We continued down, floor by floor, without any problems. In the blink of an eye, we reached the 10th floor. While going down the stairs connecting the 9th and 10th floors, Mear-san read from her labyrinth cheat-sheet.
「Apparently this labyrinth’s boss is a monster called a Poison Snake.」
「Oh, a Poison Snake?」
「To put it bluntly, it’s a giant snake.」
If it’s a snake, then…
「Does that mean it also has a poison attack?」
「I guess so… And it seems to have resistance to poison.」
If that’s how it is, attacking it with poison and damaging it gradually over time probably wouldn’t work. Well, I can try it anyway and see what happens.
「There’s no problem with the opponent’s poison because we can use this potion of poison resist before the fight starts.」
「Poison resistance from a potion… that’s a thing?」
「Yeah. I’ve got ten of them, and each one is effective for about 5 minutes. Between the two of us, we should be able to fight it for about 25 minutes.」
I pondered for a minute, looking at the potion of poison resist. It was indeed possible for me to make it, and it was showing as an F-rank potion. In fact, all of them were F-rank.
「Something wrong, Relius?」
「Well… I was wondering, is it possible for the duration to change from potion to potion?」
「Yeah, of course it is, but these are right around five minutes. So you can rest assured, I got these potions from an expert. They should all work well!」
An expert? Uhh…
Actually, now that I think about it, she was using equipment that had negative effects on her whole body, so she’s no expert herself. Wait, I totally would have been at the same level as her if I wasn’t a blacksmith.
In the future, in order for her to become famous as an adventurer, she’ll need a partner with the kind of expertise to spot these things.
「Mear-san, actually, these potions are all F-rank.」
「Wha…! No way! Uh… s-speaking of which, does that mean you can see the rank?」
「I can… but just keep in mind that you can’t be considered an expert on these things.」
Thinking of her future, I conveyed that to her without a hint of tact. She turned a bit gloomy, her ears and tail drooping.
「That said, if you’re only buying things on your own, it might be fine to buy whatever it is even if it was actually really bad.」
「But… that’s not…」
「Or, you could find a friend who is an expert.」
「Okay. I get it.」
Mear-san said that without any energy. At any rate, I accepted a potion from her and destroyed it with my hammer. Then, I created a new one with magic. That one was A-rank. Generally, I could also make potions ranging from B to S-rank.
「Oh yeah, I almost forgot you can make potions too. Wait, did you remake it just now?」
「I did, and I think these should last much longer than 5 minutes. They’re all above B-rank.」
「Wow, just as I’ve come to expect from you! Uh… s-sorry I made you clean up my mess.」
「I don’t care at all, you know. I’ve actually been able to make a new potion thanks to this. By the way, I’ll give you these potions of status recovery in case of emergency.」
I gave them to Mear-san, and her eyes went wide, as usual.
「How… I wondered about it, but you could even make these, huh?」
「Yeah, is there something wrong with it?」
「Recently, I haven’t been able to find any status recovery potions on the market. It’s trading at a really high price.」
Recently I’d only been looking for equipment with skills on them, so I didn’t know about this situation. I’d have to check with Klua-san later.
「Is this everything you prepared?」
「Yeah. In case of emergency, I’ll use the escape sphere. Let’s decide on how we’re going to do this.」
To be honest, Mear-san is probably the one who’ll make that decision. I’m just going to repeat the same tactics from a medium distance. After Mear-san uses it to escape, I’ll do the same.
「So that’s everything. Oh, watch out for the poison fog it should release when it’s weakened.」
「It can release a poison fog?」
「Yeah. That’s the only poison that seems to be stronger than usual. Potions of poison resist usually aren’t enough to neutralize it.」
「I see, I understand. However, since I’m mostly supporting from midrange, you’re the one who needs to be more careful.」
Mear-san smiled brightly. With that, we descended to the 10th floor.
◆ ◆ ◆
A huge snake was looking down at us. It moved by sliding over the ground, uprooting trees along the way. The total length seems like it might be… about 13 meters?
The Poison Snake found us and looked at us like food. This was a true predator.
「Alright, let’s go!」
As soon as she raised her voice, she took out her Divine Treasure. Flamberge came to life with intense flames. It was as if Mear-san’s entire personality had changed.
The Poison Snake spat venom at Mear-san while she was trying to close the distance. She met the venom head-on with her sword, and its flames incinerated the venom in an instant. As usual, it gives off an incredible amount of heat, but she didn’t seem to feel it at all, maybe because she’s the owner.
Well, if my own Divine Treasure was so hot I couldn’t even touch it, I’d feel pathetic.
When Mear-san got up close, the Poison Snake swung its tail down.
I can’t just stand here staring at it!
I rushed into its blind spot and threw a poisoned knife. I knew the snake was supposed to be resistant to poison, and that it probably wouldn’t work, but I continued throwing them, mainly intending to get its attention and distract it.
The moment the 5th knife stuck in the Poison Snake, its complexion clearly worsened. Wait, I’m not familiar with Poison Snakes, so it could just be my imagination.
As I carefully observed the big monster, it seemed to be in pain with every move it made.
I wonder if the poison worked after all?
Mear-san made another slash at the Poison Snake and leaped next to me. She was as surprised as I was, though I was more surprised at her superb movements.
「The poison is working! That means your poison is incredible!」
「I was thinking it might be working, so I was right?」
「Yeah, it’s definitely working… In that case, we’ll be fine if we concentrate on evading it!」
Mear-san grinned and headed back over to the Poison Snake. As she’d declared, her attacks were more about keeping its attention than doing damage. The poison was surely eating away at the Poison Snake’s insides.
The Poison Snake opened wide. Is it about to use that poison fog?!
It was, and Mear-san disappeared into the cloud of poison, too close to avoid it. I guess she didn’t think it would be weakened so quickly. The poisonous fog stuck to her like dew.
「Don’t worry, I’m fine!」
Mear-san raised her voice and waved her sword around to disperse the fog. The swing also happened to cut the Poison Snake’s throat.
It went on guard after that attack, drawing back immediately. Mear-san kicked the ground and chased after it. I fired off a Bone Shot to cover her.
Between Mear-san’s flurry of attacks and my Bone Shot, the Poison Snake fell to the ground, quivering. The ground shook from the impact, and then all that remained were its materials. Mear-san was looking a bit out of breath.
「Hey… we did it, Mear-san.」
Mear-san happily scratched her dog ears and grabbed my hand.
「Relius! Thank you so much for your help! It’s thanks to you that we were able to defeat it!」
She continued gripping my hand while jumping for joy.