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Chapter 163

While I gave the girls my pack full of stuff, I still had my ring. I didn’t run into the enemy completely empty-handed. In the future, I wanted to get more items that could be used in combat. When we got out of here, Miki and I definitely need to work on our alchemy. Maybe we can make some bombs and poisons and defensive barriers and all kinds of stuff that I was frantically trying to cast right now.

She identified as a dark fairy queen, and she didn’t seem to recognize me in the slightest. I had thought I’d be able to reason with her, but the second the queen realized there was a human in her midst, she had been throwing out spells nonstop. She had the magic casting of Karr’s first form mixed with the rapid attacking of Karr’s second form. I had already been in a fight with her for a minute, but I was constantly healing myself and her barrage of attacks hurt like hell.

I considered pulling out the fairy dust. Karr had reacted to it with an almost feral rage. If she acted the same way, my death would be certain! However, if I didn’t toss the dice and change something up, I would definitely die anyway.

“Damn you! You’ve taken everything from me!” She screamed. “I’ll kill you, human! I’ll turn you into ghosts just like the rest!”

“I haven’t done anything!” I insisted. “In fact, look!”

I hid the pinch of fairy dust I used, but I still cast the waters of life. As they flood from my palm freely, the dark queen paused for a second. For a single moment, there was some clarity in her eyes.

“The… waters of life…”

I nodded. “See? It’s not too late. We can return to your garden. You can have a family again.”

“A… family…” Her eyes suddenly turned dark. “A human family! You’re just like him! You just want to betray me! You want to take everything from me and use me for your own gains! That is why I made his spirit pay… no… you… you let his spirit pass on. He didn’t deserve peace. Why did you do that?”

Her anger seemed to be returning once again. Karr of the 20th floor had been her prisoner? If she was making him pay, then by sending him on with the resurrection spell we had seriously made her angry. That must have been the reason she changed her tune shortly after.

“It was a mistake…” I said, trying to regain her trust. “I’m a friend of the fairies. I can help you…”

She shook her head, back up. “I can feel it… you’re a slaver… you hold the slavery of that fairy! You’re the one who took her from me! I see it now… you’re just like the other humans. One by one… they hunted my offspring down and made them into slaves. Karr acted like he was better… but he was a hypocrite.”

“I don’t know what that means?” I said, desperately trying to keep her talking while I continued to drain my waters of life mana on the floor. “I know Karr accidentally lead the slavers to your nest, but he took you in after, right? He wanted to free the slaves. He was against slavery. All of Chalm tries to free slaves.”

A tear began to fall down her cheek. “I used to love him once… I even allowed him to put the collar around my neck.”

“You were his slave!” I gasped.

“Then… he started eyeing other women… other slaves….” Her eyes darkened. “I saw you with your other slaves. You’re doing the same to her that he did to me. When you no longer need her, you’ll toss her aside as he tossed me aside. That’s why… she is better off dead, as are you!”

Chapter 164

“No one needs to die today,” I said, holding up my hands as the last trickles of mana of life disappeared. “See? I can free you of your slavery.”

As I got a clearer picture of the fairy woman, I could see the distinct slave collar still on her neck. When I mentioned it, she reached up and touched it, as if she forgot it was there.

“Freedom?” She said the word slowly like she had to sound out the words.

“Yes…” I nodded. “I plan to free all of them. I can free you too. Then, you can make a new water of life spring, wherever you want. I’ll even help you build it. We can… we can finally end the lore correctly, okay?”

This seemed to be the right way to end things. Karr had somehow wronged her, but he also loved her.

“You wish… to remove Celeste’s collar. You want… to set her free?” the fairy queen’s words were slow and strange.

I nodded. “I’m not anyone’s Master.”

The woman’s head dropped, but rather than thoughtful or considering, she seemed to be disappointed. I didn’t understand that look in the slightest. Why was she disappointed that I didn’t want a slave? Isn’t that a little backward?

“I see…” The Fairy Queen sighed, her angry miasma seeming to shrink a bit. “Then, I suppose this is an ending too. I had thought that Celeste was in your thrall. Had I known what I know then…”

I breathed easier. The entire atmosphere was growing relaxed. I managed to talk down the dark fairy queen and master of this dungeon. With things going this way, we could end this dungeon without any bloodshed. That was what I wanted more than anything. The fairy pointed and I turned to notice the stairs leading up to the library.

The door wasn’t closed blocking them. That was right, in the last dungeon I was in, the library door closed and the break room was actually part of the boss room. If there was a kiosk, that meant that you could flee the final boss, but doing so would send you back to at least 5 levels. That gave me a thought.

I didn’t really know how strong dungeon final bosses are. I threw everything I had at the Necromancer who would have been the weakest boss, but he only gave up in the end due to various circumstances. What if… while all the bosses down to the bottom were normal, maybe dungeon bosses were closer to raid bosses. In other words, they required a long term, extremely difficult battle. That would explain why the portal was accessible during the battle.

When the Guild Master wanted to defeat this dungeon, he had recruited over ten of us. That should have clued me into how difficult that fight was. After all, once the final boss was dead, the lore would reveal itself and be destroyed, yet many dungeons had existed for decades and had never been defeated, even by people way more powerful than me. In fact, these boss rooms were humungous and easily could fit 30 or 40 people if needed.  In fact, dungeon diver would be a more common job if it was easy. If true, I really had defeated my first dungeon on pure luck. Perhaps, this one could be defeated the same way.

I took a breath and started heading for the stairway. This truly had become the best ending possible.

“Watch out!” I heard the shout, and then someone shoved me.

Celeste had shoved me aside, as I fell down, a dark beam shot where my back would have been. Instead of hitting me, it hit Celeste instead. I watched in horror as Celeste was consumed in darkness and blown away.

Chapter 165

“Celeste!” I cried out, erecting a Holy circle and then running over to her. “How did…”

I was going to ask how she made it down, but the answer was obvious. Once she had recovered from her injuries thanks to the potions, she had used the kiosk to return to the 29th floor and then flew down here. Lydia and Miki were left behind,

I immediately used every spell at my disposal. I removed curse, healed, and even give life force. However, it was hopeless. An entire wing was gone, as was half her body. I would have assumed she was dead if she didn’t suddenly cough, her eyes sputtering open.

“Celeste… oh no… why did… you… why?”

“M-master?” Her eyes suddenly saw me, and I could see the recognition in them.

Tears began to fall. “Celeste… please… why did you… she…”

I glanced up to see the dark fairy queen watching the scene play out.

“You… killed her…” I said darkly.

“I killed her… a long time ago.” The queen said sadly. “When she was born… I couldn’t stand it. She reminded me too much of him. I tried to just enslave her… that’s what I had done to the rest of those in the mansion. I put collars on them. However, humans wouldn’t… accept their place as slaves. They kept resisting me. In the end, I decided it was best to turn them all into ghosts instead. At least ghosts obey. I assumed she had died. I never imagined half of her would live.”

“Half? She was half-human?” I gritted my teeth, anger flooding through me. “She’s… she’s your daughter, isn’t she! She’s the daughter you had with Karr. And you… enslaved her? Turned her human half into a ghost?”

“She’s what was left… what I couldn’t destroy.” The Queen sighed. “It’s better this way. She was too much like me. Giving her life for a human. How pathetic. Also like with me, that sacrifice will amount to nothing. I suppose, like mother, like daughter.”

She raised her hand again. Before, when she had been fighting me, I had managed to just hold on. I only realized now that she had been teasing me. Now that I thought about it, even the Necromancer had just been throwing out skeletons from boredom. If they were serious, they’d wipe me out in an instant. I now realized that was what the fairy queen decided to do.

She raised her hand, and darkness began to coalesce in her fingers. It was a beam just like the one she had tried to send through my back. This time, it was growing much bigger. I could feel the mana being used, and it made the hair stand on my arms. There was absolutely no way I could defeat her. I was certain of that.

I lifted Ghost Bane and sighed. It looked like I reached the end of the road. I still didn’t understand everything, and I didn’t even have time to reason it out. The least I could do was to go out fighting. It was funny. A few short months ago, I would have been pissing my pants and running for cover. Now, my only regret was that I couldn’t save anyone. Hmm… maybe I did have the makings of a hero after all.

Just when it looked like she was going to fling a pillar of darkness at me, she gasped and backed up. A massive beam of white light shot over my shoulder and struck her in the wing. The light was small, but it still burned a hole right through. She screeched, landing on the ground. As for me, I spun around to see a bright light shining, and at the center was a person with golden wings.

“You won’t touch my Master!” A rich voice spoke clearly, “He’s mine, Mother!”

It was at that point that text shined in my vision.

{Celeste has evolved into a Fairy Queen.}

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