Chapter 94: Our Continued Struggle

 

After Belinda and I made our preparations for heading back to Exeter we then head to the forest’s edge to get Azami, but she has a surprise in store for Zoey.

Azami presents Zoey a bow much better than anything then the dungeon can create. The design is quite simple but also pure in its elegance. From my understanding Katie tried to make a bow using dwarven materials once, but she could never quite get it right, but Azami’s creation seems to be perfect.

Azami: “I have been working on it in our down time as I noticed you bow was very lacking. I am sorry it is not of mythril, but it is the best I can accomplish with my skills.”

Zoey: “What are you talking about… This is amazing!”

Belinda: “Bows are not really that common inside a confined dungeon so the bows we could summon have always been quite lacking. I am glad you finally have felt comfortable enough with us to craft something.”

Azami: “It is not that big of a deal, I am a crafter after all. Either that or I am a crafter so something like this is not that big of a deal.”

“Well in any case thanks.”

Azami: “For the power I have been granted by being one of your boss monsters it seems it is the least I can do. Now that Zoey’s bow is complete I will now begin working on the items I promised the dwarf girl for the dungeon in my spare time.”

It’s quite hard to get the bow from Zoey long enough to add it to the dungeon inventory but she eventually lets me allowing the dungeon to create more. I then find the [Master Quality Elvish Bow] and return it to the anxious Zoey.

We then return to Exeter. Over the course of the next few weeks we train in Exeter trying not to cause too many waves we jump around quite a bit. We happen to arrive at a small village just in time to fend off an undead horde that nets us a decent amount of xp and grants us another audience with the Queen. Luckily this time we don’t have to fight her and she just thanks us.

We have gained enough xp for everyone including myself to gain a level, but it hasn’t helped much as the bunnies are starting to struggle with the elemental rooms in the dungeon. After losing our first mythril sword we decide to spend the xp we were gathering, and the xp from the first month’s progress of the other groups to add to the elemental rooms leaving us right back where we started a month ago…

I add another room to the back of each of the boss rooms with stairs heading down and then attach another same size room on the lower level. I then add another boss style room attached to each of them. We leave the Water, Fire, and Shadow boss room alone only moving the swords down to the new boss rooms.

I then move the small earth dragon and the griffon down to the new boss rooms while filling their old rooms with the similar setup like the other three. We don’t have enough xp to make any rifts for now so I just throw in more relevant elemental monsters for now to fill the rooms till we are running low on xp.

Of course we don’t have enough to replace the missing mythril sword that was taken from the fire room. Honestly all I did was making it further to the swords and not even really any harder, but I hope we can replace the monsters in the new rooms soon with rifts and perhaps harder monsters.

“Girls that is the best we can do for now, as soon as we have the xp replace them with rifts. Poppy’s group and Bandy’s group really seem to be taking off, and the other group is doing decently as well. Next month we might actually start to make good amounts of xp from them. Hopefully by then we can add another group.”

Without much choice the boss monsters and I return to Exeter to acquire more xp. We finally start to make progress when I receive the first message I have gotten from Dyson since I angered him about the sword.

Dyson: (I see you are quite busy, so I thought I would give you a little extra time to get ready. I need you to come to my dungeon tomorrow first thing in the morning. If you don’t know the reason I am sure your boss monster can tell you, and you might want to bring her along as I have a surprise for you both.)

“Hold on… I just received a strange message from Dyson. He wants me to go to his dungeon tomorrow, but as for the reason he just said you should know…”

Belinda: “I don’t… No! It’s not that time again already is it…? After everything, can’t he give you at least 1 year of a break?”

“What’s going on?”

Belinda: “It’s the time they start picking who will train the new dungeon cores this year, but you have had to participate every year since you were born. First with the elder selection, then Inari, and then the twins, and they didn’t even let you off the hook for your own wedding.”

“Is it because my special dungeon that they keep picking me?”

Belinda: “You changed everything with the way you trained Inari, but after last year they should be able to do it just as well as you could…”

“He also said something about a surprise and to bring you along.”

Belinda: “Good then if I am there I am going to tell him flat out N.O. you have done enough for his gain he can let us be for a change…”

After that Belinda is pretty angry for the rest of the day so we call it early and return back to the house with [Gate]. After relaxing in a hot bath Belinda has finally calmed down.

“You feeling better now?”

Belinda: “I got to thinking… Maybe we can use this.”

“How so?”

Belinda: “Well we can train his new dungeon core like he wants but in exchange we ask for compensation.”

“I don’t think it works that way.”

Belinda: “2 out of your 3 years you have trained cores and the other year you had to pick the new elder. Out of 799 dungeon cores none other has had that kind of responsibility especially when that was your first 3 years…”

“He is already mad about the sword, I would really hate to make the strongest dungeon core, hell probably the strongest being alive, any madder then I already have…”

Belinda: “Then tell him you have a new plan for training cores that is even better than before but it will require more xp.”

“He would be able to find us out with his [Observation] screen, but he has seemed to be pretty generous with us in the past so it might not hurt to at least mention it.”

Belinda sighs and then hugs me. “Sometimes your honest nature is quite the burden…”

“He did also say he had a surprise for us, so maybe things will work out in the end…”

Belinda: “Knowing him it’s another woman he is trying to pawn off onto you…”

“With Dyson’s personality I wouldn’t be surprised, but I guess we are going to have to just wait and see.”

Belinda tries and succeeds in changing the subject by dropping the towel she had wrapped around her, and we go to bed early…

The next morning we don’t know what Dyson has planned, and we could be meeting cores we haven’t before so I decide to be cautious while also showing off a little by Belinda and I setting off to Dyson’s in our full armor.

The woman that greets us at the gates of Dyson’s castle is actually dressed pretty conservative for Dyson’s standards. She doesn’t say much except asking us to follow her and we travel along the corridors till we reach a familiar ruby handled door.

Once escorted inside we are met with only one other person and surprisingly it too is someone we know. A very excited but nervous dungeon core that we recently renewed our agreement with…

Queen: “He called you again as well…? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but you think he is really going to trust me to train one of the new dungeon cores…?”

Belinda: “You have done quite well for yourself, so it’s not that far of a reach.”

Queen: “But it is still years away from the time he said he would trust me…”

“I don’t see it as such a great thing… We had our training interrupted for this…”

Queen: “But Dyson is the strongest core there is for him to trust us this much is the greatest of honors!”

Belinda: “Can we just change the subject till he at least arrives, all this talk about Dyson is making me queasy…”

Dyson: “I am sorry you feel that way. After I went through all the trouble of bringing you a surprise visitor.” –He says while entering the room with another dungeon core.-

The dungeon core is quite the attractive young woman with snow white ears, tail, and hair. She has on quite an elaborate robe consisting of no less than 5 or 6 visible layers. Everywhere from the finest looking silk to one layer made in what looks like very tightly packed chainmail. The outer most layer is adorned with large decorative red plates that appear to be a type of armor as well.

She has a tight laced choker that has several empty rings dangling from it, but right in the center hanging from the ring is a fox carved from diamond. On a large red sash holding all of the layers together are two brilliantly decorated thin blades in different sizes, on her back is also a detailed staff with sharpened blades at each end.

Belinda’s sour expression quickly lights up as she rushes past Dyson nearly shoving him out of the way as she wraps her arms around the other dungeon core.

Belinda: “Inari! You look so wonderful! It looks like you really are doing well.”

Inari: “Thank you Mommy… It has been tough but I think the worst of it is behind us now.”

Belinda: “How is Takeshi?”

Inari: “Still as stubborn as always…”

Belinda drags Inari over to me. I heard enough from Belinda to know who this dungeon core is, but unfortunately I can’t remember her.

Inari: “Hello Daddy…”

“You are Inari? I am sure you heard what happened from Belinda. I am sorry that I can’t remember you…”

Inari: “You are alive, and that is the important part. I am just so glad to see you both again.”

Dyson: “It takes at least 6 hours to prepare for her return trip, so you will have plenty of time to talk after our meeting, so can we get started?”

Belinda couldn’t look any happier as she pulls Inari and me to a small couch. It is clearly only big enough for two of us but she manages to squeeze all three of us on it with Inari practically sitting in our laps.

Dyson: “As you have gathered we are here to discuss this year’s training of the new dungeon cores.  Next year we might have a bit extra cores to train due to someone’s destruction of multiple cores, but this year we will only have 4. Two-Twelve was also reasonable for the death of Dungeon Core #135, so I will leave you to train that new core. I will take Dungeon Core #371, Inari will take dungeon Core #618, and Queen will take Dungeon Core #745.”

Belinda: “And let me guess #135, and #371 are the only two that are female?”

Dyson: “I resent that notion… #745 is female as well, only #618 will be male.”

Belinda: “I don’t care about what you do, but wouldn’t it at least make sense for Two-Twelve to train #618, and Inari train #135 then? You just want Two-Twelve to train a female in hopes it will be Divine Being.”

Dyson: “For your information your daughter was the one that asked for the male dungeon core, besides after the events that have transpired I am sure Two-Twelve’s dungeon core is almost guaranteed to be a cat beastkin this year.”

Belinda: “You don’t mean…”

Dyson: “Exactly, so I hold no illusions in getting a Divine Being from him this year.”

Belinda: “That is even more reason for Two-Twelve to train #618 then!”

Inari: “I am sorry mommy… I understand what you are saying, but taking on a female dungeon core right now would be quite problematic for me and my dungeon…”

Belinda: “I’m sorry Inari… I didn’t even think to ask why you chose the male…”

Dyson: “Good, now that the matter is settled we can move on.”

“Hold on a minute. I am also opposed to training a core at all this year. My first year I had to deal with the elder selection, and every year since I have had to train a new core. This year I don’t even fully understand my own dungeon because of my memory loss, and you are saying I should train another?”

Dyson: “Yes I debated that fact quite a bit myself, but I thought maybe in the efforts of helping you regain your memory something like training another core would help.”

“Well my dungeon is going through a critical time right now, and I just don’t think with my memory loss, and dangers my dungeon currently are facing, it would be wise, or even fair to the new core that they be placed in my charge at this time.”

Dyson: “I believe it is the dungeon cores in your generation that are going to be the future of our kind. That is why I trust the three of you to train new cores when as little as 4 years ago a 15 year old core was controversial, but now none of you are even 5 years old yet.”

“Then if you won’t back down I feel it’s only fair for you to provide an extra amount of xp so we young dungeon cores can have a chance to secure our dungeons, so we can focus on the training of the new cores instead of having to worry about the safety of our dungeon during the training.”

Dyson: “You have no one to blame but yourself for providing access to mythril weapons to adventurers when your dungeon is so small, so of course adventurers are going to flock to try to acquire them. I have seen your dungeon quite thoroughly and can safely say where you might lose the rest of them mythril swords the odds of even the current heroes reaching your dungeon crystal is pretty slim. However if it ends the conversation now were we can continue forward then fine, I will provide double the amount of xp for the core’s training.”

“Fine…”

Dyson: “Good. Now Inari, I hear Shima is in still quite a state even after what happened. Madam Erin has asked me that while speaking with Two-Twelve and his boss monster you keep your word.”

Inari: “I don’t feel the need to conceal it from Daddy and Mommy, and I am sure they could even be of great assistance in the matter. They do however seem to be having enough troubles at the moment without having to worry about mine, so I will agree, for now at least.”

Dyson: “And Queen, I am going out on quite a limb, trusting you with this task. If you fail this task you will not get another chance, but remember what I taught you. You do not have to do it alone. With your recent extended agreement with Two-Twelve, close proximity, and contact I am sure if you have any questions you can ask him or his boss monster.”

Queen: “I understand Elder Dyson, and I won’t let you down.”

Dyson then continues on explaining the process of how to train the new dungeon cores. It seems to be the way I developed in training Inari and the further refined with Madam Erin and Dyson last year. It seems simple enough but it could just seem that way because as he explains it I seem to be able to recall how to do it even if I don’t remember actually implementing it.

I do get an idea for something new to try, but I am not sure if it will be wise to try it. As the meeting wears on I really do see the bond Belinda and Inari share. It is the closest thing to a family relationship a dungeon core can have, and I have to admit it hurts quite a bit that no matter how I try I can’t recall anything about her…

After the meeting is over Dyson pulls Inari to the side to talk to her while Queen joins Belinda and me.

Queen: “I know the agreement doesn’t cover anything like this, and you seem to be having quite a bit of troubles on your own, but I can’t afford to fail here. Even if I have to add a clause to our agreement I will do whatever you ask for your help in this matter.”

Belinda: “That isn’t necessary. You are practically family, and we would be happy to help.”

“The meeting seemed to cover it quite thoroughly from what I can recall, but if you have any questions about parts of it I do remember I don’t see a problem with helping.”

Queen: “Well I need to return to my dungeon now… I will be glad when I become strong enough to use teleportation magic myself. Dyson’s speed demon makes you feel if as if you are being ripped apart…”

Belinda: “You’re talking about Speedy…? I have never experienced it, but Two-Twelve always seemed quite distressed after being dragged across the continent by her…”

Queen: “Do yourself a favor Two-Twelve, and don’t remember those memories… Trust me.”

Belinda: “If it is really that bad, I am sure Two-Twelve or I could open a portal with [Gate].”

Queen: “If you do I will be sure to tell your brother that you are the best sister a man could ever have!”

Belinda laughs and then seems to look at me for permission. After I nod she casts [Gate], and after Queen thanks Belinda yet again and disappears beyond the portal. Inari then appears to finish her talk with Dyson and returns to us with a bright smile.

Inari: “Elder Dyson said that since it will take hours for him to be able to take me back home, so that if I wanted to, I could return to Tobes with you to catch up until he is ready.”

Belinda: “That is wonderful! I am sure the girls would love to see you again as well.”

Inari: “And by what you said I have quite a few new aunts to meet as well. Daddy is starting to get quite the collection by what I heard from the messages you sent.”

Belinda: “When he first returned without his memories even he had the impression that he was a shady character.”

“You can try to put on me as much as you want, but Lilah told me that you are responsible for most of them.”

Belinda: “Mere conjecture.”

Inari: “Don’t worry Daddy. We still love you either way.”

They say a dungeon core’s desires can be easily seen by the results of a core they have trained, so I guess it just proves even more how much I care for Belinda, because Inari and her personalities seem to almost sync… Although with Inari’s appearance I still can’t be 100% sure that the rumors of my past self aren’t completely unfounded…

Belinda: “Why don’t we go home and prepare a big lunch and we can invite everyone, and we can all catch up.”

Inari: “I can show you some of the dishes I learned in Shima, although I can’t promise their taste.”

Belinda: “Well if they don’t turn out we can just make your father and Aunt Zoey eat it because neither of them could tell the difference.”

The two of them laugh and then we use [Gate] to head back to the house. Belinda and I quickly store our equipment, but Inari says it’s rather difficult to remove hers so she leaves it on. Then Belinda and Inari begin working on a large meal and the girls quickly begin to arrive, of course first though the door is Zoey with a wagging tail.

Inari: “Aunt Zoey, Aunt Roxy!” –She gives them each a brief hug while Zoey and Inari size each other up.- “Don’t worry Aunt Zoey we are making sure to have an extra-large portion ready just for you.”

Zoey: “You look like you have done quite well for yourself.”

Inari: “You look quite stronger as well. I heard daddy made you one of his special boss monsters?”

Zoey puffs out her chest. “That’s right and now I am 10 times stronger then I was before!”

Inari: “Good for you… I can see Aunt Roxy still has her work cut out for her though.”

Roxy: “She is even more incorrigible now that she has gotten stronger then me again, but she is far easier to live with that way. It also has a few added benefits as well so I can’t complain too much. Speaking of that what about you and your little Takeshi?”

Inari seems to get a frustrated expression. “Unfortunately he is just the same as always… It’s been almost two years and I haven’t even gotten something as little as a kiss from him, and Mommy thought Daddy was bad…”

“You know I am still standing right here…”

Inari: “Then it’s your own fault for listening in on our girl talk.”

Zoey: “And the funniest part is there is now another two guys around with Scylla’s husband and Belinda’s youngest brother, but they are worse than he is!”

“Kline can’t be that bad, Scylla is pregnant after all. Doug on the other hand… I guess I can’t argue with you there… He even wanted me to explain it to him.”

Inari: “I haven’t met uncle Doug yet, but how can someone like that, Aunt Scylla, and even one of my monsters that is just like Aunt Scylla all getting it yet I still can’t!?”

Roxy: “No offense darling, but maybe you should start betting on a different horse…”

Inari: “I know you are right… But he is just such a thoroughbred you don’t want to lose it because I am browsing the low-stock.”

Roxy: “You can’t truly know if he is a thoroughbred thought until you take him for a ride.”

“I am left thinking that if I still had my memories this would still be the most awkward conversation I have ever listened to…”

Zoey: “Don’t worry boss if you still had your memories then you would know it isn’t.”

“On that note I am going to go see what is taking the others so long…”

The three girls laugh and I don’t even make it out the door before I hear them start back up… I don’t know what I was thinking when Inari was born but her personality seems to sync with every woman in the house…I meet with Scylla and Kline in the entryway and grab Kline’s arm.

“Why don’t we go grab a drink while the girls have their conversations…”

Scylla: “But Master I wanted to introduce Kline to Miss Inari.”

“There will still be plenty of time, and trust me when I say it’s a conversation best left between the girls.”

Scylla’s ears turn a little pink and seems to understand perfectly as she lets go of Kline’s other arm. “Just don’t drink too much.”

“And if you see Doug enter send him our way before the rest give him too much trouble.”

Scylla: “Leave it to me master.”

It seems a shame Scylla isn’t still bound to the dungeon, she seems like the most reliable one of the bunch… Kline and I then enter the ball room and I pour us a few drinks. I quickly throw mine back and refill it before sitting down.

“How did I function in a house of women before I lost my memories?”

Kline: “It never seemed to bother you before. The young master always joked that you must of the will power of a god…”

“Well if that’s true, I hope it returns soon…”

Kline: “I try not to ask Scylla many questions regarding the dungeons as it seems wrong somehow after being an adventurer for so many years, but the young lady that arrived today is another like you and Miss Queen correct?”

“Yes, she is one that was born in my dungeon. In fact I believe it was right over there somewhere.” –I say while pointing to the center of the room.- “Every year new dungeons are born inside another and they train for a month before setting out on their own. We can’t have actual children, but I guess you could say this is the closest we get.”

Kline: “It makes since now that was why Scylla referred to her as your daughter.”

“From my understanding even for dungeon cores Inari seemed to be quite a bit more attached to us than the normal core.”

Kline: “I see…”

“What about you? How are you holding out? Scylla should be pretty close now right?”

Kline: “Yes… It’s really starting to sink in now, and I am not sure that I am ready…”

“Scylla is very reliable I am sure you will both do fine. Have you thought of names yet?”

Kline: It all depends… I mean not only could it be a boy or a girl, but it could also either be a squirrel beastkin or a salamander feral beastkin. I am sure Scylla would be honored if you were to choose a name for it when it is born.”

“That I am sure is a terrible idea… After all I hear that I am Two-Twelve because I couldn’t even pick one for myself… I think Belinda or Logan would be a much better choice.”

Kline: “Yes, maybe we should ask Belinda…”

By the time I finish my second drink and Kline his first Doug enters the room red-faced.

“You got to meet Inari I guess?”

He silently nods his head.

“Didn’t escape quick enough though did you?”

He quickly shakes his head. I can’t help but chuckle a little and then pour him a drink. In a much similar fashion he quickly downs his first glass but he chokes and coughs a bit, and I just refill his glass.

“We are a pretty sorry sight you know that…? Strong men like us, I’m a dungeon for crying out loud with the title of hero 4 times over, and we are scared of a bunch of cackling females.”

Kline: “I have quickly found the best way to deal with women that have grouped together is either quickly agree with them, and if you can’t do that make sure you have found a good place to hide…”

We sit for a while, chatting, and drinking. Poor Doug unfortunately can’t hold his liquor so he is already showing signs of drunkenness when we are summoned to the dining room for the meal. Entering the dining room Kline, Doug, and myself are quickly outnumbered.

Even without the bunnies or Azami there is still almost a 3 to 1 ratio… Kline and I seem to have a difficult time with the meal, but Doug apparently was the smart one as in his drunkenness he starts having a good time as well.

The topics of conversation are varied and mostly at our expense. None of it is out of ill intent though so we just smile on with sheepish grins…After the meal the first to depart is Kline and Scylla as Scylla says she needs to head home to rest because of the baby. Doug and Aria seem to disappear as well, and Zoey and Roxy disappear shortly after. Bell has to get back to Mindy at city hall and Sofia has to return to her training of the adventurers so they both depart. Leave just Katie, Belinda, Inari, and myself.

Katie seems really interested in the armor sections of Inari’s outfit.

Katie: “It’s truly wonderful… Would it be too much to ask to allow your father to store it, so we could perhaps replicate it?”

Inari: “Not at all, the material is quite good, but I have no special attachment to it. The chainmail was made for me as a gift, but the rest of it is just items I recovered from some traveling I did.”

Katie’s eyes seem to sparkle at Inari’s words.

Inari:  “I wish I could have brought everyone so Daddy could learn to make all of their gear as well. I have plenty of xp, but acquiring goods is quite difficult in Shima. If we can start to have more actual contact I would love to be able to trade with him.”

Inari then starts to remove her gear placing it on the table while Katie examines it closely. It takes her quite a while to remove no less than 4 layers from her robe, but with at least 3 remaining she apparently has removed all the items that are considered equipment.

She then runs over and gives me a tight hug and says. “I hope this helps daddy!” I can’t help to blush a bit because even though her robe has at least three layers remaining they are made of very fine and soft material. I am sure before I lost my memories I have probably seen her naked at her birth, but I hope that memory doesn’t come back to me or it could be quite problematic as I am supposed to think of this girl as my daughter.

Inari seems hesitant to let me go, but eventually does giving me the chance to store her equipment and then return it to her.

New Items Available

Mage’s Dark Steel Chainmail                     Cost: 2500xp

Light Hihi’irokane Plate-mail*                     Cost:  25,000xp

Hihi’irokane Katana*                                   Cost: 10,000xp

Hihi’irokane Wakizashi*                             Cost: 8,000xp

*Items made from Hihi’irokane are required to be summoned under the Shima region restriction.

 

New Enchantment Available

[Greater Magic] Item cost x3 or 5000xp whichever is less (2000xp minimum)

[Wind-Resistant] Item cost x3 or 5000xp whichever is less (2000xp minimum)

[Power] Item cost x3 or 5000xp whichever is less (2000xp minimum)

[Magic Touched] Item cost x3 or 100,000xp whichever is less (12,000xp minimum)

[Blood Thief] Item cost x10 or 150,000xp whichever is less (50,000xp minimum)

[Magic Sealing] Item cost x10 or 150,000xp whichever is less (50,000xp minimum)

 

“That equipment is quite something…”

Inari: “Thank you. All of my sentient monsters have similar quality of gear.”

“That’s amazing at only 2 years old.”

Inari: “You taught me well. In all seriousness it is mostly luck, if I didn’t put my dungeon at the exact point I did I would have never made it, and the gear we have acquired is all from a single location. I wish I could tell you more, but I gave me word to Elder Dyson and Madam Erin. Maybe at least letting you learn how to make the items is enough to make up for not being able to tell you about it.”

Belinda: “We understand, but if you ever need our help I don’t care what the elders say you let us know!”

Inari: “I really do believe the worst of it is behind me.”

Belinda: “Two-Twelve, can you make Inari a ring like the one you made for yourself?”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea. Besides I want to try making more to see if I can refine it better, but at the moment we don’t have enough xp to even make another without putting us in danger.”

Belinda: “Well you will see Inari again when the training of the new cores is complete right? Promise me you will have one ready for her by then. I would feel much safer with our daughter out there in the world if she could get the use out of one of the rings.”

Inari: “Mommy really its ok… I am doing ok right now.”

Belinda: “This ring will change everything, but you got to be real careful how you use it and promise me you won’t tell the elders about it. After all I just want the best for my little girl.”

“The elders will find out for sure if we give one to Inari as well.”

Belinda: “Fine, let them find out, but I want you to promise me you will make her one!”

“As long as you promise me she is the only one…”

Belinda: “There is Dawn and Twilight as well, and we don’t know what the future will bring…”

I sigh… “Alright I promise I will make one for Inari but only Inari for now…”

Belinda quickly hugs and kisses me. “Thank you! I love you!”

Inari: “I will see if I can sneak in some more equipment when I return so you can learn to make more things.”

“Right now more than equipment we need more skills.”

Inari: “They are only entry level skills, but there are quite a few Shima classes that have unique skills that function just like the ones from here, but the ones that have become available at my dungeon I have been able to learn in addition to the mainland versions. If I can find a way to get some monsters to you I will send as many as I can.”

“That would be a big help.”

Belinda: “Well we are starting to run out of time, and you still haven’t seen Lilah, Lylah, Lila, and Azami yet.”

Inari: “I can’t believe Daddy allowed for that rabbit multiply… I am alright with meeting the elf, but I think I will pass on the rabbits.”

Belinda: “But Lilah will be so disappointed that she didn’t get to see you again.”

Inari: “I seriously doubt that.”

“Well we are not going to force you, so I guess I will just take you to meet Azami then.”

I then transfer us to the edge of the forest where we usually meet with Azami. Once we arrive I see her working on some type of armor. I have never seen the process in which she crafts and I have to say it’s quite interesting.

Using no equipment she just seems to be pouring magical energy into the item causing it to mold and take shape. Even with no physical labor like working a forge the way Katie does it Azami seems to be sweating.

Once she spots us the object floats to the ground and she wipes her brow. “You have brought another dungeon core? Are you planning on trading me off?”

Belinda: “Of course not! You are part of our family! This is Inari, she is one of the dungeon cores Two-Twelve trained and she is our daughter.”

Azami: “Those statements do not coincide with one another… But giving your personality I believe I understand your meaning. Does that mean you treat all dungeon cores born under Two-Twelve as your children?”

Belinda: “Well I would like to think that they think of us as their parents, but I don’t try to force it on them. Inari called us her parents on her own. Dawn and Twilight did as well, but as they finished their training they moved on to their own dungeons and I have only talked to the two of them a few times since.”

Azami: “So instead of trading me off, you are instead showing me off to your so-called offspring?”

Inari: “Daddy… Do you make it a requirement for all your monsters to be different?”

“I had no say in Azami, as she was recruited in my absence but, I have wondered that point about my past self as well…”

Belinda: “I just thought it would be nice to introduce you two. We consider both of you as family so is it wrong for you to meet with one another?”

Azami: “Wrong is not necessarily a term I would use, but as I have said. To consider me part of your family is unwise, so such interactions are rather pointless.”

Belinda: “I told you I don’t care what happened before. Being one of our monsters you are family, and as long as you are part of the dungeon that is not going to change.”

Inari changes the subject by looking at the item Azami was making. “It’s very beautiful, is it mythril?”

Azami looks to me, I nod, and then she says. “No, making items from mythril requires a special skill that I do not possess but this is as close to it as I can get. Either that or this is the close as I can get, because I do not possess the required skill to make items from mythril.”

Inari: “I see, you are making a lot of items for Daddy then?”

Azami: “I have only begun to produce items for the dungeon, the first of which was a bow for the boss monster Zoey, the second was a piece of armor requested by the dwarf Katie, and this too once finished will be turned over to Katie for her to ruin with her dwarven metal.”

“Ruined is a harsh word, the quality of the armor is likely to degrade a bit, but she hasn’t finished with that first armor yet and it is coming along quite well. The combined mobility of elven armor with the protection of a dwarven one it is sure to be quite the armor.”

Azami: “The result will be not much different than an item made from the human’s enhanced dark steel like the armor you wear.”

“The look will be quite unique though, and besides even if it doesn’t turn out in the end, the original armor you made and the complete version when Kate is done with it are both added to the available items to summon in the dungeon, so it is worth it.”

Azami: “For that reason alone is why I agreed to cooperating with the dwarf. Either that or I agreed to cooperate with the dwarf for only that reason.”

Belinda: “Katie seemed so excited… I was hoping both of you were enjoying working together…”

Inari: “I should really get back to Elder Dyson’s dungeon now…”

Belinda gives Inari a big hug and says. “Be careful…”

Inari: “I will Mommy, thanks… And keep Daddy out of trouble.”

Belinda hugs Inari again and then I cast [Gate] returning to Dyson’s castle with Inari.

Inari: “In the end you none of your memories of me returned?”

“I’m sorry.”

Inari: “It’s not your fault. Even though it might be strange for a dungeon core I really do think of you and mommy as my parents, so please take care of each other so I don’t have to worry alright?”

“I’ll do my best.”

Inari then gives me a hug as well then disappears into the gates of Dyson’s castle.

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