I couldn’t stop wondering every time I saw the Hansen posse.
Just who are they?
Why would they choose to come into this dangerous Demon Cave?
Based on their actions so far, their goal does not seem to be very different than mine. Clear the Demon Cave and get the reward.
I was sure about that based on how much he was doing to make sure the teamwork was maintained.
But the only reward that I could think of that was worth it was the Unicorn Horn Flute.
This many people put their lives on the line for a single Unicorn’s Horn Flute?
That makes no sense.
‘Is there perhaps an amazing reward that I don’t know about?’
If that’s the case, they will show their true colors as we defeat the final boss monster.
I just need to make sure to keep my guard up all the way until the end.
‘Do not get hurt. Always maintain enough stamina.’
I thought to myself as I looked inside the giant hall.
It was full of monsters.
I wonder how many there are.
There were at least tens of thousands of monsters. There were weak monsters among them like Cave Goblins, but the majority were over level 150.
‘Shit, there is even a Red Snake!’
It is around level 180. It always moves in a group, and not only does it crawl across the floor, it can freely crawl on the walls and ceiling. Which means, you need to keep your attention on all 360 degrees while you fight it.
Thankfully, I was able to know its weakness thanks to the draft plan.
‘What else is there?’
Blood Dog, Big Cat, Death Monkey, Death Cow……
It was like a gathering location for all sorts of monsters. They ranged greatly in size, color, and even level.
But I did not see the boss monster yet. If it is a monster boss for something of this size, it will be, at minimum, in the late 200s……
‘Oh, is that also a monster?’
I saw a slick boulder in the center of the hall.
But as I took a closer look, it was not a boulder. It was squirming around.
I was certain. It was not a boulder but the octopus’s head. I experienced many times in the game, and I memorized its information from the draft plan as well.
Because of that, I was hoping it would be any other monster but the Cave Octopus, but damn it, why did it have to be him?
It wasn’t because he was hard to deal with.
‘Shit, terrible luck.’
There are two main reasons users entered dungeons in the game.
One was for a quick level up, and the other was for the quest reward item or the items they could earn from defeating the final boss monster.
I was the same way.
The biggest reason was the, ‘Unicorn’s Horn Flute,’ but I couldn’t ignore the item I may earn from defeating the boss monster. If I was lucky enough to have the boss monster be something like the Golden Turtle, I could have earned a rare item like the, ‘Golden Scales,’ and put it to good use.
My anticipation had gone up because of the Hansen posse as well. If they were aiming for anything, that had to be it.
But the Cave Octopus did not have anything like that.
Well, one thing. It dropped the ‘Light Breaker,’ with a low probability.
If something like that comes out, I would be saying gracias for sure.
Anyways, just how tall is it?
It seemed to be at least 10 meters tall. Then the legs should be at least three times as long. The tentacles would be over 50 meters long. It would be a terrible miscalculation to think it would move slowly because it was an octopus on land. Normally it is just lounging around like that, but once it turns to attack mode, the tens of legs move very quickly.
The more dangerous thing is that there are a lot of different parasitic monsters around the Cave Octopus.
The Bite Worm is smaller than your forearm, but they have sharp teeth that can rip off your skin with a single bite. The Blood Spiders are the size of a soccer ball but can easily jump close to 5 meters. Once they stick to you, it is hard to get them off.
They stick to you and pretty much stick a straw in your body and suck your blood.
The Juggle Ant hops around like a flea as they approach you. They are the size of a fist and also stick to your body and bite down with their teeth. They are pretty poisonous, so a single bite can be very painful.
There should be at least ten thousand of those.
‘It is not going to be an easy battle.’
But I cannot avoid this battle. I need to figure out a way to defeat them all.
I lowered my presence and moved away from the hall.
Eaton had a curious look on his face, but he could not speak out of caution.
The two of us went back to meet up with the rest of the party.
“Lower your voice. The boss monster group is approximately 500 meters away.”
500 meters should be far enough for most noise to be okay.
But every so often, there are really sensitive ones, so it is smart to be cautious.
“What is the boss monster?”
“What is that?”
“This is my first time hearing about it.”
It is not a common monster. It is so big that it usually doesn’t come out even if the Demon Cave is open.
Which mean, it is a monster you can only see if you enter Demon Caves.
“It is close to level 300.”
“A level 300 monster in a level 149 Demon Cave.”
“We have no luck. Spit!”
Everyone was feeling down. They must be thinking it will be impossible to return alive.
The Hansen posse was the same way. They weren’t saying negative things like the prisoners, but their expression also became darker.
Which means, they would have had no prior information about the final boss monster. Then they shouldn’t have the drop as their goal.
I can’t understand them even more now.
“Then what are we supposed to do from here?”
“Do we have to end up as fodder for the Cave Octopus like this?”
That is if I wasn’t here.
“We still have to try. We can’t just give up.”
“Do you have a plan?”
“First, let’s get rid of the other monsters. There shouldn’t be any more than 100,000, but there is still too many.”
Are they trying to kill us? Why are they not cautious at all?
I lifted up my finger to my lips and they finally quieted down again.
There really wasn’t a difference with the number of monsters. The important thing was how many strong monsters that would difficult to handle.
The number of those strong monsters I saw were not that many.
Which means, this was a prime chance to raise my level up a good amount.
Not just me, but for our whole team. Although, the majority of the experience will go to me.
“We just need to set up in the right place. If we fight in a small area, even if it was 1,000,000 monsters instead of 100,000, we would be able to take them on.”
“If you are talking about a small area, that place we passed by earlier would be good.”
There are many forks in Demon Caves.
But it was not like a maze. They were made so that even though they split, they eventually end up coming back together. There was a fork like that not too far back, one that broke off into three areas.
Right before that fork was a pretty large area that could almost be considered a hall.
It was like the heavens created a fortress for us to take care of the monsters.
“Let’s head there first.”
“Are you all ready?”
Everyone nodded their heads at my question. All of their eyes were extremely wide with nervousness.
I really wanted to direct each of them to do this or that, but I have never led a team before. In that aspect, Hansen should be better than me.
“Hansen-nim. I leave it up to you.”
“I understand. Please be careful.”
I looked at Eaton this time.
“Are you ready?”
Eaton did not back away this time either. He changed the magic crystal in his staff to a fresh one and clenched it tightly.
The party members opened the door made of a shield for us. Each tunnel had about 30 of them stationed and prepared with a shield wall.
Step. Step. I walked forward.
Eaton followed me about 30 meters behind. It was the furthest he could be without being out of range to support me. The support magic should be weaker like this, but Eaton should be safer.
I lifted up my hand at the entrance of the hall.
The magic light on his helmet made it not possible to see Eaton’s face. But I’m sure he’s very nervous right now.
I took out my cutlass and clenched it tightly. I also drank a XL intermediate healing potion in advance.
Next, I took out a fire marble and threw it into the hall.
A fire pillar shot up from the marble.
I then started to hit the sidewall of the hall entrance with my cutlass.
The sound of metal hitting boulder was pretty sharp. This Demon Cave that was completely made of boulder echoed the noise far far away.
The atmosphere in the hall instantly changed. I heard all sorts of noises before I heard a rumble and felt the ground starting to shake.
Following that was a giant crowd heading toward us.
The first monsters to come out were the Big Cats as I expected. They are similar to cats, but they are so skinny it looks like only their bones are left.
I think it would be accurate to call them a large cat zombie.
But their speed was super fast. With that kind of speed, they should be able to run 100 meters in less than 5 seconds.
I took out 8 fire marbles and threw it around me.
Fire pillars started to shoot up in multiple locations.
The Big Cats twisted their bodies in shock. Thanks to that, their momentum disappeared.
On the other hand, I was not affected that much. With the effect from Bogochan’s Necklace as well as my own affinity, my current fire affinity was 56%. Even Amy’s over level 300 Fire Wall did not harm me.These fire pillars should not be stronger than a level 100 Fire Magician’s Fire Pillar.
I also felt the flow of mana throughout my body. Eaton had put a mana shield on me from the back.
Focus more on defense rather than offense.
That was what I had asked him to do. I didn’t need the attack help since I was going to rely on combo anyways to attack.
I started to swing BachuPichu’s Twin Blades.
The Big Cat was fast, but I wasn’t much slower. I twisted my body to make the Big Cat’s front foot that was attacking me go by, before landing my first combo.
The Big Cat did not receive much damage. It was because the attack strength of the cutlass was not that high.
But this was just the beginning.
The combo level quickly went up. In less than 5 seconds, it was already over a 20 hit combo.
The Big Cat finally started to show a reaction. It seems to be in a lot of pain.
‘I’m hurting too!’
The Big Cat’s front feet scratched me in multiple locations. I could avoid one or two of them without getting injured, but with tens of them attacking me at once, I couldn’t avoid them all.
But it was not a dangerous level. Thanks to my intuition, which was over 90, I was able to dodge the majority of the attacks, and the ones that only skim me couldn’t damage me because of my reinforced toughness.
Every so often, I got scratched pretty badly, but the injury wasn’t too bad because of reinforced toughness and Eaton’s Mana Shield.
But the same could not be said for the Big Cat.
Once Combo passed 40 hits, they received a lot of damage with each attack, and died with a second attack.
I did not start to retreat.
No, it was not time to retreat just yet. I need to at least take care of all the Big Cats before retreating.
It was because of Eaton. I could run as fast as the Big Cat, but Eaton, whose stats were focused on magic, would be caught in less than 100 meters.
On one hand, I had some confidence as well. I could handle this level of fighting on my own without much injuries. There was also something I have not used yet.
But there really are a lot of them. Now, the Blood Dogs joined in as well.
‘Don’t all come at once you freaking mutts!’
My combo had already reached 70 hits.
Each swing of my cutlass cut the neck, leg, or waist of a Big Cat or Blood Dog. It didn’t really matter which it was.
‘Shit! Critical damage fail! Restart!’
My combo ended and I restarted from level 1 combo.
<Your level has increased.>
As I continued to slash and slash again, I could not see anymore Big Cats or Blood Dogs. I managed to get rid of the ones with overwhelming speed.
Not even 3 minutes had gone by since it started.
But I had hunted over 500 monsters.
It will be dangerous if I take any more time. If too many monsters show up, I will not have enough room to move around. Even if I manage to kill 10,000 monsters, it would be useless if my body couldn’t handle it.
I specifically need to be careful to not get injured. I need to be wary about the Hansen posse in addition to the monsters. I need to be prepared for the, ‘what ifs,’ at all time.
I can’t forget about Eaton as well. I need to give him enough time to run away.
The Fire Marbles seem to have about 5 minutes left. I should start preparing now.
I shouted toward Eaton.
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Translator : Miraclerifle
Proofreader : Borderline Masochist