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Chapter 118

{White mage has increased to level 19.}

{Healing Circle has been unlocked.}

I continued to work my way through level seven, and my levels continued to climb, albeit slower than they might have had I had my 2X experience unlocked. However, I wasn’t willing to abandon the sword and the exorcism skill. They were too valuable in fighting 90% of the creatures in this dungeon. Healing circle was basically like creating a temporary high regen area. Great for taking a break, but not practical in fights. I also made two levels in True Dungeon Diver.

{True Dungeon Diver has increased to level 7.}

{Detect Treasure has been unlocked.}

The other skill wasn’t reported to me, but I realized what it was when I noticed I could sense life with both Hero or True Dungeon Diver equipped. I could have used skill analysis, but it only works on skills that are equipped and I haven’t removed white mage since I entered this dungeon. Since most people only had one job, skill analysis really only worked when looking at others. Fortunately, I could equip a second job, so I bypassed that problem.

 I was quickly getting a feel for the dungeon diver perks. Detect treasure was sort of like detect magic. It would ping an area and I could get closer and closer to it. The first time I tried it, it took me three hours and I ended up finding a single gold coin that had been wedged in a door. After that, I decided that detect treasure wasn’t that useful.

“Hey, listen!” Celeste flew over to me while I was checking my stats.

“What is it?” I asked flatly.

“What do you plan to do?” She asked, her expression hesitant.

“Do?”

“When you reach the end. When we discover the rest of the lore. What do you plan to do?” Celeste demanded.

“I’m just looking to get out of here for now.” I sighed. “But if I can help your master find peace, I’ll do it.”

“…”

I looked down to find Celeste with furrowed eyebrows as if she was deep in thought.

“Celeste?”

Celeste shook her head and then floated back a few feet. “What will happen to me?”

“Isn’t that up to you?” I asked. “You’re free now.”

“Free?”

I nodded. “You can choose the direction you head in the future. Do what makes you happy.”

Celeste nodded to herself, “Being next to you makes me happy.”

I broke into a cough. “Ah… that… well, let’s not jump to extremes here. There is still a lot of story to learn. Ah… actually, I don’t know how big your dungeon is. Here’s a question. That thing that allowed you to teleport to the other libraries, how many of them are there?”

“There are 5 deeper and 1 above.” She nodded.

“If it’s 1st and 5th… then perhaps they appear every five levels. In that case, this dungeon is 30 levels deep. The other dungeon was roughly around 10 levels, and since this one is 20 years old does that mean dungeons gain roughly a level a year?”

“What is Master talking about?”

“Eh? I’m just thinking about… w-wait… I’m not your master!”

Celeste’s face went red. “Of course, you’re not my master, who said you were my master!”

“Um… you.”

“Nonsense! I don’t like lies! I’ll leave again if you keep spreading lies!

I sighed. “My apologies. Shall we be going?”

I found it best to change the subject when she got like this.

“V-very well!” Celeste nodded. “Let’s go!”

“Just 23 levels to go,” I mumbled to myself with a sigh.

Chapter 119

I had been in the dungeon for nearly a week by the time we reach the tenth floor. I had gained numerous levels. White Mage was now twenty, Hero was fourteen, and both Slave Master and True Dungeon Diver had made their way to ten.

I earned several skills of interest. True Dungeon Diver brought me resist hunger, reduce fatigue, and detect trap. Detect trap was pretty self explanatory. I hadn’t run into any traps so far though, so it seemed useless. Hero offered another unknown skill I had already gotten. It seemed like the more jobs and levels I got, the more duplicates I ran into. Since most people only had one job in their entire lives, it looked like redundancy was common.

White Mage got me Group Heal Plus… a presumably larger and more powerful version of group heal. As for Slave Master, it had the most interesting skill. It had Steal Slave Life, a skill I did not plan to ever use, and Cap Slave, which I assume meant you could forcibly stop a slave from earning experience. The ability of most interest was actually Duplicate Slave Skill. If I understood what it meant correctly, this was a skill that would allow me to imitate the skills my slaves had. At the moment, Miki was the only girl officially registered as my slave. Spirit fire was a trait I couldn’t replicate, unfortunately. I’d have to pay attention to what other spiritualists skills she got and see if I could replicate them.

“This leads down to the tenth floor,” Celeste said, stopping at a door.

“Is that so?” I asked, pushing it open and revealing a library.

The library was on the ninth floor, not the tenth floor. Why was… oh, right… At the end of the library, my eyes fell on a staircase that ran down to the tenth floor.

“I thought you said this dungeon was thirty floors,” I said.

“Eh? Thirty?” Celeste scratched her head in confusion.

That wasn’t true. Celeste had said there were five more libraries. I assumed that meant thirty floors, so what would a… that’s right, I forgot. Every five floors was a miniboss, every tenth floor was the main boss. I noticed Celeste looking at the stairs uncomfortably.

“What’s the boss down there like?” I asked.

Celeste blinked and looked back at me. “M-mean…”

“Hah… can you defeat him?”

Celeste shrugged. “I’ve never tried.”

“Let’s take a break before we go the rest of the way,” I said.

This looked like we were going to fight the next big fight. The guy on the 5th floor had already been really tough. That wither had nearly killed us. Now, we had to fight something much tougher. I could put off that moment a little bit, although I admitted I was starting to miss Lydia and Miki a whole lot. I wondered how they were doing without me. I wasn’t too worried, as the townfolk would take care of them. They’d put their prejudices aside and were generally good people.

I registered with the teleport kiosk and then went about starting a fire. Soon, I had something tasty cooking in a pot, and Celeste was staring at it with a drooling mouth. I poured her and myself a bowl and sat, taking a break. We ate in relative silence. Despite appearances, Celeste wasn’t usually that chatty. Having had no one to speak to for 20 years, that’d do that to you.

After finishing my meal, I leaned back and closed my eyes. A little nap before the fight would be good. Suddenly, a large form landed right on my stomach. My eyes opened as I gasp, sitting up straight. Celeste had her hands on her hips and was standing on me, giving me her best glare.

“What is it?” I asked.

“No sleeping! You haven’t told me the story yet!”

I turned and glanced at the mosaic. Oh yeah, thoughts of the boss below had caused me to completely forget about the lore. I supposed it was time to reveal one more piece of the puzzle.

Chapter 120

I walked back and forth along the wall, looking through the mosaic while Celeste sat down and watched eagerly. Like before, the story here wasn’t a clean-cut and easy thing to follow. It didn’t seem particularly connected to the first story at all. That story was talking about a young child who had his sense of morality altered by the harsh reality of life. This story involved an older person, grown now. He might have been the kid from the first story. I decided for Celeste’s sake, I would read the story as if it was the same.

“Many years after that kid’s life changed forever, he became an explorer and adventurer. He became fascinated with finding some kind of spring, so he went on many dangerous and expensive expeditions hoping to be able to find it.”

Celest fluttered up to the mosaic suddenly, putting her hand on the glass tiles which were organized to looking like a water spring shooting out of the ground.

“The waters of life.” She said, whispering to herself.

“The waters of life?” I turned to look at Celeste.

She blushed, turning away and fluttering back to her seat, her head down. Putting her head down between her legs, she looked like she was suddenly depressed. I stopped telling the story, watching her curiously for a few more moments.

“Please… go on…” She said although she kept her head hidden.

“He sought out the waters of life. He did this because the woman he loved was sick, and he believed that only the waters of life could save her. Someone who drank from the spring was healed of all disease. Presumably, if someone drank from it every day, they could live forever…”

I made that last part up, seeing if Celeste would protest anything said incorrectly. Well, with a name like the waters of life, it was pretty easy to guess that this story was true. How many tales were there about some mystical spring of eternal youth. This one wasn’t quite so powerful, but it did sound like a major temptation, especially for a noble with time on his hands. I continued to read down the mosaic.

“After much searching, he ended up in a very difficult battle with a group of slave traders. It looked like they had been capturing fairies and turning them into slaves. They called them… ‘house fairies’.”

Celeste twitched when I said that part but otherwise kept her head down.

“The great adventurer managed to wipe out the slave traders and save the fairies, but he was mortally wounded in the process. This is where the story stops. He collapses to the ground, bleeding to death, while fairies escape in the night sky. His last thoughts were that at least he could save someone.”

Celeste looked up. Her eyes were watery. “This story is sad.”

I shrugged. “The story isn’t over yet. The story could be really sad, or it could end very happy, but until it ends, who knows where it will go. Personally, I find it sadder to abandon a story before it’s done because it makes you feel emotions. All good stories should.”

“W-will you keep going with me? Will you help me finish the story? For some reason, I feel… I feel like it is important!”

I watched her for a moment and realized this went beyond the story on the mosaic. Dungeons were formed from an incomplete lore, a story that never got a proper conclusion. She wasn’t asking me to finish reading it, she was asking me to finish this dungeon in the way only a true dungeon diver could. If I didn’t help her finish this lore, I had a feeling her memory would never be restored, nor would she ever be able to find peace.

I stood up and looked down the staircase into the darkness beyond. “Okay… let’s do this together.”

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