After speaking to Dungeon Core #288 Chansey, Dyson learned information that would help us track down the ones using his name to kill dungeon cores, but it cost 3 million xp in total. We then proceeded to follow Dyson’s information to the Royal Castle of Merretta, and after Dyson destroyed half the castle we find ourselves in the castle’s throne room.
The throne room is quite large and elaborate, but other than Madam Erin, Dyson, and myself there are only three others in the room. There is however a fourth older man in elaborate clothing laying sprawled out dead in front of the throne and I can only assume that is Merretta’s king.
Dyson: “Dungeon Core #7 Luther, and Dungeon Core #401 Abigail, and I take it the boy is the dead human’s son? He looks rather similar to Laura’s pet.”
Human: “My name is Mariam!” –Says the human man wearing a suit of mythril armor that looks more decorative then functional.-
Dyson: “Mariam? Damn your father must have really hated you, gave your brother an entire kingdom and gave you the name Mariam, but that’s neither here nor there. I expected as much from you Luther, but Abigail? I thought you knew better then challenge me?”
Abigail: “You might have easily forgotten that embarrassment, but I haven’t!” –Says the woman wearing chainmail armor made from the material that Hecate’s equipment was made out of.-
Dyson: “I would say you were a bit of an embarrassment, but you seemed to enjoy it at the time, so why the hard feelings now?”
Abigail: “You didn’t give me much of a choice! It was either that or die, but things are different now. I am not afraid of you anymore!”
“Of course it would be one of Dyson’s jilted lovers.”
Dyson: “I would hardly call her a lover, now, you knew the stakes going in, and it wasn’t my fault you underestimated me when you agreed to the conditions.”
Luther: “Enough! You think because you have a bit of strength you can do whatever you want including muscle your way into joining the Elders, but no more, we have found someone that has given us the strength to make the great and powerful Dyson just be a thing of distant memory!” –Says the remaining man. He likewise has armor made of the material like Hecate’s gear, but it is a much heavier type of armor.-
Madam Erin: “And where does the boy fit into all of this?”
Mariam: “My father served his purpose, and wasn’t needed any longer, but they will still need a face to rule the masses when the dust settles.”
Dyson: “You are just a puppet in their game, boy.”
Mariam: “Oh I am well aware of my place. I may be a puppet to them, but to the humans I will be the greatest king that has ever lived!”
Dyson: “Well I guess it runs in the family.”
Madam Erin: “If Luther and Abigail are anything like Rosalinda we can’t take them lightly, the human however doesn’t look to be that strong so we will leave him to you.” –She says to me and then addresses the room.- “Rosalinda may have caught me off guard, but that won’t happen this time. Alright Dyson let do this, but don’t forget to leave one of them alive enough that they take us to their leader.”
Dyson: “Way ahead of you. [Translocation Anchor]!” –He then flies across the room giving Abigail barely enough time to unsheathe her own sword to block Dyson’s blow, but it still stops him in his tracks.-
A large two-handed mace appears in Luther’s hand along with a pair of tower shields, but they float independently to either side of him. He starts to target Dyson, as Dyson and Abagail cross swords, but Madam Erin leaps across the room cracking the floor as she lands blocking the path off between them.
Mariam seems shaken, and retreats back out of the way, so I pull my sword. I try to [Blink] across the room to meet him, but find myself unable to. Dyson’s [Translocation Anchor] must have affected me as well.
My running across the room in my clanking mythril armor looks quite pathetic in comparison to the blows happening half way across the room between the other four, and I am having trouble even keeping up with their movement.
Madam Erin is trading blows with Luther and every time she brings her heavy fist down or the massive obsidian greatsword in for a strike one of Luther’s floating shields darts in between them blocking the blow, but he hasn’t been able to land a blow with his heavy mace against Madam Erin either.
Dyson and Abagail seem to just be trading blows with the swords with a mixture of dodges, parries, and strikes, even though their speed is hard to follow neither of them have landed a blow against each other yet either.
When I first seen the material that makes up Hecate’s weapons and armor I was wondering just how strong it was, but Abagail’s weapon of the same material seems inferior to Dyson’s adamantium sword, but he still hasn’t been able to damage it, even though I have seen how easily Dyson’s sword will shatter a mythril blade.
As I start to near Mariam he pulls a sword that seems more decorative then functional, but it is still made from mythril, so he still has the advantage over the dark steel weapon I now have. My use of [Blink] has been my major tactical approach for a while now, so being unable to use it now makes me feel like I am at even more of a disadvantage.
Mariam doesn’t seem to have faced much combat, but even using enough strength that would flatten the soldiers we have been fighting he manages to awkwardly but still effectively block my blows. He seems so focused on blocking my sword blows I easily catch him off guard with a kick to his chest that causes him to stumble backwards and spit up blood.
His gear is better than mine, and it appears his level is somehow higher than mine as well, but he must of gathered the xp without doing the actual combat himself, because I even though he is at the clear advantage I am managing to gain the upper hand.
I wish I could say the same about the others, as I hear Madam Erin call out [Mother Earth] after taking a heavy blow from the mace to the stomach. Her body grows in considerable size assuming the giant wolf beastkin like golem form she had when fighting Rosalinda.
Madam Erin: “Dyson!” –She then says in a muffled and deep voice far different then her normal one.-
Dyson doesn’t seem to be doing much better as he takes a blow from Abagail right into the shoulder as he stops to raise his finger pointing it at the Madam Erin golem and calling out. “[Quickening]!” The blow to Dyson’s shoulder doesn’t penetrate the armor, but it seems quite painful all the same as you can see Dyson recoil from the attack.
Madam Erin’s speed on the other hand increases a great deal as she swings around her massive stone hands one of which has the obsidian greatsword sticking out of it like a small spike. Once crushing one of the floating shields it remains on the ground even after Luther jumps back.
Gaining the upper hand in my fight against Mariam I make the mistake of paying too much attention to Madam Erin and Dyson, because when I cross swords with Mariam I miss a que when he flicks his other wrist.
A massive beam of light hits me square in the chest throwing me clear across the room and practically destroying most of the chest piece of my armor. He doesn’t have the actual skill, but he has the stats, so I am going to have to be far more careful. I can’t afford to have Dyson or Madam Erin lose their focus to worry about me right now.
I drag myself to my feet while casting a healing spell and call out to Mariam. “I have to say I wasn’t expecting you to use magic, that was my fault, but how do you like it?” I then cast a [Light Beam] spell back at Mariam and mine is bigger around and lasts longer, so I at least seem to have more magical power then him.
My big mouth causes him to have a split second to dive out of the way, and before I can turn the beam at him the spell dissipates. I don’t let up there, and I quickly switch over casting [Shadow-ball]. He manages to dodge again, but this time not completely as I trap one arms all the way up to the shoulder within the black ball floating in the air.
I can maintain this spell as long as I still have magic, so as he struggles trying to free his arm from the ball I quickly charge back across the room swinging my sword. He brings his sword up to block my blow, but being immobile and one handed I clearly have been able to offset any of the advantages he may have had due to his higher level.
He can’t cast any spells targeting me without dropping his sword, and I can’t cast any more spells except healing spells while maintaining [Shadow-ball] so I move around him trying to find the most advantageous spot.
I manage to give him a pretty good slash to his chest and back before he uses one last trick up his sleeve quickly calling out. “[Null]!” After he does the [Shadow-ball] disappears, Madam Erin’s golem body crumbles causing her to roll out of it, but Luther’s second shield now falls as well along with all sorts of items start pouring into the room.
I realize some of the items are my own, so even [Shadow-pocket] spells have been canceled. Dyson takes a rather strong blow to the chest before he pulls his helmet off and jumps back.
Even though it gave Abagail a chance to strike Dyson she calls out. “You idiot! I told you not to use that unless we told you to!”
Marian: “I had no choice!” –He says while charging at me.-
Even through Abagail’s objection Mariam’s ability seemed to leave us at more of a disadvantage then them, because Dyson had to remove his helmet, Madam Erin lost her golem body and extra speed, and I lost my advantage over Marian.
The entire battle seems to have grown more sluggish without magic, but I was gaining a small advantage over Marian before using magic so I begin to gain it again.
Even without his helmet it doesn’t seem to affect Dyson as all, but he still doesn’t seem to be gaining any advantage over Abagail either.
Even without his shield Luther still has his mace, and Madam Erin doesn’t have her large golem like body anymore, she swings her sword at him, but without the boost from magic the obsidian greatsword shatters on impact. The shards of the flying obsidian slice up not only Luther but Madam Erin as well.
With Marian focusing on my sword again I try to kick him in the chest again, but even though he has little combat experience he was ready for it this time, and he grabs ahold of my leg spinning me around causing me to land on the floor.
I wasn’t completely unready for him see through my kick this time, so just when he thinks he has me I manage to kick the sword out of his hand and then grapple him with my legs pulling him to the ground as well.
After a bit of wrestling around that must look like a couple of kids scuffling on the floor I manage to lock my elbow around his throat and press my sword against his back, and I call out to Madam Erin and Dyson. “I got Mariam!”
Dyson: “Don’t kill him! It might cancel his ability!”
“But it looks like it is putting you both at a disadvantage!”
Dyson: “Disadvantage?” –He says while clashing swords with Abagail.- “As if I could ever be at such.”
Dyson then jumps in the air placing both feet square into Abagail’s chest causing her to crash into the floor so hard the stone floor cracks, and he still somehow manages to right himself landing on both feet. Before she has a chance to recover he places his sabaton across her throat until a loud crunching sound is heard and her body goes limp. “You were saying…?”
Dungeon Core #401 [Abigail] perished at the hands of Dungeon Core #400 [Elder Dyson].
Luther: “Abigail!” –He calls out leaving him distracted enough for Madam Erin take the remaining shard of Obsidian in her hand and jabbing it into Luther’s eye.-
Dungeon Core #7 [Luther] perished at the hands of Dungeon Core #36 [Elder Madam Erin].
Dyson: “Hu… I think it should have said Abagail perished under my boot instead of at my hands, but I thought you wanted to keep one of them alive?”
Madam Erin: “We might be able to get something out of the boy.”
Mariam struggles a bit as he says. “I’m not telling you anything!”
Dyson: “We don’t really need you to talk, but more information is always better. Well if you’re not going to say anything I guess there is no use keeping you around. Alright Two-Twelve, do your thing!”
Dyson: “Oh? That was easy.”
Mariam: “Please, I don’t know much, but I will tell you, but you just have to let me live!”
Dyson: “Start talking.”
Mariam: “Father only dealt with Luther and Abigail, but there has been talk. They have a unified dungeon in the mountain range in Adra. It’s like a hub all the dungeons that serve them move their dungeons there.”
Madam Erin: “Once a dungeon crystal has been set it can only be moved to a connected room. They can’t just pick up and move.”
“Maybe he is talking about an imitation crystal? Kenta’s primary dungeon is in Gowen, and he made it right inside town, but it still has never been discovered, because he uses his secondary dungeon in Shima to gather xp.”
Dyson: “Draco knows everything that goes on in that mountain range, I can’t think there is a collection of dungeon cores using one dungeon there without him knowing about it.”
“He didn’t know about Alex killing his imitation crystals, so are you sure…?”
Dyson: “What else can you tell us?”
Mariam: “That’s all I know!”
Dyson: “Alright then Two-Twelve go ahead and do it.”
Mariam: “You said you would let me live!”
Dyson: “No, you begged for me to let your live, and I just told you to talk.”
Mariam pleads to me. “Please don’t kill me!”
Dyson: “He is over level 50, and you battled him solely by yourself, you could use the xp. I am also curious if you will gain that unique ability of his since they are only acquired once every 50 levels.”
“What about your brother? Does he know anything about what you and your father have been up to?”
Mariam: “No, father found out that Aaron is serving a dungeon core as well, so he couldn’t risk the information getting out if he found out.”
As I start to loosen my grip on Mariam, Dyson says. “Come on! He just tried to kill you, and don’t you want to find out what will happen when that boy toy of Laura’s becomes king of all Merretta, and the fight that will ensue between Lucille and her?”
Madam Erin: “If you don’t do it pup I will, we can’t afford to allow those connected to these events to live, even if they are normal humans.”
“It doesn’t look like you are leaving me much of a choice…I’m sorry.” –I shove my blade through Mariam’s back. After a squeak and a light gurgle the light fades from his eyes and I release him, pull the sword out of his back, and then get back on my feet.-
Madam Erin: “Alright, can we use magic now?” –She says while drawing a line in the air. Apparently it has, because a [Shadow Pocket] appears before her, and she starts gathering items on the floor shoving them through.-
All three of us then spend the next few minutes collecting our fallen items, and we start forming a pile of items that doesn’t belong to us. After we are done Dyson grabs the sword that Abigail was using and tosses to me.
Dyson: “Not as good as the sword you made me, but better than anything I have seen you use so far. Although the designs on it I think are a bit tacky.”
Madam Erin: “Like that door to your conference room?”
Dyson: “That door is a statement!”
Dark steel equipment still isn’t cheap so I store the sword I have been using into my [Shadow Pocket]. Dyson picks up one of the stones like I copied for Chansey.
Dyson: “I don’t care about the rest, but Two-Twelve already knows how to make these, so I will take this.”
Madam Erin: “I don’t know if I trust you with one of them.”
Dyson: “It isn’t like I am going to take it into the neutral zone during a meeting with the rest of the elders, and use it preventing their movement while leaving their dungeons completely exposed.”
“That sounds very specific, and makes me worried about you having it as well…”
Dyson: “It isn’t like you or Madam Erin would have anything to worry about, besides I promised Madam Erin I would wait for her approval before offing the others.”
Madam Erin: “Watch your mouth, we are inside Lucille’s dungeon.”
Dyson: “It’s no secret I have it out for the others, so if anything it should bring them comfort to know that you have to approve.”
Madam Erin: “You can take the rest of this junk, Two-Twelve. You can tell me later if there is anything interesting here, but for now at least in your dungeon you will be able to reproduce them.”
She doesn’t have to tell me twice, I quickly start adding the items to my [Shadow Pocket]. After I get it all squared away I say. “Well, what do we do now?”
Dyson: “We tore up Lucille’s front porch, and I guess its Draco’s turn.”
Just after saying that Lucille appears before us with Laura in tow and neither look very happy to see us.
Lucille: “What the hell do you think you are doing?!
Dyson: “Now you show up?! We clean up your mess and this is the thanks we get?”
Lucille: “What the hell are you talking about?”
Dyson: “Right under your nose, and inside your dungeon the King of Merretta was working with those trying to kill us, but don’t worry I took care of it for you. His son was helping as well so he had to go too. I guess that makes Laura the Queen of all Merretta now that her boy toy is the King.”
Laura quickly starts to send a message and Lucille slaps her wrist. “This changes nothing! Merretta is still mine!”
Dyson: “Merretta hasn’t been yours for centuries, not since you abandoned it.”
Lucille: “I never abandoned it!”
Madam Erin: “We are on the ground floor of your dungeon and the soldiers were training to use wyvrens as mounts. They had to be dungeon monsters, but I know you can’t summon them, so another dungeon must have provided for them.”
Dyson: “Your King was working with another dungeon core and receiving monsters inside your very dungeon and you didn’t care enough to even notice.”
Lucille slaps Laura’s wrist again. “Stop trying to send that man of yours a message and help me figure this out!”
Laura: “What is there to figure out? Aaron is the only remaining heir to the Merretta throne, which makes him the rightful King of all of Merretta. By the looks of the castle however you can keep it, we will just make Uthaira the new capital of the unified Merretta.”
Lucille: “I don’t care about the damn humans, but my kingdom is in shambles!”
Laura: “Your kingdom is the humans, but when they start poking around the castle and discover a dungeon in its depths, you will care, and it will be up to Aaron and I what is to be done about it.”
Lucille: “Now you are threatening me?! I made you!”
Laura: “When the student passes the teacher should be the teacher’s proudest moment, and any human teacher would know that.”
Lucille looks like she is about to attack Laura before Dyson steps in. “As much fun as I am having with all this. We do have far more important matters to be dealing with right now. Madam Erin, Two-Twelve, and I managed to stop Dungeon Core # 7 and # 401, but they weren’t the last. Speaking of which, where is Draco?”
Laura: “Lucille received the message about the attack at the castle and came rushing to find out what is going on, and we left him to finish the conversation we were having with Beatrice.”
Dungeon Core #5 [Draco] has perished at the hands of Dungeon Core #160 [Beatrice].
Shock quickly fills the group as we read the message.
Dyson: “And that is why you should have been watching each other’s backs! Damnit!”
Madam Erin: “It says Beatrice killed him, but do we know for sure it was actually her, or did they use one of their items to make it say it was her, so we could take care of her because they couldn’t be bothered…?”
“How did Beatrice act when you were speaking with her? Did anything seem off?”
Lucille: “Of course not or we wouldn’t of left Draco alone with her. She was trying to force us to drink that tea crap from those tiny little cups like she always does, and she seemed like… Beatrice.”
Dyson: “We did just take out two of their own, Beatrice could have seen the messages and when you left Draco alone she took the opportunity to strike down Draco in revenge. That could be why it was under her own name instead of mine.”
I then receive a message from a surprising source. It’s a message from Chansey and it simply says. (We need to talk.)
“Chansey just left me a message wanting to talk again.”
Dyson: “I didn’t receive a message.”
Madam Erin: “Neither did I. It could be a trap…”
“She is the one that sent us here leading us straight to Luther and Abagail. After seeing their deaths and Draco at the hands of the only other remaining Leland trained dungeon core, she might just be worried.”
Madam Erin: “If she is worried then she can meet us in the neutral zone, I am not taking any more chances.”
I send a message back to Chansey saying if she wants to meet it has to be at the neutral zone, and she sends me a quick reply back quickly agreeing.
“She says that’s fine.”
Dyson: “That isn’t like her…”
Madam Erin: “If it’s a trap they can’t use it in the neutral zone.”
“Unless it’s one of those stones…”
Dyson: “That was only a joke, even that stone would be considered an attack and [Menu] would prevent it from working.”
“They are godly quality items, so that means it could be at least as strong as [Menu].”
Laura: “What’s a godly quality item, and don’t get smart with me. What is it other than the obvious.”
“Well it is just that… It’s an item above the quality of legendary. The stones they used to block [Communication] and any sorts of teleportation are only the second thing I have seen made from that quality. The other was an eye, which was supposed to be the eye of an actual god.”
Dyson: “You found Belphegor’s right eye?!”
“No… It was the left. Someone told Tom I could find impossible to find items, and he showed me the left eye in hopes I could find the right…”
“And what? I took it back to my dungeon to see if I could make another, but it was specifically labeled the left eye so it wouldn’t work.”
Dyson: “But you could make another of the left?”
“If you have a spare 150 million xp lying around sure…”
Lucille: “150 million xp?! Nothing cost that much.”
Dyson: “Then it’s real…? I knew I should have never turned it over to him. Maybe I can convince him to trade it back to me.”
“Is this really important right now…?”
Dyson: “I guess you are right.”
We then head to the neutral zone and I cast [Gate] opening a portal to the location right outside Chansey’s dungeon, and not even a few seconds Chansey comes barreling through the portal with one of the frogs clasped between her arms.
She quickly looks around and notices us all. “Oh… You are all here.”
Lucille: “Is that a problem?”
Chansey: “I guess not, after losing another Elder I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Although that is what I wanted to talk to you about.”
Dyson: “Well out with it.”
Chansey: “I saw you took care of Luther and Abagail, good job by the way, but after I saw the message about Draco I got to thinking, it’s all wrong… I know Beatrice, and she couldn’t have killed Draco.”
Draco: “If you knew about Luther and Abagail you could have told us.”
Chansey: “It worked itself out, but I am telling you Beatrice didn’t kill Draco!”
Madam Erin: “We took that into consideration. They have been killing the dungeon cores Leland trained, so maybe they used one of their items to say it was Beatrice that killed Draco, in hopes we would do their work for them.”
Chansey: “That’s just it… I don’t think Draco is dead either…”
Lucille: “Impossible, we all saw the message.”
Dyson: “And we know that message no longer means anything. Go on.”
Chansey: “I only know they have spies among all of you. I knew about the Merretta King, but from my understanding they have you all under watch with people just as close if not closer than the King was to Lucille’s dungeon.”
Dyson: “My city is designed by those looking for a place to hide, and I am sure I have several people spying on me at any given point.”
Laura: “I personally vet every person that enters my castle, nobody close to me is a traitor.”
Madam Erin: “But how does this lead you to believe Draco is still alive?”
Chansey: “I think the message was backwards. I think Draco used Beatrice to fake his own death.”
Dyson: “Other than the fact you don’t think Beatrice could kill Draco, what other proof you have?”
Chansey: “As I said they have spies among you all, but you know who I never heard them having spies on? Draco…”
I receive a message from Madam Erin, and by the looks of it the other Elders have as well. (Given the fact we just heard about their base being somewhere in Draco’s mountain range, it makes sense.)
Dyson: “Why are you so eager to help us all of the sudden? You have never done anything for free your entire life.”
Chansey: “And I don’t expect to start now. I want protection. You managed to deal with Luther and Abigail, so maybe you can stop them before they get to me.”
Dyson: “Even if we did believe you and Draco really was working for them, what good is that information going to do us?”
Chansey: “Maybe nothing, but I can also get you on the inside of their lair!”
Laura: “If they want you dead, and you are their enemy how can you get us in their lair?”
Dyson: “Are you saying you know where their lair is as well?”
Chansey: “I don’t know where it is, but I know I can get you in. The rings they use to pose as Dyson, they have another function, they work like a key, and if you give me protection I will tell you how they work.”
Madam Erin: “Until this matter is resolved we offer you the same protection available to any of us.”
Chansey: “Yes, because that has worked so well so far.”
“You already have several of those stones, and that is all we have to offer. What is it you expect from us?”
Chansey: “You see, they are ransacking my dungeon as we speak, so I expect you to drive them off of course! Each one is at least as strong as the ones I fought before, but this time there are close to 10 of them. I need help.”
Lucille: “Are they all dungeon cores?”
Chansey: “None of them that have attacked me so far have been, but I didn’t stop to ask.”
Dyson: “Tell us how to use the rings, and we will help you.”
Chansey: “Then you will just let me die! No, I live, I tell you how to use them. I don’t, well then you are on your own.”
Lucille: “This sounds like a trap to me.”
“We are the Dungeon Core Elders, and its high time we make that actually means something. I have never understood the every Dungeon Core for themselves mentality. Many dungeon cores are probably hiding in their dungeon right now hoping Dyson doesn’t come to kill them, because after all we have learned they have no clue what is going on!”
Dyson: “Not that I share Two-Twelve’s enthusiasm but the more of these imposters we can take out here, the less we have to deal with when I hit their base, and if it is a trap then you can bet I will be damn sure Chansey gets what is coming to her.”
That seems to make Chansey a bit nervous, but she doesn’t say anything. Everyone then prepares for combat.
Madam Erin: “The effects of the stone on your dungeon, is it just limited to teleportation and communication type magic, is that correct?”
Chansey: “Yes, and unfortunately when I activated it at my dungeon I set it to target intruders, so the effects will affect all of you as well.”
Madam Erin: “It doesn’t affect enchantments or other magic though?”
Chansey: “Not that I am aware.”
Madam Erin then pulls another one of the obsidian blades from her dungeon’s inventory. I don’t know if it is a completely new one, or if the other was repaired, but if it is the same one I would be quite surprised, because there was practically nothing left of the last one.
Dyson was practically ready already, but Lucille and Laura both equip gear. Their armor and weapons are practically identical except Lucille’s is made from that material of my new sword. That makes me think of the armor from Luther that I stored, so I switch out the damaged mythril armor I am wearing for Luther’s set.
I also have never been one to use a shield, but I take the one of Luther’s that was remaining after the battle as well. I don’t know what this material is called, or how exactly this shield works, but once I finally make it back to my dungeon I should be able to figure it all out.
Laura: “How the hell does he have sky steel equipment at his age?” –She says complaining about the gear I just equipped and also answering my question about what the material is called…-
Dyson: “Gifts from our traitorous friends.”
Madam Erin: “I agree with your choice in using Luther’s armor and Abagail’s sword, but that shield might be too hard for you to figure out in combat, unless you plan to just carry it like a normal shield.”
“It doesn’t just work on its own? Luther was using two of them.”
Madam Erin: “It doesn’t move without direction, so it would be best for you to practice with it quite a bit before trying to use it in actual combat.”
I store the shield back in my dungeon’s inventory. “Well it was worth a shot.” We then prepare to head to Chansey’s dungeon. Even with all the elders present my means of teleportation is the easiest to set up while still allowing use for everyone so I am left using [Gate] to transport us there.