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Chapter 46

“His job was set to, my guess, Necromancer. There he raised an army of undead, with the intent of wiping out the human race and freeing all the slaves. He met much opposition, but he fought through it all. The toughest opponent he faced was a hero who managed to push him hard. He had a powerful White Mage who kept healing him as they fought and hurt the necromancer with her spells.

“The necromancer grew enraged, especially because the white mage appeared to be a demi-human slave. How could a slave fight against him? He was trying to save them, yet they were spurning him. In his anger, he finally overwhelmed the white mage’s spells and killed the hero. In anger, he raised up the hero and sent him to kill the white mage.

“Just as he made the order, his hood fell back, and the white mage saw his face. With tears staining her face, she spoke the last words she ever would.”


“No!” Lydia gasped, covering her mouth, her tail swishing. “It was his lost sister all along? She was the hero’s companion?”

I was inferring a lot from the other murals, and perhaps adding a bit of storytelling flair, but that seemed to be the gist of it. The brother, in his quest to avenge his sister, had been the one to kill her.

“What happened next?” Lydia asked.

I looked at the next image and was surprised to find it empty. There was no epilogue to this lore. That’s where it ended. That’s what they meant by an incomplete story. This is what created the curse that attacked this land. That was the nature of this dungeon. Did that mean that when we headed down those stairs, it’d be the necromancer waiting for us?

“I was wrong. This isn’t Mina’s dungeon. It isn’t her curse. It’s his… the brother who failed. It’s a story with no end. If we wish to get out of this dungeon, we must destroy it.”

“Must we destroy this story?” Lydia asked. “Can’t we in some way help their spirits find peace?”

“I’m a White Mage, but I’m just too low a level. I wouldn’t know how to solve this curse.”

It wasn’t that I didn’t have theories, but they were all random and I had no clue if they would work. For example, Lydia and I could confess our love for each other. That would satisfy Mina’s part of the curse. If Lydia was an analog of Mina, and I was the hero, then we’d need to reenact what happened. That would mean I’d need to die and then kill Mina. Or perhaps save Lydia? But wouldn’t I want to save Lydia anyway? If all I had to do was keep Lydia alive, this curse would be too easy to break, wouldn’t it? Not dying would be anyone’s goal.

“I don’t know…” I spoke as I looked around past the mural at the front of the cathedral.

Then, my eyes stopped, and a smile formed on my face. Lydia noticed and stood up.

“What is it? What did you find?”

“The most beautiful thing I could ever expect,” I said.

Lydia approached me and then looked down. Sitting at my feet was a deep hole cut into the ground. It was completely empty. In the past, it must have been used for some kind of ceremony like a baptism. I saw no cracks, so it would clearly be able to hold water.

“I’m taking a bath.”

Chapter 47

Using Create Water to fill the bathtub took nearly an hour and almost all of my mana. However, I was determined. While I filled it, Lydia put some water in a large, deep, copper collection plate that had been discarded in the corner and then heated it over the fire. Once it started boiling, she dumped the water back into my tub. Like that, we were steadily able to fill up a bathtub full of warm water.

It would never be as hot as I liked it. I liked my water so hot it made my skin red. However, it was enough that it wouldn’t be uncomfortable getting in. Lydia’s expression brightened considerably. Well, she was a girl, after all. We had been in this dungeon for well over a week and had thus far not done much more than a hasty scrub. We were both filthy and smelly. I was glad that Lydia didn’t hold it against me.

I suspected that if I tried to make Lydia go first, she would refuse. Thus, I didn’t even bother to ask. Instead, I ripped off my clothing and slid right in. Instantly, I felt clean water reaching parts that felt absolutely gross. Rolling back my head, I let out a sigh. The bath was only lukewarm, but after several cold nights, it felt rejuvenating.

There was a splash and a wave of water that bumped my chest. I lifted my head and looked forward, only to see a cute catgirl blushing across from me. She was also naked and was in the tub without looking in my direction.

“Lydia?” I could barely even use her name in surprise.

“W-would Master like his back washed?” She asked shyly, her arms hiding her chest.

“Ah… yes…” I turned away and heard the water splash as she moved right behind me.

I had toiletries, at least, so she used a soap bar and a scrubby sponge on my back. I had never had my back washed by a girl before. The experience was nerve-wracking. I even made sure Hero was equipped, just so I had the boost of charm. I was a very self-conscious guy. That was why I cried out when two arms suddenly wrapped around me. Two soft things pressed against my back, and wet hair pushed against my shoulder.


“Thank you…” She suddenly said, her voice sounding a bit sad. “Thank you for saving me.”

“Ah… you saved me as well,” I said.

“No… it’s more than that. Tomorrow, we’re going to fight the boss monster, right?”

“Yeah… we will.”

“Then, I will give it my all and defeat him for you. With your abilities, I know you’ll make it.”

“You’ll make it too,” I said.

Lydia remained silent for a bit before responding. “If I did, then… I would just go back to him, wouldn’t I?”

Him? That’s right, her real master. I was only Master in here. She had called me that in order to deal with her abandonment issues, but once we left, she’d have to be returned to him.

“My village… it can potentially free you. They free slaves all the time. If we survive, perhaps I can convince them to emancipate you.”

“Emancipate?” She struggled to say the word. “I’ll… be free?”

“Yes. You can do whatever you want.” I nodded.

“Then… I wouldn’t be… yours…” Her voice was very low, I could barely hear it.

I pretended not to hear her, but I didn’t know what to say to that. Being a slave for life must be like being a lifetime prisoner. Once you got out, you had no clue what to do with yourself. In some ways, it was better to just stay in prison.

The rest of our bath finished in silence. I felt closer to Lydia, but at the same time far away. It was a complicated feeling.

Chapter 48

The next morning, it was time to begin our final fight. I had 4 mana potions remaining from the original 12. I really didn’t know how many floors this dungeon had. Did I go down to level 10, or level 20? I wouldn’t believe the dungeon had more than twenty levels though. Still, the difference between a level 10 and a level 20 was scary. We might be able to beat a level 10 boss. A level twenty boss would certainly wipe us out.

I cast all the preparation spells. I decided to stick with my highest job, White Mage until we knew what we were facing. Looking down the stairway, I gulped. Lydia reached out and grabbed the back of my robes with shaky fingers. That’s right, I was there to protect her. I had to be strong for her. The pair of us worked our way down into the darkness. We came out into a room that looked like a throne room. Sitting on the throne was a gaunt, skeletal-looking man.

He shot the pair of us a glare that caused my skin to go cold. “It is about time you two came.”

The pair of us looked at each other.

“You closed my doors yesterday!” He continued. “Yet you’ve spent the last twenty-four hours playing around and giggling up there!”

It looked like the boss appeared when the doors closed, and thus he had been forced to wait while we prepared things. Well, who asked for the boss to pop in the preparation room! We were just as inconveniently trapped as this guy was. It was simply bad game design! If we got trapped it should have been upon entering this room. In fact, the door slammed shut behind us, sealing us in this room, which made the whole process redundant!

“We’re sorry we inconvenienced you.” Lydia politely lowered her head.

“It doesn’t matter.” The skeleton waved his hand dismissively. “Now that you’re here, you’ll both be dead shortly.”

As he spoke, numerous glowing circles appeared, and a half dozen skeletons appeared. This really wasn’t fair! We had never fought more than three at a time. This was twice that many!

“Group Heal!” I threw the spell out, and the skeletons all froze as the boss grabbed his head and bellowed.

“Attack them!” He ordered.

Lydia leaped forward and began to fight three zombies at once. The other three seemed to think that I looked like a good person to attack. I backed up, casting Harm Undead as quickly as I could manage. As soon as my mana ran out, I gulped down another potion and kept casting it. Lydia had managed to knock down a skeleton, but she also got a cut on her arm in the process.

As for me, I kept casting, running around to avoid them as I did this. The Necromancer only waited and watched. Lydia downed a second skeleton, and my first finally hit the ground.

{White Mage has increased to level 12.}

{You have unlocked the White Mage Skill: Sanctify Land.}

“Sanctify Land!”

I didn’t hesitate to throw my new skill out. The ground began to glow, filling up half the room. Instantly, the skeletons began to slow down. They were taking damage and were affected on sanctified ground! The Holy Circle was more like a barrier. This was more like an area effect spell. I felt my mana recovering faster. It wasn’t nearly fast enough though, as I needed my second mana potion soon after.

I cast Harm Undead again and again, and the second skeleton fell. At this point, Lydia finished off the last of her skeletons and then came to my aid. We made short work of the last one. Finally, we turned our attention to the Necromancer, who was standing just outside my sanctified ground.

He snorted, waved his hand, and another six skeletons appeared.


This was going to be a long fight.

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