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Chapter 900

After stabbing Salicia, Calypso didn’t choose to wait. Instead, she turned and leaped from the box down into the arena. Without hesitating, she bolted straight toward the exit and the safe room. As this happened, blood came from Salicia’s mouth, and as she collapsed forward, I recovered and caught her in my arms, guiding her down to the floor.

As soon as she reached the floor, I immediately healed her. The wound started to close, but just before it did, it resisted, not sealing completely.

“Miki!” I cried out.

“On it!”

Miki climbed up to the box with the help of Celeste’s wind. As she kneeled next to the dying Salicia, I stood up and looked out over the arena. During the brief moment I had taken to aid Salicia, the others hadn’t remained still. Lydia had followed Calypso, leaping down after her. Perhaps, she could have caught Calypso, but all of the girls had already exhausted their various modes. Lydia was back to being a normal catgirl, Celeste’s body reformed, and Shao was no longer in the Demon Lord state.

As Calypso reached the exit, Terra created a wall blocking her as a last resort. When this happened, I felt an intense pressure, as if I was doing something I shouldn’t be. It caught me off guard, and I stumbled for a second, catching the edge of the arena. Calypso, who was now trapped, spun around with her knife in hand, looking like a wild animal who had just been trapped. She noticed me looking pale and smirked.

“You feel that? Blocking me from exiting violates the tenants. It’s Dungeon law. Now that you’re a master, you’ll learn more about that soon.”

I had always known that dungeons fundamentally had to allow people to escape. Apparently, this wasn’t just a trend, but a rule built into the dungeon. The dungeon had to follow certain specific rules. I had never heard of the tenants before, but they were apparently more than just a recommendation.

“Get her!” I ordered.

The girls besides Miki began to surround Calypso. They didn’t immediately attack though. They were all wary of the knife in her hand. If she cut any of them, it would be disastrous. She kept them all back, occasionally swinging her knife wildly.

“You can’t kill me!” Calypso yelled. “If you kill me while restricting my freedom, then the backlash from the Dungeon will kill you as well!”

I didn’t know if what she said was true, but the pressure on me seemed to be growing with each second. If I hadn’t already consumed so much miasma and absorbed it as part of my soul, then I would have already collapsed.

“I don’t need to kill you, just restrain you! Girls!”

I impatiently glared, swinging out my hand and ordering them to attack. Of course, I didn’t want any of them to get hurt, but Calypso couldn’t be allowed to escape either. If she reached the safe room, it was the same as sending her to the first floor. At that point, there was no stopping her from leaving the dungeon and then causing even more problems.

Celeste ended up being the one to move first. She sent wind flying at Calypso’s wrist. She tried to block it, but Celeste sent out several puffs, and the second struck Calypso’s wrist and sent the knife flying. Celeste waved her hand, sending the knife far out of Calypso’s reach.

“You’re done!” I shouted as the remaining girls attacked.

Even though she was severely weakened, she was still a powerful Dark Priest. Even without the support of the dungeon, she was formidable. At that moment, she created a black wave that exploded out from her body. Lydia, Terra, Celeste, and Shao were all thrown back.

“This isn’t over!” Calypso shouted, a dark smile forming on her face. “We’ll meet again!”

At that moment, a Portal suddenly opened behind her. My eyes widened in shock as I looked through a path suddenly created to the outside world. I wasn’t so much surprised by the fact that she was able to create a Portal into a dungeon. With Terra blocking off the path, perhaps it affected these so-called laws, and allowing the Portal to form could be called letting them have a means of escape. It was also possible she had left an opening in the dungeon, or maybe toggled the no-portals tag. I just didn’t understand enough to say one way or the other.

The shocking part was who made the Portal. On the other side of the Portal, it was Siti who had summoned it. The bright light from the outdoors streamed into the dungeon, and she stood at the entrance with her arms up like she was the one who casted the spell.

“Siti! What are you doing? Why are you helping her?”

The girl cocked her head as if my question was confusing. “Why wouldn’t I help Mistress?”

A dark grin formed on Calypso’s lips as she leaped back through the Portal. “Sorry, but I’ll have to leave for now.”

As she spoke, she gently stroked Siti’s face while laughing maniacally. Siti put on an expression like a dog happy to see its master. The other girls had recovered and were racing toward her, but the Portal closed just as they reached it, the light darkened like a light bulb being flipped, plunging my group into relative darkness.

Chapter 901

I felt irritation that she had gotten away, but at least we had managed to get the knife from her. As for the dungeon core, she still had it on her, so she must have taken it. Shaking my head, I turned and approached Miki as she was getting up. Salicia was still on the ground, and she looked even worse now. Some of the veins under her skin had turned black, and it was quickly spreading through her body. One look into Miki’s eyes and I could see the tears and helplessness there. She shook her head.

“She’s… close to death now.”

“You can’t do anything?” I asked.

Miki looked down. “If she was mana-based, I could flush her soul of the miasma. However, she’s already made of miasma. I can’t differentiate the two enough to remove it. I can’t stop the curse from progressing.”

“B-but… she’s a miasma creature herself. How can she even be affected by the blade?” I asked.

“You forget, creatures that leave the dungeon slowly become mana-based. Salicia had been on the surface for years as the Bandit Queen. She had already started to convert. Although it’s not enough to call her mana-based, she has some purified soul in there. Furthermore, the miasma from the knife doesn’t match the miasma in her. Just because they are both miasmas, doesn’t mean they wouldn’t war within her body. If mana and miasma were like oil and water, then two different miasmas are like water and brine.”

“I see…”

“She isn’t completely helpless against the curse. If she had a scratch like you did, it was possible she would recover. After all, she’s still mostly miasmic, and so the curse can’t hurt her as badly. However, the strike was just too much and too close to her heart. If she was a mana creature, she’d already be dead. As is, she doesn’t have long.”

“How long?”

“At best, a few hours.” Miki sighed.

As a Spiritualist, Miki was an expert when it came to matters of life and death. Even if she couldn’t stop Salicia from dying, she would at least be able to tell me how long. Her answer would probably be more accurate than anyone else in this world. If she said that Salicia had only a few hours to live, it was true.

Grimacing, I walked over to Salicia and then kneeled next to her. She had her eyes closed, looking like she had fallen asleep, but as I kneeled next to her, they shot open. She looked at me, her expression did not give anything away.

“S-Salicia…” I said. “You saved my life.”

“That’s because I’m awesome.” She let out a laugh, which quickly turned to a grimace. “What’s the damage, healer?”

“Y-you’re going to be fine,” I responded. “Just fine.”

“Don’t lie to a liar.” She grinned weakly. “I’ve lived with enough death in my life that I know what’s happening.”

“Master…” I heard Lydia speak up as she walked up to me. “The knife… it wasn’t the miasmic knife.”

“What?”

“She must have switched it out. The knife Celeste knocked away… it was just a normal knife.”

So, in the end, Salicia would die, Calypso got away with the knife, the dungeon core, and Siti betrayed us. I wasn’t used to losing so badly. Even though I was standing in the dungeon, Calypso had defeated us completely.

Chapter 902

I couldn’t hide the lost, defeated expression on my face.

“It’s… okay, Master,” Salicia spoke up. “You haven’t lost much. You can chase after and kill Calypso. As for me, I’m just a guard, right?”

“Salicia…” My eyes started to sting for some reason.

“This… is fine.” She smiled sadly. “Death is fine. After all, it’s not like I’m her, right?”

I blinked in surprise. “You know?”

“Just because I couldn’t react, didn’t mean I wasn’t aware.” She grimaced. “That woman who longed to be strong enough to protect her family… she died a long time ago. As for me, you were right, I’m a failure. I failed to protect my sister when I was alive, and even this imitation failed to protect her. Carmine died, and I wasn’t there. Nothing is keeping me here anymore. There is no reason to be alive.”

“No reason at all?” My voice came out tightly.

“Come now, Master, don’t get all emotional on me now.  Although I thought you might eventually get close to my sister, you and I were never a thing.”

“I…” I bit my lip. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. I kept you at a distance, just as you kept me at distance. Maybe, deep down, we both knew we were enemies. My time with you was genuine though. You didn’t control me. The time I had with you, you and Carmine, I was happy, I think.” A tear flowed down her cheek, but as I reached out to catch it, I felt tears run down my own.

“Salicia, we’re not enemies anymore,” I said with certainty.

“Mm…” She nodded, smiling. “My only regret is that those times couldn’t have lasted longer. Perhaps, in another life, we could have grown closer as well.”

Looking down at her helpless form as she grew paler and weaker, a surge of unwillingness exploded in me. This wouldn’t happen. I wouldn’t allow it!

Using Slave Communication, I contacted Astria. It appears she was with Elaya so luckily I was able to communicate with her too. They were the ones most familiar with miasma, so if anyone could come up with an answer it had to be one of them. Although they were distant, my Slave Communications were able to reach them. Part of the reason was because the dungeon that had once blocked my signal had inexplicably become the opposite. It was now able to amplify my signal like a giant satellite dish. It consumed some of the already waning miasmas of the dungeon, causing it to further desiccate, but I was willing to do anything at this point, even destroy this dungeon.

“Ho Ho… you should have messaged me sooner, of course, there is a way.” Elaya’s voice sounded back.

I shook visibly, immediately demanding to know the way. As she told me my face turned strange.

“You’re messing with me.”

“I’m not!”

“You…”

“If you want to save her life, it must be done!”

I let out a long breath, and then fierceness burned in my eyes as they locked onto Salicia.

“Wh-what?” She asked, suddenly blushing from being looked at so intensely.

“There is a way that I can save your life.”

“Really? How?” She asked, but then she shook her head. “Who cares, lets do it!”

I blinked. “What happened to all that talk about accepting death?”

“Heck with all that, I want to live!”

“I see… then I guess you won’t mind this method.”

“I’ll do anything!”

I nodded firmly, standing up and unbuckling my pants. “I’m glad you said that.”

“Wh-wh-what are you doing?” Salicia’s eyes widened with panic.

“What must be done!” My eyes flashed with seriousness as I pulled down my trousers.

“Told you he was going to bang someone,” Lydia whispered to Shao.

“Circumstances!” I cried back.

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