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Chapter 139

“Celeste? Celeste!” I stood up and frantically searched around the camp.

Celeste was no longer anywhere around me. I looked at my Slave Master skills, but I didn’t have any that could locate a slave yet. I could Party Swap with her, but what would that do? By the time I could make it back here, she’d have already run off again. Cursing to myself, I headed down to the 19th floor once again. This time, I made sure to check for traps. I also had my map ready and made a noise of surprise when the traps were shown on the map.

“Detect Treasure…” I cast that spell as well.

More points were filled out on my map. Map was truly a skill worthy of the dungeon point system. I knew I could use it to sense life and identify nearby enemies, but I didn’t realize that if had map open while casting detect spells, I could also map out traps and treasures too. Wait, is it possible that since Celeste was in my party, I could also see her?

“Party… bring up my party…” I muttered.

A dot outside my map suddenly bleeped. That had to be Celeste! She was on this floor, so I could see her, but she was outside of the area I had explored. I immediately began racing towards the direction that I saw her. I used sense life to avoid just about every ghost I came across, only engaging until I could escape and flee.

Suddenly, her blip disappeared. This caused me the greatest confusion of all. It would have said if she left my party. I used a marking system to mark where I last saw her. If she didn’t leave my party, then it meant… that she left this floor! She couldn’t have, could she? She went down to battle the boss? What was going through Celeste’s mind! She could get hurt or even killed doing this!

I made my way to the location marked on the map, the point where Celeste was last seen before she disappeared. I wasn’t surprised at all when I walked into a Library, not unlike the previous two, I had been in. I first walked to the kiosk and registered, and then headed straight to the door heading down. It was closed tight. Furthermore, there was no sound transmitted from the other side. I had no clue what was happening.

Gritting my teeth, I walked back up to the library and began to pace. What should I do? Should I Switch with her now? I didn’t know what monster was in there. If I suddenly switched, I could find myself in a very precarious situation. It was far too much danger. Believe it or not, Celeste was more powerful than I was. I had to just trust that she could defeat the boss.

While I paced, My eyes caught the murals on the wall. It was the continuation of the story. I glanced through them. There wasn’t much to say. This told the story I already knew. Karr brought his family to live with him. He began to fight for justice, freeing slaves, particularly of the animalkin variety. He became an emancipator loved by all. The murals were never in a particular order. This one had little to do with the story of the Fairy Queen.

However, I guess someone attacks the Fairy Queen, she moves in with Karr and falls in love with him, and then he falls in love with one of the slaves he frees. The story appears to be something like that. The only thing that still didn’t fit was Celeste. She wasn’t the Fairy Queen, was she? She had said there was no coming back from becoming a dark fairy, so if that was to be believed, there was no way she was the Fairy Queen.

I looked at the door, anxiousness consuming me. Time passed by.

Chapter 140

It was nearly two hours later when the door started to open. I didn’t waste a second, I dived in through the door. As I ran out into the hallway, there I saw her. It was Celeste. Her wing was ripped and it looked like she had received several cuts and scratches.

“Moderate Heal!” I declared immediately, and a glow came over her.

She jerked, her eyes shooting to me. “Y-you…”

“Celeste…” I shook my head. “What are you doing? Why did you come and challenge this monster on your own? I’m here to help.”

“You… you left me…” She said, backing up. “You abandoned us all.”

“Celeste… I’m Deek, remember, Deek?”

“You… Karr…. Deek…” She shook her head. “Destroy! I must… I must destroy everything…”

“Celeste! Stop!” I cried out.

Celeste took one look at me and then turned to leave. Reequipping Slave Master, a grimaced, but still took a step forward.

“I order you to return to normal!” I cried out.

The fairy stopped, shuddered for a second, and then continued onward.

“Celeste!” I took a few steps forward.

Suddenly, she spun back and a massive gale-force wind shot out from her hand. I was too surprised to dodge it. However, this wasn’t a cutting attack. Instead, I was struck with terrible force and flung back. I flew through the door I had entered from. Just at that moment, Celeste left out the side of the other door.

“N-no!” I let out a scream, running back.

However, the door to the boss room shut before I could reach the other side. I slammed into it, immediately banging on the door with all my force. However, it was completely impossible to get through it. I was trapped on the 19th floor, and Celeste had already made her way to the 21st. A moment later, some familiar text popped up in my vision.

{Celeste is no longer in your party.}

Why? Why did she leave like that? What was going on? I felt completely helpless. Feeling drained of life, I crawled back up the stairs and collapsed on the floor of the library. Some time passed, and I eventually went to the kiosk and teleported to the 15th floor. There was no way I could defeat this boss solo. The level nine boss had taken everything I had, and I hadn’t made much in the way of leveling since then. Celeste had gone down below. My only choice was to meet up with the girls and follow her. Perhaps, I should have taken this route from the beginning.

After setting the fire and cooking some food, I headed out. While my girls were leveling on the floors above, I began my own training. There was a midtier boss on this floor. Did he pop every hour like his 19th-floor companion? I suspected it was a similar deal. He could be avoided easily enough, and he wasn’t too difficult to kill if you could restrain his movements.

I had remained stagnant for far too long, depending on OP swords and spells rather than my own abilities. It was about time I trained. One way or another, I was taking this dungeon. I decided on this entirely.

Chapter 141

I began to use the Bounding Yokai as my prey. It felt strange deliberately hunting a monster, but it was also exhilarating. He usually attacked me, so all I needed to do was look distracted and wait for my traps to trigger.  Once I had him confined in a Holy Circle, he was actually quite easy to deal with. His mobility was his strength. The Bounding Yokai was a ghost-like monster that focused on physical attacks. That sounded dangerous, but ghosts were naturally weak when it came to physical attacks anyway, so I never felt too disadvantaged.

Every time I defeated him, I received an item called the Soul Stone. If I had Cook equipped, I would also receive a golden apple. The golden apples weren’t something mythical. They simply healed you if you ate them. Still, not a bad item to have when I was sick of water. In fact, once I got enough apples, I tried to squeeze some and make some juice. When I eventually Identified the object…

{Golden Apple Juice – Nutritious with some healing properties.}

I really wanted to identify better than Basic Item Identify. Although I was sure I’d get it with True Dungeon Diver eventually, I had a feeling that the quickest way to get it would be with Merchant. Unfortunately, I couldn’t trap the Bounding Yokai without the White Mage’s Holy Circle, and I couldn’t fight the Bounding Yokai without the Hero job. As a result, I couldn’t level up my other jobs very easily. Thus, I decided to focus on my two highest skills. In general, if I wanted to be stronger, these were the skills that affected everything the most anyway.

I reset my dungeon skills and gave myself 2X experience again, giving up Exorcism for the time being. I still felt Ghostbane was a necessity. Once I rejoined with the girls, I could get rid of it too, but there weren’t any other tier 1 abilities that really excited me all that much. There were a handful of other cool spells, but nothing that I felt would make the difference in this dungeon. What I really felt like I needed was a third job. That way, I could truly start leveling some of my side stuff without feeling like I was opening myself to weakness.

I hunted down the more normal mobs on this floor, the Skeletal Ghost and the Chained Spirit. Now that I could see the official names of monsters, I was seeing a pattern in names. These guys went down pretty easily with Ghostbane and a quick attack. After an hour was up, the hunt for the Bounding Yokai returned. In this method, my levels started to increase and I grew increasingly familiar with the 15th floor. I had also raided all of the treasure on the floor, which came to a bunch of random ingredients for alchemy, some cloth that I didn’t recognize, and about 15 gold coins. No awesome magic items or treasure chests. Most treasures were usually just shoved in a corner or hidden behind a wall. It also didn’t spawn in an hour like the boss.

{White Mage has increased to Level 22.}

{Hero has increased to Level 18.}

I managed to gain two levels in White Mage and 3 levels in Hero over the course of 2 days of leveling. I considered this to be pretty awesome. My White Mage abilities were Orb and Light Repair. When I cast Orb, a ball of light appeared in my hand. The normal light spell just caused a light that emanated around our person. It stretched out a distance and then stopped. Interestingly enough, this light was one-directional, and could not be seen from someone at a distance. It was exactly like one of those RPG dungeon crawlers. Orb, on the other hand, was more like a torch. It could be stuck to things and left until the magic ran out.

As for Light Repair, it repaired items you cast it on. It couldn’t go so far as to fix something that was broken, but when I cast it on my shoes, they did look a little less worn out. By the sixth casting, they looked almost new, although they still had that worn-in feel.

When it came to Hero, the skills were all invaluable. Defense Up, Offense Up, and Party Status. Greater Defense and Offense was much appreciated, and both really helped me massively. When it came to Party Status, this ability allowed me to see the normal information of people in my party. I could already do this because of my support skill, so it wasn’t that beneficial in that respect. However, it did offer something that my support skill did not. It included a description of their health too. This way, I knew that Lydia and Miki were in good health. It was the first time I could keep track of them. Unfortunately, Celeste was no longer in my party, so I had no clue what condition she is in.

Besides leveling, every night I did my swap with Miki. When I arrived, Lydia was locked up in chains. I don’t know where Miki got the chains, but Lydia said while crying that only Miki had the key. Well played… well played. We kept the conversation light. I told them about what happened to my friend and how I was leveling on the 15th floor. After two days, they’d finally break through to the 15th floor. It was finally time to continue on as a party. We had 15 levels to go.

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