Never Die Extra - Chapter 360
Evan D. Sherden, Complete the Dungeon (1)
The 100th floor of the dungeon was invaluable for all adventurers—the final destination of all who braved the dungeon, the goal in their lives, and their greatest ambition. But such a dream didn’t sound real ever since the Dungeon was discovered. Even clearing the 50th floor was impossible except for the massive guilds, and only the party formed by the elites from such guilds barely made it to the 60th floor. The generations of the adventurers passed on as time went by, but nothing changed that fact. Most adventurers gave up or died in dungeons, unable to overcome the difficulties.
“I didn’t expect us to challenge the 100th floor this fast.”
Evan was looking at the boss battle room that was neither particularly wide nor narrow, and he was making an expression as if he were deeply moved, but the members weren’t fooled. He wasn’t deeply moved, but rather, he was looking back on how things turned out.
“I thought that Master was too cautious until now. Clearing the dungeon would have been impossible a few years ago at this pace.”
“Well, it would still have been possible.”
It was just that the timing had been delayed to have Evan’s people grow and to eradicate the Demon tribe effectively. One could say that the time was stalled to defeat the Demon King completely. But it was certain that the Demon King wouldn’t be resurrected after the 100th floor since Merdin was sealed. As it was certain that a big ruckus would happen soon in Sherden, the party came to the dungeon and started clearing it as fast as possible in order to increase their strength to the maximum level.
“Then what should we do? Shall we beat the normal boss and then the hidden boss as we’ve always done?”
“Nope. The condition for the hidden boss of the 100th floor is quite complicated.”
All hidden bosses were said to be strong, but the one on the 100th floor was different from all the hidden bosses up until now. There was a keyword called ‘prisoner’ that commonly referred to all hidden bosses, and that boss was such a horrible one that everyone would understand why it was sealed tightly. It was an ancient demon that even looked down on the Demon King.
“Well, it’s given that it’s stronger than the Demon King.”
“Anyways, it’s a dangerous one, so it was sealed away very tightly. There are several conditions that are required to summon and challenge it completely.”
Evan walked up to the front of the battle room and started examining the room. He placed a latch just in case the door opened accidentally and then began to manipulate the mana while touching the door. As he asked Belois to pour her mana in a specific part, a hole appeared that looked like a small crystal shard…the Demon Crystal would fit that space.
“Master, I think it just reacted to my mana.”
“Right. It’s a structure that reacts to the mana of the god race. It’s because the hidden boss of the 100th floor can’t be beaten if there is no one from the children of the god race present.”
Of course, there were plenty of those from the Yo-Ma Great War player base who wanted to single-handedly clear the dungeon until the hidden boss of the 100th floor. Then, was that impossible? Nope, certainly not. The hidden boss had the element of being a two-round stage, and there existed the ‘player becoming the god race’ among the benefits gained as the second round began. Therefore, it was possible to clear the Sherden dungeon alone if one had the ability to do so. But having two stages meant the general difficulty increased, and the only drawback would be that the first phase of the battle became damn difficult if one was a member of the god race.
“Then, the Demon Crystal here…will you be using the crystal from the hidden boss?”
“Ahhhh! You mentioned that you would use the Demon Crystal of the hidden boss from the 5th floor as a sacrifice!”
Shine clapped his hand while recalling what happened seven years ago. Evan nodded while thinking that he had a remarkable memory.
“I said it at that time. That there was no need to talk about it back then.”
“I now completely understand…”
Evan took out the Demon Crystal from the 5th floor hidden boss, which had been stored in his inventory pocket for the past seven years, and placed it in the spot. Everyone who was watching him was in awe as the crystal perfectly fit the hole. Then, the reddish Demon Crystal naturally sank in with the wall, starting to shine and resonate with the door. Geometric symbols appeared all over the door, and eighteen holes were created.
“Here, let’s fill all of them.”
“By any chance, do they have a pattern?”
“The level of the strength differs depending on the pattern.”
People would think that it would be better to weaken the boss, but that would be mistaken as what Evan was doing was a ritual to undo the seal. If the seal weren’t completely broken, the boss couldn’t be completely defeated. Rather, the fragment of what was left of the boss would slowly eat into the dungeon for hundreds of years to the point that the bad ending where the world was destroyed kicked in, and nobody would want that except for the ending collectors. Moreover, if the bad ending happened, the world came to an end, so that wasn’t an option. If one tried to beat the hidden boss by clearing the boss of the 100th floor, the seal didn’t completely come off, so precaution must be taken in order to prevent the bad ending from happening.
“As expected, I understand why Master wanted to clear the 100th floor before others. It was to prevent the seal of the hidden boss from being released incompletely.”
“That’s right, but one uncertainty is that Merdin isn’t included in the dungeon fusion, and by looking at the seal looking, I guess the real body stayed here.”
And it was strengthened. Evan placed the rest of the Demon Crystal while breathing heavily. At that moment, the door shined brightly, and screaming could be heard from within. The boss of the 100th floor that originally existed behind this door was offered as a sacrifice that broke the several hundred years-old seal to awaken the hidden boss.
“Everyone, get ready for battle.”
“One battle clears the stage for the floor. Will we level up?”
“Don’t worry about it.”
Evan laughed and replied to Shine, who was lost in meaningless worries.
“The dungeon level ends at 100. After clearing the 100th floor, the level changes from 100 to Max after receiving the blessing of God.”
“Umm…Master, you’ve said that the level ends at 100. What’s the difference between that and the max?”
The modern human would’ve understood it right away, so there was no point in telling them about this being an element of completion. Evan smacked his lips and explained to them what was written in the game scenario.
“There’s a huge difference. Lv.100 is surely the end of the limit, but it’s incomplete, while Max level is the complete form. It’s achieving completion. The body is endowed with a bit of holy power after clearing the 100th floor, so a chance to challenge the Demon King is given…”
“Ah, never mind if you don’t get it. There’s no need to distribute the contribution since we’re already on the 100th floor, and we’ll all be Max level once we clear the boss, so that’s all you need to know.”
The important fact was that things like contribution didn’t have to be taken into consideration, and all eight members would become max level after defeating the boss. Evan touched his boots and prepared to unleash the power he accumulated for a long time. As he didn’t use the Devil Rune often lately, the power of the curse and the demonic energy stored in the boots were on the verge of eruption.
“Commander, this is a tremendous aura. Is the existence waiting for us inside really something that belongs to this world?”
“No, it’s an ancient being. It has been sealed for several hundred years.”
“So, you’re saying the rift from the Mana Realm wasn’t the only route of meeting with the ancient being. I’m even thinking whether it was God’s plan to seal that being when they conspired with the Devil.”
Mirole, who was on par with Evan in terms of detecting the ancient being, drew out her unique weaponry with a tense look, but Serena was clapping innocently.
“I see, so that’s why we brought Gnar, right?”
Gnar was crying out in excitement as it realized that the being waiting inside was the type of meat that it preferred to eat. It resembled Evan’s party since it looked so carefree without thinking about the level of difficulty.
“Huhu, it might be a tasty meal…”
Raihan strongly gripped his shield as he murmured. This was a rare chance for him to test out the limit of his shield techniques since he wasn’t able to feel anything from blocking the attacks from normal monsters.
“Tina, come out.”
[Preparation complete! Let’s show them our combined power!]
“…Tina? Shine, did you just call her by a nickname?”
“Hmn? Ah, that’s because…f I had to engage combat with her…Asha, are you angry?”
Shine summoned Christina in order to show his full power, and Christina appeared triumphantly as she was given a chance to put on a spectacular show, but Anastasia questioned him. They were acting normally, so there was no need to worry about them committing mistakes out of nervousness.
“Whew, this might be a good chance to find out how deep my rapier will pierce.”
Arisha looked a little tense, but she held up her rapier as she tried to calm her mind. Wind Mirage, the name of the invisible wind that enveloped her rapier, formed. A secret weapon that Arisha didn’t originally have in the game was just waiting for the moment to unleash its power.
“I’m ready, Master.”
Belois looked as calm as ever. It wasn’t that she wasn’t able to detect the strength of the monster. The reason was that her task wouldn’t change no matter what enemies appeared.
“Good, then let’s go over the final briefing.”
Evan felt the presence of the enemy that was waiting for them silently behind the wall, and he started talking about the enemy he remembered from the game after letting out a sigh.
“His name is Keiha, and he is the Prince of the Demons that had reigned in the ancient past.”
“Oh, my goodness!”
Mirole shouted in surprise. She had heard the name Keiha when she was young. When the world was in chaos from the mana realm, she remembered herself trembling in fear after hearing from the elder elves saying that he must not be brought over to the middle realm.
“I can’t believe that was him…!”
“Hmm, I don’t quite get the grasp of it since I haven’t heard his name.”
“He outranked the Demon King in terms of strength, but he was rather impatient and brutal compared to the Demon King. He thought of a way to be resurrected in the human realm without sacrificing any of his real strength in order to bring judgement to humans, and it was by sacrificing the Demons so that he could transfer his real body to the human realm. But the Demon King realized his plan and interfered, which made the resurrection incomplete, so he ended up being tied to the dungeon as a penalty of bringing his full strength over.”
“And God used his power to seal him off?”
“Yeah. You can perceive it as a combined work of the demon realm and the heavenly realm.”
But the plan of the Demon King didn’t end there; it extended to the dungeon fusion. In the process of three dungeons’ fusion, Keiha accepted too much of the death aura so that half of him became undead. So, the hidden boss of the 100th floor could be said to be the ‘half-undead Keiha.’ Of course, that guy was strong, but there was a high possibility that he became stronger than before by absorbing the energies from two dungeons without Merdin thrown into the mix.
“Is everything going to be alright, Commander…?”
Mirole shrunk away and expressed anxiety, although she was told to face the strongest opponent she had ever heard about since she was young. But Evan just laughed.
“Despite how strong he became, he couldn’t become stronger than you, Mirole. Believe in your strength. Ah, you just need to understand his pattern.”
“You would have looked cooler if you didn’t say the last phrase.”
Evan flicked his finger at Shine’s forehead before telling them how to defeat the monster.
“He has low intelligence, so he attacks while switching between his best spells, and these are all area damage with different attributes, so it’s faster to learn by seeing them. But Raihan Hyeong can draw in the area of damage, so it’s just him who needs to prepare for the elemental attacks while we need to focus on dealing damages.”
Keiha had the classical yet strong feature that suited him for being the hidden boss of the 100th floor in the dungeon. That was the total defense. By utilizing his mana, he used two shield walls, and each of them not only completely defended him from physical and magical attacks but also deflected them. Either of the two was always being used, and there was a moment when he utilized both at the same time. One member with ridiculously high dexterity had to lure him while the rest of the members either dealt damage to pierce his shield walls, be on standby, cast heal, or defend. Then, how did you defeat him alone? The answer lies in increasing armor penetration as much as possible while maxing out dexterity and wearing artifacts that will automatically evade, as well as using high-tier potions to heal.
“I see. That’s why you’ve mentioned preparing the armor penetration artifact! In order to pierce through his total defense!”
“Even the reflected damages are cruel, so we have to attack at a timing when the attacks will be effective and attack him while considering the reflected damage when he is using two shield walls at the same time. The shield wall will break when it receives a certain amount of damage.”
Additionally, attacks that were both magical and physical would get reflected anyway, so it wasn’t recommended. Arisha looked discouraged, but it couldn’t be helped.
“He seems like a formidable enemy. But why is that so?”
“But armor penetration works anyways…”
“No, I’m sorry, but it’s impractical this time.”
“Well, we’ve finished talking about the strategy, so let’s step in.”
“It’s great that armor penetration is included in the unique weaponry.”
Evan sighed at his party members whose moods were just like the normal days, although they had their last fight in the dungeon ahead, and he broke the seal in his boots. The fact that he didn’t consider losing as a possibility proved that he had grown over time as well.
Evan slowly opened the door. The one that was waiting for them from beyond was Prince of the Demon Realm, Keiha, who completely regained his power and was strengthened on top of that…
[Huhu, did you break my seal without knowing that hell is about to come down for you, weak humans…? Eeeeeeeek! Zero!? Zero, why!?]
It was on the verge of collapsing from shock while screaming when it saw Evan in the middle of its introductory speech that suited the name of a hidden boss.
‘…This dungeon never ceases to surprise me till the end! Damn it!’