We appeared on the 9th floor. Before heading there, I had done my best to clean up the Knights. We found their tracking item and destroyed it. We also made sure the Knights themselves had no more life detectors. Once we were certain that all the evidence had been wiped, we headed to the kiosk and went as far south as possible. Without Raissa here, I wouldn’t be able to transfer to the 15th floor, meaning we’d have to work our way down from the 9th.
That wasn’t the worst problem. The worst problem is that we didn’t know how far down the Knights could teleport. Typically, Knights wouldn’t make a lot of progress on dungeons for the same reason most people don’t. They’re dangerous. However, if they can find anyone who had made progress to the 15th floor, they could send them down to obstruct us.
Fortunately, my Sense Life has been increasing as I leveled. At this point, I could tell the difference between a monster and a human. In other words, we’d probably see them and possibly avoid them unless they were standing in our way. There was still the possibility of an assassin. Even Raissa was able to follow me for several floors before I became aware of her presence. An assassin could be a dangerous threat.
In that case, we had to just remain vigilant and do everything in our power to be safe. Our goal was to reach the bottom and try to find the King. Once the King was within our hands, Lord Reign wouldn’t be able to make a move against us easily. In fact, we could just teleport back to the Capital and leave the problem for someone else.
If that became a problem, we could always leave and abandon the problem and just return to Chalm. Worst case, Aberis doesn’t give me land that wasn’t theirs in the first place. Failing my first mission entrusted to me by the prince would suck a bit, but I’d rather be a failure than dead.
The next floor was a boss Raissa had called the Siren. From what she told me about the siren, wind mages who could influence sound were very effective against them. In that case, I would be leaning on Celeste a bit in the near future. Well, with luck, we wouldn’t need to fight the Siren at all. Although this was called a boss, this was actually a bit different than the other dungeons I had been in. Still, I wished I had time to get her Singer job up a bit, but I felt a little rushed given the Knights.
The five of us checked our supplies and made sure we had everything we needed to pass this boss. The Siren was less of a boss and more of a challenge. Temptation was the theme of this dungeon, and temptation would be the theme of this boss.
“Alright, is everyone ready?”
I nodded and headed down the stairway with the girls behind me. Once we entered the room below, the large metal gates slammed shut, closing us into the boss room. Our first true temptation challenge was just about to begin.
Silence permeated the room for a few moments, but then a gentle song began to play. It sounded like a harp. Rather than hair-raising, the melody was actually quite peaceful. The five of us looked at each other.
“Sirens supposedly ensnare you with their song.” I sent those words to all five girls using the Slave Communication.
I did this because all five of the girls had their ears plugged. I was the only one who didn’t have my ears plugged.
This boss room wasn’t like the boss rooms I had been in before. This one stretched down a long corridor leading to an open door. Raissa had explained this boss room to me in-depth before we had attempted it.
The door didn’t close like the other boss doors. In fact, the conditions of success were simply to walk down the corridor and leave out the door. You had to pass the monster without setting it off. The Siren could become enraged and then attack the party. If this happened, you ended up in a very difficult battle. The doors would slam shut and the Siren would become enraged.
While enraged, the status of the Siren seemed to increase by many times, making it more equivalent to a level 30 boss than a level 10. In fact, this Siren had never been defeated because of this fact. One could say a party’s only hope of survival was to pass the Siren.
There were two ways to set off the Siren. The first way was to disrupt the Siren’s song. This could be done magically, or simply making a noise that was loud and distracting. The second method was to physically touch the Siren. This seemed like a no brainer, but supposedly, the siren sat atop some jewels, was extremely beautiful, and on top of all that, the song was enchanting.
On the surface, this made it seem like passing the Siren was simple, except that disrupting the Siren’s song included such things as plugging your ears. In other words, you had to listen to the Siren’s song, compelling you to touch the Siren, and if you blocked out the song or touched the Siren, it would become enraged and kill you.
That was why I wasn’t plugging my own ears. According to Raissa, as long as the number of people without plugged ears exceeded those with plugged ears, the Siren wouldn’t attack. However, there was another trick to getting past it too. Raissa had said that given our formation, this match should be easy for us. That was because the Siren didn’t care about women. Women could be affected by its song, but it didn’t get enraged if they covered their ears. For a party with 5 women and 1 man, this made it really easy for us.
As soon as I looked influenced by the Siren, the girls would bind me up and take me the rest of the way. As to why they didn’t bind me up from the beginning, if you were carried from the start, this also could be considered as interfering and may set the Siren off. I had to walk as far as possible under my own power, and only then would the Siren be pleased. Even once they bound me, it was better to force me to walk than to carry me.
Taking a deep breath, I began to head down the pathway of the Siren.
The closer that I got to the Siren, the louder the music became. It was more than that. Other instruments were added as well as other tones. The song became more intricate and more complicated the closer we got. Along with that, the compelling nature of the song grew too.
If it was just a sudden, unnatural urge, perhaps I could resist it. However, this was very subtle and grew ever so slightly until it took over. It was pretty scary, and it was perhaps that fear that kept me on the level.
The girls had formed a circle around me, keeping me trapped between them so that I couldn’t cause mischief. Since I was the support of the group, I was actually in the best position here. All of the girls were faster or stronger than me, or they had elemental abilities that could restrain me. In short, I really did have the safest configuration possible for this challenge.
“I’m doing good,” I said as we reached the halfway point.
The Siren’s voice could now be heard. I didn’t know the language it was singing in, but the sound was undeniably beautiful. I had a feeling of happiness and giddiness emerging inside me. I almost felt like crying.
Fortunately, the good feelings weren’t to a point that I felt I’d leave my safe circle. Perhaps that was the advantage of being a bit of a shut-in. I wasn’t the adventurous type who would seek out something like the source of a voice no matter how alluring it was.
We continued to work our way forward. I didn’t realize my steps were starting to veer off course until I ran into Terra.
“Master, please stay in the circle.”
However, the closer we got, the more difficult I found it to keep my feet walking straight ahead. They kept wanting to move toward the voice.
At this point, the Siren became visible. We were about three-fourths of the way along, and the siren appeared in an alcove. As described, she was supernaturally beautiful, with long green hair. She had lines on her neck that must have been gills, but that was the only part of her that looked monstrous. She had legs like a human, large breasts, and a voluptuous body.
When my eyes met hers, she gave a sad and regretful smile. My desire to run over and talk to her suddenly peaked. I felt a tugging at my heart and my soul. She was so beautiful and sweet, yet her song was so sad. I really wanted to make her laugh.
“It’s time we tie him up!” Shao whispered.
“What?” Celeste touched her ear, apparently having already forgotten she had something blocking her ears.
Shao rolled her eyes and then went to grab me. At that moment, my mind exploded with an overwhelming desire to speak to this siren. It became the most important thing in the world to me.
“Slave Order. Back off and don’t stop me.”
At that moment, the calm expression on all of the girl’s sank. I had used the Slave Communication channel and gave such an order just as Shao tried to stand in my way. She froze when I gave this order.
“Slave Order. Leave the room without me and don’t interrupt us.”
The girl’s bodies began to shake. A Slave Order could be resisted, but it caused extreme pain and was near impossible to defy. It wasn’t just a physical punishment. The order itself infected the person’s mind and gave them every reason to do what they were told. In order to resist it, it usually took a fear for your own life and perhaps a bit of psychosis mixed in. Even then, the best someone could do is becoming a quivering mess of pain on the floor.
In all of our preparation, we had made a single fatal mistake. We had forgotten one aspect about our party. I was their Master, and my orders were absolute!