Chapter 27 – Dungeon, Evolution and Success
In Artpe’s past life, the hero’s party was the first to explore the Slime Dungeon first. Afterwards, the Dungeon became popular amongst the adventurers.
First, the Dungeon produced only Slimes. This was why the danger to the adventurers was very low, and there weren’t that many traps present. Moreover, when one killed a certain amount of Slimes, random treasure chests appeared when the Mana within the Dungeon was activated. This was why one could expect a decent amount of profit in this Dungeon.
“Basically, this is the best place for a beginner adventurer to grow. Moreover, it is also a great place to learn about Dungeons.”
“So why are there so many Slimes-ahhhhhhhhk!”
“Tsk. He looked like he was going to die, yet he isn’t dying.”
“Who was it right now! Who clicked their tongue at me-ahhhhhhk!”
Silpennon was fighting hard. Normally, a talent bloomed the brightest in brutal situations rather than a relaxed surrounding. A single misstep would allow the group of Slimes to swallow him, and he would be digested by them. This was why he was squeezing out his abilities, and he was able to push himself past his limit.
When the two daggers danced in the air, the severed portion of the Slimes were sent flying. Silpennon’s battle capability was increasing in real-time. As expected, a genius was a genius.
“It seems one doesn’t need a coach in battle.”
“Is that so? Why is he moving like that? I have questions….”
“You can’t use yourself as the standard, Maetel. If so, everyone will be disqualified in the preliminaries.”
“Too many! There are too many of them! Damn Slimes!”
The Slime Dungeon was different in many ways to the first Dungeon entered by Artpe and Maetel. The previous Dungeon had a limit as to how many monsters could form. This Dungeon created new monsters every time it had any spare Mana.
It didn’t matter how many monsters were still left within. It spawned them as if it wanted to make the monsters explode out from the Dungeon!
The monsters spawned within the Dungeon was influenced by the Record and the Mana. These components were unique to each Dungeon. This was why an adventurer was unable to claim to be an expert after exploring one or two Dungeons.
“That is why the rooms are infested with Slimes. Well, the Slimes are activating all the traps, so at the very least, we don’t have to worry about him dying from the traps.”
“This is all thanks to the Slimes!”
Silpennon frantically swung the daggers in each hand as he cut into the Slimes. His Dual Wielding had evolved into level 2. His growth couldn’t compare to what Maetel went through when she fought monsters for her first time in a Dungeon. Still, he wasn’t too bad.
However, the Slimes overcame the death of their comrades as they kept coming. Their main objective was to eat Silpennon. The Slimes charged forward without looking back. Inevitably, the stronger ones started to show up.
“Stop! Don’t come here!”
“Oh oh oh.”
The sight reminded Artpe of the time when the combined forces of all the countries on the continent were sent towards the Demon King’s army. If a hundred of such group continued to come at him, Silpennon would succumb to them eventually!
“Eeeek. Help me before I fall!”
“I’ll bury you in a sunny place, your highness.”
“How can you call yourself a guardian knight! You’re fired! Ooh-gahhhhhhhh!”
Silpennon’s struggle continued. He had been a level 7, but at some point, he had reached level 18. As he moved deeper into the Dungeon, the level of the Slimes continued to creep upwards. However, Silpennon was slowly getting a feel for fighting against a large group, so a good fight ensued.
Maetel tilted her head in confusion as she watched the life and death battle between human and Slimes.
“Artpe, didn’t the Skeletons retreat when they were at a disadvantage? Why do these monsters continue to charge forward?”
“Silpennon looks beatable compared to us. These guys are constantly hungry. They’ll keep attacking unless their opponent is stronger than them by a fair amount”
“Why don’t they eat each other?”
The question was very well-timed.
“Slimes don’t eat those that are from the same race as them. However, it isn’t prudent to view monsters through common sense. An exception always exists.”
Artpe gave his explanation as he pointed towards Silpennon.
Silpennon had just killed a group of Slime, and he was wiping slime off of his body.
“Even if they are monsters from the same race, their behavior pattern changes depending on the Dungeon, environmental factors and other variables. Amongst the monsters, the change that the Slime undergoes is very well-defined and simple. Moreover, most Dungeons evolve to match the behavior patterns of the monsters.”
“So the Dungeons and monsters live and breathe together?”
“That’s right. Maetel is smart.”
It was a rare praise, so there was a bright smile on Maetel’s face. However, the only ones to laugh in an easygoing manner were the heroes.
“Your explanation makes me feel uneasy…. It is as if you are trying to say our mere presence will cause changes in the behavior pattern of the Slimes.”
Leseti made a pretty sharp observation. When he heard her words, a chill went up Silpennon’s spine. He quickly turned towards Artpe to shout at him.
“I want to leave this crazy place!”
“It is too late. It has already started.”
After Artpe finished speaking, an ominous sound of Slimes moving across the floor was heard. The sound was amplified by several degrees.
“The Slimes…. They are retreating?”
“It isn’t just the monsters. The Dungeon is really changing…..!”
There was a room at the end of the hallway that had been sealed. The room collapsed. It continued onto the next one and so forth. When a change occured within a Dungeon, the most common phenomenon to occur was the collapse of the strict boundaries that kept the rooms separate.
It also meant that the Dungeon was becoming more dangerous, and the monsters would become stronger. In turn, the reward would also be greater. When an adventurer feels the change in the Dungeon, one would have to make a quick decision and act on it.
Silpennon had two choices. He could go forward or retreat.
“As I’ve said before, I’m getting out of here!”
“I have to express my regret to you. There are two type of changes that may occur within a Dungeon. There are the Dungeons that allow the adventures to retreat when they desire it. Then there are the ones that allow you to come in easily, but it won’t let you go easily.”
Artpe pointed back at the sealed entrance of the Dungeon, and he smirked.
“This Dungeon is the latter type.”
Silpennon’s face crumpled.
“My god….. Doesn’t this basically impose a death sentence on the adventurers!”
“Are you under some kind of delusion? Dungeons aren’t here to help develop adventurers. The Dungeons aren’t here to give them treasures. The Dungeons merely exists. The danger and opportunity is distributed equitably to all.”
Of course, Artpe’s Read All Creation ability allowed him to see what changes were occurring within the Dungeon. At its heart, this was a Slime Dungeon. Even if it evolved in innovative ways, the only one in danger would be Silpennon.
“The prerequisites that causes the change in the behavior pattern of the Slimes is very simple. First, the intruders has to be strong enough that the Slime can’t win in a direct confrontation. Secondly, the intruder has to show no signs of retreating. The intruder has to rush forward continuously. Third, there has to be an overwhelming number of Slimes present. When all of these conditions are met, they start eating each other to become stronger.”
“That’s what’s happening right now!”
Silpennon screamed those words out. The Slimes were wriggling around, and they were combining to become larger. Moreover, the walls of the Dungeon continued to collapse. The Slimes that were on alert within these rooms came forward. They kept rushing towards the Slime that was eating its own brethrens!
“Oh oh. It is rare to see one that can eat so much. If we are lucky, this might ratchet up a level.”
In many ways, the current situation was good for them. First, the Slime Dungeon hadn’t been found yet, so a lot of Slimes had amassed within. Their party including Silpennon was overpowered in terms of martial strength(Silpennon would disagree with this point). Then there was the massive amount of Mana in reserve that would allow the Dungeon to make changes alongside the monsters.
This was how Artpe changed history once again. The Slime Dungeon would never be a beginner’s Dungeon from this point forward. This was the start of a hellhole that was now under the rule of the evolved Slime!
“Up a level? What do you mean by up a level? Are you perhaps talking about a high rank Class! Tell me it ain’t so!”
“It can’t be, your highness. As you’ve seen, the Slimes are the lowest ranked monsters that range from level 5 to level 10. The probability of these monsters combining to form a monster over level 50 is……”
“Ah. The Dungeon is collapsing.”
Once a Slime starts to eat its brethrens, it won’t stop until it’s sure it can eat all of the intruders.
In the beginning, Silpennon had driven the Slimes into a frenzy. Moreover, Artpe and the other members of his party was also within the Dungeon. The Slime knew it couldn’t beat them with a single floor worth of Slimes, so it started preying on the Slimes on the next floor. The Dungeon received its intention, and the Dungeon collapsed the floor!
Of course, the adventurers, who had found this Dungeon, fell downwards.
Artpe swung his hand, and he extended three strands of Mana String. He was at the center as he wrapped Maetel, Leseti and Silpennon with the Mana Strings. They safely landed on the Dungeon’s 2nd floor, which was below the collapsed hallway.
“I’m starting to hear something!”
“Oh. If we are lucky, it might even gain self-awareness. Ee-yah. There are much more Slimes on the 2nd floor! This is fun! They are all combining!”
“Did you guys come here to have fun!”
They were only Slimes, but the ones on the 2nd floor was much higher in level than the ones on the 1st floor. The Slimes didn’t care if the ceiling had fallen. They were all over the 2nd floor, and the giant Slime that was formed on the 1st floor started eating the other helpless Slimes.
“Oh oh. I don’t like it. The color of each Slime is being mixed inside that big Slime, and it is giving me a bad feeling!”
“How can the color of the Slime change like that, Artpe?”
“As a matter of fact……”
“If you have the time to leisurely explain the ecology of a Slime, you should do something about that bastard, Artpe!”
As it absorbed new types of Slimes into its body, the giant Slime was dyed with all kinds of colors! The party watched the gluttonous Slime. It was akin to watching someone else’s house burn down. Artpe could see the level of the enormous Slime rise in real time.
[Level : 33]
“It’s all right. It is still a lousy monster. Ah. Of course, a single hit will kill you.”
“You should have told me that first!”
As if Silpennon had been waiting for such words, he quickly ran towards Leseti. Leseti talked about his grave and funeral, but she didn’t really plan on letting him die. She let him hide behind her.
“For your information, it is an Elite monster now.”
“Don’t we get better rewards for killing Elite monsters?”
“It is also stronger than the monsters at the same level.”
The Big Slime was well aware of its station. It had grown a lot, but it knew it would get cut into pieces by the other humans before it was able to kill the detestable red haired brat.
This was why it wasn’t satisfied. It kept eating all the Slimes on the 2nd floor. In the process, the hidden passages of the Dungeons were revealed, and all kinds of rare Slimes started to pop out. These Slimes were much more colorful. They either possessed a faint trace of magical energy or they were stickier.
Of course, they became nutrients that fueled the growth of the Big Slime.
‘Uh. In the past, I’ve never heard of a rumor about secret passages inside this Dungeon.’
Of course, Artpe didn’t search out Dungeons in his past life, so he hadn’t had the chance to use his Read All Creation ability within them. Basically, a secret that had never been found in his previous life was revealed to him in the present.
Well, this was only a Slime Dungeon. There probably wasn’t anything great….
“It let out a cry!”
“Huh. I might have been wrong.”
The rare Records that wasn’t usually allowed to be accessed by a normal Slime had been gathered in one place. The Slime broke through another wall, and it took another step forward. The party members saw a very rare sight where a monster reached a high rank class through gaining a high level.
[Level : 50]
“Ee-yah. That one is splendid. It reached the status of an Elite Rare monster!”
“How long are you going to just watch!”
“Hmm. You are right. I should start taking action.”
Artpe found a good sized rock, and he put a decent amount of Mana into it. He threw it towards a nearby Slime. After the Slime ate the rock, it was absorbed into the Great Slime.
Silpennon cried out suddenly.
“I told you to take care of it! When did I tell you to feed the Slime!”
“Aigo. It is eating it well.”
“Stop feeding it!”
The Great Slime continued to evolve. However, the Slimes on the 2nd floor was all gone. Even the secret tunnels were all opened. It meant there wasn’t a single monster left on the 2nd floor.
“Ah. It is easting the treasure chests.”
“It’s all right. It takes a very long time for a Slime to digest objects. We can recover it later after we kill it. If the item can’t last until then, it means it isn’t worth that much!”
“I’m asking if you can really kill that thing!”
“Ah. The 2nd floor is also collapsing.”
Finally, the Dungeon’s 3rd floor was revealed. They hadn’t moved much, yet they were able to clear the 1st and 2nd floor. It was great, since they didn’t have to waste any calories. He pitied Silpennon, who was wasting all the saved calories by screaming his head off.
“Wa-ah! The 3rd floor also has a lot of secret passageways!”
“The Great Slime’s behavior is set now. It will eat all of its brethrens. The other Slimes on this floor won’t consider us enemies. The Great Slime is there enemy. That is why….”
The Great Slime was eating all the Slimes residing on the 3rd floor! While it was doing so, Artpe kept infusing nearby rocks with his Mana. He kept feeding the Slimes inside the Dungeon.
“How long are you going to just watch it?”
“I’m not sure. Maybe, until all the Slimes coalesces into one?”
“When will that occur!”
“That’s a very good question.”
Artpe let out a sweet smile as he answered the question.
“I have no idea!”
The Slime continued to stuff itself. It continued until they reached the 6th floor.
In Artpe’s past life, the Slime Dungeon had only been explored to the 5th floor.