Early next morning.
All of the members of the Demon Cave Clearing Squad were gathered together.
It was exactly 100 people, including Shione and myself. It is the maximum number of people that can go into a Demon Cave.
As I had requested, there were a lot of shield wielders.There were a total of 70 of them. The rest were magicians.
But the majority of them were prisoners again. Even the news about my participation didn’t seem to draw many people.
There were no returning members from the last Demon Cave Clearing Squad.
It’s better that they are not here. They were all less than level 150. It would be a waste to use people who are less than level 150 when anybody up to level 171 can enter it.
Even if they had experience clearing one Demon Cave, it still wasn’t enough to cover the 20 level difference. Plus, I was enough as someone with Demon Cave experience.
The synchronization had finished a long time ago. We were here for about a week simply fine tuning our team work.
Some of them fearlessly challenged me and were crushed. If we did not have any healing potions, they would probably still be whimpering in pain.
“Priest-nim, please do not leave my side.”
“Then, let’s go!”
We all entered the Demon Cave.
They said it was an XL Demon Cave, and it is disgustingly large. It’s already been 10 days since we entered, but the monsters are still only around level 200.
The boss monster’s level is 340. That means we will need to still go about 20 days to meet the Midnight Black Alligator.
The thankful thing is that Gaia’s Armor Set is keeping my stamina reduction low. Even though I was in the lead and taking care of monsters, I never really felt like I was tired.
In addition, Shione, who formed the scouting party with me, had really strong abilities.
Once I stopped walking and raised my hand, Shione, who was following behind me, crouched down as well.
“Is there something again?”
Shione should not be able to see anything right now. The magic light is very dim, and the monsters are around 100 meters away.
“The herd is quite large.”
I looked around the whole area.
I saw a boulder that was sticking up. The size and location was perfect for Shione to hide behind.
“Priest-nim, please stay here. Once I signal, you know to run toward the supporter squad, right?”
Different than last time, I divided the team into three squads. 20 shield-wielders were formed as the supporter squad. I had them following about 300 meters behind us.
At that distance, Shione would be able to quickly run to them in case of emergencies.
Shione quietly answered.
But it was still a very seductive voice. My heart still shook every time I heard her voice.
I probably need to have a deep conversation with her after this hunt. I don’t know what may happen if I do not warn her in advance.
I headed toward the herd of monsters on my own.
If I had the Skywolf’s Leather Armor on, I would have been able to get right in front of them. However, that type of approach was impossible without the, ‘Stealthy Approach,’ ability.
I stopped about 30 meters away from them.
At this distance, I was about 50 meters away from Shione, and since this was a location where the cave started to narrow, it was great place to block their path as well.
I took some fire marbles out and threw them in multiple directions. Shione would be in danger if the monsters managed to get past me, so I created a wall of fire behind me with the fire pillars.
As long as I protect this middle area, not a single mosner will be able to get past me.
Of course, I threw three to four fire pillars in front of me as well. It was to lower the monsters’ morale.
The monsters instantly realized I was there, and started to run toward me.
The combo hunting has begun.
Fire marbles and combo hunting was now almost mechanical for me. I repeated the action every time we ran into monsters on our way here.
I could feel the mana that Shione was controlling.
Support magic. To be specific, Mana Shield. Since I was relying on combo to hunt anyways, I had her only focus on defense.
The fire pillars were in excellent locations. There were quite a lot of monsters, but not too many managed to make it through the pillars at a time.
I chaotically swung my twin blades.
I was satisfied with the damage.
You could clearly see the 10% damage increase I got from the Gaia Set.
But why are there so many of them?
It must have been over 30 minutes, since I saw the fire pillars were slowly disappearing. I had managed to hunt over 3,000 monsters in that time.
But there were still quite a few monsters remaining. There must have been more monsters than I had expected. I knew this was an extremely large cave from the moment we entered, but it was bigger than what we had expected.
It suddenly made me afraid.
If it was a cave this large, how strong must the final boss be?
I took out another magic crystal and rolled it. There were so many monsters that I had to roll 10 of them.
But what are those? Something bad was approaching from farther away. It was a new monster. Every time it moved, I could hear the bones cracking against each other. Almost like they were breaking bones with their chin.
It finally revealed itself underneath the light.
‘Twin Stinger Scorpion!’
It looked similar to a scorpion, but its reverse facing stinger looked completely different. It was long like a snake, and moved on its own while looking for its prey.
If it is like this, it would be hard to anticipate the location of the attack.
Normal scorpions need to move their body first in order to move the tail. Because of that, you can use the movement of its body to anticipate the movement of its tail.
But the Twin Stinger Scorpion’s tail moves separate from its body.
In addition, since it moves silently in the air, it is even harder to deal with. Since there were also Dark Snakes that quietly move on the ground, it was even harder to know how it was moving.
It also has pincers to worry about.
Four tails attacked me from different directions at the same time. I quickly rolled my body away to dodge.
‘Shit! My combo got cut off!’
I used the monsters nearby as stepping stones to restart my combo, but it was broken up again. I had to roll my body in multiple directions because of the unanticipated attacks by the scorpion tails.
In the end, I was hit on the shoulder by one of them. It was the first dangerous situation since we arrived in this Demon Cave.
I instantly felt the flow of mana becoming stronger. The mana shield ignored everywhere else and started to focus on my shoulder, the place where I was hit by the poisonous stinger.
My eyes opened wide in shock.
‘This is point mana control!’
It is focusing all of the mana in one location. It is a very complicated mana control that only the best magicians can use.
To focus your magic in a narrow area like this, you need to have at least 1,000 magic points.
Shione showed that type of amazing mana control.
‘How is this possible?’
There was only two possible answers.
Shione is a magician of an extremely high level, or a mana genius who can grow to become a Grand Magician.
It must be the latter. If her level was high, she would not have been able to enter the Demon Cave.
It made me remember the information in the draft plan.
[Genius in magic!]
When I read it the first time, I just thought she was talented. But she is beyond that, and really must be a genius.
In addition, since I was wearing the Gaia Armor which was made of mithril, the damage was reduced significantly. It was reduced to the point my reinforced toughness could reflect the damage.
In the end, I did not take any damage at all.
I suddenly became really confident. If the Twin Stinger Scorpion’s attack was only this much, it won’t do any critical damage even if I get hit once or twice. Shione’s point mana control was also reliable.
I started to attempt some more dangerous attacks. I didn’t even dodge when a tail came to attack me from above. I just used the 20+ hit combo to attack the tail.
I opened my back up for attack by the tail, but the Twin Stinger Scorpion was injured as well. Within minutes, I was able to chop of all four tails.
On the other hand, I did not have any damage at all. Shione once again used point mana control to strengthen the mana shield.
I used the momentum to rush toward the body of the Twin Tail Scorpion.
The battle continued for about 10 minutes.
The final monster, the Twin Stinger Scorpion, let out a shriek as it fell. The fire marble was still gushing out a strong fire pillar, however, there were no monsters rushing past it.
I let out a sigh before waving toward Shione.
Shione got out from behind the boulder and came toward me.
“Omo! You were hurt. Here as well……”
Now that I looked around, my body was full of injuries. Elbow, back, the injury on my thigh was the worst.
Both Shione and I were only focused on the Twin Stinger Scorpion’s attack. We both forgot about the other weaker monster’s attacks that were hitting me.
“Please take it off.”
Shione approached me to take the armor off. At the same time, a mysterious fragrance was attacking my heart.
To be feeling lustful at a time like this.
This is why Shione makes me feel uncomfortable over and over.
I grabbed the hand Shione reached out to me in a slightly cold manner. I then started to speak in a just as cold tone.
“Do not do that to me.”
“……Huh? Do what?”
Shione blinked her large eyes and looked toward me. Seeing her doing that right in front of my face, I felt another shock in my heart.
Now it was Shione’s turn to be shocked.
“If you want to be on the same side as me, and if you want my help to rescue your grandfather. Do not use the Mind Control ability on me.”
Shione’s eyes opened extremely wide. She tried to not show any signs of shock, but I saw her shoulders flinch for a moment. She could not hide that.
“Using Mind Control on me is the same as attacking me. Don’t you agree?”
Shione could not say anything. She probably could not figure out what to say. She was probably not expecting me to know about her Mind Control ability.
The bigger shock was that I know about Shione’s grandfather Morris.
“The only way for me to resist the Mind Control is to go against you, Shione. Is that what you want?”
“Then we have our answer. I am also someone from the Batoru Kingdom. I respect Morris as well. Even if you don’t control me, we are already on the same side.”
Shione became like ice for a moment. WIth her entire body stiff, she was looking at me with her eyes endlessly quivering.
She then dropped her gaze and lowered her head.
That one sentence was enough. There was a lot of meaning inside of it.
She was admitting to using Mind Control on me, and was now apologizing for it. She was also agreeing to the, ‘How we can be on the same side,’ plan that I had just proposed.
At the same time, the lust that had filled my heart disappeared like snow melting away.
“Can we be more honest with each other now?”
“The supporter members behind us. The majority were sent by your dad, right? Ah, you don’t have to worry. I am someone from the Batoru Kingdom. Don’t forget we are on the same side.”
I was trying to reassure Shione.
Was that why? Shione started to nod her head.
“That is correct. The people led by Hans-nim last time were also ……”
Shione spilled all of the truth. It was as I had expected.
However, there was one thing I still had not figured out. More than a question, it was better to say it was unbelievable.
“But how is point mana control possible? I’ve heard it is not possible unless you have a significant amount of magic skills.”
“It is a family trait. Our family has been very talented with mana control for generations. I am a little more special in that aspect though.”
She really is an amazing genius.
I felt like I had found a treasure. It wasn’t perfected yet, but if I help Shione grow, she could be a reliable partner.
In addition, behind her was Morris and the influence of the Batoru Kingdom. I don’t know how strong that influence is, but it should be a pretty decent strength for me.
Since we were going to take a break anyways, Shione and I shared quite a lot of stories with each other.
Maybe that was the reason, but it felt like Shione’s expression was much brighter than before.
“Then shall we start again?”
“Yes. I’m ready.”
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Translator : Miraclerifle
Proofreader : Borderline Masochist