After celebrating with Logan, the next morning I unbound Tessa, Theodore, and Sigrun from my dungeon and they, along with Liam, returned to the capital with Logan. Over the course of the next few days things in the dungeon went just about how we predicted.
After the bunnies put the door adding the two new rooms to the dungeon, it was discovered, and after a special dungeon commission it was explored the next day. Belinda then sent the official notice about the area being reserved for Gowen military use, but continued to allow the adventurer’s enter the area until the troops arrival.
All four of the monsters I summoned managed to join the Gowen military just fine, and all but Liam are on their way back with the rest of the troops. Liam was able to get posted in New Leona, so to be on the safe side I told Queen about him as not to cause trouble.
Doug was beside himself with excitement up till the point the troops set out from the capital heading for Tobes, and since then he has been a nervous wreck wondering if he is going to be able to handle the troops.
I have been so busy trying to make sure everything is prepared for their arrival I haven’t had a chance to worry about the fact that [Menu] hasn’t informed me about any of the divine type monsters meeting their requirements for summoning. The bunnies said some monsters even require a certain season, so it could take up to a year, unless the requirements are something else entirely.
Lilah griped at me a bit, but I dipped into some of the xp for the main section of the dungeon to be able to finish the third room on the troops training area on the day they are set to arrive, now that will be twelve small rooms that the four groups can train on.
I had to do the last room a bit different, because of the way the stairs are set up. Instead of running the walls though the center of the room they are running from corner to corner. There are still four equally sized rooms but they are triangle shaped instead of square.
When the troops finally did arrive they appeared to be far greener then I thought they would be, and it took quite a bit of effort to even get them to the training area for the first few days. Their commanding officer seems to know Doug, so things have gone pretty smoothly on that end. Although after a week they still haven’t cleared the rooms even once.
Maric finally messaged me to let me know his plan succeeded, although it may be years before I see any results because apparently the dragonkin he received are a young couple and it takes a long time for dragonkin to reproduce.
Maric also said due to the skill I granted him he was able to obtain the dragonkin with only the death of a single dragonkin. From his telling of the events it was a romantic story about two lovers separated by a clan rule that states the strongest male can pick its own mate.
Maric said he filled in for the weaker male in a battle to the death with the stronger male and in winning the fight he got to choose the fate of the female, taking both the smaller male and the female as monsters to his dungeon. I don’t know if that is really how it happened, but Maric can definitely tell a grand tale.
Things seem to be going quite well, until I receive a strange visitor at the house. Vetala was the one to answer the door, but she quickly called for me when the visitor asked to speak with Dungeon Core #212. I quickly look in [Menu] to see if it is another dungeon core, but instead the woman doesn’t even seem to appear at all.
She is completely covered in a cloak from head to toe, and with the current sunny day that is suspect enough. In fact the only reason we know that it is a she, is because Vetala said her voice was soft and feminine.
I can clearly see here standing in the entranceway waiting for me through the screens, but on the screen that displays a map showing the intruders in the dungeon as little red dots she isn’t there. She doesn’t appear as an ally either, and it is just blank where she stands. I quickly call the others back to the house and after equipping our gear I have them wait in the living room while I step into the entryway.
Woman: “I don’t mind the extra precautions due to the circumstances, but I must say my time is quite precious, so I ask that you do not waste it, Archjusticar of the Elders.”
“I’m sorry, am I supposed to know who you are?”
Woman: “Who I am, isn’t important, but you did something you really shouldn’t have, and in doing so put your children at risk.”
“If you know who I am, then you know that I don’t have children.”
The woman then lowers her cloak revealing quite the beautiful face, with long flowing pink colored hair, and eyes that shine golden. She has quaint little smile on her face as she says. “Ok, as you say. Regardless you should not have assisted in the Dungeon Core Maric’s acquisition of the dragonkin. Their race’s extinction would have only been temporary, but now he is one step closer to his goal.”
“He who, are you talking about Maric’s goal?”
Woman: “No, Maric would have received his prize with or without your help. I speak about the one that says he speaks for many, but is only furthering his own objective. He wanted the dragonkin race to survive outside of the control of the dungeons.”
“You are talking about the beastkin that say the serve the old gods? You are saying they don’t serve the old gods but just a single one?”
Woman: “Well it depends on your definition of serving him, but yes that is of who I speak.”
“Then do you serve one of the other old gods? You aren’t going to burst into flames when we are done talking are you?”
Woman: “And ruin this beautiful hair? I would think not, but yes I guess you can say I serve in the interests of another of the gods, but old is such an ugly word when speaking about a lady.”
“If you serve only one of the gods as well, then how am I to know your god is any better? You spoke of wiping out the entire dragonkin race like it is nothing, so how is that different.”
Woman: “For one, I was truthful about only serving the interests of only one of the gods. I do believe there are others that would agree however. Including the one in which that dungeon core you trained has been serving.”
“I am not saying I believe any of this, but what is it you want from me?”
Woman: “The time in which to fix your mistake has passed, and the future is unclear, but I believe in at least warning you of the incoming danger it might be just enough. I will say the other one will surely try to use you again, I suggest in taking great precaution when dealing with him.”
“So you are telling me to just deal with it on my own.”
Woman: “You allow the ones you create to make their own choices, isn’t only fair the gods to do the same?”
“I at least offer them the tools to help them succeed.”
Woman: “One does not use lamp oil to put out a flame.”
“Then you could at least give me some water.”
Woman: “But you are the water, or at least a way to produce it, we hope. I can’t be certain how long it will take, but when you wake up one morning maybe the answer will just come to you.
“What is that supposed to mean?”
Woman: “Well now if you will excuse me, I must be getting on my way now. As I said I am quite busy.”
But it is already too late the woman just disappears from right in front of me. I let out a deep sigh and then return to the others in the living room.
“I am sure you were all listening in right?”
Belinda: “Of course.”
“So, what are your thoughts?”
Roxy: “She seemed to be more up front then when we spoke with the beastkin.”
Belinda: “She also didn’t say not to have any more dealings with the other god or gods, just to take precautions.”
“It seemed to just be a warning.”
Belinda: “She said the girls are in danger, so maybe we should let them all know to be careful as well.”
“Yes we should at least send messages to them to tell them to be careful. She did say it would take a while, so I guess other than warning the girls that is all we can do.”
Belinda [Gate]s to Shima to tell Inari about our visitor while I send a message to Maeve.
Maeve: (Is papa worried about his little girl again?)
(I am serious Maeve, we don’t have any idea what to expect from this group or these groups.)
Maeve: (With helping Madam Erin to get you and mom to Shima, it put me in a pretty good spot. I think Dalian spotted me, and know I am up here, so I have been steering clear of them. Other than that it has been quiet.)
(I have heard talk in the adventurer’s guild about a floating island as well, so just be careful please.)
Maeve: (Yes papa…)
It has been a while since our visitor left, and Azami looks rather anxious sitting around the house, so I let the others return to their homes as well before messaging Dawn and Twilight.
Twilight: (It is actually good to hear from you. Maybe you can talk some sense into her.)
(What do you mean?)
Twilight: (Dawn! We have been making regular visits to the nearby village now that we have those rings you gave us, but Dawn has become infatuated with a beastkin.)
(Well it’s good for her to make some friends.)
Twilight: (But she has been neglecting her dungeon to spend time with him, and what is going to happen when he finds out about her? She has already begun to talk about telling him the truth! I don’t want to see anything happen to her, but more importantly she is putting me at risk as well.)
(I think that is why Madam Erin said a dungeon like yours would be so dangerous. I will talk to her though.)
I then switch over to messaging Dawn.
(Dawn, what is going on between you and your sister?)
Dawn: (No fair! I told her it was between us. Twilight shouldn’t have told you!)
(I messaged her about an unrelated matter, but she said she was concerned.)
Dawn: (I am fine Papa! I met a boy, but I am done with my training so I can make my own decisions.)
(You are right, I am glad for you.)
(I am, and it’s good to see my daughters happy, but when you choose to put your dungeon alongside Twilight’s you made matters like this important to both of you. You can make the decision to risk yourself, but it isn’t fair to make that decision for Twilight as well, and that is what you are doing.)
Dawn: (But she just doesn’t like him! He is a good guy and I don’t want to keep lying to him.)
(If he is as good as a guy as you say he will understand there are some things you just can’t tell him right now.)
Dawn: (But what if Twilight never lets me tell him?)
(Madam Erin was married to a human, from my understanding for years, and yet when he found out all of it was gone in an instant, and that was even with the fact she wasn’t altering her appearance. I am not saying the man you are talking to is the same way, I am just saying there is some basis for Twilight’s concern.)
Dawn: (It worked for you and Mama though!)
(All I am saying is, be careful. I got a warning today that there might be those out to hurt you and your sisters, so right now isn’t the time to be at odds with Twilight.)
Dawn: (Really? What is going on?)
(It seems the old gods, or at least people that claim to serve them are at odds with one another, and when I helped one out it made others mad.)
Dawn: (You’re going to be ok aren’t you Papa…?)
(Well the warning was that my children were in danger. Of course you girls are the closest thing I have to children, so I am more worried about you all, and you might want to think of that young man of yours as well. Not only does not knowing about the dungeons protect you, it also protects him.)
Dawn: (Fine papa, I won’t tell Gregory anything for now, but I am not going to wait forever! Before he gets old I will make him one of my boss monsters!)
(Well you and your sister be safe, and if anything strange happens let us know.)
Dawn: (Yes Papa…)
I then message Twilight back about Dawn saying she will give it more thought and tell her the same thing about letting us know if anything happens.
That took a bit longer than I thought, but Belinda still hasn’t returned from Inari’s so I decide to check on the bunnies, and to see how the soldiers are doing in the dungeon.
Leila: “Big sister Lilah is leaving the soldiers all to me! They have finally made it to the third room, but only to the first of the four smaller rooms inside of it.”
“Well they are getting further and further each day, we need to start thinking of what to do with the empty rooms beyond the first floor pretty quick.”
Leila: “With 10 people per group their leveling up has been really slow, they haven’t been providing much in the way of xp themselves, but we are still getting all the xp from the mages, normal adventurers, and the villagers.”
“Well in every room we are using only rift monsters, so the longer they spend time here the more it will help, eventually they will move on to deeper floors and by then maybe some newer troops will be taking care of these floors. Hopefully by then we start turning a nice profit off of them, but even if we don’t these soldiers may one day be the thing that stands between us and someone wanting to take us out.”
Lilah: “Is Master going to put one of his own monsters in every group?”
“Well Doug is doing quite well, and I think as long as we have some in the strongest groups we should be alright. Although I am up for helping Logan out again with just providing more monsters to add to the military if we start gathering xp off of these guys.”
Lylah: “If we do that, we should do like Dalian does, and have entire units of the military consist of dungeon monsters still bound to the dungeon, so they can bring the xp back after training or battle.”
“I don’t know how Logan would feel about that, but maybe someday.”
Lylah: “What about just sending out more groups of monsters? We pulled two groups to go to Shima, they are making far more there then they were on the mainland, but I still think we could have a lot more out there.”
“Most of the Shima groups xp is going back into them for bettering their gear, but I think once we do that, we should use the xp they are bringing in to summon another group, we could potentially send out a new group each month that way. We have been lucky so far not to lose any members of these groups, but the danger is there, so we need to hold xp back for that as well.”
Lilah: “If Master keeps dividing up the xp brought to the dungeon, then nothing will get done.”
“Ok… Xp from the dungeon we will quarter it, one quarter of it for the main wing of the dungeon, one for the elemental wings, one for the troop training, and one for backup and everything else. Xp from the traveling groups will be split into quarters as well, one for the dungeon, one for bettering the groups gear and their rewards, one for new groups, and one for emergencies. You think that will work?”
Lilah: “Lilah gets it, but she still thinks Master is spreading the xp to thin.”
“It may be small now, but I think one we start getting more troops in the dungeon, and more groups in the field it will really start picking up.”
I sit with the bunnies for a few hours discussing future plans for the dungeon while watching not only the soldiers, but the mages and adventurers as they run through the different rooms of the dungeon. The gem for the mage’s guild, was a bust, but while I watch the dungeon with the bunnies I try working with my rune spells again.
I manage to mimic some low level spells, but the mp cost of [Runic Activation] is far higher than the spells I am able to mimic, although given some time maybe I can start putting this to use. Maybe I can ask Madam Erin to teach me how to make portals.
The cheap gems I summoned to practice with now all are capable of using entry level spells as long as you use [Runic Activation] spell, to test out how long they will last I set a few of the gems that shine with the [Light] spell on the desk, and ask the bunnies to let me know when the light fades.
When Belinda returns home from Inari’s dungeon it is already starting to get pretty late, so we then head to bed.
Within a few days we haven’t exactly forgotten about our strange visitor, but things have started to return to normal around the house. I also unsurprisingly have not woken up with any revelations on ways to keep the old gods off our backs.
I was surprised to find out the gems with the [Light] spell activated through runes on them are still shining brightly, I don’t know if they will eventually go off on their own or not, but there duration has already far exceeded what the [Runic Activation] spell’s mp cost was.
I work on refining them a bit more, but even though with [Runic Reading] and [Runic Writing] I can mimic the rune on the status gem that act as the [Runic Activation] spell, I still can’t seem to get the new gems to work in the same fashion.
I can only make new gems that mimic entry level spells, so maybe not only the spells, but some kind of skill is required as well.
Vetala has been taking our place during the meetings at the mage’s guild, and after the first one she started to be able to handle it on her own. They don’t really ask much of her, but have asked her to relay some information a time or two.
This morning however there is a knock on the door from Kleed. After Vetala told us of his arrival I check to see what he wants.
“Is there some sort of problem?”
Kleed: “Problem? No nothing like that Vetala has been very helpful, there is a meeting today however that we would like for you and the princess to attend in person if at all possible.”
“It is awfully short notice.”
Kleed: “The meeting should be of little surprise, we have one, twice a week, this one however covers a topic in which we would like to have the local representatives take on.”
“I can’t make any promises, but I will speak with my wife, and we shall see.”
Kleed: “I appreciate it.” –He then bows to me and takes his leave.-
“Well, should we go?”
Belinda: “Did you have anything else planned for today?”
“Well not particularly, but I didn’t want them to think they could call us to a meeting whenever they wanted, I still don’t like having to go to these things at all.”
Belinda: “You have been working on those runes the last few days, and maybe they could help you through the part you are stuck at.”
“Well they think I made that other gem from scratch, so if I suddenly start asking how to do things that the other gem already could do, wouldn’t that be bad?”
Belinda: “I guess you are right. I kind of like the little [Light] gems though, if you can get them working we could use them instead of lamps and candles.”
“I guess I need to take a look at more things made with runes and see if I can figure it out.”
Belinda: “Now you are changing the subject, so you don’t have to go to the meeting aren’t you?”
“It depends, is it working?”
Belinda gives me a quick kiss and wraps her arms in mine. “We still have a few hours until the meeting, how about we spend the time together in town until then.”
We then spend the morning wondering though Tobes. We really don’t just take time to relax like this enough. Even though we don’t buy anything it’s fun to just get out and wander around for a while. It is enough that I completely forget about the meeting at the Mage’s guild until Belinda says its time.
We have been leaving the meetings up to Vetala, and the mages have been pretty busy without end in the dungeon, so when we arrive and see most of the Mage’s guild members there it is a bit of a shock. We make our way to the Mage’s guild elders to find out what is going on.
Kleed: “Good you two made it, and the other two?”
“You just said us, so I haven’t talked to them today.”
Kleed: “I stopped by to tell them about the meeting as well, I thought with how close you are you might of all came together, but it makes no difference. Maybe they will show up in a bit.”
Zedross: “How is that gem of yours coming along? Have you managed to work out the kinks in it?”
“No sadly, when I made it I just copied the one you let me borrow and changed it around a bit, but I really didn’t understand what it was I was getting myself into. I told you I was just starting out, so I decided to start back at the beginning and learn the basics before tackling something like that again.”
Zedross: “That’s a shame, but I am glad to see you not giving up on it. If you need any magic stones we have been getting a good supply from the dungeon. No use having the local representatives having to deal with minor commissions like that.”
Zedross: “Of course, to channel the magic into to activate the runes. Are you saying you didn’t use a magic stone in the gem you showed me? I wondered how you got a magic stone into a gem, but I thought maybe the gem itself was a magic stone.”
“No, of course… I used that gem that was a magic stone because I thought it might help, but I didn’t realize it was required. I guess I really do need to start back at the beginning.”
It makes perfect sense now. [Runic Activation] acts as the means to channel magic into the gem, but even with the rune to act as [Runic Activation] it still needs something like a magic stone to act as a supply of magic.
When I made the status gem I just added the enchantment to the gem, and that must have made the gem a magic stone, or at least made it act as one.
Now maybe I can begin making progress on the gems I was working on. I don’t know if I managed to hide my excitement from Zedross, but apparently I didn’t manage to hide it from Belinda, because she squeezes my hand and smiles.
Zedross: “Well then it was a magnificent failure, because even if it didn’t work as intended that gem you made was quite interesting.”
“Thanks, I don’t know if I will be able to fix that gem for a while, but at least maybe I can begin making progress again.”
Zedross: “Well that is why we are here, to help.”
We then see Roxy drag in Zoey who already seems rather bored as she yawns a great yawn. After making their way too us we visit for a few minutes until the meeting starts.
Madeline: “Thank you all for coming, the first matter we wish to discuss is the reason why we called everyone to attend today. As I am sure you have noticed there are quite a few soldiers around Tobes now that we have gotten off the ground.”
Belinda: “No, you misunderstand! My brother has been trying to talk me into allowing the troops to train inside of the dungeon for years. With the discovery of the new addition to the dungeon it finally provided a means for them to actually do it without harming the dungeon.”
Zedross: “It is quite alright princess. We understand the tensions that can be caused by our presence. As such if the soldiers wish to come take a look, our doors are always open to them.”
Kleed: “That also goes for all of the members of the mage’s guild. Some of us might not originally be from Gowen, but they are allowing us to do our work here, so treat the soldiers with respect. If a problem does arise with the soldiers and the guild, bring it to our attention immediately, and we will address it swiftly in a manner that respects both parties.”
Madeline: “The next matter on the agenda is the rumor of the floating island that has been spotted over the last few months. We have received word from the mage’s guild branch in Dalian that it is in fact not a rumor but is very real.”
Zedross: “Adra’s Mage’s guild believes the appearance of such an island is not a coincidence. They believe it may be a new and never seen before type of dungeon and Adra is has a group working on it. Since we here in Tobes have yet to choose a singular focus of study, they wish for us to assist, especially due to the fact that quite a few the sightings of this floating island are in Gowen alone.”
Kleed: “Our local representatives have a means to teleport, so I am hoping with their cooperation we might be able to provide some answers about this island. The island really does seem to get around, as it has been spotted up and down the entire west coast, so if you hear of any sightings of this island let us know immediately.”
“I’m sorry, but our teleport spell only works to reach spots in which we have been to before.”
Madeline: “That is quite unfortunate. Discovering a new dungeon like this would help the Tobe’s mage guild in a big way. Perhaps we can start focusing our members capable of wind magic on a means for us to reach the island.”
Belinda: “The island moves around, often outside of Gowen, so I can’t exactly speak officially, but I think if this is indeed a new type of dungeon we should really focus our efforts on making sure it isn’t destroyed as well.”
Zedross: “You make an excellent point, kingdoms often issue protection orders on dungeons like the elemental stronghold that benefit the kingdom, isn’t that correct?”
Belinda: “Yes, currently the two dungeons in Gowen, The Elemental Stronghold, and the Ruins of Leona, both are under protection by Gowen.”
Of course we know that apparently Kenta’s primary dungeon is in Gowen as well, but we still have not heard anything about it being discovered.
Madeline: “It may be a bit pretentious of us, and we can’t control what the kingdoms may do, but I think it is worth issuing an order through the adventurer’s guild that until a time the mage’s guild is able to thoroughly investigate this floating island. That if any adventurers are somehow able to make it to this floating island, and it does indeed prove to be a dungeon it is under protection of the mage’s guild.”
Kleed: “There is the factor that when a dungeon is destroyed it collapses as well, if it is a dungeon and it is destroyed while over a village, or a city, it could come crashing down on top of it.”
Zedross: “So it is agreed, we shall issue an order of protection, and begin working on a way in which to reach the floating island. Anyone that wishes to work on research in a way to reach the floating island will be granted additional resources. Of course it is only if the mage’s guild elders deem the research feasible.”
The rest of the meeting is mages coming up with idea for reaching Maeve’s dungeon, but each one is more outlandish then the next. Belinda and I eventually excuse ourselves just before nightfall, as the mage’s guild seems to show no signs of ending their meeting any time soon.
Belinda: “Do you think that this was what the woman warned you about?”
“I don’t see how. The warning seemed to stem from the idea that we saved the dragonkin, unless they talk the dragonkin into taking them to Maeve’s dungeon, but from what we heard about them that seems even less likely than some of the ideas the mages were throwing around.”
Belinda: “We should warn Maeve just in case.”
“I agree, but they are not going to get anywhere tonight and it is already getting quite late, so maybe we should wait till first thing in the morning.”
Belinda and I then decide to head home to bed.