Chapter 5 - How many fireballs to take down a huge polar bear?
In the first 5 floors of the [Frozen Wasteland], packs of white wolves appeared. With the fast velocity of the ever so damaging fireballs, they were mowed down quickly.
Aside from casting the skill towards the enemies that appeared, I had a few of them rotating around me, and randomly cast the skill even more as I moved forward, even if there were no enemies near me. I wanted to increase the proficiency of [Fireball] as fast as possible
I could only imagine what these monsters felt, as they would hear sounds of an explosion that quickly pulled them toward me before they met a grisly fate. Killing all of these monsters did not have that much of an effect on me. I was looking at them like the mere monsters that they were, they would not hesitate a second to rip my head off if I gave them the chance. Not to mention the hatred that everyone has against monsters for all the massacres on the early stage of the apocalypse...
The first 5 floors were quickly cleared, and from the 6th floor, monsters with a similar shape to foxes began appearing. These ones much bigger than the wolves before them. Their size surprisingly did not make them any slower and they were rushing towards me while ferociously growling
The further condensed [Fireballs] were shooting out from me without stopping. I was doing my best to adjust to the ever so increasing speed while aiming for their heads and limbs.
As soon as there was an impact, an explosion followed and chunks of meat flew. The arctic foxes were then taken down just as easily as the wolves. This continued until the 15th floor, where huge Musk Ox began appearing. They looked like huge bisons, but with a lot more fur
I stopped aiming at their limbs, as it seemed their thick coating provided some protection for them and focused on throwing the fireballs only at their heads. At the speed they were rushing towards me, I actually had to move back to avoid being rammed into whenever I ran into a group of 4 or 5 Musk Ox
They required more fireballs to be taken down, and if there were many of them then at least one would be able to get within a few meters. This pushed down my ever so increasing confidence a bit, making me slow down and stop my incessant casting that caused explosive sounds that alerted the monsters when I neared
As soon as I met another group, I cast as many [Fireball]s as I could and kept them around me without losing my focus, before bombarding the group when I neared. Just like that, I smoothly cleared all the way until the 20th floor, which held crystal glass stairs heading downwards.
I took a deep breath and prepared myself, casting the maximum fireballs I could keep circling me before I lost control and they exploded, which was about 10. Any more than that and I would lose concentration of a few that would fly away and explode
I went down the stairs and was met with a wide cave that had cold winds rushing about. At the center was a huge slumbering mass of a beast. As soon as I stepped in, two bright shining eyes opened, giving me a shock
This was the first-ever monster that actually made me feel somewhat suffocated, mostly due to its size. I didn’t waste any more time before commanding the fireballs around me to rush towards the huge beast, which was now standing on its hind-legs? Damn
All 10 fireballs rushed towards it, with a few more appearing around me a few seconds after. The beast that seemed like a huge polar bear crossed its thick arms around its face as the fireballs came and a huge explosion occurred
Dust filled the room, but I didn’t even bother waiting and checking if it was still alive or not before I threw the next 10 fireballs in the same direction
I let out a scream as I quickly moved back, the bear was not dead and had rushed a few meters closed to me, its arms mangled and burnt, but its huge jaws with pristine white teeth wide open. The last 10 fireballs I had haphazardly thrown out saved my life, as they quickly exploded on the opened jaws of the bear and blasted its head off
Damn. Damn. DAMN!
I was breathing heavily while calming myself down. That was close. If I had waited a single second...
If I was just a tad bit more overconfident I would have had my head chewed right off. Dammit. Throwing those last fireballs without checking for anything just saved my life. I stumbled down and reeled my emotions in as the dust cleared and the room returned to serenity
I closed my eyes as the events in the last few minutes played in my head. I was rushing things. I only had one F rank skill, and I alone attacked an E ranked dungeon. Stupid. It doesn’t matter that I can cast it repeatedly if it cannot quickly take down huge bosses like this. Even with the increased proficiency of [Fireball], it wasn’t enough for me to comfortably take down a rank E BOSS
I also did not absorb any of the [Core]s I had collected so far because I planned on selling all of them to quickly buy a higher tier skill book. Also stupid. If I absorbed some [Strength Core]s, my muscles would be reinforced and I would be stronger and quicker. If I absorbed more [Vitality Core]s, my defenses and health would be further increased so that a single attack won’t kill me
I took a deep breath as these ideas flowed in. Okay. No need to rush. Plan ahead carefully first.
My original plan was to dive into these dungeons repeatedly today until I gained enough money to purchase a C rank skill, but that might not be the smartest of ideas. I would need to repeat [Frozen Wasteland] at least 3 or 4 times alone if I wanted to collect funds nearing half a million
[Ape’s Paradise] alone had given me materials worth around $60,000, and I had gained close to a double that amount in here, with 100 [Core]s in the last 20 floors of this dungeon. A new plan quickly formed and I stood up to check what the BOSS had dropped
1 [Skill Book] and a few rank E [Core]s that were slightly bigger than a pigeons egg. The skill book I picked up was called [Arctic Armor]. Happiness quickly came to my face as this was one of the categories of skills I was planning to buy. Skills like these greatly complement the current me, as some armor skills are timed, and some stay as long as you provide the energy
Tanks usually cast this skill when fighting against BOSSes, granting them another layer of increased protection. If the tank doesn’t have a high enough [Focus] though, he might run out of energy for the armor and quickly be taken out, so his team members had to act fast to kill the BOSS
[Arctic Armor] would stay active as long as you provided the energy for the skill. I wasted no time learning it and quickly activating it. A thin crystal layer of ice quickly formed all over my body, giving me a cooling feeling. Almost all of the cold winds that were rushing about in the cave seemed like a breeze to me
Wow. I was already in love with this new skill. As usual, I didn’t feel like I was using any energy or depleting anything from my body as the skill was actively on. A confident smile quickly came back to my face as I collected the rest of the [Core]s and placed in my now heavy backpack
I turned to the green crystal that rose after the huge bear’s death, deactivated [Arctic Armor], and touched the crystal.
It was already night outside, the cold air emanating from the [Frozen Wasteland] monolith increasing some more. I passed by the few people that were there and went towards the roads where many cars were parked. Someone quickly approached me and I got in the car, my destination now being the popular Hunter Lodging at the center of Outer Bank X city
Many hunters did not have a permanent resident they stayed at as they moved around a lot, so luxurious hotel businesses were started that were specifically for hunters. Most paid to stay there by the day, as the cost was nowhere near what most hunters made from killing monsters day in and day out
Almost getting my head bitten off woke me up somewhat, even though I thought I was thinking very clearly when I was planning everything. I was calling it a day for now. I’ll sort through the [Core]s that dropped and see how much money I can make by selling them, and how many I should absorb myself
We quickly arrived at the hunter lodging called Pristine Residency. I paid the fare and went towards the entrance of the hotel. I would go back to my little apartment some other day to grab my valuables, now I just needed some rest
The Pristine Residency had a luxurious look with shining lights all around it. Being a hunter lodging, there were many services for hunters that were offered. Beside the extravagant dining with specially cooked monster meat, small shops that sold and bought [Skill Book]s, [Item]s, and [Core]s were also here, although they wouldn’t be anywhere near as extensive as the shops in the Awakened Centers
Selling your items at Awakened Centers would usually get you more profit and you would be able to find rarer skills there. Places like the Pristine Residency were more of a business while Awakened Centers were under the government’s wing. And the government never stopped buying all the items dropping from monsters in bulk
I went to the reception area where a crazily dolled up woman was flashing the sweetest smile and presented my hunter license. The smile never left her face as she quickly processed a room for me and gave me the key-card. I didn’t bother checking any of the shops in the huge building and went straight to the room which was on the 10 floor. All I wanted to do right now was lie down on a soft bed