Magi Craft Meister 441 13 Stronghold Enhancement Arc 13-29 Struggle     “J-Jin... What are we going to do?”   Her face turned pale, Saki asked with a trembling voice.   “We...


Chapter 47

 

I had fought against monsters uglier, bigger, and scarier than these mutts. Compared to them, they were the lowest of the low. However, in the dark, alone, the dungeon walls had looked bigger than I remembered, so they looked more intimidating to me.

According to the database, they were categorized as KF-07, two-legged beasts, and called Declan Patrol Soldiers. The “official” nickname was “Guard Dogs”. Inevitably, those who faced them called them “Mutts”.  They had the body of adult human males and the heads of Dobermans.

I remembered when I had seen them before, and there were incidences of superstitious fear  because they looked like Anubis from Egyptian mythology, despite Anubis having the head of a jackal.

Anyway, I had not drawn them with defined musculature in my drawing, and their muscles were for running rather than fighting. They were nimble and fast, and the three bolted towards me when they saw me. (EN: Chapter 7.)

They were really fast! One was ahead of others and running at me as fast as it could with a mouth already wide open like a shark.

I saw a chance, as I would be able to thrust my sword into his mouth. Then, I will be fighting with only two. I looked at the oncoming monster and willed it to die as I raised my sword.

 

***

 

The moment I plunged my blade, dirty blood that came gushing out and splashed on my face. I closed one eye by reflex. The weight on the end of my blade was heavier than I expected, and I felt my right shoulder wrench painfully even as I rolled back after letting go of the blade. I took out my dagger for the shadow that came up in front of me. I had taken it out of the sheath on my thigh, and I had not been late. I had some time as the other one, who should have been following the second, was not there.

I pulled back the dagger and grabbed its neck with my other hand. Actually, I was just blocking it from pushing its head towards me. I saw its sharp teeth clack right in front of my face, and his drool flew everywhere as it shook his head.

However, I could not plunge the dagger in his neck. I let go of his neck and kicked its stomach, but I was already being pushed back. The moment I kicked one, the other tackled me.

My sight was blocked with its torso, and the monster was not heavy enough to kill me with its weight. My lower body was vulnerable, and I clenched my teeth instead of screaming.

I knew that my screams would drive them into a frenzy. I felt a sharp pain in my right leg. It was the one I had tried to use the dagger on, and it was trying to rip off my leg by standing up after clamping its teeth on my leg!

I punched the one that had tackled and pushed me down in the crotch and saw that the monster on my leg was doing the exact thing I expected. Our eyes met, and I threw the dagger. The dagger was quicker than stretching and stabbing it in its eye, and I stopped paying attention to how it was screaming and holding its head.

I wrestled the one who had rushed me right after I saw the dagger hit the mark, as that one had been going for my neck. I felt its head narrowly miss my neck and touch my ear.

Begone! I put my weight on the monster and glanced at the one I had hit with the dagger. It was rolling on the floor and grabbing the dagger handle. I wanted it to try pulling it out of its eye since it would bring it more pain!

I heard a scream under me as I turned my gaze at the one I held down, and I used my fist while that sound rang the corridor. I smashed its nose three times until its snout broke and changed positions to strangle its neck with my arms. I gave my arms all of my strength until I was the one grunting at the strain.

The one I shoved my sword into its craw and the one with the dagger in its eye could not fight, and this was my chance to reduce the numbers against me.

The one under me flailed like a fish, and the power it used to thrash around dragged me along. The monster managed to stand up, and I was stuck on its back with my arms around its neck. While I gave all of my power to pull it down, the monster managed to stand upright.

However, I knew that the monster would die soon, and its last chance was when the monster tried to grab my head by reaching out behind with both arms. I felt intense pressure on my head and felt my world spin. That was a bad sign, but the Adversity Overcomer title was not activated yet. It meant that while I was feeling a lot of pain, the situation was not dire enough.

It was over in a moment, as the pressure on my head and the monster’s resistance to my strength disappeared in a second. The monster went limp as I heard the loud “Crack!” as I felt the neck give as I wrenched with all my strength, and it went down and remained still when I let it go.

 

[You have beaten the Declan Patrol Soldier.]

[You have gained two points.]

[Declan Extermination: Exterminated Declan Soldier 1/60]

 

I breathed in deep and saw the two others that were down. The one with the sword stuck in its throat was laboriously breathing, and losing its battle to breath while aspirating black blood, and the one grabbing its empty eye socket was lying down and trembling.

I saw additional messages that seemed to notify me of my win.

 

[You have beaten the Declan Patrol Soldier.]

[You have gained two points.]

[Declan Extermination: Exterminated Declan Soldier 2/60]

 

The one with the sword had died, and I walked up to the last one remaining. It was in enough shock to not notice me, and I picked up the dagger it had somehow wrenched out of its eye socket, bent down near its head, and stabbed the blade in the back of the neck, severing the spine.

 

[You have beaten the Declan Patrol Soldier.]

 

***

 

If there had been other mutts nearby, they would have come running. The Guard Dogs intellect and instincts were about that much. The moment I determined I had emptied a corridor, I felt my leg ache and my shoulder sting. My head hurt from the pressure it had received from the monster. It was only natural that I looked at the box that was still there, as I may be able to get a reward that was worth fifty fights like this from that box if I was lucky.

However, everyone knew about things like Equivalent Exchange, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and Montrose’s Toast. (EN: Equivalent Exchange is the principle that limits alchemy’s infinite potential. It’s a simple concept: something cannot be created from nothing, and so in order to obtain something, something else of equal value must be lost.) (EN: The second law of thermodynamics states that in a natural thermodynamic process, the sum of the entropies of the interacting thermodynamic systems never decreases. The Second Law says that Perpetual Motion Machines, which can only operate with free energy, is impossible.) (EN: “He either fears his fate too much, Or his desserts are small, Who dares not put it to the touch, To win or lose it all!” James Graham, 5th Earl of Montrose. Montrose’s toast says without risking defeat, victory is unattainable.)

The risks of dungeon boxes were varied, and while I did not want to think about the  stat decrease or deep wounds, the worst were Afflictions of the Mind.

Those Afflictions were indeed curses, and ranged from fear of a certain monster to complete destruction of the self.

Since the one in front of me was a bronze box, there was a high possibility that the worst case scenario would not happen. I had received an escape insignia from a box like this before but could not gamble just on that possibility.

Even Jonathan, who had been blind for revenge, only opened dungeon boxes when necessary, such as when we had needed to find necessary items to conquer a high-class dungeon.

I checked my wounds. The one on the shoulder was light, but the bite in my leg was quite severe. I saw that the ground was wet with my blood that had spread before I stopped bleeding, and it seemed that I had bled more than the monsters.

There was only one drug sold in the market useful for hunters. The contents of my backpack were mixed up due to the fight, and I had placed liquids in metal canteens. The top of the plastic pillbox was gone, and I reached out to the bottom of my backpack to find the pills that had been spilled. I grabbed one that was codeine, which was an addictive narcotic analgesic. This was the best I could do for now, as drugs for hunters, which should be treated like dungeon boxes, did not exist yet.

I went to the nearest monster corpse to rip open its stomach with my dagger and put my hand in like I had searched for the pills. I felt its heart between its ribs and found what I had been looking for.

What was I doing? [email protected] habits. My body had been moving according to my memories, even when I did not need to look through their intestines to find their magic stones.

I took out my hand and wiped it on my pants. I could feel the monster’s blood wet the cloth and remembered that they had red blood just like us.

It seemed that the painkiller was working at this point, as my head cleared. I wished over and over again as I walked to the end of the corridor that there was only one monster in the next room. Only one!

Ah, but I was not so lucky. I remembered again that one should not go into a dungeon alone as the door opened. I saw them as the door swung open and saw at least five within my field of view.

Closing the door carefully wouldn’t do anything to avoid the encounter, as their Night Eyes were far superior to mine, and their eyes shined like cats in the darkness. They were not surprised to see other beings, as they did not know fear. They only knew blood and rage and had been waiting for someone to rip apart.

The one that saw me came up sprinting, and the others of the pack were not far behind. Six, seven, eight, nine, and the number was increasing.

Trying not to use my skill had been arrogance on my part, as I should have used it from the first room. [email protected] Using it on the weapon rather than on myself had been effective during practice.

 

[You have activated Odin’s Wrath.]

[Target: Weapon, your longsword.]

 

Blue light came out in sparks from the blade, and I kicked the door open. Come here, you [email protected] mutts!

 

Edited by Userunfriendly

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