Chapter 20: Madam Erin’s Dungeon

The next few days following my run-in with Denova pass relatively smooth. After a turn around the lake I manage to get Thirty-seven within view of Tobes, but she then turns back. The hype about the better gear from the kobold is starting to die down.

Many of the adventurers are now starting rumors that the group never even made it into the depths of the dungeon and that they were all making it up. With the current groups entering I am slowly beginning to increase my xp again.

That is until an adventurer discovers the chest with the 50 gold in it. A new surge of adventurers taking commissions begins, and I am forced to use Belinda’s maximum capacity rules just to keep the adventurers from rolling though the dungeon.

On the day I receive the message that Belinda has reached the Tower of the Gods, I also receive a tough looking C-ranked group in the dungeon. I am forced to use the golems but I manage to catch three of the five alive.

Now I have to decide to either release them and let people know about the golems, or just keep them. I have a few days to make up my mind, so for now I will just hold them. A few days later however the decision is made for me when another group of adventurers manages to free them.

After asking Belinda what I should do, she tells me that I am going to have to start posting some C-rank commissions. She does tell me to keep the rewards about the same as the D-rank commissions always have been high.

Adventurer: “Did you see the new C-rank commissions?”

Adventurer 2: “I know there is almost no difference in the reward. That ex-slave that Belinda left in charge must just be airing on the side of caution until Belinda returns. Once she does she will fix this…”

All the brownie points I got when I commissioned the brothel now seem to be long gone. Some of the adventurers defend me though.

Adventurer 3: “What are you saying, if the C-rank commissions rewards were better than this place will start being flooded with C-rankers, and we wouldn’t be able to go hunt in the dungeon anymore…”

One day I manage to capture an entire group, unfortunately they are all D-ranked. I manage to hold them for three days before another group manages to free them as well. The prison only being on the second floor is not working out to well anymore.

After scrapping the walls I manage to have enough xp to add another rift in the room adding two more crimson kobolds. I give them some of the gear I have been gathering from groups I have taken captive, but it’s not very good.

It’s the halfway point in Belinda’s trip now, and she told me she hasn’t lost anyone yet but they have been really struggling, she doesn’t even feel she has managed to gain as much xp as she did in Leona.

After reassuring her that she still has one more week before she has to head back, she seems even more discouraged. With Thirty-seven’s next trip out we manage to make it all the way to the edge of Tobes, but at the first sign of a human she hides behind me and begs that we return to the dungeon.

After a long day I am sitting in the adventurer’s guild drinking one of the alcohol drinks that I have started to become fond of. If I could only drink them without having to expel it afterwards I would drink them every day…

While drinking my alcohol and well-dressed man enters the adventurer’s guild. He asks several of the adventurers a question until one of them points to me, and when the man looks at me his face changes to a complicated expression.

Well-Dressed Man: “Excuse me, may I sit?”

“Go right ahead, do you have a question for me?”

Well-Dressed Man: “Well I heard about you, and I just wanted to make sure, I was hoping I would have been able to negotiate with the princess, but alas luck wasn’t on my side.”

“Was there a question in there somewhere that I missed?”

Well-Dressed Man: “I apologize, call me Edward.” –He reaches his hand out.-

“Well Edward, you still have not told me what you want with me.”

Edward: “I was just here on business with the dear Denova. I heard that you made our little transaction possible, and to my understanding I have roughly till sunset to sell out of my merchandise. Maybe I can interest you in purchasing? After all it works so well for Denova.”

“No thanks, not interested.”

Edward: “But the princess has taken on so much in this village, and doing this and that, helping everyone here and there. Surely it’s all a bit tiring is it not? I’ll make a deal with you I have one left, and it’s yours for 100… no make that 75 gold, then you could spend your time with your feet up, relaxing.”

“Yea that does sound nice, but still I will pass.”

Edward: “Come on now, you have been here with the princess what half a year already? How about 65? You know I like you, and since it’s my last one, and I am on my way out of town, just so I don’t have to tote it all the way back to the capital. Surely you can come up with a simple 50 gold.”

“If it will get you to leave, and let me drink my drink in peace, fine, I’ll take it but not for more then 45, we will call it an annoyance fee.”

Edward: “I like the way you think. It’s a deal!”

I collect 45 of the small gold coins from the funds Belinda left me, I will replace them from what I have in inventory tomorrow, and then I give the coins to Edward.

Edward: -He carefully counts out the coins.- “Now remember all sales are final!”

Edward walks out the door, a few short moments later he returns with a small Beastkin child. The child is young, probably no more than 10 human years old, she has long fuzzy ears and a small poufy ball of a tail. She is wearing what looks no more than an old dirty pillow case with holes cut in it, and a collar around her neck.

She has a lot more fur then most beastkin similar to Listel, although this little girl is some kind of rabbit instead of a cat. She has several small bruises on her exposed arms and legs, and she is simply covered in dirt. When Edward pushes her forward with his knees her nose fidgets but she quickly beings walking again.

“What is this?”

Edward then walks forward placing a key in my hand.

Edward: “Yes, she is a little young I tried to tell Denova in 2 maybe 3 years she would be ready, but I couldn’t convince her, and remember all sells are final… Thanks for your business.”

Without another word Edward quickly retreats out of the adventurer’s guild.

Adventurer: “Did you see that? I heard Beastkin Edward was good, but he even managed to sell a slave to a slave… He even got him to pay the price of a full grown adult for a mere child.”

Ohhhh. Belinda is going to be so mad at me now…

Adventurer 2: “But that’s one of Beastkin Edward’s beastkin though, they are supposed to be the best in three kingdoms, surely even a child would be worth even what a normal beastkin adult would be.”

Adventurer: “It’s a feral beastkin at that.”

With the way the two adventurers are talking I can’t tell if it was a good purchase or a really bad one, but either way I am sure Belinda won’t be happy that I bought a slave…

Adventurer 3: “Who cares about that, didn’t you hear! He was selling to Denova…”

Adventurer: “Then you think?”

The three adventurers now quickly race each other out of the door.

“Can you talk?”

Bunny girl: “Yes master…” –she answers quickly but her voice is low and soft, her legs are trembling and she seems terrified.-

“Well come on then, I need to figure out how to explain this…”

I walk out of the adventurer’s guild, the little bunny girl hesitates but when I stop looking back at her she quickly rushes forward to catch up. She follows me though town slowly falling behind with each step, but as soon as I look back to make sure she is still there she rushes forward to catch back up.

Once we reach the edge of town I reach forward to pick her up, and she closes her eyes tight. I sit her down on the stone fence at the edge of town and raise her feet up looking at them. The bottoms of her feet are scratched and filthy.

When I brush my hand against them she beings to giggle, but she quickly forces herself to stop covering her mouth with her hands.

“Well we got a bit to go, it looks like your feet will hold up alright, so let’s go.”

I pick her up placing her back on the ground then begin walking up the mountain. When we reach the lakeside she isn’t even out of breath. Even for an adult human that trip is kind of rough.

“Are you having any trouble?”

Bunny girl: “No master…”

“Alright, just a little further to go.”

We continue up the rest of the trail, and once crossing the threshold into the dungeon an odd message pops up.

Monster 10 has changed ownership from Dungeon Core #47 [Bianca] to Dungeon Core #212 [——]. Would you like to change 10’s name?

I look down at the little bunny girl.

“You’re a dungeon monster?”

The little bunny begins to panic, tears welling up in her eyes, she looks terrified.

-I hit yes on the screen.- “How about Lilah?”

Would you like to change 10’s name to Lilah?

“Yes, how does that sound? Your name is now Lilah”

Lilah: “Thank you master.” –She seems to ease up a bit but she still remains quite scarred.-

Another message now pops up in front of me.

New Monster Available

Feral Beastkin* (Rabbit)                           25xp

 

A new monster available to summon containing sub-species, when summoning a creature with available sub-species you can select the sub-species, or allow a random sub-species to be selected. When random sub-species are selected it is possible to summon a sub-species not currently available.

Feral Beastkin are capable of being summoned as sentient. A Sentient Feral Beastkin increases base cost by a multiple of 10. Sentient monsters do not achieve a max level, but are unable to be summoned in a rift.

Warning: Sentient monsters are capable of independent thought and have their own personalities in which that is possible for them to defy orders. Once per day a command can be issued in which regardless of will the monster will be forced to obey.

 

Odd I didn’t receive the warning when divine being was unlocked, I wonder if that means divine beings aren’t sentient… Their cost was so much higher though… I won’t be able to afford to summon one for a long time, so it’s not like it matters much anyway.

I transfer Lilah and myself into the core room, and she seems startled by the transfer.

Lilah: “Master is a dungeon core?”

“That’s right, and this dungeon is your new home.”

I pick her up again setting her on the bed, I then cast [Clean] on her. It takes almost 10 seconds before she is completely clean. Even though the pillow case she is wearing is now clean, it is still tattered and torn so I take it off of her.

Lilah chokes back tears after I take the pillow case off her she then closes her eyes tightly. Her naked petite figure begins shaking as she sits on the bed. After a few seconds I buy a blue dress from [Menu] that barely costs a few xp.

I didn’t even think about if it would fit her or not, but as soon as I equip it on her it fits her perfectly. I guess that’s just how it works. The blue dress fits well with her silver hair.

“That’s better isn’t it?

Lilah then realizes she is clothed and stops shaking.

Lilah: “It’s pretty master.”

She then stands from the bed and twirls in the circle. Curious, not only was the size perfect but even her fluff ball of a tail is sticking through a hold in the back. I might have to investigate this further. Now that I think about it, the gear I have taken from the human always fits the kobold and vice versa.

“Ok, let’s go meet your roommate”

Lilah: “Roommate master?”

“Yes right now we are pretty short of xp, so until we get more you will have to share a bedroom with Thirty-seven.”

Lilah: “Thirty-seven? Did you not give Thirty-seven a pretty name like Lilah?”

“I actually tried once, but she turned me down. Anyway we are going now.”

I transfer us to Thirty-seven’s room. Thirty-seven is sitting silently on the edge of the cot holding the upside down cat in her arms. She looks at me uninterested as I enter, but when Lilah peeks out from behind me she quickly stands up.

She looks down at the stuffed animal in her arms and pets the butt softly. She then drops it to the cot, and extends her arms out towards Lilah. Lilah looks at me questioningly and I shrug my shoulders. Thirty-seven then rushes forward grabbing Lilah, she retreats to her cot where she has Lilah in her lap having her head rubbed by Thirty-seven.

Lilah and I are both surprised by Thirty-seven’s quick movement, I look at the ground by my feet and to her cot several time.

“I guess you like your new roommate?”

Thirty-seven then quickly wraps her arms around Lilah giving her a tight hug. Lilah looks to me with pleading eyes.

“Now be careful with her Thirty-seven she is a dungeon monster so don’t go breaking her.”

Lilah: “m.m…mmMaster?”

When Lilah talks Thirty-seven squeals… She then hugs Lilah tighter… I have never seen Thirty-seven excited before, she is even grinning as she hugs Lilah…

“I have some serious hard work to do now, so Thirty-seven, be gentle with her ok?”

Thirty-seven quickly nods releasing her bear hug on Lilah, she then strokes her head.

I return to the core room, open [Communication], and stare at Belinda’s name…

“I have some great news!”

Belinda quickly responds. “Really what happened? I could use some good news after the day I had…”

That plan backfired…

“I can now….Summon… Feral beastkin in the dungeon.”

Belinda: “That is wonderful news! Wait, why does it seem like you are leaving something out?”

“I may or may not have done something that will make you mad. Then I may or may not have made it worse…But the good news is we can now summon feral beastkin!”

Belinda: “What did you do…?”

“Well it started a little over a week ago, Denova began pressuring me about a merchant friend she wanted me to let her do business with in town. Something seemed off, but if it wasn’t some kind of legitimate business, she wouldn’t ask for permission right?”

Belinda: “You didn’t…”

“I gave her 24 hours, I made one of the business forms like you showed me, but I made a stipulation that they were only allowed to conduct business for 24 hours, so even if it was something I did wrong, at least its only temporary.”

Belinda: “It was a slave trader wasn’t it? But I am impressed the 24 hour pass was a good call, but wait you said you made matters worse…How did you make matters worse?”

“I said I may or may not have made matters worse.”

Belinda: “Go on…”

“When the guy arrived, I had no idea who he was. After talking to me for a while… I may of accidently bought a slave…”

Belinda: “How the hell do you accidently buy a slave?”

“Well I think he purposely misled me! He talked about his merchandise, and how it would help me with work. He never said it was a person…It turns out it was a little feral beastkin bunny.”

Belinda: “Little…? How little are we talking about here?”

“His goal was to sell her to Denova so not really young…”

Belinda: “Two-Twelve quit fooling around with me, how young is she?”

“10 human years? But its ok, because she turned out to be a dungeon monster, and she really hit it off with Thirty-seven. Thirty-seven replaced her stuffed animal with her.”

Belinda: “But Thirty-seven has nearly squeezed the stuffing out of that poor thing…”

“I told her to be gentle, and I am keeping an eye on her on the screen. Besides the most important part is that we can now summon feral beastkin…”

Belinda: “One month, I just asked for one month without something crazy happening… I even left a full list of instructions… But what happens? As soon as I turn my back you go out and buy a slave! This is too much right now. I am going to bed…”

When I check on the screen Thirty-seven is now lying down in the cot holding onto Lilah. She is slowly rocking back and forth while petting Lilah’s head. Well I guess everything else is tomorrow’s problem… I decide to go to bed as well.

The next day I watch a group enter the dungeon, they manage to make it down to the second floor, but they run away after emptying out one of the chests.

As they exit the dungeon I hear them complain that there was only a few gems and stuff in the box. Apparently people are still hoping for boxes with the small gold coins…I watch Thirty-seven and Lilah on the screen for a while. Thirty-seven has Lilah sitting in a chair at the table. She is carefully feeding her, every time Lilah says something or does something on her own Thirty-seven squeals and hugs her tightly.

Once it starts to get time for me to head down to Tobes I come up with a great idea… I transfer down to Thirty-seven’s room.

“It’s time for me to head down to Tobes. Now I got Lilah to help me out with my work, so she is going to go with me.”

Thirty-seven looks mortified at the suggestion.

“Now when I return I will bring her back, but once you start to be able to interact with humans, you can join us in Tobes and won’t have to leave her side…”

Thirty-seven looks extremely torn her face keeps changing expressions. Eventually she gives Lilah a big hug then reluctantly lets her go. Once Lilah and I transfer to the exit of the dungeon Lilah looks at me seriously and asks.

Lilah: “Is Thirty-seven alright in the head?”

I can’t help but to laugh. “Yes, she is alright in the head. She has had a real difficult time, but she is starting to come around. Truth be told I am not bringing you along with me to help. I just thought if I told Thirty-seven you were going to go with me when I went down to Tobes it would make her try a little harder.”

Lilah: “If you don’t want me to help with your work, what do you want me to do then.”

“Just keep me company I guess, and don’t forget to keep the fact I am a dungeon core a secret.”

Lilah: “Of course master.”

When we are walking though the town I happen to bump into Susan the baker, she asks me about Lilah, and then she quickly returns to her shop. The rest of the evening continues on rather smoothly, Lilah proves to actually be very smart, even though I told her she didn’t have to she manages to help me with the paperwork.

She also seems to be very agile as one point of the evening she is entertaining several of the adventurers by standing on a chair, balancing it on one leg, while holding a dagger balanced on one finger, a full mug balanced on her forehead, and a plate of food on her other fingertips.

Lilah: “Master! Master! Here they gave me three gold coins!” –She pushes the coins at me.-

“Well they gave them to you, so you should keep them.”

Lilah: “What am I supposed to do with them?”

“I don’t know, that’s for you to decide”

Lilah: “Ok I have decided” –She says with a bright smile.- “I want you to have them!” –She pushes them to me again.-

“Ok, I will hold on to them for you if that’s what you want, but let me know if you see something you want.”

Lilah: “Ok!”

When we return to the dungeon Thirty-seven is ecstatic to see Lilah, Lilah however droops her head then goes and crawls into Thirty-seven’s lap. Thirty-seven hugs her then begins rocking again while petting her head.

The next few days continue like that, When Thirty-seven and I take our normal walk, we head down to Tobes. Thirty-seven still refuses to enter the village but, I tell Lilah to run into the village about twenty feet away. Thirty-seven begins to panic, then chases after her. When she reaches Lilah she picks her up clutching her in her arms, but across the street is one of the old ladies.

Thirty-seven freezes while Lilah waves. I decide to go save them, after apologizing to the old lady, and telling her my sister doesn’t interact well with strangers, we return to the dungeon. Thirty-seven manages to forget about the ordeal as she is holding Lilah.

This is actually working pretty well, she still got scared when she ran into a human, but she managed to calm down quickly this time… After patting myself on the back, for my great idea, I receive a distressing message from Belinda.

Belinda: “I am so sorry Two-Twelve, I lost 1, 2, and Tanya. I can’t continue in Madam Erin’s dungeon like this so I am on my way back. I should be home in about a week.”

“They are easily replaced, are you ok?”

Belinda: “I broke my halberd, and got busted up pretty good, but I will live. One advantage of being a dungeon monster I heal quickly.”

“Ok, be careful on your way home.”

Belinda: “Thanks, and I will.”

The next week goes by pretty uneventfully, Thirty-seven has stepped it up, by going down to Tobes with us three times this week but she still can’t bring herself to enter the village. When one of the villagers passed by she still became scared, but she was able to stand her ground, and now as long as the villagers don’t try to approach her she is ok.

Belinda’s PoV

While everyone was saying bye, when leaving to go gather xp for the dungeon, Two-Twelve gave me a ring… I almost died right then and there, but he then told me it was a magic ring, and it would help me during my trip.

He shouldn’t toy with a girl’s heart like that so I punched him hard in the shoulder. As revenge I still make him slide the ring on my finger, but when he does I can’t help the surreal feeling that washes over me, causing me to blush.

I wonder if all dungeon cores are like Two-Twelve, and Thirty-seven… I know they both have emotions but sometimes I wonder if they are able to just shut them off… Even after all this time with Two-Twelve I can’t actually figure out how exactly he sees me.

After Amy’s trick during my birthday, he seems so calm and collected after we were both naked together. Yet when I joined his dungeon, and became nude then it seemed to catch him off guard and he got emotional.

Then at the lake side with Thirty-seven he was calm and collected again completely unfazed by Thirty-seven and I, but the expression on his face when Listel was in the dungeon though… I wish he would look at me with eyes like that…

Two-Twelve suggested we let Thirty-seven name the golems, and I was skeptical, but last time I just named the little golems after my sisters as a joke, so I guess it can’t be worse than that. As I expected she simply designated them #1 and #2, oh well they are just golems.

I give Thirty-seven a hug then present myself to Two-Twelve but he just stares at me for an awkward few moments, so I decide to leave.

Susan heard from one of the hunters in the village that there was a trail off of the mountain road that led all the way out of the forest, so I am using it to bypass the village. Sure enough after a few hours of travel I break free of the tree line.

If I follow the road dead ahead of me it will fork off after a day’s travel, heading east it will go to Kartova on the outskirts of the kingdom, but I have to keep following the road north around the forest. After a while I get tired of walking so I sit on top of one of the golems as it follows the trail.

That only lasts for a short while before the bouncing on the hard stone as it walks becomes sore on my backside. When we set up camp I move back into the forest as not to freak anyone out that might be using the road.

I can’t use my name to get me by this time with the golems, so I use the excuse that my father is a powerful mage, and when I decided to become an adventurer he created the golems as my bodyguards. I use the excuse at the guard tower on the road at the kingdom’s border, and the knights seem skeptical but they let me pass. Just a few more days now and I will make it to the Tower of the Gods.

From the reports I have been receiving from Susan it seems Two-Twelve is managing things in my place well this time. Although I didn’t leave anything up to chance this time, and I even hired an extra person just to make sure.

The Tower of the Gods truly is impressive, It’s been three days since I could first make it out in the distance, and I still have at least one more day before I reach it. A half of a day from the tower I bump into a group of adventurer’s making their way to the tower from Kartova.

They recognize me as a Gowen princess, but I convince them to keep it a secret. I even manage to get them to act like I am part of their party to make travel through town far easier. Once reaching the adventurer’s guild I realize things function way different in other kingdoms.

Instead of commissions granting rewards, they cost gold to take, which serves as a pass that allows entry into the tower. Depending on the commissions you take you are strictly confined to certain rooms and floors of the dungeon.

If you don’t manage to complete the commission in the time frame allowed you can even be denied being allowed to take further commissions in the dungeon. I am told even with all this the C-rank commissions are all gone mere minutes after they post the new ones at midnight.

While waiting for them to post the new commissions I inform Two-Twelve of my arrival. Once the new commissions are posted I manage to grab four of them, that look possible for me to complete, but when I try to get them accepted at the guild counter I am denied three of them because they don’t count the golems as party members so I am treated as a solo adventurer.

The group I arrived with offers to allow me to go with them, but sense I can’t get xp for the dungeon that way I give them the other three commissions and just take the one I was allowed. The commission I took says I have to collect 10 tiny magic stones from golems on the 6th floor of the dungeon between the hours of 9am and 12pm, but I then have till midnight to turn them in.

“What’s with this unreasonable time frame?”

Guild receptionist: “The commissions that take place between the hours of midnight and 9 am are responsible for clearing the first 5 floors, the commissions for the next 5 floors must be completed between the 9 am and 9 pm, and the last three hours are reserved for floors 11 and 12.”

“But it says I only have till noon.”

Guild receptionist: “Your commission is a gathering quest that takes place solely on the 6th floor so you time so it must be completed early so the other commission can be completed on the higher floors.”

“What about floors beyond 12?”

Guild receptionist: “Commissions beyond floor 12 take at least two days to complete, as floor 13 is a safe area you camp there your first night complete and tasks on the second day then return. However there are very few C-ranked commissions at that level, and none are solo commissions.”

“…”

I decide to rest till 9am then head into the dungeon to complete my commission, but I quickly learn there was a flaw in my plan. When I enter the dungeon at 9am I am informed I am severally late. Apparently groups wait till a floor is cleared, and then move forward till they reach the level of their commission.

As such I have only three hours to make my way up to the 6th floor, and complete my commission while the other groups are already starting on that floor right this second… It takes me an hour and a half to reach the 6th floor, and by then the floor has practically been sweep clean already.

I manage to find a room that was bypassed, by the other adventurers and inside are 3 golems Tanya’s size. Luckily I brought the large golems this time, as even though they are Tanya’s size, the four of us struggle to defeat them, I almost lose Tanya, and #2 in the process.

We continue to search the 6th floor but as we run out of time, I still only have 3 of the 10 required stones…As it was my first commission I am forced to pay a penalty but still allowed to take further commissions.

I decide to rest up before midnight. I am still exhausted when I wake up shortly before midnight, but I must get the commission now, or I will have to miss a day. This time I manage to grab two commissions that take place within the first few floors that can be completed by a solo party, and another one between floors 6 and 9 that has 6pm deadline.

This however means I have to begin right now. The commissions on the lower floors are much easier and we have them both completed for 8am, at 9am when we are allowed to enter the 6th floor wave after wave of groups swarm the 6th floor.

It seems like the battle against the monsters is far less than the fight to establish a hunting ground. This time the commission is for the actual stone from the golems, which is used as a building material, luckily I have the golems to transport them.

Many of the fights are in such close proximity to other groups I honestly don’t know if we are even gathering xp for Two-Twelve or not.

Once 6pm arrives the golems are all cracked and crumbling, and I am so tired I don’t even care about turning the commissions in, but I have to do this for Two-Twelve. After turning in the commissions I hit my cot and pass out.

When I wake up it is shortly after midnight… I rush to the adventurer’s guild but the commissions are already gone… Still in my pajamas, and with my hair sticking in every direction I let out a deep sigh and plop in a chair ordering a stiff drink.

A young beastkin woman takes my drink from the server and brings it too me sitting down at my table.

Beastkin: “New to town?”

“Thanks” –I take the drink, drinking it slowly.- “Yea this is, or would have been day three.”

Beastkin: “You’re doing pretty well for a solo runner, sure you have some golems to help you but the battles are the least of the trouble up in the dungeon.”

“Yea I see what you mean.”

Beastkin: “Things start to slow down here in a month when harvest season kicks in full swing, then it really slows down once winter hits. You plan on sticking around long?”

“Just two weeks, I got business to take care in Gowen after that.”

Beastkin: “Gowen aye? Heard there is a new dungeon down that way, have you heard of it?”

“Yes, I am from the capital but, I spent some time in Tobes after it was discovered.”

Beastkin: “From the capital Aye? Are you some kind of noble’s daughter or something? Nice armor like yours and golem body guards to boot.”

“Yea something like that.”

Beastkin: “Well my group heads up to the dungeon twice a week, if you decide you want to hit the 11 or 12th floors look us up.”

“Thanks. I will remember that.”

The beastkin woman then gets up leaving me to my drink. After I finish my drink I head back to bed, and when I wake up in the morning I decide to explore town a bit.

I learn that the commissions for solo adventurers tend to be the ones groups tend to reject so they open them up for the solo adventurers. Even though the adventurers have to pay for the commissions the items they gather not required for their commissions net them quite a bit of gold out in the market.

Several shops sell items needed for gathering commissions at two or even three times the going rate…If I knew that I wouldn’t have had to fail the commission the first day. I am sure if I kept doing that though I would end up without any gold very fast.

After resting the afternoon away, I prepare early for the dungeon. Once midnight hits I am able to grab a few decent commissions and set out. The next few days continue much in the same way, so far I have managed to at least get some kind of commission everyday but the one.

By the end of the week my days and nights are all mixed up, with each day seemingly getting longer and longer. Today I managed to grab 4 commissions including my first one on the 11th floor, but that means I will be up almost 24 hours by the time they are all completed.

The groups lighten up a lot on the floors above the 10th and I even manage to complete the commission relatively early, but that still mean in two short hours the next day’s commissions will be ready. Worn out and exhausted, I’m battered and bruised, the golems are on their last leg, and I debate about skipping another day when I receive a message from Two-Twelve.

Two-Twelve: “I have some great news!”

“Really what happened? I could use some good news after the day I had…”

Two-Twelve then proceeds to tell me that he can now summon feral beastkin in the dungeon, which is indeed great news but something about the way he says it seems off. When I ask him about it things begin to sound fishier and fishier.

He finally confesses that he ended up giving a merchant pass out blind to one of Denova’s connections, which normally would have made me angry, but he actually done really well by making a 24 hour stipulation to the pass. Giving the fact the person in question was Denova I consider that a major achievement.

Much to my guesses the merchant turned out to be a slave trader, at least he could only sell his slaves for one day…  Things however take a turn for the worse as apparently though some misguided notion Two-Twelve bought one of the slaves!

It turns out it is even a small child, the last thing I think Two-Twelve should be reasonable for is a small little girl… He has also already seemed to turn her over to Thirty-seven as some kind of living stuffed animal. I just don’t have the energy for this right now.

I decided I am taking the day off, I tell Two-Twelve that I am heading to bed, and I do just that. From the hours shortly before midnight, to well after noon I sleep, and sleep soundly. When I finally wake up I feel truly refreshed.

With a renewed spirit I look back though the messages of Two-Twelve from the previous night, I don’t know how but it seems the girl he bought was a dungeon monster, so that means she won’t have to eat, and such stuff so I don’t have to worry about her staving at least. But wait…If dungeon monsters don’t age does that mean she will remain a small child forever?

I have discovered if I use healing magic in conjunction with the pieces of stone left behind by the dead golems in the dungeon I am able to recover the golem’s health at a much faster rate than their natural healing.

So with what of their health is still depleted once evening falls I use several of the stones, and healing magic to make them all right as rain. Once midnight hits I dive in headlong to the commission board managing to grab some choice commissions, and like that we set back out into the dungeon.

The next four days pass by smoothly as I manage to grab very good commissions on every day but one, however the commissions that day seemed sub-par clear across the board. This time I manage to catch a great commission on the 12th floor, and although we only have been too the 11th floor twice I feel confident we can handle it.

It’s the only commission I grabbed so we catch some sleep and head into the dungeon around noon. We make it up to the 10th floor with still a few hours before the 11th floor opens. I happen to see the beastkin I ran into on my third day in town and she introduces me to her group while we wait.

They have a commission on the 11th floor so they enter before me while I wait for the all clear to move on to the twelfth. Once reaching the twelfth floor I still have over an hour and half to complete the commission of collecting the magic stones from the larger golems that look like #1 and #2.

With just under an hour to go we have managed to collect all but two of the stones but the pickings are beginning to get slim. We are pretty worn out but we manage to finish with 30 minutes to spare. I turn them in to a guild representative on the 12th floor, he stamps my commission, and we being to make our way back down.

Once reaching the 10th floor I hear a group of adventurers talking, and it turns out to be the Beastkin woman and her group. I start to greet them but their conversation causes me to halt.

Adventurer: “What are we going to do, all the golem have been wiped out already, if we don’t finish this in 30 minutes we are going to lose permission to enter the dungeon for sure this time.”

Beastkin: “What about the girl, you know the noble from Gowen, she has two golems that would let us at least complete the commission.”

Adventurer: “Yea and we could sell that fancy armor of hers and make a huge profit.”

Adventurer 2: “Won’t that cause problems for us down the road?”

Beastkin: “Not if nobody finds out about it.”

Adventurer: “Hey there she is.”

Beastkin: “Hey! You manage to complete all of your commissions? Us too! You want to head back down to the guild with us?”

I quickly order the golems to guard and ready my halberd.

Adventurer: “Damn she must have heard us talking. Get her!”

The three adventurers charge forward, they swarm Tanya first quickly beating it down with large maces. The beastkin finishes it off with an ice spell.

#1 and #2 move in swinging their massive fists breaking the group up, but it’s too late for Tanya. The adventurers however are experts in fighting golems here in the dungeons so they easily avoid them.

The maces work well against the golems, but the spells are killer so I focus on the beastkin woman. Focusing my magic into my halberd I use my [Lunge] technique catching her completely off guard. Once penning her to the wall with my halberd I use a magic stone that I stored a [Fireball] spell in launching it right into her face.

The beastkin woman screams out in pain and even with all the damage she still fights against my halberd. One of the other adventurers breaks off from fighting the golem knocking me hard in the back with a swing of his mace.

I focus my magic again using [Whirlwind Swipe] causing the Beastkin of fly across the room, the mace wielding adventurer however takes little damage. Somehow the Beastkin manages to pull herself to her feet this casting a spell my way.

I manage to dodge out of the way and sweep the feet out from under the mace wielding adventurer in the process. The two golems still attack the other mace wielding adventurer, but he is so used to fighting golems they can’t land a single blow while he slowly causes damage to them little by little.

The beastkin changes spells throwing a [Fireball] at me, and I somehow manage to use [Fire Protection] in time for it to absorb the spell.

Beastkin: “Damnit the little bitch can cast spells too.”

The mace wielder that I knocked to the ground has managed to return to his feet smashing me hard square in the chest knocking me back to the floor, and knocking the wind out of me. I quickly regain my breath, throwing a [Freeze] spell at the beastkin.

With all the damage she has taken she barely manages to dodge the spell by diving to the floor, but she lands awkwardly and that in itself looks painful. The other mace wielding adventurer manages to drop #2 while still avoiding #1’s blows.

The mace wielding adventurer attacking me attempts to slam his large mace down on me while I am still on the floor, but I manage to roll to the side. I then swing my halberd around catching him right in the neck with the axe like blade.

Much to my surprise however he twists away from the attack at just the right moment, he however seems to of suffered a rather serious injury.

Beastkin: “Hurry up with that damn golem, and help us out.”

Adventurer 2: “Easy for you to say you guys are fighting two on one, and I was fighting one on two.”

The beastkin tries to stand up but it appears her leg is broken so she casts a spell from the floor targeting #1. I try to stop her by casting another [Freeze] spell, but my spell hits her too late. #1 looks like it is going to crumble at any second.

Even though my spell managed to kill the beastkin woman, things don’t look so good, as there are still two more adventurers, and I am having trouble breathing. I pull myself to my feet as the adventurer charges me.

I am unable to fully dodge the blow causing me to take considerable damage and nocking me to the floor again. The other adventurer manages to finish off #1, and he begins heading this way. I throw a [Fireball] at him to delay him while the other attempts to smash his mace into me again.

The [Fireball] hits the other adventurer but doesn’t seem to cause much damage, I attempt to roll out of the way of the crushing blow of the mace, this time the adventurer does a follow-up swing that causes me to roll across the floor.

It manages to give me some distance, and a slowly drag myself back to my feet. I am now standing there battered, bruised, one of my eyes hurts too bad to open, I am covered in blood, can barely breathe, I even think one of my arms is broken, and several of my ribs.

The two men now regroup themselves as the bare down on me. I slip out another magic stone releasing the [Fireball] within crashing into the man that is most injured, it manages to surprised them enough for me to bring my halberd around burying it into the man’s skull.

Adventurer 2: “Damn you bitch that was my brother!”

He swings his mace at me I am too weak to dodge, and can only muster enough energy using my halberd to block the blow. My halberd cracks a breaks, but still doesn’t manage to completely block the blow only deflect it.

The mace crashes into my right shoulder even with my armor I can hear bones pop and break. With no more energy left remaining in me, and no weapon I fall to my knees.

“I’m sorry Two-Twelve, I wasn’t good enough.”

Adventurer 2: “What did you say bitch?!”

He grabs my hair pulling my head back. Tears well up in the one eye I can still see out of as he then brings his fist down into my cheek causing my to hit the floor.

I can’t keep my eye open any longer as I hear something from across the room.

Voice: “What the hell is going on here?”

Adventurer 2: “This crazy bitch killed my brother, and our party leader!”

Softer voice: “Wait that’s the princess!”

Adventurer 2: “What are you talking about?”

Voice: “Step away from her!”

Adventurer 2: “Are you guys crazy too? I said she killed my brother and our leader.”

I hear the clashing of battle but lose conciseness. When I open my eye up again I see the face of one of the adventurers from the group from Gowen I met as I was coming into town.

Softer voice: “She’s still alive, quick do something!”

Voice: “I don’t…”

I fight trying to get out the words. “…Y…Bag..H..al.ing.. otion..

Softer voice: “Where is her bag?”

Voice: “Is this it?”

Softer voice: “Quick check it for a healing potion.”

I feel as the liquid enters my throat, it begins to burn, but the fog in my head starts to clear.

Softer voice: “Any sign of any party members, or her golems?”

Voice: “There are some piles of rocks over here that look like the used to be golems.”

“They are gone…”

Softer voice: “Any other party members?”

“No, just them.”

The burning sensation has stopped, I still hurt all over, and I still can’t open my other eye, but I can feel my strength beginning to return. I wince in pain but manage to sit myself up.

Softer voice: “No no, don’t move. The potion was only enough to stop you from bleeding to death.”

“I’ll be ok in a minute.”

I begin casting a healing spell on myself, but even after expelling all my remaining magic I am still in bad shape. I am however able to pull myself to my feet, and I look around. All three of the adventurers that attacked me are lying dead on the floor, along with #1, #2, and Tanya.

Voice: “Princess, are you sure you should be standing?”

“What time is it? We have to hurry. If we don’t make it out of here before midnight, the monsters will begin to respawn.”

Softer voice: “but you’re in no shape to be moving.”

“It’s ok, I will heal myself up as my magic comes back.”

The four adventurers from Gowen assist me as we head out of the dungeon. The softer voice belongs to Kara, and the other voice was that of the party leader Trenton. Styles, and Goby make up the remaining members of the group.

 

“I am sure lucky you guys came by when you did.”

Kara: “Not luck so much as fate…”

“What do you mean?”

Trenton: “We got stuck in a teleporting trap and ended up in the room rest next to you. What was lucky though was we managed to recognize you the other guy was saying all kinds of bad things about you.”

“I will have to ask him to thank her for me I guess.”

Kara: “What was that?”

“Oh nothing… The guy wasn’t exactly lying though, because I did kill the other members of his group. He just left out the detail they attacked first. They were short on magic stones to complete their commission so they decided they would take the ones from my golems.”

Kara: “That’s horrible they would do such a thing. Are you going to be able to replace them?”

“I don’t know but I will figure something out.”

By the time we reach the bottom few floors of the tower I have been able to heal myself to at least walk on my own, which allows us to pick up the pace, and we barely manage to make it out of the dungeon before midnight.

I visit with the group for a while before parting ways with them. I rest up the rest of the night, setting deciding I can’t do anything else in the dungeon I begin heading home. I wait till that evening before breaking the news to Two-Twelve I however leave out the details on how close it actually was.

Without the golems I manage to hitch a ride with a caravan heading to Kartova. Heading back into the kingdom I use my seal at the border so that the caravan can easily pass, to thank them for giving me a ride.

Once we reach the split in the road I wave farewell to the caravan then continue the rest of the way to Tobes on foot.

I reach Tobes late one evening, and once I reach the adventurer’s guild a small bunny eared child runs out the door she almost runs right into me but nimbly avoids me.

Two-Twelve: “Hold on Lilah.”

Two-Twelve steps out of the adventurer’s guild and our eyes meet.

Two-Twelve: “Oh, Belinda your back.”

When I see him tears begin to well up in my eyes. I didn’t tell him how close I came to losing my life in the dungeon, and I wasn’t planning on it. But when I looked into his eyes I am overcome with emotion, and quickly wrap my arms around him burying my face in his chest and begin to cry.

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