Chapter 67: Meanwhile Back in Tobes

It has only been a few weeks since the girls left but I am a little nervous as this time it isn’t just training. They might have been in harm’s way before, but this time it is different. Once they reached the dungeon I have been keeping in contact with Belinda everyday just to make sure things are going ok, and to get her a heads up with the changes in the Dungeon Core Information.

With all the girls but Lilah gone it has made things pretty tough, but with the new office being within the dungeon, and only having to step out my office door to talk with the receptionists at the adventurer’s guild. It has been a lot easier than it has been in the past.

We have gotten a few more snow falls since the girls left but nothing real serious. It hasn’t even slowed down the adventurers one bit. Lilah has added more rifts to the upper floors of the dungeon just to keep up with the foot traffic in the dungeon.

On the day after the girls reached the 15th floor of the dungeon I received an unexpected set of guests.

Logan: “Mister Mayor! How are you doing on the brisk morning?”

“Logan, Kline, and even Queen, what brings you three to Tobes?”

Logan: “Well it was only a few hours out of our way. Belinda getting a request to destroy a dungeon has left me quite jealous. I haven’t even been able to adventurer since we started making the communication parchment. So when I got word about the new dungeon in Lancaster I thought I would check it out personally.”

“Well I heard it was quite new, so I doubt it is worth enough for the prince to get involved.”

Logan: “Well there seems to be a political problem as well. It appears the dungeon formed in the old duke’s mansion. Recently a next of kin arrived so it technically belongs to her, but she isn’t allowing any adventurers in to investigate.”

“So you plan to use your title to allow you to investigate is that it?”

Logan: “Well there still haven’t been any attacks in Lancaster, but they said that several undead type monsters have been sighted around the town, so we are afraid that it is only a matter of time. We want to get the situation under control before something bad happens.”

“I see.”

Logan: “I am also delivering a communication parchment to the outlying towns, so if more events like this pop up we can quickly address them.” –He hands me a roll of parchment.- “This one is yours. It gives you direct contact with the capital, but just remember it is linked with the others as well so all the towns will be able to see what is written.”

“Alright.”

Logan: “We were also wondering if we could crash at your place tonight before getting back on the road.”

“Well it is just me and Lilah, but like I said before you guys are always welcome.”

Logan: “That’s great. We will go drop our things off and then maybe we can grab some drinks this evening? By the way I like the new office you got here.”

“No problem and the office was your sister’s idea of course.”

Queen: “Logan do you mind if I talk with Two-Twelve while you drop off our belongings at the house? I want to ask him a few things about running a town.”

Logan: “Yea I understand, we can meet back up downstairs in about an hour.”

Queen then hands Kline a pack, and then Kline and Logan leave the office while Queen then sits down.

“What’s this about asking me a few things about running a town?”

Queen: “Well it was actually an excuse so I could talk to you about the dungeon we are going to, but it actually wouldn’t be a bad idea. As the beastkin camp I made at my dungeon has become an actual village beastkin are coming from all over to live there now. They have even appointed me to be the village leader.”

“Well as for the dungeon in Lancaster, after hearing about it from Belinda I looked it up. I met the new core during the evaluation, but I don’t really know anything about her. From what I heard the mysterious relative of the late duke Lancaster is the new core. Belinda said she seems to have some kind of charm magic or skill that let her manipulate the townsfolk.”

Queen: “What about her personality?”

“I don’t know much, but she and the core that trained her just kind of rubbed me the wrong way when I met them. Her appearance is that of a young child, but I will just say it wasn’t a surprise to find out she was using undead monsters.”

Queen: “Do you think I will have any problem with her?”

“Her dungeon looks to only cover a small portion of the mansion so I doubt it will be anything difficult. Logan and Kline should easily be able to handle anything there, but I would be on the look out to make sure she doesn’t use that charm ability on either one of them. I don’t know how powerful it is.”

Queen: “Ok I will be careful… Now about my village the normal beastkin now outnumbered the ones I have summoned, and it seems like there isn’t a day that goes by that at least 1 more beastkin shows up moving in.”

“Well first of all I would focus on the buildings. Last I heard you at what was little more than a campsite. To help with the dungeon and the town I would suggest starting with a decent adventurer’s guild. I am sure with Logan’s help you could easily get it approved. Once that is done you can use commissions to build more buildings that the village may need.”

Queen: “Ok…”

“The guild will handle the gold cost for normal commissions, but for the buildings it would have to come out of your own pocket, so I would suggest finding a source of income quickly. If all else fails you could summon things from you dungeon to sell in the capital, but be careful doing that as eventually someone will begin to wonder were the stuff comes from.”

Queen: “I will keep that in mind…”

“So how are things going for your dungeon? The adventurers respecting the Gowen protection order?”

Queen: “So far it has worked well, but I used most of my xp on the beastkin so at the moment I am just flooding the dungeon with as many rifts of weak monsters just so there is something there for the adventurers to play with.”

“Also from what I understand spreading your dungeon in the villages can be quite difficult, so if you plan on going that route. Make sure you expand in areas before it becomes developed.”

Queen: “Are you planning on bringing your dungeon into Tobes one day?”

“Who knows… How are things going with Jack?”

Queen: “He has gotten a half dozen of my beastkin pregnant already, so hopefully in a few more months I will be able to begin summoning feral beastkin.”

“Half a dozen?”

Queen: “Well actually only 5 are my dungeon monsters 1 of them however isn’t. I am curious though what is going to happen when that baby is born.”

“Well sounds like he has been busy…”

Queen: “Yea he has three or four more that still haven’t taken yet, but I think at this point it would be just overkill, but as long as he is enjoying himself I don’t see any reason to stop his fun.”

“…”

It has been a while since we have spoken so we talk quite a bit. She keeps asking how things are going with Dyson, as with the addition to Sofia to our family Queen has realized I have had regular contact with him.

We meet up with Logan and Kline down around the adventurer’s guild area, and then the four of us set out to the tavern for a drink. After a few drinks I see why Logan didn’t bring Queen drinking with us in the past as he begins getting pretty clingy…

He also does quite a bit of whining about Belinda’s new armor, and the fact she gets to destroy a dungeon crystal before him. I don’t know if he has just gotten more comfortable around me or it is something that just is really bothering him as this is the least dignified I have ever seen him.

Kline forces him to retire pretty early in comparison to our normal outings, and after a small breakfast the next morning the three set out from Tobes. All in all it was a pretty weird visit from Belinda’s brother…

The boost of xp from Logan and Kline, and the ever increasing amount of adventurers wanting to head into the dungeon every day. I decide to sit down with Lilah and work up a plan. We decide to leave the dungeon currently like it is with a small exception.

At the back of the ground floor where the stairs go down we add another hallway off the back side extending the ground floor further back. For now we add large rooms off the hallway two on either side and one at the end.

Inside each we fill it with one rift of each type of elemental creature that we learned from Inari with décor to match the element. Now there is a fire room with tiny flame elementals, water room with weak lizardmen, wind room with weak fairies, earth room with the tiny earth golems, and the room at the end of the hall is a shadow room with old skeletons.

This puts us in a pretty bad place with xp, but I am not really worried with the amount of xp we have been gaining lately. With the exception of the light based monsters we now have rifts of every element. Light based monsters are apparently pretty high level though so until then I guess the non-element based monster will have to fill their place.

After adding to the dungeon the next day I can hear the uproar at the adventurer’s guild from my office. The new elemental monsters are quite a bit more difficult than the other monsters on the first floor, but the fact it covers every element but light is not lost on the adventurers.

Adventurer: “I heard the crystal is unique, but this proves it. The dungeon’s favored element has to be shadow.”

Adventurer 2: “Are you sure I know a few adventurers that are of the light element, but I don’t recall of hearing any monsters of the light element before, maybe there just aren’t any.”

Adventurer 3: “I agree. I have heard of light based monsters, but they are of hero level in strength so this doesn’t prove anything, the dungeon still might not have a favored element.”

Adventurer: “That is ridiculous everything must have a favored element.”

Adventurer 3: “I heard there is a rumor that the princess doesn’t have a favored element.”

Wait what? How did people figure that out? I decide to pay a bit closer attention to the conversation.

Adventurer 2: “I heard that girl that called the princess mommy that was here for a few weeks last year didn’t have one either.”

Adventurer: “That is impossible. you both are just spreading rumors now.”

Things seem to calm down after that but if the rumors are really beginning to spread we might need to come up with an excuse pretty quickly…

The next few weeks pass and the new wears off the elemental rooms, but I noticed after checking the Dungeon Core Information before messaging Belinda one evening that my own dungeon has changed its name.

 

 

Current Dungeon Core #212 [Mayor ——]                                      Location: Emeraldline Mountain

Dungeon: Elemental Stronghold                                             Crystal: Small Polychromatic Diamond

Dungeon contains 7 floors, 40 rooms, 192 monsters, 22 traps

Dungeon core level: 16                                                                       XP: 4821

Dungeon active: 2 years

Formally known as the Ancient Kobold Stronghold it is buried in the back of a small cave, on top of a small mountain in the Emeraldline forest. In the short time since its discovery it has become a training ground for adventurers from far and wide. The high difficulty of even the most basic of monsters even managed to cause a well-known B-Ranked adventurer group to retreat. Although humans still have been unable to uncover the secret of the polychromatic diamond, much about it has been well documented in the adventurer’s guild. Deepest floor reached in primary dungeon 4, Deepest floor of primary dungeon mapped 4, Deepest floor of secondary dungeon explored 1, deepest floor of secondary dungeon mapped 1, Most favored monster weak earth golem, most purchased monster small weak earth golem, most favored trap icy spike trap, most purchased trap icy spike trap, boss monster Divine Being [Belinda Gowen]

 

With the new elemental rooms it has begun to attract even more adventurers. Particularly of the mage variety as they have come for elemental items from the fallen monsters. This doesn’t pass Denova even as she seems weeks from having her baby she single-handedly monopolizes the elemental ingredients in the marketplace of Tobes raising the cost of such items exponentially.

With no one to give Lilah a day off she appears to begin to be bogged down by the sheer number of adventurers that have begun to enter the dungeon every day. Belinda and I talked about summoning her some help a while back but the plan kind of went on hold. I fear now I can’t hold off any longer.

When Belinda and I talked about it before Belinda was the one said I should summon a female beastkin. I would wait till Belinda returns but I think Lilah will need help before then. I also don’t want to distract Belinda so I will wait till they are on their way back before telling her just in case she gets upset about it.

The only other problem is trying to convince Lilah that I am not going to replace her, but trying to give her an extra hand… After half of a day of planning I throw it all away as I decide the best course of action. That evening I head to the core room to talk to Lilah.

“How are things going?”

Lilah: “Lilah is tired… She can handle two groups at once, but now sometimes there are now 3 in the dungeon at once.”

“That is actually what I wanted to talk to you about. I know you haven’t gotten a day off again now that the girls are gone, and even though Sofia was trying to learn how to help you she seemed to not be taking to it like you did, so I think it’s time we start think of summoning another monster just to give you a hand.”

Lilah: “But this is Lilah’s job…”

“That’s why I thought I would let you summon the monster, that way it is yours.”

Lilah: “Really? Lilah can have her own monster?”

“Belinda and I talked about it a while back, so as long as it is a female beastkin, I will let you decide the other parameters.”

Lilah: “But Master doesn’t have any sentient male monsters.”

“Well you remember how Roc turned out, so I figured we need to err on the side of caution…”

Lilah: “Yes master…”

“So any ideas?”

Lilah: “Lilah doesn’t have much of a choice. The only beastkin available is a cow…”

“Well you could do a random.”

Lilah: “But then who knows what might happen.”

“Well if you select the age, and focus on the personality while you summon it. Does the sub-species really matter?”

Lilah: “Ok Lilah is ready.”

“Don’t you want to think about it a little bit at least?”

Lilah: “If Lilah can’t have a male, then Lilah knows what she wants.”

“Ok…”

I make the 2500xp available for Lilah and wait while she taps away on what I assume is her [Menu]. She then makes a serious expression as she taps in front of her one last time, and the core room is then filled with light.

When the light fades what is left behind is Lilah… Well everything about the new monster looks like Lilah, except less… It is a rabbit beastkin, but of course it is not feral so it has no fur except the ears and little tail.

The age is about what Lilah was when she first arrived making her about a head shorter then Lilah. Even when she arrived Lilah still has some semblance of breasts, and now they are modest as she grows in the next few years they will probably be around Belinda’s size but this new monster’s breasts are practically non-existent.

Even the monster’s hair is the same color as Lilah’s only about half as long. It then dawns on me what Lilah must have done… Lilah equips the new monster in what looks like one of her old dresses.

I quickly read over the screen that popped up telling me of the rabbit subspecies becoming available and close it while Lilah walks up to the new monster putting her hand on her shoulders.

Lilah: “Alright Lylah, Lilah will show you what she expects from you.”

Lilah then taps on a screen and I receive the message about the monsters name being set as Lylah.

Lylah: “Yes Master, I won’t let you down.”

I move over and tap the new monster on the shoulder. “I am going to send you to your bedroom for now, so I can have a talk with Lilah, alright?” The new monster looks worried but nods. I then transfer her to one of the spare bedrooms at the house.

Lilah: “What’s wrong Master?”

“Don’t you think that was a little cruel?”

Lilah: “Lilah doesn’t understand.”

“Lylah is sentient, but you made her basically a copy of yourself only less then you.”

Lilah: “Of course. Lilah needs Lylah to help her in the dungeon, but Lilah is the master so she should be better.”

“If she wasn’t sentient I wouldn’t have a problem with it, but with Lylah being sentient she is going to have a real hard time. If Lylah is constantly living in your shadow she isn’t going to have much self-esteem…”

Lilah: “But Lilah is Lylah’s Master.”

“…”

I decide to make dinner that evening so the three of us can talk, but it feels kind of strange. Lylah is almost exactly like Lilah was a year and a half ago.  She at least talks differently so that is something I guess.

Lylah: “Master is going to teach me how to help her in the dungeon?”

“At least for now, but if you don’t like it we might find something else for you to do.”

Lilah: “But Master!”

“You know we don’t force anyone to do stuff they don’t want to do, so if she rather do something else we will have to come up with something else to help you.”

Lylah: “If Master wants me to help her I will do as I am told.”

Lilah: “See she wants to do it.”

“That isn’t what she said, but for now she is all we got.”

Luckily with my office now in the dungeon I am able to keep a screen open displaying the core room to keep an eye on how things are going with Lilah and Lylah. Lylah seems to be working really hard, but she isn’t taking to the dungeon like Lilah did.

She however is taking to it far better then Sofia was, and it does seem to want to learn to do it. I am actually surprised with the way Lilah is treating Lylah, I was afraid that she was going to treat her like a slave, but instead she treats her more like what I would assume would be like a little sister.

Things continue much like that for the next few weeks, and I am even able to give Belinda a bit of good news as the number of monsters in the dungeon they are in is beginning to decrease each day so they must be deep enough that have passed the rift monsters.

By their early progress I was hoping they would finish with plenty of time remaining, but things have really begun to slow down now as they are struggling to pass each floor. They even have had to begin dealing with some kind of poison fog.

I was worried especially when Belinda seemed surprised when I wished her a happy birthday. Her messages have even seemed to become weird, but I receive a visitor that sets me a bit at ease.

Dyson: “Good they are making good time, and I wouldn’t worry about the fog I promise it won’t have any lasting effects once they make it out of the dungeon.”

“But why the visit? Isn’t that kind of thing the observation screen is for?”

Dyson: “Well you have access to it, so who knows about the other elders, and like I said I want to keep myself out of this so I am avoiding looking in on them. Besides I have some more work for you.”

Dyson draws a line in the air taking out several items. 1 sword that looks to be made from mythril, a small dagger, and a xp bead.

Dyson: “I am having trouble coming across an adamantium sword, but maybe if you can add the enchantment from this dagger to the sword it would get me by till I can.”

“Well I am sure I could learn the enchantment, and then add it to a new sword, but I don’t think I can add it to an existing weapon.”

Dyson: “Well give it a shot, and if not we can at least find out the total cost it would be.”

I nod and for now I leave the xp bead on the desk but take and store the sword and dagger.

New Items Available
Dwarven Dagger              Cost:  250xp
Mythril Sword                 
Cost: 10,000xp

New Enchantment Available

Assassin’s Blade Item cost x10 or 150,000xp whichever is less (50,000xp minimum)

 

I then look through the dungeon inventory finding a [Legendary Assassin’s Dwarven Dagger] I then take it out setting it back down on the table. I then look until I find [Legendary Quality Mythril Sword] I then look to see if there is a way to add an enchantment to the sword but I can’t find anything.

I then see how much it would cost to summon a new sword with the enchantment.

Insufficient xp required to summon item, requires 650,000xp

“I don’t see a way to add the enchantment, but to summon a new one would be 650,000xp…”

Dyson: “Damnit.”

I then prepare to take out the sword but decide to try something first. “Add enchantment to [Legendary Quality Mythril Sword]”

Select enchantment to add to selected item.

Assassin’s Blade   Cost: 150,000xp

“Wait… That worked.”

Dyson: “Are you sure?”

“How much xp is that bead for? As it still costs 150,000xp to add the enchantment.”

Dyson: “Well that I can work with… The bead is only half that, but I should be able to get another one for you within the week.”

I take the sword out of the inventory and set it down on the desk with the dagger and xp bead. “Alright, once you get it together I look forward to taking care of it for you, because you haven’t let me down so far regarding the compensation.”

Dyson nods taking the items and he leaves. The next few days pass uneventfully and even Belinda’s group only manages to make it past 1 more floor. Belinda tells me that she is really beginning to worry about the effects the poison fog is having on Zoey.

When Dyson finally returns he has me add the enchantment to the sword after giving me a 150,000xp bead, he then hands me another xp bead but this one is only for 10,000xp. I am actually a little disappointed in only receiving 10,000xp, but he then sends a message and a monster appears in the room with us.

The monster looks like some kind of goblin mage, but it is far higher on the evolution chain then I have yet seen. It looks around the room but doesn’t appear have any sentience.

Dyson: “Does it matter how it dies in your dungeon, or can you learn its magic just by it dying in your dungeon?”

“As far as I know, as long as it dies within the dungeon.”

Dyson: “Good then I am going to test out this sword then.”

Without another word Dyson swings his sword so fast I can’t even follow the movement. The goblin doesn’t even seem to notice what happened even as it collapses to the floor in quite a few smaller pieces…

New Monster Available

Goblin Shadow-walker             Cost: 1500xp

New Skill Available

Darkness Expert                       Cost: 2500xp
Primal Magic                             Cost: 2500xp

New Spell available

Greater Dark Blade     Cost: 500xp
Blink
                                Cost: 2500xp
Shadow-ball                   Cost: 2500xp
Shadow Pocket             Cost: 2500xp

 

“I didn’t think monsters had skills.”

Dyson: “…Once you start reaching that level of monster they do. Do you mean you even learned how to copy monster skills?”

“Is there a difference?”

Dyson: “Surely there are restrictions that prevent you from learning them. After all they are monster only skills.”

I check out darkness expert in [Menu]

Darkness Expert (Rank 1): Monsters born of shadow can manipulate them allowing the use of existing shadows as a source to cast shadow based magic.

I attempt to learn the skill but receive the message.

You do not meet the requirements of the skill. Monster must be of the shadow favored element.

Alright, how about primal magic?

Primal Magic (Rank 1):  Monsters with the primal magic skill are born from magic, shaped by it, and are able to take mastery over it. +25 bonus to spell power, spell arts, concentration, and 50 mp.

The skill sounds like a higher level skill but the cost is quite low for the bonuses it grants. I guess due to the fact that it is a monster only skill is why the cost is so low. However when I try to learn the skill the xp is deducted and I gain the skill…

“Well I couldn’t learn darkness expert, but it said it was because you had to have shadow as your favored element, but I was able to learn primal magic.”

Dyson: “That’s impossible it should only be for monsters…”

“But aren’t we? Regardless of our race aren’t we born in a dungeon with magic just like we do when we summon a monster?”

Dyson: “You are truly something else… Well you wanted the spell to store items, got a bonus of a new monster, and even new skills, so I think that makes us more than even in our trade.”

“Thank you, I look forward to being able to help you out more in the future.”

Dyson: “Yea….”

After Dyson leaves I use [Menu] to clean up the goblin remains from my office floor, and then use up almost all the remaining xp from the xp bead I got from Dyson to learn [Greater Dark Blade], [Shadow-ball], and [Shadow Pocket]

Over the next few weeks things seem to slow to a crawl, as Belinda’s group is barely making progress even as the deadline is coming up quickly. Lilah and Lylah seem to be getting along well, maybe I was worried about nothing, Lilah doesn’t seem to be mistreating Lylah at all and Lylah seems to enjoy following in Lilah’s footsteps…

Belinda has gotten increasingly worried about the girls. Everyone has begun to suffer the effects of the poison fog now, and Zoey has gotten so bad she is afraid they might have to turn back without completing Dyson’s request.

Dyson also makes another visit to check how they are doing, but I leave out the part about them might not being able to finish. He seems to be a bit worried but after telling him that Belinda will do her best he just nods and excuses himself.

One evening I receive a message from Belinda informing me the cave that has looked completely natural so far has ended with a large door. She is hoping that will mean that there is only a small amount of dungeon left, and by the information I have been giving her from my book it sounds like they should be really close.

After waking the next morning I wait on pins and needles waiting for some word, but it isn’t till just before noon that I receive a message.

Dungeon Core #135 [Serena] has fallen at the hands of the adventurer Belinda Gowen.

I know they will busy for a while trying to leave the dungeon in a hurry, but I leave Belinda a message anyway telling her good job and that I hope everyone is ok. Of course it isn’t long before I receive a message in return, but this message is from Dyson.

Dungeon Core #212, the elders have requested a meeting with you in regards to the actions taken by your boss monster Belinda Gowen. A representative from the Elders will be along shortly to collect you. Refusal to this meeting is not advised as it may lead to repercussions.

Dungeon Core #400 [Elder Dyson]

The message from Dyson seems to be the standard type message from the elders so I am sure he sent it as a precaution. When he arrives shortly after himself he confirms as much.

Dyson: “Just stick to the information from the letter and you should be fine. The others may be upset with you for a while, but I promise I will make it worth the effort.”

“I just hope it was the right thing to do.”

Dyson: “I assure you, it needed to be done even if the other elders don’t see it that way. Now we better get going.”

I nod and after a few seconds Dyson takes my arm and with a pulling felt on the back of my chest we depart from Tobes.

 

 

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