Dungeon Diver: Stealing A Monster's Power - C.252


The 6 of us walk out into the rocky dungeon under the grey sky. Rolling brown hills and valleys fill our vision as far as the eye can see.

About 3km away, I can sense a few groups of monsters clumped together. Some even occasionally disappear from my radar.

The Solaran Hunters must be here fending off monsters waiting for our Labyrinth Ascent.

Lydia takes the lead and Fisher follows right behind her. I don't mind. This climb will be fast.

The fighting won't get serious enough for me to want to join in until far past the 20th Floor.

I follow, continuing to scan the environment around me and testing the limits of my newly enhanced mana control.

With plunderer, I'm able to instantly take MP from the ground beneath my feet, and even the air around me.

Mana is so abundant here, that I almost feel invincible.

My perception range has increased dramatically too. The entire dungeon is clear to me without overpowering my All-Seeing Eye one bit.

It may be a smaller dungeon, but I still would have had to re-up my MP bar with this much skill strain if I tried using this much perception ability even yesterday.

Each individual object is much clearer to me too. I can sense and track the swirling magic in every rock, monster, and mountain within the confines of these dungeon walls.

The closer it is to me, obviously the more detail I can perceive.

I see small traces of MP entering Lydia's body just like when I attempted to absorb mana from the mist upon leaving the treating capsule in the city. It seems she's constantly working on her skills and pushing the limits as well.

As for my combat skills, I won't have a chance to test them out anytime soon. Though, my teammates might.

Just 500 meters in, we come across a team of hunters fending off a group of mutant High Orcs.

They wear red robes, all have decent gear and solid combat skills. A team of 5 level 350-360s is taking on these level 370-380 Orcs without much problem. One of them has a major team strength buff skill so they're using it very strategically.

He's the one that calls out to us as we pass by in range.

"The Elites! Good to see you've made it. We have two other squads on this floor, and one more up on the 19th. Everything 20 and above is up to you power holders."

I raise an eyebrow at the "Power Holders" line. I haven't heard that one used before... Maybe he's referring to mana control users?

Fisher replies.

"Keep up the good work. We'll have this Labyrinth cleared before you know it!"

The hunter smiles, pushing out another golden wave of energy for his teammates as the Final Mutant High Orc is taken out.

They wave us off and search for more.

The further into the dungeon we travel, the more Orcs show up.

Without much effort at all, each of us is able to one-shot the creatures without batting an eye.

We pick up the pace and begin to run. After 40 minutes, and passing the two other groups keeping Orcs at bay, we mark it to the Boss Room.

It's a few shades darker grey than usual, but nothing too out of the ordinary. We enter immediately.

Maria and Abby slice the Boss into pieces without a moment's hesitation. The High Orc King falls to the Boss Room's rocky ground and we're all transported to the 19th Floor.

As we all materialize back onto a flat glossy hard black surface Fisher turns to us and speaks.

"Now- I'll be the first to say that was pretty impressive, but let's see how all of you fare against a floor like this!"

He smirks and points out at the jagged crystal-like maze of a dungeon, then turns back to me.

"Looks familiar doesn't it?

I nod.

"It does..."

The crisp air of a Berserker Giant Dungeon fills my lungs as we step forward into the mazes of glossy black crystal before us.

I could easily fly over all of this and avoid every Berserker with ease. Those green-eyed, muscle-covered, red-skinned fiends are rather annoying to deal with.

It seems everyone else is thinking in a similar school of thought.

Abby is quick to activate her earth magic and make stone steps above the floor, while both Maria and Lydia have the same idea to create waves of ice angles upwards to the sky at an angle easy to walk on.

I follow on their leftover residue, using trace amounts of mana manipulation in my feet to mold the ice to my liking. It ensures I don't slip.

Moving above the twisting black mazes and caverns will save us a lot of time.

As we walk further into the sky, balancing on the archways of rock and stone, I watch monster run around maniacally in the mazes below. We would have spent way too much time fighting if we stayed down there.

The 6 of us almost make it halfway through the whole Dunegon before seeing anything too interesting.

I spy a team of two hunters, a man with bright yellow hair using lighting magic and a dark-skinned woman wielding daggers moving with incredible speed.

They're facing off against a 4-meter-tall Berserker Giant alone... and winning.

The Lightning Summoner continuously shocks the monster while the dagger wielder with an [Extreme Speed] Skill runs circles around the beast.

In under a minute, the creature falls to the floor. Busted armor, sword, and all.

We're in quite a hurry, so Abby Maria, and Lydia don't slow their pace as we continue to use elemental magic and travel through the sky above the dangers below.

The Lighting user notices as we pass and waves while yelling out.

"Just in time! We'll hold down the 19th floor. Don't worry one bit."

With that, the 6 of us continue forward.

My teammates are brimming with energy, I'm sure they're all very confident they can take on the monsters down below.

I'm confident in them too, but one person here isn't.

Fisher speaks up as we begin to near the end of the dungeon. The Boss room portal comes into view, this is what sets him off.

"Hey, are you 4 going to do any fighting? Don't you think we should gauge your strength? I'd like to see you fight one of these mobs."

Arie shrugs.

"Sure, I'd like to fight one too."

Abby and Maria happily reply, showing their excitement and eagerness to fight one of the odd-looking creatures that we keep passing below.

I speak up too.

"I'd rather wait to fight something more interesting."

As all of the misshapen crystalized black mountain peaks and low maze-filled valleys pass, we finally make it to a wide-open area of flat ground with the Boss Room portal just 100 meters away.

It's a hard black floor that we can nearly see our selections in while looking down. To our left and right side, there are high jagged walls of hexagonal crystals in all shapes and sizes.

Granting our wish, two Berserkers come running our way straight on. From the right side, I can sense a third slowly creeping in from behind a crystal structure.

Abby and Maria run forward charging their blades and let out attacks before any of us can even blink.

The Berserker lurking off to our right, behind a small ledge jumps out with its green eyes locked straight ahead.

Arie releases a fully charged glowing white arrow between Fisher and Lydia straight at the monster's forehead.

Seconds later, the 3 creatures that attacked are blown to pieces on the spot.

I let out a laugh, walking forward like nothing happened.

My teammates basically do the same, powering down their skills and not bothering to check for loot, fully focused on the boss room portal ahead.

The white-haired mage speaks to Maria before we enter.

"Looks like you've gotten a lot stronger since the last time we trained together. How interesting..."

She carries her gaze over all of us, stopping on me, then turning her head to the Boss Room portal.

"Well, that's good. The more availability of mana control users the better. We'll need it."

Fisher is left speechless. He just follows after that display and glows a dull blue.

Like that, we all step forward into the swirling grey portal to see the massive Berserker King waiting for us.

I remember facing this boss vividly. Its Final Breath skill is a deadly buff... One that I have now, but would rather never use or face again if I didn't have to.

I murmur under my breath as my 3 teammates approach it.

"One-hit kill that monster, it has a nasty buff on low health."

Arie smirks, charging an arrow as the blue and green mages run ahead with their weapons drawn.

"I was planning on it."

A flash of white light along with flying ice and rock erupts from the scene as the monster lets out a single roar. The boss is defeated in an instant.

I grip my sword and stare straight ahead, eagerly awaiting the transfer magic to take us to the next floor.

After a small celebration, it does. Everyone is looking forward to fighting the stronger monsters that we came here to face.

We're all brought to a narrow black passageway just like the two others I've been in before. It's no more than 20 meters long and the walls are lined with dark stone.

This small area is a floor connector that only spawns for very special events. The Lower Floor Boss and the Final Boss are the only times I've ever seen it before.

As I grin and move forward while igniting my sword, the white-haired mage's voice rings out in my ears.

"So you've been in one of these before, haven't you?"

I pause, but she continues before I can think of a reply.

"Every Labyrinth has very different Lower-Floor Bosses. So if you've faced the one in the Capital and think this one will be the same, you're mistaken."

I turn with tightened lips full of curiosity.

She speaks again, moving forward at the same pace as me.

"It should be at similar strength, but every Special Boss is unique to its Labyrinth. We've never found one that matches another. Unlike the dungeon floors. Even if you're strong enough, it's still best to be cautious. Anything can happen on a floor like this."

We all stand in silence, staring at the slowly spinning dark grey portal at the end of the black-stone hall. It vibrates and lets off a low humming waiting for us to enter.

There are wisps of jet-black energy trailing off its edges, slowly filling the small hallway with white, grey, and black mana. It's just like the mana coming off of the break portal when we entered. Not violent or unstable, but emanating power.

I pause and observe the sight before me for a solid 10 seconds, then finally speak up.

"Understood, let's do this."