Inari Chapter 12: The Castle

Pointless… All of this was completely pointless… I am glad he made it home, but it wasn’t the elders that got him home he did it all on his own… I am worried about his memory, but if anyone can straighten Daddy out it is Mommy.

We have come to far now though to turn back. After all this time underground… All this time without getting to be near my Takeshi… We have finally made it to this damn castle and if I have to tear it down stone by stone that is exactly what I am going to do.

Not to help Madam Erin, not to put a stop to the Oni, but for the simple reason I am pissed off after all this time and after we have come so far it was all for nothing!

Saki: “I am glad about your father Mistress…”

“That sounds so much like Daddy though… Gone for months then just pop up out of nowhere… Although Mommy said he has lost all of his memories…”

Akane: “Did they find out what happened to him at least?”

“Something about another dungeon core going for a power grab or something, and I don’t know how Daddy was involved but it seems he had to pay a hefty price. With all the messages about dungeon cores that have been dying every time one of those messages appeared I was afraid it was going to be Daddy’s name.”

Yuji: “I told you from the beginning this was a waste… But now that we are so close, you’re not going to make us turn back now are you?”

“If we finish this task for Madam Erin when she wasn’t even the one to help Daddy, then that means she will owe us big. I will be sure to see she pays up as well, and put a couple more of those swords in that [Shadow Pocket] of yours we might summon more monsters.

We have spent two days into the castle when I received the message from Mommy about Daddy’s return, and this castle is proving to be very beneficial, not only have the quality of the goods have increased exponentially the items here are all enchanted.

Not only that, but the castle so full of items that there is barely any room for any monsters. We have spent more time the last few days decided on which items to take and which to leave behind then fighting monsters.

Akane: “Mistress, it is almost noon the Oni will be here soon.”

“Bring it on… I want to test this sword out!”

That leads us to another thing. Even before we started to acquire the enchanted gear the other monsters have gained enough levels the 100 to 200 Oni that spawn during the horde… They are now only an inconvenience.

The other monsters though… That is another story entirely I have been forced to hide in the deep back of the group while even Saki stands in front of me to shield me. The foxes have had it rough too, they now have quite a few red lines through their fur. I thought it would eventually paint them red, but each line holds a design to it, and they are now rather intimidating in appearance.

Their patterns have seemed to deviate as well. I don’t know if it’s because the way the die, or what it is, but they definitely can’t be mistaken for normal foxes now… I just hope the village doesn’t get scared of them.

Yuji: “It is ok Mistress, you can stand back.”

“I can at least be of use against the Oni. You can’t even use your skills because of using all your magic for [Shadow Pocket] and we need everyone well rested for the other monsters, so at least let me have this.”

I draw the longer of the two blades now tied to my waist it was the most promising of the swords we found and the only one that has two enchantments on it. The first being [Blood Thief] which means for every cut I make my hp is recovered in turn, and the second enchantment is [Magic Touched] letting me no only treat it as magic channeling weapon like a staff, but also it increases the recovery rate of my magic when I wield the blade.

The smaller of the blades has [Magic Sealing] which can block or stop a mage from casting spells. I can only take the word from my monsters that were born with more Shima knowledge then me but they are made from a metal that is limited to only Shima and according to them is equal to mythril, but we will see about that.

The small swords enchantment would be useless against the Oni, but the larger one helps a lot. I might have to take my monsters at their word, because this blade will slice an Oni clean in two. Even if they try to block the blade with them ugly clubs of theirs the blade slices cleanly through…

I can feel the recovery effects of the blade as well, but even still the numbers of Oni are just too great. I have had my fun at least so I start to back up letting the others move in and assist me. The Oni are then quickly dealt with, and we can then start progressing further into the castle.

After dealing with the Oni we then encounter a group of the castle monsters, for these I take no chances moving to the very back focusing on mainly healing. Yuji isn’t doing much either, but most of his strength comes from his skills and using the [Shadow Pocket] like he is his magic stays at critically low levels so he can’t really make use of his skills.

These fights are never easy, but Akane, Yuji, Satoshi, and Saki are all powerhouses now… Once the battle is over we begin moving deeper into the castle and find something that causes Yuji to cry…

Another item room, this time it is something we haven’t come across before… A room full of various armors. We decide to spend the rest of the day picking through them. Armor is quite a bit harder to come by so Yuji quickly has to decide what weapons and things to leave behind to load up on some of the armors.

“Swords are always good, and we have quite a bit use for the spears, but even Takeshi doesn’t use a shield he uses his sword to parry… You could probably cut down on the amount of shields you have.”

Yuji: “What if you summon a monster that needs a shield?”

“I am sure they can find one among their liking out of 25 just as easy as they can picking through 100…”

Saki: “Mistress! Look this armor might work for you.”

The armor is by no means a heavy armor, but it consists of fancy decorated plates made from the same red-ish material that my new swords are made from. It has a staggering 3 enchantments, but they don’t appear to be very strong ones.

[Wind-Resistant] which is pretty self-explanatory is also pretty situational. There is also [Power] which increases the wears strength. I have been keeping to the back now so that isn’t really much of a help here. The final enchantment is the one that would benefit me the most, [Greater Magic], by no means is it extravagant, but it provides a decent boost to my available magic. It’s a different rank then that of the ring Daddy gave me so they even both work together.

Even with less enchantments the others find armors that benefit them quite a bit more then my armor, but this armor allows me to continue to wear my kimono and even my chainmail without hindrance so for a normal mage it would be phenomenal, but it’s merely acceptable for the well roundedness of a dungeon core.

Yuji: “I hope we don’t find any more item rooms… I can’t carry a single more piece of equipment.”

Akane: “If the items are better then what we have I am all for it.”

Yuji: “You know how hard it is to go through every single item each time and decide which to keep and which to discard?”

“Well depending on what happens at the end of the line, we may be able to return and gather more equipment.”

Yuji: “Having to trek through that cavern again…” –He lets out a deep groan.-

“Even if we could make several trips a year just to break the items down when we return that would be a massive amount of xp for the dungeon.”

Yuji then falls to the ground sprawling out.

Akane: “We could even send the others in to train. Look how much progress we have made.”

Yuji quickly sits back up. “Yea who says it has to be us! We could send the others in!”

“But you are the only one with the [Shadow Pocket] spell.”

Akane: “Come on you wouldn’t want to lead the poor helpless damsels around the big scary cavern all alone?”

Yuji: “As tempting as that sounds… NO.

Akane: “Wow he really does hate this place…”

“I guess you should get some rest, and we can start back at it first thing in the morning.”

We continue on the next morning and are stuck fighting quite a bit more monsters, I don’t know if that means we are getting closer to the end or just bad luck but if things continue on like this we aren’t going to make much progress each day.

About an hour until the next horde of Oni will spawn we reach a large elaborate door in the middle of the hallway.

“I have never seen the Oni open any doors, did we make a wrong turn somewhere?”

Akane: “I don’t know, but it is getting close for the time that they appear, so we need to make up our mind what we are going to do quickly.”

Yuji: “Only one way to find out what’s on the other side of the door.” –He pulls on the door.-

And pulls… And heaves… And grunts…

Akane: “Trying to sound so manly backfired didn’t it?”

Yuji: “Just shut it and give me a hand.”

Akane moves over to help but it still doesn’t budge. Satoshi quickly moves in to help and so does Saki, I decide to give them a hand as well. It takes every single one of us but the door finally starts to slowly creak open.

After having it wide enough to walk through we give it up and Yuji is leaning over breathing hard.

Yuji: “There is no way the Oni come through there. They would crush each other trying to push open the door.”

Akane: “They have to come from up here somewhere. Unless we passed the point from which they spawned.”

“Like you said we are running out of time. We need to find a defendable location.”

Even with the struggling we did, it’s still a tight squeeze through the door as Yuji goes first followed by Satoshi, then Akane, Saki, and I follow up the rear.

This room appears to be a large throne room of sorts but it is completely empty. Not even a throne sits at the head of the room.

Yuji: “Well now what…?”

“There has got to be something else to this.”

Akane: “What if that is all… Maybe the Oni just spawn there is no dungeon, crystal, or anything like that.”

“You’re saying a natural rift or something? What about the castle, the cavern, the items. All of it means nothing?”

Akane: “I don’t know… I am just saying there is clearly nothing here…”

“Just check everything. The walls, the floor, everything…”

Yuji: “There isn’t time the Oni will spawn soon. I don’t think they spawn in here but if they do we shouldn’t be standing in the middle of the room would be a bad idea.”

We quickly gather at the head of the room where the throne should be, but noon hits and nothing happens. We look around a bit confused but then a few Oni begin pouring through the door. Not many make it through however till the door slams shut. We quickly deal with the Oni in the room with us, and can hear pounding and scraping on the door.

Akane: “They all must have tried to push in and instead it caused the door to push closed.”

Yuji: “It was hard enough to pull that door open as it was. How hard do you think it is going to be with a horde of Oni pushing against it on the other side…

Saki: “You are saying we are trapped?”

Yuji: “At least till we find another way out or they break down the door, and who knows how long that will take or how many hordes of Oni will spawn between now and then.”

“We got overly confident about handling the Oni, and we screwed up… If I wasn’t here they would flow out of the castle out into Shima…”

Yuji: “At least we can’t starve to death.”

“Well no use standing around… Keep an eye on the door, but let’s see if there is anything in this room.”

We spend the next few hours checking over the room. It is huge, but empty so we have even tried pushing on stones hoping for a secret passage or something, but all to no avail.

Yuji: “I don’t know what’s worse being stuck in here for eternity, or having to listen to that pounding on the door!”

Saki: “What about magic Mistress? My spells don’t have much impact, but you have some strong fire spells right maybe you could melt the door?”

Akane: “Hey! If not the entire door maybe just the hinges would be enough.”

Yuji: “The door pushes open from this side, that means the hinges are on the other side.”

Akane: “Who’s dumb idea was that!”

“Even still it actually might be worth a shot. A normal dungeon the door wouldn’t take any damage, unless it’s set as destructible, but with this place.”

The most powerful fire spell I got is just a one shot thing, but the next spell under it I can extend the duration of by maintaining a supply of magic to it, so I decide to go with that one. I also charge it up fully making full use of my skills and then turn it loose on the door.

The door appears to be effected, but even after maintaining the spell for several intervals it still hasn’t been enough to make a dent in it…

Akane: “It’s working… Just not very well.”

Saki: “I’m sorry if I had some fire spells…”

“It’s not your fault, and I could probably hold this spell for an hour, so we just got to keep at it.”

Every once in a while we can hear a pop and creak, but even after expending half of my magic the door is red hot, but doesn’t appear to be budging. The room is huge, but the extended duration of the spell has even raised the temperature inside of it to an uncomfortable but not dangerous level.

Yuji: “It’s getting quite warm in here, but I smell roasting meat for some odd reason, and its making me want to eat some.”

Akane: “Idiot! The Oni are still pushing the door from the other side, so that smell is obviously the smell of cooking Oni!”

Yuji: “ugh… At least I know if I never eat meat again I won’t starve…”

“This isn’t working, but I might have an idea.”

While the fire spell finishes out its duration I quickly start to maximize another spell, and as soon as the fire spell wears off I hit it with a blast of frozen ice.

Yuji: “Mistress! After all that work of heating it up what are you doing!?”

The door quickly groans, twisting and contorting while as it is quickly cooled, Oni quickly try to reach through the crack in the door, but it still isn’t enough.

“It wasn’t enough… I can only afford to do it one more time, but I will probably be out of magic.”

I start to heat the door again with my fire spell, and now the smell of the Oni as they push on the door is quite a bit stronger as it waifs through the crack in the door. Yuji’s face seems to get a bit pale. It takes at least another 15 minutes for me to heat the door enough and I then quickly maximize another ice spell hitting the door.

This time as the door groans and contorts something seems to give at the bottom and the entire bottom half of the door jerks bending outward. It is such a violent action it launches every Oni that was pressing against the door into the air.

That doesn’t stop the Oni behind them from quickly rushing through the gap now. Quite a few of the Oni are charred heaps on the floor, and even more are scorched and burned. Making this wave, simple to deal with, as I am sticking to my new sword and not using any magic.

We wasted a few hours but it seems we are finally free of the room now that the Oni have been dealt with. Just to be on the safe side however we quickly exit back into the main hall.

Yuji: “I am glad that worked out… I really thought we would have been trapped in there forever.”

Akane: “It was only a few hours…”

Satoshi: “Well now what we know the Oni come from out here somewhere, but if it is a rift we won’t be able to see it.”

“Well the door was big and obvious we didn’t bother looking around here… Let’s see if we missed something.”

A quick search reveals a set of staircases on either side of the large throne room. They weren’t exactly hidden, but with the way the tapestries hung from the ceiling we missed them the first time.

Akane: “I doubt the Oni come from up there, because the Oni seem to take straight paths and that would of at least caused wear on the tapestries as they brushed against them.”

“I think it’s reasonable to assume they spawn right in the middle of this hallway. You can see the wear on the carpeting right down the center leading out the door, but towards the throne room and sides the color isn’t fading as bad.”

Yuji: “Then were found were the Oni come from?”

“I believe so, but that still doesn’t explain the why or how. Maybe the answers are up these stairs.”

Yuji sighs. “We finally reach the end only to find we still have to go further.”

We travel up one of the staircases and it starts to arch leading me to believe that once we reach the top both sets of stairs will lead to the same location. Probably somewhere above the center of the throne room we reach the landing above.

The area is large and highly decorated, with quite a few doors off of the room on either side. I would have to say if the large room below us was a throne room then these must be the royal quarters. Other than fancy carpets and tapestries however there is little to no furniture and even after checking several of the rooms to the side they all appear the same way.

Akane: “It looks like as soon as the castle was complete it was then abandoned before even fully furnishing it.”

“Well if the Oni started spawning in the middle of your castle you would abandon it too. Although I seriously doubt humans could have built a castle like this at the bottom of the cavern the stone that the walls consist of isn’t even of the same type as the cavern. If I had to guess, whatever it is now, I think it at least used to be a dungeon at one time.”

Yuji: “You are saying past tense though… If it was a dungeon, if the dungeon core was killed or the crystal broken then wouldn’t the castle fallen apart as well?”

“You would think, but then you have the monsters, the items, and even the Oni. I am starting to think whatever is causing this is stealing or taken over the dungeons.”

Akane: “But what about the Oni and monsters in the beginning they weren’t being supplied from the dungeon and had to eat.”

“I don’t know exactly how it works, but it seems the further from the castle they are the less connection to the dungeon they have. Once we went deeper the monsters were still eating, but as deep as they were there was no way they were being supplied enough food to sustain themselves. Then there are the items and Oni, this dungeon was by no means the strength of which I am sure the elders are, yet I don’t even think they could afford to have rifts like the items or Oni spawn from.”

Yuji: “Rift monsters can’t leave even there floor though, so if the Oni are from a rift how could they not only leave there floor but even the dungeon?”

“I don’t know…”

We continue checking the rooms but then we are left with only a single door at the head of the hallway.

Yuji: “There better be something behind that door more than just another dead end, or I give up.”

Yuji however isn’t let down because as we start to open the door it seems to hang on something. The room is only a little larger than the ones to the sides, but this one is filled with vines. In the dead center of the room is a pedestal covered in vines and on top of the pedestal is a dark gem stone at least 2 feet tall.

Yuji: “It’s a crystal!”

He starts to step forward into the room but I quickly grab him. “Wait!”

One of the vines quickly coils around the spot where his leg was a few seconds before. Something about the crystal seems off as well. Crystals should be glowing pulsing with light like a heartbeat, but this one there is nothing.

“Something is wrong here. Look the crystal doesn’t even appear to be active. It even looks like there are cracks running through it like the vines wrapping around it are holding it together.”

Akane: “How can that be? If a crystal is broken then it completely shatters and the shards enter the monster or creature that broke it absorbing the crystals power. Even an imitation crystal works the same way, but the power is only on a small scale what a real crystal provides. For the broken crystal to remain behind afterwards should be impossible.”

One of the vines around the crystal then seems to constrict, and when it does the crystal lightly glows and from behind us appear several large ogre sized Oni as they spawn into the room.

“Even with intruders in the room!? Everyone watch out!”

Everyone quickly draws their weapons and a battle brakes out. These massive Oni are at least equally as strong as the monsters we have been facing in the castle so that means I am worthless against them. Yuji can’t use his skills so he just keeps slicing away at the creatures while Akane uses her spear, and Satoshi uses his fists and feet.

Saki’s spells are focused mainly on defensive boosting the others abilities and healing when she can. The few offensive spells she throws at the creatures however do deal a decent amount of damage. I used most of my magic on the door below so even with the amount that has recovered since then I can do little but heal small amounts of damage.

Even with our limits though our group slowly gains the upper hand and the massive Oni begin to fall. When we get down to the last one though the crystal behind us glows faintly again as more of the massive Oni crash onto the floor and join in the attack.

Saki: “If this keeps us we are going to be in a bad way!”

“You all keep it up, and I am going to try to do something about the crystal!”

I turn back around aiming a large fire spell at the crystal. As my spells enters the room vines quickly shoot from the ground protecting the crystal, however there is an ear splitting screech and the vines wreath.

I don’t know if I will have enough magic but it seemed to do quite a bit of damage so if I keep it up I will eventually hit the crystal. After another fire spell and screech, a large pod descends from the ceiling opening up to shield the crystal is a large crimson flower with thorny petals like teeth.

The vines start to lash out creeping past the door now entering the room with us while I throw another fire spell right into the center of the large flower. The flower quickly closes slamming into the ceiling while screeching causing the entire room to rumble.

I then see the crystal begin to glow again as many more creatures begin to spawn into the room. Unlike anything I have ever seen before most of them are incomplete. Some appear ripped or torn apart while others appear only partially formed like an unborn fetus.

Most crash to the ground dead, a few wreathe around on the floor, but a couple of them start to drag themselves across the floor in my direction.

Yuji: “What the hell is going on!”

Akane: “It seems to be working Mistress don’t let up!”

The flower has returned to its guarding of the crystal and I draw my sword slashing at some of the abominations creeping my way. One of the vines then manages to wrap itself around my ankle pulling me to the floor trying to drag me into the room towards the jaw like flower.

Aoi and Midori quickly jump to my aid as Midori starts shredding at the vine with its teeth and Aoi uses magic trying to prevent the flowers movement. I manage to pull myself back to my feet taking out another one of the slimy uncomplete monsters crawling at me.

The others are doing everything they can to hold the complete monsters off while now also having to deal with the incomplete ones harassing them as well. I start to focus my magic the best I can, summoning 12 elemental orbs surrounding me using the most powerful attack spells I got.

I only have one shot at this, so I launch them at the flower one at a time spreading the limit of time between them to its max. Even after seven of the orbs hit the flower it wreathes but doesn’t falter. Eight…Nine…Ten… It is looking to be in serious shape the crystal begins glowing again this time without stopping.

Creature after creature hits the ground. Most are dead or can’t even move, but there is no end to them. Eleven… I’m not going to make it. I launch the last ball forward charging into the room right behind it. The last ball erupts into a fiery explosion as I sink my sword up to the hilt into the center of the flower.

I release the sword jumping to the side pulling my staff from my back using the magic stored within the orbs on the staff I slice at the vines holding the crystal. The crystal shatters shards piercing my skin, but instead of pain I feel warmth. The flower and vines quickly between to wilt drawing up and dying.

Akane: “Mistress, you did it! They are dying!”

I pull my sword from the wilted flower, sheathing it, and notice two large vines as big around as I am are the only two remaining to have not wilted. I don’t have much magic but I cast a light fire spell at one of them.

When the spell hits them they quickly retreat disappearing into the wall of the castle… I then notice a message.

Dungeon Core #245 [Inari] has acquired the skill [Heroic] (Rank 1)
Dungeon Core #245 [Inari] has acquired the skill [Corruption Cleanser] (Rank 1)
Dungeon Core #245 [Inari]’s skill [Inari’s Acolyte] (Rank 4) has become [Inari’s Crusader] (Rank 1)

As I close the screen Yuji places his hand on my shoulder.

Yuji: “Mistress you did it…”

The entire room then begins to shake.

Yuji: “Now what?!”

“The dungeon it’s collapsing! Time to go!”

We quickly begin to exit out of the castle as fast as we can, it takes quite a while but we manage to cross the bridge leading up to it and the shaking as stopped.

Akane: “Just the castle… What about the cavern?”

Yuji: “All that beautiful gear…”

“You are loaded up, so it isn’t a complete loss. It does seem the cavern isn’t going to collapse, but let’s not takes any chances alright?”

It still takes us several days to make it out of the cavern but with the disappearance of the dungeon the items remaining in the cavern have decayed and broken down as well. The equipment we are wearing is ok because we claimed ownership of it, but Yuji was quite worried about the items in his [Shadow Pocket], but they turned out to be ok as well.

Even after making it free of the cavern it still takes several more days before we reach the base of the stair leading us home. We got swarmed with Oni off and on the entire trip but after what we dealt with in the dungeon it was not even worth mentioning. It does leave us to believe there are more sources of Oni out there though.

Filling Madam Erin in was quite the chore as well. She seemed even more confused than I did however. She made me promise her until we get to the bottom of this though not to tell a soul not even Mommy and Daddy.

With the trouble they are going through right now with Daddy’s loss of memory, I feel they have enough on their plates to deal with right now, so I agree.

Once we reach the top of the stairs Takeshi and my monsters are there waiting for me. The battle results screen appears and it is quite long but the only part I am interested in is the bottom line that reads.

1,966,250 XP total rewarded

With that much xp we should be able to take it easy for a little bit, but at the moment I got more important things to worry about.

“Takeshi!”

I run and jump into his arms. He catches me but it looks more out of surprise and reflex than anything else.

Takeshi: “Miss Inari! You mustn’t.”

“After everything we have been through. Don’t argue, just say welcome back!”

He sets me down and then says. “Welcome back.”

“That’s not what I mean…”

He then brings my head back into his chest as he hugs me and says. “Welcome home.”

I can’t keep the tears from my eyes, trying to hide them by rubbing my face against his chest I wrap my arms around him as well. He soon lets go, but I don’t.

Takeshi: “Miss Inari…”

“I don’t wanta!”

Takeshi: “Miss Inari…”

“No…”

I don’t know if it is to ruin our reunion or what, but Tatsuo clears his throat and says. “Inari-sama, something happened while you were gone and you should really see it.”

“What do you mean something happened?” –I say while letting go of Takeshi and looking up at him, but he adverts his gaze.-

Tatsuo: “We received another blessing from Inari.”

“How can that be…?”

Takeshi is still not looking my direction and has seemed to have broken out in a cold sweat…

Chika: “Mistress it was something the entire village prayed to Inari for and Inari provided.”

Was this the secret Takeshi has been keeping from me this whole time… Just what is going on here?

“Show me…”

Tatsuo bows and then leads me through town and down to the bottom floor. What should be a small square area instead has a stone walkway along it and the wall no longer reaches the roof with several decorative designs on it. Between the roof and the top of the wall I can make out the appearance of several large buildings on the other side.

The stone walkway leads to the center of the wall which has a large heavy wooden gate on it. With the assistance of Chika, Tatsuo opens the gate.

Beyond the gate is three large buildings and a small collection of smaller buildings all connected by thin open hallways. In front of all the buildings is a large pond, and the center building as well seems to be surrounded by water from 3 sides while small bridges go over the water to connect it to the other two large buildings.

Every bit of it is constructed in the Shima style but is on a scale and quality I have never seen. Along the pathway up to the house is several of the stone fox statues like that which is up at the temple.

“This looks very complex for a new temple…”

Tatsuo laugh and says. “No Inari-sama this is your home.”

“What do you mean my home?!”

Tatsuo: “The villagers and I all prayed to Inari to provide you with a home as a thanks for everything you have done and we were blessed with this.”

Chika quickly jumps in and says. “Inari provided the land and the village all came together and pitched in building the entire thing by hand.”

Tatsuo: “Yes, Inari gave us the land and the foundation and told us to do the work ourselves to prove our resolve.”

“What do you mean Inari told you…?”

Tatsuo removes a folded up piece of parchment from inside his pocket unfolding it to show me… I read the note over and can’t believe any of this… What was Takeshi thinking? I quickly look at him but he is still avoiding eye contact.

Tatsuo: “We were so worried we were not going to finish in time, but we pulled a couple of all-nighters when we heard you were on your way back and managed to finish it just a few days ago.”

“What did Yuzuki say about all of this…?”

Chika: “She, like the rest of us was grateful to Inari for allowing us to thank our Mistress in such a wonderful way.”

“But…”

I can’t say anything… Not with Tatsuo here…

Tatsuo: “Please let me show you around.”

Tatsuo leads me through the buildings showing me everything there is a male quarters in one of the main buildings with at least a dozen independent rooms, a female quarters making up another large building with the same.

Then there is the central building…This seems to be the majority of the house with all the typical amenities included, but then he shows me to large room.

Tatsuo: “And this would be Inari-sama’s quarters.”

Chika: “That door off to the side there leads to Takeshi-sama’s room, so that he is always close by to protect the Mistress!”

I like the sound of nothing being between Takeshi’s room and mine but a wall thin enough you can throw a rock through, but I am finding it hard to believe they managed to put this all together in the short time I was gone without [Menu].

Takeshi finally speaks up he still seems rather nervous but seems to be able to read my mind as he says. “We worked really hard to make sure all of this was completed by our own hands, to show to Inari our dedication…”

Tatsuo: “I can see this is a lot to take in, and I am sure there are matters that are in need of your care now that you returned, so I will excuse myself.”

After Tatsuo leaves I quickly say. “What were you all thinking!?”

Chika: “Mistress please…”

“You were supposed to keep an eye on everything with [Menu], but this?!” –I say to Chika and then turn to Takeshi.- “And you! I knew you were up to something she couldn’t of done this without your permission. How could you let them do this? And what’s more you made written communication directly from Inari!?”

Chika: “But Mistress the entire village prayed to Inari for this… We thought if prayers to Inari were only answered when you were here, then the rumors about you would never die down, but if Inari did this for you without you here then it adds to the credibility.”

“But a disciple?!”

Saki: “Why not Mistress…? Everything you have done in Inari’s name, Inari would be welcome you as such.”

“You’re agreeing with this?”

Akane: “Why not Mistress? That small building would only fool the villagers for so long especially with all of us now. This way we have an entire floor to ourselves to do what we need and all without rising suspicion of the villagers.”

“I can’t argue with you there, but this…”

Takeshi: “You deserve it.”

“Takeshi…”

Yuji: “Great! I am going to go pick out my room!”

It takes a while for things to calm down around the dungeon, but eventually it does… Not long after we returned Akane really did wrap her legs around Akihiro, which caused Yuji to be depressed for a few days.

That is until he started dating Yuzuki… He was in a better mood but she is holding out on him and they haven’t even slept together. I don’t see what he has to be in a good mood about. At this point even if I could get Takeshi to make me his lover if he still wouldn’t touch me then what is even the point.

Then before Yuji can seal the deal with Yuzuki, Akane finds out they are dating and flipped out.

Akane: “Yuzuki?! Anyone but Yuzuki! You are better than that Yuji! She only does the minimum required of her, even in her duties at the shrine.”

I never thought about it but she is right… I am going to have to get on to her case about that, but you know that sounds like Yuji as well, so maybe they are a good match for one another.

Yuji: “What do you have to complain about? You have Akihiro now!”

Akane: “Fine, until you find someone more acceptable I will still give you what you need!”

Akihiro: “Hold on here!”

Akane: “Sorry Akihiro, but this is important… I promise once Yuji finds a woman worth his time we can then be together.”

Akihiro: “You want me to wait for you, while you sleep with another man?”

Akane: “It’s just Yuji.”

Akihiro: “You know that’s fine! You want him you can have him…”

After that Yuji and Akane were back together, I don’t understand it myself, they seem to be getting along quite poorly but behind closed doors…Let’s just say I have been quite entertained. Akihiro seemed to bounce back on his feet, or I guess I say bounced onto Yuzuki, and I don’t know why but Yuzuki didn’t seem to have the same reservations with him as she did with Yuji. They however are quite bland and it isn’t very enjoyable to watch, so I think Akihiro might of did Yuji a favor…

I was rather looking forward to the events playing out with Saki and Satoshi when we got back, but even when they finally did finally sleep together they were so worried that I would be watching that they practically made it impossible for me to see anything interesting. They could have at least put on a good show for me after all the help I gave them.

I was hoping getting to watch them would at least help me take my mind off Takeshi, but no such luck. At least I am not the only one doing without, Chika, Hotaru, Rin, and Kaori seem to be having the same problem.

Chika: “I don’t know I kind of like him… All those muscles… and he is so kind…”

Kaori: “But he is so old!”

Chika: “Everyone is old compared to us, even that snot nosed kid of that farmer.”

Hotaru: “There is also the fact that he could find out about the Mistress, I don’t think she wants Tatsuo-sama to find out about us.”

Chika: “If I can get him to fall for me maybe it would even help the Mistress…”

Rin: “I am with Kaori-san… He is too old…”

Tatsuo looks like he still has at least a good 2/3 of his life ahead of him so calling him old seems a little sad. I wouldn’t want to try him out myself, but I have wondered what he would be like, because as fond of him as several of the villagers are, he hasn’t made moves on any of them. Maybe I should encourage Chika a bit more…

The one thing I really like about this house that was made for me is this hot spring thing that it has around it and when speaking with the girls one day they offered me some vital Shima knowledge.

“Takeshi, we are family right?”

Takeshi: “I am Miss Inari’s shield.”

“You don’t consider yourself family?”

Takeshi: “Our situation is complicated.”

“Daddy treats all of his monsters like family. You’re not one of my monsters, but you are ranked higher, so doesn’t that make you family?”

Takeshi: “Miss Inari… Where is this coming from?”

“I was just curious if after all this time being with me if you were just doing your duty or that you actually thought of yourself as one of us.”

Takeshi: “If it is really that important to you then, yes you can consider me family.”

“Great!” –I grab his arm and start pulling.-

Takeshi: “What are you doing Miss Inari?”

“If we are family then something like taking a bath together should be normal, isn’t that right?”

Takeshi: “So this was your plan… I refuse.”

“So you don’t think of us as family… How can I trust you protecting me if you don’t even think of me as family!?”

And just like that I managed to talk him into the hot spring with me, although he does have quite the death grip around that towel wrapped around him…

Takeshi: “Miss Inari, please at least cover yourself if we are to share a bath!”

“You don’t wear clothes in the bath! You don’t need that towel either… Now give me!”

I try to tug on his towel but no luck… If I gained levels like the others his strength would have been no match for mine… I do however notice something has caught his eyes as I try to pull on the towel.

Takeshi: “Miss Inari! That is indecent you are waving your breasts in my face!”

“Takeshi you are blushing! It is ok Takeshi if you want to touch one you can. You can touch them both!”

Takeshi: “Miss Inari please forgive me!” –He quickly jumps from the water and retreats, but not before I could see the cause of his distress.-

It didn’t go as well as I had hoped but I did learn something for sure that day. The others weren’t just telling me what I wanted to hear, he does desire me. That alone was enough to make the fact he refused to talk to me the next two days, worth it.

The Oni never have died down in the forest so there really must be more places like the one we destroyed, and the groups are still going out to gather xp but we are not as worried about it at the moment. Their new weapons and armor really made gathering xp like walking to the well to draw water.

I decided to keep the foxes out of the village for a while, so they didn’t disappear while I was gone and suddenly reappear when I return looking different. The village has several rumors about where they disappeared to, but very few of them involve me.

All in all the time since our return has been quite pleasant, that is until I receive a message one day.

The Elders have requested your presence at a meeting to be held in two days. Due to the difficulties concerning your dungeon you are given an extra day to prepare, and you are requested to meet me outside of you dungeon at first light on the designated day. This meeting can be refused, but due to the difficulties required to arrive at your dungeon your refusal must be in the form of a reply no less than 24 hours then the designated time of pickup. If you decide to refuse to attend the meeting future assistance from the elders may be refused.
Dungeon Core #36 [Elder Madam Erin]

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One thought on “Inari Chapter 12: The Castle

  1. Most crash to the ground dead, a few wreath around on the floor, but a couple of them start to drag themselves across the floor in my direction.

    I think you mean writhe.

    Like

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