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Chapter 215. What’s a Hero Anyways? (1)
[You have consumed the Succubus Queen's Tattoo Invigoration Elixir to the limit. The Succubus Queen's Tattoo became enhanced to its peak performance. Magic and charm increases by 14. The power of all skills and Authorities is multiplied by 1.5 times.]
[You equipped the Succubus Queen Set. Your magic and charm increases by 35. When the Succubus Queen Set is equipped, you can use 'Sweet Nightmare' once per day.]
[When Sweet Nightmare is used against a target with lower charm than you, you will steal half of the target's health and inflict 'critical charm' status effect to the target. When Sweet Nightmare is used against a target with higher charm than you, you will lose half of your health and mana, and fall into 'inescapable avolition' status effect.]
The day I made Ren fall into that hellish trap, I successfully completed my Succubus Queen grind. As magic and charm increased by 4 points every time they increased by invigoration elixirs, with the 14 points that went up at the end, my magic and charm had increased by 50 points total. In effect, the Succubus Queen's Tattoo was increasing my magic and charm by a terrifying 100 points.
Plus, the tattoo's effect didn't just increase my stats. In addition to doubling the effect of my charm against the opposite sex, I could double my mana once per day.
Although the hidden meaning behind it was incredibly disturbing, I had no choice but to use it since it was undoubtedly helpful. Within my skill arsenal, there were quite a few skills that were affected by charm. Provoke, Overwhelm, Absolute Soul, half of the Elementalist skills, half of the Tamer skills, and so on. In fact, it might be easier to say that only my Spear Technique was unaffected by charm. I couldn't tell if charm was that important, or if my skills were just strange.
"50% increase to skills is one thing… but Authorities…?"
The Evil Eyes of Petrification might be included.
My Evil Eyes were arguably the ability that was most sensitive to my magic and charm stats. While the result of its effect was based on my magic stat, it was also amplified by the difference of league between me and my target, and the negative emotions the target had toward me.
With how things were turning out, it was almost as if the Evil Eyes of Petrification was created to become mine.
After all, just obtaining the Succubus Queen's Tattoo had nearly increased my Evil Eyes' strength by half, but now that it was fully upgraded, it gave another 50% boost. I was itching to test it out.
"Will I be able to petrify monsters in Beyond now? No, that's probably wishful thinking… Well, let's go clean up monster territories on Earth later and test it out."
Although it had only been a few days, the succubi battle units had swiftly taken care of a countless number of monsters. No matter how stealthy they were, with the discernible results they produced, it was difficult to remain hidden. After all, satellite observations revealed the number of monsters clearly dwindling.
As if to satiate the hunger they'd be holding in all this time, the succubi sucked all monsters' seeds dry. As monsters absorbed by the succubi's magic didn't leave behind their corpses or even Mana Stones, such an expression wasn't an exaggeration. Just like that, Earth slowly began to contain fewer monsters. Although now wasn't a good time, Revival's members should soon be able to join the succubi in sweeping the monsters away.
Soon, countries that lost their lands to monsters after Two Moon would be able to reclaim them. Soon. As soon as I thought that my heart began to pound. I, a single dungeon explorer, would come to command such a large-scale operation. The past me who just found out about the dungeon would never have imagined it.
"I'm sure we can do it. In fact, we could even exterminate all monsters and demons before the worlds' enemies arrive."
I murmured with a smile. Thinking about what kind of an expression the Demon Lord would have upon our reunion, I began to look forward to the future.
Thanks to toiling away for ten days, I could now somewhat naturally conceal my charm. As the charm stat was related to the magic stat to a certain degree, I could block the release of charm by circulating Peruta Circuit.
Although the process was easily described in words, with how much charm I came to exude, completely containing it took some effort. Regardless, there was no longer any problem.
"Shin-nim, seeing as how happy you are, you must have finished grinding."*
"Yep. Floor Master skills really are amazing."
Ah, come to think of it, the 65th Floor Master's skill wasn't the type of skill I hoped for. I was hoping I could synthesize it with the skills I got from the 60th Floor Master and 10th Floor Beyond Master… Of course, Sweet Nightmare was still a powerful skill, just that it was nothing more than a suicide skill without high charm.
All this time, I wondered why the Succubus Queen blanked out when I had yet to do anything. I thought it was a bug of some sort, but it turned out that they were dazed from their failed skill. As for me, since my charm was higher than even the Succubus Queen’s, it seemed I didn't need to worry about the skill's penalty too much.
"I'm off then."
"Where are you going?"
"Beyond's 15th floor, of course."
"Rest a bit. Rest! With me!"
Loretta shouted, but I shook my head with a grin.
"We can play after I clear Beyond's 15th floor."
Loretta shot up her arms in pure happiness. After smiling at her one last time, I headed to the gate leading to Beyond's 15th floor. At that moment, Loretta suddenly shouted.
"Wait! Beyond's 15th floor!?"
"Yeah, what about it?"
"Uwaaaak, that place… not even Beyond explorers had succeeded in breaking through on their first try! Wait, I'll threaten Old… Lord and give some advantage to Shin-nim…"
"Loretta, it's… already too late."
Half of my body was already through the gate. Loretta frowned.
"Geez! When you die, come to Fairy Garden! Then we can play together!"
"It sounds like you’re sentencing me to death!?"
I shouted at Loretta who seemed to be certain that I would die. The next moment, the surrounding scenery changed. I had entered Beyond's 15th floor, where even the mighty Beyond explorers had failed to break through on their first try.
"Since I'm here, it's not like I can run away…"
With a hint of anxiousness, I murmured as I stared at the door in front of me. Not a single Beyond explorer succeeded on their first try? Did that include Ren's father and 'that person' from Beyond's Residential Area?
At that moment, I remembered that Revival had a reliable senior Beyond explorer. I immediately messaged her.
She replied extremely quickly. She also sounded energetic.
[At the mansion. Sumire made me food. Delicious.]
"Um, that's good… There's something I need to ask."
[I'm eating. Busy.]
"Have you cleared Beyond's 15th floor?"
[… Still on the 82nd floor. Beat Beyond's 14th floor. Kang Shin, you're at 15th?]
"Yeah. I was going to ask you about it… but never mind."
[Wait for me. 15th floor, together.]
[Un. Form a party, then enter. Same floor, possible.]
"I see… But I'm already inside."
[… Master doubting guild member's potential, not good.]
"Sorry, I didn't think we could challenge Beyond as parties. We can challenge the 16th floor together then."
[I'm back to eating.]
I finished my conversation with Daisy, who seemed to be sulking. It would have been nice if she told me about it beforehand… Looks like she didn't think I would arrive at the 15th floor so quickly.
Daisy seemed to have wanted to challenge the 15th floor with me. It made sense why. Although we were far apart in the First Dungeon, since our progress in Beyond was about even, it was undoubtedly better to challenge the Floor Master together, especially since there was a high chance of dying. No matter how important the solo-clear reward was, it wasn't worth wasting a month's worth of time.
That said, even if we cleared the 15th floor together, Daisy's Dungeon clearing speed was different compared to mine. After all, she was around the 80s level and I was around 60s. I could climb the First Dungeon in just a few hours. Although I didn't think this would continue forever, I would still be faster than Daisy for a while. If we tried to match our speed, we would end up wasting more time than necessary.
Of course, it still would have been nice to clear the 15th floor together… Damn.
"Eeei, it's too late. Let's just go in."
I held my crossbow. The moment I saw the Floor Master's weapon, I planned on firing dozens of bolts and instantly using Weapon Swap. That way, my spear would get the bonus from Weapon Swap.
I also summoned my elementals. As I wanted to place more emphasis on power than speed, I infused Peika into my weapon. To bolster my defense and create chances to counterattack, I infused Ruyue in my armor. Finally, to further increase my already quick speed, to gain the ability to fly, and to increase my overall ability, I infused Sharana into my body.
Furthermore, I released the charm I was suppressing. Most likely as a result of Spirit of the Tamer, a sweet scent began to spread out. Uuu, although it was my own ability, I found it unpleasant.
"This might be the perfect chance to use Sky God's Rage. In fact, I may have saved it for this very moment."
I kicked open the door. Then, as always, I shouted.
"Fight me! You… huk."
I couldn't help but gasp. A large, truly humongous space was waiting for me.
The 15th floor's Beyond Master should have the traits of the Skeleton Knight and the Giant Ghoul. That is to say, it should be made of bones, have rotting flesh, be an undead, have great regeneration ability, and have terrifying charging ability…
It roared. Several spots where chunks of flesh were missing revealed its eerie black bones, while its tail was only made of bones as it swayed in the air threateningly. Its skin was certainly rotting, though most of its body was made of bones. Although I couldn't be sure, I had the feeling it had an incredible regeneration ability and possessed an unavoidable charge skill. Of course, it was undoubtedly an undead.
[Dragon Zombie used 'Roar of Resentment'! All living beings fall under a powerful curse and have their bodies mutated by resentment of evil. High-ranking chaos and fear permeates the area.]
[Your pure soul perfectly countered the curse! You nullify all mental status effects. Your immunity to mutations prevents your body from mutating!]
The fact that I could counter this terrifying roar was certainly a good thing. However, there was something more important.
"Rather than looking down on explorers that failed on their first try, don't I need to look up to the explorers that defeated this damned guy!?"
It wasn't anyone else. I, Kang Shin, had to fight this 200-meter long Dragon Zombie!
That's right, it's a dragon! And a zombie! Of course, actually dragons can't be compared to mere zombies, so don't think Dragon Zombie = dragon! Don't get all excited thinking 'dragon slayer!' Of course, even if I say this, there are going to be readers commenting something about God’s true name related to dragon slayers.