After sending a message to Dyson, to see if he would meet with me, I find him replying almost instantly… He said he is taking care of something, but would be happy to meet with me in a few hours. To be honest to receive such a quick and welcoming reply from him makes me wonder just how close was Two-Twelve to him?
“Well I have done about all I can for now. Dyson has agreed on meeting with me but will not be ready for a few hours, so I guess until I return everyone is dismissed.”
Zoey: “What about the way I look boss? Won’t the humans get suspicious of my sudden change? Maybe I can borrow the cuff till we can come up with something.”
“No, I said it’s too dangerous till we find out how it works exactly.”
Belinda: “Besides, your changes were not as bad as Roxy’s and my own, so you should be fine…”
Roxy: “We can just say she took a bath. People would probably buy it if we told them that.”
Zoey: “I’m not dirty!”
Roxy: “Only because I cast [Clean] on you at least 3 times a day… I have never seen someone get so dirty when just lying around the house…”
Roxy and Zoey continue to bicker with one another as they transfer out, but they are both smiling pretty happily so I can’t be sure how much if any of it they actually mean.
Azami: “If you excuse me I believe I will return to the forest until you need me again, or if you need me I will return to the forest until you call for me.”
Belinda shakes her head after Azami leaves then says. “What about you? What are you going to do until Dyson’s meeting?”
“Well I believe I have used up all the available xp, the bunny girls have the dungeon under control, so I don’t have a clue.”
Belinda seems excited when she says. “Then how about I re-introduce you to Tobes.”
I sigh. “Well I guess I don’t have anything else to do…”
Belinda: “While you store your armor and things away I am going to get ready real quick! I will be five minutes tops!”
She then quickly transfers from the room in a rush. It only takes me about 5 seconds to store my things and after transferring to the house I am left waiting on Belinda…
True to her word it is only about five minutes until she comes walking down the stairs. Winter is already past but I still think it is still a bit brisk for the colorful summer dress she is wearing… It isn’t exceptionally short but enough she has to hold it back as she walks down the stairs.
She has also seemed to apply some make-up, but it’s not as heavy as it seems to be. Only just enough to bring out the color of her eyes and the lushness of her lips… I have to admit I definitely think Two-Twelve had good taste… I even seem to feel a bit nervous as she walks getting closer.
Once she finally makes it down the stairs she has a bright smile on her face and wraps her arm around mine. She then drags me from the house into the streets of Tobes. Tobes definitely isn’t Utharia, but it is quite a bit larger then I imagined… And Two-Twelve has managed to cover the entire thing inside his dungeon.
Given the size of the town it’s rather odd to see just how many people have already seemed to learn of my return and my condition. Belinda’s first stop is the city hall building next to the house. After introducing me to the people at the adventurer’s guild she leads me upstairs. I finally get to meet, or I guess re-meet her sister. Belinda shows me around the mayor’s office in great detail in what seems like in an effort to make her sister mad.
Mindy: “I have to say your condition is most problematic for me. I was expecting with your return I would then be able to return to the capital where I belong.”
“I am not sure I would even want to retake the position as mayor, so it seems like you will be needed here are for the foreseeable future.”
This however seems to anger her.
Mindy: “I was assured that my position here was only temporary! Once Two-Twelve returned I would be able to go back home! Now that you have returned like it or not the reason for me to be here is done!”
Belinda: “We couldn’t have known something like this would happen. You can’t expect him to just start running the town when he can’t remember anything.”
Mindy: “That isn’t my problem!”
Belinda: “Well I already told father and Logan about Two-Twelve’s condition through communication parchment, so I would advise you get comfortable, because I am sure they won’t recall you with the situation as it is.”
Mindy: “Well we will just see about that!”
Belinda: “Yes, yes we will!”
Belinda then leads me from the room and although I thought her and her sister were just having a big fight she almost seems happy about it… She then drags me off back into town.
After a while she tries to get me to stop for lunch but I refuse which seems to disappoint her a bit but she doesn’t say anything.
After seemingly covering the entire town she leads me to into a large empty building. There are mats on the floor and several training dummies and weapon racks in the corner, and after leading me through a door in the back we enter what seems to be a classroom.
Inside is Sofia, while she talks with a young man with short red hair and a handsome face, next to the man is a beastkin with short round ears and a long tail. If I had to guess I would say this was probably Belinda’s brother and his slave.
Belinda: “Doug, I was re-introducing Two-Twelve to everyone, and I heard from Sofia that you might be here so I thought we would stop in to say hello.”
Doug: “Sis! Oh Two-Twelve I am so glad you are back. I am sorry to hear about what happened, but I am sure with time you will back to your old self. When I snuck out of the capital I was hoping to bring you a gift, but after what happened we have grown quite attached to each other, so please forgive me.”
The young beastkin girl with the collar then bows to me.
Belinda: “I told you Doug, it was useless I was not about to let you give Two-Twelve a woman as a present!”
Sofia mumbles something about it not being the first time under her breath.
“Wait… Why would you try to give me a stripper as a gift?”
The girls blushes a bit and Doug rubs the back of his head with a sheepish grin, but Belinda seems to get excited.
Belinda: “What did you say? I don’t remember saying anything… How did you know she used to be a stripper? Is your memory returning?!”
“Calm down… I don’t know I… I’m sorry I don’t know…”
Belinda: “Aria aside, this is good news, even if it’s something small I know that is something you had to of remembered.”
Doug: “I heard after you lost your memory you became quite the adventurer. Maybe Aria and I can go with you next time?”
Belinda: “You two have come a long way with Sofia’s help, but you both are still nowhere near good enough for something like that.”
Doug: “Come on sis! You haven’t even seen us in the dungeon, we could help!”
“She is right, I’m sure it would be far safer for you to stick to the dungeon here.”
Doug: “Being an adventurer isn’t safe. If we are going to become as good as adventurers as Logan or sis we are going to have to go to other dungeons.”
Sofia: “I assure you they have indeed come a long way, but Doug remember what I said about traveling to other dungeons.”
Doug: “I know but if sis and Two-Twelve is there.”
Sofia: “I am not strong enough to accompany them on their next trip, so you would just get in their way.”
Belinda: “I’m sorry Doug really, but maybe after we take care of things then we can take you to New Leona, or The Tower of the Gods.”
Doug: “Well come on Aria, maybe we still have time to round up the guys and do a short run today.”
Aria: “I don’t know Master Doug… It is already past noon.”
Belinda: “Well I have a little bit left to show Two-Twelve before we head home, so if you do go up to the dungeon just remember to be extra careful.”
Belinda then leads me from the building and we finish our tour of Tobes. As I then start to prepare for the trip to Dyson’s, Belinda asks me.
Belinda: “You think I can come with you this time…?”
“I don’t think it would be a problem, but is it really necessary?”
Belinda: “I feel like I don’t want to let you out of my sight again, especially when you will be traveling to another dungeon.”
“Well I don’t think it will matter much either way, so I guess it’s alright.”
Belinda: “Thanks!” –She says wrapping her arms around me in a hug, then let’s go quickly straightening her dress.- “I’m sorry…”
“Well…I guess it’s time.”
I then cast [Gate], and then Belinda and I enter it arriving at the gates of Dyson’s castle. After the gate opens and we are led though it by a young woman in little clothing, and after passing through the halls we arrive at a familiar overly decorative door with a ruby handle.
Belinda: “He goes all out doesn’t he?”
“More like just showing off.”
Belinda: “Well he has earned the right I guess.”
Dyson: “I’m glad to hear you say that.” –He says as he places his hand on Belinda’s shoulder causing her to jump.- “We should go in and have a seat it would be far more comfortable.”
Belinda nervously nods, and we then head inside. Belinda quickly pulls me onto a small couch next to her.
Dyson: “You have never brought your princess with you before, or was it her idea?”
Belinda: “I just didn’t want to let him out of my sight again…”
Dyson: “I see. Well I was quite interested in asking you some questions, but I thought you would take some time readjusting so I figured I would give you some time. Needless to say I was a bit glad to hear from you.”
“Well I don’t know how much I can answer for you, I know very little myself, and still haven’t recovered my memories from before.”
Dyson: “I see. Then perhaps you would allow me to have a look at the collar and cuff Laura had fitted on you? The elders were wondering how she was able to remove you from record with such a thing.”
“I have had little chance to investigate the matters myself. I would be able to release the collar to you, but there are matters about the cuff that are still of concern to me. Furthermore were the elders not able to press Laura for information about the items themselves?”
Dyson: “We had some words with her and she seemed rather distraught after losing the items along with one of her boss monsters, but after it was all at her own doing we had little sympathy for her.”
“So the elders are going to ignore everything that happened?”
Dyson: “After finding out that she could not reproduce the results from the cuff the other elders decided the matter then was just between the two of you. With the loss of her items, her assistance in you claiming 4 dungeon core’s power, and even one of her boss monsters. Laura was even going as far to demand compensation from you.”
Belinda: “That is ridiculous! This is all her fault! Two-Twelve had to suffer through all that and even lose his memory and she wants him to compensate her?!”
Dyson: “I understand, believe me, but the rest of the elders feel due to the circumstances to just call it even.”
Belinda seems upset but I stop her from saying anything.
“You keep saying the other elders. Does that mean you feel differently?”
Dyson: “Well you are back now, so as long as our agreement still stands that is all that matters to me, but Laura’s actions amounted to a bit of a problem for me as well so letting her go with a slap on the wrist seems a bit minor, but being an elder I am left little in the way of options.”
“Well I don’t know of the agreement you had with Two-Twelve, but he seemed to be happy with your arrangement, so as long as that remains the same I have no problem with that.”
Dyson: “So you don’t see yourself as Two-Twelve anymore?”
“Well I acknowledge the fact that I used to be Two-Twelve, but until his memories return, if they ever do, then I can only act the way I see fit. However if you really feel that way about Laura perhaps I can help.”
Dyson: “I am listening…”
“As I can’t remember being Two-Twelve it’s hard for me to say what Laura took from me in that aspect, but something I can’t overlook is her taking Listel from me. For that reason alone I have come seeking your help. As and elder or as a friend of Two-Twelve if you could point us in the direction of a core causing you problems we wish to build strength, so we can deal with Laura ourselves.”
Dyson: “And how do you feel about all this?” –He says looking to Belinda.-
Belinda: “I still have hope his memories return, but as his boss monster I will do as he asks. If Two-Twelve’s memories do not return then I too have reason to want revenge against Laura, so I would ask you please help us.”
Dyson: “If a core is so easy in which you could deal with it, then it wouldn’t even be capable of being a nuisance to me, so I don’t know if I can help you on that front. However if you just wish to get stronger I may have another idea that doesn’t concern destroying other dungeons.”
“Well the dungeon crystal is a quick and easy boost in power, but any assistance would be helpful.”
Dyson: “With your princess’s kingdom currently at war her becoming an envoy to another kingdom seeking aid would make traveling to Exeter a simple task, and if completing this task helps her kingdom as well what could it hurt?”
“What is it exactly that you want us to do?”
Dyson: “Well the task is simple enough the Queen of Exeter has something I require. I don’t care how you get it, steal, barter, trade, or whatever, but as long as I get the item I would consider it quite a personal favor.”
“I can see why you would ask for our help, but I don’t see how this would help us.”
Dyson: “With the undead of Lodia constantly trying to encroach on Exeter, they have grown accustomed to speaking with power, and I am sure even a princess asking for an audience would have to prove herself in the local adventurer’s guild before she could see the queen, so it’s entirely possible to even be able to claim a dungeon crystal or two in the process.”
“Well it sounds like it’s an option at least, what kind of time frame are we looking at here?”
Dyson: “As long as you recover the object I don’t care how long it takes.”
“So what exactly is this object?”
Dyson: “Just a simple sword nothing to fancy.”
Belinda: “If that is the case then why the audience with the Queen to acquire it?”
Dyson: “Well it just so happens to currently being used as part of the royal seal of Exeter, but surely a sword should be used and not hung on a wall.”
Belinda: “If it is part of the royal seal, how do you expect anything we say or do give us a chance to acquire it?”
Dyson: “Like I said the how is of no coincidence of me, and even if you can’t get the sword but take it to your dungeon just long enough that Two-Twelve is able to summon another, I would gladly pay the cost for its replication. In fact even with the sword I will probably ask Two-Twelve to summon me one made of a superior quality.”
Belinda: “Then even being alone with the sword for a few minutes we could teleport it to the dungeon and back without anyone being the wiser?”
Dyson: “In theory.”
“I see, but if this is so important to you why ask us to do it instead?”
Dyson: “In truth I do have a group of my own monsters trying to do exactly that, but they have seemed to hit a snag in trying to get an audience, but it is still possible they may manage to get ahold of it first. You however may be able to cut down the time by a few years.”
“Well I don’t know if we can help, but we asked and you answered, so I believe our business is done.”
Dyson: “Very well, but I will ask again about the cuff at a later date.”
“I wouldn’t expect less…”
After bidding Dyson goodbye we head out from the castle, after reaching the gate Belinda and I then return to Tobes with [Gate]
Belinda: “So what do you think? You think we should help him?”
“Well it seems like he will get it eventually one way or another, but at least this way we get some training, and maybe what he said was true. We could also help your father in the process.”
Belinda: “Well before I can attempt anything on an official capacity I would have to talk to Logan first.”
“Well that isn’t important as it seems like it might even take a few months for us to even get an audience.”
Belinda: “You would really be ok being away from the dungeon for that long?”
“Well the dungeon is only a quick [Gate] away.”
Belinda: “Well I guess that is true… So how soon till we leave?”
“Well I am ready now.”
Belinda: “Right now!?”
“Well if you have matters to address before I guess we can wait till the morning to set off.”
Belinda: “That’s still not a lot of time…”
“If we need to leave you behind, you could always catch up later with [Gate].”
Belinda: “No… I will make due, but I better get started right now.”
She seems hesitant on what to do but she then heads from the house. I decide to check on how the changes in the dungeon are working, so I transfer to the core room.
Lilah: “Master! Your back!”
“How are things going with the additions to the dungeon?”
Lylah: “The adventurers were really excited to see the addition until they got to the boss rooms.”
“So they have already reached the boss rooms?”
Lilah: “The usual groups that hit the dark rooms and wind rooms didn’t enter today, but the rest made it to the boss rooms of all the others.”
Lylah: “We actually had a high rate of deaths today as they all tried to attack the boss rooms except the group that found the dragon.”
Lila: “No master it isn’t. If the difficulty is raised too much then Belinda’s protection order will be harder to maintain.”
“Well a group would have to pass all 5 elemental bosses and clear almost both of the two new floors to get to the core so we should be fine.”
Lilah: “What does master mean?”
“Each boss holds an orb that is used as a key at the bottom of the dungeon to get to the crystal, but they have to have all 5 to get past, and if they try to remove them from the dungeon they will automatically return to the boss rooms.”
Lylah: “Master wouldn’t have been able to make something like that before…”
“Well I used his skill and items that were available. I guess some of it could have been added when I returned, because I seen a lot of items added but I didn’t read through any of it.”
Lilah: “Lylah, Lila, and Lilah have been looking though it all day when they had a chance but still haven’t made it through it all.”
Lylah: “Some of it is hard because we don’t know for sure if it was there before or not.”
“Well if it’s not important items you can probably skip it.”
Lila: “There are exactly 419 new items added to the general items section, if we don’t know what is new we might miss something important.”
“Well don’t worry about it too much…”
Lylah: “That is not even including the monsters, and equipment type items.”
“Well, I am going to take Belinda, Azami, Roxy, and Zoey with me tomorrow and we are going to begin some training, so I need to three to keep the dungeon protected.”
Lilah: “You can count on us master we have never let you down.”
Lylah: “What about the time…”
Lilah: “Lylah shhh.”
“… We will be a quick [Gate] away if you encounter any problems.”
Lilah, Lylah, Lila: “Ok!~”
I decide to transfer back down to the house and get to bed a bit early to prepare for the long trip. I send messages to Azami, Roxy, and Zoey as well just in case Belinda didn’t tell them about leaving in the morning and then head to bed.
I don’t know if it’s a memory, a feeling, from her scent on the bed, or exactly what it is, but as I wake up I can practically feel myself in Belinda’s embrace. When I open my eyes I am however still alone with almost a feeling of disappointment…
Since I went to bed so early it is still at least an hour before the sun is to rise, so I decide to make sure I have everything squared away before the trip. Using [Menu] though makes it take no time at all, and I am still left with little to do till the others wake.
When I leave the room and step into the hall I hear a quiet creak as the next closest door slowly opens.
“Good morning. I wasn’t expecting anyone would be up yet.”
Belinda: “Two… Arngrim you’re up already?”
“It’s alright, I guess there are things we still haven’t talked about. You can call me Arngrim or Two-Twelve, I do know now that we at least are in some way the same person, but I understand if you don’t want to call me by his name.”
Belinda: “No that isn’t it! You were just so clear when you first arrived and like you said we haven’t talked about it so I wasn’t sure…”
“Well whatever you are comfortable with is alright by me, and I guess I should apologize for my behavior when I first arrived I was rather rude.”
Belinda: “No, I understand… After hearing what you went though I actually think you are holding up quite well. Even when I knew you were still alive I was still a worthless mess for at least a couple days after you disappeared.”
“That’s not what I hear. I heard you whipped everyone into action and tried to lay siege to the Longolia castle looking for me.”
Belinda: “I’m going to make a bit of breakfast, would you care to join me? You don’t have to eat or anything, but we could at least talk some more.”
After I nod and we start heading downstairs she continues.
Belinda: “But yea, my first instinct was to go after you, but when the adrenaline started to wear off, and it started to sink in that you weren’t there anymore and I might lose you. That’s when I fell apart.”
“Well after you managed to collect yourself, it seems you did a pretty good job of getting things back in working order.”
Belinda: “Well I had a lot of help.”
When we enter the kitchen Belinda begins making breakfast and I grab one of the seats at the counter. There is no particular reason I choose this seat, but when Belinda sees me her face lightens up and she wears a warm smile.
“This is his seat isn’t it? I don’t know how to explain it. I don’t remember anything, but there are things I just know that had to be from things he experienced, and although I have no memory of it, it just feels natural…”
Belinda: “I guess there are some things they just couldn’t erase, or I guess it could be if they just completely wiped the slate clean you would have been like a non-sentient monster, or even worse.”
“I guess you’re right, my memories even after I began traveling with Listel seem a little hazy as well. Like I remember the first dungeon we entered, but there are conversations and things that happened even at that time that I can’t recall.”
Belinda: “Maybe we should let Dyson take a look at that collar and cuff. It might shine some light on how they erased your memories, so might find a way to recover them as well.”
“About that… When we were talking to Dyson about the sword we are supposed to recover for him he talked about the dungeon copying it for him. I didn’t want to say anything in front of him, but what exactly did he mean?”
Belinda: “Well you dungeon is quite special in a number of ways, and one of them is being able to replicate items that you place in your dungeon inventory, so that’s what he meant.”
“That’s kind of what I figured, so if that is the case, in theory I should be able to reproduce that cuff right?”
Belinda: “Well you always dealt with most of the dungeon stuff, so I am not 100% sure on how it all works, but depending if it’s an enchantment or something like that you should be able to add it to another item or completely make another.”
I am starting to wish I didn’t just clear all the screens after I had arrived… As Belinda continues making breakfast I start looking though [Menu] to see if I can find a way to replace the cuff, and after a few minutes I find a page that looks promising.
[Minor Magic] Item cost x1.5 or 2500xp whichever is less (500xp minimum)
[Ever-Sharp Edge] Item cost x1.5 or 2500xp whichever is less (500xp minimum)
[Binding Contract] Item cost x2 or 3,000xp whichever is less (1,000xp minimum)
[Fire-Resistant] Item cost x3 or 5000xp whichever is less (2000xp minimum)
[Poison-Resistant] Item cost x3 or 5000xp whichever is less (2000xp minimum)
[Magic Resistant] Item cost x3 or 5000xp whichever is less (2000xp minimum)
[Alter Appearance] Item cost x3 or 5000xp whichever is less (2000xp minimum)
[Elemental Bane] Item cost x3 or 8000xp whichever is less (3,500xp minimum)
[Fake Identity] Item cost x3 or 100,000xp whichever is less (12,000xp minimum)
[Peerless Sight] Item cost x3 or 250,000xp whichever is less (15,000xp minimum)
[Conceal Identity] Item cost x5 or 300,000xp whichever is less (20,000xp minimum)
[Self-healing] Item cost x8 or 850,000xp whichever is less (35,000xp minimum)
[Assassin’s Blade] Item cost x10 or 150,000xp whichever is less (50,000xp minimum)
[Magic Repel] Item cost x10 or 1,500,000xp whichever is less (50,000xp minimum)
[Agelessness ] Cost: 100,000xp
[Alter Mind] Item cost x10 or 1,000,000xp whichever is less (100,000xp minimum)
After looking though the list there are a few items that seem promising, I take a sip of my coffee while looking through their descriptions… After a while I determine the collar appears to be a mix of the [Binding Contract] and [Alter Mind], but the cuff it has to be any or all of [Binding Contract], [Alter Appearance], [Fake Identity], and/or [Conceal Identity].
I take another sip from my coffee and lean back letting the warmth from the coffee fill me while thinking, and then I realize… When did I get coffee? I sit back up and Belinda is leaning against the counter with a smile on her face watching me intently.
“Oh… Thanks for the coffee…”
Belinda: “Of course. Are you sure I can’t get you anything else?”
“No… Thanks. Well maybe a bit more coffee…”
Belinda pours it with a bright smile and takes her plate of breakfast sitting down next to me.
Belinda: “So did you figure anything out?”
“Well yes and no… I mean I see several relevant enchantments available, but is it one, a few, or all of them together that make it effective, or maybe I could bypass a few of them and get the desired results with just one or two of them.” –I then take another sip of my coffee.- “You know this stuff is pretty good…”
Belinda: “I thought you might like it. It is Two-Twelve’s favorite.”
“I can see why… Anyway… It appears the collar was simple enough, but the cuff looked to have at least a few enchantments on it. [Binding Contract] would to make it where it wasn’t removable or voluntary. Then it’s a mixture of [Alter appearance], [Fake Identity], and [Conceal Identity]. I think the collar and the cuff were just the literal perfect combination.”
Belinda: “So you think you can make another one then?”
“Well I would like to try it with just the [Fake Identity] enchantment to see if it gets the desired results, because if it does I might get away with using it without the elders finding out, but it might require the [Conceal Identity] enchantment as well.”
Belinda: “Well new item or just using the cuff. I am just glad to have you by my side during training this time. When the girls and I went to train I always felt we were missing something.”
Belinda and I continue to chat while she eats and I finish off a few cups of the coffee. The entire situation makes me a bit envious of Two-Twelve if that even makes since… After breakfast Zoey quickly enters the dining room and her ears drop.
Zoey: “I missed it…”
Belinda: “Sorry Zoey, we started a bit early this morning, everything is still warm though I can whip you up something real quick.”
Roxy: “That’s not necessary, she already ate a big helping before we came of here, she was just trying to get twice as much.”
Belinda: “So you two got up pretty early this morning as well?”
Zoey: “Nope we didn’t get any sleep. We were testing this new body of mine out all night!”
Roxy: “But don’t worry… We promise not to slow you down due to fatigue.”
Belinda’s tips of her ears look a bit pink as she says. “Oh… Then I guess we are just need Azami then? We will probably have to call her as she doesn’t like coming to Tobes otherwise.”
“You know I checked all of your status pages, but I never thought to ask. How is the equipment you have?”
Zoey: “It’s nothing fancy like the mythril sword you dragged home boss, but it can’t be too much under what your armor is.”
Belinda: “You made me a brand new custom suit of dwarven full-plate before our last trip to a dungeon, so I should be good for a while.”
“Alright, I guess put it on and we will then just transfer to Azami, from there we will [Gate] as close as we can then walk the rest of the way.”
Zoey: “But boss didn’t you go somewhere without ever being there before when you first got the spell?”
Belinda: “Well yes, but we were there and able to describe the landscape in detail.”
Zoey: “Oh boss! Speaking of magic, did you know I can use it now? Although Roxy made me clean the house with it this morning…” –She says while her ears droop.-
“Yes, I taught you most of the spells we know at the same time we did the skills yesterday. If we get a good amount of experience during this training I might be able to teach you all every spell and skill we know when we get back, because you are not far off now.”
I then take the cuff from the dungeon inventory, but don’t put it on yet. We then transfer up to the edge of the dungeon up in the mountain were it meets the forest.
Azami: “I received your message this morning and have been waiting. Either that or I have been waiting because I got your message.”
“Well good I think… So are we all set then?”
Belinda: “I guess so…”
We then prepare to set out for Exeter.