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Chapter 160

“Rapid slices!” Lydia spun her blade in her hand, sending out dozens of cuts, striking the ghosts climbing over each other to get to us from down the hallway.

“Holy Circle!” I declared, creating a barrier that locked the hallway.

As soon as the swarm of ghosts struck it, the Holy Circle shattered. It was the best we could do to keep the onslaught of monsters from overwhelming us.

“Celeste! Use Wind Break!” I ordered.

Celeste shot me a confused look, only continuing to send out Wind Slashes. It looked like this spell was outside her understanding as a mindless drone. Well, the real Celeste, the fairy queen, should be able to cast this spell, right? That didn’t matter, but technically this fairy had the skill.

“Cover me! Duplicate Slave Skill…” I began to duplicate the Wind Break spell.”

The problem was that the spell was pretty intensive to cast, and I was about 50 level under Celeste when it came to wind magic. The only reason I even had a chance of successfully duplicating it was because of my White Mage job and being able to have to mage-class jobs equipped at once.

“Come on… come on… cast!” My eyes started to widen as I realized I gave myself too much credit.

The swarm of ghosts was getting closer and closer. There were nearly twenty of them at a time we’d have to fight. It was safer calling them a flood of monsters. There was no blocking it now that we opened the cork.

“Master!” Lydia cried out.

“Master!” Miki was right behind her.

The ghost reached us. Darkness began to flood my visions as dozens of ghosts attacks were flung in my direction.

“Master!” I heard Celeste’s voice in the darkness. “Wind Break!”

An explosion occurred around me as the very air shattered. The ghosts were blown back. I abandoned my own casting and turned and ran before the ghosts could surround me again and throw me into the darkness. I felt weak. A lot of attacks must have struck me.

“Master, you did it, you cast the spell!” Lydia said excitedly, grabbing me and helping me along.

“No… it wasn’t me, it was…” I shot Celeste a look, but Celeste only cocked her head silently, looking confused. “You saved me… didn’t you?”

“Master…” Miki shook her head. “All we saw was the ghosts surrounding you and then the spell launching. You were under many mental attacks…”

I shook my head, “It doesn’t matter. Let’s get to the library. That room seems to repel ghosts. These guys are way too riled up and kiting is proved too dangerous with just the four of us. We’ll wait a night, and hopefully, the horde will even out and lose its momentum. Once that happens, we can start picking them off a few at a time.”

The girls typically listened to me when it was important. They grabbed me and continued to help me until my feet were back under me. Only checking the map for traps and a safe route, I navigated us back to the library. By the time we shut the door behind us, closing out the shrieks and whispering from the ghost flood, we were all extremely tired. For the first time since I had entered this dungeon, I wondered if it was really beatable.

Chapter 161

The next morning, after making sure to clean up, we checked out in the corridor. We only made it one corner before the map showed an enormous flow of ghosts. The ground started to vibrate, and I immediately signaled our retreat before they even popped into view. Wasn’t this a bit too aggressive? How was anyone supposed to complete a dungeon when they were allowed to act so defensively?

“What will we do now, Master?” Lydia asked.

I looked at the door blocking the library from the roaming ghost floods. I shook my head.

“Let’s head up.”

“Eh?” Lydia blinked.

“Up?” Miki added.

“I originally only headed down to satisfy my curiosity, gain some strength, and help Celeste. Now, I feel like I have a good understanding of what happened. I don’t think the final mural is going to tell me something I can’t predict. We don’t need to risk our lives. Rather, it’s much smarter to get the entire Adventuring Guild together and do a mass quest to wipe this dungeon out. What we need now can’t be overcome by strength. We need numbers.”

“I… I understand Master…” Lydia put her head down and sighed.

“What? What is it?” I asked.

Lydia shook her head. “D-don’t mind me. Master is absolutely right! I was just getting used to seeing how awesome Master was… I always saw Master completing it on his own.”

“…”

“As I said, Master is right! I do not want Master to risk his life! Please don’t try to be cool. I-in fact, I’ll be angry if Master risks his life needlessly!” Lydia puffed out her cheeks.

I chuckled and patted her head. I understood what she meant. I’ve been in this dungeon for over a month. I’ve had many life or death battles. In many ways, it felt anti-climactic to give up on it now. If anyone deserved the final award, whether it be some dungeon points or some treasure at the end of everything, it really should go to us.

“The highest we can teleport is the 9th floor, then we’ll work our way up from there,” I explained, and then turned to Celeste. “Celeste, will you be willing to come with us? It may be some time before I can speak to the true “queen”, but you’re still my slave and house fairy, and I don’t want to leave you behind here.”

I didn’t know if Celeste understood all of the words I used, but she did tilt her head thinking about it for a moment before she gave a nod. I smiled in relief. I had worried that she’d be disobedient or even flee. Ever since I had used Order Slave on her she’d be very obedient and didn’t seem to complain about anything. The other two girls seemed to like her too.

The three of us put our hands on the kiosk. “Level 9!”

The white light and the familiar pull took us to a much higher level, hopefully much away from the flood. Would the fairy queen send the flood up to us once she realized we were going up? I didn’t think it would be a problem if she saw that we were leaving.

{Some of your party has teleported to another part of the dungeon. You must register with both kiosks to reach that floor.}

“Wait… what!” I glanced to see Lydia and Miki next to me, but Celeste was absent.

There were only two floors I haven’t registered with. Somehow… I had a sinking feeling it wasn’t level 1 that Celeste was on.

Chapter 162

“Damn it! Why didn’t she come with us!” I cursed, slamming my fist.

“M-master, what’s wrong?’ Lydia asked worriedly.

“Celeste, she’s on the 29th floor. She went to the last library instead of this one.” I explained, immediately trying to think of what skills I had.

“Party Status!”

{Condition: Injured.}

“Injured… no, she couldn’t have…”

“Master?” Miki asked.

“It looks like she’s in a fight. Her party condition is injured. If she was just in the 29th floor, I could use it to our advantage. We could switch position and I could register everyone, but if she’s already entered the boss room…”

I had used party status first exactly in the hopes to determine if she had entered the boss fight. Anxiously, I used party status again. It had only been about twenty seconds so far.

{Condition: Bleeding.}

“N-no…” I shook my head in disbelief.

Was she losing that badly? No, that wasn’t even the question. If this was just a drone fairy to the fairy queen, why was she attacking what was essentially an extension of herself? What was going on? What was I missing? More than that, what was I going to do now?

“Party status…”

{Condition: Near Death.}

A cold feeling shot through me. Near Death. It had barely been a minute… and the fairy I had spent weeks together with was about to die. I had convinced myself she was just a drone and the fairy queen was the true mouthpiece, but none of that mattered right now. The fairy I knew… the one I had even kissed and slept next to and cooked for… was about to die.

There was nothing I could do. There was nothing I could waste. I tossed the backpack down on the ground.

“Make sure she gets plenty of water of life. Head up. Return to the surface.”

“M-master…”

“Although I wasn’t able to allow your bonds to break upon my death, I made sure the bond switched to the Guild Master. I’ve made sure he knows to release you from those bonds. The town will take good care of you.”

“Master!’ Miki’s tail was sticking straight up.

After taking some fairy dust I dropped the rest of the bottle of fairy dust. “Sell it, it’ll be enough for all three of you to live comfortably.”

Lydia’s eyes filled with tears. “No… No!”

“Goodbye.” I could see both girls leaping toward me, but I could use switch position with a thought.

I wish there was time to say more, or prep, or do something to change the course of events. Of course, I planned to fight with all I had, but I didn’t think I could take the fairy queen on my own. Realistically, this was it. My body disappeared, and the next thing I knew I was flying across the room. I slammed into a wall with full force. Any thoughts of defensive spells abandoned my mind from the vicious blow. I spit out blood and looked up.

Floating in front of me was a full-sized woman. Her wings were those of a bat, and she had massive horns on her head. Dark miasma around her, and her face, while beautiful, also contained enough uncanny valley to come off as creepy, especially given the hateful glare on her face.

“Human! What have you done with that spawn? I was finally going to end this lore! No matter, her fate was sealed the day she was born. As for yours, yours was sealed the second you stepped into my chamber. It’s time to die!”

I stood up, Ghostbane shaking in my hand. “Then… bring it!”

I began to run forward, my sword raised to strike as her spells began to race toward me.

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