Chapter 73: Final Preparations

“Alright, today we are going to just push them as far as we can, and starting tomorrow we will begin their actual training is that correct?”

Madam Erin: “That’s right, we want to find out how well this works.”

With [Menu] I add a rift to the small room just through the door. I set them up this way as I can’t summon monsters directly into this room as Dyson, Madam Erin, and Var are all considered intruders. I spent most of the remaining xp I got from Madam Erin on this rift, but it only spawns husky slimes.

I did however raise the count to 1000 per day up to 5 at a time. This should keep them busy for a few hours at least. I don’t know how many days they will be able to benefit from husky slimes, but with the rift it should at least pay for itself after a few days.

Dyson and Madam Erin are however a bit skeptical after the first five slimes come slithering into the room through the door.

Var: “You do realize we are dungeon cores right? Slimes shouldn’t pose any problems once so ever…”

“Just trust me.”

My statement seems to satisfy Dyson however Madam Erin still looks a bit skeptical. The new cores however do as they are told and begin dispatching the slimes. It doesn’t even take 5 minutes of almost a constant stream of slimes slithering out of the door before both avians have exhausted their magic and are fallen back to melee combat.

Var: “There is just no end to them…”

I summon Dyson, Madam Erin, and myself some seats and with the groups adventurers IDs we sit back and just watch. After an hour and a half of the endless combat with the slimes they have only gone through about 250 slimes, and they all have already reached level 5.

Twilight: “Papa please… They are easy to kill now, but they just don’t stop. We need a break…”

“Fine, take a few minutes to rest. I will have them hold off for a few minutes.”

The group quickly collapses to the floor after the slimes quit pouring into the room. I then look to Dyson and Madam Erin who are both staring at the groups adventurer IDs in their hands in disbelief.

Madam Erin: “This is insane… It hasn’t even been two hours yet, and they have already made this much progress…”

“The progress goes very quick at first, but even now it will begin to slow down considerably. I was actually hoping the slimes would get us a bit further, but it looks like they aren’t as effective as I had hoped.”

Dyson: “This is ineffective…?”

“Well I summoned a rift, and I hoped it would prove useful at least till it paid for itself, but it looks like it might have been cheaper to buy the slimes instead. Well now we know. Alright enough rest you three, I can’t be certain the number you have taken out so far, but by judging by your levels I would say you are about a quarter of the way done.”

Dawn: “Just a quarter…?”

The group pulls themselves to their feet and begins killing the slimes again. They have reached the point where they are killing slimes with every swing and with the slow movement of the slimes they are starting to get ahead.

I discuss ideas with Madam Erin and Dyson about how to make it more effective while time slowly passes forward and by the time they finally finish draining the rift for the day the group is just shy of reaching level 8.

Madam Erin: “I can’t believe we made so much progress in just one day.”

“Like I said however this is the point where things really begin to slow down. We will add some more rifts starting tomorrow, but they will begin to have to take more breaks in-between combat. During their breaks is when Sofia plans to come in and teach them more about adventurers.”

After a bit more discussion the two elders decide to let the new cores stay at the inn, but they head back to their own dungeon with plans to return first thing in the morning…

Like I predicted the next day things slow down considerably. Sofia makes quite a few visits with the group cramming information about adventurers down their throat while they lie exhausted on the floor. They still however manage to make it to level 15 by the end of the first week.

Madam Erin gives me the xp for their training in small amounts which adds quite a few different sizes of xp beads to my list of available to summon so I don’t really complain about it. Sofia puts a lot of effort into her lessons for the new cores as she seems to be trying really hard to impress Dyson.

He however has seemed to make an effort to avoid her when she speaks with the new cores. I find it kind of strange that he was the one that suggested to have her help but now seems to be trying his hardest to avoid her…

During the second week of the new cores training is when things start to get far busier. I had to leave Roxy with Dyson and Madam Erin to summon monsters, while Belinda and I headed to the capital to meet with arriving guests.

Roxy was quite nervous working with the elders at first, but Madam Erin seems to have a soft spot for her so she helps her out quite a bit. By the end of the second week the new core trio has already exhausted the xp for their training, but since we used all rifts this time, they can continue to train while still gathering more xp each day.

As the wedding quickly approaches I find myself spending far more time in the capital then with the training cores. Roxy and Sofia however have been keeping me informed of the progress, while I meet with some of Belinda’s relatives that she didn’t even know…

I also have the chance to finally meet with Belinda’s other two brothers and mother. They however are not like the king or Logan. Even Belinda’s mom… Let’s just say I see where the rest of Belinda’s family gets their personalities from.

During one of our trips to the capital, Logan approaches with large smile on his face.

Logan: “I must apologize baby sister, but I must steal your fiancé for a few hours. Father requested that he join in on a meeting.”

Belinda looks a little concerned but happy as well as she says. “Why does father want Two-Twelve there?”

Logan: “Now that Ben and Doug are back, he wants to have a meeting with all his sons, and father and I agreed that Two-Twelve is close enough, so he wants him there as well.”

Belinda: “…You sure it’s going to be ok…?”

Logan: “Don’t worry, I make sure he is alright.”

“You make it sound like you are taking me into battle, not a family meeting…”

Logan: “That may be a good way to describe it, but don’t worry I will have your back.”

Belinda seems hesitant to let go of my arm but she eventually does as Logan leads me from the room. He leads me though the hallways humming a happy tune, but once he reaches a large door he stops placing a hand on each of my shoulders and looks at me with a serious expression.

Logan: “Like I said I got your back, and father has so far been quite impressed with you, but don’t let your guard down in here. Don’t let any of them talk down to you, but choose your words carefully as well.”

After I nod he leads me through the doors. The room is rather smaller then I would have guessed, with a large table in the center. With Logan entering it appears all of Belinda’s brothers are now present. Although there is only a large chair at the head of the table empty and one right next to it Logan quickly pulls up another chair and motions for me to sit.

Belinda’s brothers seem pretty shocked when they see me. I haven’t gotten a good impression from any of them so far, but the looks they now give me are almost downright hostile.

Ben: “Logan! What is the meaning of this?”

Logan: “I am not sure what you mean.” –He says with a smirk sitting in his chair next to me.-

Ben looks like he is about to say something else but instead everyone quickly stands with Logan pulling me up as well as the King enters. After Belinda’s dad takes his seat we all take our seats again. The conversation seems to have stopped, but you can tell Ben is not happy with my presence.

King Rondsom: “It is good to see all my sons again in one place. It has been far too long.”

Quinn: “Father I mean no disrespect but what is Belinda’s thing doing here. Surely you didn’t approve of such…”

Quinn however is quickly silenced as the king raises his hand.

King Rondsom: “Then the matters concerning your own marriage are progressing quite well then?”

Quinn quickly looks down and says. “No sir… But with the continued success with the communication parchment princess Rose has at least began to accept my letters, so I believe I am getting closer.”

King Rondsom: “So instead of questioning my decisions, maybe you should thank the man, who is soon to be the newest member of our family, for his contribution in the task left to you.”

Quinn doesn’t raise his head as he simply says. “Yes sir…”

King Rondsom: “Now Benneit, I see you to have questions regarding the young man’s presence here?”

Ben: “I can appreciate his contribution of the communication parchment, but to even allow him to join in our meeting seems to be a bit much.”

King Rondsom: “I see. Does that mean you managed to get the king of Duscae to assist us should we go to war with Longolia?”

Ben: “… No sir they still insist they wish to remain neutral.”

King Rondsom: “Mayor, where is it you and my daughter are going for your honeymoon?”

“…Well following your suggestion… Belinda and I agreed to go to the Longolia capital for a honeymoon in hopes to ease the tension a bit…”

King Rondsom: “Very good. Logan how has the effects of the mayor’s work had on the kingdom?”

Logan: “No matter how much we grow the production of the communication parchments we can’t seem to catch up, and they have easily become a major factor in not only the kingdoms income, but political power as well. Then there is Tobes itself. It is now teetering on the border of raising its classification from a town to a small city. Its exports from the Elemental Stronghold have become a major boon to the economy of not only the kingdom but the entire region.”

Ben appears angry but doesn’t say anything else while Logan maintains a smug look on his face. After that the conversation shifts and the king discusses politics, issues, and other things concerning the kingdom and its neighbors.

When the conversation turns to Longolia it seem the tensions have been continually rising for years now, but with the sudden economic boom in Gowen the tensions have escalated. They even speak in detail how they hope Belinda and my honeymoon there will be seen as a move of good faith.

It seems no matter how a conversation starts though it always ends on either the communication parchment or Tobes though, so the others don’t seem to change their attitude with me the entire time… Once the king dismisses everyone Logan takes my arm and asks me to stick around for a minute.

After only the king, Logan, and I remain the king even dismisses Logan leaving me alone with the king…

King Rondsom: “Please, relax. I just wanted to say a few things just between us. I wanted to start with an apology it seems I made of matters worse between you, Benneit, and Quinn. Douglas however seems to have changed his mind about you however.”

“An apology is far from necessary. Even I found it rather odd to be included in the meeting.”

King Rondsom: “My sons are rather strong willed like their mother, and sometimes need to be reminded of their place. I am just sorry it had to be at your expense this time. Now as to the matters concerning your honey moon, I know I am the one that asked this of you, but it could be dangerous.”

“Belinda and I talked about it including the risks that could be involved. With Belinda being a hero now we figured they wouldn’t try to start any trouble, at least not directly. Besides Belinda is looking forward to the seaside honeymoon…”

King Rondsom: “And what of Tobes, how will it fare in your absence?”

“Well in truth you seem to be giving me too much credit on that front. Most of the progress in Tobes is due to Belinda, another entrepreneur, and the dungeon. I just stamp the forms…But I have left it in good hands. If anything seriously goes wrong they have a communication parchment, and we can use Belinda’s teleportation spell if we must.”

King Rondsom: “I see. Well my boy. Good luck, and I will see you at the ceremony in a few days.”

The king then dismisses me and I meet back up with Logan who is waiting just outside the door. He is joined with Belinda’s youngest brother Douglas. I have not really had a chance to talk to him before, and he stayed rather quite during the meeting but he is now chatting quite annoyingly with Logan.

Doug: “Please brother! I am old enough now. Please! Please!”

Logan: “We will discuss it later… Ah good. Two-Twelve, I see things seemed to go alright?”

“Yes, it seems so.”

Logan: “Well I had a few things to go over with you, but I have a prior agreement with Doug here, so I will have to catch back up to you later.”

Doug: “I don’t mind, if Belinda’s fiancé doesn’t mind tagging along, he can come with us.”

Logan: “I am sure with just over 48 hours till his wedding. He has a lot of things to deal with instead of following us around town…”

“Yes, I should really get back…”

Logan nods and with a little disappointment from Doug I depart heading back to Belinda and the preparations. When we are done for the day we use [Gate] to go home for the day. The next morning comes and I spend my last morning with Dyson, Madam Erin, and the new cores.

The new core’s progress has come quite a long way. With just over a week to go with their training they are already nearing level 20. With the wedding and such they won’t be able to use my dungeon very well so this evening they plan on taking them to Madam Erin’s dungeon for their final week.

It took Katie quite a substantial bit of effort but she has managed to make some gear for all three of the new cores which I present to them with. Unfortunately the best quality of equipment that Katie can make is expert quality, but she made Var a [Expert Quality Dwarven Rapier], [Expert Quality Dwarven Buckler], and something she was exceptionally proud of a [Expert Quality Dwarven Reinforced Archer’s Armor] with a [Dwarven Half-helmet].

For the girls I had Katie just make a bladed staff from dwarven metal so I could summon some specially designed ones. Which both turned out as [Intricately Designed Dwarven Bladed-staff]s. Katie also put quite a extraordinary bit of effort into takes two [Master Quality Magician’s Robes] I summoned and while working closely with the tailor in town was able to customize them to fit the girls while weaving in small dwarven plates to turn them into [Dwarven Reinforced Avian Magician’s Robes].

Customizing the robes lowered their quality quite a bit, but they are still the best set of robes I have ever seen. I have seen some of the B-ranked mages wearing reinforced robes before, but they have always used leather.

I am also not sure how it works but when they were added to my list for items available to summon they are still considered robes and not armor, even though their protection is vastly higher than some of the adventurers that still enter the dungeon.

After the new cores thank me for the gifts Madam Erin says. “Giving you Katie might have been a mistake. At only a few years old you have already surpassed some dungeons that are over 100 years old.”

Dyson: “I am sure he would of found a way regardless of the dwarven smith, but I would have to agree even though his dungeon isn’t great in size the way he has designed it is superb.”

“I appreciate the compliments, but I am just doing what I can to try to survive. Even now the strength of the adventurers entering my dungeon continues to raise in which makes me quite nervous, and I even haven’t had to deal with another hero since Listel.”

Madam Erin: “It will mellow out. When they first learn of the dungeon the high ranking adventurers always come in droves, but once they get bored things tend to slow down considerably. I don’t think I have even had an A-ranked adventurer or hero enter my dungeon in the last century.”

Dyson: “That is only because there hasn’t been an A-ranked adventurer in that long, and the other reason is your dungeon is boring. The same monsters over and over for floor after floor, that’s the reason I avoided your dungeon back when I was still human.”

Madam Erin laughs then says. “Well then at least it gets the job done and keeps out the riffraff.”

Dyson and Madam Erin continue to bicker to each other and Twilight approaches me.

Twilight: “Papa, thanks for everything, I can tell you put in a lot of work to make sure we can take care of ourselves. It may be a long time till we can see you again so take care, and make sure to treat Belinda right ok?”

She then wraps me in a hug. She may be a mage, but with their aggressive leveling and her height being equal to that of Madam Erin, her firm hug is actually quite strong and makes it feel like my eyes might pop out of my head.

“It really wasn’t that great… Katie was the one that did most of the work. I am just sorry I couldn’t do more, or be here for the rest of your training.”

Dawn then walks up slapping me on the back, but with her clawed hands it almost feels like being stabbed with daggers as she says.

Dawn: “Non-sense, we are far better prepared then what we would have been if we were born not even a few years ago, so think nothing of it. Besides I am sure Elder Dyson and Elder Madam Erin are still not done with us.”

Var too approaches and thanks me, and after watching the group use their equipment for the first time to deal with the monsters from the rifts we had prepared for the their training I leave the last of it up to Madam Erin and Dyson heading back to the house.

We plan on coming for the girls so they can attend the wedding first thing in the morning, but for now Belinda and I return to the capital alone to complete the last bit of preparations.

After a few hours of our preparations, I see Belinda arguing with Logan. Doug is with Logan, but he is pale faces and avoiding eye contact.

“What’s going on?”

Logan then quickly puts on a big smile throwing up his arms, and says. “There he is!”

He then pushes past Belinda moving over to me and wrapping an arm around my shoulder. “Now come on sis, it’s a tradition. You know me no funny business. We are even taking Doug along!”

Belinda still looks rather upset but she says. “Fine! Don’t keep him out all night either, he has to have his sit down with mother tomorrow remember!”

Logan: “I know. I know, you don’t have to worry!”

Belinda still looks rather hesitant as Logan then drags me from the room with Doug following quickly behind.

“What exactly is going on?”

Logan: “Your bachelor’s party of course! You don’t think I would let you marry my sister without throwing you a bachelor’s party do you?”

“…uh…What exactly is a bachelor’s party?”

Logan: “Come on! You don’t even know what a bachelor’s party is? It’s your last night as a free man, we got to live it up, go drinking, and have a good time!”

“Don’t you do that all the time anyway?”

Logan: “This is different! Besides without Kline it has been kind of dull around here, and this will be Doug’s first chance to hang out with the big boys!”

“What about all the final preparations for the wedding though?”

Logan: “That’s what I am telling you this is part of it!”

“…”

Most of the times when I have went out with Logan he always hits a tavern and just hunkers down and drinks, but tonight we seem to be bouncing around quite a bit from tavern to tavern. He seems to be enjoying it a great deal as at every one he announces it’s my bachelor’s party which always causes the tavern to cheer…

Doug has been trying to keep up all evening but he has even fallen behind me and he appears to losing the fight to his drunkenness. After leaving a tavern Doug whispers into Logan’s ear which causes a sly smile to form on Logan’s face.

Logan then nods and he then quiets down considerably… We then travel quite a few of the capital streets darting from one place to the next like Logan is trying to be secretive. We then arrive at a building that reminds me greatly of Denova’s brothel…

Once inside it appears much like Denova’s tavern in her brothel with quite a few scantily clad women making suggestive passes on the patrons, while others are literally nude dancing around… Doug quickly begins makes his paces around looking like a kid in a candy store while Logan leads us to a table and we sit down.

After ordering us some drinks I ask Logan. “What are we doing in a brothel?”

Logan: “Ah but you see its not. A prince like me or Doug wouldn’t be able to go to a brothel without it causing a big uproar. The same goes for quite a few higher political positions, but this place. It is like window shopping you get to look but not touch, so nobody bats an eye.”

I look around relatively confused… “I don’t get it…”

Logan: “what’s to get? Who doesn’t like to look at beautiful women? Of course for some extra gold you can discreetly have a “private dance” with one of the girls, but if we were to do something like that Belinda and Queen would kill us… Doug on the other hand, I was basically an adult already when he was born and have never got to spend much time with him so I don’t know how ventured he is. Perhaps I can make it up to him tonight and he can have a better night then both of us.”

We stay here for quite a while, and Logan seems to be enjoying himself with several women coming around shaking their bodies in our faces… Doug on the other hand seems to be enjoying himself even more, as he has picked up the pace of his drinking and is now really drunk.

I however just sit back slowly sipping away on my alcohol. It isn’t like the women aren’t good looking, I just don’t find any of them to be attractive… That is all except one. There is a young beastkin woman, by her ears and tail I can’t really tell what kind of beastkin she is, and she has stuck to the other side of the room since we have been here.

She has stuck close to one of the other girls at all times and doesn’t even dance unless the girl she is with dances, and never with any of the patrons, but when she does dance it is quite a sight to be had… She has large fluffy pawed gloves and boots on and her clothing too seems to reference the animal she takes after.

Out of all the beastkin women the only others that share the same similar type clothing are others that share another trait… A large steel collar around their necks… Several of the human women have collars as well but they don’t appear to be dressed any differently, but they do seem to be having to work twice as hard.

I try to sit back and just enjoy my drink while Logan and Doug enjoy themselves, but I can’t help my eyes wandering to the young beastkin woman every time she begins to dance. The fact doesn’t pass Logan either as he says.

Logan: “Thanks goodness… I was starting to wonder if we made a mistake coming here because you seemed so disinterested…”

“Oh its nothing like that, I just think she dances well is all…”

Logan smirks and says. “I bet. I am a little worried for my sister, because with all the beautiful women around you still single out one of the beastkin. Maybe there is some truth to the rumors I have heard about the beastkin loving mayor of Tobes?”

“It really isn’t like that…”

Logan whispers to one of the employees motioning to the beastkin woman. After the woman looks over to the beastkin she says.

Dancer: “I am sorry sir, but she is a new arrival… She isn’t ready to interact with customers yet.”

Logan: “Do you know who I am?”

Dancer: “Of course sir…”

Logan then whispers to the girl and she looks conflicted…

Dancer: “I will have to ask the boss…”

She then departs from the table.

“All that wasn’t necessary…”

Logan: “Of course it was, this is your night, and I can’t have you not enjoying it like the rest of us.”

“That’s what isn’t necessary.”

Logan: “You will thank me later, trust me.”

“…”

After a few minutes you can see the woman Logan was talking to talk to the beastkin woman and the other woman she is with. They both look confused and the woman Logan spoke with just shrugs her shoulders.

The beastkin woman and the one with her then make their way over to us, but it is the human woman that speaks.

Dancer: “I thank you for your patronage Prince Logan, the boss said you would like Aria to perform for you?

Logan: “Not me, but for my friend here.”

Dancer: “Very well, but I must inform you again that she is still in training, so it may result in a less than satisfactory performance, and I will stay here with her to make sure she doesn’t mess up to bad.”

After Logan nods the dancer moves over to Aria and whispers in her ear. Aria nods and begins to blush as she starts dancing much like she was on the other side of the room.

Even though her clothing and dance are rather erotic I find watching her more soothing then erotic… After the better look at her I can now see she appears to be some kind of cat beastkin, but she isn’t quite the same as other cat beastkin that I have seen.

Her dance starts off pretty rough with her blushing quite a bit, but after a bit she starts moving with much more grace. Every so often the human woman pushes her forward a little closer. I don’t even notice as I am focused on her dance until she is close enough she accidently kicks me in the head when she gets to close.

She quickly drops to her knees with tears in her eyes as she starts apologizing profusely, and the human woman quickly starts apologizing to Logan.

“It’s alright really…” –I take her large gloved hand pulling her back to her feet. – “Would you like to try again?”

The human woman breathes a sigh of relief while Aria nods while blushing, and although I don’t notice it Logan sits back with a large smirk on his face. After another dance in which this time Aria completes without incident the human woman practically forces her to sit in my lap.

I try to object which causes the woman to stop, but after she looks to Logan, he whispers to the human woman and she then makes Aria sit down in my lap. Logan then makes a motion to Doug and the human woman sits in Doug’s lap.

Aria actually danced for quite a while so as she is sitting in my lap it’s hard to ignore her as much as I try with her heavy breathes, and I can practically feel the heat from her face as she is blushing.

The human woman rubs her hands all over Doug while picking up his drink and practically pours it down his throat. He however seems to be enjoying it quite a bit and has a big smile on his face. Seeing this Aria awkwardly picks up my mug with her gloved hands and tries to make me drink, but she only manages to pour my drink down the front of my shirt.

She quickly begins blushing heavily again, setting my drink back on the table, and brushing my shirt with her gloved hands.

“It’s ok… Don’t worry about it.” –I cast [Clean] on myself.-

Aria then speaks for the first time in a soft voice. “I am Aria.” After saying her name brings up her gloved hands and lets out a cute little roar sound.

“…I gathered that when the other woman called you by name earlier, but what was the rest of that about?”

Aria: “Crescendo? She has been taking care of me while I get used to things around here. Roar~”

I can’t help but laugh while saying. “No, that the sound you made.”

Aria: “My roar? Roar~”

“Yea… I guess so.”

She hesitates for a moment then says. “I just like doing it. Roar~”

“…”

The human woman, I guess her name is Crescendo, then takes the last little bit of alcohol in the bottom of Doug’s mug and purposely drips it onto her cleavage. Doug laps it up but then quickly looks around blushing.

Aria begins to blush again as she looks over at my mug.

“No, no, no… That’s ok. It looks like we are both in a bit of an uncomfortable spot. If you just want to sit there I think that would make Logan happy and you won’t have to do anything else ok?”

Raising her gloved hands up again she just replies with “Roar~”

Things progress pretty quietly after that, with Logan getting a few more dances from some of the other dancers, and even Crescendo seems to maintain a status quo at a certain level not letting Doug pass it as she continue pouring drinks down his throat…

I just sip my drinks slowly while talking with Aria, but it seems if I try to ask personal questions she cuts me off with one of her cute little roars so I eventually quit asking about her and just try to hold a general conversation…

When Doug ends up passing out into Crescendo’s cleavage Logan finally decides to call the evening. He however gets Aria to give me one more dance before we carry Doug out into the night.

Logan: “Such a lightweight, to think he missed the best part. Oh well I think we will have a few more chances after your wedding till he has to set back out. What about you? Did you at least enjoy yourself?”

“Well it was definitely different…”

Not long after that Doug starts throwing up, so we end up hiring some transportation to take us back the rest of the way to the castle. After bidding me a good night he follows some guards as they carry Doug off.

By the time I reach Belinda’s room she is already peacefully sleeping in bed, so I just slide in with her and go to sleep as well.

 

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