I attacked with my sword again and again. However, I wasn’t alone. Lydia fought beside me, and Shao was continuing to provide side support. All six of us were attacking at once. My hope had been to overwhelm the King with a barrage of attacks. Without me focusing on support, we couldn’t keep this up for long, but I was hoping it’d be enough.
“Is that all you have?” He snorted, his sword glowing as he executed a skill. “Precision Strike!”
I just managed to block it, but the strength was many times greater than my own and I went flying back. “Create Cushion!”
I hit a cushioned spot behind me and fell to the ground. I had been getting better at that. In fact, this was the first time I had cast such a high-level White Mage spell without White Mage equipped. It seemed like having it not equipped so often had been good for me, as I was picking up more spells. It wasn’t ideal for casting spells this way. They were clunkier and used more mana, but when your job system was limited, it was either make them work or not have them. It was like having to learn a foreign language. It’d take years under instruction, but if you dived right into a foreign country and had to learn it or starve, you found your mind could pick it up remarkably fast.
Even then, it wasn’t like I could cast every spell up to level 16’s Create Cushion equally. Some spells would fizzle and fail every other attempt, while others I just hadn’t picked up. It was only the ones I used a lot, like Weak Heal, Refresh, and Light that I retained. For that matter, Light was a continuous drain rather than a single time cast. Normally, I regenerated magic faster than it worked, so I could basically leave it on all the time. In current circumstances though, my magic regen was lower, and my Light cost would be higher, so it actually was a continuous drain, and I could only use it in a burst of about an hour. That was the difference between having a job and not, although I bet continued practice would close that gap.
I considered sending Faeyna away while we covered her exit. If push came to shove, that would take away his greatest threat. However, I had a feeling he’d focus on one of the other girls instead. In fact, he didn’t seem that interested in any of the women. I had a feeling he was just trying to anger me so that I’d attack him aggressively. Perhaps… of course!
My eyes snapped to the Queen, still trapped within the magic restrictions on the bed. I may have had my weaknesses, but so did he. I had ended up taking the wrong lessons from General Tibult. I was trying to protect myself for fear the King would focus on me, but the situation in this case was completely reversed. The King had only himself and the one he was trying to protect, while we had a large formation of six fighters.
The King had realized this from the beginning, and thus he had been throwing out vitriol in an attempt to bring all attention onto himself. After all, if we went after the currently restricted Queen, it would be too easy to cut her down. Once she was defeated, the dungeon lore could be destroyed, and then the King would no longer have any need to be here. It was absolutely his greatest fear in all of this. It was time to change my strategy.
“Give me a second!” I leapt back as the other girls continued to fight on.
I reset Shao’s skills after sending her a warning by Slave Communication, she nodded and fell back while Terra took her place in the front line. Although she was too slow for a direct confrontation with the King, she was still like a rock wall between him and us. As soon as her skills disappeared, her adaptive camouflage disappeared, revealing the horns on her head, she hadn’t been bothering to hide.
“A demon!” The King seemed to notice this. “You dare keep a demon in your party!”
“How bold…” The Queen gasped.
The tattoos on my body began to glow as I accessed the store. This sight wasn’t lost on the King either. The second he saw my glowing lore, he faltered for a second, taking one of Lydia’s strikes. It was shallow though, and he had a regen not dissimilar to the General, so it healed far too quickly. Comparatively, if I didn’t constantly heal the girls, their wounds would build up quickly, and their performance would drop within about ten minutes of fighting.
“You… a True Dungeon Diver as well?” He froze for a moment and then shook his head. “No… even so, this isn’t the kind of lore that can be completed. Not unless you brought her here…”
I didn’t pay attention to his ponderings, instead of going through the store and dumping all five points of Shao’s ability into creating a weapon. It suddenly appeared in her hand, a small dagger.
“It’s called a spectral dagger!” I quickly explained. “Five points. Does massive damage to the spirit and can even hold it in place.”
“Where did you get that spectral dagger from?” The King’s expression darkened before he shook his head. “So, it was your intention to destroy her, after all. Fool! I won’t allow you to kill her, and even if you could kill me, it would undo my restrictions, and she would return back to the monster she was. That’s the only reason she pleaded with you to kill her. At heart, she is still a curse with her own desires and intent. She really wants to be free, so she can consume your souls.
“And as for any hope of completing this dungeon, I already figured out the way to do it a long time ago. She wishes to merge with us. Me, and her old companion. That’s why she lured me here only once she felt she was strong enough. She miscalculated, not realizing I also have grown stronger over the years, but her intent was clear. She wants to be in the harem I denied her, even if she has to kill us and corrupt our souls to do it!
“Don’t you get it? There is no happy ending here. Only with me can I keep the memory of my wife alive while preventing the growth of this dungeon. I’m the reason she died, so it is my duty to watch over this curse as well.”
“And what happens when you’re too weak? She’ll eventually take you!”
“When I’m too old to protect the dungeon anymore, then I’ll take her life, followed by my own!” He declared.
“I’m sorry…” I shook my head. “That’s just not good enough! Shao!”
She disappeared and then reappeared on the other side of the bed. She raised the dagger up to slam it into the Queen’s back.
“No!” The King screamed as all of the other girls attacked simultaneously.
His body suddenly glowed golden, and he moved like lightning. He slammed a fist forward. The dagger flew out of Shao’s hand and onto the bed as she flew back, slamming into a pillar with enough force that blood spurted out of her mouth. Pure fury was on his face now. His moves had tripled in speed. It was almost like he had activated a Limit Break. No! That was actually a high-leveled Hero ability. He had activated a Limit Break! As he had said, He could take us out at any point.
He knocked Lydia’s weapon from her hand and then sent her flying with a backhand. Even Terra, whose greatest strength was her defense, broke after three rapid punches to the gut. She crumpled to the ground. He held out his hand as Celeste sent a whirlwind of blades at him. A golden line shot from his hand, breaking through all the spells and then piercing her stomach. She collapsed to the ground. As for Miki, he only snorted, punching out with his palm and causing her to fly back against a wall. Then, his eyes fell on me.
“Take your women and leave,” he spoke in a low voice filled with rage. “I won’t warn you again.”
I instinctively looked back at Faeyna. He noticed and snickered.
“You and I are a lot alike in many ways. We’re loyal, have a love for women and a good fight, and are stubborn to the teeth. However, you’re a bit too young and naïve yet.” The King allowed the rage on his face to lighten. “As fun as it would be seducing a beautiful elf maid, I don’t make it a habit of stealing other men’s women, even if those men selfishly keep an unfair share of them to themselves. At least, all the maids I’ve played with over the years weren’t slaves. Even Eliana’s mother was freed before I touched her. I’ve also never demanded exclusivity from them. They were free to be with other men all they wanted.”
“Easy come… easy go, huh?”
The King snorted. “Yeah… something like that.”
While he was talking, I had already checked to make sure all the girls were alright. Shao was unconscious, but even Celeste who had been pierced was still in an okay condition. However, all five girls were out of the fight. As for the King standing protectively in front of the bed, it was impossible to make an attack on the Queen now.
Furthermore, Faeyna was behind me, and I had a feeling that despite his words, he’d still use her to threaten me if push came to shove. It was probably for the best that things ended up this way. If I had successfully killed her, the King’s rage would assuredly have resulted in all of our deaths. However, the dungeon might be destroyed, and we’d have a chance at being resurrected. It was a pretty extreme gamble, one that was even more reckless than the time I used Meteor.
“Faeyna… do you trust me?” I asked using Slave Communication, making sure I didn’t look in her direction at all.
“I-I do! With my life!”
I sighed and started walking back over to Faeyna. The King cautiously softened his grip as he saw me walk away. However, I stopped when I reached her, giving Faeyna a gentle smile.
“There is something different between the two of us. Something you could say is irreconcilable.”
“Oh?” He asked suspiciously. “What is that?”
“You want her? Have her!”
I grabbed Faeyna, picked her up, and tossed her as hard as I could across the room. She let out a cry as she flew into the air. My strength was far greater than it used to be. There was no way I could throw a woman her size like that in the past, but now I could do it with ease. Her direction was right at the King. His eyes widened in surprise, and he reached out his hands and caught her, stumbling back until his legs hit the bed.
“You…” His face twisted in anger. “Is this how you treat your women? You toss a delicate flower-like a bould- geh!”
His face turned white in mid-sentence, and the anger on his face turned to shock. He looked back to see a dagger in his back, which was being held by Elaya, the Queen.
“Spectral Dagger…” she said. “It can cut a spirit directly from a body… and it can also be held by ghosts! You’re right, husband. Once I cut your soul from your body, you will be mine for eternity!”
At that moment, I cast Create Cushion under me, and then immediately positioned shifted. I appeared right in front of the King between his arms, while Faeyna appeared hovering over the spot I had just been. She landed on the cushion of air, hitting the ground softly. The position I was in was the same before and after a shift, so I wasn’t in his arms, and Faeyna was seemingly hovering in the air.
“The difference between us is that I don’t put girls on a pedestal or treat them like a trophy! When you put a girl on display, all you can do is idolize her or find her flaws!”
“Wha-“ He had been so caught by being stabbed in the back by his wife, he didn’t even notice me appearing in front of him.
The dagger had sealed his soul though, and thus his movements were also sealed. So, as my sword took the King’s head, he was powerless to resist.