Soulmancer – Chapter 7: D-rank Raid III

[Special conditions have been met. Activating ‘Soul Assimilation (E)’]

[Effect(1): Transduction has been activated.]

[You have devoured the Essence of (D-) Requiem Wolf.]

[You have devoured the Essence of (D-) Requiem Wolf.]

[You have devoured the Essence of (D-) Requiem Wolf.]

[You have devoured the Essence of (D-) Requiem Wolf.]

[You have devoured the Essence of (D-) Requiem Wolf.]

The corpses of the wolves he had slain numbered over fifty, yielding enough essence for fifty wolf soldiers. Despite augmenting his stats through every transduction, he was still unable to devour them all. Currently, his storage is full.

[Capacitance: 11/10.]

At that moment, another austere ‘mastery growth’ message beeped in his mind.

[Proficiency increased by 25%]

He activated the ‘Soul Assimilation’ Bonus Effect…

[Bonus Effect (2): Augmentation has been activated.]

As soon as he activated the effect, he immediately felt the increase in the augmentation rate of his transmuted souls (essences) into stats.

[Augmentation has been acknowledged. Permanently augmenting stats using the essence reserves…]

His mental essence storage contracted as transmuted souls vanished one by one.

[Strength augmented by 1.]

[Agility augmented by 2.]

[Stamina augmented by 4.]

[Mana augmented by 1.]

[Constitution augmented by 3.]

[Capacitance: 1/10.]

Shortly after, Izel felt a relief sensation in his mental storage. He opened his status window, feeling a rush of adrenaline at the same time.

[Name: Izel Ethalt Blind.

Age: 19 years old.

Strength: 30 Stamina: 43

Agility: 45 Mana: 23

Constitution: 18

Active skills

Gear: Flawlation (F)

*Soul Assimilation (E)

Hemostasis (E+)

Passive Skills

Sound Reading (Innate)

Fortress Currency

Verdes: 3]

His strength currently stands at 30. All his stats had undergone significant advancement and had become quite imbalanced. His improved constitution now suggests he might be ready for direct battles with the boss monster. Yet, he hasn’t caught his breath, and his arms
tremble from stress.

“Damn it, I feel my body going numb just by breathing,” Izel murmured, describing his current condition. He deemed these (D-) Wolf Soldiers to be tougher adversaries than he intended. It was a variable he hadn’t considered much, assuming the Wolf Guards were the only challenge. Despite that, he knew his plan wouldn’t proceed smoothly, as unpredictability defined everything within the fortress of Dungeons.

“…!”

As the flames in the depot began to diminish and the milky smoke slowly cleared, he needed to act swiftly.

Time remaining: 4 hours and 46 minutes.

As the time notification beeped through his fragile mind, the air shattered.

“CRR–ROARRR!”

A few more recovered their senses and became more intimidated as they inspected his whereabouts. They threw themselves violently. Chills tensed his neck. He tightly clenched his longsword hilt, skillfully retracting himself from their sharp jaws, and stood confronted amidst the partially cleared mist with all three (D-) Wolf Soldiers.

With a bit of struggle, all three beasts showcased their vitality and hostility. Surprisingly, as surging mana encased his blade, it happened instantly; his strengthened stats played a role in taking them down as they parted ways with deadly slashes.

“….??”

The blind man’s dull eyes widened as he gobbled dry spit dumbfoundedly at the slight cuts on both his arms and his cheek that the Wolf Soldiers inflicted on him, just as his deadly strikes did unexpected destructive damage to them.

A minor splatter of his blood and the gore of the beasts littered the ground.

[Special conditions have been met. Activating ‘Soul Assimilation (E)’]

[Effect(1) Transduction has been activated.]

[You have devoured the Essence of (D-) Requiem Wolf.]

[You have devoured the Essence of (D-) Requiem Wolf.]

[You have devoured the Essence of (D-) Requiem Wolf.]

[Capacitance: 4/10.]

That’s not all; the Wolf Soldiers, who had never left their cave-like hideouts, leaped down and began their attacks.

“What kind of wolf is this?” Izel clicked his tongue in shock. This wolf had metal jaws but lacked body armor and steel claws like the Wolf Guards. Instantly, the peeved metallic sound made by its jaws caught Izel off-guard, jamming his ears due to the demerit of [Sound Reading]. He was sent flying and slammed into the disarrayed joint of one of the wolves’ hideouts, blood spurting out of his mouth.

“Damn it, I need to enter the boss monster location before the Wolf Guards arrive.” Gritting his teeth and exhaling air, Izel narrowed his [Flawlation] and leaped out of the joint toward them.

“GRRRRR!”

Once again, he barely dodged all their attacks. Even with his strengthened stats, he managed to swing his longsword, coated with mana, slashing off their necks one by one.

Blood splashed and littered the ground.

[Special conditions have been met. Activating ‘Soul Assimilation (E)’]

[Effect(1) Transduction has been activated.]

[You have devoured the Essence of (D-) Eequiem Wolf.]

[You have devoured the Essence of (D-) Eequiem Wolf.]

[You have devoured the Essence of (D-) Eequiem Wolf.]

[You have devoured the Essence of (D-) Eequiem Wolf.]

[You have devoured the Essence of (D-) Eequiem Wolf.]

[Capacitance: 9/10.]

“Finally!” he exclaimed. “I see, a new species of wolf.” They were, of course, a new breed, but they were few in number and the only ones that managed to break a few of his ribs. Although he sustained some injuries, including internal ones, it wasn’t something he couldn’t endure. However, he needed to be in top shape to fight the Snake Lord.

[Active Skill: Hemostasis (E+) had been activated]

Immediately, his body felt hot as blood surged within it. The blind man felt agony creeping up throughout his body, yet he bit his lower lip to suppress any unexpected noise as his internal and external injuries began to heal.

‘Is this how hemostasis works…?’ He surprisingly figured out the process amid the pain. His blood was sapped through all blood vessels to the area of his external wounds, stitching them together until they vanished, while his broken ribs were reassembled using the sizzling blood, healing up. He had never used it before, so he never understood its concept, but the ‘agony’ from his blood boiling wasn’t noted in its demerit. Why, though?

“Well, strange things happen in the fortress of the dungeons,” Izel sighed, showing his lack of surprise. Eventually, he grasped the mechanisms behind ‘hemostasis’.

It was a skill that sped up the healing process by stitching flesh and recovering a few broken ribs, all achieved by consuming blood essence. However, it wouldn’t do much beyond those kinds of injuries. Thus, the blind man felt a bit sweaty and numb, but he had recovered enough to continue fighting.

‘I don’t need potions… at least not yet,’ he mused, especially the ‘boost potion’ intended for use against the boss monster. Still gasping, he converted his remaining transmuted souls (essences) into stats.

[Augmentation has been acknowledged. Permanently augmenting stats using the transmuted souls ‘essences’ reserves…]

[Agility augmented by 2.]

[Stamina augmented by 2.]

[Mana augmented by 1.]

[Capacitance: 0/10.]

Unlike the other Wolf Soldiers, regardless of hierarchy, he conveyed, which only randomly increased his other stats except strength and constitution. Poundage was lifted off his body as it felt lighter as a feather, and his breathing became more relaxed.

Then, he noticed something. According to the voice, the rate at which his strength improved had lessened. It was pretty easy to guess why this was happening. Izel’s stats were starting to reach new heights; until his ‘constitution’ was high enough to handle them, it wouldn’t be that easy to increase them. Gradually, he was surpassing the limit of a (D-) rank Walker.

Soon, the once-raging flame began to fade away, and then eventually, it completely went off, leaving the majority of the depot in worse condition. Though the milky mist still lingered in the air, the surrounding area was now visible.

Although the surroundings felt a bit warm and oversaturated with clotted blood, all the carcasses were fully devoured. Now, the ‘Avalanche—Snake Lord’ was all that was left to slay…

Time remaining: 3 hours and 46 minutes.

After the raid countdown beeped through his mind, an overwhelming terror tensed his body. He felt the atmosphere suddenly change.

“…????!”

The surrounding air was heavily distorted by the drowned-out, loud cries of the Wolf Guards. Simply put, the smoke had died out, and they were returning with more murderous intent as if they had already sensed the blood scent of their kin.

“Damn, let’s hurry!” Sweat pouring down his face, the blind man murmured, his expression changing as he sprinted. At the end of the cavern passageway to the left, he opened the door to the patio, gripping his trusty sword tightly and quickly descending the steps.

“…!”

The Wolf Guards’ cries grew louder and sharper, indicating they were almost at the earlier cavern passageway and fully aware of their kin’s blood. They began to investigate the intruder. However, Izel faced a dilemma. ‘Could I have been mistaken when the step felt unusually long?’ he wondered as air jammed his face. Regardless, it didn’t matter; he never wanted to fight the Wolf Guards. There was a chance he could win with his improved stats, but time wasn’t on his side.

“No matter how carefully I plan it, the fortress…” he murmured about the unreliability of plans in the Dungeons’ fortress. Could other difficulties also experience this? If so, the [extreme] would be much worse, at least for him. The blind man swallowed dry saliva as he moved down the steps. The lighting was worse than in the first locations, but there was no problem with sensing as his [Flawlation] darted around, and [Sound Reading] felt any sound frequencies in the vicinity.

‘Is it instinct or tension?’ He had no choice but to acknowledge the improvement in his [Sound Reading] skill, even though it had never progressed before. Realistically, a certain amount of tension was wrapped around his heart to maintain peak condition. Izel cautiously perceived a long flight of steps.

Lowering himself, he opened the last mossy and rusted door, eventually spotting the black silhouettes of the futuristic railway tunnel used by the subway train. The affluence of sparkling magic that wasn’t visible to the naked eye was scattered everywhere. The tunnels were pervaded with jet-black liquid, swells enlarging throughout the entire space. It was as vivid as jadeite and emitted the utmost sacredness. But a colorful aurora-like hue panoramaed his [Flawlation].

‘What is this?’ Izel was dazed. Rather than a subway tunnel, it was more like a magical palace. Just as Izel took one more step forward to make a closer observation, a long, log-like object shot out from the surface of the black water.

‘The Snake Lord?’ Upon his sharp realization, the object flew so fast that he couldn’t ponder how to react.
The snake that arrived in front of his nose in the blink of an eye wasn’t a log but an overstretched monster with a thickness rivaling that of an overgrown log.
C-Rank Snake Lord, Avalanche had sensed your presence.

“Hoek!” Taken by surprise, and with the reflex training he had before the raid, he could only swing his sword and strike the impending head of the snake away from him.
Izel’s mouth opened wider. ‘What the heck?!’ The blind man did succeed in deviating in the direction of the lunging giant, but his trusty longsword ended up breaking apart from the overwhelming impact, which also shook his body. The hefty Snake Lord, who was surprised by the counterattack as well, didn’t try to follow up right away but chose to simply glare instinctively at him, coiling itself up a distance away.

Its surging bloodlust raged everywhere, distorting the atmosphere. “So this is the Snake Lord Avalanche?” Inwardly, Izel ensured it was a C-rank creature that was incomparably faster and tougher, and its intimidation was higher than that of the (D-) Wolf Soldiers, (D+) Wolf Guards, or even the (E) Goblin King.

“…!”

His body shook, and the accumulated trauma from the depths of his heart erupted once more. As a result, his head banged, his heartbeat rose rapidly as well, and his breathing got rough.

“Urgh!” He gritted his teeth to endure the agony and terror, and sweat began to seep from his body as he observed the properties of the Snake Lord. The outline of idiosyncratic chromatic scales coating its body gleamed in an oily, esoteric manner as if it had draped itself with thick mysticism armor; those scales had no gaps to speak of. Yet, it burst forth ripples and metallic frequencies each time.
Sword strikes, thrusts, and slashes wouldn’t have worked in the first place; it’d be the same story for punches. As the trauma subsided a little, Izel wanted to ponder his way out of this situation. But all he could perceive next were colorful flashes of magic approaching him. Sharply, the avalanche opened its maws wide and…

“…!”

A huge fireball arose from its mouth, and it took about ten seconds for the flame to get a bigger, sizzling oval shape. It was only then that the blind man realized what the damn Snake Lord was attempting. He began to wonder why there were neither (D+) guards nor (D-) Wolf Soldiers in front of the entrance.

A peaceful predator has hibernation without any slight disturbance whatsoever. The Snake Lord was treated akin to a god, so it was left alone with tight security, but that was all deceived by his plan. Of course, Izel figured they were protecting the Snake Lord, but he didn’t expect this to be such a threat.

‘Why would the Snake Lord be a magical beast?’ Regardless, that didn’t change what needed to be done. He’ll be ending its life and completely raiding this dungeon. Decided, the blind man encased himself in mana and crouched with his entire body exuding a flimsy shield. That’s the effort he could attempt at the moment since there wasn’t enough space and time to dodge.
The air shook as the ball of raging flame hurled toward him with a great crash.

Alas, it wasn’t very effective. The overwhelming impact broke the flimsy shield as it clashed with his cloak, then the military vest he wore, instantly catching his blindfold on fire. Resulting in his vision going awry.

“Haaaaaa…!” Every inch of his skin revealed burns and the harsh vapor was excluded as the scent of blistering burned flesh clung to the air.

“Argggg…!” Even then, he stayed put with his last half ounce of mental fortitude; if not for the esoteric vest, he would have felt much more agony at being burned alive. Yet, currently, it was to the point where he would rather rend the searing skin off himself.

Amidst the agonizing pain, he stepped forward, and that was the only thing he could do at the time.

“…!”

Suddenly, danger crept down his spine as a frightening turn of speed was attempted by the avalanche. “What?!” Puzzled, Izel focused his [Flawlation] as huge ripples of incoming… Unable to perceive the processed data as his head was still throbbing.
By focusing harder, he could fill in the gaps and partially detect the attack that Avalanche had made from his rear.

It was only natural that his [Flawlation] had detected it, yet rather, he couldn’t even properly decipher the attack direction in the beginning as his ears were vigorously still ringing, rendering his [Sound Reading] inactive.

Ultimately, that doesn’t change the fact that the avalanche opened its maw side and tried to swallow him whole. Shrouding his singed-sooted body in mana, he forcefully and swiftly sidestepped; the high-pressurized attack brushed past him, occasionally incising part of his body. Blood splatter.

The air shattered, and the blind man’s singed-sooted hand shoved into his partially burnt pocket-sized bag around his wrist; a frail yet sliver-looking dagger wheezed through the space into both his hands.

[Feeble Dagger had been equipped.]

[Feeble Dagger had been equipped.]

Without delay and still encased in mana, he leaped over to the top and pierced both eyes of the snake with the feeble daggers. Like Izel had previously stated, ‘feeble daggers had their utilizations’.

Blood splashed, and the snake wailed deafeningly.

[Feeble Dagger demerit had been activated.]

[Feeble Dagger demerit had been activated.]

Feeling unbalanced due to the sudden momentum, all the feeble daggers crumbled to pieces. Regaining his footing, he momentarily wrapped his arms around the creature, catching it in a headlock with the full aid of his mana and [Strength] stat.

[Active Skill: Hemostasis (E+) had been activated]

Without the immediate stitching of his skin tearing from abnormal muscle expansion, his muscles would have turned into lumps of flesh. However, that wasn’t enough to lift this huge boss monster. Desperately, he called out to his partially seared pocket-sized bag with mana to retrieve a portion.

[Boost Potion.

Demerit: 5 minutes.]

It was an item that boosted stats for five minutes. As its colorless substance spewed onto his head, the droplets of the potion dripped down, melted into his skin upon contact, and rejuvenated his body as a bluish hue emanated from him. Immediately, a message rang through his mind.

[All stats had temporarily been increased by 200%.]

The message indicated a surge in stats, followed by the countdown as the demerit timer decreased.

[Demerit time begins. 4:87 minutes left.]

He could only wish to slay this monster using his current stats, but that’s not an option. The aftermath would shatter his bones, despite his muscles’ ability to mend themselves using his blood essence, leading to relentless agony. However, how long would his blood essence last to heal both internal and external injuries?

In essence, he had a 5-minute window with this potent power-up from the [boost portion], more than adequate to defeat the creature. Avalanche’s sharp, black contour oozed mana, drawing and tearing blood. Nevertheless, Izel tightened his grip, unable to suppress his cry of pain as blood spurted like a fountain.

Despite excruciating agony engulfing his entire being, the blind man exerted an unbelievably powerful pressure, constricting the snake’s main artery. Despite its efforts, the massive snake couldn’t break free and thrashed around in torment.

[3:50 minutes left.]

Izel gritted his teeth so hard that blood seeped from within, strengthening his arms further. His body vigorously banged against the wall and floor, creating huge craters, yet he never released his grip. Blood spurted out of his mouth, nostrils, and ears as the scale attacks struck him

[The esoteric steel military vest had absorbed 50% of the attack’s power.]

[Demerit had been activated; D-rank attacks were too strong, thus bypassing and demolishing its layers.]

After the vest crumbled to bits, sharp scales impaled his flesh, and blood gushed out. His refractory nerves ran amok, causing his entire body to throb in terror. He could no longer feel them. However, he never released his grip.

It was as if the heavens were pleased with his struggles and unwavering tenacity.

[For the ‘Blind Walker’ that had been unyielding in the face of ‘scorching flame’ and ‘agonizing pain’. An achievement had been unlocked.]

[‘Anesthesia’ Skill has been generated.]

A couple of notifications resounded in his mind, jolting awake his awareness that he was between the realms of life and death. Amidst the pain, he had no idea what the voice had just said as his mind faded in and out of consciousness.

[Hemostasis (E+) is still on standby!]

Internal injuries and bruises began to close as Izel couldn’t focus on anything except staying conscious enough to maintain a tight grip with both hands.

[2:10 minutes left]

Firmly enough, akin to hugging a loved one, he did figure out one thing for sure.
“Ugh… U-hhgregg!” He survived. If only he had intimidating eyes. Instead, he applied that boiling intimidation in his voice; he mustered…

“I was happy… to be born blind. If not… you would have… killed me today.” Even though he barely survived, his body was beyond exhausted; he could hardly breathe. Yet, those words gave off feelings, pain, and memories.

Avalanche, a magical beast, seemed to understand despite the language barrier and closed its bloody eyes without any struggle.

“Sh–” Chaperoned by a rather awful noise and sudden internal frequencies, the skull of the Snake Lord gave in and cracked apart.

Snake Lord, Avalanche had been slain.

Time remained: 0 minutes, 4 seconds.

Congratulations. You have raided the D-rank dungeon.

The Reward for ‘slaying’ instead of ‘subjugation’ had been reduced by 35%. No bonus rewards would be given.

As a reward, you have received the items ‘Stats Boost Long Collar Cardigan Cloak (D)’, ‘Aurora-Short Sword (D), and ‘100 Verdes.’

You have acquired the skill ‘Anesthesia’.

Please move to the waiting room.

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