After Doug and the small group of soldiers return to town I transfer to the house. I am sure before too long I will receive a message from the mage’s guild about what has happened, and shortly after I hear a knock at the door.
I wave Vetala off as she goes to answer the door and answer it myself, but instead of seeing the face of one of the members of the Mage’s Guild I am met with the altered appearance of Dyson. The confusion on my face must be apparent because the first words from his mouth are.
Dyson: “Looks like you were expecting someone else?”
“Well I was… What are you doing here?”
Dyson: “Following where my investigation takes me.”
“And that led you to me?”
Dyson: “As a matter of fact it did. Now, are you going to invite me in?”
“Sorry, I was a bit surprised, come in…” –I say stepping out of the way so Dyson can enter.- “Oh by the way while you are here would you please remove the locking spell on the door in the kitchen it is a bit of a pain to no to be able to use that door.”
Dyson: “You don’t seem very worried about what I uncovered that led me here to you.”
“Why would I be?”
Dyson: “What can you tell me of Korvasta of the Korta Kingdom.”
“Kovasta… That name sounds familiar but I am not sure that I know it.”
Dyson: “You ought to, you killed him.”
“Wait you mean Belinda’s brother-in-law? That was a long time ago. I still don’t remember much from back then…”
Dyson: “Well it seems before he met his sticky end in your dungeon, he was in possession of the cuff that Laura placed on you.”
“I don’t understand, I thought you told me Laura wasn’t involved… I agreed in letting Lucille place Laura as a temporary Elder because you said she wasn’t involved in the attacks.”
Dyson: “Wait you what?”
I then tell Dyson about the meeting with the Elders and about them making Laura and I both temporary Elders.
Dyson: “Well I guess it doesn’t matter, but you heard right.”
Dyson then explains to me what he has learned in his investigation.
“If I was able to kill Korvasta before becoming even a year old, I seriously doubt he was able to make the cuff.”
Dyson: “Indeed, I think him dying in your dungeon was where Laura lost track of where the cuff came from. It might even be part of the reason for her grudge against you.”
“Well I don’t know how we can find out how Korvasta acquired the slave, we can try Belinda’s sister, but I don’t know how much use that will be. Her sister is not the easiest person to hold a conversation with.”
Dyson: “Well I have managed so far with this ring on, but you were right about one thing. It turned out to be quite a disadvantage when speaking with others, so perhaps she will talk to the great hero’s descendant Dyson.”
“Well Queen has claimed to be your sister, and she still won’t speak with her, so I doubt it. Besides if the communication parchments are compromised as well, they will know of you using a ring anyway, so there isn’t much point anymore.”
Dyson then removes the ring returning to his normal shape, causing the armor and clothing on his body to hang quite loosely. I offer to summon him some clothes a bit more fitting, but there is another knock on the door. Now this is sure to be the Mage’s Guild.
“I am sure this is who I was expecting, give me a few minutes to talk to them.”
Dyson nods then takes a seat on one of the benches. I answer the door to find Kleed from the Mage’s Guild with quite a look on his face.
Kleed: “There has been a development in the dungeon!”
I look back and Dyson and then step outside for a moment. “Alright, what is going on.”
Kleed: “The soldiers said some demi-humans showed up, and after entering the dungeon they seem to be fixing the damage done to the dungeon.”
“That’s wonderful news, are you sure?”
Kleed: “That is the problem we don’t know for sure. For all we know they could be making the dungeon far more dangerous.”
“Well I would surmise that after nearly being destroyed, that even if the dungeon does just survive off of only instincts that once it recovers it will probably be far more dangerous.”
Kleed: “You may be right, but what are we going to do about the demi-humans?”
“What about my brother-in-law? Was he part of the group that seen what happened?”
Kleed: “Yes, he was the one that came to the Mage’s Guild and told us.”
“Well Doug has spent quite a bit of time in the dungeon, with the soldiers, and before just as an adventurer, so if he said the demi-humans are helping, I would believe him. What does the Adra Mage’s Guild have to say about it?”
Kleed: “They have heard of demi-humans taking shelter in a dungeon before, but never help one in such a way.”
“Well by their own admissions they had never seen something like this happen to a dungeon, perhaps the other demi-humans were doing the same for those other dungeons, but the damage just wasn’t as well known.”
Kleed: “You are saying we should leave the demi-humans alone?”
“I say we continue to keep an eye on the dungeon. Leave the soldiers posted outside, if the dungeon seems to be improving then great, but if it doesn’t then we can then worry about the demi-humans. I just don’t think the timing of these demi-humans could have been a coincidence, so maybe they do know what they are doing.”
Kleed: “At least come back to the guild so we can discuss this further.”
“I’m sorry, but I have another matter I need to attend to right now, I already left my guest waiting, and he isn’t a very patient person.”
Kleed: “But this matter is very important.”
“And you are saying my guest isn’t?”
Kleed: “Forgive me. I just… Excuse me.” –The old mage then turns heading back in the direction of the Mage’s Guild.-
I then return to Dyson inside, and he has a curious look on his face.
Dyson: “If you wished for me not to overhear I think you should have moved a far greater distance then that. Now what is this about damage to your dungeon and demi-humans here to fix it?”
“Oh it is just something I cooked up for the humans.”
Dyson: “But for what purpose?”
“Inari uses the temple of Inari and the shrine maidens of hers to hear what the humans wish from her, so I wanted to do something similar, but I don’t fancy being worshipped so I thought maybe using a group of demi-humans that can understand the feelings of a dungeon would be a way for the humans to communicate. I would also like some of the less known sentient races to get their own fair shake.”
Dyson: “What kind of demi-humans are we talking about here?”
“Nothing that would interest you, for now it is just a handful of gnomes, but once they get established I plan on slowly working in a few more species.”
Dyson: “You plan on using gnomes to be the voice of your dungeon…?”
“Well they did prove to be a bit less intelligent that I would have hoped, but I actually think it will work quite well this way. If the humans could speak normally it would take a bit of the mystery out of it and they would have trouble believing that the demi-humans are capable of understanding the dungeon.”
Dyson: “Well I hope you know what you are doing…”
“Well back to the ones out there trying to kill us… If Laura’s digging came to an end at Korvasta’s death then maybe we can learn something new from Mindy. That is if we can get her to speak with us. I will send a message to Logan, and see if he can swing something. If I tell him how important it is he might be able to do something about it.”
I then go get the communication parchment for Logan sending him a message, and then get Dyson to fix the pantry door. After waiting over an hour we finally receive a response from Logan and he tells us Mindy is on her way to Exeter to begin the preparations for Tanya’s wedding.
(By carriage? That will take weeks. She could have just asked Belinda to take her to Exeter and saved the long journey.)
Logan: (You know Mindy, she couldn’t live with her self if she had to ask Belinda for help.)
(Surely she took along a communication parchment? This is really quite important.)
Logan: (I will send a message for you, but I wouldn’t expect to hear back from her today.)
(Even if you have to get the King involved it really is that important.)
Logan: (I will do my best.)
“Well there you have it…”
Dyson: “Well if we are wasting our time here, I might as well put it to better use back in my dungeon. Speaking of better use of my time where are those slaves I sent your way?”
“Well about that…”
Dyson: “They are still here aren’t they?”
“All five of them.”
Dyson: “Five? You were supposed to send the children to Tom.”
“You know how Tom is. I couldn’t just send children to him.”
Dyson: “He runs the largest orphanage there is. That is a far better fate then they were destined for living in the streets of Uthaira.”
“He takes them apart to make undead!”
Dyson: “There is a chance the boys might have ended up that way, but the girl would be safe. Any young women that show promise I send to Tom to raise for me and when they blossom he sends them my way.”
“That is low even for you…”
Dyson: “I have never received a complaint so far.”
“There isn’t much I can do about the adult women, but I will not turn the children over to you.”
Dyson: “You don’t really have a choice in the matter, but…” –He says his face contorting into a twisted smile. – “If it is that important to you, surely we can come to some sort of an agreement. From my understanding Hecate’s attack led to quite a number of monsters dying within you dungeon, you wouldn’t of happened to gain something that might interest me, would you?”
“I won’t trade you a sex slave if that is what you want, and unless you have use for a werecreature or elder earth dragon that is all there was.”
Dyson: “I hardly treat my women as mere sex slaves, she would be treated like a queen.”
“One of 50 of your queens?”
Dyson: “You might find this hard to believe, but I have decided to scale back. Quality over quantity as it were. I haven’t decided on a final number yet, but I plan on moving forward with a much smaller entourage.”
“Still I don’t think its right.”
Dyson: “Well the children are mine, so I think three children for a single adult is plenty fair.”
“I hate to do this…But I might have just the thing. You owe me a great deal for helping you with the equipment and the ring, not to mention caring for your slaves until you returned, so just releasing the children is not going to cut it.”
Dyson: “I promised, and I will hold true to that. Now, what is it you have in mind?”
“This is how it is going to work, putting aside all you owe me for now, just in exchange for freeing the children these are my terms.” –I open [Menu] checking one of the monsters.- “Alright you will provide me with 93,750xp to summon your monster, but before you meet her I want make sure she is willing to accept what it is you expect from her. If and only if she agrees then I turn her over to you, and if she doesn’t agree then we quit while we are ahead, and you can just accept the loss of the xp.”
Dyson: “What kind of monster are you expecting to summon for 100,000xp?”
“Do you agree?”
Dyson: “How do I know you don’t plan to summon the monster with no intention of turning it over?”
“I will say if any monster I summon will agree to what it is you want from them it will be this one, and if I can’t get her to agree to it then summoning a monster for you to serve that purpose would be impossible for me.”
Dyson strokes his chin while thinking about it. He seems to be weighing the decision pretty heavily. “Fine, but I ask to at least have the opportunity to change her mind if she doesn’t wish to join me.”
“I will let you speak to her if she refuses, but if she refuses you again that is it.”
Dyson: “I have to say I am quite curious what it is you plan on summoning. Alright I will quickly return to my dungeon and acquire an xp bead and return shortly.”
Dyson then teleports away, and after a minute or so he returns. This time he is no longer wearing the armor and sword I prepared for him, but instead a very lavish set of clothing embedded with enough gems and jewels that it could practically serve as armor. He then drops a small xp bead into my hand.
I add the gem to the dungeon inventory and after clearing away the message I receive and I sigh. I told him 93,750xp but the gem is straight up 100,000xp. I guess I could use the remaining xp to summon her some lavish clothing as well, but I don’t think even that would finish out the xp.
I then leave Dyson in the entryway and enter the living room, once there I then transfer to a building in town that I know to be empty. Even if he tries to spy on me with [Observation] he will have trouble finding me before I get a chance to talk to the woman.
I summon some clothing for the woman and after accepting the summoning of the monster I quickly turn away from her before the light fades. As soon as it does I find her within the monster list and equip the clothing on her before turning to have a look at her.
I focused on the best example of her race I can think of and she turned out quite similar. She doesn’t have the motherly aura that Elexia put off, but her body is simply perfect, her eyes are the same solid black with golden iris, and her hair runs the length of her entire body with the same color of Elexia’s which is so dark of a red it appears black.
Although her eyes, hair, and body type are similar to Elexia her face is quite different. I remember thinking Elexia was the embodiment of perfection but even though this one’s appearance is different I can’t help but to think the same thing about her.
Dwelling on such things however isn’t healthy for my marriage, not that I would trade either for Belinda, but between me and my thoughts they are more physically attractive…
Her leathery wings twitch and she whips her tail around with a smile so devious I can’t tell if she is looking at me as a friend or foe. She then starts messing with the clothing unhappy with its conservative nature, but as long as she remains part of my dungeon she will have to deal with it.
“I take it you know why it is I summoned you?”
She quits fidgeting with the clothing snapping her head back to look at me with the same devious smile speaking with a voice that makes me weak in the knees. “Of course, and the answer is without hesitation.”
“If that is the case then I will let him choose your name then.”
Succubus: “No! If Master will accept I would like to choose my own name to not allow Elder Dyson to have that power over me.”
When she called me Master it caused the saliva to get caught in the back of my throat and I simple say. “Alright, if you want to pick your own name that’s ok with me…”
Succubus: “Then I choose Desiree, because I will be the one thing he cannot escape.”
“You don’t think that is taking it a bit far?”
Succubus: “Then you will not accept the name I have chosen for myself?”
“It isn’t that, I am just asking if you are sure.”
Desiree: “I am, and now I wish to meet him.”
After I accept her name, I set a basic ultimate command to protect my dungeon, and then transfer us both back to the house. She quickly exits the living room to the entryway, and by the time I enter Dyson is quite speechless as Desiree circles him sizing him up.
Dyson can’t pull his eyes off of her but acknowledges me in the room by saying. “But how?”
“Madam Erin sent 2 to help me defend my dungeon against Hecate, but one fell in the battle.”
Desiree whips her tail around gently sliding it across Dyson’s cheek. “You wish to be my Master yes?”
Dyson: “Without a doubt…”
Desiree: “I will call you Master, but you shall be my slave.”
Dyson manages to gain a bit of composure to say. “I am a slave to no one!”
Desiree: “Wrong, you are a slave to your desire, and so I shall be your Desiree.”
Dyson: “We shall see.”
“I take this to mean you accept her, and will release the children?”
Dyson: “The children? You can have all five for all I care. I take this to mean our exchange is complete then?”
Desiree: “Master is in a hurry to become my slave.”
“You still owe me for the ring and equipment.”
Dyson: “Indeed and I will compensate you as promised. I will think of something extra special to return the favor, and in the meantime. Well you know how to reach me once you hear back from your sister-in-law.”
“Wait!” –But it’s too late Dyson teleports from the room taking the succubus with him. –
I let out a deep sigh, but I then quickly hear a voice from behind me. “Don’t worry it is a decision you will not regret.”
“Tell that to my wife… Now what are you doing here Ceres?”
Ceres: “I have say things are moving along a bit faster than I expected. You really should have taken my advice about the vacation.”
“I wish I had the time…”
Ceres: “That is the point of a vacation you make the time.”
“Is there something you want?”
Ceres: “Do you think everyone comes to you wanting something? Last time I visited you I gave you helpful advice that you didn’t take, and answered your questions.”
“You answered them vaguely enough that you couldn’t even consider them an answer, and when you didn’t like the direction the questions were going you disappeared.”
Ceres: “Well you are not the only one I look in on. I can’t spend all my time with you. Quit being so needy…”
“I am quite busy, if you are not going to tell me why you are here then please just go.”
Ceres: “Very well then, I need a favor.”
Ceres: “Helping me also helps you.”
“You keep saying that, but I always end up with more and more things to worry about and never less.”
Ceres: “This involves something you are already wrapped up in. I just need you not to take no for an answer and transport Mindy and company to their destination instead of letting them continue on their current path.”
“This isn’t like when you told me to with Maric is it? She isn’t going to die if I do this. As much as Belinda doesn’t like her sister, I still don’t think she would like to see her die.”
Ceres: “In that case, you have even more reason to do me this favor.” –Without another word Ceres is just gone.-
Does that mean if I don’t do this for her Mindy will die? Or did she just say that to get me to do what she wants…? Well I still haven’t told Belinda that I have to go visit with her sister, and I am dreading the point in which I tell her I summoned Dyson a succubus, but if she finds out from anyone else… Well I better just tell her myself.
I meet with Belinda at the city hall building and fill her in on everything. She isn’t exactly thrilled about my summoning of a succubus, but she at least doesn’t seem to get angry about it. I think my saving grace was the fact it means we freed Dyson’s slaves, so after our talk we head to the inn to inform them of their new freedom.
Since their arrival they have been living off the gold Dyson provided, but eventually that will run out, and after telling them they are free the two adult women seemed disappointed about being abandoned by Dyson, and I don’t think they will stick around to help the children.
The youngest two are still too young to do any kind of work, but as long as it is small stuff the oldest should be able to manage, so Belinda is able to set him up doing small odd jobs for some of the townspeople.
Not a job that will make him rich, or even a very enjoyable one, but it will keep his family together and keep a slave collar off of their necks and at least some food in their stomachs, so he seems to realize that and doesn’t complain. Belinda also makes him promise her that he will send the younger two to the local school, and Belinda said she would cover the expenses it entails.
I am sure they will have it quite rough for a while, but at least they won’t end up cut up on Tom’s table or in Dyson’s bed…
Belinda and I then retire for the evening and the following morning is quiet, and it isn’t till almost noon before I finally receive a message back from Logan.
Logan: (Mindy has reached Duscae, and is in the process of preparing Tanya and Mother for the trip. She said she is too busy to meet with you, but if you can catch them before they leave, and present yourself as an envoy of Gowen, they won’t have any choice but to speak with you at least as representatives of Duscae.)
I send a message back to him thanking him for the help. I then go meet Belinda at the city hall building, because if I have to deal with her sister, she might be of some help. She isn’t happy about it, but knows the importance of what we are doing.
Belinda: “Are you sure we are going to even get anything out of Mindy?”
“Logan told us to go as envoys of Gowen, and with Dyson there as well I don’t think they would risk blemishing the Duscae Kingdom’s name.”
Belinda: “Are you sure you will be able to reach Dyson…?”
“He knows how important this is, so surely he won’t blow it off because he has a new toy to play with.”
Belinda: “Are you trying to convince me, or yourself?”
I sigh and then send a message to Dyson, it takes a few minutes and I begin to worry but I then receive a reply back. Surprisingly he says he has already arrived and is waiting outside the house. Belinda and I then quickly head back to the house and indeed we find Dyson in his complete set of armor, he has his helmet tucked under his arm, as he is hitting on Vetala who seems quite embarrassed.
When he sees us he turns and is in an uncharacteristically good mood. “Excellent, you have arrived.”
“I am actually surprised you were so easy to get ahold of this morning.”
Dyson: “I have to admit, it was quite difficult, but there is a time for pleasure and a time for business. I would however like to get this done as quickly as possible, so lead the way.” –He says slapping his helmet on his head.-
“Forgive me, but I have to be sure. Let me see your hands…”
Dyson: “Really now, you doubt me?” –He says removing one gauntlet at a time revealing his bare fingers.-
“I just had to be sure…”
Dyson: “And now you are.”
I then cast a [Gate] spell and Belinda, Dyson, and myself pass through it to reach the castle in Duramond. Once arriving Belinda and I tell the guards we are envoys from Gowen there to speak with Mindy.
Guard: “You have missed them, they have already departed.”
Belinda: “Why do they have to make things so difficult? They knew they would have to meet with us if we caught them at the castle. I am sure they did this intentionally!”
“They can’t have gotten too far by now, and we could surely catch up to a slow moving carriage. We just have to find out which path to Exeter they took.”
Belinda: “But we lost our advantage, outside the castle they won’t have to act as representatives of the Duscae kingdom, and they could refuse to talk to us.”
“Mindy maybe, but I don’t think your mother would risk refusing to meet with the great hero’s descendant.”
Dyson: “We better get a move on then.”
There are three possible routes they may have taken to head to Exeter, but if they are trying to avoid us they might have avoided the shortest one.
“The locals are being no help. Out of all your skills don’t you have something that could determine which path they took?”
Dyson looks at the guards guarding the walls of Duramound and finds one that is a woman. He takes his helmet off, runs his gauntleted hand through his slicked back black hair, and flashes a bright smile while approaching the female guard.
After sliding her a few gold coins and whispering in her hear for a few moments she giggles and he then returns with a look of triumph on his face as he slaps his helmet back on his head.
Dyson: “The only royal coach that has departed from Duramound today, heading through the path due north.”
“With all the skills you possess that is what you go with?”
Dyson: “Indeed, as what other would you call that but skill?”
“Whatever, we need to try to catch them quickly.”
We head out of the northern gate from Durmound following the road. This path will lead north until it reaches Korta, following the border of Korta north until crossing into Livinston. From Livinston you can take any number of paths west to Exeter, but surely we will catch up with them long before then.
Then again maybe not, because Dyson doesn’t seem to be in any hurry, as he just slowly strolls down the road.
“We are supposed to be catching up to them not just trailing behind them…”
Dyson: “It has been many years since I just walked anywhere, it is a bit refreshing, so don’t mind me I will catch up.”
I sigh and after making sure Belinda is alright we pick up the pace, but Dyson begins to trail further and further behind us as he just continues his slow stroll. Eventually he is completely out of sight and Belinda says. “I know you checked for a ring, but are you sure that is really Dyson?”
“Other than the ones trying to kill us I am the only ones that can make the items like that, and I have only ever made them as rings.”
Belinda: “Then what if it is one of them that are meaning to do us harm?”
“Then I am sure they would put a far bit more effort into acting like Dyson… Maybe the succubus did something to him…”
Belinda: “The succubus is a powerful monster, but in comparison to Dyson?”
“I don’t know.”
Belinda and I continue down the path, and by the time we see the carriage come into view ahead of us it is stopped in the middle of the road. We quickly catch up to it to find Dyson standing there.
Dyson: “And there they are. What took you two so long?”