Chapter 64: Katie Finds Her Place

Breakfast is already half over by the time Belinda, Katie, and I arrive into the dining room. I introduce Katie to everyone, and we all finish breakfast together. I catch everyone up on the situation with Inari, and how Katie came to be here.

After we are finished with breakfast and everyone begins going about their normal tasks Katie asks me. “What would you like me to do Master?”

“That is actually a good question, I think Scylla and Bell can handle the office for at least one more day, while we go get you an adventurer’s ID, and show you around.”

Katie: “You are going to have me become an adventurer?”

“Well so far all my girls have joined the adventurer’s guild, it just kind of makes things easier in town, when they go train, and gather xp for the dungeon.”

Katie: “I see.”

I decide to take Katie to the adventurer’s guild first so Belinda, Sofia, me, and Katie head there together. It was dark when we arrived, so Katie wasn’t really able to see much of Tobes but now she is quite shocked.

Katie: “Wait… I was curious about the house, but are you saying you live in a real human house in a human town?”

“Of course, Belinda runs the adventurer’s guild here in Tobes, and I am the town’s mayor.”

Katie: “That’s how you got your name?”

“I haven’t quite figured that out yet, but yes after I became mayor that title was added to the blank spot in my name.”

Katie: “I heard everyone call you different things, so how do you want me to address you?”

“It doesn’t really matter, but most people just call me Two-Twelve.”

We make Katie’s ID as soon as we open up the adventurer’s guild so the receptionists haven’t even arrived yet making it a bit easier as she is already level 20. Like Sofia, Belinda is able to skip D rank allowing Katie to be a C rank adventurer.

After saying our farewells to Belinda and Sofia, I give Katie the Tobes tour. When we make it to the blacksmith she seems rather disappointed.

Katie: “Is that all you have for a blacksmith?”

“Well my dungeon is still classified as the beginner dungeon so most adventurers are just starting out.”

Katie: “Can I have a look inside?”

“Well it’s a shop, and we are about done with the tour, so sure.”

Katie heads inside and to the confusion of the blacksmith Katie seems more and more distraught as she looks at the items on display.

Katie: “This is horrible!”

Smith: “Excuse me?”

Katie takes one steel sword dropping it on the counter. “The fire wasn’t hot enough when this was made.” She then quickly grabs a shield dropping it on the counter. “The fire was too hot when this was made.” She then takes a pot dropping it on the counter. “And don’t even get me started on this catastrophe…”

Smith: “Mister Mayor, who is this little woman…?”

“She is like the others… Belinda and I are giving her a hand.”

Katie: “Oh! What’s this? –She quickly grabs a small hand-axe. – “Is this your best work?”

Smith: “… Well it’s no different than the rest…”

Katie: “You can’t even tell the difference from this!” –She shakes the hand-axe. – “And these?” –Motioning to the other items she threw a fit over.-

Smith: “…”

Katie: “Just show me your forge…”

The smith looks at me questionably… But after I nod he hangs his head and we go to the back of the shop.

Katie: “Well that explains it! Is that what you are using to stoke your forge?” –She says grabbing a piece of lumber.-

Smith: “Well yea… I mean it’s cheap and easy to come by since we are in the middle of a forest…”

Katie: “Wood is far too inconsistent! It has to be coal! Look at the damage you have done to this forge with the fluctuating temperatures!” –She says rubbing her hands over the forge.-

Smith: “I don’t see anything…”

Katie looks like she is about to bust a blood vessel in her head as she begins a angered rant while me and the smith just look at each other… At some point she ends up sending the smith out of his own shop to go get her supplies…

After his is gone Katie looks at me with pleading eyes. “Master… We have to do something about this… It is just unacceptable…”

“Well, what do you have in mind?”

Katie: “You can summon golems right?”

“Just weak ones.”

Katie: “That doesn’t matter, I need their stone.”

“Well I have some in the dungeon inventory, how much do you need?”

Katie: “There is nothing salvageable about this forge. I will have to rebuild it from scratch, so enough to do that.”

“Well I don’t have that much, but is the forge really in that bad of shape? I mean it doesn’t look any different than when the building was built…”

Katie: “Well what do you know about forges?”

“…”

Katie: “That’s what I thought.”

“What if we just scrap it with [Menu] and summon a new one?”

Katie: “Wait… We are in your dungeon?”

“I have about a quarter of the town covered.”

Katie: “Then let’s make it 3 times this size. this building just isn’t going to work.”

“Well we can’t do that… The humans would definitely notice that…”

Katie: “Fine, just replace this one then.”

“Ok, go make sure the smith doesn’t return until I am done.”

Katie goes back up front of the building while I open [Menu] I hope I didn’t lie… I had so many lists of items added to the dungeon I am sure the forge was one of them, but I could have been wrong. Luckily when I search I find it.

After scrapping the forge it leaves a rather large hole in the side of the building. Luckily that side of the building is facing the forest, so I quickly select a new forge and summon it back in the same spot. Honestly it barely had a cost so it doesn’t matter, but I can’t tell a difference other than the fact it is clean.

“Alright Katie, it’s done.”

She quickly rushes back in the room. “Still not great, but at least now it isn’t falling apart.”

“I can’t tell a single difference…”

Katie: “Once the human gets back with the coal I will show you.”

It still takes another 20 minutes before the Smith returns. He notices the forge and goes and wipes his hand on it. It looks like he noticed it’s clean but not that it is a completely different forge… At least I am not the only one.

Katie: “Is this all the coal you could find?”

Smith: “It’s all there was…”

Katie: “Well it will have to do for now…”

Katie then sets setting up the forge. While the forge is heating up Katie picks though the smith’s supplies then she begins work… I don’t know how long we have been just watching her, but I can hear the smith’s stomach growl but he makes no attempts to move.

Where he seemed skeptical and disapproving when we first arrived he now is following Katie’s every movement like he is watching an artist paint a masterpiece. Being a dungeon core the only time I have ever broke a sweat was when the adventurer touched my dungeon core, but even being across the room the heat bellowing from the forge makes me think I might start…

Even with Katie being a dungeon monster she is sweating enough that her white undershirt has practically become see though. Even with her average appearance and none of her actions being erotic in nature for some reason it’s somewhat…Appealing…

When she finally finishes with what she is working on she is covered in soot, her long hair is sticking in weird ways to her sweaty body, and I think the smith is beginning to drool… I clear my throat and cast [Clean] on Katie till she returns to normal.

Even with all the time it took the resulting product was only a [Expert Quality Steel Sword], but by the look on the smith’s face you would think it was made of mythril or something…

Smith: “That is amazing…”

I feel that a quarter of the day just to make a [Expert Quality Steel Sword] isn’t really that great, but the material used would only cost 25xp, and to summon the sword like it is would have been 200xp so we might be able to put her to some use in the dungeon.

Katie: “Not really pressing my limits, but its definitely solid work for the materials I had to work with.”

Smith: “Do you think you could teach me to craft like that?”

Katie: “Well I am not going to let you tear up that forge again… If you really made that hand-axe up front, I think I could teach you a thing or two. That is if Master says its ok.”

The smith looks at me with large puppy dog eyes…

“Well, as long as you pay your rent the business is yours, if you want to hire an employee that is up to you. Just know Katie has some responsibilities to Belinda and me, so as long as it doesn’t interfere with that I think it would be a good idea.”

Smith: “I can’t afford to hire an employee, but in exchange for teaching me you can have the profits from the items you create.”

Katie: “Well I don’t really have any use for gold…”

“You do if you plan to continue to drink like you did last night…”

Katie: “I will take you up on the offer!”

Smith: “…”

“Well I have a bit more to show Katie, so she can start in the morning.”

Katie: “And don’t you dare put any more of that wood crap in that forge.”

I can’t really tell by his expression how the smith feels about Katie helping him, but it looks to be a mix of excitement and fear… I finish showing Katie around the last few buildings of Tobes, and then show her the dungeon.

“I know you just got a job in the blacksmith shop, but do you seemed to be enjoying the work, so do think you could make some equipment for the monsters in the dungeon as well to cut down xp costs?”

Katie: “Sure, I love to hit stuff with a hammer. I don’t care if it’s men, monsters, or metal. Just please don’t make me sleep in that wooden box…”

“Well the bedrooms are actually pretty nice…”

Katie: “But it’s wood, and soft… I can just sleep in the dungeon somewhere, or were I did last night.”

“You slept on the marble floor in the ballroom last night…”

Katie: “I know it was the best! Make me a bed out of solid marble and I will make you enough weapons and armor for your dungeon that even the slimes would be wearing full-plate!”

“Well we will have to make you another forge maybe in a hidden room in the dungeon because we can’t use the one in town… I guess I could put a bedroom there you could use, but are you sure you don’t want a room here at the house?”

Katie: “I’m a dwarf. Bury me in the ground with a forge and a stout beer, and I will be happy till the end of time.”

I go through [Menu] with Katie figuring out just what she will need which ends up taking the rest of the afternoon. I feel bad about putting it up at the dungeon, we have plenty of xp, and I was planning on doing it eventually anyway, so I add a floor to the secondary dungeon.

Connecting a stone spiral staircase to one of the doors under the stairs I add a few rooms to a basement under the house. Following Katie’s specs I build a rather sizeable forge, as an added bonus I connect it to the furnace upstairs, and now we can use the heat from the forge to help heat the house as well.

Katie’s bedroom looks like prison cell with no windows and dark drab stone walls. I add a bathroom for her down there mimicking what the others looks like, but Katie suggests the use of a type of metal called copper that apparently become available at some point while expanding the dungeon, to make the bathroom fixtures out of.

The hardest part ended up being getting the water fixed as I realized after adding the rooms under the house I had cut off the supply of water to the house. Katie again saved the day using more of that copper metal and we got it worked out.

Apparently dwarves use this copper metal for a lot of stuff… Katie said dwarves use it enough that some even call it lesser dwarven metal. She lets me make all the furniture in her room except for the bed out of wood, but since she likes it so much I add in some of the copper which seems to impress her.

The bed of course however is made of a large chunk of marble. Instead of just being a square block I did quite a bit of focusing to give it a rather intricate designs along the sides. After I am done I spent more xp then I am willing to admit, and more then I will tell Belinda about… I even dropped under the 5000xp mark for the first time since I made that ring for Dyson.

Katie and I are walking through it after it is complete and she says. “This is actually really impressive… You would make a great dwarf.”

“I am glad you like it, but I think I will stick to my warm soft bed upstairs.”

Katie: “I think I am starting to see what the girls where talking about when they said I would like it here. Oh and I might need to take a bit of the coal you summoned for my forge to the blacksmith if what he brought today really was all there is in town.”

“Well make sure he puts an order to the capital for it tomorrow, because buying things with gold is far easier then summoning it. Oh and I would suggest wearing a different shirt tomorrow…Or at least wear something under that one.”

Katie: “Aw how cute. Master is worried about my modesty.”

“Belinda and I have quite a good reputation in town, and I would like to keep it, so I would ask you try to act respectably among the humans.”

Katie: “You really do care what the humans think of you… Don’t you…?”

“Of course, a good relationship with the humans can only benefit our dungeon.”

Katie: “Madam Erin did say you were quite the odd one. Alright Master, I promise I will try to conduct myself in a way that is respectable…”

“I appreciate it, other than that, unless we need something, you are free to act on your own. Oh and I think Belinda would appreciate it if you show up for breakfast in the mornings as well, she seems to enjoy everyone being there.”

Katie: “…”

“As for the equipment for the dungeon, just whatever you can is good. Since we can use [Menu] to equip it on the monsters the size doesn’t matter so if you can save some materials by making it smaller that’s great, but I understand if making it smaller would make it a bit more difficult as well so I will leave it up to your discretion”

Katie quickly begins to fit in over the next few weeks. Her work at the blacksmith has brought in quite a bit of interest, especially when people began to find out she was a dwarf.  Her work in the basement has supplied the dungeon with some good gear as well.

I try to keep the upper floors with just the standard gear, but I have had Lilah work in some advanced gear every few groups causing a large commotion in town. Even after having the first snowfall it doesn’t seem the adventurer count is decreasing.

Madam Erin wouldn’t fill me in the details, but she managed to find a way to teleport Takeshi to Inari. It also allows us to send messages to her, but they still take around 24 hours to arrive so it still takes quite a bit of work.

Apparently things are very rough in Shima, but it has also given Inari a chance to gather xp in large quantities. She is doing far better than I was in the beginning and she seems happy, so that’s what is important I guess.

Once the winter solstice is a few weeks out, Belinda and I begin to prepare for Tobes second annual Winter Solstice Festival.

Belinda tried to get Logan to come for the festival, but he took a few weeks off to visit Queen in Leona, so he can’t make it, but he is going to let Kline come to spend time with Scylla. Maybe I can get enough xp from him to build a sizable reserve.

Queen seems to be doing quite well. She is starting to have adventurers enter her dungeon while maintaining the beastkin village. She seems excited because Jack has managed to get at least 4 of her beastkin pregnant, so she is hoping to be able to summon feral beastkin from at least one of them.

Word seems to have spread about the beastkin village of Leona as well, as she is starting to have stray beastkin wander in to live there giving her another flow of xp. With the protection of her dungeon by Gowen law, she looks like she is going to be in really good shape.

Sofia has begun taking an interest in Lilah’s work, so when Belinda doesn’t need her help we are letting Lilah show her the ropes, but she doesn’t seem to be taking to it like Lilah did. It has given Lilah a chance to socialize a bit.

Lilah managed to meet another girl around her age in town. She is keeping up quite a distance to her, but it has gotten her out of the core room a bit, so it is a good thing.

We had another particularly bad snowfall that causes the preparations for the festival to become much harder, and before we can get on track I receive a visitor. It is the woman that took me to Dyson’s dungeon the first time.

Speedy: “Dyson has requested your presence. He said you would be handsomely rewarded for your help and discretion.”

I hate to leave the girls when we are running so far behind on the preparation for the festival, but I could really use some of Dyson’s xp right about now.

Belinda kisses me. “Go… We’ve got this. Just promise me you won’t bring home a woman again.”

“I will do my best, but you know Dyson…”

Even though I am expecting it I still wince when Speedy grabs ahold of my wrist so tightly it fills my hand might pop off… And after two steps we are off… Crashing into the ground at the entrance of Dyson’s castle this has got to be my least favorite mode of transportation…

After entering the dungeon this time the beautiful woman that greets me is at least fully clothed, but it still makes me nervous as she leads me through the halls. She leads me to the same gem covered gold door with the ruby handle, but luckily she waits in the hall shutting the door behind me after I enter.

I look around but this time I appear to be alone. By the time I take a seat however the door quickly opens and Dyson enters in a hurry. He seems really relieved to see me quickly walking over sitting down across from me.

Dyson: “I have to ask you a question before we get started. What I am about to ask you to do would be considered the highest possible favor, but you can’t tell anyone but your own monsters about it, and even then I would keep it limited, can you do that?”

“I can’t make any promises like that without knowing what it is, but as long as it doesn’t affect my dungeon, I promise anything said within the next five minutes never happened.”

Dyson looks a little hesitant but then says. “Fair enough…”

He then leans forward with a serious and stressed expression saying. “I need you to destroy a dungeon…”

“A dungeon? What do you mean?”

Dyson: “The dungeon is only 50 years old, and it may be a bit tough for your monsters, but you are the only one I can rely on this for.”

“I don’t understand… Why me?”

Dyson: “The proximity to your dungeon, and the fact you have already been training your monsters in Madam Erin’s dungeon, we can easily pass it off, all of my other allies would be to suspect.”

“Well I do have a relatively new monster that needs to be tested out, but why do you want this core dead?”

Dyson: “The dungeon itself isn’t important, but something the dungeon core has needs to disappear. You don’t have to worry about finding said item, as it will disappear with her death.”

“I don’t know this all seems pretty sketchy.”

Dyson: “I can tell you the object will prove to cause serious damage to the human population, and will seriously undermine our plans to work alongside humans.”

“…”

Dyson: “I have a letter here from the king of Calhoun granting the 3rd princess of the Gowen kingdom the permission to eradicate The Howling Caves dungeon.”

“Calhoun, that’s the same Kingdom as Madam Erin’s dungeon is in…”

Dyson: “You have the rest of winter, and all of spring to get the job done, but the task has to be complete before summer.”

“You said this dungeon proves a significant threat to the humans of Calhoun?”

Dyson: “Not just Calhoun…But all humans.”

“That new monster I was talking about was a gift from Madam Erin… I don’t know if she has any ultimate commands from her, and I am in the middle of prepping for a festival for my town. If I drop everything after coming to talk to you, and go dungeon hunting it may get back to Madam Erin. That means if I do this it will have to wait till the start of the New Year just to be safe.”

Dyson: “That should still give you plenty of time, as it will probably take 2 weeks for your monsters to arrive. I think that would give them plenty of time left to take out the dungeon. I am not going to lie, even if your monsters reach Two-Eighty-Seven’s strength it is going to be tough to accomplish.”

“I have faith in my girls. That letter from the king, it says specifically the 3rd princess of Gowen?”

Dyson: “Yes, I made sure it was directed to your boss monster.”

“Can you get that into the King or first prince of Gown’s hands by the end of the day?”

Dyson: “That should be possible…”

“One of the first prince’s attendants is leaving the capital in the morning to head to my dungeon, if they send that letter with him. If that monster of mine that is from Madam Erin is still in touch with her then it would help alleviate any suspicion.”

Dyson: “I knew you were the right choice for this and not just because you were the only choice…”

“Don’t thank me yet the reward for this is going to cost you.”

Dyson: “Already prepared.” -He takes out a small xp bead.- “I must warn you this was the most I could do without suspicion, but consider it a down payment as I will have the teleport spell you wanted ready after the task is complete.”

“I will do this as long as you are telling the truth, but at any point of this I find out differently I make no promises.”

Dyson: “Then I have nothing to worry about.”

He hands me the bead and escorts me to the hallway. The girl in the hall leads me back to the front gate where Speedy is waiting… After another bruised arm later I am back at home.

New Item Available

Xp Bead 10,000xp                                   Cost: 10,001xp

10,000xp is all… I guess it is better than nothing, but after all the secrecy and such I was expecting a bit more. This will at least put us back to the point we were at before I spent all that xp on the basement. Then there is also the promise of the teleport spell, not to mention the benefits of destroying a dungeon.

I rejoin the preparations for the festival for now, and wait till that evening when Belinda and I are preparing for bed before I tell her what is going on.

Belinda: “Are you really going to go through with this?”

“The dungeon supposedly a threat to humans, and there is even the permission from the king of Calhoun himself…”

Belinda: “But can we trust Dyson?”

“I don’t know…”

Belinda: “Who would I take with me? Our group has grown too big.”

“I want you all safe, this is too risky as it is, I rather you all go and bring less xp back, then risk getting killed.”

Belinda: “But you will be here by yourself, and you said this could take up to a couple months this time.”

“Honestly I want to go to, but someone has to stay here, and I can’t level up like you guys can to help, so I would probably just get in the way…”

Belinda: “Your job is to summon the monsters to protect the dungeon, it is my job to protect you, so don’t worry about it.” –She says stepping up to me rubbing my chest.-

“Thanks…But that doesn’t make me feel much better.”

Belinda: “Oh yea? Then how this.” –She says leaning in and begins to nibble on my ear while untying my trousers.-

The next week passes really quickly as our hands are full with preparations for the festival, and when Kline arrives he seems really excited as he hands the letter to Belinda.

Kline: “The Young Master and I couldn’t believe it when Master received that letter!”

Belinda reads it over and it was what we had expected, but when Kline starts to look confused and begins to say something Belinda quickly changes gears.

Belinda: “What is this? Is it real?”

Kline: “We couldn’t believe it ourselves. We can’t figure out why the king of Calhoun would ask for you specifically…”

Belinda is doing her best to appear surprised, but as we haven’t told anyone else, so the girls are genuinely surprised.

Scylla: “What is it?”

Kline: “A dungeon! Belinda has been asked by the king of Calhoun to destroy a dungeon there.”

The girls have mixed reactions, but most of them look towards me.

“So… What are you going to do?”

Kline: “What do you mean? The chance to become a Hero, who wouldn’t take it?”

Scylla: “Well I am sure it isn’t as easy as all that… I mean are we even ready to try to dive deep enough into a dungeon to destroy it…”

Kline: “That is the best part, this dungeon has barely left the beginners classification, sure the Hero skill she receives won’t be the best, but there is still the title. Even the Young Master hasn’t been able to become a Hero yet.”

Belinda: “I don’t know… Why doesn’t Logan do it then?”

Kline: “You’re the one the king wants to eliminate it.

Belinda: “Well let’s worry about this later… There is still quite a bit to do for the Winter Solstice Festival, and only 3 more days to prepare.”

Kline looks pretty surprised at Belinda’s reaction, but Scylla manages to draw his attention from it and we then continue working on the festival. On the day before the festival I decide to make Belinda a set of full-plate armor out of the dwarven metal to give to her during the festival as a gift.

I spend the entire day trying to think of ideas on designs for the armor while making the last final touches on the festival preparations. I wait for Belinda to fall asleep before sneaking off to the core room to make the armor.

Even with an idea with what I want to do, it still takes me at least two hours before I am finally happy with my idea. With the xp I received from Kline the last few days, the 10,000xp from Dyson I manage to summon a [Expert Quality Dwarven Full-plate Regalia]

The beauty of the armor is like nothing I have seen before, even though Dyson’s armor was surely far better, this is by far more appealing. really would have liked to make it at least master quality, but even if I used every point of xp we had I would have still come up short.

As a matter of fact if it wasn’t for the fact that Kline will be here at least 3 more days I would be worried with the amount of xp I left the dungeon with, especially when I spent an extra 1000xp just to make sure the design came out perfect adding jewels into the design.

I was also a little disappointed it didn’t result in a new creation like Zoey’s armor, or Inari’s weapon. Both of them were master quality though, so that might actually be a factor in the chances. Even though it turned out just the way I wanted I still can’t help feeling a little bit cheated.

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