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First Dungeon - Part 2

Shingi and the Players' party continued and kept facing more Black and Yellow Ooze but no new type of monsters yet, but they kept getting stronger the deeper they got. Phoenix wasn't using the exp she earned to her Skills, so her level raised fast since the Oozes were higher level than her, so she was currently level 11. Wild Tycoon had made progress, as she should have at least 70 kills, including her past ones. So she needed 30 more, and she would be good to go.

As for the two brothers, Mizuneko wasn't training on something specific. Shingi told him they continued his training some other day. Hineko became faster with each battle and became more helpful in keeping opponents distracted, which were easy to learn when fighting the slow Oozes.

Shingi made some progress using his MANA HANDS during the battle and got a few ideas to distract an opponent and his ROCK THROW spell. As for the rest of the spells, he didn't use them, especially his INVISIBILITY and DOME OF SILENCE, which would not affect those monsters since they couldn't see or hear; either way so would be a waste of mana. But he used his CAMOUFLAGE on him and Hineko now and then when they were scouting ahead to train it and raise their STEALTH to be safe.

They have made a few circles as the Oozes, after some time, respawned. Their numbers differed the deeper they got in the dungeon, and since they got pretty familiar with the opponent here and having Phoenix be of Higher Level, they could face stronger monsters. Her stats didn't change, but her MP modifier had increased slightly, so she had more MP. In addition, she had gotten some proficiency at her Spells, especially her MANA BOLT she mainly used, decreasing its casting time and MP consumption, but just slightly.

She had learned one more spell, and this time, not with the help of an NPC, but just by herself. Its name was DARK BOLT, but Shingi considered it more like a MINI DARK HOLE BOLT. She used the Dark Element of her Shadow and surroundings to create a Bolt of energy similar to MANA BOLT. Its effect didn't damage their opponents because of the impact but 'consumed' what it touched.

Of course, that could affect them too. It seemed like it impacted something or someone; it started pulling towards its center everything around it. Still, the force wasn't that strong as it was barely enough to affect a Plain Slime. But only if a creature was less than a quarter of a meter from it.

But that was causing the spell was Low Grade. She wasn't too proficient with it, but who knew what other similar Spells she could create, the more familiar she became with it? She would also got stronger if her Mana Tree gets to produce Dark Element type of mana.

As they had progressed deeper in the Dungeon and Shingi and Hineko, as usual, have scouted ahead. At an instance, they encountered something or, more specifically, someone.

It wasn't a Player that they hadn't encountered yet, but a female Villager who seemed to have passed out as three Red Oozes surrounded her.

Those were Blood Oozes.

They were normal Oozes that merely mutated into their current form after consuming a sizeable amount of blood. The frustrating thing was that they kept the abilities they used to have in their old form and the new abilities of a Blood Ooze.

A Blood Ooze could detect any creatures at a range from him as long as some blood was on them, not in them, or they were bleeding. They could attract blood like magnets could metal, but only if the blood was exposed or through a wound and such, but they had to be close to doing that. One had to be careful when they fought them, as they made their bodies sharp and blade-like to open possible wounds on their targets to make them bleed and drain their blood.

Because two of them were a little darker red than the others, Shingi considered that they could have mutated from Black Oozes, but he couldn't be sure. So he told Hineko to go back to the rest of the party and inform them of the situation and make sure they didn't have any open wounds, and he would stay behind to keep looking.

Hineko went his way in a hurry without worrying about being heard as they were too far from the Oozes, and they couldn't hear either way.

Shingi focused his MANA SENSE on them. He saw that around the two slightly darker Black Oozes was the same type of aura he had noticed surrounding the Black Oozes, which should be their Special Defense ability against offensive spells, but no such thing existed on the third one.

The Oozes seemed to move around the female, who woke up and noticed the surrounding monsters.

As a reaction, she started moving away from the creatures but not completely standing up but not taking her eyes away from them. Unfortunately, with that movement, she also came closer to Shingi. Still, he currently hid, so it should be just a coincidence. Still, it was also the only exit, as the other way was 'blocked' for her since it was toward the blood Oozes.

The Oozes started crawling out of her, but the female seemed to fear the creatures as she shouted for help as loudly as she could.

Because of the cave's echo produced of her voice, from the direction Shingi came, he heard some quick steps, and two figures came charging into the room towards the blood Oozes.

These two figures were Wild Tycoon and Hineko, who made their charge towards the enemy without waiting for the rest of the party.

Interestingly, Tycoon, who was usually the group's slowest, had arrived as fast as Hineko. Still, Shingi knew she had learned the ACCELERATION skill that he gave her some tips on earning that Skill during the past week. She had the most SP in the group, so it was a skill that she could use at almost its full power. However, it was a skill meant for the Warriors, either way, and just not everyone could reach the ability to use it as Shingi did with his Player Character.

Using that Skill, she was slower than Shingi at his NPC body, but that was cause she was wearing heavy armor; otherwise, she could be faster than him, but he still couldn't use it at its full power cause of the limits of his body. His stats should be enough, but the requirements were different because his body was of a child. He had made some tests on that with a few exercises he was most familiar with before coming to this outcome.

Shingi came out of his hiding place with no choice but didn't help in the fight. Even if they weren't following their typical plan, they shouldn't have much problem, even Hineko, who wasn't much helping in dealing damage in the past battles. So he instead headed toward the Villager.

Wild Tycoon seemed to be angrier than usual. However, she still seemed focused enough not to over damage the Oozes just if they could split. In contrast, Hineko, even if he did some damage to one of them, kept helping to distract others.

It took little to kill the Oozes, even if they got some wounds from them and lost some blood, but not enough to be in danger levels.

At that point, Mizuneko and Little Phoenix arrived and saw that they were too late to join the battle, but no one had died at least.

Shingi, who just kept standing next to the Villager after seeing the last Blood Ooze killed by Tycoon, turned towards the rescued one.

"Well, we have dealt with them. So, are you fine?" [Shingi]

Everyone else started gathering and checking the team rescued, which seemed relatively young but not as young as Shingi. She looked to be around Annoue's age.

"Yes. I am fine now. Just scared of monsters like that." [Young Female Village]

Shingi had left a chuckle hearing that unexpected but then continued with his ordinarily severe face and voice.

"Well, they are now gone, so you can stand up now as they won't be able to do anything else. So what is your plan now?" [Shingi]

Before the girl said anything, Hineko came next to Shingi and put his hand over Shingi or tried to as Shingi noticed him and moved his shoulder away. Hineko seemed a bit embarrassed. He almost lost his balance and fell since he didn't expect this kind of reaction but spoke, trying not to let the embarrassment show on his face or voice.

"Don't you think we should be nicer to her and let her breath and calm a little? She got almost killed, so we should make things move slower." [Hineko]

After hearing that and before Hineko could say anything else, Shingi turned to look towards the rest of the party.

"I see.... anyone else has anything else to say or add for the current situation we are currently in?" [Shingi]

The Players looked at each other with confusion over the question and gave it a thought. In the end, they did not answer for some time. But then Mizuneko spoke.

"Well, I understand what my brother's feelings are, so could we maybe just stop our exploration and get the girl back? I mean, she seems to be defenseless, and she would encounter other monsters on her way out, and getting deeper in it would affect our progress if we had to protect her." [Mizuneko]

Mizuneko was sure that this was a test of Shingi to see if they could make the right choice in situations like that. He was confident that this was the best and safest way they could go with it.

"I see. Anyone else has anything more to say, or do you all agree with Mizuneko?" [Shingi]

The rest gave it some thought, but not for long, as they agreed with Mizuneko, especially Hineko.

"I see... I must say that I am kinda disappointed." [Shingi]

He then said nothing else as he got his dagger from his Ring, and with great speed, which none of the players could follow, he put it on the forehead of the female Villager.

It surprised the Players, and Wild Tycoon was ready to attack him, thinking he went crazy, but Phoenix stopped her.

"What is the meaning of this? Why did you kill her?" [Hineko]

Shingi said nothing, just looked at him and pulled out his dagger, and then something unexpected happened.

The Villager's whole body started turning red and losing its shape as it turned into a small pool of red blood-like liquid. A crystal sphere, which had a hole in it that a blade could fit it, and more specifically, a dagger. Shingi's dagger.

It was an Ooze's core.

The female Villager was an Ooze with the ability to transform itself into a humanoid creature's shape. These were quite rare to find, especially a low-level one like that, as it was level 12. But since Shingi hit it at its core, it got killed right away. He had detected it using his MANA SENSE during the battle.

"You should always be on guard. I have told you that many times. Especially the two of you." [Shingi]

Shingi pointed at Phoenix and Mizuneko.

Shingi had noticed with his MANA SENSE that there was some aura surrounding the whole body of the Villager. He was there even after she woke up, so he was confident that it was an ability of hers and not of the others. He knew of Oozes' existence with that kind of ability, even if Mizuneko didn't mention any existing in the dungeon. Still, it could be because the Players couldn't say it in the game.

One of those Oozes' abilities was to consume the memories of their targets if they left them alive. Of course, that was hard to do on Players as the developers couldn't make them forget something that happened to them. Still, they could make it. They couldn't mention to anyone about their encounter, as they had that much control.

But that was in-game as they could mention it at forums or in other ways in real life, and none could do anything to them.

So if Mizuneko had checked the forums, he would have found possible mentions, but he had researched only by asking the players around town, so even if they knew something, they couldn't let him know.

The two mages understood what Shingi meant by pointing at them and felt terrible for not thinking of doing something simple like that. They didn't keep  MANA SENSE active all the time, as Shingi did, but just when they considered it to be necessary.

Shingi left a small sigh seeing the Players in front of him being unhappy about making the wrong choice, especially Phoenix, who was currently her shy self, which affected her more.

"Well, either way, at least you learned something new this time, and none got harmed in the end. But remember the lesson you learned at this moment. Whether you think you are on the good or bad side, always expect and look for the unexpected, no matter how easy or hard things look. The Gods can always play their tricks on us." [Shingi]

The developers had designed many 'traps' for the players in many forms and wanted the Players to be clever or pay it if they took the wrong choice. Still, most of the time, making a terrible choice led to not taking the fantastic reward and not actually punishing the Player. Still, something like that was unacceptable by people like Shingi to de done by them.

He then summoned an empty vial from his Spatial Ring, which used to be one HP regeneration potion used by Tycoon. He had cleaned with his FILTH EATER spell of any leftovers and filled it with some of the substance used to be the Transformation Ooze he just killed.

This was part of a rare creature, even if it was a low-level one. Still, it could be used by Hineko in the future with his Skill to make some valuable potions, or they could sell them if needed. He could fill five vials and stored them at his Spatial Ring. The good thing was that the Spatial Ring could keep something like blood and parts of monsters fresh for more time than usual as the time passed slower for them while in the Spatial Ring's space.

"We probably won't meet more like that, but we should be careful of any more Blood Oozes. It has created them probably by letting other Oozes consume her victims' blood. So keep your guard up, and if you get any open wounds, ask for a Regeneration potion just to be safe." [Shingi]

He also cleaned any blood on Tycoon and Hineko with his FILTH EATER spell, just to be safe. The rest of the party had taken no damage or had blood on them. This was because they hadn't gotten into the melee with any of the monsters.

As for Shingi, even if he was at melee, sometimes, they didn't hit him even once, as the Oozes were too slow for him even without using his ACCELERATION skill.

So the party continued once more. That last encounter raised their focus somewhat, and they were almost ready for anything to be thrown at them at any point.

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6 Νοε 2021

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