Anone moved sharply to the right with his right hand moving up and swinging towards his left chest with jerky Inconsistent movements. There was a resounding ping and a small shower of sparks as something was reflected off the side of the dagger in his right hand.
He moved a few steps back, his hand and the dagger still vibrating from the intensity of the previous hit. But he did not have time to gather himself as he had to duck his head down as another copper colored chain whip flew over his head with incredible speed.
His entire body ached from all the sharp and sudden movements he has been forced to make all day. His entire focus was sharpened to the point of a needle as any wrong movement of miscalculation would earn him a few days of welts, sores, a few dislocations and if he was incredibly unlucky another broken collar bone.
During the time he had spent training together with Samson, he has been able to pinpoint a very huge flaw in Samson’s way of attacking, and that was precisely the fact that his chains always let out whoosh like sounds when they moved.
And it was because of that warning he quickly rolled to the left dodging the descending chain and preventing himself from being slammed by it. The next chain flicked itself towards his left hip, and the gun in his left hand moved quickly to intercept. The impact as usual shook Anone's hand prompting him to shake it around a bit to get some feeling back into it. He quickly moved his eyes back to Samson dagger and gun at the ready.
During the course of the training Samson had deemed him ready to replace one of the revolvers with a thinner bladed weapon. The dagger was the answer of that decision, but everything was a due process, Anone was already quite used to the guns, so it would take him quite a while before he would be able to effectively use the dagger as comfortably as he could use the gun and in both hands too.
Using the dagger to deflect Samson’s whips was harder than using the guns. The dagger was thinner which it made more susceptible to shock every time it received an impact from Samson’s whips. Not to mention It took Anone a while to get used to the different weight, the dagger was lighter than the gun, which meant it moved faster and experienced less resistance from the air anytime it moved. Many fighters would think this was better, but it was not so for someone who was already quite used to a particular style of fighting.
Samson had said Anone knew how to adapt, learn and become familiar with any weapon way faster than an average person. Samson said even in the core layer there was not many people with such an ability, they were called weapons masters or arsenals. Of course due to this ability they all had to go through incredibly rigorous training. The easier it was for them to get used to a weapon, the harder it becomes to get used to another. So most of them just chose to focus on one particular type of weapon making them master of that particular weapon.
But Samson had no intention of having Anone focus on one particular weapon, his reason being that Mages almost never seem to rely on weapons, even the battlemages who focused on physical prowess and enhancements usually focused most of their attentions on their magic.
So in the end it was his intention to turn Anone into a jack of all trades but a master of non. But for now he was stuck doing what Samson has coined basic training. Unlike normal basic training where Anone would be required to train his body to increase his strength, stamina and speed. Due to the gene modifier they could directly jump that part of his training and focus more on skill sets and the ability to fight.
Anone quickly got up to his feet and jumped almost two meter up in the air as he avoided the sweeping attack Samson made. But this move left him wide open, he was left with no choice but to cross his dagger and gun to intercept the chain whip that was flicking towards his chest. The chain hit with more impact than expected pushing his weapons to his chest, causing him to have a nasty cut from the tip of his jaw to the middle of his throat. The force from the hit threw him through the air as he landed awkwardly on the ground and slid back a few feet.
Luckily for him the floor In the lab was not uneven and it was made of a rather smooth material. He avoided getting any abrasions, but it still hurt like hell moving on the ground like that.
Samson gave him space to catch his breath as he shakily made his way back up and on his feet. He could feel the cut under his jaw as it steadily dripped blood to the floor. The soft hits it made when it came into contact with the floor served as a reminder about how lucky he was that Samson had not decided to hit him harder. If the knife had gone any deeper he would have been in a very different situation than he was in now.
Samson flicked his chain whips to get Anone's attention, Anone found it incredibly hard to focus on Samson. This was the part of the fight where you would put all of your focus on the moves your opponent made. You would focus on the way he breathed, they way his body was positioned and the way his eyes moved. But Samson was a freaking golem, a magical robot with a body made of metal. And his four purple eyes had a tendency to dance all over his face, just like it was doing now. Maybe a veteran fighter would find flaws in all of Samson’s movements, but as far as Anone was concerned, Samson had no openings and there was no way he could predict the golem's moves.
All he could rely on was his own two eyes and the sounds that his chains made whenever he wanted to attack. Anone crouched a little bringing his body close to the floor and making himself as small of a target as possible. His tired muscles protested, but his weary mind and soul were quite determined to keep those whips off his body.
Whoosh went the whip heralding the start of the next round of their training. The whips however came faster than ever this time leaving Anone no choice but to push his tired body to the limit.
He moved his revolver so that the chain impacted its side, he ignored the subsequent vibrations as he quickly moved his dagger to intercept the next chain. Then he raised his left leg up and jumped to the side a little dodging another sweeping attack, it he moved his right hand upward almost as if he was slashing at someone.
His dagger got entangled and pulled out of his tired grip, h ducked the subsequent swing of the next chain and moved his gun into his right hand. Then he moved his left hand behind me and put all of his focus I to deflecting and dodging the incoming barrage of attacks from the chains. He moved left and right rapidly swinging his right hand and the revolver in it. With every single impact made on the gun, sparks were let out and intense vibrations shook his hand as it was rapidly becoming numb.
But Anone held on, a less formal way of saying this would be that he was in the zone. Right now as far as Anone was concerned there was nothing but the swinging chains, the sounds the made as the flew through the air and the gun in his hand.
He moved fast to deflect the chains and Samson moved faster. There was a rhythm to this, and it did not take long for Anone to find that rhythm and get comfortable with it. But then Samson would change the tempo of his attack throwing the rhythm off and forcing Anone to find it again. But once he finds Samson changes it again keeping Anone moving and in an incredibly focused state.
Soon the chains and the gun in Anone’s hand became nothing but a blur as they were moving with such speed that the eyes of a normal human would not be able to keep up with. In the end the frequency with which Samson change the tempo and rhythm of the fight was way to fast for Anone to keep up and he was disarmed.
Then Samson swung both whips simultaneously, Anone raised both of his hands to intercept, he winced a little as he ignore the sting of the chains colliding and wrapping around his arms. From then on it was challenge of strength between Samson and Anone to see who was stronger. Anone had veins bulging from almost every visible point of his body, Samson however did not seem to be in any difficulty with the only reaction from him being his eyes excitedly dancing allover his face.
After a while Samson seems have gotten tired of playing a game as he let out a sigh of exasperation. He shifted his body a bit and pulled at his chains with almost no difficulty at all. He swung his chain and sent Anone crashing face first into the cluster of beds arranged side by side in the lab/infirmary. Then Samson retracted his chains back to his body until the melted back into his body forming his hands. Samson flexed his hands a bit before he made his way towards the almost completely destroyed group of beds.
Some of the beds had their metal frames bent to such an angle, Samson doubted they would ever be straight again. He moved a few of them aside and he gave a sharp wince. Anone was covered in a pool of his own blood and a few of his bones were positioned I rather awkward angles. But thankfully he was still breathing, however he was completely passed out from exhaustion and pain. As Samson carefully picked him up he couldn’t help but say.
“May be I went a little to far, well it’s not to bad as long as he is still breathing, there’s nothing that can’t b fixed.”
And then Samson unceremoniously threw his body Into the pod that Anone had woke up in before.
When Anone opened his eyes again the pale blue glow of liquid that made up the wall of Mana chamber greeted him. Samson had gotten tired of him calling it that pod or some other colorful name he could think of at that moment. Anone stifled a curse, his entire body ached, and even though his brown skin was devoid of any scars to show his previous injuries he still very much felt it.
This was probably the most intense training session he has ever had with Samson, he was hurting but for some reason his head was extremely clear. He loved this clarity, this after effect of having what could almost be considered a life and death battle. He could see things clearly, at least for a while.
Laying down there in that chamber instilled a sense of peace in Anone, if he could he would have much rather preferred to never go out again. In this circle of strange magical water his problems did not exists, at least as long as he did not think about them.
He was devoid of thought and any worries, he loved this serenity and the clarity that came with it. This place felt like a cocoon, and he was very much adverse to freeing himself from it.
“If you are done mindlessly staring at nothing, get your ass out here.”
Quite unfortunately for Anone, even though he had forgotten his problems at that moment, it did not mean his problems had forgotten about him. With a sigh he lifted his naked body off the cold floor and made his way outside.
When he was properly dressed and sitting in the lounge with Samson taking his usual place in front of him, Anone felt the weight of all of his undertaking responsibilities crash unto his shoulders. He slumped and looks incredibly pitiful in front of Samson. He was so tired about this whole thing that he could not even muster up the strength or the will to scream at Samson for almost getting him killed.
“We can not afford to put you through any more training. While I admit it’s mostly my fault if we don’t take your incompetence into regards. The cost of healing your injuries after every intense training session we have has increased, and by increased I mean the resources required for such endeavors are all but exhausted. I don’t know if you noticed, but there’s a scar stretching from the middle of your throat to the tip of the left part of your jaw.”
As a matter of fact Anone had notice the scar when he was taking a shower, it was quite glaring and Anone thought it was quite ugly. The wound he inflicted on himself was deeper than he thought, and with their almost if not already depleted resources, Samson could not heal him completely. As such there was now a silvery white scar painting his brown skin. Anone frowned, he really hated the sight of that scar.
It only served as a reminder of how helpless he was in a fight against Samson. Anone also knew for a fact that Samson was not even showing the full scope of his strength, or even half of it.
“Since we can put you through any more physical training we will have to push up our schedule. I don’t think the month of training you’ve had is enough, but you have achieved enough that I think all you need is some proper experience. So in a week you would be going down to the floor below.
So before you start these venture you will take this one week as a period of rest and study. I have been able to catalog and analyze all the monsters of the first seven floors below us, as for the remaining twelve, its all up to you.”
Samson had his eyes aligned as he spoke so Anone knew for a fact this was a rather serious issue. Apart from the fact that he could very well loose his life, Anone knew there was lot riding on him clearing this dungeon, not to mention Samson seems to have to much of a vested interest in the dungeon core.
Also Anone did not trust Samson, he was hiding something, and whatever it was Anone was sure he could find the answer only on the floors he did not have access to. Not to mention there was a particular corridor on this floor that Samson was quite adamant about not letting Anone through. The other led to the elevator that would take him to the other floors, while of the remaining two, one led to the Infirmary that has served as a bedroom and training ground for Anone this past month, and then the last led to the bathrooms.
This entire floor was designed with all four directions in mind, from north to south and east to west with the lounge as the center. Anone was not sure if the other floors were designed the same way, but with Samson hiding to many things Anone doubted he would believe anything Samson says about this tower even if he produces a blue print.
“So first off on our agenda, is your first floor enemy. The common slime.” Samson’s voice drew Anone out of his thoughts, if only to throw him into a state of puzzlement again.
“Slime?” Anone asked with scrunched eyebrows.
“Of course slimes, I already mentioned them to you, but reference sake let’s go into a deeper explanation. Slimes come in a whole boat load of various species, each with their own unique characteristics. However the common slime, which could be considered the ancestor of every other species of slime that exist out there is made of what could only be described as cells, or mucus. But scientifically common slimes are made from a cluster of cells with the physical properties of either thick water, just like the one from the Mana chamber. However magic is not as amazing as it seems, more often than not it can be explained with hard scientific facts, and the way a slime moves is one of them.
All of those thousands of cells is controlled by a crystal nucleus that should, or is considered the brain of the slime. That crystal could be found in a variety of monsters as it is most commonly the source of their strengths, or for monsters born within dungeons that crystal is their source of life with a direct connection to dungeon core.
But the crystals of the slimes have rather unique properties apart from being the brain of a slime. That crystal has the ability to rapidly spawn cells, which means any physical attack on a slime would have rather disappointing effects. The cells can also be fluidly controlled by the crystal, it could gather those cells rapidly to a single point forming tissue that is almost impossible to pierce through.
It skin is never hard, but it offers resistance like second to non which makes a lot researchers consider slimes as one of the most gifted creatures in terms of Natural defense.
But the crystal could also replace lost cells, giving the slime improved regeneration. The common slime's crystal has no secondary attribute like its evolutions or most monsters. The only thing you need to watch out for when fighting a common slime is to watch out so you don’t get entangled. It is almost impossible to free yourself from their grip without sufficient strength and appropriate magic.
The best was to defeat any slime it to get it to expose it crystal, or at least bring close enough to the surface of its skin so that you can poke it with what ever weapon you have on hand. For some reason that has not be explained, the crystals of a slime have always been Incredibly fragile. I once heard a story about how a rouge was engulfed by a slime, but while he was submerged in the slimes body about to be digested and turned into energy, he had this urge to sneeze. And when he did, he completely shattered the crystal.
Which brings us to one of the fundamental knowledge of dungeon diving. Crystals. The crystals harvested from the body of monsters in the dungeon could be considered as mini Dungeon cores. With the exception of slimes whose crystals have to be destroyed to kill them, and the inclusion of some really weird existences that have their life force entwined within their crystals.
Anyway this crystals are compressed essence of magic which more often than not have a particular attribute attached to it. A monster with the ability to control fire would have a fire crystal as a core, and each monster after that unique in their own right, has a crystal that is unique to its own existence.
This crystals are important, they are varying degrees and qualities of this crystals and they are divided in much the same way as mages and any other magical creatures or profession are known. The worst crystal is a crystal of the first circle, followed by crystals of the second circle up till the best and most optimum ninth circle crystals. However there are also rather unique crystals in existence, above ninth circle there’s the mystic crystal, the legendary crystal and the god crystal. Those things are so rare that In the whole of the core layer there has only been six recorded god crystals. Dungeon cores can be considered as mystic if not legendary level crystals.
So put in mind, every time you kill a monster, that is not a slime. Remember to harvest it’s crystals. You would need extensive knowledge of a monster’s biology, but for reference sake it is mostly found in the heart or head area. But it is not the same for all monsters. There is a device that can accurately locate the position of a crystal in a monster’s body, but it is about ten floors below us I think……I cant be sure though it’s been such a long time. Now any questions?”
Anone could only look on in awe of Samson’s teaching abilities as he shook his head. Based on all the Information he gathered from Samson he should be able to roughly come up with a plan of attack against the slimes. He had only a week left to perfect his strategies, Anone would not admit it, but he much rather preferred reading and learning about mucus like slimes than swinging a dagger and pointing a gun. But any how this goe s the moment of truth was only a week away.