Chapter 29: Happy Birthday…

As I sit in the dungeon alone I realize that when the girls arrived earlier I didn’t receive the message about their xp, and when I check I notice the xp is the same as before they arrived, I wonder if it is because Belinda was the leader, and she had to personally enter the before I receive it.

If that is the case I wonder what happens if the leader of the group falls in battle? Then again I guess if you lose the leader, someone else has to take their place, so it would then fall to them. Since they are down in Tobes I am able to bring up their status windows.

Belinda told me that the girls had full status screens so looking over them I see they made pretty good progress during the trip. They did more in that month then some of the adventurers that have come to Tobes have managed to do in an entire year.

I heard it was very expensive to do commissions in The Tower of the Gods, and they entered the dungeon every single day, most of the adventurers in Tobes only enter once, and the ones that do make repeat visits, still only come once a week tops.

Although now that the commission for the C-rank adventurer’s guiding the D-rank groups are becoming common some of the C-rankers are now making a few visits a week. After looking over the girl’s status screens I close them and bring up Bo and Ike’s screens.

They only managed to reach level 10 while the others are over level 12, I then notice a symbol next to their level that I have seen before… 10 must be the max level for feral beastkin… After closing the guys status screens I notice something on [Menu] I haven’t seen before. When I touch it brining it forward I receive a message.

Observation mode selected, choose a dungeon. Due to the nature of observation set by the Dungeon Core Elders, available options are limited to Dungeon Core #1 [Meric], Dungeon Core #3 [Adair], Dungeon Core #12 [Phobos], Dungeon Core #105 [Laura], Dungeon Core #307 [Queen], and Dungeon Core #400 [Dyson]

Oh, it’s for the elder selection. It’s still the first day they shouldn’t even get started till tomorrow, so I will just let it be for today. It looks like the new cores have all received name already though. I am rather surprised in Dyson’s behavior he seems to be treating this core a lot different than in the past.

I decide to close [Menu], and wait till I receive word from the girls.

Belinda’s POV

After finding out Two-Twelve was going to be here for his birthday I figured I had to do something, so after we finished with our bath I told the girls to keep him busy for the afternoon while I prepare the adventurer’s guild to host his party.

When I reached the guild and told them I was closing it down for the day some of the adventurers seemed a little upset, but when I told them I am throwing a party this evening, and if they come back then they could have free drinks, they quickly left out.

The advantage of paying all the employees out of my own pocket means I am able to keep them around to help me set up for the party. It doesn’t take us long to set up the adventurer’s guild, and I send the receptionists out to invite some of the locals and such.

After a while Lilah and Scylla enter the guild, followed by Zoey carrying a large keg of alcohol.

“Whats that for? We should have plenty here already.”

Scylla: “Apparently while we were gone master found a new favorite drink, and made some “Friends”, so when Zoey let it slip about the party, he sent us to invite them and pick that up.”

“Well I am glad he is finally making some friends among the villagers, I guess just set it down over there Zoey.”

Zoey: “Oh I am not too sure about that once you meet them…” –She then sets the barrel down behind the counter.”

“Were did you get that at anyway?”

Zoey awkwardly rubs the back of her head while looking at the other two, Scylla adverts her gaze as well.

Lilah: “Zoey, got it at Denova’s place…”

Zoey: “Hey traitor, I was just doing what I was told.”

“Well… He did tell me he was talking to a dungeon monster from where Lilah came from that works there, and I guess Denova does carry better quality alcohol, so I guess I can understand. Denova didn’t manage to catch on what we are planning right? I figured since it was so last minute I would be able to keep it under her radar…”

Zoey: “Well about that…”

All three of them then advert their gazes even Lilah isn’t willing to answer…

“That’s why you said “friends”… How many are coming?”

Scylla: “Just Denova and one of the girls is what he said.”

Zoey: “Well Denova and 2 of the girls… I was able to get the booze at almost cost though!”

“… Well that’s not too bad… Maybe I can get a few of the adventurers to keep them busy…”

The pace of setting up the party seems to slow down greatly after that but we still manage to get it finished a few hours before sundown. When the guests begin to arrive I send a message to Two-Twelve telling him we are ready.

Two-Twelve POV

I head down to Tobes once I receive Belinda’s message, and find the adventurer’s guild rather full of people… When I enter the door everyone begins cheering and calling out making me feel rather uncomfortable…

Belinda quickly comes over to me grabbing my arm and dragging me to a table. After I sit down most of the adventurers go about their business, chatting and drinking with people at their own tables. A few however head over to our table shaking my hand wishing me a happy birthday.

Once the Mayor shakes my hand he asks me. “You have become quite a big part of Tobes lately, everyone still wonders why you choose to live up all hidden in the forest though, I am sure by know you are safe enough that moving down here would be better, have you considered it?”

“I have actually given it some thought, and we will have to see what happens in the next few months.”

Belinda looks at me curiously then when the Mayor leaves she whispers to me. “What do you mean? Are you seriously thinking of moving out of the dungeon down here to Tobes?”

“Of course not, but you might want to start looking for us a place to build a reasonable size house on. If we could link it to the dungeon we could travel back and forth and people would be a lot less suspicious of us.”

Belinda: “Link it? How do you plan to do that?”

“I am going to have to try a few things out before I know if it will work or not, but try to find a place to build it on a heavily populated part of town just in case.”

Belinda then turns to Lilah and whispers in her ear but she just shrugs her shoulders. When Denova enters the guild while wearing her sly smile Belinda’s cheery attitude almost instantly ices over.

Even more so when Cassandra and for some reason the beastkin with the scar enters behind her both wearing matching outfits like the one Cassandra was wearing when I first met her. Cassandra said they are there “Advertisement” clothes.

Several of the male adventurers nudge each other, turn, stare, and then talk amongst each other. Denova struts up to our table with the other two following behind her.

Denova: “Heard it’s you birthday today, I would offer you a gift, but I don’t think your princess there would appreciate it much.”

“That’s fine, I don’t expect any gifts from anyone, besides you would probably charge me double, and still call it a discount.”

She laughs while turning an empty chair at the table around then sitting on it leaning forward on the back of the chair. “I am not sure what you mean. I would never over charge a client.”

“Fortunately for you I never have been a client.”

She looks over to Belinda then back at me then says. “Yea sure ok… But you have been stopping by pretty regularly for a drink lately, and you didn’t seem displeased with the “service” you got then.”

“Only because I didn’t know you were overcharging me for it.”

Denova: “Things only have value if people are willing to pay for it, if you were willing to pay that price how can you say I was overcharging?”

“Fair enough, but let’s just say in the future I won’t be willing to pay as much as I was.”

Denova: “So you do still intend to make future visits?” –She then slyly smiles at Belinda.- “How does your princess feel about that?”

Belinda then snaps and quickly states. “I trust Two-Twelve, he wouldn’t do any anything to break that trust, so if he is going to your bar, I trust him that’s where it says.”

Denova: “Oh to be young again…”

Belinda: “You are barely a few years older than me… We are trying to have a good time here, so can’t you go ruin someone else’s night?”

Denova: “Fine, fine.” –She then gets up and begins to walk to the other side of the room, Cassandra and the other beastkin following her.-

“Denova, you mind if I have a word with Cassandra, I would like to introduce her to Belinda.”

Denova: “Can’t say I have heard that one before, but sure go ahead.”

Denova then looks to Cassandra then walks over to one of the other tables filled with adventurer’s, and begins to talk to them leaving Cassandra standing by the table.

“Come sit, have a drink with us, and I wanted you guys to get to know each other.”

Cassandra seems rather nervous as she sits at the table, I don’t recall ever seeing her nervous before. Belinda likewise looks uncomfortable. Lilah seems to not care one way or another, but even Zoey, and Scylla seem to be awkwardly looking around the room.

Belinda is the first to speak although it sounds rather awkward when she does.

Belinda: “Hi, I am Belinda… Two-Twelve told me quite a bit about you.”

Cassandra: “I’m Cassandra, and likewise… I’m the one that’s been keeping him company… I’m sorry… This is just strange.”

“I don’t understand.”

Belinda: “I quite agree…”

The situation is starting to get rather tense… Zoey quickly grabs Belinda and my mugs.

Zoey: “Welp I am going to go fill these, boss…” –She quickly leaves the table.-

Scylla: “And… I’ll go get a drink for Miss Cassandra…” –She quickly escapes as well.-

Cassandra closes her eyes for a second and takes a deep breath slowly letting it out then says.

Cassandra: “I know you didn’t mean in harm in it, but you don’t bring a prostitute over to meet your girlfriend… Not that he has ever… I have just been teaching… You know what I’m just be excusing myself now… Happy birthday…”

Cassandra then quickly leaves…

“I don’t understand, I wanted you guys to get to know each other, she said you would be thanking her for the things she was teaching me.”

Belinda: “What has she been teaching you?”

Zoey quickly slams some drinks down in front of us, saying. “Who needs a drink!”

Belinda: “Wait, what has she been teaching you?”

When I start to talk Zoey cuts it. “It’s a party! Party! Drink!” she then shoves the mug up to my mouth making me drink.

Zoey: “We are here for boss tonight, and everything else can wait till later…”

Belinda seems upset but takes a large drink from her mug. After Zoey gives a thumb up to Scylla she then returns to the table. The party then progresses on Belinda doesn’t talk much, and Zoey keeps filling Belinda and my mugs…

Zoey and Scylla spend the rest of the evening telling me tales of their grand journey into Madam Erin’s dungeon. By the time I wake up the next morning I don’t even remember how I made it home, although my head doesn’t hurt, and a feel rested…

When I sit up in my bed Lilah is already in the chair in the core room staring at the screens. When I look at the time it’s already mid-morning…

Lilah: “Oh, master you’re finally awake? Master got really sick on the way home last night so Scylla healed master, is master feeling better now?”

“Yea, I am actually feeling fine… Is Belinda already gone?”

Lilah: “Belinda left first thing this morning she looks like she is still really mad at master.”

…what did I do…? I then notice a lingering message I received.

Monsters have returned from battle.

Battle Results:

Monster Belinda (Boss) has gained a level

Monster Scylla has gained 11 levels

Monster Zoey has gained 11 levels

Monster Bo has reached max level

Monster Ike has reached max level

Feral beastkin can now be summoned at any level up to max for additional xp cost. Feral beastkin are capable of being summoned as sentient, as such a sentient feral beastkin only can be summoned at up to level 10.

Acquired:  2 Emeraldline adventuer’s guild tokens, 10 tiny magic stones, 3 small magic stones, 2 healing potions.

Loses: None

5660 xp gained from external source. 566xp bonus for Belinda (Boss) participation, 480xp bonus for xp acquired in another dungeon, 56xp bonus for battle lasting more than 1 week, 566xp bonus for battle lasting more then 1 month, -283 xp for attacking neutral dungeon.

7,045 xp total rewarded

All that extra time and they only managed that much xp… Well I did tell them to take it easy, and all of them but Belinda was basically just as strong as a level 1 adventurer. I guess I should just be grateful they all made it back.

It is still pretty early but I guess I should check on Maric, Laura, and Dyson. I open up my new screen and start with Maric and Adair. When I bring up their screens it shows a massive battle taking place…

There seems to be over 100 goblins spread out amongst 4 small plain stone rooms, with traps going off, goblins dying left and right, I can’t even tell who belongs to whom… I quickly grab Dungeon Core Information off the desk and open it to Adair’s page, it shows he has close to 40 monsters but it is slowing dropping every few seconds, but with the amount of goblins I see dying it looks like he might be winning.

I quickly change screens to look in on Laura and Phobos, flipping my book to Phobos’s page.

The battle taking place in Phobos’s dungeon is not any less intense although the numbers are drastically different, instead of hordes of goblins there are two groups of crimson brutes fighting in the second of three rooms. By the look of it there was one group in the first room as well but they are all dead. Phobos still has 8 monsters to his dungeon.

Crimson kobolds on the first day, over 50 goblins, Maric and Laura are not messing around… If things keep up like this there isn’t any way the trainees will be able to last more than a few days though. I decide to look in on Dyson and Queen.

When the screen pops up I manage to catch what looks like the last few seconds of battle in Queen’s dungeon as she is the sole person standing in her dungeon while trying to fight off 5 human men.

Queen is battered and bruised her dungeon is littered with bodies of beastkin and humans. About time one of the humans starts to bring his blade down which would surely be a fatal blow to Queen, he stops. Then again human cracks his mace against her crystal resetting the training dungeon.

Dyson: “Three time! You would have died Three times already. You have 20 minutes to prepare then we go again.”

Queen: “But I am almost out of xp! If I use it all in the next battle I won’t make it the month!”

Dyson: “Then you better win the next battle and push back into my dungeon to gather more xp, and remember once you set foot in my dungeon they will no longer stay their blades if you want to live you better toughen up.”

… Day one and she is out of xp… I watch her as she casts a spell healing her wounds then she quickly summons a couple dozens of beastkin of varies sub-species. After she orders them they each grab weapons and armor that are littered about on the floor. I then look at my book to see she only has 7xp remaining…

I switch back to Maric and Adair, to see Adair has now joined his battle as well, he is throwing [Fireball] spells at the goblins as the numbers have now dropped to below 20. Flipping my book back to his page I see only 5 are his.

I finish watching his battle as he barely scrapes by only having 1 goblin left, and it looks in pretty bad shape, he himself looks like he took quite a bit of damage in the fight.

Maric: “Good work, but if you want to make it through the month you better start building your xp back up.”

Adair: “Yes sir! I will not let you down!”

I switch back to Laura and Phobos to see their battle has already concluded as well, Phobos seems to have one as well he still looks to have 4 or 5 crimson kobolds remaining. He is currently in the process of setting his dungeon back up.

I open up [Communication] to talk to the other judges and find a tab labeled as such. When I open it up it has a screen showing all five us. I guess the elders set this up so we could all keep in touch together.

“Are you all seeing these battles?”

Simon: “You all? Yes I was watching. I think they are pushing them to hard, there is no way the new cores are going to go on another day, more or less a full month.”

Bless: “How did you do that?”

Simon: “What’s going on?”

Greaks: “It sssseemsss Two-Twelve issss full of ssssurprisesss.”

Bella: “Interesting how did you manage to connect a single message to all of us?”

“It was under the [Communication] when I opened it up, I guess the elders set it up, so we could talk as a group without having to wait till the end of the week.”

Bella: “I see, but about the battles. I agree with Simon.”

Bless: “I have been watching Dyson since we returned yesterday, this is already their 5th battle, after the girl managed to win the first two, Dyson doubled down on the humans he sent after her. She hasn’t won a battle since I don’t think she even has any xp left after refilling the dungeon this time…”

Simon: “I figured Dyson to be brutal on the training cores, but I didn’t expect Maric and Laura to be the same.”

“Laura’s trainee looks to be holding his own, but using crimson kobold from day one is going to put him in a critical point quick. I have no idea how the other two are going to manage.”

Greaks: “It’ssssss going to lead to an interesssssting month that is for sssssure.”

“Instead of randomly switching back and forth, do we want to designate who watches who and when, that way we make sure we don’t miss anything?”

Bless: “I don’t care what you guys do I am watching Dyson, I can go 12 days without sleep, I am not going to miss anything.”

“Ok, then Bless watches Dyson.”

Greaks: “I will keep an eye on Maric.”

Simon: “I am rather busy, because somebodies boss monster has a brother that has decided he is going to send an entire army in my dungeon.”

“I have no control over that…”

Bella: “I will watch Laura then, I am sure Two-Twelve has to pay close attention to his dungeon as well, it can’t be very big after only one year.”

“Simon and I can alternate who we watch, and fill in if anyone needs it.”

Greaks: “Workssss for me.”

I then send a message directly to Simon.

“I think we need to keep a close eye on Bless, I am not sure she will report all the facts on Dyson and Queen.”

Simon: “If you check up on her I will keep a close eye on Bella, I hear she has an old grudge against Laura.”

“Ok. How are you holding up with Logan pushing in your dungeon?”

Simon: “Logan is that the Gowen boy? They have been at it few a few weeks now. They have pushed further than anyone has before, but that are still a long way from putting me in danger. They are also providing quite a bit of xp as they are not leaving,”

“Ok, I don’t know if we can do anything Belinda already tried to talk him out of attacking, but if you need anything we will see what we can do.”

Simon: “You sure have a different attitude then most cores I have met before…I might have been wrong about you.”

“I think that was meant to be a compliment, so thanks…”

I then close [Communication] and bring back the screen and have it show Dyson and Queen. It looks like as Dyson said another battle is in progress now, they are only in the first room, but Queen is right down in the middle of battle along with her beastkin attacking the human invaders.

Once Queen suffers major damage she retreats to the second room leaving the beastkin to the humans. She slowly begins healing her wounds while the humans then gain the upper hand in the first room. By the time she has nearly all of her wounds healed the humans enter the second room.

She barrels into the middle of them swinging around a sword in each hand. This time she her and her beastkin manage to finish off the humans. She then begins to slow process of healing her wounds again.

Dyson: “Not bad finally getting the hang of it?”

Queeen: “What am I to do now? I only have 7 beastkin left, and no xp how am I going to go on the rest of the month?”

Dyson: “I guess you will have to go gather some then. Oh and by the way, you have 16 hours till the next attack on your dungeon.”

They sure a lot more hands on then Madam Erin was with me, though it could just they are putting forth more effort because of the elder spot… Dyson retreats to a room that looks similar to the throne room that Madam Erin had although this one is filled with human women all in varies stages of undress.

The women all fawn over Dyson as he walks though the room and once he turns sitting in the large throne room chair they all begin to fight over him clashing with one another trying to get close to him. Once one of the women pulls herself to the top of the pile getting close to his face Dyson reaches out a hand, grabs her hair, and roughly jerks her head back, he then buries his face into her neck causing her to call out excitedly.

The other women don’t stop pawing at him even after he begins to rip the clothes from the one woman’s body. Once the women begin to pull his clothes from him I decide to switch the screen back over to Queen.

Queen has managed to summon one more beastkin giving her a total of 8, and with them she leaves the entrance of her dungeon. She walks out the door and enters an alleyway of a run-down city full of dilapidated buildings.

Humans course through the streets, as they go about their business. When a fight breaks out in the middle of the street the humans only stop as they begin to bet and cheer. One of the humans draws a small dagger causing the crowd to cheering louder as many more golden coins change hands.

Once the man stabs the other with his dagger a couple of times the other man goes down. As the man lay dying in the street the crowd begins to dissipate and walk away… Queen looks on in horror as she and her beastkin try pushing through the crowd.

Man: “Watch it bitch if you know what’s good for ya.”

One of the men says as they bump into Queen. A well armored man that appears like a town guard then arrives he calls out asking if anyone saw anything, but the crowd all shakes their heads.

Guard:  “What about you miss, you see anything?” –He says to Queen.-

Queen: “There was a fight, another man pulled a dagger and stabbed him.”

Guard: “Well nothing to be done about it now.”

The guard grabs the dead guy’s arm dragging him off the street. Once the guard is gone a guy shoves one of Queen’s beastkin.

Angry man: “Aye the hell?! I am talking to you freak.” –The man shoves the beastkin again.-

Queen: “Whats going on?”

Angry man: “Is he yours? You better keep you dog on it leash, he stole my coin purse.”

Queen: “That’s not possible he doesn’t do anything without my say.”

Angry man: “What you calling me a liar?”

Queen: “I am telling you it couldn’t have been him. It must have been someone else.”

Angry man: “I am a liar and blind, is that what you are saying? Fine I will just take it back.”

The man pulls a sword from his hip, but when he does all 8 beastkin pull their weapons at the same time. The man quickly begins to panic, but with the danger present the beastkin attack swiftly killing the man.

Someone in the crowd calls out for a guard and several of the spectators steal the dead man’s sword and several other belongings before the same guard returns.

Guard: “Twice in five minutes? Now what happened?”

This time several people from the crowd chime in.

Crowd: “It was the beastkin!” “He didn’t do anything!” “The beastkin’s a thief!”

Queen: “That’s not what happened!”

Guard: “Well what do you say happened.”

Queen: “The man was accusing him of stealing from him, but that’s impossible because they can’t do anything without my permission, he then tried to attack, and they were forced to defend themselves.”

Crowd: “Liar!” “He was unarmed!”

Guard: “I don’t see any weapon here, what did he supposedly attack with?”

Queen: “They took it!”

Guard: “You say the beastkin is your slave? You’re all going to have to come with me.”

Queen: “That other man was murdered in broad daylight and nobody cared, we were defending ourselves, and we are to blame?”

Guard: “We are not going to have a problem are we?”

Once the guard begins to draw his weapon all hell breaks loose in the street. The beastkin draw their weapons and strike, causing the spectators to scream and run. As the spectators bump into each other as they try to run more fights begin to breakout in all directions.

Several more guards come running up with weapons drawn so before Queen can stop them the beastkin attack. Once everything starts to die down, there are bodies everywhere in the street, Queen managed to keep 3 of the beastkin alive but 5 died.

The bodies on the street have been stripped down to their underclothing by the spectators, some even stripped of that. Queen manages to retreat, taking refuge back inside her dungeon…I don’t know how many of the bodies left on the street were killed by Queen or her monsters, but after she calms down she looks like she got enough xp to summon a dozen more beastkin.

She then retreats to what looks like her core room, taking off her armor, she begins to heal her wounds with magic, I being to feel guilty about watching her as she stands there nude healing her wounds, so I turn my face away from the screen.

When she begins to move I look back to see her slide into her bed seemingly exhausted. I check on the others for a bit but nothing interesting seems to be happening. so I decide I will go check on Belinda. Maybe she has calmed down by now.

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