I wonder if Thirty-seven is back yet. I really have no idea what to do to pass the time till tomorrow. After a few minutes I decide to check to see if she is back and I get up and head into the hallway. Once I reach the hallway I see Thirty-seven walking down the hallway a wave at her when she suddenly stops and at the same time a large screen appears.
Dungeon Core #3 Alfread has perished at the hands of a kobold mage.
After closing the screen Thirty-seven continues walking down the hallway and then asks. “Did you see that message?”
“Yes, what was that about?”
Thirty-seven: “I don’t know if Madam Erin told you or not, but every year a handful of new dungeon cores are born, and like you each go through training before they go out on their own. That message just now was informing everyone that one of the other new cores died.”
“He died, died? Not his training crystal but actually died?”
Thirty-seven: “Yes, some dungeon cores will attack invaders that are trying to destroy their crystal. It should always be a last ditch effort, but to even do it during training. However some cores even fight in their dungeon regularly. One of the dungeon core elders is his own boss monster.”
Thirty-seven: “Ah, yes. Well you will have to ask Madam Erin about them.”
“How many other cores where born the same time I was?”
Thirty-seven: “it all depends. The record is fifty, but there have been occasions it has been as few as three. In your group I believe only ten where born.”
“Do you know anything about Alfread?”
Thirty-seven: “He was just born a few days ago I am sure there is not much too know about him, I can find out what core was his teacher, but that is probably the limit to the information.”
“Oh, I see. It seems like such a shame he died before really even getting a chance to live…”
Thirty-seven: “That is the risk all dungeon cores take. Was there something else you needed? It looked like you had a question before the message.”
“No, not really I was just looking for something to pass the time but I think I need to start coming up with a plan for the dungeon.”
Thirty-seven: “Alright, Madam Erin was also curious if you have decided on a name yet? If it helps your designated dungeon core number is two hundred and twelve.”
“No, I haven’t really found one that fits. Two hundred and twelve you said? Alfread was number three, if there are only ten of us why am I number two hundred and twelve?”
Thirty-seven: “There are only eight hundred available dungeon core numbers and as more dungeons die there numbers are replaced with the new cores. You might consider yourself lucky you did not end up with core number three. There has not been an active dungeon that is more than a year old in over a hundred years. Many say that core is cursed, but I do believe three days is even a record for core number three.”
“Oh, ok. You know I do believe this is the first time we have actually had a full conversation. Most of the time I ask questions you usually answer them with only the most basic of answers.”
Thirty-seven: “Well then, if that is all.”
“No, I didn’t…”
Thirty-seven ignores me as she walks back down the hallway entering her room.
I didn’t mean to upset her. It was nice to actually have a conversation for a change. I don’t think she likes me very much. She probably thinks I am a bother. I was hoping to finally be able to ask her why she keeps carrying that towel around. Oh well, maybe next time. I retreat back to my room, and I decide to practice my magic for a few hours before retiring for the day.
I wake the next morning and Thirty-seven is already standing over me next to the bed. “Oh no. I overslept again didn’t I? How long till the attack starts?”
Thirty-seven: “I have been waiting for one hour and six minutes, so the attack with start in twenty four minutes.”
“Alright, let’s go. “ I get up from bed and make my way to the dungeon and transfer to the core room along with Thirty-seven. “You know instead of standing by my bed for that long. You could just wake me up. Actually I would prefer if you woke me up rather than just stand there.”
Thirty-seven: “Noted, starting tomorrow I start waking you.”
We sit in the core room without another word until I finally get the message that intruders have entered the dungeon. The first wave of Kobolds is identical to the first set from the last two days, and much like yesterday the goblins take them down without much difficulty.
Before I have a chance to clear the room the second wave hits. Much like the second wave of yesterday this consists of the same group set up. With the exception of the great-sword wielding kobold is now just carrying an iron sword and shield.
The goblins manage to dispatch the second wave, and we only loose one of the spear goblins. Two more of the goblins manage to gain and level and now the remaining six all wear the worn leather armor. As soon as the battle is over I quickly use [Menu] to remove the bodies, the extra items, and use 15XP to heal all my monsters before I get the message.
Intruders have entered the dungeon.
The first two kobolds that enter look like more of the same with the worn leather armor, iron sword, and small iron shield. The next to enter is a mage he however is carrying an iron rod rather than a wooden staff, and with him is a kobold wearing the worn leather armor, has a dagger on his hip, and he is carrying a small bow with a quiver full of arrows on his back.
The final kobold to enter is massive, almost fifty percent larger than the others, he has crimson red scales, wearing a worn and rusty set of chainmail armor, and has a large battle axe.
The archer targets the last spear wielding goblin firing arrows at him while the mage fires a large ball at flame hitting and seriously injuring one of the blue slimes. Both of the blue slimes bind the feet of the sword and shield kobolds, and the goblins begin to move in.
The crimson kobold jumps cleanly over both the bound kobolds landing in the middle of the spike trap. The trap deploys but the wooden spike just snap when they hit the kobolds armor. The crimson kobold swings his axe hitting both of the sword and shield goblins that have not gained a level yet.
Even with both of them blocking with their shields with one swing of the axe both are sent crashing into the wall ending up just heaps on the floor. The goblin wielding the spear badly injured from the arrows throws his spear piercing the archer kobold in the gut.
The archer pulls the spear out of his gut and drops it to the floor then fires another arrow at the now unarmed goblin. The now unarmed goblin dives to the floor next to the two bodies of the goblins that hit the wall dodging the arrow flying his way, he picks up one of the iron swords and shields blocking another arrow flying his way, and then charges the archer.
The mage kobold hits the injured slime with another ball of fire killing the slime and slightly damaging his ally, but the now free kobold joins in with the crimson kobold, but is blocked as one of the leveled up goblins with a sword and shield moves in and slams him with his shield knocking him rolling backwards into the pit trap.
The other leveled up sword and shield goblin attacks the kobold bound by the slime. The great-sword wielding goblin brings his sword down onto the crimson kobold but most of the damage is deflected by the chainmail.
The crimson kobold then swings his weapon down at the great-sword wielding goblin but the goblin raises his sword trying to block the blow. There is a massive cracking sound as the axe hits the sword pushing the goblin back a few feet but leaving him mostly uninjured.
The goblin charging the archer swings his sword. The archer blocks the blow with his bow but it snaps in half, he then pulls a dagger jabbing it into the gravely injured goblin. With the goblins last breath he stabs the archer in the chest with his sword then hits the floor.
The mage kobold hits the remaining slime with another fireball while one of the sword and shield goblins moves in. The bound kobold squares off with the other sword and shield goblin, but with the flames licking his bound legs from his ally’s spell, the slime tripping him up, and the goblin attack. He loses the fight and takes a shield bash to the snout falling to the floor.
The two swords and shield goblins close in on the mage. The slime starts moving in on the crimson kobold, and the great-sword wielding goblin charges back into the crimson kobold trying to run him through with his great-sword.
The crimson kobold however slams the sword with his axe breaking it. The momentum the Goblin gained is not lost though as he continues forward piercing the crimson kobold with the broken great-sword.
The mage blocks a sword swipe with the iron rod but takes another slash to the back, he is unable to defend himself while the two sword and shield goblins keep slashing at him and he eventually falls.
The crimson kobold kicks back the goblin that had the great-sword and pulls the shard out of his gut. He then swings his axe at the unarmed goblin but the goblin dodges and punches the kobold right in the jaw.
The blue slime leaps onto the crimson kobold trying to cover its face. The two sword and shield goblins move in from the back both slashing the crimson kobold in the back. The crimson kobold turns his attention to the sword and shield goblins swinging his axe with a large arc the slime blocking his view manages to save one of the sword and shield goblins, but the other is cut clean in two.
The slime tries to choke the crimson kobold as slithers into his snout, and mouth. The ex-great-sword wielding goblin grabs the iron sword that hit the floor and buries it into the leg of the crimson kobold.
The other goblin shield bashes the crimson kobold causing it to lose its balance and hit the floor. The crimson kobold then drops the axe trying to rip the slime off its face, and the ex-great-sword wielding goblin picks it up swing it down into the crimson kobolds chest finally ending the battle.
Aquired: 27XP, 4 Iron swords, 4 Iron shields, 4 worn Leather Armor, 1 Iron spear, 1 Iron dagger, 1 Iron rod, 1 Iron great axe, 1 worn rusty chainmail, 1 mage robe.
Losses: 3 goblin brutes, 1 level 2 goblin brute, 1 blue slime, 1 rusty great-sword, 1 spike trap
1 Goblin brute has gained a level
1 Blue slime has gained a level.
New monster available
Crimson Kobold Cost: 150xp
New Items available
Iron rod Cost: 40xp
Worn rusty chainmail Cost: 75xp
Iron great axe Cost: 50xp
Thirty-seven speaks up. “Madam Erin wishes to speak with you. She said congratulations surviving two days in a row.”
“So that’s it for today then? Thank the gods…”
I quickly collect items, dispose of the bodies and remove the broken spike trap but store the switch. I give the chainmail and great axe to the now level 3 goblin. I summon one more goblin brute, and give him an iron sword, small iron shield, and worn leather armor. I then equip all the kobolds but 4 in the back rooms with the worn leather armor. I move the two spear wielding kobolds, and the mage kobold from the core room to the front room, and give him the iron rod.
I exit the dungeon with Thirty-seven and head to the throne room to meet with Madam Erin. After Thirty-seven leaves the room Madam Erin says. “Congratulations pup, you succeeded in defending two days in a row now. However you are still losing more xp then you are gaining. Are you almost out of xp yet?”
“I am confident I will manage.”
Madam Erin: “Don’t get to cocky. Being cocky will get you killed when you start your own dungeon. Now I am rather surprised you managed to take down a crimson kobold with just a few goblins. I don’t expect that luck to hold out against two or three of them though. “
My face goes pale as Madam Erin laughs.
Madam Erin: “Your face says it all.” -She laughs again. – “How about this, if you live through tomorrow I will give you an additional 1000xp, but in turn I will just send one stronger wave. What do you say?”
If I don’t get that 1000xp she will slowly chip away at my troops until I lose my crystal, and with the amount of xp I have remaining it won’t matter what happens after that point I won’t be able to continue, so my only real option is to accept.
“Fine, I accept.”
Madam Erin: “HA, that’s a good pup, now things are starting to get interesting.”
Thirty-seven now enters the room, and leads me back to the room. When we get to my room Thirty-seven starts to walk off but stops when she sees me heading to the dungeon instead.
Thirty-seven: “Are you not finished?”
“Well I made a deal with Madam Erin, so I need to make some adjustments.”
Thirty-seven: “A deal? What kind of deal?”
“She promised me 1000xp bonus if I manage to protect my crystal tomorrow, but in exchange I have to deal with just one tough wave of monsters. Honestly the small waves are just chipping away at our monsters, so I think one big wave is best.”
Thirty-seven fists clench tight over the towel. “Very well.” She stands there for a minute looking torn as to the direction she is going to move, then finally turns and enters her room.
I wonder what that was about. I shrug and enter the dungeon. After entering the dungeon I switch the monsters in the front room with the monsters in the crystal room, leaving my strongest to protect the crystal.
The others I am hoping can at least do some damage before they are wiped out. Now, what to do? I have been pretty restricted to my room and dungeon, but I guess I can’t wander around too much because this is another dungeon who knows what kinds of monsters Madam Erin has.
Maybe I can get Thirty-seven to show me around again. I head to Thirty-seven’s room after double checking everything in the dungeon. I reach forward to knock on her door.
*Knock knock knock*
Oh I actually got to knock. Oh she isn’t answering. I guess she is not in her room. I guess I will head back to my room then. I lay down on my bed. Man there is nothing to do. There are not even any books to read. Wait books, win or lose tomorrow the amount of xp I got left won’t make any difference so maybe I can use what I got let to buy a book.
Opening [Menu] I say [Books] the screen opens but is blank. Well it was a good idea, wait I know I seen some on one of the lists somewhere. I check under [Items], [Treasure], and even [Equipment]… where were they at… Oh, yea [Dungeon Core] I sort through the section till I come up to the books.
Most cost way too much xp, there is even one for over 500,000xp. I finally find a book that is within my price range 5xp Dungeon Core Information. I buy the book and a message appears.
[Dungeon Core] items only available in dungeon core room purchasing Dungeon Core Information will place it in your dungeon core room. Would you like to continue?
Ah I forgot, I say yes then head over to the core room to check out the book.
Dungeon Core Information
Dungeon cores first took shape over 1000 years ago, starting with only 15 dungeon cores. Why and by whom they were created is unknown. They were however gifted with the magic known as [Menu], and already had all the knowledge they required. It started with a basic urge. I need to build. The first to begin building named Maric, was given the title Dungeon Core 1. Each of the original 15 cores then moved on building unique dungeons. Most started with building out of basic caves, however everything changed when dungeon core 5 began his dungeon he built it into a volcano. Dungeon core 10 to choose to use a flat single floor and made a vast forest. The last of the originals dungeon core 15 Hecate begin mimicking human buildings such a Castle. After the first ten years new cores began to be born every year on the same day new dungeon cores began to be born within existing dungeons. They as well set off building their own dungeons. When the dungeon cores began to number in the hundreds, the humans discovered the value of destroying dungeon cores. A great purge swept through the dungeons leaving only 6 dungeon cores alive. Dungeon core 5 Draco, dungeon core 18 Faron, dungeon core 36 Madam Erin, dungeon core 115 Fredrick, dungeon core 187 Lucille, and dungeon core 212 Leland. These six later become to be known as the Elders. After the purge the six elders began rebuilding the ranks of the dungeon cores and after reaching dungeon core 800, the elders discovered no higher number was assigned, and numbers from fallen dungeons began to be assigned. Around 300 years ago the elders began noticing that many of the new dungeon cores did not last more than ten years. The humans had formed an Adventurer’s Guild and to move into the highest ranks within the members where required to destroy dungeon crystals. The elders then decided they would begin testing the new cores only allowing the stronger half to build their own cores the remainder stripped of their ability to make a crystal. The fate of the failed new dungeon cores is given to the core who dungeon they are born into. Some are used as monsters within dungeons, some are abandoned into the world, and some are even killed on the spot. Only two cores have ever proven themselves to get a second chance at obtaining a crystal. One remains without a crystal at its training dungeon, and the other is current dungeon core 400 Dyson.
The rest of the book shows each core number, and information about them I flip through it.
Current Dungeon core 3 Alfread (Decessed) Location: Dungeon 97
Dungeon: Training hall Crystal: Basic Training crystal
Dungeon contains 1 floor, 4 room, 0 monsters, 0 traps.
Dungeon core level: 1 XP: 5325
Dungeon active: 0 years
Basic training hall is a dungeon within a dungeon to train new dungeon cores. Most favored monster goblin, most favored trap spike trap, most purchased monster goblin, most purchased trap spike trap, boss monster Hobgoblin Hero. (Deceased)
Previous Dungeon core 3 Sanduval (Deceased) Location: Merretta harbor
Dungeon: Sea side cave Crystal: Small water topaz
Dungeon at its peak contained 2 floors, 16 rooms, 37 monsters, 12 traps
Dungeon core level: 4 XP: 0
Dungeon active: 0 years
A small like side cave on the coast of Merretta harbor, most favored monster is the water dog, most favored trap is sea geyser, Most purchased monster water dog, Most purchased trap sea geyser, Boss monster water hound (Deceased).
Oye! How did Alfread have so much xp and even a boss monster before he died, I will have to ask Madam Erin, is she really an elder? I guess I will check out her page.
Current Dungeon core 36 Elder Madam Erin Location: North-side of Emeraldline Forest
Dungeon: Tower of the Gods Crystal: large earthen amber
Dungeon contains 347 floors, 3,784 rooms, 18,476 monsters, 4,025 traps.
Dungeon core level: 325 XP: 4,359,710
Dungeon active: 987 years
The tower of the gods is on the northern edge of the Emeraldline Forest, and the humans claim it was built by the gods. Many humans enter it seeking fame and fortune. Mapped up to floor 42, Deepest incursion floor 56, Most favored monster Earth titan, most favored trap crushing room, most purchased monster earth golem (rift), most purchased trap poison dart trap (auto-renew), Boss monster God of the Earth golem, and currently hosting dungeon core 212 ——.
Pervious dungeon core 36 N/A
I flip the book open to my own page.
Current Dungeon core 212 —— Location: dungeon 36
Dungeon: Training hall crystal: basic training crystal
Dungeon contains 1 floor, 3 rooms, 17 monsters, 1 trap
Dungeon core level: 1 XP: 3
Dungeon active: 0 years
Basic training hall is a dungeon within a dungeon to train new dungeon cores. Most favored monster goblin brute, most favored pit trap, most purchased monster goblin brute, most purchased trap pit trap, spiked trap, faulty dart trap, boss monster N/A
Previous Dungeon core 212 Leland (Deceased) Location: Adra Mountain Range
Dungeon: Banshee Caverns Crystal: large shadow obsidian
Dungeon at its peak contained 100 floors, 1,257 rooms, 8,365 monsters, 257 traps
Dungeon core level: 241 XP: 45, 294
Dungeon active: 959 years
Banshee caverns was the first shadow based dungeon home to many ghost and demon based monsters. Located in the isolated Adra mountain range only the fearless, braved to enter. Purged one year ago when Adra kingdom’s first prince tried to prove himself brave inside. After the prince’s death, heroes from the adventures guild were recruited and promised riches to destroy the banshee cavern’s crystal. Leland’s death marked the first loss of an elder, and the strongest dungeon to ever fall to the hands of humans.
I have a lot to live up to if I want to even come close to Leland’s fame and power. I flip through the pages of the book looking for things that jump out like dungeon core 5 seems to have the largest dungeon at over 500 floors, but Madam Erin seems to have the most stored xp. One of the cores is even over 100 years old with only 2 floors. Something catches my eye on dungeon core 37
Current Dungeon core 37 Heather Location: Duscae plains
Dungeon: Duscae valley ruins crystal: small wind emerald
dungeon contains 36 floor, 250 rooms, 1,454 monsters, 87 traps
Dungeon core level: 10 XP: 20, 015
Dungeon active: 4 years
Duscae valley is riddled with the ruins of a dungeon, but recently it seems the dungeon has come back to life as monsters are now roaming the ruins in droves. Many human archeologists and adventurers have flocked to Duscae plains to study the ruins a why after laying dormant for so many years has re-awoken.
Previous Dungeon core 37 Thirty-Seven (Failed) Location: dungeon 36
Dungeon: N/A Crystal: N/A
Dungeon at its peak contained: 1 floor, 3 rooms, 45 monsters, 30 traps
Dungeon core Level: 0 XP: 0
Dungeon active: 0 years
Dungeon core 37 Thirty-seven trained under dungeon core 344 for three weeks before dungeon core 344 was purged by humans, the elders deemed Thirty-seven capable enough to start her own dungeon if she could get over the trauma she received watching core 344 dying from human hands. Thirty-seven was taken in by dungeon core 36 and has remained there the last 5 years as practically a mute until the birth of current core 212. She has slowly begun to open back up. The elders have decided she will be granted a Crystal again if she can remove her fear of humans, and her core number becomes available again. Making her only the third dungeon core to be given a second chance.
I wasn’t aware Thirty-seven has been through so much, and that I was having that kind of effect on her. I thought she just didn’t like me. I need to apologize to her. I close the book setting it on the desk and go check to see if Thirty-seven has returned to her room yet.
I reach Thirty-Seven’s room I quickly try to knock on the door before she has a chance to answer but I barely tap my knuckles on the door as it opens. “How do you do that? You always know.”
Thirty-seven: “Simple, you always inform me with [Menu] that you have arrived.”
“When did I do that?”
Thirty-seven: “As I thought. Curious, try something for me, open [Menu].”
I do so. “Now what?”
Thirty-seven: “Now try accessing [Communication]”
When I say communication it brings a new screen up listing a tab for allies, and a tab for monsters. Under the monsters tab it has every monster currently in my dungeon, and under allies it has Madam Erin and Thirty-seven. When I select Thirty-seven there is a long list over communication back and forth but it’s not exactly what we have said to each other.
The most recent messages are from myself and are. “I am coming to your room. I am coming down the hall. I am here!”……I quickly scroll though the messages and there are easily 25 to 50 messages from me if not more to every one of hers.
Most of her replies are just answers to questions that I asked her in person. Then I see a message I sent. “You have such a wonderful body.” and another “You smell nice.” and a third “you have such a nice ass I just want to grab it.”
I quickly close the messages. I find Thirty-seven to be an attractive woman, but I don’t understand why such messages were sent, but I am to petrified to see what else I must have said.
“I am so sorry. I have no idea how I sent them messages. I have never even seen that screen before now. You must think I am a horrid person.”
Thirty-seven: “Think nothing of it. I suspected as much and have already talked to Madam Erin of the situation.”
“You told Madam Erin the things I was sending you!? I feel like I want to crawl under my bed and die.
Thirty-seven: “No, I did not tell her what the messages said, just that you didn’t seem to be able to access [Communication] yet where still sending messages without your knowledge.”
“Well I believe I have made a big enough fool out of myself for one day, so I guess I better go back to my room.”
Thirty-seven: “Wait. What was the original reason for you to come to me room.”
“Oh I completely forgot. I was bored so I bought the Dungeon Core Information book from my [Menu] and read about what happened to you during your training and wanted to come apologize to you for dragging you around my dungeon when it probably brought up some hurtful memories. Now I have so much more to make up for I don’t even know where to start.”
Thirty-seven: “Think nothing of it. I was told to keep an eye on your training, and as for the messages I am partly to blame as well. After all, like I said I figured out you seemed to be sending messages without your knowledge a while back, and still haven’t said anything, so don’t worry about it.”
“I still feel horrible just the same. I think I am going to go rest now.”
Thirty-seven bows then heads back into her room. I move back to my room and drop on the bed and hit myself in the forehead. It takes a few minutes for me to calm down and regain the color in my face before I remember about the boss monster and Alfread’s xp. I open up [Communication] which is now conveniently on the right hand side of the main screen mocking me like it was always there. As soon as I open Thirty-seven’s screen the words begin appearing on the screen.
“So sorry to bother you again so soon, but I thought of another question I wanted to ask you about on something I found in the book. I looked at Alfread’s page and it said he had over 5000xp when he died and even had a boss monster. How did he get so much xp and a boss monster so fast?”
Thirty-seven sends an instant reply. “No problem at all. However you need to ask Madam Erin that question.”
“Thanks, I will.” After closing Thirty-seven’s screen I open Madam Erin’s and the words begin to fill the screen.
“Do you mind if I ask you a question?”
Madam Erin: “Ah pup, I see you have figured out [Communication], I guess after asking Thirty-seven if you could suckle her breasts she couldn’t keep quiet about it any longer.”
An instant reply. “I said something like that!?”
Madam Erin: “Well, even more interesting, personally I have no idea, but given your reply it sounds like there was at least a possibility of there being one.”
“Ahh, I never said anything of the sort. Now I was reading Dungeon Core Information and I found that the other dungeon core in training that was born the same day as me already had a boss monster and over 5000xp when he died. How did he get so much so fast?”
Madam Erin: “Ah, well you see, well how about this I will tell you after the battle tomorrow. Win or lose I promise. Also if you ever decide to change your mind on the breasts I could always offer my services.”
“NO THANKS.” I quickly close the screen and kick my feet on the bed. Ahhhh. I finally cool down again and spend the next twenty minutes fighting over if I really want to know what kind of messages I sent Thirty-seven. I finally decide it would be best to never know. I select an option to clear all messages, and then go to sleep.