It has been a few days since the meeting with the Elders and things have started to calm down. At least I should say matters outside of the dungeon have calmed down. We are all on edge, waiting for the attack to come, and yet we have seen no signs yet.
Belinda wasn’t too happy about the arrival of the succubi, but after a hormonal driven few minutes, she realized she was being ridiculous, and we need all the help we can get. She still doesn’t seem fond of the idea about me being around them, so I agreed to let the bunnies or one of the other girls be the ones that speak with them.
Everyone is starting to go stir crazy from being cooped up in the dungeon core room the last few days. As their trip to warn the others to be careful didn’t seem to help much. It also seems the cat is out of the bag regarding Belinda’s pregnancy and her family, but she didn’t tell them much only that she would have to explain later.
With little much else to do I taught my boss monsters the runic spells, and even bought two books for Lilah and Lylah to learn them as well, and after getting the basics down we have been trying to add some of the runes into the dungeon to use as traps and the like, but having them act like traps has been rather hard to set up.
We have used all our xp now except a small emergency fund that is quite smaller then we have grown use to keeping on hand. At this point we are hoping the attack would just hurry up and happen so we could quick walking on eggshells.
One morning while I walk Belinda through the process of the newest trap I figured out using the runes Lilah quickly calls my attention.
Lilah: “Master, Lilah doesn’t know if this is it or not but she thinks she knows that woman! She doesn’t recognize the other ones with her, but she is sure it is her!”
“How can you tell anything with that cloak?”
Lilah: “It was a different group with her then, but she is probably the strongest adventurer to enter the dungeon other than Listel. She casts spells, but the only time she ever attacked in the dungeon she used a thin blade and killed a kobold before the kobold even had time to acknowledge that she draw the blade.”
“We have come a long way since the time where kobolds made up the bulk of our defense, how can you even be sure just by the cloak that is even the same person?”
Lilah: “There are some adventurers Lilah just doesn’t forget, like when she approached Master’s crystal she acted very strange touching, and even pressing her cheek against the crystal before leaving. They also cleared us out of most of the gear we had by use of the [Shadow Pocket] spell and left Master’s dungeon in a bad way.”
“[Shadow Pocket] is a pretty hard spell, but it’s too soon to tell if she means us harm. Keep an eye on the group, and let me know if anything changes.”
After a few minutes it is clear that even if they do mean to cause us harm the group didn’t even bother to check with the local adventurer’s guild because they avoid the elemental wing and proceed straight though the main wing of the dungeon.
That gives us quite the extra time, because even if they are strong enough to go through the entire dungeon once they reach the locked elemental orb door they will have to return to the ground floor and start making their way through the elemental wings as well.
The cloaked woman acts just like Lilah said, standing in the back of the group and doing absolutely nothing, while the group she is with takes care of all the monsters. As for the group she is with they are at least on par with the toughest groups that enter the dungeon, but with a bit of luck that means they won’t be enough to make it through the entire dungeon.
Equipment is no longer an issue, but even still Lilah is quite relieved that they don’t bother with the equipment this time as the just push though the kobolds without even slowing down. Once they reach the floor with the golems however they briefly stop to catch their breaths.
“We usually don’t force the adventurers too much, but if this group is the one that means to kill us I don’t want you to hold back at all, I want you to throw everything we have at them.”
Lilah: “Yes Master.”
“Also let Lala and Lele deal with the mages, and the other groups, while Leila deals with the soldiers. I want Lilah, Lylah, and Lila to focus all of your attention to this group.”
Bunnies: “Yes Master!”
Lilah: “Lilah will have everyone focus on the mage, if we can get rid of her first then the rest should be simple enough.”
“No. If she is another dungeon core, or sent by a dungeon core there is a chance she is far stronger than us. Our main advantage is the group she has with her is far under her strength. The crystal is protected in a way it will take several people to access the crystal, so even if she was a strong as Dyson, she couldn’t access the crystal by herself.”
The group then begins to move forward though the golems. We made quite a few rune traps that we will only use against those that are actively trying to destroy the dungeon and not the normal adventurers so we add the magic stones to them to activate them.
The first room is pretty straight forward and as hard as the golems try they can’t force any of the adventurers from the ledge, and they are just no match for their strength. Once entering the second room we set of the runic traps setting the platforms on fire keeping the golems on the stone pillars.
That is still far from enough and even after the golems are dealt with and they are cut off from the other platforms they are far from worried as they are able to jump the distance between them heading into the next room.
They haven’t taken a single side path since entering the dungeon, I don’t know if it is by magic or what but even though they clearly did not speak to the adventurers guild they seem to know the path that leads to the crystal.
That again might benefit us later, as once they start reaching the locked doors they will have to back track even more.
Even though the groups that frequent the clockwork room have no trouble on this floor, and these adventurers seem to be stronger than those ones, it just shows how ruthless the bunnies can be when they put their minds to it, because the group finally loses its first member when several of the silver slimes tag team him knocking him from the platform.
To all of our surprise his death didn’t come instantly once falling the great distance down into the pit, but enough damage was done the silver slimes managed to finish the job. That still seems to be their only loss as they finish passing though the floor and make their way down to the dragonkin floor.
Due to the flying goblins we received from Maeve and their usage in the wind wing, we have managed to unlock some higher tier versions, and to beef up the security of the dungeon for this group we have added quite a few of them among the dragonkin on this floor.
This is really the point when the group will be put to the test as my Enchanter skill allows me to embed magic stones into weapons and even monsters to give them spell like effects. It functions much like my runic stones, but has a limited usage, and to my surprise Lilah said this wasn’t the first time I have used it, but we haven’t done it since she joined the dungeon, and as to why it wasn’t implemented throughout the dungeon this entire time she only said the old me was afraid it was too dangerous for the adventurers.
I guess I do see her point, but if this group really does intend to kill us, it is us or them, so I have filled the dungeon with such weapons. For some reason it won’t allow me to use the runes on rift monsters, but they carry the weapons with magic stones embedded in them, and the non-rift flying goblins have runes carved into their bodies mimicking several spell effects and even skills.
The group has kept pretty tight lips since entering the dungeon, but with the hordes of flying creatures darting around them with explosions of fire, ice, guests of wind, filling the room as more and more begin to fall the cloaked woman finally draws a long thin blade.
Cloaked Woman: “I have heard about this dungeon, and this is not normal. I don’t know how, but they know why we are here. Everyone close ranks and group up together, the battle has just begun!”
The woman’s blade is not made from any type of metal I have seen before, and although it is clearly not mythril I would be hard pressed to say it isn’t even of higher quality. I am sure it can’t be on par with Dyson’s sword, but I wouldn’t bet my life on it.
The group by no means was small to begin with, but by the rate in which they are falling to the horde of flying creatures, I can’t help but to start to feel a bit optimistic. That is until I hear the woman say something I haven’t heard in a while…
Cloaked Woman: “[Dark Arcana Blade]!”
The room fills with flying blades of darkness and the scariest part is there is at least twice the number of blades then in which Listel cast the spell, and this woman’s blades almost seem to seek out their targets instead of randomly bouncing around. Not a single blade stops moving without finding a mark and it completely devastates the monsters in the room. After that the group manages to gain the advantage and eventually clears the room.
Listel could only use that attack a few times a day, and never in quick succession, so even with the fact of taking a single path, they still have to pass through 7 more rooms just like this one and one more twice the size.
The cloaked woman pulls the group together and does a quick head count, she then angrily pulls on her cloak, pulling it off, tossing it to the ground, and stomping on it. The woman under the cloak is what I would think a female Dyson would look like.
Not to say she is ugly, maybe I should say what Dyson would want to look like as a woman. She has long sleek black hair, piercing eyes, but an expression on her face that as Dyson would say would lower her from a 4 to a 2.
“I think I know who this is… I believe this is Maric’s boss monster, or I should say the failed dungeon core that was acting as his boss monster.”
Lilah: “That is the worst possible outcome… Hecate was Maric’s primary boss monster, so she must be close or even stronger then Maric was himself!”
“That also means she probably thinks we are responsible for Maric’s death, so we should be able to reason with her.”
Lilah: “Go ahead Master, but please unbind Lilah beforehand…”
Belinda: “What if you get Byson, maybe that would be enough to scare her to where you can at least talk to her.”
“We don’t know how much she knows about what is going on, for all we know if she thinks Dyson killed Maric and we assisted. If she seen who she thinks is Dyson she might attack and Byson wouldn’t stand a chance.”
Belinda: “Then what do we do?”
“I don’t know… She lost a lot of adventurers in this room, so I doubt she is going to make it all the way with any left, and no matter how strong she is she won’t be able to reach the dungeon crystal alone.”
Lylah: “Master, they are moving on to the next room now!”
Once the group enters the next room they waste no time and much to my dismay the woman uses [Dark Arcana Blade] as soon as they enter. The room proves to be much easier for them this time, but they still lose a few members of their group, so it won’t be to many more rooms and she will be alone even if she can keep using [Dark Arcana Blade].
The third room marks a choice of going two different directions, but both lead to the stairs so, after clearing the room and another casting of [Dark Arcana Blade], the woman and the two remaining members of the group take the right path.
Again with [Dark Arcana Blade] right from the start… Just how many times can she cast that spell? She has to pick up all the slack now though as she loses the last two members of the group. Her movements far surpass my own, and although I can follow her movements there is no way even between all of us that we could keep up.
“Now with our newest addition to the dungeon, no matter how long it takes her to get through she still won’t be able to reach the crystal at least.”
I however opened my mouth too soon as she then casts another familiar spell. I mean it isn’t surprising that we are the only ones able to cast it, as I hear I learned the spell from a book Dyson gave us, but when she casts [Gate], and is joined by at least 15 more adventurers, I audibly curse.
“Even with a bunch more adventurers there is still a lot of dungeon to go, and with the rate they are dying she would go though over a 100 normal adventurers, surely she can’t have that many waiting in backup… Adventurers that strong are not the norm after all.”
It takes only two hours, several more castings of [Gate], and numerous castings of [Dark Arcana Blade], but the finally manage to clear a pathway to the stairs and proceed to the clockwork room. This floor is mainly side rooms, so if they really are using magic to follow the shortest route they will bypass most of this entire floor.
There is the advantage though that once the discover they need the keys, to enter the elemental orb room, and then the elemental orbs to continue to the next floor we can thoroughly pull all the monsters from the rooms causing far more damage to her groups.
We are also getting in excess of 10,000xp from each fallen adventurer so we have already recouped from our miniscule emergency fund back to over a million xp.
Belinda: “I know they are trying to kill us, but so many adventurers have died already… I feel kind of sorry for all of them.”
“They show signs of sentience, and as most are human they have to be, but not a single one has questioned her, or even showed fear of death. Normal humans wouldn’t act that way.”
Belinda: “She could be controlling them with magic then!”
“Mind control magic makes you sluggish and unresponsive, this seems like something else. Maybe some kind of morale boosting magic, or something, but in that case these adventurers have to have known what they are getting themselves into from the start.”
Belinda: “I know, but it just seems like such a waste of life…”
The large clockwork room has always been free of monsters to allow the adventurers time to figure out how this floor works, but again we aren’t taking any chances here and it as well has orcs with armor made by my dwarven production line.
Doubling down on the alcohol the dwarves have been working non-stop and with the trips to Shima before we knew of the attack, they are all able to craft items from dwarven metal, but the quality of the work differs slightly between them, and now that is the only advantage Katie still has over them.
The woman avoids using [Dark Arcana Blade] this time but I don’t know if it is because she has finally exhausted its usage or not, and although the adventurers give it their all she is the only one left standing in the room after everything is over.
For once she finally stops and takes a short break examining one of the weapons that I embedded a magic stone into. She swings it around a few times and then uses [Shadow Pocket] to store it. It isn’t even the finest quality weapon in the room, so I believe she is not taking it because of its value, but to learn how it works.
She then examines the large clockwork dial on the floor and the doors surrounding the room spending enough time on it the dial clicks over to the next room locking the door it is no longer pointing at and unlocking the next door.
It is currently sitting at the 2 O’clock mark as it is now after 2 in the afternoon and after examining the dial again she then slides it over to the 5 O’clock mark. The doors lock and unlock as she slides it across and once she confirms the 5 O’clock door is open she hesitates.
Now I know she must be using some kind of magic to get though my dungeon because out of the 11 doors only 5 and 7 lead deeper into the dungeon, so to pick that door at random would be rather difficult.
The keys for the door in the next floor lie on the other side of the doors at 3, 6, and 9, so even moving forward she is going to soon get her first rude awakening.
She is still alone and hasn’t made an attempt to cast another [Gate] spell so perhaps she is finally out of adventurers. That is until she flings open the door at 5 O’clock and then quickly casts [Gate]. This time the portal is massive at least three times the side of the door itself and instead of more adventurers charging though the portal a large earth dragon comes stomping though.
It is only slightly larger than the verity I am capable of summoning, but this one at least has wings and even though the one I can summon can deflect most attacks from anything weaker then mythril this ones scales even look harder.
Even though the orcs in the room are double the number of what are usually in there, only equipped with dark steel weapons and armor they don’t stand a fighting chance against the dragon. The magic stones embedded in their weapons managed to let them do some damage that way, but even after the room is cleared the dragon is far from being in danger.
Woman: “I am sorry for having to call you, but the humans were weaker than I expected. I am afraid the rooms are all too small to give you much room to move around in, but we should be able to manage.”
The dragon then hisses and its voice crackles as what can only imagine as some form of speech.
Lilah: “Master! That dragon is sentient!”
“I gathered as much, what did it say?”
Lylah: “It’s strange… I don’t know.”
“I thought being born in the dungeons you should all be able to understand any language.”
Lila: “I know it is draconic, but I can’t seem to remember what those words mean. Perhaps they are using some form of magic to prevent us from understanding it?”
“It is a possibility. Well the dragon can’t fit down the stairs, so she is either going to have to spend a massive amount of magic to move it from one room to the next, or just leave it behind.”
Lilah: “If she just leaves it behind and it ends up stuck there, can you imagine the amount of xp we would get from it every day?”
“Even if it was too large to move between rooms I wouldn’t feel comfortable with a monster we have no control over in the dungeon, besides since it is sentient I seriously doubt she would just leave it behind.”
After the woman makes her way down the staircase she investigates the hallway from the stairwell before her before returning to the dragon.
Woman: “It looks like a hallway, will you be alright here for now, or do you want me to send you back?”
The dragon again speaks with crackling hisses and rumbling growls.
Woman: “Alright I will try to hurry.” –She says before heading back down the stairwell.-
The dragon look around the room at the corpses of the orcs scattered about and after jumping on top of one of the orcs several times with all the weight of the front half of its body. the cracking and horrid noises coming from the orcs corpse leave its remains not even discernable from what it was originally, as the dragon laps up the carnage that is oozing out of the flattened armor.
While the dragon continues to feast on his orc pate, the woman has begun fighting the large ogres in the hallway. Through expert feats of craftsmanship, the dwarves have managed to make armor equitable by the ogres, so the massive ogres are barreling down on the woman covered in massive dwarven plates and wielding massive double axes, and mauls in each hand.
The hallway is small enough that the ogres have to fight single file leaving them at quite the disadvantage, but even though she is capable of blocking the massive blows from the ogres the sheer recoil of the blows manages to cause her damage for the first time since entering the dungeon.
She switches over to evading the attacks completely which causes her to slow down in dispatching the ogres, but even she still manages to clear the hallway inside of 15 minutes. The damage she sustained is so minor that she casts a very low tier healing spell heal herself before moving on.
After peeking through the next door she slams it wide opening casting another [Gate] spell. The portal opens next to the dragon and it quickly sucks the remains of one of the orcs from one of the suits of armor then crashes through the portal.
Almost a dozen of the massive ogres begin bludgeoning and smashing their weapons against the dragon’s thick hide, while an even larger pair of ogre lords manage to grapple the beast. The woman quickly moves in to assist and half of the normal ogres break away from the dragon to keep her at bay.
The ogre lords manage to turn the dragon over exposing his softer underside and the normal ogres don’t let up their attack.
The dragon screeches and scorching lightning fills the room but with the runes carved into the plates of armor worn by the ogres the wounds they sustain are far from fatal. The dragon is still screeching out in an attempt to speak.
Woman: “Hold on!” –She says while fighting off some of the normal ogres, but her focus on the damage building up on the dragon causes her to fail her dodge attempt and one of the ogres catches her with its massive maul.-
She flails though the air crashing into the wall, but before falling to the ground she [Blink]s through the room appearing on top of the dragon’s stomach calling out. “[Dark Arcana Blade]!”
The blades of darkness rip through the air passing though the ogres armor causing quite a few to fall, but her spell is far from focused as it was earlier and one or two of the blades even find their marks against her companion.
One of the ogre lords releases the dragon and swings a massive axe with the head of the axe equal to the size of the woman down at her. With only the options of trying to block the blow, or dodging and allowing the axe to be buried into the dragon’s midsection she quickly calls out. “[Unyielding Barrier]”
It seems to cause her a great deal of strain but the massive axe stops short colliding with an unseen obstacle a mere inch from the woman’s outstretched hands. The ogre lord was by far the largest threat but he wasn’t the only one as another maul catches the woman from behind.
This time she manages to [Blink] before colliding with the wall, but not before the ogre lord’s massive axe finds the dragon’s midsection. The woman manages to sever the ogre lord’s head from his shoulders and the dragon manages to break free other the other ogre lord, but is in serious trouble now.
The woman quickly begins casting a healing spell on the dragon, but the remaining ogres are not going to give them much time to recover. Even after taking massive pounding from a maul twice the woman seems far from hurt, and she even takes another blow without resistance just trying to maintain the healing spell on the dragon.
The force of the impact alone causes her to be pushed back enough to lose the spell and she quickly [Blink]s back into the fray. The ogres choose to completely ignore the woman now focusing their attack on the badly wounded dragon and even after removing one of the ogre’s arms, and the remaining ogre lord’s leg, they don’t let up.
The dragon speaks in his language one last time, and musters the last of his energy to fill the room again with the arcing lightning, and even though he seems to have killed the ogre lord and the normal ogre that was missing its arm, the dragon loses its struggle.
Woman: “Chiavru! Damn you! [Crimson Helix]!”
A massive pillar of fire fills the room melting the thick dwarven plates worn by the ogres and charring them to the bone in an instant. The dragon was surely dead before her attack, but even its corpse is not free of the wrath of the fiery pillar leaving an entire section of its body missing in its wake.
With no ogres remaining in the room the woman approaches the dragon’s corpse with tears in her eyes as she pulls the gloves from her hands rubbing her hands cross the dragons face.
Woman: “I am so sorry Chiavru… But don’t you worry I will avenge you and Master Maric just you wait and see.”
“I know we had little choice, but I think if we had any chance of reasoning with her, it is gone now…”
New Monster Available
Elder Earth Dragon* Cost: 250,000xp**
*Elder Earth Dragons are capable of being summoned as sentient at 4x the base xp cost. Elder Earth Dragons that are summoned as non-sentient are able to follow complex instruction.
** Elemental type monsters are granted a discount of 1/4 due to [Uniquely Gifted] skill.
After speaking about Maric I am sure it is clear now that this woman is indeed Maric’s primary boss monster the failed Dungeon Core #15 [Hecate]. After a few minutes of talking to the dead dragon she casts [Shadow Pocket] drawing a line the length of the dragon’s body next to it. She then rolls the dragon into the opening causing it to disappear inside.
With all the spells she has used to have a [Shadow Pocket] large enough to hold an entire dragon, or at least ¾ of one, she must truly possess a massive amount of magic…
Once the dragon has been completely consumed by the [Shadow Pocket] Hecate takes the thin blade at her waist and removes it sheath and all dropping it into the [Shadow Pocket] as well. She then reaches in a pulls out a pair of odd looking barbed swords made from the same type of metal as the thin blade, but each one appears at least twice the width.
Next she removes a set of armor, it looks to be made of the same type of metal as well, and even though it looks to be medium armor the metal seems pliable enough that through the design of it there are no weaknesses at the bends and joints.
After spending 15 minutes getting resituated she casts [Gate] again. This time from the portal emerges a group with a mixture of races. They range in size from dwarf and elf, to a troll, and each are armed to the teeth in heavy armor made from shinning mythril.
Among the creatures I can see a few beastkin, a werewolf, an elf, one human, and several demi-human like races that I can’t be quite positive what exactly they are with all the armor.
Hecate: “Since you were called you know it is not going as easily as we predicted. Dungeon Core Two-Twelve has not only far exceeded the expectations of a dungeon core his age, but one amongst even the top hundred. The equipment his monsters use is exceptional, and they fight as monsters ten times their strength, but he is still a young dungeon core, so he can’t possibly have much more in store for us.”
A large dragon-like humanoid approaches Hecate. Where Draco looks like a dragon with a humanoid form, and Ithros looked far more human-like this creature looks somewhere in between. He might be some higher form of dragonkin, but my dragonkin look closer to kobolds then humans.
Dragonman: “Does that mean Master Chiavru has perished?”
Hecate: “I am sorry, but it does…”
Dragonman: “Then say no more we will not fail you!”
All the creatures then sound off, some with growls, some with different forms of speech, and one winged creature even makes an ear piercing bird like screech. They then quickly group up and Hecate then steps forward and tries to open the door.
After examining the door, searching the room, and even trying to blast it off the hinges with a few spells she determines they have to find the keys.
Hecate: “Damnit, it is too late in the game to be changing the rules now! We will have to find the keys. It looks like there are three of them so we will split into three groups and each look for one.”
The group splits in half with Hecate making up the third group by herself and they then start backtracking though the dungeon.