The journey to the surface was an easy one, as the entire dungeon was just a single floor. According to Jiren, who couldn’t stop talking the entire way, this was rather unusual for dungeons. Most dungeons that she had seen had wide expanses of caves and stairs that led through multiple floors. Of course, she had never seen a dungeon with the types of slimes that this one hosted either, or the type of loot.
When we once again exited the door at the top of the stairs to rejoin the crew, there was a fierce battle taking place outside. Apparently, during our dungeon jaunt, another monster had appeared in the outside world. This one was a giant serpent, similar to an oversized sea prince. However, to call it giant was an understatement… it looked big enough to swallow up the entire fleet!
Its large, blue body glistened in the light, white fins rising up intermittently along its back. Atop its head was a crown of three blue spikes, while two long whiskers extended from the side of its face. On the sides of its face were large fins, made to almost look like the flippers of a smaller fish, while its underbelly was a pale yellow.
Surprisingly enough, it did not seem interested in attacking the ships, instead lifting its head up near the shore of the dungeon’s island and shooting out jets of high pressure water. Each attack knocked one or two people back, forcing them to slide along the surface. Yet, while I could see that everyone had been damaged by these tactics, none of them had been fatally wounded.
On our end, people were firing arrows and spells, the melee combatants staying back to protect the others in case it came on shore. Seeing this, I couldn’t help but sigh, shaking my head. In English, I spoke while glancing back towards the door. “You can have it go away now.”
If this were truly a wild monster as it appeared, the fleet would be in ruins. Or at the very least, someone would have been killed. If we had all been out here, and all able to use our full power, we could have likely killed it, though not without suffering some losses. But in the current situation, it simply made no sense that nobody had been killed, unless this was the dungeon merely keeping them busy while we explored.
And sure enough, a few moments after I spoke, the giant sea monster sank beneath the surface one more time. A dark shadow could be seen swimming away as it left, leaving behind a rather stunned group of pirates. “What?” A tired voice spoke up from the mass of people, making it hard to determine who had talked.
“We’re back.” I called out, drawing the attention of those nearest us. “And we bring loot.” And then the attention of everyone else.
Jiren was bouncing on her heels excitedly as she clutched the bag in her hands, having refused to let it go the entire way up. She kept mumbling about how this could reshape the world as we know it, her eyes almost glossed over from the excitement.
“What’s got the girl so excited?” The ursa captain asked with a raised eyebrow as he walked closer, his body drenched in seawater. Above his head, his health bar showed that he had barely taken a tenth of his health as damage, meaning he was probably hit once or twice by the monster’s blasts.
“It’s a magic storage bag!” Jiren answered before any of the rest of us could. “Watch!”
Before anyone could ask what she was talking about, she had already begun to focus. The small bag in her hand glowed briefly, before a long staff appeared in the air in front of her, which she reached out to grab with her other hand before it could fall to the ground. “It has a diameter almost as big as you are, and you can send or retrieve things from it with a thought!”
In order to test the diameter, Jiren had rather insisted on Nox going inside the bag himself to take a look… The sight of the poor boy looking at the bag and wondering how he was going to fit was priceless. As if to prove her point, she began summoning items from the bag one by one.
Four pairs of pants, four shirts, the staff, two bows, a tower shield, two small shields, and a small pile of scrolls appeared along the wet floor in front of Jiren. Naturally, this drew a startled gasp from the people who had not been directly involved in the dungeon exploration. Especially once they saw that quest scrolls had been pulled out as well.
“Well… what’s the rest of the stuff?” Emona asked, gulping as she looked at the pile of loot. Out here, magical items had more value than any currency, so as someone who was groomed to act like a cliche pirate, her excitement was understandable.
“Tebor, would you mind taking over from here?” Jiren turned to ask me with a grin, so I sighed and nodded my head.
“The clothes come in four sets. Each one resists damage of a particular element, be it earth, wind, fire, or water. The staff is a natural energy amplifier, which allows a druid to expand their range of control. Among the bows, one creates arrows from ki, while the others wraps arrows fired from it in bolts of lightning.” As I described each item, I pointed to them one by one.
“The tower shield has an enchantment to increase its defense at the expense of added weight, powered by mana. The other two shields create barriers around the user through ki.” Finally, I got to the scrolls. “These are items which were either sharp or fragile, such as swords, arrows, spears, and… a pair of glasses.”
“A pair of what now?” Emona spoke up in surprise as she looked towards the scroll I had pointed out last.
“Glasses. Items worn over the eyes to help your vision. These are made to allow one to read the classes and levels of other beings.” Of course, it wasn’t quite so simple as that. Having tried them myself, I knew that it wasn’t as precise as telling you exactly what classes people had, or their levels in them. Instead, there was an aura generated around each person you saw through them, with various patches of the aura representing different classes.
For instance, when I looked at Jiren through the glasses, I saw most of her body covered in an aura that appeared to be made of overlapping spell circles. Along the aura were patches that looked to flutter as if the pages of a book. And when I looked at Nox, I saw a darker aura of daggers and footprints.
Of course, each of the items that the dungeon had given us were powerful, but the two which could revolutionize beastkin culture were naturally the bag of holding and the ‘class glasses’. The other items, while incredibly useful, were merely at the level of being powerful magic items. Though naturally, I went through and explained the properties of each item in turn.
“So, how should we divide the spoils, then?” The ursa captain asked with an amused smile, crossing her arms in front of himself.
“There’s not enough for everyone.” Emona pointed out, shaking her head regrettably. “So not everyone can take something. For this, let’s do it this way. Everyone from the dungeon group will get the option to select one item from the loot as their personal spoils.” However, as soon as she said that, she turned her head sharply to look at Jiren. “Not including the bag and glasses. Those will be under lock and key with me, to make sure that nothing can happen to it before we hit shore.”
“B-but…” Jiren looked down longingly at the bag still in her hands, as if she couldn’t bear to part with it. Her eyes almost misted up, as if she was going to break down and cry from having the treasure taken from her.
“No buts, lass.” Emona sighed, shaking her head. “You know well as I how precious those items are, so we can’t be risking anything happening to them. The safest place in the fleet be the Jolly Dodger, so that’s where they’ll be staying till we hit shore. After that, I can agree to let you and the others study it, see if you can figure out how to make more. Agreed?”
Jiren nodded her head sadly, extending the bag slowly for Emona to take. Though, it seemed like she wasn’t entirely convinced, as Emona had to have a brief tug of war with her to pry the bag out of her hands, her body simply refusing to let it go.
In the end, I was the first to choose as the team leader. Naturally, I chose the natural energy amplifying staff. While it wasn’t all that important to me as a Keeper, it was a priceless treasure to Tebor as a druid. At the level limit, any small improvement was hard to come by, so an artifact that boosted the range of a druid’s abilities was amazing.
Aside from myself, Kelly chose to take the smaller copper shield, strapping it to her arm with a small grin. Once everyone had either picked an item, or decided that nothing from the loot suited them, the rest went to the captains to distribute. Out of all of it, the only items that didn’t find a proper owner were the clothes… Because one size did not fit all.
Aurivy… is it just me, or are those clothes sized to fit my human body? I couldn’t help but ask as I watched the captains passing the clothes around to see if they fit anyone properly.
Well… maybe? I had to pick someone to size them for! And being the Goddess of Love doesn’t give me intimate knowledge of people’s measurements… well, not those measurements at least.
I had the distinct feeling that I just heard something I shouldn’t have, and promptly decided to ignore it. Ultimately, although there were people who could fit in the clothes, they all chose not to wear them because they could only fit in one piece, or because the clothes ended up too baggy for the smaller people. In the end, the clothes were put with the bag and glasses inside a chest in Emona’s cabin.
With that settled, we made a note of the location to hopefully return later, and once again set off. As we exited the dungeon’s sphere of influence, I infused mana into the staff I had acquired to activate it, testing out how far the amplified range of my own influence was. Unsurprisingly, it burned mana quite rapidly, but the results were equally powerful.
With the boost of the staff, as well as my token of nature, I found that my influence finally spread all the way to the horizon. While that may not seem like much, given my past memories of the world, that was entirely different here. After all, the horizon distance at sea wasn’t five kilometers like in the past world, but twenty! This meant that I was able to influence a full twenty kilometers worth of natural energy.
Of course, this wouldn’t hold up for long. Given my relatively low mana pool, I began to feel a headache from the energy drain after holding it for roughly a minute. And with my mana low enough to cause a headache, that likewise meant that my normal manipulation of natural energy was less powerful.
Still, if I were to use this staff while I was at full power, the sheer distance would be enough to grant the illusion of Tebor being able to control the world. Of course, that was only just an illusion, but still it brought a smile to my lips. Part of me was curious if the range would further increase if I unleashed my full power, and I decided that I’d have to give that a test once I was done with this mission.