Time passed by in the dungeon. Celeste was now a level fifteen Adept Wind Magician. As for me, I managed to get True Dungeon Diver to level eight and Cook to level seven. True Dungeon Diver got me the very cool Night Vision and level 7 of Cook got me Create Flame. It wasn’t much different than using a lighter, but it was a little better than the flint and steel I had been using to start my campfires. As for Celeste, I was going through her abilities with the Skill Analysis.
“It looks like you got Wind Slash at level five and Wind Tornado at ten. At fifteen, you got your next major attack. This is called Wind Break. I’m not sure what it does.”
Celeste nodded, keeping in mind what I told her. She seemed a lot more mindful now that she had accepted me as her Master. She always listened to what I said and rarely gave me issues now.
I had noticed a bit of a pattern as I leveled. It wasn’t 100% or anything, but it appeared like the best skills showed up every 5. Well, arguing what was best was sort of vague. At least when it came to non support jobs, it seemed like every 5 gave you something big. For White Mage, I got Weak Heal, Group Heal, Moderate Heal, Moderate Heal Poison, and Group Heal Plus at each of my five. That wasn’t to say that the other skills weren’t extremely useful, but what would a white mage be without the main heal spells?
Furthermore, Lydia had gained her swordsman abilities at 5, 10, and 15. I suspected that my next level in Hero would get me something really good. Perhaps, I’d get Moderate Swordsmanship. Unfortunately, my leveling had taken a hit thanks to me not having double experience equipped. As for my teammate, she was getting her double experience since she regained her slave status, but Wind Adept Magician was a difficult job to level and it didn’t happen quickly.
“Is that it for level 14?” I frowned, feeling like we’re making progress a bit too quickly down the dungeon.
In reality, I had lost count of how long we had been in the dungeon. It had been weeks since I had seen the light. I was growing a bit homesick.
“This next level of the dungeon has a midlevel boss we must watch out for, Master,” Celeste explained.
I blinked and turned back to her in shock. “Did you just say this dungeon? Don’t you mean your Master’s mansion?”
“Don’t be ridiculous, Master,” Celeste stomped her foot in the air. “You are my only Master.”
Celeste seemed to be dealing with things in her own kind of way. It left me feeling a bit awkward. After having sex with her, she had insisted I was her Master. However, it seemed to go to the extent that she completely replaced her former Master in her heart. I wish I knew fairies better. Was this the most her species could handle? Or… was this a psychological problem unique to Celeste herself?
In truth, had I been forced to brave this thing up until now without Celeste, I might have gone crazy. I even found my heart opening up to her. I was a bit too soft when it came to women, but I couldn’t help it. It may have only been a few weeks since we were down here, but I cared about Celeste greatly now. I didn’t love her more than Lydia or Miki, but she had a place in there too.
“Wh-why is Master looking at me that way?” Celeste blushed, and then went and hid in my backpack, which became the place she lived when she was tired of flying, embarrassed, or angry.
I sighed… the only answers we’d get would be to find the library on the next floor. It was time to keep moving forward.
“Raaaaaa….” The creature screeched.
The Bounding Yokai was a difficult midboss to defeat. This was mostly because it leapt around a lot. It looked a bit like a monkey mixed with the spirit of a clown. Regrettably, that was the best way to describe the creature. It had big eyes and big lips with pale skin, but it also leaped around, using it arms to swing from the ceiling. Whenever we did a little damage to it, it’d flee. That was the difficult part. It was prone to attacking at the worst moments and then fleeing just as we got to the point we could start dealing some damage to it. Eventually, I had enough.
We continued to hunt for the library, but the possibility of the Yokai attacking made every encounter frustrating. Thus, I decided it was time to set a trap. Very carefully, we hunted groups waiting for the next appearance of the Yokai. As soon as it appeared, I immediately used Holy Circle. In an instant, it was trapped in the bubble. It let out a shriek as it leapt around, unable to get out of the shield I had left for it.
“Wind Break!” She cried out.
The area within the Holy Circle looked like it had shattered for a moment. This is what Wind Break did, it literally shattered the air like glass. It looked like a terrifying ability as expected of a high-level adept. The Yokai shrieked as it took some heavy damage. I immediately followed it up with Exorcism. That seemed to be enough, as the Yokai was obliterated shortly after. At its feet were two items. The first was a pair of gauntlets that sped up your sword strikes. I put them on.
With my faster footwork, these gauntlets, and Quick Attack, I’d be a lot more dangerous. As for the second item, I was a little surprised when I noticed it.
“Ah… that’s right, I left Cook equipped.”
It looked like when Collect was equipped, it was possible to get both a normal drop item and a cooking item. As for the cook item from a boss, it was naturally very good. This looked to be the meat of a full pheasant. However, when I glanced at it, that was truly when I was impressed. With item identify, it said. “After consumed, gain stat bonuses for 24 hours.” This told me that cooking in this world, at a high enough level and with the right ingredients, could have some major power boosting elements.
“Mmm… smells good.” Celeste said, looking down at the Pheasant in my hands.
I casted Purify and Preserve on it, then put it in my storage ring. At that rate, it should be good for a few weeks.
“We’ll cook this on the 19th level. It’ll help us take out the boss.”
Celeste nodded, basically accepting anything I told her at this point. The pair of us continued to walk around the dungeon level 15, even after we had discovered the exit down. Escaping wasn’t our only priority. We also wanted to find out about the story.
We finally found the library. This was one of the harder ones to find. Had I not been looking for it, we would have passed it a dozen times over. As usual, I sealed the entrance, registered with the kiosk and then set up a campfire. After making food and settling down, only then did I stand up to study the murals. Celeste flew over and sat on the steps, eagerly waiting for me to tell her the next part of the story.
“Alright… so, where were we…”
“So, last time, the adventurer had been seeking the waters of life, and then he was injured fighting slave traders. He barely managed to save the fairies, but he himself was left mortally wounded.”
“Wh-what happened next?” Celeste demanded.
“This mural starts up revealing that the adventurer was saved by the fairies. They took him to their home, which sat around a spring. Using the waters of life, they brought the adventurer back from the brink of death. There, he ended up living with the fairies for some time. In particular, he seemed to become good friends with the Fairy Qqueen.
“Actually, as time passed, it seemed like the Fairy Queen had fallen in love with the man. Having found the waters of life, the man asked the queen if he could collect some of it and sell it. She gave him permission, and he returned to the human world with bags full of it.
“The man grew rich by selling the water of life. He became known as a benevolent and kind person who sold the healing water and saved hundreds of lives. In the end, he built a city and lived in a magnificent mansion.
“However, waters of life were always in demand, and the man would make trips back to the spring to take more water. The Fairy Queen, blinded by her love, continued to give away the waters of life until the spring began to shrivel up. However, the man was not an evil man, he saw this state, and promised that he wouldn’t take any more water.
“What he didn’t know was that his last visit was seen, and now someone else knew the position of the waters of life…”
“… Well?” Celeste demanded.
I gave a wry smile. “Yeah… that’s where it ends.”
“Ah! Why does it always end like that! The story is a tease! What a tease! I hate it! Stupid story!”
Celeste flew around the room raging a bit at the unfulfilling end to the story. As for me, I sat back and considered things. So, Karr’s fortune was obtained by draining the waters of life. I had a feeling the waters of life in the spring were more potent than what I could create. I wondered if the Fairy Queen made the waters using a Create Water spell, or if she simply sprinkled fairy dust into a spring for a long period of time.
“Do you know anything about fairies?” I asked.
Celeste stopped her raging to glance over at me. “Eh?”
“I mean, how does the fairy queen work alongside the fairies? What’s the importance of the waters of life? What is… ahem… the breeding habits? When does the queen release the fairy dust?”
“Th-that…” Celeste blushed. “I don’t remember!”
I smacked my head. “Seriously!”
“Ah… s-sorry Master! I’m sorry!”
“No… forget it. It’s fine.”
Thinking about it, whatever happened, likely the queen and all the other fairies are dead. Celeste is probably the last of her family alive. Something bad certainly happened and they were destroyed. Karr probably helped save slaves so fervently as a means of atoning for the sins of his past. However, there was still a missing part of the story. Why had the mansion suddenly turned into a dungeon? What had happened to this place that filled it with ghosts?
I wouldn’t get any answers here. There was only one choice, to keep going deeper into the dungeon. Somewhere down here is the final answer to this lore.