Chapter 096: Shadow of the Evil God
Everybody’s gaze gathered on me.
They’ll most likely obey any choice I make …
If it follows the report then a Chimera should be in this boss room. However, this time, there is a possibility that there would be undead hidden within as well.
I absolutely do not want to head towards the jaws of death and neither do I want to order everyone to go towards it as well.
” … I expect a Chimera to be inside. There’s also the possibility of a Wraith as well …”
I couldn’t come to a decision so I asked for everyone’s advice.
Ultimately, I will not force the responsibility onto anybody else, but I could not bring myself to gamble their lives or impose my will on them.
“I believe normally you would have withdrawn here but … is there anything that you are hung up on?”
Lionel looked at me with an earnest gaze and looked like he was trying to anticipate my thoughts.
“The truth is, I want to go back … but, I have a feeling that … if we leave the labyrinth in this state, the labyrinth might grow even more impregnable and the monsters would become stronger. I can’t say this for certain without entering and taking a look but that’s the kind of feeling I have right now … that’s all.”
“Then, let’s proceed nya.”
“If Luciel-sama thinks so then we can only follow.”
“Luciel-sama, please make your decision based on your intuition. Even if you give the decision to withdraw, none of us would be troubled.”
Cathy chose to proceed, Kefin and the other will follow my decision while Lionel used words that he would normally never use. (TL: Remember, Lionel is a battle maniac so he will never want to willingly withdraw hahaha)
” … We’ll immediately retreat if I believe it is dangerous. We’ll force the door ajar using a log. Immediately inform me if you suffer from abnormal states due to attacks from the Chimera or even if you suspect it.”
Thus, I decided to proceed.
The moment we opened the door to the 40th-floor boss room and entered, I took out a log from the stock of logs in my magic bag and used it as a stopper such that the door would not close.
The instant we moved toward the center, the dimly lit room brightened, I was prepared to cast purification magic the instant undead appeared but only 5 Fire Sabre-toothed Tigers were reflected in my eyes.
It was slightly anticlimactic but one tiger was my limit with my ability.
Of course, instead of defeating it, I waited for Lionel and the others to come to my rescue. However.
Unlike the previous time, Dolan, Paula, and Baderu squad weren’t here.
Due to that, the Fire Sabre-toothed Tiger captured in my eyes opened its mouth widely and came flying towards me. I was caught off guard and my mind was in chaos, maybe it was by instinct but before I knew it, I had taken out the Holy Dragon Spear from my magic bag.
Thanks to my instinctual act, the Holy Dragon Spear skewered the center of the mouth of the Fire Sabre-toothed Tiger.
The Fire Sabre-toothed Tiger’s movements only completely stopped when there was only 30cm distance between me and the Fire Sabre-toothed Tiger.
I was extremely frightened at the thought that the outcome would have been different if I was but a second late, but since it deliberately opened its mouth and flew toward me, I had a feeling … that I was under the continued protection of Great Luck-sensei.
After confirming that the Fire Sabre-toothed Tiger turned into a magic stone, I turned my sight to the other battles and Cathy and Lionel had already finished their battles. Kefin squad was still in combat but they were on the offensive and were on the cusp of concluding it.
“To have defeated it alone, as expected of a Dragon Slayer nya.”
“He has already completely exceeded the realm of a healer.”
The 2 of them grinned as they returned as my escort.
“You’ve beaten me black and blue every day so you should know my ability.”
“If it’s no holds barred, I think Luciel-sama is already decently strong nya.”
“Actual combat is the inherent strength of a person. If you diligently persevere for another 10 years, it would become pretty interesting.”
I did not ask what aspect would become interesting.
Because some would say that that’s called a flag …
“Yes yes. Nevertheless, considering that no undead appeared after the 31st floor, do you think that the labyrinth is rapidly recovering its strength or that it is remaking itself …”
The smiles on the faces of the 2 of them disappeared after listening to my words.
The 2 of them were definitely thinking about the same thing.
“Then, how should we proceed?”
“As our original plan, we will recover magic stones … and after seeing the 50th-floor boss, decide to return using the magic circle or return by walking back.”
“Understood nya. Ah, the battle there should be ending soon nya.”
During our conversation, Kefin squad made full use of their cooperation in numbers to draw the fight to a conclusion.
“Compared to some time back, their battle outcome was completely certain.”
“They’ve been diligently doing what they can so the result of that is starting to show nya.”
The 2 of them looked like they felt the growth of Kefin squad.
” … To diligently do what I can huh.”
As I posed those words to myself, I conveyed to them that we were ascending further up.
I first healed the injuries of Kefin squad and we had a brief rest before we ascended the stairs.
The undead did not appear after the 41st floor as well.
The number of monsters was slightly more compared to the previous time but because we had already completed the map, we did not need to spread our forces thin and we advanced via the shortest route.
We arrived in front of the 50th-floor boss room without experiencing any difficult battles at all.
It was 5 hours after we departed from the 40th-floor boss room.
” … So ominous nya.”
” … It’s a lot more concentrated compared to the previous time we were here.”
“To have miasma leaking out in such concentrations until it is visible means that I can begin purifying from here?”
I took out the food for dinner and left it to Kefin squad to do the remaining preparations while I chanted purification magic with a mental image of the interior of the boss room.
After chanting purification magic countless times, I proceeded to draw a mental image of the interior of the boss room to install a magic circle chant to trigger 「Sanctuary Circle」 and 「Purification」, and the miasma emission ceased.
“Today I’ll continue to use 「Purification」here and we’ll take a peek into the boss room tomorrow. If the Red Dragon appears, this time, there are no guarantees that I would be able to win.”
“Well then, after our dinner, we’ll trouble Luciel-sama to purify the boss room. If you can place Object X here, Cathy and I will bring Kefin and the others to collect magic stones.”
“Okay. I’ll go have some sleep when I have 20% magical power remaining. Everyone don’t push yourselves too hard and substitute each other so that you can sleep earlier. Since tomorrow might be even more hectic than today.”
After placing Object X at the passage to seal the entry of monsters, I draw an image of cleanly purifying the boss room and began chanting.
Cathy and Kefin squad went to sleep while Lionel and Yarubo squad went to defeat monsters.
I touched the door to the boss room with my hand while meditating, hoping that the purification would penetrate into the door and continued to activate my magic.
Then, I unintentionally noticed something.
In the past, I always used magic while maintaining an image but now I don’t seem to do so anymore?
I further thought, was I beginning to have misconceptions because I was gradually getting more proficient?
I asked and answered myself and it certainly seems so.
My Holy attribute magic could reach such high levels because I could see my proficiency values.
Of course, I did put in the effort as well, but after having such thoughts, I laughed at myself as I considered that I’m not a skilled person after all.
When I departed from Ienith, I did decide to visit Meratoni once to retrain myself under Instructor Broad for a week.
“I still don’t have the knack of commanding people even now. I’ve got to try even harder.”
I murmured as my magical power reached 20% remaining and I took out the Angel Pillow from my magic bag before going to sleep.
When I woke up, there was no sign of Lionel and the others but Cathy and the lightly wounded Kefin squad was around.
“Sorry for only waking up now. I’ll heal you guys with 「Area Heal」 so gather around.”
After applying 「Area Heal」, I took the chance to reapply 「Area Barrier」 again as well and confirmed with them the current situation.
“How long has it been since I’ve slept and around when did you guys return?”
“We switched after 3 hours and now Lionel and the others are out for their second round.”
“If that’s the case, then I’ve slept for about 5 hours. Are there any changes to the labyrinth?”
“Nope nya. Although I feel that the number of monsters is slightly higher nya.”
It means the labyrinth is slightly increasing in activity after all … taking into consideration that undead did not appear since the 31st floor, it would be bad if it continues to further increase in activity.
“Okay. Then you guys can have some sleep. Or are you guys hungry and would like something to eat?”
None of them gave any objection to having food.
“I’ll wake you guys up when Lionel and the others return so it’s alright if everyone go have some sleep.”
My magical power had completely recovered so I continued to apply purification until I had 80% left.
As I was purifying, I heard the sounds of a sword fight.
I was closing my eyes while I applied purification so was it Lionel and the others? I pondered but if that’s the case then they would be fighting each other … I anxiously opened my eyes to see Lionel and the others obediently return.
As expected, they suffered from light wounds except for Lionel so I used 「Area Heal」to heal them before asking about the sound of sword fighting just now.
“I heard sounds of sword fighting just now, are you guys alright?”
“Ha? We didn’t hear any such sound though?”
Lionel had a confused expression.
Perhaps the sound of sword fighting came from within the boss room?
If that’s the case, then the only thing I could think of was that there might be a new floor boss similar to the Specter Knight.
“Lionel, how many magic stones did you all collect?”
“If we count in those collected by Cathy and the others as well, we have about 200 of them.”
We had acquired roughly 1000 magic stones when we reached here.
Adding in these 200, we have collected 60% of the magic stones we currently need.
There might not have been a need to worry about procuring it.
“We’ll open the door to the boss room 6 hours later. If we observe the inside and it looks impossible, we’ll retreat and toss it to the Adventurer’s Guild. I’ve decided to not be reckless. Please stop me if my judgement is wrong.”
“Yes. I will absolutely protect Luciel-sama’s life.”
I patted the shoulder of Lionel who was acting strange and told him to get some sleep.
I did not wake everyone until they woke up themselves to let them recover their stamina.
After breakfast, I told all the members the same words I said to Lionel and I opened the door to the boss room.
The sweeper adventurers were present but ……
“They’re turning into undead nya.”
There weren’t any monsters like the Red Dragon.
However, what bugged me was that the magic circle wasn’t present as well.
“S-rank healer~! Save me~”
It would be an understatement to call them departed souls, their pale white expressions with flashing red eyes reminded me of the Specter Knights in the Labyrinth of Tribulations.”
Then, I heard bellowing voices.
“Those are no longer human! Luciel-sama, the only choices are to either purify them or to cut them down.”
“Miasma is being emitted from their bodies nya, they’re already monsters nya.”
After Lionel said that, he shortened the distance to the sweeper adventurers as if telling them to not approach me and everyone else also followed suit and closed the distance.
My body was trembling. If I used purification magic here and they died then wouldn’t it equate me to a murderer? Just that thought caused my body to tremble and made me nauseous.
“Aren’t you an S-rank healer? Help me!”
“Gyahahahaha. Kill, Kill, Kill.”
“To use us as a sacrifice, unforgivable, Jasuan, S-rank healer.”
“Our bodies would lose our soul.”
There were some deranged adventurers but I felt that they were alive and were conscious.
I released 「High Heal」at the nearest adventurer and that adventurer screamed.
Listening to the same sound made by undead under healing magic, I apologized in my heart as I applied purification magic at full strength.
Because Lionel and Cathy were struggling and Kefin and the others were being forced into a corner in such a short period of time.
I gave up on interacting with them and prioritized the lives of myself and my companions.
The pale light drowned out the dark purple miasma, wrapping around the sweeper adventurers who gave out death throes before their figures turned into magic stones.
Within that, the man that Lionel was struggling against cried out something that violently shook me as he was disappearing.
“Unforgivable … to be the sacrifice for the Evil God … you bastards will become the Evil God’s sacrificial lambs as well ~”
It felt like his voice remained in my ears.
After their physical bodies disappeared, only magic stones and the sweeper adventurers’ cards and equipment remained.
“Do not touch the magic stones of the adventurers including the magic stone in the center!”
After everything disappeared, a large and beautiful magic stone appeared in the center but I judged that it was dangerous.
In addition, the magic stones converted from the adventurers were small but it felt like they had an alluring beauty that could not be compared with the other magic stones.
After collecting everything except the magic stones, I applied purification magic and 「Recover」 on all the members and also healing magic to the injured.
My body continued to tremble even when I was taking action.
Trembling at the thought of the Evil God that possess the power to seal the dragons and turn adventurers into undead.
That shivering did not subside even after we rode the magic circle that appeared after a brief moment and flew to the entrance of the labyrinth.
However, after basking in the sunlight, I felt my blood gradually circulate to my stiffened body and the trembling subsided.
Nobody mentioned about my trembling.
Fornoir who exited from the stables after I used the Key of the Hermit looked at my expression and directly bit my face.
“Ouch ouch ouch, Fornoir it hurts!”
Get a grip! I felt like she was trying to convey that.
After I was warned by Fornoir, I tried looking at everyone and they were looking at me, worried.
I have to pull myself together. Lionel did not address everyone because it was not his job but mine …
I took a deep breath and switched gears, calling out to everyone.
Thank you for reading.