our levels on the first few floors. I will keep the enemies’ attention on me, while you take them out with that knife….the Iron Piercer.”
“T-t-that’s right. You even bought me an expensive item like that, I need to do my best….! It’s no time to be scared!”
Luce slapped her cheeks, trying to psyche herself up.
The weapon Luce has on her right now…. the Iron Piercer, is something I bought by spending the entire 800 000 gold I got for the Raid Quest.
We couldn’t find anything fitting in a legal shop, so we had to search other underground shops like the Broken Grimoire Company for it, which made it somewhat more expensive than its apparent market value, but the Iron Piercer was more than worth it.
〈Iron Piercer〉《Recommended Level: 18》
【Attack Power: +3】
【Market Value: 550 000 gold】
With this knife it’s easier to pierce through heavily armored opponents.
On a successful attack, the damage dealt is calculated as if the opponent’s Defense value is 【15%】 less.
The Iron Piercer can more easily damage opponents with a high Defense stat.
That’s why it’s perfect for killing higher level monsters, and therefore grinding levels.
However, when used in a normal way it greatly falls behind similarly ranked weapons.
Also, when fighting higher level opponents, it’s much harder to survive their attacks than hitting them with your own, so although it’s a powerful effect, not many people used that type of weapon even in [Magic World].
And yet, I judged it to be the most fitting equipment to complement our Skills in grinding levels in the Angel’s Toybox.
At first Luce was like ‘I can’t accept something this expensive!’, but honestly I would’ve been the one inconvenienced by that, so I managed to persuade her to take it somehow.
To properly hunt our targets this time, Luce needed to have Iron Piercer in hand.
The Iron Piercer’s special effect has a good synergy with one of her Skills.
Even if I were to use it, I couldn’t kill our current target with it.
So I managed to convince her to take it.
“Um! For that 850 000 gold you lent me… I will risk my life as much as I need to! Even if I were to die, I will make sure to protect this Iron Piercer!”
Luce was gripping Iron Piercer with both of her hands and confidently declared.
“….I’m happy that you value it so much, but that Iron Piercer can ultimately be replaced, so try to look after yourself first.”
“B-b-but, I never would’ve thought that after getting thrown out over a 500 000 gold share, someone would buy me a weapon that cost 850 000 gold just like that…..”
Human life being more important than gold was of course still true in this case, but there was also the fact that earning 850 000 gold would not take long at all with a Lucky Pierrot in the party.
To be honest, I’m less than certain that the old lady from Broken Grimoire Company would hold that Skill Book for me.
I can do nothing else but rely on Luce to be able to obtain [Smoldering Fang of Madness].
If Luce were to run away, then it’s all but certain that I won’t have the chance to team up with another that has the [Great Fortune] Skill Tree again.
After the early game, the Heavy Knight’s low firepower makes it virtually impossible to kill higher level opponents.
The Heavy Knight can only perform well with the help of the [Smoldering Fang of Madness].
As a solo Heavy Knight it would be difficult to save up money and leveling up would also become a serious chore.
If we teamed up with others then our shares would be split that many more ways, and with our party members increasing, it would get progressively harder for us to move according to my plans.
Problems like what Luce had to deal with would most likely also come up.
In addition to that, the [Smoldering Fang of Madness] costs a lot and if it gets sold, who knows when it will be available for sale again.
If I miss this chance, then it might be another few years before I would be able to get my hands on [Smoldering Fang of Madness].
“Please, Luce. You are the only one for me.”
“Eh, Elma-san, w-w-what do you mean by that!? Umm…. I’m a bit dense about things like that, s-s-so I won’t understand if you don’t say it more directly…..um, o-o-or…. I shouldn’t be saying it like that? Is that unfair of me?”
Luce had a blush on her face and kept restlessly fiddling with her light aqua colored tufts of hair.
“What are you talking about?”
….I would like her to be a bit more mindful of the situation. Will she be fine like this?
I raised my head from the map I was examining, then looked forward.
“There is the entrance for the Angel’s Toybox.”
Deep within the forest a rainbow colored whirlpool could be seen.
This was the Dream Pit’s entrance.