Chapter 11: Pushing our Limits

 

I begin to wake up in my warm, comfortable bed, and I notice something is not right. I slowly open my eyes and I find Thirty-seven sitting in her chair next to my bed tears rolling from her face landing on my shirt.

 

“Wha…What happened?”

 

Thirty-seven quickly sits up, with tears in her eyes she begins to yell at me.

 

Thirty-seven: “I told you not to use to much magic!” –she shakes the front of my shirt, sniffles, and then wipes the tears from her eyes.

 

The shaking is causing my head to hurt, so grab my head and say. “How did we get back here? Did everyone else make it?”

 

Thirty-seven begins to calm down and she finally answers. “Yes we made it all back, however I told you not to waste the potions.”

 

“Well it looks like it was enough to bring down that rock monster.”

 

Thirty-seven: “That [Golem] or rock monster as you called it, fell shortly after you blacked out. Your [Freeze] spell was enough that we finally took out the leg and with only one leg and arm it wasn’t able to put up much of a defense..”

 

“Wait! What time is it? When is the attack?”

 

Thirty-seven: “Don’t worry it is the middle of the night still. The attack is still hours away.”

 

“That’s good.” I sit up in my bed and there are several windows that I haven’t noticed yet displayed around me.

 

Dungeon Monsters have returned from battle

 

Battle results:

 

Monster Archer has gained a level

 

Monster Block has gained a level

 

Monster Slash has gained a level

 

Acquired: 1 small magic stone

 

Losses: Thirty-seven (boss) sustained severe injury, Block sustained major injury, Archer sustained severe injury, Slash sustained severe injury, Dungeon Core #212 [——] sustained [KO’ed] status.

 

190 Xp gained from external source. 19xp bonus for Dungeon Core #212 [======] battle participation, 19xp bonus for Thirty-seven (boss) participation, 19xp bonus for no dungeon monster deaths, 37xp bonus for Rookie core training within parent dungeon,  x2 xp bonus for a (boss) class monster elimination.

 

568 Total xp acquired.

 

I sit upright in bed, but my head then starts pounding so I grasp it in both hands. “Oh…That was a nice bit of xp we got that time.”

 

Thirty-seven: “It wasn’t worth it. You were too reckless.” -She says normally but for the first time ever shows a cute little pouty face.-

 

I can’t help but crack a smile. “Ok… Ok… I promise I will take it easier next time.”

 

Thirty-seven finally stands up, pulls the chair back to the middle of the room, walks over to the table next to her bed, picks up the towel clutching it tightly, and then moves back sitting in her chair.

 

I sit on the edge of the bed for another few minutes, and then the headache finally subsides. I slowly get up and check the status of the dungeon.

 

It must be after the start of the new day because the crystal room is full of the newly spawned monsters. I go ahead and move them to the front room. I summon 2 more crimson kobold mages into the crystal room just in case, equipping one with the magician’s robe and gem studded iron rod, and the other with mage robes and an iron rod.

 

After I summon the mages I notice something under the monster tab that wasn’t there before.

 

 

 

Weak Earth Golem                   Cost: 1000xp*

 

*Elemental type monsters are granted a discount of ¼ due to [Gifted] skill, however discount not granted with Basic Training Crystal.

 

 

 

My mouth curls into a smile. “I will have to save that for an emergency.”

 

I take a final look over the dungeon, and then ask Thirty-seven to wake me up a few minutes before the attack starts. I then lay down going back to sleep.

 

I wake up to Thirty-seven’s light shaking. “Thanks. How long till the attack?” I sit up, and find I still have a bit of a headache but I can manage. “Strange, that physical wounds heal so fast, but this headache is lingering.”

 

Thirty-seven: “Three minutes remain, and that is due to you exhausting your magic. In many ways that is worse than a physical wound.”

 

“Thanks, I will keep that in mind.” I yawn, stretch, get up, move over to my chair and look at the screens. “I have been wondering. You always know the exact time. How do you do that?”

 

Thirty-seven: “Another item missing from your [Menu]? It is displayed in the top corner.”

 

As she says it several displays around the room have the time appear on them. “Wait, have you always been able to see the time on the screens here in the core room?”

 

Thirty-seven: “Of course.”

 

“So we see different things even in the core room… We might need to talk after the battle and just see how different the [Menu] I see is compared to yours.”

 

 

 

Intruders have entered your dungeon

 

 

 

“Well here we go.”

 

With most of the rifts level 2 and replacing half of the goblin brutes with a hobgoblin rift, the first three waves are no longer even a threat. They even manage to hold their own pretty will against the fourth wave, but eventually the room is cleared. I however pull the non-rift blue slime, instructing it to the crystal room once its life is in danger.

 

“Try to save every little bit of xp we can.”

 

The fourth wave proceeds to the second room and is promptly wiped out, on the fifth wave I move in the three named kobolds to assist in the fight and we manage to clear it without any casualties.

 

When the new wave hits, 4 earth golems enter the dungeon. They are identical to the one we fought the day before although much, much smaller.  Without any intelligence they have a hard time with the traps, each falling into the pit trap and being hit by at least one spike trap. Although they cause them no damage it manages to slow them down.

 

While delayed by the traps, I pull the two archer kobold, and Archer from the middle room and replace them with the new mages I had as back-up. I am also able to change the one into the better gear from the previous wave.

 

Dungeon room 2:

 

2 crimson kobolds with [Steel sword], [Large Steel Shield], and [Basic Chainmail]

 

2 crimson kobolds with [Steel Greatsword], and [Basic Chainmail]

 

4 crimson kobold mages with [Gem Studded Iron Rod], and [Magician’s Robes]

 

Along with Block and Slash

 

The battle is pretty straight forward with each crimson kobold mage targeting one of the golems while the others run interference, Block and Slash filling in any gaps.

 

The battle ends with victory and only losing 2 of the crimson kobolds. All of the remaining kobolds except 2 of the mages and the named ones manage to gain a level.

 

I get 4 tiny magic stones, and 10 stones in addition to the normal equipment.

 

 

 

New monster acquired:

 

Small Weak Earth Golem                         Cost: 250xp*

 

*Elemental type monsters are granted a discount of 1/4 due to [Gifted] skill. Discount does not take effect with Basic Training Crystal

 

 

 

Even after replacing the two dead kobolds I still end up with 25 more xp then I started, so finally after all the hard work we are finally gaining more xp then losing.

 

 

 

“6 days, we just need 1 more. Is it me or do the waves seem like they are getting easier?”

 

Thirty-seven:“I believe that is due to the disadvantage Madam Erin placed on you in the beginning. Although I would say the difficulty still remains above the norm. You should at the end of week two before this difficulty.” –She thinks for a moment before continuing.-

 

Thirty-seven: “I also believe if we suffer a loss now, we will be unable to  attain any victories for the rest of the month.”

 

“That’s kind of harsh don’t you think?”

 

Thirty-seven: “Not at all. Right now you are maintaining the first room with rifts so no matter the outcome of the battle you can still fill the first room. However we don’t have enough xp to even fill the middle room again if we suffer a loss.”

 

“That’s why we need to continue in Madam Erin’s dungeon. To gather more xp.”

 

Thirty-seven: “I agree. Also I believe it would be wise to switch Archer out for one of the mages at this point. Your magic is not enough if we encounter any more golems.”

 

“Ok, I guess we can leave the talk about [Menu] till this evening.”

 

Thirty-seven: “Also, bring along the magic stones. If we have downtime you can store a spell or two within them just in case you get low on magic.”

 

I equip my gear and register one of the new crimson kobold mages as “Mage” and with him, Block, Slash, and Thirty-seven we set out back into Madam Erin’s dungeon.

 

While checking the first floor I store a [Freeze] spell in one of the tiny magic stones and just the one spell manages to fill it.

 

“It looks like the tiny stones can only hold a single spell.”

 

Thirty-seven: “Well it is better than nothing. Come, this floor still appears to be empty.”

 

By the time we manage to make it to the door outside where we fought the golem yesterday Mage, and I fill all four of the tiny stones with [Freeze].

 

“She doesn’t seem to be filling the rooms we already cleared up.”

 

Thirty-seven: “That seems to be the case, but don’t let your guard down.”

 

I nod and we prepare to open the door to the next room. Once inside there is an empty room with 4 of the small golems we faced in the dungeon today.

 

Mage and I target one leaving it alive but frozen to the floor. Block shield bashes another knocking it down. Slash brings his sword down on a third, and Thirty-seven slashes at the last.

 

The golems begin to move, the frozen one’s arms spin in circles around its body, but it is bound and unable to hit anyone. The one that was sent tumbling by Block’s shield, easily gets up swinging both arms vertically parallel to its body. Block’s shield holds but the sound itself is hard on the ears.

 

Thirty-seven dodges several blows from the one she is attacking and Slash wedges his sword in a crevice of the one he is attacking, and just keeps it at sword’s length away.

 

Mage and I hit the bound golem each in turn this time it finally freezes over. Block bashes his golem again scattering rocks around the room, however lacking any intelligence the golem just keeps trying to push through his shield.

 

Slash’s sword slips and the golems swinging arms come crashing in hitting him in the hip, but he swings is greatsword around smashing into the stone creature hard.

 

Thirty-seven preforms a few quick slashes against hers while quickly dodging its stone fists.

 

Next Mage targets the one attacking Slash hitting the leg joint, and I target the arm of the one attacking Thirty-seven.

 

The stone fist crashing into Block’s shield cracks and crumbles but it doesn’t slow-down its assault. While Slash arc’s his sword down on the frozen joint of his golem separating the leg from the body.

 

Thirty-seven continues her dodging dance around her golem planting a few timely hits to the frozen shoulder, but it still doesn’t give.

 

Mage hits the golem flopping around on the floor with another spell causing it to finally quit moving, and I hit the one attacking Thirty-seven again in the same shoulder.

 

Block bashes his shield hard into the golem yet again, yet this time Slash hits it back to him with his sword like a game of ping pong.

 

Thirty-seven brings her sword down on the frozen shoulder yet again, this time causing it to separate from the rest of the creature. She then swings around knocking its legs out from underneath it.

 

With one more spell from both Mage and I the others wrap up the fight finally causing the golems to crumble to the floor in large chucks of rocks.

 

We rest in the room for a while, as Mage and I recover our magic. Thirty-seven goes around cracking open the rock golem remains pulling out the tiny magic stones.

 

After resting up we move on to two rooms repeating the process, as they contain the same setup of 4 golems.

 

While resting after the third room I noticed everyone is starting to look a little beat up, and my magic is not recovering near as fast.

 

“Fatigue seems to be starting to kick in. We are taking more damage each match. Even my magic is not recovering near as fast.”

 

Thirty-seven: “Yes, I believe we have two remaining rooms on this floor. However we might be able to only handle one more set of golems.”

 

We rest for a while longer then check the next room. This time we carefully peek inside instead of just busting in the door. After determining that it is indeed 4 more small golems we move in.

 

We manage to win the fight but at one point Slash lost his golem and it crashed into Mage. I had to use one of the potions to prevent Mage from dying..

 

“Well I guess we better call it now then. That was pretty close.”

 

Thirty-seven: “I still would rather you not waste the potions on the monsters, but I agree. Let us return to our dungeon.”

 

 

 

Dungeon Monster have returned from battle

 

Battle results:

 

Monster Thirty-seven (boss) has gained a level

 

Monster Slash has gained a level

 

Monster Block has gained a level

 

Monster Mage has gained a level

 

Acquired: 16 tiny magic stones

 

Losses: 1 watered down dealing potion, Slash sustained major damage, Block sustained moderate damage, Thirty-seven (boss) sustained moderate damage, Mage sustained major damage, Dungeon Core #212 [——-] suffered minor damage.

 

400xp gained from external source. 40 xp bonus for Dungeon Core #212 [——-] battle participation, 40xp bonus for Thirty-seven (boss) battle participation, 40xp bonus for no dungeon monster deaths, 80xp bonus for Training core training within parent dungeon

 

600 XP total rewarded

 

After returning to the core room I check over Thirty-seven’s wounds. She has a massive bruise to the ribs, and a few smaller ones on her arms, back, and legs. I however only have a small one on one of my shoulders.

 

“It hurts me to see you so bruised up… It seems wrong in some way.”

 

Thirty-seven: “I don’t understand. It is only natural that I have wounds greater than yours.”

 

“I understand that as my boss monster, but as a woman taking more damage than a man it just seems wrong somehow.”

 

Thirty-seven: “You truly say strange things at time. What does our gender have to do with who takes damage?”

 

“I….I don’t know… It just seems odd to me.”

 

I decide to change the subject, and we talk for the next few hours on [Menu]. Thirty-seven doesn’t go into detail in the monsters, items, and such as she said on that everyone’s [Menu] differs greatly. However after speaking several new screens and options are now dotted across my [Menu].

 

“Well tomorrow is the big day… I better prepare a few extra things to the dungeon before heading to bed. Why don’t you get some rest?”

Thirty-seven nods and lays down, and then I get to work making a few surprises for day seven. Working into the early hours of the morning I finally finish my preparations and head to bed myself.

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