~ Chapter 27: My first Emperor Rank Skill! (Part 1) ~
Not long after Dankyun was guided inside the dormitory by Tuberculus, his small army of loyal soldiers began to set up their temporary camp. They confiscated the small garden behind the main building and took it upon themselves to keep any nosy students from interfering with them. Two groups were already formed with the sole mission of finding any trace of the royal princess inside the academy’s campus. I was told to let them inside any room they pleased, however, I had no intention of letting them step inside mine. I removed the front door and raised an Inconel wall in its stead. It made it bothersome to invite people over, but until I made a safe door, it had to do.
While the soldiers were getting settled in, the other teachers took it upon themselves to inform the curious and worried students of what was happening. Nanya was part of the group that watched over the soldiers. It was only her and Paladinus, but they were more than enough to handle the bunch. I highly doubted any of them could cause trouble for the duo of experienced dungeon explorers and high ranked adventurers.
As for me, I realized I may have left Shanteya to hunt for too long. I immediately rushed over there as soon as Nanya assured me that she will keep a close watch over my crystal body. As I flew over the tips of the trees in the forest, I pondered whether or not keeping Shanteya hidden as well was a good thing. With her all the way in the forest, hunting for dangerous monsters to help me level up and stack on some decent parts, none of the soldiers and probably Dankyun himself noticed her. This also meant that she could be considered our trump card, after all, my [Bond of Trust] offered her some decent stats, higher than those seen at a Master Rank adventurer.
If Shanteya kept hunting like that for me, our levels could steadily grow and reach a suitable peak where I could acquire the battle power I needed to maybe stand up to Dankyun and his gang of bullies, however, I had the feeling she might end up exterminating all the monster species within a 30 km radius before we reached that point. This was only because the leveling went extremely slow like this, and it got even harder as I leveled up each time. It was exactly like in a game: going from 1 to 60 was a snap, but once past it, things got a bit complicated. Or maybe, it all depended on the sort of monsters I hunted down and the deeds I accomplished. It was certainly something worth researching in the future.
When I met my lovely el’doraw slave, she was in the middle of a battle with an Urkin, the beast wasn’t attacking her but running away from her. The maid with big breasts and long ears was catching up fast from behind. With a single jump and a powerful punch, she silenced the beast for good by shattering its spine. It tumbled downed on the ground, rolling over two times before it came to a motionless stop.
Shanteya let out a sigh of relief and approached the body. I flew closer to her and announced my presence through a simple: “Hello!”
“Ah! Good evening, Master!” she replied with a soft smile, looking back towards my general direction.
“I’m sorry I’m late. You seem to be handling yourself pretty well…” I told her.
“Thank you, Master.” she made a soft bow with her head “I’ve hunted all the beasts I could find as per instructed, but…” she stopped and then looked up at me with a bit of worry in her eyes. “Is everything alright, Master? I felt the dark fog spreading throughout the forest… That’s the sign of you releasing your killer intent, isn’t it?” she then looked down at her feet.
I blinked surprised when I heard her. I didn’t think it reached all the way here, but then again, all of this territory was quite literally part of me. The fact that the black fog manifested itself here as well shouldn’t have been unexpected.
Letting out a sigh, I nodded once even though she couldn’t see me.
“Yes, that’s true. Dankyun, the Supreme Ayuseya was engaged with, arrived at the academy.” I explained.
“To force the usual gentle and kind Master to release his killer intent means that something bad must have happened, right?” she asked without removing the worried look in her eyes.
“Yes, he tried to act a bit violent, but Nanya calmed him down. I don’t know, but there’s something off about that man.” I replied.
“Off?” she tilted her head to the left when she asked that.
“Yes… It’s like… how should I say this, he’s up to no good, he’s evil.” I tried to explain myself, but it was hard to put the finger on what exactly I was feeling, seeing as how his sword forced some rather exaggerated negative emotions in regard to him.
“Should I kill him?” asked Shanteya bluntly.
“Yes… No, I mean no! That would only cause more trouble, but can you even kill him? I mean, he is a Supreme after all.” I asked a bit curious.
“I don’t know if it would work, but if I manage to slip inside his magic armor, I can poison or even kill him.” she explained.
“How do you plan on doing that?” I asked squinting my eyes at her.
“I would use my body to lure him in a bed and while he…”
There was no need to hear the rest.
“NO! That’s a definite no! I’m not letting that filthy man touch you and don’t even think about doing something like that behind my back! To know that you let yourself be touched by that scum, even if it was for me, it’s too much! NO! I won’t allow it!” I said shaking my head.
Shanteya merely showed me a gentle smile and nodded.
“Then I won’t, Master.”
“Good… I don’t even want to think about using your or Nanya’s body to get to him! Anyway, I noticed there were two scouts he sent away from his main group. I lost track of them at one point, but keep an eye out for them. Don’t let yourself be seen.” I warned her.
“I will, Master. The two might be Thieves, Rogues, or Assassins. The skill they used is called [Dungeon Blindness]. It causes a dungeon to lose track of them or their group while on its territory. However, it only blinds the territory life detection sense. It doesn’t make them invisible.” she explained.
“I didn’t think there was a skill like that. It should be quite handy for adventurers, right?” I asked.
“Indeed. Many employ the skills of one who can use it in order sneak inside dungeons or get past the first levels. If the dungeon doesn’t sense them, the traps usually don’t activate.” she explained.
“Huh? But I made mine to react when an adventurer pushes a button, pulls a lever, or steps on a trigger trap.”
“As expected of Master!” she showed me a proud smile “Most traps are triggered directly by the dungeon core because it allows them to take adventurers by surprise, but they are usually identified by the thickness of the black fog in the area. Triggered ones can be a bit deadlier because you may not realize when you found one until it’s too late, but a skilled trapologist can usually deactivate them.” she explained.
“Still, if that’s so, why didn’t you use the skill back then, when you reached the academy?” I asked with a raised eyebrow. It seemed like a logical move to me.
“The ones who were supposed to hide us from you were killed on the way here. Besides, we never expected you to be that strong, especially since your level was shown to be 1.”
“Well, guess I was lucky, and I learned something new. Speaking of which, something bothers me… I never actually felt like creating a locked room for my core. I always feel the need to make some sort of path leading up to me. Meanwhile, feel free to lead the way to your monster pile.” I said.
“Of course, Master!” she made a small bow, and after I absorbed the Urkin, I followed her through the forest. “Unfortunately, I don’t know the reason why you feel that way, Master. What I know is that all dungeons, without exception, have a path leading to their core. While dungeon crystal is quite valuable for some people, in general it’s useless to most practical applications. The only reason adventurers destroy the core is if it grows to the point where it’s too dangerous. Once that happens, the core’s remains are tossed away and the dungeon stripped of anything valuable or worth carrying such as metals or marble.” she explained.
“In other words, metal walls mean a profitable dungeon, right?” I asked.
“Indeed.” she nodded.
“I guess I just made myself a target…” I groaned.
“You need not worry, Master. I’ll protect you! Besides, metal walls also mean a highly dangerous dungeon. Few will dare venture into one.” she said with a smile.
I was happy with her declaration, but I really didn’t want to hide behind Shanteya when I was to face Dankyun.
Once we reached the monster pile, I absorbed it all and left Shanteya to keep hunting until the sun went down.
“If you need anything, just erm… move towards the academy?” I told her.
“I understand.” she smiled and then ran off into the forest.
After returning to the school, I began to remodel the underground structure. I started by creating a tunnel leading all the way to the edge of my territory. It was quite time and energy consuming to absorb all the materials for a 16 km distance, but despite trying my best, I wasn’t able to finish it, and one part even collapsed because I forgot to reinforce the walls. Enchanting didn’t work unless I actually created those walls.
Total distance I achieved when the sun went down: 2.6 km. Rebuilt tunnel length: 1.8 km.
A normal human might have needed a few months or even years to achieve this.
Once I picked up Shanteya, I retreated to my crystal body, in the safety of my Inner Mind and went to sleep. I didn’t call Ayuseya this time because of what happened earlier that day. I thought that maybe she needed some time to think about what I said.
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