Dungeon Diver: Stealing A Monster's Power - C.515


The day goes on, and I continue training the elites in the Labyrinth.

Over the last week, while bringing them all from the lower level 400s to now mid-level 900s, I've gained a fair share of MCP myself, especially while training alone at night. My focus right now is mainly training my troops and expanding the city, but I still want to find a way to get stronger and climb higher floors of the Labyrinth too if I can. The billions of MCP gains that add to my energy control are slightly noticeable, but there are no overwhelming increases in strength.

My best gauge of power is to think back to the creature I battled on the 43rd floor atop that mountain, and I'm sure even with the strength gains I have now, that fight wouldn't have been any easier.

To improve, and have a chance against the 44th floor, I need a drastic change in the style of training or find a way to create an isolation pod myself.

Even throughout all the notes I read through this morning, there was no mention of anything like it at all. It seems the one Ember is in now is the only one left, and possibly my only reference to try to recreate one in the future.

For now, I stick to the tasks at hand and make my way to Valor City once the training session for today is over.

Once I arrive, I'm greeted by Lith in his lobbymen, and he takes me on a quick tour to explain what I've missed out on while I was busy.

We make our way through the rooms of fighters that were rescued, and they're all in comas with life support and feeding tubes attached to them.

Lith comments on the situation.

"Not a single one has died. They have no life-threatening illness or anything; they just won't wake up. It's as if their bodies are using all of their energy to heal a wound that isn't there."

I do full body scans of every one of the 93 fighters, over half of which are over level 500. None of them have gained any of their status features back; they're wiped completely clean. There doesn't seem to be any major disruptions in their natural mana flow either. Every single one of them seems to be able to move energy around their bodies at a normal rate.

However, Lith is right, the way they are moving this mana is interesting. It's as if they're all subconsciously attempting the same thing. It looks exactly the same as the mana flow within me when the perk of my self-regeneration skill detoxifies alcohol or poison in my system. High levels of mana control can create a similar effect to a lesser degree, healing people faster than the average unawakened human. The only problem is, there is nothing for their systems to heal.

The same useless cycle is going on repeat, even after we leave the building and make our way into the streets of the inner city, this phenomenon irks me.

"I'll find a way to fix them. Please, keep them in a stable state until I find a cure."

Lith nods and promises to do so as we walk past the two sites of the old Dark One's towers that have been stripped from the kilometer-high skyscrapers down to open plots of land in the center of the city.

The third tower has eight guards outside. There are two black nights on each side of the tower, and I can sense that the shielding is doubled up just as I requested, and there's now an elevator and multiple empty floors that lead up to each of them.

Lith waves for his guards to step aside and we enter the lobby.

I see the floor in the center of the room is still sealed off to the public, but it isn't my earth magic from before. It's a combination of Maria and Abby's earth and ice; I sense blue and green soul energy within the mass created to cover the underground entrance.

Not a drop of Qi comes out and I nod with approval.

"I assume they haven't come out since they went in?"

Lith shakes his head.

"Yes, but- Well- no. The man from the monastery did come by with a few devices a few times, but the two women that went down never came back up."

I nod, picturing Monk bringing down supplies to farm Qi pills while Abby and Maria are cultivating in the high Qi density environment.

"Makes sense. We better not disturb them then, I'll go check on Monk in the platinum district—"

I pause.

"I guess I don't really need a wristband anymore or have to use the main entrances to go into the actual city."

Lith shrugs.

"The only person that can punish you for breaking the rules is the leader of this city. So, are you going to tell on yourself?"

I roll my eyes and chuckle.

"I guess not."

We walk out of the tower and make our way to the black gate inside the Royal coin section of the city and walk through it to the platinum district. On the way over, I update him on the volume of orders being crafted and guesstimate how much longer it'll be until I have all the crafted materials ready. Lith stays within the center of the city and waves me off.

"Very good, you're right on schedule. Just about 3 more weeks before they need to be all ready to ship, I look forward to introducing you to the Sector 3 and Regional Leaders on the mainland once we deliver the goods. See you soon."

The gate shuts behind me and I make my way through the platinum district's streets as night falls, reaching the black pyramid, and passing the two guards in the narrow hallway that leads inside without them batting an eye.

I assume Monk told them I would eventually come by.

Once I make contact with the black material that makes this fortress, my system begins to fade in and out like usual, but my Soul Energy feels completely intact. The mana that has successfully merged with Qi isn't negated at all by this stone.

Just to be safe, I use only pure Qi to open the doors and make my way down into the monastery.

I walk through the main hall to try and find the training rooms where Monk usually resides, and let my senses seep through the walls before I pinpoint him in one of the rooms far away.

It is just him and his sleeping master in a room alone.

I can sense his palms on the old man's chest, and he's releasing high-density waves of Qi into his body over and over again as I continue to walk down the hall.

Once I get to the black stone door, I wonder if I should disturb the ritual that's going on here, but before I decide, Monk stops and walks over to the door and opens it himself.

The story has been illicitly taken; should you find it on Amazon, report the infringement.

"Long time no see, I've made some progress, your timing is excellent."

As I shake Monk's hand to greet him, I see his master's eyes open in the bed at the back of the room.

They look around for a few moments, and Monk leads me over to the side of the bed.

A faint whisper comes out of the old man's lips as he makes eye contact with me.

"I will repay your kindness. You have given me a chance to live again, I will beat this curse."

A smile crosses his face and his eyes close while the excess Qi that Monk pushed into his body begins to flow out at a natural rate.

The old man falls back into his coma-like state, and Monk turns to me.

"See, I'm on the right path here. Last week when I started this treatment I couldn't get more than an eye twitch out of him, now he's able to resume consciousness for a few seconds every time I complete a cycle. There's a chance."

I nod and stare down at the man, watching how his natural Qi flows around his body at a very slow rate. It almost looks normal... there aren't the odd fluctuations and subconscious forced healing cycles that happen with the other lower-level fighters' mana.

"Interesting... So there is a way to treat them with Qi..."

I turn to Monk.

"So with enough Qi, everyone in that tower could be healed."

He nods.

"Theoretically yes, but that would be a large use of resources without any proper results yet—"

"Yes, I'm not saying to start trials immediately, I'm just thinking of ideas. Lith said he's able to keep them healthy in their suspended state for a while. Take all the time you need to heal your master."

Monk bows.

"Of course."

Then I respond with the main reason I came here.

"How has the farming operation on the new crystals been going? I have an unrelated side project that needs a large amount of Qi to be completed."

Monk smiles and turns to the door.

"It's been going very well actually, right this way."

We walk down the hall deeper into the monastery and when we pass one of the training rooms two incredibly dense forces of Qi are colliding at high speeds inside.

The flow of Qi feels just like Fisher and Lydia's. It is about the same raw strength as when I last saw them use it, but it is far more refined and precise. They've been working on their fighting styles in here with no mana at all for a week straight. I can tell their movements and striking accuracy is improving at fast rates.

Monk even comments on them as we pass.

"They're talented fighters. That man has an ego that powers him on the battlefield, and that woman is sharp. Fisher may have more raw talent than her, but Lydia hasn't lost a single battle. It's always by a hair, but she finds a way to win. Something is driving her to improve everyday, but she's never mentioned what it is."

I smile, happy to see the two of them are improving while I work, but think about Monk's comments deeper as we continue to walk.

Fisher was my mentor for a short period of time when I first joined the association. Monk is right in his assessment; he wants to get stronger and his ego leads him to believe he can best any opponent. It is fairly simple looking from the outside why he fights.

Lydia, on the other hand, I've never delved into her mindset or true nature. She carries a unique curved blade, has an unknown background other than the fact that she was partnered with Maria to teach her Ice magic before the Association cut us off. Her intellect is very high, but she doesn't talk much at all since she was kidnapped by the Sector 4 leader. Her focus has been the same as everyone's; trying to stay alive and get stronger.

I am curious what is really on her mind sometimes, and why she fights, but now isn't the time to find out.

There's a series of loud cracks of Qi that vibrate throughout that training room as they continue to spar, and Monk points to a door at the end of the hall.

Once the door opens I find that it's a storage room full of silver containment cases.

One of them has over 200 Qi pills inside of it which are the total Qi pills collected over just the last week alone.

He says there are more than enough to conduct whatever tests are necessary, and I'm free to take them all, but I just take 100, and tell him to store the rest securely. With great resource abundance like this, it is a perfect time to start making a stockpile rather than use them up unnecessarily.

He agrees to continue saving half of the supply, and keep half available for treatment testing, training, and miscellaneous tests and missions that come up in the future.

After that, he promises to continue treating his master and farming Qi and report the findings once I return.

I leave the monastery and crush a teleport crystal to come back to the Crimson City to continue my tests with the Essence of Infinite Regeneration.

The metallic item is already bonded with my blood and soul energy, so the only thing I have to do to progress further is expand the silver mass out to whatever shape I desire and imbue it with the raw soul energy that resides deep inside me.

Far out in the desert where I do my tests, I push the dome of red Soul Energy to over a full three kilometers in diameter, and it takes my full core of remaining soul energy to power it all.

The barrier is mostly transparent, but shimmers light red, and I can tell it's strong enough to keep out large portions of enemies that would try to attack.

The fact that it's my soul energy and it's fully concentrated on a single point means a monster equal to my power would have the possibility of breaking through it if they concentrated all of their power in a single point and tried to rip a hole through it.

However, if there's really a creature or person of that strength trying to get into this barrier, I probably have bigger issues to worry about.

Once my Soul Energy base is completely depleted for the night and I swallow a handful of Qi pills along with plundering some mana crystals, the gradual Soul Energy restoration process begins.

I relax for the rest of the night, watching the red dome and find that less than 0.01% of it dissolved into the atmosphere overnight. This means I will have to charge it at some point, but if left alone it will stay very strong for quite a while.

It isn't until midday, during the elemental elites training session the next day that my natural pool of Soul Energy reaches full again.

To my surprise, it surpasses what it was yesterday by a noticeable amount.

It's far more dense and potent.

The act of depleting my Soul Energy stores down to nearly nothing, then recombining Qi and Mana floods my body with a new surge of power that gives me an idea.

"This is how I'll get stronger..."

6 days pass.

I continue to train the Elites and their MCP growth has reached multiple billions at this point. Teams of 12-14 are led by their squad leaders and they're now capable of defeating the 39th-floor boss room by themselves. Every single elemental elite has surpassed level 990, the final stretch is here.

I've also managed to farm another 341 containment stones this week and collapsed 32 rogue dungeons out in the desert making my luminite total in my storage even larger.

The dungeon out in the desert that I artificially increased in level was still stable when I went back to check on it, giving me the green light to begin releasing the containment stones I've farmed into the high B-Grade dungeon in the bottom of the canyon.

It starts off with monsters between level 710-730. After using all of the leftover stones from the week before on it, along with the new 341 stones from this week, the total mana released into the dungeon reaches close to 5 trillion MP. The level of monsters inside it now has hit 880-900. It takes more and more stones to bring the levels up higher at these stages. It definitely takes less MP to raise the levels of an E-Grade dungeon, but my goal here isn't efficiency, it's to get this dungeon to spawn double ranked up monsters... I've never been in a dungeon that reached heights this high, but I can tell I'm getting close to achieving this creation.

Over 30% more loot is farmed by the village hunters and off-duty Elites as well, bringing the total of the amount needed to complete all orders to 60%. There are 2 weeks left to farm the remaining 40%.

In addition to this over these 6 days, I repeat a similar process with the Soul Energy Barrier too.

By day, I continue to train the elites, and by night, I work on expanding the dome of soul energy by depleting my base almost entirely.

The dome grows over three times in size, reaching about 10km just like I set out to do and the density of the shielding is twice as strong as it was on day 1.

I make an announcement to the villagers that I'll be placing a protective barrier around the outer edges of the City, and use my telekinesis to move the entire structure from out in the desert where I was testing it to place it down on top of the warehouse, city, and even the canyon of dungeons.

Once it hits the sand, I replicate one of the tests I tried on shielding and other objects earlier this week, and shape the Essence of Infinite Regeneration into a mirror image of itself to form a second upside-down facing dome underground. The density of the shielding is diluted to half its strength to form this second inverted dome.

With a silver ring around its center point, a massive Red Sphere protects this entire city from the air, and underground.

The only people capable of walking through its transparent Crimson tinted walls are those that have sworn loyalty to me and have a link of loyalty through the Rising Emperor's Domain.

As the morning sun rises, the red dome glimmers in the golden light.

From the outside, all of the newly built streets and residential complexes look as if they're a light shade of red. Anyone visiting in the future will now know exactly why this settlement is called the Crimson City.