I wake up the next morning when I fall out of bed with a foot pushing against my face… Inari is stretched over three quarters of the bed with a large smile on her sleeping face, while Belinda seems content with her one quarter sleeping peacefully.
At most I will only have to deal with the 28 more days. I resolve myself then and there no matter what happens Inari cannot fail her evaluation at the end of the month. It is getting pretty close to day break so I decide to get ready, and then head downstairs to the kitchen.
I hear a bit of racket right before entering the kitchen and think to myself who else would be up this early in the morning. When I open the door I find Takeshi with a troubled look on his face when he sees me enter. He is cooking some breakfast, but once he spots me he quickly drops to a knee and bows his head.
Takeshi: “I apologize Master, I barely ate last night and was feeling quite hungry so I came to prepare some food without your consent.”
“That is quite alright… After all you are the only one in the house that actually needs to eat. Have you made any coffee yet?” –I say while walking over shaking the coffee carafe which is empty so I begin making some coffee.-
Takeshi: “I don’t understand.”
“We all usually share breakfast together in the morning, even though none of us are required to eat. It gives us all a chance to catch up one what happened the day before, and figure out the plans for the current day.”
Takeshi: “I see…” –He then stands resuming making his breakfast.- “So should I begin preparing some more?”
“I’m not sure… What exactly is that you are cooking?”
Takeshi: “I see you had quite a bit of food supplies, but assumed it was just for appearances as I couldn’t even find any rice. I did find some eggs so I made this.”
“What’s rice? And that is eggs?”
Zoey comes trampling though the kitchen sleepily wearing her disheveled pajamas with her hair a mess. “I smell breakfast.”
Takeshi seems quite embarrassed and shocked at Zoey’s appearance.
“Zoey, we have another guest, do you mind at least making yourself presentable before leaving your room?”
Zoey: “Yea yea… I heard the commotion last night.” –She then wraps her arm around Takeshi making him even more nervous as he has to keep forcing himself from looking down her half unbuttoned shirt.- “He is kinda cute for a guy though. Maybe we could borrow him for a few nights instead of Bo. Roxy might like to change things up a little.”
“I did summon him, but he isn’t bound to the dungeon. He is helping Inari with her training, and then he is free to do as he pleases, so don’t treat him like some new plaything…”
Zoey: “I thought he smelled a little funny…” –she then smiles at Takeshi then quietly says.- “Are you helping with all of her needs? You could bring her with and we could make it a party if you want.”
Zoey: “Alright!” –She finally let’s go of Takeshi and heads out of the kitchen, heading to what I hope is back to her room to get dressed.-
Takeshi is blushing quite a bit while he says. “Did she really mean what I think she did?”
“I think Zoey was just teasing you, but I will have Roxy talk with Zoey later to make sure…”
Takeshi: “Roxy is another one of your monsters?”
“One of my boss monsters, and Zoey’s wife, I will introduce you to everyone at breakfast…”
Takeshi: “Wait…That was a guy?”
“Who Zoey? Of course not.”
Takeshi: “But you said wife.”
“After everything we are, that is what you are getting hung up on? Nobody else has ever seemed to find it strange…”
Takeshi: “Things aren’t like that in Shima…”
“Now I don’t understand. I just summoned you yesterday, so how do you know how things are in Shima?”
Takeshi: “Didn’t you summon all of Inari’s things, me, and my things with Shima set as region?”
“Well Belinda thought up the Shima thing for Inari, I didn’t intentionally summon you with Shima set as region, but I guess since I was thinking about summoning you for Inari it could of happened. Your gear I did just so they would fit with Inari’s…”
Takeshi: “You should have had to manually set it, because even my class is a Shima class.”
“So the knowledge you were summoned with is that of what is normal in Shima then?”
Takeshi: “I know a little bit about the areas outside of Shima, but yes I was summoned with the knowledge which would be considered normal to someone from Shima.”
“That’s good to know. Maybe I should summon a monster from each region just so I can learn about them.”
The girls slowly begin making their way down for breakfast as I help Takeshi, showing him the kinds of things we usually have for breakfast, but he seems fond of some odd seasonings I haven’t used before. Scylla, Lilah, and Bell arrive in their pajamas as well.
Lilah is in about the same shape as Zoey was but she doesn’t seem to mind, Scylla’s pajamas of course are in such a way that even if she were to wear them into town she wouldn’t receive any odd looks. She does however head back to her room to change after I introduce her to Takeshi.
Bell however turned and practically ran from the room the moment she entered the dining room in her half buttoned up pajama shirt and shorts after seeing Takashi. By the time Belinda and Inari arrive everyone has returned in their normal clothes other than Lilah who is happily chewing on a piece of toast in her pajamas.
Inari is again in a new one of the robe like outfits this time ironically has a design with little foxes on it. When he sees Inari, Takeshi quickly prepares a breakfast much like the one he made for himself. Kneeling as he presents the breakfast to her.
It smelled kind of odd, and Inari has yet to eat anything yet so I thought it might have been a bad idea but after taking a bite she grabs her cheeks and smiles as she chews seeming to greatly enjoy it causing Takeshi to blush.
I guess even concerning food I am odd even amongst dungeon cores… I was sure by the way Madam Erin talked that no dungeon cores like human food but I guess I was wrong.
Once everyone settles into breakfast we begin to talk. After talking a while about Inari and her training I mention to Belinda about what I learned about Takeshi, she spends the rest of breakfast asking him questions about Shima.
Breakfast is finally over and after kissing Belinda has she heads out the door, Inari, Takeshi, Sofia, and myself head to the dungeon to resume Inari’s training. As we are preparing for their first battle Inari and Takeshi make several confident comments to one another so I decide to start the day out with a bang.
Takeshi takes his stance with seriousness and precision, but Inari is slacking a bit when she takes hers as I summon the 2 hobgoblin brutes and hobgoblin elder. They however quickly panic as another identical set appears a few seconds later charging into the fray with the last group.
I didn’t expect them to win, I just wanted Inari to focus a little more, but I might have pushed it a bit far. Takeshi tried to take a blow that would have proved fatal to him if it connected were I not on my toes and stopped the hobgoblin.
Inari: “Daddy that was too much! You’re mean!”
“You need to take this seriously! If this was a real battle Takeshi would have lost his life.”
Inari: “But it’s not our fault! It’s yours! You knew that group was too much for us!”
Takeshi: “I am sorry Miss Inari…” –He says as she heals his wounds while the hobgoblin stands there next to him just snarling, but making no other movements.-
“You actually did better than I expected there is only one of the brutes and one of the elders left. If you would have taken the battle as serious as Takeshi from the start he might not have ended up in that state.”
Inari: “See! You didn’t expect us to win from the start!” –She says as I back the two remaining hobgoblins moving to the end of the room.-
“You need to learn that not all battles can be won, you need to make plans for when you find yourself in a battle you can’t win. Besides, there are several options that were still available to you that you didn’t consider.”
Inari: “Like what!”
“You need to figure that out yourself. Now, do you need a rest or are you ready to go again?”
Inari: “Against a normal group or another one like that?”
Inari looks at me angrily but she then takes her stance along with Takeshi, this time she is putting all her effort into it. This time I summon 3 more of the hobgoblin brutes to go with the one still left, but not a second elder.
Without the second mage they still take quite a beating but they manage to finish off the group this time. As soon as the battle is over Inari tends to Takeshi’s wounds then tells him.
Inari: “If it ok if I get hit you know.”
Takeshi: “If you are hurt it means I have failed.”
Inari: “That is nonsense. I am not made of glass. You would have died during that first fight if Daddy didn’t stop that hobgoblin, but it would have been far from a fatal blow if it struck me..”
Takeshi: “But you already took enough damage from the mage’s spells.”
Inari: “But I wouldn’t have died! You would have! You can’t protect me at all if you die.”
Takeshi: “It would have been an honor to die protecting you Miss Inari… You could just summon another after I am gone.”
Inari: “We can’t just replace you!”
“She is right Takeshi. You might feel like giving up your life to protect her is honorable, but what about the xp used for your summoning? That xp is valuable to Inari’s training are you saying her xp isn’t worth enough to preserve and protect as well?”
Takeshi looks offended… “But…”
Inari: “That’s right if you die you are just throwing away my xp so you’re not allowed to die without my permission!”
“That isn’t quite what I meant, but learning what your teammates can handle and acting accordingly is what is going to keep her alive, not you just throwing yourself at the attacks directed towards her.”
Things continue to be awkward for a few more waves but by the 8th wave they are making quite a bit faster progress even with Inari taking more damage. Even still with having to take several breaks that now are beginning to get longer it isn’t till noon that she reaches level 9 after on the 10th wave.
“We spent quite a bit of time on breakfast this morning… I don’t know if we are going to manage to get you to level 10 today but we are going to push as long as we can with that being the plan.”
While Inari rests and checks her status page after leveling up I send Sofia to the house to collect something to eat as all the combat has left Takeshi pretty drained, and his stomach has been making quite a bit of racket for the last hour or so.
The continued use of the hobgoblin brutes and hobgoblin elders has unlocked the hobgoblin hero but at double the cost of the hobgoblin brute I don’t think they are quite ready for it yet. After lunch I decide to switch gears and summon 4 of the small weak earth golems.
Inari and Takeshi make short work of the golems they appear to be no stronger than the normal hobgoblins. Before my discount they cost more xp then a hobgoblin elder, but I guess since they don’t use equipment there cost is a bit higher.
After having Inari check her xp gain though it appears they still get the xp of the non-discounted price, and with not getting xp off of what the equipment the other monsters were using the golems seem to be quite a bit more effective for leveling up quickly.
Since they had no problem with the little golems I decide to switch out 4 little ones for 1 large one for the next battle, and giving the fact of having to only worry about one monster they actually perform better against it did then they did the 4 little ones. I continue to use a single golem however until after they deal with 4 more waves and Inari has to rest.
When we resume again I increase the size to 2 golems, and by the next time Inari has to rest she has hit level 10. By Takeshi’s adventurer ID it says he has gained a level as well.
“The golems made a heck of a difference. You made a lot better progress with them. I think if we continue with them for the rest of the afternoon you will be close to 11 before we will have to call it a day.”
There isn’t much room on the platform for more than two golems so I will have to leave the attack the same size but maybe I will summon another two as soon as they drop the first two to keep them on their toes.
My plan however is forgotten as Sofia and I are both left shocked when I summon two golems. Inari now summons 12 of the floating balls each glowing so much that they appear as 12 balls of colored flame. 6 of the balls impact one of the golems so hard that it literally knocks it off of its feet.
The other six pelt the other not quite and are not quite as dramatic as the other 6 but the golem is just as dead. With only her first attack she killed two golems. Surely she can’t keep this up though. When I finally regain myself I quickly summon two more. Then two more…
After that one however Inari looks worn out and she quickly calls out. “Hold on Daddy…” She then collapses onto her butt on the floor and Takeshi runs to her side.
Takeshi: “Miss Inari!”
Inari: “I am ok. I just need to rest for a bit.”
During their breaks Inari has been continuing the conversation that Belinda started this morning by asking Takashi about Shima. After Inari catches her breath they start it up again meanwhile Sofia looks to me and talks to me where they can’t hear.
Sofia: “Shouldn’t we back off of her training now?”
“What do you mean?”
Sofia: “She killed 6 golems without giving them even a chance to attack… If she keeps up this growth I am worried about our safety. After seeing the strength of them balls I don’t think I could even withstand them if she hit me with an entire volley.”
“I admit her progress is going quite better then I hoped, but I wanted to get her to level 20 by the end of the month. With how much harder it becomes between levels though I am afraid we will run out of her xp before then.”
Sofia: “20? You want her twice as strong as this!? What if she decided to attack you? I am sure at that level none of us will even hold a candle to her…”
“Each one of them balls look to be stronger than the spells I can cast, and she can cast 12 at a time. I am pretty sure we are already at that point.”
Sofia: “Then why are you keep pushing for more?”
“If I don’t get it my all I can’t say I did a good job training her…”
Sofia: “You were getting on to Takashi earlier, but this is pretty much the exact same thing. You are just asking for trouble.”
“There are already plenty of dungeon cores and even humans out there that if they wanted to could easily wipe us out. Training her to the best of my ability might be the thing that turns her into an ally in the future rather than just another dungeon core that is stronger than me.”
Sofia: “But you aren’t even getting anything out of this.”
“That isn’t true I already learned how to summon a few new monsters and items. Besides I also have a bet with Madam Erin and when I win it I am sure the reward from her will be quite beneficial as well.”
“Alright Inari, are you ready yet?”
Inari: “I am sorry Daddy… I am still pretty drained.”
“Well while your magic is returning why don’t we throw some monsters a bit easier at you and you practice with only your staff?”
Inari: “You promise it will be easier?”
“We will do some of the little golems, maybe start out with 2.”
Inari: “Ok I think I can do that…”
For the rest of the evening we two do sets of the small golems then one set of the large golems. But after doing that three times it is starting to get pretty late. Inari didn’t hit level 11 but she is getting pretty close.
I didn’t see Dyson checking up on us today even though I seem him looking in on some of the others. I didn’t look close enough to find out who was who, but I can tell Inari has no competition among any of the cores much less the ones the old elders train using their outdated rules.
Dyson has already been questioning me about Inari’s training I wonder how long it will be before his curiosity gets the best of him. Just taking my word for it has been enough for him but I am sure sooner or later that won’t be enough.
We quit Inari’s training early enough today just to catch the last bit of dinner before everyone headed out retiring for the day. For not having to eat we sure spend a lot of time in this room. Other than our bedrooms it is just about the only other room we do use unless throwing a party.
After we finishing dinner while Belinda is cleaning up I pull Inari to the side out in the hallway.
“I honestly don’t care what you do tonight as long as you stay out of my room. If you do choose to do anything that would upset Belinda, you better not let anyone find out about it.”
Inari has a devious smile on her face as she says. “I promised Daddy. Cross my heart.”
I set [Menu] to track Inari’s and Takeshi’s movements just so they don’t cause problems for the dungeon, but more than that I don’t care. I then return to Belinda and help her finish clean up.
After heading to our rooms Belinda and I finally get our time alone. We even get to share a warm relaxing bath. Shortly after retiring to our rooms is seems Inari practically dragged Takashi back to her room, but they haven’t left her room so I don’t care.
I was so happy about getting to have my time with Belinda by the next morning I am starting to regret my decision. I need to at least make sure Inari didn’t make Takeshi do something he didn’t want to, because with how I set up [Menu] I can’t actually see them but from the details I can make out he appears to be huddled in one of the corners of her room while Inari is sprawled across the bed.
After getting ready I give Belinda a kiss on the cheek and tell her I am heading downstairs to start breakfast. She slowly opens her eyes and smiles at me which makes me want to change my mind, but after reaching up and giving me a kiss she lays down pulling the blanket over her head which gives me enough resolve to leave the room.
When I head downstairs I find Takeshi trying to sneak out of Inari’s room, for some reason he even has is sword with him. He sees me and quickly begins to panic.
“I am heading down to go make breakfast. Since you are up, do you want to give me some help?”
Takeshi looks confused and doesn’t seem to know what to do. He quickly puts his sword up in his own room then joins me as I head to the kitchen. Even after starting the coffee and beginning to make breakfast he helps out, but doesn’t say thing wearing a guilty look on his face.
“You alright? You know just between you and me I told Inari it was alright last night, so you don’t have to worry about it. Unless she did something you didn’t want to do.”
Takeshi: “Oh I see…But I promise I would never take advantage of your daughter.”
“I was sure it would have been the other way around.”
Takeshi: “On my honor I promise I would never… I even put my foot down when she tried to insist I help her bathe. After that she eventually gave up and went to sleep.”
“I see… If that is all that happened is it really such a big deal to get all worked up about?”
Takeshi: “If that is all? Staying in Miss Inari’s room I wouldn’t even be surprised for you to ask for my head!”
“You do realize that Inari isn’t really Belinda and my daughter right?”
“Inari isn’t my daughter. I thought monsters that were summoned knew all about dungeon cores, they can’t have children.”
Takeshi: “But Miss Inari said it was because your unusual core that it was possible… She even shares your unique lack of element. Even being summoned in your dungeon something like that surely wouldn’t carry over…”
“I assure you, she was just born the day before you were summoned on the day the new cores are born… I don’t know how she ended up without an element like I did, even if she is a divine beastkin she is still a beastkin, and neither Belinda or I are beastkin so how would that be possible?”
Takeshi: “Then why does she insist you are both her parents, even going as far to lie to me about it?”
“I have been trying to figure that out since she has been born… If I could figure it out maybe I wouldn’t be so cautious of her.”
Takeshi moves over to a chair in the dining room and collapses in it with a look on his face like his entire life is a lie.
Takeshi: “How can she train like an adventurer then, and why doesn’t she have a training dungeon then? I mean everything about how her [Menu] and things like that all seemed to make sense if she was your daughter and not a normal core…”
Takeshi listens as I tell him about what Dyson did regarding the training this year, and my plan for training Inari, he has the ultimate command so I don’t hold nothing back. Takeshi seems to take the information kind of hard for some reason.
The girls begin to arrive for breakfast so the conversation is dropped among the other conversations that begin to pop up. That is until Inari arrives, and Takeshi quickly stands his chair sliding across the floor.
Takeshi: “You lied to me!”
Inari just entering the room looks surprised and confused at Takeshi’s sudden action and outburst. The rest of the room suddenly grows quiet.
Takeshi: “You’re just a normal dungeon core! How could you lie to me and tell me you were Master’s daughter.”
Inari now looks offended. “I never lied to you! I am dungeon core #245, but Daddy and Mommy are still Daddy and Mommy!”
Belinda walks in at the yelling looking confused. Inari sees her and runs to her wrapping her arms around her and begins to cry.
Belinda: “What’s going on…?”
Inari: “Takeshi was being mean to me, even after I shared my bed with him last night!
Belinda: “Wait what!?”
Takeshi looks taken aback and quickly shifts gear. “Miss Belinda I assure you nothing happened!”
Inari: “But you told me to take off my Kimono!”
Takeshi: “To change into your night clothes! I even tried to leave the room but you wouldn’t let me!”
Inari: “Then you snuggled up to me on my bed!”
Takeshi: “You made me! You said you always sleep with Master and Miss Belinda and couldn’t go to sleep alone!”
Inari: “He said he would be gentle and then started scratching me behind the ears and rubbing my back…”
Takeshi: “Again at your request! You said Master did that to help you fall asleep!”
Inari begins to sniffle. “He even had his sword, I was afraid to tell him no…”
Takeshi: “I am supposed to protect you! Of course I had my sword!”
The rest of the room is captivated by the conversation their heads snapping back and forth with each exchange.
Belinda: “Two-Twelve! Are you going to just stand there after what this brute did to our daughter?!”
Belinda then leads Inari from the room while talking quietly to her. After of a few minutes of just speechlessness I receive a message from Belinda:
Belinda: “She said nothing happened after that, but I don’t care! He has to go, and I don’t want him anywhere near our daughter!”
I move over and collapse in a chair. “What just happened…?”
The next one to say something is Zoey. “Woooo someone’s in trouble!”
Takeshi: “I promise Master it wasn’t like that!”
“I believe you… This is getting out of hand though we are going to have to do something about Belinda.”
Takeshi: “What about Miss Inari’s training?”
“Well this is all her doing, if she isn’t going to take her training seriously there isn’t much I can do about it. Sofia do you think you can handle her training till I can talk with Belinda?”
Sofia: “I guess… But what do you want me to do?”
“Just keep doing like I was last night, she should have a lot of difficulty with it without Takeshi’s help. Don’t let her die, but make sure she gets the point.
Takeshi: “What do you want me to do then?”
“For now we will just have you hide out in your room till we get this all figured out…”
I head out of the room I find Belinda and Inari in Belinda and my bedroom. Inari doesn’t look upset at all now laughing while talking to Belinda. When she sees me Inari runs over to me hugging me.
Inari: “Daddy! Did you make the bad man go away?”
“He is taken care of, but I need to talk to mommy… So why don’t you go back downstairs with Sofia and she will start your training for today.”
Inari: “But Daddy… I need a new body guard now.”
“I am sorry but we will have to make due for now, now run along Sofia is waiting for you.”
I am not quite sure what Inari’s intention was with all this, but it has seemed to come crashing down around her as she has a troubled expression and seems to be thinking awfully hard. I scoot her out the door then shut it.
Inari doesn’t sound like she leaves from in front the door, but after a good 10 seconds or so I then hear her walk off heading back downstairs, I confirm it with the screen I still had open from earlier.
Belinda: “I think you should be with Inari to make sure she is ok.”
“She will be fine Sofia is going to look after her. I have to ask though, what is the deal with you and Inari? When it wasn’t being too much of a problem I was letting it go, but that back there…What was that?”
Belinda: “What do you mean?”
“Ever since Inari has been born you have been acting quite strange. It is almost like you are starting to believe her about being her mother.”
Belinda: “What are you talking about? Of course I am her mother!”
“She is a dungeon core, she doesn’t have a mother any more than I do.”
Belinda: “I might have not given birth to her, but she was born from your dungeon. She even has taken traits from you like a child would. Does it really matter as long as she wants to be our daughter?”
“I am not really sure what she wants…But is clear she is trying to manipulate your emotions about it.”
Belinda: “Inari wouldn’t do that!”
“That is exactly what I mean! What about after the month is over and she gets her own dungeon?”
Belinda: “She could place her dungeon nearby, and we could stay together.”
“I hope that doesn’t happen… She is already strong enough to pose a danger to our dungeon, if she gets mad at us like she did with Takeshi and tried to wipe us out. In a few short months’ time we probably would be unable to do anything about it.”
Belinda: “After what he did to her can you blame her for being upset?”
“I don’t know what happened, but what I do know is honor is everything to Takashi do you really think someone like that would do something like Inari was suggesting?”
Belinda: “Maybe you just don’t know him like you think you do.”
“Inari was the one that started it all, she was the one that led Takashi into her bedroom, and I am sure she had far more plans for him then what happened.”
Belinda: “How could you possibly know that?”
“Like I said she is capable of causing great harm to our dungeon, do you think I would let her walk around it freely without knowing what she is up to and when?”
Belinda: “Then it has got to be all some kind of misunderstanding.”
“If it is it is one she purposely orchestrated, I don’t know what her plan is yet, but I would feel a lot more comfortable if you keep a bit of distance from her till she is done with her training.”
Belinda: “You’re being unreasonable!”
“I have never used a ultimate command on any of you girls and I never want to, but if it comes to having to use one to keep any of you safe from harm I promise I won’t hesitate to do it.”
Belinda: “You wouldn’t…”
“Please… Just trust me, and distance yourself from the situation a bit and look at it from the outside. I need to go see how the training is going.”
I try to kiss Belinda but she turns her head so I kiss her cheek then transfer to the dungeon.”