Chapter 0013 Poison Swamp
When I stepped into the 25th floor of the Miasma Labyrinth, the terrain changed from a stone passage to a swampland.
I was surprised by the drastic change in terrain.
At the same time, I sensed that the miasma drifting in the air had become even stronger.
“Well, even if the miasma gets stronger, it doesn’t affect me.”
It was meaningless to me since I completely nullified it with my unique skill.
The strength of the miasma didn’t matter.
In the thick miasma, I walked leisurely as if taking a stroll.
Because it was a swampland, I could hear the sound of my feet tapping the surface of the water just by walking.
There were places where the ground was muddy, so I had to be careful not to get my feet stuck.
“What? A purple swamp?”
As I walked while paying attention to the ground, I came upon a swamp with a poisonous color that seemed to block the passage ahead.
When I checked it with [Appraisal], it turned out to be a poisonous swamp.
Apparently, just stepping into that swamp would cause you to become poisoned.
“Wow, that’s nasty.”
However, my Unique Skill was [Nullify status ailments].
Naturally, it should nullify poison as well. Does that mean I could cut right through the poison swamp?
Once I confirmed that there were no monsters in the poison swamp with [Heat Source Perception], I lightly stepped into the poison swamp.
When I step back from the poison swamp and checked my status, it didn’t look like I was poisoned.
There was no change in my physical condition.
“Ooo! I’ll be fine even in a poison swamp!”
It seemed that my unique skill effectively nullified the poison.
After confirming that, I once again thought about it. Despite being really plain, it was still a unique skill after all.
Thanks to that skill, I could eat monsters.
Now that I’ve become stronger, I couldn’t view it that negatively anymore, but I still had mixed feelings.
The miasma became stronger, the footing became worse, and a poison swamp appeared.
Considering all those changing elements, the Miasma Labyrinth’s difficulty might have risen sharply from the 25th floor.
As I organized my thoughts and pulled myself together, monsters appeared from the front, blocking my path.
Skills: [Poison] [Poikilotherm] [Poison Resistance (Medium)] [Miasma Resistance (Medium)]
Skills: [Poison Scale] [Paralysis Scale] [Poison Resistance (Medium)] [Miasma Resistance (Medium)] [Air Slash]
A large frog with poisonous hues and a large butterfly – no, a large moth with its wings spread with poisonous hues as well.
Both of them seemed to specialize in attacks using poison and possess skills that cause status ailments.
The hovering Morphus fluttered its wings and shot blades of wind.
When I avoided the wind blades with a step, the Poison Frogs opened their mouths and spat poison.
What was nasty was that they intentionally left the area over the poison swamp open so that I had to enter the poison swamp to avoid their poison spits.
You become poisoned by taking their attack or you become poisoned by stepping into the poisonous swamp.
Either way, their target would be poisoned and the monsters would hold the advantage.
There were many ways to break through their ploy, but I intentionally fell for the monster’s plan to lower their guard.
Nonetheless, even though I could nullify the poison with [Nullify status ailments], I didn’t want to be covered in muddy liquid either. I chose to avoid their attacks in the form of inevitably stepping into the poisonous swamp.
The Poison Frogs let out happy cries, perhaps because it turned out the way they had planned.
After the Poison Frogs landed to surround me, each of them stretched out their long tongues and grabbed my hands and feet.
When I showed resistance, the tongues wrapped around me even more.
Their stretched tongues were surprisingly powerful, and it would be difficult for ordinary people to escape from their restraints.
Seeing my restrained form, the Morphus calmly approached and showered me with yellow scales.
So the Poison Frog would drive the target into the poisonous swamp, and when they are restrained, the Morphus would swoop in with paralyzing scales. What a heinous monster combination!
It wouldn’t be surprising if a normal adventurer gets killed by that combo.
But unfortunately for them, I have [Nullify status ailments]. Instant death combos that work for other adventurers were meaningless to me.
When I activated my skill, lightning was released from my body.
The lightning was transmitted along the tongues wrapped around my limbs to the Poison Frog bodies.
The Poison Frogs let out hoarse cries and collapsed into the poison swamp with scorched bodies.
Along with that, the tongues that restrained my limbs slipped away.
I acquired that skill by eating a Thunder Wolf in the abyss.
By activating it, I can wrap myself in lightning that will keep my opponents at bay.
The Morphus was surprised by me, as I was perfectly fine even after I was showered with paralyzing scales, and tried to fly away from me, but it was already within range of my greatsword.
With the lightning wrapped around me flowing to my greatsword as well, I jumped and sliced the Morphus’ head in two.
“Sorry, you chose the wrong opponent.”
If I didn’t have my unique skill, I might have had a hard time, but the reality was like that.
Monsters that specialize in abnormal status attacks were free meals to me.
After confirming that there were no signs of other monsters by searching the surroundings with my skills, I chose to dismantle the Poison Frog and Morphus that I subjugated in the Poison Swamp.
“…With my unique skill, I can also eat these, right?”
Normally, I wouldn’t even think of eating monsters that contain poison or paralysis, but I have [Nullify status ailments].
In other words, there would be no problem even if I consume something that causes poison or paralysis.
Even in common dishes, sometimes specialized chefs process poisonous ingredients into a harmless form to be served. This was no different.
That’s why I decided to eat the Poison Frog and Morphus as well.
“Should I fry them?”
It would be troublesome to cook the two separately, so I decided to eat them both in the same way.
I started a fire as usual, put plenty of oil in a large pot, and heated it. I prepared the Poison Frogs while the oil was warming up.
Among the corpses, I selected the one that was not burnt too badly and immediately prepared it.
I sliced with a knife from the neck and removed the internal organs inside the body.
There was an unfamiliar purple bag organ in it, and when I looked into it, it was filled with poison.
Even though I could nullify it, I had no interest in eating poison directly so I threw it away as well.
When I cut with a knife and peeled off the poisonous skin, the beautiful pink flesh was exposed.
Before moving on to seasoning, I cut the Poison Frog’s biceps femoris muscle and Achilles tendon.
Frying in oil would cause the muscles to contract, and if the legs were stretched out, they may not fit in the pan.
Once the sinews and tendons were cut, I placed the Poison Frog in a bowl.
Then added salt, pepper, and potato starch and mixed by hand.
After finishing the prep for the Poison Frog, next was the Morphus.
It looked big when its wings were spread out, but its body was not that big.
That being said, it was much larger than the common butterflies and moths, but could still fit within the pot.
“……Should I discard the wings for now?”
The wings wouldn’t fit in the pot.
When I grabbed Morphus’ wings and pulled them, they popped off the body with a popping sound.
When I saw it from a distance, I thought it was a poisonous color, but after spreading it out and carefully observing the pattern, it was beautiful.
The patterns on the two wings were eerily arranged like a work of art.
They were so beautiful that I wanted to bring them back to decorate my room, but my desire to eat the wings won over the appreciation of art, so I hit it with my hands to remove the scales.
Please do not try this if you don’t have the same unique skill as me.
After processing the Morphus’ wings, the next step was to pull out the hairs growing on its body.
I could have eaten it as it was, but it would have probably been difficult to eat with all its dense hair.
Once all the hair had been removed, Morphus’ plump torso was exposed.
When viewing the body on its own, it looked like a caterpillar. Well, since it grew from a caterpillar and became a moth, it was only natural that its basic structure was similar to that of a caterpillar.
It was quite springy, perhaps because it had a lot of muscles. It felt surprisingly nice to touch.
Once the scales were carefully removed, I seasoned it with salt and pepper and coated it with potato starch, just like the Poison Frog.
“Okay, shall I?”
Done with the preparations, I lowered the Poison Frog and Morphus into the heated oil.
Juwaaaaah. The oil sizzled.
Both were hard to turn over because of their size.
I somehow managed to roll them over in the pot and properly fried both sides.
After a while, the amount of oil splatter decreased, and the external color turned a nice golden brown.
Judging that they were sufficiently fried, I removed the Poison Frog and Morphus from the oil.
As they were larger than my plate, I took out a wooden board and placed both monsters on it.
They were quite visually appealing.
“I’ll start with the Poison Frog.”
I lifted the Poison Frog and bit into the plump thigh meat.
“Hot…! But, amazing!”
The skin on the outside was crisp and the meat inside was very soft and juicy.
There was no odor at all because it was well-cooked.
Ordinary frogs taste like chicken but slightly plainer, but the Poison Frog’s meat had a flavor that far surpassed that of chicken.
The meat around the chest and arms was softer and subtler than the thigh.
That was fine, but the leg was the most delicious overall.
Perhaps because it is a particularly developed part of the body, the thigh meat was springy and had a strong taste.
Monsters are more delicious than normal animals after all.
“… A beer would be a great pairing.”
I wouldn’t get drunk with alcohol because of my unique skill, but even so, I was hesitant to drink while exploring the labyrinth because it seemed irresponsible.
It wouldn’t taste good if I drank it while feeling guilty, so I’ll just eat them with alcohol next time.
Let’s focus on eating for now.
After eating the fried Poison Frog, next was the fried Morphus.
It was hard to eat the whole thing as is, so I cut it up with a knife.
Not only the batter but even the inside was crispy.
And a unique flavor that penetrated the nostrils was released the moment I bit into it.
It had a refreshing flavor like parsley and celery and tasted slightly bitter and sour.
“…This one has a unique flavor.”
When I switched from the chest to the abdomen, I felt that tasted fuller and had a slight creaminess.
After eating a juicy meat dish, that was a palate cleanser.
My mouth felt refreshed.
I then fried the wings and ate them, finding them to be crispy and morish.
“Ah, the wings might be better.”
Similar to the main body, it had a soft and parsley-like taste, but there was no bitterness or sourness.
Sprinkling it with salt and pepper would make it a perfect accompaniment to alcohol.
Though I didn’t have a drink ready now.
“Fu, that was a great meal.”
Stamina: 239 (↑4)
Strength: 199 (↑4)
Tenacity: 161 (↑4)
Magic: 148 (↑2)
Spirit: 123 (↑3)
Agility: 148 (↑8)
Unique Skill: [Nullify status ailments]
Skills: [Swordsmanship] [Martial Arts] [Roar] [Battleaxe Technique] [Muscle Strengthening (Medium)] [Blood Sucking] [Sound Wave Perception] [Heat Source Perception] [Paralyzing Breath] [Thread Manipulation] [Spearmanship] [Stealth] [Hard Body] [Thorn Skin] [Strong Stomach] [Healthy Body] [Intimidation] [Night Vision] [Agility Enhancement (Small)] [Strength Enhancement (Small)] [Blunt Force Resistance (Small)] [Perception Block] [Flame] [Fire Resistance (Large)] [Advanced Swordsmanship] [Club Technique] [Lightning Clad] [Far Sight] [Appraisal] [One-handed Swordsmanship] [Command] [Shield Technique] [Shoulder] [Miasma Resistance (Medium)] [Instant Step] [Poison] [Poikilotherm] [Poison resistance (Medium)] [Poison Scale] [Paralysis Scale] [Air Slash]
Attribute magic: [Fire attribute]
Checking my status, I was able to safely acquire their skills.
Finally, I could not only nullify status ailments but also perform status ailment attacks.
I wanted to try [Poison], but it was not a skill I wanted to use right after eating.
As for the rest of the status ailment attacks, there was no way to check the effects without an opponent, so I’d have to test it during battle.
As for [Poikilotherm], it was a skill that regulated body temperature, so there was no point in using it now.
The only skill remaining was [Air Slash], which would be the blade of the wind that the Morphus unleashed?
Following my instinct, I swung my right hand, and the force of the wind converged and was released as a blade of wind.
The wind blade carved a fissure into the large boulder that was perched in the swamp.
“Oh, it looks like wind magic!”
In wind attribute magic, there is a skill called [Wind Slash] that shoots a blade of wind.
The Morphus’ skill was similar to that.
It felt like I’d become able to use wind magic, which made me happy.
Although I did have a background in fire-attribute magic, I could only use it for simple daily tasks.
I didn’t have the knowledge or power to exterminate monsters with large-scale fire magic.
That’s why I had given up on using magic to fight, so I was very happy to be able to acquire magic-like long-range attack skills like that.
“I still have room to grow stronger.”
After putting away my cooking utensils, I dove deeper into the Miasma Labyrinth.