(Bonus chapter 3/5 for meeting my patreon goal.)
The next morning after adding the advanced dungeon core room, and making my mistake at the mage’s guild, the bunnies start working with the options of the [Advanced Menu]. They have grown really excited, but there are so many new options on summoning things, it leaves me scratching my head.
[Menu] said it makes the monsters stronger and more intelligent, but to prevent the adventurers from noticing a sudden jump in strength the bunnies use options in [Advanced Menu] to weaken some of the entry level rift monsters as to not panic the adventurers.
Several of the options available in the [Advanced Menu] will really help. There are now options to make rifts with more than one type of monster. The rift costs the price of the most expensive monster, but on rifts like the kobolds and kobold mages that still saves xp when you summon them together instead of two separate rifts.
After a few days, even with the noticeable increase in strength in some of the elemental monsters on the deeper levels, the adventurers and mage’s guild members discover the new boss type monsters. With the increase in strength and the new boss monsters most adventurers have all but given up on trying to acquire the mythril swords.
We have however seen an increased amount of adventurers beginning to return to the main wing of the dungeon leaving the elemental wings to the mages. With the dungeon getting harder the amount of xp we receive got a small boost as well.
I told the bunnies I wanted to start working on some rooms to train the Gowen troops, but after several groups have made it down to the floor in the main wing that has the clock like mechanism in it, I then told them to split half the xp into replacing some of the monsters on that floor, that don’t have rifts, and the other half for the rooms for the Gowen troops.
While working with the bunnies for a few days I also keep an eye on the mage’s guild. Zedross told the others about my gem in great detail, but if he seen my abilities he doesn’t mention it to the others. Maybe he didn’t see the numbers after all. Either that or he just doesn’t believe them.
Splitting the xp between the rooms for the Gowen soldiers and the main dungeon it takes a bit longer then we wanted to begin working on it, so I call back the groups that are abroad a few days early. The groups on the mainland are slowly gaining in strength, but other than their xp that is about all we received from them.
Poppy and Bandy’s groups however are growing quickly in Shima. They brought in close to 500,000xp between the two groups and all members’ levels are reaching the mid-20’s mark. Belinda takes Poppy’s group back to Shima, so she can spend the rest of the day visiting with Inari, while Bandy stops me.
Bandy: “We brought in a lot of xp right?”
“Yes, I think Shima is going to be very helpful to us.”
Bandy: “We haven’t found any more of those fake dungeons like your daughter encountered, but that monster of hers, Akane. She told us that your daughter let you learn how to copy the gear they received from the one they went to.”
“Yes there was quite a bit of it.”
Bandy: “Since we brought back and large amount of xp, don’t you think it’s time you reward us?”
“That gear Inari taught us how to make is equal to that of mythril, so even if I spend all the xp you brought back on gear for your group it still wouldn’t outfit you all in gear of that quality.”
Bandy: “What about weapons for everyone at least? If we had weapons of that quality we could hunt faster and bring more xp back next month.”
“I guess that is the one drawback of Shima. You are gaining far much more xp there, but every Oni still carries the same weapon, so you are not bringing back near as many items. Alright, I wanted to use that xp for something else, but you make a point, this will only benefit us in the long run. What kind of weapons does your group use?”
Bandy: “I use a short sword and switch between a small shield and second short sword, but with the Oni’s fighting style I haven’t used my shield almost all month. Chase uses a plain old mage staff, but I keep telling him he needs to learn to get his hands dirty, so maybe one of those staves like you made for your daughter. Kit fancies himself a thin blade, Braford is a monk so he is good, but Corrie uses a large axe, but she doesn’t like it when you call her a minotaur, and Suzie uses a sword of course.”
“Well a sword is easy enough if you don’t want a Shima styled weapon as I can summon it as a mythril blade, but the best thin blade I can make would be from elven steel, a great axe is also a problem because I the best I can do for it would be an enhanced dark steel. For a short sword though if you want it to be equal to mythril you will have to take it in the Shima style.”
Bandy: “If that’s the best you can do, then that’s what we will take.”
I focus on making them unique, but since I can’t really afford to raise the quality of the items none result in critical successes. Because of my skills they are all enchanted, but none of the enchantments are new to me.
I finish up with the group and send them back to Shima. With Poppy’s group in Shima as well I better do the same for them, so I send Belinda a message asking her what kind of equipment Poppy’s group uses. Poppy’s entire group uses blades except the cat-folk mage, so their weapons actually turn out better then Bandy’s group.
After summoning the weapons I then take them to them in Shima, deliver them to Poppy’s group, and then visit Inari with Belinda.
“None of my monsters are giving you any trouble I hope?”
Inari: “We have had a few incidents with that Raccoon at my secondary dungeon, but it worked itself out.”
“I told her to behave herself.”
Inari: “It’s really alright, there are all types coming into the harbor there, and most ships are from Dalian so a beastkin leading a group of adventurers is bound to rub them the wrong way.”
“If any of my monsters become a problem for you, just let me know alright?”
Inari: “Don’t worry Daddy, besides Mommy comes and visits me quite often now, so she has kept them in line.”
“As long as they aren’t becoming a problem.”
Inari: “Not at all, now Mommy has been bringing me some things from time to time that are hard to get in Shima, but I did say if you could visit I would trade you a few monsters so you could learn some Shima skills.”
“We really could use the skills, but what would you like to trade?”
Inari: “Have you tried summoning any more divine beastkin yet? Both of my boss monsters turned out as divine beastkin, but they are both of the standard beastkin verity. I was hoping maybe you could trade me a feral divine beastkin now that you made Aunt Zoey one of your special boss monsters.”
“There cost was so high, I have never had the xp to spare, but even if I could, it could only be a dog feral beastkin.”
Inari: “If you are interested I would like to try. Now, I think 40 level 1 beastkin would be a bit much even for Daddy, but if we summoned you another group to gather xp for your dungeon at level 15 that should be a fair trade. We can even try to give each one different Shima classes to increase the amount of skills you will receive.”
“We could definitely use the skills, and the new group. What do you think Belinda?”
Belinda: “It’s not going to put us in a bad way with xp right?”
“No, even after buying the gear for Bandy’s group and Poppy’s group it would still be within the xp I received from them, and not even touch what the bunnies have been gathering.”
Belinda: “Then I say we help our daughter!”
“You know along those lines I did it for Maeve and 3 points on Maric, who we don’t even like, so…” –I access [Archjusticar Menu] selecting Inari and grant her a boon.-
The Archjusticar has granted a boon to Dungeon Core #245 [Inari]. Resource items supplied in Dungeon Core #245 [Inari]’s dungeon are increased by 10% for the next 365 days.
Inari: “What is this? I am sure it will help the village quite a bit though.”
“It is an ability I got as the Archjusticar, but the others were increased gathering xp or lowering the cost of items in [Menu] stuff like that, so I am sorry this one didn’t turn out as good.”
Inari: “Xp is the least of my problems, I actually think this will help me much more.”
“I am still trying to get a handle on just what my ability does, so it helps me as well, but I am glad I could help. Now, as do you have any preferences for the divine feral beastkin?”
Inari: “I want a male, I have a few girls that still haven’t landed themselves a man, so maybe I can get lucky and eventually learn to summon them myself.”
“You’re not going to force them or anything, are you?”
Inari: “Well if either of my girls don’t like him, I can keep summoning more until he hits it off with one. With Mommy teleporting back and forth I could probably get away with a few extra beastkin now.”
“As long as you promise me not to force anything on a sentient monster.”
Inari: “I promise.”
I then use [Gate] to return home, let the bunnies know what I am going to do, and then try to summon a feral divine beastkin. The bunnies are excited to watch me summon a monster that cost so much xp, so they watch closely.
Requirements for summoning of Feral Divine Beastkin (Dog) not met.
Lilah: “What’s wrong Master?”
“It says I don’t meet the requirements, but if it’s in my list I should be able to summon it right?”
Lylah: “There are rare monsters that take special items to summon them, but [Menu] should tell you what is required.”
“It doesn’t say, it just says requirements not met. I better tell Inari before she summons the other beastkin!” –I quickly send a message to Inari telling her to wait.-
Inari: (What’s wrong Daddy? I already have 4 ready.)
([Menu] isn’t letting me summon one. It says I don’t meet the requirements.)
Inari: (What about a normal one then? I have Yuji and Chika, but being able to summon them would be nice.)
Requirements for summoning of Divine Beastkin (Wolf) not met.
Inari: (None of the divine monsters?)
Requirements for summoning of Divine Elf not met.
Requirements for summoning of Divine Being not met.
(No, none of them.)
Inari: (What are the requirements to summon them?)
(It doesn’t say. The bunnies said it should tell me, but it just says the requirements are not met.)
Inari: (Alright, let me summon your other two, and we can then figure something out.)
(But I might not have anything to trade you.)
Inari: (That’s alright Daddy, if we can’t figure something out, like I said it probably wouldn’t hurt for me to have another group.)
“Girls, can you see if you can find out any information of what might be required to summon a divine beastkin?”
Lilah: “Lilah will do her best Master.”
After looking through [Menu] and even using the search and coming up with no results I decide to [Gate] back to Inari’s dungeon, and when I return there are 6 new faces in the room with Belinda and Inari, all belonging to fox beastkin wearing Shima clothing.
“I’m sorry I wasn’t able to hold up my end of the deal, I never tried to summon one before now.”
Inari: “It’s ok Daddy, I am far from hurting on xp, so it isn’t that big of a deal, but I would of liked to of had one.”
“The bunnies are looking into it, to see if they can find anything in [Menu] to tell them what the requirements are for the summoning.”
Inari: “I hope it’s alright, but Mommy and I gave all of your new monsters Shima names.”
“But I don’t even have anything to trade now.”
Inari: “It’s alright, Mommy and I came to an agreement. If it is alright with you I will let you take them home and bind them to your dungeon. They can then return here, gather xp from the Oni, and return to you dungeon once a month, but in the mean time they can help protect my dungeon.”
“Well they are your monsters, so you are basically just offering me the xp they collect without anything in exchange, so I don’t really have a reason to turn it down.”
Inari: “You helped me a lot with that boon, so we can call it even. You got to promise me though when you figure out how to summon the divine feral beastkin you will trade with me then.”
After I agree, I take the 6 beastkin to my dungeon binding them to it, and then return back to Inari’s dungeon with them. I have used [Gate] quite a few times so I try to hurry and didn’t pay close attention the skills I learned, but glancing at it before I left, it looked pretty big.
Inari then sets the beastkin up in some of the rooms at her house and even gives them equipment to use. She tells them she will introduce them to the village tomorrow, and spends the rest of the day visiting with Belinda and me.
By the time we make it home it is already pretty late, and Belinda is in a very good mood, so we head straight to bed. The next morning Belinda is lying on my arm while making a cute face so I don’t want to wake her, so I then go through the list of skills we got from the Shima group.
They are all entry level skills but there are quite a few and they are also cheap. Once they rank up it will be quite the increase in strength for our group, so I teach them to myself and all the boss monsters while still not dipping into the xp the bunnies were collecting.
After looking at the amount of xp we have I decide it may be time to start the area for the Gowen troops. The options for the rifts are much better in the dungeon core room because of [Advanced Menu] but I stretch the rooms to the limit starting at the old prison on the first sub-level and stretching down 5 floors for a total of 11 massive empty rooms.
I don’t connect them to the old prison yet, as I want to speak with Logan first, but before filling them with monsters it only takes just over 13,000xp. Of course it is the monsters and everything else that is going to cost the most.
The mountain is starting to get quite full with my dungeon. I don’t think I could fit a single room in any of the first few floors without either running into another room or out the side of the mountain. That makes me understand more what Maeve was saying about dungeons. If humans tried to carve that much rock and dirt out of the mountain it would have collapsed a long time ago.
Belinda is starting to wake now, so I close [Menu] a gently kiss her. “Good morning.”
After we get out of bed I tell Belinda about what I added to the dungeon, and then we send a message to Logan to set up a time to meet. He used to answer Belinda very quickly after writing him, but after finding out about the dungeon he seems far more hesitant to talk to even his own sister.
He started dating Queen again, so I thought it would be alright, but maybe it is just something that will have to take some time. When he finally replies he says he can’t get away till that afternoon so we just have to wait.
The bunnies knew we were going to add the rooms for the soldier’s training, but I have nothing much else to do so I head to the dungeon core room and tell them about it. I also decide to ask if they found out any information about the divine monsters.
Lilah: “Lilah can’t find anything Master.”
Lylah: “We did find some really strong undead monsters that require to be summoned exactly at midnight, and some elemental monsters require certain seasons of the year or types of weather. Maybe Master should set [Menu] to warn him if the requirements have been met.”
“How did you find all that out?”
Lila: “Rare Monster Summoning Guide it’s a manual for the dungeon core room, it cost 10,000xp though.”
“That is a lot of xp for a book, but I think I seen some as high as 1 million on there, and I did ask you to find out the information. How do I set [Menu] up with the warning?”
The bunnies walk me though the process, of setting it up and just in case each one has different conditions I set up all of them to warn me if the conditions are met.
“Well I don’t know if we will just happen to stumble onto the right conditions, but at least it is better than nothing. I want you to set aside enough xp to summon a divine monster just in case one of them becomes available. If for some reason you have to use the xp, let me know, so I know not to use it if it becomes available.”
Lilah: “But Lilah is already setting aside all that xp for the soldier training, and for emergencies. She doesn’t have much to work on the dungeon.”
“I thought we were at the point again where we were starting to gain more xp then we are spending.”
Lylah: “We are Master, Lilah is just impatient.”
“Well once we talk with Logan and start to get the soldier training rooms filled up with monsters and set up, that might be a lot more xp coming in. We also have three groups gathering xp for us in Shima so they might even break the 750,000 mark next month.”
Lilah: “Master made to many rooms for the soldiers though. There will not be enough xp to fill them all.”
“Well that’s why I haven’t put doors in between them yet, so we can just fill each one at a time as we need to. I am hoping I can count on Logan to tell us exactly what they need for the rooms, so we can plan accordingly.”
Lilah: “Is Master sure it is going to be safe to have a lot of soldiers in the dungeon?”
“Well the protection from the king is still in effect, and he still plans to treat me as his son even knowing I am a dungeon core, so I am sure the soldiers will be on their best behavior.”
The bunnies and I talk for a little bit more before I return down to the house.
Vetala: “Master, the mage’s guild sent a letter about a meeting this afternoon asking you to attend.”
“I have to meet with Logan later, but that is why we made it where you can go in our place.”
Vetala: “But what if I make a mistake?”
“You are just going to relay the information. They said it wasn’t a big deal if we attended all the meetings anyway, I will see if Roxy or Zoey will go with you this time though to make sure you do alright.”
Vetala: “Thank you Master.”
I then send the message to them both asking if they received the letter as well. After finding out they did, I ask one of them to give Vetala a hand with it. Zoey complains about it, but after Roxy says she will take care of it, it seems they are both going to go to give Vetala a hand.
Belinda is at the Mayor’s office with Scylla, so I decide to head over there until it’s time to head to the capital to meet with Logan. I find Belinda holding Scylla’s baby when I arrive, and it’s hard to believe just how fast she seems to be growing.
Scylla has a full staff in the office now with, Kline, Bell, and three other people Belinda hired so even though she is quite busy. They are able to take a break to visit with us for a while before its time for Belinda and I to make our way to the capital.
We finally arrive at the capital to meet with Logan, and Logan seems almost a little hesitant to speak with us alone.
Belinda: “Logan, it’s me! I wish you would quit making a big deal out of this. When I heard you and Queen agreed to date again I thought you put this behind you.”
Logan: “In truth I don’t know what to think anymore.”
“Well maybe we can help you out some then. My dungeon is finally in a way we can start support some of the Gowen troops to come train in the dungeon.”
Logan: “So you can gather their xp?”
“I won’t lie to you and say that doesn’t help us, because it does, but that isn’t the reason we are doing this. Belinda and I want to see Gowen succeed as well you know. The truth is when you thought the dungeon was unpredictable and uncontrollable you still wanted to send troops in to train there, so this way is even better.”
Logan: “So what is it you want from me?”
“We would like to know how to set up the rooms to best benefit the training of the troops. I have quite a few large rooms set up, but I wanted to see how you wanted to go about filling them, so the soldiers get the most out of the training.”
Logan: “I am not sure.”
“We could flood the rooms with weak monsters, slowly increasing their strength to help the soldiers level faster, or if you want experience we could set up smaller but more focused groups of monsters, they won’t level as fast, but they will the hang of combat more.”
Logan: “You could really control it to that degree?”
“Of course, the biggest thing however is doing it in a way that it isn’t obvious that the sole points of these rooms are to train soldiers. We also need to talk about the inevitable. At some point there will be a soldier that over extends themselves or makes a mistake that will cause them to die, we can try our best to prevent it, but it is bound to happen at some point.”
Belinda: “If there isn’t a sense of danger, the troops are not going to learn anything.”
“We also need to speak about any soldiers that break the rules. Belinda is going to set some ground rules at the adventurer’s guild, and Scylla will as Tobes’s mayor, but as loyal as the Gowen soldiers are there is a chance that some may break the rules, and we need to discuss what we do with them when they do.”
Logan: “You really have thought this through quite a bit.”
“Of course we have.”
Logan: “As far as soldiers dying in the dungeon, if we can prevent it as much as possible it would be great, but I understand that even when training with other humans there is always that chance a mistake is made. As far as soldiers breaking rank that should be a military matter.”
“I am fine with leaving their discipline up to their commander, but I need an assurance it will be dealt with, because it is literally my life on the line here.”
Logan: “Insubordination is not taking lightly.”
“We also need to establish a way of being able to inform the commander if any rules are broken that the soldiers are able to cover up.”
Belinda: “There is always a dungeon expert when training in dungeons. Maybe we could use one of our monsters for that purpose.”
Logan: “I think having a monster do something like that would be a dead giveaway that Gowen is working with the dungeon.”
Belinda: “I’m sorry, I meant a beastkin or a human that we summon. Doug still doesn’t like it when we use that term when talking about Aria, but it has become natural when talking about those summoned from the dungeon.”
Logan: “I am still having a hard time grasping the fact that summoning a beastkin or a human is even possible.”
“It really seemed to help Doug and Kline, when they could see it for themselves, so maybe it would help you as well?”
Logan: “It doesn’t seem right to do something like that with a living being just for something like this.”
“Well like Belinda said, it might help to summon in a few with the groups of soldiers. I am sure the Gowen military could always use a few more hands.”
Logan: “But forcing them to become soldiers?”
“The bunnies have gotten pretty good in summoning those that want to do, what it is we want them to. Look at Delilah.”
Logan: “Of course Delilah is one of yours. I didn’t even think about it. I am sure that means Rodan is one of Queen’s as well?”
“I assumed she told you, but yes I believe he is.”
Logan: “First my sister, then the council, and now you even want to place those you summon into the military. You are systematically replacing the leaders of Gowen with those you summon in the dungeon and now don’t you see why I am worried?”
Belinda: “It isn’t like that! We just wanted to help. We told you about Queen and Two-Twelve’s agreement so you should know we all want what is best for Gowen.”
“How about we just show you? We can go back to Tobes, I can show the rooms we have prepared, and then we can show you the summoning process. You can then make up your mind if you want them to join the military, and if you want to use the training rooms or not.”
Logan: “I will go with you, but I make no promises…”
We then [Gate] back to Tobes, Belinda decides to return to help Scylla, and to be on the safe side instead of transferring Logan and I also use [Gate] to enter the rooms I have prepared for the soldiers training.
Logan: “This is huge…Wait there isn’t any doors!”
“I did that because I didn’t know how you wanted to set it up. This is the most I can get out of the cost of a single room. One is a bit more of a rectangle instead of square but all but one of the rooms are this size. We can put up walls anywhere you like or just leave the room bare and fill it with monsters. It is really just up to how you want to do it.”
Logan: “How would the soldiers get in and out?”
“The long hallway on the first sub-level of the dungeon is just beyond that wall there.” –I say pointing at one of the walls.- “Once we set it up the way you want we can add a door there connecting it to the dungeon.”
Logan still seems a bit uneasy, but he says. “So, if I say I wanted to section this off into 4 different areas you could do that?”
“If that’s it what you want then yes.”
Logan: “Well a room like this would be alright for large combat, but for starters I would want them to have to deal with smaller fights.”
“Alright, I can’t add to the rooms with you present in them but if you let me know what you want I can add it and we can then walk it to make sure that is what you want.”
Logan: “Four equal sized rooms will work, but as to what kind of monsters to put in them, I can’t be certain. Your kobolds were quite fierce, but there are so many monsters in your dungeon now that I haven’t seen.”
“If you want to go with kobolds, goblins, or something of that nature I will ask that the troops leave the equipment the monsters drop when they die behind, because that would be where it gets quite costly. I could summon in a few sample monsters and we could go from there if you like.”
Logan: “Would it be safe?”
“As long as I am here there will be no problems, but again we would have to leave the room… You know, if we are going to do this, it would be far easier if you were considered an ally of the dungeon. I could no longer acquire xp from you, but I think it would be more beneficial that way.”
Logan: “What do you mean, I thought we were allies?”
“The magic that I use in the dungeon still considers you and invader, but if I set you as an ally, I could add walls, doors, and monsters to the room with you in it.”
Logan: “What would I need to do?”
“There should be a way to do it manually, but my dungeon is a little different, so I am not certain how to. I do know that if I take you to the room Lilah and the others work from it will automatically set you as an ally.”
After getting Logan to agree I transfer us to the dungeon core room.
Lilah: “Master brought Lilah a prince into her bedroom!”
“Logan is unsure of this as it is right now, so please take it easy on him.”
Lilah: “Yes Master.”
Logan: “It’s awfully dark in here…”
“Yea I guess it would be to you. The screens that appear when you use the adventurer’s guild magic, for us this room is completely packed with them, so to us it is quite bright. Now that should be enough to have made you an ally of the dungeon, so I will take us back for now.”
I then tell the bunnies I will be using the xp we set aside for the training of the troops, and then Logan and I return to the first room of the training section of the dungeon.
“Alright, are you ready to get started?”