Chapter 82: Dungeon #95

 

Dungeon Core #21 [Greenhawk] has perished at the hands of the Hero Arngrim.

Laura is at it again… I thought my offer would entice her to look for Two-Twelve, but I guess not. I don’t bother looking in on them but I take out my Dungeon Core Information to at least find out more about dungeon core #21.

This one was quite a bit older then the last one they took out and in Korta as well. They really are getting around, Two-Twelve’s dungeon would be a sitting duck to someone like Listel or this Arngrim, and so I hope they keep their distance… Maybe I should send Laura another message to be sure.

“Looks like your monsters are still hard at work.”

Laura: “Well you did ask me to look into it.”

“Excuse me?”

Laura: “Two-Twelve, the missing core.”

“What does he have to do with Dungeon Core #21?”

Laura: “Apparently nothing, but we had a lead saying he might have been involved, so I was I was just being thorough.”

“So you are taking my offer seriously?”

Laura: “I would be a fool not too.”

“Well if you do hear anything, be sure to let me know.”

Laura: “Understood.”

Well… I don’t know what this 25 year old core could have had to do with Two-Twelve’s disappearance, but maybe I should look into this a bit further.

 

Arngrim’s PoV

After departing the tower ruins Listel asked me.

Listel: “We have two more dungeon cores to take care of. We will have to do a bit of backtracking no matter which we go to, but the closest is the harder of the two, so what do you say?”

“You’re leaving it up to me?”

Listel: “Of course we are partners now right?”

“Partner? I thought I was just your pet.”

Listel: “Well if that’s what you want… But I thought you have come far enough to graduate you from the pet thing.”

“No, I’m fine with partner… But about the next dungeon… First we had the dragon, and then the griffon, if they were the easy dungeons I say even if it takes a bit longer we should work our way up to the hardest.”

Listel: “Alright Arngrim, then northeast it is.”

After the destination is set we set out…And that was almost 3 weeks ago… We still haven’t stopped in a human town for drinks yet, but after heading east from the dungeon we entered Merretta, she said we could get in quite a bit of trouble if the king found out agents of Southern Merretta were in Merretta so maybe she isn’t just avoiding it like I originally thought.

We have continued none stop up until now, but as a large city can be seen in the distance Listel starts to slow down.

“Is that were the dungeon we are going to is?”

Listel laughs and says. “Oh no… No way we could handle that one, but my mistress wants us to pay our respects since we are in the neighborhood. Besides it we could celebrate our two months being together and get them drinks we talked about.”

“Wait it’s been two months already?”

Listel: “For a few days now. Time flies when you are having fun.”

“More like time flies while traveling. We have been on the road almost the entire time.”

Listel: “Then what do you say if it’s ok with the Dungeon Core here we will kick up our feet in his city for a few days and have some R&R.”

“I think I would like that…”

As we start to get closer to the city though looking at the castle towering over the dilapidated buildings causes a small bit of pain in my neck… I can’t place it but this castle looks familiar, and according to the collar I must. I almost forgot the collar was there it’s been over a week now since the last time it went off.

“What is this place?”

Listel: “It’s Mar.”

“Mar? That sounds familiar.”

Listel: “Well it should its home to the strongest dungeon core that has ever lived.”

“Dyson?  Have you met him before? What’s he like?”

I am a little confused as Listel quickly stops walking and turns to me giving me a brief kiss. She then has a bright smile on her face as she says.

Listel: “He is strong and he knows it, but as long as you don’t anger him he isn’t too bad.”

“What was that for?”

Listel shakes her head saying. “Nothing… It’s just something you said, it made me really happy.”

“I don’t understand.”

Listel: “It’s ok… But now we have even more to celebrate, come on!”

She grabs my wrist and picks up speed again till we reach the city. The city itself looks pretty run down, and even though there are lots of people on the streets they all give us a wide berth. They all look at Listel with quite a bit of scorn, but it seems like they can tell she could easily end them if she wanted so in turn they just avoid her.

Without any hindrance we make it to the lavishly decorated castle gate and are greeted by a young beautiful woman wearing very little in the terms of clothing. Even when you would consider what Listel wears to not leaves not much to the imagination she is still well dressed compared to this young lady.

Lady: “Welcome Heroes Listel and Arngrim, my master is expecting you. Please follow me.”

The lady then bows which causes my eyes to be drawn to her cleavage, but Listel quickly elbows me and grabs my arm pulling me tight. We then follow the woman into the castle.  After heading though several corridors we come to a large overly decorative door with a ruby the size of a fist in the place of a doorknob.

The lady leads us in and ushers us to sit down. Even after Listel pulls me down onto a couch barely big enough for the two of us, the lady then attempts to sit in my lap. Listel quickly gets angry and tosses the girl to the floor.

About the same time the door opens again and the lady instead of getting up just remains on the floor bowing. A large muscular man with slicked back black hair and beady eyes walks in with a crooked smile. I can’t help but feel I know this man but after a brief pain in my neck I shake it off.

Dyson: “Listel, it’s good to see you again, sorry for the misunderstanding with the young lady there, but I try to make my guests feel welcome.”

Listel: “Yes I very know well what your intentions were, and I will make it clear he is mine.”

Dyson: “Oh I see so he is yours then, and not your mistress’s?” –He says as he sits down across from us.-

Listel: “Don’t twist my words.”

Dyson’s crooked smile looks to say he found out something useful as he then turns his attention to me. “So this is the new up and coming hero, Arngrim?”

“Yes sir, I am Arngrim. I don’t know much about up and coming hero though, most of it has only been by Listel’s help that I have even managed to survive.”

Dyson: “Not as cocky as most heroes I see, it’s kind of refreshing.”

Even though he says it, he seems to have a bit of a pained expression on his face.

“I’m sorry, did I do something to offend you?”

Dyson: “No, nothing like that that. You just reminded me of someone that is all.”

Listel: “Anyway, regarding the matter as to why we have come to your lands. Our investigation has led us to a dungeon within the badlands, and as my mistress did not want you to take offense we thought it was only right to pay our respects.”

Dyson: “I see.” –He looks to be mauling the statement around in his head then says.- “Well there are only three others in the badlands other than myself, and one is barely a year old.”

Listel: “Our current target is #95 [Gruda]”

Dyson looks a little shocked, or at least pretends to be.

Dyson: “#95 hu…” –He says as he strokes his chin.- “Well I don’t see how it can be related to your investigation, but I have no reason to deny you, so happy hunting.”

Listel: “Thank you… I also promised Arngrim a little R&R so if you don’t mind I was hoping we could rest in Mar a few days?”

Dyson: “Mar is not very receptive to someone such as yourself, but if you are fine with it I have no objections, but remember if you plan on trying any funny business I will have my eye on you.”

Listel: “I expect nothing less.” –Listel stands pulling me along with her and then bows.-

Dyson then waves us on and we walks from the room. Listel seems to breathe a sigh of relief, and then forces a smile on her face as she says. “Well shall we then?”

We then head back though the castle exiting the gates, we then set out into Mar looking for a good inn. We finally find the best inn available, but I would hardly call it a good inn. At first they deny Listel but after a few choice words and almost dragging the man across the counter we acquire a room key. We don’t take any chances by leaving anything in the room, and we decide to store our gear with [Shadow-pocket].

We then set out to find a place to have a drink, but that is easier said than done. Not that finding a place to buy alcohol is hard to find, it’s more the opposite every building is practically a tavern so which do we choose?

Eventually we make our choice and head in and sit down. With Listel’s less then warm reception I decide to order us our first round and then take it back to the table. After handing Listel the tall mug she looks in it and sniffs it.

She makes an odd but cute expression as she turns up her nose and sticks out her tongue. I take a swig and it’s actually a pretty good alcohol. After watching me take a second drink Listel takes a deep breath the throws back the mug chugging the entire thing…

Slamming the mug back on the table she has a ring on her face from the foam and a bit dripping from her chin down into her cleavage. With a growing smile on her face she says. “That’s actually pretty good.”

“There is no rush. You’ll be drunk in seconds like that.” –I say while I wipe away the foam from her face.-

Listel: “You missed some.” –She says while puffing out her chest.-

“I will let you take care of that bit on your own. Let me go get you another.”

After getting her another drink I manage to get her to take smaller drinks, and we continue for quite a while. I lost count at some point how much we drank and after feeling thoroughly hammered, I know with this being Listel’s first time she has to be further gone then me.

I decide to pack it up and retire helping to her feet as she has trouble standing. We slowly make our way back to the inn. We no sooner make it into the room before she kicks off her boots and starts to pull off her clothes.

I try to stop her but as I get closer she just tries to start removing mine as well so I just help her into to bed. After laying her in bed I start to move over to the chair and she grabs my wrist looking at me with her large, beautiful, but sad eyes.

I sigh and sit back down on the edge of the bed and she quickly jerks me down wrapping her naked body around me. She somehow managed to crawl over the top of me with her long blond hair cascading all around me.

She then uses one of her sharp nails to shred the front of my shirt, and then jerks it open. Pressing her breasts against my chest she wraps her lips around mine. I place one hand on her cheek kissing her back. I don’t know how long we kissed for but I eventually wrap my arm around her waist and flip both of us over so I am on top of her.

Kneading my hand on one of her breasts I bury my face in the other, and when I bring my face back up to kiss her I realize… With pink cheeks and a bright smile she has fallen sleep… I let out a deep sigh and scoot her over a bit and lay down.

Still sound asleep she wraps herself around me placing her head on my shoulder she begins to lightly purr. I lay there for a few minutes calming myself down, and then I feel something… With a look of pure bliss on her sleeping face my leg becomes warm and wet…

“Oh come on!”

After that I quickly cast [Clean] on both of us and after that I have no trouble going to sleep myself.

 

Belinda’s PoV

 

Things were pretty bad after Mindy first arrived, and Logan had to stay for a full week even after he squared things away with Doug just so Mindy didn’t try changes things too bad where Two-Twelve can’t fix them when he returns.

As for Doug, Logan is letting him stay but for some reason he makes Doug and his slave have move in with me. I guess that is what I get for saying it was lonely… Now I have Mindy and Doug here.

Mindy hates it here, she hates the people, she hates the town, she hates Two-Twelve’s office, and she hates everything, so I am actually enjoying watching he suffer quite a bit. Actually it has been the major source of my drive as we still have not a single clue as to where Two-Twelve is.

The group out looking for Two-Twelve has finally made it to Adra, but I heard from Dyson that Listel and the other man with her killed a dungeon core in Korta that they were hoping had information about Two-Twelve’s location so I just don’t know anymore…

I know he hasn’t really been gone that long, and we were apart longer when the girls and I went to Calhoun and destroyed that dungeon, but having the third winter solstice of Tobes without him was quite a blow. I know it’s only been a few months and still being bound to the dungeon I literally have forever to find him I still can’t help to fear deep down maybe I never will.

Lilah, Lylah, and Lila have been able to keep the dungeon up and running so well, that we have even managed to make two more groups of sentient monsters to help in the search. It managed for us to unlock a few more human classes to summon and one more type normal beastkin, but without any clues we just sent one group to Korta near where the dungeon Listel destroyed the dungeon, and one to Merretta hoping by just some sheer chance they will come across something.

After Doug moved in to my house, he and his slave managed to finish the course that Sofia had for them at the old adventurer’s guild building, and have formed up with a group of locals to make daily runs into the elemental rooms of the dungeon.

I made sure the girls took it easy on him for a few days, but it seems like it wasn’t needed because their group has done very well.

While working on some things for the guild Scylla enters the guild with a concerned but excited expression and Kline follows in but stays near the door looking terrified.

Scylla: “Miss Belinda, Miss Belinda!”

“What is it Scylla?”

Scylla: “I’m pregnant!”

“Good for you!”

I really meant what I said, and I truly am happy for her, but I can’t help to feel a bit of pain in my chest and I am sure my face is showing a complicated expression.

Scylla: “Kline and I were worried, and didn’t know how you would react to the news, but we wanted to tell you as soon as we found out.”

“I’m sorry, I am really happy for you, it just made me think of what Two-Twelve would say about it and…”

Scylla wraps her arms around me with tears in her eyes.

Scylla: “Don’t worry Miss Belinda. You know how Master is, and I am sure he is doing his best to find his way back home to you.”

I can’t help but to break down… I take the rest of the day off to spend it with Scylla trying to get back in a better mindset.

Arngrim’s PoV

When I awaken the next morning Listel is still sleeping peacefully. I brush some of her long silky blond hair from in front of her face and kiss her. She then begins to stir. Her tail shoots out from under the covers straight out as she stretches, and as her eyes sleepily open they fall on me and she smiles.

“Good morning.”

Listel crawls over me and sits up stretching again… “That wasn’t so bad, but I got an awful headache this morning.”

“Wasn’t so bad? Do you even remember last night?”

Listel: “I remember the drinking, and then we came back here, and in my drunken state you took advantage of me.”

“I did no such thing!”

Listel: “Oh… Not so loud… I was pulling your leg… But you wanted to right?”

“Just get dressed…”

Listel: “Ohh, you’re not denying it.~”

“I wouldn’t do something like that.”

Listel: “I’m not so sure.” –she says coyly and lays back over pressing her body against mine and kissing me.-

I brush her cheek as I kiss her back and run my other hand where the skin meets the fur down her side. Once I reach her butt she starts to smile while kissing me but instead of grabbing it I grab ahold of the base of her tail lifting her off my waist.

Listel: “Ahh! That hurts, and not fair you jerk.”

“It’s time to get dressed, We have put on enough of a show for Dyson, We should probably continue on our way now.”

Listel: “You don’t think he would be literally watching us do you? I assumed it was just a matter of speaking.”

“Well dungeons can see everything that goes on in their dungeon, and Dyson seems the type, so you never know.”

Listel: “You barely met him, how would you know?”

“I don’t know just the kind of feeling I got from him I guess.

Listel seems to look a little worried then bends over flicking her tail in my face to draw my attention while she starts to put on her clothes.

Listel: “Well even if he is watching I wouldn’t mind, if I at least finally got to have you.”

I tell her to quit joking, withdrawal my armor from [Shadow-Pocket], start putting it on, and start to think. Why is it I keep pushing her away? We are both obviously feeling it so what’s this nagging feeling that keeps telling me it’s not right?

After getting my armor on I shake the thought and we then set out from the inn. The dungeon is supposed to be at least a week journey from here, but for us we have been able to reduce that kind of distance to half a day.

I think I could even outrun a horse now, and not only that but maintain that speed all day… Being a hero truly is fun… Listel’s headache slows us down however and we don’t push it too hard to we take it slow and don’t reach the dungeon till nightfall.

Listel: “This dungeon isn’t very big, but it is quite a bit older then even that last one you faced, so the difficulty of the monsters inside should all be pretty high. This dungeon often sends out raiding parties to gather xp, so depending if they are out and about or night the dungeon core may or may not be here.”

“Alright, then what’s the plan?”

Listel: “Well we have three options we wait till we see a raiding party leave before hitting it hard and fast just trying to destroy the dungeon before their return, or we wait until all the monsters are inside and try to gain more levels before taking out the dungeon core.”

“And the third option?”

Listel: “Just hit it straight on, if she is there she is there, if not then she isn’t”

“I think we should at least wait till morning. I think the worst thing would be in the middle of the dungeon when they return and causing a panic and we get overwhelmed.”

Listel: “And if we don’t see any signs by morning? “

“Then we follow option 3.”

Listel: “Alright, it’s your show.”

“We should probably keep a watch tonight as well, I will take the first, and wake you up if anything happens.”

Listel: “But I wanted to pick up where we left things last night.”

I lean over and kiss her.

“Not tonight.”

Listel: “Tonight, so picking it up is still on the table?”

I smile and shake my head. “Good night Listel.”

Listel: “Yea, yea… Good night Arngrim.”

Listel settles down and I prop myself up with a good vantage point of the entrance to the dungeon and wait… With the most downtime I have had since being with Listel I am left rather board and I can’t help but bring up what I was thinking this morning.

I continue to rack my brain, but I can’t recall how Listel and I came to be together, and the more I try to think about it the more confused I get. Every time I think I am starting to get close to an answer I get a pain in my neck and then it’s just gone…

No matter how hard I try it just doesn’t come to me, and without realizing the time in which I was supposed to wake Listel is long past. Well it’s close enough to the morning now I guess I should let go ahead and let her sleep.

However it’s not long and there seems to be some movement near the entrance of the dungeon. I continue to watch and a large group of monsters starts to leave the dungeon. Listel wasn’t joking these monsters really do look a lot tougher.

They make that small troll boss monster of the last dungeon look like a goblin… The group seems to be led by an exceptionally ugly troll, and I can’t be 100% sure but I think it’s a female. I didn’t think there were female trolls. I wait for them to disappear around a bend and then go to wake Listel.

Listel’s beautiful cat like eyes are however starring up at me. I guess she heard to commotion and woke up…

“Alright, I guess it’s time.”

Listel: “Are you sure, you haven’t gotten any sleep.”

“If that group is the typical of the dungeon we are going to need every second we can spare.”

Listel: “And you are feeling alright…?”

“Of course… Why?”

Listel: “Well because…” –She looks a little worried or more so conflicted. – “It’s nothing.”

Listel then gets up moving over giving me a quick kiss as we start moving in on the dungeon. Luckily the large trolls don’t seem the typical type of monster from the dungeon as it starts out with goblins like the other.

By the time the sun rises however we have made it to the third floor and the monsters have already progressed into the large ogres we were dealing with at the top floors of the last dungeon. I don’t know how long the hunting party will be out, but I do know we need to pick up the pace.

I start using my magic a bit more liberally and it seems to help us speed up and by noon we have progressed to the 10th floor. My magic has not been returning near as quick and I am starting to feel the fatigue build up, but this much shouldn’t be anything for a hero so I keep pushing on.

My strength has grown in leaps and bounds being with Listel, but she is simply amazing I often find myself mesmerized by watching the way she is fighting. It has put me in a tight spot a few times but she has laughed it off.

When we start to encounter trolls she even starts to struggle, although she is fighting two for every one that I fight. After a particularly tough fight, we are in the process of healing our wounds and recovering when I decide to ask her.

“How close are we to the end? All the monsters that left in the raiding party had to be named, so they could travel anywhere in the dungeon, so we are going to be in a bad spot if they happen to return while we are resting.”

Listel draws a line in the air pulling a book from her [Shadow-pocket] she then flips it to a page and looks it over.

Listel: “What floor are we on? I have forgotten…”

“I am pretty sure we are on the 16th floor.”

Listel: “Are you sure?”

“Well pretty sure…”

Listel: “Then this should be it. The crystal room should be around on this floor somewhere.”

“What about your nifty little skill, can’t you use it?”

Listel: “I have used too much magic already. I need to conserve what I got for healing magic.”

“Then let’s just push on before we run out of time.”

We push through two more rooms before we come up to what looks like the crystal room. The room is rather empty with a pedestal in the middle of the floor with a large ruby growing out of it.  I quickly look around but there doesn’t seem to be anything guarding the crystal.

Listel: “We might have lucked out hurry and break the crystal just in case.”

I swing my sword causing the crystal to shatter, like the other two the shards fly though the air entering my body. The rush feels wonderful almost like when you first sink into a nice bath…But when have I taken a bath? I slept in that bath with Listel in the other dungeon and seemed to know all about it, but how did I know all about it?

The pain in my neck happens again, and the dungeon has begun to shake, so enough with that right now we got to go…

Listel and I then quickly begin making our way out of the dungeon, and being the fact it was only 16 floors we make it outside very quickly. After making it out I slouch against a large rock completely exhausted… I don’t even realize it but I must have instantly dozed off.

Listel: “*rng**m… Arngrim!”

I quickly jolt awake from Listel screaming my name. Listel is standing between me and the entire raiding party of trolls.

“How is this possible we destroyed the crystal?!”

Listel: “They must not be bound to the dungeon, or every single one of them was a boss.”

“Wait the female is gone.” –I say as I quickly pull my sword.-

Listel: “The female?”

“When they left there was a large ugly female troll with them.”

Listel: “That must have been the dungeon core, when she died they returned to find out what happened.”

“What are we going to do now? We can’t take them all.”

Listel: “We are going to have to just make a path and make a run for it.”

The trolls have us completely surrounded so they are in no rush to charge in. I move next to Listel with my sword and we prepare for battle. We turn as one several times waiting to see who is going to make the first move, but after Listel seems to finally pick a target she darts across the ground attacking one of the trolls.

I am not far behind her as we focus on a single troll as the rest of the trolls being moving in. We manage to drop the troll but have to jump back as the tightening of the group of Trolls left us blocked off still. We try twice more but the group just keeps pushing us back and they are getting closer and closer.

Listel: “Alright I have a plan, I will distract them while you make a run for it and I will catch up.”

“How is that a plan?!”

Listel: “I can easily evade the trolls, but the important part is getting you out. I can’t get away without leaving you behind, but if you can get out first then I can catch up.”

“Are you sure you can do this?”

Listel reaches over and kisses me. “Trust me.”

She then bolts forward again attacking one of the trolls, this time while she has it distracted I move past it and start to run. The group splits off and 4 of the remaining 20 or so trolls split off from the group to chase me.

I try to get away but they are very quick as well right on my heels, after five minutes or so though I slowly start to gain ground on them and events start to replay back in my head…

Listel: “Do you trust me?”

“Of course not!”

Listel: “Don’t you trust me?”

“No!”

Listel: “What don’t trust me?

“Why would I!”

….Damnit I never have trusted her… The one time she needed me not to trust her I did… I quickly come to a dead stop which startles the trolls who were losing ground on me, and I bolt straight past them heading back towards the dungeon.

By the time I make it back there are quite a few more dead trolls, but there are at least 5 remaining and they are all within a tight circle… I don’t see Listel anywhere but I charge right into the back of one of them thrusting my sword all the way to its hilt though the creature.

They quickly begin to panic at my return, and I catch sight of Listel on the ground. She is battered, bruised and tore up pretty good, but she is still moving… I managed to deal a fatal would to the troll that I buried my sword into and I ride him to the ground as he falls forward. I then jerk my sword from its body and leap at another one.

I quickly cast [Shadow-ball] trying to capture two of the trolls inside while attacking a third with my sword, but I only manage to snag one of them with the spell.

Holding the [Shadow-ball] and using my sword is a lot more taxing then I thought, so I start to look for options… In a few short seconds the group chasing me will have returned and then there will be no chance, so throw my sword at the troll next to the one held in the [Shadow-ball].

While he bats the sword away I scoop up Listel in my arms and bolt between him. The [Shadow-ball] collapses but with a clear view in front of me I just keep running as hard as I can… I don’t know how fast I ran or even how far,  I don’t even ever look back to see if the trolls are still there, but I keep running till my legs feel like they are just going to disintegrate and then finally collapse to the ground cradling Listel.

Listel opens the one of her eyes that isn’t swollen shut, and a stream of tears leaks from it as she weakly lifts her hand to my face.

Listel: “You…Didn’t…Run…Away…”

“Of course not you idiot! Because I love you!”

Listel weakly smiles and shuts her eye. I use the last of my remaining magic to cast a healing spell on her, it doesn’t do much but I continue to cast healing spells every time I build enough magic to do so until her wounds are healed.

When I finally see her open her beautiful green eyes again I can’t help but smile, then the fatigue takes me and I black out.

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