Chapter 128: Meeting with Maric

 

After the death of not only Elder Faron, but also Elder Fredrick there is a lot riding on this meeting with Maric, in which Ceres said would led me to the one responsible. If it doesn’t pan out things might become quite difficult in the future.

After the death of Fredrick I wanted to make sure Maric was still willing to meet with me, so I sent him a message first thing this morning, and although he didn’t seem quite as enthusiastic as he did the last time I spoke with him he was at least still willing to meet.

After taking care of the preparations for the meeting I thought the safest place to meet would be the neutral zone, so after arriving there myself by way of the [Gate] spell I also sent one for Maric to join me.

Maric: “I can’t say I am surprised we are meeting here, but I do have to admit I am quite jealous someone as young as you is allowed so much power from the elders. Perhaps this meeting however will prove to alleviate my jealousy.”

“You sound awfully confident.”

Maric: “I am only not sitting as an Elder now because you managed to weasel Dyson into the position instead, and look where that got you, and now here you are calling me. With three positions now open even if I wasn’t your first choice I am sure there is no doubt I deserve a spot in the Elders now.”

“You make it sound like the decision is up to me?”

Maric: “You seemed to have chosen the last one.”

“Well first of all, there are only two positions within the Elders that are empty, and second of all that isn’t why I called for a meeting with you. When and if the selection for new Elders is presented if you manage to help me it might definitely work in your favor however.”

Maric: “They are allowing Dyson to remain an Elder?”

“I don’t know if they could remove him from the position even if they wanted to, but that is actually the reason I have called you here. Dyson was not the one responsible for the deaths of the other Elders, and I have it on good authority that even though you are not the culprit either, you will be the one that leads me to them.”

Maric: “How is that possible?”

“You know enough about what happened to me, to know that [Menu] is able to be manipulated to give the wrong name when a dungeon core dies.”

Maric: “Then you believe it is Laura that is responsible?”

“If it was, it would make my life a lot easier, but the truth is we don’t know who it is, and like I knew I would be able to help you with the matter of acquiring your dragonkin, I know that you somehow should be able to help me find the one responsible.”

Maric: “Even if this is all true, if I am not here about becoming an Elder, then what is in this for me?”

“I don’t know how long it will take before [Menu] decides to refill the Elder roles, but by not helping me, you only prove that you are not the kind of team player then Elders need, especially at a trying time such as this when they already lost two Elders back to back.”

Maric: “I make no promises to help, but you did prove helpful with the dragonkin, so I will at least hear you out before making any further decisions.”

“Alright, then first of all who do you think would be capable of something like this?”

Maric: “Any number of dungeon cores could hold a grudge against the elders, that Dungeon Core Bless, in which you managed to sway during the last elder selection, she should be proof of that. Most of them would be capable to killing Fredrick, but Faron? That narrows the list by quite a bit.”

“How narrow?”

Maric: “25 or 30, not including the other elders, myself, and I am not so sure about you either. You are young, but some of the abilities you have are quite worrisome.”

“That is narrow?”

Maric: “Out of 799, yes I believe so.”

“Well who would your money be on?”

Maric: “If you insist it wasn’t Dyson, then Laura for the obvious reason she has manipulated [Menu] in the same fashion before. The others that are capable, I don’t know if they would bother taking out the Elders. Ithros might just be about crazy enough to do it. Between Tom or Archbishop Hayden either one of them probably could do something like this. Bella probably could if she had a reason to. Arnovok has been quiet for quite a few years now, so it’s possible he could have done it. Chansey, Arenbow, and Llywelyn are also good candidates, but if it was Llywelyn I think he would have taken out Lucille rather than Faron.”

“I just recently met with Ithros actually and he didn’t seem the type.  Tom, Archbishop Hayden, and Bella I have heard of before, but I have never heard of Arnovok, Chansey, Arenbow, or Llywelyn”

Maric: “If you talked to Ithros you can rule him out, he is crazy enough to of told you to your face if he did do it. Arnovok is the type that even gives dungeon cores a bad name, he only pushes for xp for a year or two out of every hundred, but he causes enough damage in that time to provide xp for himself to last another hundred years. Chansey is the sweetest and nicest woman you could ever meet, but she would do anything for the right amount of xp, and I mean anything… Arenbow usually keeps to his little islands, but if he had the mind to it he is definitely capable of sneaking up on an Elder to take them out without alerting them of his presence. Llywelyn was once Laura’s lover I haven’t heard what he has been up to since Laura took to the human king but he always blamed Lucille for all of their problems.”

“Well it’s at least a few people to look into…”

Maric: “I wouldn’t rule out the other Elders as well, especially Lucille. Fredrick would be an easy mark for sure, but to take out Faron first seems to of been a statement that they could get to the Elders. Pinning it on Dyson would get the strongest of dungeon cores out of the way.”

“Why Lucille?”

Maric: “Dyson would be the hardest to do away with, and pitting him against all the other elders would be safest bet in hopes Dyson will take out Madam Erin, Draco, or both in the fallout. Fredrick could be killed by practically anyone, but why target Faron? Not taking out Draco or Madam Erin shows that perhaps they don’t have to strength to deal with either of them but even though Lucille may be weaker than Faron she would have been a far flashier target, so to choose Faron over Lucille is quite peculiar.”

“Lucille seems genuinely convinced that Dyson is the ones behind the attacks, so I don’t think it is her.”

Maric: “Faron might have been a god to the humans, but Lucille holds far more fans among the dungeon cores, so any number of cores that idolize her could also be the culprit then and Laura would be at the top of that list.”

“Any of the other candidates that you mentioned fall within that group?”

Maric: “If Chansey or Arenbow did it, then I would say someone else would have to be the one that put them up to it, and like I said Llywelyn would of most definitely targeted Lucille rather than Faron. Arnovok would have probably gone for Draco or Madam Erin, and wouldn’t even bother with Fredrick.”

“Laura is starting to look more and more like a solid candidate and that doesn’t even mention the fact that we know she has been up to something for years now. Even my kidnapping was in part due to that plan coming closer to fruition.”

Maric: “Well good luck proving that, especially to Lucille.”

“Proof is now what I will have to get, but even if I want it to be Laura, I am not going to stop looking into the others as well.”

Maric: “You asked for my help and I provided it, so I expect when mention of a new elder does come up you will aim for my consideration.”

“With our deal still on the table, and you answering the questions I asked, I don’t any reason not to recommend you. Speaking of our deal, how is it going with the dragonkin?”

Maric: “I have confidence the dragonkin will produce an egg soon, and it will still take 2 years for the egg to hatch, but after that time I should be able to fulfill my end of our deal.”

“I am still at a point where 2 years is a great deal of time, but there is nothing that can be done about it, and you did warn me from the start it would take a while.”

Maric: “If you wish for our deal to conclude faster, once an egg is produced I could give you the male to fulfill out agreement. I would also have to state if something happened to the egg before it hatches that I be allowed to borrow the male again until another egg is produced.”

“After what they went through to be together, I would hate to separate them just because we got what we wanted from them. They are sentient beings after all. No, I will just have to wait it out till the end.”

Maric: “As you wish. They are quite headstrong and ones I summon will be far more obedient, so I planned on disposing of them once I can reproduce the dragonkin. Since you seem care for their wellbeing so much, you could take one or even all of them if you like to fulfill our deal.”

“Either way I will be able to reproduce them as well, so if you are planning on just abandoning them because you got what you wanted out of them. I will accept them as a filament of our deal just so they will remain safe.”

Maric: “I think that would benefit us both greatly. Now is there anything else?”

“You are sure about the candidates that you mentioned that would be possible of taking out Faron and Fredrick?”

Maric: “I could give you the list of 20-30 cores that are strong enough to do something like this, but yes I believe the ones I mentioned are your best bet. If it does end up being Chansey or Arenbow I could give you the list of a couple hundred that could be the ones that put them up it, but I think if you offer them xp they would tell you exactly who hired them and make it far easier.”

“It would be far easier for me to find them by their dungeon core numbers, if you can give me Chansey, Arenbow, Llwelyn, and Arnovok’s dungeon core numbers I will begin looking into them, and you can then message me the list of the other 20 to 30 dungeon cores when you get the chance, just to be on the safe side.”

Maric: “Dungeon Core #222 Arnovok, Dungeon Core #288 Chansey, Dungeon Core #575 Arenbow, and Dungeon Core #654 Llywelyn.”

“Thanks.”

I then cast [Gate] opening a portal for Maric to return to his dungeon. After he is gone I sit back down and begin looking into the dungeon cores he mentions. Not even a few minutes later I receive a message.

I immediately think. “Well that was quick.” But the message wasn’t the list of the other cores from Maric instead it is…

Dungeon Core #1 [Maric] has perished at the hands of Dungeon Core #400 [Elder Dyson].

I quickly jump to my feet in disbelief. I just sent him back home, where they waiting on him to return? Did I really just send Maric to his death? I don’t know why at this point, but I quickly open [Archjusticar Menu] to display Dyson.

This time Dyson doesn’t seem to get as upset and even has a little chuckle at the message. It doesn’t stop him from receiving a slew of messages from other dungeons however. With Maric just meeting with me I want to make sure Belinda and the others are safe, but I am actually quite scarred about returning home right now…

The safety of my girls is far more important to me however, so after sending them all a message to meet me in the Dungeon Core Room I [Gate] straight there.

Belinda can easily tell how nervous I am the instant her eyes fall on me.

Belinda: “What’s the matter?”

“Maric is dead.”

Belinda: “Maric?! But how?! Weren’t you meeting with Maric?”

“I had just sent him back home, and was starting to look into the dungeon cores he mentioned, and that’s when I received the message about his death. I quite literally sent Maric home straight to his death…”

Belinda: “It isn’t your fault, you couldn’t have known!”

“I understand the elders, but why Maric as well?”

Roxy: “Perhaps whoever is causing this also knew about your meeting with him. Maybe they wanted to put a stop to any information he could of giving you.”

“Then they would of attacked him before the meeting, he was going to give me a list of more dungeon cores that could be responsible, but the one that attacked him had no way of knowing he would go back to his dungeon before relaying the information, so surely they would of attacked him before the meeting if that was what they were worried about.”

Belinda: “If they think he already gave you the information they might come after you as well. Two-Twelve, I don’t like this!”

“I think the safest place for us right now is the dungeon core room, but we can’t hide in here forever.”

Lylah: “Why not…? We don’t need anything from outside the dungeon. Many dungeon cores stay in their dungeon core rooms most of their lives.”

“We have never been that way… Besides we aren’t the only ones that matter, what about Scylla, Doug, Logan, or anyone else we care about, if they come after us and can’t get to us, they could go after the ones we care about.”

I then receive a message from Madam Erin. (We need to talk.)

(You’re right we do, but first I need to make sure me and my dungeon is safe.)

Madam Erin: (I heard you were to have a meeting with Maric today and now he is dead. What happened?)

While I talk with Madam Erin I tell Belinda to message Inari, Dawn, Twilight, and Maeve to tell them to be extra careful.

(I was discussing who might be behind the attacks against the Elders, and as soon as I returned him to his dungeon after the meeting was over I received the message about his death.)

Madam Erin: {I assume you ruled Dyson out?)

(He seemed to actually welcome the message this time, but yes, I still do not believe it is him.)

Madam Erin: (What did Maric have to tell you?)

(He gave me a few names to check out, but it doesn’t seem like they are any names I couldn’t have gotten from you or Dyson either. He was going to give me a list of about 30 dungeon cores that were at least capable of doing it, but he was going to message me the list and I received the message about his death before the list.)

Madam Erin: (That’s good news.)

(How is that good news?!)

Madam Erin: (Faron, Fredrick, and now even Maric are dead. Having someone your age looking into these matters was irresponsible on our part, and I am worried about you. If the one responsible killed Maric to prevent you from getting that list, and they know you didn’t get it, then perhaps you are safe. Now you can leave this matter to Draco, Dyson, Lucille, and myself, because you have far more important matters to be worrying about right now.)

(I would be lying to say that Maric’s death didn’t shake me up a bit, but even if it is for that reason alone I can’t let this go. If something were to happen to you or Dyson at the moment I think all of the dungeon cores will be in serious trouble.)

Madam Erin: (Just let it go pup, and let us handle it now…)

“I don’t like this one bit… Madam Erin is trying to push me out of looking into the death of the Elders now.”

Belinda: “Well good! Look at the state it has us in already, let them deal with it.”

“It just doesn’t sit well with me. Madam Erin was pressing me for what Maric had told me, and when she found out about me not receiving the list of names she even sounded relieved.”

Belinda: “She is worried about you.”

“Maybe… Or maybe she knows more then she is letting on.”

Belinda: “You are not thinking Madam Erin would do something like this do you?”

“Dyson and Madam Erin made no secret that if the other elders got in the way they would just get rid of them, but no I don’t think it is her. I do think she knows more then she is letting on however. Maybe she even already knows who the one that is responsible is.”

Belinda: “If she knows who it is, and is telling you to leave it alone, then you should listen to her.”

“We don’t know if the baby is going to be a dungeon core or not, and if it isn’t we have no way of knowing how to make dungeon cores now. If this person using Dyson’s name keeps killing more dungeon cores then we could end up in some serious trouble, especially if they kill all of the strong dungeon cores.”

Belinda: “That doesn’t mean it is our problem! We have each other, and the baby. We have to protect your crystal to survive, but at the moment the only threat to the crystal is other dungeon cores, so let them kill the strong ones, and we can be left in peace!”

“After the strong dungeon cores are dead that could defend us from this person, who is to say that they won’t start targeting younger and weaker dungeon cores as well. At that point we wouldn’t have a way to stop them.”

Belinda: “But the dungeon cores they are killing are way stronger then you are! If they can’t defend themselves from this person how can you expect to do anything against them?”

“If we can just find out who it is then Dyson can take care of it, and if not him we could rally several dungeon cores if need be, but we can’t just let them kill off all the strong dungeon cores.”

Lilah: “Master, Vetala is trying to get Master’s attention back at the house. She is jumping up and down waving her arms like she is trying to say something.”

I open [Menu] to display the house and see Vetala right something down then holding the parchment she begins to jump up and down waving it back and forth. The way she is moving I can’t see what it says…

“Can you see what she wrote?”

Lylah: “Something, something, visitor.”

“Didn’t we give her a communication parchment to get ahold of us if we weren’t in the house?”

Belinda: “Maybe she just isn’t thinking about it, because she knows where we are at.”

“I don’t want anything to happen to her either, but I don’t think it’s a good time right now to be receiving a visitor.”

Azami: “Kaelmathis is still in the living room, if something happens to him I will never learn how to craft mythril, and I feel I am getting quite close!”

“It is probably just someone from the Mage’s Guild, and they can come back some other time.”

I open a screen to display outside the front door of the house and instead of an old mage there is a man in pure black suit of armor…

“Dyson…?”

Lilah: “Oh yea, I guess that’s what her message says! I thought it was a B, but byson didn’t make any sense.”

“I don’t know why he is in all his armor to come visit me, but I guess I can’t blame him for taking precautions as well.” –I decide to send a message to him directly.-

(What are you doing here?)

Dyson: (Say nothing more by use of [Menu], we need to speak.)

“He is acting just as dodgy as Madam Erin. Just what is going on?!”

Belinda: “We know it is not Dyson right? Maybe you should speak to him.”

Zoey: “Boss I will go. You can send messages to me and talk to him that way.”

“What about Roxy and your baby…? No Belinda is right, we need to trust someone, and the person attacking everyone is trying to throw the blame on Dyson, so he is probably our safest bet. Just promise me you will all stay here until I return.”

After I get everyone to agree I transfer down to the house and answer the door. Dyson quickly hold his finger in front of his helmeted face telling me not to speak. He quickly pushes past me into the house and looks around for a second.

He then pushes into the dining room and does the same. He continues to do this until we are in the small room off the kitchen with the furnace and were we keep the extra food. He quickly starts casting spells and even casts a spell to lock the door.

“Is there a reason we are locked in the pantry…?”

Dyson: “You wouldn’t expect to be having a conversation in here now would you?” –He says while taking off his helmet holding it under his arm.-

“Just what is going on?”

Dyson: “Do you still want your revenge on Laura?”

“Of course, I mean I am not going to lose sleep over the fact she is still alive, but given the opportunity, yes, I would like to make her pay for what she did. Does this mean you found proof it is her that is attacking the others?”

Dyson: “I can’t be certain if it is just her, but after Maric died I began to think, after a few choice questions to the right people I believe she is at least involved.”

“Maric said she was the strongest candidate as well just before he died.”

Dyson: “What do you mean? You spoke to Maric before he died?”

I tell Dyson about the meeting I had with Maric, and how he died minutes after sending him back.

Dyson: “And you told Madam Erin all about this?”

“Yes… She seemed to want me to drop my investigation after that, and was acting dodgy, but I guess that is going around.”

Dyson: “Surely Madam Erin isn’t involved as well…” –He seems to be mulling the idea over like he is trying to convince himself of his own statement.- “In any case, then perhaps it’s a good thing I came to you instead of her.”

“What is it you want from me?”

Dyson: “Several things…First I need a pair of those rings you made for the new dungeon cores.”

“A pair?”

Dyson: “Yes I need to go somewhere undetected, and well I can’t just disappear, so I need someone to fill my shoes, which leads to the next thing I need. I need you to summon me someone to take my place temporarily.”

“I can understand the rings, but why not summon someone yourself?”

Dyson: “That’s the third thing. I can’t spend any xp, so I have no way to compensate you for this right now. On the bright side your monster will have my sword and armor as collateral if something were to happen to me…”

“You are asking an awful lot of me…”

Dyson: “That isn’t all, of course I won’t have my sword or armor, so I will need another set, but it can’t just be any set, it has to be at least of mythril quality…”

“Even I don’t have mythril armor. A sword would be doable, but unless it is of Shima make, the best armor I can make is a set like my own.”

Dyson: “Reginal preferences don’t matter, so Shima armor will be fine as long as it is at least the quality of mythril.”

“When this is all over you better make it up to me…”

Dyson: “If you do this for me and this all blows over I will see to it you are made and Elder!”

“I have enough on my plate with just being the Archjusticar.”

Dyson: “Well then you name it and it’s yours, and with that kind of open ended promise you know how important this is.”

“Alright…”

Dyson starts to remove his armor, and when I open [Menu] he places his hand on my arm stopping me.

Dyson: “For the guy you summon … Can you make sure he has as much stamina as possible? He is going to have to be the complete Dyson package, and I can’t have someone tarnishing my good name with my entourage…”

“I’ll see what I can do…”

Everything else is quite straight forward except the person to fill Dyson’s spot, and the rings. So I leave them for last. Dyson’s new armor turns out as a heavy Shima styled armor covered in the crimson plates. The enchantment on the armor is nothing to scoff at as well.

The enchantment is [Impenetrable], which isn’t new to me because it must have been one on of the armors that Inari let me learn to copy, but it is perfect for a heavy armor. Not only does it improve the standard defensive capability of the armor, but it also reduces the risk of damaging or going through the armor, reducing the damage from piercing weapons and even spells.

Dyson: “Is this really the heaviest armor you have?”

“Unless you will settle for a dwarven full-plate, then yes.”

Dyson: “I guess this will have to work…”

The sword is pretty straight forward even its enchantment is rather bland matching the mythril swords that are in the elemental wings in my dungeon.

Dyson: “I have come to expect a higher quality from your work…”

“That’s because the stuff I always summon for you is new, and higher quality, when I have to spend my own xp this is about the best I can do.”

Dyson: “Well when this is over we have got to fix this.”

The rings I can’t guarantee to get the desired result every time, so it might take a few tries, but luckily I only have to summon 3 rings total to get 2 that will work. Now I just have to summon a human to fill in for Dyson.

I don’t know if this would be seen as a perk or a punishment to have to act as Dyson, but I muster up all the knowledge I have of Dyson when I summon the human man. I give him the name Byson because of Lilah’s remark earlier it was the only thing that come to mind.

His appearance is nothing like Dyson’s but that will easily be remedied with the ring, so after we get him dressed we have him put on the ring while attempting to copy Dyson’s appearance and name.

Dyson: “Well he is missing a few of the scars, but they don’t seem to be the important ones, and I think he looks a little…Off. It should be enough as long as he has he plays the part.”

Byson: “When you make it back you will have to summon yourself a whole new entourage of women, because they won’t want to go back to you after they have had this!”

Dyson: “The point is that they don’t notice a difference, but I would have probably said something similar, so it at least looks promising. All you have to do is sit on the throne and take care of the day to day things. If anyone shows up you just need to send them away saying you don’t want to be disturbed, and if an emergency arises you call Two-Twelve and see to it he takes care of it.”

Byson: “What if someone tries to off me while I am acting like you?”

Dyson: “If they are strong and dumb enough to try to attack me, you will probably die before you even know what happened, but they will instantly know it wasn’t the real me. Hopefully before something like that happens though I will at least be close to completing my objective.”

Byson: “That doesn’t sound very fun…”

Dyson: “I guess it’s my turn now…” –He looks at the ring and slides it on his finger.-

Dyson’s hair greys and his muscles and scars fade behind a thick layer of fat, and he barely even looks like he fits in the armor now, I don’t know if I would call him straight out ugly, but he definitely is not going to turn any heads, unless perhaps it’s an orc.

“Are you sure that’s going to work?”

Dyson: “Most people get around just fine, so with my abilities it shouldn’t be an issue.”

“Is that how you see other people…?”

Dyson: “Most human men I deal with look similar to this, is there an issue?”

“Maybe pompous nobles or the like, but not among normal people, and definitely not adventurers.”

Dyson: “It doesn’t matter, now if for some reason you speak to me again before this is all said and done, it goes without say, but act like you have never seen me before. Do you have a spare one of those communication parchments lying around? If I need to contact you for some reason it would be far safer than using [Communication].

“Is that all…?” –I say pulling a communication parchment from the dungeon inventory.-

Dyson: “I also need you to use your [Gate] spell to send me to Southern Merretta, you can send me right into the heart of Uthaira.”

“Your method of teleportation would be far less obvious then mine, if Laura sees it she could think you are one of my monsters or something.”

Dyson: “I’m counting on it.”

“What if she sends someone after me because of it?”

Dyson: “Fine, outside the city will have to do.”

“If you take out Laura, do you expect it to be over then?”

Dyson: “Hopefully I can get her to talk first, and I can take out the lot of them in one fell swoop, but we will just have to see.”

“How many dungeon cores are you planning to kill…?”

Dyson: “As many as it takes.”

“We still aren’t sure if we have a means of making more dungeon cores, are you sure this is wise?”

Dyson: “I rather have 7 of the right dungeon cores, then 700 of the ones that will hold us back.”

I sigh and cast [Gate]. Before Dyson steps through it he looks at Byson… “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.” He then disappears though the portal.

 

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One thought on “Chapter 128: Meeting with Maric

  1. Chansey? Isn’t that a Pokemon?

    Also, making a decoy for Dyson and even providing him with a ring are idiotic things to do as they could all be used as evidence to implicate 212 as Dyson’s accomplice in taking out the elders and throw any and all of their arguments to defend themselves, out the window.

    Like

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