Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi - novelonlinefull.com
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"So this is what comes after the swamp level..." I said, looking over the immense sandy desert that spread away in all directions from the starting point of the 29th level.
"This dungeon is getting to be really interesting." Fer mused. No, Fer, 'interesting' isn't the word I would use. We've fought our way through forest levels and a swamp level and now we're faced with a desert level. The differences are coming too fast for me, never mind the high-ranking monsters which attack us all the time.
...anyway it was really hot, the sun hammering down on us from a cloudless sky. Okay, I understood this was a desert level and deserts are supposed to be hot but we were in a dungeon underground somewhere, not in a real desert. It didn't seem fair somehow, that sun up there was really hot. After all it wasn't the real sun, was it?
"This is hot..." Fer said, starting to pant. Dogs couldn't sweat, I remembered, and his heavy fur coat must be trapping the heat.
"Achi..." Dorchan added telepathically, his mouth wide like a lizard on a hot rock. Dragons were kind of like lizards and lizards liked hot environments, didn't they? but the Pixie Dragon was obviously distressed by the high temperatures in this level.
"It's hot, Aruji..." Sui-chan, how would she cope with this heat? She was a Slime, would she shrivel up and dry out? Sui-chan...
"I'll set up my Barrier for everyone." Fer said. "It'll shield us from some of the heat."
"Eh, will it?" I knew Barrier could stop physical attacks-
"Umu." Fer explained. "It won't block the sunlight directly but Barrier can control the temperature inside itself to some extent." Oh, that's super convenient, I thought to myself. "But this amount of heat..." Fer added. "It's still going to be uncomfortable even with the Barrier, I can't help that but it'll be better than nothing."
Well, Fer's warning that we're going to get hot even with his Barrier in the way meant I should take some precautions against dehydration and sunstroke so I opened up Net Super and bought lots of isotonic drinks and bottled water. As an afterthought I looked for something to block the sunlight, a hat or hooded jacket of some kind. I quickly found a UV-blocking hoodie which I immediately purchased.
"Fer's barrier will deal with some of the heat but we're going to lose a lot of moisture. We need to drink a lot to replenish ourselves and not get dehydrated." I poured a 2-litre bottle of isotonic sports drink into deep dishes and put them down for everyone while I put on the UV hoodie. I had to refill the dishes with more sports drink a couple of times as the heat had already taken a toll on my companions.
"We should head straight for the level boss." Fer said. "It's a big level and it's all sand as far as I can tell, no safe places to stop." I nodded, exploring this level was pointless, it was best to just do what Fer suggested.
"By the way this sort of desert level gets really cold at night." Fer added as I put away the dishes. Ah, so it was like a real desert in that regard too? "I'll run fast without stopping like I did on the last level. Climb on."
I straddled Fer's back with Sui-chan tucked away safely in her leather bag. Dorchan flew off ahead of us, again acting as a scout to warn us of any danger that might appear as Fer set off across the sands at his usual furious pace.
"Hey, something's coming towards us." Dorchan reported telepathically after a few minutes. I looked ahead where Dorchan was flying. What was it? It looked like a lot of red and black dots in the distance.
"What are they..." I couldn't make out any details but the dots were definitely getting closer, obviously aiming to intercept us. When I could finally make out what they were, I was amazed.
"...S, scorpions!" A group of nearly a hundred scorpions, each about a metre or more in length was approaching us.
"Nuu, those are Sand Scorpions." Fer slowed down for some reason. "That means..."
The sand in front of us suddenly erupted and a huge scorpion leapt out in front of us. It was the size of a car, much larger than any of the mob of Sand Scorpions in the distance.
"Uwaaah!" I shouted in surprise.
"As I expected." Fer said, "But this guy's in our way so-"
Dokkon--. Fer's Lightning magic blasted the giant scorpion and it fell dead before us, its carapace smoking. What was it? I quickly Appraised the dead monster.
[ Giant Sand Scorpion ]
An rank monster.
An ranked monster defeated by Fer's one-hit Lightning magic. Okay, that was good but what about the army of scorpions ahead of us? There had to be at least a hundred of them- I looked up to see the mob of smaller scorpions turning and running away as as fast as they had been approaching us.
"They won't attack us since I just defeated the Giant Sand Scorpion who was controlling them." Fer explained. "I knew there had to be a Giant Sand Scorpion around when I saw the mob of regular Sand Scorpions charging towards us, they do it to distract anyone they encounter and then the Giant Sand Scorpion jumps out and ambushes them in a surprise attack."
Ah, that's how it works? After the Giant Sand Scorpion disappeared, I picked up the magic stone and Poison Stinger that were the drops and deposited them in my Item Box before we headed off again in the direction of the level boss. Shortly thereafter though Fer came to an abrupt stop without warning.
"Hey Fer, why'd you-" I started to ask as Dorchan came buzzing back towards us but I was interrupted as- "Guuuh!" A giant earthworm-like monster about 10 metres long jumped out of the sand just in front of where Fer had stopped. What was it? I quickly Appraised the monster...
[ Sand Worm ]
An rank monster.
The Sand Worm lifted its head, its wide-open round mouth lined with sharp teeth plunging forward as if intending to swallow us whole, it seemed.
"I'll deal with it!" Dorchan declared as he flew back towards us. Fer dodged the Sand Worm's strike, skipping lithely to one side as the monster's fang-filled mouth hit the sand where we had been standing. While it was distracted Dorchan's body lit up with Fire magic and he dived straight through the monster's body, erupting out the other side in a spray of blood and guts. The Sand Worm writhed for a few seconds then fell limply to the ground, obviously dead.
"Hehehe, job done." Dorchan declared, flying around madly, spinning and rolling in celebration and spraying us with a.s.sorted bits of Sand Worm gore in the process.
Job done, Dorchan, as you said. I waited for the Sand Worm's body to disappear so I could collect the drops which this time were a magic stone and some sharp teeth and then we headed off again. Along the way we encountered more Giant Sand Scorpions accompanied by their scorpion mobs and we were attacked by Sand Worms a few times as well but Fer and Dorchan subjugated them all without problems. Darling battle maniac Sui-chan slept through all this action, I should add. It seemed she didn't cope with the heat very well.
"The sun's going down." Fer said some time later as he slowed to a stop. "Travelling in the desert in the dark is not a good idea. Let's stop here for the night." I agreed and got off his back to set up camp. As the dungeon level's fake sun disappeared below the false horizon the temperature fell rapidly, as Fer had predicted. This level was like a real desert, I thought, the temperature differences between day and night were quite severe.
"My Barrier will keep some heat in the same way it kept some of the heat out during the day," Fer explained, "but it's really cold out there now. It's going to get colder for all of us in here." Thanks for the warning, Fer. I decided to take some precautions in that case. I opened Net Super and started searching for thick duvets, comforters, blankets and the like as well as winter-type clothing and pocket hand-warmers and heat pads. I looked fruitlessly for a heavy quilted down jacket but apparently they weren't on sale yet. Was it still summer back in my own world?
Never mind, I laid down several sheets of cardboard from delivery boxes on the sand and covered them with thick duvets before spreading out the various futons we had acc.u.mulated over the past few weeks. A layer of blankets and a comforter over the top of the futons and our sleeping arrangements were complete. I still had to prepare dinner though.
"While you're cooking dinner we'll wait in the futons since it's cold." Fer said, his breath already white. The temperature was really plummeting now. I pulled a thick sweater over my UV hoodie, not very stylish but it would keep me warm while I worked. Well, warm-ish, I could see my own breath was white as well.
Never mind, what should I cook? Something quick and easy... Ah, how about a green pepper beef bowl? I could use a ready-made sauce to save time and effort and rice bowl dishes are always filling and satisfying. I'd still need to cook a lot of rice though. We (well, Fer the Unfillable and Sui-chan the Insatiable mostly) had eaten our way through the mountain of cooked rice I had prepared back at the inn in Doran so I'd have to cook more rice to start with. I'd make enough for breakfast tomorrow as well while I was at it, I decided. I bought lots more rice from the Net Super and after washing it I got out four earthenware rice pots from my Item Box and set them up on the burners of the Black Magic Cooking Stove.
Once they were cooking away I returned to the Net Super to buy ingredients for the green pepper stir-fry to go over the rice. Lessee, green peppers (of course) and boiled bamboo shoots and a ready-made sauce. Hmmm, since it's cold right now maybe I should get some soup too as a side-dish, something warming. A quick search through the Net Super's instant soups and, yosh, freeze-dried egg soup, that will do fine.
Time to get cooking the meat though, the rice would be ready soon. I started by slicing b.l.o.o.d.y Horn Bull meat into stir-fry strips then chopped up the green peppers and the boiled bamboo shoots. When the rice was ready I paused to tuck the four steaming pots away in my Item Box where they would stay warm while I started another set of pots of rice on the now-vacant burners of the Black Magic Cooking Stove, leaving one burner free for the stir-fry.
I heated an oiled frying pan and dumped in the b.l.o.o.d.y Horn Bull meat. When it seared and changed colour I added in the peppers and bamboo shoots and stirred them vigorously over a strong flame. Once the ingredients cooked through I covered them in the commercially-made spicy sauce, a bit more stirring and that was it done. Quick and easy, like I said.
I filled deep dishes with rice from the Item Box and topped them with generous helpings of the green pepper stir-fry, added some green onions as a dressing and put them out for the Gluttonous Trio.
"It's ready." I said, redundantly as usual as they dived into the hot dishes I put down, their heads disappearing into the clouds of steam rising from the hot food. I started making up some egg soup from the freeze-dried packets as an extra dish for the meal. It was getting even colder, despite Fer's Barrier -- not quite down to zero but not far off, I guesstimated, one or two degrees?
When it was ready I slurped at the egg soup, relishing the warmth and the taste of the oyster sauce and bonito flakes it contained. MMMmm, just the right sort of soup for a cold night like this. I dished out the inevitable ""Seconds"" of green pepper stir-fry over rice for Sui-chan and Fer while I made more egg soup for Dorchan who was, as usual, satisfied with one large helping of the main dish. When Fer and Sui-chan slowed down I offered them some of the egg soup too.
"Hot food tastes even more delicious when it's this cold." Fer said as he vacuumed up his bowl of egg soup.
"Ah, I can feel this soup warming my entire body." Dorchan agreed.
"Delicious-" Sui-chan chimed in.
I had to agree, the cold was really biting now but the soup was doing its job. It was the sort of food I would usually only eat during winter at home though, and as I looked out over the dark desert surrounding us it seemed incongruous remembering just how hot it had been only a few hours ago.
I finished my own meal with an after-dinner coffee while talking with Fer about what we should do next.
"How long will it be until we get to the level boss?" I asked. The desert seemed endless, we had travelled a long way earlier in the day but there was no way to see what was ahead of us. Fer wrinkled his nose as if sniffing out the boss off in the distance then shook his head.
"This level is really wide, a lot wider than the last ones. My guess, if I hurry all day tomorrow we'd be at the boss and ready to fight him late on, around nightfall probably." Fer looked around our campsite then out at the desert through his Barrier. "It'll be cold when we start off in the morning and I'll be tired out from running through the heat all day. If we want to face the boss tomorrow night after doing that? Umu, not good." He shook his head again. "Best to get close then stop for the night, eat and sleep and fight the boss the morning after."
Thinking what Fer said I had to agree with him. This level was too cold at night and too hot in the day, the drastic changes in temperature were really intense and took a lot out of us. We were facing S-cla.s.s monsters as level bosses now this deep into the dungeon and we really needed to be at the top of our abilities when we got to the end of this level. Starting a fight late on in the day, already tired out and then the temperature falling too as it gets dark... I shuddered, not just from the cold. Things could go wrong. Yup, waiting until the next day to face the boss would be best, after a meal and a sleep.
"Right then," I announced, "we'll see what happens tomorrow once we get close to the level boss. We can make better plans then."
"Umu." Fer agreed. For once he wasn't in a hurry to get into a fight. "Let's sleep."
The desert night's cold forced us to cuddle up together. Fer settled down on the futons I had laid out under a blanket and comforter. I got in beside him, pressing up against his thick fur which, I decided, definitely needed a wash. Sui-chan, instead of sleeping in her bag as usual squeezed herself in between us. Dorchan got one of the hand-warmers and applied it to his stomach before rolling up into a tight scaly ball around it, tucked under the comforter too. I followed Dorchan's example, applying another larger heat pad to my back as I laid my head on Fer's belly, using the terrifying Fenrir-monster's stomach as a furry pillow. In this manner we slept through the cold desert night.