A few minutes ago, in the 90th floor of Fáfnir, 『The Death Lord’s Chamber』―――
A pale blue intricate magic circle envelops Elibel.
The immense magical power seems to affect her surroundings; the vision, as seen from Robun’s perspective, look distorted.
「Most of the preparations on my end are complete―――」
Elibel pulls out a small stone from her pocket.
A communication magic stone.
It’s a magic tool that allows conversation even from a distance.
While maintaining the magic circle, she skillfully initiates communication.
Earlier it was not usable, but within the dungeon of Fáfnir, given the level of magical power here and the lack of interference from the Pathless, it should work.
「Testing, testing. Berg, are you ready over there?」
『 Miss Elibel, our preparations are complete. We can proceed at any time. The ‘tracking’ is still in progress. It seems our predictions were correct.』
Communication from Berg.
Hearing this, Elibel grins inwardly.
She can’t make facial expressions because she’s a skeleton.
「Perfect. So then… Ann, Tres, Pururu! Are you all ready?」
She sends out a communication to other members who also infiltrated the dungeon, but there’s no reply.
Something is strange.
The communication magic stone should be working correctly. But there’s no response at all.
She brings the communication magic stone to her ear to listen.
She doesn’t actually have ears, but it’s the thought that counts.
『―――Where did you hide Lord Eaaaaaaaaaaaarth!!! Die! Die! All you monsters!! Die and atone! Give us back Lord Eaaaaaaaaaaaaaarth!!!』
She hears a tremendous scream.
Even though she doesn’t have ears, the shriek resonates inside her head.
Apparently, she’s in a state of madness.
Along with the screaming, the sounds of something being torn apart, something melting, something breaking… these vivid sounds of slaughter can be heard.
It’s probably a sight not fit for anyone’s eyes on the other end of the communication.
She can’t help but sympathize a little with the monsters of Fáfnir.
With a somewhat queasy feeling, Elibel tries to communicate with Ann again.
「Ah, Ann…? Hello? I know this is a bad time with your rampage and all, but could you listen for a moment?」
『―――Huh! Is that you, Elibel!? It’s terrible! Lord Earth is in danger! He was battered and bruised, and then he received a sword from a knight, and the next thing I knew, he was gone! The monsters I killed won’t tell me where he is! It’s just from the neck down！』
「…..Ah, I see, okay. I understand, so calm down.」
How does she expect to get answers from dead monsters?
She doesn’t know what happened, but Ann is clearly in a state of chaos.
This is not like the normally calm Ann.
Something must have seriously upset her.
After deftly managing to use the communication magic stone while maintaining the magic circle, and after persuading Ann, Elibel finally gets to the main point.
By the way, during her negotiations with Ann, responses also came from Tres and Pururu.
They seem to be aware of the situation in Fáfnir.
So, Elibel continues the conversation via group communication.
「I’m done preparing the ‘insurance’ I had set up for worst-case scenarios. So, I was hoping I could get some help from you all. Is that okay?」
『Wait, are you talking about that magic circle? But, is that even possible? Typically, wouldn’t something like this take years?』
「Yes, it’s that magic circle. And actually, we’ve been broadcasting our actions here in real time to Gijie. It has been working on the construction and calculations for the magic circle on its end, so it should be possible. Admittedly, this is an ‘improved’ version of the magic circle, so there is a considerable drop in power, and it might be a bit rough around the edges.」
『…I see. We’re ready whenever you are.』
Following that, responses also come from Tres and Pururu.
『We’re good over here too!』
「Alright! Let’s get going!」
In the next moment, a complex magic circle originates from Elibel.
And it’s not just her.
The circle also appears around those located on every floor — Ann, Tres, and Pururu.
All who had plunged into the situation were now enveloped by the same magical formation.
「W-what… is this magic circle…?」
The flame in Robun’s eye socket flickers.
Even he, who prides himself on mastering magic, has never seen such a formation.
An immense magical power radiates from Elibel at the center.
Not only that, but the entirety of Fáfnir seems to rumble in fear.
Elibel turns to look at Robun.
「This is… an application of a stupid legacy left by a foolish sage from the past…」
This formation was――――
The greatest taboo for a dungeon.
『Well then, let’s get going…』
With a snap of her fingers, Elibel initiates the action.
The next instant, “It” activated.
「Dungeon Destruction: Limited Resonance Chain――――Activate!」
In the next moment, a massive pillar of light appears around them.
Then, a huge wind hole forms within Fáfnir.
A gigantic wind hole that pierces from the 70th floor down to the final floor.
Robun mutters in disbelief.
Elibel glances at him.
「Well, just watch. I’ll show you hopeless death seekers what you call ‘potential.’」
With those words, Elibel fearlessly jumps into the wind hole.
Looking up, she sees Ann, Pururu, and Tres are also on their way down.
And now, in the final floor of Fáfnir, 『The Golden Chamber』―――
In the face of Fáfnir and the numerous surrounding monsters, Ann and the others prepare their weapons without any fear.
Fáfnir watches them with a loathsome gaze.
「Intruders, one after another… What happened to Robun, Ragin, and the rest of the minerals? Can it be, all have been defeated?!」
Fáfnir, no, the dungeon core bellows a question.
「They won’t be coming. And hey, isn’t this your dungeon? Shouldn’t you already know whether they’re alive or not?」
At her words, Fáfnir’s expression darkens even more.
「Why?! If my minions are alive, why aren’t they coming to save me?!」
Frustrated at Fáfnir’s words, Elibel heaves a sigh, not just her, Ann, Tres, and even Pururu wear similar expressions.
It’s not so much exasperation, but rather pity.
Speaking as if to voice the feelings of the group, Elibel says,
「Of course we want to help, that’s why we’re not coming to your rescue! ― ‘Thousand Icicle Pillars’!!」
As if to scold Fáfnir for not understanding, Elibel sends countless icicles hurtling towards him.
「Ugh… These mere icicles…」
The countless icicles rush towards Fafnir and the nearby monsters but don’t seem to do much damage.
「Good grief… To think that this is what’s become of the lord of one of the Eight Great Dungeons. Even in a berserk state, it’s pathetic… so pitiful.」
Elibel shrugs her shoulders, eliciting a response from Ann.
『Still, the magical power we sense is tremendous. We best not let our guard down.』
Ann stands at the ready, sword in hand.
The Magic Sword Ridill, which she inherited from Ragin.
『Even though we’ve understood the situation from the memory transmission from Elibel on our way here, we must give it our all if we hope to defeat that thing.』
「Well, it’s more like it’s usually harder not to kill… Oh, speaking of which.」
『What is it?』
Elibel puts her hand to her neck and lets out a crack of her neck bones.
「No, I was just thinking, this is our first time fighting together as this group, right?」
「Oh, now that you mention it, maybe it is.」
Tres and Pururu agree.
『Ann and I have fought together against the Giant Lizard, but it’s true this might be the first time all four of us have teamed up.』
With that, even Ann manages a small smile.
「Well then, shall we give it a go?」
In a light-hearted manner, the four of them plunge into the swarm of monsters.
The final battle has begun.
『…Now, what should I do?』
While watching their heroic figures, Earth mumbles to himself.
「Kill them! Kill them all!」
With Fáfnir’s cry, the monsters begin to move.
「Hah! Compared to Robun, these are just small fries! ――― “Sanctuary Interference” Activate!」
The very next moment, more than ten monsters explode from within.
Elibel had triggered a surge of magical power inside them.
Truth be told, the moment they touched down in the great hall, Elibel had targeted several creatures, preparing her “Sanctuary Interference”.
She was surprisingly on the ball.
Through the gaps of the exploded monsters, Ann cuts in.
『Get out of my way!』
The magic-canceling sword, Ridill, in her hand.
Having just acquired the magical blade, Ann skillfully wields it, slashing through the monsters.
A chimera-like creature, significantly larger than the others, stands in their way.
But, Ann charges in undeterred.
The chimera monster opens its mouth, seemingly intending to bite Ann in scorn.
「That won’t do! ‘Extreme Sunbeam Diffusion’!!」
Between Ann and the monsters, Pururu stands as a barrier, while Tres targets her with Extreme Sunbeam from behind.
Absorbing and reemitting the light, Pururu sends countless rays at the chimera monster.
Having been perforated and cut by Ann’s sword, the chimera monster dissolves into particles of light and vanishes.
One after another, the monsters surge forth, but Ann and other members push them back effortlessly.
For those immune to slashing attacks, there’s Ann’s Ridill, which nullifies magical energy.
For monstrous giants, there’s the large-scale annihilation spellwork of Tres and Pururu.
For magically adept undead, there’s Elibel’s self-destructive “Sanctuary Interference”.
Each technique is part of a flawless combination being deployed.
A girl watching from a distance looks on in bewilderment.
The scene was nothing short of overwhelming.
Fafnir’s monsters weren’t weak by any means.
Compared to the ones on the surface, their level was much higher.
Yet, they seemed insignificant compared to the force of Ann and her team, who were utterly dominating them.
Next to her, Earth appears out of nowhere, surprising the girl.
「Father, are you okay?」
『Yeah. Well, I’m okay enough to move around a bit.』
With that, Earth shifts his gaze to the scene before him.
To put it mildly, Ann and the others were overwhelming.
「Father’s familiars, they’re so powerful.」
『Well, it’s inevitable… given my current state.』
Of course, there are reasons why Ann and the others are dominating the enemy.
First, the moment Elibel and her team arrived here, Earth transmitted his current situation and the events leading up to it to their memories.
Second, Elibel instantly forwarded that information to Gijie, who analyzed the monsters’ characteristics and magical energy.
Third, through Gijie, all the familiars were sharing that information, and it’s still being updated in real-time.
Each familiar shares the information they observe or hear through Gijie, providing instant feedback to the whole team.
Thanks to this, they can execute perfect combinations and come up with countermeasures against each monster on the fly.
Of course, from the enemy’s perspective, they wouldn’t know any of this. They’d just feel overwhelmed.
A true nightmare.
Incidentally, this situation is also due to the girl stopping her intervention in Fáfnir’s dungeon and Earth’s dungeon.
If she were still jamming the teleportation gates and the magical corridor, it would be Ann’s group getting overrun instead.
『Now then, I can’t just keep resting. I’ve also been receiving thought transmission from Elibel…』
Dragging his aching body, Earth begins to move, slowly but surely.
Having pushed back the army of monsters, they’re finally face to face with Fáfnir.
Fáfnir attacks first, thrusting his battered claw at Elibel.
But Pururu expands her body, blocking it.
Fáfnir’s claw digs deep into Pururu’s form, but being a slime, it’s not a big issue for her.
On the contrary, she wraps around the claw that’s sunk into her, effectively trapping it.
「Damn it, let go, you slimy thing!」
Fáfnir swings his arm wildly, but freeing himself from a viscous body and a King-class species like Pururu, without any spell, is impossible, even for him.
『―――The rear is wide open!』
Seizing the opportunity, Ann sneaks around to his rear and launches her attack.
She smashes her new great sword――the magic-canceling, physical-specialized Ridill, into Fafnir.
The blow lands, inflicting undeniable damage on the injured Fáfnir.
Fáfnir, with his arm still entangled by Pururu, swings at Ann.
However, Pururu stretches her tentacles toward the ceiling and contracts suddenly.
The arm of Fáfnir that’s entwined is forced off course into an unintended direction.
「Maximum Extreme Sunbeam!」
「Ice Dragon Breakthrough！」
Attacks by Tres and Elibel’s magic.
Firstly, the Extreme Sunbeam from Tres is condensed inside Pururu, becoming superheated and transmitting to Fáfnir’s arm.
Then, without a moment’s delay, a dragon made from ice created by Elibel’s General-class water magic attacks.
The scales of Fáfnir, which is metallic, start to crack with the sudden temperature changes due to the heat and cooling.
「You, you, yoooooouuuu!! Let me gooooooooooo!!」
Fafnir condenses magic power inside his mouth and unleashes his breath attack.
Ann drives her Magic Sword Ridill into his breath attack, slicing it cleanly in two.
Neutralization and diffusion.
It’s the same technique that Ragin used against Earth’s breath attack in the previous fight.
Earth couldn’t see it, but Gijie analyzed the memory from the video footage and sent it to Ann.
Though it could also be said that this was possible thanks to Ann’s exceptional skills.
But it still lacked the decisive blow.
Ann, Pururu, Tres, Elibel, they can all chip away at Fáfnir, but they still can’t land the killing blow.
「He’s still sturdy after all. Even rotten, he’s the hardest dragon species… My remaining magical power probably won’t be able to do much damage. Against this level, ‘Sanctuary Interference’ will take too long.」
『I agree. His exterior might be cuttable, but dealing damage to the interior seems difficult.』
Ann and the others contemplate.
Their power can buy them time, but it’s not enough to land the killing blow.
Fáfnir, no, the Dungeon Core, couldn’t understand the situation at all.
Why aren’t his minions coming to his aid?
Why are these people so strong?
Why won’t that monster accept him?
He just didn’t want to die.
He just wanted to live.
Before he knew it, Fáfnir was retreating.
His obsession with life, his fear of death.
And the relentless attacks from Ann and the others.
All this was causing Fáfnir to retreat.
And in his cornered state, Fáfnir didn’t realize.
Something he should have noticed if he had been calm.
Just behind him―――Earth was there.
Hearing the voice, Fáfnir finally realized.
Why was he here?
His expression seemed to ask this question.
『Well, I moved here. Sure, I was pretty beat up, so I slowly faded my presence while moving.』
Indeed, Ann and the others couldn’t land a decisive blow on Fáfnir.
So―――it was necessary to lead Fáfnir to the spot where Earth, who had “fully armed” himself, and who possessed a strength capable of delivering the final blow, was waiting.
Those flashy spells, the way they fought to appear dominant, it was all a setup.
They were leading Fafnir unconsciously, bringing him into Earth’s range of attack.
『To be honest, I can only move my arm once more, but even so, that should be more than enough for you right now, Fáfnir.』
Earth said, infusing his remaining magical power into his claw.
Fáfnir instantly tried to put distance between him and Earth. But Ann held him back, Pururu entangled him with her tentacles, while Elibel and Tres blocked his retreat with magic.
He couldn’t escape.
His companions were shouting.
「Go for it…Dad…」
The Pathless girll also screamed.
「Save Fal―――Please save him!!」
With my last ounce of strength, I thrust my claw into Fáfnir.
Clench your teeth, Fáfnir!
A dull thud resonated.
A full-power blow.
It landed squarely in Fáfnir’s chest.
「Why… Why have I―――」
With his final breath, Fáfnir asked the question. Slowly, he fell to the ground.
At long last, an end was drawn to the long, long battle.
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