Chapter 97: Two-Twelve’s New Training

 

After Madam Erin transfers us to another area of her dungeon we sit down in a basic waiting room.

Madam Erin: “So this is the core you are training this year?”

“Sorry, I didn’t properly introduce you. Madam Erin this is Dungeon Core #135 Maeve.”

Madam Erin: “It’s a pleasure to meet you pup. I do have to say you don’t quite fit the style we have grown used to concerning the dungeon cores Two-Twelve usually puts out.”

Maeve: “Yes, as I keep hearing.”

Madam Erin: “So what were you doing in my dungeon to begin with?”

“Well Maeve learning all the skills available to her was quite costly. Even with the rifts that were apparently set up last year we still ran out of xp pretty quickly.”

Madam Erin: “So you figured you would come mooch off of my dungeon?”

“You have never had a problem with it before, we just didn’t want to bother you, and I also wanted to test the effectiveness of the ring.”

Madam Erin: “You kept yourself hidden pretty well, if you were with a larger group you might have gotten away with it, but a pair of adventurers making it that far into my dungeon doesn’t happen very often. Then when I started poking around I noticed you were both dungeon cores. Of course I know what every dungeon core looks like so when I didn’t know you, I decided to confront you myself.”

“Well there was no ill intention involved, I just thought I could kill two birds with one stone.”

Madam Erin: “And instead almost got two pups.”

Out from the shadows walks the Lilith. This time she is wearing the not clothing that Madam Erin summoned for her last time I was here.

Madam Erin: “That was quick.”

Lilith: “Of course Mistress, making men come is my specialty.”

Dyson quickly arrives just behind her. “Then I have to say I beg to differ… So what is this all about?”

Madam Erin: “It appears Two-Twelve has managed to do it again.”

Dyson: “Now what…”

Maeve quickly jumps to her feet introducing herself to Dyson.

Maeve: “It’s a pleasure to meet you Elder Dyson. I am the Divine Being Dungeon Core #135. You can call me Maeve if you wish.”

I sigh while Madam Erin has a shocked expression, Dyson’s face changes from one of displeasure to shock, and then quickly to a smirk.

Dyson: “Color me surprised. He finally managed it?”

Maeve then sits back down but this time instead of in the chair she was in she sits on an empty couch closer to where Dyson is sitting…

Madam Erin: “That actually that is news to me as well… That isn’t why I initially called you.”

Maeve seems a little disappointed when Dyson takes a seat in a chair on the other side of Madam Erin.

Madam Erin: “No the reason I called you was that Two-Twelve appointed Maeve her training dungeon on her first day.”

Dyson: “He did what!?”

“After she used most of the xp for her training to learn skills I then placed that cuff I received from Laura on her, and since then she has reached level 22 while still completely ranking out the skills. She even took a few more when they became available, but we ran out of xp before she could learn them all.”

Dyson: “I see, I noticed the sharp increase in your level when you returned, I thought it might have been due to claiming the dungeons, but it was the cuff all along? That is quite interesting, but without being able to reproduce the cuff, that still doesn’t help us much.”

Madam Erin: “Oh but he has managed that as well, or at least for the most part.”

“Like I was telling Madam Erin it’s not 100% reliable, but I have made several different rings that allow me to continue to gain xp as if I was a dungeon monster instead of the dungeon core.”

Dyson: “And how did this come to your attention?” –He says to Madam Erin.-

Madam Erin: “I caught them sneaking around my dungeon trying to gather more xp.”

“I told you we weren’t sneaking…”

Dyson: “So not only do we finally get a Divine Being Dungeon Core, but Two-Twelve managed to further progress the training for new dungeon cores. I stand corrected this may have been worth my time after all. It may be a bit late in the game, but a week is a week, so we need 3 more of those rings.”

“I told you it’s not 100% reliable… There is also the xp cost.”

Madam Erin: “Dyson and I will cover the xp cost, but I not only ask for rings for this year’s Dungeon Cores, but at least a dozen. I think even Dungeon Cores several years old will benefit quite nicely from it. I don’t say we should give one to every core, but your Inari, Dyson’s Queen, My Var, Your Dawn & Twilight, plus this year’s dungeon cores. I think all of them could benefit quite nicely.”

Dyson: “I have no objections with the cores mentioned, but I think we need to keep this under wraps as best we can. Even some of the other Elders might not take kindly to this.”

Madam Erin: “Then we will only keep this between the dungeon cores you and I can both agree on then.” –She says to Dyson.-

“I promised Belinda I would give one to Inari, and I will try to make one for Maeve, but I am not sure about making so many of them them…”

Dyson: “You will make them as per our agreement.”

“Our agreement says you have to give me something in return. Only about 1 in 3 of the rings seems to work if you say a dozen of them that is close to half a million xp.”

Madam Erin: “Fine, Dyson and I will each supply you with half a million xp, but in exchange I want the failed copies as well, just to prove you are not pulling one over on us. I have to say I can’t say I trust you as much as I once did.”

“Some of the failed rings resulted in enchantments that could compromise my dungeon. If any turn out like that I will keep them and I will refund you the xp cost of the rings I kept.”

Madam Erin: “We are giving you more than double the cost of each ring, so any ring you keep you return double the amount then and we have a deal.”

Dyson: “I am still not sure I agree with this, but if this goes sideways, I know how Madam Erin can make it up to me.”

Madam Erin: “Honey, all you had to do is ask. I would gladly share your bed even without the deal.”

Dyson: “Not you, you mangy old mutt, the succubus.”

Madam Erin: “See Maeve this is why you never trust a man. I brought both of these two into this world and they both treat me this way.”

Dyson: “Your “Training” also caused me to fail!”

Madam Erin: “Are you saying you regret your time among the humans then? Isn’t that what made you the strongest dungeon core that has ever lived?”

“Do we have to stick around for this…? We have much more important things to do.”

Madam Erin taps away on her [Menu] then presents me with a small xp bead, but before I take it she pulls back.

Madam Erin: “And just to be sure. Lilith you will return with Two-Twelve to his dungeon to make sure he completes the rings in a timely fashion. I will make sure his princess knows you are coming as well to help speed up the process. When Lilith returns with the rings we will then send Dyson’s share of the xp.”

She then places the bead into my hand. Maeve gets to her feet quickly approaching Dyson.

Maeve: “It was an honor to meet you Elder Dyson, if there is anything I can do for you just ask.”

Dyson smirks, I sigh, Madam Erin beings griping at Dyson again, and I then cast [Gate] pulling Maeve along and the succubus quickly follows as well.

I heard the living room is the least used room in the house, so maybe I can quickly make the rings and send the succubus on her way before Belinda even sees her. As if the situation wasn’t bad enough as it is when we step though the portal I don’t find an empty room like I expected, but instead find Scylla is there breastfeeding her baby, while Belinda sits talking to her. Scylla quickly blushes trying to maintain modesty without disturbing the baby.

Belinda: “Why did you come here? We never use the living room!” –She quickly rushes to take a blanket to Scylla, but stops dead in her tracks once Lilith exits the portal.- “No…I mean it this time Two-Twelve! No!”

Belinda then appears to get a message as she is briefly distracted and appears to be reading it.

Belinda: “I don’t know what you promised Madam Erin, but you better get it done, now!”

“…Yes ma’am…” –I then quickly flee the room.-

Lilith tries to follow me from the door but Belinda grabs her arm and says “You can stay right here until he is done.”

I shut the door and sigh… I should have chosen the ballroom… Even one of the bedrooms would have been better, but if we somehow got caught there it would have been much much worse I guess. I kind of just ditched Maeve, but she is one of the girls, so maybe it will be alright.

I don’t want to panic the bunnies by adding this amount of xp to the dungeon without them knowing so I transfer to the dungeon core room.

All three of them seem to be in quite the panic. Once they see me the oldest quickly says.

Lilah: “Master! What is going on!?”

“What do you mean?”

Lylah: “[Menu] let out a loud intruders have entered the dungeon message and by the warning you would think a dragon was attacking Tobes or something.”

“Madam Erin sent one of her monsters back with us when I returned, but I have never heard of anything like that before. We have the ability to summon a dragon or a griffon, and Dyson said this monster was still too advanced for me so maybe she really is that strong. Dyson or Madam Erin never effected [Menu] this way before though right?”

Lilah: “No Master…”

“Well it seems to line up with when she arrived so I think it has to be her, so calm down a little bit and just double check to make sure. I have to summon some rings for Madam Erin and Dyson, so our xp is going to change greatly until I am done.”

Lylah: “Leave it to us Master!”

While the quickly begin to scourer the screens I add the bead to the dungeon and begin to work… The [Ring of Second Life] is the only one that I have successfully made more than one of so I start off by trying to make a hand full of them.

[Ring of Second Life], [Ring of Second Identity], [Ring of Another], [Ring of Second Life], critical success [Ring of Separate Lives], and the last results in a third [Ring of Second Life] all three of the rings of second life will work just fine, I don’t know if they will count the ring of another as a success or not, but I then check the ring of second identity and ring of separate lives.

[Ring of Second Identity] A ring that grants the wearer a single altered identity for as long as the ring is worn. Through exceptional craftsmanship the ring grants and additional benefit. If the race of the chosen identity is different than the wearer, the wearer will be granted knowledge of the second identity’s race including mannerisms and even language.

[Ring of Separate Lives] A ring that grants the wearer a single altered identity for as long as the ring is worn. Through exceptional craftsmanship the ring grants and additional benefit. At any time the wearer can focus their magic into the ring causing it to break. From then on the wearer will permanently assume the altered identity.

I can’t be for certain but I believe both of them rings will work as well. I am actually doing quite well so far out of 6 we have 3 that will work for sure, 2 that will probably work, and 1 that’s a maybe. The deal is for a total of 36 rings, so I better keep going…

This proves to be quite a bit more difficult then I first imagined and takes a bit more time as well… By the time I hit the 36th ring I am worn out… the [Ring of Second Life] easily was the most common ring summoned and I got 14 of them so that should at least meet the quota.

The second most common ring I acquired was the [Ring of Many Faces] but I know from firsthand experience that one doesn’t work so those 10 rings were a waste, at least it’s not my xp..

The 3rd most common ring was the [Ring of Another] in which I got 6 of. I thought it was the same as the one as I summoned when I was experimenting on my own but I realized that was a band of another not ring of another.

After looking into the ring of another it looks to be quite similar but not near as good. Not only does the assumed shape not grant 100% of the altered shapes abilities it also lacks the ability to break the ring down to acquire the ring identity’s abilities.

Out of the 4 remaining rings I got one more of each of the [Ring of Second Identity] and [Ring of Separate Lives]. One more turned into a [Ring of Fake Life] which is just like the one I summoned before so I am going to be forced to buy that one as I don’t want Madam Erin or Dyson able to copy me…

I made the quota for acceptable rings and then some, so I decided I will hold on the last remain ring as well switching it out for the [Ring of Many Faces] that I summoned previously. It was another critical success that resulted in [Royal’s Ring]. Its ability doesn’t sound like it will work for what the elders want, but it might be a bit of fun to play with so what it could really hurt?

[Royal’s Ring] When the ring is placed on the wearer’s finger they choose an altered appearance that remains until the ring is removed or 24 hours has passed. After the 24 hours the wearer can choose another altered appearance. Through exceptional craftsmanship the rings grants an additional ability. Through the power of [Suggestion] anyone that looks at the wearer of this ring will recognize them as royalty, and treat them accordingly.

The closest I can get to the 24,000xp that is double the cost of the ring of fake life that I am keeping is a 2 10,000xp bead and a 5,000xp bead, so I summon them and add it to a back with the other 35 rings I am sending back with Lilith and then return to the house.

It was still pretty early when I went to the dungeon core room, but now it is already dark… Belinda is sure to be mad at me for this one for sure. I quickly make my way to the living room. Belinda is sitting across the room from Lilith.

While Belinda is sitting straight backed, with an angry face, and her arms crossed. Lilith on the other hand is lounging on the sofa. They appear to be the only two in the room.

Belinda: “What took you so long!?”

“I’m sorry, I had to summon 36 rings…”

Lilith: “You managed to get them all then? –She says while jumping off the sofa making her way towards me.-

Belinda quickly jumps up standing between us, and I hold the bag out at full arm’s length.

“35 of them at least one of them would be trouble for me, so I also have a few xp beads to make up its cost like promised. I also included a note with instructions on how to get them to work the desired way.”

Lilith: “Very well.” –She takes the bag from my outstretched arm and peers inside before pulling it tight- “I will give these to my Mistress then.”

Lilith then walks into a shadow in the corner completely disappearing. I then sigh and collapse on the sofa rubbing my neck.

“Everyone else leave already?”

Belinda: “Of course they did, I wasn’t going to leave Scylla and her baby in the house with a demon!”

“I guess a succubus is a type of demon, but she is just a monster like any other, isn’t that judging her a bit harshly?”

Belinda: “You plan on defending the nearly naked demon woman you brought into our house instead of your wife?”

“I’ll just shut up now…”

Belinda: “That’s what I thought…”

“Did Maeve head to bed already?”

Belinda: “When we figured you wouldn’t be able to get any more training in today, she did.”

“Well after sleeping on the hard floor of Madam Erin’s dungeon the last few nights, and the day I have had today. My bed will be a welcome sight…”

Belinda: “That is if I let you come to bed tonight.”

“How is any of this my fault? I got cornered by Madam Erin, and forced to make all them rings for her sending a powerful monster like Lilith to keep an eye on me to make sure I do it… I am the victim here…”

Belinda: “This isn’t the first time you have seen her is it?”

“I told about it when Madam Erin summoned her… When Madam Erin and Dyson were arguing about the cuff and I left.”

Belinda: “You said she summoned that monster in front of you! You mean to tell me you seen that thing naked!?”

“With the way she is dressed it isn’t much of a difference…”

Belinda: “That’s it you can stay on the couch!”

“How is any of this my fault!?”

Lilith: “Sorry to intrude but I returned with the xp bead that my mistress promised you.” –She says stepping out of the shadow, and then sticking out her tongue with the bead sitting on top of it.-

Belinda: “Tell her she can keep it!”

“No! that is half of a million xp! Just set it on the table there and thank Madam Erin for me…”

Lilith: “My mistress also said it was getting quite late, so if you wanted me to I could remain here for the night.” –She says while placing the bead on the table and then giving me a wink.-

Belinda: “No absolutely not! And you can tell your mistress that!”

Lilith: “Shame… See you later Two-Twelve.” –She says disappearing into the shadow again.-

I cast [Clean] on the bead before picking it up and storing it in the dungeon inventory.

Belinda: “Fine! I can’t risk that she might sneak back here later… You can come to bed, but only so I can keep an eye on you.”

I can’t say I rested any better that night, then in the floor of Madam Erin’s dungeon as I had to fight just for Belinda to allow me to remove my armor… Even when I wake up the next morning I am still quite worn out and Belinda is holding on to me with a death grip…

I kiss her and say. “Good morning.”

She smiles and loosens her grip on me kissing me back, but once she wakes up a bit more her face quickly contorts…

Belinda: “Nice try, but I am still mad at you.”

“I honestly had no control of any part of that entire situation…”

Belinda: “Yet you send ended the day with over half a million extra xp.”

It takes me 30 minutes but I explain every detail to her on how everything happened.

Belinda: “Don’t think this lets you off the hook…”

Before I get out of bed I give her a deep kiss which she reciprocates to, so I am sure she is just giving me a hard time now… I think…

Belinda: “What are you planning to do for Maeve now? She doesn’t have much more time left of training?”

“I was thinking of giving her the remaining xp I got extra from Dyson to train the her so she can learn as many skills as possible and then just let her train on the rifts the till she runs out of time. Meanwhile I am going to use the xp I got yesterday to re-secure the elemental wings of the dungeon.”

Belinda: “You think she will be satisfied with that?”

“At this point the extra skills will be worth more to her then a few extra levels, so I think she will understand. Besides this way she can train up her boss monsters a bit more as well. She couldn’t do that in Madam Erin’s dungeon.”

I then join Maeve and tell her the plan. She doesn’t seem displeased with it at least so I guess it will work out. After she learns her skills and begins training again I sit back and take a hard look into how to improve the elemental wings.

I add another room to the back of each room on the elemental wings with stairs going down. I want to start branching off but adding more rooms without them bumping into one another is quite hard. With the next floor of each elemental wing I end up with a total of 8 rooms.

The stairs room, another the same size, the next is a large room that is rectangle that functions like a hallway, from there I split off two separate rooms, One room has another room behind it but ends in a dead end, while the other has a second room off of it, and then a third larger boss like room at the end of it.

All the extra rooms only amounted to just over 12,000xp, but now comes the expensive part adding monsters. Even using all the dungeon skills I use up almost all of the xp just on the old floor by adding rifts…

These elemental monsters cost an extreme amount of xp… I don’t want to leave a bunch of empty rooms so I only utilize the first room of each of the newly added floor. It’s kind of a tight squeeze for the dragon and the griffon for now but I don’t really have much of a choice.

I have unlocked a higher tier of each elemental creature but with their costs I still can’t use but 1 for the shadow room and one for the fire room. I can’t even replace the mythril swords yet. Using the last bit of xp I add one of them giant crabs Listel and I fought.

We didn’t have much trouble with it, but that was only because its armor was so thick that shadow magic devastated it. Our Mythril swords were not even very effective so unless someone with strong shadow magic enters the depths of the water wing it should be alright.

I can’t believe we are in a way that 500,000xp doesn’t amount to anything… I send a message to the bunnies telling them what I did. I also tell them as we start to gain xp start opening up more of the elemental rooms adding the new tiers of elemental creatures while moving back the 3 boss type monsters.

By the end of Maeve’s training she manages to reach far down the fairy evolution line with Windy, and she has become a fairy almost human sized. I guess because her training dungeon was connected to mine it has unlocked all the tiers of fairies for me as well including the stage Windy is currently on. Its cost is as much as the dragon, griffon, or the crab though.

Her other boss monster went from Nymph, to Greater Nymph, and then to Dryad, but unfortunately she still hasn’t unlocked elves yet. Maybe once she finally does unlock one I can trade with her so I can unlock them as well.

Maeve herself pushing herself to the very limits to drain every rift in the training room and then even moving on to some rooms in the normal dungeon she managed to barely hit level 25 on her last day. Even at that level though with the number of skills she has I think in a fight without magic I would stand no chance of winning against her.

We gather for a large dinner on her final evening before her evaluation so everyone can wish her luck.

Maeve: “Thank you all for your help.”

Doug: “We actually should be thanking you. Getting the chance to train with you under Two-Twelve’s guidance was more than I could of ever hoped for.”

“You exaggerate… I am not that great of a teacher… All I did was send the monsters at you all.”

Kline: “But to learn the way a dungeon core trains, and I even managed to gain 2 levels inside a month. When I was traveling with Young Master Logan it took me over a year to gain my last level…”

Maeve: “Once I get my dungeon off the ground… Maybe I will invite you to have a go at it. That is of course if you promise to leave my crystal alone.”

Aria: ‘We would be honored.”

“Speaking of your dungeon, have you decided where you want to place it?”

Maeve: “Actually I did a bit of fiddling around with [Menu] last night and I think I have a plan. It may not work, and it isn’t anything anyone has done before, so I would like for it to be a surprise.”

“I will look forward to it.”

We then finish our meal, and I call Azami who was not attending the meal to the house for her to present her with the sword she was working on for Maeve.

Azami arrives with a long slender blade that is longer then she is tall. It looks more like a lance or spear then a rapier, and hands it over to Maeve.

Maeve: “This is beautiful… You even got it to the length I wanted it.”

Azami: “Being a thin blade of that length took quite a bit of work. I had to study a Shima blade to learn their techniques of blade folding to make the blade where it wouldn’t just fold in half due to the strain. I don’t think it will make a good sword but it is my finest work, so if you can wield it, it will not let you down.”

Maeve: “Thank you again.”

Katie: “Master, you should have let me go first, the armor turned out well, but I don’t know if it is quite that good…”

Azami: “I am quite interested to see the finished product myself.”

Katie: “Yea no pressure…”

I take the armor from the dungeon inventory with [Menu] setting it down on the table in front of Katie.

Katie: “I really tried my best not to mess up the beautiful armor that Azami made, but I still have a ways to go before I reach her talent.”

Katie and I help Maeve equip the armor, and although it is no longer master quality like it was before Katie worked on it the protection is quite a bit higher. The [Master Quality Elven-mail] is now [Expert Quality Hybrid Scale-mail]

The look of the armor I have to say is quite unique It looks rather similar to my armor, but the beauty of the elven-mail made from small scales and chainmail, and a highly polished dwarven metal pauldrons and plates. You can tell Katie went the extra mile trying to add to the beauty of Azami’s work instead of just slapping dwarven metal to it.

When I looked at its cost in xp after Katie first finished I was quite taken aback. If I made one with the dungeon of equal quality to my armor it might be a little better than my armor, but the cost would be practically double. The advantage though if Azami and Katie make it the cost is as cheap as dark steel armor.

Maeve: “I had to admit when I heard you were adding dwarven plates to an elven armor I was skeptical, but it looks like you really tried not to hinder the things that make elven armor so great while still adding protection where you could.”

Katie: “A normal dwarven smith would call it an abomination, but I know Azami is the better crafter, so I didn’t want her hard work go to waste.”

Azami: “Two-Twelve told me using the dungeon to replicate this armor is too costly, so it appears we will have to continue to make them together. Don’t take this as an acceptance to your work however. You still have a long way to go before I would consider it acceptable.”

Katie: “I promise I will do my best.”

Katie looks really encouraged that Azami is still willing to work with her after seeing it, and she looks to be really fired up now.

After Maeve thanks Azami, Katie, and myself she then says her goodbyes, and everyone except Belinda, Maeve, and myself either head back home or to bed.

Belinda: “I know you kept up the mama and papa thing for my sake, but I hope that even if you don’t treat Two-Twelve and me as your parents that you still at least think of us as family. Please keep in touch I would really like to hear from you from time to time.”

Maeve: “I guess for everything you and Papa have done for me you at least deserve that much, and Papa you take care of Mama alright?”

“I promise.”

Belinda has tears in her eyes as she hugs Maeve, and pulls me into it as well. Belinda then says her final farewell and gives Maeve a communication parchment just in case something like what happened with Inari happens again.

After Maeve goes off to bed, and Belinda and I prepare for bed hugs me and says.

Belinda: “You know I don’t think I mind you training new dungeon cores anymore. I thought it was just a burden, but since we can’t have children of our own this will be the closest we will ever get. I know some of them might not think that way, but it gives me a little comfort to know that the dungeon cores you trained are out there somewhere.”

“Being a dungeon core is quite dangerous though, so eventually we will lose some, that is if I don’t go out first.”

Belinda: “The circumstances are different, but humans never know how long they got either, so it’s not like it is something new. That is also why you have to do your best while training our children, so they can fend for themselves.”

“I will do my best.”

Belinda: “I know you will. I love you Two-Twelve”

 

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