Chapter 138: The Storm’s Conclusion

 

We are minutes away from complete annihilation at the hands of Hecate and Dungeon Core #634 [Rosalinda], with Rosalinda’s werecreatures fighting the two hellhounds at what is essentially my dungeon crystal room, even if they manage to hold them off there is no stopping Hecate or Rosalinda now.

At the end of this horrible storm there might be a small silver lining as Zoey appears to us in the dungeon core room.

Zoey: “I’m Back!”

Roxy: “Zoey?!” –She quickly runs giving her a tight hug.-

“What about Madam Erin?! Were you able to get through to her?”

Zoey: “What no welcome back…?”

“Zoey they are in the crystal room there is no time!”

Zoey: “Oh shit! Yes, she is waiting for you at the house.”

“Lilah, hold out as long as you can, I don’t care if you have to spend every point of xp to buy us some time.” –I say then quickly transfer down to the house.-

Madam Erin: “Well, don’t you look horrid.”

“Will you help me?”

Madam Erin: “Slow down, what’s going on?”

“Dungeon Core #634 [Rosalinda], and failed Dungeon Core #15 [Hecate] are minutes away from destroying my crystal!”

Madam Erin: “Hecate? Well this is serious, it’s a good thing I stopped by, but I should be able to set things right, although I can’t promise you will be as in good shape as before she entered.”

“Hecate is the least of my concern! Rosalinda is at least working with those who killed the elders, she already killed a dungeon core to try to prevent this attack from ending. She has close to 100 werecreatures in my dungeon and my last defense is about to fall!”

Madam Erin: “What do you mean killed a dungeon core? I have heard of no dungeon core deaths.”

“It could be due to the restrictions on the communication! We don’t really have time for this back and forth!”

Madam Erin: “Then lead the way, we should have a word with these two.”

“The chance of me surviving an encounter with them would be impossible, if anything I would get in your way, I can send you there however if you are willing to allow me to transfer you.”

Madam Erin: “I said I would protect you and I will, but I am not going to solve your problems for you, if you want them out of your dungeon, you have to put your neck on the line as well.”

“Rosalinda could have been the one to kill Faron, Fredrick, and Maric… Do you really think you can protect me from someone like that and Hecate as well?”

Madam Erin: “If it was Rosalinda she had to use the mother of all sneak attacks, but face to face, I am sure I can handle that.”

“Well I guess it’s either my crystal or me, so if I am going down I should at least put of some kind of a fight…” –I quickly use [Menu] to equip my gear.- “I hope you know what you are doing…” –I say while taking Madam Erin’s massive hand and transfer us to room in which the hellhounds were fighting the werecreatures.-

I was gone barely a few minutes, and although the hellhounds seemed to be holding their own, one is now dead and the other looks to be seconds away from death. Not only the hellhounds and werecreature’s corpses litter the floor however, quite a few of the monsters that Madam Erin sent are dead as well while the remaining ones attack as well.

The sight of members of Madam Erin’s “family” dead on the floor doesn’t sit well with her, and without a word she grabs the nearest werecreature ripping in clean in two… I don’t even know if I am strong enough to fight these werecreatures alone, but I can’t remain motionless after seeing the sentient monsters of Madam Erin’s dead.

I don’t know if it is helping or not, but with my Combat Medic skill I can cast healing magic without any effort as long as I spend the mp cost, so I begin healing all those nearby that I can while I try battling with one of the werecreatures.

I am spending way too much of my magic on healing spells, but I don’t let it up. I am managing to hold my own against the werecreatures one on one, but when another tries to join in I might be in a bit of trouble.

The werecreatures are practically raining down on us as the door to enter this room is on the 8th sub-level yet the floor is on the bottom of the 9th, much like the pit room at the beginning of this floor, so Madam Erin says. “What made you think this was a good idea?!”

“Not a single one of them hit the ground uninjured, so I think it is actually serving me pretty well. I am more surprised after a 200ft fall they are only mildly injured.”

I remember breaking both of my legs after only falling not even half that distance when I was with Listel, so I couldn’t even imagine jumping that far willingly. The impact of the landing seems to hurt them, but not even enough to slow them down as they charge into battle.

An arrow wizzes past my head piercing the eye of one of the werecreatures that was about to attack me as I hear a voice. “You really screwed up now, Belinda is right mad at you for going and joining the battle all on your own like this.”

“There wasn’t much I could do about it, and besides if they opened the door they could of destroyed my crystal without me putting up a fight, so I would at least rather get my hands dirty myself.”

Zoey: “Oh I agree, but tell that to your pregnant wife!”

“Well let’s get through this alive first, and then she can yell at me all she wants.”

Madam Erin: “Less yapping and more fighting!”

I can’t say Zoey and I had much of an impact on the battle, but by the time the werecreatures quit pouring into the room Madam Erin alone dealt with 5 times as many as everyone else in the room combined.

We finally have time to catch our breath, but that only means Hecate and Rosalinda will be here shortly…

Madam Erin: “Minutes seemed a bit of a stretch, now do you want to explain to me just what is going on here?”

“If it wasn’t for you then they would have already accessed my crystal, so yes, minutes… I don’t know how far Hecate and Rosalinda are behind them, but I will tell you what I can.”

I don’t know how much time we have so as I tell Madam Erin what is going on I try to stick to the important parts, and after giving the rough overview I start to go into a bit more detail on several of the events, but I then hear a voice.

Hecate: “It’s Madam Erin!”

Rosalinda: “That is impossible, he had no way to contact her, he must be mimicking her appearance to throw us off!”

Madam Erin: “Oh, so you do decide to show yourselves. You have a lot of nerve attacking a dungeon core under the protection of the Elders.”

Hecate: “Two-Twelve hardly deserves the protection of the elders after he assisted in Master Maric’s death!”

Madam Erin: “I hate to break it to you, but you are under the wrong impression of just what happened, and if you come down here I will explain it all to you instead of yelling at each other across the room.”

Rosalinda: “It has to be a trap, there is no way Two-Twelve could have contacted Madam Erin before the time limit was exceeded. We were sure to block any type of teleporting magic or magical communication.”

Madam Erin: “Then why don’t you come find out!”

Rosalinda: “[Meteor Fall]!”

After Rosalinda calls out a giant flaming bolder appears in the air hurling towards Madam Erin and I. Madam Erin instantly covers the distance between us pulling me and Zoey far closer to her body then I care to be while holding out her hand, and calling out. “[Unyielding Barrier]!” The flaming bolder then crashes into the air inches above Madam Erin’s palm, causing it to break up and disappear.

Rosalinda: “Impossible! Two-Twelve should not have access to such a powerful technique!”

Madam Erin: “If you liked that one, then you will love this one. [Shifting Sand]!”

The ground beneath Hecate and Rosalinda’s feet quickly gives way, on level ground it might have caused them to sink into the stone, but being at the edge of the room it causes them to tumble in. Rosalinda quickly casts a spell stopping her decent, while Hecate casts [Blink] twice reaching the floor in one piece.

Hecate: “Madam Erin, is it really you…?”

Rosalinda: “You know Two-Twelve isn’t above these kinds of traps! It must be a powerful monster of Dyson’s that he gave to Two-Twelve to pose as her! [Arc Lightning]!”

The room fills with lightning similar to the earth dragon’s breath attack, but much more powerful, and Madam Erin shoves me behind her while several of the bolts hit her. Hecate looks less then convinced but she doesn’t have time to question it as she is forced to dodge the bolts of lightning herself.

Rosalinda: “I will keep Dyson’s monster busy, you take care of Two-Twelve!” –She says while sliding a ring on her finger changing her shape to that of the giant werebird that she was earlier and swoops down at Madam Erin.-

Madam Erin: “Calling me one of Dyson’s monsters is an insult I won’t let you get away with.” –She says while leaping into the air after Rosalinda.-

This causes the line of sight between Hecate and me to open up and although Hecate seems quite confused once her eyes latch onto me she at least seems to make up her mind, and I know I have no way to fight Hecate.

Just before she has a chance to act the large bird that is Rosalinda crashes to the ground between us and Madam Erin lands back in front of me.

Madam Erin: “Looks like you were almost in trouble, don’t go pissing yourself pup.”

Rosalinda: “Don’t just stand there, we have to get rid of Two-Twelve!” –She squawks as she scrambles back to her feet.- “[Solar]!”

The small sun explodes into the middle of the room causing Madam Erin to shield her eyes, and when she does Rosalinda dives into her chest then takes back off into the air. She circles the sun while flying around the room directing small balls of flame to break off of the sun launching themselves towards Madam Erin.

Madam Erin knocks the balls of flame away with her bare hands and says. “Alright pup, it’s starting to get a bit too hot in here for you take the others and I’ll take care of the rest.”

Gathering the remaining bit of Madam Erin’s monsters and Zoey I transfer us out of the room. Zoey and I then transfer to the dungeon core room.

Belinda: “What were you thinking!?”

“I didn’t have a choice, but it’s still not over, Madam Erin seems to be having far more trouble than even she anticipated.”

I then watch the battle happen though the screens. Hecate still seems quite unsure, but she has drawn her blade against Madam Erin now, and while the sun in the room has almost completely vanished, only Madam Erin’s hands and arms seemed to have taken any damage.

Madam Erin: “If you plan to use that blade against an Elder, you better be prepared to face the consequences of your actions.”

Hecate: “Rosalinda, are you sure this isn’t really Madam Erin…?”

Rosalinda: “Do you really think a real elder would be having this much trouble against just me?”

Madam Erin: “I am quite curious how you managed to gain so much strength so quickly, but I am sure the answer lies in that ring you got there, am I right?”

Rosalinda: “[Solar Flare]!”

This time instead of a small sun it is just a large arcing flame that fills the room. Hecate manages to [Blink] to the other side of it, but as Madam Erin tries to leap out of the way it quickly arcs changing direction bathing her in its flames. The damage done to Madam Erin looks to be quite severe, and she quickly falls to one knee.

Hecate then [Blink]s towards Madam Erin slashing at her with her small blade. Madam Erin however catches her arm standing back to her feet and tosses Hecate across the room.

Madam Erin: “Alright if that is the way you want to play it. So be it! [Mother Earth]!”

Madam Erin’s body is massive as it is with grotesque rippling muscles and such, but after calling out her body and muscles only grow in size before it is all said and done, instead of Madam Erin standing there is looks like a wolf beastkin shaped massive golem.

Madam Erin then brings her massive stone like fists around crushing into Rosalinda, but before colliding with the wall Rosalinda disappears and reappears behind Madam Erin using her own momentum to hit Madam Erin in the back of the head with a large maul that appeared in Rosalinda’s hands just seconds before the impact.

Hecate quickly casts [Shadow Pocket] pulling out large two-handed mace made of the same metal of all the other weapons she uses, and she then uses [Blink] to reach Madam Erin again hitting her in the knee with it.

Madam Erin’s new even greater size makes her movements quite a bit slower and before she can bring her fists down against Hecate, Hecate manages to dodge backwards. The battle continues for quite a while, and although Hecate looks quite worse for wear, she looks nothing in the shape of the Madam Erin golem.

Rosalinda on the other hand barely looks to have taken any damage at all even with Madam Erin focusing the vast majority of her attacks against her, and more than a few of them seemed to hit her dead center.

I thought Madam Erin was only second to Dyson… Could this other dungeon core and Hecate really be this strong? I was banking on Madam Erin quickly arriving and solving this, but it seems even she is not going to win this battle.

With one last swing of the giant maul Rosalinda cracks it against the Madam Erin golem and it causes the golem to shatter. I quickly begin to panic, but I then see Madam Erin on her hands and knees on the ground breathing heavily.

She isn’t out yet, but there is nothing I can do to stop it… I quickly open up [Archjusticar Menu] navigating to the bind crystal option and quickly select Rosalinda’s dungeon. I quickly accept the cost of 10 justicar points but then get a message.

Binding crystal must be performed within 15 feet of dungeon crystal or dungeon core.

Well this isn’t good… Once Madam Erin falls though I won’t stand a chance anyway so I quickly transfer back to the room.

Rosalinda: “Oh look who finally decided to rejoin us.”

Madam Erin: “What the hell are you doing here pup?!”

I quickly hit the acceptance again… This time transparent chains quickly bind around Rosalinda and she calls out in excruciating pain. Hecate launches herself at me, but I manage to use [Blink] to avoid the attack.

Rosalinda: “What the hell did you do?!”

“I’m sorry Madam Erin, but that is all I can do…”

Madam Erin drags herself to her feet. “Good enough pup. Now get out of here and I will take care of the rest.”

Hecate tries to make another pass at me, but I transfer from the room again heading back to the dungeon core room.  Madam Erin then grabs Rosalinda, while Hecate tries to attack Madam Erin, but Madam Erin just backhands Hecate knocking her to the ground.

Madam Erin: “Now stay there, or next time you won’t get back up.” –She then turns her attention to Rosalinda.- “Now you have quite a bit of explaining to do, don’t you?”

Rosalinda: “What the hell did you do to me?”

Madam Erin: “Me? This is what happens when you piss off the Archjusticar of the Elders. Now tell me is wearing one of those rings while you killed the Elders and Maric how you got so strong?”

Hecate: “Dyson was the one that killed Maric!”

Madam Erin: “No that is just what Rosalinda wanted you to think, isn’t that right?”

Rosalinda: “I didn’t kill Maric or the Elders, and when he finds out what has happened to me, your little Archjusticar won’t be able to save you.”

Madam Erin: “Is that so, then tell me who this he is, and maybe I will save him the trouble and tell him what happened to you myself.”

Rosalinda: “Oh he knows, you think the return of the gods is your biggest worry, think again.”

Madam Erin: “Who else is involved in this little doom on you cult you got going on here?”

Rosalinda: “You will find out soon enough.”

Madam Erin: “You don’t look like you will be able to go anywhere anytime soon, so I am sure we have a lot to talk about.”

Rosalinda: “That what you think.”

After that Rosalinda collapses, goes limp, and we receive a message.

Dungeon Core #634 [Rosalinda] died at the hands of ******

Madam Erin: “Her crystal…But why?

The remaining werecreatures in my dungeon then collapse and all die at once. Madam Erin then turns to Hecate. “We might not have been able to get anything out of Rosalinda, but you can tell us what you know.”

Hecate: “You really are Madam Erin…?”

Madam Erin: “I will let what you did to me go due to the misunderstanding and Rosalinda’s obvious ulterior motives, but you better start answering questions.”

Hecate: “I don’t know… After Master Maric’s death I didn’t know what to do and that was when Rosalinda came to me asking me if I wanted to avenge Master Maric.”

Madam Erin: “Then she was the one that put you up to the attack against Two-Twelve?”

Hecate: “She told me of the meeting held between Master Maric and Two-Twelve. She also told me taking out Two-Twelve would be a massive blow to Dyson.”

Madam Erin: “Then she manipulated you from the start, there was indeed a meeting, but Maric was trying to help Two-Twelve get to the bottom of what happened to the Elders.”

I decide it should be safe enough to transfer down to ask Hecate some questions of my own, so I do just that. She doesn’t seem pleased to see me, but she doesn’t attempt to attack me either.

“What about the block to [Gate], [Communication], and even the communication parchments, how did you manage to do that?”

Hecate: “It was an item, using it made a screen appear similar to [Menu] and entering Two-Twelve’s dungeon core number I was able to block him like that, but apparently it missed something…”

Madam Erin: “And where is this item now?”

Hecate: “As soon as I activated it, it broke down.”

“Did you receive it from Rosalinda as well?”

Hecate: “She said it would help me get my revenge…”

Madam Erin: “What about this “he” Rosalinda spoke about, do you know anything about him?”

Hecate: “No, in truth I hadn’t spoken with Rosalinda since Master Maric completed her training all those years ago, and at first I was quite surprised she was willing to help me get revenge for Master Maric.”

“What about the others did Rosalinda ask you to bring them here as well?”

Hecate: “No, after I ran out of manpower, I just started hitting up anyone that might of owed Master Maric a favor, a few of the dungeon cores came themselves, but most just sent one of their monsters along.”

Madam Erin: “We will speak in far greater detail about this, but for now I suggest we gather the others and leave Two-Twelve’s dungeon in peace. Mind you, once we have a chance to talk your fate rests in Two-Twelve’s hands.”

“What about the block on my dungeon, how do we remove it?”

Hecate: “I don’t know if you can remove it, but it was only to last till midnight tonight, so after that it should return to normal.  3 days seemed rather short, but I didn’t think a dungeon core your age would take more than a couple of hours, much less 3 days…”

“Well it still wasn’t good enough…”

Madam Erin gather’s up the others and takes them all to the neutral zone, and there is quite a bit more I would like to know, but for now I should re-secure my dungeon, so I just tell Madam Erin to keep me informed.

However as soon as I return to the dungeon core room, the relief finally washes over me that we managed to make it through this alive. I don’t know what is coming in the future because now there seems to be another something out there that wants me dead, but that is tomorrow’s problem. Without any energy left I collapse on the bed.

It wasn’t long after noon when I fell asleep, but when I awoke it was already close to daybreak of the next day…  Even though the immediate danger should be passed everyone is still sleeping in the dungeon core room.

That is everyone but Azami who is messing with her [Elven Crafting] in the corner. I get out of bed and walk over to her.

“You managed to make it back as well?”

Azami: “Apparently nobody bothered to inform me the matter had been taken care of, so when Madam Erin found me wandering around in her dungeon she sent me home…”

“What about Sorin, have we had any word from him?”

Azami: “Wandering the skies for all I know…”

“Well the block in the [Communication] should have ended if Hecate was telling the truth, so I guess I can try messaging him to check.”

I try sending Sorin a message, and I can’t help to find myself holding my breath waiting for a reply, but after a few seconds I receive a message back.

Sorin: (Master, you managed to restore [Communication], I am sure the others have beaten me to Madam Erin’s dungeon by now, I apologize, it was quite a bit harder to cross over the mountain and forest then I imagined.)

(Everything should be back to working order now, if you can tell me where you are at, I will use [Gate] so you can return.)

Sorin: (I managed to make it to Emeraldline, but without and adventurer’s id they wouldn’t let me in the dungeon, they were also pretty rude to me because of my wings.)

It takes a few minutes but I manage to find out Sorin’s exact location in the city surrounding Madam Erin’s dungeon, and I send a portal with [Gate] to retrieve him. The sight of him walking through the portal is a great relief in more ways than one.

“Well I guess now that that is taken care of I should see what kind of mess the dungeon has become…”

Everything on the clockwork floor and above has returned to normal, but everything below that is completely empty, not to mention the boss rooms of the elemental wings are missing the said bosses from them.

Our xp is just our normal daily intake, and what we managed to recover from the werecreatures, so it will be a while before we are able to do anything else, but at least for the normal adventurers and mages the dungeon won’t seem any different. If we have another serious attack however we might be in quite a bit of trouble.

We can’t really do anything else there so I decide to go through he lists of items, skills, monsters, and such we received during the attack. The lists of new skills and monsters is the most promising however. Everything that died in my dungeon is pretty much available to me now, and even a load of new fire and water monsters that became available due to Colt and Daggit’s deaths.

The skills as well will provide a nice boost to me and my girls, but at the moment we just don’t have the xp to learn them right now, but after we are safe again I am sure to teach everyone every one of them.

Also due to the death of most of the monsters Madam Erin sent I learned to summon quite a few of them as well, and all of them can be summoned as sentient. The best of which is the succubi at 125,000xp, but I don’t think it would be a good idea to summon any of them.

That doesn’t even mention the countless different types of werecreatures at 20,000xp a piece, and they can even be summoned as sentient for 100,000xp. They however are not considered elemental creatures so I don’t receive a discount on them.

I can’t really do much else with the dungeon, and although it is still quite early I send a message to Inari, Maeve, the twins, and let them know I at least made it through alive. I guess Belinda and I should show our face in Tobes later today as well, as it has been almost two weeks now since the last time.

There is also the matter with Belinda’s pregnancy and talking with her brother and father, I am definitely not ready for that talk.

I also decide to send messages to the monsters we have out and about. When we learned of the attack coming we told them to just keep at it because we might need there xp, so I need to let them know we made it through as well.

I guess if I didn’t make it they would of died as well, but at least they now know they don’t have to worry about suddenly killing over, so that should be at least somewhat of a relief.

“Alright Azami, I guess waiting in here isn’t going to get us anywhere, if you wish to resume your training with Kaelmathis, it should be alright now.”

Azami doesn’t say a word and just quickly transfers from the room. I never bothered learning [Elven Crafting] because I didn’t see much use for it myself, but when where trying to up the security of the dungeon I really wish I had a few ranks then, so that is another skill I plan on teaching to the others when we get the xp for it.

Just as the sun starts to break the horizon I receive a message from Madam Erin.

Madam Erin: (I managed to have a good long talk with Hecate, and although she seemed to be acting under the misunderstanding that you were involved in the death of Maric, it is still left to you what you want to do with her now.)

(Have you tried to see if [Menu] will allow her to become a dungeon core using a different number?)

Madam Erin: (I didn’t really see the need if you wanted us to have her killed.)

(She caused quite a bit of damage to my dungeon, but I think as a dungeon core she could make up for it far better than just taking her life.)

Madam Erin: (Very well we can discuss it with the other elders, as we need to fill them in on the information we have learned, and we can try to do it then. I can make an excuse for Dyson, so that monster of yours doesn’t make a mistake, but have you informed the real Dyson about what we have learned yet?)

(My means of communication has been blocked up to now, so of course not, but he killed Llewelyn the other day, so he might be on to something as well.)

Madam Erin: (Wait you mean that Duke whatever this name was is Dyson?)

(That’s right, last I heard he was going after Laura though, Llewelyn was close to Laura in the past, and he was part of Maric’s list so it is entirely possible that Llewelyn was involved as well.)

Madam Erin: (Make sure you tell him about Rosalinda, and find out just what happened with Llewelyn. I will have the meeting to take place at noon so be sure to arrive at the neutral zone before then.)

So much for my idea of hitting Tobes with Belinda, but just the fact of being able to leave the dungeon core room again will be a big help, so I guess there is no hurry. I take out the communication parchment for Dyson and begin writing…

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