Just a Little Favor Chapter 182
Kirito turned when I voiced my request for a favor. "Just what kind of favor?" Kirito called back. He jogged back over.
"Well, there's a quest boss we've been waiting to fight until we get stronger. We can probably manage it now, but it would be safer with some help."
"Sure, I'll do it," he responded after just a moment.
"Really? You'll go with us just like that?" He gave off the impression that he hadn't thought it through, answering that quickly.
"You helped me scout a floor boss, so I'll help you with a quest boss," he answered with a shrug. It sounded natural when he said it like that, but for some reason, his eyes shifted just a bit. There was something else he wasn't saying. We still weren't sure if we could beat 『Morgram』 on our own, but with someone as strong as Kirito helping, we probably wouldn't even have much trouble. So we decided not to press the issue, and just accepted his help.
It was still pretty early in the day, so we headed back out of the dungeon on foot. Just a couple mobs had respawned in the meantime. They were easily cut down, then we made our way back to town quickly at Kirito's moderately fast pace. We stopped for a minute to buy a bunch of healing crystals, spending most of our savings. We'd bought a couple, but never actually used them before. We didn't know how this fight would go, and regular potions' healing over time effect might not cut it. This wasn't like the last fight- it wasn't just a scouting battle, we were going all the way to the end with this one. Besides, we'd use the rest of them eventually. From there, we walked into the main plaza.
"What floor is it on?" Kirito asked at the teleport gate.
"On the fifth floor," I answered.
And Onee-chan immediately explained, "It's actually a special boss from a higher floor quest." Thinking about it, that wasn't actually true, since the quest had come from the first floor originally. But it was still a monster that was outside the normal level range for where it appeared, so it more or less worked as an explanation.
"I see..." he mumbled. Now he appeared a bit doubtful, probably thinking something like 'just how strong can a floor five boss be?' In most cases that would make perfect sense. Despite some special monsters being significantly stronger, that was only in comparison to the average of the floor they appeared on. Monsters on higher floors would inevitably be even stronger than them.
It was a true rarity to find monsters completely outside the normal level progression of the floor they appeared on. Since we were twenty-sixth floor frontliners, but were dealing with a boss all the way down on the fifth floor, Kirito surely realized that this was one of those rare special cases.
With a shrug, he answered, "Ok then," and we teleported back to the fifth floor.
It was a long way to the ravine where 『Morgram』 was, but it didn't take as long at Kirito's pace as it had with Haru. We crossed the distance quickly and arrived at the deepest section of the shallow ravine where 『Morgram』 was waiting.
"Oh, this area?" Kirito asked as the small monastery came into view.
"You know it?" Onee-chan asked.
"Yeah, if I remember right, it's called the 『Valor Court.』 I looked all over the place when I came here."
I tilted my head at that one. "Why? Were there a lot of quests there?" After I said that, I realized it couldn't be right. We hadn't seen any quest NPCs or anything when we'd come the first time. That meant there were no quests in the area.
"No," he confirmed my thought, then followed, "it was the exact opposite actually." That got a 'huh?' from both of us, and he went on. "It was the lack of quests. The monastery is really intricately detailed and must have taken a lot of work to create. It looked like a special landmark, so I checked the place top to bottom. In the end, there was absolutely nothing there." He gave a big shrug.
"Well, turns out this boss is what it's there for then, uh, I guess." I answered a bit hesitantly. The areas created for this quest were way above the normal level of complexity in normal areas, even though they were seemingly limited to a single group going through it? Did that mean that no one else would even know why the 『Valor Court』 or the giant Death Mountain area were there?
Shaking away the thought, I changed the topic. "Ok, here's what we know so far. The boss is named 『Morgram,』 it's a huge, heavy armored type with a two handed heavy lance, though from what we've seen, it uses it more like a two handed greatsword." I wasn't all that familiar with greatsword Sword Skills, so I couldn't really say how accurate that was. "Five bars of health total, I'd estimate it to be… about as strong as a twenty-seventh, twenty-eighth floor field boss, or so."
"Woah, that strong?" Kirito paled a little, but it didn't look like he was about to back out now.
"Yeah, when we fought him before, a glancing blow brought me a little bit too close to dying, so we bailed off after that." I was understating it by a lot since a single hit, which I blocked, had taken out more than three quarters of my hp. "Well ok, maybe more than a little." I admitted, not wanting to give him the wrong impression. For a minute, I considered if there was anything else he needed to know.
"Umm, just a couple other things. First, the boss has an impenetrable shield around it, but we have a flag item to get rid of it," I explained it away easily, since flag items, items necessary to complete some part of a quest were a common occurrence. "The bigger problem is its on-death attack. All of the bosses in this quest have had special attacks when they die which are really dangerous on their own, and even worse since we can't plan a counter beforehand."
"I see, that could be troublesome…" Kirito muttered with a hand on his chin.
"That's why I'll ask you, please retreat right before we kill the boss. We might not be able to predict what will happen, but we've gone through a number of them now, so we should be able to respond better than you who hasn't," Onee-chan tried explaining.
"Yeah, I can understand that," he answered, though he still looked worried.
With all the important information covered, we walked the last bit of the way in silence, except for the steel gray grass crunching underfoot.
Once we reached the squat building that looked like a monastery, we all stopped to check our gear again. We took the opportunity to tuck a couple magic shards into our pouches. It could be tricky to use them while Kirito was with us, but they would probably prove useful nonetheless.
Once we'd finished with our gear, we took Yuki and Yuni from our shoulders and set them on the ground beside the entrance. "We'll be back in a just a bit, just wait for us here, ok?"
"Kyuun!" they answered together, sitting on the ground and looking around. We stood and turned back to Kirito.
With a final 'Ok', we all tread slowly into the monastery. Our footsteps rung mutedly from the smooth floor and echoed off the surrounding walls as we approached the spot near the center of the open building where we knew the spot was. Looking down I spotted the small indent, normally unnoticeable because it was hardly the size of my thumb. Retrieving the last orb from our inventory, Onee-chan kneeled down and pressed it into the impression momentarily, before removing it and backing away.
"Kirito-san, we'll take forward and switch so you can deal most of the damage." We would have an easier time repelling attacks since their were two of us, and Kirito could easily deal more damage than the two of us combined. Fighting like this would play to our strengths and hopefully make the battle easier.
"Got it." We all drew our weapons as Kirito took a few steps back. After the few seconds of waiting, 『Morgram』 finally appeared. A small light circled briefly, the heavily armored knight appearing inside it in a low crouch. His opening animation played through once more. Kneeling down, the final boss of this drawn out quest rose slowly, sweeping its dark gauntlet upward in a single smooth motion. Beneath its palm, the enormous two-handed lance appeared, easily twice my height in length. From the tip of the lance, two edged blades extended down, making the weapon look as fit for slashing attacks as thrusts.
Grasping the lance in both hands, 『Morgram』 slid its feet slightly apart and brandished it forward, covering most of the distance between us. His name finally appeared, with five health bars, marking the beginning of the battle.