First Boss Battle

The pain vanished. Not completely, but the pain at the front of his chest vanished. Jacob still felt some pain where the part of the arrow was lodged in his back. But it was bearable.

Jacob remembered he still had another band aid with him. Even though it wasn’t ‘fast acting’, he still felt it would be able to at least stop the bleeding. So he quickly took it out of his pocket and gave it to Sumei.

He ignored her confused face and said, “Take out the part of the arrow that’s stuck in me! Put the band-aid over the wound!”

She still looked confused and could not understand how a band aid could heal such a wound. Jacob had already turned and had exposed his back to her. She was flustered at his show of trust and blushed as she touched his exposed skin. She had never been so close to a man before!

Of course, if Jacob could hear her thoughts, he would expose her lies. How could a person who was carried by Bob like a princess twice feel this way? But perhaps it was because she was unconscious. She didn’t consider those times.

Sumei dug her manicured nails into his back. Jacob’s shoulder instinctively contracted at the pain. But he held on and didn’t utter a word. Meanwhile, Bob remained still and monitored the approaching goblin archers. They were more cautious than the goblin warriors. The goblin archers stopped about 10 meters from the trees which shielded the trio. They kept looking around, trying to find them while talking to each other.

As Sumei finally caught the broken arrow and pulled it out with force, a small sprout of blood hit her face. Jacob grunted but remained still while Sumei quickly wiped off the blood, and placed the band aid. Jacob turned around, and she didn’t get to see the results of her action. But the band aid immediately stopped the bleeding. Jacob once again began feeling an itch, but it was bearable this time.

“I’ve had enough pain today. Let’s end these ba*tards and get the hell out of here!”

Sumei nodded. They quickly made a plan to deal with the archers and she shared it with Bob. The trio used the cover of trees, traveled in a semicircle, and went behind those goblin archers. Jacob counted them and noticed they were only seven. He grinned.

‘Another easy win… but I will not be careless.’

They rushed out and Jacob used a palm sized stone to hit the closest goblin archer, knocking it down. He ignored their screams and began attacking them. Sumei and Bob were equally efficient this time. Bob used his bulky size and massive strength to his advantage. Sumei used her technique to make the goblin archers suffer. As they had reached a close enough distance, the goblin archer’s arrows were not lethal anymore.

Sumei and Bob still remembered Jacob’s request and left him the last kill. Five minutes later, they were done.

[Level Up!]

The trio quickly collected some useful loot and went out of the forest.

“Hah.”

They instantly relaxed after appearing in the open.

“He didn’t mention everything!” Sumei complained. Bob nodded while Jacob had a thoughtful look.

“But he didn’t expect us to go that deep. The guide covered enough information to clear one path, get to the end, and defeat the boss with a strategy. I guess these dungeons are not simply there to make us stronger. Did you notice the level of coordination of those goblins inside this forest?” Jacob asked.

Sumei nodded while Bob murmured, “Nasty buggers.”

Jacob saw the small cuts on Bob’s lower body. It would be a challenge to attack quick monsters with a bulky frame. He knew they had much more to learn about combat, but felt this dungeon run was already fairly dangerous. He didn’t want to complicate things further.

“Let’s finish this,” he said. The others held no complaints. In fact, they were about to suggest that. They already had such a dangerous battle with the goblins. What was the point of going to the kobolds and getting themselves in unnecessary danger?

The team walked back to the treasure chests and opened it. After pocketing what they found, they stood in front of the massive stone doors two storey high. They gulped and mentally prepared themselves for what was to come. There was an actual monster ahead and there was no room for mistakes.

Sumei looked at the other two and took a step forward. She placed her hand on the door and gave it a light push. It instantly began moving as they heard various cogs twist and turn. Then it stopped with a thud.

The interior was covered in darkness, but they were unafraid. As they walked in, the door once again began closing. It was now a choice between killing the boss or getting themselves killed.

“Follow the plan!” Sumei reminded her team mates. Her gaze landed on Jacob more than once, and he calmly nodded. He was not stupid enough to think he could overcome what was present here with brute strength. This was even with the recent level ups. Despite that, he didn’t deny his updated stats would help him follow the strategy.

[Stat]

Strength: 26

Stamina: 21

Agility: 19

Intelligence: 18

Perception: 18

(Available points to distribute: 0)

As the stone doors closed behind them, the room lightened up. They were in a massive throne room and on the throne sat a gigantic humanoid gargoyle. It was at least 5 meters tall and a rapier leaned on its throne. Its eyes lit up as they approached it and it stood up. There was an oppressive feeling as they gazed at the monster.

[Guardian of Four Deaths (Boss) Lv. 10]

It looked like just being gazed at the monster was enough to induce terror. It was the highest leveled monster Jacob had ever seen. He gulped again and tightened the grip on his bronze sword. He had to complete this battle before his bronze sword shattered.

The gargoyle walked down a short flight of stairs from its throne. Its stony wings began opening up, covering the sky, making them feel even more oppressed. The air itself felt stagnant as they began feeling suffocated.

[You have been affected by ‘fear’.]

[Clearing the abnormal condition]

[Cleared]

Jacob was the first one to snap out of it.

“Wake up! It’s just trying to scare you!”

His roar woke the others up and they looked frightened while behind, grateful for his reminder. If they had remained like that while it reached them, the battle was as good as over.

The trio got into position with Bob in the lead and the other two at the sides. Sumei and Jacob looked at the four black gems placed in the joints of the monster and nodded to each other.

“I’ll take the right,” Sumei said.

Jacob nodded and looked at the two black gems in its knee cap and elbow. He knew this would be a close battle but had more confidence in his teammates. They didn’t have a system like him that allowed them to grow efficiently. But the dungeon’s mana and their battles had strengthened their bodies and courage.

Roar!

The gargoyle rushed toward them while keeping its wings open. Bob roared back and held his broadsword while running towards it. The gargoyle swiped its rapier, which was more like a greatsword because of its massive size. Bob just focused on parrying it. His face held a look of seriousness and concentration never seen before.

Each parry pushed him behind and the immense force strained his arms. But the others weren’t standing around eating popcorn. They had already moved aside and were locked on to their targets. With each attack the gargoyle made, Sumei and Jacob slashed at the gems. This was the loophole they could take advantage of in this dungeon.

While it looked like the gems were a part of the monster’s body, they were not. They were simply connecting its joints. Its health wouldn’t reduce, no matter how many times the gems got damaged.

After 3 minutes of repeating this, Bob was finally flung away. The others quickly stepped back since they couldn’t take a single hit from the monster. Bob’s arms were trembling, but he simply stood back up with a stone face and rushed at the monster.

Jacob knew this could not continue. Even though the gems they were attacking had cracks, it would still need 2 minutes to shatter at this pace.

“Take my place! Pass your sword!”

Bob looked at Jacob and nodded. Jacob felt he had seen gratefulness flash in his giant friend’s eyes. The monster’s speed was slower since its knee gems were damaged. Each step it took made more minute cracks in those gems.

Bob and Jacob quickly exchanged their swords and exchanged positions.

“Come here, you ugly ba*tard!” Jacob roared to catch its attention and readied himself for the battle ahead.

- my thoughts:
Author Note: I'm looking for suggestions for a weekly release rate of these chapters. Please tell me what sounds suitable? 5 per week? 7 per week? 10 per week? 14 per week? And please remember that I still struggle with daily releases. I'm trying to build a daily writing habit for you.
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