Thanks to the Editor for pointing out issues
Let’s be an Adventurer! ~Defeating Dungeons with a Skill Board~ 146
Let’s Confirm What’s Troubling Van!
The awkward atmosphere crumbled away instantly with a rattling noise.
Haruki, Karen, and even Van, were all taken aback by it so much that neither could keep their cool about it.
“Well, I’ll say! Do you really think it’s okay to keep me locked up inside that tiny bracelet for so long, Karen!? I’ll have you know, I also have the right to enjoy freedom… Huuuh!?”
After complaining to Karen, Chep realized Van was there and suddenly yelled in astonishment.
Her aloof atmosphere became more and more mellow until she started wriggling about like the devil’s tongue.
“Well, well, well! What a fine gentleman! You certainly are Lord Van, are you not? Don’t tell me you have come here to honor me with your gracious presence?”
“…” (Hey, Karen, do something.)
“…” (Sorry, she’s really putting up a lot of resistance about getting back into the bracelet.)
“…” (…This is Air’s team, after all.)
“What are you whispering over there? Perhaps I could join you as well?”
“…” (Give me a break!)
Aside from Chep, everyone else was in perfect agreement.
“So, am I right? Have you come to see me, Lord Van?”
“See? You guys are just in the way of my date with Lord Van, so toodle-oo, off you go –Ack-argh-bwah!!”
Just when everyone was about to resign themselves to Chep’s eccentricities, a potato came flying to her face.
After Chep was hit by the potato bullet, she too was sent flying by the impact.
She made an unpleasant “bang” as she crashed into the wall.
As expected from a Dungeon Lord’s material, it remained impeccable even after being struck by both the potato bullets and Chep.
After being hit by the potato and then the wall, Chep ended up lying on the floor cramping with her eyes turned on themselves.
“It’s very sturdy, huh?”
“…Yeah. It’s very hard wood. It was tough to work with.”
“Hey, don’t ignore me!!”
Chep had regained consciousness and had lost her temper.
Rare’s shooting had been considerably strong, but Chep had sustained no actual damage.
It seems that her physical level had risen considerably due to the division of experience points.
Haruki was worried that he might have caused her level to rise to an extent that was too ridiculous even for her own body.
At this rate, this bipedal salmon might evolve to a point where she wouldn’t get hurt even when trampled by a large truck.
Haruki and the others left Van’s house, dragging the furious Chep with them.
“What could have happened to Van?”
“I can somewhat imagine what happened.”
“You do, Karaboshi?”
Judging from Van’s fragmented words, Haruki had a rough idea of what was troubling him.
Van was feeling he was inferior to his teammates, which is why he decided to train by himself.
But if Haruki had said so in front of Van, he would have hurt his pride as an adventurer.
For those who try to do something silently, it would be best to wait silently for it to be done, rather than speaking about it a hundred times.
“Is there anything we can do to help?”
“Not right now at least.”
After walking with Karen back to the hotel, Haruki went to the dungeon’s entrance.
He went down the first step into the entrance’s stairs and leaned against the wall.
There, he took his Skill Board out and quickly swiped on its screen.
“I should be able to see what this is all about in here…”
Even though he felt he was being a little rude, Haruki wanted to find out what was causing Van to feel that he was so weak compared to his teammates.
He wasn’t going to fix anything, if he did in fact were to find something.
But he wanted to be able to respond immediately whenever he had to.
As he expected, he was within range. Van’s tree appeared on the screen.
Banno Tatsuya (24) Gender: Male
Skill Points: 33
Class: Great Sword King
├ Stamina 4
└ Natural Recovery 3
└ Strength 6
├ Energy Power 3
├ Energy Compatibility 1
└ Energy Manipulation 0
├ Quickness 4
└ Dexterity 3
├ Equipment Mastery
│├ Great Sword 5
│└ Heavy Armor Mastery 4
└ Tool Mastery 4
└ Detection 1
└ Weakness Exploit MAX
Looking at his skill tree, Haruki noticed something unusual.
“There’s no Divine Protection…”
As a member of Team Aerial, Van had reached the same floor in “Chikaho” as Kagemitsu.
Despite this, for some reason, his tree didn’t show any Divine Protection.
“…That’s weird. It should have appeared as soon as he reached the 10th floor.”
But wait- Haruki shook his head.
In the dungeon in Nakasatsunai, even after Esta reached the 10th floor, no Divine Protection had appeared for him either.
It wasn’t until Esta reached the 10th floor of the garage dungeon that a Divine Protection finally appeared in his skill tree. Would the same phenomenon occur for Van as well?
“But even though they had reached the same floor in the same dungeon, Kagemitsu did obtain a Divine Protection while Van didn’t…”
Haruki couldn’t tell why it had been different for Van.
Wasn’t a Divine Protection something that would be obtained automatically after you reach a specific floor?
“Well, that’s a bummer.”
Haruki was thinking that he could do something with his Skill Board if it was something too worrisome.
With the Skill Board, he could make Van stronger with a few taps.
But Haruki couldn’t give Van a Divine Protection with his Skill Board.
(…I see. So this must be the reason.)
Haruki realized that the reason why Van felt so weak compared to his teammates was the fact that he didn’t have a Divine Protection.
Haruki and Karen had been greatly empowered by their Divine Protections.
Haruki had gained the fairly strong ability to detect and exploit monsters’ weak spots, and Karen had not only increased the power of her lightning attacks, but was now able to use other kinds of magic as well.
Having a Divine Protection can dramatically increase one’s performance in battle.
If all the members of Team Aerial had a Divine Protection and only Van was the one didn’t…
Then Van would be easily able to tell that there was a huge difference in power between himself and the rest of his team.
Looking at his overall skills, they were by no means weak. His physical abilities should be the same as with the other members of Team Aerial.
In other words, the presence or absence of a Divine Protection –or an Enlightenment Skill, was the cause of his loss of self-confidence.
In any case, it really did seem that there was nothing that Haruki could do in this particular situation.
Just as he had told Karen, he had no choice but to watch over things for a while.
＊ ＊ ＊ ＊ ＊ ＊ ＊ ＊ ＊
A week had passed since they visited Van’s house.
Haruki and the others continued to map the 17th floor after a two-day break.
It took them a considerable amount of time to map the entire floor because it was 4 or 5 times larger than the 1st floor, and because it was a forest stage.
However, it was well worth their time, since Haruki and the others finally discovered the boss’ whereabouts.
“Yeah. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a deer this big.”
The boss was a huge deer, about twice as tall as Haruki.
Its body was shaped less like a spotted deer and more like an elk’s.
It was so huge that it would throw one’s sense of perspective around it just by looking at it.
Its antlers spread like a spatula towards their tip, and were larger in size than the deer’s head.
Haruki felt that those antlers were big enough to hurl him away with ease.
“Well, let’s go.”
They would start at the count of three.
Jumping out of the woods, Haruki headed straight for the deer.
When he jumped out of the trees, the deer noticed Haruki’s existence.
A surprise attack was now impossible.
Regardless, Haruki still used his momentum to slash at the deer.
The slash that was aimed at its neck was blocked off by its huge antlers.
The deer was violently shaking its head.
Haruki’s short sword was caught between the antlers’ branches.
He stepped back in order to avoid getting his weapon stuck.
Unlike regular deer, the boss had large protrusions and branches on its antlers.
Haruki could be easily forced to let go of his weapons should they get stuck there.
That would be a pain.
Haruki smacked his lips.
At the same time as Haruki withdrew, Karen and Rare started attacking almost at the same time.
Karen’s lightning strikes burned the boss’s flesh, and Rare’s throwing caused damage to its legs.
The boss dropped to its knees due to the two-pronged attack of lightning and throwing.
At that moment…
Haruki took the chance to strike.
He slashed with his Magic Sword at the stream of light.
Before the Magic Sword could reach that stream…
The boss moved slightly.
It hadn’t been enough to completely avoid Haruki’s attack, but the resulting wound ended up being more shallow than intended.
Haruki thought about trying again, but…
He suddenly stopped after feeling signs of a counterattack.
He stepped back immediately.
Right after that, the boss’ antlers passed through the spot where he had been standing.
Haruki’s spine shivered.
A strong willpower that allowed it to deliver a counterattack even after having taken in attacks strong enough to make its body go numb.
And a powerful body that allowed it to make full use of that strong willpower.
This deer was at a level that set it apart from previous bosses.
Was it that its HP was high, or its body was tough, or that its willpower was too strong?
Haruki was very interested in how far his opponent could fight.
This is good. This is really good.
If his opponent would fight back, all he had to do was to keep pushing at it until it could no longer do so.
Haruki made the gear of his consciousness turn faster and faster.
Slash, cleave, stab, kick.
Go around it and attack it from behind.
Attack, react, turn around.
Defend, dodge, counterattack.
Accelerate the body’s speed to its utmost limit.
When Haruki shifted gears, the boss’ reaction became slower.
The boss was at the mercy of Haruki’s movement.
As he was played around with, right on his unprotected flank…
A direct hit from both lightning and potatoes.
Pushed by the sheer power of the attacks, the boss’ stance was broken once again.
The tip of Haruki’s Magic Sword pierced deep into its chest.
Haruki pushed his Magic Sword into a single point on the boss’ chest, which was lit by an intense light.
The tip seemed to have reached its heart. The boss’s body suffered an intense spasm and then stopped moving.
Haruki then took a step back to create some distance.
He carefully watched over the deer’s twitching body.
The dungeon flashed lightly as the boss’s spasms stopped completely.
At the same time, Haruki felt a light dizziness.
It had been a while since he got a case of level-up sickness.
“Good job, Karaboshi.”
“You too, Karen. Nicely done.”
After loosening the tense thread of their tension, Haruki sheathed his weapons back into their scabbards.
As they looked at the boss’ body getting itself buried into the dungeon’s ground…
“This boss was pretty strong. Even with my lightning attacks, I couldn’t stop its movements completely.”
“Yeah. It wasn’t as hard as that black knight, but still…”
That had been a special case. Haruki knew he never wanted to fight anything like that black knight ever again.
Not to mention its strength, Haruki hated the fact that the dark knight had been impossible to read.
When dealing damage, when trying to dodge an attack, or when going against your opponent’s expectations…
Living monsters would always show a reaction to such actions with their bodies and their faces.
However, the dark knight had no facial expressions and no muscles. It was like a suit of armor that had been possessed by a ghost.
There was no telling how much damage was done even after delivering an attack, and continuously trying to dodge its attacks would make Haruki suspicious about whether that was his opponent’s goal all along.
Whenever the enemy showed no reaction, it would drive Haruki’s fighting spirit into a corner.
This deer boss, on the other hand, was visibly hurt when he took damage and was upset when Haruki dodged its attacks. It may have been a high level boss, but it was still easier to fight than that black knight.
“It was certainly easier than that, but I’m sure that as we keep going through the dungeon, even regular monsters will eventually become as strong as that…”
“You’re probably right.”
Haruki smiled reflexively as he could tell that Karen didn’t seem to be pleased at all with that idea.
It was easy to feel discouraged by thinking that that strength would be the norm at some point.
“But by that time, we’ll be stronger too. Let’s do our best to get stronger until then.”
There should be more time ahead before that became the norm.
They just had to to keep leveling up and become even stronger than the black knight.
All they had to do was to keep getting stronger, and become adventurers who can defeat whatever comes their way without struggling.
Two items emerged from the spot where the boss was absorbed by the dungeon.
The first one was one of its antlers, which was actually pretty big, spreading over 1 meter long.
The other one was a silver-colored lump.
“Is this some kind of ore? It’s the first time I’ve seen this.”
“Yeah. Is it silver?”
When Haruki picked up the silver-colored lump, he felt that it was fairly heavy.
He looked closely and observed the lump, but he couldn’t tell if it was actually silver.
It was no surprise to him. Haruki had great eyes for observation, but not so much for appraisal.
He had no eyes nor knowledge to judge whether this was silver or another material.
(But if this is actual silver, then Rhea should react to it…)
So far, Rhea hadn’t shown any signs of her wanting the ore, she was just looking at it in a strange way.
This was probably not the kind of treasure that Rhea would want.
So there was little chance that this was actual silver.
“Should we take it to Akane’s store for now?”
They stored the materials in the magic bag and went down to the 18th floor to activate the gate.
Then they took a glance at the 18th floor.
This floor was also a forest stage like the 17th floor.
Looking at the clock, it was already 5 o’clock.
If they kept on hunting at this hour, they wouldn’t be able to get back to Akane’s shop before she closed for the day.
Haruki and Karen decided to start exploring the 18th the following day, and used the gate to return to the surface.