It hasn’t even been 48 hours since the humans have taken shelter at the temple, and they are already dangerously low on supplies. The humans supply far less xp then I would imagine, but it is enough to summon food for them if I have to. I just wouldn’t be able to explain how I got it. I decide until there is no other choice I will wait on that.
My monsters have been taking shifts day and night keeping the temple and well secure. After that first night Saki practically hasn’t left the temple since. With Akane and Yuji currently taking watch I receive a message from Yuji saying Tatsuo was asking for me.
I transfer from the core room back to the old woman’s barracks. With Akane and Yuji on guard right now, and Saki in the temple that leaves Takeshi and Satoshi sleeping in the barracks. Both of their faces are quite tempting while they sleep, but I guess I need to take care of business first, so I leave the small building to find Yuji waiting just outside.
Yuji: “Tatsuo is in the temple with a few of the villagers. He wants to talk to you about the situation with the supplies.”
I nod and make my way to the temple. When I enter there are at least a dozen of the villagers praying at the shrine, some of which are in tears that haven’t quit since they arrived. Tatsuo is leaning against the wall it looks like he is just making sure the villagers are being respectful.
Saki is rushing around the temple speaking with villagers, and she looks to have lost quite a bit of sleep and seems exhausted. When Tatsuo sees me enter he stands up straight and then walks over to me, he motions to step outside and we exit the temple.
“How is everyone holding up?”
Tatsuo: “Including myself only 47 of a village of over 200 made it, and that’s not even including the adventurers. Families have been torn to shreds, fathers, mothers, children everyone has lost someone. I could flex my muscles and run the village when the wall was there, but now… They don’t need physical strength, and I just don’t know if I am the person they need right now.”
“Humans are more resilient then you think, it won’t be easy but you will all get through this.”
Tatsuo: “I wish I had your confidence… Speaking of making it through this, we have begun rationing the remaining food, but even still it won’t last another two days. A trade caravan should have been due in town today, but with the Oni who knows anymore. Even if they did manage to arrive ok they would see the state of the village and would have no way of knowing we have relocated here.”
“Well I think I am going to make sure my group gets a good night’s rest tonight and send them back to the village in the morning to see if they can scrounge up any supplies. They should then be able to leave something behind to let caravans know that the village had to move.”
Tatsuo: “We barely made it here the first time. Are you really willing to risk your servants like that?”
“I have a bit of a plan for that, but I will have to see if it is going to work or not, but for now is there anything other than food that is needed from the village?”
Tatsuo: “Food is our primary concern right now.”
Tatsuo and I talk a while longer, but most of it is just information about the villagers that made it and which didn’t. After leaving Tatsuo I go speak with Saki telling her about my plan to send the group out in the morning and to get some rest. She tries to refuse, but I tell her the group will need her at her best, and if she is tired her magic won’t replenish near as fast. With that I am able to convince her to get some sleep.
I then let the others know what is going on as well then head back to the dungeon core room to check on something. It has been made clear the Oni actively hunt dungeons just by the way they react to me, so I wonder if I place a room outside of the temple grounds if it would lure them to it. If so we could use that to our advantage.
I decide to start off really small making it 10 feet by 10 feet just outside the temple grounds. When I attempt to finalize I receive a warning.
Dungeon within [Inari’s Providence] effect, rooms connected to the dungeon outside of [Inari’s Providence] will create an opening disrupting the effect at point of entry.
I quickly cancel the room. The good news is I now know [Menu] acknowledges the protection from Inari, and the bad news is my lure plan will not work. I then come up with another idea.
I move off from the edge of the temple grounds about 25 feet and try to place a 10 foot by 10 foot area.
Rooms created without a connection to the dungeon will provide no xp to the dungeon, restrictions placed on items available to summon within. Once room is connected to the dungeon restrictions will be lifted.
Unique: Room is outside of [Inari’s Providence] effect. If connected to the dungeon [Inari’s Providence] effect will be disrupted at point of entry.
This might actually work. As long as I don’t connect it to the dungeon it should be fine, but just to be safe. “List restrictions.”
Restrictions to rooms placed with no direct connection to the dungeon include.
Inability to place rifts within
Inability to place traps within
Inability to acquire xp from slain hostiles
Inability to acquire xp from hostiles in room at start of day
Inability to transfer monsters that are summoned within
If connection is not established and room is connected to another dungeon the connecting dungeon will acquire ownership of room and all within. (Dungeon core, boss monsters or monsters with names that can move beyond the dungeon are not affected.)
If the closest point on the room’s distance from the dungeon exceeds 100ft the room will begin to decay.
And one last thing if [Menu] acknowledges Inari’s protection as an effect it should be able to tell me about it. “Search [Inari’s Providence].
[Inari’s Providence] Information restricted.
With the exception of the few things only elders can do there shouldn’t be such things as restricted information within [Menu]. Even then the information isn’t restricted just not there for normal cores.
I am tempted to ask Madam Erin about it, but she wouldn’t enter my dungeon either when she visited yet has no trouble entering daddy’s dungeon. If she was affected by [Inari’s Providence] as well maybe I don’t want to give her any information about it if I don’t have to.
“Oh Inari please lets this work…”
I then hit the finalize button on the screen before me adding the room. Instantly Oni pour from the forest and within seconds of receiving the intruders warning every inch of the newly added room is packed with Oni.
Opps… It looks like one of the humans seen the gathering of Oni and is screaming. I quickly transfer to the female barracks and head out into the temple grounds. The humans are quickly gathering and already panicking.
“I’m sorry! It’s my fault! They are not going to get in! Calm down!”
Tatsuo quickly makes his way through the group.
Tatsuo: “What is going on?”
“I’m sorry… We really need to get down to the village like we talked about, so this was the plan I was talking about. Using magic I was able to make a lure of sorts, and as you can see it seems to be working.”
Tatsuo: “But with that number of Oni…”
“I don’t know how long the lure is going to keep them distracted, but as long as they are gathered around the lure they are not trying to get in here.”
All my monsters have gathered as well, and they are all fully equipped, I guess I should have warned them what I was doing as well.
“Alright, since you guys are already geared up, we might as well see how well this lure is going to be. I want to you slowly make your way outside the temple grounds and see what happens.”
They look a little nervous but Akane and Yuji both quickly agree.
Takeshi: “What about me Miss Inari?”
“You wait here with us just in case.”
Leading the group Akane, exits the temple grounds along with Yuji, Satoshi, and Saki, and a few of the stray Oni who can’t fit within the 10 by 10 area quickly being to rush the group, but those inside the area seem singularly focused on occupying the area going as far as digging into the ground at their feet.
A few of the humans get nervous but the stray Oni are picked off by the group. It seems like every time one falls another replaces it, but the ones in the dungeon area still show no signs of caring what goes on. Well on to the next step I guess. As I start to step forward Takeshi grabs my shoulder.
Takeshi: “Miss Inari you’re not thinking of going out there are you?”
“We won’t know what kind of effect this lure has if I don’t.”
Takeshi: “Please at least allow me to assist…”
“I need to you stay in the grounds, but if things start to take a turn for the worse then you can help, but only if things get bad.”
I pretend to cast magic as I use [Menu] to pull my staff. I then start casting a spell as I exit the temple grounds. Summoning the 12 elemental balls I fire them directly into the middle of the dungeon area and all the Oni. Then I use the light orb on my staff to fire a [Bullet of Light] out at one of the Oni coming from the forest.
As the Oni in the square die more from the forest quickly squeeze their way onto it, while the other Oni all turn their attention to me. The others pick up their pace trying to eliminate the Oni heading my direction as I continue to l summon and release my 12 magic orbs at the Oni.
The Oni no longer seem to have a singular drive to end me and now are equally just as focused on the small square section of ground. Any time one of them are killed their spot is instantly filled. The larger Oni are in smaller amounts and most of them head for the closer square room even if they have to shove one of the smaller Oni out, but after 30 or so minutes the larger ones start to head my direction as well so we are forced to take shelter back within the temple grounds.
The battle results are excellent in just 30 minutes I easily made two or three times the amount of xp to pay for the cost of the room, so even if I break it down so the Oni will scatter we still won’t be out anything.
I spin my staff around a few times tossing it in the air and store it with [Menu] causing it to disappear.
Tatsuo: “That was quite an impressive display, but if the Oni keep gathering like that I don’t know if any of us are going to be able to sleep comfortably.”
“Well like I said it was to test out the lure, this one should last probably another 30 minutes. Other than food another thing we have plenty supply of if we can’t just get to it, is lumber, so if I was you I would get the adventurers on guard duty and take every abled body man and try to gather as much as possible until the effect wears out. Tomorrow morning I will use another lure and I will send the group down to the village to see about gathering food, and you can gather more lumber then as well.”
Tatsuo doesn’t look completely convinced, but he nods and quickly begins rounding up people. They are not able to gather much, but after a while I tell them the lure is about to expire, and then I break down the room causing the Oni to spread out back into the forest.
The next morning there are quite a few villagers ready to begin work while others are waiting to watch me use the lure. I decide to get creative with it pretending to cast a spell then after casing light on the rock out in the forest I use [Menu] to quickly add a room, I bump up the size a bit this time to a standard room to hopefully hold more Oni while my monsters then quickly begin making their way down the stairs toward the village.
Once the Oni start collecting in the space the villagers likewise begin to work moving into the forest to collect lumber.
Tatsuo: “You really sure you are not The Inari, or at least one of Inari’s messengers?”
“Well I’ve never talked to a god before, but who’s to say maybe the reason my mother gave me this name was due to some influence, which led me to come here, and it’s not all part of some plan.”
Tatsuo laughs and say. “Well I better get out there I can help gather lumber as well.”
“I’ll send Takeshi as well while I keep an eye on the lure.”
I am a little disappointed that I don’t get to watch Takeshi all sweaty as he works, but I wouldn’t have had any other excuse to not help, and if I left the grounds we would be swarmed so I made the excuse to keep an eye on the lure.
When my monsters return later that afternoon they said they met with very little resistance from the Oni, but they still have to deal with a few. They managed to gather quite a bit of food supplies but I am not sure just how long these ones will last.
Things continue on like that for the next few weeks and things really start to progress. Eventually the supplies left in the village run out and I start summoning food supplies for the group to return with, but that is only a temporary solution.
The temple grounds have turned into quite the small little village already while the buildings aren’t that great they will at least get the villagers by for now. We have been asked to acquire a few items from down in the village, one of the first of which was the device the adventurer’s guild uses. After that a few commissions are placed, but instead of the little parchments for rewards they give out extra food rations or favors.
They say tragedy has a way to bring people together and there have been quite a few unusual relationships born in the remaining villagers. Even my own monsters don’t seem immune when I notice Akane and Yuji has seem to reach an amicable relationship, but even I am surprised when I catch them though one of the screen in the dungeon core room having sex.
I feel like transferring down and scolding them, but I did tell Akane to just leave Takeshi and Satoshi alone, but it’s no fair they get to have fun and I am still no closer to getting any. Instead I just use it as a learning experience and just enjoy the show.
They hide their relationship around me and the others, and they think they are getting away with it, but I might lose the show if they think I know about it, so I let them keep thinking that it’s a secret. Saki is a lot like aunt Scylla, so I don’t think I have to worry too much about her putting the moves on either Takeshi or Satoshi, but I am still pretty sure she is interested one or the other if not both.
With their training progressing rapidly, Takeshi and I start working with a few adventurers. I don’t get any xp that way but Takeshi does and it lets me spend time with him so it’s not too bad. Besides xp is the least of our problems I have had so much of an abundance I have been adding to the dungeon just so my xp consumption will go up.
I managed to learn a few more skills but so far they are all pretty ordinary, and I finally gain my first level since I left training. It was level 15 so my skills ranked up as well giving me quite the boost. After that I then put a plan in effect.
Since the village fell there have been no signs of any caravans, so one morning Tatsuo knocks on our door saying something has happened on the temple grounds. I act surprised when he shows me one of the large stone blocks that make up the temple grounds has seemed to break revealing a set of steps.
After we carefully traverse the stairs we find a large open area with rich soil and a waterway, the roof is even glowing producing artificial sunlight making the area perfect for growing crops. There is even a stairway leading deeper that is rich in ore.
Two things happened that day even the most hard headed people that refused to acknowledge Inari, began praying at the shrine, and I received a new skill [Inari’s Acolyte].
Inari’s Acolyte (Rank 1): Helping to lead to the restoration in faith to Inari has granted the holder special abilities. This skill does not rank based on level but by deeds performed in the name of Inari. At rank 1 the holder is recognized as a follower of Inari and can summon two spectral foxes, 1 receiving magical power whiles the other physical ability. Each can be summoned once a day and lasts until dispelled or suffer damage equal to ¼ of the skill holder’s hp.
After that the villagers seem to start regaining hope, and the moods begin to improve. By the time summer draws to a close the village has begun to prosper again albeit on a much smaller scale.
“It’s hard to believe it’s almost been a year since we first started out…”
Takeshi: “It’s been a challenge that’s for sure.”
“We have come a long way though.”
Takeshi: “But the Oni still show no signs of easing up, if anything there are even more.”
“But most of them aren’t even a problem anymore. Even the normal adventurers can handle the Oni Generals without too much difficulty now. Besides we count on their continued supply of xp if they stopped we would be in serious trouble.”
Takeshi: “But we haven’t had any contact with the outside world other than to your parents or Madam Erin though the communication parchment.”
“Are you getting lonely? Don’t worry Takeshi I will hold you.”
Takeshi: “Miss Inari you jest, but don’t you think we should at least try to reestablish ourselves in Shima? After all we just don’t have enough people to sustain a village in the long term.”
“The longer I am off the grounds the more Oni that swarm, even with them no longer being a challenge after a few hours of being outside the temple grounds there are just to many Oni.”
Takeshi: “Then send Akane’s group, or some of the adventurers.”
“Some of the things we have done here we have passed as Inari’s blessings, but if we get a bunch of new people especially those from outside of Shima they are sure to see through what has happened.”
Takeshi: “Your dungeon is already pretty deep and it still hasn’t even been discovered yet, so I am sure if they realize it’s a dungeon you can protect it. Besides with what you have done with the village the village might protect you as well.”
“How about a deal then, you give me a kiss and I will send out the group tomorrow morning?”
Takeshi: “Miss Inari…”
“Well a girl can hope can’t she…?
It takes several weeks after the group’s departure before they return. From what Akane’s group learns it appears the forest was the only area effected by the increase in Oni the rest of Shima hasn’t seen any changed, but man where they surprised to find out Kabemura was still around.
Trading has slowly began to be reestablished, but with the cost it takes for guards strong enough to guard the caravans though the forest the items that come though are quite expensive, so we stick to only items we can’t produce or make ourselves.
To commemorate the completion the rebuilding of Kabemura’s blacksmith shop they made me some chainmail armor that is so light that it functions as just another layer to my kimono. Without the wall Tetsuo also decided to change the village’s name, but it wasn’t any more imaginative as it is now called Seidomura instead…
Tatsuo: “I have to admit when things were at their worst I really had my doubts, but to have come so far now. Our biggest concern now is the few farmers there are left are struggling to work the areas Inari has provided for us.”
“What about sending out a commission in the next caravan requesting people willing to settle here?”
Tatsuo: “Well the problem is the space… We have already maximized our available area as best as we can, unless we start setting up residences underground, but Inari has already provided us with so much and we don’t know how long she will continue.”
“I know that look you are giving me… I really can’t speak for Inari though… But if you just want my opinion I would say to ask Inari yourself. Go to the shrine and maybe just maybe… Inari will hear your prayers.”
Tatsuo: “If you told me that a year ago I would just scoff at you, but now…”
We talk for a while longer before departing. Tatsuo starts to walk back towards his home, but he stops looking at the temple. He looks to be debating for a minute before changing directions heading towards the temple.
I check with Saki later to make sure he actually prayed at the shrine and then I decide with my overabundance of xp to get to work. I have already worked the dungeon down to sub-level 4 just to add more rooms so I can level faster.
Daddy might be disappointed in me because the rooms I added after sub-level 1 I didn’t put any effort to make sub-level 2-4 special just filling them with square rooms connected to one another and filling them with monsters.
The villagers still haven’t discovered the dungeon so it’s not like it really matters anyway. The mine was pretty much just a spiraling tunnel with several ore deposits that slowly respawn. At the end of the tunnel I decide to add another set of stairs behind an ore deposit that won’t respawn. Now when they mine that deposit they will discover the stairs.
The new floor is a maze of tunnels the end of which leading to one more staircase. The last floor for now is just a large room filled with several types of ore. Once I decide to expand further I will just remove one of the respawning ore deposits and make more tunnels behind them.
I then start working on the farm. The current farm floor has worked pretty well for most crops and the farmers dug a large area to plant rice, but it’s not as effective as it could be, so when I add one more farming floor I gear it more for rice.
From the stairs there is a small pad of dirt then a small ledge. With the way I set up a waterway though this floor, with a few sluice gates, they can flood the entire lowered area for rice growing. I even add a few bridges over the waterway in several points.
That should cover more food production, but now they need places for new residents to sleep. I add one more floor going down. I make the ground on this floor a little sturdier, but still leave it dirt just in case they want to make their own gardens, plant flowers, or something to that effect.
I could just add some walls sectioning it off, but with the building of the buildings on the temple grounds I have managed to unlock the ability to summon a small house. With each wall costing 500xp it is actually cheaper to summon the complete houses, so I start placing them in rows.
I pack them pretty tightly but there is still plenty of room to move around, I then add a waterway along the edge of the room for washing clothes or drawing water. I think I might have gone a bit overboard with the houses but it’s not like they won’t get a use out of them.
I just don’t know what their reactions are going to be when they see them… I also noticed that my xp consumption skyrocketed with the addition of the houses. If the amount of Oni ever slows I am going to have a lot of trouble maintaining my dungeon…
I add one more set of stairs going down, but for now just leave an open area. I can always expand it later for future development, and I guess for now they can use it to storage. When I finally hit the confirmation it receive quite a bit of notices and watch a massive amount of xp disappear…
Among other things my [Inari’s Blessing] skill gains a rank, and [Inari’s Acolyte] gains 3 ranks… The rank in Inari’s Blessing just increases my abilities further, but for Inari’s Acolyte it increases the strength of the two foxes I can summon and now they can even take physical forms if I want them to.
I haven’t really used them much because they looked pretty ominous like two shadowy spirits, so with them able to take form I might be able to use them around the villagers now. Better yet I can probably use them as “Inari’s Messengers”.
I decide to summon them both and now that they have form. Instead of shadowy spirits they now look to be two snow white foxes one with sharp green eyes, and the other with soft blue eyes. Without any orders the one with blue eyes curls up in my lap while the one with green eyes lies next to me.
I decide to go over [Menu] to make sure I got everything taken care of. Once one of the villagers discovers the new floor in the farm area there is sure to be an uproar, so I better get some rest while I can. When I move to the bed the blue-eyed fox has no qualms about jumping right into bed with me, but the green-eyed fox only moves next to the bed resting it head on the corner of the bed staring at me with sad eyes.
“I don’t mind… Come on…”
The green-eyed fox then quickly jumps on the bed, but still curls up at the foot of the bed. The blue-eyed fox meanwhile is sprawled out over the bed, so I pull it to my chest using it as a pillow. It makes a few chattering barks then lays its head back resting it on my collarbone. Scratching it under the chin I then drift off to sleep.